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Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

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Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?
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PBnFlashUser avatarPosts: 24Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:13 pm

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

Unwardil wrote:
I did think about this a bit actually.

There's no reason that the collector arrays would be in geosynchronous orbit. That wouldn't be a lot better than just putting the collectors on earth, because there would be times when they are in the shadow of the earth. You want maximum yield off these babies which means putting them directly in the path of the solar winds. Beyond the earth's magnetosphere ideally and the closer to the sun, the better.

Obviously you would need something in geostationary orbit, but that would simply be a power relay terminal satellite, not the actual collectors. Launching newer and better relay satellite every few years when the old ones wear out would not be prohibitively expensive.

You're also correct about maintenance costs. Fact is, it would be impossible. If a panel breaks, that's it, it's done. The solution is mind numbingly easy though. You treat the collectors the same way a hive treats it's drones. Occasional losses are expected and budgeted for, simply replace the drones. If a drone collector stops working, it spends it's reserve fuel to make a final thrust out of formation and plots a course in a decaying orbit with the sun.

Again, this is to be expected, because one has to assume that the more this technology gets used, the more advanced the collector drones will become, so you'll constantly need to be rotating out the old models with the new ones.

Now the last point about the cost of launching all this stuff into space in the first place, well, the ideal model would have these drone collectors being constructed in space from at least 90% space harvested resources from the moon or from asteroids. The majority of the bulk in their construction would not be terrestrial in origin, only the very finely made computer controls which currently require human controlled manufacturing to produce. Everything else would be constructed in space by robots. That's the end goal anyway, but we won't ever get to that end goal without intermediary steps between now and then.


First of all, there is a reason they don't use solar long term out side of the magnetosphere. First of all electromagnetic flux frying stuff, solar is low voltage stuff protection is expensive and heavy. The biggest problem is charged partials coming from the sun, like atomic sandblasting thin solar sheets erode and develop high voltage charge imbalances.


The panels would in fact need to be in a polar orbit because they would be unable to turn the massive array of ultra thin solar panels 1 full rotation every day, as withstanding the centripetal force and acceleration and deceleration of thrusters would make the superstructure impractical. Each of these sub relays would need to convert the solar to, probably an infrared laser to shoot to the substation that would convert it back to electricity and then to microwave where it will be shot down to earth. The distance between a polar orbit and a geosynchronous one is around a max of 686,387,601 mi.

So this thing is beaming an infrared death laser of who knows how many watts hitting the relay station along with many others (we are powering the world after all). And do all of these transformations with well over 50% efficiency (because if it's less than 50% it's cheaper just to put them on the ground).

What if a servo breaks and the beam damages the relay satellite? You can't just leave a death laser firing satellite up there, but you can't destroy it because if the polar obit becomes contaminated with debris it will just damage more. Things getting "dirty" is not a huge problem in space, as the average bit of dust is moving much faster than a bullet.


These are just the logistics of keeping it running let alone building it in the first place. Lowering something into a gravity well orbit requires energy just like pushing it out of one. The only place we could get materials would be the moon. Getting stuff off the moon isn't free. Escape velocity for the moon is 2.4 km/s, less terrifyingly impractical than earth at 11.2 km/s but not much. On top of that the moon is dark for 2 weeks at a time, something that is difficult for solar powered factories to deal with.

And PLEASE don't use the argument that engineers will develop a better battery or magic away all of the problems, engineers need to work within the laws of physics too. Solar voltaic is practical under one condition, that all the solar stuff batteries and panels, sun and space are cheaper than the copper wire to just hook it into the grid.

This is not a question of being difficult like putting a man on the moon, this is simply impractical like making a house out of gold bars, when perfectly good bricks are cheaper and much better suited.

PS, in that analogy bricks are nuclear.

PPS, Come to think of it, it would be cheaper to shoot all of the transuranic waste into the sun.

PPPS, by like, a lot.

PPPPS, K THX BAI.
Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:32 pm
MRaverzPosts: 1838Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:00 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

PBnFlash wrote:
MRaverz wrote:A large amount of Uranium is found under the Amazon.
Getting to it would result in even more loss of rainforest.


