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Thread: Power Generation: A Discussion on How

  1. #1
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    Power Generation: A Discussion on How

    So I ran across this comment today, in re: the Japan Meltdowns:

    In response, the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) stated: "The WCRE insists on the global and coordinated move to finally outlaw all nuclear power. After Harrisburg, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima it is time to wake up and terminate reliance on and trade in this incredibly dangerous technology. No matter how small the risk of a similar event may be in any country – it can never be excluded. It is high time for the immediate and unwavering turn to a fully renewable world: there is no country that cannot be provided with renewable energy alone."
    So they wish to outlaw Nuke Power, and reply 100% on renewables.

    It made me think.

    According to Wikipedia, "Renewable energy provides 18 percent of total electricity generation worldwide." and of that 18%, "Hydroelectric accounted for about 88% of electricity from renewable sources".

    So effectively, when we discuss rebewables today, we're discussing giant Hydroelectric Dams.

    Did you know that more poeple have been killed, and more environmental damage done by Hydro than by Nuke Power?

    Again, per wikipedia:

    List of failures
    Herdecke on the Ruhr, 0.132 GW power generation loss, 1943
    Mohne Dam on the Ruhr, 5 MW power generation loss,1500 fatalities, due to enemy bombing, 1943
    Banqiao Dam, 26000 flooding fatalities, loss of generation, dam failed by overtopping, 1975
    Bieudron Hydroelectric Power Station, penstock rupture, three fatalities, flooding and loss of generating capacity, 2000.[1]
    Itaipu Dam, 18 GW power generation loss, 2008
    Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam, 6 GW power generation loss, 75 fatalities, due to turbine failure, 2009
    Manitoba Hydro Grand Rapids Unit 1 head cover failure, 452 MW loss, March 1992 [2]
    Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station pumped storage failed by overtopping,450 MW , 2005
    So ~ 28,000 fatalaties. And soem amazing luck in never having faced a major disaster such as what Japan just suffered.

    Nuke:

    Meltdowns that have occurred

    A number of Soviet Navy nuclear submarines experienced nuclear meltdowns, including K-27, K-140, and K-431.
    There was also a fatal core meltdown at SL-1, an experimental U.S. military reactor in Idaho.

    The only large-scale nuclear meltdowns at civilian nuclear power plants

    the Lucens reactor, Switzerland, in 1969
    the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., in 1979.
    the Chernobyl disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, U.S.S.R., in 1986.

    Other core meltdowns have occurred at:

    NRX (military), Ontario, Canada, in 1952
    EBR-I (military), Idaho, U.S.A., in 1955
    Windscale (military), Sellafield, England, in 1957 (see Windscale fire)
    Sodium Reactor Experiment, Santa Susana Field Laboratory, Simi Valley, California, U.S.A., in 1959
    Fermi 1 (civil), Michigan, U.S.A., in 1966
    A1 plant at Jaslovské Bohunice, Czechoslovakia, in 1977
    Following the earthquake and tsunami that hit North-Eastern Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011, damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has caused fear of a potential partial or even full-scale meltdown. [16]
    Chernobyl is obviously the loss leader, with 237 acute radiation exposures, of which 31 died shortly therafter.

    So think about this, Hydroelectric Power generation is not safe. A major Dam failure could be caused by a wide assortment of natural disasters, and the subsequent flooding and damage would in effect becoem a natural disaster itself (same as a major meltdown with no containment).

    It should also be pointed out that Chernobyl was very very old tech, with no containment like today's reactors. In fact, looking and reading about teh Japan Reactors, it appears that even though they are in active meltdown, the leaks of radiation is nothing like the Russian disaster.

    And in terms of damage and the loss of human life, the Earthquake and Tsunami will have accounted for almost all the fatalities and damage, the Nuke Issues a small fraction barring some truly catostophic event pending (which the experts do not expect to happen now, even if the meltdown continues).

    Now, this is not a defense of unregulated Nuke Power, really. If we're going to have it, it needs to have every safety protocol and system possible, and it seems from my reading that most do today.

    Nor is this a discussion on watse, where Nuke clearly fails the test vs. Renewables.

    Nor is this a discussion on Base Environmental Damage, where Hydroelectric (which causes rampant environemntal change and ecosystem damage for hundreds of miles up and down stream) clearly fails the test vs. Nuke.

    This is a pure issue of "if X pops, if A or B "safer" given current technology".

