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A new fusion-fission hybrid pairs nuclear fission reactors with a fusion reactor neutron source to eliminate virtually all of their waste and produce clean power, even with older fission reactor designs.  (Source: Angela Wong/University of Texas at Austin)
"I don't want to set the world on fire, I just want to start a flame in your heart"

Enormous advances in waste reprocessing and reactor safety have made nuclear energy a promising alternative to fossil fuels, one which already provides much of the power for Japan and France.

Amid a rejuvenation of nuclear power, with fresh plant applications and research, a new type of reactor invented in the U.S. may help make an even stronger argument for a nuclear future.  The new reactor essentially pairs a fission reactor with a fusion one, using the byproducts of the fusion process (neutrons) to break down spent nuclear fuel.  The result is a system that is not forced to rely on high generation from fusion power, which is currently just reaching the break-even point, but which produces less nuclear waste.

The new type of reactor was devised by physicists at The University of Texas at Austin.  Swadesh Mahajan, senior research scientist with the Institute for Fusion Studies (IFS) and Department of Physics at the university describes the team's motivation, stating, "Most people cite nuclear waste as the main reason they oppose nuclear fission as a source of power."

Mike Kotschenreuther, another senior researcher describes the new design, stating, "We have created a way to use fusion to relatively inexpensively destroy the waste from nuclear fission.  Our waste destruction system, we believe, will allow nuclear power-a low carbon source of energy-to take its place in helping us combat global warming."

Currently, a number of older "light water reactors" (LWRs) reactors operating in the U.S. are incapable of reprocessing, unlike modern reactors.  In LWRs, only 75 percent of waste is destroyed, with the most toxic compounds left behind in sludge.  The waste from these reactors is costly to dispose of and potentially unsafe.  To illustrate the problem, Yucca Mountain, the next major nuclear storage site, which will hold 77,000 tons, is set to open in Nevada in 2020.  However, the U.S. will exceed that amount of waste generated by only 2010.

The critical component of the waste destruction system on the new reactor is a high power Compact Fusion Neutron Source (CFNS).  This source uses a tokomak magnetic bottle design and is enabled by a key invention by the team called a Super X Divertor.  The Super X Divertor is a device which allows the reactor to withstand the heat and particle fluxes of a compact design, allowing efficient production of neutrons to reprocess the waste.  Super X Divertors are a relatively proven new technology, being deployed in the MAST tokamak in the United Kingdom, and the DIIID (General Atomics) and NSTX (Princeton University) fusion reactors.

One of the hybrid reactors would be capable of burning the sludge waste of 10 to 15 LWRs, rendering it non-radioactive.  The new design would cut 99 percent of the waste produced by reactors, making them less radioactive than coal plants, which also emit some mildly radioactive isotopes.

Professor Mahajan says the new design should be ready for deployment in just a few years, around the time when the first applications for new nuclear plants in the U.S. may go through.  He says the reactor marks the best way to fight global warming.  He states, "The hybrid we designed should be viewed as a bridge technology.  Through the hybrid, we can bring fusion via neutrons to the service of the energy sector today. We can hopefully make a major contribution to the carbon-free mix dictated by the 2050 time scale set by global warming scientists."

The new design is reported in the journal Fusion Engineering and Design.

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Accelerated particle reactors
By Amiga500 on 1/28/2009 11:55:11 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds mighty like transmutation of existing waste using AP reactors to me...

(Only the neutron is coming from a fusion reaction, and not a linear rf accelerator)

Another nice step on the road to cleaning up nuclear waste. Tell any tree-hugger you know - the nuclear waste issue is a dead-duck - give it 15 years.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 12:46:35 PM , Rating: 5
I like telling environmentalists to stop breathing when they talk about the CO2 "problem"

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By BreathingCausesGW on 1/28/2009 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 5
refer to my username.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 1:41:01 PM , Rating: 1
Just sent in a personalized tag request here. My 2nd choice was GASGZLR. Third choice was CO2SPWR. Just to piss off the liberals. But I should get my first choice since I called ahead and it is not taken.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 1:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't get a tag that would piss anyone. Remember what the eco-terrorists did to hummers in a dealer lot a few years ago?

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 2:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
As I said, I should get my first choice. Which has nothing to do with anything.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
Getting a license plate tag to "piss people off" is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. It openly displays your lack of maturity.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 2:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
One of the great things about America, for the good or bad, we're allowed to be as stupid as we want.

If my dumbest act is getting a license plate that displays some immaturity, fine. Still better than being one of those I'm pissing off.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Bubbacub on 1/28/2009 4:11:21 PM , Rating: 3
do you really think people aren't allowed to be dumb in other countries?

hmmmn, you do know that the usa isn't the only bastion of freedom and all round goodness in the world.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By phxfreddy on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By FPP on 2/1/2009 6:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
The other thing about that we're allowed to be anything we can achieve, dumb or smart.

By MrPoletski on 2/2/2009 6:42:35 AM , Rating: 2
And yet you choose dumb for some reason!

why! oh the humanity!

I blame Clinton.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By porkpie on 1/28/2009 2:52:16 PM , Rating: 5
Getting a license plate tag to "piss people off" is one of the dumbest things I've ever read.
You need to get out more then.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Doormat on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By porkpie on 1/28/2009 5:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
Except when they talk about global warming or any other environmental topic. Then the wheels fall off the bus in record time.

By RubberJohnny on 1/28/2009 8:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why? Because most readers on their site don't subscribe to the same view of GW as you?

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Doormat on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By porkpie on 1/28/2009 8:34:41 PM , Rating: 5
Do I need to use smaller words? As I already explained to you, the CRA is only ONE of the Democratic-sponsored measures that encouraged (and in some cases forced) lenders to make subprime loans.

The biggest reason wasn't even the CRA (though it certainly contributed) but the Democrats changing the rules to allow Fannie Mae to get into the subprime market in the first place. Fannie Mae risks OUR money not their own, so of course when they were allowed to make subprime loans, they made hundreds of billions of dollars worth of them.

Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson made over $100M in bonuses off all those loans, then turned around and became an advisor to Obama. Then there's the Fannie Mae massive campaign contributions to Democrats on key banking and oversight committees, people like Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barney Frank.

It's all a very VERY ugly picture. And I'm not surprised you want to sweep it all under the rug.

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By ekv on 1/29/2009 4:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
ok, I'll bite, if it wasn't CRA, then what has caused subprime mortgage crisis?

Btw, along with Jim Johnson, there is also Franklin Raines and Tim Howard. Mr. Raines of course was found guilty of faulty accounting practices, after leaving Fannie Mae with a $240 million golden parachute, and ordered to return $50 million.

And another thing, as unconscionable as it is, Fannie Mae is still lobbying congress, using yours and our bail-out monies to further line the pockets of their over-seers. Talk about hubris and chutzpah. It's kind of like a lab rat using mind-control on the scientist so to push the excitation button.

Instead of a bail-out, how about not taxing the money away from me in the first place? How about opening ANWR so we can tell Middle East Muslim-fascists to take-a-long-walk-off-a-short-pier? Don't give money to ACORN, put it into fusion-fission research.

By BreathingCausesGW on 1/29/2009 10:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think he has decided that it was Greenspan's fault for keeping the interest rate low for as long as he did. Easy money encouraged lending. After the tech bubble burst and 9/11, people were searching for a place to put their money. Flipping houses seemed like a risk-free investment because everyone assumed home values would increase indefinitely. But that would only explain the speculative home purchases, not the poor/minority homeowners that lost their only home. So I assume that his explanation would be explosion of mbs's and credit default swaps in the market, which even now are completely unregulated. But even then, greed cannot account for all of this. Where was the motivation to throw 100years of lending standards out the window? CRA, HUD, and other such policies mandating that these loans be made sounds more logical to me. They were rated based on how many of these loans they made, and threatened with downgrading(resulting in penalties and loss of funds) if they didnt.
Sorry, the government got us in to this and Obama is wrong, the government is NOT the one who will get us out.

By oxymojoe on 2/1/2009 3:25:43 AM , Rating: 2
Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee half of this nations home loans at around 6 Trillion dollars.

Warnings signs since 1999, Bush and Repubs tried to fix it in 2003, Democrats vehemently blocked anything being done while screaming there is no problem.

And you, along with a lot of liberals, just refuse to accept the fact that it is (along with the bundled mortgage backed securities) a major reason why we are in this mess.

To top it all off, you insist it is G.W.B. and his "failed economic policies". Then Obama turns around and introduces a massive pork package spending spree and slams any dissent as "being childish" and "playing politics". He does the same fear mongering crap as the last guy ...."must be passed swiftly" blah blah blah.

THEN...he is ushering in a new era of politics...where he breaks his own ethics rules hiring lobbyists, and has one scandalous appointment after another. What a joke. McCain was a crappy candidate for sure, but you guys got hoodwinked!

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Boze on 2/2/2009 1:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
For a country that was largely founded on principles of inflammatory speech, its pretty hypocritical to say that, now isn't it?

RE: Accelerated particle reactors
By Spuke on 1/28/2009 2:38:59 PM , Rating: 5
Simply driving what you choose to drive pisses these people off. No need for license plates.

By MrBlastman on 1/28/2009 1:18:21 PM , Rating: 4
They might be offended and alarmed if you mention "dead-duck" in any sentence to them. They'll go off on an immediate crusade to get to the bottom of the inhumane treatment of the duck....

Yucca Mtn is dead
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 2:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
Reid is having it killed to satisfy his constituents (Las Vegas). He has already talked to Obama about it. Thankfully with this it seems like it might not be needed in the first place.

Part of the reason why locals were opposed (at least the ones who've been here for a while) to the YMP was because it felt like we were getting getting crapped on by the feds. When they went to look for places to store nuclear waste, the only candidate they found to test was Yucca Mtn - in other words, its going to end up at YM whether its suitable or not. There were initially other candidates, but the relatively stronger political delegations from other states managed to get their sites pulled from consideration, and Nevada (at the time only had 1 congressional representative) couldn't do much about it.

If someone came and dumped garbage in your backyard you'd be pretty pissed off too. That sums up how locals feel, outside of the safety, "wont someone think of the children!" reactions.

All the Obama/liberal hatred is pretty stupid and immature - if something like this can really dispose of the radioactive waste, there is no reason why Obama's administration would say no. Stephen Chu is a very intelligent person and as long as the science is sound, I'm confident he'd sign off on it, especially if they can use it to get rid of current LWR waste and provide power.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Ringold on 1/28/2009 4:04:35 PM , Rating: 4
All the Obama/liberal hatred is pretty stupid and immature - if something like this can really dispose of the radioactive waste, there is no reason why Obama's administration would say no.