There is also a large amount in the center of Jupiter, that doesn't mean we need to go and get it.

In fact most of the uranium comes from Australia and most of Australia looks like this:
Image

So what happens when Brazil decides to export their natural resources? Or when there's no more Uranium in Australia?

The rainforest is already being cut down at an alarming rate and Uranium mines are already up and running. Sure, there's Uranium elsewhere - but it's a limited supply. Just as we're currently looking for oil in more ecologically sensitive areas, the same would be true for uranium.


The whole idea that the solution to our dependency on oil would be a dependency on Uranium is illogical. Renewable and sustainable energy sources need to be the forefront of our energy supplies.
Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:55 am
PBnFlashUser avatarPosts: 24Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:13 pm

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

MRaverz wrote:So what happens when Brazil decides to export their natural resources? Or when there's no more Uranium in Australia?

The rainforest is already being cut down at an alarming rate and Uranium mines are already up and running. Sure, there's Uranium elsewhere - but it's a limited supply. Just as we're currently looking for oil in more ecologically sensitive areas, the same would be true for uranium.


The whole idea that the solution to our dependency on oil would be a dependency on Uranium is illogical. Renewable and sustainable energy sources need to be the forefront of our energy supplies.


By "Renewable and sustainable" I am going to assume you mean solar and wind and not actually renewable and sustainable energy sources because that violates Third law of thermodynamics.

Everything is a limited supply! Even the sun will eventually run out of fuel. It's important to make this point or else these numbers will be out of context, like this quote.

MRaverz wrote:Though my physics sucks, someone would need to back me up on this.

I'll back you up
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5949



Let me first ask you, what is a wind mill made out of?

Image

Hint:
Image
Image
Image


Hint2: (it's not good intentions)


The top picture is a copper mine in Chile because copper fairly common, one would expect it to be fairly cheap, but extracting copper is expensive. First you need to strip mine the land treat the ore with toxic chemicals then smelt it. But if you want high +99% copper for example for a turbine alternator, you need to devolve it in a nitric acid bath then electroplate a cathode (using lots of electricity by the way).
Copper can be recycled, I hear you say (in your head cus I'm psychic like that). True, but you need to get it out of the ground first, and NO WAY it will be 100% so some degree of copper mining will go on.

The second picture is steel, ya know +90% of the windmill by mass. Because of the additives they put in steel to make it stronger it's nearly imposable to recycle, it's only possible to down-cycle to a lower quality steel meaning a fresh supply of rich iron ore is needed so long as keep these things up.

Surprise surprise, The Wind Don't Blow all the time. Meaning that all wind power needs to be backed up by coal, oil and natural gas (things that can be turned off when the wind is blowing). But turning a power plant off takes a few hours, hours where they are producing 2x more power than people need. What can they do? They can't just throw it away (aside from being imposable Zeus disproves) SO THEY PAY PEOPLE TO TAKE IT! That's right, they pay people to use that dirty coal power because they need to get rid of it, good job wind[/ sarcasm]


Solar is actually much much funnier in how inept it is, but I'm getting tied of typing so let me end this with a few facts on nuclear breeder reactors.


"A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates new fissile material at a greater rate than it consumes such material." - Wikipedia

If a person were to use NOTHING but nuclear power, from cradle to grave for heating, cooling, transportation, entertainment, etc. The amount of Uranium burnt, Would weigh 5 pounds and fit inside of a soda can.


Most fission fragments (what the uranium atom splits in half to make) have very a short half life and are safe in just a few years.

The dangerous ones are transuranic waste (stuff after uranium on the table of elements) they remain highly energetic for long periods of time.

Luckily they tend to burn up in fast breeder reactors so they aren't of great concern.


Sustainability:
"sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

(hint "renewables" do nether nuclear does both)


I'll leave you with this thought,
Nuclear produces around 20% of the power in the united states 13% of that power is from deactivated Russian nuclear warheads, they are powering the cities they were built to destroy.



