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A visualization of iron atoms in solid steel. The black balls are irregularities, which damage the steel's internal magnetic fields, making it pliable at lower temperatures.  (Source: BBC)

Dr. Dudarev and the UKAEA helped Britain develop its JET lab fusion project, which was a pioneer in the field. Now he looks to take his new insight into steel to design better fusion reactor cages.  (Source: BBC)
One of America's greatest disasters could yield insight that helps power the future

It was one of America's darkest hours -- a terrorist attack struck on American soil, killing 2,974 people.  It was a tragedy felt worldwide, as 90 countries were represented among those who died.

The most devastating part of the attack in terms of damage was not the impact of the airplanes themselves, but the fires they caused.  The fires burned in the middle stories of the buildings at temperatures of around 500C (932F).  They weakened the steel supports, which eventually collapsed, taking the rest of the building with them, killing many in the top floors.  Part of the mystery was how this occurred -- steel's melting point is much higher. 

Dr Sergei Dudarev, principal scientist at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) explains, "Steels melt at about 1,150C (2,102F), but lose strength at much lower temperatures.  [The steel] becomes very soft. It is not melting but the effect is the same."

This deadly mystery was not first observed in the 9/11 attacks.  It was widely known among the scientific community before them that steel became pliable at lower temperatures.  This was unfortunate as steel's normal strength would lend itself nicely to many ultra-hot applications, such as lining the wall of a fusion reactor.  The phenomena went largely unexplained and unexplored until after 9/11 when the topic was brought into sharp focus.

Now, Dr. Dudarev and his fellow scientist have experienced a breakthrough developing new insight into how steel weakens at higher temperatures.  What they discovered was that tiny irregularities in the steel's structure disrupt the internal magnetic fields.  When the metal is cool it is hard, but when it is heated the irregularities damage the magnetic fields which hold the atoms rigid, allowing them to slide past each other.

The phenomenon is similar to that exploited since the days of ancient Rome to work iron.  While not able to reach temperatures high enough to melt the iron, sometimes, blacksmiths discovered if they heated it to a relatively hot temperature, the metal became pliable, able to be shaped into weapons.  While this was good for the Romans, it was not so good for modern applications which demand heat resistance, such as architecture and fusion power.

Architects have previously tried to protect buildings from this phenomenon by placing insulating panels around the support beams.  However, as the 9/11 attacks showed, these panels can be easily ripped off by a disaster.  This is precisely what is thought to have happened -- the collision with the airliners ripped off the insulation, exposing the steel to the fire.  Ultimately this elasticity doomed the structure.

Trying to make something good come of such a negative event, Dr. Dudarev and the UKAEA first worked out the mechanism for this weakness.  Now they are working on developing steel that lacks the irregularities and thus is able to operate at blistering temperatures.  Such Iron Man-like steel would be a crucial step towards achieving clean cheap power for mankind through nuclear fusion.  The group is working on the ITER reactor, the international community's largest experimental fusion reactor yet.

The 500 MW ITER reactor must be lined with ultra-robust materials. By mixing steel with other elements, Dr. Dudarev is confident he and his team can develop exotic steels to fit the bill.  He is confident that the problem is not a difficult one, and just comes down to experimentation.  He states, "We need to look at the magnetic properties of steel, [and] vary their chemical composition in a systematic way in order to get rid of this behavior."



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You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 9:38:20 AM , Rating: 5
This where any alternative energy money needs to be going. Fusion. It's our future. Not half-brained schemes to try and push solar and wind where they're not feasible and practical. Which is large scale power generation.




RE: You see
By MPE on 9/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: You see
By djc208 on 9/11/2008 9:59:33 AM , Rating: 5
Isn't it heavily subsidized by the government? They buy the electricy for far more than what it would be worth in a free market.

It may be the necessary first step to making it feasable but that doesn't make it so now.


RE: You see
By Sunrise089 on 9/11/2008 10:03:37 AM , Rating: 4
Put your logic away please. It's much more fun "green" type people to point to their success stories that aren't price competitive but rely on subsidies, tax exemptions, or outright exclusive contracts to prove how viable they are.


RE: You see
By quiksilvr on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By mikefarinha on 9/11/2008 10:57:26 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
20 grand. Granted that's not chump change but after 5-6 years you get that money back with the money saved from monthly electric bills.


Are you telling me you pay $20,000 in electricity every 5-6 years?!?! Did your energy company tell you that your electricity is gold plated or something?


RE: You see
By AmbroseAthan on 9/11/2008 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 5
As ridiculous as that sounds...

My last electric bill in my apartment was ~$350, for August; luckily I split it with my roommates. I am in NYC and per KWh my building charges 34.5 cents (Welcome to New York City). This is with keeping the A/C & lights off when people are not home, which is most of the day.

Our last two bills have been this high, and at the current rate, we would hit $20,000 in slightly over 5.5 years.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 1
Even still you wouldn't break even in 5.5 years on a set of $20K solar panels, given they would only supply you with power roughly 1/3 of the time. Actually, probably less than that in NYC, due to latitude, clouds, and (possibly) shade from other nearby buildings.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 11:56:15 AM , Rating: 3
A house takes 30 years to pay off buddy. Many people live in their homes many years after that... I know your an anti global warming, pollute the planet and who gives a shit kinda person, Ive seen it before in your posts but this is simple math. Besides the price of electricity isn't going down over the next couple of decades.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:06:39 PM , Rating: 1
On the exceedingly rare occasion when solar proponents actually do the "simple math", the results induce them to slink away with their tail between their legs.

And by the way, over the last 50 years, the price of electricity has risen far *slower* than inflation. The next 50 years should be the same-- unless the environmentalists achieve their goals of making energy both scarce and expensive.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 12:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ok Nostradamus, I guess well all just take your word that power costs should "stay the same" rate of increase over the next 50 years. I on the other hand read the news papers. US Russian(large source of oil) tensions are at are at an all time high since the cold war. The middle east is a model of stability and should be a completely reliable source of energy for the next 50 years.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:46:02 PM , Rating: 3
If you're going to be sarcastic, you should at least be on topic. We were discussing electricity costs, which in the US derive almost entirely from coal, hydro, and nuclear. Secondly, the Middle East has always been unstable, and tensions with Russia are far lower today than they were in the 1950s and 60s, a period in which electricty costs still decreased on an inflation-adjusted basis.

So yes, the prediction that electricity will, barring regulatory changes motivated by environmental groups, continue to get cheaper is certainly a safe one.


RE: You see
By Murloc on 9/11/2008 12:54:46 PM , Rating: 3
the best thing is to use solar panels to heat water, so you don't need to use oil during the summer, and they are not too expensive.
It's not all, but something.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:08:43 PM , Rating: 4
Absolutely. When you need *heat* on a sunny day, solar power makes perfect sense. For hot water and swimming pools, the economics are there. I have a solar-powered pool heater myself...it's essentially just a couple large panels of blackened pipes, that mount on the top of the pool cabana.


RE: You see
By Polynikes on 9/11/2008 1:55:51 PM , Rating: 3
I saw a lot of that on houses in the Outer Banks in NC. Seems like a smart idea to me.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 1:09:32 PM , Rating: 1
Oil is still used in the production of electricity and home heating purposes. In fact 8% of NY's electricity is from oil burning sources(yeah I can google too). Ever heard of combined-cycle technology? Probably not, but I just did all of the radiographic weld inspection for a brand new combined-cycle power production facility in Redlands CA. This plant requires oil based fuels to power the combustion turbine, the first stage of the combined-cycle. So actually oil is used for electricity generating purposes and new oil burning plants are being built today.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
> "(yeah I can google too). "

Then you can google that oil accounts for only 1.6% on a national basis, an utterly insignificant amount. Oil used to be an even smaller amount-- it makes no sense whatsoever to burn it for electricity. But 25 years of environmentalists blocking every coal and nuclear plant eventually takes it toll.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 1:28:53 PM , Rating: 1
Actually it accounts for 5% of electricity in North America. Considering the population numbers it's hardly and insignificant amount...
Regardless replacing this "insignificant amount" with green sources would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, be better for the environment, help to advance the technology, and possibly be lower fuel costs at the pump.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:36:22 PM , Rating: 3
In the US, petroleum liquids and coke combined accounts for 65,000 out of 4.1 million thousand-Megawatt hours. That's 1.6% of total electricity generation:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table...

And you cannot "replace" all this with wind and solar, no matter how hard you stamp your feet. Some yes, during peak summer days. But in the Northeast (which has the highest usage of petroleum) peak demand often comes at periods when wind and solar isn't available. What do you suggest we do then? Huddle?


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 2:33:49 PM , Rating: 1
My stats were all of North America combined, we are not the only country in the world. Other nations rely much more on oil to produce electricity. Some up to 75% in fact. New green energy technologies could reduce this need for oil for other nations as well which is good for our environment and for our wallets at the pump.


RE: You see
By afkrotch on 9/12/2008 9:36:32 AM , Rating: 2
Bet the countries that burn mostly oil are the ones with the oil. With how expensive oil is, it doesn't make sense to burn it for power production, unless they are a major oil producing country. In that case, oil would be much cheaper than importing in coal.

For them, going greener doesn't make sense either as it'd cost them far more than simply continuing to burn fuel.


RE: You see
By afkrotch on 9/12/2008 9:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
And only 3% is from oil in the US. Throw up some wind plants and that'll be covered easily. That or burn more coal.


RE: You see
By afkrotch on 9/12/2008 9:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
Explain what Russia and the Middle East have to do with our electricity production. We don't exactly burn a lot of oil for power. We don't get natural gas from them either. Russia we get coal, but an extremely small amount. Even if we stopped getting coal from them, it's no big deal.

So please, explain.


RE: You see
By Jimbo1234 on 9/11/2008 1:26:42 PM , Rating: 4
"A house takes 30 years to pay off buddy."

Not necessarily. If you live within your means, try 10-15. If you buy what you really cannot afford, then 30-50 is about right.


RE: You see
By Spuke on 9/11/2008 3:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not necessarily. If you live within your means, try 10-15. If you buy what you really cannot afford, then 30-50 is about right.
Some of us live in CA where housing isn't cheap (it's STILL above the national average), even in todays market. A house in a price range where most could afford a 15 year loan in THIS state would not be in the best of neighborhoods. To be frank, it would be in a high crime area.

In my area of CA (one of the cheapest places in the state), you can get a very nice home that's good sized (~2500 sq ft, ~232 m2) in a good neighborhood in the high $200k's for about $2500 or so a month for a 15 year mortgage at 5.75%. You can even find some ok places for just under $200k but they may be near an undesirable area or the schools may not be all that.


RE: You see
By Samus on 9/12/2008 8:01:08 PM , Rating: 1
Actually most people do NOT live in their homes for 30 years. Most people buy a number of homes they live in between 2-5 years before finally settling on a home to live in for the long haul. I've never met anyone that lived in a home for 30 years.

Even my childhood home I grew up in my parents recently sold because it was too big for them after all us kids moved out. They lived there for 19 years but it was paid off in 13 years with a 30-year conventional.

Maybe rural america is different, but here in Chicago, most people rent (much like NYC) and those that do own, IF they decide to hold onto the property after moving out, will likely rent it.


RE: You see
By FredEx on 9/13/2008 3:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
At their peak time of day they are putting power on the grid offsetting the cost for power needed at night if one is not using a battery system. With the battery system added one can often not pull any power from the grid at all.

I have some friends in upstate Washington where it is often cloudy and rainy, they have no electric bill, in fact they build up a credit which gets used during extreme weather days and in the winter sometimes. Besides solar electric, they do solar hot water from a system they installed themselves. It provides all their hot water needs and heats their house. Even on cloudy days with temps about 50 to 60 their hot water system can give them water 140 degrees. Their hot water for bathing needs to be just 120 degrees. I believe that is code to prevent scalding anyway, it is where I live. Their in floor radiant heat only needs to be around 72 degrees...depends on your preferences.

They have about $30,000 in to their system, but they have a large house that could easily snatch $400,000 around where I am in Michigan, I don't know what they'd get there, most likely a lot more. My medium/small ranch house if out there would go for double what I could hope to get here.

