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Duke Energy Corp.'s McGuire reactor, located in north carolina, gets its water from Lake Norman. The lake is only a foot above the shutdown level, and has already dropped 4.5 feet in the last year.  (Source: AP Photos)

The TVA run Brown's Ferry reactor in Alabama was already shutdown once last year. Currently air temperatures are 30 deg. F, while water temperatures are around 70 deg. F, so more shutdowns are expected during the warm summer months.  (Source: kerrn-cbr.blogspot.com)
Drought may shut down plants, lead to much higher energy bills in the Southeast

Whether climate change is a good or bad thing is open to debate, but change indeed appears to be happening in the Southeast U.S., which is being hit with record droughts.  These droughts turned neighbors Florida and Georgia against each other in Federal courts over water rights for the water flowing into the Everglades.  It also is having some startling consequences on one major U.S. alternative energy source.

Nuclear power is only recently gaining newfound respect in the U.S. and abroad, with the first application for a new nuclear plant in 30 years filed late last year and Canada pushing ahead to restart one of its major research reactors after criticism on government inactivity.  Despite these modest gains nuclear remains much maligned among the U.S. public and still has yet to win broad support.  Residents in the Southeast may soon be learning, though, that they didn't know what they had till it was gone, as the drought threatens to cripple the southeast nuclear industry and send energy costs in some areas skyrocketing.

Water is a key part of the process of generating nuclear energy.  It is used to cool the reactor core and to create the steam which is used to drive turbines to convert the heat energy from the reactions into mechanical and finally electrical power.

Plants tend to fall into two categories.  The first have tall cooling towers that discharge most of the water as steam, which is lost into the atmosphere.  Others lack the tall cooling towers and exhaust hot water into reservoirs; however they are limited by environmental regulations as to how much hot water they can purge.  These restrictions are due to the fact that the water is so hot it can easily kill fish and local plants.  Exhausting heated water does recycle a small portion of the used water back into reservoirs, but much of the water still evaporates as it exits steaming hot.

Spokeswoman Julie Hahn for Progress Energy Inc., which operates four reactors in the drought zone, explains the massive water needs of the energy producing giants.  She says one Progress reactor, the Harris reactor, intakes 33 million gallons a day, with 17 million gallons lost to evaporation within its megatonic cooling towers.  Duke Energy Corp.'s McGuire nuclear plant consumes more than 1 billion gallons a day, though a lesser percentage is lost to evaporation than with the Harris reactor.

The situation has gotten extreme, and numerous plants have been shut down, are preparing to temporarily shut down, or are throttling back production.   Nearly a fourth of the nuclear reactors in the U.S., 24 out of 104, are in drought afflicted regions.  Nearly all, 22 of these 24, rely on lakes and rivers for their water needs.   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. government body which regulates the nuclear power industry, has set minimum allowable water levels for these water sources.  Most of the water sources are approaching these minimum levels.  Falling below means a government mandated plant closure.

Even if the government relaxes its restrictions, the water levels are forecasted to drop below the level of the intake pipes for many of these plants.  At other plants, the water is becoming too hot under the sun and from stored up heat to be used for cooling purposes.

Robert Yanity, a spokesman for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. states grimly, "If water levels get to a certain point, we'll have to power it down or go off line."

There is no easy answer.  The intake pipes are large and often up to a mile long and concrete and extending them would require months of effort and an overhaul of the plants pumping systems and an unpleasant price tag of millions of dollars.  And the pipes could only dip so deep before they started sucking up sediment and organic materials, leading to blockages.

The shortage affects about 3 million customers in parts of the Southeast who get their power solely from nuclear energy.  Even more people will likely be affected as the quasi-governmental Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) relies on 30 percent nuclear power to fuel the energy needs of its 8.7 million customers.

The plants need over a foot in rainfall over the next month to stay in business, but there is no relief forecasted in site.  Donna Lisenby, executive director of the Catawba Riverkeeper environmental group that tracks conditions Lake Norman and other lakes along the 225-mile Catawba River system, bemoans, "If we don't get at least 10 to 15 inches of rainfall in January, February and March, lake levels could be lower in the fall of 2008 than they were in 2007 -- and that could be a disaster."

The Progress Energy Harris plant is currently at 218.5 feet, 3.5 feet above the legal limit.  Progress officials say if the water dips below the limit, they will be forced to close and buy power from other sources.  Duke's McGuire nuclear plant's lake dropped 4.5 feet since last year and only needs to drop one more foot to be below the legal limit, mandating closure. 

The TVA reactor at Browns Ferry in Alabama already shut down once in August 16, 2007 due to the discharged coolant being too hot.  As reservoir temperatures rise, this is expected to become a much more regular occurrence.

An additional call for concern was raised by David Lochbaum, nuclear project safety director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who argues that most of the plants can't take the wear and tear of repeated shut-downs and start-ups.

So aside from forcing many Americans to adopt less clean source of energy, what exactly will these possible shutdown potentially cost them?  Daniele Seitz, an energy analyst with New York-based Dahlman Rose & Co states, "Currently, nuclear power costs between $5 to $7 to produce a megawatt hour.  It would cost 10 times that amount that if you had to buy replacement power -- especially during the summer."

Nuclear power, while unappreciated, provides cheap alternative energy power.  With climate change threatening to shut down many of the reactors in the Southeast, many people may start to realize how great nuclear power really was when faced with the harsh reality of when it’s gone.





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political
By Screwballl on 1/25/2008 12:17:33 PM , Rating: 5
I understand the need for safety concerns but I wonder how much of this is politically motivated and induced by the greenies?
As a resident of the southeast, why not build a few plants along the gulf coast or atlantic coast and use some desalinized water for the same purpose? The ocean likely won't be dropping if all these ice caps are melting according to Gore and Company...




RE: political
By ebakke on 1/25/2008 12:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
My immediate thought was hurricanes. Though, being from the Midwest, I don't know much about the likelihood or validity of my concern.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 12:41:13 PM , Rating: 5
The containment dome on a nuclear plant is several feet of solid concrete. Tests have been done showing them withstanding the impact of a fully loaded jet at 500 mph. A hurricane isn't a concern at all.


RE: political
By retrospooty on 1/25/2008 12:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... Its easy to come up with a solution online via web post... In reality the devil is in the details. Things are never easy.

At this point we all need to concentrate on conservation, while govt and industry need to do more R&D. And lets no-one panic. Its not needed, nor helpful. The world as we know it wont end. Just breath and keep breathing. =)


RE: political
By Sahrin on 1/25/2008 1:07:56 PM , Rating: 5
...I don't remember who said it, but someone online wrote "you cannot conserve your way to a better energy future." Contrary to popular belief, the US is not even in the top 7 for Per Capita electric consumption - the nations that top the list contain names like "Sweden, Canda and Luxembourg" - countries which are widely hailed for their attentiveness to environmental issues. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

Conservation is great, and very important, I agree. However, the biggest issues, as you point out - have to do with technological inefficiency, not waste. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:USEnFlow02-quad...

The key is to secure and develop new technologies to increase the effectiveness of the network. Your solution is akin to, in the internet world, "turn off pictures" to increase bandwidth. It does nothing to increase bandwidth.

Conservation perpetuates today's problems (if we reduce consumtpion, we are much less likely to improve technologically). Upward pressure will drive the entire society to improve - downward pressure causes it to regress.


RE: political
By omnicronx on 1/25/2008 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
the nations that top the list contain names like "Sweden, Canda and Luxembourg" - countries which are widely hailed for their attentiveness to environmental issues.
All of which have ample amounts of fresh water and resources. You can't put 200 hamburgers in front of a fat kid and expect him not to eat it if nobody tells him not too. I think conservation is huge, especially in countries like Canada that have the highest water consumption per capita in the world. If we are not taught at a young age that energy/resource conservation is very important, we will continue to waste our natural resources at ever increasing levels.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 1:56:55 PM , Rating: 4
> "we will continue to waste our natural resources at ever increasing levels. "

You don't consume water. Whether you drink it, wash with it, or evaporate it in a cooling tower, it still exists. No matter how much we use or conserve, the earth will still have an identical amount of water in a thousand years as it does now. The same is true for steel, aluminum, and most other elements we mine.

As for energy ocnservation, humans use less than 0.001% of the energy the sun beams to the earth each day...and that doesn't include the vast sources of nuclear and geothermal power, both of which are essentially unlimited as far as human civilization goes.

Conservation of consumables lke fossil fuels are one thing. But conservation in general isn't the ultimatum some people seem to believe it is.


RE: political
By Homerboy on 1/25/2008 4:09:03 PM , Rating: 3
You're taking the "matter can not be destroyed nor created" argument? It can be altered though can it not? Steel is not an element. We create it.

The elements we DO mine are mine-able because they are centrally located in a single location in mass quantities. If just toss aluminum cans and such into or trash with everything else, now that aluminum can is 1 part in a billion tons of soil versus easily extractable (and in a cost effective manner mind you) from a large repository.

Of course we only harness a portion of the suns energy on earth but how do you propose we collect more? Cover the US in solar panels?

You're speaking in idealist terms when we have to live in a reality.


