VitaminJ
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:00 pm

Just two things:

RegGuheert wrote:The problem with these three accidents in which the reactor cores have melted down is that we have no way to clean them up. We do not have the technology to go into the core area and remove the mess.

Ok so even if we take for granted that there are 3 places on Earth that humans cannot live (which isn't true there is a way to clean it up and we have the technology to do so), that's still a far better track record than any fossil fuel has had. Let's add up the acreage destroyed by nuclear power and that destroyed by fossil fuels, I'm waiting. Renewables are great but a) you need lots of power to build enough of them to replace any other power method and b) nuclear can scale up to meet demand TODAY, safely.

Even if no more of them melt down, the problem of what to do with the waste only grows with time.

Not true at all. Nuclear "waste" in America is actually 93% usable fuel, it just needs to be refined once it's used the first time. In the US this is banned because of outdated anti-nuclear-proliferation laws. In Europe and elsewhere 93% the material that we bury underground in America, they run back through the reactor, leaving only 7% waste needing to be buried. Compared to coal ash, which is kept indefinitely in open-air ponds all accross America, the amount of nuclear waste in volume would be something like .1% of the coal ash slurry we already are storing. I think we can handle it.

To give you a better sense of scale about how amazing nuclear energy is; imagine an American coal train. You know, the huge ones that are 1/4 to 1/2 mile or longer. Each one of those trains' entire load of coal will be burnt in one day, at one power plant. Coal naturally contains .03% Uranium, that same train-load of coal has enough Uranium to power a nuclear power plant, with the same energy output, for over 1 year.

1 day vs. 1 year.
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED

PM me about converting your 120v EVSE to 240v

User avatar
LTLFTcomposite
Posts: 4126
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Boca Raton FL

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:12 pm

Bill Gates has invented a solution for the nuclear waste problem

http://terrapower.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerraPower

By using depleted uranium as fuel, the new reactor type could reduce stockpiles from uranium enrichment. TerraPower notes that the US hosts 700,000 metric tons of depleted uranium and that 8 metric tons could power 2.5 million homes for a year. Some reports claim that the high fuel efficiency of TWRs, combined with the ability to use uranium recovered from river or sea water, means enough fuel is available to generate electricity for 10 billion people at US per capita consumption levels for million-year time-scales.


That sounds pretty attractive, better than putting unsightly solar panels on everyone's roof that only work when the sun shines or blow away in a hurricane.
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue

finman100
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:42 am
Delivery Date: 06 Jun 2014
Location: Albany, OR

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:37 pm

and apparently hurricanes ONLY blow away solar panels and do nothing to other systems, huh. did not know that. just laughable. oh, those unsightly solar roofs uglifying the cooling tower/power plant skyline(s). please continue with the lesson...
Albany, Oregon
2014 Silver SV with charge/LED package. June 2014, I'm in the EV game!
30,200 miles
19.1 kWh on 100% charge (56ish Ah)
4.2 miles/kWh average
Best trip: all of 'em. They're all no-gas!

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 5331
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:39 pm

VitaminJ wrote:(which isn't true there is a way to clean it up and we have the technology to do so)
I'm interested. Care to share it with us? I'm wondering why it has not been employed at any of these three sites.
VitaminJ wrote:Let's add up the acreage destroyed by nuclear power and that destroyed by fossil fuels, I'm waiting.
I'm not a fan of burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. But that doesn't change the fact nuclear has done significant damage to people and the planet. Let's not lose sight of that fact.
VitaminJ wrote:Renewables are great but a) you need lots of power to build enough of them to replace any other power method and b) nuclear can scale up to meet demand TODAY, safely.
No argument that renewables have a very long way to go and that it takes significant energy to build them. But it is happening and it will continue to improve with time. We have a LOT of roofs yet to be covered in this country.

If nuclear is going to change from where it is today to thorium breeders or whatever, then the work needs to be done to start transitioning and demonstrating. Thor Energy has a credible transition plan. It's one thing to say it is safe. It is another thing to do it in a manner which IS safe. Rushing to build a bunch of new-generation nuclear reactors is NOT it. We need to be deliberate about anything done with nuclear power to avoid the unfortunate mistakes of the past.
VitaminJ wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:Even if no more of them melt down, the problem of what to do with the waste only grows with time.
Not true at all. Nuclear "waste" in America is actually 93% usable fuel, it just needs to be refined once it's used the first time. In the US this is banned because of outdated anti-nuclear-proliferation laws.
Read what I wrote that you quoted. It sounds as if the problem is growing just as I said.
VitaminJ wrote:In Europe and elsewhere 93% the material that we bury underground in America, they run back through the reactor, leaving only 7% waste needing to be buried. Compared to coal ash, which is kept indefinitely in open-air ponds all accross America, the amount of nuclear waste in volume would be something like .1% of the coal ash slurry we already are storing. I think we can handle it.
Nuclear waste is a bit more dangerous than coal slurry, methinks.
VitaminJ wrote:To give you a better sense of scale about how amazing nuclear energy is; imagine an American coal train. You know, the huge ones that are 1/4 to 1/2 mile or longer. Each one of those trains' entire load of coal will be burnt in one day, at one power plant. Coal naturally contains .03% Uranium, that same train-load of coal has enough Uranium to power a nuclear power plant, with the same energy output, for over 1 year.