My friend like me is a tinkerer, we both were in the same field, electronics/electrical. We went to tech school together in the 70's and used to work for the same company. He has built his own small windmill, it generates more than enough to run his computer room with four systems always going in it. He got much of the ideas for it off the net, tossed in his own ideas.

God knows they have plenty of wind there to go with the rain.

This stuff is getting cheaper with time, more efficient also. You don't have to be in Florida or southern California for this stuff to be worthwhile.


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 12:49:36 PM , Rating: 4
HOLY CRAP! $350!!!

This is why I don't live in the north east. It's way too expensive to live up there. And I thought my apartment's electricity bill was high.

And in response to some of your other posts. Fine lets get clean, reliable energy that doesn't depend on anything foreign. AKA, nuclear.


RE: You see
By JediJeb on 9/11/2008 3:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
The highest electric bill I have had in 3 years at my house was $55, and that was mid summer when it was 105F outside. But here in Ky we have the cheapest electricity rates nation wide. Also my house only cost $42,000 so putting a set of solar panels on it would add 50% to the cost of the house.

One thing I have been looking into is adding a solar hot water floor heating system that I could install myself cheaply( making most of the parts myself) to heat during the day in the winter, since natural gas is supposed to rise 60% here this winter or so the gas company is telling me. Last winter I had a $100 gas bill for heating which is stupid since I am pulling directly off a main transmission line running nearby.


RE: You see
By Solandri on 9/11/2008 3:19:40 PM , Rating: 4
Average annual electricity use in the U.S. was just shy of 11,000 kWh per household in 2001 (the latest year there appear to be figures for).

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/reps/enduse/er01_us_ta...

Multiply that by the average electricity cost of just under $0.11/kWh and you get an annual average of $1,200/yr spent on electricity by each household. If an average American household bought a $20,000 solar panel system that somehow provided 100% of their electricity, it would take almost 17 years to pay for itself.


RE: You see
By Keeir on 9/12/2008 3:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think of

http://www.bp.com/solarsavings.do?categoryId=8050

as a good place to get a quick estimate of actual payback period on "quality" solar installations. Note at Zip code 84050 in Arizona, according to BP you need a 7w system valued at 59,500 dollars to make that ~11,000 kWh average. Final end user cost is reduced ~35,000 dollars with tax rebates. Still a 20+ year payback period (assuming inflation costs of energy are similar to 4-6% investement that could be earned or a 4-6% financing charge). Clearly without the ~40% of rebates and tax credits, not a financial sound option considering expected life-spans of solar panels is typically around 30 years.

Note: BP is indeed a high cost option and includes installation and other costs in thier estimates. No doubt you can aquire and install a similar system for significantly less, but at the same time, these are the baseline figures BP is releasing and I see no reason they would be more than 25% or so higher than any source quality panel and installation job.


RE: You see
By Spuke on 9/11/2008 5:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
My highest ever was just under $300 and that was during the Enron fiasco in the middle of the summer. My normal summer bills are in the low to mid $100's. I can't imagine having a $300 bill and considering that normal. Sheesh!


RE: You see
By goz314 on 9/11/2008 6:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
Try owning an average sized home in Phoenix with a pool during the summer months and you will see how high your monthly power bill can get. My bill last month was $317 and that was taking into account my participation in a demand based incentive program that charges different rates based on system wide demand. Seeing as how I used 1100 kwh during that month, it comes out to be about $0.28 per kwh. Granted that per kwh cost factors in delivery charges and taxes, but those charges can't realistically be seprated out when talking about true consumer costs. Air conditioning is an absolute must 24/7 when the ambient outside temperature is 110+.

Also, I should point out that this real world data flies in the face of the much touted cheaper cost per kwh associated with Nuclear Power generation. Palo Verde, which is owned and operated by APS, actually has higher rates than SRP, the other leading power provider in the valley of the sun. SRP generates most of it's power from natural gas power plants and from hydroelectric plants.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:34:09 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
this real world data flies in the face of the much touted cheaper cost per kwh associated with Nuclear Power generation. Palo Verde, which is owned and operated by APS, actually has higher rates than SRP, the other leading power provider
Whoa, whoa. Not only is this an excellent example of the logical fallacy known as "misleading vividness", it also has a few factual errors. First of all, APS doesn't "own" Palo Verde. It's owned by 7 different utilities. In fact, SRP (the other utility you cite) owns a large chunk of it as well.

In addition to its chunk of Palo Verde, APS operates 3 coal-powered plants and a total of **seven** gas-powered plants (the most expensive type to operate). It's also spending money on solar concentrator research.

SRP, on the other hand, is not "mostly natural gas". In addition to its share of the Palo Verde nuclear plant and its (very cheap to operate) hydroelectric sources, it also has 6 coal plants and only four gas plants.

Comparing these two utilities retail rates, then trying to make a blanket assumption about wholesale costs of supplying nuclear power is entirely off the mark.


RE: You see
By Spuke on 9/11/2008 5:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen some conversion kits online but they cost more than just buying a solar water heater or tankless water heater. Just didn't make sense to me.


RE: You see
By MarcLeFou on 9/11/2008 6:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that's not entirely accurate.

Nuclear still needs uranium.

And Canada is one of the world's largest producer.


RE: You see
By PhoenixKnight on 9/11/2008 9:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but what will happen when we're at War after we get into an argument about censorship and Canada bombs the Baldwins? Did you ever think about how that might affect the price of uranium?


RE: You see
By myhipsi on 9/12/2008 8:15:12 AM , Rating: 2
I live in north eastern Canada (Newfoundland) and I pay $0.10/kwh. I never realized just how cheap electricity is up here.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:04:34 AM , Rating: 5
Here's the problem. Solar and wind don't just have periods when they're totally unavailable, they are *constantly* varying in output. So is your demand for electricity...but it varies differently. This is the problem of load-matching. Once you get above 10-15% of the total grid demand, the costs for load-matching skyrocket.

The world leader in wind/solar is Denmark, and even they can't get above 19% from those sources. They're only able to reach that goal by selling most of their excess to the European grid...then buying back conventional power. Even still, their power costs are the highest in Europe, more than triple what we pay here in the US.

Remember that, for wind, there are just as many periods when the wind is blowing too hard to generate as there are when its not blowing at all. Furthermore wind is far from "clean" power. It requires 10X the steel and 5X the concrete as the equivalent amount of power from nuclear-- and with turbine lifespans of ~30 years, you have to repay that enormous cost in resources once a generation.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:10:49 PM , Rating: 4
Eh? Subsidizing inefficient solar plants today does not help us build better ones tomorrow.

Research will help us do that. And I'm all for more research into solar power. But subsidizing the actual construction of commercial PV plants today is, in most cases, foolish beyond belief.

> "yes we can improve the wind turbine... "

We've been building and improving windmills for over 500 years now. There's a limit on how far a technology can progress.

Wind is an extraodinarily diffuse source of energy; concentrating that into useful levels requires large amounts of resources. No amount of hand-waving and foot-stamping is going to change that.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect logic. Private industry will research anything that has a future market, not a present one. Do you think people were using transistors before Bell Labs built the first one?

In any case, I'm not opposed to government-sponsored research. I'm opposed to government subsidies, to prop up a technology before its ready for prime time.

> "wanna take a wild guess who built(subsidized) the first nuclear plants/technology... "

The University of Chicago, a private university.


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "The first reactor was built at the Hanford site by the US military"

No, the first reactor was the Chicago Pile. And while both it and Hanford (the first plutonium production reactor) involved government funding, both were primarily intended to advance nuclear goals for the military, and had no connection with commercial power generation.

So what's your point? The government can't fund military projects?


RE: You see
By dl429 on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Green energy sources could also be considered a military goal. How many times have we gone to war to secure our sources of oil???
As already pointed out, no amount of subsidizing solar and wind is going to cut our dependence on foreign oil. Only 1.6% of our electricity is generated from oil, and with current technology, even if we're willing to pay the exhorbitant costs of alternative power, we just can't supply more than 10-15% of the grid with those variable sources.

That works out to a net reduction of around 0.2% in oil consumption...less than our average increase in a single year.

> " that would allow solar, wind, hydro, ect. electricity to become viable sources of power in the future."

I'm all for funding research that might eventually make these sources viable. But as you yourself admit, they're not viable today. And government subsidies to build wind and solar farms (as opposed to pure research) is a foolhardly mistake, plain and simple.


RE: You see
By SlyNine on 9/11/2008 10:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
No I think they should go back to wind energy, hook up sail masts on the Nimitz. That's progress for you.

Forget fusion/nuclear research that can power energy weapons that can shoot down torpedoes, bandits and other threats and provide an endless source of ALWAYS ON power. Lets just go BACK to wind power.


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 12:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
Carbon nanotubes aren't currently being used really for anything in the real world. But research is being done because once we perfect it, it will be one of the greatest new materials of the 21st century. Solar power doesn't have such a great outlook except in the minds of environmentalists. As masher has stated, even if you achieve 100% efficiency, you still have to deal with the fact that its a highly variable source of power and one that DOES NOT work 24/7.


RE: You see
By eldakka on 9/12/2008 4:28:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...and one that DOES NOT work 24/7.


It can work 24x7.

It's called orbital solar power arrays...

Not saying it's practicle at the moment, but it is possible.


RE: You see
By danrien on 9/11/2008 2:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
And we've been using iron since pre-Christ times, and yet this very article focuses on advances made in metallurgy research. Limit indeed!


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 12:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you not read?


I did .I meant to say that the US would not have to sell to other places--it would be too busy supplying it's domestic market


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:13:02 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure if you're being intentionally obtuse or not, but the gross size of the market is irrelevant when you're discussing a percentage of the total demand.

The US market is far larger, given. But we cannot supply more than a small percentage of total grid demand from variable sources like wind and solar, not without energy storage technology we do not yet possess.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 12:25:30 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm not sure if you're being intentionally obtuse or not,

Not really;)
quote:
, not without energy storage technology we do not yet possess.

With the tremendous progress in -to take just one example--cell phone and laptop batteries--if you remember the first cell-phones--their batteries were like bricks--this is no more impossible to envision than Generation IV type rectors like the Rubbiatron


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "this is no more impossible to envision than Generation IV type rectors like the Rubbiatron "

Oh sure, I can imagine it. I've been imaging what we can do with such cheap "super-batteries" since I was a kid in the early 1970s.

Problem is, we don't have them. We *do* have nuclear power, though.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By teldar on 9/11/2008 1:19:16 PM , Rating: 5
Are you insane?
Are you proposing to store our country's energy supply in batteries?
Wow.
Talk about disconnected from facts.


RE: You see
By Solandri on 9/11/2008 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 4
Cell phone and laptop batteries have not improved much. What's improved significantly is the efficiency of the electronics. Early cell phones and laptops had components running at 5-12 V. Current components typically run at 1.5-3.3 V, with some main components (e.g. CPU) often running at less than 1 V. There have also been significant gains in backlight efficiency, power save (turning off unused components), and transmission standards (analog phones blasted at full power the entire time you talked, digital phones compress what you say into a small data packet and send it as a burst at the lowest necessary power).

These improvements let you run a device with the same functionality for much longer on the same battery, or the same amount of time on a much smaller battery. Almost none of the gain has been from improvements in battery technology. The last chart I saw, the average improvement in battery capacity over the last 100 years was about 1% per year.

Lithium-ion represented a (relatively) big leap in battery storage per unit weight. But it wasn't an improvement on a volumetric basis.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 3:58:22 PM , Rating: 3
http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january...

quote:
Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to reinvent the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, iPods, video cameras, cell phones, and countless other devices. The new technology, developed through research led by Yi Cui, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, produces 10 times the amount of electricity of existing lithium-ion, known as Li-ion, batteries. A laptop that now runs on battery for two hours could operate for 20 hours, a boon to ocean-hopping business travelers. "It's not a small improvement," Cui said. "It's a revolutionary development."
The greatly expanded storage capacity could make Li-ion batteries attractive to electric car manufacturers. Cui suggested that they could also be used in homes or offices to store electricity generated by rooftop solar panels.



RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 4:34:08 PM , Rating: 3
Ok and that is in the experimental phase. Saying that is proof that battery life has improved would be like saying fusion is ready for prime time.