I don't see a reason to bash Obama yet on any of this, he's new to the job and been vaguely moderate thus far (much to the absolute outrage of many liberals). However, liberal bashing is easy on nuclear power, they've been opposed for decades, they're opposed now, and I bet you they'll continue to be opposed.

As for Yucca Mountain and locals getting dumped on -- so what? Someone has to take one for the team. There's 50 states, only some of which have mountains, and only some of those are sparsely populated. It's regrettable that it's a problem at all, but ultimately someones back yard has to have some nuclear waste in it.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Ringold on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 4:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
One of the Greenpeace founders supports nuclear power. I guess I'm not as eager to stereotype all liberals/environmentalists into the anti-nuke group.

Plus, you act as if the small minority speaks for all of the green movement. I might as well ask you why you hate America because Limbaugh said he wants Obama to fail.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Ringold on 1/28/2009 4:34:39 PM , Rating: 1
One of the Greenpeace founders supports nuclear power. I guess I'm not as eager to stereotype all liberals/environmentalists into the anti-nuke group.

I've done the grunt work before; I visited every major news-worthy national environmental group in the United States website, looked around, and posted a link to a statement where they oppose nuclear power. I care not that a former Greenpeace founder supports nuclear power -- does he hold any sway with the current Greenpeace? Apparently not. Greenpeace is rabidly anti-nuclear. Anyway, I'm not doing that same work again, if you can't see that the majority of the "green" establishment is pretty radical in some of its positions then it's just an education issue on your part, or willful blindness. I'll tease you with this Greenpeace quote, right from their "issues" page regarding nuclear; "In fact, it is a truly dangerous distraction from real solutions". It doesn't even matter if many rank-and-file environmentalists are more moderate, by the way, because its the institutions they support that are the ones who lobby congress, not the rank and file guys.

Maybe that's different from "liberals" in a more broad sense, though, so I guess I'll retract that part and focus just on the "green" movement.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 5:27:04 PM , Rating: 3
One of the Greenpeace founders supports nuclear power. I guess I'm not as eager to stereotype all liberals/environmentalists into the anti-nuke group
That founder is Patrick Moore, and he long ago left Greenpeace, saying they're far more interested in promoting their anti-technology agenda than they are in actually helping the environment.

This isn't some unfounded stereotype being tossed around. Every major environmental group is rabidly against commercial nuclear power-- most devote significant resources to legal and political action to block anything nuclear related. It's not some "small minority", its the leadership of the movement, the people who receive the funding, set the policy, and call the shots.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 6:46:35 PM , Rating: 1
Liberal != Environmentalist

Perhaps I should have been more clear on that. I consider myself somewhat liberal and pro environment, but certainly not anti-technology (most assuredly not, its how I make my living). There are a substantial amount of people in the green movement that want to "clean up", not to make the US look like N. Korea at night (which is one of the memes I've heard recently).

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 8:44:05 PM , Rating: 3
> " consider myself somewhat liberal and pro environment, but certainly not anti-technology..."

Unfortunately, you're not in the driver's seat of the environmental movement. Those who are remain rabidly anti-technology.

Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, WWF, WRI, ELF, Friends of the Earth, Rocky Mountain Institute, Earth First, etc -- are anti-nuclear, anti-fusion, anti-genetic engineering and biotech, anti-nanotech, anti-industrial activity in general.

If you've ever been a member or given a penny to any of these groups, you've given their Luddite agenda explicit support. If you've done no more than indicate an interest in 'saving the environment' on any poll or political issue, you've given them implicit support as well, by virtue of their unchallenged position as leaders of the movement.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By MrPoletski on 1/29/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By Solandri on 1/29/2009 8:45:42 AM , Rating: 4
Actually it's the environmental groups with the "you're either with us or against us" attitude. When I was in high school, there was some proposed legislation to open up some federally protected wetlands for development. The environmental groups opposed it, as did Ducks Unlimited (a hunting group).

Ducks Unlimited attempted to contact most of the environmental groups (in particular I remember the Sierra Club and WWF mentioned in the article) to coordinate their opposition. The environmental groups refused to even talk to the DU reps. This despite the fact that DU has bought and preserved more wetlands than all the environmental groups combined.

The environmental groups do a lot of good things. But stray from their line in the slightest and they consider you an enemy, even if your goals coincide with theirs on an issue.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By MrPoletski on 2/2/2009 6:39:55 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 4:48:28 PM , Rating: 1
If you define his actions in just his first week as moderate I'd hate to see what you define as left wing.

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:41:48 AM , Rating: 3

RE: Yucca Mtn is dead
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:04:04 AM , Rating: 2
I get called a liberal, but I've never been apposed to nuclear power, quite the opposite.

What about Thorium power reactors?
By docawolff on 1/28/2009 3:27:00 PM , Rating: 3
One of the hybrid reactors would be capable of burning the sludge waste of 10 to 15 LWRs, rendering it non-radioactive.

O.K. first off, neutron "burning" of fission waste eventually leads to materials that are still radioactive, but have a relatively short half-life--generally less than 90 years. That is NOT "non-radioactive." In fact, in some cases, because of the relatively short half-life, the fission products can be more dangerous (because they produce more ionizing radiation per second than, say, plutonium 239) unless properly handled.

Second, the use of a fusion core to produce neutrons solely for the reprocessing of spent fuel is not nearly as efficient as using the spend fuel to generate additional electricity using a thorium reactor. There are several designs for these reactors being developed, including a reactor that runs in molten lead.

The other advantage of a thorium reactor is that it requires a continuous source of neutrons (generated via a proton beam impacting a target), and than thus be turned off by simply halting the additional neutron source--inherently fail-safe.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 3:44:11 PM , Rating: 3
The other advantage of a thorium reactor is that it requires a continuous source of neutrons
This is a function of reactor design, not fuel cycle. One can design a thorium reactor that doesn't require a constant neutron flux, and one can design a uranium reactor that does. Thorium is simply slightly more amenable to such an approach.

That is NOT "non-radioactive. In fact, in some cases, because of the relatively short half-life, the fission products can be more dangerous "
Err, nothing in the environment is entirely non-radioactive, not even the nitrogen in the air you breathe. Transmutation of long-lived fission wastes, however, makes the final output of the reactor less radioactive than natural coal ash. Given we dump hundreds of millions of tons of such ash directly into the air each year, replacing those coal plants with advanced reactors would actually reduce the level of radiation release.

And yes, any nuclide with a shorter half life will have a higher radioactive profile. That's a basic law. However, by transmuting daughter nuclides that can remain active for thousands of years into ones which complete most of their decay before they're even removed from the reactor itself, you are indeed achieving a very substantial benefit.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By docawolff on 1/28/2009 5:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
Transmutation of long-lived fission wastes, however, makes the final output of the reactor less radioactive than natural coal ash.

Ah, actually, you might want to go to the USGS web site: As you can see, the natural radioactivity of coal is about the same as for black shale. Typically coal has 5-20% fly ash, so the inherent radioactivity of fly ash will be between 5 and 20 times that of the parent coal. The radioactivity is coming from uranium and thorium, both very long-lived materials, so the actual number of picocuries per gram of fly ash is quite low. The output from a fission reactor burning daughter products (and need I point out that the final products will have the short half-life discussed above?) will be orders of magnitude more reactive.

I therefore respectfully disagree with your assertion that transmutation of long-lived fission waste will produce a material that is less radioactive than coal fly ash..

Given we dump hundreds of millions of tons of such ash directly into the air each year...

Fly ash is a solid and under EPA rules the vast majority of fly ash must be captured and contained in a coal-fired power plant. I work in this industry, and I can assure you that if a power plant begins to exceed their stack limits (opacity), they will de-rate until they can get their emissions under control. Furthermore, the Powder River Basin produces roughly half the nation's coal and last year shipped just about 500,000,000 tons. The fly ash content of this coal is typically 5%. Thus, the PRB coal only contained 25 million tons of fly ash total. Giving you the benefit of the doubt and saying that the fly ash collectors are only 90% efficient that is only 2.5 million tons remaining in the flue gas (I am using Electrostatic Precipitators in this example, but many plants use wet scrubbers which are even more efficient). Finally, this fly ash does not remain in the air for long. It is a particulate material and most of it settles to earth either on its own or when it nucleates precipitation. Hence, even if your initial remark were true, it is misleading as any fugitive fly ash will generally settle out within a few miles of a power plant (again, see the USGS web site cited above and look at their analysis of additional radiation exposure from living near a power plant. The implication is that the fly ash falls out within a few miles of the plant.)

Thus, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that we dump hundreds of million tons of fly ash into the air each year.

By masher2 on 1/28/2009 5:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
The output from a fission reactor burning daughter products (and need I point out that the final products will have the short half-life discussed above?) will be orders of magnitude more reactive.
You're missing the point. Those nuclides decay before the waste is disposed of. Most of the short-lived daughters are substantially gone within a few months in a holding pond. The final output is therefore less radioactive than coal ash.

I haven't done the actual computations myself, but several noted experts have, including Carl Rubbia, a Nobel prizewinner and long-time particle physicist. His computations are available online; if you don't trust my assertion, I refer you to his.

Furthermore, the Powder River Basin produces roughly half the nation's coal and last year shipped just about 500,000,000 tons
The US is not the only coal consumer in the world. Collectively, we most certainly do release hundreds of millions of tons of ash into the air each year. In nations outside of US and Western Europe, most coal plants do little or nothing except entrain the ash right into the flues.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 4:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
One of the biggest scientific hurdles to waste storage was how do you store waste for 10,000 years, possibly more.

100-250 years is much easier by comparison.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 5:34:55 PM , Rating: 2
A large percentage of industrial waste remains toxic forever. Mercury, lead, arsenic, etc -- these never break down. Right away, nuclear waste has a vast advantage over these toxins...toxins that are found in most homes to one degree or another.

Nuclear waste has another huge advantage-- the amounts are so small. Your average reactor generates a couple cubic meters of high-level waste a year.

How do you think we've managed to operate nuclear plants for half a century without any permanent waste storage facility? The plants simply store the waste on site. The volumes are so small, its really not that big of a deal. Sure, a permanent site would be a bit safer and more convenient...but the environmentalists have denied us that. They've also denied us clean nuclear power, thereby keeping hundreds of dirty, dangerous coal plants active, thereby engendering one of the greatest environmental tragedies of all time. Truth is stranger than fiction.

To anyone with any real understanding in the field, waste disposal is a nonissue. We could simply grind it up and dump it in the deep ocean if we wished. Compared to the millions of tons of natural uranium, thorium, radium, and radioactive potassium already in the ocean, we could do this for thousands of years and not measurably change radiation levels.

The "issue" here is a fiction, a bugbear created by anti-nuclear activists who prey on fear and ignorance.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By Doormat on 1/28/2009 6:34:21 PM , Rating: 1
The biggest roadblock to a permanent waste site is not the environmentalists - its the residents of the state in which you want to put it (Nevada, specifically the 2M people who live in Las Vegas).

