New U.S. nuclear reactors unlikely soon: physicist

Apr 15, 2011 By Melissae Fellet
Stanford physicist and Nobel laureate Burton Richter told a Stanford audience that he expects the worldwide impact of the Fukushima disaster to be small.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Japanese officials increased the nuclear crisis level at the Fukushima plant on Monday to match that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But, unlike the Soviet disaster, most of the radiation from the Fukushima plant is spread locally, and that's an important distinction, said New York Times reporter Matthew Wald, who has written about energy for more than 30 years.

Wald, speaking at Stanford this week, said each explosion at the Japanese reactors released radiation, but the levels returned to their low background amounts afterward.

How will the catastrophe in Japan affect the construction of new reactors here? The American public may be wary of nuclear energy for now, but ultimately the approval of new plants depends on community support, not national sentiment, Wald said.

The journalist has toured more than 24 nuclear reactors, recently visiting one in Maine that was torn down for safety reasons. Teachers at a school across the bay from the plant were worried about the building that will replace it, he said. They liked the because it was quiet and didn't disrupt their school.

Wald spoke during a weekly Energy Seminar series sponsored by the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy.

The future of nuclear energy in the United States comes down to profit, Wald says. Other forms of energy, especially , are cheaper than building a new nuclear plant. "I don't foresee any more reactors getting built here," he said.

U.S. has shrunk over the past two years, but demand is high in China and India – countries that Wald predicts will resume construction of nuclear reactors because they have limited access to coal.

Another speaker at the energy seminar, Burton Richter, noted that nuclear safety improved after the historic disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Richter, a 1976 Nobel laureate in physics, is a former director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and an energy policy expert.

The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center sparked further strengthening of security at U.S. nuclear power plants, he added. Richter expects similar safety reviews by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission following the Fukushima accident.

The NRC is the "gold standard" for regulators, Richter said: "Even the French agree." France is home to one of the leading manufacturers, and 80 percent of the country's energy comes from nuclear power.

Most of the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors are prepared for extreme events, including earthquakes, loss of power and the unwanted creation of explosive hydrogen, he said.

Richter acknowledged increased fears among the general public about , but said he expects Fukushima's worldwide impact to be small.

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d_robison
4 / 5 (10) Apr 15, 2011
I would hope that the events in Japan do not negatively effect decisions on whether or not the United States is going to build new reactors. Disasters will happen, especially when you build something in a geologically unstable region. It seems the media enjoys feeding (and believing) the fear they produce to the public. There have been 3 major catastrophes that I can recall in history involving nuclear reactors, versus the thousands of coal mining/oil drilling accidents.
Modernmystic
3.6 / 5 (8) Apr 15, 2011
Yeah, because here in the West/Mid-west tsunamis are a constant threat...
kaasinees
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 15, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (10) Apr 15, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.


Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...oh that's right NONE...
DoubleD
not rated yet Apr 15, 2011
TVA is almost done completing Watts Bar 2. They plan to finish the incomplete Bellefonte reactors next. Westinghouse has engineering, procurement and construction contracts from three utilities for 6 new reactors in the southeast. The components are currently being built. 2 APWRs have been ordered for Comanche Peak and 2 ABWRS for South Texas.

But, "I don't foresee any more reactors getting built here" despite all physical evidence to the contrary.
kaasinees
2.1 / 5 (11) Apr 15, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.


Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...oh that's right NONE...


Asteroids, Earthquakes, terrorists, viruses, human error, etc?
Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 15, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.


Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...oh that's right NONE...


Asteroids, Earthquakes, terrorists, viruses, human error, etc?


That's right NONE of those, other than the earthquakes I've mentioned have been a problem since Chernobyl. Can you READ?

Safe as safe can be DESPITE all those possibilities you mentioned...I feel much better.

After all it took a HUGE earthquake followed by a friggin tsunami to cause the current problems. And since solar and wind aren't going to do the trick except in the minds of a few misguided and ignorant folks I'd rather keep the lights on with the MINIMAL risks involved. Especially if we started building gen III and IV reactors.
kaasinees
2.8 / 5 (9) Apr 15, 2011
Dude it takes one mistake, and the world gets thyroid, stomach and lung cancers. There are still particles floating around from chernobyl and right now fukushima is on the danger of becoming chernobyl #2.
d_robison
3.4 / 5 (7) Apr 15, 2011
I'm going to have to agree with Modernmystic. Though I must say if an asteroid large enough to damage a reactor indirectly, I think the human race would not care as much about the reactor as they would getting the hell out of whatever city/region the asteroid was going to hit. Also, terrorism or hackers (I hope you are talking about a computer virus) have much better targets than nuclear power plants. Human error (and a lack of fail-safes) was the primary reason for Chernobyl, that's why all modern reactors have numerous ways to prevent human error from causing a melt-down. So, other than earthquakes, there is very little risk with nuclear power.
d_robison
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 15, 2011
Dude it takes one mistake, and the world gets thyroid, stomach and lung cancers. There are still particles floating around from chernobyl and right now fukushima is on the danger of becoming chernobyl #2.


"Japanese officials increased the nuclear crisis level at the Fukushima plant on Monday to match that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But, unlike the Soviet disaster, most of the radiation from the Fukushima plant is spread locally, and that's an important distinction, said New York Times reporter Matthew Wald, who has written about energy for more than 30 years."
kaasinees
2.6 / 5 (10) Apr 15, 2011

"Japanese officials increased the nuclear crisis level at the Fukushima plant on Monday to match that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. But, unlike the Soviet disaster, most of the radiation from the Fukushima plant is spread locally, and that's an important distinction, said New York Times reporter Matthew Wald, who has written about energy for more than 30 years."


The japanese are lying.
http://www.scienc...1343.htm

and this is BEFORE the hydrogen explosion, before the recent 4 earthquakes near fukushima!
lengould100
3 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2011
Here we go again, the wierd conspiracy theorists off and running.
kaasinees
3.2 / 5 (6) Apr 15, 2011
There is no conspiracy. Did you look at the DATA of the article i posted?
Skepticus
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 15, 2011
It is a vicious cycle. The anti-nuclear lobbies are making sure that people are scared of nuclear energy, doing their utmost to stop newer designs ever get built, or make them so uneconomical after years of costly delays and legal fights. Therefore, no experience and cost reduction in building and running advanced nuclear reactors can ever be made, that is the goal. The resultant glacial progress in nuclear technology thus give said lobbies the ammo to pertetuate the fallacy that nuclear energy will ALWAYS be semi-experimental, dangerous and costly!
kaasinees
3 / 5 (8) Apr 15, 2011
It is a vicious cycle. The anti-nuclear lobbies are making sure that people are scared of nuclear energy, doing their utmost to stop newer designs ever get built, or make them so uneconomical after years of costly delays and legal fights. Therefore, no experience and cost reduction in building and running advanced nuclear reactors can ever be made, that is the goal. The resultant glacial progress in nuclear technology thus give said lobbies the ammo to pertetuate the fallacy that nuclear energy will ALWAYS be semi-experimental, dangerous and costly!