RE: political
By rcc on 1/25/2008 4:40:03 PM , Rating: 2
I believe his point was that it really doesn't matter if Canada (for instance) is the highest per capita water user on the planet. They aren't destroying it. As long as they don't polute it past a certain point it is still functions as part of the ecosystem.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 5:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "Steel is not an element. We create it."

We create it by mixing a little carbon into iron. There's uncounted trillions of times as much iron as we could ever possibly use on the earth....and that doesn't count the even larger quantities we can get from mining asteroids.

> "The elements we DO mine are mine-able because they are centrally located..."

Nearly every mine operating today is extracting ore that, 200 years ago, would have been much too low in concentration to commercially extract. Technology improves, and so does our ability to exploit resources. In 100 years, we might be able to extract elements cheaply from seawater, without even needing to mine.

> "Of course we only harness a portion of the suns energy on earth but how do you propose we collect more? "

There are dozens of potential methods, including space-based collectors which wouldn't require massive arrays here on earth.

And, of course, nuclear power alone can easily power our needs for thousands of years, even should demand increase tenfold.


RE: political
By slunkius on 1/28/2008 2:02:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And, of course, nuclear power alone can easily power our needs for thousands of years, even should demand increase tenfold.


It would be very interesting if you could provide a source for this claim, because from what i have read, reserves of nuclear fuel are worth some ~50 years, and that is based on current level of demand


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/28/2008 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 2
> "because from what i have read, reserves of nuclear fuel are worth some ~50 years"

In 1965, we had approximate 50 years of uranium reserves. Today, over 40 years later, we don't have 10 years left-- we have 50. Why? Because no one explores for uranium when you've got half a century's worth of it already found. The truth of the matter is uranium prospecting has barely begun, with most of the earth's surface not surveyed for uranium, and many low-yield mines shut down due to the 1980s plummet in uranium prices.

The true amount of reserves we have are at least 15X higher. But for purposes of this calculation, lets just assume they're only 5X higher. That gives us 250 years. So where's the rest come from?

Right now we burn uranium fuel once, then throw it away. In the 1970s we used to reprocess that fuel. Burned in a breeder reactor, it actually makes more fuel...a process that can be repeated up to 20 times. President Carter banned fuel reprocessing for proliferation concerns, and the industry has never recovered. But restarting that "closed fuel cycle" process gets us to 5000 years.

But that's just uranium. Thorium is some 3X as abundant...and new reactor designs can use thorium just as easily as they can uranium. That brings us to 15,000 years of fuel reserves.

Given that man's recorded history is only about 5,000 years long, a 15,000 reserve is essentially infinite, as far as we're concerned.


RE: political
By DKWinsor on 1/25/2008 7:47:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The elements we DO mine are mine-able because they are centrally located in a single location in mass quantities. If just toss aluminum cans and such into or trash with everything else, now that aluminum can is 1 part in a billion tons of soil versus easily extractable (and in a cost effective manner mind you) from a large repository.


There's twice as much aluminum in the crust as there is calcium, 4 times as much as potasium, sodium, and magnesium, all things our body needs and gets plenty of. There's 400 times as much aluminum as there is carbon. And about 1000 as much aluminum as copper, nickel, and zinc. But the clencher is that there's 1.5 times as much aluminum as iron.

Al2O3 makes up 15.9% of the earth's crust.

So, thanks for proving these quotes, especially the whole post by Sahrin which I won't quote obviously.
quote:
[Conservation] is akin to, in the internet world, "turn off pictures" to increase bandwidth. It does nothing to increase bandwidth.
quote:
Conservation is great, and very important, I agree. However, the biggest issues, as you point out - have to do with technological inefficiency, not waste
quote:
You don't consume water. Whether you drink it, wash with it, or evaporate it in a cooling tower, it still exists. No matter how much we use or conserve, the earth will still have an identical amount of water in a thousand years as it does now. The same is true for steel, aluminum, and most other elements we mine


And before you go thinking I'm a tree-hugger-hater, I try to recycle *everything* right down to the last sheet of paper and quite often they reject what I put in the recycle bin so I have to put it in the trash.


RE: political
By DKWinsor on 1/25/2008 7:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
And before anyone quotes metal prices, the point was to show that blind conservationism by itself is not the best solution.

Yes, I know that aluminum is expensive not because it is rare like the other metals I listed but because it requires a lot of energy to extract. When you recycle aluminum you aren't recycling the element so much as you are recycling energy.

So if there's thousands of times more energy to use, I intend to use it, and don't tell me not to for the sake of conservation.


RE: political
By wordsworm on 1/26/2008 5:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
Steel is not an element anymore than water. Steel is a composite of elements. Iron is an element. If you want to learn what elements there are, simply look at the periodic table.

Water itself can be destroyed. Just separate the oxygen from the hydrogen, and it's destroyed.Conversely, you can make water. Just combine 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom and you've got water. None of this is complicated stuff. It's elementary chemistry that I picked up from grade 8 science.

As far as water being consumed: indeed we are close to a crisis. Most of Canada's fresh water is very close to a crisis situation, despite it being lauded as the bastion of fresh water. This is because a great portion of that fresh water comes from glaciers that are quickly disappearing while the US is quickly draining its vast underground reservoirs. The Great Lakes themselves are too polluted to be useful for much.

I'm not really concerned with rising tides. But our depleting fresh water sources are as likely to be our downfall as anything. While depleting water isn't going to happen for all what we've got in the oceans, fresh water, is something we have to be careful with.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/26/2008 10:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
> "Steel is not an element anymore than water. Steel is a composite of elements"

In practical terms, steel is iron...up to 99.5% iron for some alloys. And you're trying to quibble rather than addressing the main point. We're never going to run out of steel, iron, carbon, or any element prevalent in the earth's crust.

> "Water itself can be destroyed. Just separate the oxygen from the hydrogen"

I'm sure you're aware that no such thing happens when we use water to drink, flush our toilets, or water our lawns and gardens with it.

In any case, hydrogen spontaneously combines with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere to form water. Meaning even if you did split water, it would eventually reform on its own.

We'll never run out of water. Between the vast amounts of fresh water still unused today, recycling from "gray water" type systems, and, of course, the essentially infinite source of desalination, its a resource we've only just begun to exploit.


RE: political
By wordsworm on 1/26/2008 2:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
its a resource we've only just begun to exploit.
It's bloody hard to desalinate. Another problem is that you've got to find some way to suck that water all the way to the user. It's not much of a problem for ocean huggers, but for inlanders, it's not a practical solution.

Yeah, I know once splitting water molecules it quite quickly would reform. My point was that it's entirely possible to destroy water. It's not an element. Elements themselves can be changed. It's matter that can't be destroyed or created. I don't think I was splitting hairs. It's a fundamental part of his argument, and fundamentally flawed.

quote:
I'm sure you're aware that no such thing happens when we use water to drink, flush our toilets, or water our lawns and gardens with it.
Look, the water doesn't disappear, but the water has gone from drinkable to undrinkable. In this way, it has been effectively destroyed. Now, you can create an expensive, magnificent feat of engineering to turn that fouled water back into something you're ready to drink again, or even let back into your toilet. But now you're talking about a lot of electricity and a great deal of expense.

I wonder myself why they can't use salt water to cool nuclear reactors. The resulting steam could be condensed to make drinking water relatively cheaply, I'd think. But... I'm not an engineer, and I don't have any practical knowledge of such things.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/26/2008 3:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "It's bloody hard to desalinate"

No, it's incredibly easy. It's simply energy-intensive. A large nuclear desalinator can produce 250 million gallons/day.

> "for inlanders, it's not a practical solution."

Most of Florida was frained by a network of human-built canals...and if it wasn't for California's system of aqueducts, most of the state would still be desert. And that was with technology nearly 100 years out of date now. What will we be able to do in another 100 years?

Most of the states with water problems are near the ocean anyway-- SC, GA, TX, etc.

> "the water has gone from drinkable to undrinkable. In this way, it has been effectively destroyed."

No, because it doesn't take a "magnificent feat of engineering" to make the water drinkable again. It's a very simple process. It just takes energy.

Secondly, you have to remember that less than 0.00001% of the water in the US is actually used for drinking. Farming, watering lawns, and flushing toilets uses nearly all of it-- and you don't need the quality of "drinking water" to do any of those.

> "I wonder myself why they can't use salt water to cool nuclear reactors. The resulting steam could be condensed to make drinking water relatively cheaply, I'd think"

A good idea...and one they already employ, particularly in countries like Saudi Arabia.


RE: political
By junkdubious on 1/26/2008 7:04:31 PM , Rating: 2
Elements themselves can be changed.

Not without adding or subtracting a proton. I'm guessing you meant molecules.


RE: political
By NullSubroutine on 1/26/2008 8:55:04 AM , Rating: 2
So when used metals like iron oxidize (rust) we can get all those minerals back?

When we throw our aluminium cans away we can expect future generations to 'mine' our trash fields for aluminium?


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/26/2008 10:47:32 AM , Rating: 2
> "When we throw our aluminium cans away we can expect future generations to 'mine' our trash fields for aluminium? "

At some point they will be yes. Or simply delving deeper into the earth's crust...or possibly mining large asteroids for it. There's even the possibility of an "atom sorter" one day being developed, which would allow the efficient and economic separation of resources from almost anything.


