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January 24, 2007

Comments

Brian Wang

What is it about my english that you are failing to understand Ender?

So where is the incentive?
I am not saying do not try to conserve, but recognize the reality of it. The reality is 2.6% market penetration for energy efficient light bulbs. The incentive is $200 in fuel cost savings. Money incentive. If someone remodels their home in California and many other places in the US they are forced to use over half flourescent to pass building code.

>Part and parcel of a renewable energy solution is conservation>
So are you saying when we reduce supply we will force them to save? How will your ban work ?

>Up until now we have managed to ignore it >so why now are you kicking up such a stink
Hello, 27000 american dead per year. 1,000,000 people dead worldwide. You repeated it in the previous sentence. The stink is the dead and sick and the poisoning. So if you were back in Dec 1944 Germany would you be saying we have been living with the war and the concentration camps and death for several years. Why kick up a stink now? Let them continue to die.

>Coal electricity allows us to fill our >houses with plasma TVs and dishwashers so >we conveniently ignore the problems with >coal. Just like we ignore road deaths >because cars are convenient.
Just because another problem (cars) is harder to solve does not justify inaction against coal. The solution for cars is to have cars converted to computer driven cars. Start constraining user driven cars starting at toll roads, then intersections etc... Darpa robot car project. will take 30-80 years. Start rollout in 30 and then get it down in 80. You are indicating how others in society ignore it or are unaware of it. You know the information and the proof that I have provided. What is your personal reason for justifying continued deaths. You claim to support a non-killing plan. Yet I have clearly shown that yours is a killing plan.

>You are presenting here a false dichotomy. >You are saying that coal is bad so >therefore nuclear is OK because it is the >only alternative
Again I am not saying the only alternative. I am saying one of the acceptable alternatives. One that kills a lot less. Over 99.9% less.

>we just have to ignore the problems like we do with coal.

Did I say ignore the problems. No I said the problems are not as bad as people imagine and the ones that do exist can be better managed. I said take the U235 and Plutonium and keep using it for more fuel.

>[Your nuclear weapons]
That is what it really is. You are scared of nuclear weapons so you want to not have nuclear power. Even though nuclear power can help save lives. You think that we can get of nuclear weapons by getting rid of nuclear power. This is wrong. Get rid of nuclear power and you will still have nuclear weapons. so you and ElBaradei and the other against nuclear power want to continue to sacrifice 27000 americans per year and 1 million people worldwide every year in the hopes that this will get rid of nuclear weapons. Let us take the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima bombs in casualties every year because I personally am a misguided coward.

Plus get of nuclear weapons [which won't happen] and you still have conventional war and biochem weapons and coming soon nanotech weapons. Conventional weapons can kill a hundred thousand in a couple of days. Fire bombing of Tokyo with older planes and only 1500 tons of incendiary bombs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire-bombing_of_Tokyo

Operation rolling thunder in Vietam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Rolling_Thunder
Between March 1965 and November 1968, aircraft of the U.S. Air Force had flown 153,784 attack sorties against the DRV while the Navy and Marine Corps had added another 152,399. On 31 December 1967, the Department of Defense announced that 864,000 tons of American bombs had been dropped on the DRV during Rolling Thunder, compared with 653,000 tons dropped during the Korean War and 503,000 tons in the Pacific theater during the Second World War.

If they had been bombing cities (like fire bombing tokyo) instead of jungle what would the casualties have been?

So your fears of armageddon are realizable without nuclear weapons.
most of the 170 million+ deaths from war and mass killings in the 20th century happened
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_deaths_and_atrocities_of_the_twentieth_century
without nuclear weapons.

Your fear of nuclear weapons should really be a general fear of war. But your focus on nuclear weapons ignores the 100 times greater risk that you will be killed with a regular chemical explosive, bullet or knife.

>Cybersecurity
It is a threat to hydro dams as well and to oil refineries. Blow up a refinery like in Martinez, CA and what happens to Martinez?

>inspection and safety
Isolated incidents of safety violations are not that convincing. I can match that with 47 coal mining deaths in the US per year. 6000-10000 mining deaths worldwide. More transportation deaths from moving 100 times more mass in coal or do you not believe in car accidents? rail accidents?. 1.2 billion tons. 100 million rail cars full every year in the US alone. Don't talk to me about a paper violation of a rule when coal is killing a lot more people. If you can show that those safety violations resulted in more deaths then you have a case for safety being more of an issue with nuclear power than with coal.

Brian Wang

>All those threatened who have nuclear reactors make nuclear bombs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_by_country

Japan 55 nuclear reactors
threatened by China, N korea but no weapons
South Korea 20 nuclear reactors
They are threatened by N Korea but have
not made nuclear bombs
Canada 18 reactors no weapons
Germany 17 reactors no weapons
Sweden 10 reactors no weapons
Spain 8 reactors no weapons
Belgium 7 reactors no weapons
Taiwan (Republic of China) 6
reactors no weapons, threatened by China
Czech Republic 6 reactors no weapons
Slovakia 6 reactors no weapons
Switzerland 5 reactors no weapons
Bulgaria 4 reactors no weapons
Finland 4 reactors no weapons
Hungary 4 reactors no weapons
Brazil 2 reactors no weapons
South Africa 2 reactors no weapons
Mexico 2 reactors no weapons
Argentina 2 reactors no weapons
Lithuania 1 reactors no weapons
Slovenia 1 reactor no weapons
Had a war (bosnian war) but no nuclear
weapons
Romania 1 reactor no weapons
Netherlands 1
Armenia 1 reactor no weapons
fought Azerbaijan in the early 90

Iran 0 nuclear power but working on bomb
N Korea 0 active nuclear power but has bombs
Israel 0 nuclear power but has bombs

so clear counter examples to your theory
with reactors, no bombs, are or were threatened or even in a war

japan, S Korea, Taiwan, Armenia, Slovenia

Other counter examples that if you get rid of nuclear power you get rid of bombs.
N Korea, Israel and maybe soon Iran

So Ender I don't suppose any facts will get in the way of your beliefs ?

Kirk Sorensen

Brian you're absolutely right. Coal is a killer here and now. Conventional nuclear energy can displace coal, here and now. Advanced nuclear energy can displace both over the next 20-50 years, and eliminate all the long-lived waste generated up to this point by conventional nuclear power.

The ecological damage done by coal will take centuries to reverse. The damage nations will do to each other fighting over fossil fuel resources will be horrific in terms of human suffering if we don't get off fossil fuels soon.

We'll never conserve our way out of 90% of our energy needs. We have to replace how that energy is being generated.

Kirk Sorensen

Brian, your list is so long because the way to make weapons-grade fissile material and the way to run power reactors are two totally different things.

The only two common threads are highly-enriched uranium and fast-breeder reactors.

Practically no civilian reactors in the world operate on highly-enriched uranium, and practically no one operates a fast breeder reactor.

Ender

Brian - "So Ender I don't suppose any facts will get in the way of your beliefs ?"

Don't see much of the facts getting into your belief system. Rather than this turning into the classic straw man argument I concede that there are states with threats and NP that do not have nuclear weapons. However even the most one eyed nuclear fanatic would have to concede that there are far far too many unstable nuclear powers and in this list I include North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan that developed nuclear weapons despite all the safeguards that are supposed to keep it from happening. To expand the use of nuclear power when these are the facts to me is the sheerest folly. The latest of them Iran is having its reactor built by the Russians while the rest of the international community is trying to stop what they regard as Iran building nuclear weapons. It is all too easy to disguise a nuclear weapons program under a civilian program.

Finally there is the fact that nuclear waste is not sorted. You mention a lot of things that will do it when the bugs have been fixed and then seem to dismiss the problem as solved. However the reality is that there is not one kilo of nuclear waste in a long term safe geological respository at present. One more fact for you to ignore.

So probably I do not let some facts cloud my vision for the future however you can not really accuse me of this when you are equally guilty of it.

I do not think the future will be all renewable. I am shooting for zero nuclear power however I am sure there will be some. I am shooting for zero thermal coal however equally I am sure there will be some. Shooting for zero means that there will be eventually less nuclear power with less attendant problems to deal with.

One thing I will try to guarantee is that Australia will never have nuclear power and Western Australia will never export uranium. Hopefully at the next election the Labor Party, of which I am a member, will take power as one of their platforms is no nuclear reactors in Australia. Also the same Labor Party is in power in the state of Western Australia so while it is in power there will be no uranium from WA. Australia is so abundantly blessed with wide open spaces and renewable energy that nuclear power here is just a political exercise - nothing more.

Kirk Sorensen

However even the most one eyed nuclear fanatic would have to concede that there are far far too many unstable nuclear powers and in this list I include North Korea, Israel, India and Pakistan that developed nuclear weapons despite all the safeguards that are supposed to keep it from happening. To expand the use of nuclear power when these are the facts to me is the sheerest folly.

I'm sure I'll be considered a "one-eyed nuclear fanatic" for saying this Ender, but that list is pretty telling. Scores of countries with reactors but no weapons. A few countries with weapons but no reactors. As fun as it is to draw the line between the two, it doesn't seem to work.

On top of that, a country that's determined to get nuclear weapons isn't going to have too much difficulty getting them. Iran shows the clear path--get uranium, enrich it, voila, gun-type bomb. Dirt simple and requires no reactor and no reactor operation expertise.

Kind of reminds me of those 9-11 hijackers who wanted to learn to fly planes but not land them. States that want weapons won't want to waste their time learning about practical nuclear information like reactor control or refueling...all they need to know is how to enrich, and it's just not that hard.

Kirk Sorensen

One thing I will try to guarantee is that Australia will never have nuclear power and Western Australia will never export uranium.

Ender, before you charge off on your anti-uranium crusade, take a read through NNadir's post on Daily Kos about his opposition to the Shoreham power plant, way back when, and how he feels about it today. You may be regretting your actions in the future. I'm sure right now you don't think that, but consider the possibility that you might in the future.

Just because western Australia could be blanketed with gigawatts of solar panels doesn't mean it will, and a few gigawatts of coal from now you may be wishing for that uranium.

Ender

Kirk - "A few countries with weapons but no reactors. As fun as it is to draw the line between the two, it doesn't seem to work."

Which countries have weapons but no civilian nuclear power? Additionally a lot of countries in the former USSR had reactors built and still operate them but had no native nuclear program.

"I'm sure right now you don't think that, but consider the possibility that you might in the future."
There is every possibility that I might be totally wrong in my opposition to nuclear power. However until some waste is stored and/or we manage Iran to peaceful nuke power I will remain unconvinced. We can sell as much renewable power to anybody absolutely sure that it can not be turned into weapons.

Udo Stenzel

Ender: "If the plutonium is seperated then there will be more opportunity for it to go missing. Also nations can and will reprocess it into weapons if the threat is great enough."

The plutonium in spent nuclear fuel is unsuitable for weapons, even if separated. No nation ever built a bomb from spent fuel, the plutonium for weapons was always created in special reactors that are no power plants at all (US, GB, France, Israel), uneconomic dual-purpose half-assed power plants (RBMK in the USSR, Magnox in GB) or research reactors (India).