PS, That's 104 806 000 MWh colloquially known as a fuck-ton more than all wind turbines in the world combined.
Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:35 pm
dav37777777BannedUser avatarPosts: 77Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:56 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

and remember kids.. nuclear waste=bad and environmentalism=good class dismissed.
Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:00 pm
AndroidARUser avatarPosts: 46Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:34 pmLocation: Somewhere with a Mawile

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

Fast breeder fission reactors, which use Uranium-238 (>99% of all uranium), would have several billion years worth of fuel. The only problem is the nuclear waste, but that should be relatively easy to isolate and store away.

If we could get fusion reactors to a feasible, sustainable level of output, the current reserves of lithium would last a few thousand, and gathering it from seawater could last tens of millions of years. There is a more complicated form of fusion, which uses only deuterium (heavy hydrogen), which we can isolate from seawater as well, and this would last well over 100 billion years. The only obstacle is making productive fusion.

Personally, I feel that nuclear power is a much better option than the non-renewable options we have now. While I do not think we should be totally dependent on any one power generation method, I think that having fission (with fusion gradually replacing it when we've bettered the methods) heavily supplemented by renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal, and especially hydro) is the best course of action.
Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:28 pm
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PBnFlashUser avatarPosts: 24Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:13 pm

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

dav37777777 wrote:and remember kids.. nuclear waste=bad and environmentalism=good class dismissed.



Remember kids bad grammar and false dichotomies are cool.

Dav37777777, if that is your real name please stop spamming.
Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:35 pm
MRaverzPosts: 1838Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:00 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

I'm replying like this because your post was massiveeee.

When building anything, you need the resources - but with nuclear power plants you need to build it and fuel it. Plus I haven't touched on the fact that we need to put the waste somewhere. With wind, solar, geothermal etc. - you have a fuel supply which doesn't damage the environment, therefore the long-term running is a lot better than nuclear.

Solar for the sunny areas and as supplement, wind for the windy areas and as supplement, geothermal for Iceland. :P Combine it with hydroelectric (excess energy pumps water uphill, then when needed the water runs downhill and powers a generator) and you're starting to solve the problem. The message is, there are alternatives to nuclear - safer alternatives.


Additionally, nobody has mentioned fission - how does that compare to fusion?
Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:37 am
UnwardilUser avatarPosts: 814Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:32 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

PBnFlash wrote:

The panels would in fact need to be in a polar orbit because they would be unable to turn the massive array of ultra thin solar panels 1 full rotation every day, as withstanding the centripetal force and acceleration and deceleration of thrusters would make the superstructure impractical. Each of these sub relays would need to convert the solar to, probably an infrared laser to shoot to the substation that would convert it back to electricity and then to microwave where it will be shot down to earth. The distance between a polar orbit and a geosynchronous one is around a max of 686,387,601 mi.

So this thing is beaming an infrared death laser of who knows how many watts hitting the relay station along with many others (we are powering the world after all). And do all of these transformations with well over 50% efficiency (because if it's less than 50% it's cheaper just to put them on the ground).


I think you missed where this array of panels would be located. They'd be orbiting the sun at the same rate that the earth orbits the sun, but not in earths orbit. No turning of the array would be necessary, besides, it wouldn't be an array in the 2 dimensional sense that one thinks of in dealing with solar arrays on the ground, but a helix or swarm. A whole cloud of individual little collector drones, each one of them in some form of contact with controller drones which would also act as relay stations.

As for the laser beam of death, no, it would be many many slightly less powerful microwave projectors of optional death, but directed above the polls, seeing as it would indeed be very annoying to constantly be redirecting the beaming projectors at satellites which, from the array's perspective, would be in constant motion. So instead, beam to the polls where an omni directional collector could act as yet another relay and then direct those to geostationary satellites at the equator. I'm no expert on the mater, but I'm pretty sure if you aim something just above the polls, then because of the magnetosphere and all that it's incredibly difficult to actually miss and hit the earth and even if you do, it'll just hit some polar bears/penguins, depending on your poll of choice.

