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Sun Sep 25, 2016, 09:51 AM

 

does nuclear energy contribute to global warming?

It is certainly not emission free or carbon neutral.

http://commondreams.org/views/2016/09/23/how-nuclear-power-causes-global-warming

20 replies, 1243 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply does nuclear energy contribute to global warming? (Original post)
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 OP
FBaggins Sep 2016 #1
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #3
madokie Sep 2016 #2
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #4
clarkkentvotes Sep 2016 #5
NNadir Sep 2016 #6
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #7
NNadir Sep 2016 #8
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #9
madokie Sep 2016 #13
Post removed Sep 2016 #15
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #17
madokie Sep 2016 #16
kristopher Sep 2016 #14
caraher Sep 2016 #10
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #11
caraher Sep 2016 #18
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #19
hunter Sep 2016 #12
Fast Walker 52 Sep 2016 #20

Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 10:19 AM

1. Had to know that was Wasserman's nonsense

He fell off into the deep end years ago. This just goes to show that he hasn't recovered... But never lost his insanely creative imagination.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 11:47 AM

3. what specific points are nonsense?

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 11:01 AM

2. I've been making this argument ever since I got here

to derision and ridicule to the point that I pretty much don't bother with the EE forum anymore.

When a power plant has to close down due to the cooling water of the river/lake or whatever is too warm tells me something and it ain't something good.

We were originally sold a pig in a poke for the soul purpose of acquiring the vast amounts of fuel for the nuclear weapons program we had/have. We have a mess on our hands that humans will never be able to clean up in the waste alone not to mention the sites that make the fuel or the sites that convert that fuel into electricity that we use.

If we had at the beginning of burning coal to power our homes, industry etc by using a gasifier rather than direct burn we'd not be in such dire straits we are now. That one change would have ensured a drop of 50 to 60 percent less CO2 created. Not to even bother with capture and sequester. Gasifying alone would have given us a much cleaner environment today that we have. Plus it would have given us much more time to develop and build out safer, cleaner sources of energy

Man will grow to rue the day he started splitting atoms to make steam to power our generators is all I KNOW for sure. Bet on it!

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Response to madokie (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 11:49 AM

4. his arguments made sense although some calculations would have helped his case

 

He clearly makes a case that nuclear energy contributes some warming and does contribute to carbon pollution. I think the big question is does the carbon energy saved by nuclear energy offset what is uses and puts out?

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 02:08 PM

5. Thorium

Have you heard of Thorium - I am not sure what to think - but think more should be thought about it - youtube and google it - search it - yahoo bing ask jeeves if you dont like google -

basically, it is a type of safer nuclear energy that was de-funded a while back but trying to make a comeback - supposedly a lot of promise

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Sep 25, 2016, 04:48 PM

6. Harvey Wasserman has to be one of the most scientifically illiterate fools ever to have foisted...

...ignorance on a gullible and equally illiterate public.

That his ignorance has been spread prolifically by people who know as little as he does has resulted in a tremendous loss of human life, specifically, among the 70 million people who die each decade from air pollution.

Of course, for him to take on a subject like global warming, about which he knows zero, is not unusual for him. This prematurely senile old bastard has spent his entire life speaking on subjects he knows nothing about.

This kind of ignorance kills people.

And now, in contrast to this illiterate asshole, how about an article from something called, um, a scientist:

Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power

This scientific paper has been continuously on the 12 month "most read" list of papers in this important scientific journal since publication, and now features 92 citations in the scientific literature.

It is, of course, a "common dream" to hate science and scientists, for small minded bourgeois brats like Wasserman to cause horrific death and destruction, but let's see it for what it is.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 26, 2016, 07:32 AM

7. haha, I was wondering if you'd chime in on this

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 06:43 PM

8. I regard Wasserman and his equally ignorant cohorts to be, um, ...

...criminals, given that seven million people die each year while we wait for his uneducated drivel about a "solartopia" to work.

It hasn't worked; it isn't working and it won't work.

This is physics.

Allowing millions of people to die each year from air pollution because he is unfamiliar with the contents of even a high school science text is something quite different.

I'm glad you're amused. I personally find records for new accumulations of carbon dioxide in the rapidly collapsing planetary atmosphere and, again, seven million deaths each year from air pollution while Harvey has a paranoid scream fit over a few atoms of cesium-137 in an ocean to be, um, something other than amusing.

That may be because I'm a human being.

Wasserman is as dumb as Trump, although, not to defend Trump, Trump's lies haven't killed nearly as many people as Wasserman's have...at least not yet.

To each his or her own.

Have a nice evening.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 10:17 PM

9. what air pollution? From coal?

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 05:43 PM

13. What nnadir fails to tell you is

that the majority of those deaths are due to indoor air pollution due to inadequate or no stove at all but rather cooking and heating with open fires.

Don't believe a word the man says as he is a tool of the nuclear energy. Makes up his own reality. Will call you every name in the book in the process. How he is allowed to continue to post here is beyond me.

I give up and just laugh at his stupid comments
According to him he is the only one here with any sense. You decide for yourself

Whatever you do don't let him run you off from posting here in the EE group

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Response to madokie (Reply #13)


Response to madokie (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 09:59 PM

17. thanks!