RE: political
By bpurkapi on 1/25/2008 1:52:08 PM , Rating: 3
You do realize your link led to nowhere, just like your comment. And Wikipedia is not the definitive answer on conservation, it is a public encyclopedia not a resource manager. Technology is key, I totally agree with you. The difference being that conservation of resources leads to better technology. Technology based on limited resources is bad and will result in investment in tech that is not stable. There are certain resources on this planet that are extremely finite and need conservation, others are abundant and don't. The main problem is that people see the issue in black and white, whereas seeing in another shade might actually solve some of our nation's problems.


RE: political
By Hoser McMoose on 1/26/2008 5:16:22 AM , Rating: 3
One thing you'll notice among the list of the top 5:

1. Iceland
2. Norway
3. Canada
4. Sweden
5. Finland

Beyond the fact that they're all industrialized countries they also all have something else in common:

It gets COLD there!

In all of these countries a significant amount of electricity is used for heating. This is really the primary reason for their high consumption.

Other reasons include relatively plentiful electricity sources, all 5 of these countries have a fair bit of hydro power. This makes heating by electricity easier and potentially cheaper then heating with gas or oil.


RE: political
By PlasmaBomb on 1/27/2008 8:48:30 AM , Rating: 2
Iceland also gets a lot of its energy from geothermal. In fact almost 100% of its electricity production comes from renewable sources.

quote:
Total economically viable electric power potential is now estimated at 50,000 GWh/year. About 8,490 GWh/year of this power had been harnessed in 2003.


In fact they have quite a way to go before they have to use something other than renewable energy...

As a result foreign investors are building energy intensive industries in Iceland, which is artificially increasing the energy use per capita.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/27/2008 11:13:59 AM , Rating: 2
> "In fact they have quite a way to go before they have to use something other than renewable energy..."

In 2002, 25% of Iceland's energy came from fossil fuels:

http://www.os.is/Apps/WebObjects/Orkustofnun.woa/s...

Nearly all their electricity production comes from hydroelectric and geothermal, true. But Iceland is filled with hot springs and waterfalls...and has a population of only 300,000. That makes it rather easy to exploit those resources.


RE: political
By PlasmaBomb on 1/27/2008 7:11:08 PM , Rating: 2
That sentence applies to the quote above it, so I thought that it was clearly about electricity (as is the thread). Sorry for any confusion Masher, interesting PDF though. 0.1% of electricity from diesel, not bad :)

The point is that people shouldn't be holding up the fact that the USA uses a lot less energy per capita than Iceland as good; the methods of production are different, as are the industries and manufacturing.

Iceland are lucky enough to be in the position where they can increase their electricity use drastically, and yet still use renewable resources to meet demand, so conservation of electricity on their part wouldn't be sensible.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/27/2008 10:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
> "people shouldn't be holding up the fact that the USA uses a lot less energy per capita than Iceland as good"

Likewise, people shouldn't hold up the fact that the USA uses more than some other nation as bad. Different nations; different situations.

The amount of energy a nation uses is highly tied to its standard of living. While efficiency is always good, "conservation", in of itself, is not a goal to be desired.


RE: political
By Sahrin on 1/28/2008 6:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Masher covered this well - but your comment only serves to bring my original point into stark relief.

Iceland uses more energy per capita, regardless of the reason, than anyone else - and yet, they still manage to employ advanced/clean technologies. Conservation isn't necessary (in fact, Iceland pretty muchs gives it the bird), it's a hindrance to development of advanced technology. I'm imagining a scenario where Iceland has vast coal deposits. A solitary coal plant could provide the island with energy, with conservation they wouldn't even need to expand it much. However, Iceland has rampant energy demands and no "easy solution" like coal - so they have exploited their environment and the technology available to develop clean power.

(Also, I contend that Hydroelectric is among the most damaging types of generation in existence. With nuclear, the footprint is confined to generation and storage - hydroelectric can cause catastrophic changes to the environment that producers aren't interested in. But this is another story.)


RE: political
By TimberJon on 1/25/2008 2:10:53 PM , Rating: 1
In reality, what we need is the Fusion Reactor to be up and running.

Hires Image of reactor under plasma (overlay):
http://www.sbravo.com/images/JET.jpg

Individual Internal Components
http://www.iter.org/Features.htm

Hires Tokamak building site and assembly process
http://www.iter.org/pics/ITER1building.jpg


RE: political
By EODetroit on 1/25/2008 3:18:45 PM , Rating: 4
No, a fusion reactor would still need to use the heat it generates to phase change water into steam to turn a turbine to to generate electricity. The problem would be identical.


RE: political
By AvidDailyTechie on 1/25/2008 5:10:33 PM , Rating: 3
There is a field of research directed towards the direct conversion of the energy given off from a fusion reaction into electricity. This isn't new either.

I don't think "phase change" is the proper term either. It's called the Rankine Cycle. Also not new.


RE: political
By Chernobyl68 on 1/28/2008 11:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
"phase change" is appropriate.


RE: political
By Sahrin on 1/25/2008 12:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'd be more concerned with outlying structures. Certes, there is nothing else in human construction so impenetrable as a containment building (particularly a US NRC-mandated one), but consider the Cooling Towers (if present), fuel processing center, etc. These are not shielded to the same level.

Not saying I oppose, but building in a hurricane zone would present additional problems, regardless of the strength of the reactor containment building.

And of course, there's the mother of all obstacles to the construction of clean nuclear energy: environmentalists. I'd imagine that there would be lawsuit upon lawsuit demanding protection of the Gulf of Mexico (with a record-sized "dead zone") from 'dangerous nuclear runoff.' *sigh*

I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if we could put nuclear reactors into space? Then the green movement wouldn't have anything to whine about. Then the real solution occurred to me, which would reduce our launch costs many orders of magnitude: launch the environmentalists.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 1:16:24 PM , Rating: 3
Cooling towers are built to withstand up to an F5 tornado; a hurricane isn't going to affect them.

It could, of course, demolish outlying structures and even force temporary closure of the plant. But it certainly wouldn't result in a dangerous situation such as a radiation leak.


RE: political
By omnicronx on 1/25/2008 1:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
I still do not understand why people still think our nuclear facilities can be blown down like a twig. After Chernobyl, safety regulations and precautions around the world have skyrocketed. Hell the plant near me even has its only mini swat force, and who knows how many security guards. The same could not be said 30 years ago.


RE: political
By Master Kenobi on 1/25/2008 1:59:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I still do not understand why people still think our nuclear facilities can be blown down like a twig.

Too many horror movies from the 60s and 70s with radiation created giant ants and monsters. Fear mongering at its finest.

quote:
After Chernobyl, safety regulations and precautions around the world have skyrocketed.

Chernobyl is a bad example. That was little more than the USSR being grossly negligent. The best example in the U.S. of a problem was Three Mile Island, and that was a non-issue. Of course the media made it sound like we dropped a nuke in our own back yard iradiating thousands.


RE: political
By jchickory on 1/25/2008 4:56:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Chernobyl is a bad example.

I agree with the addition that Chernobyl was a graphite-moderated pile (not used in the US for power production) with no containment.


RE: political
By Chernobyl68 on 1/28/2008 11:48:39 AM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

Wikipedia has a pretty good article describing the Accident.


RE: political
By AvidDailyTechie on 1/25/2008 5:13:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Of course the media made it sound like we dropped a nuke in our own back yard iradiating thousands.


lol so true.


RE: political
By eyebeeemmpawn on 1/25/2008 1:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
what about storm-surge related flooding?


RE: political
By howi on 1/25/2008 2:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
masher2,

But what about the transmission lines & towers? They aren't necessarily bullet proof. They may survive weak hurricanes but what about those rare, strong category 5 ones?


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:13:38 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, of course. They'd get blown down in a heartbeat. Eben barring that, the plant itself might have to be temporarily closed, if, for instance, storm surge disrupted water intakes.

But my point was that none of these events are particularly dangerous. There's not going to be any risk of a major radiological disaster from siting nuclear plants along the Coast.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
Did I actually type "eben"?


RE: political
By Etsp on 1/25/2008 4:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
You can't have perfect spelling 100% of the time... the main character in Gattaca couldn't even do that. Though if I remember correctly, he was damn close.


RE: political
By rcc on 1/25/2008 4:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
And, the transmission lines are independent of generation method. They'll be at risk with it's a nuclear plant, a fossil fuel plant, or piped in from out of state.


RE: political
By Samus on 1/25/2008 6:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
It is also exponentially more difficult to rely on salt water than fresh water for a number of reasons, primarily corrosive nature salt has, and the way salt water traps heat (basically it creates higher pressure in the cooling chambers)

Lake's and rivers are always the best source of cooling. You rarely, if ever, see a reactor built near a salt water source.

And as previously mentioned (and I had never thought about this) building on the coast has a lot of natural devestation risks.


RE: political
By GlassHouse69 on 1/25/2008 6:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
a hurricane insanely more powerful than a nuclear weapon hitting a facility.

have you ever read about the joules of energy a hurricane dispels and consumes? its insane.

a hurricane can errode and flood, cause all sorts of damage as well.