And the pro-nuclear lobby wants to make it look all bunny cute.
rgwalther
not rated yet Apr 15, 2011
I still believe that raising the nuclear threat level will eliminate a lot of potential $$ liability for the private insurance industry. The government and people get stuck with more of the bill.
Is this true? I don't know. Just a feeling. I had a similar feeling about liability transference away from private insurance money when the Earthquake rating went from 8.9 to 9 a day or so after the original shock.
There had never been a 9.0 in Japan quake ratings, nor was a 9 expected. Such a devastating quake event seems to exceed the specs used to plan for a quake disaster.
History shows that no matter how bad things might seem, it can always get worse.
kaasinees
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 15, 2011
Human error (and a lack of fail-safes) was the primary reason for Chernobyl, that's why all modern reactors have numerous ways to prevent human error from causing a melt-down. So, other than earthquakes, there is very little risk with nuclear power.

The design is made by humans. Is constructed by humans. Is run by humans.
Therefore even the failsafes are trial to human error! (Have we not learned from the gulf spill??? hello??)
Theres so many things that can go wrong with a nuclear reactor and cause it to go on meltdown, cursing the entire world with cancer mortality rates.

Hello???? Theres a small chance for me to die from cancer because of fukushima right now, what right do they have todo this to me? none. Why do you think asbestos is banned and why there are vehicle output laws why smoking is banned in public places?

Nuclear reactors no targets for terrorist attacks? Hello??? The costs are HUGE for a damaged nuclear plant! Fly a plane into it and watch.
Skepticus
not rated yet Apr 15, 2011
It is a vicious cycle. The anti-nuclear lobbies are making sure that people are scared of nuclear energy, doing their utmost to stop newer designs ever get built, or make them so uneconomical after years of costly delays and legal fights. Therefore, no experience and cost reduction in building and running advanced nuclear reactors can ever be made, that is the goal. The resultant glacial progress in nuclear technology thus give said lobbies the ammo to pertetuate the fallacy that nuclear energy will ALWAYS be semi-experimental, dangerous and costly!


And the pro-nuclear lobby wants to make it look all bunny cute.


Because of anti-nuclearists like you making sure that looks bunny cute is all that will be, rather than ACTUALLY cute.
PinkElephant
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 15, 2011
@Modernmystic,
Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...
Here's one list:

http://en.wikiped...ccidents

Why don't you count 'em yourself, and tell us?

Oh by the way, these are just the CIVILIAN cases. How many more military/classified accidents have there been, in U.S. alone -- never mind the rest of the world? And does the rest of the world disclose even civilian accidents (e.g. would you trust Russia, China, or Pakistan do disclose?)
I'd rather keep the lights on with the MINIMAL risks involved
Cost vs. benefit. Somehow, you nuke advocates never take into account the potential costs of dozens if not hundreds of square miles poisoned and uninhabitable/unusable for a period of decades or even centuries. And you want to site these things next to population centers, where land is most valuable...
MarkyMark
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 16, 2011
Nuclear is THE safest form of mass power generation out there right now period. The ant-nuclear lobbyists are motivated by money and rose tinted enviromental conspiracies. Even the waste issue is great as spent fuel is re-processable which cant be done with the wast from Gas, Oil etc. And frankly calling the pro-lobyists 'Bunny Cute' is very unfare considering there views are not even a solid reality thanks to fear mongering from the anti crowd peddling the beliefe that the technology hasant moved on since Chernobyl which is of course rediculouse.

As an example look at Japan, there reactors had great safety measures in place to protect against quakes which worked in tham all exept those that got hit my the VERY unuserall wave.
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (4) Apr 16, 2011
Thousands of people die every year because of coal power plants in the US, millions in the world. But that is not EVIL NUCLEAR, so simple-minded ecoterrorists dont care.

Nuclear is the safest practical source of energy.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2011
There is no real progress if no real development made. If there were obstructions and protests against computers on the scale of nuclear energy, right now we'd be lucky to have a computer with 500Mhz CPU, 1Gb storage, the size of the nuclear reactor, and costs the income of the typoical anti-nuclearists in a lifetime. Anti-nuclearists, please send us your evidences of never used any amount of energy that comes from a nuclear reactor that you so hate. Standby your principle and prove that you are not hypocrites. Otherwise shutup and let the world progress. Go home and write "I standby and live by my belief, not as hypocrites" 1000 times.
John_balls
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2011
If nuclear energy is can survive on it's own the let them build it. But no , they need the taxpayer.
Why does the government have to insure a nuclear powerplant?
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (4) Apr 16, 2011
Thousands of people die every year because of coal power plants in the US, millions in the world. But that is not EVIL NUCLEAR
Just because it's not evil in the SAME way, doesn't mean that it's not evil at all. You don't like one form of evil, so you advocate for an alternative form. And that's supposed to impress someone? Let's avoid the pit of vipers by jumping into the pit of scorpions?
simple-minded ecoterrorists
Could you please enlighten the simple-minded among us, regarding just what the hell is an "ecoterrorist"? Thanks in advance, oh Cognitively Sophisticated One.
If there were obstructions and protests against computers
See, computers don't run the danger of irreparably poisoning vast tracts of land. Aren't you pro-nuke types also advocates of private property rights, for the most part? But you're OK with endangering private property by blanketing the world with nukes? And then, let's picture a nuke reactor + waste in a war zone, or in a failed state...
Skepticus
2.7 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2011
@PE
There is NO technological reason why nuclear reactors can't be made safe but for the political and ideological obstructionism. But you can't get something from doing nothing. That's the fact of life. Since humans tried different ways to make and control fire, someone died. Air travel is now acceptably safe only after scores of thousands have died and improvements were made. Admitedly humans haved always wanted to fly since they started walking, but why not an abundance of energy supply? Currently there are designs that eliminate the dangers from proliferation, accidents and deliberate sabotage, as well as for reprocessing of spent fuel. As for blanketing the world with nuke plants, so what? If safe nuclear reactor designs are available to all, who in there right mind will DELIBERATELY built unsafe designs to kill themselves and others on the off chance? Are you for maintaining nuclear club exclusivity as a tool of baboonish global gunboat diplomacy leverage, as is now?
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2011
If nuclear energy is can survive on it's own the let them build it. But no , they need the taxpayer.
Why does the government have to insure a nuclear powerplant?


