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America is the world's top research nation, yet we continue to embrace coal power, an outdated power source that's dangerous to mine and emits hazardous chemicals.  (Source: CNN.com)

A coal plant emits 100 times more radiation into the environment than a nuclear plant of the same capacity. It also emits cancer-causing compounds, precursors to acid rain and greenhous gases.  (Source: Safer Environment)

America has been paying in human life for decades for its coal addiction, as illustrated by the most recent accident in West Virginia.  (Source: CNN.com)

Modern nuclear power is clean, safe, and affordable, so why are Americans afraid of it? If France can generate over 80 percent of its energy from nuclear power, why can't we?  (Source: Herve Lenain/Corbis)
Coal is dirty, dangerous, and outdated, so why can't Americans move ahead?

Scientists have gifted the U.S. with the technology we need to take our energy future into our own hands.  You could tear down every nuclear reactor in the U.S., rebuild 10 times as many reactors as the current number and still produce less waste on a yearly basis, by using modern designs such as liquid metal fast breeder reactors (LMFBRs), pebble bed reactors, and molten salt reactors.  And with promising technologies like thorium reactors and fusion-fission hybrid reactors on the horizon, it would certainly seem that the time for nuclear is now.

And yet America remains fearful of nuclear, even as President Barack Obama has tried to cajole Americans into finally embracing nuclear power again.

Most Americans don't realize it, but we already get 20 percent of our power from nuclear energy generated in the U.S.  That is truly domestic energy; true, it comes at a cost of some waste, due largely to outdated reactor designs largely built in the 60s and 70s, but at least we are in firm control of this power source.

Most of the rest of America's power budget comes from the fossil fuels to which America is so addicted.  American cars run on oil, a resource we have to purchase in large quantities from volatile foreign theocracies.  And in America, most of our power comes from a power source far more dangerous to Americans than nuclear energy -- coal.

The high price in life paid when it comes to coal was illustrated by the Montcoal, West Virginia mining disaster that resulted in the death of 25 Americans.  This event was not a first.  In fact, nearly every decade in recent American history has been punctuated by a mining disaster that killed 20 or more people.  Other disasters are equally common abroad.

Guess how many people have died from "hazardous" nuclear power in the U.S.?  If you guessed "not a single one" you'd be absolutely correct.  

In fact, even if you are concerned with nuclear waste, coal is a far worse fuel source than nuclear.  After all, coal ash is very radioactive.  Per energy a coal plant puts 100 times more radiation into the environment than a nuclear plant.  We've known this since 1978 when a J.P. McBride a researcher at a national laboratory revealed this in an exhaustive peer-reviewed study.  We now know that coal ash is also carcinogenic and, along with other coal waste products, can cause cancer in humans.  And that's on top on the chemicals that form acid rain, and thousands of tons of carbon emissions that the plants also pump out.

Coal is horrible for the environment and quite dangerous both directly and indirectly.  So what's the solution?  Solar and wind may provides some of our nation's needs, but these are discontinuous power sources and they remain expensive.  In other words they're worthy of research and mild investment, but not a blind charge.  Nuclear, on the other hand, is affordable and tested.

Memory is a powerful thing.  Mismanagement of nuclear power, such as the 1986 Chernobyl accident and the close call at Three Mile Island in 1979 still remain prominent in the minds of many.  But you're at your own peril if you ignore reality and live in the past.  And the truth is today nuclear power is not only affordable, but it's far safer than the buried hydrocarbons that our nation is so addicted to.  One can only hope that the American public will embrace common sense and together push our country towards a clean, safe, affordable future in which nuclear power is the integral cornerstone.



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Pick a different section
By oab on 4/11/2010 10:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
This is clearly a blog post, not an article, and should be in the 'blogs' section of the website.




RE: Pick a different section
By ImSpartacus on 4/11/2010 10:16:57 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. There really isn't any news being reported.


RE: Pick a different section
By knutjb on 4/11/2010 1:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
And his mining accident data has two silver, not coal, mines on it. Kellogg and Redstone, I didn't check the others. On the other hand it shows a significant drop mining fatalities in the US since 1907. 1907? Mick get a clue and do some homework before dropping such a turd, you could have saved yourself some embarrassment. Loss of life is tragic, this turd is insulting to that loss of life.

I am for the strip mining method, while still dangerous, its much safer than underground. I know its not pretty but what is more important, human life or the view? The view is scared during mining, while not optimal, can be re-planted. Whichever it is be consistent in your argument.

We can't have electric cars without electricity that environmentalists tout as the only solution for sunshine and lolly pops but they refuse to allow ANY advancement in real power generation.

Sorry guys wind and solar are insufficient to have anything more than a minor impact, particularly when considering their costs, oh and that pesky "view" thing.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 5:02:55 PM , Rating: 5
"I am for the strip mining method, while still dangerous, its much safer than underground. I know its not pretty but what is more important, human life or the view? "

Ask any hardcore environmentalist, and they'll tell you that a few human deaths from underground mining is a bonus, not a drawback. Helps to keep world population levels down and all...


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 11:00:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Ask any hardcore environmentalist, and they'll tell you that a few human deaths from underground mining is a bonus, not a drawback. Helps to keep world population levels down and all...
I'm curious about the thinking behind the person who downrated this. Do you really not understand the radical environmental movement? Allow me to educate you:

quote:
If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.
- Prince Phillip, speaking for the World Wildlife Fund

quote:
We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight.
Environmentalist David Foreman.

quote:
To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem
- Lamont Cole
quote:
I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.
- John Davis, Earth First

quote:
We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into 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, Whole Earth Catalog


RE: Pick a different section
By aegisofrime on 4/12/2010 12:07:25 AM , Rating: 5
porkpie, I have always like your well-researched posts and this one is no different.

Those radical environmentalists should set an example for us by killing themselves first :D

In any case, my opinion is that it is us, sentient beings that gives this planet meaning. Without us, this planet is just a ball of iron,copper,oxygen,carbon and other elements.

To kill off a sentient species just so the planet can become a meaningless ball of rock again, when sentience seems to be a rarity in the universe is crazy, IMHO.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 12:40:07 AM , Rating: 4
"To kill off a sentient species just so the planet can become a meaningless ball of rock again, when sentience seems to be a rarity in the universe is crazy, IMHO."

Ah, but radical environmentalists place little value on intelligence ... which one could surmise from their actions, if nothing else.


RE: Pick a different section
By bupkus on 4/12/2010 3:07:28 AM , Rating: 3
Can I join in on this circle jerk?

To label the national sentiment on environment by listing the statements of a few environmentalists is totally out of touch with the American people. Wake up. By the way I think I just peed in your coffee. But don't worry, what's a little effluent in your environment.


RE: Pick a different section
By MadMan007 on 4/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By heffeque on 4/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 8:58:04 AM , Rating: 5
"The high production of cheap renewable energy..."

Is this a joke? Spain only produces 11% of its electricity from wind power, and less than 1% from solar. Further, its wholesale cost for electricity is higher than it is for France

Sources:

http://www.energy.eu/#industrial
http://www.ieawind.org/AnnualReports_PDF/2008/2008...

Yes, hydroelectric power is cheap. But hydro is not a "renewable" energy source according to environmentalists, and they fight it as hard as they do nuclear.

"3 nuclear plants in Galicia (North-Western region of Spain) have to actually stop"

Those plants had to stop because Spain has passed a moratorium against nuclear power. It is purely political in nature:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4713398.stm


RE: Pick a different section
By kattanna on 4/12/2010 11:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The study calculates that the programs creating those jobs also resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,500 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every “green job” created.


http://www.juandemariana.org/pdf/090327-employment...

spain has looked into their renewable program and found some startling facts, like the one quoted above.

its a short, but very interesting read.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Hydro electric is pretty fantastic, the problem is you have a limited number of places to build dams. I'm pretty sure that we have about maxed it out, at least in the large project sense. Its possible to increase capacity by adding lots of very small hydro projects.


RE: Pick a different section
By Ammohunt on 4/12/2010 2:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Dams are evil didn't you get teh memo?


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
They are evil when they get in the way of me and my salmon. Salmon being my favorite food I'm very militant on the issue. Dams destroy one habitat and create another, not sure how you measure it. They definitely have to be studied and managed, but you have to have them to store water anyways.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/13/2010 2:09:04 PM , Rating: 3
Dams are evil. Therefore, ones who create dams are evil doers? Beavers are the original builders of dams... I like beavers, so soft a furry and fun. However, like most things that are soft a furry and fun... the headache and problems that come from dealing with them are not worth it...

Nothing in the world that is man made is perfect in anyway... no perfect energy, no perfect building material, no perfect whatever... However, nuclear energy seems to be the best option.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 2:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
" I'm pretty sure that we have about maxed it out, at least in the large project sense."

Not even close. One study I saw showed that we could power all of North America alone, just from untapped hydro capacity in Canada.

We'd need to increase grid capacity of course, but then all renewable energy proposals require that anyway.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, I think the Canadians might get pissed if we steal their land. :) I'm a west coast guy and was mostly talking about the Western managed water system. They actually overbuilt the system because when they measured for average precipitation is was an unusually wet period - oops. :)


RE: Pick a different section
By Finnkc on 4/14/2010 11:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
yes come dam up our water systems in Canada because we don't care.

... Tell you what take all the water and land west of Ontario and East of BC, not worth anything anyway. After Albertans are done with the oil sands they will probably need to move to the US anyway. No one else wants them.


RE: Pick a different section
By heffeque on 4/15/2010 7:47:36 AM , Rating: 2
No, March 2010 : hydro 23.55% + wind 18.16% + solar 9.24% = 50.95% of energy from renewable sources.

The annual report you just linked is from 2008 .

