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Comment: Re:How much WiFi energy? (Score 1) 43

by MrKaos (#46797733) Attached to: For $20, Build a VR Headset For Your Smartphone

I suppose ass-cheek-cancer *is* probably less horrible. For what it's worth though I've still yet to see any study conclusively linking cell phones to cancer, suggesting that the link is tenuous at best. The strongest link I recall reading of was a link to benign cancers along the auditory nerve, and the correlation was insufficient to make a confident statement that a link existed.

Well until then I think I will err on the side of caution and use speaker phone and a wired earpeice for phone calls. I'd rather limit my exposure and take personal responsibility for my health, than to go through anything like brain cancer. After all an absence of evidence doesn't mean a link isn't there, all it means is no one has funded any science to find *if* a link exists.

Comment: Re:How much WiFi energy? (Score 1) 43

by MrKaos (#46794941) Attached to: For $20, Build a VR Headset For Your Smartphone

Consider this - your phone doesn't stop connecting to cellular/wifi networks just because the screen is off. How many hours per day do you suppose you microwave your nuts by having your phone in your pants pocket?

None. I specifically turn all the radios off untill I am using them. Cellular I accept as a cost of carrying the phone and usually hands free when talking, on the table when sitting and in my pocket next to my ass whilst walking.

I saw my Aunt use cells phones almost constantly for hours a day, no handset. She died of brain cancer and it was quite terrible to experience.

just saying...

Comment: Re:Waste? (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46794893) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

And there is a good solution for storage, but the allies of the fossil fuel industry have combined with the anti nuclear folks to block Yucca mountain from opening.

The DOE's own 1982 Nuclear Waste policy Act reported that the Yucca Mountain's geology is inappropriate to contain nuclear waste.

Specifically the Yucca mountain failed to meet the criteria for the DOE's original policy using the 'Defense in Depth' approach to the specification for building a spent fuel containment facility. The reason to choose that specific geology (in addition to being stable) was also to have the geologic chemistry of the rock able to mitigate the effect of ground water traveling through the facility and carrying radioactive isotopes into the water table. The half lives of the actinides would be dependent on the reactor and I've heard of figures around 600 years but it would also have to contain the daughter products before they were inert. So they would be shorter lived but also much more radioactive placing an even greater emphasis on having the geology mitigate the ground water migration to contain the isotopes.

The CSIRO found that this geology should be granite, Yucca mountian is pumice. There is also the fact that the area is geologically unstable, where the original specificaion is looking for somewhere that would be stable for 500,000 years, IIRC.

I haven't heard about any evidence about the lobby groups you are refering to, however if you can refer me to something specific I will gladly check it out.

Bury the nuclear waste deep in the earth, because that is where it came from in the first place.

Absolutely, specifically in a granite mountain would be good. The Swiss have a world leading project

but it hasn't caused any deaths.

I get it that a lot of people don't understand how bio-accumulation occurs in the environment and how long it takes for cancer to gestate. You only have to look to Chernobyl to understand that the consequences of a Nuclear accident is very long, slow and permanent.

What we have learned is that it took about 6-8 years for the consequences to begin manifesting in children as Thyroid cancer. The funding was cut on this vital research work so not data is being collected anymore to understand what the impact is.

It's more reasonable to say "there is no data being collected to establish how many deaths have been caused at Chernobyl". We can only hope that the science is being done this time around.

As for "Such a fire will render the U.S "virtually" uninhabitable.".... a hundred nuclear weapons were detonated on the US mainland as part of above ground nuclear weapons tests. While I think that was incredibly stupid and irresponsible and there have certainly been health effects and increased cancer deaths in the decades afterwards, the radiation leaks at nuclear power plants pale in comparison to the radiation released by those above ground tests and as far as I can tell the US is still inhabitable.

First of all, I'm talking about radioactive isotopes, not about the radiation that they emit.

Second, a nuclear weapon may contain 1 kilo of pu-239. I think there was about 50 tests, but lets double that and call it an even 100kilos of pu-239, which was also converted to a lot of energy all at once and spread over the country.

A single core of a GE Mk1 reactor is roughly 150 tons. 4 reactors x 50 tons every 10 years for 40 years makes about 800 tons of transuranic material, but let's be conservative and say half that, is about 40 times the amount of raw material of all all the testing over the entire country country, just not converted into energy all at once like the tests.

A micro gram of pu-239 is a fatal dose [oppenhiemer] causing leukemia and lung cancer and whilst not all of them will be ingested the sheer volume of material that would be released during the course of such a fire as clorides and oxides leaves little doubt that the US would be the main land mass, due to the course of the jet stream, to receive the brunt of the fallout.

