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Nuclear power for a "green" future?

Zyphlin

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Energy policy, both in terms of "Green" energy or domestic energy, are both growing issues and points in politics. However, one instance of it that is still slow to gain traction here in America is the role of nuclear energy within such ideas.

Do you agree with the notion of "Nuclear" energy as a green source of energy? Do you think this is something the U.S. should be focusing on, either through active (incentives) or passive (removing regulations), or something you believe the U.S. should continue to pass on? What ways could we put this type of energy to use in the next 10 to 20 years and on into the future?
 
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spud_meister

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Nuclear energy seems to be the only real solution to the 'energy crisis', though the renewable energy sources; wind, solar, hydro etc. are quite viable, I don't believe that they will suffice for the increasing population of the world, for a wind farm to produce the same amount of power as a nuclear power plant, I believe it would have to take up considerably more room, a disadvantage with an increasing and expanding population. The downside to nuclear, is, obviously, disposing of the waste, while currently a major problem, with the advent of more efficient and cleaner reactors, and eventually to the use of exothermic fusion reactors, will solve the issue of nuclear waste.
 

Jetboogieman

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The only issue with Nuclear Power is expense. Both in operating a Nuclear Power Plant, and in safe disposal of its waste.

It is viable and should be used. I've seen some estimates that even if we were to power everything in the world on Nuclear Power, it'd last for 1000 years. Now that's a generous estimate, but not if you think about the fact we haven't discovered where all the uranium is.

I believe honestly that the cost of Nuclear Power, could be offset when it replaces what its costing us to import Natural Gas and oil.
 

WI Crippler

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I'm not sure how to dig up the thread, or which thread it was in, but RightinNYC posted some figures on how much it costs to build a nuclear facility. The figure, when divided into what we have spent on stimulus bills, would have had a majority of our energy grid on the nuclear framework(obviously down the road as you can't put them up like a McD's). The obvious downfalls are the waste disposal, and use of uranium resources. But, I've always wondered if there wasn't a way to build a relatively cheap rocket and just launch the waste towards the sun? Do we really care how long it would take to get there?
 

Zyphlin

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Rethrowing this out there for discussion during the Open Week
 

poweRob

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Energy policy, both in terms of "Green" energy or domestic energy, are both growing issues and points in politics. However, one instance of it that is still slow to gain traction here in America is the role of nuclear energy within such ideas.

Do you agree with the notion of "Nuclear" energy as a green source of energy? Do you think this is something the U.S. should be focusing on, either through active (incentives) or passive (removing regulations), or something you believe the U.S. should continue to pass on? What ways could we put this type of energy to use in the next 10 to 20 years and on into the future?

Not at all. No. uhhh... nope.

Still mining the sources and therefore dependent on other nations. Even if we have plenty at home we'll hear the same schtick of it being a global resource and therefore subject to the global market blah blah blah...

Also there's the transport that no one wants going on the tracks or roads near their homes.

That's just the beginning cycle of the filth that is nuclear.

Then there's the leaks that do happen that no one wants near them.

Then there's the cleanup that is dangerous.

Then there's the waste that no one wants near their homes.

Then there's the transport of the waste that no one wants going on the tracks or roads near their homes.

Then there is the waste that no one wants around them or to deal with but nevertheless will practically never go away.

This is just talking the about the filth. Now about the money. They are government loans like the kinds that people went all nuts about with Solyndra but with nuclear CBO studies show that it's over a 50% chance of defaulting on it.

Take all that money and work on energy storage.

Then build these:


Heat rises... simple tech, good results, no waste and no resource issues.
 
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MoSurveyor

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Energy policy, both in terms of "Green" energy or domestic energy, are both growing issues and points in politics. However, one instance of it that is still slow to gain traction here in America is the role of nuclear energy within such ideas.

Do you agree with the notion of "Nuclear" energy as a green source of energy? Do you think this is something the U.S. should be focusing on, either through active (incentives) or passive (removing regulations), or something you believe the U.S. should continue to pass on? What ways could we put this type of energy to use in the next 10 to 20 years and on into the future?
No, but it's a good stop-gap for awhile.

Active, for awhile.

Thorium reactors are a lot more safe and can use existing nuclear waste as part of their fuel. In the process, it also reduces the radioactivity of the existing waste. Thorium is also more abundant than uranium and, I believe, easier/safer to mine. I think we'll need a good stop-gap for the next 50 years or so and I think thorium is a much better solution than old-fashioned nuclear plants, which should be shut down instead of revamped, and far superior to coal because of coal's inherent by-products like toxic mercury, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds. Methane is still a good choice for intermittent, as-needed production but I think that demand may recede as storage solutions become more cost effective.
 

azgreg

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I don't see how any source of energy with a by-product can be considered green.
 

sawyerloggingon

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If nuke power is green I'm a gay, liberal atheist who loves obama.:lol: Really though as of now there is no such thing as green energy, every source of energy has an environmental price to pay.
 