Also... the 11% you say it produces is WRONG . Actually it's an 11% increase in 2008 over 2007.

Just so you can have a slight idea:
In 2008 Spain had 16.740 MW of wind power installed.
The US had 25.369 MW.

I'm pretty sure that you are aware that the US has a population almost 7 times larger than Spain.
Do the maths.

"It is purely political in nature:"

That's not true. It is true that nuclear plants are going to be closed until 2034 . But those three power plants have NOT closed, they've just stopped because renewable energy was making "too much" energy already:

http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/dinero/2010/04/12/000...

As for the prices listed there, they don't take in account all the money the government has to pay so that nuclear wastes can be stored safely. It is true that Spain is subsidizing renewable energy production but it is also true that paying for storing nuclear waste is VERY expensive and people have to pay it with their taxes.

As for hydro not being renewable, some environmentalists are against it, that doesn't mean that it's not renewable. Most environmentalists that are against hydro are so because of poorly planed and highly damaging dam constructions, not because of the technology itself.

So basically all the counter-arguments you got all the positive points for... are wrong.

Good luck storing nuclear waste ;-)


RE: Pick a different section
By HueyD on 4/12/2010 8:59:55 AM , Rating: 3
Spain still gets a large part of its energy from Coal.
http://www.iea.org/stats/countryresults.asp?COUNTR...
Check out the energy generation by Fuel chart.


RE: Pick a different section
By heffeque on 4/15/2010 8:05:28 AM , Rating: 2
"Spain still gets a large part of its energy from Coal"

Not true:

March 2010:

1 Hydro ----------------5.597GWh - 23,55%
2 Nuclear --------------5.082GWh - 21,38%
3 Wind -----------------4.315GWh - 18,16%
4 Combined Gas -------4.154GWh - 17,48%
5 Mixed Renewable ----2.482GWh - 10,64%
6 Coal ---------------------873GWh - 3,67%
7 Mixed non renewable --800GWh - 3,43%
8 Fuel ----------------------21GWh - 0,09%
- Imports -------------(-558GWh)- (-2.35%) (exported to France, Portugal, Morocco and Andorra)


RE: Pick a different section
By heffeque on 4/15/2010 8:44:30 AM , Rating: 3
Wops, missed a number (mixed combined was 1800 not 800) and got the percentages all wrong.

Here they are corrected:

1 Hydro ------------------5.597GWh - 23,55%
2 Nuclear ----------------5.082GWh - 21,38%
3 Wind -------------------4.315GWh - 18,16%
4 Combined Gas ---------4.154GWh - 17,48%
5 Mixed renewable -------2.482GWh - 10,44%
7 Mixed non renewable --1.800GWh - 07,57%
6 Coal -----------------------873GWh - 03,67%
8 Fuel -------------------------21GWh - 00,09%
- Imports -----------------(-558GWh)- (-2.35%)


RE: Pick a different section
By randomly on 4/16/2010 2:01:36 PM , Rating: 1
Your information is deceptive and your conclusions false.

France is a net exporter of energy. 325 Gwh of electricity is only about 3% of the yearly output of a SINGLE nuclear reactor. In 2009 France imported 20,760 Gwh of energy, but exported 45,081 Gwh of energy.

Energy trade on the European grid is common to balance instantaneous supply and demand.

Spain has aggressively pursued wind and solar feed in tariffs to encourage renewable energy development but as is becoming clearer and clearer at a terrible cost. The renewable energy costs are up to 7 times more expensive than the current market costs and as a larger percentage of Spain's power comes from renewables the cost of energy escalates higher and higher. This is already driving energy intensive industries out of Spain such as the steel industries (Acerinox expanded capacity in the US and South Africa and halted expansion in Spain). Chemical, plastics, precious metals, cement, lime and plaster industries are also affected.

As energy prices in Spain continue to rise spanish industry will become less and less competitive on the world market and the economic impact and job losses already apparent will continue to worsen.

It's a very unfortunate outcome from what was a noble intention. I very much admire Spain and I hope they can mitigate the economic damage from this situation. Renewable energy is not without it's costs, and sometimes these are very large and not immediately apparent.


RE: Pick a different section
By heffeque on 4/18/2010 9:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
Electricity bills have risen, yes, but not in an exaggerated way. Most people in Spain are gladly willing to pay a bit more for their electricity if it means that the country's air will be a lot cleaner and that there are less nuclear wastes being produced. People in Spain actually think that health is more important than money, hence the very successful universal public health system.


RE: Pick a different section
By Kurz on 4/12/2010 11:04:20 AM , Rating: 1
When those people are the head of those organizations its hard to say they are on the fringe.

From my personal experience an former friend of mine has the same exact mindset. Saying we are destorying the earth and how we should return our standard of living to days past. She also has a bunch of friends who are more radical than she is.

Humans should think about Humans first.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:27:55 PM , Rating: 1
If we wreck our planet it kind of effects humans. There are a lot of things that can be done to help without turning our lifestyles upside down.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 1:35:00 PM , Rating: 1
Please, not the old "destroying the planet" myth. Our air, water, and soil is cleaner than ever. We've better fed, clothed, and housed than ever before in human history. Yet environmentalists have been predicting imminent doom for geneations. If you want a real laugh, read something like Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", or some of the ZPG crowd's predictions from 1965 about how we'd all be starving to death by the year 2000.

As for "not turning our lifestyles upside down", if environmental groups would stop trying to get laws passed that force us to do just that, we'd stop fighting them.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 2:11:46 PM , Rating: 3
You're pointing to the successes of the 1960s and 70s. I'm talking about everything since then. For 30 years now, environmentalists have done far more to hurt human health and prosperity than they've done to help it. Fighting nuclear power, genetic engineering, junk science scares like Alar, bans on DDT that cost millions of lives, protection of pseudo-species like the mythical "Northern Spotted Owl", regulations and bans that have made housing and consumer products much more expensive, and driven millions of jobs overseas...you name it.


RE: Pick a different section
By eggman on 4/12/2010 2:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Do you believe bio-diversity is required for the wellbeing of humanity?


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 3:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
"Do you believe bio-diversity is required for the wellbeing of humanity?"

Good question. I believe a certain amount is required. Anything over that amount isn't necessary..and too much may even have negative effects.

What is that amount? No one knows...but the school of thought that "more is always better" is certainly fallacious.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
Trying to compete with cheap chinese labor has driven jobs oversees. Not many Americans want to work for $10 a day, or whatever they get. Outsourcing jobs and bringing tons of labor from mexico to undercut the labor market for the jobs left in the US, is the main blame for the demise of the blue collar middle class.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 3:20:56 PM , Rating: 1
But without such strict regulations here in the US, most people could afford to live on much lower salaries which would keep the jobs here. If our gasoline cost $0.50/gallon, our cars cost $5,000 our food cost $2 for a full meal, then we could compete with the other workforces across the globe. But to keep us safe we have many many regulations on all of our stuff to drive the prices up.

For those who say we should revert back to how our ancestors lived in the 1800's or before, fine, but I don't want to hear you complaining when I stand next to you not having had a shower for a few weeks. Nor should you complain when I need to kill little animals to make the leather I need to replace all the vinyl and synthetic cloth used in my cloths.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 3:22:38 PM , Rating: 1
"Trying to compete with cheap chinese labor has driven jobs oversees"

Sorry, but this is just one small factor. In 1950, the Chinese were willing to work even cheaper than they are today, yet the US still managed to produce just over half of all the manufactured goods in the world. There's always been countless sources of cheap labor overseas; it wasn't until stifling regulation increased costs here at home that manufacturers began to flee in droves.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:55:30 PM , Rating: 1
Free trade and globalization is a pretty new thing. Back in the 80's we pretty much forced the Japanese to build cars here as they didn't have to pay the large import tax that they did when they built them in Japan. Also new technologies have aided in the outsourcing of jobs, like being able to send X-rays over the internet for a doctor to interpret in India(not really possible 20 years ago).


RE: Pick a different section
By eggman on 4/12/2010 3:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Knowing the tipping point would be very good information indeed. I prefer having a safe buffer. I could however do without all the black widows and rattlesnakes where I live!


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 4:21:45 PM , Rating: 1
"Knowing the tipping point would be very good information indeed"

The whole concept of a "tipping point" is fallacious and utterly without evidence. Asteroid strikes and other calamities have destroyed up to 90% of the species on earth at times...and things were just fine afterwards.

Further, several of the "extinction events" in earth's history don't even seem to be caused by calamities at all, but simply a natural decline in the rate of speciation (the creation of new species), so that over time, biodiversity naturally declined. Again -- there was no problem or "tipping point" seen from this.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 9:15:30 AM , Rating: 5
"To label the national sentiment on environment by listing the statements of a few environmentalists..."

These are not just "a few environmentalists". They are the leaders of the movement -- the people who found the groups, give the speeches, write the books and journals, lobby the politicians, receive the donations, and organize the protests.

Even worse, their statements aren't rejected and discounted by the rest of the movement. Instead, they are glorified and feted as heroes of environmentalism, and regularly given awards and honors.

When the environmentalist movement begins treating these people as outcasts rather than honored leaders -- I'll stop quoting them.


RE: Pick a different section
By HotFoot on 4/12/2010 10:14:26 AM , Rating: 4
That's like saying Ann Coulter and Rush Limbauch are the leaders of conservative thinking. Sorry, those extremists don't represent me.


RE: Pick a different section
By HotFoot on 4/12/2010 10:15:28 AM , Rating: 2
Limbaugh - sorry typo


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pick a different section
By HotFoot on 4/12/2010 11:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of believing there is a significant moderate conservative population that are intelligent and thoughtful and not just foaming at the mouth with fear and paranoia.

