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A great irony


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There is a great irony in the world as I see it. 

Imagine a great laboratory, the size of a city- filled with supercomputers, electron microscopes, biological stations, a peripheral particle accelerator, laser research, genetic testing.  Picture dust-free white floors, and people with lab coats, the blue glow emanating from rows of ultra high-tech equipment.  See the scientist wearing opaque goggles as he tests an ultraviolet laser.  Imagine a team of biologists in a quarntine station examining the effects of a new cancer treatment.  Picture a group of physicists and astronomers analyzing data gathered from a remote satellite. 

You have an image in your mind yet?  I want you to see a picture of the most high-tech setting imaginable, that could actually exist in our 21st century modern world.

Now imagine that this high-tech modern world is powered by a bunch of million year old fossils.  See the irony?  Our advanced society literally runs on a bunch of dead mollusks.  Pretty absurd isn't it. 

I do think its about time that fossil fuels went "bye bye".  What we need is more nuclear power.  Nuclear fusion generators, I believe, is the future of energy.  I'm tired of fossil fuels.  Besides, bankrupting the middle east would be a wonderful thing...think of the middle east going bankrupt as a side benefit, with the main benefit being that we no longer will rely on oil

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I agree with more nuclear energy. It pollutes the least and creates the most energy.

The last large nuclear power plant to be made in North America was around 20 years ago (same for oil refineries...).

Building a new large state of the art nuclear facility should be enough to power a very large city.

Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario is the largest in North America and second largest in the world. It currently powers 1/5 of Ontario (and that is with 2 reactors offline).

I say build more reactors while also investing in renewable energy (wind/solar/geothermal/tidal etc), public transportation, and making electronics use less electricity. Problem solved.

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Solar development is a pipe dream, it is completely inviable for large scale energy consumption, same goes for wind. Nuclear is definitely the way forward and I've had quite a lengthy discussion with Emperor Harkonnen about it over in general. The major point for discussion was how to fuel modes of transport, BioFuel being the most obvious solution, but not great for general power consumption.

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Thanks for clearing that up for me. ::)

Actually, I don't suppose you could provide a link to that "lengthy discussion"? I've searched General for posts by both you and Emperor Harkonnen using various keywords and all I find is a few posts in "Re: Earth Hour" with you again spouting "pipe dream" but nothing more of substance.

???

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Oh no I meant that Emperor Harkonnen and I had debated Nuclear energy a new green energy source. I think we both left wind power alone.

My main problem with wind is that there seems to be such a fine line for working conditions. In the UK they are built where wind speeds are an average of 5-10 m/s, now bear in mind they need 3-4 m/s to actually work, and 15 m/s lets them operate at maximum efficiency. Also there is not a lot of room above 15 m/s as at about 20 m/s they shut down in order to protect themselves from damage. Nuclear energy can consistently pump out high levels of electricity while wind farms need to be enormous and very strategically placed and yet are still unlikely to work at their maximum efficiency.

Solar power is a little better but when it comes to industrial usage its current form is completely inefficient at producing enough energy. Another concern is for the developing world. In the west it is fine to promote solar energy as an alternative way of powering homes but it is still to expensive to use effectively in underdeveloped countries. In the west we can afford Nuclear power plants, which create more energy than could be done by solar plants, but developed countries need to rely in cheaper methods (basically fossil fuel based). The obvious rebuttal is that solar plants will become more efficient as time and money is invested into them, but Nuclear is already more efficient and could become far more practical were time and money, otherwise wasted bringing wind and nuclear up to par, invested in the development of nuclear power.

Why do you think they are good?

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I agree that solar and wind power sources are not good for large scale consumption but that is not the problem why not use them instead as alternatives to smaller scale consumption with larger scale energy sources. Nuclear power could be the back up energy source but not always the main source of energy based upon consumption.

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Using solar energy sources in developing countries does not mean that they have to be brought up to our world standards in a day. Solar energy sources can be used in areas that are difficult to reach due to inaccessibility. Example certain areas of Africa and South America solar cells could be parachuted in to use as SMALL energy sources to remote areas (medical facilities, water and sewer, etc). The key to helping developing countries is not to industrialize them but to help them better their way of life by allowing them to choose their own path of growth. Solar and wind power might be sufficient for them in their day to day life. Think of it in terms if you will solar and wind power cost less then putting a nuclear reactor in the jungle, solar and wind energy sources can WORK in the harsh environment of the jungle and rain forest without CHANGING the environment. Small villages can benefit from the use of solar and wind power based on the need of power consumption.

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Ah...never mind.

I just realized that you guys are still very much planet-bound in your thinking and outlook.

(And Khan, your concern for the peoples of developing countries shown here is poignant, considering what you've posted about cloned slaves in the other thread. :) )

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Ah...never mind.

I just realized that you guys are still very much planet-bound in your thinking and outlook.

(And Khan, your concern for the peoples of developing countries shown here is poignant, considering what you've posted about cloned slaves in the other thread. :) )

What's the matter Chigger? Afraid of a real debate? You seem to be soft, especially as there is no contradiction with my other argument. Maybe you just aren't ready for FED2k yet.

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Using solar energy sources in developing countries does not mean that they have to be brought up to our world standards in a day. Solar energy sources can be used in areas that are difficult to reach due to inaccessibility. Example certain areas of Africa and South America solar cells could be parachuted in to use as SMALL energy sources to remote areas (medical facilities, water and sewer, etc). The key to helping developing countries is not to industrialize them but to help them better their way of life by allowing them to choose their own path of growth. Solar and wind power might be sufficient for them in their day to day life. Think of it in terms if you will solar and wind power cost less then putting a nuclear reactor in the jungle, solar and wind energy sources can WORK in the harsh environment of the jungle and rain forest without CHANGING the environment. Small villages can benefit from the use of solar and wind power based on the need of power consumption.

Sorry but I think you have a slight self contradiction in your argument. You say that people should choose their own path in development but see, to imply that developing countries shouldn't go through an industrial revolution. Surely, by your own argument, it is for them to decide whether or not they want to go through industrial revolutions, to go for Nuclear reactors, or simply to go for coal/gas power plants.

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A power plant is irrelevant, when the machine contains its own. (It is an irony to write it from a computer, whose battery lasts for about 10 min, but whatever.) Also there are many forms of power. We in the north are much dependant on creating thermal energy because of cold weather, what is not a case in tropical forest. Widespread use of electricity also doesn't imply that it can be used anywhere, especially on the example of a moist jungle-environment. Every environment has its own power, which is harnessed by different means and for a different purpose - even if globalized economy allows to go for nuclear fission anywhere.

Fine, but he started it, and i'm drunk so i'm definitely right.

For writing under the influence of alcohol, please use this thread  ;)

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Green energy is nice but it's always going to be merely supplemental. So hurrah for nuclear power. Regarding Tjernobilesque scenarios, France has been getting over half their power from fission for decades (about 80% right now, I think).

A bigger problem is the supply of uranium, wich is finite as well.

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I think the risks and problems with nuclear plants pretty much sums it up:

Safety: No reactor in the world is inherently safe. All operational reactors have inherent safety flaws, which cannot be eliminated by safety upgrading. Highly radioactive spent fuel requires constant cooling. If this fails, it could lead to a catastrophic release of radioactivity. They are also highly vulnerable to deliberate acts of sabotage, including terrorist attack.

Waste: From the moment uranium is mined nuclear waste on a massive scale is produced. The adverse environmental impacts of uranium mining are significant. There is also no secure, risk free way to store nuclear waste. No country in the world has a solution for high-level waste that stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The least damaging option at this current time is for waste to be stored above ground, in dry storage at the site of origin, but this option also presents major challenges and the threats.

Weapons proliferation: The possession of nuclear weapons by the US, Russia, France, the UK and China has encouraged the further proliferation of nuclear technology and materials. Every state that has a nuclear power capability, has the means to obtain nuclear material usable in a nuclear weapon. Basically this means that the 44 nuclear power states could become 44 nuclear weapons states. Many nations that have active commercial nuclear power programs, began their research with two objectives - electricity generation and the option to develop nuclear weapons. Also nuclear programs based on reprocessing plutonium from spent fuel have dramatically increased the risk of proliferation as the creation of more plutonium, means more nuclear waste which in turn means more materials available for the creation of dirty bombs.

Also a few other examples of industrial nuclear incidents that highlight the world is never far away from the next nuclear catastrophe:

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With regards to safety:

Safety is always an issue and it is true that nuclear energy has some underlying risks, but when you look at the incidents which you highlighted, and the other nuclear situations with have occurred over the years, and there are actually very few accidents. When you consider that every large scale energy supply has some risk (mine collapses, firs on offshore platforms, etc.) to reject nuclear for the few incidents which have occurred seems foolish. As for terrorists, everything can be targeted by terrorists and besides so far they have hit trains and skyscrapers, no indication of interest in nuclear plants. They have targeted oil wells though

As for waste, I have heard of a massive new dump site, somewhere in america (in the deep desert) which seems to be an extremely safe and large enough to deal with massive amounts of waste.

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Well those were just a couple of later accidents. The Three Mile Island accident in the US in 1979 ultimately resulted in a partial core meltdown. I think this is the latest meltdown accident; if not counting Chernobyl, which of course is the worst nuclear power plant accident so far. Before 1979 there are several other meltdown accidents.

Worth mentioning is also that electricity was generated for the first time by a nuclear reactor in the 1950

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Yucca, yes, that's the one I mean. Obviously you seem to know a lot more about it than me, but the last I read about Yucca mountain seemed to suggest that the isolation of the mountain made it a very safe dump site.

Well those were just a couple of later accidents. The Three Mile Island accident in the US in 1979 ultimately resulted in a partial core meltdown.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2385551.stm

Which resulted in a chest X-ray and no health problems.

And just because there hasn

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