RE: political
By ChronoReverse on 1/25/2008 6:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
The term power comes to mind here. In any case, even though the total energy is greater, a hurricane won't deal as much damage to a plant as a nuke would.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 8:28:42 PM , Rating: 3
> "have you ever read about the joules of energy a hurricane dispels and consumes? its insane...."

A gentle summer breeze has more total energy in it than the nuclear bomb which struck Hiroshima. But which one did more damage?

A hurricane has a huge footprint in both time and space. In any particular area, the destructive force is not that great...compared to a nuclear weapon, at least.


RE: political
By andrinoaa on 1/26/2008 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually a hurricane called NIMBI will blow all your nuclear power plants away. There will not be a large rollout anytime soon. So stop wineing and dreaming of nuclear power, it will not get off the ground.
Masher2, your statement that nuclear can power us for thousands of years is full of bollony. We still haven't conquered storage or supply for that many years.
We have one up in the sky and we hardly use any of its energy.
I agree with masher2 on some points though. Water is a fixed constant, some minerals are inexhaustible too, but what others have tried to say is that some are very finite in quantity and so should not be squandered.
We had the Neo-cons in australia try to propose 15 plants around our country.
It got laughed out of existance. We are also drought ravaged and the NIMBI hurricane is very very strong here , I tell you.
I also agree that technically ,we don't need to sacrifice our electrical life style. But we also need to smarten our act and realize we using non renewable resources faster than our generation of reneweable sources first.


RE: political
By andrinoaa on 1/26/2008 4:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, NIMBY, now makes more sense. lol

N not
I in
M my
B back
Y yard


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/26/2008 4:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "Masher2, your statement that nuclear can power us for thousands of years is full of bollony. We still haven't conquered storage or supply for that many years"

We "conquered" both long ago. Breeder reactors and fuel reprocessing is all we need. With that, uranium alone can supply us for thousands of years....not to mention that thorium, an even more abundant radionuclide, can also be used in reactors.


RE: political
By Nik00117 on 1/28/2008 11:45:50 AM , Rating: 2
Hurriances are spread out, a nuclear blast isn't


RE: political
By RaulF on 1/25/2008 7:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually those test have just been calculations by really smart people by the way. The test that has been done(i have seen the video) is and old Navy F4 fully loaded on train rails smashing against a section of a containment, and all the made it thru was the wing tips because of the size of it and the section didn't even move.


RE: political
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 1:46:26 PM , Rating: 1
Nuclear plants are built to withstand a variety of disasters including having a 747 crash into them. A hurricane wouldn't even faze. It would blow down the power lines going out of the plant long before the plant itself was at risk. Florida has 3-4 nuclear reactors.

They should build them on the coast though. Water levels on the coast aren't going down anytime soon. I'm not sure though if salt water is a problem since its corrosive. I'm sure a plant could be built to withstand the issue of salt water though.


RE: political
By marvdmartian on 1/25/2008 2:38:58 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm sure a plant could be built to withstand the issue of salt water though.


Yeah, the navy's been doing it for 50+ years now. ;)


RE: political
By rcc on 1/25/2008 4:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm sure that salt water creates come challenges, but as noted, the Navy has been doing it for years with an outstanding record.

In fact, here in S. CA the San Onofre power plant is sea water cooled. The surfers have been loving the warmer water for 30 some years.


RE: political
By zeroflux on 1/26/2008 1:03:53 AM , Rating: 2
There is already a nuclear plant on the Texas gulf coast, in Palacios, and several others in hurricane-prone areas

http://www.insc.anl.gov/pwrmaps/map/united_states....


RE: political
By EidolWays on 1/25/2008 1:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
You can add "desalination" to the list of things that aren't easy to do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination

Specifically note the quote in the third opening paragraph.

quote:
A January 17, 2008 article in the Wall St. Journal states, "World-wide, 13,080 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day, according to the International Desalination Association."


The Harris reactor mentioned above takes in 33 million gallons a day. Assuming it's accurate, and also assuming roughly equal plant outputs for the sake of ease, let's divide that 12 billion by 13,080.

It comes out to just a little over 900,000. So the average plant wouldn't even produce 1 million gallons of water, which is still only 1/30th the amount required to feed a nuclear plant.


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
Your math is incorrect. Most desalination plants are very small. But a large nuclear plant can produce over 100 million gallons/day....the largest such plant is twice that, in fact.

In any case, a nuclear plant doesn't need to desalinate water to use it for cooling purposes. It simply needs heat exchangers capable of handling saltwater.


RE: political
By EidolWays on 1/25/2008 2:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
So my math is right, but the generalization I used for my numbers is dead wrong.

But whether you used a desalination plant or salt-water-resistant exchangers, there'd be a rather large increase in cost (though it might be marginal given the overall cost of the plant).

The same restrictions on intake of water as described in the linked Wikipedia desalination article would also likely apply. Then again, such plants may already have this conquered from operating on rivers and lakes.

Out of curiosity, anyone know if saltwater holds more or less heat?


RE: political
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
The specific heat of water lowers as you dissolves substances in it...but very, very slightly. I don't imagine that in itself would have a non-negligible effect.

The corrosive qualities of the water, along with its slightly higher viscosity, would be the primary engineering concerns.


RE: political
By EODetroit on 1/25/2008 3:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think salt-buildup would be the major concern. Maybe they could make a dual-system where they are connected to a lake resevoir and the ocean. When the lake gets low they go into slightly less profitable desalinization mode, the heated water then refills the lake until they can use the lake again. The problem with that of course is that the lake would be a hot tub without any life left in it if it gets filled by nearly-boiling discharge water.


RE: political
By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 3:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
All they would need to do is line all the parts that come in contact with salt water in copper, which is also a great thermal transfer substance. Copper is highly resistant to salt water corrosion, but the problem is that it is also highly expensive.

The other thing they could do is put the water reservoir underground and take advantage of the earths natural underground cooling effect. But that also would be immensely expensive.

That's my two cents. I'm sure others will have additional ideas.


RE: political
By CABCDEFG on 1/25/2008 4:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
At San Onofre, they have been using ocean water to cool the water loop for a long time - obviously the technical hurdles can't be too high:

http://www.sce.com/PowerandEnvironment/PowerGenera...

However, I don't have any idea of the efficiency of such a plant.


RE: political
By MatthiasF on 1/25/2008 5:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Using salt-water is do-able, but the closest salt-water source for these reactors are several hundred (if not a thousand or more) miles away. The cost of making a galvinized steel pipeline that long would be rediculously expensive. Would probably be cheaper just to build a new reactor on the other side of the state.


RE: political
By Mitch101 on 1/25/2008 1:58:09 PM , Rating: 3
I live on Lake Norman and the water levels are a problem here. The lake level is very low you see boat docks sitting on dry land that are 30-50ft long.

We need a hurricane badly here and sooner than later and Im not sure this will be enough to bring back the water levels.


RE: political
By VahnTitrio on 1/25/2008 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 3
All you need to do is push those docks out into the water again. We were in a year long drought in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Our dock was sitting too far out of the water so we pushed it out farther. About 2 weeks later (and more than a foot of rain later) it was just barely out of the water (with the dock approach underwater).

Hopefully the south gets some rain though. It's actually healthy for a lake to have water levels down a year or two (allows aquatic plants to grow deeper, helps build up shoreline plant life to prevent shoreline erosion, etc) but not quite the amount those reservoirs are down.


RE: political
By Mitch101 on 1/25/2008 3:05:42 PM , Rating: 3
Some of them even at 50ft out would need to go another 50 ft to make it to water. I tell people now is the perfect time to dredge but instead of a barge you need a back hoe.

Interestingly enough they ran the lake low 2 years before trying to kill off an algae that was growing. God I guess is doing it this year.

If it goes lower they may ban the use of showering! Ewww.


RE: political
By NicodemusMM on 1/25/2008 4:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Aside from concerns mentioned about being so close to the Gulf there is also the relatively high cost of desalinization... even with recent advancements. With the amount of water that these plants require for cooling it would probably take more energy to supply it with water that the plant itself produces.


RE: political
By MatthiasF on 1/25/2008 5:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
You don't need to use desalinated water. The reactors here in Maryland use salt water. The problem is that the reactors in these states were built next to lakes instead of the ocean (or the Chesapeake bay in our case).

They could probably still use salt water, but in order to get the water to the plants they would need galvanized pipelines and an ionization filter on the incoming water.

Problem is that Lake Norman is near Charlotte, NC, which is pretty far inland from the Atlantic, and it's probably the closest of all the reactors to a salt-water source.


RE: political
By Kazairl2 on 1/25/2008 11:02:13 PM , Rating: 3
There's one glaring error in the article. The Chattahooche River leading from Lake Lanier (Atlanta's water source) flows into Apalachicola Bay in the northwest corner of Florida. That's nowhere near the Everglades, which are located in the southern tip.

