Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 5:55pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:02pm
That is one weird sentence. First of all, how can any nuclear reactor be "inherently safe?" That seems to imply foolproof, and the reality is that human beans get fooled all the time. And wouldn't four running nuclear reactors in China be, by definition, "existing nuclear."
I brought this up before. There is a group here that doesn't consider inherently dangerous handling of nuclear materials as an integral part of nuclear reactor operation, and then goes to compare nuclear safety with solar installers falling from roofs. Some logical acrobatics, not less.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 6:11pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 5:55pm
I brought this up before. There is a group here that doesn't consider inherently dangerous handling of nuclear materials as an integral part of nuclear reactor operation, and then goes to compare nuclear safety with solar installers falling from roofs. Some logical acrobatics, not less.
Personally what I care about are number of people injured and killed by both. At the end of the day, that's what matters from a safety perspective.

People are generally more comfortable with deaths due to falling off roofs because that's familiar to them, and they can think "well I wouldn't fall off the roof so it wouldn't really apply to me." Radiation is invisible and scary, and can cause cancer, so that weighs more heavily on some people's decisions. (Ironically these people will often still sunbathe.)
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 6:21pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:11pm
People are generally more comfortable with deaths due to falling off roofs because that's familiar to them, and they can think "well I wouldn't fall off the roof so it wouldn't really apply to me." Radiation is invisible and scary, and can cause cancer, so that weighs more heavily on some people's decisions. (Ironically these people will often still sunbathe.)
I somewhat agree, but I draw a different conclusion. Falling from roofs is not an integral part of photovoltaic operation. It is a kind of industrial accident that is well understood, is specific to certain types of activities (photovoltaic deployment on pitched roofs is one tiny subset - gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning, roof installation and maintenance being way more frequent and common), and has established and enforced safety practices. In the end one could say - no solar arrays on pitched roofs as it's too dangerous. Or no pitched roofs on structures more than 1 story tall. Instead stick it on the garage, or make it freestanding in the backyard. Whatever. You can't say "let's build a nuclear reactor without any nuclear materials involved." That's the definition of integral, inherent risk when it comes to nuclear power. Reactor safety is only one element of it.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 6:22pm

Right now where I live, the output from solar is near zero due to steady daily snowfall.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 6:28pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:22pm
Right now where I live, the output from solar is near zero due to steady daily snowfall.
Mine was putting out 4.5kW (out of 5kW max) this Sunday, on a rare sunny day in Western Oregon. It's only sunny some 180 days in a year in here. Across the cascade range though, it's more like 280, which is where most of the commercial capacity is. One of the larger commercial systems is deployed near Prineville, OR, for exclusive supply to Apple datacenter.

Point is, solar will work to one degree or another in variety of places, but in some locations it will require some clever engineering to compensate for the typical conditions. That's where you step in with your fresh innovative ideas ;)

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 6:36pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:21pm
I somewhat agree, but I draw a different conclusion. Falling from roofs is not an integral part of photovoltaic operation. It is a kind of industrial accident that is well understood, is specific to certain types of activities (photovoltaic deployment on pitched roofs is one tiny subset - gutter cleaning, chimney cleaning, roof installation and maintenance being way more frequent and common), and has established and enforced safety practices. In the end one could say - no solar arrays on pitched roofs as it's too dangerous. Or no pitched roofs on structures more than 1 story tall. Instead stick it on the garage, or make it freestanding in the backyard. Whatever.
Agreed with everything you said. There is some level of risk we find acceptable; we enforce standards that keep the risk acceptable to us. That might mean mandatory safety harnesses, or limits on roof pitch or whatever. There is no way you can turn off gravity so there's no way to prevent those deaths 100%, but you can greatly reduce them.

And how do you tell if the safety standards we have in place are acceptable? You see how many people are actually injured or killed while using them. If the numbers of people who die aren't acceptable you make changes until they are, again determined by how many people are injured or killed.
You can't say "let's build a nuclear reactor without any nuclear materials involved." That's the definition of integral, inherent risk when it comes to nuclear power. Reactor safety is only one element of it.
Right - just as you can't say "let's have installers put solar panels on roofs with no fall risk." Gravity plus height is an integral fall risk. That risk can be managed.

