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+ - Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Stigma, pay cuts, and risk of radiation exposure are among the reasons why 3,000 employees have left the utility at the center of Japan's 2011 nuclear disaster. Now there's an additional factor: better paying jobs in the feel good solar energy industry.

Engineers and other employees at TEPCO, or Tokyo Electric Power Co., were once typical of Japan's corporate culture that is famous for prizing loyalty to a single company and lifetime employment with it. But the March 2011 tsunami that swamped the coastal Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, changed that.

TEPCO was widely criticized for being inadequately prepared for a tsunami despite Japan's long history of being hit by giant waves and for its confused response to the disaster. The public turned hostile toward the nuclear industry and TEPCO, or "Toh-den," as the Japanese say it, became a dirty word.

Only 134 people quit TEPCO the year before the disaster. The departures ballooned to 465 in 2011, another 712 in 2012 and 488 last year. Seventy percent of those leaving were younger than 40. When the company offered voluntary retirement for the first time earlier this year, some 1,151 workers applied for the 1,000 available redundancy packages."

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+ - Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Conventional lithium-ion batteries rely on anodes made of graphite, but it is widely believed that the performance of this material has reached its zenith, prompting researchers to look at possible replacements. Much of the focus has been on nanoscale silicon, but it remains difficult to produce in large quantities and usually degrades quickly. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have overcome these problems by developing a lithium-ion battery anode using sand."
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Comment: Re:"gets compressed and cools down"? (Score 2) 16

by mdsolar (#47422095) Attached to: Cosmic Mystery Solved By Super-sized Supernova Dust
jeffb was thinking about gas heating when it is compressed and cooling when it is rarefied. But the effect of compression is to allow more efficient cooling by radiation which pulls energy from the plasma (ionized gas). One means of radiation comes from electrons changing direction in the vicinity of other electrons. This is called free-free radiation. Bound states can also be excited by collisions with free electrons and when they radiate that removes energy from the gas. This is called bound-free radiation. I'm not sure if that helps or just baffles further.

Comment: Nuclear is not efficent (Score 1) 355

by mdsolar (#47418785) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
There is a problem with the high nuclear scenario in the report. It has a seven fold increase in nuclear power using Gen III reactors but with sea level rise eliminating tidewater sites, there may not be enough cooling available for that large an increase. Nuclear needs extra cooling because it is only about 30% efficient. A number of reactors are shut down already to avoid over heating rivers. Artificial lakes like lake Anna or the South Texas project might work, but you still need a water source to feed them.

The report also explores renewable and carbon capture scenarios so the problem with nuclear may not be a show stopper.

Comment: Re:As someone who is hoping for nuclear power ... (Score 1) 355

by mdsolar (#47418645) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
It is actually mid-century, not 15 years for that, but a seven fold increase over 2010 begs the question of where such reactors might be sited. Tidewaters are out owing to sea level rise and rivers are already under heat stress. So, Lake Anna cools not just twelve new reactors to boost its output, but another dozen to cover for Calvert Cliffs? The lake will be boiling.

+ - Cosmic Mystery Solved by Supersized Supernova Dust->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "How cosmic dust is created has been a mystery for some time. Although the textbooks tell us that the dusty stuff that builds the planets — and, ultimately, the complex chemistry that forms life (we are, after all, made of ‘star stuff’) — comes from supernova explosions, astronomers have been puzzled as to how delicate grains of dust condense from stellar material and how they can possibly survive the violent shock waves of the cataclysmic booms. But now, with the help of a powerful ground-based telescope, astronomers have not only watched one of these supernova ‘dust factories’ in action, they’ve also discovered how the grains can withstand the violent supernova shock. “When the star explodes, the shockwave hits the dense gas cloud like a brick wall,” said lead author Christa Gall, of Aarhus University, Denmark. “It is all in gas form and incredibly hot, but when the eruption hits the ‘wall’ the gas gets compressed and cools down to about 2,000 degrees. At this temperature and density elements can nucleate and form solid particles. We measured dust grains as large as around one micron (a thousandth of a millimeter), which is large for cosmic dust grains. They are so large that they can survive their onward journey out into the galaxy.” The surprising size of the measured dust particles means they can better survive the supernova's shockwave. This research has been published in the journal Nature."
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Comment: summary misleading (Score 1) 355

by mdsolar (#47417873) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
A portion was left out of the summary. It is by mid-century that we'd see a big change over it the type of generation, not in 15 years. For the US, a renewable heavy, carbon capture heavy and nuclear heavy scenario were looked at. The energy security heavy scenario developed in "Reinventing Fire" by Amory Lovins was not explored. http://www.rmi.org/electricity

+ - Blueprints for Taming the Climate Crisis->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes ""Here’s what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change.

Within about 15 years every new car sold in the United States will be electric. In fact, by midcentury more than half of the American economy will run on electricity. Up to 60 percent of power might come from nuclear sources. And coal’s footprint will shrink drastically, perhaps even disappear from the power supply.

This course, created by a team of energy experts, was unveiled on Tuesday in a report for the United Nations that explores the technological paths available for the world’s 15 main economies to both maintain reasonable rates of growth and cut their carbon emissions enough by 2050 to prevent climatic havoc.

It offers a sobering conclusion. We might be able to pull it off. But it will take an overhaul of the way we use energy, and a huge investment in the development and deployment of new energy technologies. Significantly, it calls for an entirely different approach to international diplomacy on the issue of how to combat climate change."

Actual report (Brazil, Germany, and India still to come): http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/u..."

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