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Comment: Re:Indeed... (Score 1) 107

by bobbied (#47807529) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

So I guess this never happened: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/...

Yea, that website doesn't have a dog in this hunt now does it.. The US Department of Energy's numbers are flat wrong then? In the USA, I don't think so.

Look, you can believe what you want and come up with links to "prove" your view, but if you are choosing to ignore the data provided by the US Department of Energy, you are going to have to endure the scorn you richly deserve. I'm not saying the government data is correct in all cases, only that the department of Energy is about as close as you can get to an unbiased opinion, at least for the costs of energy production in the USA.

PV Solar is not a viable solution and another 40% cost drop is not in the future. The DOE says that PV Solar is at least 4 times more expensive. This isn't going to change all that much for various reasons, chief of which is that it will only work when the sun shines. The sun never shines at night and during the day it can be hit and miss, which contributes to a "availability factor" of about 25% (in sunny areas) or much less (in cloudy areas). Try as you might, you cannot fix that with technology. Don't start down the path to thinking that we can just store excess then use it when we need it later, that drives the "cost" of solar up by another factor of 4 (or more) due to conversion losses, and makes your position logically even worse.

Comment: Re:Nuclear is dead on Earth (Score 1) 107

by bobbied (#47806733) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

And banned in space.

Not exactly. It's only banned in ORBIT, not in space overall. The reasons for this is fairly logical. Objects in orbit tend to come back down. Having a hunk of radioactive material randomly dropping onto the earth is generally not a good idea. So, we've logically agreed not to fly such stuff where it might come back to haunt us.

Deep space and interplanetary missions though routinely fly with nuclear power. The latest Mars rover is such a mission. It is also powering the two Pioneer missions and a great number of other missions since then. The risks of doing this are limited in two ways. First, launch accidents will result in debris falling into known areas, so we can mitigate these risks by placing the launch paths over less populated areas and ocean. Second, the components of the reactor really are not that dangerous until after they have been used, so we generally don't start up the reactors until we know the craft is operating normally and not likely to return to earth.

Comment: Re:Indeed... (Score 1) 107

by bobbied (#47806601) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

Costs for renewables went down because of scientific and industrial/technological advances and yes political foresight helped. As for the subsidies, those won't be needed any longer, both wind and solar and viable without subsidy now.

Wind is close to viable, but still requires subsidies to get on par with Natural Gas (in the USA). Solar, hasn't a prayer of being viable in the near future. It generally runs 4 times the cost of Natural Gas (again in the USA).

You are wrong on both counts (in the USA), unless you define "viable" to mean something other than what most people think it means.. In other countries, Wind is at parity or better given the available options open to them (they lack the NG resources of the US), but this is not true in the USA yet, and I see no future scenarios where the costs of Natural Gas goes up and wind comes down enough to be at parity. Not to mention that Wind power suffers from one important problem, it only works when the wind blows, which is not all the time, so you have to build a fossil fueled plant to cover the load anyway.... Solar is so far out of the cost range it's not even funny. Even in the best conditions, solar is not a cost effective solution, even outside the USA. Solar's application is really for remote, off grid, low load use. It's not viable as a way to generate electricity on an industrial scale.

I don't always trust Wikipedia, but they have a fine article on this topic you should read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Comment: Re:Just Accept the Realpolitik (Score 0) 831

by bobbied (#47775717) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

If not for this, when?

We have a treaty with Ukraine that specifically states we (NATO) would come to their defense in exactly this situation. Unless we intend to destroy NATO and pleasure ourselves with economic sanctions, we are really going to have to do something about this. But who knows what a pacifist administration with only 3 years left will really want to do? My guess is play another round or two while letting the UN blather on and on. (Or more to the point, pass the buck/blame on to the next administration if they can).

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 4, Insightful) 831

by bobbied (#47775485) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

It is the tepid response given to atrocities elsewhere that has sent the message that Putin can do this with impunity. He knows he can get away with this and only risk getting Russian assets frozen world wide. That might tick off the rich guys some, but Putin isn't really elected by them anyway.

Comment: Re:What else can they do? (Score 1) 173

by bobbied (#47773615) Attached to: New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste

Carter really messed up with that decision...

We can change that any time. Don't blame Carter. It's being done deliberately. Ask yourself who stands to gain if the status quo is maintained.

Bush was going down that road, but Obama reversed course. The On and Off nature of political support for this makes it impossible to actually do here in the US. The facilities that are used for this are complicated, expensive and take years to build and are dangerous for years after they are shutdown. Until the environmentalists loose control of the left, the democratic position will be "no" on reprocessing.

Comment: Re:Yucca (Score 1) 173

by bobbied (#47773539) Attached to: New NRC Rule Supports Indefinite Storage of Nuclear Waste

Still, it would have been better just to bury this stuff in Yucca mountain. Given the situation, it would be safer. Of course, my personal feelings are that we should reprocess this fuel, bury the really bad stuff in Yucca and use the rest. Lather, rinse and repeat until all the fuel is used, or just store reprocessed fuel it until nuclear becomes cost effective again.

Yucca is/was safe, questions about the data not withstanding.

Comment: Re:That's not how science works (Score 1) 141

by bobbied (#47770681) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

You got that right. That physics lab was a real snooze...

Actually, I kind of enjoyed the physics and chemistry labs, where we got to put all the fancy math they'd been teaching us to use in predicting stuff and measuring things like the speed of light. Even though the experiments had been done for centuries, the matching of the math to the physical world still seems a wonder to me and made me greatly respect the thinkers of old who figured all this stuff out, then invented the math to prove they where right..

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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