Speaking of, I think the whole point of this blog entry was to point out that fear and paranoia (in my opinion mostly on the left of the spectrum) is holding back a cleaner and safer technology than coal. I can only imagine cutting back the red tape, protests and environmental blockading of nuclear projects would be a good thing. Appealing to the environmental benefits of nuclear over alternatives is just a way to get one of the most stuck-in-the-mud groups onside.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
I believe most Americans are moderate whether they lean a little left or right. The problem seems to be extremists to the left and right seem to be driving politics.


RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2010 3:44:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I believe most Americans are moderate whether they lean a little left or right. The problem seems to be extremists to the left and right seem to be driving politics.


We live in a society that is becoming more and more unable to tell good from bad, or right from wrong. Moderates are part of the problem. Because, more often than not, they side with radical Liberals. Moderates don't want to be the "bad guy". They don't want to be the guy who stands up and says "no, that is wrong and I'm not going along with it." Moderate, but it's very definition, means they stand for nothing.

As far as "extremist right", there isn't such a thing. Liberals want to transform this country, and basically have over the past 3 years, into something it was never meant to be. They ignore or bypass the Constitution whenever they see fit (health care anyone?). Their beliefs and policies are NOT in tune with what is best for this nation.

The "right" is obviously against such things. But honestly, what side is "extremist" here ?

The media has painted this silly picture of the good honest Democrat just trying to make nice little changes, and the big stubborn mean racist Conservatives angrily shouting "NO!". And frankly it insults our intelligence. We know EXACTLY who the extremists are and who's side they are on.

They are wrong. Period. I'm not extremist because I see no reason to compromise with them. We have compromised enough and look where it's gotten us. You aren't extremist if you have the courage and conviction to stand up and say "No. Enough is enough already"

America IS a right wing country. It was founded that was. It was defended that way. It's very Constitution is about as "extreme right" as you can get.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 4:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, not really. The brake from England was to form a government "of the people by the people." I would say braking away from the traditional european monarchy/aristocratic type of government was a very liberal minded thing to do.


RE: Pick a different section
By Kurz on 4/12/2010 5:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
Different type governments...
You can't compare ideas under a tyrannical King to ones under a Parliament.

When we say liberal we mean socialism.
When we say Right wing or conservative we mean liberty.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/13/2010 2:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
Limbaugh does not call himself a republican. He says he is a conservative. Most do not understand the difference. It's like the difference between communist and socialist - there is a small difference and to the outsider they may not even see a difference, but there is a difference.

Since it was the Republican party that did the most and pushed to hardest to end slavery in the USA, it would be bad if the Republican party to nominated a person after making the statement you listed.


RE: Pick a different section
By lukasbradley on 4/12/2010 5:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
6


By LoweredExpectations on 4/13/2010 12:52:42 AM , Rating: 2
Only in the upside-down, through-the-looking-glass world of the DailyTech blogger is advocating clean air and water considered reprehensible!


RE: Pick a different section
By The0ne on 4/12/2010 10:03:13 AM , Rating: 1
You do sound like quite the jerk in this thread conversation I admit. Getting upset and citing examples from the few and labeling all with it. Sounds familiar doesn't it? If Jason Mick being the "author" of this doesn't already ring ironic and hypocrisy, adding to his pathetic attempt at journalism is nothing to be proud of.

You need to step back, clear your thoughts and get the fck out of the way way way out field.


RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2010 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 1
lol wait, you're saying most of the environmental movement isn't made up of radical activists??


RE: Pick a different section
By tastyratz on 4/12/2010 12:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
In a neutral response here I just want to comment:

Every movement has radical activists otherwise they wouldn't be big enough to be called a movement. Its how influential those radical activists are that shape the movement they are part of.

Hell - show me a religion and I will show you an extremist that is willing to bomb a public place in its name (and predating that most wars are "holy" wars in the name of x)

I believe eco related movements DO seem to have the largest number of extremists proportionally though...


RE: Pick a different section
By tastyratz on 4/12/2010 12:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
let me just clarify before the hate starts:
I wanted my initial content of the post to be neutral, the end comment is opinion because I cant find supporting fact (someone else is welcome to if they believe so as well)


RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pick a different section
By hyvonen on 4/12/2010 2:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
No, that would be extremist.

Simple measures towards environmentalism help - you don't have to go "all out". Expecting anyone to do that would be sort of unrealistic.

If I remember right, you're one of the more extreme conservatives here... calling environmentalists that don't live in mud huts hypocrites would be like calling you a hypocrite for using public roads and schools, police, fire department etc.


RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/2010 3:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, there is no such thing as an "extreme" Conservative. Conservatives believe in smaller government. Individual liberties. Freedom of religion. A strong national defense. The Constitution and what it stood for as WELL as what's written.

Basically, you know, all the things this country was FOUNDED ON ! What about that sounds extreme to you ??

quote:
calling you a hypocrite for using public roads and schools, police, fire department etc.


What ?? You mean the things the government is supposed to provide for ? Thank you for illustrating that you don't really know WHAT a Conservative is. We are NOT Anarchists despite what MSNBC told you.


RE: Pick a different section
By Iaiken on 4/11/2010 10:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am for the strip mining method, while still dangerous, its much safer than underground. I know its not pretty but what is more important, human life or the view? The view is scared during mining, while not optimal, can be re-planted. Whichever it is be consistent in your argument.


All it takes is one good coal fire in an open strip mine to change that. Just like the underground variety, it would take hundreds of years to burn itself out. Though Wyoming would probably look better with a 5 mile wide column of smoke billowing out of it.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 11:03:24 PM , Rating: 2
" it would take hundreds of years to burn itself out."

Haha, no. Underground coal seams can burn for very lengthy periods, because they smoulder at very slow rates due oxygen starvation; they obviously cannot be quenched by rainfall, and they're nearly impossible to reach by human firefighters.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 10:15:21 AM , Rating: 1
Coal really isn't that easy to set on fire, and if one did start in an open pit, you would just take a front end loader or drag line and scoop out what was burning and set it aside and it would soon burn itself out. Anyone who thinks this would turn into some massive fire burning for ages in a open pit knows little about coal.


RE: Pick a different section
By Kurz on 4/12/2010 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
Coal dust is much more Volatile.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 3:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. Coal dust along with grain dust from grain storage are both very explosive. But most surface mines are sprayed daily with water to reduce the coal fines in the air, both for safety and environmental controls.

There are a lot of regulations on such things in the coal industry. All surface mines are encircled with runoff water containment areas that are tested regularly for things such as heavy metals, sulfate, nitrate, pH, ect to make sure they do not pollute streams around the mines. (My laboratory does a lot of this monitoring as a third party monitoring source which is required)

Also now days once an area has been mined, it is required that the topography is put back as close to the original as possible. There is also ongoing monitoring of the plants grown on that ground to make sure the topsoil is of good quality. Reclaimed mine land is now some of the most fertile ground around here. I live in the West Kentucky Coal fields so I see it every day.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/13/2010 12:14:28 PM , Rating: 2
Funny to get rated down for pointing out the truth about a matter. Since I live around surface coal mines and underground mines and have friends that work in both and know just how the deal with such things.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:17:19 PM , Rating: 3
I'm a card carrying member of the Sierra Club, so I guess I'm a pinko commie environmentalist. I know I'm crazy believing in efficiency; florescent lighting, good insulation in homes, energy star appliances, low flow toilets, blower hand dryers, well designed light rail systems, etc. However I love the idea of going for modern nuclear power for a majority of our power needs.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 1:24:37 PM , Rating: 3
" However I love the idea of going for modern nuclear power for a majority of our power needs."

So why do you fund an organization that fights it tooth and nail?

Had it not been for groups like the Sierra Club, today the US would be generating 75% of its electricity from nuclear like France, and our CO2 emissions would be nearly half what they are today.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think it was the accident at 3 mile island that stopped the progress of nuclear power in the US. People became scared of it and didn't want one anywhere near them. Its going to take a while to educate people about the safety of the new designs. Eventually its going to happen.

As far as the Sierra Club I don't agree with a lot of stuff they do, but that's true with anything. We do need a movement to keep at least a little control on Corporations, because we all know what happens when they don't have anything keeping them in check. Hell if not for the the National Park system, all of our greatest natural wonders would have been turned into Disneyland.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 2:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
"I think it was the accident at 3 mile island that stopped the progress of nuclear power in the US"

You mean the 'accident' that gave people a dose of radiation less than they'd receive from eating a banana?

In any case, the anti-nuclear power movement had been in full swing for more than five years before that, and had already successfully managed to block several nuclear plants already in construction.


RE: Pick a different section
By blargsoup on 4/13/2010 9:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
indeed


RE: Pick a different section
By blueboy09 on 4/11/2010 10:56:29 AM , Rating: 1
Dude, check the top of the FTA. It says Jason Mick (blog) on it, in case you are wondering. He actually does point out a couple of things about alternate power that is desperately needed in this country though.


RE: Pick a different section
By iFX on 4/11/2010 11:04:43 AM , Rating: 5
It's in the "Science" section, it belongs in the Blog sections. Look at other posts which are labeled as such.


RE: Pick a different section
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2010 11:06:09 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't even have to open the article to know it was Jason.

And no one here, other than environmental nutjobs, is against nuclear power. Its the environmental wackos who've kept us so far behind. Not the average citizen. And the Democrat party has helped them do it by giving these wackjobs the ability to sue "on our behalf". Not to mention all the red tape in the EPA.


RE: Pick a different section
By quiksilvr on 4/11/2010 1:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
You're way off. Both parties are for clean nuclear energy.

The problem is not environmentalist and not even the EPA.

