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Comment: Re:Effect of nukes on NEOs (Score 1) 272 272

> I'm pretty confident that absorbing half of the energy output of a significantly sized fusion explosive

How do you propose to do that?

In space, the primary effect of the bomb over any sort of range, like a kilometer, is x-rays. These rapidly heat nearby objects and cause shock waves. The energy transfer is not particularly efficient.

They work great against RV's because the shock wave can cause the heat shield to detach from the underlying aerostructure. Against something like an asteroid I suspect it would damp out rather rapidly.

So that leaves offgassing from the outermost layer of the asteroid. That might be what, 0.1% efficient?

Take a liquid sodium reactor, connect it to an electrical heater that scoops up and melts the asteroid material. Allow that to radiatively cool (and even regenerate the heat) and then fire that out of a mass driver. The total delta-v-per-pound-of-fissile is going to be at least one order of magnitude better.

Comment: Re:You mean NEOs like Russia? (Score 1) 272 272

> This is unprecedented in the history of the nation state mechanism ::rolleyes::

You really need to read more history. You might want to start with Pax Romana and the late 19th century, to name two.

All the nukes did was make us fight proxy wars instead. Ask Korea, Angola, Vietnam, and Afghanistan how much they enjoyed this unprecedented period of peace.

Comment: I'm all for it (Score 1) 307 307

> the "various murky details surrounding the U.S. moon landings between 1969 and 1972

Yes, let's relive that time in history where the US absolutely crushed your country in a come-from-behind victory.

> Falcon9 / Dragon / DragonRider/ CST100 represent serious competition

They represent the death of the Soviet launch industry. And the Chinese, Japanese, Indians and pretty much everything in the US as well. The only niches still open are heavy lift like Ariane 5, and how long will that last? Couple of years, tops.

Surprised the hell out of me, but BDB turns out to be the correct solution.

Comment: In Canada... (Score 1) 193 193

> What's been your experience with fraudulent robocalls?

Didn't get too many until very recently, the last two months. They were originally from a fake number in one of the nearby area codes, but now they've started coming in using my own number. I wish there was a switch so you could reject calls from your own number.

Invariably they are of the "your recent reservation" variety. First was a string that lasted about a month for Marriot hotels, but the most recent I got was for Air Canada.

Interestingly, they all come in around 5 to 7PM.

Comment: Re:Ending soon (Score 4, Interesting) 259 259

> We'll see how well solar competes when it gets (almost) the same tax treatment as other power sources

You mean when we dump billions of dollars of into a military side-project and let that flow downhill into the panel prices?

Yes, I await that day.

Comment: Re: Why bother with installed capacity? (Score 1) 259 259

> or you are in a situation where you have to subside the baseload power plants

Which is a problem why?

We subsidized their construction, and the construction of the wires to bring that power to us, so why are we complaining about subsidizing the power output - which we already do anyway?

Is the real problem here that you don't like subsidies going to big companies, or the other way around?

Comment: Re:Why bother with installed capacity? (Score 1) 259 259

> scale embedded generation (i.e. rooftop solar) has an additional problem which is that of grid failure detection and anti-islanding

Really? Every grid-tie inverter, ever, has this built in.

> The problem is that grid instability is not easily discriminated from grid islanding

Yeah, this has been tested to death and it's not a problem. In one case they randomly failed an actual island, just to be safe.

Pointer to the UK issue you're referring to?

Comment: Re:Why bother with installed capacity? (Score 1) 259 259

> It also means that you need 3-5 times as much installed capacity to get near the power delivered figures for baseload power sources.

Which is perfectly fine, when you consider it costs 3 to 5 times less to build.

Wind is the cheapest form of power. Period. Solar isn't, but unlike wind it can be installed on the residential side, where it's at parity.

Comment: Re:Isn't that the point of inspections? (Score 2) 126 126

> All projects have issues

Of course! But at some point the issues cost more than the project. And then you're supposed to *give up on the project*.

Surely you've worked on a project at some point in your life that you just stop working on because it's no longer worth it?

How many problems does EPR have to have before you reach that point? It's always WAY over budget, and at this point there is no way it could ever pay for itself. It appears highly unlikely Hinkley will use one, if anything ever gets built there, and everyone else is backed away. It's CANDU all over again. At some point you have to realize that no amount of extra money thrown at it will suddenly make it profitable.

Comment: Re:Isn't that the point of inspections? (Score 1) 126 126

> What was ignored? The processes in place to find such problems found the problem

We're ignoring the total unmitigated financial disaster that is the EPR. It's not that EPR had *this* problem, its that its had *all* the problems, and they just keep coming. Everyone just waves their hands and says "we fixed that!" while the money keeps piling up.