OT: BP - The tip of the iceberg

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This is a human centric view of the first casualties of the blowout. There will likely be many more and it's good that this is recorded before the deluge:
http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201007/oil-spill-rig-workers-coast-guard-crewmen?currentPage=1
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Thank you for posting this article to our NG. It read like a Raymond Chandler novel. We probably wont see the end of this calamity for more than a generation. Man is the only creature which fouls his own nest. I hope this horrible event may cause us to do something about generating our energy needs with cleaner technology.
Joe G
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The world will be watching as you demonstrate the first source of absolutely green energy.
Nobody else can find one.
wrote:

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Joe wrote: "I hope this horrible event may cause us to do something about generating our energy needs with cleaner technology. "
WhereTF does Joe claim he can demonstrate anything like that?
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I didn't claim I personaly knew the answers to the problems caused by the current mix of our energy generating technologies but rather hoped that this tragedy would spur people to accept newer and cleaner ways than we are presently employing. Robatoy understood what I was trying to say. Joe G
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On 6/16/2010 12:51 PM, GROVER wrote:

means is to push for all nuclear generation.
Solar energy is will never be available more than have of the time. Suns only shines for about 12 hours per day unless you are in Alaska. No energy when it gets dark.
As any sailor known the wind is fluky, and cannot be depended on for a constant source of energy. Most of the time it will be blowing too hard for the system to use, or not hard enough. If it was dependable, all of our ocean travel would still be done under sail, and the Dutch windmill would not have disappeared.
At some point we are going to have to accept facts and build nuclear power generation facilities, or give up anything that uses energy directly or indirectly. Also you cannot change the laws of chemistry or physics just because the will not allow what you think should be. Batteries are limited by physics and chemistry obama and the social democrats cannot change that.
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but don't deal with peak loads very well. To be able to meet peak demands, you need a level of rapid response generation. Natural Gas co- gen seems to be justabout perfect for that, although not cheap. Mind mills and solar are okay to help out in regions where that works, but as you can only generate what is being used, no more, no less, makes that management difficult. Once one accepts nukes for base-load, it is pretty cheap to run from a fuel perspective but maintenance is expensive.
Windmills also swat the odd spotted owl out of the sky upsetting all the tofu-sucking, Birkenstock wearing, Prius driving, Tilly-shorts crowd.
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On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 13:03:26 -0400, Keith Nuttle wrote:

Agreed on the above. But a few options you didn't mention are hydropower, tides and geothermal. They are pretty reliable :-).
But all of the above are regional in nature and would require long distance transmission lines, just as much of our power does today.
OTOH, I was strongly in favor of nuclear power until I did some software work for one of them. The best argument against nuclear power is the average nuclear plant worker - made me shudder. And there's still no politically palatable answer to waste sorage.
What's the conclusion? Mine is that the days of cheap power are ending.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Were you aware that all the Hydro in California are peakers, not baseload? There are two reasons for that:
1) Hydro can crank up and shut down quickly. That's not the case for thermal plants (gas, coal, nuclear).
2) Due to seasonal fluctuations and limited storage capacity (Shasta's 4.5m acre-feet wouldn't last the dry season at full 24x7 drawdown and it generates about a 1000 Mwatt running full-out, assuming it had enough rain during the wet season to fill it, which happened this year, but is quite unusual).
Any sane energy policy would include nuclear[*], natural gas, coal with carbon sequestration and river-based hydro for baseload augmented by wind and solar (both of which are unpredictable sources); with gas and hydro peakers.
scott
[*] the idea that one must store waste for 10,000 years is quite silly. Anything that highly radioactive is a fuel source itself, and reprocessing is perfectly viable. Not to mention thorium fuel cycles which don't create high-level waste with long half-lives.
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I agree with you there except Ontario Hydro, with all their coal smokestack scrubbers is removing them all. I am not sure how much of this is failure to meet emmision problems / standards or political pressure.
I know there is some political pressure, as it is part of every election's political platform for one candidate or the other, for the last 30 years.
Any sane energy policy would include nuclear[*], natural gas, coal with carbon sequestration and river-based hydro for baseload augmented by wind and solar (both of which are unpredictable sources); with gas and hydro peakers.
scott
[*] the idea that one must store waste for 10,000 years is quite silly. Anything that highly radioactive is a fuel source itself, and reprocessing is perfectly viable. Not to mention thorium fuel cycles which don't create high-level waste with long half-lives.
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Clarification: Anything that has a half-life of 10,000 years is not all that dangerous. Anything that is (dangerous) has a half-life far shorter and is a fuel source itself. Thorium is also quite plentiful; enough for our needs for thousands of years. Another source usually forgotten is Plutonium. There's enough highly enriched Plutonium, now, to meet our electricity needs for a couple of centuries. That still doesn't get us transportation.
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Sorry. I did not write the bottom quote.
Threading is bad in in some places.

Clarification: Anything that has a half-life of 10,000 years is not all that dangerous. Anything that is (dangerous) has a half-life far shorter and is a fuel source itself. Thorium is also quite plentiful; enough for our needs for thousands of years. Another source usually forgotten is Plutonium. There's enough highly enriched Plutonium, now, to meet our electricity needs for a couple of centuries. That still doesn't get us transportation.
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Sorry. Blame Google.
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Bad google!
Damn Canuck companies! Time for yahoo.ca...ooops .ca?

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Not my quoted text but...
We are learning as we go. Expecting perfection got us here.

.
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Clarification: Anything that has a half-life of 10,000 years is not all that dangerous. Anything that is (dangerous) has a half-life far shorter and is a fuel source itself. Thorium is also quite plentiful; enough for our needs for thousands of years. Another source usually forgotten is Plutonium. There's enough highly enriched Plutonium, now, to meet our electricity needs for a couple of centuries. That still doesn't get us transportation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------- Electric vehicles.
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On 6/17/2010 9:48 PM, Lobby Dosser wrote:

'Fraid not. To be a fuel source it has to be fissionable by neutron capture.
Isotopes with short half lives can generate a lot of heat but they aren't controllable--you can't use them in any application where they could generate enough heat to melt down if the cooling failed because there's no way to turn them off. They have been used in relatively low powered thermionic generators but for primary power production they're very limited.
Uranium works as a fuel because you can by controlling the neutron flux control the reaction rate.
>> "Not to mention thorium >> fuel cycles which don't create high-level waste with long half-lives.
Thorium captures one neutron, beta decays twice, and you get U-233, and it's the U-233 that you burn with pretty much the same results as any other isotope of uranium.

(a) Uranium has to be enriched to be used in reactors, plutonium does not--it is produced in reactors from uranium 238 and then is chemically separated from the uranium.
(b) It is hardly "forgotten". There have been plans for decades to produce breeder reactors to make plutonium from relatively abundant uranium 235, but this has met with significant political resistance.

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Nope. Not a *chance* of a high enough energy density, by a couple of orders of magnitude.
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Trams. Trolleys. Light Rail. Heavy Rail. High Speed Rail. Batteries. Fuel Manufacture (H).
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On 6/18/2010 3:53 AM, Lobby Dosser wrote:

OK in cities. Try running trams to every middlesex, village, and farm.

Same as trams.

Same limitation as trams. Many cities already have most of these, others are considering them. Not gonna make a significant dent in fuel consumption though.

Not profitable in the US and hasn't been for decades.

Make the "low speed rail" run as fast as it did in 1940 and get back to us.

Require a new breakthrough of some kind--not something you can do by throwing money at the problem.

Works fine, but won't be cost effective until fossil fuel prices are a lot higher than they are. And not efficient in any sense.
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