Nuclear energy knowhow(and derivable weapon-making knowhow) is currently a tool for international political leverage. It is the biggest club the alpha-baboons in charge are having, so why make it available to everybody? Are you insane? Lobbies and social engineering efforts must be make to swindle the tax-payers to maintain exclusivity. All efforts to make it cheaper, smaller, safer must be dragged to ground zero. Who to subsidy for all that clunky showpieces? Taxing the brainwashed taxpayers. To insure those backward showpieces against total feckup, setup lobbies and social-engineering? Why, the stupid tax-payer, ofcourse.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 17, 2011
Just because it's not evil in the SAME way, doesn't mean that it's not evil at all. You don't like one form of evil, so you advocate for an alternative form.


Unfortunately, we do not have a practical form of energy generation that is not "evil" in some way. But there are varying levels of "evil", and advanced nuclear is FAR less "evil" than coal. And make no mistake, those two are the ONLY possibilities of cheap abundant and stable energy generation we have now, so by not supporting nuclear, you support coal.

Could you please enlighten the simple-minded among us, regarding just what the hell is an "ecoterrorist"?


http://plarmy.org...ain_Page

Ecoterrorists are those who fight against nuclear but fail to mention there is no real and practical alternative besides coal, therefore increasing the number of coal power plants.
ShotmanMaslo
4 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
See, computers don't run the danger of irreparably poisoning vast tracts of land.


Quantify the danger, and compare it with the evils of alternatives. The danger of modern nuclear power plant (not 40 years old ones) melting is negligible. But new modern nuclear power plants dont replace old ones, partly because of ecoterrorist lobby, so we are stuck with the old ones, which are more dangerous. Its a vicious cycle.

Say that with advanced NP, there is a probability of 1 nuclear meltdown in the world every 100 years. Thats maybe few 10 000s cancers increase (assuming the worst). Now compare it to milions of deaths coal causes worldwide during normal operation (not even talking about CO2 and GW). Which one is far less evil?
antialias
5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2011
Why defend nuclear when the cost per kWh from hydro is half and that from solar is only two thirds of that (that is if you add all the subsidies, tax breaks, environmental cleanup and storage costs of waste - all of which you don't see on your electricity bill but which you pay nevertheless via your taxes)

Say that with advanced NP, there is a probability of 1 nuclear meltdown in the world every 100 years

Right now we have about one per decade. If we expand nuclear power to cover a percentage of the worlds energy consuption that would make any impact then that number would decrease. or do you think they'll build 'advanced nuclear power plants' in central Africa or central/south America? No. They'd build the cheap kind (you know..like the one at Fukuchima, which was - incidentally - designed by GM)

ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Apr 17, 2011
Why defend nuclear when the cost per kWh from hydro is half


Hydro is not available everywhere in sufficient quantities, and big hydro dams can be damaging to ecosystem. Otherwise it is a good source, and will be part of the solution.

that from solar is only two thirds of that


Nope.

If we expand nuclear power to cover a percentage of the worlds energy consuption that would make any impact then that number would decrease. or do you think they'll build 'advanced nuclear power plants' in central Africa or central/south America? No. They'd build the cheap kind (you know..like the one at Fukuchima, which was - incidentally - designed by GM)


Still much safer than all the alternatives.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
@antialias,

Fukushima was a GE design, not GM. Also, "advanced" nuclear may actually be cheaper -- THEORETICALLY. The problem with so-called "advanced nuclear" is that it remains theoretic. Pro-nuke advocates like to invoke third- and fourth-generation designs, without bothering to mention that these technologies exist only on paper. The few demonstration/research projects that had been run to investigate such designs, usually ended up shut down due to various problems (like molten salts corroding the reactor, for instance.) Or, they advocate for fast breeders and reprocessing, without bothering to mention how hugely uneconomical such endeavors are, even with today's state of the art technologies and processes.
PinkElephant
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2011
@ShotmanMaslo,

Let's examine the meaning of the word "terrorist". This word refers to people who stage surprise attacks against civilian targets and/or infrastructure, with the goal of coercing the targeted population into political submission. Now please explain your usage of that word in connection with nuclear skeptics (such as myself.)
those two are the ONLY possibilities of cheap abundant and stable energy generation we have now
False. Among fossil fuels, there are oil and natural gas. Then there are renewable sources (solar, wind, tidal, wave, hydro, thermal gradient, biomass.) Then there are geothermal sources. Yes, many of those are "expensive" compared to coal or nuclear. However, if we actually counted the ecological and societal costs of coal and nuclear, they won't seem all that "cheap" by comparison. So the real problem is with our severely flawed methods of accounting for costs.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
@Skepticus,
NO technological reason why nuclear reactors can't be made safe
AFAIK, there is no technological method of making radioactive waste, non-radioactive.
Currently there are designs that eliminate the dangers from proliferation, accidents and deliberate sabotage, as well as for reprocessing of spent fuel.
Are these designs at all economical? And, how do they address persistent nuclear waste issues? And why do these designs only exist on paper?
Are you for maintaining nuclear club exclusivity as a tool of baboonish global gunboat diplomacy leverage, as is now?
I am for recognizing that states WILL fail, wars WILL happen. Nuclear waste and nuclear fuels falling into the hands of insurgents is not a scenario I'm particularly fond of contemplating. Nuclear meltdowns/fires/explosions in war zones is not an idea I find endearing, either.
Why, the stupid tax-payer, ofcourse.
Call me stupid until you're blue in the face. Makes no difference to me...
Skepticus
4 / 5 (2) Apr 17, 2011
@PE,
Of course you can't make radioactive waste non-radioactive, it's against physics as we know of now. But it doesn't mean there is no way to render them useless for misuse or terrorism. I'd find a subduction zone in the deep sea and put the vitrified wasted there to be pushed down and recycled under the crust. It may not work exactly as i think, but how's that worse than stored in barrels on the ground now? But noo.."we don't want to reprocess, to bury them, to store them on the ground, we don't know what we want." All your objections boiled down to costs. Have I reminded you of how these costs comes to being in the first place? How those advanced designs never got off the ground? If you don't experiment with radioactive wastes, how do you come up with ways to protect against it, failed states and insurgents all? Do you suppose you can design a space ship by just completing elementary school? Too many people want free lunch, and expect others to wipe their mouths too.
Skepticus
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
I forgot to add, it costs the USA nothing, absolutely nothing, the blood of thousands soldiers, the heartaches of their family and loved ones, and trillions of war dollars to keep the oil flowing do not occur at all. So keep enjoying the smuggness of protecting your "free lunches"!
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
All your objections boiled down to costs.
And yours, against renewable energy.
How those advanced designs never got off the ground?
Yes, it's a global "ecoterrorist" conspiracy.
If you don't experiment with radioactive wastes, how do you come up with ways to protect against it, failed states and insurgents all?
What makes you think US (and all the other nuclear nations the world over) isn't experimenting? Did you think DOE and DARPA don't exist? Never heard of Los Alamos, or Livermore? Every major university has a nuclear physics department. WTF are you talking about?
Too many people want free lunch
And too many people wallow in wet dreams.
it costs the USA nothing, absolutely nothing, the blood of thousands soldiers, the heartaches of their family and loved ones, and trillions of war dollars to keep the oil flowing do not occur at all
Says who?
Skultch
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 17, 2011
According to Ray Kurzweil, if it were breaking ground today, the first nuclear plant would be finished AFTER we would have found out if solar became cheap enough to power ALL of our needs. Heck, halfway through construction we would probably have a very good idea if that was going to happen. What is the total cost of waiting to find out where the price of solar plateaus?