When the first battery that is actually produced with that advancement is sold, then its made a difference.


RE: You see
By afkrotch on 9/12/2008 8:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A good solar panel system for a home is around 20 grand. Granted that's not chump change but after 5-6 years you get that money back with the money saved from monthly electric bills.


WTF?

I pay 60 Euros a month.

60 x 12 = 720
720 x 5 = 3600

Damn, just a few Euros shy of 20 grand.


RE: You see
By luseferous on 9/11/2008 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Like the nuclear power Industry ?


RE: You see
By bpurkapi on 9/11/2008 1:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
You act as though oil firms do not receive subsidies and exclusive contracts from the government...


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:17:37 PM , Rating: 3
Oil firms do not receive subsidies. They do receive some tax credits (a reduction in the amount *they* pay the government, rather than the government paying them) but its only to compel some specific action the government wishes them to take, and even counting those credits, oil companies still pay a higher percentage of total profits than the average US firm.

Compare that to wind and solar companies, which receive tax credits, massive subsidies and grants, and still are looking for (and sometimes receiving) enormous tracts of free land upon which to site their massive projects.


RE: You see
By zzeoss on 9/12/2008 2:06:33 AM , Rating: 1
I've seen you give the same explanations several times on different threads (sometimes with more proof/links/etc, on different topics). Kudos for not giving up on them!
It's amazing how some people just don't get it (or try to counter you with childish arguments). Maybe you should put all this "misconceptions" in a blog and explain/analyze them in a concise manner for everyone to understand. Or a series of blogs on different topics.

ps: I read dailytech since 2006 or so, but this is one of my first posts.


RE: You see
By FaceMaster on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By Comdrpopnfresh on 9/11/2008 3:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
That's fairly true, but if one used logic, they'd realize that the subsidies and exemptions really do level the field in a fair manner- for both industry and the consumer.

For instance, power production by burning coal releases tons of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. If a country were to impose a carbon-tax, the price of coal-produced electricity would rise appreciably. Carbon-taxes are not particularly popular in places like the US, because of the word 'tax', and the understanding that public energy rates will increase.
If a carbon tax were put into place, the subsidies and current tax exemptions would be less necessary, and production methods like solar and wind would be much more competitive- at the cost of the consumer.
You're doing the same thing in both really- alternatives have higher initial cost, which can be viewed as internalized costs that coal would be charged with if a carbon tax were used- you either reward tech for being environmentally friendly, or penalize it for being unfriendly.

So really there are three possibilities-
1. The government gives aid to cleaner technologies to allow investments and introductions onto the market, fairly leveling the production costs and rate offerings to the consumer (in other words: bring the price of alternatives down to that of coal, so their environmental benefits can be instituted).
2. The government imposes a carbon tax, which penalizes coal power production for release of carbon dioxide, which steady-state solar and wind installations do not release. This increases the cost of coal-produced electricity closer to that of alternatives, produces revenue, minimizes the necessity of subsidies for those alternatives: but at the cost of higher electric rates to the end consumer (in other words: carbon taxation would charge coal-fired production for the environmentally unfriendly release of CO2, which alternatives do not have)
3. Do nothing- fossil fuels will continue to hold a majority of energy production percentage, and the environment as well as public health will suffer- energy rates stay low, until slumps in availability or production of fuel impacts production costs.
3.5. Do both- impose a carbon tax, and use the revenue to offset public rates from the middle class downwards, as well as, subsidizing the cost of alternatives. As coal fades away from the influx of alternative installations on the grid, carbon tax revenue will lessen, but as the main cost of alternative sources is the initial investment and construction, energy costs will be able to stay low as carbon tax revenue decreases, and subsidies to both industry and consumer rates proportional decrease along with revenue from carbon taxation.


RE: You see
By 2nd Abnormalized Form on 9/12/2008 7:58:51 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike, say, the petroleum industry ;)


RE: You see
By vgermax on 9/11/2008 10:03:27 AM , Rating: 3
"Successful" should be defined in that statement. If by successful you only mean widespread use yes. If it also implies economic sustainability in the absence of heavy government subsidies, then no.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:18:43 AM , Rating: 5
> "Uhm you do know Germany has a succesful solar power industry right? "

Their largest solar plant is only 40MW peak. That works out to about 10MW average-- about 1/800 the output of a large nuclear installation. The plant also won't be operational for another year and, even then, will cost 4-5 times as much per KWh as conventional sources, and require baseline sources for when the sun isn't shining.


RE: You see
By Spivonious on 9/11/2008 10:24:01 AM , Rating: 1
I saw more wind turbines in Germany than solar panels.


RE: You see
By Connoisseur on 9/11/2008 9:58:36 AM , Rating: 1
From what I've read, we don't yet have a "working" fusion powerplant. That is, we don't have a sustained reactor that generates a net positive amount of energy relative to the amount of energy applied. Why should we focus all of our resources on a technology that hasn't even been proven work, outside of science fiction? I think it's a good idea to go at least 50/50. Focus on the renewable energy resources (such as hydro, geo, solar and wind) for the short term and invest in fusion for the long term. That way we won't be putting all our eggs in one basket. Even if fusion does become entirely practical, the worst case scenario is that we achieve it a few years later than we would have had we completely focused on it.


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 10:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why should we focus all of our resources on a technology that hasn't even been proven work, outside of science fiction?


It works pretty well in the sun.

quote:
Focus on the renewable energy resources (such as hydro, geo, solar and wind) for the short term and invest in fusion for the long term.


I'd rather focus on nuclear now which research into better plant designs can actually help lead to advances in fusion power. And its a far better energy source. The only "renewable" sources I support are geo-thermal and hydro. Because they work all the time. Yes hydroelectric can have issues if there are droughts but its still a far more reliable source of power than solar or wind ever will be.


RE: You see
By Connoisseur on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
> "Solar power NOW might not be incredibly effective, but you can use the argument that there will be advances in solar efficiency to the point that solar becomes an entirely sustainable energy source "

Even assuming we can build 100% efficient solar panels for a quarter the cost we can today, solar still wouldn't be able to generate more than a fraction of the energy we need. We'd also need quantum advances in both energy storage technology, to match the highly variable nature of the sun to an equally variable demand, as well as similar advances in energy transmission, to allow sunny areas to power those less well-suited.


RE: You see
By Connoisseur on 9/11/2008 10:33:58 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. That's why I mentioned:
quote:
(in conjunction with others of course)


There is currently no single "end-all", "satisy the entire world's energy needs" technology and I don't see there yet being one in the near future. But efficiency improvements in all technologies should make them entirely sustainable when lumped together (and can also help hedge our bets in case one doesn't work out all the time).

Bottom line: take my comments as you'd like, but I still disagree with Camaro in that we should NOT be investing most or all of our resources into investigating an unproven technology. Right now, sustained fusion is simply an interesting science project for research labs. We can't "assume" that a breakthrough will happen to solve this issue.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
> "That's why I mentioned (in conjunction with others of course)"

But if you need those other sources anyway, and those sources are capable of supplying our energy needs without solar or wind (and at a much lower cost in money and resources) why build those solar plants in the first place?

For the record, I agree with you about fusion research not being the sole source of funding. Fusion has shown a dismal rate of progress over the last 50 years. Research into advanced fission has a far greater cost-benefit ratio.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 11:24:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
. Research into advanced fission has a far greater cost-benefit ratio.


No matter how much research is being done--world availiblity of uranium and thorium (using fast breeders ) will only be around 2.1-2.8 billion tonnes. Currently around 365 GW is being produced with 66,500 tons of uranium. If 6 TW were to be produced 1093150 tonnes would have to be used (with fast breeders)--this is just electricity. Total energy usage would be around double that--enough for around 400-500 years, if the entire world uses energy at the Western rate sooner or later--then what


RE: You see
By Keeir on 9/11/2008 11:40:37 AM , Rating: 2
Wait

Your not seriously suggesting that because in 200+ years we may need an expensive energy replacement we should ignore the cheap option now and go with the expensive energy replacement?!?!?

How about we use the cheap energy option. Take 50% of the savings and dump it into RD so when in 200+ years we need a new energy source its actually cheap and effective?


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:42:22 AM , Rating: 2
You've brought up this red herring before. First of all "known stocks" of uranium are orders of magnitude less than actual values. Prospecting for uranium essentially stopped nearly as soon as it began, because stocks were so much larger than necessary. It's the same reason petroleum stockpiles in 1900 showed we only had enough oil for the next 10 years.

Secondly, your figures don't reflect reprocessing. The US currently uses a "once-through" fuel cycle that wastes 99% of the energy in the fuel. Reprocessing and Palone would give us nearly two orders of magnitude more energy.

The uranium and thorium fuel cycles, when operated in a closed manner, will allow us enough energy for the next 10-50,000 years, even without having to delve too deeply into the Earth's crust. Go deeper, and the sky's the limit -- the Earth has been generated millions of gigawatts of nuclear heat for billions of years, and it's still nowhere near running out of radioactive nuclides.

We have enough plutonium from excess nuclear weapons alone to power all civilization for more than 200 years, even without mining even a gram more of uranium.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
That article isn't a peer-reviewed research paper, it's an article written for laymen by laymen. Nature's reporters don't have Ph.D's, don't work in the nuclear industry, and have long since demonstrated their bias towards wind and solar.

The lead author of that story, Quirin Schiermeier, is a German with a degree in geography, who is "particularly interested in climate, oceanography, fisheries and the Earth sciences". His latest story before this was a popular account of how AGW is causing hurricanes to get stronger, despite the fact that every major hurricanologist says otherwise. Even Emmanuel Kerry from MIT, who won an appearance on the cover of Time Magazine for claiming GW was worsening hurricanes, recently changed his mind.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 12:40:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That article isn't a peer-reviewed research paper, it's an article written for laymen by laymen.


Nonetheless there is a certain level of accuracy--they just can't go out and make wild claims--in the article they actually supported nature--despite your claim that they have a bias for wind/solar

quote:
Nature's reporters don't have Ph.D's, don't work in the nuclear industry

Neither do we ;)--

quote:
nd have long since demonstrated their bias towards wind and solar.

Perhaps me--most definitely not you ;)


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 12:45:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
-in the article they actually supported nature-


nuclear


RE: You see
By teldar on 9/11/2008 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
What?
You think there is accuracy in reporting?
I don't know what country you're from, but it's not here in the U.S.

People can write whatever they please.
It's up to the readers to decide if they want to buy it.

I think I'll go out and buy a Weekly World News for my news from now on if everything printed is reliable.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 1:52:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think I'll go out and buy a Weekly World News for my news from now on if everything printed is reliable.


I never said that everything printed was reliable--only that magazines like Nature( or Time/others) generally attain a certain level of accuracy when posting articles--if this were not so then we would wake up every morning and read that either Obama/McCain had become president--despite the election taking place on Nov


RE: You see
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 1:11:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That article isn't a peer-reviewed research paper, it's an article written for laymen by laymen. Nature's reporters don't have Ph.D's, don't work in the nuclear industry, and have long since demonstrated their bias towards wind and solar. The lead author of that story, Quirin Schiermeier, is a German with a degree in geography, who is "particularly interested in climate, oceanography, fisheries and the Earth sciences".


That post probably doesn't qualify as ad hominem attack that you so much disapprove when you yourself "quote" a TV meteorologist.

quote:
His latest story before this was a popular account of how AGW is causing hurricanes to get stronger, despite the fact that every major hurricanologist says otherwise.
Even Emmanuel Kerry from MIT, who won an appearance on the cover of Time Magazine for claiming GW was worsening hurricanes, recently changed his mind.


His latest story is news based on an article published in the same issue of Nature, entitled: The increasing intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 1:29:46 PM , Rating: 3
> "His latest story is news based on an article published in the same issue of Nature"

And he carefully didn't report that nearly a dozen competing papers have observed the exact opposite effect, and the person that this very same reporter previously called the "most influential hurricane expert" recently recanted his views on the subject.

> "when you yourself "quote" a TV meteorologist"

A degree in meteorology -- especially when supplemented by a career that includes a decade of collecting and analyzing climate data -- seems more appropriate for a climate story than a degree in geography, wouldn't you agree? Or even someone with a degree in engineering, like Raj Pachauri, head of the UN IPCC?