But yea, keep making ignorant statements like that Mike to stroke the flames...

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By Steve Guilliot on 1/28/2009 7:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
Stroking flames... you should be ashamed of yourself.

BTW, the bigest bugbear in these (and all Anandtech) comments is the "liberal" "hippie "environmentalist". It's quite fashionable to setup that strawman.

Fact is liberal is not a dirty word, and many environmentalists are pro-nuclear for exactly the reasons Asher mentions. Greenpeace and other extremist orgs are just that, extremist, and do not represent the left AT ALL.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By kyleb2112 on 1/29/2009 3:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
Congressional Democrats are the ones ultimately blocking Nuclear energy and they are absolutely beholden to the environmental groups. They attend their meetings, they take their donations, they champion their causes. A Democratic vote is nearly always an anti-nuclear energy vote. You can fill in whatever label "liberals" are calling themselves this week, it doesn't change that equation.

RE: What about Thorium power reactors?
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:40:34 AM , Rating: 2
You can fill in whatever label "liberals" are calling themselves this week, it doesn't change that equation.

Liberals do not lable themselves, the right lables people it disagrees with as liberal.

how many times have you heard a politician stand up and declare himself a liberal, now how many times have you heard bill o reilly calling somebody a liberal?

By Solandri on 1/29/2009 8:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
Liberals do not lable themselves, the right lables people it disagrees with as liberal.

Pot, meet kettle.

By Fnoob on 1/29/2009 9:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
"Liberals do not lable themselves"

Err, they refer to themselves as 'progressives' now...

Around the time the Constitution was written, the term 'liberal' was a dirty word. I suggest that it still is. Minus One... engage!

By oxymojoe on 2/1/2009 3:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
It's more than just enviro-nuts keeping nuclear power from becoming a reality. So many different companies and their competing technologies.

The truth isn't that strange at all...this boils down to money. The rest is just semantics.

By TimberJon on 1/28/2009 11:39:57 AM , Rating: 2
There are several reactors that either are or can be the testbed for tokamak format fusion, specifically the ITER. Perhaps they can test this method in the KSTAR or the JET.

The ITER reactors' mission is clear cut, and probably won't allow deviance like this method of waste recycling. I have been following this project for a long time. The benefits far outweigh the cons once we finally light fusion in this reactor past 400 seconds of runtime. The newfound super steel is playing a big part in construction plan revisions for the ITER. I also wouldn't doubt that carbon technologies might find it's way into the construction process. If not initially then at least as revisions.

There will be a ton of heat in that bottle.

RE: Implementation
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 12:24:20 PM , Rating: 5
The problem with fusion reactors isn't materials strength, its the low Q values. To operate a fusion reactor commercially, you need far more than breakeven, something like 20 times that. We've been building Tokamaks for over a half-century, and, compared to a value needed for an actual commercial reactor, have made very little progress towards that goal.

In the 1960s, most fusion researchers predicted commercial power in 50 years. In the 1980s, it was still "50 years away". Today, you can find a few who will quote 40 years out. We've made very little real progress in the past half-century, moving Q values less than an order of magnitude

The sad fact is that magnetic containment is never going to be viable without a breakthrough in theory...and such advancements are impossible to predict. It could happen tomorrow; it could as easily never occur.

RE: Implementation
By SilentSin on 1/28/2009 2:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry for being a complete newbie on the subject, but I did not find anything in the source article as to how exactly they get the fusion reaction going here. This is about all the details they give:

"To burn this really hard to burn sludge, you really need to hit it with a sledgehammer, and that's what we have invented here," says Kotschenreuther.

What? What the hell "sledgehammer" are they talking about? Are they referring to the same type of fission trigger that fusion bombs are made with or is this something completely different? I would figure if someone had managed to create a sustainable fusion reaction of any kind that would create a headline somewhere...

RE: Implementation
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 2:56:08 PM , Rating: 2
What? What the hell "sledgehammer" are they talking about?
They're talking about the neutron flux from a fusion reaction -- a reaction that isn't energetic itself to be commercially viable, but does allow the spent fuel to be broken down.

RE: Implementation
By SilentSin on 1/28/2009 4:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Okay so I saw the part in the article where it talks about the Divertor and the particle fluxes:

The Super X Divertor is designed to handle the enormous heat and particle fluxes peculiar to compact devices; it would enable the CFNS to safely produce large amounts of neutrons without destroying the system.

Still doesn't answer the question of where the fusion is coming from in the first place. Am I way off in thinking that the basic idea here is to fire up the plasma like what is already done in reactors like JET with a tokamak and then they stick a bunch of nuclear waste in with it? By doing that then these neutron emissions are created? There's just some dots that I can't seem to connect from the info given.

If that is the case, how long does such a reaction last for a given amount of "spent" fuel? Does this still have the same efficiency problems that fusion is having? Getting the plasma up to 100 million degrees in the first place to burn the waste can't be cheap, and how much energy are you going to get out of it from burning it?

RE: Implementation
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 5:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
Schematically, it looks like this

D-T (hydrogen) fusion -> neutron flux -> fission of daughter nuclides.

The fusion portion still suffers from the need to input as much or more energy to heat the plasma than you get from the reaction...but remember, you're not trying to commercialize that portion, you're simply trying to catalyze the fission reaction.

RE: Implementation
By SilentSin on 1/28/2009 6:19:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ah so that's the rub. The fusion reaction is just a trigger used to further fizzle the fissile. Any limitation on what isotope this can be used on? Perhaps this could be a way to dispose of the enriched uranium sitting around in rotting missiles too. /me looks at Russia

All these "new" methods of nuclear power generation are all pretty awesome. Makes me wonder where development would be now if nuclear power wasn't mothballed decades ago. If one good thing has come out of the whole global warming debacle it's the reinvestment in energy research, we're damn sure gonna need it soon.

RE: Implementation
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 8:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps this could be a way to dispose of the enriched uranium sitting around in rotting missiles too
We already have a method to do that-- downblend it and use it in a conventional reactor. In fact, its already being done on a limited basis.

I hereby dub thee...
By Motoman on 1/28/2009 11:40:44 AM , Rating: 5
...the "cannibal" reactor. Since, you know, one side is a "breeder" and the other side, um, eats the bred.

Or something like that. Anyway, cooler than saying "hybrid fission/fusion reactor."

RE: I hereby dub thee...
By MrBlastman on 1/28/2009 11:44:24 AM , Rating: 5
Didn't you know that inbreeding of nuclear particles can lead to retarded decays? :(

RE: I hereby dub thee...
By Motoman on 1/28/2009 8:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
Ha! I salute you, sir!

RE: I hereby dub thee...
By kattanna on 1/28/2009 1:01:00 PM , Rating: 3
...the "cannibal" reactor.

how about we call it the cannabis reactor to help the enviro hippies to get behind it as well?

RE: I hereby dub thee...
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:07:13 AM , Rating: 2


SPIN cycles
By andrinoaa on 1/28/2009 9:37:20 PM , Rating: 1
Ok you nuclar lovers, you had your self praising go. You can rant and rave all you want but the reality is you have 77,000 tons of radio active waste that hasn't dissappeared but growing in size. Self evidently, the problem HASN'T been F*&^%$g SOLVED!! Thats just first base. You can rant and rave about the greens, the environmentalists and liberals all you want, but you need to change the facts on the ground to have any relevance. This is just more VAPOURWARE. This industry has already sucked enough money from research budgets, its had a go already so when do we say enough is enough?

RE: SPIN cycles
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 9:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
> "you have 77,000 tons of radio active waste that hasn't dissappeared. the problem HASN'T been F*&^%$g SOLVED!!"

Do you have any idea how many countless billions of tons of radioactive material are in the ocean and soil already? Granite buildings and countertops are radioactive. Bananas are radioactive (K40). A cross-country trip nets you a large dose of radioactivity (gamma). So does living in most houses in a New England or Rocky Mountain state (radon).

The mere existence of a trifling amount of waste isn't a problem, not when it no longer poses any danger. As such, the problem was solved long ago. Environmentalists simply refuse to acknowledge it.

RE: SPIN cycles
By andrinoaa on 1/28/2009 10:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
Works both ways masher2, ideologes refuse to acknowledge whats infront of them. If its so f#$%^&*g safe, why are you putting it in Yukon mountain?
You like to be pedantic, so tell me, since when is the definition of having no waste problem a "see no evil, hear no evil and dumb" atitude?
Get rid of this waste permanently and you will find the attitudes to nuclear power will go away. While it is even in existence, you have a massive PA problem. Out of sight and out of mind does not get rid of the waste. You like nuclear power fine, I don't care either way, but try to see facts as they are. No amount of vapourware is going to get rid of the waste.
How long have I been critising your absolute faith in Nuclar? Two years now? And what has been the progress in eliminating the waste? I'ii tell you sweet FA.

RE: SPIN cycles
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
I bet you don't even know what nuclEar waste is and why it might be dangerous.

The vast majority of it is harmless.

The plastic vending cups the operators drink from and discard are considered nuclear waste btw, amongst other things.

The safety restrictions in a nuclear power plant are stricter than the rules in your mothers basement.

RE: SPIN cycles
By MisterChristopher on 1/29/2009 7:08:44 AM , Rating: 2
There is certainly one solution. First build a complete new power generation infastructure based only on nuclear plants of these or better designs. Then, designate a certain number of those plants as waste reduction plants. They could use all the power generated by their fission element to power fusion reactors that continually burn waste until it is all gone. At that point, those plants could be converted to power production purposes.

RE: SPIN cycles
By TimberJon on 1/29/2009 1:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
I always thought from back in the early 90's that the best way to dispose of garbage that cannot be recycled was to jettison it into space. Sent it outward or towards our sun.

I believe they have been working on the concept.. but it won't be able to launch much...

Damn it's old news.. but not going anywhere. We need a giant facility with it's own power plants on-site and a wide foundation to disperse the kinetic force, then launch container-sized canisters straight up and out of our atmosphere. How tall would that be? Half mile? Mile? Would get the job done..

Little bit of controversy about radioactive sludge in a can being shot out of our atmosphere though.. Might be a risk factor there...

RE: SPIN cycles
By Solandri on 1/29/2009 9:10:15 AM , Rating: 2
Works both ways masher2, ideologes refuse to acknowledge whats infront of them. If its so f#$%^&*g safe, why are you putting it in Yukon mountain?

Because at some point the people who know and understand this stuff gave up trying to teach the people who don't or refuse to understand this stuff, and agreed to a ridiculously expensive and overdesigned waste storage solution to make them happy. At the time it seemed like it would be easier than getting them to actually learn and understand this stuff.

