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Thread: Germany Looking for Nuclear Graveyard to last One Million Years.

  1. Top | #91
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    You missed my point. If they're using products made with electricity they are benefiting from it even if they don't have direct access to it.
    Darn. ....and I had my chair leaning against a wall leaving me facing windows and doors from where they shot me holding Aces and eights.

    At what point does proximity not mean benefiting.

  2. Top | #92
    Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by barbos View Post
    Damn russians, always screw my argument
    these are two prototypes (!) in existence, which most certainly are not practically usable.
    Designed to generate electrical power of 600 MW in total, the plant dispatches 560 MW to the Middle Urals power grid. It has been in operation since 1980
    (Wikipedia)

    That "prototype" BN-600 has been running for nearly forty years - almost twice the life of a wind turbine or solar panel. Sounds pretty practically usable to me.
    Running does not necessarily mean it produce all the benefits of the technology. Yes they built it and keep it running, but does it recycle and reprocess the waste?
    Something tells me it's simply more expensive than ordinary nuclear plants, otherwise Soviet Union and now Russia would have been covered with these plants.

  3. Top | #93
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    (Wikipedia)

    That "prototype" BN-600 has been running for nearly forty years - almost twice the life of a wind turbine or solar panel. Sounds pretty practically usable to me.
    Running does not necessarily mean it produce all the benefits of the technology. Yes they built it and keep it running, but does it recycle and reprocess the waste?
    Something tells me it's simply more expensive than ordinary nuclear plants, otherwise Soviet Union and now Russia would have been covered with these plants.
    Well breeder reactors are useful as part of a system - they produce plutonium that can be sold to fuel fabrication plants to make into PWR or BWR fuel assemblies. But since the Cold War ended, and since Japan and Germany, amongst others, made the crazy decision to scale back their nuclear power facilities, there's been a glut of plutonium in the world. The price is extremely low, as is the uranium price; So there's no particular demand for the product.

    But in a future that includes a large fraction of global energy generation from various fission reactors - both GW scale PWR/BWRs, and smaller MSRs with the ability to burn a wide range of actinides, the ability to convert fertile 238U into fissile 239Pu may well be an essential part of ensuring sufficient fissile material is available for Gen III+ fuel assemblies, and for startup of Gen IV MSRs.

    Right now, breeding just adds to the glut of fissile material in the market. But as anti-nuclear people continue to trot out the "nuclear isn't renewable and we will run out of fuel eventually" furphy, having breeder designs and multi-fuel designs to point to that can make more fissile fuel and/or burn Thorium and the various Uranium, Plutonium, and other Actinide isotopes that are currently treated as 'waste', can only be a good thing.

    There's more than enough nuclear fuel to supply all of mankind's energy needs for at least several thousand years - even if we restrict ourselves to land based mining. If we include extraction from seawater, the fuel available is replenished by geological processes as fast as we can use it, and is no less renewable than wind or solar power. And as the cost of fuel is a minuscule fraction of the cost of electricity generation in a nuclear plant, electricity costs need not be pushed up by the cost of such extraction processes, or of the handful of breeder reactors that would form a part of that global system.

  4. Top | #94
    Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    So yes, electricity from new and more efficient breeder reactors is more expensive than from old inefficient, waste-producing reactors.
    And Australia as a major uranium exporter is responsible for this problem.

    Plus breeders are less safe and have proliferation problem.

  5. Top | #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Science is about facts, not about labels; and if an education in science teaches a person anything it should be how to tell the difference.
    But we must have a label for those facts. That's simply language.
    To be precise, we must have at least one label for those facts. It's okay to have more than one label for the same facts.

    If I can identify the difference by observation or sound or size or behavior of some kind between a wren and a bald eagle, how is that any different than identifying the difference between two different bacteria using the same methodology, or two particles, or trees, or rocks, or?
    Who said it is? What are you getting at?

    Feynman used language and labels too, and wished for us to understand that those labels were meaningless without an understanding of how they came to be what they are.
    I don't think that was his story's intended lesson. For instance, here's Merriam-Webster's explanation for how the label "animal" came to be what it is:

    Latin anima means "breath" or "soul," and animalis, the adjective that comes from it, means "having breath or soul." An animal such as a cat or dog can be seen to breathe. Plants breathe too, by taking in certain gases from the atmosphere and releasing others. However, this process cannot be observed by the naked eye. So the noun animal, which comes from animalis, was borrowed from Latin for that group of living beings that breathe visibly.

