Glom, for the most part I have not gotten involved in the various threads on global warming. I know enough to know that I am not an expert on climate and I don't have enough time to research the topic to debate with you and others about it.
My position is that if a large percentage of the climate experts state that humans are causing a change in the global climate, and as best as I can undertand it their reasoning sounds reasonable, I tend to believe them. Similarly, if most of the experts in astronomy and physics on this board (and elsewhere) state that General Relativity is the best explanation for gravity, I tend to believe them. I don't have time to personally
examine every piece of evidence about everything. But don't let me stop you folks from debating it.
I didn't understand where this statement came from, particularly since neither article mentioned the position of any environmental group.Originally Posted by Glom
I am hurt by your continuing attacks on "environmental groups". I have been involved in environmental issues for 25 years and have been active in various groups. None of the groups I've been involved with have wanted to dismantle society. For example, the professor mentioned in one of the articles talks about three pence (five cents) per liter of fuel as the cost. I don't think this is dismantling society.
It is incorrect to lump all the environmental groups together, particularly when you talk about the means to achieve some particular end. There are environmental groups that not much better than terrorists or woo-woos (IMHO) and there are ones that base their positions on sound science and good political insights (Union of Concerned Scientists, for one).
I infer from other statements you have made that your beef is most particularly with the Green Party (sorry if I misinterpreted that). I am not familiar with the situation in Europe, but in the US the Green Party is basically non-existent and so I can't say what their position is on anything. But I feel pretty comfortable in stating that it does not represent the position of all environmental groups or individuals. For example, you may be pleased to learn that this environmentalist is a supporter of nuclear power.
DITTO, on all counts ('cept the 25 years involved in environmental groups... more like a dozen or so).Originally Posted by Swift
"In the nightgown of the sullen moon, How the windows lean into the room, In the nightgown of the sullen moon."
-They Might Be Giants
I consider myself a small "e" environmentalist. A hobby of mine is wilderness canoeing, I have paddled over a thousand miles over the years. I most enjoy going into truly remote areas where you are days away from the nearest streetlight. I do not belong to any groups of any kind other than the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The problem with the enviromental movements is the heavy infiltration by professional protesters and #$%^ disturbers. They give everyone a bad name. I see the same faces time after time at various protests here in BC regardless of what is being protested. Add to that utterly irresponsible and potentially deadly activities like tree spiking and you can see why many don't hear the real message from the true environmentalists. Also, many of the Environmentalist groups spew complete nonsense as if it were proven scientific truth. I also continually see examples of selective reporting. A good example is the reports of the Bowron Lake clearcut. It is the largest clearcut in British Columbia and does not look pretty. What is usually not reported is that the clearcut was undertaken because of a massive blowdown caused by entirely natural events, thunderstorms.
I am also a BC Parks Branch volunteer. I ocassionally sit in on meetings with the local Parks managment and other volunteer wardens. Up until several years ago BC had a left wing government, The New Democratic Party. Throughout the 1990's The NDP was committed to increasing the percentage of park land in BC to at least 12%. Through a series of extremely ill considered actions that government created hundreds of ecological preserves throughout the Province. It has created a totally impossible management problem for the Parks Branch. These ecological preserves are off limits to all activity including logging or any other development. In many cases they are 500 meter wide strips of land around a lake. The problem that has been created is that these preserves make control of pine bark beatle and spruce budworm impossible. These preserves serve as a constant source of re-infection for the surrounding forest. The end result now from this legacy of mismanagement is hundreds of thousands of acres of dead and dying trees.
We are paying the price in a big way. Last year and this year huge forest fires swept through our forests. Dead standing trees burn like blowtorches. The ground is sterilized and nothing regrows for decades. I drove through the area north of Kamloops a month ago and saw first hand the scope of the fire there. It goes on mile after mile. The images on the television were remarkable with flames leaping up to 500 feet in the air. Unfortunately it is too late to undo much of the damage that has been caused by these misguided environmental efforts.