RE: You see
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 1:55:22 PM , Rating: 1
Fine, you can change your point in the middle of the discussion as usual, but your statement stays:

His latest story before this was a popular account of how AGW is causing hurricanes to get stronger, despite the fact that every major hurricanologist says otherwise.


And it is just flat wrong. You'd just have to follow his link to figure it out, but I guess that wasn't interesting enough for you.

quote:
And he carefully didn't report that nearly a dozen competing papers have observed the exact opposite effect, and the person that this very same reporter previously called the "most influential hurricane expert" recently recanted his views on the subject.


Again, misrepresentation of the facts, he clearly specified the context:

One of the most contentious issues in the climate-change debate has been whether the strength, number and duration of tropical cyclones will increase in a warmer world. Basic physics and modelling studies do suggest that tropical storms will become more intense, because warmer oceans provide more energy that can be converted into cyclone wind. But others believe that atmospheric changes might have an inhibiting role. Increasing shearing winds - another predicted consequence of global warming - are thought to suppress the cyclonic rotation of the storms, for example.

Now you probably think it's a shame he didn't spent most of this article belittling the latest published science on the subject, and nobody will be surprised by your position, but it is clear that the bias you see in his article is just a reflection of your own ...

Do you read the articles or you just stop at the title??


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
> "you can change your point in the middle of the discussion as usual"

And bringing up a quote from a meteorologist on an unrelated story, in the middle of a debate on nuclear fuel, is not?

Be that as it may, the text you highlit frames the debate as roughly evenly split. It is not. Every major hurricanologist says otherwise, including every director of the NHC for the last 30 years, and the entire staff of MIT's earth and atmospheric sciences department. The lead author of this "latest research" has a degree in geography, and teaches at FSU. And what does the coordinating author have a degree in? Meteorology, which you yourself has already belittled.



RE: You see
By Nik00117 on 9/11/2008 3:17:43 PM , Rating: 3
200 years we can power the earth without having to put a shovel in the ground? Um the hard part of the decision comes when?

See I'm a bussiness man and if a solar power guy was sitting in front of me,a nd a nuclear one were sitting in front of me both wanting to earn my business. The solar guy says

"I can set up huge power plants which will be able to provide you with power. However it iwll be slightly costly, require a lot of land, and if its a cloudy day or if you use too much power you may run into some problems. However its very green"

The nuke guy goes

"I can build you a fairly small plant which will be able tog ive you all the power you need for the next 150 years"

IDK which one i'd pick.


RE: You see
By Myg on 9/11/2008 4:05:00 PM , Rating: 1
I suppose one could be a decent "business man" if they decided on such idle reasoning, but doesnt seem to make much of a good "Man".

How bout asking what the risks are?

Solar guy says:
"When it breaks down or has a major problem; the thing stops working and we need to spend loads of money to find out the problem, but its not a bother; just need a little patience!"

Nuke guys says:
"When it beaks down or has a major problem; there is a possibility that you and all your family/relatives/neighbours will suffer considerably for the rest of their lives with uncurable and horrible illnesses; your children will be born deformed and death will be the only light at the end of the tunnel for you: I hope you believe in heaven"

Which one seems more attractive now?


RE: You see
By Gzus666 on 9/11/2008 4:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Um, correct me if I am wrong, but there has only ever been one instance of a nuclear power plant having this sort of issue, and it was early in the technology (1960s I believe) where they had the ability to pull the rods out too far, and this ended up causing the melt down, which is no longer possible, since they have blocked this. Please don't spread this silly fear about nuclear, it isn't going to destroy people's families, and wreak havoc, like you seem to be insinuating.

Solar CANNOT, and I repeat CANNOT replace the whole infrastructure. I am all for solar here and there, but not as a singular solution, that would just be dumb. Nuclear is our best bet at the moment, and will probably continue to be for years to come. Supplement this with hydro and geothermal, and possibly these

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/05/06/ma...

But regular wind turbines are silly, and a waste of time, space and resources. Wind at a few hundred feet just isn't enough to make these viable, but the M.A.R.S. turbines are quite promising as a supplement to other power. This is the only thing that wasn't insane that I have seen on the show Project Earth.

Here is to hopes that fusion comes soon, but it seems like it could be longer than we hope.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Um, correct me if I am wrong, but there has only ever been one instance of a nuclear power plant having this sort of issue, and it was early in the technology (1960s I believe)
No one has ever been killed or experienced a health risk from a radiological event at any commercial power reactor in any Western nation (which includes a cumulative total of thousands of reactor-years of operation).

The incident you refer to in the early 1960s was for a tiny experimental reactor. There have also been workers killed at a US plant from a burst steam pipe, but not from anything to do with radiation or the reactor core itself.

Nuclear power is far safer than wind or solar, even. Massive spinning blades on high towers exposed to strong winds are quite risky.


RE: You see
By Gzus666 on 9/12/2008 8:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Even better, I didn't think anyone got hurt, but wasn't sure. Nuclear has an amazing track record for safety, and I can hardly say the same for many other forms of power generation. Have to agree with the wind towers, quite worthless.


RE: You see
By Xavitar on 9/13/2008 5:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
What a load of rubbish.

Nuclear power production has proven to be a safe technology over the past 50 years and is currently in use around the world with no ill-effect. Modern reactors are designed to fail in non-catastrophic ways, and even so, such failures are unheard of. Stop fearmongering.


RE: You see
By Myg on 9/14/2008 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
And so, conversely; you would be safemongering? Both are essential parts of the spectrum of wisdom and lead to some sort of balance.

The truth is, you cant say something is safe which it isn't, sure; materials used by other processes are dangerous too: but no where near as dangerous as radioactive substances. An undeniable fact.


RE: You see
By Ringold on 9/11/2008 11:50:08 AM , Rating: 3
400-500 years, then what?

It never fails. I'm always stunned by this line of attack on nuclear. Look at how far we came from 1900 to 2000, and yet people dare wring their hands over when the people of 2400 or 2500 will do once their half-century old nuclear plants stop working?

That time scale is also sufficiently far out that you would also have to worry about the raw materials going in to these "renewable" technologies. My gosh, where will wind mills come from in the year 2500?

Frankly if we can bridge ourselves 400 or 500 years in to the future, and if by then we haven't figured out how to make day-trips to Mars affordable, we don't deserve to exist as a intelligent species. Almost can't believe this is a serious argument. Nothing is "sustainable" when time horizons become 25 human generations long.


RE: You see
By Ringold on 9/11/2008 11:53:03 AM , Rating: 2
Woops, half-millenia old nuclear power plants. See? Normal human's aren't even used to thinking of such massive time scales. It's useless.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 12:21:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It never fails. I'm always stunned by this line of attack on nuclear.


I'm not attacking nuclear--I just think that we should attack on all fronts--I hope that more plants will eventually be built--but even now there are engineering problems. For example--
quote:
There is a possible impediment to production of nuclear power plants, due to a backlog at Japan Steel Works, the only factory in the world able to manufacture the central part of a nuclear reactor's containment vessel in a single piece,[citation needed] which reduces the risk of a radiation leak. The company can only make four per year of the steel forgings. It will double its capacity in the next two years, but still will not be able to meet current global demand alone.


Also,
quote:
A number of other designs for nuclear power generation, the Generation IV reactors, are the subject of active research and may be used for practical power generation in the future. A number of the advanced nuclear reactor designs could also make critical fission reactors much cleaner, much safer and/or much less of a risk to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It should be noted that such Generation IV reactors are not necessarily fuelled by uranium but by thorium, a more abundant fertile material that decays into U233 after being exposed to neutrons. Such reactors use about 1/300 the amount of fuel to power them. The Liquid Fluoride Reactor is one such example of this. For the future, design changes are being pursued to lessen the risks of fission reactors; in particular, passively safe plants (such as the ESBWR) are available to be built and inherently safe designs are being pursued . Fusion reactors, which may be viable in the future , have no risk of explosive radiation-releasing accidents, and even smaller risks than the already extremely small risks associated with nuclear fission. Whilst fusion power reactors will produce a very small amount of reasonably short lived, intermediate-level radioactive waste at decommissioning time, as a result of neutron activation of the reactor vessel, they will not produce any high-level, long-lived materials comparable to those produced in a fission reactor. Even this small radioactive waste aspect can be mitigated through the use of low-activation steel alloys for the tokamak vessel.

note the words in bold


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
> "There is a possible impediment to production of nuclear power plants, due to a backlog at Japan Steel Works"

Given that wind turbines use 10X the steel that nuclear power does, any long-term issue with steel shortages will be much more serious with it.

Seriously, the notion that a temporary backlog at a single plant is a reason to abandon nuclear is pretty silly. The entire reason for that backlog is that the world (especially China) has suddenly turned to nuclear power in a big way. Production will take a bit of time to ramp up.


RE: You see
By teldar on 9/11/2008 1:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
That and (I did read quite a bit on this plant) they are the only ones that can do the casing as a single forging.
There are other companies that can make two halves and weld them together.
Not as great, but still effective.

T


RE: You see
By carroll on 9/11/2008 10:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't mean to give the impression by any means that i'm a nuclear physicist, but my current understanding of fusion generators lead me to believe that fusion plants will be significantly different than fission plants.


A chain-reaction which introduces a catastrophe will not be possible in fusion, as i understand it. Also will the 'waste' be much less radioactive than in fission, and not nearly as long lasting.

fission seems a viable short term alternative, but it seems people don't think about the waste products ... there is currently not one method to store the waste for the timespan it will be radioactive, and i strongly doubt there will ever be.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:33:53 AM , Rating: 2
We don't need to wait for fusion. We have designs for fission based reactors that are not only wholly uncapable of catastrophic chain reactions, but with radiation levels at or below what one would get from d-t fusion.

In fact, some of those reactors (such as the Rubbiatron-type "energy amplifier") are even able to "burn" the nuclear waste from conventional reactors, consuming it utterly.

Unfortunately, there's no public interest in building them, thanks to public ignorance, and a massive disinformation campaign mounted by environmentalist groups.


RE: You see
By randomly on 9/11/2008 11:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately you are not addressing the drawbacks to Nuclear power that are the total motivation for developing Fusion power.

Proliferation, Security, Sabotage, and waste disposal. You can't just brush the proliferation/security issues under the rug.

The scientists involved in fusion research say we'll have commercial fusion power in 40 years, except they've been saying that exact same thing for the LAST 40 years. It's a very tough nut to crack and there are no guarantees. Fission solutions are much closer term.

Fission power has great potential if we can develop a fast reactor or thorium fuel cycle reactor and reprocessing that addresses the proliferation and security problems. You can burn all the high level radioactive waste in the reactor and you end up with waste that is actually safe in only a few hundred years, easily handled with geologic storage. You burn fuel 100% so there is practically an unlimited supply and even concerns about uranium or thorium mining damage are almost completely eliminated.

But after 60 years we still have no good solid solutions for the proliferation problems.

There are a number of reactor designs that show substantial promise, such as liquid sodium fast reactor, or the molten salt reactor. But although they may solve the waste problems they still do not completely address the proliferation / security issues. Also none of those fail safe reactor designs will be commercially deployable till around 2030.

To ignore Wind/Solar power as a viable addition to the energy supply is just bad judgement. Wind is certainly reaching economic parity with other energy sources, and although wind and solar energy supplies are more variable they can still fill a decent percentage of our power needs. The diurnal cycle of Solar power fortunately matches up fairly well with the peak power demands during the day. Supplying part of the daily peak demand with solar seems reasonable if it's relatively economic to do so.

Can Wind/solar fulfill all our energy needs? No, not even close until we find someway of storing large amounts of energy efficiently and cheaply. Can they supply some of our energy in a cost effective manner? Certainly. The continuous drop in cost for wind and solar power every year has not run out of steam. How cheap will solar and wind power be in 20 years when those Gen IV reactors start coming online? It could be dirt cheap by then, but at a minimum I'll bet they'll be economically competitive.

However I think we should aggressively pursue GEN IV reactor development and Fusion and Energy Amplifier research. Never put all your eggs in one basket.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:49:59 AM , Rating: 4
> "Proliferation, Security, Sabotage, and waste disposal."

