"Gates spent a significant portion of his speech highlighting nuclear
technology that would turn spent uranium -- the 99 percent of uranium
rods that aren't burned in current nuclear power plants -- into
Is something that I've been saying for at least 30 years. Former
Washington State governor Dixie Lee Ray once said that we should be
storing all our spent nuclear waste where we could get at it easily
because one day we would want it to be able to use the energy
remaining in it. Instead we have adopted a policy of trying to hide it
as far away as possible.
Ah! the foolishness of man!
"We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and
bring something to kill"
On Feb 13, 1:03 am, firstname.lastname@example.org (Derek Lyons) wrote:
I think the point there is simple: we know how, but we're not doing
We need to begin doing it, something like me and losing weight.
2050 puts it into the era when my grandchildren will be coming up for
retirement, but with one exception, they've got their heads too far up
their asses to get involved in anything outside themselves...from what
I've seen, that's not at all unusual, and is one result of making it
too frigging easy for several generations, starting with mine. They,
though, are the second generation that has started out expecting to
begin with more than their parents are finishing with.
On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 06:03:48 GMT, the infamous email@example.com
(Derek Lyons) scrawled the following:
Yes, but since raw ore transformed into fuel is a few dollars cheaper
than reprocessing, it is being used instead of reprocessing. We'd have
a lot less high-level waste if we reprocessed, as most of the world is
It's a great life...once you weaken.
--author James Hogan
Actually, there's very little commercial nuclear fuel being reprocessed
anywhere at the moment anywhere in the world not just the US.
The difference is it is virtually all economics elsewhere while it's the
remnants of the Carter edict against it in the US (although it's highly
likely it would have followed the path of the rest of the world as not
continuing even if started owing to economics here as well).
There really wouldn't be any significant less HLW except in that it
might consume less physical volume as most of the highly radioactive
components are the byproducts not the retrieved fuel.
The prime reason against it any time _real_soon_now_ is the volume of
HEU available to be blended down from the agreement w/ Russia on
dismantling a sizable fraction of their warheads and returning the HEU
to the US as LEU. With the stagnant demand for commercial fuel over the
last 40 years owing to no growth in installed capacity and this already
processed material there's actually considerable disincentive to
reprocess spent fuel at the present.
One use that's never been made use of in any extent is the spent fuel
waste heat that is fairly significant for a while after discharge. Like
other sources of lower-grade energy, it's never been sufficiently
cost-effective to bother with even though there may be as much as 10% of
full power output in a spent fuel bundle at discharge which for a
typical PWR would be about 500 kW/bundle initially. If had a
third-reactor discharge per fuel cycle that would be somewhere in the
neighborhood of 80 MWt. That could be quite a lot of process or space
If some guy invented a free source of energy which would put the oil
companies out of business, he'd be dead, branded a kook, get bought,
jailed on a trumped up charge, shipped to Gitmo...that is IF the oil
companies had some clout in congress.
There is that aspect. OTOH, folks don't seem to much value nor draw
satisfaction from that which comes their way without cost.
From the production standpoint, the effort to produce such devices for
people who didn't value them and who derived no satisfaction from using
them, would rather quickly become pointless.
Still, one can bone up on math and physics, delve into fluid dynamics
and heat transfer, refresh the hazy thermodynics memories, and then
proceed more or less directly to a design of ones own. At that point all
that's needed is to get the right materials into an appropriately
equipped shop and do the assembly. If you happen to have all the right
stuff, I suppose it /could/ be free...
I'm not saying it isn't nor can't be valuable...and in the right
circumstances may even have a positive payback over some time frame.
For some definition of free I suppose... :)
The "stuff" will have had to come from _somewhere_ ... and we all know
what shops are: merely alternatives or substitutes for the boat or
other endless resource sink. :)
There's still no free lunch (unfortunately).
That was my conclusion, too. When I took a really close look, I noticed
some "low hanging fruit" that offered remarkably short (2 to 3 year)
payback periods. One of these, of course, is the passive solar heating
panel - but there's still a fair amount of fruit on those low branches.
The big surprise for me (and for a lot of others) is that the best of
the low-hanging fruit is simple, almost primitively simple, in operation
but requires fairly high levels of understanding in multiple disciplines
to design. I happened to be "blessed" with a whole team of patient
mentors who helped me learn what I needed and steered me away from blind
Positive payback is a term worth thinking about - a lot. Direct
financial payback, of course, is always satisfying - but payback can
take many forms, and it's possible to aim for multiple paybacks (they're
not necessarily mutually exclusive) and so /along with/ financial
payback it may be possible to also have social and environmental paybacks.
I was updating the web page in my sig last week (feeling pleased that
those panels had already paid for themselves) when it occurred to me to
do another calculation: over the life of those panels, even if there is
_no_ change to the price of propane, the savings they produce will
exceed the cost of the building in which they're installed!
I don't care how math challenged you are, those are impressive numbers!
Especially considering that this was not done in a southern state.
Besides, the southern states are all buried under snow right now! :)
Also 'payback' is often misunderstood. In many cases, the outlay, per
month, to supply heat to a shop can stay the same, but the money
changes direction. Instead of sending your money to a energy supplier,
you now pay it to support an investment. The tax structure changes as
If I, as an individual, lend my business money to buy heating
equipment, I get some tax advantages and incentives as well.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.