On the subject of nuclear powerplants until there is a safe and secure method of disposing of "spent" fuel nuclear power is off the list of things to do. The fuels disposal issue is all important and is not being dealt with at all. IF Yucca Mtn. is opened in 2010, which is highly unlikely then it will take 25 to 30 years to entomb the nuclear waste already existing at locations around North America. It will require transporting extremely hot spent fuel by rail and truck through major population centers. The chance of a serious accident in that time period is nearly certain and could make Chernobyl look like a picnic. Adding more spent fuel to the total would be very stupid.
Maybe the Greens are small in your part of town, but here, they constantly get represented by groups like Greenpeace and sympathisers. I think we agreed a while back that they are examples of bad environmentalists. So the likes of Greenpeace often seem to be the image of the environmentalist. You're right that there are many environmentalists that do want genuinely want to see civilisation develop in a benign way, but we don't hear much from them round these parts. The radicals get more attention, which, as you can see through me, damages the moderates' cause.Originally Posted by The second article
3p/l? How does he manage that? That would be cool. I think 82.9p was the latest for unleaded 80.
Have you seen the video showing what happens when a train collides head on with a nuclear transport container? It's frightening... if you consider that you might be on the train. The transport container on the other hand is undamaged. Spent fuel has been handled safely and manageably for fifty years. It is only a catastrophe waiting to happen in the minds of the fuddites. If you're that worried, then urge that the fission products be vitrified. They're what make spent fuel so hot. That will make the waste safer. Pebble bed reactors and accelerator driven systems are the long term solution to the problem that doesn't really exist.Originally Posted by Evan
Incidentally, if anyone tries to tell you that some nuclear accident will "make Chernobyl look like a picnic" be sure that they're flat out lying. Nothing could be much worse than Chernobyl. Chernobyl was the worst it gets. A total core meltdown followed by ten days unrestricted release of the core inventory of radionuclides including easily absorbed I-131 and the consequences were not especially severe compared to other major accidents.
Impact of the transport containers isn't the problem. Fire is. They fail fairly quickly in a fire as the lead shielding melts.
I am very familiar with nuclear power generation and the details of how various systems work. I worked with my father for two summers at the Lawrence Berkeley Radiation Laboratory (now the Lawrence National Lab at Berkeley). We worked on the first project to attempt to quantify the plasma instability modes of a coaxial reactor model with with a theta pinch machine. I also audited quite a few Physics lecture for something to do on slow days.
Here is a quote from a report by the government of Nevada:
Full text here.None of the spent fuel casks currently in use have been tested full-scale.
The casks to be used in a repository shipping campaign are currently being designed, and none have yet been built. All of the new designs would hold more fuel assemblies, be less heavily shielded, and pose greater risks in the event of a severe accident that results in a loss of containment.
The spectacular crash and burn films shown by DOE and the nuclear industry actually depict obsolete casks (withdrawn from service) being tested in the 1970's to validate computer models. Those tests were successful for that purpose, and also provided valuable insights into the importance of cask tie-down systems and other issues. The tests also demonstrated the vulnerability of lead gamma shielding to long duration fires and to multiple impacts. However, the tests were not intended to simulate worst-case accidents or to prove the overall safety of spent fuel shipments. DOE's misuse of these tests films can be fairly labeled as propaganda.
thanks to my optometrist!Originally Posted by Glom
Well this thread has derailed quicker than a shipment of spent fuel. Oh well, since no-one is interested in discussing carbon sequestration, we might as well get something out of it. The contest is who can get the last word before BA locks this thread.
