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To all naysayers of nuclear energy

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posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 03:34 PM
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I have heard quite often from certain minorities on this forum, and other unnameable forums, that nuclear energy is a farce and that we only have limited supplies of uranium, specifically refering to Low Enriched Uranium. Citing that we have only 50-80 years worth left of fuel because of this. This is not true.

Not all reactors run off LEU or uranium. There are many experimental reactors here in the US and across the world and there are thousands at work in universities and colleges to further advance the field of nuclear sciences.

If any of you have access to the magazine Science, I highly recommend you read their articles on the comming future of nuclear energy and science. Almost like a 'nuclear renaissance', so to speak. A byproduct of settling fears over Chernobyl, Three Mile and the cable news networks fascination with terrorist and the word nuclear (whether it by Iran or hijacking airplanes) which allow nuclear operations to flurish like the did in earlier years.

There are fast breeder reactors underway experimentally:


However, a fast breeder reactor can convert Uranium-238 into Plutonium-239 at a rate faster than it consumes its fuel. By repeated recycling of the fuel it should be realistically possible to exploit 50% of the fuel value of the uranium feed. This means that fast reactors could extend the energy output from the world's uranium fuel reserves 25 fold.

If a neutron is captured by a Uranium-238 nucleus the following reaction takes place:



The result is that Uranium-238, which is very difficult to fission, is transformed into Plutonium-239 which can be fissioned much more easily. This means that a useful reactor fuel can be made from an otherwise useless natural resource. The symbol +n represents the gain of a neutron by capture and b - represents radioactive decay by beta emission with the half-life shown below the arrow.


www.jnc.go.jp...
en.wikipedia.org...

This is the process currently underway at Monju in Japan, as well as several other nations including India, US, France and Russia. The race is to see who will develop the first commercial reactor, rather than just an experimental.

There are also other fuels besides uranium ore, such as thorium:


Thorium, as well as uranium, can be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor. Although not fissile itself, thorium-232 (Th-232) will absorb slow neutrons to produce uranium-233 (U-233), which is fissile. Hence, like uranium-238 (U-238), it is fertile.

In one significant respect U-233 is better than uranium-235 and plutonium-239, because of its higher neutron yield per neutron absorbed. Given a start with some other fissile material (U-235 or Pu-239), a breeding cycle similar to but more efficient than that with U-238 and plutonium (in slow-neutron reactors) can be set up.


en.wikipedia.org...
Thorium cycle

India, so far, appears to be the only country with extensive research into thorium reactors, due in large part to its lack of obligation to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty when in 1974 it detonated a nuke above ground and has been barred from receiving certain information regarding nuclear physics. It's current project in Kalpakkam was halted for four months due to the December tsunami.




posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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Thorium reactors are better as less waste is produces and it's not possible to weaponize the stuff. As for the Amount of Uranium we have left, well anyones guesstimate is as good as mine. But one thing is for sure, we gotta allot of thorium.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 04:00 PM
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I haven't had enough time to read it, but in case you are interested, MIT appears to have a nice article on the future of nuclear energy and research from 2003

web.mit.edu...

Fusion reactors?:



Lausanne, June 28, 2005 – The Six Parties of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) consortium have reached a decision in their negotiations, specifying the location of the world's first energy-producing fusion reactor in Cadarache, in Southern France. The €10 billion project will generate multiple research opportunities for the Plasma Physics Research Center at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).


www.eurekalert.org...
www.iter.org...

And a debate over th ITER: fire.pppl.gov...



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 04:45 PM
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Excellent post. I think Canada needs some more reactors tho, it would jump start our development and allow us to export. More money =)



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Darkpr0


Excellent post. I think Canada needs some more reactors tho, it would jump start our development and allow us to export. More money =)


Yeah but lets stop building reactors on supposedly "dead" fault lines mmkay...(Pickering or Darlington is on a fault, not sure which one though, gotta ask my dad about that one)



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 05:24 PM
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Reasearch into new ways of producing nuclear power seems to be reasearching bass akwards.

Figure out what to do with the toxic/waste before you build new plants.

Oh, I can tell you what to do with the nuclear waste. Any guesses?

Not in my backyard! How about yours?

IMO clean, alternative, solar, wind, wave should be getting the R&D money, In the mean time let's use our enormous reserves of natural gas to fuel power plants.

When the proponents of nuclear power can clean it up so It won't pose any danger to future generations; maybe then I could support it as an energy source.

I'm not very happy with coal fired generating plants either. Look at the smog in the Grand Canyon. Yuk!!





[edit on 24-8-2005 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa
Reasearch into new ways of producing nuclear power seems to be reasearching bass akwards.

Figure out what to do with the toxic/waste before you build new plants.

Oh, I can tell you what to do with the nuclear waste. Any guesses?

Not in my backyard! How about yours?

IMO clean, alternative, solar, wind, wave should be getting the R&D money, In the mean time let's use our enormous reserves of natural gas to fuel power plants.

When the proponents of nuclear power can clean it up so It won't pose any danger to future generations; maybe then I could support it as an energy source.

I'm not very happy with coal fired generating plants either. Look at the smog in the Grand Canyon. Yuk!!

[edit on 24-8-2005 by whaaa]


There is research into nuclear waste management, but storing it in mountains so far is the best idea and solution. Only about 1% of nuclear waste content poses risk in the future which leaves 99% of it harmless for future generations.

apt.lanl.gov...
www.pnl.gov...

The money for such operations to render the waste non-hazardous for the most part relies heavily on congress for the funds to research and carry out these techniques.

The problem with the other alternatives is kilowatt per hour. Solar, 10-7¢; Wind, 10-4¢; Tidal, 15-7¢.

