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  #2322678 22-Sep-2019 14:51
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While I was in Australia on holiday (I flew rather than walked there) recently and watched a rather interesting panel discussion on one of their public tv channels (ABC or SBS - can’t remember which).

 

The topic was pretty much along the lines of this thread but focusing on what Australia could/should do. The debate covered the usual solar/wind/hydro good, coal/gas bad narrative, but discounted hydro because so much of the continent is a desert beset by multi-year droughts.

 

Apart from the fact that the best solar conditions occur where no one wants to live the discussion then centred on how to provide a ‘base load’  capability for when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun not shining. Currently that (and more) is achieved by burning coal, but then nuclear energy was raised as an option. Australia has some of the largest deposits of nuclear fuel in the world, it is seismically stable and has massive areas of low population density (both for the nimby factor and the storage of spent fuel). Some of the panelists pointed out that this could be done now with a view to moving from fission to fusion reactors in the future. The environmentalists on the panel were horrified, it was like Nuclear was one of the other “N” words no one is allowed to use. And therein lies the problem, if AGW is the existential threat as portrayed, then surely things like nuclear energy, with the potential of fusion in the near future, should be pursued with vigour and haste.





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  #2322687 22-Sep-2019 15:05
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How realistic is fusion? It has been 'around the corner' since the 1950s. As for fission, I think it is worth an objective re-examination, but I also fully understand the horror of the environmentalists. Even in Australia, I'm not sure that filling the ground with a problem that will last longer than the aborigines have been around is such a good idea.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


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  #2322703 22-Sep-2019 15:43
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Rikkitic:

How realistic is fusion? It has been 'around the corner' since the 1950s. As for fission, I think it is worth an objective re-examination, but I also fully understand the horror of the environmentalists. Even in Australia, I'm not sure that filling the ground with a problem that will last longer than the aborigines have been around is such a good idea.


 



That program peaked my interest, so have been doing a bit of research on fusion. It appears that it is closer than the "30 years away" that it has been for the last fifty years.
Once again if we are facing an existential threat then resources akin to the Manhattan Project or Project Apollo should be thrown at this. But they're not. Read into that what you will.
If you believe we are in imminent danger of being suffocated by hydrogen sulphide, then surely burying some spent nuclear fuel deep underground in the outback of Australia is a small price to pay.




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  #2323062 23-Sep-2019 06:52
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Can catch it over on TVNZ.


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  #2323133 23-Sep-2019 08:26
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I really dont think we'll see any large scale action before CC is knocking on everyone front door, For any government to do a Manhattan project scale would be finally admitting that CC is real and is enough of a danger to their population to divert 1/2/3% of GDP or more to fixing.

 

The fallout of serious action would cause too much damage as the population comes to grips with the serious threat of widespread decimation, We have seen time and time again that the general populace will pick short term comfort over long time sustainability. In the west you may very well see civil war breakout in some countries as deniers and some industries rebel, Suicides would spike for a while and general productivity would crash as everyone contemplates whats coming.

 

 

 

I hope that CC comes quick enough that everyone in the world is impacted enough to finally admit it's real but also slow enough that once this happens we as a species can work together at a scale never seen before, Geo-engineering projects, Nuclear fission and/or fusion along with a global electrical grid, A few energy storage breakthroughs would be nice, Bio-engineering/GMO for waste disposal would mean we could start to wind back the clock a bit





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  #2323140 23-Sep-2019 08:37
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The problem with nukes is the fission version produces wastes that remain a serious danger for up to 100,000 years. Humans have yet to sustain a stable society for more than a few hundred years in any one place. We're just too dangerous. The first target for any bombing would be the enemy's power plants. No thanks.

Fusion power is already a reality. The only problem is that it takes more power to make it than it produces. Given the gear required to perform fusion, I can't see that changing any time soon.

One idea for storing power that seemed to make sense was lifting weights up towers with solar or wind power. Then when it's dark or not windy you let the weights fall slowly, turning dynamos to generate power. I think I saw a plan that went something like a big weight taking 4 hours to fall. That sort of storage could be done anywhere......




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  #2323142 23-Sep-2019 08:39
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Yes. One day the only thing humans and Govts will be doing is managing survival on a daily basis. That will consume our productivity. Instead of a budget that has transport, health etc, it will be dominated by desalination plants, and investment in ultra dense vege and fruit farming. Trade organisations will be tasked with moving food production around. Doctors more involved with heat issues and mosquitos.  


 
 
 
 


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  #2323162 23-Sep-2019 08:56
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There are certainly plans afoot in Europe to build more nuclear power.

The Germans decided to get rid of theirs, so now have to buy power from Russia and France, which in France is quite likely to be from nuclear.

Biomass generation is another option I don't see discussed much in relation to New Zealand.





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  #2323168 23-Sep-2019 09:03
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I keep wondering why people have to fly all over the world to have monthly climate change meetings. What is the amount of single use consumables when you have a convention like that and the carbon footprint generated. Mind you that's no different from organising a bike race or running a hospital.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  #2323192 23-Sep-2019 09:39
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Linuxluver: The problem with nukes is the fission version produces wastes that remain a serious danger for up to 100,000 years. Humans have yet to sustain a stable society for more than a few hundred years in any one place. We're just too dangerous. The first target for any bombing would be the enemy's power plants. No thanks.

Fusion power is already a reality. The only problem is that it takes more power to make it than it produces. Given the gear required to perform fusion, I can't see that changing any time soon.

One idea for storing power that seemed to make sense was lifting weights up towers with solar or wind power. Then when it's dark or not windy you let the weights fall slowly, turning dynamos to generate power. I think I saw a plan that went something like a big weight taking 4 hours to fall. That sort of storage could be done anywhere......

 

That's the problem with a technology that effectively stopped developing in 1960, IFR reactors burn those 100,000 year leftovers from BWR's, Numerous different reactor designs have passive safety built in. There are effective ways to handle the waste and massively reduce it but ironically environmentalist have effectively killed any possibility of new designed in the west, Nuclear is being picked up by India and China heavily





Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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  #2323226 23-Sep-2019 10:38
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Linuxluver: One idea for storing power that seemed to make sense was lifting weights up towers with solar or wind power. Then when it's dark or not windy you let the weights fall slowly, turning dynamos to generate power. I think I saw a plan that went something like a big weight taking 4 hours to fall. That sort of storage could be done anywhere......


Or we could put giant keys on the back of our cars and wind them up before we go to work. No need for the weight, expense or environmental impact of batteries then!😁




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  #2323229 23-Sep-2019 10:47
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I wasn't aware that nuclear failures were this common.

 

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

 

 


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  #2323241 23-Sep-2019 10:59
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Yep, old tech and for-profit model suck for safety sensitive systems, OTOH the US Navy has one of the best track records in history. I think they have had one incident with a water leak and that's it





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  #2323249 23-Sep-2019 11:12
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Agree. if they really wanted to, they can create a reactor that runs for decades without issue, like 99.99999% of aircraft in their 50 years life cycle. Nuclear would be ideal for the transition from FF now, to green energy later.


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  #2323279 23-Sep-2019 11:38
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Beccara: the US Navy has one of the best track records in history. I think they have had one incident with a water leak and that's it


Almost unlimited access to personnel and funds will do that.

Not sure if governments can be always trusted to report incidents.

New details on Russia's mysterious missile disaster suggest a nuclear reactor blew up

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/russian-missile-disaster-shows-signs-nuke-reactor-blew-up-experts-2019-8?r=US&IR=T

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