To build a bomb, you do not need a nuclear power plant. Having one doesn't even help. If there is a connection between nuclear weapons and nuclear power, it certainly isn't the Plutonium.

"...we manage Iran to peaceful nuke power"

Why do you think they aren't peacefully building a power plant? The reactor is a VVER, unsuitable for the production of weapons grade plutonium. And it needs slightly enriched uranium, which is why they are enriching uranium. What's not peaceful about that?

amazingdrx

Isn't it fun to pretend that making lists of countries with or without nuclear reactors and with or without nuclear weapons proves anything? Or just claiming that weapons can't be made from regular reactors, even if they are specifically modified for that purpose without the knowledge of international monitering.

Fun, easy, and ridiculous. Neutrons are still neutrons and physics is still physics. If a country does not have nuclear reactors, but still imports nuclear materials it's pretty easy to spot and control.

If they have nuclear reactors and use them to mask a weapons program how can that be detected except by their voluntary cooperation with outside monitering agencies or invasion? Nuclear power proliferation in nations like Iran provides a ready excuse for invasion (for empire building), as is the case right now.

So then those countries have a perfect excuse to develop weapons in secret. Because only nations with the bomb are immune from invasion. N Korea is as bad an actor as any and yet there is no talk of invasion. Pakistan harbors al queda and bin laden, but can't be invaded because they have the bomb. Now Pakistan is reestablishing the taliban.

No doubt about it the corruption that goes along with nuclear power proliferation encourages weapons proliferation. Nuclear weapons give states that sponsor terrorism immunity. Good luck convincing voters they do not. Ain't gonna happen.

All that "mushroom cloud" talk Condi slung around has backfired, it only made US afraid of nuclear power, it never justified these oil wars. They never invaded the nations that sponsor terror (and have no oil)and have the bomb, like Pakistan and N Korea.

Nucbuddy

Dr. X wrote: If they have nuclear reactors and use them to mask a weapons program

A weapons program would not require masking of that degree of elaborateness, since also plutonium production reactors and research reactors can be used to make weapons-grade plutonium and -- unlike power reactors -- are inexpensive and easy to hide.
phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter13.html#2

It is much more practical to build a separate plutonium production reactor designed not to generate electricity but rather to provide easy and rapid fuel removal in a spread-out geometry with fuel that is cheap to fabricate because it operates at low temperature and normal pressure. Moreover, it can use natural uranium rather than the very expensive enriched uranium needed in power reactors. For a given quantity of fissile material, the former contains 4 times as much of the U-238 from which plutonium is made, hence producing 4 times as much plutonium. A plutonium production reactor costs less than one-tenth as much as a nuclear power plant13 and could be designed and built much more rapidly. All of the plutonium for all existing military bombs has been produced in this type of reactor except in the Soviet Union where a compromise design allowing both electricity generation and plutonium production is employed (see Chapter 7).

Another alternative would be to use a research reactor, designed to provide radiation for research applications* rather than to generate electricity. At least 45 nations now have research reactors, and in at least 25 of these there is a capability of producing enough plutonium to make one or more bombs every 2 years. Research reactors are usually designed with lots of flexibility and space, so it would not be difficult to use them for plutonium production.

A plant for generating nuclear electricity is by necessity large and highly complex, with most of the size and complexity due to reactor operation at a very high temperature and pressure, the production and handling of steam, and the equipment for generation and distribution of electricity. It would be impossible to keep construction or operation of such a plant secret. Moreover, only a very few of the most technologically advanced nations are capable of constructing one. No nation with this capability would provide one for a foreign country without requiring elaborate international inspection to assure that its plutonium is not misused. A production or research reactor, on the other hand, can be small and unobtrusive. It has no high pressure or temperature, no steam, and no electricity generation or distribution equipment. Almost any nation has, or could easily acquire, the capability of constructing one, and it probably could carry out the entire project in secret. There would be no compulsion to submit to outside inspection.

In view of the above considerations, it would be completely illogical for a nation bent on making nuclear weapons to obtain a power reactor for that purpose. It would be much cheaper, faster, and easier to obtain a plutonium production reactor; the plutonium it produces would make much more powerful and reliable bombs with much less effort and expense.

Brian Wang

You are not paying attention as usual amazingdrx. Ender who posed the theory that all threatened countries with nuclear power will make nuclear weapons had been shown 5 actual countries where that was not the case. He then admitted that theory was not valid. Now you hop in with your baseless opinions and willingness to ignore facts that go against your deluded beliefs.

Your view of geopolitics is absurd and internally inconsistent.

N Korea (its thousand or so elite) are shaking down S Korea, China and west for food aid while getting deterrent. There is no talk of invasion because the other countries find it cheaper to pay them off and wait them out. N Korea is a bunch of gangsters who cannot last and will not be able to expand. If they use the bomb then they are toast. They are contained problem.

Iran is in a problem neighborhood.

Condi's talk happened about 25 years after the freeze on building new nuclear power plants. People like you were already afraid of nuclear bombs and irrationally afraid of nuclear power. You are being a blatant liar to say that her talk backfired or that talks of mushroom clouds made any more afraid of nukes.

Try to understand this:
Terrorism, Pakistan and Iran is currently small beans. It is an expensive distraction and waste. It is cross border crime with more media attention. I know you will not understand the numbers, but for someone who does look at the number of murders that happen compared to terrorism deaths. More murders than terrorism deaths.
The number of terrorism and war deaths are less than from coal power even with two active wars.

