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Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 345

It also took 20% of the world's oil production offline for nearly a decade, which profits other oil companies, especially with the guaranteed market for military fuel. And there was a _hope_, ill-founded, that a wave of strong anti-Muslim-leadership politics would sweep the region.

Yeah, but that hope was not based in the History of the mideast and reality as it exists there. That was just another inconvenient bit of wishful thinking that was useful in settling that particular family feud. It's a place where one can go from esteemed ally to the "American Devil" overnight, depending on the convenience of the parties involved.

So we were surprised that after we sort of installed a democracy, they all went back to what they were doing before, which is enjoying the hell out of killing each other.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 345

Did that answer your question, or do you require a more detailed explanation?

You answered my question, but you didn't give me the answer you thought you did. Do you know the exact amount of Lithium that is going to be used in the first commercial fusion power generating station? Have you worked with Lithium?

You need to understand that when using words like "essentially free", you are saying that it is a trivial matter. You won't understand that however. You are going to say that you were not talking about the handling and containment, just the purchase price, which you have predetermined to be "essentially free"... There is no part of generating power with these genies in a bottle that is trivial, and just between us chachalacas, pronouncing a vital component as essentially free before the first watt of commercial power has been generated is hubris on a grand level.

I wouldn't hire you as part of the process, I can tell you that. If you came in looking for a job in this matter, and told me that a critical part of the whole endeavor was essentially free, I'd determine you weren't suitable for the task. And I'd be right.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 345

Do you mean thermal efficiency? I pegged it at somewhat less than 50%, like most power plants:

$ units You have: 1g / (7 g/mol / avogadro ) * 17.5 MeV You want: kWh * 67003.703

Since a typical household electricity use is about 9000 kWh/year, at 35% efficiency, that would be several years worth.

If you mean transmutation efficiency, it doesn't matter. You keep recycling the lithium until it converts. As I pointed out, the overall cost of that process could be high, but the cost of the raw lithium is insignificant.

But not 0. My entire thrust was that people were saying Lithium is "essentially free". Tell me exactly how much Li is going to be used in the first commercial fusion power generation plant, and tell me that it is "essentially free". Looking forward to your precise figures.

This "essentially" attitude is why a lot of people don't trust nuc power. Remember, nuclear electricity generation is "too cheap to meter", as told to us by Lewis Strauss, no less an authority than the Chairman of the US AEC. Sorry muchacho, there is no particular part of the process that is insignificant, not the cost, not the composition, not the housing, not anything. Well maybe the flowers planted around the power plant. Then again, we might want to specify some hyper accumulators for phytoremidiation if there was an accident, so as to get a head start on the cleanup.

Comment Re:Top 3 promising fusion concepts: (Score 1) 345

That old paradigm is called 'economy of scale' and it works very well in most industries.

And quite a strategic nightmare when applied to power generation in the modern age. Tell me, if say I was a country that you were fighting. Would you prefer that I had only a couple electric generating facilities, or thousands of them.

For me, I would hope any country I was fighting would have exactly one big economy of scale power generation plant. I would utilize 1 each daisycutter or cruise missile, and my enemy is now my bitch. This is a strategic observation not shared by many, but it is not incorrect.

Comment Re:"Amazon be ashamed pay their workers so little" (Score 1) 201

If that would happen, sure.

But it wouldn't matter for two reasons. Your average employee might reach management, but the days of there being a career path from the factory floor to the CEO's office are long gone. (It wasn't very often the case to start with anyway.) We're talking about executives, not your average floor manager position that an employee might have a chance of reaching.

Secondly, the reason I say to cut it in half is because these people make tons of money. Are you telling me you'd take the position for $3 million a year, but $1.5 million just wouldn't cut it? Because I suspect most of these lower level employees would be overjoyed to take it at the $1.5 million level.

There is no excuse for the people at the top making that much while paying employees starvation wages.

Comment Re:Reads Like An Ad (Score 1) 345

Yes, the wind/solar farm needs to use the existing "batteries" that so-called "base load" plants currently use to match the supply curve to the demand curve - namely hydro dams and gas turbines. Don't fall for the coal industry FUD that "base load" plants have some sort of magical advantage over renewables just because they produce a flat supply curve. The "advantage" doesn't exist in the real world for the simple reason that no city on Earth has a flat demand curve. A coal/nuke plant needs "batteries" just as much as a wind farm, which is why most nations have a national grid and a well regulated wholesale electricity market. Out of all the commercial methods of generating electricity, solar probably has the strongest advantage when trying to match its output to the demand curve of a modern city, this is due to the fact that peak air-conditioner demand normally coincides with peak solar output.

Comment Re: No sex between rulemakers. (Score 1) 126

They are still contractors in Oz, normal cab drivers and a lot of couriers are also contractors. The law in Oz is that 'contractors' on piecework/commision rates must be paid at an equivalent (or better) rate than the min hourly wage. Strangely it's one industrial relations law that no state/federal government department enforces and no tabloid ever mentions,

Comment Re:Since this wasn't a line item in the budget ... (Score 1) 125

They still could have declared it as "payment for services rendered", or even "earnings from work as a law enforcement informant". The IRS doesn't care where the money you earned came from. If you declare it and pay your taxes on it, they're satisfied.

Comment Re:Yeah Sure (Score 1) 345

And it had nothing to do with taking out a military nuisance for Israel.

Different groups had different ways to benefit off of a war in Iraq. The far right social conservatives are always hopeful that a mideast war can grease the skids for armagheddon. Halliburton made wonderful profits from supplying war related activities. Wars also serve as a conservative economic stimulus package.

But yeah, in order to settle an old family fight, we were going to go into Iraq to settle that score. Everything else was just gravy to some folks.

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