1 day vs. 1 year.
Interesting fact. As I said, I'm not a fan of coal.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 3K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

philip
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:18 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Aug 2015
Leaf Number: 327341
Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:42 pm

VitaminJ wrote:To give you a better sense of scale about how amazing nuclear energy is; imagine an American coal train. You know, the huge ones that are 1/4 to 1/2 mile or longer. Each one of those trains' entire load of coal will be burnt in one day, at one power plant. Coal naturally contains .03% Uranium, that same train-load of coal has enough Uranium to power a nuclear power plant, with the same energy output, for over 1 year.


That's interesting, do you have a source for that we could check out?
Returned 11/11/15: 2012SL - 10 bar, SOH76% 49.97AHr 35,644mi vin 26790
White 2015 SV Purchased

VitaminJ
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:18 pm

RegGuheert wrote:I'm interested. Care to share it with us? I'm wondering why it has not been employed at any of these three sites

Well firstly we have detection technology that can locate the most minute traces of radioactivity, if we can find it we can remove it. The #1 way to clean a nuclear accident like Chernobyl or Fukushima is simply wash the buildings and streets down with water, collect the water dispose of it either in man made holes or dump it in the ocean. Salt water is excellent at blocking radiation and dissipation will reduce levels to normal background within days. The #2 most important thing is tractors and dump trucks, remove the top inch or two of soil and dispose of it as well. These things were done around the vicinity of the reactor at Chernobyl and now you can walk right up to the reactor building, and even go inside if you want, all without receiving more radiation that you might on a long international plane flight. The vast expanse of wilderness around the site was not cleaned simply due to the cost and manpower required.

Fukushima was not cleaned whatsoever and the contamination zone was simply abandoned out of pure hysteria and ignorance.

Three-mile-island has had all of it's radioactive material removed.

I'm not a fan of burning fossil fuels, particularly coal. But that doesn't change the fact nuclear has done significant damage to people and the planet. Let's not lose sight of that fact.
If nuclear is going to change from where it is today to thorium breeders or whatever, then the work needs to be done to start transitioning and demonstrating. Thor Energy has a credible transition plan. It's one thing to say it is safe. It is another thing to do it in a manner which IS safe. Rushing to build a bunch of new-generation nuclear reactors is NOT it. We need to be deliberate about anything done with nuclear power to avoid the unfortunate mistakes of the past.
No argument that renewables have a very long way to go and that it takes significant energy to build them. But it is happening and it will continue to improve with time. We have a LOT of roofs yet to be covered in this country.


Unfortunately too slowly, we need clean energy right now not in 50 years. I think all new houses and industrial building should be built with solar roofs, also.

Nobody is rushing to build anything. Safe designs exist and are being built all over the world already, just not in the US. In the US we have laws blocking construction of new plants, the newest designs being built today were designed in the 70s. The US Navy operates about 100 nuclear reactors all over the planet in operational conditions in the fricken ocean without a single accident. There have only been 3 nuclear power accidents in all of history, 1 of them was purely Soviet idiocy and incompetence, 1 of them was contained within the structures and safety procedures all worked and the media blew it out of proportions, and 1 involved a power plant built in 1979, 7 years before Chernobyl was built, being hit by one of the strongest earthquakes in decades and only failed because it was swamped with a tsunami that was thought not possible within the lifetime of the plant.

Read what I wrote that you quoted. It sounds as if the problem is growing just as I said.

It's a political problem, not a physical problem. The reason I keep bringing up US laws is because they are the way they are because nuclear energy has been double-teamed for the past 30 years by both environmentalists and the fossil fuel industry. Environmentalists because they are ignorant and fossil fuel industry because of $$$. Even now, you are spreading the same-old same-old propaganda lines they invented 30 years ago! Meanwhile in Texas a random refinery is about to explode...

Nuclear waste is a bit more dangerous than coal slurry, methinks.
Actually, your thinks are wrong!
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ear-waste/

We store this stuff outdoors in the open!

