Nuclear power and our green energy future

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pmconusa
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Nuclear power and our green energy future

According to the European Atomic Energy Association 1 kg of enriched uranium is capable of producing 45,000 kWh of electricity. After a reasonable search I have been unable to find out how much power, in the form of kWh it takes to enrich Uranium, which is composed of mostly U238 and on only about .7 % U235. It is the U235 that through various processes such as gaseous diffusion that is enriched to about 4%-5%. Given the fact that no process can be 100% it can be surmised that this enrichment requires more than 45,000 kWh to produce the desired result. Is it no wonder that the energy industry is no longer pushing for nuclear power generation, not only because it is not efficient but whose waste no one wants or can find a place to store?

The European energy industry is caught between a rock and a hard place because it is running out of coal and the price of oil has escalated. European governments have to subsidize the production of enriched uranium because of low demand in the market and the need to keep existing plants running. Talk about a Catch-22.

China is the largest generator of electricity through the use of water power. The Three rivers dam alone generates 22,400 MWh and the potential for even more power from the rivers that supply the water is as yet untapped. The potential for water power in the United States, which is nearly 100% efficient, is not only untapped, but existing dams are being dismantled for of all reasons to protect the spawning grounds of fish or habitat. Not only would power generating dams generate clean energy but would serve to reduce the damage from floods. I know of no provision in the U. S. Constitution that gives the government the power to prevent the construction of electricity generating dams or enact laws protecting fish or wildlife, but I do recognize the power to defend the lives, freedoms and property of its citizens. Roosevelt recognized this obligation of the government when his administration created the Tennessee Valley Authority that produces 13.9 million kWh of electricity from its dams and provides flood control, navigation enhancement and recreational boating. It was probably the only good thing he did, even though his true purpose was only to create jobs.

Because of our economic system, private enterprise cannot profitably construct dams and generate electricity to recoup the development and operating costs and certainly could not forcibly take private land for private use. If our government was to adhere to the obligations it was assigned it would put forth a plan to harness the energy now wasted, protect property from flooding and insure adequate water for irrigation now lost to the oceans. The cost of all of this would eventually be retrieved through the use of the electricity generated. It would also produce productive jobs for the many years it would take to implement such a plan.
Green energy in the form of solar and wind cannot compete with hydro. The problem is that the people who are touting these sources would not make any money or lobby their Congressmen for favorable tax breaks or outright subsidies. Our bought and paid for representatives will therefore eschew the right thing to do in order to placate those who pay for their power to do so.

anonymous_coward
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Wind is picking up speed (did

Wind is picking up speed (did you see what I did there?). Obviously fracking has flooded the market with cheap global warming inducing carbon (as a resident of the frigid state of Maine, I thank you all for burning shit), but that's really a temporary blip.

China, having just shitty coal and a strong manufacturing base, has invested heavily in solar and made it cheaper than a Wal-Mart ho.

Say what you want, but solar and wind are going to dominate the next 20 years.

Melvin Udall
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I could dominate the next

I could dominate the next twenty years, and so could you, if the government gave us enough OPM with no strings attached.

Ugenetoo
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At what cost, AC?

At what cost, AC?
Locally, I see at least $1 Billion spent on CMP's upgrade to be able to transmit this fickle wind power south.
Emera will be right behind them with their upgrade, soon.
A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you've got some rather expensive electricity.
Meanwhile, hydro dams continue to be taken out.

pmconusa
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According to Energy Sage less

According to Energy Sage less than 5% of the solar panels sold in the U. S are made here and the vast majority are made in China. No wonder the Chinese are so enamored by solar power, not for them but for someone else.

Solar and wind power are intermittent and even if there were enough to supply the maximum usage they would not be able to generate sufficient power to supply the need when there is no sun or no wind. If you built enough surplus and stored it to overcome this you could only store it as DC in battery banks that would exhaust the worlds supply of lead or lithium. It is what happens when you believe what the Progressives tell you without thinking it through. Just like there is no free lunch, the energy that is able to be generated from fossil fuel, the wind or the sun cannot be converted at more than 100% and like perpetual motion, we will never achieve it.

anonymous_coward
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@Ugenetoo: "At what cost, AC

@Ugenetoo: "At what cost, AC?
Locally, I see at least $1 Billion spent on CMP's upgrade to be able to transmit this fickle wind power south.
Emera will be right behind them with their upgrade, soon.
A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you've got some rather expensive electricity.
Meanwhile, hydro dams continue to be taken out."

This is a fair point, but I would assume that someone at CMP did the math and concluded that it made sense economically, based on the future cost of electricity.

Also, it's not like wind is going away. Since solar is limited here b/c of our latitude, it seems like a reasonable bet (though in all honesty I don't know the industry well enough to make a firm comment.)

anonymous_coward
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@pmconusa: "Solar and wind

@pmconusa: "Solar and wind power are intermittent"

One of the reasons of the solar and win boom (besides China) is that the cost of battery storage has fallen. Without cheaper batteries, the intermittency raises a huge problem

(Also, this is why Tesla's stock price is so high... the market is anticipating them not being a bigger car manufacturer, but being the source for all batteries in the future.)

Ugenetoo
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If wind generated power is so

If wind generated power is so ducky, why did it need so much in subsidies?

pmconusa
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anonymous: Do you realize

anonymous: Do you realize how big a battery you would need to store 1 MW of electrical energy? If you did you would realize how ridiculous the notion is. Those who talk you into believing the impossible have also overlooked the fact that no transfer of force is made without sacrifice to friction. It is the laws of physics and no one has been able to repeal them. They also want you to ignore the fact that wind and solar power could be used to increase the efficiency of gas turbine technology by compressing air separately and using it to replace the 40% of the energy currently used to compress air in the process, now accomplished by compressors run by the turbines for electricity generation. Compressed air could and is already being used to operate all sorts of tools. None of the foregoing compressed air is created by solar or wind power because those who would make money from their ownership of fossil energy sources would be put out of business. Even these sources are not 100% efficient because of the laws of Physics and since these sources have a limit it would behoove the population to remain within that capacity and we have not.

It was Thomas Malthus in the 18th century who cautioned that population growth would be end of human life. Others have cautioned the same thing recently because we are fast approaching the limit where earth's renewable resources will no longer be able to support it. The economic system the earth's population has adopted has exacerbated the problem that is now occurring in nearly all parts of the world. If you do not work, you do not survive. Work is reserved for only a small portion of the population and much of it has to be subsidized. Children cannot work. The indigent and handicapped cannot work and older people cannot compete with the young for the few jobs that are available. We all have to eat, which is the only thing we all have in common with each other, as to amount necessary for survival. That amount is not equally distributed and we are witnessing the lack of it because in order to obtain it one must work. The distribution system of what is available is controlled by government and that government is controlled by the people who own nature's reproducible assets who insure that they obtain a larger share through the tax system.

It is inevitable that all life will ultimately disappear from the earth because we will ultimately exhaust natures supply of carbon dioxide, oxygen, water and food. We should not have enabled government to determine when this will happen.

Melvin Udall
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Isn't starvation a natural

Isn't starvation a natural form of population control?

pmconusa
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No. Before one dies of

No. Before one dies of starvation they incur malnutrition which makes them susceptible other killer diseases. Scenes such as those on the overrunning of camps like Auschwitz are highly unlikely where the people were deprived of sustenance for a short period before they were sent to the gas chambers.

johnw
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An interesting little

An interesting little fisticuff has broken out in little Bethel Maine regarding wind turbines , local do gooders decided that they wanted to create a wind ordinance that was so restrictive that it was basically impossible for a land owner to meet the requirements effectively stopping any wind turbine construction. But initiatives like that have unintended consequences, a local large land owner feels that his landowner rights are being trampled ..... so he closed all of his 30,000 acres of land to snowmobilers, ATVs, hunting all over western Maine...... In Bethel that means there is virtually no snowmobile access to the town....... OUCH.
Let it be noted that to the very best of my knowledge the land owner has zero intention of putting up any towers ,but was angered by the intrusive and restrictive nature of the proposed ordinance...... and exercised his considerable power.The business community is .....very angry......
There have been and continue to be meetings as how to resolve this and the wind ordinance will go out to vote Nov 13 after a special town meeting....
All that said, in lovely Bethel there is an absolute classic case of NIMBY at play ...The same people who have demanded the government force more green energy down everyone's throats are now vehemently opposed to it happening with in eyesight or earshot of their homes.....ironic.
I would also note the landowner and his family have been always unbelievably generous in sharing their land with the public even when their land has not been respected by some users . And they practice excellent forest management.....
I personally am vehemently opposed to wind power for a myriad of reasons, but I am more vehemently in favor of land owner rights....as I told one of the selectmen yesterday , the towns ability to dictate what a person can do with their land should end at whether the landowner is creating serious public safety concern.......

Claudius
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I guess we should also ask

I guess we should also ask why the oil industry receives roughly 4 billion in subsidies...

Toolsmith
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Wind turbines on towers cost

Wind turbines on towers cost so much to put up (the tower being the biggest expense) that it simply makes no financial sense. It takes years, literally, to even get close to a good return on investment.

Horizontal wind turbines just don't work under variable wind or light wind conditions... which means they don't work in most places, even with towers. I've seen lots of wind turbines go up... and vanish a few months later.

Claudius
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It makes a lot of sense if

It makes a lot of sense if you consider the stable cost of your energy supply in the long term. That is why Rick Perry helped make Texas the number one producer of wind energy in the United States.

Also there would be the OBVIOUS benefit of not contributing to global warming. Of course, if you don't believe in science you can ignore that last statement.

Second fastest growing job in the US is wind turbine service technicians. Of course, first is solar photovoltaic installers.

The future is going to belong to renewable energy. It will be easier if you just accept it. There were lots of people who complained when horses were replaced by tractors, too.

Al Amoling
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"Also there would be the

"Also there would be the OBVIOUS benefit of not contributing to global warming. Of course, if you don't believe in science you can ignore that last statement."
Well there it is. If I don't believe what you spout then I can't possibly have a valid point. You're so full of yourself that that eyes are brown.

Matt
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Amoling, you are right! It's

Amoling, you are right! It's valid for you to have an opinion that proves your stupidity.

Al Amoling
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Stupidity is defined by the

Stupidity is defined by the name Matt. You're the dumbest piece of shit ever.

Matt
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Lol.

Lol.

Here's where all the other clowns take you to task for your potty mouth, I'm sure.

pmconusa
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Claudius: What is the source

Claudius: What is the source of your subsidy figure? The only direct subsidy I am aware of is that to the ethanol producers who use corn as their source which is already subsidized to the benefit of those who own the farmland.

Toolsmith
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There's lots of subsidy out

There's lots of subsidy out there for all renewables. Tax credits, rebates, and so forth. Plus direct charges to area residents. One town in RI signed an agreement to buy electricity from a large wind turbine in town. Now the town pays $0.16/kwh instead of $0.06/kwh for standard issue. Everyone in town subsidizes that.

I don't accept Climate Change / Global Warming for SCIENTIFIC reasons. Data sample far too small (~120yrs) for the timelines of climate (which are thousands of years, if not millions). Every time I ask for data, I get quoted a poll (~90% of scientists...) which is politics not science. Or I get a logical fallacy (and they've used ALL of them, as far as I can tell). If your science is good, you can prove it with facts. If you can't, it's NOT science. Your new religion, that it might be... why else do you keep saying you *believe* it? Which is also why those who disagree get labeled heretics, deniers, etc., all words from religion not science.

I accept science. Your beliefs are not science.

Claudius
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@Toolsmith

@Toolsmith

I didn't say that renewables don't use subsidies. But I just wanted you to be fair be acknowledging that nonrenewables also use subsides.

As for the rest of your post... There is just so much that is wrong there. I know, however, that getting into global warming debates on this forum is ultimately a fruitless activity. But it might be worth it to spend a few words here just in case you'd be willing to think rationally.

First I must say that you most definitely are not disagreeing with global warming for scientific reasons. You are going on passion alone. I repeat: you are not disagreeing based on science.

If you were disagreeing for scientific reasons, you would not say, for example, that the data sample is too small. Because if you knew anything about climate science, you would know that scientists are able to calculate temperatures for around 250,000 years for Greenland and 800,000 years for Antarctica. That is not a small sample set. Scientists use ice sheets, fossilized corals and lake sediment deposits, growth rings in tree trunks and fossilized pollen to get a good idea of the climate for thousands of years in the past.

You are not disagreeing with the science. I'll bet you made up that "common sense" argument using a few Google clicks. That is not science.

Secondly, OF COURSE it can be proven with facts. THAT'S WHAT SCIENCE HAS ALREADY DONE! The scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is UNEQUIVOCAL. The reason why people bring up the fact that the vast majority of scientists think that the climate is changing due to human activity is to counter people who say obviously wrong things like we only have 120 years worth of data.

Because actual scientists, you know, people who have dedicated years of their lives to studying this and who publish rigorous studies in peer-reviewed journals, literally THOUSANDS of those people are absolutely convinced BY SCIENCE that climate change is real AND cause by humans.

My guess is that you are not one of those people. My guess is that you use Google and click around until you find something that aligns with your pre-established beliefs.

You claim to accept science. If that is true, then actually read science. If you were to do that, you'd see that science literature is screaming that it is really happening and that humans activity is causing it.

Claudius
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@pmconusa

@pmconusa

I linked to a source. I was referring to tax subsidies, not direct subsidies.

Claudius
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@Al Amoling

@Al Amoling

That is true. I don't really think that people who don't accept science have a valid point. For example, I don't think that flat earthers have any valid points.

If you think I'm full of myself, then so be it. Science rules.