Yes, obviously it is a traumatising experience have a lead canister shipped through your state. Nevada is the decadence state. Suck it up. The energy you consume comes at a cost.Originally Posted by GoN
Originally Posted by GoNOriginally Posted by GoNSuch as stimulating your immune system and making you healthy.Originally Posted by GoN
Gamma, not neutron. Neutron flux is small, especially given the neutron absorbing U-238 that dominates the spent fuel.Originally Posted by GoN
What a stupid comment! And a person jumping into the sea with lead weights around his feet could drown. Logically, one would not do such a thing.Originally Posted by GoN
Do you know how deadly concentrated sulphuric acid is? As long as you're not standing near to the fuel without protection, you'll be fine. The fuel isn't going on a motorcade ride through Dallas so we have little to worry about.Originally Posted by GoN
Yes, because they're obviously going to transport spent fuel during the morning rush hour.Originally Posted by GoN
FUD and scare tactics. Low level radiation has been shown to be beneficial to health. If that were not the case, we'd all be dead by now from natural exposure. The long-term health implications are to improve it. (Shock, horror that politicians should mislead the public!)Originally Posted by GoN
Irrelevant. There were heavy casualties among certain ethnic groups in Germany sixty years ago. That doesn't mean Germany is unsafe for them today.Originally Posted by GoN
So the casks did their job. Why don't you politicians do yours and tackle some real social problems?Originally Posted by GoN
So after a long bit of statistical babble, we get to the point that not everyone will cause widespread contamination. Now the argument has been reduced to FUD.Originally Posted by GoN
Contaminate it by how much? This is stupid statement since it doesn't actually say anything but hints that something is trying to be said.Originally Posted by GoN
Again by how much?Originally Posted by GoN
FUD FUD FUD your boat, gently down the stream. You wouldn't want each individual cast to be tested because testing is designed to be destructive.Originally Posted by GoN
Ridiculous. Not only is this dependent on an improbable sequence of events, but the prescence of neutron absorbing U-238 would poison any chain reaction. Besides, if you don't like these particular shipping containers, then get them to use others.Originally Posted by GoN
Sorry, I was one of the derailers.Originally Posted by Glom
I am no expert, but sequestration always seemed like a silly idea to me. I think the money would be better spent increasing the fuel efficiency of stationary and mobile power sources, on improvements such as insulation and motor efficiency, and developing non-carbon based power sources, including solar, wind, tide, and nuclear. It seems to me that it makes more sense to generate less CO2 than to suck up what you've already made. I personally think sequestration is a politically motivated ploy to appear to be doing something, without actually directly attaching the problem (ie, putting a dent in energy company profits by decreasing the use of fossil fuels). All IMHO.
It would be like asking to crash-test each car coming out of a factory. #-oOriginally Posted by Glom
No, it would be like crash testing just one. They haven't done that with current fuel transport cannisters.It would be like asking to crash-test each car coming out of a factory.
The record of the nuclear industry, both civil and government, is abysmal. There have been numerous uncontrolled releases since the 1940's. Not just minor low level waste either. I have a lab grade ratemeter scaler at home and have been monitoring the average background count for nearly thirty years, sixteen of them in exactly the same location and using the same equipment. The count has steadily increased by around 25% over that time. I am careful to avoid measurements during possible solar caused ground level events. The Chernobyl event did not have a statistically significant impact on the background here. What do you suppose is responsible for this increase? There are many incidents that are not publicly reported as they are classified.
Belittling the Nevada report does not change the validity of the concerns expressed. Waste will be transported through towns and cities and it will happen at rush hour as well as any other time of day. The trains run where the tracks go and that is usually close to the city.
The real problem is the incredibly severe consequences that could arise from a single containment failure. I also don't have much confidence in the nuclear industry and their ability to conduct such operations in a failsafe manner. I worked in the nuclear industry for a time and saw just how lax the company I worked for was with sources and the lack of accounting for same. Some of those sources were very high activity cobalt 60 and could have been carried off the property by anyone who didn't mind an internal suntan. That was a long time ago and I know that security has been stepped up but accidents continue to happen. Take for example the Tokaimura accident in Japan in 1999. That accident resulted in a "prompt criticality" event and may have come close to a low yield nuclear explosion.
Something must be done with the waste currently being stored around North America but adding to the problem doesn't make sense. There are a lot of other ways to reduce demand for power instead of just building more plants. When I was in Germany for the first time in 1995 I was invited for dinner to a friends house. On the way there I noticed yield and stop signs on the standards that held the traffic lights. I wondered what they were for. On my way back late that night it became obvious. At ten pm each night the traffic lights are turned completely off, you then follow the signs. We need to take some lessons from the Europeans, they are years ahead of us in conservation and recycling.