The fight between Georgia and Florida was about the Corp of Engineers letting water out of Lake Lanier to preserve mussels living in the bay from excessive salinity and to allow gulf sturgeon to spawn. To make matters worse, in June of 2006, the USACE anounced that the new lake gauge had been miscalibrated to read 2 ft higher than the actual level, which had caused them to release an excess TWENTY-TWO BILLION U.S gallons (83 billion liters) from the lake that spring, at a time when metro Atlanta was already under water restrictions.

Also, if the global warming crowd had been correct in their predictions for the last 2 hurricane seasons, Georgia would have gotten more than enough rainfall from hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the Florida panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi, and even Louisiana. (Katrina was so big it actually triggered a tornado outbreak and over an inch of rain in metro Atlanta the same day it hit New Orleans.)


RE: political
By DoeBoy on 1/26/2008 12:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
There is a nuclear plant not far from Wilmington, NC and it can take 300mph winds from hurricanes.
problem with desalinization and using the water in a nuclear plant is the amount that would push the cost up. I mean we could be pulling all of our water from the ocean and not just lakes but the costs of running such a operation wouldn't justify the expenditure.


Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/25/2008 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 4
I'm wondering why this article sidesteps the fact that coal and natural gas also use massive amounts of water. This water issue is not a issue strictly experienced by nuclear. Both coal and natural gas use water (except for natural gas turbines and diesel engines, but they are inefficient/expensive to operate).

Because there are roughly 6 times the number of coal power plants in the US (based on capacity, and water usage is based on kWh generated), I'm assuming they are having the same exact problems as nuclear power plants. I don't see what makes nuclear so special in this case (hidden agenda here???).

By the way, climate change is not really debatable. Most evidence points to it be very bad (sea level rise, more extreme weather, coral reefs dying, water shortages, drought, etc.). In fact, little evidence points to it being a good thing (possibly more forests/farm land in northern regions, possible (but unlikely) more favorable living weather in some places).




RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 1:06:05 PM , Rating: 4
According to the research study identified here, most (not all) nations are likely to benefit from anticipated climate change:

http://www.dailytech.com/Climate+Change+A+Little+W...

As for sea-level rise, the oceans are rising some 2-3 mm/year...the same as they've been doing since the end of the last ice age.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/25/2008 2:40:50 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
According to the research study identified here, most (not all) nations are likely to benefit from anticipated climate change.

http://www.dailytech.com/Climate+Change+A+Little+W...

As for sea-level rise, the oceans are rising some 2-3 mm/year...the same as they've been doing since the end of the last ice age.


Where is the actual research? I don't see a paper or an experiment or any measurements at that link. FYI, that's not research..

What you just showed me was a secondary source. A secondary source that doesn't cite any real research, just more secondary sources. In other words, it is not based on FACT but on OPINION. As far as you should be concerned, it is BS. For a better source, look at the global warming article on wikipedia. It cites many PRIMARY sources. Then take a look at www.realclimate.org. Information not put up by journalists (people who don't understand the climate), but by actually climatologists (people who understand the climate).

For the last 3000 years, the sea has been rising at about .1mm to .2mm per year (scientists have very accurate ways of measuring past sea level, look into it). That was until about 100 years ago (when CO2 concentrations started going up) it started rising 1mm-2mm per year. The IPCC report projects that it will continue at 1.1mm-2.2mm per year for the next century. HOWEVER, in the last 3 years (the IPCC report was based on evidence 2-3 years ago) evidence has been uncovered that melting is INCREASING at dramatic rates. How much, nobody really knows. Just remember, if the sea rises by a meter, it will probably put the world into a major recession (that does depend on rate, what infrastructures will be effected, how many refugees, how many houses destroyed, etc.). Just remember what happened in New Orleans...

This is just investigating one affect of Global Warming/climate change/etc. If you investigate others (hurricanes, weather pattern change, ocean current changes, etc) you will see that the future big picture does not look pretty.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:59:54 PM , Rating: 4
Some primary sources:

Physiological and ecological bases for forest responses to a warmer climate:

http://per.ornl.gov/Gunderson.html

Warmer Ocean means fewer Hurricanes:

Wang, Chunzai; Lee, Sang-Ki
Global warming and United States landfalling hurricanes
Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 35, No. 2, L02708
(no direct link)

Rapid environmental changes in southern Europe during the last glacial period:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v400/n6746/ab...

Global Warming Good for Greenland:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/07...

GLOBAL WARMING GOOD FOR CORAL REEFS: RESEARCH

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAle...

Positive effects of increased Atmospheric CO2:

http://www.oism.org/pproject/GWReview_OISM300.pdf

Biologist Josef Reichholf discusses the benefits of a warmer climate for animals and plants, large cities as centers of biological diversity and the myth of the return of malaria.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518...

Hans von Storch is one of Germany's leading researchers on climate change. DER SPIEGEL spoke with him about why fears of global warming are exaggerated:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518...

Sorry time doesn't prevent me listing more than these very few. There's also hundreds research papers documenting the known beneficial effects of the Medieval Warm Period on civilization and humanity in general.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By Ringold on 1/26/2008 12:12:08 AM , Rating: 2
I've beat this drum before. I think when the argument started alright in your first post responding to the OP that talked about a "benefit" to most nations.

Beyond atoms and oceans having no morality, this science is corrupted beyond all possible hope of redemption in this decade or the next, and the small portions of truth that exists is often ignored, in fact denounced as heresy, anyway. Not to diminish the importance of hard, factual science; that'll be more important in the future as the history of the era is written. For today, though, it's too late.

Thus, I prefer economic arguments; humans are what matters, not sea levels, and almost everything that is important to human existence can be quantified in dollars, directly via markets or indirectly by stealing some methodology from other social sciences.

Thus:

quote:
The Stern Review’s conclusions have not stood up to professional scrutiny. Professor Richard S. J. Tol’s review of 102 econometric studies of the costs of global warming published in peer-reviewed journals concluded that the negative externalities, that is the costs, of global warming would be equivalent to a tax of no more than $12 per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. That would depress demand for coal somewhat, but would do little to reduce auto emissions, since it would only raise the price of gasoline by 12 cents per gallon. Setting a realistic price on emissions would, Tol concluded, thus do little to reduce emissions.

Similarly, Yale University’s Professor William Nordhaus, one of the world’s leading economists, recently published a study that estimates that the damages to 2100 caused by a global warming of 3 degrees C will be $22 trillion. Achieving the Stern Review’s emissions targets by 2050 would reduce the damages to $9 trillion, but the measures necessary would cost $27 trillion .


http://www.cei.org/gencon/027,06321.cfm

That's not a link to a study, and it doesnt get to the meat of the point till half way down, but what I quoted is a fair executive summary of the economic situation global warming presents. The reports cited within it are within reach of Google.

I'm probably living in a total fantasy world and global warming nuts won't listen to econometricians any more than they will legit climate science. If so, well, at least it's comfortable here. :P


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By PlasmaBomb on 1/27/2008 7:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
So to do nothing costs $22 trillion

Trying to prevent climate change costs $36 trillion and doesn't actually prevent it...


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/28/2008 4:12:41 AM , Rating: 2
Are you telling me an economist is predicting the economy 50 years from now?

They can't even predict the stock market 5 minutes from now, much less a week or years.

That's bogus.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/28/2008 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
Economists have a far better record at predicting future economic trends than global climate models have at predicting warming.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 10:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Economists have a far better record at predicting future economic trends than global climate models have at predicting warming.


BUT, this model is BASED on climate models and economic models. Both of which are notoriously bad at predicting exact figures. The fact that one is better than the other is irrelevant.

The economists are arguing whether we'll be in a recession in a month. You think they can predict predict another Katrina and it's effects? No economist predicted the economic impact of Katrina even 10 days before it hit. What Hurricanes will be in our future?


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/29/2008 11:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
Your argument is self-defeating. If the climate models aren't accurate, then there's no reason to believe we're facing any problems at all.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 11:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Your argument is self-defeating.


There is no argument. The current trends are bad. Just like 1+1=2, global warming = bad. No real argument there, except for the lawyer/lobby/political types like Bush. Really, scientifically the argument doesn't exist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_global_war...

Read Gumby's post below regarding how trends are understood.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/29/2008 12:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "Just like 1+1=2, global warming = bad."

Fortunately, the reality is not only considerably more complex than kindergarten math, but not nearly as grim. Global warming may or may not continue (in fact, environmentalists have so little faith in this recently, they've begun replacing the phrase with "climate change"). But even if it does, the benefits are quite likely to outweigh the disadvantages.


By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 12:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry to break your bubble, but global warming is continuing. That is not arguable.

Yes, in fact it is like kindergarden math. There was nothing good about Katrina. Katrina = BAD. Yes, it is more complex. It hurt the economy, destroyed jobs, killed people, etc. We can generally agree, Katrina = bad. The same is with global warming. There is nothing good about sea level rise. There is nothing good about the thermohaline circulation shutdown. There is nothing good about weather pattern change...etc.

Hence global warming = bad.

Yes, you are right, I am simplifying these complex things. However, why make something more complex than it needs to be?


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/28/2008 4:11:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well masher, you're one of two categories. You're ignorant and can't tell what good sources are or you are part of the energy industry lobby. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say you're part of the energy industry lobby. Because you have so many sources, it appears like you have researched it very well. However, you pick and choose the articles that benefit your point of view. Not a very objective way of looking at it.