I'm of course aware of how inefficient microwave beaming is at the moment, but then as far as wireless energy beaming goes it's sort of equivalent to early steam. Once steam power became the driving force of industry, steam engines got a lot better very quickly and they hadn't even finished perfecting it when the internal combustion engine came along and blew it completely out of the water. Saying we shouldn't put solar collectors in space because the beaming is inefficient is a bit like saying we shouldn't build steam mills because it costs a lot in coal to run them and besides what's wrong with water mills? Nothing, obviously, except that you can build a steam engine where ever you damn well please and there's precious few sources of naturally occurring running water.

The advantage to the solar collectors in space is that there is literally no top end to how far it can be expanded. If you're getting the resources from space based places (By the way, it would be comparatively simple to build a space elevator on the moon, thus solving the problem of getting the stuff off the lunar surface once it's been harvested there) you will never ever run out of space to put new solar collectors and there's no conceivable reason why you should ever run out of materials to make these things either.

Now, do I think this is the ONLY possible solution for power in the long term future? Fuck no, it's one very theoretical possibility of dozens, but it's the kind of ambitious thing I'd be after looking into more. The best kind of energy production system is a robust one with many many different methods of generation. This would just be a fairly small part of that whole system, assuming of course that energy consumption continues to increase as under developed parts of the world become more and more industrialized. The big point being though, if you're getting a large amount of your energy directly from the sun, you really don't need to worry about wasting it. The source is never (for a reasonably given value of never) going to run out.
Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:03 am
PBnFlashUser avatarPosts: 24Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:13 pm

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

MRaverz wrote:I'm replying like this because your post was massiveeee.

When building anything, you need the resources - but with nuclear power plants you need to build it and fuel it. Plus I haven't touched on the fact that we need to put the waste somewhere. With wind, solar, geothermal etc. - you have a fuel supply which doesn't damage the environment, therefore the long-term running is a lot better than nuclear.

Solar for the sunny areas and as supplement, wind for the windy areas and as supplement, geothermal for Iceland. :P Combine it with hydroelectric (excess energy pumps water uphill, then when needed the water runs downhill and powers a generator) and you're starting to solve the problem. The message is, there are alternatives to nuclear - safer alternatives.


Additionally, nobody has mentioned fission - how does that compare to fusion?


First of all, watch this youtube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCAzalhldg8

That's what they need to do to stabilize a few megawatts of expected flux.

Hydro and geothermal are great, don't get me wrong they produce power and are fairly economical (just not very distributable).

To power the world with Solar and Wind the flux would be thousands of times bigger and not for just fifteen minutes.

If the wind is only blowing at 10% you can't simply say, well only hospitals get power today.
You'd need to build enough that even if the wind was only blowing a little bit there would still be enough power.

YOU CANNOT STORE TERRAWATTS OF POWER period. period



Next point, on fusion.
If a working fusion reactor (with a positive power production) was produced for sure that'd be the way to go because the fuel is cheaper and the reaction is unstable and can easily be killed.

But they still produce high level radioactive waste as anything with high neutron flux will.
I am all for fusion funding but AS OF SO FAR it is still a pipe dream.




Unwardil wrote:I think you missed where this array of panels would be located. They'd be orbiting the sun at the same rate that the earth orbits the sun, but not in earths orbit. No turning of the array would be necessary, besides, it wouldn't be an array in the 2 dimensional sense that one thinks of in dealing with solar arrays on the ground, but a helix or swarm. A whole cloud of individual little collector drones, each one of them in some form of contact with controller drones which would also act as relay stations.

As for the laser beam of death, no, it would be many many slightly less powerful microwave projectors of optional death, but directed above the polls, seeing as it would indeed be very annoying to constantly be redirecting the beaming projectors at satellites which, from the array's perspective, would be in constant motion. So instead, beam to the polls where an omni directional collector could act as yet another relay and then direct those to geostationary satellites at the equator. I'm no expert on the mater, but I'm pretty sure if you aim something just above the polls, then because of the magnetosphere and all that it's incredibly difficult to actually miss and hit the earth and even if you do, it'll just hit some polar bears/penguins, depending on your poll of choice.