I was 100% FOR nuclear AFTER Fukishima. I understand the economic costs of a lack of energy, but I wonder if anyone has done the risk analysis on doing nothing and simply waiting for solar to mature.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 17, 2011
What do the engineers say?
BTW, nuclear reactors are floating around the world in US aircraft carriers and submarines.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.


Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...oh that's right NONE...

The Detroit molten salt reactor for one. I support nuclear power but to say there haven't been accidents is foolish.
If nuclear energy is can survive on it's own the let them build it. But no , they need the taxpayer.
Why does the government have to insure a nuclear powerplant?
Because banks fuck everything up.
ShotmanMaslo
3.5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2011
However, if we actually counted the ecological and societal costs of coal and nuclear, they won't seem all that "cheap" by comparison. So the real problem is with our severely flawed methods of accounting for costs.


Coal, yes. But nuclear is cheap even when accounting for societal and ecological costs, because there are almost none.

Among fossil fuels, there are oil and natural gas.


Yeah, but they do emit some pollutants, they emit CO2, and they are going to run out. Better than coal, tough.

antialias
3.5 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2011
Still much safer than all the alternatives.

safer than solar? safer than hydro? sager than wind? safer than biogas?

I'll ask you: have ANY of these EVER produced ANY sort of accident (I'm not even asking about accidents on the scale of Fukushima or Chernobyl). Even inthe absolute worst case scenarios the worst you'd get would be a bit of broken glass.

So claiming that this stuff is less safe than nuclear is bar any kind of foundation.
PinkElephant
4.8 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2011
But nuclear is cheap even when accounting for societal and ecological costs
Again, which nuclear? The real-world one, or the paper miracle of Thorium breeders?

Look, I'm all for continued research and demonstration projects for next-gen nuclear reactor designs. All I'm saying is that the current set of technologies is unsatisfactory.

Guess which type of reactors would end up being built, if we all decided "let's go all-out nuclear" tomorrow. My guess: the same kind that have been built for decades prior. It's where the knowledge base is, and where established businesses and political interests lie.
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2011
@antialias,

I agree with your general point, though we must realize that solar/hydro/wind all have their own ecological negatives. Hydro's is obvious (flooded land). Wind has the disadvantage of bird and bat kills (though as turbines get ever larger, and rotate more slowly as a result, perhaps this hazard will diminish.) Solar requires a lot of land surface (though deployment on rooftops/windows/walls and in deserts is less impactful.)

As far as hazards go, I think with hydro the obvious danger is a breach in the dam. Wind and solar are far safer than either hydro or nuclear.

Renewables in themselves aren't a panacea unless one also takes account of their limits, their own peculiar costs, and methods of their deployment. Nevertheless, I do believe they are the future -- or at least a significant part of the future (perhaps in addition to advanced nuclear fission and fusion reactors.)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Apr 18, 2011
As far as hazards go, I think with hydro the obvious danger is a breach in the dam. Wind and solar are far safer than either hydro or nuclear.
If you install a hydro plant you are disrupting the ecosystem of all environments down-stream. The wash is in attempting ot get out the most energy with the smallest disruption possible. Hence why the government requires long term studies. It is so that decadal weather variation can be taken into account in regards to aquifier impacts.
d_robison
4.3 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2011
PinkElephant, I agree that all forms of energy production have their downside. However, so far I have not seen you suggest one actual alternative to the current technologies. The new reactors are great on paper, and there are countries that do have relatively new reactors that have not had any major problems (see France). Part of the problem with the worlds energy crisis is the fear of people, like yourself, to push the envelope in the fields that we have quite a bit of experience in (Nuclear power being one of those) and also not producing any alternatives to those fields. Its unforunate to see people limiting the progress of alternative energy and increased efficiency and safety by just saying "nope" to everything. Instead of being stubborn and being part of the problem, try to be part of the solution. Living in a sustainable manner is a great step, this is something that I practice, but unfortunately that only goes so far. We need a solution.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2011
safer than solar? safer than hydro? sager than wind? safer than biogas?


If you express it as deaths per TWh produced (otherwise its meaningless), then yes. :)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VyTCyizqrHs/R9rF7NuGzXI/AAAAAAAAAPw/KcnCX7ly6gw/s1600-h/deathTWH.JPG

Again, which nuclear? The real-world one, or the paper miracle of Thorium breeders?