Lets take a look at your best source... (I don't have time to do them all, because after all, I'm not paid to do this. Oh and we'll exclude the nature article, because that has little relevance to your argument.)

http://www.oism.org/pproject/GWReview_OISM300.pdf

First of all, it is written by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Who the heck are they and what authority do they have on this issue?

Take a look at www.oism.org and you will find this..

quote:
The Institute is entirely supported by donations and grants from private individuals and foundations and by the independent earnings and resources of its faculty and volunteers.


In other words, they are paid to invent documents. Here is another paper put out by actual scientists...

http://publishing.royalsociety.org/media/proceedin...

But you already knew that right? I mean, you seem to have researched it very well...

Again, you either know NOTHING of science and the scientific method and getting good sources, or you are paid to have a list of 'anti' global warming papers and sources. Again, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume you're paid to not understand global warming.

What's next in your bag of tricks? Are you going to pull out the cosmic ray joke?

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006...

The effects of global warming are understated. Lets take the IPCC report example (everything in the IPCC report is based on cold hard evidence, because policy makers don't want to include assumptions...). Every revision predicts a worse future of the world. EVERY one. Look it up on wikipedia. What happens is scientists only report effects that have been discovered/proven. However, every year they are discovering new effects thus making the picture look bleaker.

For example, it was thought that it would take 100 years for the arctic ice to melt. In the most recent IPCC it stated that it was possible it would be gone by 2050. Most recently, the results of a new model predicted that it would be ice free by 2013, this is BEFORE the last summer melt. Last summer, the arctic was the smallest it has ever been by 1 million square km. That's roughly the size of California and Texas combined. It seems like it will be ice free by 2013.

"but won't it open up the arctic for oil drilling?" Yes it will, but it will also have many severe negative impacts. One of which is an increase melting of Greenland (sea level rise).

Don't even get me started on coral reefs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_bleaching

I got to get to bed, like I say. I'm not paid to write articles, so they are a bit clunky.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/28/2008 11:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
> "Here is another paper put out by actual scientists..."

The Lockwood paper has already been thoroughly debunked by several climatologists. As one scientist put it, the Lockwood argument is akin to saying that, "since daily temperatures tend to increases from noon from 4pm (when sunlight is actually decreasing) we can conclude that sunlight causes cooling, not warming". Silliness. Lockwood failed utterly to account of latency in the earth's response to forcing factors.

Here's a lengthier reply by the Danish National Space Center, that also concludes the sun is the primary forcing agent in recent climate change:

http://www.spacecenter.dk/publications/scientific-...

A study by Brookhaven National Labs which states the earth's response to CO2 has been drastically overstated:

http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapacity.pdf

And the same conclusion by the Belgium Royal Meteorological Society;

http://www.demorgen.be/dm/nl/nieuws/wetenschap/540...

Peer-reviewed research showing warming events in the Earth's past were not caused by CO2:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/114...

A peer-reviewed study by two scientists claiming sun cycles will trigger global cooling within 20 years:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/g28u12g2617j50...

A Russian astrophycists says the same thing -- solar cycles mean severe cooling for the earth by 2040:

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20080103/94768732.html

A highly suggestive story demonstrating that global warming is occurring on Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, and Neptune...just as it is here on Earth:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=6544

> "In other words, they are paid to invent documents"

This sort of nonsense is typical of the environmental lobby....which, by the way, awards over 1000X as much in research grants to like-minded scientists as the oil and gas industry does.

One of the scientists in this study you're scoffing Dr. Soon, an astrophysicst from Harvard. The other is a Ph.D. holder in Chemistry. They're only "not scientists" to someone who doesn't like their results.

Still worse for your point of view, their paper I cited isn't direct research. It's simply an omnibus survey of research by hundreds other scientists-- all of it peer reviewed. The beneficial effects of atmospheric CO2 are widely demonstrated in the scientific literature. One can argue over whether the pros outweigh the cons or not...but denying they exist is just plain silly.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 10:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
What's your argument on the IPCC report?

quote:
This sort of nonsense is typical of the environmental lobby....which, by the way, awards over 1000X as much in research grants to like-minded scientists as the oil and gas industry does.


You make me laugh. I don't see any scientists or environmentalists buying toy A380s with their extra cash...

But oil money buys them...
http://www.bored-space.com/index.php/Interesting/F...

The oil industry has is a multi trillion dollar industry. It is known that the oil & gas lobby is much more powerful than any environmentalist or scientist ANYWHERE. I mean, just look at masher2... He can post here all day because it's his job.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/29/2008 11:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
> "I don't see any scientists or environmentalists buying toy A380s with their extra cash..."

You didn't attend the recent environmental conference in Bali. Quite a few of the thousands of attendees (including the top brass from Greenpeace) flew in on private jet.

> "The oil industry has is a multi trillion dollar industry"

But they spend only a tiny fraction of that on funding research, as your own figures prove. The environmental lobby, on the other hand, spends nearly their entire revenues on such.

And let's not forget government funding. It's now a firm requirement in the EU that any climatology grant be for research that implicitly accepts global warming. That's several billion dollars a year in funding alone, several hundred times what the oil industry gives.

> "I mean, just look at masher2... He can post here all day because it's his job. "

A job for which I receive nothing in payment.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 12:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "The oil industry has is a multi trillion dollar industry"
quote:
But they spend only a tiny fraction of that on funding research, as your own figures prove.


Exactly, the oil industry doesn't spend much money on research. The money they do spend on research is to further their own viewpoint. One example is when Hubbert did a conference on peak oil, the president of shell was on the phone 15 minutes before the conference telling him not to do the conference. Turns out Hubbert was exactly right, the US peaked production in 1970. Shell didn't want the TRUTH coming out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_Oil_Producti...
http://www.mkinghubbert.com/about/prediction

Although I dislike the environmentalists, they are right. They also do much better objective research than any oil company.


RE: Not to mention them fossil fuels
By masher2 on 1/29/2008 12:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
> " The money they do spend on research is to further their own viewpoint."

You're still ignoring the point. The environmental lobby spends far MORE on funding researchers...and every penny spent goes only to those who agree with their viewpoint.

The effects of money on the debate do exist...but they're 180 degrees in the opposite direction from what you claim.

> " Turns out Hubbert was exactly right, the US peaked production in 1970"

Oh god, not another "peak oil" nut. Hubbert's list of failed predictions is endless, including one for Saudi Arabia, FSU republics, and the first of many global peaks starting in the mid 1990s.


By MadMaster on 1/29/2008 12:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
What's your reasoning for high crude prices? Don't tell me it's refineries.

Refining costs are only 8% of the total cost of production...

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/gdu/gasdiesel.as...

That's only 24 cents compared to 2 dollars per gallon for buying crude.

It's a classic supply and demand problem. Low supply, high demand = high prices. As supply in the future gets lower, prices will continue to hike like they have been. They went up 20% the last year. The oil companies don't decide oil prices, the global market does...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_of_petroleum


By praeses on 1/25/2008 1:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. It seems like they're trying to use the word "Nuclear" to garner more attention. If I'm not mistaken, are nuclear plants not more water-efficient due to the higher temperatures and pressures than their fossil-fuel driven breathren?


By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 1:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct Mick is being intentionally vague on facts for some reason and is also quoting "blogs" in a factual manner in one of the photo captions.

The closing of reactor 2 (not the "plant" like Mick stated) was caused not just by a heat wave (105 F on the day in question) but the running of a fossil fuel plant(coal) and two Dams farther upstream at 100% which caused the water temp to unnaturally rise at the Browns Ferry Plant downstream.

Also on the day in question, Browns Ferry was running all 3 of its reactors. Something it hasn't had to take into account since all three were operational back in 1985. The three reactors had only been running together at peak efficiency for a grand total of 2 months (June to Aug), so there was a gray area as to what to expect from this new situation.


Climate change?
By therealnickdanger on 1/25/2008 12:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like a bit of a stretch... I mean, droughts come and go, just like floods. Seems like using "CC" in this instance, with its politically charged attachments, is rather flammatory. (Inflammatory? haha) This is more like sustained weather patterns.




RE: Climate change?
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 12:49:31 PM , Rating: 4
A very good point. Take a look at this map, which shows both above and below average water levels for the nation:

http://www.weatherimages.org/data/imag273.html

And this paper, which demonstrates the worst drought the US is known to have experienced was from AD 900-1300:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/306...


RE: Climate change?
By BVT on 1/25/2008 1:39:58 PM , Rating: 6
http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

This is a better drought site. Click on state you want to know about.


RE: Climate change?
By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 5:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
Why a 6 kris?

Interesting that both maps are qualified or supplied by the NOAA.

Mashers map shows both water droughts and surpluses. If you go to the bottom of BVT's link it shows the exact same map as mashers. lol


RE: Climate change?
By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 5:23:36 PM , Rating: 2
BVT's link is from the CPC NOAA and is the weekly update.
Mashers link is from the CPC NOAA and is the season estimate.

Life is funny like that sometimes.