According to the report you cited, there haven't been any in the last forty years. You're living in the past. Places like Hanford have caused problems but I don't deem them relevant because they are munitions facilities. What about all the toxic chemicals from the non-nuclear industry that get released all the time? The complaint is based on the concept that no release is acceptable. If a small amount gets inadvertently release, who cares? You got a dose of radiation from reading this. As long as no major harm came from a release of radioactive materials, then what does it matter? In fact, it is the fuddites who make things worse like they did at Chernobyl where hypochondria and dependency culture have caused more suffering than the fallout itself.Originally Posted by Evan
Why don't you tell me rather than using innuendo and affirming the consequent? Radioactivity isn't limited to the nuclear industry.Originally Posted by Evan
Those classified incidents are military and therefore irrelevant.Originally Posted by Evan
I wasn't belittling it, I was refuting it in a slightly playful manner.Originally Posted by Evan
Big deal. If catastrophe was imminent everytime hazardous materials were transported near to urban areas, we'd all be dead by now.Originally Posted by Evan
Apparently, the LPG storage facility in Southampton could take out southern England it went up. How much confidence do you have in Exxon Mobil? Why is it that the bar is raised so much higher for the nuclear industry? The report even stressed concerns for borosilicate blocks, which is unbelievable. They're hardly going to contaminate a water supply or soil, which is the real concern.Originally Posted by Evan
There ya go. A long time ago. These days, the nuclear industry is the most heavily and intrusively regulated industry in the world. Accidents happen in any industry, but the death count from nuclear power is amazingly low. It is one of the safest industries in the world.Originally Posted by Evan
No it didn't. The fuel wasn't packed properly for a flash cascade reaction to occur. When the material heated up, it expanded and went subcritical. The result was oscillations about the point of criticality.Originally Posted by Evan
We're not swamped in the stuff. Adding a bit more isn't going to add to the problem significantly. Most of the nasty stuff is from nuclear weapons. Besides, the principle of dumping spent fuel in Yucca Mountain is inefficient and wasteful anyway. America should restart its MOX facilities. That would be much better than spending billions of a repository that will be dug up in a couple of generations when humanity gets over its irrationality.Originally Posted by Evan
Spent fuel is small in quantity and easily managed. If proper back end methods were used, rather than being obstructed by opponents, then this "problem" wouldn't exist in the first place.
The Tokaimura accident has been recently reviewed and the incident severity upped from a 4 to a 5 rating. It was determined that the uranium did flash in a prompt criticality event with neutrons detected as far as 100 meters away.
Report here:At about 10:35 September 30th, the solution went prompt critical with about 40 or 45L in the tank.
I'm not insinuating anything when I ask what might account for the significant increase in background. I have no idea what is causing it. Do you?
You say we are not "swamped in the stuff". Estimates are that there is currently around 60,000 tons of spent fuel from commercial reactor operations only in the USA. That is expected to increase to around 75,000 tons by 2015. If plans go ahead to build new reactors Yucca Mtn. will not be sufficient to contain it. This does not include any military waste.
I think I take a middle ground position on nuclear safety. At least in the US, it seems to me, the industry has had a mixed safety record, even in recent years. It seems most of the plants are well run, but there have been some significant exceptions. One in Ohio, Davis-Besse, had corrosion problems of the their primary pressure vessel that were close to a breach (one article)
This reactor is also owned by the company that was primarily responsible for the major power failure in the US last year (First Energy).A month after being shut down for maintenance, inspectors found that leaking boric acid had eaten a six-inch hole in the lid of the reactor vessel.
But I think the solutions to these problems and the issues with waste disposal (and I prefer waste reuse, for which people have proposed reactor designs) are solvable.
I think the issues with nuclear power do get blown out of proportion, compared to other industries. More people are killed in chemical industry accidents each year than nuclear accidents (and I'm a chemist). And the long term consequences of exposure to certain chemicals can be just as deadly. That doesn't mean that the nuclear industry gets carte blanche, they need to be regulated too. But I personally worry more about the health consequences of breathing the brown smog that comes out of the coal-fired powerplant near my house, than the nuclear powerplant an equal distance away in the other direction.