Currently proliferation is not happening in secret. That is why even chumps like you are seeing reports on TV about and reading about it online.

Stopping the terrorists from getting the bomb is what the CIA and the foreign intelligence services of other countries are focused upon. It is unrelated to nuclear power and its byproducts. If you read and were willing to understand the real details this would be obvious. Your memorization of 20 physics words with self referencing definitions (neutrons are neutrons, physics is still physics) and all of your past statements show that for you math, statistics or physics have no meaning. This is why when something is shown to be 1000 times bigger or worse it has no meaning for you. To you a kitten and a tiger are the same thing and have the same risks. 2 pounds or 2000 pounds animals, they are the same.

You can go back amazingdrx-fantasy land. You do not understand what is being said and do not care.

I know that you will still spout off because you have anti-nuclear-Tourettes and want to prevent others from hearing the reality that you are allowing coal power to kill more people.

Brian Wang

>We can sell as much renewable power to >anybody absolutely sure that it can not be >turned into weapons.

How about powering a chemical weapons factory?
How about powering bioweapons labs?
How about running centrifuges to purify nuclear material for bombs? You can dig up uranium.
Or you can use the power and make money and then buy weapons.

If I did not have to pay for the gas in my car or to heat my house, I would have an extra 10,000 per year. I could then buy some AK47s, bullet proof vests, explosives and rob a gas station or a bank.

The example is just to show that criminal or militant leanings is the key ingredient. Give anyone who wants more weapons and wants to do bad things anything and the end result can be more weapons and bad behavior.

Jimmi

I read in the paper today that Iran is planning to further it's nuclear program and will start construction of underground facilities for uranium processing. The article than states that Iran's short term goal is to have about 3,000 centrifuses (not sure of the spelling).

Can anyone tell me... if Iran has 3,000 centrifuses... how close is Iran to actually enriching uranium to weapons grade?

Nucbuddy

Jimmi,

I think 3,000 centrifuges would be about enough to make every year the highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for two implosion-type weapons.
fas.org/rlg/20.htm
fas.org/rlg/Nonproliferation_of_Nuclear_Weapons-WorldLab-WFS3.pdf

Iran insists that it has the right to the full civil nuclear power fuel cycle, and has a lightwater power reactor at Bushehr, built by German firms and recently completed by Russian ones. In order to fuel this reactor Iran would have to provide about 200 tons of uranium per year, convert it into UF6, enrich it in centrifuges, reconvert the UF6 to oxide, and make precision fuel elements from the oxide ceramic material housed in stainless steel or zirconium alloy sheaths. For the enrichment, Iran has long planned a centrifuge hall at Natanz to house some 50,000 centrifuges that would just barely keep up with the needs of the Bushehr reactor. But as we have seen, such a facility that produces one ton per year of LEU could produce 650 kg of HEU—enough for 11 gun-type or 32 implosion-type uranium nuclear weapons.
Udo Stenzel

amazingdrx: "Isn't it fun to pretend that making lists of countries with or without nuclear reactors and with or without nuclear weapons proves anything? Or just claiming that weapons can't be made from regular reactors"

I'm amazed at your inability to focus. Ender specifically claimed that nuclear power is a proliferation risk, because the plutonium in the slightly used fuel would be useful for nuclear explosives. This connection simply doesn't exist, which has been explained and shown by counterexamples. Instead of simply acknowledging the fact, you now shift the topic, in several unrelated directions by the way. Oh my god, you might learn something if you listened, but you don't.

"Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up."

amazingdrx

Keep digging that hole nuclear power is in. Deeper.

Voters at large will never believe that a nation like Iran can be prevented from making nuclear weapons once they have reactors. That's the excuse the administration keeps using for preemptive attack.

All the technical nuclear engineering talk only makes them suspicious, then bored. It's too hard to trust advocates for nuclear power who talk in terms that the public does not comprehend. The nuclear priesthood terminology and secrecy works against you.

Kirk Sorensen

Oh man, drx, you're a piece of work. You throw up complaints, then people explain why you're wrong, then you dismiss it all because the words are too big for you and assume the public is stupid because you are.

The public's a whole lot smarter than people think. Some people still fall at the tail end of the bell curve, as we've seen around here.

Yes, by all means, keep selling "solar is good", "wind is good", "nuclear is bad". Simple platitudes for the simple-minded public that you think is listening to you.

We'll stop having pity on your ignorance and trying to explain the big words to you anymore.

Ender

Udo and Brian - "Ender specifically claimed that nuclear power is a proliferation risk, because the plutonium in the slightly used fuel would be useful for nuclear explosives."

No not exactly. Again you have misinterpreted my qualification as a sign on submission that you then jumped all over with glee.

I conceded that there are countries with threats that do not have nuclear weapons. The danger is not just the spent nuclear fuel but the whole nuclear fuel cycle. I realise that plutonium from spent nuclear fuel is not suitable for weapons however possesing nuclear facilities makes the reprocessing of this waste into weapons grade relatively easy.

The whole nuclear fuel cycle is the problem as military activities can fairly easily disguised as peaceful nuclear power if that is the intention of the regime in charge. You are possibly seeing it Iran at the moment, it has happened in Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea and possibly South Africa yet you still claim the proliferation risk of the nuclear fuel cycle is low despite all the evidence to the contrary. Add breeder reactors to this with makes the proliferation risk even higher.