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 08:23 PM

16. As I was saying about this poster

check out his reply to me.

the poster is true to form as I said in my first reply to you

He definitely has a problem

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Response to NNadir (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 06:49 PM

14. We Could Power The Entire World By Harnessing Solar Energy From 1% Of The Sahara

SEP 22, 2016 @ 12:32 PM
We Could Power The Entire World By Harnessing Solar Energy From 1% Of The Sahara

Could the world feasibly switch to all-nuclear power generation? If so, would that be a good counter to global warming?originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Mehran Moalem, PhD, UC Berkeley, Professor, Expert on Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Fuel Cycle, on Quora:

I have taught courses in Nuclear Engineering and a few seminar courses in alternative energies. I also worked for two years starting up six solar factories around the globe. In spite of my personal like for nuclear engineering, I have to admit it is hard to argue for it. Here is the simplified math behind it.

The total world energy usage (coal+oil+hydroelectric+nuclear+renewable) in 2015 was 13,000 Million Ton Oil Equivalent (13,000 MTOE) – see World Energy Consumption & Stats. This translates to 17.3 Terawatts continuous power during the year.

Now, if we cover an area of the Earth 335 kilometers by 335 kilometers with solar panels, even with moderate efficiencies achievable easily today, it will provide more than 17,4 TW power. This area is 43,000 square miles. The Great Saharan Desert in Africa is 3.6 million square miles and is prime for solar power (more than twelve hours per day). That means 1.2% of the Sahara desert is sufficient to cover all of the energy needs of the world in solar energy. There is no way coal, oil, wind, geothermal or nuclear can compete with this. The cost of the project will be about five trillion dollars, one time cost at today’s prices without any economy of scale savings. That is less than the bail out cost of banks by Obama in the last recession. Easier to imagine the cost is 1/4 of US national debt, and equal to 10% of world one year GDP. So this cost is rather small compared to other spending in the world. There is no future in other energy forms. In twenty to thirty years solar will replace everything. There will still be need for liquid fuels but likely it will be hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water and that powered by solar. Then tankers and pipelines will haul that hydrogen around the world. One can also envision zirconium or titanium batteries that store large quantities of hydrogen.

By the way, note that the cost of a 1 GWe (Gigawatt electric) nuclear plant is about three billion dollars. the cost of 17.3 TW nuclear power will be fifty-two trillion dollars or ten times that of solar even if all the other issues with safety and uranium supply are resolved.

All that said, there is a niche application for nuclear power....
http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/09/22/we-could-power-the-entire-world-by-harnessing-solar-energy-from-1-of-the-sahara/#34d60b553e5b

Not a deep analysis, but an interesting recitation of a widely held conceptualization of how the transition might proceed. The problems aren't insurmountable, but I'd expect such a centralized model would have (too) high distribution costs and be too subject to disruption as an outcome of normal cussed human in-fighting.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Tue Sep 27, 2016, 10:22 PM

10. Awful article

It's pretty obvious that Wasserman either has no grasp whatsoever of the most basic elements of thermal physics, or is deliberately lying to advance his agenda.

There are much more honest and intelligent ways to make an argument against nuclear energy. If you want to advocate against nuclear power without being made to look foolish, you would do well not to accept these claims at face value.

One tiny example: "There are no credible estimates of the global warming damage done by the intensely hot explosions at the four Fukushima reactors, or at Chernobyl, or at any other past and future reactor meltdowns or blowups." Utter nonsense! You can easily set upper limits on the energy releases in all these events, add them up, and on a global scale the result is undetectable and negligible.

The fact is, he's not interested in "credible estimates" of anything, as there is no quantitative analysis on offer here. He mentions some real things and implies they mean things that they do not. Yes, local water heating is a genuine issue for any large thermal power station (whether powered by fission, coal, or natural gas), but the fact that this heating is unimportant on a global scale is obvious from the argument solar advocates have made for years - Earth receives vastly more energy from the Sun each year than all our other power sources release, combined, by an overwhelming margin. This means the effect of the thermal energy released by everything we burn, on warming the planet, is similarly negligible compared to the effects that the products of combustion have on making the atmosphere trap more of the Sun's energy.

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Response to caraher (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 07:01 AM

11. yeah, I wish there had been some minimal calculations, at least

 

what about the amount of energy used to produce nuclear fuel? Is that small compared to the final output?

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 10:11 PM

18. Depends on the enrichment method, mainly

Somewhere in the neighborhood of a 10:1 return is a typical number, though there are less efficient as well as vastly more efficient methods available.

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Response to caraher (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 10:28 PM

19. thanks!

 

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Response to caraher (Reply #10)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 01:43 PM

12. I wrote a few replies to the Wasserman post, but I kept deleting them because they were uncivil.

Phrases like "innumerate fuckstick" kept popping into my head.

Anyone who is not innumerate can do the rough math, maybe starting with this:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget

Hint: What is the surface area of the earth in square meters?

Warming caused by nuclear power plants is very localized, and negligible on a global scale. It's also comparable to other power sources, including solar panels.

Warming caused by greenhouse gasses occurs across the entire surface of the earth.

Wasserman's other arguments are the usual anti-nuclear cult gibberish.

The "Carbon 14" argument was especially amusing:

All nuclear reactors emit Carbon 14, a radioactive isotope, invalidating the industry’s claim that reactors are “carbon free.”



This is a man who has no sense of scale. In his world being bitten by a gnat is just as bad as being eaten by a tiger.

I think there are few good reasons to oppose nuclear power, mostly having to do with one's faith in the ability of governments and corporations to safely manage it.

Corrupt or incompetent government officials, and shortsighted penny-wise-pound-foolish scientifically illiterate MBA types in industry, are capable of making a mess of nuclear power.

Even so, it's the fossil fuels that are killing us.

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Response to hunter (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 28, 2016, 10:29 PM

20. thanks-- I can see the problem with the piece clearly now

 

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