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If nuke power is green I'm a gay, liberal atheist who loves obama.:lol: Really though as of now there is no such thing as green energy, every source of energy has an environmental price to pay.

Technically, petroleum products are green, aka organic. ;)
 

longview

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I don't see how any source of energy with a by-product can be considered green.
If having a by-product is your bar, nothing is "green".
Every source of energy capture has some sort of by-product,
It my not be obvious, but it's there.
 

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Nuclear power should be totally taken off the table permanently. We have one of the oldest nukes near us they finally accepted it no longer repairable due to cracks. The cost of that facility has been astronomical and even the costs of shutting it down enourmous.

Their fuel is NOT renewable and is the most deadly substance in existence that never, ever goes away. It only accumulated in the environment and water.

There was a radio notice given to us residents of this area in relation to a potential accident during the long shut down process of a cracked nuclear power plant.

1. If we hear the sirens we are to go inside.
2. Close windows and doors.
3. Turn off the air conditioning or heat.

That was the end of the advisement.

If you follow that advise, they then will best be able to identify your body nor waste any electricity on dead people nor have bodies unpleasanty torn up by animals getting in thru a window or door.

There was no hint of any chance of survival nor what to do after you go inside. That's the end to story for you.

Nuclear power is the only fuel source that can render an entire region uninhabitable for thousands of years and change the very definition of what a homo sapien is by dna/chromosonal damage. Nuclear power is insanty itself.
 

rocket88

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I don't think nuclear should be off the table entirely, but I don't think it's particularly "green". At least until they figure out what to do with the waste instead of putting it off to the side and hoping nothing happens.
 

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The first disposal of nuclear waste back in the 50s was to put it in concrete containers and dump it in the oceans. When asked "what when they leak?" the response was not to worry, they're good for at least 100 years. That was 60 years ago.

The "solution" to all the poisons we put into the oceans - which have little self-cleaning ability unlike the atmosphere - is to just keep raising the "safe" level - mercury, lead, pesticides, radioactives.
 

joko104

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The cost of nuclear power also is never discussed. That is lost in the abstract environmental debates.

The method now is to store the growing nuclear waste in tanks that then are going to be stored and monitored forever. I never hear anyone discuss electrical generation for which the costs per kilowatt lasts 100,000 years. Sounds expensive to me.
 

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Isn't Thorium supposed to be potentially the next big development in nuclear energy. :)

Imagine a safe, clean nuclear reactor that used a fuel that was hugely abundant, produced only minute quantities of radioactive waste and was almost impossible to adapt to make weapons. It sounds too good to be true, but this isn’t science fiction. This is what lies in store if we harness the power of a silvery metal found in river sands, soil and granite rock the world over: thorium.

One ton of thorium can produce as much energy as 200 tons of uranium, or 3.5 million tons of coal, and the thorium deposits that have already been identified would meet the entire world’s energy needs for at least 10,000 years. Unlike uranium, it’s easy and cheap to refine, and it’s far less toxic. Happily, it produces energy without producing any carbon dioxide: so an economy that ran on thorium power would have virtually no carbon footprint.

Better still, a thorium reactor would be incapable of having a meltdown, and would generate only 0.6 per cent of the radioactive waste of a conventional nuclear plant. It could even be adapted to ‘burn’ existing, stockpiled uranium waste in its core, thus enormously reducing its radioactive half-life and toxicity.

Electron Model of Many Applications: Technology which could save the world | Mail Online
 

MoSurveyor

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Isn't Thorium supposed to be potentially the next big development in nuclear energy. :)
In theory, it can use already existing nuclear waste for some of it's fuel and the waste from thorium doesn't stick around as long as conventional nuclear waste. it's also much safer, no Chernobyls. The only reason the nuclear industry took the direction it did decades ago was as a first step to producing weapons grade material. Had that not been a consideration we would probably be using thorium now.
 

Chatter

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In theory, it can use already existing nuclear waste for some of it's fuel and the waste from thorium doesn't stick around as long as conventional nuclear waste. it's also much safer, no Chernobyls. The only reason the nuclear industry took the direction it did decades ago was as a first step to producing weapons grade material. Had that not been a consideration we would probably be using thorium now.

Hopefully Thorium can be developed as the clean fuel of the future, as it's much less environmentally damaging and much safer than traditional nuclear energy. :)
 

OpportunityCost

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IMO the future of energy will be in more effective transmission of energy, more efficient batteries and solar power collection in space and/or the moon.
 
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