Waste disposal is a nonissue; a bugbear invented by anti-nuclear activists. See my other posts on the issue.

Sabotage? What's a terrorist going to do to a nuclear reactor? A containment dome can easily withstand the impact of a jet at full speed (test have already been done). Even a truck full of explosives next to a reactor isn't going to cause a dangerous release of radioactivity.

Proliferation risks are likewise highly overstated. Reprocessing plutonium, purifying it, converting it to an appropriate allotrope, and casting it is extraordinarily difficult. Any entity with that level of resources can more easily build their own simply atomic pile to generate it themselves, rather than trying to steal some in a very public operation.

So diversion of nuclear resources is really only an issue for so-called "dirty bombs", which experts all agree are more about causing fear than any real damage. There are thousands of easily obtainable industrial substances as deadly or more than waste stolen from a reactor. Spreading any of those over a large area would be far easier, and do as much or more damage.


RE: You see
By drwho9437 on 9/11/2008 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
You assume people want to run reactors designed to us plutonium, security wise that isn't an acceptable solution in very country of the world.

Safety wise, even the best designed fission reactor has enough fuel for years, fusion designs have enough for a tiny fraction of a second making them inherently safer.

Which isn't to say we can't adopt both in this country...


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 1:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm don't care what the rest of the world does for their power generation. I'm worried about power generation here in the US. If the rest of the world wants to go with solar and wind power, that's fine. My tax dollars aren't going to it. And I won't be using that power and have to pay for it.


RE: You see
By randomly on 9/11/2008 10:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Waste disposal is an issue. Sure the anti-nuclear types like to raise the issue because it's scary and they distort the reality of the issue to make their point. But the problem exists in all parts of the world not just the US with it's anti-nuke bugbear breeders. If waste disposal wasn't an issue it would have been resolved by now, yet there is still a lot of uncertainty and scientific debate on the subject.

Proliferation risks are not highly overstated when you move to fast reactor designs or molten salt designs that require fuel reprocessing. Or any fuel reprocessing for that matter. Once you start reprocessing spent fuel you are making materials that are much easier to process into bomb grade material. Although fuel reprocessing essentially solves the waste problem, it brings it's own shadow.

It would be fool hardy to easily dismiss proliferation concerns when the costs of an error can be so incredibly high.

There is also the political concern that building reactors that can easily create bomb grade material sets a bad precedent on the world stage.

Diversion of nuclear material even for "dirty bombs" also can't be dismissed. Other materials may be more readily available, but none will have the psychological effect of nuclear so it will always be a prime target. That security issue needs to be addressed. If you greatly increase the number of reactors and sources of material you will increase the vulnerability and risks. How certain are you of your security, and what are the consequences of failure?

My point in bringing these things up is that nuclear is not a clearly unencumbered power source. It has many advantages, but it also has some not fully resolved issues, some with potentially global impact associated with them.

You are dismissive of wind/solar power and say we should abandon it, yet it's getting to be economically competitive with nuclear, the incremental capital outlay can be much lower so the threshold for getting it built is much lower.

Sure there is bogus tax credit/subsidy distortion of the cost competitiveness versus other energy sources. Call it fanboyism, or marketing, or fanaticism. Yet the cost per KwH has been steadily dropping over the years at a substantial rate and the trend is pointing towards being economically competitive without subsidies in the near future. It also avoids the issues that have haunted Nuclear for the last 60 years. All those advantages make it attractive as a viable energy source for as much capacity as will rationally fit into our total energy generation given it's limitations.

Nuclear can also be a big part of our future energy generation, but it still needs further development to hopefully better resolve the above issues.


RE: You see
By Myg on 9/11/2008 4:09:40 PM , Rating: 1
"We have designs for fission based reactors that are not only wholly uncapable of catastrophic chain reactions, but with radiation levels at or below what one would get from d-t fusion."

Hey masher, I dont suppose your gran-dad wrote publicity statements for the Titanic?

;-)


RE: You see
By rcc on 9/11/2008 5:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Myg, was your grandaddy Chicken Little?

Was there really a point to that?


RE: You see
By foolsgambit11 on 9/11/2008 6:17:26 PM , Rating: 2
...wholly in capable...

(wow, why is there a space there? I can't bold only part of an italicized word? Or is this a Chrome rendering error? Are other people seeing this as 'wholly in capable'?)

Although that correction doesn't correct the fact that the statement is inaccurate. The prevention of a chain reaction requires one or several systems to work correctly. There is redundancy built into each of those systems. But effective sabotage is still at least theoretically possible. After all, if it were "wholly uncapable(sic)" there would be no need for any of the safety measures in the first place, right?

I know, it's a .01% argument, but let's at least be careful with our speech.

It's possible a Rubbiatron would be able to take care of our plutonium. Possible. Since no country has tried to build one (even fission-friendly France), the full feasibility of this waste disposal method cannot be be assessed.

It's an exciting field of research, but to say we have reactor designs is a stretch. We have reactor concepts, but the engineering to put it all together into an efficient and safe system still needs to be hashed out.


RE: You see
By MrPickins on 9/11/2008 10:39:14 AM , Rating: 2
Geological storage is fine. The problem is the NIMBYism.


RE: You see
By ThisSpaceForRent on 9/11/2008 2:22:30 PM , Rating: 2
What if we put some parks around the nuclear storage pile? That will offset the negative aura, and then maybe the Sims would cope with it. Enacting some ordinances might help with that too.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
> "but it seems people don't think about the waste products ... there is currently not one method to store the waste for the timespan it will be radioactive, and i strongly doubt there will ever be. "

You couldn't possibly be more wrong. We've been operating hundreds of nuclear reactors for half a century. Ever wonder where all the waste is? Because environmentalists have denied us any well-designed storage facility, it's simply being stored on-site at most reactors, in the worst possible of conditions. And its still not a problem.

A facility like Yucca would allow us to operate for the next 10,000 years, at a risk level lower than your being struck by lighting. Twice. On the same day. It's still not safe enough for the environmentalists blocking its use through legal battles. And it never will be to them.

The fact is, nuclear waste is a total nonissue. We could grind up our waste and drop it in the deep sea, and it wouldn't be a problem. Compared to the amount of radioactively already found naturally in the ocean, we could do that for centuries and we wouldn't even raise radiation levels by an appreciable amount. In fact, the Soviet Union, when it exists, did this for decades... and they didn't even bother to use the deep sea, or refine out the Pu first, but simply dropped dozens of spent reactors and thousands of barrels of waste right into the waters of the North Sea.

I'm certainly not advocating that. But the fact remains that "nuclear waste" is a boogeyman, invented by anti-nucler activists to block progress.


RE: You see
By Doormat on 9/12/2008 12:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
The problem most often heard with Yucca isn't the actual storage facility.

The problem is transportation of the waste on interstate highways and railways running through large cities.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/12/2008 12:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
In the Apollo program, we encased nuclear material strong enough to survive catastrophic reentry from space at orbital velocity. I don't think we have to worry about a highway accident too much.

Even in the billions-to-one odds that there was an accident and a failure of the containment system-- so what? The waste would be vitrified or pelletized; it's not going to spew out in a vast mushroom cloud. You rope off the area and clean it up. The driver might increase his risk of cancer slightly, but you're not going to kill masses of people.

The "problem" is whatever anti-nuclear activists can think up to frighten people. There is no real issue with moving waste to Yucca Mountain. Those "highways and railways" have had nuclear weapons moved on them before, biological agents, and toxic chemicals far more dangerous.


RE: You see
By Gzus666 on 9/12/2008 8:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
THANK YOU! People drive me crazy with this BS about it being dangerous. You could probably cruise missile the friggin' thing and not hurt it, but they seem to think that tipping over on the highway would suddenly destroy the world. I don't understand why anyone is anti-nuclear, that is like being anti-progress (congress? HA).


RE: You see
By Spivonious on 9/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:30:28 AM , Rating: 2
Eh? Did you mean to type that? Hydroelectric doesn't heat water. Nuclear and coal plants that use water for cooling do. . . but even here, the waste heat levels are controled and moderated. Nothing "kills all waterlife for miles".


RE: You see
By Lord 666 on 9/11/2008 10:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
Except at Oyster Creek, NJ where they are debating about putting cooling towers in.

Being the oldest reactor operational reactor in the US, they still dump warmer water into the estuary aka Barnegat Bay. This does lead to a higher than "normal" rate of wildlife fatalities.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
You're right that Oyster Creek is the oldest reactor in the US, and as such lacks cooling towers. But even here it doesn't "kill all wildlife for miles". It's been operating for 40 years, and yet people are still fishing on the Forked River, often within sight of the plant itself.


RE: You see
By Lord 666 on 9/11/2008 12:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
We (NJ area residents) would not be debating 300-600 million dollars if the cost was not justified to install those towers as the impact of the warmer water is real. However, definitely not dead wildlife everywhere as anglers do come very close to the actual discharge area.

In my personal opinion, that reactor has done much good for the area and should get the license renewed. Unfortunately, if the cost of the cooling towers is too much, then more than likely will lead to the closure of this facility.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "We (NJ area residents) would not be debating 300-600 million dollars if the cost was not justified "

Eh? Governments have wasted far more money than that on projects with little to no justification.

Is it worth half a billion dollars to save the lives of a few fish, fish that aren't endangered, won't go extinct, and, if not killed by the plant, will likely be caught and killed by fisherman anyway? I won't say...but on the larger issue of nuclear power in general, it's entirely irrelevant. Modern reactors have cooling towers; they don't emit large amounts of superheated water.


RE: You see
By Ringold on 9/11/2008 2:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is it worth half a billion dollars to save the lives of a few fish, fish that aren't endangered, won't go extinct, and, if not killed by the plant, will likely be caught and killed by fisherman anyway? I won't say...


I won't say either, but New Jersey, depending on what all you include, is generally in the top 3 for state and local taxes in the country. One doesn't get that close to the top of the list for highest tax burdens, or collect that much debt, by being thrifty..


RE: You see
By MrPickins on 9/11/2008 10:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I do some of my best fishing at the outlet of the largest hydroelectric dam in my area.


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 10:42:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hydro just turns generators which produce electricity. What have you been smoking?


RE: You see
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 11:23:31 AM , Rating: 2
Dams do alter temperature by changing the flow of water. However I guess it can go both ways, i.e. increasing or decreasing temperature. The part that says "it kills all waterlife for miles downstream" looks like an unsupported gross exaggeration.


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
> " However I guess it can go both ways, i.e. increasing or decreasing temperature. "

If you're extracting energy from falling water, you're going to be decreasing the temperature of the system. No pure hydroelectric plant heats water. It would be a net energy loser.


RE: You see
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 12:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
You missed the point: the flow is changed upstream.


RE: You see
By NEOCortex on 9/12/2008 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine there might be some heating in the water, due to inefficiencies of the turbine. Not all the potential energy gets converted to electricity, some of it goes into the water as heat (frictional losses). Also there is the general effect of mixing hotter surface water with the colder water below.

How much that disturbs the temperature of the water after the hydro plant I don't know.


RE: You see
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 10:39:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It works pretty well in the sun.


The Sun performs uncontrolled fusion. That's not what has to be achieved here, where the goal is to perform sustained controlled fusion. As far as man-made Sun-like sustained uncontrolled fusion is concerned, this has been achieved a while ago and its called the hydrogen bomb.


RE: You see
By Connoisseur on 9/11/2008 10:53:09 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call it uncontrolled fusion. I mean, the sun's still THERE. Uncontrolled implies a chain reaction that occurs almost instantly and expends all its energies almost instantly. The reaction is controlled by weight of all the material pushing on it. Unfortunately, to accomplish this feat, you'd need a mass AT LEAST larger than jupiter. Odds are we can't replicate that on earth...


RE: You see
By foolsgambit11 on 9/11/2008 6:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if we get black holes from the LHC.... </joke>


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 11:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not half-brained schemes to try and push solar and wind where they're not feasible and practical


What's half-brained is USD 656 billion spent to date (it could eventually be a trillion or more) of American taxpayer money and American lives (alongwith others) on a war that America didn't want, or need


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 1:04:52 PM , Rating: 1
Who are you to say we didn't want it? When it started the majority of America was for it. But the problem is many Americans don't have the stomach for war. They think its supposed to last a week and then we all go home and have a barbecue.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 1:33:55 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Who are you to say we didn't want it?