If we exclude CO2 producing and running out sources like coal, gas and oil, and sources with already saturated capacity (hydro) then advanced nuclear is very cost competitive. The only alternative source which approaches its cost is (not offshore) wind, but wind has other problems besides cost that nuclear does not have - huge temporal volatility of produced power, ugly landscape filled with turbines if we want to deploy wind power in quantities that would really matter, potentially harmful infrasound emissions etc.. It cannot simply be a base load stable and reliable source.
Skepticus
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
And yours, against renewable energy[/q} I never said nor imply any of the sort. I is good, but not adequate for the scale we are using.
[q} How those advanced designs never got off the ground?
Yes, it's a global "ecoterrorist" conspiracy.
No, its a global political conspiracy.
What makes you think US (and..aboutt?
You are suggesting the first world are having the best brains? The best solution? Chandrasekhar must have been a third world savage in your views.
And too many people wallow in wet dreams
And your kind keep calculating how cheap life should be for oil volume.Civilized indeed.
it costs the USA nothing, absolutely nothing, the blood of thousands soldiers, the heartaches of their family and loved ones, and trillions of war dollars to keep the oil flowing do not occur at all
Says who? It obvious, isn't it? The US gov pollies, from the heart of their bottoms, sends their boys to die for the goodness of humanity!
Skepticus
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2011
I have a few questions, I hope I can get some clear answers:
- How many bodies and dollars, would be too much for oil dependency? How those statistics compare to the worst case scenerios, recorded and projected, by failures of other source of energy, past and present? (numbers, please!)
- has the human race progressed historically, technologically and profitably by being timid, doing lip service, with no costs of lives or money? yes? no?
antialias
not rated yet Apr 19, 2011
I agree with your general point, though we must realize that solar/hydro/wind all have their own ecological negatives. Hydro's is obvious (flooded land).

I'm thinking more about wave energy here than about building dams (most areas where a dam would be useful already have them so there won't be much 'additional' problems in the future)
Wind has the disadvantage of bird and bat kills

Seriously? No. Haven't seen any study where that actually happens on any scale to be significant. With off shore wind parks that type of damage is virtually nil. Though we should look into noise pollution and infrasound disturbing maritime life. Possibly we should insulate future off shore windparks to mitigate this effect.
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 19, 2011
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents

Why don't you count 'em yourself, and tell us?


Impressive list of nothing. Other than the ones I mentioned no one was injured...did you have some kind of point or are you just pretending you have one as usual?

Oh by the way, these are just the CIVILIAN cases. How many more military/classified accidents have there been, in U.S. alone -- never mind the rest of the world?


So, your argument against nuclear power are possible or imaginary incidents you have no proof for? Compelling...

PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 19, 2011
its a global political conspiracy
Why don't you go peddle that BS to France, or Russia.
You are suggesting the first world are having the best brains?
Are you?
your kind keep calculating how cheap life should be for oil volume
Errr.... what?
The US gov pollies, from the heart of their bottoms, sends their boys to die for the goodness of humanity!
Not really, it's for the goodness of OPEC, and more specifically for the goodness of Saudi Arabia.
How many bodies and dollars, would be too much for oil dependency?
Who's saying oil dependency is any better than nuke dependency?
How those statistics compare to the worst case scenerios, recorded and projected
Now, that's an interesting question. How do you project worst case scenarios for nuclear, when you haven't even gotten one good example of the REAL worst-case yet? Not that it isn't bound to occur, possibly sometime soon.
being timid, doing lip service
Is that what you call renewable energy R&D?
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 19, 2011
@antialias,
Haven't seen any study where that actually happens on any scale to be significant.
For instance:

https://www.natio...eet_.pdf

Like I said, the ecological impact of most renewable energy harvesters strongly depends on particular aspects of siting of the power plants.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (2) Apr 19, 2011
@Modernmystic,
Other than the ones I mentioned no one was injured...
Did I just see those goalposts move, right before my lyin' eyes? Now your criterion includes injuries? Odd, you didn't mention that before:

"how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis..."
did you have some kind of point or are you just pretending you have one as usual?
Oh, snap, that hurt. Just in case you have further difficulties, the point was that nuke power isn't nearly as safe and accident-proof as you like to proclaim.
your argument against nuclear power are possible or imaginary incidents you have no proof for? Compelling...
Wait, wait, wait... You trust your GOVERNMENT, no... the PENTAGON, to be up-front and honest with you about their nuclear mishaps -- including those funded by $10,000 hammers in the budget? You also trust FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS to be open about their nuclear problems? Really, Mr. arch-"conservative"???
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2011
Tsunamis are not the only threat to nuclear.


Well let's see, how many reactors have we had a problem with since Chernobyl that weren't related to earthquakes or tsunamis...oh that's right NONE...

22 actually. Here's a few of them. http://www.millio...ents.htm
d_robison
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2011
@PinkElephant

Yet again I see a lot of "nope" and no solution. Quit trolling unless you actually have a solution to the problem. If you do, then I'm all ears; otherwise you're as bad as the people who deny there is a problem at all.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Apr 20, 2011
@d_robinson,

Let's try to differentiate between problem assessment, vs. problem solution. Even if I offer no solution, that doesn't mean my assessment therefore must be incorrect. Not every problem in the world is (easily) solvable.

That said, it's obvious to me that coal power must be phased out, unless/until someone shows me an actually CLEAN coal powerplant. Oil makes no economic sense at any rate, over the next few decades and beyond. Natural gas is a stopgap measure (until it starts getting scarce). And anyway, all these fossil fuels (including deepwater clathrates) are climate-altering timebombs.

Nuclear is not ready for its renaissance. Show me a working Thorium breeder that can run for a couple of decades without major breakdowns, and I might change my mind. Until then, more R&D please. Obviously, ditto for fusion reactors.

Meantime, deployment (and R&D) of renewable sources + efficiency/conservation measures seems to be a reasonable and safe near-term strategy.
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 20, 2011
Did I just see those goalposts move, right before my lyin' eyes? Now your criterion includes injuries?


You're right we should include cases where no one was hurt or there was no significant problems...because....it makes your argument more emotionally appealing I guess.

Wait, wait, wait... You trust your GOVERNMENT, no... the PENTAGON, to be up-front and honest with you about their nuclear mishaps --


No I don't trust them. If there were significant nuclear mishaps we would know regardless. Unless of course you're suggesting nuclear mishaps aren't that serious and really don't cause that much damage...

Which is it?
Skepticus
not rated yet Apr 20, 2011
Nuclear is not ready for its renaissance. Show me a working Thorium breeder that can run for a couple of decades without major breakdowns, and I might change my mind.