How do you tell in both cases if we are managing it well? By looking at the actual number of people who are injured or killed.

And again, nuclear power isn't safe - no form of energy is. Nor is it cheap; it is one of the most expensive forms of power. But when it comes to safely providing baseload power, nothing can touch it.
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 6:41pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:28pm
but in some locations it will require some clever engineering to compensate for the typical conditions. That's where you step in with your fresh innovative ideas ;)
All winter long. Like GenIV nuclear. Or become migratory again.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 7:47pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:41pm
All winter long. Like GenIV nuclear. Or become migratory again.
Well, a couple of other options would be some clever long-term energy storage or shipping energy from the sunny parts via High Voltage DC transmission lines (very low losses).

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by wturber » Jan 15 2019 8:08pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:11pm
cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 5:55pm
I brought this up before. There is a group here that doesn't consider inherently dangerous handling of nuclear materials as an integral part of nuclear reactor operation, and then goes to compare nuclear safety with solar installers falling from roofs. Some logical acrobatics, not less.
Personally what I care about are number of people injured and killed by both. At the end of the day, that's what matters from a safety perspective.
That seems like a fairly limited and poor way to evaluate the safety of operations that involve the extreme processes we see with nuclear power generation. It is certainly a significant factor and is useful in keeping a decent perspective on the question though.
billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:11pm

People are generally more comfortable with deaths due to falling off roofs because that's familiar to them, and they can think "well I wouldn't fall off the roof so it wouldn't really apply to me." Radiation is invisible and scary, and can cause cancer, so that weighs more heavily on some people's decisions. (Ironically these people will often still sunbathe.)
What you describe isn't familiarity so much as it is direct control. Putting very complex and dangerous operations in the hands of others certainly is something that should give a person pause IMO.

Funny about the sunbathing bit. I was just reading an article today that was claiming that there are studies that show that staying out of the sun is more dangerous than not. Moderate, regular sunshine is actually a net benefit on average. Even if you Sure, excess sun, on fair, untanned skin as well as sunburn definitely increases the risk of certain kinds of skin cancers. But that risk is actually overshadowed by the health benefits of sunshine on the skin.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2380751/s ... er-science
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by wturber » Jan 15 2019 8:13pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:43pm

"Inherently safe" generally refers to reactors that are safer than existing reactors based on passive cooling features.
OK. What you are describing is propaganda then. There is nothing inherently safe about nuclear fission. This would be like me saying that Volvos are "inherently safe" to drive. But no, travelling on four wheels at 70 mph is inherently dangerous. A well designed car might make it relatively safe. But it isn't inherently safe. If a reactor design was "inherently safe", it probably wouldn't need regulation and oversight.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 8:32pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:13pm
But no, travelling on four wheels at 70 mph is inherently dangerous.
But horses can throw you out of the saddle, and cars won't do it! Cars are inherently safer! :mrgreen:

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by The fingers » Jan 15 2019 8:47pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:32pm
wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:13pm
But no, travelling on four wheels at 70 mph is inherently dangerous.
But horses can throw you out of the saddle, and cars won't do it! Cars are inherently safer! :mrgreen:
My High Sierra bucked me up and over and I landed flat on my back somehow when I swung my leg over while standing on the pedal with my other leg all while going zero miles per hour. :oops: :oops:
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by wturber » Jan 15 2019 9:48pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:32pm
wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:13pm
But no, travelling on four wheels at 70 mph is inherently dangerous.
But horses can throw you out of the saddle, and cars won't do it! Cars are inherently safer! :mrgreen:
if you say so.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 10:32pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 7:47pm
Well, a couple of other options would be some clever long-term energy storage or shipping energy from the sunny parts via High Voltage DC transmission lines (very low losses).
Actually., NYC has world class wind resources right off of Long Island. But the water is 50m.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 10:53pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 7:47pm
Well, a couple of other options would be some clever long-term energy storage or shipping energy from the sunny parts via High Voltage DC transmission lines (very low losses).
OK let's run the numbers on the latter. A HV transmission line from Arizona (big generation potential) to New York (big load) would be about 2500 miles. A 600kV, 3GW transmission line costs about $1.6m per mile. Each substation costs about $500 million; presumably there would be about half a dozen on each line. This would be close to ideal since the peak draw in NYC (around 8pm in the summer) coincides with a time of reasonable generation in Arizona (5pm.)