    Do you think English speakers actually need to understand all that in order for "animal" now to have meaning in English? Do you think Feynman wished for us to understand that humans are animals because we breathe visibly? As you say, it's a fact that humans are animals; but sponges have no respiratory systems. Do you therefore think it's not a fact that sponges are animals?

    Humans ARE animals. That's scientific fact.
    Certainly. And people evolved from animals. That's also scientific fact.

    animal, n.

    a. A living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and a nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli; any living creature, including man.

    b. In ordinary or non-technical use: any such living organism other than a human being.

    If you want to argue that "people evolved from animals" isn't scientific fact, that's tantamount to arguing that definition b is incorrect. Do you have empirical evidence for the OED's lexicographers having bungled their job?

    I very often have discussions about the two labels "Liberal" and "Conservative." I attempt to communicate that they have historical and social context and that is what gives them meaning. Today people use conservative to mean republican and liberal to mean democrat but that is incorrect. But that is another thread.
    Well, Americans typically do. But then there's historical and social context that led to that usage to.

  6. Top | #96
    Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    (Wikipedia)

    That "prototype" BN-600 has been running for nearly forty years - almost twice the life of a wind turbine or solar panel. Sounds pretty practically usable to me.
    Running does not necessarily mean it produce all the benefits of the technology. Yes they built it and keep it running, but does it recycle and reprocess the waste?
    Something tells me it's simply more expensive than ordinary nuclear plants, otherwise Soviet Union and now Russia would have been covered with these plants.
    It does look that USSR/Russia is farther away with their advanced BN-600/800/1200 (prototype) reactors than the rest of the field. French version of that design had failed miserably, and both China and Japan bought russian design for themselves. US was going to build their BN-800-like reactor to destroy weapon-grade plutonium but decided it's too expensive and essentially broke the agreement with Russia about that.

    So yeah, fuel from breeders is about 5 times more expensive than from the mines, and reactors are more expensive to build to operate (mostly because of fuel enrichment it seems), but russians are actually hoping it could be made economically viable.

  7. Top | #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Elixir View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    we have just as many people on the left who don't understand science as the right
    I doubt it. That sounds like something you may have made up out of whole cloth. And it runs counter to my admittedly limited experience; virtually every science denier I know (more than a few) is also a right-wing religious lemming.
    That's not a good reason to doubt it. Accepting the conclusions of science and understanding science are two entirely different things. The left is quite well stocked with people who accept global warming and evolution because they've been told to but would flunk a college science class. If you examine the statistics on political affiliation in academia, you'll find the chance of a professor being on the political right goes way up in the STEM fields.
    Actual scientists are 6 times more likely to be Democrats than Republicans, and 6 times more likely to label themselves as "liberal" than "conservatives.
    But what makes you think that statistic is relevant to the point in dispute? Academics in general are much more likely to be Democrats than Republicans, and to label themselves as "liberal" than "conservative"; that the same is true in science isn't an independent datum. Those in the "social sciences" and particularly in the humanities, arts, and education are highly likely not to understand science. Consequently it's a slam dunk that there are an awful lot more leftist than rightist academics who don't understand science -- there are probably more leftist professors who don't understand science than the entire population of science professors. The more salient issue is the percentages. How many leftist professors don't understand science relative to the total number of leftist professors, and how many rightist professors don't understand science relative to the total number of rightist professors?

    You can find some more conservatives and Republicans if you go outside of science into Math, Engineering, and medical practitioners (which use or relate to areas in science but are not scientific fields).
    True, but who do you think is more likely to understand science? A random sociology or English or art history professor? Or a random math or engineering or medicine professor?

    However, even there they are still a minority and they comprise the portions of people in those in those fields who dangerously are ignorant of most science and science in favor of theistic religion.
    You have a bad habit of stereotyping your political opponents. Do you have any actual evidence that, say, most conservative or Republican mathematicians are dangerously ignorant of most science?

    Denial of climate science and evolutionary biology are almost the exclusive province of right wing extremism, so maybe the spread is more even in other scientific matters.
    I take it by "evolutionary biology" you mean "people evolved from animals". The folks who attacked E. O. Wilson for explaining the evolutionary biology of psychological differences between the sexes were hardly right wing extremists, and they certainly qualify as evolutionary biology deniers.
    Accepting the actual science of evolutionary biology does not entail or logically necessitate accepting speculations about the evolutionary source of specific gender differences. That humans evolved is a fact. That some behavioral differences between the sexes are part of evolved biology is a fact. However, most claims about specific behavioral sex-differences evolving for particular reasons are far from fact and more philosophical speculation than science, as is that general claim that the majority of sex differences in behavior are evolved.

    Most of the resistance to sociobiology is resistance to the often unscientific claims made in its name that try to pretend their unsupported conclusions follow from Wilson's generally more modest assertions. Resistance to Wilson himself comes from a handful of people, some of whom, like Gould, were as much driven by self-aggrandizing fame-seeking, than political ideology. Since conservatives can and do pervert evolutionary psychology to support their non-scientific racism and misogyny, they have motive to "accept" it even though their distortions are as anti-science as what Wilson's harshest critics had to say.
    I don't see how any of that conflicts with what I said, or provides any support for Elixir's extraordinary claim. He was mistaken. There are clearly plenty of non-right-wing extremists engaging in denial of evolutionary biology. (A fair number have done it on this forum.) Accepting that humans evolved from non-human primates isn't the full extent of what it takes to not be an evolutionary biology denier.

    There are some leftists who take an unscientific extreme stance in rejecting evidence for biologically based behavioral differences between sexes.
    However, there are very few if any conservatives that accept the actual science of biologically-based contributions to human behavior.
    Do you have evidence for that claim?

    Those conservatives that don't deny human evolution completely, deliberately distort what the science actually tells us to support extremist, politically motivated, and unscientific claims that overstate what can be confidently attributed to biology and particular selection pressures.
    Now there's a sweeping generalization. What fraction of the conservative population have you examined for this trait you so confidently ascribe to all of them?

    Among those who accept the actual scientifically supported complex interact of biology and experience, the vast majority are likely left of center.
    That strikes me as a claim it would be hard to test. But if you think you can back it up with evidence, go for it.

  8. Top | #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    I do agree that total science deniers are almost always right wing.

    However, there are plenty on the left that deny aspects of science. The anti-nuke crowd. The only-natural crowd. The anti-vax crowd. The anti-GMO crowd. The organic crowd.

    They pretty much follow a standard pattern--they don't like things which are complex enough that understanding whether they are good or bad requires technical knowledge that is not easily acquired. (Not that it's hidden, just that it's complex enough that it takes a lot of study.)

    It seems to me that herding is a good comparison. The right wing is easy to herd, they tend to go in the same direction and thus are obvious. The left is much more varied, rather than one big herd you have a bunch of smaller ones moving only roughly together. While any one person isn't likely to spout all the varieties of woo I think there are as many woo-spouters.
    This is probably right. But the main problem with the whole "Leftists are pro-science; rightists are anti-science" meme isn't that it might not really be true. Granting that maybe 90% of rightists are woo-pushing science deniers of one sort or another, it's not really all that important whether it's 85% of leftists or 95% of leftists who are also woo-pushing science deniers of one sort or another. The critical issue is not how many do it but how much damage they do when they push their science denial on the rest of us. That's where the more severe problem with the meme shows up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Bosch View Post
    I understand why Bilby is frustrated. Without nuclear power, we're probably [doomed]. It's the bridge technology that can get us to the estimated 30 years from now when technology will be advanced enough to provide us with truly low cost, reliable and clean energy. Today nuclear energy is clean, reliable, extremely safe, and provides high paying jobs. And yet it is going down in flames due to superstition and fear.
    Bingo. It's hard to see how all the right's species transmutation denial and climate change denial, or even throw in all of both sides' GMO denial and vaccine denial and evolutionary psychology denial put together, have anywhere near the potential to wipe out civilization and kill billions of us, that the left's nuclear power denial provides all by itself. The left could accept absolutely all of science except that nuclear reactors are the safest way to generate power, and science denial would still be a mental illness primarily of the left, as measured by actual harm. When leftists tell themselves science is on their side and science denial is a problem of the right, they're giving themselves permission to spend their time smugly patting themselves on the back and looking down on their opponents rather than spending their time applying critical thought to their own opinions and educating themselves on what it will actually take to stop the planet from cooking.

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