You won't have long to wait. The Chinese and Indians are building them, without the timid old sage crap you are pandering. They may lost thousands of lives perhaps, but in the end, it's they who learn the most. Keep your chin pointed up until they start building reactors for others at prices you'd never be able to compete against..like all the consumer goods you are stooping to buy now from China. I wonder if conservatism is an inbred quality in some poppulations of the human race. Good luck to them.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 20, 2011
If there were significant nuclear mishaps we would know regardless
Would we? Or perhaps there would be just yet another "mysterious" and "unexplained" cancer cluster, or two, or...
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 20, 2011
They may lost thousands of lives perhaps, but in the end, it's they who learn the most.
I doubt they'll learn anything we aren't learning at Livermore or Los Alamos, etc. -- except we won't need to lose thousands of lives, risk permanently contaminating millions of acres, and running up costs in the hundreds of billions in the process.
Keep your chin pointed up until they start building reactors for others at prices you'd never be able to compete against..like all the consumer goods you are stooping to buy now from China.
Funny, that's EXACTLY what we renewable energy advocates have been trying to point out to people like YOU. By twiddling our thumbs on wind and solar tech, we've ceded a lot of technological and industrial leadership to the rest of the world (a couple of decades ago, U.S. used to be THE world authority on solar and wind energy.)
I wonder if conservatism is an inbred quality in some poppulations of the human race.
Yes, typically inbred populations...
Skepticus
5 / 5 (1) Apr 21, 2011
@PE,
We all agree that we disagree on the best sources of energy. The contamination issues of all proposed sources have been argued to death, so i won't go into it again here. For me, i'd take the risks and develop nuclear energy with the same zeal and speed of the Manhattan Project. Power to you with wind and solar energy. I have nothing against those. I like to have a compact, mobile and powerful source of energy (not like those massive, clunky ones on nuclear-powered warships right now) that I can put anywhere, take anywhere, even right out of Earth to the stars...leaving a pristine Earth behind with your solar and wind energy. You should be happy with that.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 21, 2011
Suddenly, I feel the need to shamelessly quote myself: "wet dreams". In the meantime, back on planet Earth...
ShotmanMaslo
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 21, 2011
If there were significant nuclear mishaps we would know regardless
Would we? Or perhaps there would be just yet another "mysterious" and "unexplained" cancer cluster, or two, or...


We would know whether its because of increased radiation or not. Dosimeters are pretty cheap and widespread nowadays.
antialias
not rated yet Apr 21, 2011
For me, i'd take the risks and develop nuclear energy with the same zeal and speed of the Manhattan Project. Power to you with wind and solar energy.

yso you'd actually rather live next to a nuclear power station than to a solar power plant? If not then you've just contradicted yourself.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 21, 2011
For me, i'd take the risks and develop nuclear energy with the same zeal and speed of the Manhattan Project. Power to you with wind and solar energy.

yso you'd actually rather live next to a nuclear power station than to a solar power plant? If not then you've just contradicted yourself.

Depends on the type of solar plant and the type of nuclear plant. I'd prefer to live next to a gen 4 nuclear plant over one of those solar towers they had for the Solucar project in Spain.
ZephirAWT
Apr 21, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 21, 2011
If there were significant nuclear mishaps we would know regardless
Would we? Or perhaps there would be just yet another "mysterious" and "unexplained" cancer cluster, or two, or...
We would know whether its because of increased radiation or not. Dosimeters are pretty cheap and widespread nowadays.
And would it occur to anyone to bring/buy/use a dosimeter in an area where there are no known (civilian) nuke facilities?
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 21, 2011
And would it occur to anyone to bring/buy/use a dosimeter in an area where there are no known (civilian) nuke facilities?


It might if there were..."yet another "mysterious" and "unexplained" cancer cluster, or two, or..."
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Apr 21, 2011
The cold fusion can be implemented a much faster, than nuclear reactor of whatever generation - it works at very simple arrangement and it's completely safe. It has been ignored for twenty years - the only limitation of our future are just we - the people - by now.

http://www.lenr-c...xces.pdf
Then build one that works and collect a huge check.

Right, the same reason why you haven't done so is the same reason why no one else ahs done so. It doesn't work.
d_robison
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
If there were significant nuclear mishaps we would know regardless
Would we? Or perhaps there would be just yet another "mysterious" and "unexplained" cancer cluster, or two, or...
We would know whether its because of increased radiation or not. Dosimeters are pretty cheap and widespread nowadays.
And would it occur to anyone to bring/buy/use a dosimeter in an area where there are no known (civilian) nuke facilities?


If a nuclear reactor had a meltdown there would be large spread media coverage of the event. There are no "secret meltdowns" and no "secret nuclear reactors," even the USSR couldn't keep their problems quiet at Chernobyl. We all agree that most current forms of energy production are not good for the planet, but until we can find an efficient source of energy, that has negligable by-products, and is safe (nuclear fusion comes to mind), we have to live with what we have. I know that I'm doing my part in terms of R&D, and living sustainably.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 22, 2011
"Chu pointed out that small reactors like the ones built by Hyperion are sold as ready-made, turnkey devices, which will likely keep construction costs down. Hyperion estimates it will take $100 million to build and 25 employees to run one of its plants, compared with the $4 billion to $6 billion in capital needed to build a traditional plant and the roughly 300 people needed to run one.

Read more: http://www.time.c...KIDR3GUO

This seems to be a more reasonable approach.
Skultch
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
"Chu pointed out that small reactors like the ones built by Hyperion are sold as ready-made, turnkey devices, which will likely keep construction costs down. Hyperion estimates it will take $100 million to build and 25 employees to run one of its plants, compared with the $4 billion to $6 billion in capital needed to build a traditional plant and the roughly 300 people needed to run one.

Read more: http://www.time.c...KIDR3GUO

This seems to be a more reasonable approach.


Scale up those numbers. You gain nothing. 1/40 th of the power. Guess what $100 million times 40 is?

The difference there is, now we have A LOT more reactors out there, so A LOT more risk from terrorism.

Yeah, I agree, it sounds like a good solution for small communities without the grid infrastructure to support a huge plant, but this doesn't really seam to solve anything on a global scale. It's a good start, though, so thanks.
beelize54
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2011
Right, the same reason why you haven't done so is the same reason why no one else ahs done so. It doesn't work.
It just illustrates the streetlight effect of mainstream physics in parody way: the physicists are able to replicate extremely subtle phenomena like the boson condensates and/or Higgs measurements (because they developed theories for it) - but they're not willing check the phenomena, which is producing heat flux in range of many kW/hour (because they didn't developed theories for it). Apparently, the human religion is trying to defy the reality, again.

http://en.wikiped...t_effect

Then build one that works and collect a huge check.

