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Comment: Plenty (Score 1) 352

by Giant Electronic Bra (#46790691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

I just disposed of some 90's era monitors that were still working fine. I have a scanner from the 1990s, and a printer from 2003. My keyboard is from 1985. I have some very old mice, a floppy drive that has migrated from homebuild to homebuild for a VERY long time, etc. A lot of stuff doesn't last more than 3-4 years, but your better quality stuff does.

Comment: Re:Economics is the problem (Score 1) 196

by Giant Electronic Bra (#46787307) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Exactly how dirty and expensive is it? The French have been doing it for how long now?

Actually the French have found reprocessing uneconomical, there are serious issues with contamination from their reprocessing facilities, and they are likely to be shut down in favor of disposal.

From the 2008 IPFM report:

Economic Costs of Reprocessing in France. In 2000, an official report commissioned by the
French Prime Minister concluded that the choice of reprocessing instead of direct disposal of
spent nuclear fuel for the entire French nuclear program would result in an increase in average
generation cost of about 5.5 percent or $0.5 billion per installed GWe over a 40-year reactor life
or an 85 percent increase of the total spent fuel and waste management (‘back-end’) costs.

Current projected costs by the industry and the Ministry of Industry show that, in addition to a
number of other favorable assumptions, the investment and operating costs of a future
reprocessing plant would need to be half the costs for the current La Hague facilities in order for
reprocessing to cost no more than direct disposal.

Since 1995, EDF has assigned in its accounts a zero value to its stocks of separated plutonium, as
well as to its stocks of reprocessed uranium. With the liberalization of the electricity sector, the
economic burden of reprocessing is increasingly weighing on the French utility EDF. Cost issues
constitute the main stumbling block for a new long-term agreement with AREVA following the
reprocessing / MOX fabrication contract that ended in 2007.

That's why their waste containment facility FOR THEIR WHOLE COUNTRY is a small room with a vaulted floor.

"We find that, with past and current operating practices, there is no clear advantage for the
reprocessing option either in terms of waste volumes or repository area. Depending upon
assumptions, the underground volume required for spent MOX fuel and vitrified waste can be
smaller or larger than that for direct disposal of spent LWR fuel."

As for "competing with solar and wind".

You're right, they're not going to be competitive.

You know why?


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

Yes, this is commonly accepted FUD, but is actually utter rubbish. The Federal Government study of this issue indicates that up to 80% of baseload power can come from renewables without any issue. The entire East Coast of the US could be run off a modest number of offshore wind farms properly placed with almost no point when generation would fall below 50% of nameplate capacity. The economics are quite good and even without counting externalities of other power sources would be competitive.

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

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. 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.

Again your information is completely off. Nuclear power has had considerable subsidies and breaks over its life. If you are suggesting that making it cost-competitive with wind (and probably SPV within the next 5 years) we need to toss out the regulations which are barely adequate to prevent disasters then I and virtually the whole public say "no thanks". Wind is safe, economical, and practical. This has been proven. SPV is safe, complementary to wind, and with modest continued investment is rapidly becoming economically viable as baseload power. In 5 years the idea of building a nuclear power plant will seem idiotic.

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 1) 199

by Pfhorrest (#46785621) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

And how much do you expect someone making $25k a year to be able to buy? Bearing in mind they're going to be having to rent while saving up for a down payment. And then they if they somehow manage that, the interest alone on a 30-year mortgage is likely to be greater than their rent.

I agree that owning your own home is the first step toward a truly secure retirement, but that is even further out of reach of the majority of people than just saving enough to rent a tiny apartment through their old age is. You say "buy as much as you can" like buying anything at all is even remotely feasible. And I say this as someone making twice the median income, living the kind of college-student life I've described, and still looking at pretty much me entire life before I can buy anything at all.

Comment: Re:Too poor (Score 1) 199

by Pfhorrest (#46785231) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

You realize the median income in America is only about $25k/yr right? That means half of the country makes that or less. Which even with the best money management skills isn't going to leave with with much for retirement, unless you live like a college student alone by yourself in a tiny rented bedroom for your entire life AND have no irregular expenses like car repairs or medical care.

$25000 times about 0.7 for after-tax take-home pay minus about $1100/mo for ALL expenses total -- housing, utilities, food, transportation including purchasing a means of transportation, education which you will need to get to even that median income level, necessary items to work in today's world like a computer and phone, and so on -- times about 45 years of working and saving the leftovers, divided by 15 years of life expectancy after that, leaves you about $1075/mo to live off of for those 15 years.