Not that you would notice immediately, it might take a while and is unlikely to be pleasant or swift, that is why all the effort at Fukushima is to control the spent fuel pool for reactor 4.

I for one hope it never happens. As it stands the consequences of Fukushima (and Chernobyl) will more than likely manifest in a reduced birth rate and increased complications is more than enough. Transgenic diseases will probably become more prominent for those who are born. So the sooner everything is brought back under control at Fukushima the better for us all.

Comment: Re:Economics is the problem (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46787253) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Again, you CANNOT (and I will repeat for emphasis) CANNOT use solar OR wind power as your baseline power source. They aren't dependable sources.

Do you mean "baseload" that refers to the availibility of electricty at any time?

You know that when you turn on a light the electricity comes from different sources? Because "baseload" electricy is a function of the grid, not a single generating source.

Besides, why wouldn't you want a variety of supply sources as we move into the future. Obviously coal is a poor choice for its carbon legacy and nuclear could be better if it was done properly however it's design flaws leave a serious radionuclide legacy.

I think what you mean is that Nuclear power "better matches the baseload requirements" of the grid, which is sort of true. Solar thermal has made some phenomenal improvements which allows it to match baseload requirements and wind scales much better than Nuclear due to it's modularity.

Anyone telling you they are is selling natural gas or some sort of petroleum product.

Actually the 2005 Energy Policy act repealed the 1935 Public Utilities Holding Companies Act that was put in place to prevent a re-occurance of the great depression.

Now procuring companies (i.e oil companies) have half a billion dollars worth of subsidies for proposing "pre-approved" reactor designs, even if they don't build it, and a 1.8 cent per kilowatt hour tax credit if they do. So it's actually the other way around, at least if you look at who benefits financially according to the law.

Still it is a good way for the oil companies to deplete the economic base of the U.S at the expense of Nuclear power, so you maybe misdirecting your anger a bit.

Nuclear IS a dependable, steady source that infrastructure engineers can PLAN for.

Except that the availabilty and utilization of the reactor is not dependable.

And the only reason nuclear has any sort of price comparison to solar or wind to begin with is the fact that, under the guidance of enviro-nuts, they've basically tarriffed the entire process, from proposition through decomission into the stratosphere

The breakdown of U.S energy research and development budget reported by the US DOE is roughly 60% for nuclear, 25% to fossil fuels and 15% to SUSTAINABLE energy sources. Four times the financial support than sustainable sources and over double the support of coal and oil.

Require the kinds of multi-billion dollar investments (see bribes) for wind or solar plants that are now required for nuclear and watch the price of those options skyrocket too.

Wall Street doesn't like nuclear because its a risky investment, investors don't like that sort of risk, solar and wind are way ahead simply because the return on investment is much better than nuclear, i.e. Solar and wind satisfies the criteria that makes an investment "economically viable" nuclear power is only "economically viable" with the substantial regulatory support of the Price Anderson Act.

Comment: Re:Waste? (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46786955) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Right, it hasn't been done because a bunch of environmentalist morons have forestalled any reasonable measures of fuel reprocessing by invoking the "proliferation" boogeyman.

It's actually because it doesn't attract investors like wind and solar do. Wall street thinks its a bad investment as nuclear power needs regulatory constructs such as the Price-Aderson act because its insurance impacts are so high.

Yeah. Disposal is a non-starter. And should never have been pursued the way it was. Why? Because NOBODY wants that stuff in their back yard. They don't care HOW safe it is.

Except that the law (IIRC the 2005 Energy Policy Act) specifically *excludes* ratepayers from having a say in where a Nuclear facility is built.

But, again, the dueling environmental agendas have basically left the fuel with no place to go. So it basically sits in containment casks out in back parking lots and the like.

How so? What evidence do you have for such a statement? Yucca mountain is geologically unstable and fails the DOE's original specification for a spent fuel containment facility. So how are environmentalists responsible for this?

As for "a plutonium economy". Why would it have to be solely plutonium? IFRs will burn plutonium, Uranium, Thorium and other fuels equally well.

Because materials technology do not exist to produce an IFR that avoids the inevitable cost of decommisioning. Don't get me wrong IFR is a great concept, but it has a long way to go before becoming a reality.

By the way, the Thorium fuel cycle's waste product is Thallium 238 which is also a very nasty material.

So you're burning stuff down until it's only going to be "hot" for a couple hundred years, rather than tens of thousands. And more, fully "spent" wastes burned in earlier generations of reactor can actually be used as fuel in later generations.

So we get rid of weapons-grade materials, and burn it down into something far far safer. And we get a buttload of power out of it at the same time.

That is incorrect. You don't burn it into something safe, you burn it into something far more deadly but shorter lived. So instead of 25,000 years for pu-239 it would be more like sr-90 for 600 years.