I'm of course aware of how inefficient microwave beaming is at the moment, but then as far as wireless energy beaming goes it's sort of equivalent to early steam. Once steam power became the driving force of industry, steam engines got a lot better very quickly and they hadn't even finished perfecting it when the internal combustion engine came along and blew it completely out of the water. Saying we shouldn't put solar collectors in space because the beaming is inefficient is a bit like saying we shouldn't build steam mills because it costs a lot in coal to run them and besides what's wrong with water mills? Nothing, obviously, except that you can build a steam engine where ever you damn well please and there's precious few sources of naturally occurring running water.

The advantage to the solar collectors in space is that there is literally no top end to how far it can be expanded. If you're getting the resources from space based places (By the way, it would be comparatively simple to build a space elevator on the moon, thus solving the problem of getting the stuff off the lunar surface once it's been harvested there) you will never ever run out of space to put new solar collectors and there's no conceivable reason why you should ever run out of materials to make these things either.

Now, do I think this is the ONLY possible solution for power in the long term future? Fuck no, it's one very theoretical possibility of dozens, but it's the kind of ambitious thing I'd be after looking into more. The best kind of energy production system is a robust one with many many different methods of generation. This would just be a fairly small part of that whole system, assuming of course that energy consumption continues to increase as under developed parts of the world become more and more industrialized. The big point being though, if you're getting a large amount of your energy directly from the sun, you really don't need to worry about wasting it. The source is never (for a reasonably given value of never) going to run out.



The only reason that you'd use microwave would be because it has minimal atmospheric loss (why they use it for cellphones). Using microwaves in space would cut efficiency even further.

Even then the atmosphere will absorb more than half the energy.

Space based manufacturing with solar panels (as monocrystilin silicone is much easer to make in space) then dropping stuff back down to earth would be much more energy efferent, but still quite impractical.


Also some side points, you can't have a geosynchronous orbit at the poles so I assume that you are talking about one ground station at the pole where the satellites would need to hit. First that puts more atmosphere in the way, second the satellite would still need to track as the earth is pulled by the moon and is in an elliptical orbit.


AndroidAR wrote:Fast breeder fission reactors, which use Uranium-238 (>99% of all uranium), would have several billion years worth of fuel. The only problem is the nuclear waste, but that should be relatively easy to isolate and store away.

If we could get fusion reactors to a feasible, sustainable level of output, the current reserves of lithium would last a few thousand, and gathering it from seawater could last tens of millions of years. There is a more complicated form of fusion, which uses only deuterium (heavy hydrogen), which we can isolate from seawater as well, and this would last well over 100 billion years. The only obstacle is making productive fusion.

Personally, I feel that nuclear power is a much better option than the non-renewable options we have now. While I do not think we should be totally dependent on any one power generation method, I think that having fission (with fusion gradually replacing it when we've bettered the methods) heavily supplemented by renewable sources (wind, solar, geothermal, and especially hydro) is the best course of action.


... Yes
Sorry I was a bit worked up for a big fight or something...
Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:27 pm
LeeShaneBannedUser avatarPosts: 3Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:52 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

As we think positive, nuclear power's major return are tied to the simple fact that it doesn't depend on fossil fuels. Coal and natural gas power plants produce carbon dioxide into the environment, contributing to weather change. With nuclear power plants, CO2,­ emissions are least.
Nuclear waste can facade a difficulty, and it's the result of properly functioning nuclear power plants. When something goes incorrect, the condition can turn terrible.
Last edited by LeeShane on Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:53 am
quantumfireball2099User avatarPosts: 155Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:52 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

LeeShane wrote:As far as positives go, nuclear power's biggest advantages are tied to the simple fact that it doesn't depend on fossil fuels. Coal and natural gas power plants emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. With nuclear power plants, CO2,­ emissions are minimal.
Nuclear waste can pose a problem, and it's the result of properly functioning nuclear power plants. When something goes wrong, the situation can turn catastrophic.


Well I assumed that was one of the reasons nuclear power plants were so expensive, safety. I would think they would make a nuclear plant so that another Chernobyl can't happen.
Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:04 pm
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatar
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Posts: 2693Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

PBnFlash wrote:Let me first ask you, what is a wind mill made out of?