Interesting fact. As I said, I'm not a fan of coal.


philip wrote:
That's interesting, do you have a source for that we could check out?

It's just math, no source required. I did the calculations a long time ago. The amount of uranium in coal varies by location but in America it's about .03% average. From there it's just mass vs energy calculations.

I can't find any quick sources now but I will look later. In the meantime here's an interesting bit of fact on the NEI website:

"A single uranium fuel pellet the size of a fingertip contains as much energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil."
https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nu ... -Processes
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED

PM me about converting your 120v EVSE to 240v

philip
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:18 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Aug 2015
Leaf Number: 327341
Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:34 pm

VitaminJ wrote:It's just math, no source required. I did the calculations a long time ago. The amount of uranium in coal varies by location but in America it's about .03% average. From there it's just mass vs energy calculations.


Okay, did some looking up, US coal contains 1 to 4 ppm of uranium.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html

This is much less than 0.03%. A fully loaded coal train with 15,000 short tons of coal would contain between 30 to 120 lbs natural uranium. This would still need enriched for US reactors, lowering the total uranium fuel content. Couldn't find exact figures, but the following site states that 1 tonne of natural uranium produces 44TWh of energy. Converting to pounds, one pound of natural uranium would produce about 20MWh.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/informatio ... rview.aspx

So the 30 to 120 lbs of uranium on a US coal train would produce between 600 and 2,400 MWh of energy. This is between 2% and 8% of the energy produced from burning the coal on the same train (Approximately 29,000 MWh).


Hopefully I did all my math correctly.
Returned 11/11/15: 2012SL - 10 bar, SOH76% 49.97AHr 35,644mi vin 26790
White 2015 SV Purchased

User avatar
LTLFTcomposite
Posts: 4126
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:06 pm
Delivery Date: 10 Dec 2011
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Boca Raton FL

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:10 pm

finman100 wrote:and apparently hurricanes ONLY blow away solar panels and do nothing to other systems, huh. did not know that. just laughable. oh, those unsightly solar roofs uglifying the cooling tower/power plant skyline(s). please continue with the lesson...


It's always fun talking to you guys.

But since you asked, as a matter of fact, roofs are among the most vulnerable systems in hurricanes in a residential setting. Power plants on the other hand seem to hold up fine in storms. Just like higher insurance costs ate up all my EV fuel savings, so too I fear it will be with solar. My homeowner's insurance including windstorm is over $4k/year and that's a good deal for the area, meanwhile my electric bill comes in around $1300/year. Very little upside to installing solar when you know the insurance company is licking their chops looking for any reason too jack your premiums even higher, not to mention this scary little thing called "windstorm deductible".

Back on topic though, the story of that experimental breeder reactor II was quite interesting. Sounds like if that design thinking had been embraced we would have much safer nuclear power.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experim ... Reactor_II
LTL
White 2012 SV delivered 10 Dec 2011 returned 25 Nov 2014 replaced with stopgap ICE Sentra
[35 months] [35K miles] [9 Bars]
2013 Volt replaced after 36 months/30k miles with ICE Rogue

WetEV
Posts: 1670
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:25 am
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2014
Location: Near Seattle, WA

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:20 pm

philip wrote:Okay, did some looking up, US coal contains 1 to 4 ppm of uranium.


Rough order of magnitude, uranium has 2 million times as much energy as coal.

https://www.euronuclear.org/info/encycl ... arison.htm
WetEV
#49
Most everything around here is wet during the rainy season. And the rainy season is long.
2012 Leaf SL Red (Totaled)
2014 Leaf SL Red

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 5331
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: NOVA The Nuclear Option

Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:49 am

VitaminJ wrote:These things were done around the vicinity of the reactor at Chernobyl and now you can walk right up to the reactor building, and even go inside if you want, all without receiving more radiation that you might on a long international plane flight. The vast expanse of wilderness around the site was not cleaned simply due to the cost and manpower required.
Much of that "wilderness" you speak of was cities, towns and farmland prior to the accident in 1986. 400,000 people had to be relocated for that polluted wilderness to be created. The 1000 square mile exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor stands as a testament that these disaster areas cannot be cleaned. Instead, scientists go into the area to study the effects of the radioactive pollution on the wildlife there.
VitaminJ wrote:Fukushima was not cleaned whatsoever and the contamination zone was simply abandoned out of pure hysteria and ignorance.
I suspect that you are correct that many of the areas that were evacuated could be safely repopulated. But I will not that much of that area was destroyed by the tsunami. The video in the OP of this thread indicates that the officials are still struggling to find a solution to the problem of water which is collecting radioactive pollution from the reactor. They are simply storing it in tanks today.
VitaminJ wrote:Three-mile-island has had all of it's radioactive material removed.
Thanks. I was unaware.