If we should consider the income earned with some phenomena as the criterion of its relevance, we could never consider the theoretical physics real: not only it doesn't produce any money for its proponents - it consumes huge amount of money from outside instead.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 22, 2011

The difference there is, now we have A LOT more reactors out there, so A LOT more risk from terrorism.

So? they are sealed and buried in the ground. No rods, no storage ponds.
They could be placed in the basement of large office buildings in the day and sold to the grid at night.
A decentralized power grid is more robust.

No one seems too concerned about decentralization using wind and solar, why not sealed, buried nuclear reactors?
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
they're not willing check the phenomena, which is producing heat flux in range of many kW/hour (because they didn't developed theories for it)
How can you check something, when the details of its construction are being kept secret, due to "patents pending" or some such BS?
If we should consider the income earned with some phenomena as the criterion of its relevance
Why don't you tell that to the "champions" of cold fusion? Why are they all so desperate to cash in, and so consistently reluctant to share the details of their designs and experimental setups, so that others could attempt to replicate them? Unless, that is, they are nothing but frauds and snake oil salesmen -- and you're just another chump whom they've managed to sucker.
PinkElephant
1 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2011
No one seems too concerned about decentralization using wind and solar, why not sealed, buried nuclear reactors
When my gas furnace dies, I toss it out and buy another. When my water heater leaks, I toss it out and buy another. When a solar array on my roof becomes inoperable, I toss it out and install another. When a nuclear reactor buried beneath my house dies, I evacuate together with the rest of the city (assuming I wasn't vaporized together with the house.) Any further questions?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2011
When a nuclear reactor buried beneath my house dies, I evacuate together with the rest of the city (assuming I wasn't vaporized together with the house.) Any further questions?
I'm shocked by your lack of knowledge about nuclear power. There are effective nuclear reactor cells that can be sealed with no fear of meltdown. They're very expensive and physically larger than Marjon makes them out to be but they exist and are in wide usage.
It just illustrates the streetlight effect of mainstream physics in parody way
Like I said, do it yourself. If you can prove it, get ready to be rich. Until then, it's bullshit.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 22, 2011
There are effective nuclear reactor cells that can be sealed with no fear of meltdown.
Who said meltdown was the only mode of failure?
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2011
Intriguing statistics comparing coal emmisions and Chernobyl:

http://nextbigfut...l-9.html
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 23, 2011
Intriguing statistics comparing coal emmisions and Chernobyl:

http://nextbigfut...l-9.html

That's wild I never looked at it that way. This is similar to the nonsense about Mercury in CFLs.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2011
nonsense about Mercury in CFLs.

Thanks to SH's Regulatory State.

But the point about radioactivity from coal is accurate.

"Except for Chernobyl and other nuclear accidents, releases have been found to be almost undetectable in comparison with natural background radiation."
"Americans living near coal-fired power plants are exposed to higher radiation doses than those living near nuclear power plants that meet government regulations. This ironic situation remains true today and is addressed in this article. "
http://www.ornl.g...ain.html
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 23, 2011
nonsense about Mercury in CFLs.
Thanks to SH's Regulatory State.
No, it was idiots like you who forwarded the myth of mercury being of greater concern in CFLs than in coal.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2011
"CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury"
"Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, and it's especially dangerous for children and fetuses. Most exposure to mercury comes from eating fish contaminated with mercury,

Some states, cities and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash, but in most states the practice is legal. "

http://www.npr.or...=7431198

http://www.epa.go.../spills/

"The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It"
http://money.usne...-know-it

The Regulatory State bans incandescent light bulbs. The RS states Hg is dangerous. The only alternative to incandescent bulbs are those that contain Hg.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 23, 2011
The Regulatory State bans incandescent light bulbs. The RS states Hg is dangerous. The only alternative to incandescent bulbs are those that contain Hg.
Incandescent bulbs haven't been banned. All lightbulbs of low efficiency have been banned. If all incandescents are low efficiency one would wonder why you promote wasteful practices.

Second, the prominent anthropogenic source of mercury is burning coal for electricity. If CFLs use less electricity, and the amount of mercury released by fuel use to power competing incandescent bulbs is greater than the amount contained in a CFL, then those who harp on inefficient incandescent bulbs would be the primary supporter of poisoning the oceans with mercury.

Good job making yourself out to be the villan you intended to depict CFLs as.
The only alternative to incandescent bulbs are those that contain Hg.
LED contains no mercury. Those are another alternative.
beelize54
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2011
Why are they all so desperate to cash in, and so consistently reluctant to share the details of their designs and experimental setups, so that others could attempt to replicate them?
What prohibits you in replication of the results in this twenty years old publication? It's no secret in any way.

http://www.lenr-c...xces.pdf
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2011
LED contains no mercury. Those are another alternative.

"The Financial Case for LED Lighting - There isnt one

Read more: http://www.energy...KMnQ8UNf
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
"
"Those light-emitting diodes marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research."
http://www.scienc...4136.htm
beelize54
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2011
The main problem of both fluorescent bulbs, both LEDs is the shortage of rare earth elements, whose export has been banned with China recently. I presume, if cold fusion will spread fast, many countries will revert into more material effective technologies again. Because we can produce the energy from scratch, but not materials.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 23, 2011
LED contains no mercury. Those are another alternative.

"The Financial Case for LED Lighting - There isnt one
When you compare LED to CFL, correct, there isn't a financial case for them. Perhaps you should read your own sources before you post. Both are ranked as better than incandescents.

As an aside, LEDs don't burn out. Didn't really think of that, did you?
PinkElephant
not rated yet Apr 23, 2011
Why are they all so desperate to cash in, and so consistently reluctant to share the details of their designs and experimental setups, so that others could attempt to replicate them?
What prohibits you in replication of the results in this twenty years old publication? It's no secret in any way.

http://www.lenr-c...xces.pdf
a bunch of people already tried replicating this, and failed.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2011
"LED lights do burn out, but as I explain in my main LED house lights article, they typically start to fade long before that. In fact LED lights can dip down to less than 80% of their original brightness within 20,000 hours; the drop-off rate may be part of the reason manufacturers are toning down their claims of bulb life. I would submit that in almost every application, LED lights will fade to the point that they are no longer suited to their lighting task, and will be replaced for that reason before the burn out."
http://www.green-...out.html
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2011
As for incandescent lifetime:
"Welcome to the homepage of the Centennial Bulb, the Longest burning Light Bulb in history. "
http://www.centennialbulb.org/
beelize54
1 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2011
Report written under the employment of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence.

http://www.innova...rg/files

a bunch of people already tried replicating this, and failed.
Only in your wild dreams. You've absolutely no evidence of it... :-)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 24, 2011
As for incandescent lifetime:
"Welcome to the homepage of the Centennial Bulb, the Longest burning Light Bulb in history. "
http://www.centennialbulb.org/

That looks like it's really keeping that firestation lit up.....