Again while the idea I have now refined a bit that threat plus nuclear fuel cycle leads to nuclear weapons it has happened enough to maybe think that there is something in it. There are exceptions of course as the will be in any idea however that does not invalidate the risk of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Finally I am not going to say anything more on this as obviously your eagerness to be right is blinding you to the dangers of nuclear power. No-one has yet reassured me that nuclear waste is safe and no-one has reassured me that the nuclear fuel cycle is safe. It is a bit like saying smoking is safe because my uncle lived to 100 and he smoked every day. There will always be outstanding exceptions.

Consider if your country had the nuclear fuel cycle but no weapons. It then faced a dire military threat. I am sure that you would say "nuclear weapons are evil - we will let our country be invaded rather than stoop to building them" Does that sound right? In fact that is the condition in which nuclear weapons were born with the Manhatten Program. "We must develop nuclear weapons before the evil Nazis" Nothing has changed since then.

Kirk Sorensen

Consider if your country had the nuclear fuel cycle but no weapons. It then faced a dire military threat. I am sure that you would say "nuclear weapons are evil - we will let our country be invaded rather than stoop to building them" Does that sound right?

How about this scenario Ender? Consider if your country was about to be flooded over the next fifty years because rich countries wanted to burn coal. Other rich folks in these countries think nuclear is evil and campaign to get gigawatts of nuclear power shut down while they install kilowatts of solar power on their roof or megawatts of wind power in the field next to them.

Meanwhile, gigawatts of coal plants get built because the rich people aren't as worked up about the coal as they are about the nuclear.

And your country's going to get flooded. What should you say? What should you do? What should you hope for? Should you let your country get flooded rather than let the rich country build the "evil" nuclear power plants?

Oh, and in this country of yours, you have an internet connection and actually read about nuclear technology and realize that reactors can be built that have no weapons connection, reactors can be built that have no long-term waste disposal problems, and reactors can be built that have fuel supplies to last them for tens of thousands of years. You know the rich countries could use this technology and not build the coal plants. What should you do?

Ender

Kirk - "How about this scenario Ender?"

Rather than avoiding the question by asking another how about you acknowledge the problem.

Why am writing this after saying I wouldn't is that occurs to me that a more rigorous formulation of the idea is

Control of nuclear fuel cycle + threat = nuclear weapons.

This is evidenced by the current problem with Iran. If Iran was building nuclear power plants and proposed to buy fuel from Russia, as was one rejected plan, it would not be a real worry. What is worrisome is that Iran wants control over the whole cycle. It is building Khan's centrifuges, themselves the result of an illegal nuclear program, and that is the main worry. With control over the whole cycle Iran can make weapons grade material.

Further to that the former Soviet Republics that are the main countries with nuclear power but no nuclear weapons do not have critical elements of the nuclear fuel cycle and therefore cannot develop weapons. Finally all the countries that have clandestine nuclear weapons programs have threats and have full control of the cycle.

So can anyone give me an example of a country that has perceived threats, nuclear power and no nuclear weapons. Taiwan and Japan are both under the umbrella of the USA nuclear weapons shield so their threat is not great enough. They, and their enemies, know if they were threatened enough the USA would respond with nuclear weapons.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20070128TDY10001.htm
"The issue of credibility is particularly important for U.S. allies like Japan, that depend on the United States for their security. Japan accepted a "peace" Constitution, limited the size of its armed forces, and abjured nuclear weapons on the grounds that the United States would come to its defense, including making use of nuclear weapons if Japan faced nuclear attack. With the rise of China and the acquisition of a nuclear weapon by North Korea, the question of U.S. credibility has become one of great urgency."

and from the same article:
"Many Japanese have argued that the U.S. commitment to use its nuclear deterrent against Pyongyang is not believable, and that Japan therefore needs to acquire its own nuclear deterrent in response to the North Korean bomb"

Nuclear deterrent - Hmmmmmmmm

Kirk Sorensen

So can anyone give me an example of a country that has perceived threats, nuclear power and no nuclear weapons.

Canada.

You're talking about one kind of nuclear fuel "cycle" that isn't even really a cycle--the oxymoronic "once-through cycle" used in the United States. A strange creation borne of military development of both enrichment for weapons and pressurized-water reactors for submarines.

I don't disagree that Iran is after weapons; I don't disagree that they're using the cover of "developing their fuel cycle" to get them. What I hasten to point out is that that is one of many possible fuel cycles.

Brian Wang

Ender

My goal is not to be right in a blog discussion. My goal is to promote policies and information about what is really dangerous and killing people and to get support for change so that fewer people can die as soon as possible.

Radiation and nuclear material can be deadly. But if it is used wisely it can also be used to save lives and improve health. It is used in medicine to treat sick people (radiation treatment for cancer) and for detection of disease.

Nuclear waste would not be safe if it was taken and spread among the general populace. I am not telling you it is safe for you to bathe in. We should carefully take care of the many barrels that we do have. Check them every minute to make sure they do not leak. This is being done.

A barrel full of waste that is not leaking is not causing deaths. The waste would not need to be put into Yucca Mountain if we put in place the plan to make new reactors to burn the long term waste.

Afterwards what is left is dangerous but easily managed.

The smoking example is not appropriate because I am not using one off examples. Like saying an uncle survived exposure to nuclear waste. I am saying that the world health organization and US public health agencies are not showing any numbers of deaths from nuclear waste. You, drx and others are not showing any big numbers of actual deaths. Chernobyl only 50 with another 4000 maybe over decades.