Image

Hint:
Image
Image
Image


Hint2: (it's not good intentions)

Just pointing out something. Do you think that the (energetic) cost of production outweights the benefits of building it? Because if that was the case, don't you think that perhaps someone would have had the briliant idea using the power used to build it directly where you want it and thus save a step, added work and energy?
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:55 pm
sgrunterundtUser avatarPosts: 254Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:23 amLocation: Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen Gender: Tree

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

PBnFlash wrote:To keep things in geosynchronous orbit (assuming you don't have massive mobile receptors that move around the earth) they would need to be at the equator 22,000 mi up, and then only get sun 1/2 the time. They would also need a constant supply of xenon gas to make sure that the orbit didn't decay, not to mention maintenance that is already prohibitory expensive. Even the fanciest of robots can't fix a debris strike on a crystalline silicon cell and the more stuff you put up there the more common strikes would be.


GEO gets sun almost all the time. There is only brief eclipses at equinox and they are highly predictable. GEO does not decay much, sure there are some drift, but the beam can be directed at an angle. There would need to be multiple stations around the earth anyway, you could just get power from the nearest satellite. Actually there would be limited reason for having it in GEO at all. Of course some corrections will probably need to be made, but with a fraction of the worlds power at hand you can make very efficient ion thrusters. Sure they will need extra reaction mass eventually, but that will amount to what, a rocket launch a year? Hardly prohibitive.

Of course robots can fix damage: Remove the damaged section, put new in place if power is to low. It just have to be properly segmented. Collisions are not that common.
Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:05 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Nuclear Power, Pros and Cons ?

Just to throw in my 0.02$.

It's a shame that I've thrown away our old textbooks (from the school I work at) because they had a whole chapter devoted to that question. I'll try to remember things and I hope that I can find all the material to back it up.

First of all, where is all the Uranium in the world? This map should give you a rough idea:
Image

Now if we used only Uranium-235 and if we only had the "bad" power plants*, we'd only have roughly 75 years of power from that.
*Bad does not mean "unsafe" but simply "ineffective". We're currently using a form of technology that produces more waste than it should.

As has been pointed out above however, we could use Thorium. The Key Benefits are summed up in this wikipedia article, so I'll only summarize it:
1) Enough energy to last the US (on its own reserves) for roughly 1000 years. (Far more in the whole world.)
2) Reduction of deaths due to fossil fuels.
3) Abundant, safe and clean. (Well, more clean than Uranium)
4) No possibility of a meltdown, inexpensive, no use for weapons, will burn existing weapons.

So far, I'm in favor of Thorium.
But what if that runs out? Well, not a problem, my darlings. Meet Uranium-238, which could be used in the Breeder Reactors much more efficiently than U-235.
And how long would it last us? Well it's really difficult to say, but somewhere between 10,000 and five billion years. Since one of you likes to highlight numbers, let me repeat that: FIVE BILLION YEARS WORTH OF ENERGY. Or in numbers 5,000,000,000 years worth.

If all else fails, we could also use the suns energy striking the earth. (There's roughly 100 times more energy reaching the sun than we need.)
However, I think that we should use as much nuclear energy as possible (From Thorium if you please!) and use solar electricity for houses at home and other types of renewable energy sources for shortages. We should also all build our houses from Straw.
BTW I want to call BS on two of the problems they mention in that article, namely fire and rot. There isn't enough oxygen in the densely packed straw bales to allow either of them, so unless you have a very sloppy builder, you'd have to pour Thermite onto it to ignite it.

Before I forget, why don't we use Nuclear energy as abundantly as we could?
Well first of all we always hear from "accidents" in countries that don't look after their reactors. (I have yet to hear of a reactor failure in France or the US, but maybe I'm not paying enough attention.) That freaks people out, so they don't want it. (There's a huge anti-nuclear lobby in my country, Austria.) Let's forget that there are far more accidents from the use of coal and other fossil fuels but in this they actually have a point: If there ever was a melt-down, it'd be catastrophic. (Chernobyl) However, technology has advanced since then AND we can use Thorium. So what's the big fuss?
Then of course they're scared about the nuclear waste.
And that's about it, I can't think of any more problems.

Hope this helped.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:39 pm
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