Given housing expenses of 50% of that monthly stipend, or about $550/mo (which this tells me is the bottom of the range nationally, for a one-bedroom apartment, with the average being about $750 instead), that leaves less than $20/day to cover every other expense you will ever have in your entire life.

That is the best case scenario that over half of Americans are facing. But they're all a bunch of unskilled losers so they deserve that fate amirite?

Comment: Economics is the problem (Score 1) 196

by Giant Electronic Bra (#46784869) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Reprocessing and breeding are dirty and VERY VERY EXPENSIVE technologies. They will never compete with mining natural uranium out of the ground until most of that uranium is gone, at which point only if we have a LOT of reactors will it even then be worth it. Sadly by that point we will have HAD to get rid of most of the waste we could reprocess since it will simply be insane to keep that much of it around on the off chance we decide to do it. What this means is that ironically it will never be cost-effective to reprocess fuel at any time, now or in the future. The only way would be a massive up front expenditure of money and the result would only be nuclear power that is 2x more expensive than it already is, not much of a bargain.

Thorium may well work, but the problem is we're a good long ways from building the type of reactor that we can put it in and burn all the fuel down (just using it in existing LWRs doesn't provide much benefit). Even with massive funding these reactors won't really come on line for 30 years, maybe more like 40 realistically. That puts them out to 2048-2058 time frame. Even LWRs like AP1000 won't be online for 10 years. Its not even clear they will be competitive with SOLAR by then, and they lose to wind NOW.

Comment: There is a bigger problem (Score 1) 196

by Giant Electronic Bra (#46784459) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

The bigger problem is that ALL REACTORS ARE RUN BY HUMANS and the track record for their response to major disasters is not great. Sometimes people do the right thing, in fact most of the time, but many opportunities exist for disaster, and a statistically significant amount of the time responses fail. Furthermore there will always be greedy and unmotivated operators cutting costs like TEPCO. I have no reason to believe that Entergy for instance (a major US operator of nuclear power plants) is any better than TEPCO, or regulated any better either. Is it thus not just a matter of time before we have Fukushima in the US? Probably. Its not clear that building a whole bunch of AP1000's or MSRs or whatever will materially improve that situation. It will just create greater complacency resulting in even worse preparedness. Its inherent in the system.

Comment: Agreed (Score 5, Insightful) 196

by Giant Electronic Bra (#46784411) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

Objects floating in the ocean are EXPOSED, they are easily damaged by weather, can be attacked easily, are hard to secure, and VERY expensive to operate.

On top of all this the article is silly. Nobody at MIT has 'designed' a reactor, they just made a proposal that is barely more than just saying "build it on an oil rig!" with a few pictures. They talk about reactors anywhere from 50MW up to 1000MW which means basically "Gosh, you could float almost any nuclear reactor!". However it is not AT ALL clear that a 1,000 MW reactor would be made safe by passive seawater cooling in the event of say the whole thing sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Consider the effects of Fukushima COMBINED with the McCondo well blow-out... Its not a pretty picture to imagine a meltdown in 100 meters of water not too far offshore. Yes, the ocean would probably make this less totally disasterous than on land, but it might also be IMPOSSIBLE to quell or clean up. Statements on the lines of "it must be safe in the ocean" are exactly what goeth before a fall in engineering.

Anyway, it will seriously have to be studied, though I suspect others have done so already. As they said, the Russians have been working on this concept for years. That's one of the interesting things about it though, working on it for years, but where's the beef? Its probably not quite so easy as it sounds.


Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-along dept.
thundergeek (808819) writes "I am the sole sysadmin for nearly 50 servers (win/linux) across several contracts. Now a Change Advisory Board (CAB) is wanting to manage every patch that will be installed on the OS and approve/disapprove for testing on the development network. Once tested and verified, all changes will then need to be approved for production. Windows servers aren't always the best for informing admin exactly what is being 'patched' on the OS, and the frequency of updates will make my efficiency take a nose dive. Now I'll have to track each KB, RHSA, directives and any other 3rd party updates, submit a lengthy report outlining each patch being applied, and then sit back and wait for approval. What should I use/do to track what I will be installing? Is there already a product out there that will make my life a little less stressful on the admin side? Does anyone else have to go toe-to-toe with a CAB? How do you handle your patch approval process?"

Comment: Re:Spare Change (Score 2) 317

It's also a big thing in Santa Barbara, CA, which has streets full of "homeless" teens from wealthy families who voluntarily move out to the street to escape their "dictator" parents, and which is also apparently some kind of "homeless mecca" to which homeless people from other cities want to migrate because of great weather and sympathetic liberal-minded college kids stocked up on their rich parents' money.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.