New York City draws a peak of about 13 gigawatts on a hot day. Let's assume that's what we design for; that allows about half of that to feed nearby cities (Jersey City, Greenwich, Newark etc) during average demand times. That means 5 transmission lines for a total cost of 20+15=$35 billion. Without the generation, just for the transmission line. Also, since capacity factor will be about 20%, the lines will deliver a net of about 1/5 of their rated capacity on average, or about 3GW.

Let's compare that to a new nuclear reactor comparable to the Vogtle plant. Those will generate about 2.2 gigawatts average for a cost of $9 billion.

So what should we do? I say we do both. We build nuclear power plants for baseload power _and_ build HVDC powerlines to bring power from good solar areas to heavy loads. (And of course build the solar plants to feed the transmission lines.) Build the HVDC lines one at a time so we can learn from them while getting the nuclear power plants on line to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

References:
https://www.wecc.biz/Reliability/2014_T ... rt_B+V.pdf
https://www.coned.com/en/about-us/corporate-facts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_El ... ts_3_and_4
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 10:56pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 15 2019 10:32pm
Actually., NYC has world class wind resources right off of Long Island. But the water is 50m.
Well, there you go! My power company allows customers to pick RE power options, which ensures their usage comes only from RE sources. Additionally they allow customers sort of "invest" into specific options - solar or wind, buying chunks of energy for future use :

Clean Wind is sold in 200 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks for a set, low monthly cost of $2.50 per block. Your purchase supports power from new wind farms and helps build even more sources of renewable power here in Oregon.*

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 11:14pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 8:08pm
What you describe isn't familiarity so much as it is direct control. Putting very complex and dangerous operations in the hands of others certainly is something that should give a person pause IMO.
Yet we get in airplanes as passengers all the time.
Funny about the sunbathing bit. I was just reading an article today that was claiming that there are studies that show that staying out of the sun is more dangerous than not. Moderate, regular sunshine is actually a net benefit on average. Even if you Sure, excess sun, on fair, untanned skin as well as sunburn definitely increases the risk of certain kinds of skin cancers. But that risk is actually overshadowed by the health benefits of sunshine on the skin.
I've been following that pretty closely, and there is no level of sun exposure that is "protective" for skin cancer. In other words, there is no level of sun exposure that will reduce your chance of skin cancer, even if you are doing it to get a "base tan" or something to protect yourself. Increasing exposure always increases your odds of cancer.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... t-sunburn/

You can argue that the benefits of vitamin D (and other benefits) outweigh the risks of cancer. But many of those come from exposure to plain old light, not direct sunlight. Things like treatment of SAD are seen even with exposure to indirect sunlight, which is less of a cancer risk than direct sunlight.

But perhaps you decide that the benefits of exposure to direct sunlight are greater than the risk of cancer, because the risk of cancer, although elevated, is small, and there are significant benefits from exposure. Great - that's the same argument I am making with respect to nuclear power. The benefits (reduced CO2 output, reliable baseload power, fewer deaths) outweigh the risks.
This would be like me saying that Volvos are "inherently safe" to drive.
Well, more like saying Teslas are "inherently safe" in autopilot mode, because if you take your hands off the wheel and stop driving, it will come to a stop on its own without hitting anything. That is very different than most cars, and is a significant change. It is not, of course, entirely safe.
But it isn't inherently safe. If a reactor design was "inherently safe", it probably wouldn't need regulation and oversight.
You can certainly make a reactor to any level of safety. (For example, magnetic confinement fusion is inherently safe; it shuts down rapidly and completely if you don't go to great lengths to sustain the reaction. Or for a more conventional reaction, MSR's tend to stop themselves when things go awry.) But because people are not always rational with respect to risk, we'll never see a reactor without regulation and oversight.
Last edited by billvon on Jan 16 2019 12:33am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 15 2019 11:46pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 10:53pm
cricketo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 7:47pm
Well, a couple of other options would be some clever long-term energy storage or shipping energy from the sunny parts via High Voltage DC transmission lines (very low losses).
OK let's run the numbers on the latter. A HV transmission line from Arizona (big generation potential) to New York (big load) would be about 2500 miles. A 600kV, 3GW transmission line costs about $1.6m per mile. Each substation costs about $500 million; presumably there would be about half a dozen on each line. This would be close to ideal since the peak draw in NYC (around 8pm in the summer) coincides with a time of reasonable generation in Arizona (5pm.)