Now compared to nuclear, 2-3¢ per killowat hour

[edit on 24-8-2005 by Frosty]



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:08 PM
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Well Frosty,

Your statistics don't convince me. The nucear industry isn't going to publish statistics that don't support their position. To think LANAL is non-partisian is naive.

I'm old enough to remember 3mile island and Chernoble. We will never know the long term health effects of either of those disasters. Granted 3mile was light weight in compairson to Chernoble but I don't trust the NRC and their assesment of the damage done in 3mile. They tried to cover up the whole incident. With that they lost all credability with me.

Does Karen Silkwood ring a bell?



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 12:00 AM
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Seeing as how nuclear power creates nuclear waste, a waste we have no real way of properly disposing of, i don't see why people continue to support nuclear power. Burying containers of nuclear waste underground, in mountains, and in the ocean will eventually catch up to us.



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 01:15 AM
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It's not as if nuclear waste is dumped into rivers or into the ground. There are ways of dealing with this problem: nuclear waste management disposal. ie; I buy 100 acres in Texas, construct a building and sell space in the building for nuclear plants to store their waste. Problem solved. The waste is not generated into the atmosphere or the ground or water body.



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 01:28 AM
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veeeeeeeeeery interesting


gif.inel.gov...

a document with diverse reactors designs....veeeeeery interesting

well, about the breeders reactors, i think that the french have mastered that technology, but isnt simple, it use Na as first fluid cycle, it goes to hat chambers to transfer the energy to water, but you know, Na + H2O isnt a pacific combination, so the presicion and maintenace in such reactors must be high

i dont know in which point of the "oil peak" theory we are, but perhaps we should look again to the nuclear fision

i think that the disposal problems of the radioactive waste could be solved with neutron bombs detonations, yes NEUTRON BOMBS!!!!!, the fision -with neutrons /obviously with a reduced velocity to induce fision/- of hazardous nuclear waste could turn into low number isotopes, in general terms such atoms have lower mid-live, the problem is that a investigation of "how" to deal with the nuke waste was always irrelevant, because the main target was always how to produce nuke bombs.

the big problem is that in a nuclear industry producing a bunch of U, Pu, and N bombs,there is always a guy selling these material not always to the right people, so a huge nuke industry is a risk

about the fusion, well, the ITER is a tokamak with some spherical-tokamak ideas, i dont know if it could work, i know that also china want their own "ITER", i think that they are working whit the russians -actually the experimental tokamak that now are using was a russian tokamak, was a russian "gift" or they buy it /i dont know/-

the research have turn very interesting, the ITER will be a superconductor reactor from the start -like the russian t15-, not like the JET in which the superconductors were adaptated later, we dont know if will work, i have my doubts

the US investigation is very oriented to inertial confinement with lasers, the magnetic confinement was almost left, yes the US have a participation in the ITER, but the proyect is mainly european, i really doubt that the laser-fusion could be better than the magnetic tokamak, i mean, the laser works a lower temperature -affecting the thermodynamic efficiency-, and it use litium as reactor with neutrons, because the energy isnt heat, instead neutrons emisssion, so in the end the lasers are basicaly mini neutron bombs fusion reactors, but mainly fision reactors with neutron bombarment over litium, so the fuel in the end isnt H or D, is Li, and this is a material that isnt cheap, the main advantage is that in such reactors you dont must deal with the hell-temperature of the tokamak, so the maintenance is better, but even with that i dont trust much in such concept



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 04:03 PM
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Hrm...nuclear power is such an underdog of all power production, and has been quite possibly the BEST industry in power production in terms of safety and effeciency since they began, its incredible it got such a horrible rap.

Everyone needs to remember that nuclear power plants are held to the most strict and perfect standards most other industries could not afford without going bankrupt. They also produce no leakage at all. You increase your risk of cancer by being in any direct sunlight than living within a mile of a nuclear plant. I've done my homework on this one folks.

Nuclear power plants supply France with 70%+ of its total electricity, and you do not hear them complaining about the waste or the bombs. Europe understands its enormous power potential for solving fuel problems and keeping the world clean too.

Which reminds me, nuclear power is perfectly clean.

New reactors could be designed to increase current effeciency by over 20%, which would reduce the total cost of nuclear power even more, and these would be designed with the breeder concept. It would replace coal and oil fired plants for a larger inital investment, but with unpreccedented safety and environmentally friendly power.

And now, why does everyone still HATE nuclear power, even after they heard all that?! Rather amazing. They link nuclear power with bomb like its a reflex. Its terrible. Perhaps when oil reaches $100 a barrel, their pathetic "No nuke plant" signs will evaporate. It doesnt even pollute at all! What are you protesting about? Once again, the TV gives you more radiation.

The issue of the nuclear waste isnt as pressing as the oil problems. Waste storage facilities onsite are still not completely full, and thus we have time to sort out Yucca and finish the site for cheap and utterly safe storage.

When it starts to burn their pockets, they will turn to the atom.



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 04:41 PM
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I'm in agreement about how good nuclear power can be...it is a fairly new system, after all, and needs to get some bugs worked out.
I'm familiar with the Candu system that has been built in places like India, Pakistan, S.Korea as well as Canada. After 50 years, it has had a chequered start, but, all in all, it has been good for Ontario (imo).

There is a mega project in the works near here that should be good for low level storage...high level still occurs above ground in 'silos' which are also detailed here...

www.opg.com...

there's lots of links to educate the interested about the Candu itself within this page.

Thanks for posting, Frosty



dang link is giving me caniptions...won't work checked 5 times...grrrr

anyways...for the last edit...it seems they're updating the info on the page.

the project I'm referring to is called the Ontario Power Generation Deep Geologic Repository Proposal

this project is well into the environmental impact stage and should be completed about 2012...it's that big. Google it and you'll get whatever they've just put in...lol


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