Here is analysis that puts the number of potential deaths from nuclear waste at a small amount.
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter11.html

It also shows more risk of deaths from Cadmium sulfide used in solar cells.
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter12.html

It also explains more on risks
http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter8.html

Just as their are health studies that show smoking causes 30% of cancer deaths. I am pointing you to studies that air pollution (a large fraction of air pollution is coal pollution) is a health risk and is causing deaths. 3 million per year from air pollution and 1 million from coal pollution.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2002-03-05-pollution.htm
Lung cancer death rates were compared with average pollution levels, as measured in micrograms per cubic meter of air. The researchers found that the number of lung cancer deaths increased 8% for every increase of 10 micrograms. Other heart- and lung-related causes of death increased 6% for every 10-microgram increase.

The biggest sources of such pollution are coal-burning power plants in the Midwest and East, and diesel trucks and buses in the West. (note coal use also increases diesel usage. 40% of rail freight is moving coal, it is also a significant percentage of truck freight) Thurston said the study gives new impetus to efforts in Washington to clean up aging coal-fired power plants.

Safety is relative. Safer compared to something else and in context. If you do not compare it to what your other real choices are and in the context of what is achievable and according to the current actual situation we are in then you are not going to make good choices.

As has been explained the details of nuclear proliferation are that it is not correlated to nuclear power.
Please try to understand correlation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation

The brief description is that to show correlation is that two things are positively correlated then the more of the first thing there is then the more of the second thing there would be. Two things are not correlated if there is more of the first thing I do not know how much of the second thing there is.

For instance there is a correlation between more coal power and more coal pollution. The increased coal pollution is correlated with more deaths and sickness.

You see my examples of countries with nuclear power and nuclear weapons showed that nuclear power is not correlated with nuclear weapons.

More nuclear waste is also not correlated with more deaths.

Any power including nuclear saves lives if it displaces coal.

Brian Wang

>Taiwan and Japan are both under the >umbrella of the USA nuclear weapons shield so their threat is not great enough. They, and their >enemies, know if they were threatened enough >the USA would respond with nuclear weapons.

What are you smoking? You think the USA would go nuclear if Taiwan or Japan were attacked? The US would help conventionally with its air craft carriers and fighters.

Only the Soviets had a big enough conventional force that it might trigger the US going nuclear. Everyone else they US can beat conventionally.

But if you are discounting those countries under an umbrella of protection then which countries are out that are a problem?

btw: Japan accepted a peace constitution because it was beaten in WW2.

Again the fact that Japan might go nuclear is unrelated to nuclear power.

You should be more worried about conventional war. A few nukes in N Korea and potential nukes in Iran have the primary risks of triggering conventional wars not nuclear ones. The majority of deaths will be from conventional war.

The concern that some have is that nuclear weapons will not deter Iran or N Korea. I am not concerned about that. N korea does not need to be deterred they are just blackmailing punks. Iran will either back down or they will get wasted in conventional air bombardment.

Ender

Kirk - "Canada."

Who is threatening Canada?????????? You would have to do better than that. Brian has also waffeled on at length without providing a single example. Nuclear weapons are a game of bluff. China or North Korea are not willing to bet their cities on USA resolve. The USA may not use nukes if Taiwan or Japan were attacked however the risk is too great.

Brian - "Nuclear waste would not be safe if it was taken and spread among the general populace. I am not telling you it is safe for you to bathe in. We should carefully take care of the many barrels that we do have. Check them every minute to make sure they do not leak. This is being done."

So you are giving a personal guarantee that the nuclear waste will not leak for the required 500 years? Really your guarantee is committing your descendants to decisions that they may not want to make. What if your great great great grandchildren really get annoyed at looking after this stuff and just give up. What happens then???

"My goal is not to be right in a blog discussion. My goal is to promote policies and information about what is really dangerous and killing people and to get support for change so that fewer people can die as soon as possible."

And so am I. It is possible with a few changes, that you seem so reluctant to make, that we can stop killing people now and in the future when they get tired of looking after your waste.

Really if you were so committed to this crusade to save the people of the USA from this evil coal as you profess then wind is the fastest and least capital intensive method of displacing coal power. Instead of the 20 years that it would take minimum for your beloved nuclear power to make a difference, starting now with a massive wind buildup would displace more coal that waiting for nuclear power. With the hundreds of billions that go to subsidising coal and nuclear plus a carbon tax wind could easily be pushed to 20% or 30% in under 20 years.

If you really want to save lives, which I totally doubt that this is all about, then push wind and solar and abandon nuclear. However absolutely the quickest and easiest method of displacing coal is energy efficiency. It is better than all the others combined. However if you are just using the lives of people to further your own agenda then this is just wrong.

Now I am sure that this is about as far as this discussion can go. Perhaps we can compare notes in 20 years with hopefully 70% renewable efficient Australia, if I get my way, and your country, if you get your way, nuclear USA.

Kirk Sorensen

Really if you were so committed to this crusade to save the people of the USA from this evil coal as you profess then wind is the fastest and least capital intensive method of displacing coal power.

Far from it--wind is the most capital-intensive way to generate power per megawatt.

Now I am sure that this is about as far as this discussion can go. Perhaps we can compare notes in 20 years with hopefully 70% renewable efficient Australia, if I get my way, and your country, if you get your way, nuclear USA.

You're right. You won't accept any example that is contrary to your thesis (btw, Canada fought in two world wars, so let's check who's threatening them, along with NATO membership, but details details...)

If Australia is 70% renewable in 20 years, I'll eat a dingo. 20 years from now, all the coal Australia is burning will be making you and your descendents sick.

Udo Stenzel

Ender: I realise that plutonium from spent nuclear fuel is not suitable for weapons however possesing nuclear facilities makes the reprocessing of this waste into weapons grade relatively easy.