Unfortunately as you've demonstrated, it's turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This overreaction due to people who don't or refuse to understand the true risk, is now touted as evidence of risk.

Public perception of risk is often wildly skewed from the actual risk. Your chances of dying in a car accident are roughly 13x greater per mile than your chances of dying in a plane accident. But after every plane crash the public demands that air travel be made safer, while the approximately 125 auto accident fatalities every day in the U.S. go ignored.

RE: SPIN cycles
By andrinoaa on 1/30/2009 3:33:00 AM , Rating: 1
I think you are living in fantasy land if you think you are the repository of all knowledge nuclear. The waste is a fact. It needs to be managed beyond your grand children's life span. It will be impressively expensive to maintain.
My point is that this industry has been on the verge for 50yrs and still all we get are government subsidised plants that nobody wants in their back yards. This article is just more vapourware. The reality is the waste is not going away but increasing in size. Masher2 is great at ascerting "we have no problem". Sorry but you are in denial.
Car deaths are another issue altogether. Insurance companies have already decided the odds and have abandoned nuclear power. Its not over reaction, what I am demanding is to fix the problems already created before adding more problems. Nuclear physisists need to have a WORKING model that lives up to the hype before they have any credibility!
Sorry but that is what you have to deal with.

RE: SPIN cycles
By Fritzr on 1/31/2009 12:44:53 AM , Rating: 2

Before you spout please do a little research on the research into waste disposal and waste recycling. Also it would probably be a good idea to read the article above these comments.

The article is discussing the idea of using a Tokamak fusion reactor as a neutron source. The conversion of waste by neutron bombardment is already proven. The continuing research is looking for cost effective neutron beam generators. That is what the Linear Accelerator mentioned in the article is used for.

The mountain in Nevada is Yucca Mountain. The Yukon is in Alaska.

The real hype is in discussions of danger. The famous 3 Mile Island release of "dangerously radioactive steam" required sensitive measuring equipment to measure due to the background radiation found in normal soil and air being greater than the release.

The reason the nuclear waste is being stored in ponds today is that the nuclear plants are not legally permitted to extract the reusable fuel that remains. This is a political decision. The equipment for recycling has been designed, tested and used. It is currently illegal to use in the United States.

There are several reactor designs that have been developed and tested that can use the reactor waste.

The current serious environmental problems associated witih nuclear waste are at sites like Hanford where the waste was generated by unregulated government programs and are being stored in government mandated storage containers that do not meet the standards that commercial nuclear waste generators are required by law to meet.

The Yucca Mountain Repository was the outcome of a Congressional initiative to create a central waste storage site where the nuclear waste could be held until recycling technology that was politically acceptable was developed. Unfortunately the people who came up with this bright idea felt that a Congressional mandate would magically create ways to do it safely. They did not know how to stabilize the waste for storage in a Waste Repository. they did not know where such a site could be found. There were several other obstacles to creating a Waste Repository. In the end Yucca Mountain was selected based on political needs.

Irradiating the waste and converting it waste that will be safe to approach within 200yrs reduces the time that the waste remains dangerous. One of the big fears about the Waste Repository was how to put a warning sign that would be understood 2000 years from now. "Burning" the waste eliminates the problem.

No one here thinks they are the repository of all knowledge nuclear, but I'd be willing to put money on the bet that almost all have a more complete understanding than you do :P

If you want to convince people of your views it would be a good idea to start reading the pro-nuclear articles and studying the concepts, techniques and technologies that they mention. You do a great deal of damage to your argument when you begin by saying you have no understanding of what you are talking about.

When you say "fix the problem we have now"...

Are you referring to the problem of nuclear waste?
--Read the article, that's what they are talking about.

Are you referring to the problem of what to do when the oil, coal and oil sands/shales are depleted?
--Nuclear is one of the solutions. This article is
discussing making a proven waste reduction method cheaper.
--Solar, Tidal, Wave, Wind is limited in the amount of power that can be generated. Hydro is well proven to destroy river systems. When these are maxed out where will you get additional RENEWABLE power. Yes, nuclear is not renewable, it will run out sometime in the next few millennia.

Are you referring to the problem of more research being needed to find more efficient ways to manage waste?
--Uhm Might be a good idea not to argue against research on the grounds that further research might be needed.

RE: SPIN cycles
By ekv on 1/29/2009 5:05:22 AM , Rating: 2
but you need to change the facts on the ground to have any relevance

Not sure what you mean. I believe the article is reporting on a new technology. As such, it will take time to develop. It's kind of like wanting an Intel X25-E SSD, though with, say a couple hundred GB's and costing, say, $75. Someday perhaps, but it takes a while.

As far as research budgets are concerned, how's about not spending $800+ billion on a non-problem. The bail-out proposed by Congress is insane. Included in it is some $400 million [is that right?!] for ACORN. You know, the organization that fraudulently registered Democratic voters. Why give those turkeys money? Why not spend it on something that shows greater promise? Would you agree that energy independence would solve a great many of our difficulties around the world?

The benchmark
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 11:07:37 AM , Rating: 5
Benchmark for wind/solar should be at least as cheap as coal/oil or no grant money.
Also anyone who's against nuclear should be fined 4x their current electric bill until they get to their senses.

RE: The benchmark
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think solar plants are nearly as viable as they should be yet... but localised solar panel usage is right on IMHO.

Street lights that charged during the day by the panel on top, for example, would negate the needs to flow jiggawatts of power around the grid to the lights (though they may need a top up in dull weather). That would save loads on power losses in the leccy grids wires and allow some lights in certain places to be laid without any underground wiring at all saving a fortune in building costs.

If every building had some panels on its roof, again you don't have losses in power transmission - but more importantly you have some source of power during an outage.

Hell in the depths of winter that could mean the difference between ice cold death and shivering in front of a radiator for some people.

RE: The benchmark
By Solandri on 1/29/2009 9:37:35 AM , Rating: 2
You can't power a street lamp with a solar panel on top. A commercially viable (15% efficiency) solar panel currently generates approximately 100 Watts per square meter under optimal conditions. A typical street lamp is 300-1000 Watts.

So to power the lamp through (being generous) 8 hours of darkness would require 2.4 to 8 kWh of energy. Assuming you get 5-10 hours of bright sunlight each day and factoring in the incident angle of the sun, you would need anywhere from 3 to 20 square meters of panels per lamp to accomplish that. You'd also need some semi-large batteries to store enough electricity to last the 8 hours.

Solar is good as a supplemental power source, for reducing power requirements. But it's horribly space-inefficient if you try to use it as your sole source of power.

RE: The benchmark
By Solandri on 1/29/2009 10:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
And by the way, transmission losses in power lines only amount to 3%-7%. It's the reason plug-in hybrids and electric cars are competitive vs. ICU cars which carry their fuel with them and have no transmission losses.

Most people just don't get it...
By androticus on 1/28/2009 10:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
Most people seem to naively think that a new green source of power would be welcomed by enviros -- exactly the opposite it true. Their religion establishes nature without man as the standard of good, and anything man does as bad. Cheap, clean energy would simply enable a big increase in all kinds of other production, and would increase mining, production, etc., and would probably increase food yields, and promote population growth. Nukes have always been safe and clean, when you consider the TOTAL risk and pollution. This hasn't stopped the lefties from trying to stop it altogether. And they promote wind and solar, but those are loser technologies with limited capacity to supply our total power needs. And of course they oppose hydro, because of all the alleged environmental impacts of damns.

RE: Most people just don't get it...
By masher2 on 1/29/2009 10:22:11 AM , Rating: 2
"Giving society cheap, abundant energy ... would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun."

- Paul Ehrlich, Stanford Professor and Environmentalist Guru.

By BreathingCausesGW on 1/29/2009 10:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
I see your Ehrlich, and raise you a Capone, Mill and Nietzsche

"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it... The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized society against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." - John Stuart Mill

"To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence" - Friedrich Nietzsche


Nuke Waste Still A Problem
By Pandonodrim on 1/29/2009 11:42:05 AM , Rating: 1
Even if this technology works it sounds like it will not address, at all, the radioactive and other waste products from mining and enriching the fuel. The waste from the plant itself is only one aspect of the horrendous environmental and health implications of these facilities.

Nukes are not the answer to our energy needs. They cannot replace coal plants. They are horrendously expensive, take forever to build, and there isn't enough uranium to fuel enough of them to power this country. The money that will be wasted on them (and on supposedly "clean" coal techs, which are nothing but a marketing scam) should go to renewable and energy efficiency programs. That is where our energy will come from in the future. Lets stop wasting time and money on these old, damaging technologies and get the ball rolling on the real sollutions.

RE: Nuke Waste Still A Problem
By masher2 on 1/29/2009 12:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
Where do people get this stuff? The "waste" from enriching uranium is depleted uranium. Besides being invaluable for military purposes, its also *less* radioactive than the natural uranium we dig out of the ground itself.

As for nuclear reactors "taking forever to build", that will be true only as long as we allow environmental idiocy to delay construction for years, due to misplaced lawsuits and legal challenges.

Finally, the nonsense that "there isn't enough uranium" is simply inexcusable. The combination of breeder reactors and fuel reprocessing alone yields enough fuel to power the entire world for tens of thousands of years...and after that, there's always thorium, an element roughly 3X as prevalent as uranium.

RE: Nuke Waste Still A Problem
By icanhascpu on 2/2/2009 10:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but its really hard to mine thorium. Gankers everywhere!

By LumbergTech on 1/28/2009 7:31:21 PM , Rating: 2
Some real morons posting on this thing..

You do realize that if the barriers to "liberals" complaints are removed.. some of them might start to agree with your solutions?

You need to wake the hell up and quit thinking in terms of black and white and realize that your mythical target of hatred is just an aggregation of individual traits that you try to pretend are held by everyone who is "liberal" so that you have something to occupy your meaningless life.

RE: wow..
By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, never has a word been bastardised so much.

Liberal has a distinct meaning that is not particularly broad in its definition. I refer all you 'liberal haters' to the dictionary.

It's so difficult to argue with these people because their target is a misdirection, the word just means what they want it to at the time.

By Bender 123 on 1/28/2009 11:04:13 AM , Rating: 3
Oh, Lisa. Its pronounced Nuculer, honey.

By fri2219 on 1/28/2009 12:51:22 PM , Rating: 3
Did they solve the problem w/Neutrons destroying steel?

All similar systems (fast neutron injection) have turned the containment bottle into dried up coffee cake within a matter of a couple of years.

Until that's solved, it's not practical.

Cooling tower
By Ben on 1/28/2009 7:38:54 PM , Rating: 3
I wish I had a dollar for everyone that thinks that those hourglass shaped cooling towers are nuclear reactors.

The media seems to multiply the problem.


Oh well.