RE: Climate change?
By DKWinsor on 1/25/2008 7:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious as to why one map warrants a 6 and the other warrants a 3. In fact, I prefer the one linked by Masher. It gives the whole picture.

Sure, I agree that BVT's is the "better drought site". But just drought isn't the whole picture! Here in California they were very concerned a few months ago about having a severe water shortage because there was no rain. Well... it's raining outside right now, and today's newspaper says the storm is bringing the total above normal. The supposed shortage likely won't appear. It's funny because I seem to remember the same newspaper bringing up the climate change spectre when the drought was predicted.

So the whole picture shows it's a minus in some places and a plus in what looks to be more places. Of course, if one wanted to push a certain agenda one wouldn't give the whole picture.


RE: Climate change?
By MaulBall789 on 1/25/2008 5:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
Mr. Asher, I live in Raleigh, North Carolina and I can tell you for a fact that since January 2007 to present we are nearly 9 inches of precipitation below the norm. Now if the population here were the same as it was in AD 900 - 1300, it probably wouldn't be a problem. But this area has seen massive growth over the last 25 years and a 9" rain deficit is a serious situation. For someone who distrusts the NOAA as much as you I can't believe you would link to a chart so far off base which is obviously NOT from the NOAA.

This one is:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_asses...

Your knowledge of science is great and I enjoy reading a lot of your blogs on all kinds of subjects. You are better than this.


RE: Climate change?
By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 5:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/...
from the exact same site as yours.

its a short term indicator vs the current situation. both from the same sources. lmao

Who is correct? The CPC or the CPC? pffft!


RE: Climate change?
By MaulBall789 on 1/25/2008 5:37:56 PM , Rating: 2
Alright, I'm a dummy. However, even if both of your charts are correct, the short term says that NC will have normal rainfall to slightly below and the long term says we will be down another 4". This is more than enough to knock out our Nuclear energy production. I was more upset that previous posters are implying this particular drought is somehow not as severe as it really is.


RE: Climate change?
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 5:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
> "For someone who distrusts the NOAA as much as you I can't believe you would link to a chart so far off base which is obviously NOT from the NOAA"

Click on your link, then scroll to the bottom. Click on the long-term drought indicator thumbnail, and you'll see a map almost identical to the one I provided. It demonstrates some areas are above average, some below.

In any case, I certainly wasn't trying to dispute the drought situation in North Carolina, but merely to point out that conditions are in line with the long-term historical record.


RE: Climate change?
By MaulBall789 on 1/25/2008 5:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
See my post above yours for my mea maxima culpa. I should have investigated further. The chart just looked phony. When I hear we have around 3 months of usable water left and normal summer drought conditions on the way I get nervous. I'm actually hoping for a very damp spring season.


RE: Climate change?
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 8:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not a problem; you were right to question it. The direct link to the NOAA site is of course to be preferred.


RE: Climate change?
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 1:53:56 PM , Rating: 1
Here in Charleston we've gotten a decent amount of rain over the past week. And either everyone in Atlanta is dead or their water problems aren't as bad since you don't hear about it in the news anymore. Of course you also don't hear about the heroic actions of our soldiers overseas either, just the bad, so that's not saying much.


RE: Climate change?
By lukasbradley on 1/25/2008 2:18:31 PM , Rating: 3
Your conclusion is horrible. Just because you haven't heard it in the news doesn't mean it isn't a problem.

I'm in Atlanta, and it is still a major problem, and will probably continue to be a major problem for years to come.


RE: Climate change?
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
The water level in Lake Lanier stabilized a month ago. It's now rising 3 times faster than it had previously dropped.

Does that mean water is no longer a problem in Atlanta? No, but its certainly not the crisis it looked to be 3 months ago.


The Source
By TheRequiem on 1/25/2008 12:25:41 PM , Rating: 1
Obviously, this Nuclear reactor has bigger problems if it needs to be shut down every time the water is low, that means they already have to do some deep thinking to solve that problems. It will happen again and again so other action needs to be taken. I honestly still think America should build a massive Solar Panel array in the middle of the Mojave dessert, if they did, it would solve America's energy problems for dozens of years if not hundreds. There will always be sunlight (at least for a very long time) and would cost the same as building another 5 nuclear plants. Plus, my stock investments in solar companies would sky-rocket. =)

Now if only we had another president already...




RE: The Source
By ebakke on 1/25/2008 12:32:14 PM , Rating: 3
How do you propose paying for a massive solar array? And how will this array solve America's energy problem? How will this energy be efficiently transported across the country to reduce loads on the east coast?

And what does the President have to do with power plants?


RE: The Source
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 12:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "America should build a massive Solar Panel array in the middle of the Mojave dessert"

Ignoring the previous poster's points about hte frightening cost level and our inability to efficienctly transport the energy cross-country...what do we do when night comes? We don't have anywhere near the technology to store that amount of electricity.


RE: The Source
By Sahrin on 1/25/2008 12:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously, we'd double the amount of toxic waste created in our country by producing Solar Cells (which, along with Coal, create per captia the most hazardous waste of any eletric generation type due to the fabrication technologies required to make photovoltaic cells) by producing billions of batteries filled with Lithium and acid.

I mean come on people, the path to free energy is paved in solar cells. And broken glass bottles.


RE: The Source
By Xenoterranos on 1/25/2008 4:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, Lithium and Acid. Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together!


RE: The Source
By sonoran on 1/25/2008 2:55:58 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
what do we do when night comes?

You may want to check out Scientific American: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-grand-... Photovoltaics are not the only way to capture solar energy.


RE: The Source
By PlasmaBomb on 1/27/2008 9:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
RE: The Source
By PlasmaBomb on 1/27/2008 9:52:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But $420 billion in subsidies are required

Ouch...


RE: The Source
By Puddyglum1 on 1/25/2008 12:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I honestly still think America should build a massive Solar Panel array in the middle of the Mojave dessert...
"America" already did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_Energy_Generati...

There are two there, the largest and second largest solar arrays in the world. Started while Reagan was President, finished while George Bush Sr. was President.


RE: The Source
By SandmanWN on 1/25/2008 1:35:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Plus, my stock investments in solar companies would sky-rocket. =)

You are intentionally misleading the situation for your own agenda (stocks you own).

quote:
Obviously, this Nuclear reactor has bigger problems if it needs to be shut down every time the water is low

The plant was NOT shut down due to low water levels. ONE of the THREE reactors at the plant was shut down due to high water temperatures. This is understandable as this was the first time this particular plant had run with all three reactors since 1985. But you obviously don't want to hear that as you made your intentions clear already by stating your financial backing in solar power.

Go support your stock options elsewhere.


RE: The Source
By Ringold on 1/25/2008 11:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Go support your stock options elsewhere.


I notice Cypress Semiconductor (which has a stake in the solar industry) is down 50% from a recent high, and Solarfun even more, and First Solar isn't in good shape either.

Full disclosure: I put a tiny sliver in to CY a little while back, forgot about it, and noticed yesterday I was down huge. Whatever. Took a gamble on the thesis I had, economy obliterated it. That's just my approach, though. No personal attachment. I was more upset that my cheeseburger was a little too done at lunch today. There's no doubt tens of thousands of starry-eyed retail investor that bought in to these thinking righteousness alone would perpetually move the stock higher and the company forward. Being emotional creatures, until the stock prices start moving near to where they were the posts like the OPs may continue.


One thing I never understood....
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/25/2008 1:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
About power plants: Why cant they be a closed loop system? It seems silly to take cold water, boil it, then discharge it as steam or hot water. why not recirculate the hot water and re-boil the already heated water again?

Even if it gains nothing in efficiency, it would still eliminate the thermal pollution and water availability problems.




RE: One thing I never understood....
By Chuckles on 1/25/2008 4:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is NOT your friend

Power plant cycles are as closed loop as much as possible. The issue is that for every watt of power produced by a power plant, 1-2 watts (or more for a poor system) have to leave as unusable heat. If that didn't happen, the entire coolant loop (for any kind of closed cycle system) would eventually (and fairly quickly) become the temperature of the hottest component. Thus no power would be generated at all (every watt generated would be waste heat).

Also, since the isentropic efficiency of any power cycle goes as 1-(Thot-Tcold), recirculating the hot, low pressure water drives your efficiency rapidly to zero (IE, all the power put in is ejected as waste heat).

See
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermod...


RE: One thing I never understood....
By Chuckles on 1/25/2008 4:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/25/2008 5:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
If entropy is always increasing, where's it coming from????????

Nothing I'm suggesting would violate the second law of thermodynamics. Capturing and using the waste heat from the cooling system is still possible. Practical... well I don't know.


RE: One thing I never understood....
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 8:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "Nothing I'm suggesting would violate the second law of thermodynamics"

It would in fact violate it, though it may not be obvious at first glance. A heat engine cannot function without exhausting heat. That is, in fact, what the 2nd law says by "entropy must increase".


RE: One thing I never understood....
By Hare on 1/27/2008 1:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess that in northern parts hot water can be used for heating residential areas? This is done at least in Scandinavia.