Then why did you talk about plutonium in slightly used waste going missing? Saying one thing and meaning another doesn't exactly promote rational discussion, you know?

But anyway, to some extent you are right. The need to fuel a reactor with enriched uranium is a good excuse to build an enrichment facility, which could also produce weapons grade HEU. The desire to recycle slightly used fuel in light water reactors is a good excuse to build a PUREX plant, which could also separate weapons grade plutonium from the irradiated fuel of a transmutation reactor.

Add breeder reactors to this with makes the proliferation risk even higher.

Funny you should say this. A fast spectrum reactor can run on dirty plutonium and doesn't need PUREX recycling. Its blanket can eat natural uranium, depleted uranium or slightly used reactor waste, reprocessing can be done on site using pyroprocessing, which is incapable of separating pure plutonium.

Once started, such a reactor does not need an enrichment facility, does not need PUREX and will provide the fissile material to start more reactors. It also doesn't actually need to breed, the same reactor can also burn off plutonium or operate in equilibrium. The excuse to build enrichment or PUREX facilities is gone, and so is the proliferation risk mentioned above.

Come to think of it, the US could solve a host of problems by simply giving the blueprints of the IFR together with an initial core to Iran in exchange for the promise to shut down the enrichment and to never build a PUREX plant. The proliferation risk would be gone and Iran would gladly dispose of the used fuel that has been declared an unsolvable problem in the US.

Consider if your country had the nuclear fuel cycle but no weapons. It then faced a dire military threat.

Consider if your country had neither nuclear weapons nor a nuclear fuel cycle. It then faced a dire military threat.

What would be different then? That description fits the US in 1942, and in just 3 years they developed a fuel "cycle", a reprocessing scheme, enrichment and two different types of nuclear explosive. Everyone could do that, with nothing more than sufficient motivation and certainly without an established nuclear fuel cycle, especially since much of the development work doesn't have to be repeated. (The hardest part is still getting an implosion device to work correctly, but that's irrespective of any fuel cycle.)

amazingdrx

If we look we'll find exactly how normal reactors can be modified to produce a suitable precursor to refine to get bomb grade material Udo.

The concentrated power generation of a nuclear plant is also needed to process and enrich radioactive fuel. As well as to mask it's radiation signature in the environment, which is what is used to moniter nuclear plants remotely.

I'm not interested enough to do the research. But it's pretty much a slam dunk, given a few hours of googling.

Then you lose the proliferation debate. Personally I think you never had a chance in terms of public opinion anyway.

Nucbuddy

Dr. X wrote: normal reactors can be modified to produce a suitable precursor to refine to get bomb grade material

That has not been contested, Dr. X. But it has been stated in this thread many times that taking route to bomb-grade plutonium would be absurd since it would be far less expensive, and easier to disguise, to use a dedicated plutonium-production -- or research -- reactor to make plutonium. I explained this above in this very thread in this post:
thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2007/01/the_state_of_th.html#comment-28337574


Dr. X wrote: The concentrated power generation of a nuclear plant is also needed to process and enrich radioactive fuel.

That is an absurd statement. Fuel enrichment requires very little power and that power can come from windmills, solar PV, solar thermal-electric, geo-thermal, etc. 1.7% of the output energy of the fuel is required for centrifuge enrichment:
world-nuclear.org/info/inf11.html
world-nuclear.org/info/inf28.html

Enrichment accounts for almost half of the cost of nuclear fuel and about 5% of the total cost of the electricity generated. It can also account for the main greenhouse gas impact from the nuclear fuel cycle if the electricity used for enrichment is generated from coal. However, it still only amounts to 0.1% of the carbon dioxide from equivalent coal-fired electricity generation if modern gas centrifuge plants are used

Taking that information together with this information, we see that 1/1000th of the electrical power output from a normal gigawatt-electric coal, wind, solar-PV, or any other kind of power plant, would be all that would be needed to produce enough highly-enriched uranium (HEU) to build 32 implosion-type weapons per year.


Dr. X wrote: The concentrated power generation of a nuclear plant is also needed to process and enrich radioactive fuel [...] As well as to mask it's radiation signature in the environment

That is an absurd statement. How could "the concentrated power generation of a nuclear plant" be used to "mask" a "radiation signature"?

Ender

Ender - "You're right. You won't accept any example that is contrary to your thesis"

No I am giving up because you are doing exactly the same thing. We could go on for 1000 post however I think this particular discussion has way past the ridiculous.

Perhaps if I was a scientist I could do a rigorous peer reviewed paper on my thesis with a game theory scenerio to prove it. However I am not so you can win if that is important to you.

Udo Stenzel

amazingdrx: "I'm not interested enough to do the research... Personally I think you never had a chance in terms of public opinion anyway."

It may be news to you, but your anti-scientific attitude is not the public opinion. It remains just your delusion. Amazing, I know. No need to thank me, you're welcome.

As for the "radiation signature" of a nuclear plant, please take a Geiger counter near a nuke plant and watch it show nothing. You do know what that is, a Geiger counter, don't you?

Brian Wang

>I'm not interested enough to do the research. >But it's pretty much a slam dunk, given a few >hours of googling. Then you lose the >proliferation debate.

Now you are retreating to your fairy tale delusional world where you can actually perform research and win a debate. The reason it is a fairy tale is because you never have proper research and the actual research and evidence proves the opposite case.

Brian Wang

>So you are giving a personal guarantee that >the nuclear waste will not leak for the >required 500 years?

