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Comment Re:Let me put my skepticism hat on... (Score 2) 169

A "tool" to understand costs of nuclear energy production from the "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists". Could this tool be any more biased? I doubt it looking at the selected metrics.

Yes, it could be more biased. It could have been written by someone with no technical knowledge and a political agenda, like mdsolar.

First the costs for long term securing spent fuel are grossly underestimated. After all, can we really estimate the cost of securing spent fuel for over 100'000 years? It's a bit of a philosophical question, but point is - it can't really be estimated.

Yes, it can and has been estimated, by the nuclear industry and the department of energy.

More importantly, the "tool" seems to cover only construction costs. Nowhere are decommissioning costs included, which are order of magnitude over the construction costs. Experience has shown both in the US and elsewhere, that these costs have been (willingly or not) underestimated by order of magnitude by the industry.

This is just flat out wrong. Decommissioning costs are in the hundreds of million dollars, construction costs are in the billions. And they are included, by law, in the construction costs.

The lack of transparency help a large boom of the industry 30 years ago, but the lack of long term sight is kicking back in full force. Sad of an industry, which should secure waste thousands if not millions of years.

Let me be clear on my sight. I am actually in favour of sensible use and development of nuclear energy. But this cannot be done without transparency, hiding the real costs. Worse, I believe its the hiding of the real costs (and risks) that made this industry stagnate and sent it towards its death (lets be honest, Atomic industry is really dying). This tools seems only to continue this long tradition.

It's a lung cancer patient dying with a cigarette in the hand.

Just because you are not aware of how all the costs are calculated and accounted for in practice in the industry does not mean no one does, or that they are not accounted for at all. The only thing killing the nuclear industry these days is the natural gas business, but that is not permanent, it's due to huge supply increases with lack of transportation ability and slow demand shift. While gas is the best option today, power companies still want to build and maintain a nuclear fleet to have a diversity of energy source and not put their eggs all in one basket.

Comment Re:WSJ is owned by NewsCorp now, right? (Score 2) 231

If they did and came to the conclusion that there was nothing illegal or corrupt about them, would you believe them? No, you would just call them shills for her campaign. So why bother. Let the left-wing media report on right-wing problems and let the right-wing media report on left-wing problems. That seems fair.

Comment Re:Incentive to Work Harder? (Score 1) 482

This is exactly what's wrong with America. The majority is convinced convinced that our economy is broken because people aren't working hard enough.

That is true but probably not for the reason you think. The majority of people in the country do not work _at all_. And they are indeed concerned that the minority of the country, whom work to support them, are not working hard enough to support them with the lifestyle that they desire. And this is absolutely what is wrong with America - that people think they have the right to a middle class lifestyle on the backs of others.

Comment Re:The cost of college in the usa is to high and t (Score 3, Insightful) 145

Just letting student loans be discharged in bankruptcy can lead to a lot of stuff being fixed. It may force schools to cut costs

No, it will do quite the opposite. Colleges do not bear the risk of loans not being repaid, the taxpayers do. Making loans discharged would significantly increase the amount of debt students are willing to take on, because if they fail in their chosen career they can just start over fresh. The government will happily just eat the losses because it is a drop in the bucket to the federal budget. This will lead to higher tuition rates, more students taking on less socially useful degrees, and a further lower of higher education quality.

Comment Re:Lost focus (Score 2) 52

Your post is total hogwash. Just about everything you have said is completely 100% factually false. By "scientists" I assume you are referring to an actor portraying a scientist in an anti-nuclear power propaganda piece.

a) there is no large pool of water directly below the reactor
b) even if the fuel melted into a large reservoir of water, it could not become critical. It is not physically possible without the precise fuel and moderator arrangement present in an in-tact reactor configuration.
c) even if you somehow made the fuel become critical, it could not explode like a bomb. If a fuel mass became critical, it would simply heat up and disperse. Worse case is the heat would cause additional steam/fire to disperse more fission products. Let me reiterate: it is physically impossible for reactor fuel of any kind to produce a nuclear bomb type explosion. Nuclear bombs require extremely precise arrangement with unimaginably creative engineering to function.
d) if the fuel mass reached the water table, all that would occur would be another path for contamination in the local area which was already heavily contaminated. Fission products would not be magically transported throughout the whole continent, nor could an entire continent be made uninhabitable.
e) a power plant contains a couple orders of magnitude more fuel than a bomb. The contamination from a worse-case-scenario power plant accident is much higher than nuclear bombs would be, unless they were some sort of salted enhanced radiation bomb. For comparison, a typical nuclear power reactor creates as many fissions as a nuclear bomb about every 6 hours.
f) radiation does not spread like a contagion. This is just plain FUD.