Right now, we have the full capability to create a nuclear powered propeller airplane that can go over 500 miles an hour at 30,000 ft altitude and have a virtually unlimited range and no emissions. Do we make it? No.

We can literally make a sub $20,000 electric 4 door car (that actually looks like a car) with a 200+ mile range. Do we make it? No.

We can place 480V plugs on almost every parking meter in urban areas so people can charge their vehicles in half an hour.

So we can essentially convert our entire energy grid to clean nuclear power and change every car in America to electric to run off this clean power. Do we make it? No.

Why? BUSINESS. It is entirely the fault of businesses. They want to milk this green movement as much as they can. They don't want to skip over the wind power and solar and ethanol (God I frigging HATE Ethanol!) and hydrogen and clean coal.

They want to churn out as much cash from idiot consumers before inevitably realizing that nuclear power and electric cars is the long term solution to this problem.

So don't be boasting about the liberal, democratic agenda. Open your eyes to realize its just business. Business that is built on the idiocy of consumers.


RE: Pick a different section
By bigdawg1988 on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:31:20 PM , Rating: 5
" With all the money they have to spend on lobbying they can hold off nuclear power for a long time"

God, learn a little about the industry. Utilities have tried consistently to build nuclear plants. In the rare case they can actually get all the federal, state, and local approvals required, they spend a few billion, only to have the process halted for a decade or more by legal challenges from environmental groups, or new, continually-changing regulations from the NRC.

In other nations, nuclear plants are built in as little as four years. In the US, some plants have taken up to twenty years...and meanwhile, the utility is paying interest on their $6B construction loan the entire time.
And that's IF they ever manage to complete the plant.

Here is a partial list of just a few of the nuclear reactors US utilities have attempted to build. Many were partially constructed when they were cancelled, at an aggregate cost running into the HUNDREDS of billions of dollars:

Allens Creek
South River
Blue Hills
Sears Isle, ME
Hartsville, TN
Stanislaus
Sterling
Bodega Bay
Forked River
Douglas Point
Yellow Creek MS
Green County NY
Greenwood
Tyrone
Sundesert

Also, half of all current nuclear plants have or had plans for additional reactors on site which were cancelled, in many cases after the reactors were partially completed.


RE: Pick a different section
By Lord 666 on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 11:07:45 PM , Rating: 2
No. Oyster Creek is not Forked River. The latter was a project proposed in 1969, and cancelled in 1980:

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


RE: Pick a different section
By Lord 666 on 4/12/2010 9:42:08 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for the correction. Oyster Creek is in Forked River, but as you pointed out, they were two separate projects. Never knew about the cancelled project.

Reading those links within the Wikipedia link are interesting because in the 1980 news paper article, shows how the US could have been way ahead of the curve twenty years ago.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 10:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
Marble Hill in southern Indiana is not on the list. It was killed back in the late 70's early 80's. I remember so much controversy over it back when I was in grade school/high school.


RE: Pick a different section
By theflux on 4/11/2010 1:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
You're way off.

The Democratic party and by far the biggest driver of the green movement. They are the ones who vote in favor of the massive subsidies that the companies "milk". It's funny that you try to blame businesses for taking the easy money the Democrats hand to them.


RE: Pick a different section
By MadMan007 on 4/11/2010 2:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
Get real, both parties hand out the pork like candy.


RE: Pick a different section
By SPOOFE on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By MadMan007 on 4/11/2010 6:29:01 PM , Rating: 4
Yes but he takes it from the specific in his first sentence to the general in the second and third without also generalizing all parties involved.

Besides which partisan bickering and fingerpointing just gets old. I guess it makes good entertainment and instills party loyalty for simpletons though.


RE: Pick a different section
By SPOOFE on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pick a different section
By wiz220 on 4/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 1:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
"At any rate, I think it's not even a left or right issue."

I'm sorry, but this isn't true. New nuclear reactors aren't sited next to suburban homes. They're usually either placed next to existing reactors, or in a new, very remote site.

And when that happens, the protests start immediately...and the overwhelming majority of those protesting are either Democratic, or members of groups even further to the Left (Green Party, etc.)


RE: Pick a different section
By ImSpartacus on 4/11/2010 11:14:08 AM , Rating: 3
No, that's a link to Mick's blog.

It goes here:
http://www.dailytech.com/blogs/~jasonmick

This article is not found there.


RE: Pick a different section
By FITCamaro on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pick a different section
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pick a different section
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2010 11:02:11 AM , Rating: 2
And sorry but nine incidents over a 103 year period is not much to speak of. Accidents happen. One could put together a similar graph for any heavy industry.


RE: Pick a different section
By thurston on 4/11/2010 10:57:18 PM , Rating: 1
The list is not complete. I do not see Sago there, and I would imagine their are others missing. On a positive note I talked to a friend today (I live about an hour away from the latest mining incident) and he said two "God hates fags" people where protesting one of the miners funerals and got the shit beat out of them, not a good idea to protest someones funeral with "God hates coal miners" signs in Whitesville, WV they don't worry too much about the legal ramifications of beating someone who needs beat.


RE: Pick a different section
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 10:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly I am surprised they didn't just disappear with now trace. I know the people from that region and not so long ago that is exactly what would have happened to someone like that up there. They really do believe in taking care of their own, instead of whining to the government to take care of them.

Those protesters are outsiders sticking their nose in places it doesn't belong. I hope they learned their lesson.


RE: Pick a different section
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:57:10 PM , Rating: 5
"The government wouldn't need to guarantee anything if the red tape were just removed. "

Currently, the NRC requires every nuclear plant to be licensed separately. The plans, design,controls, equipment, materials...everything down to the specifications on every little nut and bolt in the facility has to be looked at and approved, line by line.

Other nations such as France use a much smarter approach. They approve a standardized plan and process...then any plant built to that design is automatically approved. It's not only far cheaper, it's much faster as well.

Some of the regulations are incredibly ludicrous as well. The radiation limits are so tight in places that some nuclear reactors are required to be less radioactive than the land around them is, from the radioactive elements found naturally in the soil.


RE: Pick a different section
By fic2 on 4/12/2010 2:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
I guess an analogy would be if GM/Ford/etc had to have each car coming off the assembly line individually approved by the gov't. Yep, definitely sounds like a gov't department.


RE: Pick a different section
By Yawgm0th on 4/12/2010 11:11:23 AM , Rating: 2
Op-Ed article is still an article. Writing opinion articles is not the same as blogging.

DT writers almost always editorialize anyway. DT is a news aggregation and editorial site, not a journalistic publication's web site. Unless the DT writers object to this classification and would like to re-brand themselves, I think it's silly to complain about editorials.


RE: Pick a different section
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:08:30 PM , Rating: 3
Yes we should definitely move towards nuclear for electricity and use our fairly abundant natural gas to power our cars. If we did these two things we could be off foreign oil in a relatively short period of time. And at the rate batteries are improving it might not be to long before we could go for practical electric cars. Think how much better off we would be if we could cut off Iran's oil money.


RE: Pick a different section
By YashBudini on 4/14/2010 12:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
"This is clearly a blog post, not an article, and should be in the 'blogs' section of the website. "

That never stopped MAsher, why should it stop this guy?


My concern
By AlexWade on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: My concern
By ImSpartacus on 4/11/2010 10:19:11 AM , Rating: 5
Construction pays alright.

As in, constructing nuclear power plants.


RE: My concern
By iFX on 4/11/2010 11:02:55 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, look around those states, look at the forests and mountains which are being destroyed. We need nuclear power now.


RE: My concern
By FITCamaro on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: My concern
By iFX on 4/11/2010 11:17:18 AM , Rating: 4
You have absolutely no idea what you're taking about. The mining companies aren't mining as much as they are leveling. Over 500 peaks have already been leveled or capped. We're not talking INSIDE the mountain, we're talking the mountain itself. Do some research. Of course, knowing you, you won't.


RE: My concern
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: My concern
By Redwin on 4/11/2010 2:26:29 PM , Rating: 5
Energy in ton of Coal: 3.2 x 10^10
Energy in ton of Uranium: 7.4 x 10^16
(source: http://physics.syr.edu/courses/modules/ENERGY/ENER... )

That's about 2.3 million times more energy for the same amount of mining / damage to the environment. Saying uranium mining uses a similar process but not mentioning this fact is a bit disingenuous, wouldn't you say? =P


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:40:35 PM , Rating: 5
"Saying uranium mining uses a similar process but not mentioning this fact is a bit disingenuous, wouldn't you say"

Even more so when you realize that, using advanced reactor designs, we've already mined enough uranium to power our needs for the next several centuries...just off what we already have in storage.


RE: My concern
By Solandri on 4/12/2010 3:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'll add that the trace amounts of uranium and thorium in coal actually contains more energy than the coal itself. So any argument that coal is better than nuclear loses, both from an energy yield and radioactive waste standpoint.


RE: My concern
By FITCamaro on 4/12/2010 8:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
Who is arguing that coal is better than nuclear?


RE: My concern
By uibo on 4/11/2010 6:10:17 PM , Rating: 3
Those numbers are useless if you don't say how much mining you actually have to do to get 1 ton of coal and 1 ton of (enriched?) uranium.


RE: My concern
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 6:22:52 PM , Rating: 1
It's "useless" to know that a ton of uranium has six orders of magnitude greater energy density than a ton of coal? I'm very curious to know what your definition of "use" is.


RE: My concern
By rs1 on 4/11/2010 6:31:37 PM , Rating: 5
No, he's saying it's "useless" to point out that a ton of uranium fuel has more energy than a ton of coal if you don't also include to ore-to-product ratio for each one. Getting a ton of usable uranium fuel requires mining at least 400 tons of ore. Getting a ton of coal requires much less than that.