And you are who to say we did ?

quote:
When it started the majority of America was for it.

Even if this is true--it was falsely based on the accusations that Uncle Saddam had WMD and was actively co-operating with Al_Qaeda--both of which have turned out to be false--

quote:
But the problem is many Americans don't have the stomach for war


Americans have more than enough stomach for a just war--they see no need for a war which has been called a war with no ultimate victory by the outgoing commander--Gen Petraeus--
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/76104...


RE: You see
By Ringold on 9/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 2:41:02 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Another 'uncle' who slaughtered whole swaths of his population with nary a second thought.


Death camps--such as those run by the Nazis in WW2, and labour camps--such s those run by Stalin, were different things--in any event, since you obviously didn't get it--I was lampooning Saddam

quote:
Irrelevant argument now over if we should or should not have


Why is this living in the past--the concerns are all too real in the present---costs are being incurred every day both in terms of actual dollar costs and lives losts

quote:
I suggest psychological therapy.


I would suggest the same for you--only in this case one might also consider autism, --read, understand, and post

quote:
The rest of us live in the present day, and I think most American's realize that the best thing for America in the long run is effecting the best possible outcome in Iraq, regardless of how we got there


So if the horse is stolen, the barn door should be locked, or some variant thereof

quote:
Further, you're manipulating Petraeus position.


How, exactly ? The article seems pretty straightforward to me --I would like to know what exactly what is it that I would seem to have misquoted

quote:
The way you said it, made it sound as if he were some kind of surrender monkey or believes America can't get a positive outcome out of this. Far from it!


I didn't--I merely quoted the headline--which if you click on the link, you will see


RE: You see
By Ringold on 9/11/2008 3:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and labour camps--such s those run by Stalin, were different things


Actually, no, Stalin engaged in plenty of mass murder as well. When people needed to get dead, labor camps were just way too slow for Uncle Joe.

quote:
Why is this living in the past--the concerns are all too real in the present---costs are being incurred every day both in terms of actual dollar costs and lives losts


Careful before you call me autistic; you've already shown quite a lot of ignorance on your own part. Google the concept of "sunk cost." What took place before is irrelevant, beyond being something to learn from. All that matters is what can be done moving forward. If you want to get your propaganda straight, you'll notice that Obama and McCain's plans for the future of Iraq are close enough to almost call identical. In practice, they probably would be nearly identical. What's that tell you about what reasonable people conclude about Iraq right now and moving forward? Don't know about you, but it sounds to me like liberals and conservatives at the top agree the best thing for US interests is to keep troops there for another 3-6 years, until Iraq can take over on its own.

Merely grinding the old Iraq invasion ax, what's they get you? I understand it may serve as a release for liberal anxiety, but it'd be better for everyone if you got a teddy bear and beat it up.

quote:
I didn't--I merely quoted the headline--which if you click on the link, you will see


BBC openly admits it has a left-wing bias, so what do you expect from a mere headline? Actually read the article, and he has guarded optimism that the gains can be protected and built upon. All he said that supports their headline is the obvious fact that taking a hill and planting a flag is not "victory" this time. If early in the next decade Iraq really is able to take over the security of their own democratic sovereign nation, is that not "victory" or at least as close as anyone could ever get? I think most American's would call a quiet, democratic, self-defending Iraq a victory, and Petraeus clearly thinks that is possible.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/11/2008 3:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stalin engaged in plenty of mass murder as well. When people needed to get dead, labor camps were just way too slow for Uncle Joe.


I never said he didn't--however, labour camps such as those run by Stalin and the concentration camps of Hitler were different things--most of Stalin's dead came from famines due to shortages of wheat production

quote:
Careful before you call me autistic;


So should you before insiunating psychological problems to other people(real or imagined)

quote:
concept of "sunk cost.


It's an economic term--as I'm actually an economist--I actually know what the term means pretty well--why don't you look up variable costs

quote:
you got a teddy bear and beat it up.

SO now I should get into S&M

His actual words--
quote:
He said he did not know that he would ever use the word "victory": "This is not the sort of struggle where you take a hill, plant the flag and go home to a victory parade... it's not war with a simple slogan."


Why is this different from the deadline that he has said that there would be no victory in Iraq


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "most of Stalin's dead came from famines due to shortages of wheat production"

Oops. This couldn't be further from the truth. Stalin intentionally starved to death six million people in Ukraine alone. He sent troops into the rebellious province (some of the richest farming land in the world) just before winter, collected all their grain, then closed off the borders. So much for the threatened rebellion.

The millions more who died in Siberian gulags didn't die from "wheat shortages" either. Nor did the (much smaller, but still creditable) number which were simple assasinated outright, or arrested, then tossed into a special meat grinder which dumped the effluence right into the Moscow River.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/12/2008 1:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

quote:
The Holodomor (Ukrainian: ?????????) is the famine that took place in Soviet Ukraine during the 1932-1933 agricultural season when the devastating famines also took place in several other regions of the USSR. The Holodomor ravaged the rural population of the Ukrainian SSR, and is considered one of the greatest national catastrophes to affect the Ukrainian nation in modern history.[1][2][3][4] Estimates for the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range between 2.2 million (demographers' estimate)[5] [6] and 3-3.5 million (historians' estimate).[7][8][9] 4.5 to 5 million in the Encyclopedia Britannica [3], and much higher figures - up to 20 million - in political debates [10] The reasons of the famine are the subject of intense scholarly and political debate. Some historians claim the famine was purposely engineered by the Soviet authorities as an attack on Ukrainian nationalism, while others view it as an unintended consequence of the economic problems associated with radical economic changes implemented during the period of Soviet industrialization.[11] It is sometimes argued that natural causes may have been the primary reason for the disaster. T here is no international consensus among scholars or politicians on whether the Soviet policies that caused the famine fall under the legal definition of genocide .[10][12][13][14][15] However, as of March 2008, the parliament of Ukraine and the governments of several other countries have recognized the actions causing Holodomor as an act of genocide.[16]


RE: You see
By masher2 (blog) on 9/13/2008 1:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
Are you seriously citing Wikipedia as a definitive source on a political hot-button topic like this? On a topic that's **already** tagged as having its neutrality disputed?? With an edit history filled with Russian nationalists? You disappoint me.

There is no serious debate on this issue, which-- if you actually read the sources for that Wiki article (the *scholarly* sources, that is) I think you'll see.


RE: You see
By nah on 9/13/2008 6:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you seriously citing Wikipedia as a definitive source on a political hot-button topic like this?


Don't really have an option--if you can point out to me some other source of information which is neutral--I'd be glad to accept it--

I was merely pointing out that at least half of the gulag dead occurred during WW2--when even those outside the prisons stood little chance of survival--in other words, there were around 876,000 dead during 1930-53. Hitler on the other hand, managed to eradicate around 14 million during 1941-1944--roughly 3 years--not to mention the other 21 million dead during fighting. Compared to that, Stalin was a saint


RE: You see
By nah on 9/13/2008 6:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
By the way--exactly where are these Russian nationalists--
these are some of the first couple of books and articles cited--not exactly very pro-Russian

quote:
# Ammende, Ewald, "Human life in Russia, (Cleveland: J.T. Zubal, 1984), Reprint, Originally published: London, England: Allen & Unwin, 1936. # «The Black Deeds of the Kremlin: a white book», S.O. Pidhainy, Editor-In-Chief, (Toronto: Ukrainian Association of Victims of Russian-Communist Terror, 1953), (Vol. 1 Book of testimonies. Vol. 2. The Great Famine in Ukraine in 1932—1933). # Conquest, Robert, «The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror — Famine», (Edmonton: The University of Alberta Press in Association with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1986). # Davies, R.W., «The Socialist offensive: the collectivization of Soviet agriculture, 1929—1930», (London: Macmillan, 1980). # «Der ukrainische Hunger-Holocaust: Stalins verschwiegener Volkermond 1932/33 an 7 Millionen ukrainischen Bauern im Spiegel geheimgehaltener Akten des deutschen Auswartigen Amtes», (Sonnebuhl: H. Wild, 1988), By Dmytro Zlepko. [eine Dokumentation, herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Dmytro Zlepko]. # Dolot, Miron, «Execution by Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust, a survivor's account of the Famine of 1932—1933 in Ukraine», (New York City: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1985).


RE: You see
By nah on 9/12/2008 1:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
Also,
quote:
Mortality in GULAG camps in 1934-40 was 4-6 times higher than average in Russia. The estimated total number of those who died in imprisonment in 1930-1953 is 1.76 million, about half of which occurred between 1941-1943 following the German invasion .[35][36]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gulag_mortality...


RE: You see
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 9/11/2008 11:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
Either "hair-brained," or "half-witted." Not "half-brained."

Also, when conjoining infinitives, one doesn't use "and." "to try TO push..."


RE: You see
By teldar on 9/11/2008 1:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
Have you talked to many people? I think half brained sounds pretty good.
It would mean their brains simply don't work..... Seems pretty common.....


RE: You see
By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 3:40:57 PM , Rating: 1
Had a friend in high school who literally only had half a brain.


RE: You see
By iheartzoloft on 9/11/2008 2:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Are there any official rating systems in place regarding "nerd fights". This one is (please excuse the wording) heating up quite nicely.


RE: You see
By Some1ne on 9/11/2008 3:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The 500 MW ITER reactor must be lined with ultra-robust materials.


Why? Why not just put some water in there, and spin the entire fusion chamber at high RPM, forcing the water up the sides of the chamber. Then the water protects the walls from the heat. And as it boils off, you use the steam to power a turbine, then condense it back into water and return it into the chamber.

I'm sure it's probably non-trivial to build a rotating fusion chamber, but I see no reason why it should be impossible.


RE: You see
By Gravemind123 on 9/11/2008 4:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that fusion is likely the future, but I wouldn't discount solar completely, although it is impractical in its currently thought of photovoltaic panels to provide energy. There are also solar thermal energy plants that use arrays of mirrors to focus the suns heat for use in energy production. Although this technology is not perfected yet either, it could be another source of fuel as the cost comes down.

I could see a combination of solar thermal and nuclear fusion being the future of our countries energy, although this is all my personal opinion on the issue.


RE: You see
By voxelman on 9/11/2008 10:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
If the same amount of money that has been spent on fusion research had been spent on deep geothermal research the world would be free of the fossil fuel noose already. See: http://geothermal.inel.gov/publications/future_of_...

In addition this technology would extend our access to deep oil reserves.


Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 10:40:02 AM , Rating: 1
Great disinformation piece. Steel beams were ejected laterally hundreds of feet from the towers, molten steel was found in the wreckage days after the collapses and thermite residue was found in every dust sample taken near the towers [that was tested for it]. This in not conspiracy theory, these are facts. Fires do not cause buildings to collapse symmetrically in their own footprint. There needs to be a new, independent investigation of what happened on 9/11/01, we are not being told the truth. May the victims rest in peace and may we honor their families by not propagating lies like this.

http://www.ae911truth.org/twintowers.php




By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 10:45:52 AM , Rating: 3
Please stay in your basement and never breed.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 1:27:57 PM , Rating: 4
So much for intelligent debate. How do Bill O'Reilly's balls taste?


By Darkefire on 9/11/2008 3:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
Intelligent debate requires intelligence. Occam's razor still applies here, and I think everyone can agree it's much more likely that a government will screw up on airplane security than be a malevolent all-powerful entity capable of hoodwinking 300 million people at the same time.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 4:07:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not one person here has refuted any of the three facts that I stated, so I'm not sure how you're how you're applying Occam's razor here. I didn't make any assumptions at all, I just stated that the events need to be investigated again.


By Solandri on 9/11/2008 9:49:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Second, metal will bend long before 50% of the strength is gone from the metal (1,100 degrees is 50% of melting point). So, with enough weight metal will bend easily at 600 or 700 degrees (ask any black smith).

What's really ironic is that people have known about this for millenia (basically the entire history of metalworking). But our modern society has so disassociated the common man from blacksmithing that they don't understand this.
quote:
The internal strength of the building depends on all steel beams being in there correct placement.