New York City draws a peak of about 13 gigawatts on a hot day. Let's assume that's what we design for; that allows about half of that to feed nearby cities (Jersey City, Greenwich, Newark etc) during average demand times. That means 5 transmission lines for a total cost of 20+15=$35 billion. Without the generation, just for the transmission line. Also, since capacity factor will be about 20%, the lines will deliver a net of about 1/5 of their rated capacity on average, or about 3GW.

Let's compare that to a new nuclear reactor comparable to the Vogtle plant. Those will generate about 2.2 gigawatts average for a cost of $9 billion.

So what should we do? I say we do both. We build nuclear power plants for baseload power _and_ build HVDC powerlines to bring power from good solar areas to heavy loads. (And of course build the solar plants to feed the transmission lines.) Build the HVDC lines one at a time so we can learn from them while getting the nuclear power plants on line to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

References:
https://www.wecc.biz/Reliability/2014_T ... rt_B+V.pdf
https://www.coned.com/en/about-us/corporate-facts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_El ... ts_3_and_4
You could be correct about your numbers, or maybe you're overestimating the costs. I will present my datapoints / theories, and let you and others judge.

So first of all, 600kV is a convenient number to use because there is such line in operation in Brazil:
The Rio Madeira HVDC system is a high-voltage direct current transmission system in Brazil, built to export power from new hydro power plants on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin to the major load centres of southeastern Brazil. The system consists of two converter stations at Porto Velho in the state of Rondônia and Araraquara in São Paulo state, interconnected by two bipolar ±600 kV DC transmission lines with a capacity of 3,150 megawatts (4,220,000 hp) each. In addition to the converters for the two bipoles, the Porto Velho converter station also includes two 400 MW back-to-back converters to supply power to the local 230 kV AC system. Hence the total export capacity of the Porto Velho station is 7100 MW: 6300 MW from the two bipoles and 800 MW from the two back-to-back converters.
According to the energy research organisation Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE),[1] the length of the line is 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi).
So a couple of important points - the length of this line is a bit longer than half the distance you've estimated for. For convenience we can just say we need double of that. Then, the number of components listed - no (half)dozens of substations. I don't know if that's an omitted detail, or design difference (did you specifically consider the fact we're talking DC, not AC ?).

