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ENERGY: Nuclear Power

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posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 09:47 AM
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The energy consumption rate of today's society is growing astronomically. Power companies throughout the US are proposing expansions of existing power plants and the building of new ones. While in 2000 the first nuclear power plant had its licence renewed other utility companies are looking at the possibility of converting their nuclear plants into coal plants. How does nuclear power fit into the future of the United States?
 


In the past nuclear power has operated at a loss. Events including Chernobyl and Three Mile Island have caused public support to diminish greatly. While in today's world nuclear power is much more efficient we are faced with the problems of storing nuclear waste, decommisioning and ever-present safety concerns.

The Green Party feels that all nuclear reactors should be decommisioned within the next five years. They feel that the creation of nuclear waste needs to stop now citing leakage at disposal sites. Instead that we should be investing in renewable energy, including wind and solar power.


Refrences:
Los Angeles Times Article
Feasibility Study
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Green Party Issues




posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 10:18 AM
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The simple fact is Nuclear power remains an efficient sourse of energy for us to use. Albiet with "issues" The biggest issue IMHO is one of waste. Yucca Mountian has been approved for the storage of nuclear waste and barring the election of John Kerry (WHo opposes it). Currently the US recives around 20% of its electricty from these plants. Simply putting up solar panels is not going to make up the difference in that production. In fact the amount of energy and resources required to make these panels eats up thier benifits for quite some time. However a plant using diffusion enriched uranium will pay for itself in approx 5 months (see the link below for where I got these figures.)The technology for alternative energy sources may come in time, but Nuclear Power (I sound like Mr. Burns here) right now is a good option. It is effcient and the power density is huge. Other countries have adopted nuclear power and have had good sucsess with it: France, Japan etc. No green house gas emissions is a huge issue when considering this option. If anything, we need more reactors. That would reduce our dependance on fossil fuels and would help stave off the increasing use of coal to generate our electricty

Right now even the renewable energy sources have come under attack by the environmental community. Hydroelectric is taboo as it dams rivers (Imagine trying to construct Hoover Dam now), Even wind power is angering groups because it is killing birds.

I agree that safety concerns are vital. Perhaps the industry could take a look at the Navy who has a good safety record aboard its carriers and submarines.



posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 10:32 AM
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From FredT:
The simple fact is Nuclear power remains an efficient sourse of energy for us to use.


Personally, I think that for now nuclear power is a good choice. I don't think we have a viable, eco-friendly alternative at the moment. I have to agree that right now renewable energy will not make a big enough dent. I do think that we should be putting money into renewable energy research. Also, I know some power companies like Xcel Energy allow people to "buy" renewable energy. Basically it is a monthly fee that helps defer the cost of these sources. We are definately heading in the right direction.

What bothers me is the possibility of turing nuclear power plants into traditional coal plants. How is this any better? Coal mining strips the land and burning it clogs the air. I really think we need to look harder at renewables.

The fact remains that unless we halt our power useage completely we are going to be harming the environment. Since we are not will to give up heaters, lighting, cars and computers I think it is out duty as glabal citizens to reduce out impact as much as possible.


[edit on 7-8-2004 by Cercey]



posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 11:13 AM
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I agree that until renewable sources of energy become truly viable and economical, nuclear power is the best option. The last thing we need is to burn up more fossil fuels by converting plants to coal.

I would like to see the US investigate tidal energy and wave energy, in particular Marine Current Turbines, similar to underwater windmills.

Although not a national full scale solution, it could supply power to many of the coastal regions. It has the best potential off the California coast, which has been going through energy shortages for years.
Tidal Power
MCT Home



posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Cercey
research. Also, I know some power companies like Xcel Energy allow people to "buy" renewable energy. Basically it is a monthly fee that helps defer the cost of these sources. We are definately heading in the right direction.


Actually Palo Alto, were we live, owns its own utility. We have the option for only like 8 dollars more a month to use 100% renewable energy. Obviously you can't quarantee you home get the 100% because it all comes in over the grid, the city adjusts its purchases accordingly.

I agree, coal should be left to use as a last resort. The US and Canada have a huge reserve of it. A technology advances, we will start seeing an increase in renewable efficency and decrease in thier cost. As it is we looked at solar during the energy crisis. For a system that would supply our needs and a little more, despite an almost 50% rebate between the city and state, it still would have been about 35,000 without the battery backup. Based on our electricty usage, it was going to take us 25 years to break even. If they can get the price down to say 5-7,000 the systems will take off like you would not believe. Every house could be its own utility.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 04:54 PM
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If they can get the price down to say 5-7,000 the systems will take off like you would not believe.


Well for about 20,000 cnd(give or take a few thousand) you can reduce your electricity cost's by at least 50%. Here is the system I am setting up for my house.

