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Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it... (Score 1) 107

Its not that simple. You can't just recover it from nuclear reactor waste because it's mixed in with other isotopes of plutonium, and isn't in that great of quantities to begin with. So first off you have to reprocess nuclear waste to extract the neptunium - which again, itself isn't in very great quantities, it takes a lot of waste, and most places don't want to do waste reprocessing to begin with due to cost and liability issues. You then have to make neptunium targets and expose them to a neutron flux - that is, using neutronicity that could otherwise be used for power generation or other valuable purposes (it takes a lot of neutrons to make a tiny bit of Pu238). Pu238 should be more thought of as a manufactured product than as a byproduct of particular types of nuclear reactors.

Yes, I know it's not all that simple. Never suggested it was.

However, the first step in the process is still more reactors. Without the reactors, you're not going to have the radioisotopes you want for other purposes, like, say, powering deep space probes of one sort or another.

It's just another reason why we really need to get over this phobia of the word "nuclear"....

Comment: Re:I'll believe it when I see it... (Score 1) 107

they're also throwing away most of the remainder of our plutonium supply.

Easy solution to this - start building more reactors that can manufacture Pu238, rather than listen to the whinging of the NIMBYs.

That gets us Pu238 for space probes and carbon-free power at the same time....

Comment: Re:And so preventable (Score -1, Flamebait) 154

Its hard to convince Americans in general to wear seat belts.

Really? 87% of Americans wear them as of a couple years ago. Though young knotheads still wear them at a considerably lower rate than the national average, as do African-Americans (the young knotheads I understand, not sure why the African-Americans do it).

Comment: Re:Everyone is going to the Moon... (Score 2) 107

Never mind that mining is illegal [] under existing space treaty.

Actually, no. The Treaty in question makes it illegal for GOVERNMENTS to lay claim to celestial bodies. It doesn't appear to say much, if anything, about what private individuals do in space (probably because noone imagined the possibility of private individuals doing anything in space when the Treaty was made).

Note that it could be argued that property rights are granted by a government and so it is impossible for a private citizen/corporation to do anything in space without government approval, which would be tantamount to a treaty violation.

On the other hand, history is pretty much full of private individuals going out beyond the territories of any existing government, and doing pretty much what they liked there. Note the colonization of the Americas as an example.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 541

by CrimsonAvenger (#49759973) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

In the broadest scope I've never understood why there has to be laws concerning marriage. It's a private contract.

Note that there are laws concerning private contracts in most countries.

I agree that marriage is just a contract between two people (note that I disagree with the contention that "love" has anything to do with marriage - no, you don't have to be "in love" to marry, nor does a marriage end just because you stop being "in love").

The devil, however, is in the details. What responsibilities does marriage imply (as a minimum, there are tax issues in most places), and what privileges does it grant (among others, there are medical issues most places - your spouse can make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable, for instance)? What are the limits on marriage (so, why limit it to two people, for instance)? And on and on.

Note that while some religions consider marriage a sacrament, there are very few that consider the religious ceremony legally binding in and of itself. And yes, that applies to most Christian sects (I used to belong to a moderately conservative branch of Christianity whose attitude toward marriage was "that's a State issue, but we'll perform the ritual for you AFTER you get the sanction of the State (marriage license))....

Comment: Re:American habit (Score 1) 135

by CrimsonAvenger (#49758485) Attached to: NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate

I'm wondering though if it isn't possible for the senators that want it passed to come back early and sneak it through before the senate is supposed to reconvene. I don't really know enough about procedural rules and whatnot to know if that is even possible.

Unless the Senators you speak of constitute a quorum, not even a ghost of a chance of it being legal. And if they have that many Senators who want to pass this, then they wouldn't need to bother playing games....

Comment: Re:Not news, not for nerds, doesn't matter (Score 1) 230

by CrimsonAvenger (#49757759) Attached to: WSJ Crowdsources Investigation of Hillary Clinton Emails

a second email address {that she denied having 2 emails prior to locating so make that 3 lies)

A second email address? Seems to me the email I address I saw mentioned was

So, who picks hrod17 as their SECOND email address on a private domain? I know that when I was doing the same thing, I just stuck a "2" on the end of my original email address....

Comment: Re:Sudden? (Score 1) 265

Sudden, indeed.

a few quick calculations show that this particular area has caused a sea level rise of ~1/7th of a millimeter per year recently.

So, if it keeps up for the next seven thousand years, we'll see a meter of sea-level rise.

Color me unworried at the possibility that the ocean might be half an inch deeper by 2100....

Comment: Re:How does one tell the difference? (Score 1) 103

But I don't think, such use makes them officially "hammers" and "anvils"

Hammer == rock you hit other rocks with.

Anvil == rock you hit with a hammer....

In other words, they found some rocks that were banged together. which is nice, but it's not the same as "tools". They MAY be tools. Or not. It would be nice to hear about some evidence they were DESIGNED for some particular purpose. Other than banging on some other rock.

Comment: Numbers (Score 5, Interesting) 825

by CrimsonAvenger (#49735761) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Currently, Oregon has a $0.30 per gallon fuel tax. Plus conversion factors for unusual fuels.

This $0.015/mile tax is equivalent, therefore, to the rate you'd be paying if your car got 20 mpg.

So the volunteers will come out ahead if they have gas-guzzlers, and way behind if they have even reasonably fuel efficient vehicles.

And in exchange for higher taxes on driving, they get the privilege of providing Oregon information on how much they travel and WHERE THEY TRAVEL.

What could possibly go wrong with this idea?

The person who can smile when something goes wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.