Granted, the difference is not enough to change the overall conclusion, but it does mean that those six orders of magnitude are more like 3 orders of magnitude when you factor in the much higher waste factor of mining fissionable uranium.


RE: My concern
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 6:42:28 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't tell the whole story, true. But that's a far cry from "useless", and it CERTAINLY establishes that the two aren't directly comparable.


RE: My concern
By uibo on 4/12/2010 4:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yes - my point was that you can't use numbers that show energy contents in a ton of processed resources to indicate how much mining has to be done to acquire that amount of "energy."

I'll agree that my wording was bad and misleading. For the record: I believe that you'll have to do many orders of magnitude less mining to get the uranium for the same amount of energy.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 9:34:36 PM , Rating: 3
"but it does mean that those six orders of magnitude ..."

Actually, using advanced reactor designs, its eight orders of magnitude.

For the mathematically challenged, it means we can get 100,000,000 times the energy from a kg of uranium as we do from a kg of coal.


RE: My concern
By rs1 on 4/11/2010 6:26:47 PM , Rating: 5
While I agree that nuclear is a far better energy option than coal, your numbers are a bit off when you talk about "the same amount of mining / damage to the environment". Mining coal is much more efficient than mining uranium (in terms of waste-to-usable-product ratio). It takes about a ton of uranium ore to produce 5 pounds of usable fuel (in the best case).

In order to get the ton of uranium fuel that you use in your example, it's actually necessary to mine at least 400 tons of ore. So while it's still more efficient / less damaging to mine uranium in terms of energy per ton mined, the difference factor between the two is in the thousands, not millions. It may even be slightly less than that, when you factor in that it takes much more post-processing to turn uranium ore into usable fuel, as well.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 9:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
"It takes about a ton of uranium ore to produce 5 pounds of usable fuel (in the best case)."

Not in the best case. That's 0.25% ratio -- the exact average of US mines. Some uranium mines have concentrations above 4%, such as the Cominak mine (the largest uranium mine in the world).


RE: My concern
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 7:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't aware that my statement compared how much energy each fuel source produced. Yup, I'm damned sure I wasn't. I was simply making an objective comment about how claiming mining for one is "worse" than the other. They are equally "as bad".

Here let me break this down for you since you missed the point.

Talker 1 - "Hey mining for coal SUCKS ! Because it makes big holes in the ground and levels mountains !"

Talker 2 - "Nuh uh, not really !!!"

Talker Reclaimer77 - "whoa guys back up, BOTH make holes in the ground and level mountains"

Any questions ?


RE: My concern
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 7:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are equally "as bad".

You have a funny definition of the word "equal".

quote:
Any questions ?

Yes, how can they be "equally 'as bad'" if one requires significantly more mining than the other?


RE: My concern
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 8:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
One has significantly more uses. But I guess that doesn't count ?


RE: My concern
By thurston on 4/11/2010 11:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They don't "level mountains" as you claim to get it.


Actually they do level mountains, I live about 20 min from this mine.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&g...


RE: My concern
By thurston on 4/11/2010 11:52:39 PM , Rating: 1
And another

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&g...

I'm sure I can find more, if you scroll around a bit in that link I'm sure you could find more yourself.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:39:19 PM , Rating: 4
"Over 500 peaks have already been leveled or capped."

"Capped" is a term which can mean whatever you want it to mean. If you scrape a foot off the top of a 5,000 ft peak, you've "capped" it.

In any case, I'm not seeing a problem. We smooth ground out all the time for our own needs. It doesn't harm the environment...and its something nature (erosion) does anyway, just on a somewhat slower basis.

Attempting to portray it as we're somehow going to lose the Rockies, or scenic mountains such as Pikes Peak or Mt. Whitney is extreme silliness.


RE: My concern
By iFX on 4/11/2010 6:16:41 PM , Rating: 1
Uhh, there aren't too many 5,000' peaks in the Smokey's.

If this were the Rockies people would be going apeshit.


RE: My concern
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2010 8:17:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah where would they make Coors Light then?


RE: My concern
By djcameron on 4/11/2010 9:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
In the restroom!


RE: My concern
By thurston on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: My concern
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2010 8:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.mine-engineer.com/mining/coalrec.htm

http://www.rmef.org/Conservation/HowWeConserve/Lan...

Few examples. And does it really matter? A mountain peak does no good. Mine the coal, reclaim the land, and make it usable for mankind.

Regardless of whether or not you agree, they are not just leaving barren wasteland. The land is made useful or made to look beautiful.


RE: My concern
By Murloc on 4/11/2010 11:04:50 AM , Rating: 4
in other countries there are no coal mines at all.
They just have to move away from that place if there will be no jobs.


RE: My concern
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 1:25:04 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
in other countries there are no coal mines at all.


Maybe because there aren't MASSIVE AMOUNTS of coal in those other countries ? Just a though. You know the United States has probably the largest coal reserves on the planet right ?

No, you didn't.

Anyway you guys are all off the mark. Coal mining and building Nuclear power plants are NOT mutually exclusive !!! Get that through your skulls. Most of the world still burns coal. Coal also has TONS of other uses in hundreds of products. You can even make petroleum products from it like fuel. We're in the middle of a terrible recession and you're advocating we stop mining coal ? Hell if anything we should be exporting as much of it as we can. We're sitting on the largest coal reserves on the planet and arguing energy policies while we're heading for an economic collapse !!

What is wrong with you people !? Rome is burning and we're fighting to see who gets to run what's left of the ashes...


RE: My concern
By corduroygt on 4/11/2010 3:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Burning coal is very bad for the environment, I'm not talking about CO2, but other harmful gases. Replacing them with nuclear plants would be better for us.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: My concern
By asdf23fvas324rf on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 11:48:49 PM , Rating: 1
"NOT bad for the environment? Are you really serious?"

Yes. Show me the actual harm. And no, a Wikipedia article, edited by a fleet of thousands of environmental activists, does not count.

First of all, cows and termites both produce hundreds of times more methane than do coal plants. Trace amount of mercury and other toxins are certainly bad for human health, but their impact on the environment as a whole is negligible, and far more than outweighed by increasing CO2 levels.

Yes, they might be slightly increasing the long term risk of cancer for some of the larger mammals, but compared to the greater biomass supportable by the significantly faster plant growth from increased CO2 levels, the net effect is significantly positive. Remember that the entire food chain ultimately depends on plant growth.

As for the "acid rain" myth, despite our being taught in the 1970s that it meant the "end of all forests" in North America, the reality is that some plants thrive on the slightly lower pH levels, while others are somewhat stunted. Net effect: zero.

Remember that all these "horrible toxins" in coal were originally part of environment anyway. All plants contain trace amounts of mercury and other deleterious elements. When you burn coal, you're simply restoring the environment to what it was many millions of years ago.


RE: My concern
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
It also puts mercury in my Tuna, and Salmon. :( Mostly from chinese coal plants, but still.


RE: My concern
By crleap on 4/11/2010 11:48:17 AM , Rating: 3
Everywhere you look, there are people who have been employed in now obsolete industries, sitting around crying because their job is gone and they can't possibly do anything else. And there's idiots like you who buy their BS. Look at all the now unemployed factory workers in my town. Look at your mountain coal miners. I'm SORRY if they wasted their lives not developing their skills or diversifying their knowledge to remain relevant in an evolving economy. But it's their fault, not mine, not yours, and it's their responsibility to find a new way to be relevant. The US is not a manufacturing economy anymore, and if we wake up, it won't be a coal mining one either.

Quit defending laziness and failure to evolve by artificially maintaining and propping up outdated industries.


RE: My concern
By crleap on 4/11/2010 11:49:15 AM , Rating: 2
Further, your line of "no choice" is bullshit. There is ALWAYS a choice... in their case, it's a choice to not learn anything new.


RE: My concern
By Oregonian2 on 4/11/2010 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 1
Tough to do if one's already in one's 50s and still have a family to support.


RE: My concern
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 5:36:55 PM , Rating: 3
In which case that person will be in his 80's by the time he'd have to worry about coal going on the way out. The only people that would have to anticipate change are the young and hearty, best set to start improving their life now.


RE: My concern
By JKflipflop98 on 4/11/2010 10:43:27 PM , Rating: 2
Being old isn't an excuse.


RE: My concern
By RamarC on 4/11/2010 1:43:27 PM , Rating: 1
agreed.

progressive energy has been planning two new nuke plants for florida over the past decade and the cost is up to $15B and rising. two-thirds of the costs is from components and land acquisition... not construction. (a single abwr unit can cost $1B... a newer ESBWR costs even more.) some of these components cannot be sourced in the US and don't make US jobs. (for example, the steel housing for the reactor is only made in Japan and has a 5 year waiting list. also, GE is the only US manufacturer of LWRs -- the rest are foreign produced.)

florida residents have been pre-paying progressive (in the form of higher energy fees) for the past few years and these plants won't begin construction until 2015. nuclear is a long-term commitment that will only pay off over time, not in the next couple of years. coal is an energy source that produces local jobs now and provides US made power now.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:46:03 PM , Rating: 3
" nuclear is a long-term commitment"

It doesn't have to take 15 years to build a nuke plant. In Japan and South Korea, the average is 48 months...and at least one plant has been built in under 44 months.


RE: My concern
By Oregonian2 on 4/11/2010 5:01:33 PM , Rating: 1
Never ever happen that fast in the usa. Paperwork would take longer than that.


RE: My concern
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 5:04:35 PM , Rating: 5
Then reduce the amount of required paperwork.


RE: My concern
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/2010 8:33:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Then reduce the amount of required paperwork.


That would take another Civil War at this point. Not that I'm apposed to it...


RE: My concern
By spwrozek on 4/11/2010 9:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
It is Florida Progress Energy...

The plants have been delayed about another 10 years do to public backlash and reduced power demand. They are having an incredibly difficult time dealing with environmentalist on moving the projects forward.

So if you want these plants to actually be built (which I sure do) then start a campaign to use more power and prevent the environmentalists from getting in the way.


RE: My concern
By rett448 on 4/12/2010 1:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
What about Westinghouse? Granted Toshiba is the majority shareholder, but all of the R&D work on the AP1000 is done in Pittsburgh. Shaw Construction is also a minority shareholder for Westinghouse and is the company doing all the construction in the US. There is also Babcox-Wilcox and their M-Power Reactor.

If you look at the list of reactors that had submitted their COL more than half of them are Westinghouse AP1000s.


RE: My concern
By Iaiken on 4/11/2010 10:23:36 PM , Rating: 1
I am pretty sure that China and India would love to buy all the coal they can mine.

Coal plants should be subjected to the same "not in my back yard" shenanigans that shut nuclear down.


By DaveLessnau on 4/11/2010 6:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the main point of the article, but why are you pointing fingers at just Americans for coal use? According to the data at:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/coalcons...

as of 2006 the top coal users were as follows:

- China: 2,584.246 tons
- United States: 1,112.292 tons
- Europe: 1,042.462 tons.

So, if you want to point fingers, point them at China, not the US.




By DaveLessnau on 4/11/2010 6:23:15 PM , Rating: 3
Ditto for pointing at Americans for coal mining accidents. Take a look at this to put it in perspective:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_power_in_China#B...

Hint: China had 2,631 coal mining deaths last year ALONE.


By iFX on 4/11/2010 6:26:25 PM , Rating: 3
Well, obviously because someone else has more incidents of the same problem we should ignore our own.


By DaveLessnau on 4/12/2010 8:06:25 AM , Rating: 2
Who is this "we" you're talking about that's ignoring the problem? Looking at those relative numbers, it doesn't appear to be the United States. It appears to be China. So, once again, why point the finger of blame at an entity that's being responsible about the issue? At the least, Jason could have left the American-bashing out of the article entirely. If he felt he needed the finger-pointing, then he should have pointed it where it belongs: China.


By DaveLessnau on 4/12/2010 8:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
And, if Jason wants to focus on Americans, what about other industries? According to:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-129/2001129m.ht...

"The mining industry had the highest average annual fatality rate per 100,000 workers (30.4), followed by agriculture/forestry/fishing (19.6), construction (15.3), and transportation/communication/public utilities (12.6) (Table US-13)."

(that Table US-13 is here:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-129/2001129m.ht...
)

Should we shut down those industries, too?


By porkpie on 4/12/2010 8:59:28 AM , Rating: 1
"Should we shut down those industries, too?"

If we had a safer, cleaner, cheaper alternative to them -- why not?


By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 3:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, that would be like saying we need to stop building skyscrapers since we lost over 2000 people in one incident involving them.

Mining can be done safely, it happens every day. What causes problems like this recent one is when an owner is more focused on profits than safety and a regulatory agency that doesn't enforce the regulations that are in place. The fines are usually so low that it is cheaper to pay the fines than to fix the problems, and that happens in all industries. Make the fines high enough to cause severe hardship to an industry for violations and you will see fewer violations. Examples of non mine related problems similar to this was the tainted peanut butter not long ago, the owner wanted the money and didn't want to waste the time and money to keep the equipment clean. You can get by with fewer regulations, if the main ones are strictly enforced and violations punished quickly. What bogs industry down is then the government piles regulations on top of regulations, many covering the exact same things and then never enforces them. Then when another accident happens, instead of allowing the regulators incompetence to show, they just draft another regulation to hide the previous flaws.


By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 6:29:02 PM , Rating: 5
We can directly affect coal miner deaths in America. We cannot do the same to China without opening up one of the world's biggest cans of worms.


By Hieyeck on 4/12/2010 9:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
So you're saying the US is as backwards as China...?

Considering the lacklustre quality of education (see the epically ignorant posts in these threads), infrastructure (see public transit failure), and current technology (lack of fibre internet, proper 3G wireless, etc.) you might just have hit the mark.


By porkpie on 4/12/2010 9:55:50 AM , Rating: 3
The US transports its public via auto and airplane -- two 20th centuries inventions. Saying we're "backwards" because we don't heavily invest in a 19th century invention such as the railroad is fallacious thinking.

Rail projects fail for one simple reason. They've vastly expensive, and their ridership is always well below projections. People just don't like the extra hassle and, for all but a few special cases, the total trip time is greater for rail, when you factor in the time spent in ticketing, security check, boarding, waiting for departure, transit to and from the rail station, etc.


By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 1
You obviously havent been stuck in two hour LA traffic jams. I'm all for light rail systems to get around the city, it also has the added advantage of not killing 40-60 thousand people a year.


By porkpie on 4/12/2010 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 3
You forget that LA has a mass transit system ... they just can't get people to use it.

Also, traffic fatalities for 2009 were 33,960, not "40 to 60 thousand". In any case, that's a moot point. In 15 years, cars will be driving themselves...and shortly after that, traffic accidents will be a thing of the past.


By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, I have seen some pretty cool autonomous concepts. Using computers to control cars to optimize traffic flow sounds great. They were talking about running cars in "trains" running close together to minimize space used on the freeway and dramatically increase fuel economy. Stuff like this is a win win that nobody is going to complain about.


By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 4:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. LA's mass transit system is the biggest piece of crap ever designed. Who builds a mass transit system and stops it one mile from the Cities main airport? You need to look at cities with good systems like BART in San Francisco or London's underground. As a tourist in London I loved it, I could go quickly everywhere in the city for dirt cheap.


By porkpie on 4/12/2010 4:53:21 PM , Rating: 3
"As a tourist in London I loved it, I could go quickly everywhere in the city for dirt cheap."

I've been a tourist in 15 of the world's top 20 cities. And I'd put London's system at #2. For a tourist , mass transit is great. You don't have to carry anything, you can't get lost, and if some site isn't close to mass transit, you just skip it...there's plenty more to see.

But for a local resident, mass transit is a different story. Carrying bags of groceries or household purchases through crowded stations every day gets old fast. Your home and most of the places you want to go are rarely directly on a rail line, meaning you have to walk, take a bus, take the rail, then another bus, then walk some more. Annoying and slow in good weather...atrocious in bad weather.


By UNHchabo on 4/12/2010 4:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
By those numbers, the US uses much more coal per capita than China. They have over three times as many residents, but only just over twice the coal consumption.


Nice Article, Mick. No, really.
By ImSpartacus on 4/11/2010 9:58:55 AM , Rating: 4
I can't believe I'm saying this, but that was a good, albeit blog-esque, article.

It's terrible that the public still fears nuclear power.

I hope one day we will be able to move on and get with the picture.




RE: Nice Article, Mick. No, really.
By karielash on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Nice Article, Mick. No, really.
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 6:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe if the Nuclear industry (in the UK and the US) had not spent so many years hiding behind a cloak of secrecy and outright lies about every single accident that has occurred things might be different

Other than Chernobyl (the Soviets, so it doesn't apply) and Three Mile Island (which was almost forty years ago), what other accidents have there been? I suppose you can count the Santa Susanna incident, but that was an experimental reactor which explains the lack of brouhaha.


RE: Nice Article, Mick. No, really.
By messyunkempt on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Nice Article, Mick. No, really.
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 12:48:52 AM , Rating: 3
An almost-accident from more than a half-century ago? Is that the best the anti-nuclear forces can drum up?

Even Chernobyl itself is hardly the "catastrophe" its portrayed as. A total of 50 direct deaths, and somewhere between 0 - 4,000 people who might eventually die early from cancer (calculated with a highly suspect linear-dose methodology).

Not that we could ever have a Chernobyl-style accident here. Chernobyl's RBMK-style reactor had a number of design flaws. None were ever built outside the Soviet Union. Western reactors have negative-void coefficients, so cooling system failures don't cause power escalation, and they also have containment shells, so power excursions don't release radiation.

And even with all those flaws at Chernobyl, had the Soviet government simply evacuated people immediately (there were people still fishing in the reactor's cooling pond 3 days after the accident), the effects would have been far smaller than they were.


By messyunkempt on 4/12/2010 5:46:11 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not anti-nuclear, very much the opposite, i'm 100% all for it. I just found the article an interesting read.


By eddieroolz on 4/11/2010 9:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

My first term paper back in first year university dealt with nuclear power, and I raised many of the same points as Jason did in this post.

Honestly, if it wasn't for eco-terrorist groups like Greenpeace/Sierra Club we would have advanced much, much farther in the field of nuclear science. Those hippie groups aren't fuelled by concern for environment, they're fuelled by hatred against all civilization.

I truly wish North America can be free of foreign oil in my lifetime.


Hmm OK
By meninsuits on 4/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hmm OK
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 1:22:01 PM , Rating: 4
I'm not sure why I'm even responding to such an obvious crackpot, but the worst case scenario in a Western reactor was displayed by Three Mile Island -- a minor meltdown fully contained by the containment structure ... a feature Chernobyl lacked.

Further, as for the "orange afro" idiocy, had the Soviets not tried to hush Chernobyl up and actually evacuated local residents in a timely manner, the effects would have been nearly negligible. Even as it was, only 50 people died directly, and anywhere from 0 - 4,000 may eventually get a fatal cancer early. But that point is moot. No Chernobyl style reactor was ever built outside the former Soviet Union.

The worst case for wind is not "someone falls off a tower somewhere". These are massive 300+ foot structures, with rapidly spinning blades. Their risk profile, per MWh generated, is far higher than nuclear.