It went critical, but it couldn't have cascaded for the same reason you can't use plutonium in a gun-type device. The thing won't hold together long enough to allow a cascade.Originally Posted by Evan
Then why are we discussing this? If you want to make a point out of it, then it's your burden of proof.Originally Posted by Evan
Cool. That's not bad for fifty years worth of commercial generation providing 20% of the country's energy. 60,000 tonnes may sound like a lot, but in industrial terms, it's miniscule. That's the benefit of nuclear waste. It's so tiny in quantity that it is highly manageable.Originally Posted by Evan
Based on the substance of your complaints, I assume you have no objection to the PBMR.
The PBMR is certainly a more attractive design than BWR.
As to the background count, as I said I have no idea why it is steadily increasing. There aren't many possible explanations other than unreported releases. It's likely that China's use of coal is contributing to some degree but to raise it that much requires a lot. Other possibilities exist but they border on the verge of conspiracy theories.
If the waste is so tiny and easy to manage then why is it still being held in "temporary" storage? The problem is that there never was a plan for dealing with it. If new reactors are to be built they must also incorporate a plan for the eventual disposal of the waste. The PBMR plan is to store it onsite for up to eighty years, then move it to a repository. What repository? This is exactly like the "plan" we have had all along, no plan. It just hands off the problem to a future generation.
60,000 tons of high level radionuclides is no small amount. Add in the military waste and it is far larger.
In the U.S. there are two key reasons: One, we can. That is, the volume of waste is small enough that it can be stored onsite for years, without burying the power plant - unlike, for example, coal power plants.Originally Posted by Evan
But the most important reason is that this is a political fight, not a technical one. Technically, there are a number of very low-risk methods for dealing with nuclear waste. However, political arguments on the subject are conspicuously lacking in technical rigor.
Quite small, compared to the 200,000 or so tons of solid waste from a single 1000 MW coal power plant produced in one year - and that ignores the stuff put in the air. We simply cannot deal with the massive amount of coal waste as safely as we can nuclear waste. It would be too expensive, as there is too much of it. Pound for pound, it isn't as dangerous as high level nuclear waste is initially, but (in the solid waste) there are plenty of heavy metals and other nasties that will never become less dangerous, and there is just so MUCH of it. Any fossil fuel power plant produces far more waste than a nuclear power plant.60,000 tons of high level radionucleotides is no small amount. Add in the military waste and it is far larger.
But that doesn't include reprocessing, which would dramatically cut the volume. I don't think unprocessed nuclear waste should be buried - it is just too wasteful.
What's your source for this? I could imagine that in the current space, there might be such a limitation, but the answer is to dig more tunnels. Nuclear waste is pretty dense stuff, the volume just isn't that great.If plans go ahead to build new reactors Yucca Mtn. will not be sufficient to contain it.
Yucca Mtn. capacity is 70,000 tonnes per EPA.
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/yucca/faqs.htmWhen an estimated 70,000 metric tons of waste have been disposed, the repository would be closed.
The waste itself is dense but takes up a lot more space when it is contained in storage casks. It also cannot be stored close together because of the waste heat generated.
Sorry, comparing coal ash to high level nuclear waste isn't valid. Clinker can be used to pave roads. Try that with fuel rods.
Have any comments on the non-plan?
Sort of leaves out the PBMR design, doesn't it?I don't think unprocessed nuclear waste should be buried - it is just too wasteful.
Not any more. Many storage ponds are full. Dry storage is being used but is also only a very temporary solution.In the U.S. there are two key reasons: One, we can. ...
No it doesn't. The PBMR has a high burnup. There is little useful material to be extracted.Originally Posted by Evan
And there are loads of useful things that can be done with spent fuel. Most of it can be manufactured into DU which has a multitude of uses such as counterbalances in aircraft. The actinides can be bred and burnt. The fission products even have their uses in small quantities for various applications where radionuclides are used.Originally Posted by Evan
The point is that you're going after the wrong target. Coal, as well as many other industries, produce highly hazardous waste in quantities that would dwarf the fifty year stockpile of spent fuel. Nuclear waste is small and recyclable and highly manageable.