It seems the difference at Three Mile Island is that there was no explosion so the equipment for handling the nuclear fuel in the reactor building was still in place and was used and/or modified to do the work. At Chernobyl and Fukushima, the difficulty is much, much greater. (Not that Three Mile Island cleanup was easy: It took over a decade and nearly one billion dollars.

For anyone who is interested, here is and interesting documentary on the TMI cleanup:





VitaminJ wrote:Unfortunately too slowly, we need clean energy right now not in 50 years.
Nonsense. This is the same lunacy which is causing I'll-advised "renewable" projects to be build that cause more damage to the environment than the incumbent alternatives. The rush to build out nuclear power quickly is part of what lead to the three major disasters discussed above.
VitaminJ wrote:I think all new houses and industrial building should be built with solar roofs, also.
VitaminJ wrote:Nobody is rushing to build anything. Safe designs exist and are being built all over the world already, just not in the US. In the US we have laws blocking construction of new plants, the newest designs being built today were designed in the 70s.
So are you saying these new plants are not safe?
VitaminJ wrote:The US Navy operates about 100 nuclear reactors all over the planet in operational conditions in the fricken ocean without a single accident.
Here is an extensive list of military nuclear accidents. Denying that they occurred does not move the discussion forward. Minimizing them doesn't either.
VitaminJ wrote:There have only been 3 nuclear power accidents in all of history, 1 of them was purely Soviet idiocy and incompetence, 1 of them was contained within the structures and safety procedures all worked and the media blew it out of proportions, and 1 involved a power plant built in 1979, 7 years before Chernobyl was built, being hit by one of the strongest earthquakes in decades and only failed because it was swamped with a tsunami that was thought not possible within the lifetime of the plant.
Here's a complete(?) list of accidents at power plants by country[/quote]. There are WAY more than three accidents listed there.

Nuclear power will not move forward by rhetoric. Frankly, that is one of the main reasons the industry has such a bad reputation. The industry has a long history of flat-out lying about many things, which makes everyone suspicious.

Here's [url=http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/05/nuclear-power-and-the-big-lie/]an article which discusses that topic.
. An interesting quote is from the founder of health physics in the U.S.:
“It is with much reluctance and regret that I now must recognize that the U.S. profession of health physics has become essentially a labor union for the nuclear industry—not a profession of scientists dedicated to protect the worker and members of the public from radiation injury,” Dr. Morgan wrote in 1992.
VitaminJ wrote:It's a political problem, not a physical problem. The reason I keep bringing up US laws is because they are the way they are because nuclear energy has been double-teamed for the past 30 years by both environmentalists and the fossil fuel industry. Environmentalists because they are ignorant and fossil fuel industry because of $$$. Even now, you are spreading the same-old same-old propaganda lines they invented 30 years ago! Meanwhile in Texas a random refinery is about to explode...
The nuclear industry's political problem is entirely of their own making. They cannot change public opinion using words because of the long history of lies that they have told. If the nuclear industry wants a reputation of being a safe form of power, they will need to earn it.

If they cannot break out of their current situation, so be it. In the meantime, we still are faced with HUNDREDS of nuclear reactors operating the world over using the old designs. Some of these are even using the same design as the plant that exploded at Chernobyl. I have yet to see a good disucussion of how we get rid of all those things and their waste safely.

VitaminJ wrote:
Nuclear waste is a bit more dangerous than coal slurry, methinks.
Actually, your thinks are wrong!
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... ear-waste/

We store this stuff outdoors in the open!
Thanks for the article. Coal is also stored outdoors. The article says that coal ash has radioactive materials at a concentration "up to ten times" that of the coal before it was burned. That doesn't sound like a huge problem to me.

The question I have is this: if the concentration is high, why doesn't the nuclear industry take advantage of this resource which is already mined and partially concentrated? I think we all know the answer: the concentration is NOT high.

Contrast this with spent nuclear fuel or the contamination around Chernobyl. I think we all know that nuclear radiation is much more dangerous at the concentrations needed for power generation.

Again, I'm not in favor of coal power. But I'm also not in favor of proliferating nuclear power rapidly. Let's take measured steps and learn as we go. That way we can proceed with our eyes wide open.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
2011 miles at purchase. 10K miles on Apr 14, 2013. 20K miles (55.7Ah) on Aug 7, 2014, 3K miles (52.0Ah) on Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah) on Feb 8, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

Return to “Environmental Issues”