THIS IS NOT CLIMATE CHANGE
By Gumby16 on 1/25/2008 1:31:31 PM , Rating: 5
My qualifications: I'm an atmospheric and climate scientist. You CANNOT ascribe any one single drought, no matter how severe, to climate change. Climate is a statistical phenomenon, with means, medians, distributions, and outliers. By definition, severe droughts are rare occurrences. That means that there aren't enough of them to ascribe any one drought to a particular change, particularly a long-term climate shift. The statistics on droughts DO NOT justify their attribution to climate change.

Is the planet warming? Yes. Will that affect lake and river levels and thereby nuclear power that depends on them? Yes. But it won't be in the form of "droughts". It will be in the form of less rainfall over longer periods and significantly lower lake levels all of the time. You could think of it as a "long-term drought" in which the lake/river levels will be lower all the time. But in reality, the conditions will no longer seem like a drought because they will be the new norm.

This is another of the common misconceptions about climate change. You cannot ascribe any one major disaster or event (hurricane, flood, drought, etc.) to climate change. You have to look at the overall pattern and frequency of occurrence. You have to see a significant increase in the number of periods defined as "droughts" (i.e. improve the statistics and observations) before you can start looking for a reason for the increase. Increasing drought intensity is CONSISTENT with a warming climate, but does not in-and-of itself mean that a climate shift occurred.




RE: THIS IS NOT CLIMATE CHANGE
By masher2 on 1/25/2008 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 3
Global Climate Models predict an increase in the hydrologic cycle (and thus global rainfall levels) due to warming.

This is born out by actual observations in the research paper below:

Huntington, 2006. Evidence for intensification of the global water cycle: Review and synthesis (Journal of Hydrology)

ENSO warming, now, does mean a decrease in precipitation. But that's not due to AGW.


RE: THIS IS NOT CLIMATE CHANGE
By MadMaster on 1/25/2008 2:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Good post Gumby. Listen to him, he makes some VERY good points.


power diversity
By diablofish on 1/25/2008 1:00:45 PM , Rating: 3
This is evidence that a diverse approach to solving our energy needs is required. Nuclear, wind, solar, coal plants (with scrubbers) are all needed. Each has strengths and weaknesses and each has potential uses.

There is also the problem of the distribution and transmission system: it's very taxed.

http://www.pi.energy.gov/documents/nrecacom.pdf

http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/logos22-1/electric...

http://www.nerc.com/

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/fact...

And one of a more local perspective:

http://minnelectrans.com/




RE: power diversity
By darkpaw on 1/25/2008 1:32:26 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, the transition system is very overtaxed. Unfortunately, anytime they even propose building new lines every body anywhere near by starts screaming. They've been trying to plan a new major line into the DC metro area for a while, of course no one actually wants it to run through their area.

Same thing happens absolutely everywhere. People just don't realize these have to go someplace.

Maybe they should just start disconnecting the people that complain so much from the grid. If you don't want power, you don't get it. Problem solved.


RE: power diversity
By darkpaw on 1/25/2008 1:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
Its supposed to be transportation system obviously. Of course I saw the error right after hitting post on the preview page even though I read it twice.


Southeast Conditions
By techfuzz on 1/25/2008 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These droughts turned neighbors Florida and Georgia against each other in Federal courts over water rights for the water flowing into the Everglades.

First, this is incorrect. The Everglades are in south Florida and none of the rivers that flow through Georgia feed into the Everglades. Florida is suing Georgia because the Chattahoochee river flows through the Florida panhandle where endangered muscles and oysters farms are threatened by lower water flow.

Second, energy prices in the southeast were already going up. The major energy providers have all asked for price increases they say are due to the sky-high price of OIL. Granted, prices would increase if nuclear energy plants are shutdown and leave only coal/oil plants to shoulder the load, but we're already dealing with higher costs due to other reasons so this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

Third, I never understood why nuclear power plants along rivers don't build retention ponds to augment their river water supplies to use when the water flow reaches low levels. Also, why not build cooling ponds to cool the water and then re-use it? I realize these ponds would need to be huge to accommodate the amount of water needed, but considering how much land these power plants already have as security buffer zones, why not build a huge moat around the plants and solve two problems at once? More water and added security for plants.




RE: Southeast Conditions
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 2:50:53 PM , Rating: 3
Mail lady: Does it work?

Lois: "Well it does keep the Black Knight at bay."


And peope want plug in electric cars...
By iFX on 1/26/2008 1:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
Hah!




RE: And peope want plug in electric cars...
By andrinoaa on 1/26/2008 4:26:21 PM , Rating: 1
Ah, to be a simpleton again.
lol


By iFX on 1/27/2008 9:27:10 AM , Rating: 2
As you have demonstrated in your post, you are about as useful as a bucket of sand in the middle of the Sahara.


By NicePants42 on 1/25/2008 3:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
So if we were able to mass-produce these
http://www.dailytech.com/Using+Nanowire+Silicon+Th...
and mount them in such a way that one side was in contact with the hot exhaust water and the other side was in contact with ambient air (probably indirectly through a heat pipe or some such), the Seebeck Effect could be used to remove enough heat from the vapor to decrease the evaporation rate, and ultimately even to return the water to its source close to it's original temperature, correct? The only problems I can see would be having enough surface area for the TECs to absorb enough heat from the vapor, and also having enough cooling capacity (surface area in contact with ambient air) on the other side of the TEC to maintain a temperature differential for the Seebeck Effect.

This assumes that the electricity produced by the TECs combined with the water shortages the TECs are helping to prevent can make them economically viable.




By NicePants42 on 1/25/2008 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
As for being able to mass-produce the TECs in the first place, DT has recently written about two potential methods within as many days:

http://www.dailytech.com/Scientists+Develop+Ingeni...
It seems like this could be adapted to work with silicon.

http://www.dailytech.com/Getting+Smaller+Computers...
This could be more of a stretch, since the size of the silicon 'lines' is absent from the discussion.


By BrownTown on 1/25/2008 5:11:55 PM , Rating: 3
There is unfortunately alot of bad info going around here and due to this blogs poor commenting format I would have to write 5 different posts to address them all, so instead I am just writing this one and people can sort is out for themselves. First off, I have worked for TVA for 3 years, I was recently hired by Bechtel to work on the design of a nuclear plant in the southeast for TVA (Watts Bar 2), my dad has worked for 32 years for TVA in the nuclear industry and has a masters in nuclear engineering, so this is something I have grown up with. I was at TVA this summer when Browns Ferry unit 1 was shut down for ONE day due to water constraints.

Let me first just address the point that this is 100% [B]NOT[/B] a safety issue, most people here understand this, but I just want it to be perfectly clear, the EPA and NRC limits on water temperatures are due to environmental reasons (trying not to harm fish), not for safety reasons to the plants. Secondly, I would like to note that nuclear plants are NOT the only plants affected by this issue, this summer TVA also turned off a coal unit at its Cumberland fossil plant, however this gets no press at all since the word "nuclear" is not involved. ALL steam plants are affected by this issue no matter what the fuel is. Also, someone mentioned oil, nobody in the southeast burns oil for electricity, mentioning oil prices and electricity prices in the same sentence is a sign of ignorance, oil is not used to create electricity (coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro).

As for the design of a nuclear plant allowing for this issue, or people thinking they can dream up some better way to get rid of the heat, that is silly. A nuclear plants produces LOTS of waste heat (being as this is Anandtech, think just like a CPU), and just like a CPU you need a heatsink to dump all that heat into. The first heatsink is just putting it all into the river through heat exchangers, however due to the regulations mentioned this is not always sufficient, so the second line in your cooling towers, these are just like a giant radiator, hot water goes in the bottom and the heat rises into the air causing a air current in though cooling tower which pulls in more air from the bottom and you have a nice heatsink to move energy from the water into the air. Obviously some of the hot water also evaporates and this has to be made up. However when both the water temperatures and the air temperatures are too high then both methods of cooling are insufficient and that is when you run into the problems like there were this summer. Obviously there are some solutions, you can build more cooling towers (expensive), or only build on the ocean (not really possible in a country with as much inland space as the USA). Basically designers of nuclear plants (and all other plants) make a decision when sizing the cooling systems knowing that a few days a decade it might not be enough, but in order to get 100% coverage would cost hundreds of millions more dollars and is not worth the few days the plant is not operating for.




Cooling tower water use
By gorgut on 1/28/2008 1:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
For about five years now here on the West coast, we have been using a technology that will effectively run a "zero bleed" environment for cooling towers without the use of chemical additives and have "zero bleed" environments even with the use of "Grey" water. We feel we can have a possessive effect on the reduction of water use for the cooling towers in NC & SC - however, who is the right person to contact that will be open to dialog. We do not advocate gadgets, this is a patented process using natural chemistry at high TDS and high pH. Please read more on www.savingtowerwater.com




Climate change good/bad open to debate?
By winterspan on 1/25/08, Rating: -1
By strikertp on 1/26/2008 9:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
Translation:

Unnecessary rhetorical question. Ad Hominem.
Ad hominem. Question with a multitude of answers which the user chooses to ignore. Vague threat with no basis.

User laughably tries to discredit article without sources, then proceeds to call website "amateur" without having any credentials.


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