    If a Dam suffered a hit like the 8.9, and fails, it could (in many of the river systems these Dams Exist) kill 10's to 100's of thousands downstream.

    If a Nuke Plant fails (like the ones in Japan), it seesm the tech exists to stem the damage to some degree.

    So whats the thinking here? Is Hydro truly safer than Nuke?

  2. #2
    JetsFan2012
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    Nuclear power is safe and efficient. The only drawback is disposing the nuclear waste. France has a very effective nuclear waste regenerator (80% of their country is nuke powered), but Jimmy Carter put the kibosh on that in the 70s because he thought recrycled nuclear material would fall into the wrong hands...? So, what, it's better to shove it all into a cave?

    Burning coal and oil is harmful to the environment and to people who live around the plants. We need to phase out the incineration of fossil fuels, and we can do that with nuke power.

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    To support your point:

    Comparing deaths/TWh for all energy sources

    I wrote this back in 2008 and with one new death that is somewhat nuclear energy related (a death at one of the japanese nuclear plants following the 8.9 earthquake) the statistics are not changed. Japan should have had sealed backup diesel generators or updated some of their designs. However, nuclear still compares very, very well to the other energy sources.


    Energy Source Death Rate (deaths per TWh)
    Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
    Coal – China 278
    Coal – USA 15
    Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
    Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
    Biofuel/Biomass 12Peat 12
    Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
    Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
    Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
    Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
    Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

    Update: A superior form of solar power would be the Coolearth concentrated solar power system which would be installed on the ground or wires over a ground installation.



    Rooftop solar is several times more dangerous than nuclear power and wind. It is still much safer than coal and oil, because those have a lot of air pollution deaths.

    Rooftop solar can be safer [0.44 up to 0.83 death per twh each year). If the rooftop solar is part of the shingle so you do not put the roof up more than once and do not increase maintenance then that is ok too. Or if you had a robotic system of installation.

    World average for coal is about 161 deaths per TWh.
    In the USA about 30,000 deaths/year from coal pollution from 2000 TWh.
    15 deaths per TWh.
    In China about 500,000 deaths/year from coal pollution from 1800 TWh.
    278 deaths per TWh.
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/dea...gy-source.html
    Last edited by Trades; 03-14-2011 at 02:58 PM.

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    We need one of these doohickeys:


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    i think it's simplistic to say all alt-energies are hydro... i also think it's simplistic to say outlaw all nukes. Nukes in non-quake non tsunami zones are probably fine.

    it should also be noted that the advances in alt-tech recently have been tremendous. Solar especially is looking very viable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    Solar especially is looking very viable.
    It should be...considering that's kinda where the power in fossil fuels comes from to begin with. Or hydroelectric and wind for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    i think it's simplistic to say all alt-energies are hydro...
    Simplistic or not, it's the current state of things.

    As shown, Renewables = 18% of Global Power Generation, and 88% of that is Hydro-Electric.

    That leaves ~2% of Global Power Generation today in the form of ALL other Renewables combined.

    I'm not trying to debate the tech of 20 years or 50 years from now. We agree development and research into renewables is needed.

    I'm talking about risk vs. reward of todays Nuke vs. today's Renewables.

    I think we agree though that Nuke Plants should be in safe (as possible) geological/disaster rarity areas, and those that must be elsewhere should be all the more safe via the modern tech available to ensure such things (not used to it's fullest at many of the Japaneese Plants, it should be noted).

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/bu...oncerns&st=cse

    After President George W. Bush ordered public lands to be opened to renewable energy development and California passed a law in 2006 to reduce carbon emissions, scores of developers staked lease claims on nearly a million acres of Mojave Desert land. The government-owned land offered affordable, wide-open spaces and the abundant sunshine needed by solar thermal plants, which use huge arrays of mirrors to heat liquids to create steam that drives electricity-generating turbines.

    But many of the areas planned for solar development — including the five projects being challenged — are in fragile landscapes and are home to desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and other protected flora and fauna. The government sped through some of the required environmental reviews, and opponents are challenging those reviews as inadequate.

    “There’s no good reason to go into these pristine wilderness areas and build huge solar farms, and less reason for the taxpayers to be subsidizing it,” said Cory J. Briggs, a lawyer representing an American Indian group that has sued the United States Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management to stop five of the solar thermal plants. “The impacts to Native American culture and the environment are extraordinary.”
    The idea that Nuclear power is safe is certainly being proven to be untrue. This disaster hasn't fully played out yet and we have the example of Chrenobel behind us. I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the technicians on site in Japan right now trying to keep this thing from blowing up. Nuclear safe? Hardly.

