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Comment: Re:SOLAR (Score 1) 135

by CrimsonAvenger (#49344797) Attached to: First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

GenIIa reactors like the Russian VVER-1200 and the uprated French M310 designs can swing their output by 30% in fifteen minutes or so, given modern control systems and a few decades of experience in running such PWRs and BWRs.

Hmm, without mentioning numbers, I'll offer that a nuclear submarine can do larger transients faster.

Comment: Re:SOLAR (Score 1, Informative) 135

by CrimsonAvenger (#49340117) Attached to: First Nuclear Power Plant Planned In Jordan

Why the fuck dont they just put up a load of solar panels... $10 Billion will buy you a LOT of them.

Price per watt for solar is in the $5 range, not counting discounts for massive purchases.

But without moderately massive amounts of energy storage, a 2GW solar facility won't really do you all that much good.

Ultimately, this is about baseload as opposed to peak load. Solar can supply peak load, it doesn't do baseload nearly so well. Nuclear is the reverse.***

***caveat: it IS possible to design a nuclear power plant to handle large transients. Nuclear powered ships use such reactors. That particular type of reactor is, to say the least, uncommon for commercial plants.

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 4, Informative) 338

Note that the atomic bombs saved the lives of millions of Japanese by removing six cities from the "bomb these places into the stone age list". Apparently, the people making the bomb wanted to get a good idea of the effects without having to take into account the effects of prior bombings. This included Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were spared the years of bombings (and their attendant casualties) that other cities had to endure.

Note further that the death tolls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined were lower than that of the firebombing of Tokyo.

Note, finally, that when generals talk about saving lives, they're generally (if you'll excuse the pun) talking about the lives of their men, not their enemy's men. Saving the lives of the enemy is someone else's job....

Addendum: just curious - where in Japan would you be finding "plenty of uninhabited or low population areas"?

Comment: Re:another kind of selection bias (Score 2) 69

by CrimsonAvenger (#49331867) Attached to: Jupiter Destroyed 'Super-Earths' In Our Early Solar System

But perhaps the set of circumstances that would create an environment that lasted long enough for life to be created and evolve to this point are wildly, vanishingly improbable. Perhaps the only reason we think it should have happened lots of other places is that we are the ones doing the looking, and we don't realize just how rare we actually are.

Note that if the odds were one trillion to one against, then we could reasonably expect 30 BILLION civilzations in the observable Universe.

Of course, those odds only give about one chance in four of there being a technological civilization in any particular large galaxy like this one....

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 4, Interesting) 338

You're assuming that the author is being truthful about its availability and not merely lying or minimizing in order to protect his sales.

Quite a few years back, Tom Clancy wrote a book called "Sum of All Fears" about a bunch of terrorists building an H-bomb using Pu they recovered from an Israeli bomb lost during the '73 war.
Clancy's Afterward included this:

BLOCKQUOTE>It is generally known that nuclear secrets are not as secret as we would like - in fact, the situation is even worse than well-informed people appreciate. what required billions of dollars in the 1940s is much less expensive today. A modern personal computer has far more power and reliability than the first Eniac, and the "hydrocodes" which enable a computer to test and validate a weapon's design are easily duplicated. The exquisite machine tools used to fabricate parts can be had for the asking. When I asked explicitly for the specifications for the very machines used at Oak Ridge and elsewhere, they arrived Federal Express the next day. Some highly specialized items designed specifically for bomb manufacture may now be found in stereo speakers. The fact of the matter is that a sufficiently wealthy individual could, over a period of from five to ten years, produce a multistage nuclear device.

Based on what I learned about the subject as a young man, I see no particular reason to doubt him...

Comment: Re:Metric (Score 1) 71

by CrimsonAvenger (#49326103) Attached to: World's Largest Asteroid Impacts Found In Central Australia

Convert that 5.56mm or 7.62 mm to inches and you will find two very common caliber rounds.

Yep. It's not all that hard to label a round with SI AND Imperial units both.

Do note that 5.56mm is NOT equal to .223, nor is 7.62mm equal to .308. It's all about supply chains - you're less likely to get a million rounds that don't fit your guns if you give each of the many (for instance) .30 caliber rounds a different label (.30-06, .30-40, .308, to give a few examples).

It should also be noted that the 5.56/7.62 labels were the original labels, not the .223/.308.

And try to ignore that bullet diameters are measured differently in Europe than in the USA (between the lands and between the grooves, respectively, as I recall), so 7.62mm (measured the way they do in Europe) is larger than 7,62mm (measured the way they do in the USA). Luckily, 7.62mm NATO isn't actually 7.62mm the way either of them is measured....

Comment: Re: We already have these (Score 1) 112

by CrimsonAvenger (#49325911) Attached to: Bring On the Boring Robots

What's interesting is, today we'd like to give these jobs to really expensive machines instead of people -- right at the moment when jobs for people are disappearing.

Hmm, once upon a time, the word "computer" referred to a person. Now we give the same job to a (comparatively) expensive machine.

And of course, all those blacksmiths were put out of work by various pieces of heavy (and expensive) machine in various factories...

And what about the farm-hands replaced by tractors and combines? Or switchboard operators replaced by automatic units?

In other words, can you say "Luddite"? Sure you can....

Comment: Re:Alamo Broadband's complaint (Score 0, Troll) 309

Basically the rule says to not use equipment to arbitrarily slow speeds down for competitive reasons.

The rule says they can't charge more for faster access, among other things. Which is intended to prevent making "fast lanes".

It would have the interesting side-effect of making a sizable chunk of existing consumer plans unlawful, since most, if not all, ISP's offer several tiers of access - pay $50, get 50mb/s (or whatever), pay $100, get 75mb/s, pay gobs more, get 1Tb/s, that sort of thing.

As an example, AT&T offers five different rates for internet access, ranging from 3mb/s to 75 mb/s. So, four of those rate plans just became unlawful under the rule. Which I imagine would force AT&T to drop the four higher speed plans, since they can't provide all the speeds at every location....

While I doubt seriously the FCC has a problem with that, the fact that it's in the rules that they picked to enforce means it's available as lawsuit material just whenever someone decides to pull out lawyers against an ISP....

Comment: Re:Metric (Score 4, Funny) 71

by CrimsonAvenger (#49323199) Attached to: World's Largest Asteroid Impacts Found In Central Australia

The biggest and most powerful military force in the world says imperial units are just fine.

Which, presumably, is why we use 5.56mm rounds in our rifles, 9mm rounds in our pistols, 7.62mm in our machineguns, 60mm, 81mm & 107mm mortar rounds, 105mm, 155mm & 203mm artillery, 120mm tank guns, 25mm IFV guns, and an assortment of artillery rockets in various SI calibers, right?

That said, if a mile was good enough for Big Julie, it's good enough for me. And multiplying by 1.6 isn't really all that stressful to those of us bright enough to handle decimal points....

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS