Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

Donnernv (< 20)

Politics, Crises and Reality

Recs

19

August 29, 2008 – Comments (18)

Posted on another blog, but useful here.

There are too many blog streams littered with conservatives and liberals noting irrelevant points and insulting each other and the candidates.  By definition, half of the people in the US have double digit IQs.  Why do so many of them populate these boards?

Sadly, this has now slopped over to a CAPS blog.  This is a pile of crap, and is irrelevant to reality.

It doesn't matter who is elected.  The next government (executive and legislature) are facing the greatest collective set of problems we've ever faced.  I shan't list them.  Read Alstry's "sky is falling" daily screed to see them all.

But Alstry is (overblown, screamingly, daily numbingly) correct.  The consequence of this should be obvious.  No administration is going to "change" this pile of doo-doo.  It's a ten-twenty year job for intelligent, committed, supported leaders.

But politics is about the next fundraiser, the next campaign, the next election.  There is no time nor power available to any elected official(s) in this political environment.

So what will happen?  The "leaders" will respond to the inexorable pressures of our world and our economy by rushing from crisis to crisis, passing short-term legislation designed to show they are "doing something" for the "hard-working American family".

The vast majority of this short-term, ill-considered crap will do exactly nothing to solve the real challenges.  Only REAL crisis will get anything useful done, when it may be too late to adjust to the real problems.

One simple but illustrative example.  Can any informed person disagree with the fact that crude oil is finite and that demand (world-wide) is monotonically growing?  If you disagree, you are not well-informed.  Google "peak oil" and learn.  It is the most important problem for the world.  Go ahead, blow four or five hours learning.

Can any informed person disagree with the fact that sooner or later (probably sooner) the energy for transportation must come from somewhere else?  Can any informed person disagree with the fact that the only big-time scalable source to fill this need is electricity?  If you believe in ethanol or hydrogen fuel cells or natural gas or liquified coal, you are not informed.  Google them and learn.

And can any informed person disagree with the fact that the only baseline grid scalable electricity source is nuclear?  Coal, which we'll use plenty of, will not pass environmental muster.  Natural gas for electricity is an absurd notion.  It is far, far too valuable to burn. 

Solar?  Wind?  Geothermal?   Wonderful, well-meaning.  Green.  But nowhere near enough to fill a significant fraction of baseline grid needs.  And certainly nowhere near enough to shoulder the burden of replacing fossil fuel for transportation.

This is one example of a massive problem we (and the world) are facing.  What is needed?   Shortcut==>rubberstamp applications to build plants with previously vetted/tested reactors.  Government backed loans and liability insurance for the utilities building nuclear plants.  Absolutely necessary.

Debate nuclear with me.  But be very certain that I know a hell of a lot more about it than you do.

Will the politicos do what is required?  No.  They don't have the power.  Will they when the cars run out of gas and the lights start flickering off?  Probably.  I hope it's not too late.  Oh, and pray every night for A123 (the company).

18 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 29, 2008 at 8:00 PM, LordZ wrote:

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.aspx?Feed=BW&Date=20080819&ID=9043677&Symbol=USU

American Centrifuge Project Creating Thousands of U.S. Jobs

 

Report this comment
#2) On August 29, 2008 at 9:05 PM, russiangambit (29.47) wrote:

Good points. We had good leaders in the past. But now it is impossible to execute a strategy no matter how good you are. Everything is short term these days. What is causing this? Strangely, it is probably technological progress, - tv, internet, everything is real time these days, people have no patience.

The same thing with corporations. This is why I hate to work for big corporations. They have no vision, everything is about next earnings. It is much better to work for small, not known companies. They are the only ones taking risks.

The same in politics, if you have a bright idea, implement it in some unknown town. Nobody will be willing to take a risk on national level. This is why any "change" coming from a president is doomed. I will still vote for Obama. At least, he is trying. Plus, McCain hates russians. -))

Report this comment
#3) On August 29, 2008 at 9:24 PM, TDRH (99.75) wrote:

Our stockmarket is based on quarterly reports, our elected governments are measured every two, four and six years.   Alstry would have us looking forward to a Mad Max world, my view is brighter than his, but the economic cycle that the next president will inherit will end up crushing any elected official.   It will make what the Carter administration went through look like a day at the beach.

 That said, investment in infrastructure and education through efficient government spending is key.   This will hopefully lay the foundation for future growth.  The stimuls attempt by the lame duck, not worth mentioning administration was a joke and will serve no purpose.  

If you say nuclear I say show me.   I am from Missouri.   I work in the process control industry and the requirements for a single limit switch is cripplingly expensive and documentation intensive.   What do you propose to create efficiencies while maintaining safety in a nuclear investment.   How do you propose to store the waste by products.   I am not debating with you, I am saying show me.  Not only that but show me in a way that Joe Nascar/WWF will be able to understand it.  I say this because you obviously feel that we cannot withstand your onslaught in a debate and the politicos need to appeal to the general population when selling the investment that will be necessary. 

I mentioned Carter earlier because I believe compared to the current oaf that is in the White House he is Albert Einstein and was party to a peace accord between Israel and Egypt that has stood for nearly 30 years.   At the time I was not a fan of Carter, I was not old enough to vote, but in hindsight he promoted solutions that were wildly unpopular, some of which may or may not have worked. 

Break it down simply in a form that can be sold to the general american public, this is the challenge.   Obama says he will give an energy tax credit of $1000 and he will pay for it with windfall profits taxes.   This is sure to create an incentive to drill and explore and create more sources of oil in my estimation. 

What is lacking in the Nuclear Energy Sector is the ability to sell the product.    Anyway, I have gone on too long and I apologize for cluttering your blog.   This was not an attack, just an opinion.    I do not disagree with you, I do not support Obama, Mcain,......I want to vote for none of the above.

Report this comment
#4) On August 29, 2008 at 9:25 PM, TDRH (99.75) wrote:

Our stockmarket is based on quarterly reports, our elected governments are measured every two, four and six years.   Alstry would have us looking forward to a Mad Max world, my view is brighter than his, but the economic cycle that the next president will inherit will end up crushing any elected official.   It will make what the Carter administration went through look like a day at the beach.

 That said, investment in infrastructure and education through efficient government spending is key.   This will hopefully lay the foundation for future growth.  The stimuls attempt by the lame duck, not worth mentioning administration was a joke and will serve no purpose.  

If you say nuclear I say show me.   I am from Missouri.   I work in the process control industry and the requirements for a single limit switch is cripplingly expensive and documentation intensive.   What do you propose to create efficiencies while maintaining safety in a nuclear investment.   How do you propose to store the waste by products.   I am not debating with you, I am saying show me.  Not only that but show me in a way that Joe Nascar/WWF will be able to understand it.  I say this because you obviously feel that we cannot withstand your onslaught in a debate and the politicos need to appeal to the general population when selling the investment that will be necessary. 

I mentioned Carter earlier because I believe compared to the current oaf that is in the White House he is Albert Einstein and was party to a peace accord between Israel and Egypt that has stood for nearly 30 years.   At the time I was not a fan of Carter, I was not old enough to vote, but in hindsight he promoted solutions that were wildly unpopular, some of which may or may not have worked. 

Break it down simply in a form that can be sold to the general american public, this is the challenge.   Obama says he will give an energy tax credit of $1000 and he will pay for it with windfall profits taxes.   This is sure to create an incentive to drill and explore and create more sources of oil in my estimation. 

What is lacking in the Nuclear Energy Sector is the ability to sell the product.    Anyway, I have gone on too long and I apologize for cluttering your blog.   This was not an attack, just an opinion.    I do not disagree with you, I do not support Obama, Mcain,......I want to vote for none of the above.

Report this comment
#5) On August 29, 2008 at 9:58 PM, devoish (99.10) wrote:

I'll go.

What's your cost/kwh? Whats the least you have ever been over budget in the USA? How long will it take to come on line? What water supplies are you counting on for cooling? How much can you raise the temperature of river water without adversely affecting fish stocks and our food supply? How much can the inlet water temperatures rise and still provide adequate cooling and how far below surface do your inlet pipes need to be to get cool enough water and do dropping river water levels figure in? How close to population centers are you siting them? How much are the transmission line costs? How close to 3 mile island did the terrorists fly before hitting the trade center? How much does the ability to withstand a plane crash add to your costs? Can you even do it? How much damge would have been done if the terrorists had hit 3mile with a wind toward NYC? Without the Federal gov't how much are your insurance costs and how much does a lack of Fed backing your insurance after the first 10bil in costs add to your costs? Can you even get insurance without the Fed? From who? When will the uranium run out, like oil? How close to the Green and Colorado river watersheds will you be mining uranium? How many Native Americans claim to have been sickened by sloppy uranium mining practices in the past? In the pursuit of profit how will you avoid hiring a knucklehead who does not understand the risks of contamination to the watershed and dumps radioactive product where it can contaminate the Colorado river? How will you replace a contaminated water supply and who will insure that expense? Do your estimates include the costs of decommissioning these power plants 30 years from now when their life cycle is over? If not how much does that add to cost? How much CO2 is created in the building of these cement intensive costly structures? How many nuclear leaks have there been already? How bad was Chernobyl really? How long does nuclear waste need to be stored for? Which citys will waste travel through? Which business or Gov't do you expect to get waste storage right for that long? Has the US military been perfect like I read weeks ago in someones response or have they leaked and not told?

So what will happen?  The "leaders" will respond to the inexorable pressures of our world and our economy by rushing from crisis to crisis, passing short-term legislation designed to show they are "doing something" for the "hard-working American family". 

The vast majority of this short-term, ill-considered crap will do exactly nothing to solve the real challenges.  Only REAL crisis will get anything useful done, when it may be too late to adjust to the real problems.

I think nuclear is just exactly what you are worried about happening.

Report this comment
#6) On August 29, 2008 at 10:45 PM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

Oh lets just all gather in Texas and Succeed and Start our own country. Then we can run it the way we want.

Report this comment
#7) On August 29, 2008 at 10:47 PM, motleyanimal (93.22) wrote:

It's times like these when comatose people seem to be the only ones who have the right idea.

Report this comment
#8) On August 29, 2008 at 10:53 PM, motleyanimal (93.22) wrote:

It's times like these when comatose people seem to be the only ones who have the right idea.

Report this comment
#9) On August 29, 2008 at 11:01 PM, jahbu (89.14) wrote:

What if peak oil is just BS?  What if we are actually swimming in oil and the people in control do not want the sheep to know this?  WHAT IF?   After all the other lies, how can anyone, without a doubt prove that peak oil is true? 

IMHO it has absolutely nuthing to do with supply and demand, but instead 100% about control.  Oil companies are price takers.   If oil is at 25 bucks they sale it.  If oil is at 400 bucks they sale it.  They dont sit around with big jars holding it for a rainy day.

So who controls it?  Wall Street and London.  Will that change?  That is the trillion dollar question.   If Wall Street and London lose control of oil spigots, the dollar is gone.

Again IMHO energy is not about supply and demand, its all about control.  I believe London and Wall Street and their respective governments are losing control.  Deals are being made behind their backs, and if they cannot convince people to fight them militarily, their golden goose is cooked.

Jahbu

Report this comment
#10) On August 29, 2008 at 11:46 PM, alstry (35.02) wrote:

It would be nice to have a double didgit IQ

Report this comment
#11) On August 30, 2008 at 12:38 AM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Trying to educate people who are not willing to do some research on their own is, at best, a daunting task.  As I do not speak without a solid, verifiable backdrop of research, I cannot post an intelligent response tonight.

Check back tomorrow for the education you need on peak oil and nuclear power so that your comments in the future will emanate from a solid grounding in fact.

I will post all that you need to know.  About 3 pm, Pacific Time.

Report this comment
#12) On August 30, 2008 at 3:45 AM, jester112358 (28.97) wrote:

Let me just discuss one misconception regarding nuclear power plant design:  modern nuclear power plants are cooled with liquid sodium, not water.  And this is a closed loop heat exchange system.  The heat generated is used to generate steam with drives dynamos just like in hydroelectric plants.   The output current is A.C. not D.C. like solar, for example.  This modern design eliminates the possibility of steam explosions in older, water cooled reactors designs.  So, all your comments on water temperature raises river temperature demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of heat exchange principles used in a closed loop liquid sodium cooled plant.  Also, there exist modern fuel cycles and reprocessing methods which do not involve the accumulation of waste beyond what can easily be stored on-site for the entire life, 50-70 years or more of the plant.  (How, long do you believe solar panels last without significant replacement of dead cells-not even 10 years!)

Further, modern plants  including those built in the 70s have several decades of extra life in them-exceeding the original conservative expectations.  So the 30 year decommisioning figure is nonsense.  A realistic figure is more like 50-70 years of full life.

 I encourage readers who wish to understand scientific subjects to go the Scientific American website.  They have many excellent references to modern nuclear fuel cycles and designs.  Also, they discuss limitations to intermittant sources of power such as solar and wind and the problems associated with adapting them to the current A.C. high voltage transmission grid.  (For example about 1T$ in new capital expenditures to get 30% of our power from the sun by 2050)  (Oh, and that nasty, unsolved energy storage problem-which also plagues electrically powered cars.  Hybrid car owners will discover these costs when the Ni metal hydride battteries need full replacement in 5-10 years). 

Any grid power source must be able to adapt its output to meet demand.  This is easily done with nuclear power by use of control rods to moderate the power output in real time.  With solar or wind you bettter hope its a clear day and the right time of year or you'll be facing rolling blackouts.

Report this comment
#13) On August 30, 2008 at 4:41 AM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Jester...those are the most intelligent comments I have ever seen on the CAPS blogs, when a technical subject is involved.  I was in the industry for more than a decade.

If I may, I'll incorporate some of your comments in my submission by 3pm PDT tomorrow.

 Donner

Report this comment
#14) On August 30, 2008 at 10:14 AM, dinodelaurentis (69.04) wrote:

i think that you've hit the nail on the head, but not the nail that you think you did. i worked in the isotopic waste and recycling industry in south carolina at the Savanah River Site. you know, the location of the Bomb Plant where uranium was enriched to weapons grade for almost 50 years making it a primary target all thru the cold war. the big money there now is in clean-up of the site. DOE and Energy Solutions are the major contractors in the area. i was excited to have a good job in a support industry servicing SRS, Oak Ridge, and Florida Power and Light decontamination needs. even at our very low levels of exposure to risk, the standards, procedures, and security were dictated by the DOE and much money was spent to ensure complience. we knew that the use of deadly force was authorized just 200 yards from our front door.

unfortunatly, all of this was overseen by humans, those same humans that make up our goverment. the number one concern was how much money could be made. short cuts were made at every opportunity. low standards and low pay were the norm (although the health care was top notch!). i've seen people doused with contaminated waste water and nobody wanted to report it for the paperwork it would generate. management gave themselves every perk possible and internal theft was rampant. the Health and Physics department, made up of trained scientest were frequently (weekly) overruled on procedure to make deadlines and generate profits. i knew people that worked at SRS for 20+ years and they told me it was the same there. there is a display of mutated wildlife at SRS that have been collected over the decades during enviromental area surveys. tritium is in the ground water in Barnwell and everybody is told that it doesn't matter. they may be right about that but it begs the question what else is happening because tritium frequently lives with its radiological cousins. much waste was buried in the dinosaur days after WWII and just now is making itself known. it is NOT out of sight and out of mind. the nuclear sucess story of the last 30 years are the french, who send their waste to (drum roll please) SRS. the concept on Not In My Backyard uses this area as its poster child. there are acres of contaminated eqipment in "passive decontamination", sitting in outside in the weather allowing rain and wind to wash of the contaminents on to the ground. our company used temporary workers to do "active decontamination" by washing (by gloved hand) equipment used to refuel reactors where who knows what touched what. this is just the way it was, lowest common denominator plus shortcuts to streamline greatest profitabilty. SOP.

and that is the problem IMO. people are people. just like with the politicians that you point out so well in your post, humans tend towards the short term, abdicating their responsibilites to the enviroment. secrecy rules, shortcuts abound and rubberstamping is the norm, just as long as we can buy that new iPhone or South Pole outfit. the demphasis on education, need for  "getting mine", and lack of consequence for error in our society does not engender a sense comfort that nuclear power will be "just fine" if we hurry up (rubber stamp) and get started building new reactors. we cannot count on corporate resposibility and it seems to me that there is darned little personal responsibility in the workforce. and even if all of this is resolved to a level of confidence that seems to be currently missing, there remains the big question: What Will We Do With The Waste?

and by the way donnernv, this was a Great Post on a very important subject. however the debate turns out, you deserve 2 beers and a brat!! good going dude!!

Report this comment
#15) On August 30, 2008 at 12:22 PM, devoish (99.10) wrote:

DinoD,

Thanks for weighing in.

Report this comment
#16) On August 30, 2008 at 9:32 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

This project is way too big to complete by today.  Probably by Wednesday.  And it's way too big to publish in a blog (probably 10+ pages).

So....if you give a damn, I'll email you a copy.  Just email to donnernv@aol.com with the subject line REPORT (leave the rest blank) and I'll send you a copy.

Report this comment
#17) On August 30, 2008 at 9:36 PM, FeastOrFamine46 (99.36) wrote:

You should definitely post it somewhere, though. Maybe as a series of blog posts?

Report this comment
#18) On September 07, 2008 at 9:29 PM, Jhana9 (20.05) wrote:

Make me comfortable with a waste product that in 2,000 years is still incredibly deadly, and I'm all over nuclear. I want to believe it can be used, all over the world and we won't poison the water, the air, ourselves. Help me get there, because I am a really long way away from seeing how we can use it for decades...centuries...?...and not make some very big mess out it.

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners


Advertisement