By BreathingCausesGW on 1/28/2009 1:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
this is the best article for 2 reasons
1) the picture and quote are from Fallout 3.
2) Its about my school.

Misleading claims about wasre
By theBike45 on 1/28/2009 9:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yucca depository can hold a whole lot more than 77,000 tons of nuclear waste and undoubtedly will be approved as such. And that nuclear waste to be deposited there has been accumulating for the past 50 years. With current reprocessing technology, what's left as nuclear waste is about as dangerous as your wrist watch. We don't need fusion reactors to destroy nuclear waste, an issue only with anti-nuclear types. You know, the ones who blocked nuclear power, effectively doubling our carbon output over the past 30 years. Why would anyone pay attention to those morons? I note that all European nuclear waste is currently being put into permanent storage without any problems. Do you folks really believe that they can take care of nuclear wastes and we can't?

By Warder45 on 1/29/2009 9:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
Waste is one problem, but I thought the big issue was cooling? Didn't the drought in the US SE knock a few plants offline since water levels were getting too low?

By hcetyliad on 1/29/2009 12:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
Every time far-left Liberals and far-right Conservatives end up chasing us out of our jobs, Moderate, or sensible, Liberals and Conservatives come to the rescue.

"Tax and spend" Liberal is as much a swear word as "Borrow and spend" Conservative. The first is basically harping on about a need for Communism so a few can decide if we deserve street lights because of insufficient tax revenue. The latter is harping on about borrowing from Communists because there are not enough taxes to pay for the street lights. We are doomed to live either in darkness or debtor prison.

Did anyone say we are a democracy?

By HercDriver on 1/29/2009 12:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
What about this new, clean, environmentally-friendly source of electricity?

I've heard "Mills Bashing" before, but at least one company thinks his "blacklight" process works. Many "main stream" physicists think it's bunk, but it's been validated by an independant laboratory. Perhaps we should be subsidizing this instead.

Nuclear Waste Issue is not Dead
By leenaree on 1/30/2009 4:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
What this article does not state is that the concept has been demonstrated only small-scale and in the laboratory. There is no working prototype, therefore to say that this is the answer to nuclear waste, and even to say that it will be inexpensive is at best premature, and at worst irresponsible. The technology sounds intriguing, and I look forward to further details, but in the meantime it is equally irresponsible to spend billions of dollars continuing with nuclear business as usual.

Partisan Morons
By BrettJW on 1/31/2009 2:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
All these liberal/environmentalist bashing comments are so ignorant. You all need to quit being so partisan. I would think most liberals (including me) are excited about this technology. All I want is clean energy that is produced in this country, and this seems like a great solution.

Won't solve world energy problem!
By kayronjm on 1/31/2009 2:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately this will not supply 10^18 J/day that we CURRENTLY (this demand is increasing) need to power the planet. The one true solution to solve the world energy problem is nuclear fusion, by one of two approaches, Magnetic Confinement or Inertial Confinement.

Nuclear energy - still not safe
By wordsworm on 2/1/2009 10:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
I know that DT avoids publishing all the nasty stories which the media seems reluctant to publish about nuclear waste issues. Nonetheless, they're out there, they're serious and expensive to clean up. So much so, that governments and the energy corporations are reluctant to clean them up because of the billions it will/would require. They've got leaking dump sites in both the US and France.

I consider myself an environmentalist, but I'm also a misanthrope. So those organizations like Green Peace are the last place I'll go to hang out or activate social conscience. That said, I adamantly oppose nuclear energy until there is a way for the biproduct to be benign. If this works, it would likely remove a lot of the issues that the general population who cares about the environment (obviously a minority at DT and in the Republican/Conservative/Whig parties). It would be great if this could happen, and I think the pressure against nuclear energy - which has thus far likely saved us from a lot worse catastrophes - would be lessened.

I still don't think nuclear energy is the answer though. My reason for saying so is that the nuclear fuel is hard to find and there's not much of it here on earth that can be easily extracted.

Cue Environmentalists...
By MrBlastman on 1/28/2009 10:53:14 AM , Rating: 2



"I just can't understand how they are mistreating those neutrons. Like, oh my gosh! Those poor neutrons! They are being confined in a cage and not given a chance to roam free!"

"That poor isotope. Not only is it smashed into repeatedly and forced to work in a sweatshop, but now it is being washed clean from this world before even half its life goes by!"

"Like, I'm just... gosh, umm... mmkay worried that the fusion... reactorthingy, will like umm... make a super-dense ball of fusionmatterstuff that will suck up the planet! It will be out of control!"

"Darn you Bush! You and your uranium rich policies are ruining America!" ;)

"What's a fusion/fission reeaacccctorr???... Like, did you just see how those mosquitoes died when they got too close to the cooling tower. This is bad stuff!"

The list could go on... and on... They'll always find a way, a means, a "cause" ...

RE: Cue Environmentalists...
By jimpaka on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
doesn't matter
By Screwballl on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: doesn't matter
By JasonMick on 1/28/2009 10:56:48 AM , Rating: 4
Why does a discussion about the merits of nuclear fusion and fission power have to descend immediately into a "I hate Obama"/"I love Obama" whine-fest?

Let's talk about the reactor design and your thoughts on it. Last I checked, Obama doesn't tell venture capitalists whether they can apply for new plants and didn't stop these researchers from developing this new design. In fact, he has virtually nothing to do with this article. So lets talk nuclear and forgo the whining, for just a little while. Itd be a shame if this interesting topic went to waste.

RE: doesn't matter
By quiksilvr on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 11:10:10 AM , Rating: 3
And conservatives are the one who play the race card....

I could care less about the color of his skin. I hate Pelosi just as much as Obama. Unless you're going to say that's because she's a woman? How about Harry Reid or Barney Frank? Are those idiots acceptable targets of my disgust?

RE: doesn't matter
By Jimbo1234 on 1/28/2009 1:39:24 PM , Rating: 1
I could care less about the color of his skin.

So you do care. Now if you said "I coudn't care less..." that's another story.

RE: doesn't matter
By Master Kenobi on 1/28/2009 11:10:49 AM , Rating: 3
I think it has more to do with the fact that his supporters are fanatical, and that he has made quite a number of promises that anyone with an IQ over 80 would recognize as nothing but doubletalk. His trillion dollar "rescue bill" on topic today at the hill is a joke, with the breakdown doing basically nothing to help the economy. Its a 1 trillion dollar pork barrel bill for everything under the sun. There's also the small fact that the guy has never done anything. As a senator he spent 3/4 of his term campaigning and doing absolutely nothing. So yea, call me crazy, but being black has nothing to do with his problems. Although I'm sure he gets some political cred for being the first black guy.

RE: doesn't matter
By ekv on 1/29/2009 5:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
damn, I couldn't have said it better!

RE: doesn't matter
By MrBlastman on 1/28/2009 11:20:00 AM , Rating: 4
Oh sure, bring out the race card. Typical strategy. It has NOTHING to do with him being a black man.

It is about his policy and substance man! Don't fall into the trap that the rest of the Democrat constituents have fallen into and be swayed purely by his ability to Opine, Orrate and present himself with elegance, poise, dignity and flair. If any of these people took a few minutes to actually interpret, read and listen to what he says - you'd see quite quickly how radical he really is.

Bringing out the race card is poor taste. You do not give us Moderates and Conservatives enough credit. We actually think about what the man says first, then form our opinions second. The key here is... "think."

If this man were not the furthest to the left leaning man to being the White House in years - whom also possesses policy which threatens to blanket our country with increased Socialistic policy, we might not all be crying about it. The problem is - the left is so used to hearing the news complain about "G Dubya" all these years, they can't take it when we start trash talking their "savior."

Face it - it is our turn to harp and complain for a change. Not all of us are dim-witted hillbilly Klansmen with silly hoods on. We don't like his policy and what he stands for. I could give a darn about what color his skin is. Everyone in our country is an American to me - if they have the skills, the determination and the drive for the job, let them have it.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 3:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
Face it - it is our turn to harp and complain for a change

Why weren't you harping and complaining about W?
Didn't he and Chaney provide you with any cause?
Where was your head at?

RE: doesn't matter
By Ringold on 1/28/2009 4:26:26 PM , Rating: 3
A liberal wouldn't of been paying attention, but forget about the entire Republican base revolting against Bush's immigration reforms? That was huge, local Republican congressmen here in Florida in a lot of cases had their offices blockaded 24-7 by Republican protesters.

There was also some grumbling about his profligate spending, Republican's are by no means proud that he expanded the federal budget they way he has.

So it wouldn't be fair to say everybody on the right was silent and uncaring. Perhaps they weren't as loud as they could have been. On the flip side of the same coin, do I hear any groups on the left shouting from the rooftop about Obama's pork-packed "stimulus" package? No.

RE: doesn't matter
By MisterChristopher on 1/29/2009 7:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think a great deal of true conservatives were certainly harping on Bush including myself.

The people you are referring to, or the modern day "conservatives," might as well re-label themselves under the political term FEDERALIST. The double speak version of federalist has now become "liberal" or "conservative," or "republican" and "democrat." Sometimes you will also hear "neo-conservative," but no matter the nomenclature, they all seem to increase the total size of the federal government.

Today, the main difference between the different labels is the jargon they use to maintain their constituency.

The reality is that, real conservatives (anti-federalists) prefer limited government. Bush did little along these lines. Lots of conservatives recognized this and told their friends about it. Actually that understanding propelled Ron Paul to decent numbers throughout the primary season.

Everyone, liberal or conservative, should recognize the necessity of a reduction in government spending. That is what you should be focused on instead of arguing over the names of the labels you associate with, and how diligently you support their supposed methods of thought.

RE: doesn't matter
By weskurtz on 1/28/2009 11:31:50 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, nice pulling of the race card there slick.

People can no longer dislike someone because of who they are? Do you like Bush? Do you hate him? If you do, is that because he is white?

Grow the hell up.

RE: doesn't matter
By Master Kenobi on 1/28/2009 11:06:50 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed. On to the topic at hand though. "Kick Ass!" Pretty much sums it up. The kicker is we will need to build the new reactors this way, as well as replace older LWR reactors with this newer design. On the plus side, we should be able to ship the waste we have accumulated to the first of these plants that goes on line and steadily start burning down the stock so its non-radioactive. The byproduct of that can be shipped off to the military for use in armor, weapons, etc...

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. The technology is impressive.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 3:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
Or to China to be put in milk for local consumption and toys to be exported to the U.S.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 3:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
The byproduct of that can be shipped off to the military for use in armor, weapons, etc...

Sorry, I forgot the quote.

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: doesn't matter
By danrien on 1/28/2009 11:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
From what I understand of Obama's position on nuclear energy, it's actually fairly left-centrist. He's for nuclear power, as long as it can be gotten rid of safely. This would seem to fit the bill.