Simply put, load-bearing members in tension or compression can carry greater loads than in torque. Think of how long you can hold a full 5-gallon water bottom above your head or hanging by your side. Now think of how long you could hold it out in front of you with your arms fully extended.
quote:
In the history of sky scraper fires, we have had only two builds match these two situations and I'm sure I'm missing some key points. Guess what, in 100% of the cases all the builds collapsed onto themselves. The two buildings: tower one and tower two.

In April last year, a tanker trailer crashed and began burning underneath a freeway overpass. The fire was actually less intense than in the WTC since there was only gasoline for fuel (no paper, carpet, wood, etc) and it was open to the air (heat could escape). But the heat was enough to fragment the concrete and weaken the steel to the point where the overpass collapsed. (The melted roadway is due to asphalt, which starts to exhibit visco-elastic behavior (flows) at a paltry 300 F.)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tjs5ILNkJc


By xsilver on 9/15/2008 12:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
Having seen for the first time the french doco this 11/9 can someone explain why the building didnt have a more "toppling" effect? Did the plane go through all the pylons? Did the plane end up right in the middle of the building? It looked like to me that it was only hit on one side so I would assume that the weight of the plane added to the heavier burning on one side would create a toppling building top rather than an imploding one.

Also did WTC7 implode too or did that fall down to one side?

In my mind shouldnt WTC7 look more like the oklahoma bombings? (one side shattered but still standing)


By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 3:46:58 PM , Rating: 1
Or maybe Pelosi is more your type.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 3:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
I've never been a democrat and never will be, but then again I wouldn't expect you to put your ignorance aside to consider that.


By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 4:26:49 PM , Rating: 1
And I don't watch Bill O'Reilly. But you're just as quick to make assumptions.

Nor did I think you were a Democrat. Just an idiot.


By smiller83 on 9/11/2008 4:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that statement is the most arrogant I've heard in weeks! I am backing the democrats this election; are you implying that those who choose the democratic party are ignorant or did you just want a pat on the back for not being a democrat?


By Gravemind123 on 9/11/2008 4:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
You dirty liberal democrats are always wrong and the root of all evil.

Unless you are one, and then it's those terrible backwards republicans that are always wrong.(I don't condone the use of either of those previous statements, using them to illustrate a point)

Seriously, can we get over the name calling, I think that plenty of us here are adults. It gets old after a while seeing how things just turn into a shouting match about how one side is all wrong and one is all right. I think we could at least be a bit more civilized then that and keep insults out of discussion and argue with facts rather then ad hominem attacks.

Nothing is truly black and white, the world is full of color. Sometimes the republicans screw up, sometimes the democrats do and so do third parties.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By Gzus666 on 9/11/2008 4:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to say anyone that blindly backs any party just cause they are a party is just plain stupid. Republicans and Democrats are both full of crap, they are both extremist psychos that are trying to pander to the people who fit that criteria, cause apparently they rabidly vote. Most politicians care about your money, nothing more, they make silly issues for you to pander over so you won't notice them stealing money. "Abortion is wrong" "Freedom to choose" blah blah blah, that isn't what the government is meant to deal with, that is a social issue, government has no right to step in either way. Meanwhile, they rob our tax funds blind.

America is turning into a joke, and I'm getting to the point where I think living here might be a problem. This is mainly because of the psychos I am seeing in the debates about political things. Everyone wants low taxes, no one likes people to suffer needlessly and be poor, but these are realities since we introduced society.

Back Democrats, we might do a little better economically, but we will waste tons of tax dollars on social programs that would be better served on the private sector and they will throw money away on silly power options. Vote Republican, and get ready for more rampant spending on useless things, throttling back of schooling and the sciences, and needless attempts to pass social laws.

Ridiculous either way, and I am slowly starting to loathe what this country is becoming. Used to be the best of the best, best minds, greatest science movements, best economy, now look at us. All this so 1% of the population doesn't have to work, and can live off the backs of others. You guys have fun voting, I will plan on moving to a more economically and scientifically friendly country, cause I'm sick of the Jesus freaks here as well...


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By Spuke on 9/11/2008 7:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I will plan on moving to a more economically and scientifically friendly country
Well that pretty much rules out Europe also. Let me know when you find that place, would you? I'd like to move there too.


By Gzus666 on 9/11/2008 7:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting, since they destroy the US in physics, math, etc. LHC is there, could have been in Texas (where I currently reside, uhhh, I hate it here) but, they would rather spend money elsewhere apparently. Don't get me wrong, the US has many intelligent and great scientists, it isn't them I am discounting in any way, it is the general populace, who puts no funding or desire towards it. In fact, it seems to be considered an evil, go look at some of the LHC articles, you would think they shot someone's baby. They are all mindlessly calling them idiots (yes, 10,000 of the world's greatest scientists are considered by many to be idiots, mind blowing) and thinking they are going to destroy the world. Nothing like general populace ignorance to science.

I understand nowhere is going to be perfect, I don't live in a fantasy land, but there are much better places than the US for that sort of thing. Europe is also much less religious than here, which is nice.

As far as economically, Europe is booming at the moment and the US is bombing currently and not showing too many signs of getting better. Lets stop pretending the rest of the world is a horrid hell hole, shall we?


By chmilz on 9/11/2008 5:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
9/11 was a conspiracy, Xenu's "Advanced Technology" will save us all, and when a tree falls in the forest, it screams "YIPEE-KAY-AY-MUTHERF--KER" like Bruce Willis on the way down.

Seriously, someone PLEASE gift me some hand-grenades.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By acejj26 on 9/11/2008 10:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
Hanging out with Rosie O'Donnell and drinking the Kool-Aid she gives you?

There have been NUMEROUS computational simulations that model what would have happened and their data EXACTLY correlate with what actually happened.

Now scurry back into your basement and call Jesse Ventura and tell him what I just told you.


By stilltrying on 9/11/2008 11:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
Thats just it isnt. SIMULATIONS. In all of the steel structured buildings fires in the past, this scenario has never come up before where steel melts/weakens way below the melting temperature point that is stated in the article and buildings collapse. Simulation, Stimulation, whatever you want to call it, for a long period of steel fire history 911 was the first time your so called 911 believable melting theory was made up by the govt. How many times do you think steel has been tested in fire studies and yet in 2008 the whole new fire/steel theory comes about, palease, get a clue.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By Schrag4 on 9/11/2008 11:20:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
In all of the steel structured buildings fires in the past, this scenario has never come up before where steel melts/weakens way below the melting temperature point that is stated in the article and buildings collapse.


Yeah, and we've never had tons of jet fuel burning in one of these fires yet, have we? So, PUH-lease, get a clue.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By Schrag4 on 9/11/2008 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
...and besides, wasn't there a bridge in CA or somewhere whose steel structure was damaged when a fuel tanker caught fire? Seems like another example. I'll have to dig that one up...


By Schrag4 on 9/11/2008 11:27:09 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure if this is the one I'm remembering, but it fits my description:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/29/national...

...and it's from CBS news, so it's conspiracy-theorist-approved. ;-p


By JustTom on 9/11/2008 11:13:37 AM , Rating: 1
Right, cause the Bush Administration is so good at keeping secrets. Hell, they couldn't even keep special renditions quiet.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/11/2008 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
South Park does one of the best explanation of the task that would be under took to do what you say;
I'll refresh you on some of the things they covered, In 250 days of bing in office Bush would have created the most elaborate, successful, perfectly executed (something no one in the history of mankind has ever down before) attacks. Having 100% cooperation from probably 15,000 people to carry this stunt without one of them making a mistake or leaking to the press what is going on. Then destroying 60 billion dollars or more worth of buildings (also valuable people and businesses) – all to gain what, a grand total of maybe 15 billion in oil which of course Iraq has 100% control of not the USA nor the Bush family.

I tell you what, if even 1/10th of this was correct, George W. Bush would be the greatest mind ever to be born. To carry all this out and cover it up and get the cooperation needed out of total strangers. If this is the case, we need to change the laws and make him president for life, for it will be another 15,000 years before we have anyone else skilled enough to achieve this feet.

9/11 did prove a lot of things:
1)the USA is like any other country (we can be attacked and hurt)
2)there are sick people out there that will blindly harm others for no real good reason.
3)USA does not like to be attacked
4)US common folks (police, fireman, neighbors, co-workers, and many more) are greater heroes then the best terrorist “fighters”.
5)That the country and the world can be united if only for a moment.
6)Though this world gives birth to great people, kind people, cruel people, mean people, helpful people and such, it also gives birth to birth to people like you – COMPLETE IDOITS

Several independent studies have been done (popular science is one) try reading any one of them.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 2:11:59 PM , Rating: 3
COMPLETE IDOITS [sic], eh? People that don't believe the propaganda fed to them by a corrupt government? People that love peace and abhor tyranny and war? People that believe corporations shouldn't sell us food and water that are full of poisons? People that believe we need to protect our planet and live sustainably, yet aren't gullible enough to believe that CO2 is going to cause the end of civilization as we know it? If those things make me an idiot, then you've got me pegged.

Whoever did carry out the attacks (BTW, at no point did I even mention George Bush, or anyone else for that matter) did not do it for oil, they did it to inspire fear that allowed an entire nation, many nations in fact, to be manipulated in ways that otherwise would have caused violent revolts. And if you don't believe that people in the government are capable of dreaming up something as diabolical as the WTC attacks, just look up Operation Northwoods. I never claimed to know what happened, but I definitely do not believe the lies that we're being programmed to believe.

To any of you that don't like my opinion and think I should be silenced, that's your opinion and in America you're entitled to it, at least for the moment, but that doesn't mean you're correct. For now, I still have a right to voice my opinion and no one will silence me without ending my life. I do not take your attacks personally, but they do sadden me. I wish the best for you and your children, and hope that you wake up from the fantasy that government has your best interests at heart.


By mal1 on 9/11/2008 2:26:22 PM , Rating: 3
"Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act."

-George Orwell

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."

-Samuel Adams


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/11/2008 3:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
“Whoever did carry out the attacks did not do it for oil, they did it to inspire fear that allowed an entire nation, many nations in fact, to be manipulated in ways that otherwise would have caused violent revolts.”

Congratulation, you finally stated what the terrorist types have been claiming to attempt to do for years. There are hundreds of recordings of terrorist types saying how their actions will undermine the strength and resolve of a country. Then go on to talk about the new level of fear they will bring to that country. They been saying it for 30 or 40 years that I know of, probably longer in reality... However, it took them destroying the twin towers in New York to open your eyes to the idea. However, you still question who's doing it????

Secondly, you bet the country cares about every citizen. No, not on a personal level, Hillary and George both can give a rats butt about my day to day life. However, if there is no citizen body, they have no one to rule over and tax. Fear is only needed in running a dictatorship not in democracy, ask the Citizen of the country of Georgia about that statement they lived in both types of government.

“People that don't believe the propaganda fed to them by a corrupt government?”
The US government is the least corrupt (nothing a human controls is perfect), government on this planet. Do not believe that statement then go live in another country for a few years.

“People that love peace and abhor tyranny and war?”
No man loves peace more then a soldier. However, they will but themselves in harms way to protect the good of the people. Support our troops for their efforts, do not undermined them by stating their core reason for being there (attack of twin towers by terrorist) is false and fabricated. Do not confuse this statement with someone who is debating whether the correct nation or groups were invaded or blamed.

“People that believe corporations shouldn't sell us food and water that are full of poisons? People that believe we need to protect our planet and live sustainably, yet aren't gullible enough to believe that CO2 is going to cause the end of civilization as we know it?”
Errrr...not related to this subject. However, interesting you bring up gullible. When all the data you bring up to claim this attack was an inside planned job (that is not by a terrorist group), has been debunk. Everything that happened on 9/11 has been proven correct by several different sources. Yet you are gullible enough to believe the false reports based on no scientific facts. That is where you are pegged as being a COMPLETE IDOIT .

Yes, you are allowed to have your beliefs (right or wrong) and you are allowed to talk about them. However you are not allowed to scream fire in a crowed room when there is no fire. I'm not saying you are but I'm just pointing out that there are restriction to these rights and all other rights.