After fifty years of continuous operation. If those storage pools were used to store solid waste from coal, they would fill up within a few days.Originally Posted by Evan
Sheesh, still problems
That page doesn't work right now. Regardless, depleted uranium and spent uranium reactor fuel are not the same thing. Depleted uranium is uranium 238 that has been depleted of uranium 235 through processing. It has nothing to do with reactor fuel. It is a waste byproduct of the manufacture of enriched uranium and is nearly harmless. It is less toxic than lead and the half life is so long that the radioactivity level is almost nil.
So called "spent" reactor fuel is an entirely different matter. It is the highest level of high level radioactive waste. It is extremely hot and "hot". It contains a sequence of transuranic elements some with very high activity emitting radiation across the entire spectrum. Some of the isotopes are short lived, some are medium and some are long, very long. Many of the isotopes and transuranides are highly toxic regardless of radiation. Some are highly biologically active such as iodine and strontium. It is very, very nasty stuff.
I'm certainly not arguing in favor of coal plants over nuclear. Both are bad. The real solution is to reduce waste of all kinds. This especially means reducing the waste of electricity which is extreme. Here in BC our main power company is BC Hydro and 95% of our power is generated hydroelectrically. I know that dams have issues too but in my opinion not nearly as bad as coal or nuclear. Also, the approach taken in the last decade by BC Hydro is not to increase capacity but to actively decrease demand. They have been handing out free compact fluorecent light bulbs and LED Christmas lights. They will provide free energy use assessments and free hot water heater jackets. It turns out that you can "build a dam" by reducing demand much cheaper than actually building a dam. They encourage small private cogeneration hydro projects. One of my customers produces 120 KW of power.
Here in Williams Lake we have several major sawmills that used to burn their wood waste in beehive burners. Not any more. A 90 megawatt cogeneration plant was built some years ago that burns all the wood waste. It uses super clean electrostatic precipitators so the only emissions are water and CO2. No more dirty air and the power runs the town and mills with left over to sell. Wood leaves very low volume low toxicity residue so ash disposal is easy.
These are the real solutions. Time to stop wasting so much.
Ooh! Aren't you flash living in your happy hydro powered British Columbia. Not all of us have that luxury. What would you have us do instead? Bang rocks together? We need nuclear power if we are to not be dependent on coal or Russian gas.
We know all about spent fuel on this board. It is hazardous, but that doesn't make it an insurmountable obstacle. The fact that after fifty years of commercial power generation, we are only now beginning to worry about waste disposal shows just how manageable the problem is and just how much time we have to think about things. It's only because opponents keep on opposing every attempt to do things that there is a problem at all.
Transuranics are toxic but not that toxic. There are plenty of chemicals that are far more toxic.
You have the option of reducing consumption. It does not mean reducing your standard of living.Ooh! Aren't you flash living in your happy hydro powered British Columbia. Not all of us have that luxury. What would you have us do instead? Bang rocks together? We need nuclear power if we are to not be dependent on coal or Russian gas.
Reprocessing doesn't exactly have a stellar safety record. Take Sellafield for an example.
So? No one is carting around truckloads of ricin.Transuranics are toxic but not that toxic. There are plenty of chemicals that are far more toxic.
Which is the problem I have with privatizing power in the US. What incentive is there to decrease demand?Originally Posted by Evan
This is getting way off topic, IMO. Time to lock it down, BA.
"In the nightgown of the sullen moon, How the windows lean into the room, In the nightgown of the sullen moon."
-They Might Be Giants
Although the discussion of nuclear power is not directly on topic Glom has been actively participating in it and this is his thread. The concept of reducing consumption is very on topic as that is what Kyoto and the idea of sequestering CO2 is all about. I haven't seen any flames around here yet and I see no reason to end a debate as long as it remains civil.