But more to the point, it is physically impossible for wind power to supply all our needs. Wind is nondispatchable. So far, no nation on earth has ever succeeded in filling even 20% of its electricity needs from wind. Denmark has gotten close, but only because they sell half of what they generate to the EU grid, then are forced to buy back dispatchable power at 3X the rate.


RE: Hmm OK
By meninsuits on 4/13/2010 1:07:26 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah but did you see that half of europe still shows high radiation levels and know what would have happened at chernobyl if it would have reached the water table?

As far as the crackpot thing goes murphys law is pretty much infoulable.

Splitting of the atom and fusing the atom is a step man wasnt ready for at this time.The logical answer for what to do with the waste is blast it into the sun or put it on a uninhabitable planet.Neither of which is accomplishable or cost efficient.

...All i know is both pollute and have negative effects on the earth and isnt how man was intended to live.What you have are men in suits trying to make a bid for world power domination and reap the benifits.All the tools to produce power are here on earth cleanly and reliably.Its the barons of old that keep our current power schemes alive.The cost
affects the means and noone is going to give up thier stranglehold on thier product.They spent years buying down
forming allegances and maximizing profit.Now its all a game of selling one or another to the masses and snuffing out innovation.(remember the origional "volt" from chevy?)

Im no tree hugger i just realize it isnt the way we should be living for us or our kids and so on.

I kinda hope we get that immense solar flare and fries everything.Its time to hit the reset button and replan this world.Do something right for a change.

Another thing is the LHC which is another leap man may not be ready for noone knows what is really going to happen because all our research is earth based. Science is always learning and right now we are still dealing with flat earth society thinking.We have limited tools and have never measured this "in the field" theres alot of speculation.I think this should be something conducted far off world.

Remember this is our home if you want to trash it like rednecks please do so.Realize though you cant move away though if you turn it into a toxic dump full of chemicles,radiation,and carcentogens.

There is no justification for the unnatural.


RE: Hmm OK
By meninsuits on 4/13/2010 1:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
...and another thing this earth has shifted a number of times in the past leaving regions underwater.

What happens if we go through another shift and we submerge those reactors.Anyone care to take a guess?

Planning for the unimaginable isnt cost effective but we will pay the price for poeple wanting to charge thier ipod with nuclear.

Its far fetched i know but it can happen.


RE: Hmm OK
By Reclaimer77 on 4/13/2010 1:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you think we would have bigger problems if our continent was flooded ??


RE: Hmm OK
By meninsuits on 4/13/2010 8:43:03 AM , Rating: 2
i didnt say continent i said region.There is always a bigger problem but denying all problems for the biggest one you have i would think is a bad thing.


No clear solution
By armagedon on 4/11/2010 5:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
every time this topic appears, there's is hundred of different opinions. That probably equally reflect government indecision on the subject.
Just one note, -the death of 25 "Americans"- sound weird, as if other people are not as valuable !...




RE: No clear solution
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 5:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
" there's is hundred of different opinions."

No. There's the 80% of people who say "nuclear is great", the 20% who say "nuclear and fossil fuels are both great" ... and the occasional loose not who thinks nuclear waste is going to fry his brain (which, in most cases, it's already too late).

"-the death of 25 "Americans"- sound weird, as if other people are not as valuable !..."

Americans tend to get more upset about other Americans dying than they do about people elsewhere. This is as it should be.


RE: No clear solution
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 6:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just one note, -the death of 25 "Americans"- sound weird, as if other people are not as valuable !...

We can have direct control over those deaths, via legislation or cultural attitudes; we can't do the same with sparring warlords in Africa without getting into ugly moral and ethical territory.


RE: No clear solution
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
yup, stay the hell out of africa's problems. If you try to fix it you will be there forever.


Dirty Fundamentalist Canadians
By Yawgm0th on 4/12/2010 11:06:57 AM , Rating: 2
I wish Canada would overthrow it theocratic leadership and finally switch to representative government so we aren't buying our oil from a theocratic state. I'm tired of supporting hockeyist extremists at the pump.




RE: Dirty Fundamentalist Canadians
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 1:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget the curling extremists...they make the hockeyists look like moderates.


RE: Dirty Fundamentalist Canadians
By Yawgm0th on 4/12/2010 1:54:50 PM , Rating: 3
I think we should also put UN sanctions on them until they end their destabilizing figure-skating program.


By GreenPowerInc on 4/11/2010 12:07:52 PM , Rating: 1
We at Green Power Inc for now over 2 Years built and operate a Full Scale System converting all forms of Waste which have Hydro Carbons in it, so nearly everything you throw away with the exception of Metal, Glass and stones into High Quality Fossil Free Fuels. The Fuel can be straight filed into cars and engines, Airplanes etc. no modifications needed. Now you will ask why is this not all over, because of one Beaurocrat in Spokane Washington Ecology Office as he stops us all the way. Other Countries are contracting with us, but in US we are still not allowed to operate full time. We had to lay people off and are asked to move manufacturing overseas, we don’t want to but the local Government actions may force us to do so, so we would lose here in US cheap local Fuel out of waste and the Jobs as well. It feels very bad as we did not take any Government funding to build our system. Our system is ready at full scale and can be implemented anywhere in the world it can give countries fuel and energy independence out of local resources at a much lower price than regular fuel on the Market.
• We have the solution we believe check us out at http://www.facebook.com/greenpowerinc or on our website http://www.cleanenergyprojects.com.
We did it without Government help and we have it working to prove our claim, on full scale not just lab scale ideas. Why spend Billions of Government funding to develop something when we already have it.
Your Green Power Inc Team
And Garbage we have all over the world enough to do it!




By thurston on 4/11/2010 11:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Did you create the Mr Fusion?


By jono256 on 4/12/2010 1:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
It seems as though you haven't invented paragraphs yet.


Missing the Point
By Reclaimer77 on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Missing the Point
By retrospooty on 4/11/2010 11:03:30 AM , Rating: 1
I think your missing the reality of the world we live in.

This country is virtually run by energy producing companies. We arent embracing nuclear power or renewable energy because the companies that pay for our congress members summer homes, cars, childrens educations and campaigns dont want us to because it impacts their profit.


RE: Missing the Point
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2010 11:21:04 AM , Rating: 1
If this was true, then they'd be pushing the hell out of nuclear power backed by reprocessing as it produces energy at a stable market rate with no ties to any resource past the initial cost of the fuel rods. In modern reactors the fuel an be used over and over again.


RE: Missing the Point
By bigdawg1988 on 4/11/2010 1:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but what about the kickbacks and price fixing involved with coal? Nuclear would eliminate that. Besides, they'd actually have to build new plants, and the coal plants are running just fine. I'm not totally against coal, but we need to make them retrofit ALL of the old plants with scrubbers and other technology to reduce the harmful emissions.
Coal is easy for these guys, nuclear isn't. Too many regulations due to 30-40 year old technology. There should be less regulation now, but I doubt it. The government dragging their heels is part of the problem. Make it easier and it'll happen. Use scientific data to make the decisions, not a bunch of lobbyist bs.


RE: Missing the Point
By retrospooty on 4/12/2010 8:31:03 AM , Rating: 2
"If this was true, then they'd be pushing the hell out of nuclear power backed by reprocessing as it produces energy at a stable market rate with no ties to any resource past the initial cost of the fuel rods. In modern reactors the fuel an be used over and over again. "

OH yeah. sure, why continue with the current business model that allows you to be the most profitable companies in the history of the world, and control the govt. of the most powerful country it history of the world. surely they are looking out for OUR best interests. LOL


Sustainability of nuclear energy
By Netjak on 4/12/2010 7:16:32 AM , Rating: 1
U.S. no longer has enough uranium. Maybe for a few years. Most of it is already imported.




RE: Sustainability of nuclear energy
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 9:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is this a joke? The US imports uranium because we choose to not mine it here; we have enormous deposits...and Canada has far more than we do.

Further, using advanced reactor designs, we could supply our energy needs for the next several hundred years, all without miniing a single ounce more of uranium, using just the stockpiles we already have.


By rett448 on 4/12/2010 1:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
One of the largest untapped deposits of Uranium in the world is located in southwest Virginia


Where do you think Uranium comes from
By tanishalfelven on 4/12/2010 3:25:01 PM , Rating: 1
Here a hint..... MINES

PS. this is from a nuclear engineering student. I support nuclear power but to suggest coal mining is the reason to stop using coal is retarded.




RE: Where do you think Uranium comes from
By porkpie on 4/12/2010 3:35:41 PM , Rating: 1
For an engineer to be, you seem to have little grasp of the issues involved.

Yes, nuclear involves mining, but orders of magnitude less would be required ... thus reducing mining accidents by the same proportion. Probably even more ...as uranium mines, being in harder rock, tend to be much less dangerous.


By JediJeb on 4/13/2010 12:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
The hardness of the rock isn't as much of the problem as the inherent presence of Methane associated with coal. The two main mining disasters associated with coal mining are 1) methane and 2)flooding. Methane causes the explosions like this recent accident. Flooding is what just happened in China where an abandoned section of mine fills with water then through miscalculation a new section of mine intersects with the flooded portion releasing the water into the occupied section. The flooding problem can happen in any type of mine, the Methane problem can also but is more a problem with coal mining since it is found with coal so often.


erm...
By Lemonjellow on 4/11/2010 8:28:38 PM , Rating: 1
Upper Big Branch South mine doesn't produce power plant coal... It produces the kind of coal used to make Steel... Most of your power plant coals are strip mined...




RE: erm...
By JediJeb on 4/13/2010 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
Not really true. It depends on what type of coal is in each seam as to what it is used for.