I really do recommend you stop watching James Bond, the matrix, type movies for a little while. Also stay away from Micheal Moore, he could not correct report the truth to save his mothers soul.


RE: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
By mal1 on 9/11/2008 4:25:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
COMPLETE IDOIT


Am I the only one that sees the irony here?

You sure make a lot of assumptions about me. FYI I have lived in other countries and travel extensively, I wasn't even in the country when the attacks happened. What I returned to was a police state with the military violating Posse Comitatus. Speaking of the military, keeping our troops in foreign conflicts is not the support they need. They should home with their families, not halfway around the world defending Babylon. And just for the record, I can't stand Michael Moore, the Matrix movies or most of the other crap Hollywood puts out.


By FITCamaro on 9/11/2008 4:31:36 PM , Rating: 2
Living in other countries does not impart some kind of supernatural wisdom on a person. And if you've lived in other countries, you should know that we have one of the most free societies on the planet.


By Gzus666 on 9/11/2008 5:18:58 PM , Rating: 1
Would this be why there are an influx of people moving away from America? Not to say we don't still have freedoms, but you have to at least admit the police have become especially tyrannical lately, and they use an attack that they clearly ignored (they had intelligence saying it was going to happen for years, and did nothing, all the way back to old Clinton, many people warned, they did nothing) to push this silly patriot act, which they aptly named that way, so everyone would blindly back it, without reading it.

Now, I'm not going to say they planned it, or anything like that. I would say they were just incompetent, and they are now trying to over compensate for it with new laws, cause people rallied like crazy for them to do something, and they did, haphazardly of course, to shut up the masses of angry citizens. A lot of the crap we have going on now is our own fault, we demanded this crap at any cost. Government is not infallible, so lets not pretend. Another thing I find mind blowing is the "Well, we aren't as bad as (fill in blank)", this doesn't cut it, we are better off than Africa, does this mean we shouldn't better ourselves? We are better of in science than we were 30 years ago, should we just stop striving to be better? Striving to be better should be the goal, and some things just aren't so great in this country. Need examples? Unemployment is horrible, don't think so? Ask the 5%+ that are our of a job. Health care is terrible in this country, many people are without, and those with are getting shafted pretty heavy in most scenarios, in fact, my insurance deductibles and co-pays just went up significantly, and have been for years. I don't hate the country, I just hate the direction.

Is it too much to ask for more money for schooling, severe push for better sciences and math. I speak to people daily who can barely put sentences together, and it is appalling to me. Is it too much to ask for affordable health care? Is it too much to ask for an economy that isn't in the toilet? I am firmly against giving people a free ride, and I'm against pretty much any social programs, but there should at least be a chance put in place for people to better themselves, at least then the choice is there.


By JustTom on 9/12/2008 10:59:53 AM , Rating: 1
You do realize Operation Northwoods was never implemented and still they could not keep it secret. Yet, to you it is plausible that someone, perhaps not Bush, in a government that leaks like a sieve was able to implement a conspiracy of the grandest scale ever imaginied.


Whoops!
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:08:22 AM , Rating: 4
> "steel's normal strength would lend itself nicely to many ultra-hot applications, such as lining the wall of a fusion reactor."

The article appears to be in error. Steel melts at around 1400 degrees. Even a d-t based fusion reaction (the coolest possible) takes place at at around 10 million degrees. No steel is going to survive direct contain with a fusing plasma. And, outside the plasma itself, temperatures are low, as the fusing plasma generally has a low total heat content, though an enormously high temperature.

So what's this search all about? It apparently has nothing to do with the reactor temperatures at all, but rather radiation embrittlement/hardening of steel due to neutron flux damage.

The researchers here want to be able to quantify and model radiation-induced dislocation damage and the BDT (brittle-to-ductile transformation), so that ultimately structural materials more resistant to this damage can be created.

You can read their experimental research paper at:

http://fusion.materials.ox.ac.uk/about/experimenta...




RE: Whoops!
By achintya on 9/11/2008 10:17:58 AM , Rating: 3
To give a further example,
Deuterium-Tritium Fusion bombs contain many tiny atomic bombs which are used to create the required temperature for the fusion reaction to actually kick start.


RE: Whoops!
By HolgerDK on 9/11/2008 10:26:34 AM , Rating: 4
Magnetic fields keep the plasma from reaching the reactor walls.


RE: Whoops!
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 10:30:11 AM , Rating: 3
From the same source:
quote:
Materials for fusion power plants provide one of the major structural materials challenges of the next 20 years. So far, relatively little demand has been made on the properties of the materials used for JET and other prototype reactors, since they had only to contain an operating plasma for very short times, to prove concepts and predictions of plasma physics. In the next stage of development of fusion reactors (ITER) and particularly in fusion power plants, materials issues will be crucial to success. The first wall will operate at temperatures up to 600ºC and will need to withstand stresses up to 300 MPa, and will accumulate over its lifetime radiation damage from fast neutrons amounting to ~100 dpa. It is essential that any material used here maintains adequate strength and toughness, while suffering minimal dimensional change through swelling and creep.


RE: Whoops!
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:43:24 AM , Rating: 3
Right, and we have steel alloys that can easily survive temperatures like that, even at 300 MPa. The real issue is a bit lower in your excerpt:
quote:
and will accumulate over its lifetime radiation damage from fast neutrons amounting to ~100 dpa. It is essential that any material used here maintains adequate strength and toughness, while suffering minimal dimensional change through swelling and creep.


RE: Whoops!
By jbartabas on 9/11/2008 10:58:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Right, and we have steel alloys that can easily survive temperatures like that, even at 300 MPa. The real issue is a bit lower in your excerpt


The real issue is that steel "survives" that temperature too. "Steels melt at about 1,150C (2,102F), but lose strength at much lower temperatures" (quoting Sergei Dudarev), as it is explained in Jason's article. Do your steel alloys maintain strength at these temperatures? The fact that they "survive" 600degC like steel does is just irrelevant here.

And nobody said there aren't radiation damage also (which change the behavior of the material with temperature). You decide that's the only issue, fine, but that's not what's in the text.


RE: Whoops!
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:17:27 AM , Rating: 2
While you obviously enjoy arguing for the sheer sake of it, the fact remains that the actual abstract for this research project details radiation embrittlement and modelling the BDT as the primary goals. The BBC popular report says nothing about radioation damage at all, prefering instead to modify the research to something they felt their readers could better understand.

Personally, I think the readers here are intelligent enough to understand the full thrust of the research.


RE: Whoops!
By Keeir on 9/11/2008 11:54:45 AM , Rating: 2
Summery: We have materials that are cheap and can take the temperature/stress. We have materials that are cheap and can take the radiation damage. We have materials that can take the radiation damage and the temperature/stress. Apparently, we need a cheap material that can take the radiation damage and the temperature/stress.


RE: Whoops!
By teldar on 9/11/2008 1:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's probably a good way to put it.


RE: Whoops!
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 9/11/2008 3:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
A fusion reactor is still going to transfer its heat energy to water that will turn turbines, right? (i really don't know, I'm guessing)

If thats the case then the water lines would benefit from higher operating temperatures. IIRC (from a discussion of here a few months ago) the stainless pipes in fission reactors are limited to its creep strength of 550 C or so.


Disturbing...
By GTaudiophile on 9/11/2008 10:31:22 AM , Rating: 3
Anyone else disturbed that all these cool scientific goodies (CERN, ITER, neo-steel, etc.) are all coming out of Europe? With European money? I thought the USA use to be at the forefront of such projects. I know we are involved in all of these projects, both in terms of financing and manpower, but there is something to be said for being the BIG funder and for having the "gadget" on (or under) your own soil.




RE: Disturbing...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/11/2008 10:40:09 AM , Rating: 3
The USA is concerned with more practical applications. Like say, applied sciences.


RE: Disturbing...
By Connoisseur on 9/11/2008 10:58:46 AM , Rating: 4
Does it really matter whether it's the US or Europe making the initial breakthroughs? Odds are, the research will be shared in the larger scientific community. Assuming that future administrations are wise in their energy investments, we may even get practical applications sooner. It's nice to have bragging rights to the discovery of a technology, but it's not important in the grand scheme of things.


RE: Disturbing...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 11:21:41 AM , Rating: 3
The US is contributing 1/11 the total funding for ITER, more than any single European nation (the entire EU itself is only funding 4/11 the total. Only Japan is contributing more than the US.


RE: Disturbing...
By martinrichards23 on 9/11/2008 12:07:23 PM , Rating: 1
Well the US and EU are roughly equal in terms of GDP etc. and yet the EU is contributing 4 times what the US is (according to you). Do you expect individual EU nations to contribute massively disproportionate amounts just because the borders are arranged differently?

I know that you knew that, as you're obviously not stupid, but you shouldn't try to spin everything your own way, it does your intelligence a disservice.


RE: Disturbing...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/11/2008 12:36:09 PM , Rating: 3
You're way off the mark here. If I was trying to spin this into any pro-US position, I wouldn't have pointed out that Japan (which has a smaller GDP than the US) contributes more.

The fact remains that the US contributes more than any single European nation, a statement I made *only* to counter the OP's belief that the US wasn't involved in ITER research. Any conclusions you drew about what funding levels are "fair" are wholly unwarranted.


RE: Disturbing...
By Solandri on 9/11/2008 3:51:09 PM , Rating: 3
The cost breakdown is due to an agreement over ITER's location. The final candidate locations were Japan and France, so Japan and the EU are bearing a higher fraction of the cost. The final location chosen was France, so the EU as the host (and thus gaining most of the financial benefits of construction and employment) bears the greatest fraction of the cost.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER#Funding

C'mon folks, these projects are great examples of the peoples of the world coming together to build something together for the future of all mankind. Let's not turn it into a nationalistic p***s-measuring contest.


RE: Disturbing...
By Suntan on 9/11/2008 1:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyone else disturbed that all these cool scientific goodies are all coming out of Europe?


Not really. Dailytech is just sensationalizing everything. Its not like all the "cool" "fancy" discoveries that they are siting as being discovered as the result of 911 weren't known to metalurgists for many, many, many years. I learned all that and more back in college. Only they tended to stick with the facts of physics instead of the sensationalism of the internet.

If you think that nobody has been looking into making higher temperature alloys before these guys in Europe, I've got a bunch of worthless GE or RR turbojet engines to sell you.

-Suntan


RE: Disturbing...
By GTaudiophile on 9/11/2008 1:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
New solar homes
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 11:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
Why not require all newly manufactured homes to have solar panels. The cost is high now but if every home built needed solar panels mass production would occur and prices would fall drastically. Of course the power companies would lose money and they have lobbyists...




RE: New solar homes
By Ringold on 9/11/2008 12:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The cost is high now but if every home built needed solar panels mass production would occur and prices would fall drastically.


Actually, over the last several years mass production has lead to large input price increases. That's starting to work itself out now, but increasing production considerably from here would probably lead to price increases, not cuts. 'Economies of scale' are nice, but amount to nothing when inputs are scarce, inelastic, and a little slow in expanding. One option would be solar panel technology that doesn't consume the current mix of materials, but either way you cut it output is growing as fast as it can already today.

quote:
Of course the power companies would lose money and they have lobbyists...


I guess you haven't noticed the power companies using those lobbyists to subsidize renewable wind & solar plants that make little economic sense but, after subsidies, are profitable for everybody (except the tax payer); utility companies, renewable tech companies, the lobbyists themselves and of course the congress folk. If you think utilities and even old-guard energy companies are standing idle, you underestimate them. Their goal is money, the tax payers have money, and they know people like you are happy to part with tax payer money for the right trendy sort of projects.


RE: New solar homes
By dl429 on 9/11/2008 12:57:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ive seen at least two stories here on Daily Tech concerning improvements in solar panels including new materials that can be used. Requiring solar panels on new homes would have to be the law and this law would be enforced at a later date(say 5-10yrs from now) as to give the private sector time to prepare for larger scale production of solar panels. We could start by only requiring these panels in geographic areas that make sense(CA, AZ, NM, ect.).

As for the power companies getting subsidizing for green energy projects, I'm sure they are more than willing to accept because they OWN these green energy sources and sell the electricity. The energy company does not own the solar panel on your roof and you as a consumer are not as dependent on their product.