As far as sequestering CO2 goes, one of the links mention a cost of $50 per tonne. Ridiculously expensive, never happen.
From http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/factsheets/doeymp0402.shtml:Originally Posted by Evan
This is not a physical limitation, it is a political one. This is a very low risk method of storing waste. If anything, it is overengineered.The additional cost to license, construct, operate, monitor, and close a repository is estimated to be $18.7 billion in constant 1998 dollars. This cost estimate includes monitoring a repository for 100 years and disposing of 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste at Yucca Mountain, currently the legal limit that can be disposed of.
A monitored geologic repository is only one component of the total life cycle cost for the waste management system, however. Other components include the following: (1) transporting waste to, then storing it at the repository, (2) payments-equal-to-taxes and other benefits to the State of Nevada and affected units of local government, (3) expansion of the repository beyond the 70,000 metric-ton statutory limit, if authorized, and (4) overall system management.
I was comparing risk. The total risk of high level nuclear waste, properly handled (as is planned with Yucca mountain) is far lower than with economically feasible handling of the vast amounts of coal waste.Sorry, comparing coal ash to high level nuclear waste isn't valid. Clinker can be used to pave roads. Try that with fuel rods.
Here is a good discussion of comparative risk:
And a detailed discussion of nuclear waste risk:
I was speaking of existing waste from existing reactors. When we expand nuclear capacity, I am certainly in favor of high-burnup passively safe reactor designs.Sort of leaves out the PBMR design, doesn't it?I don't think unprocessed nuclear waste should be buried - it is just too wasteful.
Making efficient use of electricity is fine within reason, but it doesn't change the fact that we need more electricity. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between forcing people to make do with less and efficient energy use. And considering the vast amount of CO2 produced, sequestration is far from trivial.The concept of reducing consumption is very on topic as that is what Kyoto and the idea of sequestering CO2 is all about.
The forum topic is General Astronomy. We are off topic.Originally Posted by Evan
"In the nightgown of the sullen moon, How the windows lean into the room, In the nightgown of the sullen moon."
-They Might Be Giants
I agree. It's getting it there that is the problem.This is not a physical limitation, it is a political one. This is a very low risk method of storing waste. If anything, it is overengineered.
When I speak of reducing consumption I am not talking about forcing people to live a poorer life. I have replaced nearly all the lights in my house with super efficient compact fluorecent bulbs and like them. As a night light in my living room I have a string of white LED christmas lights on a Ficus Benjamina that draws only two watts of power. My wife and I have electric heated chair blankets that draw only 60 watts of power and allow us to remain very comfortable when sitting in the living room with the heat in the house turned down to 60 degrees F. We sleep under Danish eiderdown comforters that allow us to turn the heat down even further.
I have a heliostat placed in front of the house that reflects about 500 watts of light into the house on sunny days so I don't need to turn on lighting to keep the indoor plants alive during the very dark winters we have. I built my own garage doors and they have 2" of foam insulation in them. My house has no north facing windows and the north side is shielded by trees to cut down on night sky radiation cooling. The south side has open space directly to the south that allows reflection from the snow to assist with solar gain in winter. I have metal vertical blinds on the windows inside made of aluminum that greatly reduce the heat loss at night through my double glazed windows.
In summer I have roll down bamboo shades on the south windows and the shades are painted aluminum on the outside to reduce heat gain. I have no air conditioning and don't need it even when the temp hits in the 90's like it did this summer. I have a low wattage fan that blows up cool air from the full basement to cool the main floor in summer.
I heat my house with a free standing high efficiency natural gas convection heater in the basement which uses no electricity at all. It self generates electricity for the thermostat circuit. I have several low watt ceiling fans to circulate heat down from the ceiling to reduce heat loss and increase comfort. My house is heavily insulated. Unused rooms are kept closed and not heated.
My hot water heater is set to 120F and we use no more than 10 to 30 gallons of water per day for both of us. My wife recycles the wash rinse water when doing laundry. I have my own septic system and treatment pond.
Most of this is very inexpensive to do. It improves our lifestyle, not reduces it. I find it very comfortable.