Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
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11-04-2011, 10:34 PM
RE: Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
That wikipedia article told me that sub critical reactors are a "theoretical possibility". Sounds like we wont be building one in the nearest future..

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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12-04-2011, 12:08 AM
RE: Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
(11-04-2011 10:34 PM)Norseman Wrote:  That wikipedia article told me that sub critical reactors are a "theoretical possibility". Sounds like we wont be building one in the nearest future..
This is what I mean by "evolving out". nl: Stop searching for solutions in the nuclear lane.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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12-04-2011, 03:30 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2011 03:52 AM by DeepThought.)
RE: Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
The principle of subcritical reactors has already been demonstrated working on a small scale. It is viable. The only problem is spending the time and money on the research to get the costs down and make it practical on the large scale. There are already some larger research projects underway to improve on this stuff.

Thing is the rate we are burning coal and non renewables. We need a clean, stable source of energy. Nuclear combined with 2-3 sub-critical reactors placed around the world would be able to burn off the waste generated by the other reactors.

Or we can gamble, continue burning coal and oil, and hope we transition in time and/or come up with fusion power. Though that looks like its more than 50 years away.
[Image: jet_tokamak_plasma_overlay_1.jpg]
http://www.iter.org/

Given the evidence on how we are affecting global climate I think humanity should be acting on this now since it takes so long to commission a facility already. It's not going to happen though. At least not in Australia. Public opinion weighs in more heavily than sense over here.

Australians prefer to burn their coal and breath in the fumes. Geez, aren't we are a tough lot.. Look at us! Yeah inhale that thorium/soot like a man! If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger!

Energy Storage
Solar, wind and tidal are great but they still aren't a complete solution. There are currently no easy/efficient ways to store power in BULK quantities.
No, a large battery bank wont cut it. Neither does pumping water uphill for later use, or storing compressed air in a massive underground cavern to drive a generator when it's needed. You need to consider the construction costs and the losses incurred storing energy that way and then the losses getting the energy back out of that system.
Renewable energy sources fluctuate allot. The load on the power grid also can fluctuate allot.


I'm arguing for nuclear power. Doing it the responsible and clean way though. Transitioning away from nuclear fission is easy once fusion or something better comes along.

/rant
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12-04-2011, 01:03 PM
RE: Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
Hydrogen can be a reasonable solution for energy storage. We have a small island community of our west coast who have gotten their electricity from a combination of windmills and hydrogen storage for years now. sure, you loose quite a bit of energy in the process, but its really green.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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12-04-2011, 09:59 PM
RE: Nuclear Power and the Japan Reactors
Hydrogen isn't practical yet in terms of energy density. It's also very dangerous to store.
Hydrogen is the smallest element and under pressure in containers it makes the metals in the container brittle. Since its also the smallest element theres is something called permeation where at the atomic level some hydrogen manages to escape because of the high pressure.

Large hydrocarbons like octane don't have any of those problems. Though they do add to the co2 equation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage
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