    That said Warfish is correct. Hydro Electric has been an environmental nightmare if you take into consideration the dams, the loss of fish the fresh water and errosion down stream and the building.

    We just had an oil spill of horrific proportions last year in the US. Coal miners are routinely killed in accidents and suffer shortened lives over cancers and other lung deseases.

    Natural gas is highly volatile.

    The energy needed for a modern and growing society is enormous, the idea that windmills and local solar cells is going to solve the problem is absurd. They, along with Geo Thermal and wind can and should provide some local solutions but they aren't big time 24/7 power up a modern society solution. They are a small and growing part of power generation.

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    Nuclear Power is unsafe but guess what? The world's oil supply will eventually be exhausted in about 50 or so years after the population surpasses 9 billion and just about every country industrializes. Nuclear power will eventually be the only practical option along with ethanol and some solar to supplement it.

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    I'm for nuclear power and the construction of power plants, lets just not build them on the California coast, deal?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    I'm for nuclear power and the construction of power plants, lets just not build them on the California coast, deal?
    If you add "...or in New Orleans, or in Florida's East Coast, or Texas's Gulf Coast." to your list, yes, deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    If you add "...or in New Orleans, or in Florida's East Coast, or Texas's Gulf Coast." to your list, yes, deal.
    Absolutely.

    Wyoming, Montana, the Dakota's, Idaho are much better spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    It should be...considering that's kinda where the power in fossil fuels comes from to begin with. Or hydroelectric and wind for that matter.
    You have the power!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Shift Jet View Post
    You have the power!

    Hardy har har.

    Kinda exemplifies how dumb we are as a species. There is this "thing" that "rises" every AM and puts out enough power in 24 hours to satisfy our energy needs for 3 dozen centuries....but instead, we decide to kill each other in the name of invisible sky wizard a**holes in the search for black gunk hat contains 0.00000995% of it's energy.

    If "god" was actually real, he'd probably point out to us how stupidly ignorant and retarded we are.

    God: "Hey dumba**ses. There's this thing called "the sun" that does this cool thing called "fusion" that makes your stupid attempts at energy production looks like some dumb f*ck caveman rubbing 2 sticks together. But keep telling yourselves you're my "chosen" people, you inbred hee-haw stumpf*ckers. Yee-haw Jesus and stuff"...."

  15. #15
    JetsFan2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    There is this "thing" that "rises" every AM and puts out enough power in 24 hours to satisfy our energy needs for 3 dozen centuries
    Enough with the stories about your lesbian girlfriends and all the wonderful things they do to you, please

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    I'm not trying to debate the tech of 20 years or 50 years from now. We agree development and research into renewables is needed.

    I'm talking about risk vs. reward of todays Nuke vs. today's Renewables.
    there's no upside in hydro, everything that can be dammed has been dammed. there's no growth there. all the alt-growth is in wind/solar/tide

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    .

    Kinda exemplifies how dumb we are as a species. There is this "thing" that "rises" every AM and puts out enough power in 24 hours to satisfy our energy needs for 3 dozen centuries....but instead, we decide to kill each other in the name of invisible sky wizard a**holes in the search for black gunk hat contains 0.00000995% of it's energy.

    If "god" was actually real, he'd probably point out to us how stupidly ignorant and retarded we are.
    like George Carlin says I worship the Sun but I Pray to Joe Pesci


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo

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    Its trendy and hip to be against nuclear power; doesn't matter what the science says. (I think most Americans get their science from Hollywood )

    Agree on nuke plants having every safeguard, with redundancy.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    all the alt-growth is in wind/solar/tide
    And as with any new tech, you'll have to prove it.

    Prove it's worth the investment.
    Prove it's cost-effective to operate.
    Prove it works on the big scale of global energy production needs
    Prove it doesn't itself cause environmental harm (Windmills kill birds, tidal also causes some problems I hear, and solar tech is horrible in terms of what has to be mined to manufacture the solar cells, as examples)

    I'm not doubting you, or alt-energy, but as with al previous forms, there are ALOT of hurdles to overcome for them to beat what already exists (Fossil while they last of course, but Nukes, Hydro, etc).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Durden View Post
    I'm for nuclear power and the construction of power plants, lets just not build them on the California coast, deal?
    Put them all in the middle of Maine. SRSLY.

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