Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Total Capacity (Score 4, Informative) 192

No, actually pretty similar on average; the solar may even edge it. The nuclear reactor obviously has higher power at night, but much lower power during the day than the solar. The average capacity factor of solar is about 10-20% depending on location, so 9GW of solar will produce somewhere between 0.9GW and 1.8GW on average, whereas this is a 1.2GW reactor; and the solar was installed much, much more quickly, and probably cost roughly the same or even less than the nuclear.

Comment Re:We need progressive nuclear programs. (Score 1) 139

> So for filling in the gaps we NEED something else, no way around it. Between 'cheap' coal, oil, natural gas, or covering land masses with biofuel crops, a modern design nuclear plant isn't a bad option.

Yeah, but the thing is, it is a bad option.

Forget fallout, meltdowns etc. Nuclear is expensive per kW.

Because of that nuclear plants are pretty much run flat out, as baseload, to get the kWh cost down to something that is remotely competitive. I mean, you can run them at half power, but when you do that, those kWh that are made are made at twice the price; and they weren't all that cheap to start with. So, using a nuclear plant to fill in for the 20% of time; isn't going to happen.

No, for filling in when both the wind and sun aren't producing, you need a cheap source of power; a gas turbine, or a hydroelectric plant or a diesel plant or similar, something ideally using a biofuel.

Comment Oops! it's a birthday paradox (Score 1) 142

The chances of anyone in particular having a doppleganger may or may not be one in 137, depending on how you define it, but the chance of there being dopplegangers is about 100%.

To oversimplify a bit, there could be millions of them in fact, because there's billions of people, and EACH of them have a 1 in 137 chance of having a doppleganger.


So it doesn't sound like their software is very good.

Comment Re:Canada gets screwed by the AGW scam (Score 2) 327

> Any "externalities" you might imagine have long since been paid for through the scientific and manufacturing technology that fossil fuels have enabled.

So, you're saying that (for example) the tens of thousands of people that die each year, in say, the UK alone, from largely invisible air pollution, much of which is due to burning fossil fuels, has been 'paid for'???

Sorry, no, you just pegged my bullshit meter.

Comment Re:I would like a simpler electric car (Score 1) 243

It's not that you can't take it past 80%, it's just that the battery lasts longer if you keep it at 80%; you just tell the car to do that, and it will stop charging when it hits 80%. Thing is, an 80% charge is MORE than enough for most people's daily driving.

The odd time you want 100%, you can just tell the car to charge up to full the night before.

Fast chargers also shorten the battery's life; but it's like 10% less. So the battery might last 9 years instead of 10 if you ONLY charge on fast chargers; but if you occasionally use the fast chargers, it makes no significant difference to the lifespan of the batteries.

And if you've forgotten to charge up? You just stick it on charger and wait for a little while until you have enough charge to reach the fast charger, then drive there and charge it for half an hour or so- whatever is necessary, and then go from there. It's inconvenient if you fuck up like that, but you're not going to be doubling your travel time, Tesla's charge faster than they discharge as they drive.

Comment Re:This was already known in 86 (Score 1) 133

You're full of shit. Iodine is just the most awkward fallout for nuclear power proponents only because it's the most obvious form of fallout in its effects. But both caesium 137 and strontium 90 are pretty bad things to absorb; they continue to decay in the body and cause cancer; and they're particularly bad for children because they're more sensitive to radionuclides and because they have longer lifespans in which to develop cancers.

And yes, the natural rate of cancer is much higher; but so what? Cancer is about the most common disease of all; but that doesn't mean we want MORE people to die of it.

Nuclear power is antiquated 20th century tech; modern renewables are cheaper, more flexible, cleaner and economically far safer.

Comment Re:Hydogen is just a way to store energy (Score 1) 630

The way this hydrogen stuff seems to work best is in a PHEV; in other words, a plug-in prius-like car that runs on hydrogen. It's got a relatively small fuel cell, and you plug it in at night to charge up a small battery that can go a few tens of miles.

Most of the time you run only on the battery; and that's fine for everyday use.

But for long distance, you turn on the fuel cell and it keeps the battery topped up as you drive around. Producing the hydrogen isn't very efficient, but you're only using it for a small percentage of your travel, and you're using spare solar energy that you couldn't otherwise use.

AFAIK the effective energy mass density for hydrogen storage now seems to comfortably exceed lithium ion batteries; so for long distances hydrogen makes sense. Also the embrittlement issue is not a problem if the materials are chosen appropriately.

There's still problems with the lifespan of the fuel cells; but again you'd only be using it as a range-extender, so it's not used a lot. Fuel cells are somewhat expensive for the power they produce, but using them as a range extender, you don't need a huge amount of power, most of that comes from the battery; that greatly reduces costs.

The systems are still expensive, but getting cheaper, and there's infrastructure issues; but they're not as bad as electric cars were, since the filling stations can be further apart, also hydrogen makers for home use are unlikely to be super expensive for slow filling overnight.

Personally I don't like PHEVs much, but the hydrogen PHEVs seem to be borderline doable now, they're actually in production.

Comment Re:We've got to get off fossil fuels faster (Score 1) 70

> A large part, as much as 80%, should be nuclear.

On most grids, it's a surprisingly bad idea to have that much nuclear in the mix.

The reason is demand-side variation; if you have to reduce the output of your reactor, the cost of the energy has gone up- for example a nuclear reactor running at half power is making electricity at twice the cost/kWh; and it wasn't cheap electricity to start with; nuclear power is never cheap.

With 80% you'd pretty much always have to daily be turning down your nukes due to demand side reductions. France has problems with that, they have some hydroelectricity to help buffer their nuclear, but not enough of the right sort.

Slashdot Top Deals

Usage: fortune -P [] -a [xsz] [Q: [file]] [rKe9] -v6[+] dataspec ... inputdir