I am personally guaranteeing that even if there are far more leaks of nuclear material because of poor handling over 500 years these leaks will kill less people than coal pollution does in one year.

If my plan is followed where the long term waste is used as fuel, then any leaks after 200 years will be over 100 times weaker.

Plus for barrels of waste it would be easy to ensure the barrels last for at least ten years and then put the old barrel and its waste inside a slightly larger barrel. Then even if the first barrel leaks the second barrel will contain it.

>What if your great great great >grandchildren really get annoyed at looking >after this stuff and just give up. What >happens then?

There will be more of them because over 100 million will have been saved from coal pollution.

>If you really want to save lives, which I >totally doubt that this is all about, then >push wind and solar and abandon nuclear.

As I keep saying, everything except coal. More solar great. More wind great. More conservation great. While they are not enough also more nuclear.

One of the mistakes you keep making is thinking that if we add nuclear plants that it will displace solar or wind. Solar goes on rooftops, there are almost no attempts to make solar for baseload power.

Thanks, Ender for helping me to refine my case for less coal. I can see that you made some attempt to understand some of the points. A lot of the basics of the position seem to get by you. Like I am not for nuclear only.

Ender

Brian - "Thanks, Ender for helping me to refine my case for less coal. I can see that you made some attempt to understand some of the points. A lot of the basics of the position seem to get by you. Like I am not for nuclear only."

And thank you for refining my anti-nuclear ideas. It was a good discussion all round and did not descend at any time into personal insults. I hope all our discussions can be conducted this way.

js

While taking the Health Physics Course given to Agreement State Personnell(States agreeing to regulate radiaton within the state) in '72 at Oak Ridge National University I learned that the Energy companies(Oil) had invested heavily in Uranium land leasing, mining and US Govt. enrichment fees. Only US companies had money to invest after WWII and much was invested. By some time in the 60s it was estimated that this investment had produced enough fuel for the power reactors planned at that time until the year 2010.
A search "breeder reactor" will show that it was common knowledge to physicists from the beginning that reactors/fuel configurations that created more fuel than they used would
the most efficient (energy out/money in)
Since the government had capitalized nuclear power initially and had the only enrichment facilities it wasn't certain how the energy companies could continue to profit. If breeding started too quick the energy companies would lose their investment in the Uranium.
What I learned was that it was decided to postpone breeding until the investment in Uranium matured. US was propagandized of the inherent danger of nuclear power and vulnerability to "terrorists." Fear, insecurity was broadcast. This was the first time I'd heard of the importance of "terrorists."
Yes, breeding could produce Plutonium of sufficient purity for bombs with easy reprocessing, not like the mile long plant, Y12, at Oak Ridge with magnets wound from Treasury silver in WWII. US was told to fear Russians then; "terrorists" didn't arouse US so fear of "radiation" was propagated back then. US media didn't tell US in '79 that the radiation protection agencies of every country had agreed that the data from Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Marshall Island(Hbomb) did not show any Genetic effect in three generations. (google BEIR Report)
Searching "breeder reactor" will now show that research, testing has produced breeders not vulnerable to "terrorists." Major media hasn't been told to mention breeding to US yet. One day US'll be told nuclear isn't unclear anymore. US'll be told it is the answer to excess CO2. It is for US who don't need to get to 60 in 4.6 seconds.
All the spent fuel rods in US power plants are still in the cooling pools in each reactor that used the fuel--from day one. The people in each state were propagandized to say "not in my backyard." None of them were told that one day a reprocessing plant will be announced and that "backyard" and the reprocessing there will be US energy central.
It didn't make sense at the time that the rods-hot with broke atoms-- would be left around the country protected by the "security" at each reactor. Someone could create a mess by stealing some and spreading it--though the spreader would certainly suffer in the process.
Energy companies highly profit from Oil. Should the breeder arrive they will suffer. Terrorists have failed to justify ignoring the breeder. Not enough of them?
The National Intelligence Estimate(consensus of all 16 US Intel Agencies) tells US that " Iraq is a training ground for international terrorists some of whom will inevitably blow-back on US..."
Unless enough "terrorists" are created and allowed to enshroud the word "nuclear" in fear the energy companies will lose. There is enough natural gas in US capped wells for 200 years--another energy Co. investment---waiting for the price to rise. No nuclear terrorist no price rise.
Gas is used to make ammonia, fertilizer, ---food, America's real wealth. A waste to make electricity-air conditioning, heat. US is stronger with it in the ground. Yes, let the price rise but not for electricity.
The answer is an international police force to insure that no nation possesses nuclear weapons or weapons grade material. This was the goal of the United Nations at its inception. Elanore Roosevelt as first US Ambassador was disappointed when US thought it could remain the only possessor. Search "proposition One"

Before "energy" there was drugs:
The Tea of the East India Company partially fuelled US independance. It's opium trade in China for tea created the Boxer War in China and the money at the root of Skull and Crossbones. The Taliban cleared Afghan. of opium. The Northern alliance had tons ready. It is the world's supply now.
The breeding of "terrorists" is for control of energy commerce.


Jacob Francois

I would like to know, if a country used american standard, how much energy would they need to satisfy the energy needs for an area of 27,000 square kilometers?.

Kit P

Energy use is not a function of area. It is a function of climate and what a country produces. Many who live in mild climates and do not produce energy intensive products like to talk about per capita energy use. For example, the material to collect solar energy is very energy intensive. Assembling solar panels is not very energy intensive unless the workers live in a climate that more energy to maintain their homes ans schools.

アニメ抱き枕

Yep Barry, how long can this administration keep PHEVs from being mass produced?

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