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October 01, 2006



Whoops I meant "split up the trillion dollar waste disposal cost amongst all 168 US nuclear reactors? Maybe 6 billion per plant? Will consumers pay for that?)."

Much more than the initial building cost!

Kirk Sorensen

Drx, which solvents during conventional nuclear reprocessing are you referring to? I want to look that up...


Helen Caldicot mentioned it. I believe some sort of flourocarbons, but I'm not sure.

Here's an interview with her in Grist.


She was mainly an anti-nuclear weapons advocate now she has switched to opposing nuclear power too. Devestating opponent of the nuclear industry.

I appreciate your point of view, even though I may never accept nuclear power as a viable alternative, but at least do you agree with my idea about a compromise?

I think you guys both must realize that these new reactors will take at least a decade to build and test. And that you are also against subsidies.

I know I have a vision of renewable energy distributed generation and storage that I believe can work from a practical financial and technical aspect, I'm sure you have the same for nuclear power. Wouldn't you like your ideas for waste recycling/safer breeder reactors to be tested asap?

I know you believe that nuclear power will win in a fair fight just as I believe my scheme will, so let's get together and support these changes I outline in my compromise. I think we can all agree the status quo is not going well. Something fundamental has to change.

No matter what solutions win, we need to shake the necessary capital for change loose from the problematic monopoly corporations enabled by corporate lobbyists and corrupt government officials.


BTW, here is the 2 cent per kwh reference.


I have since heard of a Minnesota utility company that reached that goal.

Kirk Sorensen

I think you guys both must realize that these new reactors will take at least a decade to build and test. And that you are also against subsidies.

Yes, they are going to take some time, but not forever like fusion. And the sooner we get started the better.

I am against subsidies but also sanguine enough to realize that practically everything has some sort of subsidy attached to it, and it's mainly a matter of perspective as to what that subsidy is. How do you have a level playing field when all your competitors are subsidized in some form or fashion?

Brian Wang

I do not believe there will be a "fair fight". Politics and biases of different kinds are deeply entrenched. I think it is a fantasy to think that the system will be changed to the degree that drx proposes. In particular removal of subsidies is rare unless it is forced as part of world trade negotiations.

What happens in China and India is extremely important, since that is where most of the new power will be built. I think a convincing case made to the leaders in China and India has more chance of being implemented than something in the USA.

Small initiatives to prove out various ideas could be possible as part of the larger current trends. One positive possibility is activity around anti-climate change and CO2 reduction. If many countries try different solutions then it could be possible to gain support for new Thorium reactor trials and programs.

Nuclear Power companies will not take on the restrictions and costs that you are proposing. They will not be seeking your political support. They only need to do what is necessary for a profitable license to be granted. Overly costly restrictions means that they will abandon that project and do something else.

I see that there are 104 meter (3.6 MW) offshore wind rotors (330 ft). I do not see any planned 1000 foot wind rotors.

The biggest I see are a few 5MW prototypes with 126M rotors (413 ft), there are some 10MW machines on the drawing boards. 160m total height.

Even this pro-wind document quotes higher prices for wind now and until 2020. They hope to get offshore wind to 3.7 pence (7 US cents) per kwh. Down from 5.5 pence per kwh.

onshore wind is cheaper. They hope to get it to 2.7 pence per kwh in 2010.

Udo Stenzel

"Helen Caldicot mentioned it. I believe some sort of flourocarbons, but I'm not sure."

Holy shit, drx, you're so stupid, it just plain hurts. (But don't worry, Ms. Caldicott still surpasses you.) The solvent used in uranium mining is sulfuric acid, which is not volatile and therefore cannot be a greenhouse gas.

Fluorocarbons are indeed used in enrichment, as a coolant. They are not usually released, but leaked from the Paducah plant, because that plant is simply old. But fluorocarbons are not greenhouse gases, you are talking out of your ass (again) and I'm laughing mine off (again).

Get a clue, kid. I for one will never "get together" with your kind. It would look as if I had not had a scientific education ever, and that's an impression I'd rather avoid.

Kirk Sorensen

Udo, as much as I sympathize with your goals, I must take exception with your means. Nothing is accomplished by name-calling and insults. It doesn't make you look any better and doesn't bring about any meaningful change is those you are insulting. Let's all strive to stick as close to facts as possible and leave personal attacks out.

Drx, I apologize for calling you an anti-nuclear troll on one of my first posts. I shouldn't have said that.



"the enrichment of uranium is responsible for [over 90 percent] of the CFC-114 gas released into the air in the U.S. Now, CFC is banned internationally under the Montreal Protocol because it destroys the ozone layer, one. Two, CFC gas is 10,000 to 20,000 times more potent as a global warmer and heat trapper than CO2."


"the extraction of uranium for nuclear-power production is very energy-intensive, as is uranium enrichment. In the US the enrichment facilities are powered by two old 1000-megawatt coal-fired plants that pump out large quantities of carbon dioxide. These facilities are responsible for the release of 93 per cent of the ozone-depleting, global-warming CFC114 gas produced every year in the US"

You may want to see about a refund on the tuition you payed for your "science education", hehey.


"I am against subsidies but also sanguine enough to realize that practically everything has some sort of subsidy attached to it, and it's mainly a matter of perspective as to what that subsidy is. How do you have a level playing field when all your competitors are subsidized in some form or fashion?"

That is why reform is needed. Drop the corporate welfare that big multinational energy compnies do not even need, then use half of the savings to pay down the deficit. Use the other half to temporarily subsidize renewable energy with direct tax credits to consumers. Drop all subsidies after 10 years.

Of course it will never be a perfectly fair fight. But now it's a shutout.

And of course nuclear industry corporations will never want a compromise like mine. I'm mainly talking to environmentalists who are touting nuclear as a cure for greenhouse gases.

Maybe you are not supporting nuclear power as a cure for global climate change? Do you actually believe human caused climate change is a real problem?

Udo Stenzel

How about you put this into absolute numbers, drx? "93%" of a chemical that is used almost nowhere doesn't mean anything. Also, please find scientific support for that quoted 10.000 fold number. CFC-114 isn't listed as greenhouse gas anywhere. (Yes, it destroys ozone. You still got your "facts" completely wrong (again).)

Kirk: What's the point of pretending that an anti-nuke-kook has some residual mental capacity? If this was an honest debate, Drx wouldn't continually invent numbers ($5bn, $0.02/kWh, $10^12), would quote reliable sources instead of SLS and Caldicott, would admit his errors and not jump wildly around between diverse marginal problems he's conveniently ignoring for his pet technologies. And his quoting of oh-so-clean Germany! It's FOUR MEASLY PERCENT wind power, at electricity prices that simply make your jaw drop.

This guy is immune to facts. Taking him serious doesn't pay. The Caldicott-style name calling on the other hand seems to impress him.

Kirk Sorensen

Drx, if the argument is "today's nuclear uses uranium enriched by coal energy, which releases CO2--therefore don't enrich uranium" then that argument is fallacious and could just as easily be used against wind mills.

Where does the steel and concrete come from that builds the windmills? Coal and fossil fuels that release CO2.

It has been shown in many places and also recently by me that the CO2 output of today's nuclear fuel cycle is far far below coal or gas. Thorium reactor technology will enable us to eliminate enrichment altogether.

The argument cuts both ways.

As far as climate change--I'm not sure. But unlike most who aren't sure, I think we should err on the side of caution (that we ARE changing the climate) and ACT now to drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Kirk Sorensen

I agree with Brian---getting off coal should be the number one priority. Coal kills, right now!

(then oil...)

(then gas...)


Wind pays back it's CO2 debt within 6 months.

But the CFC ozone destruction and release of a gas 10,000 to 20,000 more times potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas due to nuclear fuel processing goes on and on. Not to mention the cO2 released from oil powered mining equipment and refining, transportation, and enrichment.

With wind, no fuel and no waste.

How much CO2 will processing waste into more fuel produce? How much more CFC gas?

Wind power is working fine in Minnesota, is their "science education" a tad better than the average level?


Power too cheap to meter? Remember that false promise of nuclear power?

Now envision the Jacob's Wind electric generator, designed and built in Minnesota over a half a century ago. One ran in Antarctica for 40 years to power a research station.

Self limiting centrifugal blade feathering, direct drive generator, wooden blades edged with sheet metal. Kept working right through storms, thawing, freezing conditions that are the harshest on earth.

Think of it, that is truly power that was too cheap to meter. Give some respect for that, and try to imagine a nation giving the respect to american workers (with skills, drive, and creativity like Jacobs and his colleagues embodied) ready to manufacture this energy re-evolution.

Let's put our money on them. Get that capital flowing to renewable energy, let them beat the world (with real capitalism, real competition)and revive our economy.

Brian Wang

you are just making incorrect assumptions. A bunch of money is being spent on wind power.

China alone is spending 45billion on wind power over the next 15 years. They are targeting 30GW of power. Part of a 180 billion clean energy program. Some analyst doubt the 30GW target will be met.

China will need 950-1230GW of power by 2030.
Even if China was able to double its wind target. That is still only about 5% of their total power needs.


What do they have to do to get that much power.
20,000 of the current latest 1.5MW turbines
6,000 of the prototype 5MW turbines.
The turbines weigh over 300 tons. Standing about 40-50 stories tall. They are larger than the superjumbo jets. You need large numbers of big factories, transportation to the site, construction crews, site preparation (foundations or anchoring offshore). You need time to get the larger turbines tested.

Project timelines, logistics, supply chains (whole companies and industries must be set up) takes time.

Wind, solar, nuclear all have somewhat different supply chains and bottlenecks. Which is why they can be scaled up somewhat independently.

The wind power guys (GE being one of the main ones) are not being held back. GE is no small abused company.

What does your reference to a 10KW 1937 wind generator have to do with anything? Should we make a ten million bi-planes as part of a plan to solve our transportation issues?
the power to cheap to meter was referring to if we built different reactors than we did. If you buy a fleet of Pintos do not go back to the car dealer to complain that they do not work as well as the cars that you did not buy. The history is only important to know exactly what bad choices were made so that we can make better choices now.

The economy does not need reviving. World economic growth is at record levels. US unemployment is low. btw: faster economic growth means more power needs.

What is the plan that you want? You want massive government handouts to GE so they can build more wind power?

Brian Wang

the most aggressive targets for a credible global plan for wind power that I have seen is here.

10% of total power by 2020
20% by 2040.

Spending 720 billion by 2020.

This plan which has not been adopted still means massive dependence on coal until 2080.

Just because you hope something will happen does not mean that it has a chance to do it.

Paul Dietz

But the CFC ozone destruction and release of a gas 10,000 to 20,000 more times potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas due to nuclear fuel processing goes on and on.

Why should any CFCs be released in nuclear fuel processing? Chlorine isn't involved. Perhaps you are refering to CF4 or SF6? These are potent greenhouse gases, largely due to their extremely long atmospheric lifetimes, but they have no catalytic effect at all on the ozone layer. If traces of these are released, the solution is to reduce carbon and sulfur levels in the materials before fluorination. (If you are talking about molten fluoride reactors, I agree it's a more valid point, since those involve exposing graphite directly to the molten salt, which will inevitably have free fluorine liberated by irradiation.)

Power too cheap to meter? Remember that false promise of nuclear power?

No one in the industry ever promised that. It was a statement by Strauss (head of the AEC) about general prospects for technology; it's not even clear he was talking about nuclear fission.

There are many statements from the industry before and after that time that made it clear that fission would not produce very much cheaper electricity than could be produced from coal. Some examples:


Udo Stenzel

Lewis Strauss' exact words were: "It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy electrical energy in their homes too cheap to meter."

Who promised anything here? Who talked about nuclear fission anyway? (Chances are, he was talking about nuclear FUSION, and that still doesn't make it a promise.)

Meanwhile, nuclear power is still cheaper than wind, even when calculating with drx' freely invented numbers, even considering the horrendously inefficient light water reactors...

Brian Wang

Minor typo correction: China will need 950-1230GW of power by 2020.

Gerry landry


It looks to me that everybody has been traned to have a personnal view for his own agenda. It is simple to understand the future, its circumstances of what is going to happen. One day if there is anybody left a simple question will be ask. What where they thinking of ? It is simple we are bonded to nature and if we burn it to travel on the other side of the world to many times we will die.
Re-usable energy is the second best solution and the first is to diminish the utility or usage of energy.

We certainly have to start aggreeing or the consequences are deadly. It is already in the air , it exist, it is obvious between two generation

Each methods or ways of extracting energy/ either carbon/hydrogen/electron/photons/mechanical such as wind/or the split of the atom/acid

all have a cost and it changes the hole dynamic of the earth equilibrium

Sorry but we forgot to look at nature and enjoy it for its true value/magical arrangement of circumtances/ it happen when I met my wife. Haven't you all forgoten
Nature it was meant to be/

Simple do not change it or you will suffer the obvious reation/ If you do not take care of it it will not take care of you.

All argument to maintain status quo / to enable anybody not to change as to continue to travel/ just for the kick of it or to go for a drive to accomadate a feeling of importance will have a definite cost

my view is maybe sarcastique or not well writen / just something to think


Ps I am personally working on a process to remove unwanted gases for three years now and I have comed to several methods to save significant energy usaGE. iF ANYBODY WANTS TO HELP




Belarus Kali

Thanks for the sharing of such information we will pass it on to our readers


Would it be good to use the layman's names for the chemicals as opposed to the chemical names. It would make it easier for the not so scientifically inclined to read your posts.

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