Toolsmith
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What it is screaming is that

What it is screaming is that the predictions don't match the actual observations. Continuing to press forward without revisiting the theory in that case is not science... it's dogma.

Yes, they can calculate temperatures for hundreds of thousands of years. But that's not what they quote. We get told "it's the hottest day/week/month/year/decade/century/etc. on record!"... but it isn't true. They KNOW there have been other warm periods, even much warmer, but they only quote the era for which exact records were kept. They don't even MENTION this. That's not science, it's deceit.

What I know about climate is that earth is in an inter-glacial period. It's not normally this warm. At some point, we'll return to an ice age. Earth spends most of time in ice ages. Another fact never mentioned.

Claudius
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Dude, you really think that

Dude, you really think that climate scientists don't know about ice ages? What???

OF COURSE climate science understands and acknowledges ice ages. How do you think you even got that information? Climate science!

I'm glad you admit that you are incorrect about that small data set. So we agree on that. Climate science does not use a small data set.

So now that we agree about that, let's move on to your point. Scientists are focused on this recent period when they mention how much hotter it has been getting (and it indeed has) because it is the speed that it is happening and it gives people a good idea of how quickly the climate has changed in recent years. Generally, climate shifts happen very slowly, but this shift his happening with frightening speed. That's the problem. Nobody would be worried if this was a shift like the ones that happened in the past.

Ugenetoo
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Typical progressive logic

Typical progressive logic says that tax breaks = subsidies.
In other words, ALL money is the government's except for the amount they allow you to keep.

johnw
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Ugeneto tax breaks equal

Ugeneto tax breaks equal subsidies if it goes to a non approved progressive organization,tax breaks equal investment in future when given to progressive causes......progressive logic /oxymoron......

pmconusa
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Tax exempt organizations are

Tax exempt organizations are all subsidized by the amount of tax they would pay if they were not so classified. Certain of these organizations qualify for their contributors to deduct their contribution from their taxable income. The laws that created this situation are all "bills of attainder" which is specifically prohibited by the Constitution. These laws have been legal and most unchallenged since Chief Justice John Marshall's Supreme Court deemed Congress could do most anything its wants that is not specifically prohibited or if the end justifies the means.

Claudius
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@ Ugeneetoo

@ Ugeneetoo

Please explain the difference to me as you see it.

As I see it, Congress enabled energy companies are able to pay less taxes than other companies because we understand that energy is very important to the economy. So rather than creating a budget item and paying them ahead of time for their service to the economy and our lives, we allow them to pay less taxes.

Emerging but important technologies that will greatly benefit our lives (like solar and wind) might require government investment ahead of time in the form of subsidies.

Either way, the government encourages certain industries through its policies.

FYI: Here are some examples of technologies supported by government investment:
GPS
Artificial intelligence and speech recognition
ARPANET
Closed captioning
Smartphone technologies
Shale gas
Siesmic imaging
Visible LED lighting
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Advanced prosthetics
The Human Genome Project
HIV/AIDS treatments

Are those kinds of government investments acceptable? My suspicion is that the real issue here is a knee-jerk reaction to any investment that might address climate. Never mind the myriad of benefits that would result from investment in renewable technologies.

pmconusa
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Under the Constitution the

Under the Constitution the government is charged to the defense of the States. It is empowered to levy taxes to pay for this service. Government interference in the economy is not sanctioned by the Constitution and regulation of commerce between the States and Foreign countries does not embody the support or non-support of corporations. The government has taken on this charge in order to maintain the unequal distribution of wealth through the tax code because of the economic system we have adopted where there is ownership of nature's assets enabled by an exchange medium (currency) that depreciates in value with each additional issue whether borrowed or not. The first dollar ever introduced into the system still exists somewhere in the system either as a credit entry in an account or in actual paper form.

I cite the case of the hotel owner who finds a $100 bill in his lobby and is unable to find the person who lost it. He uses that $100 to pay a debt to his florist who uses that same $100 bill to pay a debt to his supplier, who uses it to pay a prostitute who then uses it to pay the hotel keeper for the room she uses for her business. The person who lost the $100 bill suddenly appears and claims it back from the hotel keeper. In the interim, debts have been paid and the $100 bill still survives. A system such as this cannot survive because it is fueled by an exchange that is never consumed but accumulates. It is however, the system that has been adopted by every society since barter was replaced by it.

In the barter system, exchange was based on how long or how many hours were spent in producing the goods being traded. This system collapsed because of the growth of population and was exacerbated again with the industrial revolution. It is all described in my book The Real Economy, along with a system whose means of exchange is consumed after it is issued that will prolong the existence of humans on the planet so long as we retain population at replacement or less.

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