He prefers solar and wind power right now because there are virtually no by products to speak of from the generation of power (production of the energy generation sources is a different matter).

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 12:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
He's for nuclear power, as long as it can be gotten rid of safely.
The waste issue was solved long ago. We can more easily dispose of nuclear waste than we could the toxic pollutants created by manufacturing the millions of tons of resources required to wallpaper an entire state with windmills or solar cells.

And let's not forget that solar and wind are almost comically unsuited to baseline power generation. Even if one forgets about their own environmental issues, we couldn't power America with these sources even if we wanted to.

Obama couldn't even bring himself to use the word 'nuclear' in his speech, hiding it under the vague phrase 'other sources'. I really doubt he's going to do anything to advance the cause of nuclear power.

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 12:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention think of all the actual jobs that would be created if they were to grant all the permits to build new nuclear power plants. Instead of the thousands of government jobs they want to create that add nothing to the tax revenues.

RE: doesn't matter
By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 12:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think he still is adviced not to talk about nuclear energy because it is still seen as political suicide being proactive about nuclear energy although the research states otherwise. In many european countries talking about nuclear energy is still a bit of a no no. Thank you stupid airheaded enviromentalists.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 4:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think he still is adviced not to talk about nuclear energy because it is still seen as political suicide being proactive about nuclear energy although the research states otherwise. In many european countries talking about nuclear energy is still a bit of a no no.

I agree to this part of your statement, and I would reply that before President Obama or anyone would endorse this issue before the American public they would need to prepare us first with new information about the apparently improved technologies supporting nuclear energy production.
See the following DT article:

RE: doesn't matter
By walk2k on 1/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: doesn't matter
By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 12:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me for have to do this :

Bla bla. Same old story.

RMBK is an awfull errorprone design from 50 years old. The reactor was not properly maintenanced and the tests done that caused the runaway reaction where insane.

RE: doesn't matter
By Myg on 1/28/2009 1:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
If the economy were to descend into a depression and ruin; who would garuntee that such a thing wouldnt happen again?

The health of Nuclear power plants depends heavily on the preservation of the society around it. If that were to collapse somehow; lets say aka Roman empire style. Who will look after the ailing Sites?

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 1:23:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand. The Western world *never* built any positive-void coefficient reactors. They were rightfully adjudged too dangerous. Our reactors cannot experience the same sort of failure that Chernobyl did, depression or not.

RE: doesn't matter
By MrBlastman on 1/28/2009 1:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
Affirmative. Their reaction would lazily drift off into the clouds and wisp away into a cotton-soft paradise of fluffy inactivity.

In other words, the reaction would continue to shrink if left unattended until it basically becomes moot.

RE: doesn't matter
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 12:51:00 PM , Rating: 3
That's because you're uninformed, just like most people against nuclear.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 12:58:16 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't want to live within 250 miles of a nuke plant, I don't care how safe they claim to be.
In other words, don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up? I am reminded of a poster I once saw from the 1920s, which claimed (in all seriousnes) that fumes from newly invented gasoline would cause the population to literally go insane.

I'd far rather live next to a nuclear reactor than a dirty coal plant or a massive windmill (some residents in Britain recently found out just how dangerous a large, ice-slinging windmill can really be). Even solar plants are more dangerous than nuclear, when one realizes that storing an entire night's worth of energy is going to require either ultra-high temperatures, toxic elements, or some other scheme.

RE: doesn't matter
By akugami on 1/28/2009 1:50:53 PM , Rating: 4
Can we list Energon Cubes when we check off Other?

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 1:33:33 PM , Rating: 1
I will gladly live within 1 mile of a nuke plant. They're no more dangerous than a coal plant.

RE: doesn't matter
By Zoomer on 1/28/2009 8:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
Particularly if we can tap the waste heat for cheap/free.

I'd like heated walkways, paths and sidewalks.

RE: doesn't matter
By thebitdnd on 1/28/2009 10:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
Full Disclosure: I work at a nuke plant.

The problem is even if Obama does support nuclear energy, he will be loathe to offer the loan guarantees to support new construction. A new nuclear facility is a severe financial undertaking, and without federal loan guarantees, they are financially too risky for utilities. Even the Bush administration offered up only $18 billion in loans to the construction of new plants. That's enough to get two new plants off the ground, and there are 24 new applications (last I checked).

As much as Obama might like wind and solar (and environmentally, I do too) they are simply too expensive to fuel even a modest amount of our energy needs. Until these technologies become much more cost effective, they will never replace fossil or nuclear as long term solutions.

Managing nuclear waste really isn't much of an issue. The technology is there already to safely mitigate long-lived isotopes, it just needs better implementation. There is the luxury of time. In the 25 years the dual unit site I work at had generated nuclear energy (and thus nuclear waste), the entirety of the spent fuel waste sits on a concrete pad 100' long and 30' wide. Most of that area is taken up by the shielding to mitigate the dose associated with the spent fuel.

So why build Yucca Mountain? Security mostly. Would you rather have to secure 103 separate sources of radioactive waste, or one? Granted, transport of high level waste is a concern, but no more so than storage at each individual site.

Just one man's opinion. No more right or wrong than anyone elses.

RE: doesn't matter
By theapparition on 1/28/2009 12:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
Why does a discussion about the merits of nuclear fusion and fission power have to descend immediately into a "I hate Obama"/"I love Obama" whine-fest?

Because our current political majority will not support ANY sort of nuclear power effort.

While this is impressive technology, it is worth noting that there have been many advancements in nuclear power, including safe reactors which are virtually impossible to melt-down and signifigant efficiency improvements. We've had advancements in nuclear power for over 20 years, and yet not one nuclear power plant has been built in this country during that time.

So you ask why, and I give you our current political mess.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 12:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
Let's talk about the reactor design and your thoughts on it
What's to talk about? We've had reactor designs that are functionally identical to this for over 15 years (Rubbia's energy amplifier), but as long as the environmentlist movement manages to stifle activity in all things nuclear, these advanced reactor designs will never be built.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/28/2009 12:41:06 PM , Rating: 1
Wind is much more expensive than nuclear?

Please post the cost analysis on nuclear costs compared to wind. Make sure you include, permitting, staffing, construction, maintenance, decommissioning and infrastructure costs as well.

I'd be interested to see what part of your imagination you pull the report from.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 12:51:41 PM , Rating: 3
Wind is much more expensive than nuclear?
Yes, and I've given you the cost analyses several times before. According to your past postings, you work for the wind industry so I understand your motivations here, but facts are facts. On a per-MW basis, wind power requires on the order of 20X the copper, 10X the steel, and 5X the concrete as nuclear power.

But even that isn't the largest problem. The issue of course is wind's variable (and low) capacity factor. This means not only do you need some 3X the grid capacity for wind as conventional sources, but you either need to build extremely expensive energy storage facilities, or you have to build several times as much capacity as you actually need, to account for source variability.

And of course, there are the environmental issues of papering vast areas of pristine wilderness with millions of windmills...but even ignoring that, there's the simple fact that wind just isn't viable economically except in certain fringe applications.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/28/2009 4:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you state you have given me numbers, but I regret I could never find the total picture I was asking for... As I work in the wind industry, my motivations are clear, just as yours are as a nuclear proponent. While I agree that turbines use more copper (although this would be vary based upon the location of the farm because of transmission lines.) and more steel, I have my reservations about your "5x the concrete" as it takes a lot of concrete to build silos, but the only concrete a turbine uses is in the foundation. (a turbine also uses no water and requires no mining operations, but that's a seperate point).

Wind's variable capacity is typically overstated. The 10 or so farms that I observe through SCADA typically run at 90-100% availability and at 80-125% of nameplate power. Of course these farms are all placed stategically where long-term wind studies have been done to ensure wind availability.

As I have bantered back and forth with you on this topic many times before, you must know by now that I have always stated that wind is not a primary power production method-- is supplementary (and I never seem to get a reply to that point). No one who builds these projects has a distorted mindset of their purpose. That is why most of the anti-wind arguments are FUD.

There are a lot of intelligent people out there putting these projects together. If they weren't viable, they wouldn't do it, as they couldn't make their contractual obligations. Period.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 6:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have my reservations about your "5x the concrete
It's not my statement actually, it belongs to a professor at Berkeley who performed the actual calculations.

Even worse for wind power is that his calculated requirements of 5X the concrete and 10X the steel were made by comparing 1970s-era reactors to the windmill technology from today. However, we have new, more advanced reactors designs that are considerably more efficient.

If they weren't viable, they wouldn't do it
These projects are viable due to massive government subsidies. If one inflates the cost of conventional sources, while subsidizing the cost of wind and solar power, all sorts of market distortions appear. Do you deny this?

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/28/2009 9:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Where are the calculations of 870 cubic meters of concrete per MW taken from? By his account it would take 2,610 cubic meters of concrete for a single 3.0MW turbine... When in reality it takes less than 600 cubic meters for a 3.0MW turbine.. That equates to <200 cubic meters per MW, per simple math...

That is correct, government subsidies are part of what makes these projects viable. Renewable energy and conservation subsidies in 2006 totalled $1.2 Billion, while Coal and Nuclear got $1.31 Billion. Of course, there is also a tax credit goes along with renewable energy of $18 per MWh, to encourage its use, but that has a relatively low cap at $125 Million for up to 6,000MW, for the first 8 years.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 10:12:09 PM , Rating: 2
simple math...
Simple math, except you forgot to divide by the capacity factor, the ratio of peak power to average power generated. Windmills average a 30% or so CF, whereas nuclear reactors can hit 90%. That's one mistake alone, and a serious one-- it alone accounts for a factor of 3 in materials usage.

And please, no more silliness about turbines CFs topping 100%. According to actual industry published statistics, wind farms in the very best of locations are lucky to hit 40%, and in subprime locations, it can drop below 15%.

Even worse, I don't believe the Peterson study accounts for the differing lifetimes of wind turbines versus nuclear reactors. Reactors not shut down for political reasons are now being recertified for 60-year lifetimes. Windmills, being almost entirely exposed to the elements and having a much greater SA-volume ratio, are lucky to last half that long.

while Coal and Nuclear got $1.31 Billion.
No. The commercial nuclear power industry doesn't get subsidized. There is a moderate amount of money alloted to research on new designs, but no direct subsidies for new or existing plants to operate. This is unlike the wind industry, where every operator and manufacturer receives at least some support directly from the government.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/28/2009 11:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
All I can state to you is what I observe through an actual SCADA system that shows actual numbers... You can skew numbers any way you want from any study you want. (I'm sure I can still find a study showing the earth is flat on the internet).

Also, this best of locations and subprime locations argument is rather moot. No one spends the type of capital it takes to build these farms in "subprime" areas. There is no 25% variance in any site I observe, and I collect data from coast to coast.