LED bulbs reduce their output due to flaws in the ballast components. Replace the ballast and the light comes back to full life. You can't do that with incandescents. Beyond that, the new microcircuitry being used has greatly extended the lifespan of LEDs over the past year. Your article is based on rather old information.

This is the best part
In fact LED lights can dip down to less than 80% of their original brightness within 20,000 hours

Yeah but incandescents last about 500 hours on average and then they're dead. Which is a better bang for your buck?
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 24, 2011
Which is a better bang for your buck?

That should be a decision for the consumer to make, not the SH's Regulatory State.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 24, 2011
That should be a decision for the consumer to make, not the SH's Regulatory State.
It isn't a decision to make, it is a mathematical fact based on the environment in which the bulb will be used. Which costs more money over the duration of it's operational lifespan? Incandescents lose by miles when compared to anything other than a gas-fuel powered lantern.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 24, 2011
That should be a decision for the consumer to make, not the SH's Regulatory State.
It isn't a decision to make, it is a mathematical fact based on the environment in which the bulb will be used. Which costs more money over the duration of it's operational lifespan? Incandescents lose by miles when compared to anything other than a gas-fuel powered lantern.

Then the Regulatory State should not have to make incandescent lamps illegal.
The RS did not make sperm whale oil illegal. Rockefeller provided a cheaper alternative, kerosene. Edison then provided an even more cost effective solution, the incandescent lamp. No need for the Regulatory State.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2011
Then the Regulatory State should not have to make incandescent lamps illegal.
They didn't. They made an efficiency standard. This is a well known mechanic which has been applied to multiple industries, each time creating waves of innovation. For example, Ford had no cars that could meet the fuel efficiency standards of the State of California. So they made new cars that were cleaner and easier to maintain than the competition, large scale innovation brought Ford from the verge of Bankruptcy without government assistance. Right now Ford is one of the best selling manufacturers world wide.
The RS did not make sperm whale oil illegal.
No, they regulated the amount of whales that could be harvest each year. Rockefellar's kerosene was then market viable and cheaper than whale oil. This is exactly how the regulatory state works. The regulations change to increase efficiency and reduce the use of natural resources for production, preserving American wealth. IC aren't illegal.
d_robison
5 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2011
There are effective nuclear reactor cells that can be sealed with no fear of meltdown.
Who said meltdown was the only mode of failure?


What other failures would you be expecting from that type of reactor?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2011
they regulated the amount of whales that could be harvest each year

Who regulated sperm whale harvests 150 years ago?

"Whales were saved by the self-interested motives of the much-maligned "robber baron" J.D. Rockefeller. The first step was made by Dr. Abraham Gesner, a Canadian geologist. In 1849, he devised a method whereby kerosene could be distilled from petroleum but it took Rockefeller to make kerosene production a commercial success. With his partner Samuel Adams, Rockefeller set up a network of kerosene distilleries that would later become known as Standard Oil.

As kerosene became cheaper and available throughout the nation, our whaling fleet fell from 735 in 1846 to 39 in 1876."
http://econfacult...ate.html
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2011
Southampton NY was the first with a limit of the amount of whale oil that could be produced per day in 1853. The majority of the East coast followed suit and by 1860 whale oil production was limited due to the regulations imposed by local and state government on the whaling industries due to the noxious fumes present during the production of whale oil. Learn your history, especially if you want to consider yourself a New Englander.
d_robison
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2011
Southampton NY was the first with a limit of the amount of whale oil that could be produced per day in 1853. The majority of the East coast followed suit and by 1860 whale oil production was limited due to the regulations imposed by local and state government on the whaling industries due to the noxious fumes present during the production of whale oil. Learn your history, especially if you want to consider yourself a New Englander.


I wish they had a "like" button, I suppose 5/5 stars will do.
Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2011
Southampton NY was the first with a limit of the amount of whale oil that could be produced per day in 1853. The majority of the East coast followed suit and by 1860 whale oil production was limited due to the regulations imposed by local and state government on the whaling industries due to the noxious fumes present during the production of whale oil. Learn your history, especially if you want to consider yourself a New Englander.


I think his point was that NOTHING would have saved the whales were it not for the invention of alternatives...

There's some validity to that point.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2011

I think his point was that NOTHING would have saved the whales were it not for the invention of alternatives...

There's some validity to that point.
But the alternatives had existed for quite a long time. His precious alternatives were more expensive than the standard.

His overarching point is against the regulations that promote lightbulb efficiency. He incorrectly asserts that incandescent bulbs are banned. They're not banned, they've been regulated out of the market due to their inefficiency, just as whale oil was.

If his point is to speak of alternatives, one would wonder why he is unable to maintain a consistent stance.
Silver_the_Fox
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
How do they do that? Somehow, Ryg and SH can hold a information based philosophical discussion on the most random of topics whe we were talking about, say, Nuclear reactors to whale oil and their regulations. I find it borderline Comedy Central. Very educating though. If only I wasn't in GA...
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
They're not banned, they've been regulated out of the market due to their inefficiency, just as whale oil was.

The issue is the source of the regulation, govt coercion or market efficiency.
SH prefers force.
BTW, SH lies frequently so I would ask for the source of his information.

But the alternatives had existed for quite a long time.

Like candles? Sperm wale oil was desired for its clean burning properties.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
Like candles? Sperm wale oil was desired for its clean burning properties.
Yes, in the 1600's. We're not talking about the 1600's are we?
How do they do that? Somehow, Ryg and SH can hold a information based philosophical discussion on the most random of topics whe we were talking about, say, Nuclear reactors to whale oil and their regulations.
Simple. Mr. Swenson will use a completely unrelated aspect of some other conversation to try to make a point. I call him on the fact it's total horseshit so he moves off into another topic, then he gets called on it again. Basically he's pulling an O'Reilly: throw as much bullshit at the wall as you can and whatever sticks, pick the penuts out of it and make someone else eat it. Too bad for him, it doesn't work when your opponent actually reads the sources you present.
Silver_the_Fox
not rated yet Apr 26, 2011
Funny stuff people, you should try to make a political comedy show. Like Colbert, But decent.