The only part of your post which was even remotely accurate was about doomsday enhanced radiation bombs or salted bombs. No one has ever designed, built, or tested such a device and they are only theoretical. But theoretically, with enough salted bombs (meaning about 1000 times more than the entire world's nuclear stockpile at the height of the cold war) you could theoretically make most of the surface uninhabitable.

Comment Re:hate to dive headfirst into politics. (Score -1, Troll) 599


The Democrats in the senate and Obama are the ones who shut down the government. The House crated a budget and the Demcocrats (specifically Harry Reid) refused to even bring it up for a vote in the senate. Regardless of whether you agree with the budget or think it is a bad deal, a budget was made. If the Democrats disagree with it and refuse to implement it that is perfectly fine and legal. But it's not the Republicans shutting down the government because they refused to give Democrats everything they demanded with no concessions. Democrats shut down the government, and used their influence in a sympathetic media to blame Republicans for it. And you fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

Comment Re:So humans are the biggest problem. (Score 1) 213

If you look at this list, the majority of these problems are man-made. Other than a super volcano and an asteroid impact, the solution seems pretty simple. We must abandon all technology and kill all but a small percentage of the population. And those that are left must live in isolated groups. That way there will not be a world wide disease outbreak.

So what you're saying is, the #1 threat to humanity is intellectuals making lists about the dangers to humanity? :)

Comment Re:oh please. I'm tired of this "diversity" bullsh (Score 2) 493

Weirdly enough, women were quite well represented in technology before the 80s. Clearly there was an interest - so what's changed?

What changed was the definition of what a technology job is. Before the 80's, technology jobs included things like typists, calculators, vacuum tube changers, telephone operators, etc. These were relatively low skill repetitive jobs that were well suited to women in the workplace which didn't require higher education, physical ability, or advanced trade skills.

Comment Re:And this is why burning Uranium is stupid... (Score 1) 282

This makes about as much sense as worrying about deorbiting Jupiter with all the gravitational slingshots we do around it. The amount of uranium we consume is extremely extremely tiny. For example, we could power 100% of the entire world's energy for 10,000 years using only the depleted uranium sitting around unused in barrels at enrichment plants. We might be making very inefficient use of it now, but there's nothing to stop us from eventually digging up spent fuel and reprocessing it, for instance.

Comment Re:Nuclear is a dead end (Score 1) 176

In 75 years all of the low hanging fruit reserves will be mined out... according to current estimates that leaves 125 years of increasingly harder to get (i.e. more expensive) ore.

Then what? I guess develop the clean energy that we should be working on now.

No. Using proven fast reactor technology, we could supply 100% of the world's energy needs for 10,000 years just using the depleted uranium sitting unused in storage barrels at enrichment plants. Not to mention the huge amounts of raw uranium ore, tailings, reserves in localities that have previously banned mining, and seawater extraction. Nuclear fuel availability is purely a political and social problem, not technical.

Comment Re:the problem with how nuclear works in the USA (Score 4, Insightful) 176

It also takes pressure off nuclear power companies to invest in reclamation and reprocessing technologies and frees them to simply consume fresh nuclear fissile materials without concern for their total lifespan.

While most of your post I would disagree with, this part is especially wrong. The reason why power companies do not invest in reprocessing and consume fresh fissile material is because by federal law bans it. Remember Jimmy Carter's Non-proliferation deal? Yeah.

Comment Re:If only it were POLITICALLY and SOCIALLY sound (Score 5, Informative) 176

Nuclear waste disposal isn't an engineering problem

The folks in Japan working the #4 unit of the Fukushima Daiichi plant would like to have a word with you about this. It was shut-down and defuelled before the tsunami struck, and despite this its spent fuel pool's contents blew the building apart.

You are misinformed. While the stability of the fuel pools was unknown and a concern at the time of the disaster, it was later determined that they were in fact not leaking, damaged, or in danger. No fuel in storage was compromised. The damage to Unit 4 was caused by the hydrogen explosion of Unit 2.

Comment Car Analogy (Score 1, Insightful) 113

A particular high performance car has a premium 8 cylinder engine and 32 valves at 400 hp. They also sell a non-premium version which is also 8 cylinders but only 30 valves and makes 350 hp but is a lot cheaper. The difference is that one cylinder is missing two valves which lowers its maximum power compared to the premium version. The engine's computer correctly controls the engine to compensate for the one weird cylinder, but someone in the marketing department sold the car as having 32 valves when it only had 30. The 350 hp figure is accurate, but some people complain because if they reprogram the engine control chip to force the one 2-valve cylinder to run at the same conditions as the other 4-valve cylinders, the car only makes 300 hp. But in all normal circumstances the car performs as advertised, only it was initially sold with incorrect details as to how the engine was put together to make it nearly as fast for much cheaper than the premium version.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau