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Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 291

No. Not really. Current generations of reactor designs are passively safe.

Take a look at Gen IV reactors. Look for the words "passively safe".

Look at Gen III and earlier. The majority of the equipment you see in the actual reactor facility doesn't have anything to do with the reactor itself.
It's the huge, Rube-Goldberg safety systems designed to follow through on every imaginable problem with tons of "if-then" layers. The main problem becomes "what if something happens which you didn't foresee"?

Gen IV, anything happens, you stop feeding power to the reactor facility as a whole and the reaction will still taper off.

Comment Re:Nuclear research needed! (Score 1) 291

Sorry, basically everything you write is wrong:

Oh this ought to be good.

Wind farms are now mainly build at sea. They don't have land issues anway as the farmers happily farm on the fields where the wind farms are.

Even if your assertion that wind farms are now mainly built at sea was correct, this poses a problem. How much seacoast is there, and how much transmission loss is there getting it to places with no seacoast?

Also, not every land-bound wind farm is being built on farmland. And when clearing land for wind farm use, they're clearing roughly 5000 sq/m per turbine.

Solar, if it is photovoltaic, is best build in cities anywa, where you again have no land issues. Thermic solar is another thing, though.

Actually PV is best built in areas with maximum days of sun and away from obstructions that might interfere with solar coverage.
That basically means that while it CAN work in cities, cities are sub-optimal. At least for carrier-grade solar installs.

Solar panels don't need rare earthes.

Correction, the bulk of solar panels, which use silicon bases, don't contain rare earths. However, multi-junction cells and some of the highest efficiency cells are built on substrates of rare earths.

Wind generators use them, but would work also without them.

At far lower efficiency or with much greater bulk...

The environmental arguments are moot. Rare earthes are extracted right out of rock or sand and usually mined in deserts. There are no real concerns.

Bullshit. There's a reason rare earth mining in this country is virtually nonexistent. The tailings from such mines tend to be chock full of things like thorium, and uranium. Which are classified as nuclear waste and are regulated far differently (and more expensively) in the US. You can't just leave the stuff lying around in a pile.

Your claim China is worth than USA, is wrong. China is building up strong regulations, since years. However they suffer from the lack of those during the recent years.

You apparently missed the entire last couple decades. China basically crashed the rare earths market by severely undercutting EVERYONE, simply by having no (or next to no) environmental regulation. They were basically open strip-mining and doing dig-and-dump.

A rare earth mine in the USA would look exactly like one in China. A big pit in a huge rock or desert.

Except the waste from the mine would be controlled differently.

Burning Biomass is not problematic because of green house gas issues, You are an idiot. If it is rotting it produces CO2 and CH4, a far stronger green house gas than CO2. Bottom line it is climat neutral if you burn it, as it wiuld rott otherwise anyway. Or more prcisely, because of avoiding the release of CH4 into the atmosphere it is even an advantage.

Ah. So we get into name calling.

Burning Biomass for power is less of a problem than just open-burning the waste. But it's still being put back up into the atmosphere at a greater rate than allowing it to decay normally. Remember, sequestration isn't about permanent removal of these substances from the environment, it's about how long it's kept out as well.

The amount of energy we produce with biomass is big enough that it is a majour player in the balancing power market.

It's roughly 43% of the energy delivered by renewable sources.

Renewable energy accounts for roughly 7% of total power generation in this country.

So, biomass (both wood and fuels) accounts for a whopping 3% of total energy produced.
Hydro power, which is past its peak in the US, generates twice that.
Nuclear generates 7x what biomass does. With 100 individual reactors spread across 30 states in 60 individual plants,
Coal generates 11x what biomass does..

So your idea of a "major player" and mine are somewhat different.

Even if you don't believe it: 70% of europes land mass is neither used for housing, roads nor farming. There is plenty of space to build what ever plant you want.

The problem is population distribution. In Europe, population distribution is fairly even throughout. The concentration around cities is higher, but nowhere near the differential you see in the US. Add to that the fact that simply divvying up the land mass the way you have doesn't mean the land left over is actually suitable for building a power plant on.

And in the USA, it is even more land available.

There's more land.

Is it "available"? Maybe?

Is it "suitable" for power infrastructure construction? Who knows?

Will locals or government ALLOW you to build there?

The decision to put in power generation infrastructure is nowhere near as simple as a binary yes/no chart.

Comment 'Genuine' is how luxury brands protect themselves (Score 1) 119

I have very little insight into the world of fashion, but I do know that since there are no laws against creating the exact same dress, shirt, purse, or whatever, luxury brands tend to plaster their name or logo all over their products. You can't copy the name because that's trademarked.

As a result, you have folks seeing the popularity of an item making knockoffs. These vary in quality, of course, but in some cases, they're made from the exact same materials, in the exact same plant that the originals are made. The only difference is they have to print a different brand name on them or risk criminal activities, so a Coach bag becomes a "Loach" bag, with the mark spelled out in the same font with an extra curvy 'L'. Sure, technological devices are usually protected by more than trademark - patents and such which are often ignored by certain eastern markets - but since a piece of paper half a world a way isn't an actual barrier to producing a physical product, so it often comes down to the same thing.

The funny thing here is that even with off brands that may exceed the quality of the item, the original brand is still much more highly prized. Why? Because of marketing generating a social expectation that a 'genuine' object affords prestige. It could just be that it's expensive, or that it's advertisements paradoxically indicate that you must both be beautiful enough to wear it and simultaneously that you must wear it to be beautiful (like Abercrombie & Fitch, for example). It says, "Even if it's not as high quality, I both went through the trouble to find it AND paid more, and I passed through the filter that says I'm worth owning this, and that says something positive about me as a person!"

Sound like any company you know? Starts with an A, ends with A -pple, nothing in the middle?

This is just Apple selling it's product not as a piece of technology, but as a lifestyle accessory, as they've done ever since they realized that was the way to success. The claims of technological merit are just fluff, but necessary fluff to keep up their brand pretension and justify their walled garden environments.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 486

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of professional liability. When you, as a trained professional in a field, give false or misleading information - you're employer can be held liable for any harm that results.

Then it is up to the employer (and/or jury if it gets that far) to make that determination and set liability... and not government edict.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1, Insightful) 486

They can do. Just not while they're pretending to be health care professionals.

So you think there is to be only one government-approved guide to all healthcare decisions, right?

Mind, I'm not an "anti-vaxxer", but I am pro-speech. The vaccination controversy, no matter how well/poorly-founded, does exist, and trying to end it by government force is not only a stupid tactic, but sets a very, very, VERY bad precedent.

(also, Nurses *are* health care professionals, for fuck sakes... you don't get to disqualify them as such just because you don't like what they say.)

Comment Re:Good! (Score 3, Informative) 291

Fukushima was a case of TEPCO not listening to their engineers. Had the sea wall been of the proper height, nothing would have happened.

Chernobyl was the result of shitty maintenance, old, faulty design and the idiots in charge of the facility playing games with the reactor and not communicating it to the next shift.

TMI was the result of poor maintenance. And it still killed NOBODY.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 3, Interesting) 291

1: Actually, politics have almost EVERYTHING to do with it. The entire regulatory environment for nuclear power has been poisoned for most of the last 30-40 years. And the countless lawsuits by the anti-nuke crowd don't do anything to drive costs and timelines down.

The reason why the power industry lobbies for extensions on existing plants is because:

A - Trying to get a truly NEW reactor site developed is like convincing someone to have all their teeth pulled, without painkillers or being knocked out, THROUGH THEIR RECTUM. Getting NRC time simply to look at or discuss plans is prohibitively expensive. AND THAT'S THEIR FUCKING JOB! Getting local, state and federal approval is a tortuously long and painful process, with nuisance lawsuits breeding faster than rabbits.

B - Because of A, most of these power generation companies would have to replace the aging nuclear reactors with things like coal or oil-fired facilities which have their OWN regulatory nightmares.

C - Most can't implement wind farms or solar farms simply because they don't have access to the land assets necessary, and these power assets still cannot be used as base load. Geothermal is out of the picture for most parts of the country as well.

2: This is why you assign accountants to monitor regulators' finances.

Additionally, look at the history of nuclear safety in the US. Total number of people killed by nuclear power generation. ZERO.

3: Yucca Mountain was forced on Nevada by the Feds. On top of that, the flames of NIMBY-ism were fanned by the state officials talking about rolling nuclear waste down the streets of Las Vegas, when anything BUT was going to happen.

While I, personally, don't know if our engineering is up to building a facility capable of holding things safely for 100K+ years, the site is one of the most heavily researched pieces of land on the planet.

And the OP keeps talking about "we", as if there's some sort of unified front for nuclear power. That usually signifies that they're one of the anti-nuke crowd. Meaning THEY don't think humanity should use it, because they don't want to deal with the waste in any meaningful way.

Comment Re:Nuclear research needed! (Score 1) 291

Wind and solar have land use issues, habitat destruction issues and are NOT carbon neutral due to the rare earth mining that is currently offshored because China doesn't give a shit about its environment and wants to keep the RE market cornered.

Burning biomass is problematic due to greenhouse gas issues.

These forms of power are also NOWHERE near as energy-dense as nuclear power is.

A 1TW reactor is a relatively small affair. And most of the facility's land use is comprised of the cooling tower. Even the tower, a fairly large structure, is still a compact affair.

A 1 TW PV SOLAR facility currently doesn't exist. And the largest solar facility in the world, Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, produces 850MW and covers roughly nine square miles.

The largest Solar Thermal facility, Ivanpah, is set to max out around 400MW, and currently uses about 5 square miles, plus it uses a fuck-ton (about 500K metric cubic feet per year on average) of natural gas to pre-heat the facility in the mornings.

Comment Re: 6.8 Billion (Score 2) 291

Yeah, but it's only ONE nuclear plant. One that can be strategically located (like right next to the other nuclear plant on the existing facility). So it's not like they just broke ground in some scenic place and spoiled everything.

Additionally, the land use of a reactor facility and cooling tower is a fraction of the amount of land used in a solar or wind farm.

Comment Re:From the article (Score 5, Funny) 291

Just the sheer amount of deaths per terawatt caused by nuclear power should make people rethink it. Nothing even comes close.

You mean that whopping number of ZERO?

You're right. Pretty much everything out there has a higher death count than nuclear, even when taken individually. So you're right. Nothing even comes close.

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