KWh Used: 5,000 - 6,000 KWh/year
-----------------------------------------------------
8 Kyocera KC120 - 120 watt multicrystal solar panels
Volts: 16.9 V
Amps: 7.1
Capacity: 120 Watts
Location: Japan
Weight (lb): 26.3
Weight (kg): 11.9
Size (imperial): 56x25.7x2
Size (metric): 142x65x5.2
Warranty: 25 Years
Total Cost: About 8,000 Cnd (Not Including Rebates and Tax Incentives)
-----------------------------------------------------
Zomeworks Universal Track Rack, for 8 KC120, 8 US64
Capacity: 6-10 modules
Location: USA
Weight (lb): 490
Weight (kg): 222
Size (imperial): 56.7x58.3
Size (metric): 144x148
Warranty: 10 Years
Color: Black
Mounting: 6" SCH40 pipe
Cost: 2500 Cnd
-----------------------------------------------------
Xantrex STXR2500 2.5 kW SunTie grid-intertie inverter, with combiner board and PV GPF
Volts: 240 VAC
Capacity: 2.5 kW
Weight (lb): 40
Weight (kg): 18
Cost: 4300 Cnd (Not including Rebate)
-----------------------------------------------------
2 Whisper H40 900 watt, 12 VDC 3-blade wind turbine - with solar controller
Volts: 12 VDC
Capacity: 900 Watts
Location: Arizona, USA
Weight (lb): 47
Weight (kg): 21
Size (imperial): 84
Size (metric): 210
Warranty: 2 Years
Color: Aluminum
Mounting: 2.5" SCH 40 pipe
Cost: 6000 Cnd

Two things to note though, 1. All prices are in Cnd dollars and prices seem to be cheaper in the US. 2. There is a major Solar Panel shortage right now due to demand spurred by high oil prices. When Solar Panel makers ramp up production in 2005 expect prices to drop significantly.

These threads hold much more information about this topic.

Reducing Oil Dependency
Conditions Ripe for Recession/Depression?
Wind power, how much does a windmill cost?



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 04:46 AM
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That pretty much jives with prices here in the states. However, is that the installed price? The wind generates alot of electricity for the overall cost of the system if you have consistent wind. THe other item is a battery backup so that you don't need grid power at night. The system I priced out was enough for our house including the central air and some excess capacity built in.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 01:18 PM
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Ok from an energy stand point nuclear energy is the most energy efficent form of enery yet created. It is cheap and even small amounts of uranium can produce large amounts of energy. In fact the nuclear powered Nimitz and Enterprise class aircraft carriers can go for fifteen years without refueling their nuclear reactors I believe. From an economic stand point it is one of the most ecologically friendly. Although solar, wind and hydro-electric plants are more ecologically friendly they aren't always good choices. In many cases solar plants simply can't supply the massive amounts of power required. And during a cloudy day energy output drops dramatically. As for wind plants they are somewhat expensive and only work well in areas of the world were it is constantly windy such as near large bodies of water. And hydro-electric plants are excellent in constant energy output and minimal polution they can only be build on running rivers and such. Usually canyons and valleys. Then there are coal powered plants. These are far less energy efficent then nuclear plants and the polution is astronomical. Nuclear plants give off only two emisions, steam and nuclear waste. Thanks to remote mountains in the desert we have viable locations to store the nuclear waste. And nuclear waste has a military application too. Depleted-Uranium bullets are some of the best armor pierceing amunition ever created. So nuclear waste isn't completly useless.

I feel that nuclear plants are currently our best option until we invest more in tidal energy and until we are able to control and practically use fusion energy.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 02:25 PM
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I am all for nuclear power... as long as there aren't and nuclear problems.

I live in Ajax, which is literally 25 km away from the Pickering Nuclear Power Plant and would most definitely be affected if a melt-down, or something did happen.

There have been problems in the past with nuclear accidents. Going by this calendar they seem to happen quite often.

If you can find a safer way to create power then I don't see any reason why you shouldn't.



1989: Technical failure of fuel roads at Pickering nuclear power plant (Canada)



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by MacKiller
I
There have been problems in the past with nuclear accidents. Going by this calendar they seem to happen quite often.



I just found this thread: www.abovetopsecret.com...

Seems four people are dead in Japan after a nuclear accident.

[edit on 9-8-2004 by Cercey]



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by Cercey
I just found this thread: www.abovetopsecret.com...
Seems four people are dead in Japan after a nuclear accident.
[edit on 9-8-2004 by Cercey]


If you read the BBC report, and NPK, the accident occured in the non radioactive side of the steam system. There was no release of radiation.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 05:08 PM
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Nuclear power is something that is going to be in use for a long while, since like sceptic said, a small amount of uranium can produce large amounts of energy which is what is needed in socity at present. However its not exactly the safest since it takes hundreds to thousands of years for it to completely become unreactive.
Until something more reliable and safer comes along nuclear is here to stay for a good while.



posted on Aug, 9 2004 @ 06:23 PM
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Originally posted by racos
Nuclear power is something that is going to be in use for a long while, since like sceptic said, a small amount of uranium can produce large amounts of energy which is what is needed in socity at present. However its not exactly the safest since it takes hundreds to thousands of years for it to completely become unreactive.
Until something more reliable and safer comes along nuclear is here to stay for a good while.


I would be happy if they could. ITs just a matter of time before the technolgy advances. I also don't think banking on Fuel cells are the answer. If we can remove electrical generation from the use of fossil fuels we can stretch those that much further. Tidal power has promise, and I firmly believe in wind power. The Altamont Pass here in California has a huge wind generating staion. The wind blows almost constantly. Kills alot of birds though.



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 06:59 PM
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Maby In The Future we will be able to seperate certain molicules and use the same power sources but in a more enviromental friendly way

We could then get the power without the hazards (if thats possible)



posted on Aug, 10 2004 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by Crash
Maby In The Future we will be able to seperate certain molicules and use the same power sources but in a more enviromental friendly way

We could then get the power without the hazards (if thats possible)


There is alot of unconventional sources that are being looked at. Esp Zero Point etc. Lots of tech for us to explore....



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