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Old 06-29-2005, 12:05 PM   #1
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Energy sources

Will energy be sufficient to meet rising global demand?

Based on projections for rising demand, particularly coming from China, it appears that the oil is rapidly depleting.

Will renewable sources or further oil deposits be found to meet the demand?
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:06 PM   #2
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Melon has some ideas about using nuclear power.....he can explain it much better....
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:09 PM   #3
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A lot of my comments on this subject are here:

http://www.xeidon.org/archives/2005/...-fossil-fuels/

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Old 06-29-2005, 12:10 PM   #4
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Oh there is this new blah blah being built somewhere in order to explore a new form of energy creation to be completed in about 30 years. New form of nuclear smash that is, directly copied from the sun... however, there might be probs with radioactivity too.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:11 PM   #5
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Yep. Who cares if the Nuclear Plant blows up?

As Denis Leary once said "I didn't break the planet, it was this way when I found it!"
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:19 PM   #6
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You're more likely to die from pollution generated by coal and other fossil fuels than you will be from an exploding nuclear plant. While the earlier generation "graphite-core" nuclear plants were prone to meltdowns by design, all reactors still in use are designed better. Whereas graphite core nuclear plants would have the nuclear fission rods fall out of the reactor if the power went out (what caused Chernobyl's meltdown), it's successor did the opposite: it required power to lift the rods out of the reactor coolant, rather than requiring power to keep the rods in place. Nowadays, if power is suddenly lost in a nuclear plant, it is impossible for nuclear plants to meltdown like Chernobyl. Impossible.

Nations like France have relied primarily on nuclear power for decades now. No meltdowns. Most of our fears of nuclear power these days are mostly based on the older generation plants that have suffered from major design flaws and should have been decommissioned a long time ago; and, frankly, most of them have.

The newest generation of nuclear plant is a large improvement on the common plant we see today. Modern nuclear plants, for instance, would not have those signature large cooling towers. They are no longer necessary.

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Old 06-29-2005, 01:43 PM   #7
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One of the big concerns for nuclear power is the spent fuel. I wonder where France dumps there spent rods and if it creates the same concerns as it does here.
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
One of the big concerns for nuclear power is the spent fuel. I wonder where France dumps there spent rods and if it creates the same concerns as it does here.
It would be worth looking at, although one big difference that I know about is that Europe is known to "recycle" their rods somehow, whereas American plants typically don't. I would assume, as such, that, as usual, America is being wasteful.

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Old 06-29-2005, 02:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


It would be worth looking at, although one big difference that I know about is that Europe is known to "recycle" their rods somehow, whereas American plants typically don't. I would assume, as such, that, as usual, America is being wasteful.

Melon
Yeah, I'm no expert but I think most of the Western European nuclear waste is being reprocessed to the point where relatively little waste is left. Unfortunately that waste is more hazardous that the stuff they started out with and has a much longer half-life.

I personally think I hydrogen economy is the way to go, with green energy and possibly in the long run nuclear fusion as the engine. For those interested, there's a nice project on the stocks in France.
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:26 PM   #10
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Nuclear fission — with heat as a byproduct — occurs when heavy atoms such as those of uranium or plutonium are split. But the process leaves behind highly radioactive waste, and the reactors can catastrophically melt down.

Nuclear fusion -- as an energy source has long been a dream of physicists because it would be safer, cleaner and cheaper — using hydrogen as an energy source.
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Old 06-29-2005, 05:50 PM   #11
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We just need to pass break-even point with nuclear fusion for it to become viable, some of the "bubble fusion" experiments while highly contentious could be hinting at a useful process.
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Old 06-29-2005, 10:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
Yeah, I'm no expert but I think most of the Western European nuclear waste is being reprocessed to the point where relatively little waste is left. Unfortunately that waste is more hazardous that the stuff they started out with and has a much longer half-life.
There's been more experiments these days with transmutation of these radioactive elements into different isotopes with much shorter half lives. We're talking a reduction from 250 million year half lives to 30 years or less.

And while it's been said that there's about 50 years left worth of Uranium-235, which is what's used in the most common form of nuclear plant currently, it's said that there's about 10,000+ years worth of Uranium-238, which is 99.3% of the Earth's uranium. The downside: the only reactors that currently use Uranium-238 are "fast breeder reactors" (FBR) and they require highly enriched uranium and, if designed maliciously, can generate weapons grade materials. Some FBR designs, however, can purposely make the waste materials unsuitable for weapons. The upside: newer FBR technology currently being used in India uses Thorium-232 to generate Uranium-233. There are three times the known reserves of thorium than uranium globally.

So, really, not all is lost.

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Old 06-29-2005, 10:41 PM   #13
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Oh and I was doing some reading on why Europe "recycles" their spent rods, but not the United States.

Nuclear reprocessing can recover about 96% of a spent fuel rod for reuse, but because 1% of each rod becomes Plutonium-239 and 240, which can be used to create nuclear weapons, nuclear reprocessing is actually illegal in the United States, due to proliferation concerns. However, if a reactor is being used properly, the plutonium is reactor-grade, not weapons-grade, which would make it unsuitable, but not impossible to create a nuclear weapon.

So the next time we talk about Yucca Mountain or see pictures of overflowing nuclear waste barrels, realize that probably 96% of that could be reused, if the U.S. would reprocess it. Maybe that process should be kept in mind, and we should create the oversight to ensure that the plutonium waste is disposed of properly and not used for weaponry. Apparently, Europe can do this safely, so I'd like to think that "the most powerful nation in the history of the world" can do it too.

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Old 06-30-2005, 03:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Apparently, Europe can do this safely, so I'd like to think that "the most powerful nation in the history of the world" can do it too.
No, it ain´t safe at all. Nuclear terrorists could hijack the material. Also keep in mind that Europe is a big fan of sending radioactive stuff all through the continent, and France is good in selling nuclear tech to about everyone who pays the right price. People here are very opposed to nuclear energy. Maybe this is because we felt the impact of Chernobyl. It changed our lives.
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Old 06-30-2005, 08:32 AM   #15
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
Maybe this is because we felt the impact of Chernobyl. It changed our lives.
If you're afraid of Chernobyl, don't. It won't be happening again, because graphite-core reactors no longer exist.

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