I didn't find the entire project cost - lines, towers, construction. The only number easily available is the cost of HDVC-specific components supplied by a Swiss company:
Zurich, Switzerland, July 29, 2009 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth over $540 million from the Abengoa Group to deliver the key technology for the world’s longest power transmission link to be constructed in Brazil.
The power highway will link two new hydropower plants in the northwest of the country with São Paulo, Brazil's main economic center, over a distance of 2,500 kilometers. Power will be transmitted at very high voltage (600 kilovolts) to minimize transmission losses.
The next question that you brought up is around the capacity. I don't know why they chose 600kV, because there is a newer project supplied by the same Swiss company :
In July 2016, ABB Group received a contract in China to build an ultrahigh-voltage direct-current (UHVDC) land link with a 1100 kV voltage, a 3,000 km (1,900 mi) length and 12 GW of power, setting world records for highest voltage, longest distance, and largest transmission capacity.[8]
That one is much closer to what you were making an estimate for, and also being more recent some cost numbers could be more relevant. As before, I found the cost of ABB's components for that project in their press release :
Zurich, Switzerland, July 19, 2016 – ABB has won orders worth over $300 million to supply breakthrough technologies for the world’s first 1,100 kilovolt (kV) ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link. The orders were booked in the second quarter of 2016.
The Changji-Guquan UHVDC link will transmit power from the Xinjiang region in the Northwest, to Anhui province in eastern China and will set a new world record in terms of voltage level, transmission capacity and distance. It will be capable of transporting 12,000 megawatts of electricity - the equivalent of 12 large power plants, a 50 percent increase in transmission capacity, compared with the 800 kV UHVDC links currently in operation. This will also help extend the transmission distance from around 2,000 kilometers (km) to over 3,000 km and play a key role in integrating remote renewables on a large scale, transmitting power over greater distances and facilitating a more interconnected grid.
I also found a third-party source giving some estimated costs for such projects as a whole :
The exact cost of an HVDC project is generally difficult to determine, given that each project has different factors (e.g. transmission distance, rated power) that will need to be taken into account. However, general estimates can be provided based on knowledge of previous projects. For instance, the Southern Hami-Zhengzhou HVDC line is a massive project, extending a total distance of 2200 km as it travels from Xinjiang province in the northwest down to Henan province in central China. [22, 23] Utilizing 800 kV cables, the line can supply up to 8000 MW of energy. [9] Furthermore, as one of China’s large-scale HVDC projects, the lines are suspended aboveground. Given these factors, the project ended up costing 23.4 billion yuan (~3.5 billion USD), [22, 23] or roughly 1.8 million USD/ km. Moreover, the recently constructed LingzhouShaoxing HVDC line, which extends from Ningxia Province to Zhejiang Province, [24] incurred similar costs. Like the Southern Hami-Zhengzhou line, the Lingzhou-Shaoxing line uses 800 kV cables and can supply up to 8000 MW of energy; however, the Lingzhou-Shaoxing line is a bit shorter, spanning 1722 km. [25] Due to these reasons, the project cost 19.5 billion yuan (~2.9 billion USD), [25] or roughly 1.7 million USD/km. As China (and other nations) more aggressively develops its HVDC network and discovers cheaper, more efficient methods and materials, it is very likely that these costs may be lower in the future.
http://cleanandsecuregrid.org/2017/01/0 ... -in-china/

While it seems like these numbers are a bit higher than what you've estimated (km / mile difference), these numbers seem to be the complete project costs (no substations?) with additional distinction of much higher capacity. Basically it seems like HVDC project combined with a massive PV array can cost less than a comparable nuke in your example.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 16 2019 12:46am

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 11:14pm
You can certainly make a reactor to any level of safety.
No, you can't. Again, you're dealing with inherently dangerous materials and levels of energy, so there is always a significant danger there. Kind of like a thousand pounds of TNT. Anyone who handled TNT knows it's very safe - you can drop it, hit it with a hammer, melt it (gets dangerous), burn it (depends). Is it inherently dangerous despite all of those properties ? Yes it is.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 16 2019 12:53am

cricketo wrote:
Jan 16 2019 12:46am
billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 11:14pm
You can certainly make a reactor to any level of safety.
No, you can't.
Of course you can. You can design a reactor to any level of safety you like - if you are willing to pay for it. MSR's dump their entire core into a big concrete pit if temperatures exceed safe levels, for example - with no input at all from operators. The temperature melts a plug. And without moderators, the reaction stops.

Too dangerous for you? Then go with magnetic confinement fusion. Unless you balance everything perfectly, the plasma expands, pressures and temperatures get below ignition and it stops.

Still too dangerous? Then try inertial confinement fusion. If you are not constantly firing those lasers, no reaction. (Of course, you will be spending a LOT of money and waiting a long time for that.)
Again, you're dealing with inherently dangerous materials and levels of energy, so there is always a significant danger there. Kind of like a thousand pounds of TNT. Anyone who handled TNT knows it's very safe - you can drop it, hit it with a hammer, melt it (gets dangerous), burn it (depends). Is it inherently dangerous despite all of those properties ? Yes it is.
If you prefer that definition, then OK. So is an A380 full of fuel (even more explosive energy.) But we consider that "safe enough" and indeed tout it as the safest way to travel.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 16 2019 1:02am

billvon wrote:
Jan 16 2019 12:53am
If you prefer that definition, then OK. So is an A380 full of fuel (even more explosive energy.) But we consider that "safe enough" and indeed tout it as the safest way to travel.
I agree. Cars kill more people in US than guns. We're trying to ban guns, not cars though :) We are more likely to accept elevated risks when it is truly the only choice and/or a great necessity. I think that is what the whole argument is about here : you think we can't get away without using nukes, and then debating their safety. Others aren't buying your safety arguments, and some (like me) also not buying the necessity of using nukes in the first place.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 16 2019 6:23am

cricketo wrote:
Jan 16 2019 1:02am
and some (like me) also not buying the necessity of using nukes in the first place.
What does it take to make 1.6 TeraWatts average for half of USA's current energy with solar and wind and storage? Have you ever done the math? We currently get 3% of energy from solar and wind. And also electrify all consumption from transportation , agriculture, mining, cement, heat, ect, in order to get the 2:1 efficiency gain to get from 3TW to 1.6?
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Jan 16 2019 7:49am

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:43pm

One is "walk away safe" or "passively safe." No matter what happens, you can walk away and nothing bad will happen.
Another is "passive cooling safe." Doing some very simple things makes the reactor able to cool itself after a shutdown.
Another is "active cooling required." Most reactors are this way now. After shutdown you need to run pumps for a long time (weeks to months) to get the heat out. Fukushima relied on this, and so when the power went out, the reactors melted down.
Fukushima I was passive cooled.
Its design included a water vapor condensor. They switched it off. Fuksushima I melted down and expldoed
Fukushima II and III exploded because of hydrogend builtup.

All of them have been condidered "inherntly safe", because a meltdown like Graphit moderated Tschernobyl was impossible.
"Inherently safe" generally refers to reactors that are safer than existing reactors based on passive cooling features. The AP1000 falls in the middle of that list.
Nuclear advocates fail to have any imagination.

They can not imagine technical failures, human failures. They can not imagin terrorist attacs (and if they do they beleive terrorist only use planes and nothing else), they can not imagine tsunamis, floods, uncontraoable fauliues, temporate collapse of a society (like in a a pandemic), collapse of the elctric grid for sevral das, they can not imagine someone from the staff willingly destroying a reactor, staff accidently destroying a reactor (Chernobyl), a cyber attack, a military attack by an enemy nation and so on. And there is all that shit nobody can imagine now.

Such things are rare, but they will happen.

We had several meltdown accidents from reactores ans waste stoarge facilities in the past and we will have more in the future.

cricketo   1 kW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 16 2019 10:40am

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 16 2019 6:23am
What does it take to make 1.6 TeraWatts average for half of USA's current energy with solar and wind and storage?
A clever engineer doesn't always attack the problem straight ahead. I keep repeating that, but you seem to miss that point. Do we really need 1.6 TW of power ? Maybe if we didn't mine BitCoin, had too many datacenters, built housing developments in deserts, ran Christmas lights for weeks, didn't commute alone in pickup trucks, crushed glass bottles then we would just need a fraction of that. A technical change on such scale is significant enough that it's not incorrect to allow for a cultural change to come with it as well.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 16 2019 11:03am

cricketo wrote:
Jan 16 2019 10:40am
sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 16 2019 6:23am
What does it take to make 1.6 TeraWatts average for half of USA's current energy with solar and wind and storage?
I keep repeating that, but you seem to miss that point. Do we really need 1.6 TW of power ?
You don't seem to notice what I keep saying. 1.6 TW is already cut to half of what we are currently using in the USA. Resulting from every efficiency gain that is conceivably possible according to in depth (renewable darling) studies such as the "Roadmap to Renewables". It's interesting for me to see this same argument pop up from many different individuals who's confirmation bias prevents them from objectively looking at the scale of world energy use and it's relationship to population and human well being.
.
Though you are correct. Things will be much smaller and simpler again after fossil fuel leaves us (long before we are ready to leave it).

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