Not much difference in terms of a human lifespan.

How the hell isn't that a Win-Win-Win scenario?

It is, it's also SyFy.

Oh yeah, because no matter what, some idiot bridgae is going to equate nuclear power with "it's a bomb".

Last time I checked Nuclear reactors wern't powered with alfalfa sprouts and hamsters, so it's only idiotic if you are attempting to delude yourself.

Comment: Re:Waste? (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46786689) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

And it is still a non-issue. When it is 30 years later and you can still store it on-site then it is not a lot of waste. Compare that to any other energy source, the amount of toxic waste, even solar panel manufacturing and you have your answer.

Fukushima highlights the consequences of on-site storage and the difficulty faced in securing the fuel rods when an accident has occured. It's only a non-issue if you don't understand the impact. The main issue faced is a plutonium fire starting in Unit 4 storage pool, holding 1500 fuel rods, spreading to the nearby containment facility that holds another 6000 fuel rods.

Such a fire will render the U.S "virtually" uninhabitable.

Comment: Re:Hey, I've got an even crazier idea . . . (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46784351) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

How about we build nuclear reactors underground? The thing may get buried, but even that should help to contain rather than spread the contamination.

Just spitballing here. Feel free to flame away and tell me all the reasons why this can't ever be made to work. IANANE.

This was one of the main recommendations (amongst 30 or so) from a Nuclear industry panel (Westinghouse, General Electric, Bechtel, Sargent & Lundy, Northern States Power and Commonwealth Edison) commissioned by the NRC. These should have been included in standardised Nuclear power station designs like the AP-1000, however they made the plants more expensive.

Comment: Re:Hey, I've got an even crazier idea . . . (Score 1) 213

by MrKaos (#46784301) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Damnit, you're right. Oh well.

No, the AC is wrong. Yucca mountain has ground water issues that affect the storage of the material. CSIRO research showed that groundwater issues are mitigated by granite storage which can capture the isotope in its structure. DOE itself called for 'defence in depth' and it's own report judged Yucca to be unsuitable as groundwater penetrated the facility in as little as 50 years.

Comment: Re:Waste? (Score 2) 213

by MrKaos (#46784257) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

It's called "reprocessing".

"Spent" nuclear fuel can be reused many, many MANY times if it is reprocessed properly.

At that point, spent fuel "waste" becomes a non-issue.

Except that it's not been done. When Dixie Lee Ray was the head of the Atomic Energy Commission he proclaimed that the disposal of nuclear fuel would be “the greatest non-problem in history” and would be accomplished by 1985, yet here we are almost thirty years past that date and still there is no High level waste disposal site anywhere. The closest anyone has come is the Swiss and even there project is a multi-decade test project and extremely expensive.

As for burner reactor technology, such as IFR, there are no materials technologies to support a plutonium economy.

Comment: Participate in Democracy (Score 1) 803

by MrKaos (#46767843) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Until the general population is prepared to lobby their congress critters in government they will never exert any real power.

I think many peoples ideas about democracy now don't extend beyond which party to vote for, if they even vote. Perhaps if more people actually cared enough to lobby about bills that are being introduced, to be put into law, then the situation may be different. Those who do, are running things and cementing their interests. They certainly don't miss the opportunity to lobby.

Even Franklin spoke to the flaws in the American Constitution that would not save America from despotism when it was being passed. The only question now is whether the American people are too afraid of their own government to actually effect change in the country anymore, and Franklins fears have manifested.

Corruption is the cancer that eats away at the body of democracy, it's institutions like failing organs, until the host dies.

Comment: Re:Business class is a misnomer (Score 1) 145

by MrKaos (#46764163) Attached to: How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Some people don't enjoy work and paying them more might get them to work on time or to work the whole day. Or you could just fire them and hire someone who has an understanding that they have agreed to do a job for a rate of pay.

Oh really? Alright I can play your game: those people have agreed to do a job that involved standard office hours. Travel means being asked to sit in a cramped aeroplane for many hours and give up their evenings and potentially weekends to do their job. By your own measure, work travel spreads outside normal work hours, so making it comfortable is hardly an unreasonable request. Just because an employee asks for something doesn't mean they should be fired over it.

Precisely. Will I be paid for the weekends and evening I don't have with my family, friends or activites and will they. What about when they fly employees over weekends and expect them to be fresh and shiney Monday morning after being stuck in aircraft and airports over the weekend.

It's a fucking tax deduction anyway, fly me business class and I may have a hope of being productive on Monday and the rest of the week. It's false economy to spend the money to send someone around the world just to have them to exhausted to do anything when they get there.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.