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Submission + - Could there be another Little Ice Age coming in 2030?

Hussman32 writes: According to an article in the Royal Astronomical Society "A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645."

Will the changes in solar behavior lead to a new Maunder Minimum?
 

Comment Re:Country run by oil barons does nothing!!! (Score 1) 195 195

Those are intelligent points and I agree with them. Now we need test reactors to get the material data needed to prove those points to the NRC. And we still need the lithium-7 to 99.99% purity (they are doing it in China, but the COLEX process is not legal here and we don't have an alternate). Then we can work out all of the balance of plant issues, get the site licenses, build the units and turn them on. Which takes a dedicated energy policy with a lot of government commitment, and about 20-30 years, assuming some favorable economics from natural gas.

Like I said, I'm all for MSRs, but starting from where we are now we need a lot of time and money. They weren't ready when we built the light water reactors, and for them to be ready later, we need to start now,

Comment Re:Country run by oil barons does nothing!!! (Score 1) 195 195

Sort of, in theory. In practice, less so. The materials issues are the key challenge, plants don't operate at those environments and there is a tremendous amount of qualification needed. For example, I've heard flanges for molten salt reactors are a potential for failure, one leak and your radioactive fuel is everywhere. It is also very difficult to separate the required amount of lithium-7.

I want them to become a base load energy source. Don't get me wrong, I support MSR development, it's just that LWRs have much less uncertainty, and they were and are much cheaper.

Comment Re:Country run by oil barons does nothing!!! (Score 1) 195 195

Commercial light water reactors can't generate weapons grade plutonium without shutting down very early in the cycle (around a month) as the Pu-239 is effectively poisoned by Pu-240, Pu-241. Then separating the plutonium is very challenging as they need to reprocess it. A brief overview of this is here.

If you are referring to tritium producing burnable absorber rods (TPBARS), that is only done in one unit in the United States.

The complications of the molten salt reactors are much more numerous than thorium reactor proponents would suggest, the reactor in Oak Ridge was hardly at commercial scale.

Comment Re:Never heard that one before (Score 4, Informative) 504 504

I don't know if Star Wars needs diversity, but Episode I was rude.

It seemed to me that Watto the Slave Owner on Tatooine was a Jewish stereotype (look at his nose and listen to the accent), the Trade Federation were Japanese stereotypes (look at the eyes and accent), and Jar Jar was a Jamaican stereotype.

Comment 'Dune' is in the details. (Score 1) 234 234

ive read the six Herbert Dune books several time, and while there are several over-arching themes, it's the little things that bring me back...

'Governments hate a popular leader.'
'Revenge is for children and the emotionally retarded.'
'His greatest skill is that he learned how to learn.'

So many bits of wisdom from a man that thought with purity.

Submission + - BBC reveals links censored by Google's Right To Be Forgotten->

Mark Wilson writes: Google's Right To Be Forgotten gives people the chance to request the removal of search results linking to pages that contain information they believe to be "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". Google says it rejects more requests than it complies with, but there is still concern that the company is not providing enough detail about what it is doing. There have been calls for greater transparency from the company about the censorship that is taking place.

The BBC has published a list of all of the stories from its own site that have been removed from Google search results. The corporation announced that it wanted to be clear with people about which links has been deleted and plans to update the list each month. It already extends to nearly 200 entries and the BBC explains that while the stories may no longer be shown by Google, they are still available uncensored on the BBC site.

Writing on the BBC Internet blog, Neil McIntosh says that the list was important to maintain the integrity of the BBC's online archives.

Link to Original Source

Comment I'm waiting for the equilibrium rage. (Score 2) 74 74

At some point, there will be a significant fraction of autonomous vehicles along with human drivers. The AVs will drive the speed limit, stop at stop signs, and in general perform as the model driver would. The problem is few of the human drivers perform this way, most of us cruise at 5-10 mph over the speed limit, roll through stops, and change lanes without signalling (well, I always signal at least).

I can only imagine the uptick in accidents because of the frustrated drivers waiting on the model AVs. Those will be interesting times.

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