As far as the lifetime of turbines vs. nuke plants, we are talking apples and organges. Whereas a turbine's rated life is ~30 years, it can then have the top section removed and replaced leaving the rest of the unit in-tact. The same cannot be said when a reactor hits its EOL.

Historically, wind, solar and nuclear received about $150 billion (1999 dollars) in cumulative federal subsidies over about 50 years (1943-1999). Of this amount, 95% (145.5 billion) went to subsidize nuclear power.

Then there's that pesky decommissioning fee that I and everyone that gets electricy from SCE pay every month. I suppose that monthly fee isn't a subsidy of sorts by your definition... ?

RE: doesn't matter
By mholler on 1/29/2009 9:32:21 AM , Rating: 2
I work for a power marketing company that manages over a third of the wind generation in Texas and I can tell you from looking at actual SCADA data as well as ERCOT metered output that the CF for wind resources is between 30-35% on average. Are there times when individual turbines hit close to or above their nameplate value? Certainly, but those times are few and far between even in West Texas. This is not debatable, and ERCOT even uses 30% as it's CF for forecasting and collateral requirement purposes.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/29/2009 11:12:13 AM , Rating: 2
That's interesting. I'm watching a farm right now in Texas that 70% of the turbines are running at 90% of ther nameplate and the other 30% are running at 110%. Amazing as it is in central TX, which typically has less wind...

Not only does the ERCOT use 30% for forecasting, most of the nation does as well. This is a failsafe avaerage for the industry-- typically for contractual purposes, along with a 90-95% availability number for each turbine...

When you have experience monitoring more than a single state's wind, feel free to chime in.

RE: doesn't matter
By mholler on 1/29/2009 11:22:34 AM , Rating: 2
It is a failsafe average for a reason. Your anecdotal evidence goes against all real-world evidence to the contrary. Any farm that produces an annual CF above 40% is considered to be outstanding. If you don't believe me, that's fine, talk to anybody else in the industry. Not even the most ardent supporter of wind will try to boast a 50% CF, let alone the 80%+ you are claiming.

For reference, here is an article regarding capacity factors from a site designed specifically to discuss and promote the use of wind generation.

RE: doesn't matter
By Spuke on 2/3/2009 12:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
Your anecdotal evidence goes against all real-world evidence to the contrary.
Ouch!! LOL!

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/29/2009 10:41:32 AM , Rating: 2
The previous poster has already debunked some of your more outrageous claims, but I did want to respond to these:

No one spends the type of capital it takes to build these farms in "subprime" areas
The problem with ideal locations is that they're few in number. For wind power to ever generate more than an insubstantial fraction of total power, you have to either use subprime locations-- or deal with the massive costs and maintenance nightmares of offshoring turbines in the deep sea.

To say that turbines "will never" be placed in subprime locations is just plain silly. Look at a nation like Germany or Britain, which is already building many turbines in areas where their CF runs 20% or even less. That's far from ideal, and it's happening today.

Of this amount, 95% (145.5 billion) went to subsidize nuclear power.
Again, this is false. The majority of federal funding went to nuclear sites producing weapons grade material. The remainder went to fund research. There are no direct subsidies for nuclear power.

As for your belief that a monthly fee on a utility bill somehow amounts to a "subsidy", I suggest you look up what the term itself means.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/29/2009 11:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
Amazing how when a poster relates personal experience from a SCADA system that agrees with your position, it then officially debunks my personal experience from a SCADA system... Not all that surprising at this point.

On to the other issues:

Britain is currently working on a very large offshore project (not in deep water) using the largest turbines in the world- 10MW each to be exact. (better recalculate that concrete argument again) Their CF is, again, projected at a failsafe average of 30%. They are expected to be over double that, on average.

Again, this is false.

Again, you're wrong. Whether or not you decide to deal with that fact is completely up to you:

And yes, I believe the monthly decommissioning fee on our utility bills is a subsidy: A form of financial assistance paid to a business or economic sector.

Yes, we are indeed giving the utility company a form of financial assistance in the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. Any other questions?

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/29/2009 9:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
Amazing how when a poster relates personal experience from a SCADA system that agrees with your position, it then officially debunks my personal experience
But it's not his personal experience; it's the published figures of an actual utility.

If you want to quote any reputable source, we're all ears. But in the meantime, it's sheer fantasy...and, based on the actual data from every utility on the planet, not very believable ones at that.

And yes, I believe the monthly decommissioning fee on our utility bills is a subsidy: A form of financial assistance paid to a business or economic sector.
Oops! The dangers of relying upon Wikipedia strike again. Here's a better definition:

c. a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public

A consumer paying a company in exchange for their products or services is not a subsidy. It's a simple purchase. It doesn't affect the economics of the situation in any manner, unlike a subsidy, which artificially lowers the price to the end consumer.

RE: doesn't matter
By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 12:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
Wind energy is a great energy source but has one big flaw. We have no control over it and therefore it is not reliable. Next to windenergy you will always need a second source that we do have control over. That does not make windenergy useless, you just have to place windturbines on geological locations where there is 24/7 a breeze of wind. This can make windenergy turbines more expensive. Also the power/m^2 or power /m^3 is much lower. This too can make a difference...

RE: doesn't matter
By CharlesC on 1/28/2009 3:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
A nearly waste free nuclear reactor sounds very promising, if it works as advertised. It could possibly be what the world is looking for.

Wind power does have the problem of inconsistency. Are you aware that the enormously powerful gulf stream is located just a few miles off the Florida coast? It runs 24/7/365. It could power the entire east coast of the US if we wanted it to.

RE: doesn't matter
By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 4:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's very possible. In europe , e-concern build a windmill park for the coast of ijmuiden(Netherlands) called Q7 or Amalia. Part of the dutch government has a plan to build enough of these parks parks to generate 6 Gigawatts but i know it will never happen. It means 50 of these parks more in sea at the coast. The second park has already been denied because of possible danger with maritime traffic. 50 parks will not happen. On the other hand, the US is big enough, but how is weather there ? You want to place these windmill parks in wind rich gelogical positions, but you do not want to put windmill parks in geological positions that has hurricanes or ther heavy storms. Is florida not the birthground for tornado's ? You do not want tornado's ripping apart windmill parks. You don't want flying windmills chasing you.

RE: doesn't matter
By CharlesC on 1/28/2009 5:14:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is more like what i meant,

Yes hurricanes would be a concern, but then again it would be underwater so it should be somewhat protected. A modular design would also help secure energy flow.

RE: doesn't matter
By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 5:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it's nice but i personally still prefer biological hydrogen powerplants and state of the art nuclear powerplants that use up almost 100 percent of the nuclear fuel and the waste that remains is not as radioactive and has a very short halflife. And even still this waste can be reused or completely used up. This is all possible today with the exception of the biological hydrogen powerplant. The basic science for biological powerplants is already complete tho...
I feel these methods of energy production are better cheaper and more reliable then solar or windmill parks or wave energy gatherers. Solar energy is good for home use to augment but not to substitute. But that is my opinion.

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 1:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Permitting costs are a result of government intervention in the field. They could easily be reduced except that the administration would never allow it.

The process should be apply for the permit, the government gathers what data it needs to to make sure the plant will be safe and comply with building standards, does a SINGLE environmental impact study that should have a set length of time to complete, and the permit is granted or denied. If the residents in the area themselves object the plant, they should be allowed to state their case. The current process can take years due to the constant lawsuits of environmental groups demanding study after study of the plants effect on the environment and lobbying on the behalf of the local population (regardless of their views) against the plant. This should not be allowed.

RE: doesn't matter
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 2:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this will change when the options are nuclear plant or unemployment and third world living conditions.

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 2:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you missed what these idiots goals are...

RE: doesn't matter
By corduroygt on 1/28/2009 3:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm a little more optimistic than you or have more faith in the nation. Wealth and high living standards is the number 1 reason why people live and emigrate to this country, if that was threatened, I'm sure there'd be an uprising and pelosi's lifeless body will be dragged down the streets and spat upon.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 4:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
if that was threatened, I'm sure there'd be an uprising and pelosi's lifeless body will be dragged down the streets and spat upon.

Are you off your meds? What the hell is wrong with you, dude?

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 4:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
I find the idea rather pleasing myself. Her face would quickly fall off though from all the botox injections.

RE: doesn't matter
By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 4:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Yes and these idiots seek to destroy wealth (we're all supposed to be equally poor), make everyone dependent on the government for everything, and have us live in shanties that have a low carbon footprint.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 9:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
I give up.

You guys must either be emotionally stunted or use this forum to vent your sexual frustrations.
Or... you're enjoying yanking my chain.
In either case, I don't have time to listen to the yammering of the emotionally retarded.

RE: doesn't matter
By Spuke on 1/28/2009 3:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this will change when the options are nuclear plant or unemployment and third world living conditions.
The enviros won't care about this. They would prefer it for the most part. Sure, there are some that are not that hardcore but they aren't charge.

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 3:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
"We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into the Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion -- guilt-free at last!"

- Stewart Brand, from the Whole Earth Catalog.

RE: doesn't matter
By bupkus on 1/28/2009 4:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Now should someone quote Charles Manson?

Who cares what some head case supposedly said?

RE: doesn't matter
By masher2 on 1/28/2009 6:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Your analogy fails. You may consider these people "head cases", but they are the leaders of the environmental movement, the ones giving speeches, writing books, leading marches, and setting policy.

RE: doesn't matter
By BreathingCausesGW on 1/28/2009 2:30:27 PM , Rating: 2

i'll take that any day over massive wind farms that cause cell/satellite tv dead zones, day time strobe lights when the sun passes through the blades in to my home, flying ice daggers in the winter, dead birds all over the place, no power on windless days, and a constant humming of jet engines 24/7.

RE: doesn't matter
By 67STANG on 1/28/2009 4:22:07 PM , Rating: 1
I guess the fact that you get a monthly check from it being so close to your property makes everything better. Although, if you don't get a check, then you don't live close enough to have any of the problems listed.

You must live next a very old wind farm that doesn't have turbines that are noisy and do not check for icing. Newer turbines make about the same noise as a microwave oven-- and that's when you're standing directly underneath them.

RE: doesn't matter
By thebitdnd on 1/28/2009 11:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
All those things you mentioned are of course included. The NRC requires sites to fund their decommissioning plan in order to operate. I didn't cite the '20 times the cost of nulcear energy' that a lot of pro nuclear people throw around. But if wind and solar were the cheapest to produce per KWH, then utilities would be opting for it in droves.

Do you honestly thing a utility cares about anything more than its bottom line?

Utilities operate nuclear facilities safely because it's the only option. If you don't, the NRC shuts you down. If you don't believe me ask anyone who works at the Davis-Besse facility.

No fly alert!
By dj LiTh on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: No fly alert!
By Bubbacub on 1/28/2009 4:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
whats your point?

RE: No fly alert!
By radializer on 1/28/2009 6:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think this was his/her point -->
Swadesh Majahan (who is most probably of Indian origin from the name) would most probably have dark skin - and the hypothetical scenario mentioned above conveys a satirical take on the reaction of the generic "white person" to someone with brown skin talking about nuclear reactors in an airline environment.

Of course I could be totally wrong - possibly thrown off by the infernal spelling in the original post!

RE: No fly alert!
By dj LiTh on 1/28/2009 6:51:49 PM , Rating: 2
Your right, but my question is... what did i misspell?

RE: No fly alert!
By icanhascpu on 1/28/2009 7:24:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: No fly alert!
By porkpie on 1/28/2009 8:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
what did i misspell?
Since you ask, "Thats", "gentlemen" (should have been gentleman), "their", "madamm", "ladinn", and "Edcuse". There were several capitalization errors also.

RE: No fly alert!
By dj LiTh on 1/29/2009 8:23:16 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you :) i appreciate it. (ignore spelling in this post thanks)

Instead of Nuclear Power....How about Octane tree
By SpaceJumper on 1/28/09, Rating: -1
By bebesito21 on 1/28/2009 12:27:08 PM , Rating: 4
wtf??? how about we modify apple trees to produce intelligence....then you could eat those apples...

By FITCamaro on 1/28/2009 12:29:06 PM , Rating: 4
This made me laugh.

I'm more in favor of artificially creating life in a taco that can crap ice cream.

By MadMan007 on 1/28/2009 1:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
Although the specific idea is silly for numerous reasons, biologic creation of fuels is a good way to go. Algae-made diesel has already been done. The downside to it is that we'd still make combustible fuels which lead to CO2 emissions, even if net emissions are neutral still not the best long-term solution.

By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 3:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Let's do it the good way. Biological made hydrogen gas.
When combined with oxygen in a fuel cell you got electricity and clean water. It is a perfect product for a future design biological powerplant. Throw your biological waste and feces and urine in and let the bacteria do their work.

By zozzlhandler on 1/28/2009 4:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
Here we have a prime example of how global warming activism has ruined our ability to examine facts and make rational decisions. IF CO2-induced warming was a problem, then releasing H2O into the atmosphere would be a hugely greater problem, because H2O is a *MUCH* more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

By bupkus on 1/28/2009 4:36:13 PM , Rating: 2

By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 4:43:51 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean ? H2O like water or H2S. H2O is not a gas that is unless you boil it. When the atmosphere is filled with water vapour because of 100 degrees celcius temperature we are not around anymore. And when the ambient pressure is so low that water would vapourize at 25 degrees celcius we also are not around anymore. And when the atmposphere is filled with H2S you do not want to be around or you would want to cutt of your nose and ripp out your tong.

By masher2 on 1/28/2009 5:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
"H2O is not a gas"
Err, why do you think it rains then? Every day, countless millions of tons of seawater turn to water vapor, only to eventually condense back into rain. As a greenhouse gas, there's some 28,000 times as much water vapor in the air as there is CO2.

By William Gaatjes on 1/28/2009 5:47:53 PM , Rating: 2
I know, but it is part of the enviroment we live in. Without the vapourisation of water, i would not be surprised our planet would not be a habitable planet to live on. It is a closed cycle that we do not seem to interfere with. However making hydrogen as a fuel would not create more water vapour in the atmosphere. Nor is watervapour toxic. I got confused by the statement of the op.

Every day, countless millions of tons of seawater turn to water vapor, only to eventually condense back into rain.

Now where would all that energy come from...

By William Gaatjes on 1/29/2009 1:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
To follow up, i am not anti global warming, but i am also not pro global warming. The climate is a complex combination of oscillations. Seawater vapourising and condensing again. This is a shift of energy. When the seawater evapourate, we have all the extra salt to take into account. Does the vapourising on 1 part of the planet mean that on the other side condensing takes place. We have the many sea currents that take place transporting energy.
Salty water that ecomes less salty. Fresh water that becomes salty. It all interacts. How about the day and night cycle. Then we have cosmic radiation. Then we have the radiation from the sun. We have the moon. We have alignments of the planets in our solar system. We have plantlife. We have more inportantly bacterial life. We have vulcano's. We have a rotating planet. We have different parts of our planet changing therefore changing local temperature but also storage capacity. The point is i feel is all about energy storage and releasing that energy again. Many cycles influencing eachother.

Have to go now.

By zozzlhandler on 1/29/2009 2:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Is not C02 also part of the environment we live in? And a very important part. Without CO2, plants do not grow. More CO2 causes an increase in plant growth. It would seem that this would provide more food. So the people who want to reduce CO2 would do what if they succeeded? (Remember, nothing succeeds like a toothless parrot). Last I heard, we could use more food, not less.

The point here is that everything is interconnected, and we do not yet understand a planetary system. What we need is real scientific study, not chicken-little politicians.

By William Gaatjes on 1/29/2009 7:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
You do not see the bigger picture. I have wrote in a post long time ago, people should stop looking at the mammaries of the lady in the picture and look at the background cause that is where the information can be found.

My point is our sociëty needs constant economic growth otherwide our economic system crumbles and falls apart. This whole new paradigm shift of energy production is what we need. We need constant change to keep the money pumping around and keep investors happy. If Al Gore is just a businessman with an enviromental agenda or an enviromental man with a business agenda is not the issue. We need to advance or we fall apart. Or we advance technologically or we go back at going to war with other countries and plunder the natural resources. Take your pick...

And from your post it seems we should just go the old way while there are numerous studies that we do have an impact on the enviroment even if global warming is true or not.
I do know it is a delicate balance primairly created by bacteria. And the balance between different families of bacteria is easily disturbed.

By zozzlhandler on 1/30/2009 2:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
I do not see how you can say that about me. I am trying to point out that criminalizing the denying of global warming is counterproductive, idiotic and destructive. WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND PLANETARY SYSTEMS. Our models are unable to predict, the true test of any theory or model. Those who say otherwise are charlatans. If we are concerned about mans effect on the environment, we must learn how it works, which we do not know at the moment. Of course man has an impact on the environment. The questions are:
1) HOW MUCH of an impact?
2) Will this impact (if significant) be harmful, beneficial, or neutral?
3) If harmful, how can we mitigate the effect?

So far, I have seen nothing to convince me that we have a significant impact on global warming. We certainly have a significant impact in other areas, some of which may be much more deserving of resources and investment than global warming. I do not at this time say we do not have a significant imapct - just that we do not know, and it seems more likely that we do not, and that we should perhaps find out before investing billions in mickey-mouse carbon sequstration schemes that may or may not work.

I am not convinced by any data I have seen that increased CO2 levels (of the magnitude we are talking about, i.e. man-made emmissions) will be harmful.

I believe that unless we have a greater understanding of a planetary system, we cannot come up with a scheme that will truly mitigate the effects of human emissions (should they actually turn out to be significantly harmful).

Considering how successful economists have been predicting economic trends, I challenge you to prove your economic rant will correct predictions.

Should you succeed (and thus emulate the toothless parrot) I will grant you your point, but I think you are a little deluded (and even idealogical) in your economic views.

Is that a big enough picture for you? If not then consider this: the earth was considerably warmer in the past than it is now, yet bacteria (and polar bears) survived. This is why I suggest that emulating chicken little is unproductive.

Lets find out whats really going on.

I agree with you that technological advance is our best path - just don't try to mess with the earth until we
a) need to, and
b) know how!

By William Gaatjes on 1/31/2009 1:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
I do not see how you can say that about me. I am trying to point out that criminalizing the denying of global warming is counterproductive, idiotic and destructive.
Well it is kind of dumb thinking we the human race can get away with everything. It's time to become more aware. If we don't we will have serious problems when a natural phenomena rises it's ugly head.
That's the bigger picture i see. We need constant economic growth, we need to progress because more and more humans live on this planet. I see new market's in energy production. I see new technologies as pathways to the future. Standing still will only cause that the human race will just fall in the pit of repeating history and i find it sad. We are the only lifeform on this planet that can actually decide our future and the future of life surrounding us, think about that. We are not bound by instincts programmed by genes. And this freedom we have also is our inherent weakness. Because we can be distracted and influenced so easy...

So far, I have seen nothing to convince me that we have a significant impact on global warming.

Neither do i see any evidence that we cause global warming., but i also have not seen any evidence that we do not cause global warming. What i do see are localized effects that do influence our local enviroment. And for these local effects we are responsible. ANd my coomon sense says it is better to be save then sorry. Especially when it provides new economic feedinggrounds.

Is that a big enough picture for you? If not then consider this: the earth was considerably warmer in the past than it is now, yet bacteria (and polar bears) survived. This is why I suggest that emulating chicken little is unproductive.

I will try to explain this to you : In our bowels bacteria live. We live in a symbiotic relation with these bacteria. When you eat something rotten or infected with bacteria that are hostile for us we get sick.
Escherichia coli is one of those bacteria strains inside our bodies. Now there are also strains that are dangerous to us. What i am trying to say is that bacteria (not Escherichia coli)always may have lived on this planet but that it is highly likely that when a certain strain became to dominate the planet, the planet was also a happier place to live on. It might as well be that a rise of CO2 may cause a shift in global bacterial life that we do not want to happen. This is all theory i agree, but then again common sense... Evolution goes on anyway.

By Spuke on 2/3/2009 12:21:35 PM , Rating: 2
Escherichia coli is one of those bacteria strains inside our bodies.
Apples to oranges. We KNOW this. But like the previous poster said, we know little about how planets are supposed to operate and what effect we have on it. Unless you're privy to some information that science isn't.

By William Gaatjes on 2/3/2009 3:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
I try to collect as much information from many different sources about many different seemingly seperate subjects. And sometimes when i have my better moments i notice parallels. But then again coincidence is sometimes my friend and sometimes my enemy.

By William Gaatjes on 2/3/2009 3:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Apples to oranges. We KNOW this. But like the previous poster said, we know little about how planets are supposed to operate and what effect we have on it.

I wrote the same in my post. But i also wrote that we do are responsible for local effects. And that new technologies are present that minimise our impact on the enviroment. These technologies are in my opinion also a great way to stimulate the economy. Because the more advanced we get as a sociëty, the more energy we will use. That is my point. More and more countries have increasing energy needs. Energy is the same as food, we cannot live without it, without sacrificing our technological advancements we have today and we will make in the future.
And when i say this i think globally.

By MrPoletski on 1/29/2009 5:06:25 AM , Rating: 2
If the air was filled with H2S you would be dead.

If you walked into a gas cloud of H2S, say gushing out a split pipe on an oil rig, you'd be dead before you hit the ground.

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