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Comment: Re:Gas not less CO2 on refiring coal plants (Score 1) 142

by dj245 (#48433751) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

If you just replace coal with natural gas in the same plant to heat the water it is not significantly less CO2

Burning coal is pretty much just turning bulk carbon into carbon dioxide. Burning natural gas (methane, CH4) creates carbon dioxide, too, of course, but also releases energy from burning the hydrogen to make water. As a result, the combustion of natural gas produces less CO2 for the same energy output. From the Energy Information Agency - Pounds of CO2 emitted per million BTU of energy: Coal (anthracite): 228.6 Gasoline: 157.2 Natural Gas: 117.0 [I'll apologize for the units - I'm just quoting the result. If you must know, 1 lb / 1e6 BTU is equivalent to 0.43e-3 kg/MJ. Or, just look at the number as a figure of merit: lower is better.] more data here

It is even more effective than that- these numbers don't take plant efficiency into consideration. The "per million BTU of energy" is just the amount of heat produced, not the amount of electricity. A very efficient traditional coal plant is about 35-40% efficient in turning the heat into electrical power. A typical combined cycle gas power plant is about 57-60% efficient due to the nature of the different cycle. So, on a per-MW produced basis, Natural gas looks a lot better.

It also doesn't hurt that natural gas is at all-time low prices in the US thanks to our gas boom and the high cost of transporting natural gas across oceans. Gas is cheaper than coal now in many places. The only coal plants which are going to survive are the more efficient plants with short coal supply lines. It has little to do with environmental concerns, it is strictly an economic calculation in many cases. The environmentalists didn't defeat coal, the accountants did.

Comment: Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (Score 4, Informative) 142

by dj245 (#48433257) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

That was then. Today we have settled on standardized new-generation plant designs that avoid this problem.

What's really needed is a change in our legal system to eliminate the disproportionate power that small groups of activists have to disrupt construction. Their strategy is to raise costs by imposing phony legal delays on construction after the initial approval.

As a guy who very recently was involved in selling new power station equipment, I can say with 100% confidence that there is no such thing as a standardized power plant design in the USA. I was selling turbines to Duke, Southern Company, Exelon, Luminant, and many others. Every customer wanted something different. Some of them wanted triple redundant instruments on valves, and some were happy with dual redundancy. Some of them wanted the generator protection system to be redundant on 2 different vendor's kit, and some wanted redundancy with identical cabinets from the same vendor. Some wanted a stainless steel oil tank, and some were fine with the carbon steel + epoxy coating tank. Some of them wanted to have a large turbine deck to make maintenance easier, and some were cutting that cost since they were going to flip the plant anyway. We went into great detail about even the most mundane of things. Some of the customers wanted to have all our equipment numbering changed to their (internal and proprietary) numbering standard so that all the plants they owned had the same numbering scheme. No matter what our "standard" design was, someone had a problem with it. These guys know what they want and if it isn't included in your "standard" design, they want a price to make it happen.

This is a different philosophy from Europe and Asia, where standard designs are common and even preferred. But that's the US power market. Toshiba/Westinghouses' standard AP1000 plant isn't good enough for any of the US utilities who can afford to build such a thing. All the customers have their little quirks of wanting to be a little more safe in one area, or a little more convenient to operate, or a little cheaper to build. None of those changes affect the core safety principles of the design, they are just different. They do, however, drive up the build cost. Additionally, these plants don't get build often enough to keep the same crew on each job. By the time you build Unit #2, 10 years has gone by and a lot of the people who built Unit #1 have changed jobs or retired. It is difficult to keep such specialized experience in the economy if it is needed so rarely.

Comment: Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (Score 1) 233

by squiggleslash (#48432843) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

He's right and you're wrong. Those two issues are not the primary purposes of the Federal Government, and even if you had been technically right (you're not, ICC is of considerable more historic purpose), you would have been handwaving as claiming two issues are "primary" does not eliminate the other unsaid issues.

Comment: Re:To America? Yes. To the GOP? No. (Score 1) 233

by squiggleslash (#48432799) Attached to: Does Being First Still Matter In America?

I'm bemused by his answer to be honest. I was making a light hearted comment about someone's attempt to justify a party position ("Against big gubmint") by launching into a dubious official-justification "Trying to protect the constitution" rant.

So I drew a parallel with #ethics!!?!1!, and got a massive MRA rant in response, as if the intent was to make the thread symmetric. Apparent Reason 1 -> Dubious Official Position 1 -> Dubious Official Position 2 -> (Whitewashed) Apparent Reason 2.


BTW Shadow, FWIW, the tactics of your fellow MRAs/channer trolls/opportunists/dupes lead me to actually sit down and watch Anita Sarkeesian's video series the other week. Well, I had to. And yes, it will impact some of my work in future, she makes some excellent points. Me, myself, probably won't make a difference to you, but I know plenty of others who have done the same. And by coming out into the open, you've also made it easier for us to see you, for me to, for example, warn my daughter (when she's old enough, I'm not going to scare the shit out of her right now) about the extremists in your group who write articles like "How to get away with rape" and "How to break a woman".

So thank you - to you and the people you defend and associate with - for making it easier to arm my daughter, and for ensuring I, and legions of other men who seriously had thought sexism against women was nothing like as serious as it is, open our eyes and start fighting for equality.

Comment: Re:Scam's Already Been Stopped (Score 1) 266

You could do that...
However if they do check out the forgery they will probably treat you like a shoplifter.

I have no love for Walmart. But part of the reason why companies treat the customer like they are criminals is because too many are.

It is one thing to steal food to feed your family if you can't afford it. But a play station?

And no Fat Tony defense.

Comment: Re:Hindsight is 20:20 (Score 1) 493

by jellomizer (#48428075) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

A massive megaton explosion (As we found out that comets are harder then we thought) Blasting a gigantic creator wiping out thousands if not millions of people. You are worried about a little bit of radioactive waste?

I would have been more, if we only used Nuclear energy so we knew more about this object so we know what type of danger it poses if it actually hit the earth.

Comment: Re:Out of touch with reality (Score 1) 62

by dj245 (#48425363) Attached to: US Intelligence Unit Launches $50k Speech Recognition Competition

I am sick of these "challenges" that effectively try get programmers to work for effectively well below market rates. As if we're like children, a "challenge" is supposed to make us set aside months or years of income to work on a really difficult problem that if we had to actually go out and do for a company in the job market, we'd be paid $100K/year or more..

You're completely missing the point. They've found the Stargate and egyptologists are a dime a dozen. They need to form an elite team of programming and AI experts who will decode the symbols on the Stargate and defeat Apophis. This is just a fancy recruitment test.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.