OT: Nuclear Energy

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I believe the thoughtful development and use of alternative energy is imperative.
Why though, is there no talk of building nuclear power plants. Yes, I know there are dangers but it seems no one is trying to work on it...trying to make them safer so nuclear can be used without much public upset.
Just wanted to see what you guys think about this.
bonnie
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wrote:

In the OECD countries environmental impact rules mean that the approval process may take a decade or more. At the end of that approval may not even be granted. The life of a nuke plant may be at best 40 years after which there is a long and expensive decommissioning process. So we are looking at a 60 year or more committment that only a clear government nuclear power policy can provide and a government owned utility is capable of enduring. This is where all this mantra about privatizing everything and free enterprise has come back to haunt the US and the rich countries that bought into the US model.
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So we are looking at a 60 year or more : committment that only a clear government nuclear power policy can : provide and a government owned utility is capable of enduring.
I guess we better get cracking then. I only see the world demand growing, and fast.
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bonnie wrote:

As noted earlier, the ChiCom solution isn't needed--there are plenty of applications already filed to clearly refute his notions that processes are so onerous as to prevent action by private utilities.
It will be a test of the new "streamlined" licensing process and a telling observation of whether the C-sequestration crowd really wants to accomplish something or are simply still just obstructionists at heart.
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Okay. All major countries in the world face the same national energy security problem and have to seek solutions. (The small countries don't have a say.) We'll see in 10 years time which national strategies work. The rest of this GWB year plus two presidential terms into the next administration(s) should provide important real world lessons and evidence. The large energy importers will be US, China, EU, India, Japan and the Cetral European countries. That's a pretty good mix of economic and political models from which to draw critical conclusions.
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On 4/29/2008 10:54 AM bonnie spake thus:

"No talk"? What, I guess you haven't been watching your required minimum daily ration of network TV lately, which certainly has covered this subject. 20/20 recently ran a piece on it, with their usual libertarian/free market/laissez faire take that we ought to unleash this "clean" source of energy.
As a former anti-nuclear activist, I remain adamant in my opposition to this basically evil form of energy production. Please educate yourself about the dangers, which come not so much from fears of a Three Mile Island-type accident (which, while remote, is still a real possibility) as from the threats of radioactive exposure and contamination all through the nuclear fuel cycle, from mining to milling to fuel rod fabrication to plant usage to end-of-life storage (remember that we still have no long-range solution for nuclear waste disposal), including the dangers of transport all along the way.
My take is that we already have the world's safest nuclear fusion technology, and we ought to take advantage of it. It's called the sun.
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It IS clean.

"former"? what changed you?

that "evil" is a construct of your own twisted mind. IMO,coal mining/burning is far more "evil".

yeah,that's been a real problem in the many years of actual use by all the countries that use nuclear power plants.[sarcasm]

yes,we do;Yucca Mtn. too bad the environuts keep blocking it's use. (and then complaining there's no solution)

Only a "danger" in your own mind.

if it were PRACTICAL,it would have already been done. heck,the environmental nuts could have financed it themselves. But they'd never risk their own money on what they propose. they just want to demand everybody do as they say.
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I think it's the voters in Nevada. Seems to me I remember GWB promising the Nevadians that they'd never have to worry about Yucca Mountain being used. I guess he's the environut you are referring to.
Anyway, I think stuffing the waste in a hole is the wrong way to go.
As I understand it, reprocessing the radioactive material can separate the long lived wasted from the short lived waste and reduce the volume of the dangerous stuff to almost nothing.
Carter outlawed that approach because of the plutonium produced. However plutonium is a good reactor fuel.
Without reprocessing, I'm against reactors because the cost of guarding something for 100,000 years is astronomical. With reprocessing, it's clean enough and newer designs are safe enough.
The only other good disposal solution is encasing the material and dropping it over the edge of the continental shelf where is will eventually be subducted under the continent.
I'm certainly not against developing wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, etc.
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Dan Espen wrote: ...

Yucca Mountain is called a monitored, _retrievable_ storage facility for a reason. It isn't (or won't be) "stuffed in a hole". It will be stored in a tunnel in a manner which is both monitored and retrievable when (and if) we can ever get at least an approach to a sane energy policy and start reprocessing as the rest of the world already does.

Carter couldn't see the difference between commercial reactor fuel and the weapons proliferation thing. As a result, we got neither--still an open US fuel cycle and no effective control over rogue nuclear states.

It'll come, it's inevitable. There really is no other long term solution for central station baseload generation.
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I don't believe that was GWB.Do you have a cite?

Humans probably will not be around in 100,000 yrs. If so,hopefully,we will have learned to live in peace by then,and also learned how to deal with the nuclear wastes. Besides,if you bury it so no one can get at it(without great expense and difficulty),it doesn't need to be guarded. Guarding Yucca is easy,because there's only ONE entrance.

any deep trench will do;there's lot of them.

I'm "not against" developing them,either. But they all have LIMITED practicality.Nuclear gives lots of clean energy 24/7/365,doesn't harm the environment,and can be implemented widely,*as other nations have already*. Once we develop fusion,then we can decommission the fission reactors. enviros are now anti-hydro,because it disrupts fish migration and spawning. some are anti-windfarm,because it kills birds.
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ahh in 100,000 years tectonic plates can move, yucca mountains volcanoe could erupt spewing lethal radiation over the entire world killing much of its population. future earths residents might not have the technical ability to deal with it.... a small asteroid comes along and sends us back to the stone age. 50 years later yuccas volcanooe erupts and kills all the survivors......
just placing markers to war future generations yucca unsafe dont drill here is problematic.
moving fuel to yucca might be a wise short term solution.
but this should of all been solved before all these plants were built
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

It _WAS_ solved until Jimmy "unsolved" it...
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In defense of Carter, it's been a long time since he was president. Any of his successors could "solve" it again, but they haven't.
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Dan Espen wrote:

That doesn't change the fact it was his watch that made the decision (for all the wrong reasons).
The comment was in response to the earlier post about "shoulda'" -- GE had invested millions in design and pre-construction/licensing effort and was prepared to invest a billion or so in a facility that was halted by fiat.
It hasn't been a national priority since. It will _eventually_ as I noted elsewhere become one again.
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I should have qualified my words.
I was watching the debate. Bush clearly left the impression that he would not send waste to Yucca and Gore gave the impression he would.
These gyys are experts at making statements they can back out of.
Here's what GWB said:
Bush (letter to Gov. Guinn, September, 2000): The Department of Energy (DoE) has not completed its impact study of Yucca Mountain and important questions of environmental protection and safety have not yet been answered. Therefore, I would veto legislation that would provide for the temporary storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
Then:
http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/yucca/yuccahome.htm
President George W. Bush approves national high-level nuclear waste dump targeted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada! Despite a Presidential campaign promise to Nevadans that "sound science" would decide Yucca, not politics,
Of course we all know campaign promises mean nothing. But what I said is that it's a voter problem, not the environuts.
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maybe sound science DID decide Yucca.
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I must be one of those environuts. I don't think it's a good idea to calculate the cost of something based on the extinction of the human race regardless of the time scale.
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wrote in

I don't think it's rational or realistic to demand a cost estimate based on 100,000 years of guarding. It's obstructionism.
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Dan Espen wrote: ...

Of course, it may be we'll ship our spent fuel to the French or the S Koreans or elsewhere and let them reprocess it for us...the ultimate in NIMBY.
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

As compared to what? Coal?
...

...
I happen to know a lot about the history of the whole waste repository project even before Yucca Mountain.
Yucca Mountain _will_ happen over whatever objections the Nevadans continue to make imo. It is inevitable that it be there for a while until we do finally begin reprocessing (which is also inevitable, but somewhat farther off). It may take power going off in places where spent fuel pools are full and there are too many constraints for additional storage to be built, but when lights start to go off, the pressure will ratchet. We can hope somebody will see the light so to speak before then, but given the present irrational political climate with no possibility it seems for serious debate w/o it becoming nothing but a "talking points" match aimed for political advantage, it's not promising.
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