Mailing List Archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [tlug] silicon cash eater

On 2017-06-29 12:05 +0900 (Thu), kts wrote:

> [Nuclear waste] issue resolved....

No, not in the slightest. If producing less waste could resolve the
nuclear waste "issue" it would have been resolved a long, long time
ago. It's easier to deal safely with the waste (particularly
high-level nuclear waste) generated from a gigawatt of nuclear power
than from a gigawatt of coal power. The problem is that most people
consider thousands of deaths from lung disease and other forms of
pollution to be more acceptable than one death related to nuclear
power and the Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill to be
more acceptable than the much less damaging Fukushima Fukushima
Daiichi accident.

Since 1945, the whole production chain use of coal to generate power
has killed far more people than _all_ uses of nuclear power _ever_.
That's pretty sobering when you remember that those uses of nuclear
power include a couple of large bombs designed specifically to kill

On 2017-06-29 13:59 +0900 (Thu), Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> The problem with nuclear is not technical.  We can solve those
> problems to the level needed vs. the risks of climate change.  It's
> lack of political will to invest in safety and risk mitigation...

Actually, over-specifying safety is one of the things that's slowed
nuclear adoption significantly. Plants take years to build, and often
new safety regulations to which they must comply are introduced during
construction. While I'm not advocating a free-for-all, and certainly
there are areas that could be improved, I think we've seen that, in
the first world at least, nuclear reactors are pretty darn safe.

On 2017-06-29 15:13 +0900 (Thu), Benjamin Kowarsch wrote:

> The first problem is that such technical solutions would price
> nuclear fission out of the market.
> The only way to make energy from nuclear fission economically viable
> is to cut down on safety.

Nope. See above.

> Further, no self-respecting engineer in their right mind would have
> chosen Uranium as a base. If energy production had been the primary
> motivation, a less hazardous fuel would have been chosen, most
> likely Thorium.

It's not really clear to me that's the case. There were good reasons
for sticking with Uranium as well. And certainly there are
considerably safer Uranium reactors out there than the types we
currently use, pebble bed reactors for example. A lot of what we have
is indeed an accident of history: our current power reactors are what
they are in part because of how reactors were designed for nuclear
submarines, a very different purpose.

> This alone is the best indication that nuclear fission energy is
> simply not feasible without massive government subsidies, directly
> or indirectly.

Sure, but there's a hell of a lot in the world you could say the same

> It's not the will, it is the cost.
> Take another example: Plane crashes.
> There is plenty of technology that makes a large number of plane
> crashes survivable.

Yes, but by far the most dangerous part of your airplane trip is the
car ride to the airport. What kind of insanity says that you need to
try to tweak one death down to 0.99 deaths when you've got hundreds of
deaths from another cause occurring in the same time period?

Curt Sampson         <>         +81 90 7737 2974

To iterate is human, to recurse divine.
    - L Peter Deutsch

Home | Main Index | Thread Index

Home Page Mailing List Linux and Japan TLUG Members Links