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Thread: Energy Supply

  1. #1
    Ishman is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Default Energy Supply

    So, why is the public so poorly informed on topics relating to energy, its production, and its usage?

    There is the massive bias against nuclear power [the safest sustainable economic power source besides renewable - which I will get to later] the complete and utter ignorance of 'bio' fuels, and no understanding of how massively interdependent the supply, use, and transportation of power is.

    My main complaint is that people are so fucking ignorant when it comes to nuclear power, but I'll briefly talk about some of the other stuff to give a background/refresher or starting point for the wikipedia searching.

    Nuclear power, even with all the unsafe reactors designs running all over the world, has resulted in the least related deaths of any economically feasible power source. No, renewable energy is not in fact economically feasible for the simple fact it is time dependent in nearly all cases, and far too reliant on random factors which can be easily unbalanced. Solar power and various forms of tapping the immense energies available in space are the exceptions, but are obviously not being implemented. [FUCK YOU USELESS AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SPACE PROGRAM PLAN :<]

    There is enough uranium 235 - the element mainly used in today's [shitty] reactors for... quote time
    Uranium is a constituent of most rocks, dirt, and of the oceans. The world's present measured resources of uranium, economically recoverable at a price of 130 USD/kg, are enough to last for some 70 years at current consumption. This represents a higher level of assured resources than is normal for most minerals. On the basis of analogies with other metallic minerals, a doubling of price from present levels could be expected to create about a tenfold increase in measured resources, over time.The fuel's contribution to the overall cost of the electricity produced is relatively small, so even a large fuel price escalation will have relatively little effect on final price. For instance, typically a doubling of the uranium market price would increase the fuel cost for a light water reactor by 26% and the electricity cost about 7%, whereas doubling the price of natural gas would typically add 70% to the price of electricity from that source. At high enough prices, eventually extraction from sources such as granite and seawater become economically feasible.
    As opposed to current light water reactors which use uranium-235 (0.7% of all natural uranium), fast breeder reactors use uranium-238 (99.3% of all natural uranium). It has been estimated that there is up to five billion years’ worth of uranium-238 for use in these power plants, at present levels of usage.
    Or one could switch to thorium, which would extend the total practical resource base of fissionable materials to 450%.

    Nuclear radiation has also been shown to be less deadly than previously though - or, at least, to have killed far fewer people. At least, that is to say, there is now official documentation indicating it as such.

    Biofuels are incredibly poorly understood by Americans today - for example - it would require more energy to produce and transport corn based ethanol than you would get from the fuel, but growing some varieties of grass would get you ten to twenty fold more power than what you put in. Ethanol works for those countries that are dependent on it because they have specifically focused all of their efforts on making it efficient and economically competitive through subsidies, easy transportation over tiny, comparatively, total area, and the balls to pick one thing and go with it.

    Renewable resources are basically different methods of tapping solar energy - which is what drives the deep ocean currents and the jet streams, which give us weather as we know it. But building wind turbines and solar panels everywhere is not the best of ideas - a little climate change and all of your infrastructure is useless. Tidal energy is a much more viable alternative, but is unfortunately not being much investigated. [even though, again, 70% of the Earth's surface is water, which you could float massive wind farms upon or anchor deep ocean turbines, etc. over the massive, UNUSED, area]

    However, again, you could get far more energy from simply sticking a giant plate of photoelectric converters, stick on a microwave laser to send the energy back to Earth, and toss it towards the sun such that it will get close enough to catch the maximum amount of direct sunlight without getting too far away such that the laser defocuses such that no energy is received.

    And so on and so forth.



    ... discuss.

  2. #2
    Saizou is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishman View Post
    So, why is the public so poorly informed on topics relating to energy, its production, and its usage?
    Because people are shortsighted idiots. That's basically the entire explanation condensed into one sentence.

  3. #3
    AtrumIncendia is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    We just have a government, world and economics section. This is too much.

  4. #4
    bipolargraph is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Most Arabic countries with petroleum aren't taking advantages of it. (Some are better than others). In fifty years we're gonna be poor. If it wasn't for the oil we'd be a third world country. Makes me sad.

  5. #5
    Digital_Eon's Avatar
    Digital_Eon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    People are scared of nuclear power because of a few well-publicised disasters. People hear "nuclear power" and think of Chernobyl, which is clearly an exception (look at all the countries that rely on nuclear power and the lack of disasters!), and their fear prevents them from rational thinking. Additionally, there is the problem of nuclear waste. I admit that I'm not too educated on the use of nuclear power as an energy supply (different committees at model United Nations =P), and so the dumping of waste concerns me... as much as the dumping of waste from, say, those giant farms (although I've heard of a machine that will convert pig shit to fertilizer fairly easily).

    So can someone who has more knowledge on the topic than I do please explain about nuclear waste? :3

    (Personally, I do support nuclear power to supply some - if not all - of a nation's energy. I'm not against it at all. Doesn't France use nuclear power for 80% of its energy, or something like that?)
    ~Digital_Eon~




  6. #6
    MojoMunkeez is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    Fuck you. We Californians had to go through Enron and shit.



  7. #7
    Saizou is offline Senior Member Always Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Eon View Post
    So can someone who has more knowledge on the topic than I do please explain about nuclear waste? :3
    Well, simple version is that the fuel that you put in an nuclear reactor is transformed during the fission process. What is left is highly radioactive, and needs to be stored in special facilities, i.e. in lead containers a few miles below the ground for a couple of thousand years until it's harmless.

    On the other hand, I've read that it's possible to convert that waste back into usable material by some technological way that I'm not terribly familiar with, so that might be another alternative.

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    Raszagal is offline Senior Member Community Builder
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    You re-use some of the waste by extracting some elements. But don't know how effective that is.

    You can always send the waste into space but the cost and danger of sending a rocket is too high I think.

  9. #9
    StealDragon's Avatar
    StealDragon is offline Super Moderator Community Builder
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    If people hate nuclear power so much... why not just build an offshore nuclear plant like they do with oil rigs. I know we have the technology to do so. Or one deep underground. People are so worried about the bad they cant even think up creative solutions to their fears.

  10. #10
    ruritsu is offline Senior Member Respected Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saizou View Post
    Because people are shortsighted idiots. That's basically the entire explanation condensed into one sentence.
    Agreed... .

 

 
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