Anthracite

Anthracite is coal with the highest carbon content, between 86 and 98 percent, and a heat value of nearly 15,000 BTUs-per-pound. Most frequently associated with home heating, anthracite is a very small segment of the U.S. coal market. There are 7.3 billion tons of anthracite reserves in the United States, found mostly in 11 northeastern counties in Pennsylvania.
Bituminous

The most plentiful form of coal in the United States, bituminous coal is used primarily to generate electricity and make coke for the steel industry. The fastest growing market for coal, though still a small one, is supplying heat for industrial processes. Bituminous coal has a carbon content ranging from 45 to 86 percent carbon and a heat value of 10,500 to 15,500 BTUs-per-pound.

Subbituminous

Ranking below bituminous is subbituminous coal with 35-45 percent carbon content and a heat value between 8,300 and 13,000 BTUs-per-pound. Reserves are located mainly in a half-dozen Western states and Alaska. Although its heat value is lower, this coal generally has a lower sulfur content than other types, which makes it attractive for use because it is cleaner burning.

Lignite

Lignite is a geologically young coal which has the lowest carbon content, 25-35 percent, and a heat value ranging between 4,000 and 8,300 BTUs-per-pound. Sometimes called brown coal, it is mainly used for electric power generation.

Western coal is now more popular because of its lower sulfur content but even that is found both in shallow mines in Wyoming and deep mines in Idaho. Here where I live in western Kentucky we have strip mines right next to deep underground mines that are pulling out the same type of coal simply because the seam turns vertical and goes deep.


Gasification
By Flunk on 4/12/2010 8:53:13 AM , Rating: 1
You neglected to mention coal gasification. If the US switched to more efficient, modern, coal technologies waste would be reduced and emissions can be sequestered. Nuclear isn't the only alternative.

Also wind farms, solar and biomass but I thought that gasitifaction was more relevant because the article is about coal.




RE: Gasification
By JediJeb on 4/12/2010 6:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
Gasification is possible, and has many uses, but not really a better more efficient source of energy. It takes energy to gasify coal, so that makes it less efficient right from the start. What you have to factor in is whether it is more affordable to use coal to make things like syngas or gasoline. In South Africa coal gasification and liquifaction has been used to produce fuels for automobiles for decades, but it was only financially viable because of the economic embargoes placed on oil imports there during Apartheid. Also Germany used it during WW2 because they had more access to coal than oil. When the price of oil jumps, coal gasification becomes more feasible, when it drops it becomes less.

I studied these technologies in college just as the energy programs began to shift away from coal back to oil in the late 80's, and as a result had to shift my focus in chemistry because the jobs in that field dried up fast. Now this along with the biofuels is becoming something a chemist may want to study again.


Good article.
By Amiga500 on 4/11/2010 10:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
Says most of the things many of the nuclear advocates have been saying for years.

But unfortunately, Joe Public is too stupid and easily manipulated by greenpeace etc to realise they are only hindering themselves by blocking nuc reactors.

Oh, and (paragraph 6) when you said "Other disasters are equally uncommon abroad" I think you meant "Other disasters are equally common abroad."




Extremists ....
By safcman84 on 4/12/2010 9:49:42 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone knows Extremists are idiots, whether they are religious, environmental, political or otherwise.

Also, extremists from BOTH ends of the spectrum are idiots, whether they are "pro" environmental (points finger at people porkpie quoted) or "anti" environmental (points finger at porkpie).

Why cant we find a middle ground?

I consider myself an "ecologist", but agree that Nuclear is the best way forward in the near-future. Too many of the renewable energy sources are untested, and we do not know their potential cost (both monetary and environmental). Hydroelectric destroys ecological habitats, wind turbines potentially cause issues with bird migration etc etc.




By drew494949 on 4/12/2010 7:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
COAL IS CHEAP! that's why we consume it!

The question is, why can't we have cheap energy with coal, make it cleaner, and keep our utility bills under control.

You're talking an $.08 per kW Coal, versus $.14 per kW nuclear, versus $.25 per kW Solar.

hmm... kindof obvious why we love our coal.




$
By rburnham on 4/13/2010 10:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
The short answer to this blog is money.




By LTP on 4/17/2010 2:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
ALL our aircraft-carriers are nuclear powered, two reators per carrier in the Nimitz class, and eight reators in the Enterprise, and ALL our submarines are nuclear powered also, one reator in each...and we have done fine!

civilians are easily scare due to ignorance, but nuclear power is safe.....a LOT safer than any other power source out there today.

example: look up oil refineries fires where many workers over the last decades have died? ...and recently the last batch of dead coal miners?

I hope people get the point!




One out of three is a maybe...
By Beenthere on 4/11/2010 3:50:01 PM , Rating: 1
One out of three stated beliefs for this Op-Ed is a "maybe"... Coal in and of itself can be dirty though the use of coal does not need to be as Germany has proven with clean coal power. Coal is not outdated and will exist centuries from now and is a reliable source of energy. Coal in and of itself is not dangerous at all where as nuclear energy by it's very nature is dangerous.

The bottom line for me is that both forms of energy when properly process and used is just fine and viable. Coal mining and use can be improved just like nuclear safety can be improved. Why not do both?




Nuclear Power is Safe
By hiscross on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By Amiga500 on 4/11/2010 10:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
Looking at the stats, coal is unsafe in comparison.

If you think the average of approx 20-30 Americans per year dead in coal mines is bad.... in China it is around 2000-3000 per year!

Note that is only for mining the stuff. No deaths due to the burning of it are considered. Nor is any ***possible*** influences on climates even considered

:-)


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By Stacey Melissa on 4/11/2010 11:53:28 AM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty nearly socialist, and I've always been a full supporter of nuclear power. It has always been the NIMBY's holding up nuclear. And more recently, the national security scaredy-cats who are dumb enough to actually be terrified into submission by (often purely imagined) terrorist threats, have added their inertia to slow down nuclear.

I think Mick's blog post was spot on.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By hiscross on 4/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By smitty3268 on 4/11/2010 3:55:37 PM , Rating: 1
My conservative friends talk down nuclear just as much as my liberal ones do. Maybe I just have weird friends, but I think you're living in a dream world where liberals are the only ones who hate nuclear.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 5:58:24 PM , Rating: 1
Individuals are wily and unpredictable. Large lobbying groups that didn't have an economic interest aside (such as coal producers) that are also anti-nuclear have typically been liberals, and gotten their share of pork from Democrat sources.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By smitty3268 on 4/11/2010 6:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Individuals are wily and unpredictable.

Let's be honest, here, they're stupid.

quote:
Large lobbying groups that didn't have an economic interest aside (such as coal producers) that are also anti-nuclear have typically been liberals, and gotten their share of pork from Democrat sources.

Meh. Ok, that's probably true. But I think you're overestimating the amount of power those groups actually have. And I think they are usually against all power plants, not just anti-nuclear, so I'm not sure the characterization is completely valid.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By SPOOFE on 4/11/2010 7:07:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let's be honest, here, they're stupid.

I was being generous, but yeah, sure, they're stupid.

quote:
But I think you're overestimating the amount of power those groups actually have.

They'd have almost no influence if people weren't stupid. But they are, and are easily influenced by emotional rhetoric.

quote:
And I think they are usually against all power plants, not just anti-nuclear, so I'm not sure the characterization is completely valid.

Sure, but they haven't had much success stopping anything but nuclear plants.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 11:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
"Sure, but they haven't had much success stopping anything but nuclear plants."

Actually, in California, they've managed to shut down ANY new largescale electric plant, including nuclear, coal, and hydro.

As the state population has doubled, they still rely on their aging fleet of plants built mostly in the 1960s and 1970s. This is why they have to import a substantial portion of their electricity from other states and even Mexico.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By Jeffk464 on 4/12/2010 3:41:11 PM , Rating: 2
"My conservative friends talk down nuclear just as much as my liberal ones do. Maybe I just have weird friends, but I think you're living in a dream world where liberals are the only ones who hate nuclear."

Ya, like I said I don't think its a liberal/conservative problem. I think its just a fear issue.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 4:47:51 PM , Rating: 4
"I'm pretty nearly socialist, and I've always been a full supporter of nuclear power"

Do me a favor, and get off my side.


RE: Nuclear Power is Safe
By Lerianis on 4/13/2010 2:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
We aren't going to get off your side, porkpie. I am pretty socialist myself, and realize that while TOTAL socialism is not a good thing, we have gone way too far today towards predatory capitalism.

We simply need to stand back and say "WHOA! These places are doing ponzi schemes, cheating people out of money in various other fashions, underpaying people.... yeah, we need some regulation here!"


Nuclear power is SAFE and CLEAN?! YEAH, RIGHT!
By MrJustin5 on 4/11/10, Rating: -1
By gfxBill on 4/11/2010 9:40:45 PM , Rating: 4
And the award for most inaccuracies and logic flaws in one post goes too...


RE: Nuclear power is SAFE and CLEAN?! YEAH, RIGHT!
By porkpie on 4/11/2010 9:44:00 PM , Rating: 5
"For instance, there is radioactive nuclear waste just sitting in some leaking drums right near some Grape vineyards."

How many people have died from those leaks? Zero. How many people have been injured? Zero again.

Look kid, the world is full of radiation. From NATURAL sources -- not nuclear reactors. Granite countertops are radioactive. A cross-country flight is radioactive. A COAL power plant is radioative, and releases far more radiation than nuclear plants, just from the radioactive elements in the coal. If you like in a Rocky Mountain or New England state, your entire backyard is full of radioactive waste...waste left over from when mother nature made the planet.

Hell, even eating a BANANA gives you a radiation dose larger than 95% of these so-called nuclear reactor leaks:

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

Stop embarrassing yourself, spreading fear and ignorance, and learn a little.