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Old Mar 14, 2011, 01:04 AM   #126
puma1552
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Originally Posted by entatlrg View Post
Yea, this is one of the few controversial posts I've made here, I expected some criticism, and likely deserve it as I definitely don't get the whole picture, then again who does.

I'm not saying oil isn't a HUGE problem, or rebutting some of the good points here.

When a nuclear disaster happens hundreds of thousands of people can die, if unleashed in war it could be the end of the world, plus accidents, human error, countries letting power plants age and neglect updates not because they can't afford it but instead because they want the incredible profits from it.

It's not good, I'll never be convinced otherwise. Look at countries like Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia how well they manage their power, the research, alternative (green) energy sources in play and working NOW ... it's incredible and goes unnoticed.

There is better ways.

NO nuclear.
You know, I really don't think a lot of the people in this thread "get it" so-to-speak.

Japan has 130 million people, in a space 10,000 square miles SMALLER than California, and is an archipelago. 85% of that are sparsely populated mountainous regions, so do the math to realize what a premium we have on space here and try to understand that we need the absolute maximum power for the space and resources we have, which is why we get a third of our power from nuclear sources.

What do you think, we have unlimited resources and space to use bogus green energy methods? Everyone talks about green energy this, green energy that, but nobody seems to grasp that green energy methods are horrendously inefficient, unrealistically and unsustainably so; if they were so good, don't you think we'd have our fossil fuel crisis solved?

As an example, solar power's MAXIMUM efficiency is a pathetic 12%, and that's before you even think about it's asinine cost, or the asinine amount of square footage you need to even get a tiny amount of power.

Wind isn't much better, at a maximum of 30% efficiency, and that's when the wind is blowing over 30 mph.

Neither of these are feasible, nor realistic for Japan.

Guys, we have nuclear power here out of necessity. Maybe that's difficult for you guys to grasp, but with 130 million people in a place smaller than California, most of which is mountains, we need power that's efficient. I don't understand why this is so hard to understand.

Nuclear is a result of circumstance here, and up until now has had a flawless record.

By the way, lowly natural gas has a 10x higher fatality rate than nuclear, but I don't see anyone fearing natural gas.

edit: I don't mean to harp on you specifically, entlarg, I'm just tired of seeing post after post in this thread from people that don't seem to understand that at least here, we don't have a choice but to use nuclear power.

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Old Mar 14, 2011, 01:07 AM   #127
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Wind isn't much better, at a maximum of 30% efficiency, and that's when the wind is blowing over 30 mph.
umm you have your facts wrong there.

On wind farms in the US (and safe to say the world) you can count on 30% of the rated power at any moment in time.

Now it goes up above that but you can always count on 30% of it.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 01:25 AM   #128
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You have nothing with no wind.

Even if wind farms were 100% efficient, they don't hold a candle to nuclear output.

Besides, we don't have room here in Japan for wind farms so it makes no difference.

Alternative energy is not a viable source everywhere in the world, plain and simple. That's all I'm saying.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 01:53 AM   #129
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You have nothing with no wind.

Even if wind farms were 100% efficient, they don't hold a candle to nuclear output.

Besides, we don't have room here in Japan for wind farms so it makes no difference.

Alternative energy is not a viable source everywhere in the world, plain and simple. That's all I'm saying.
I was trying to explain that then 30% number is you can count on 30% of the total out put nation wide at any movement in time.
I am not talking about some random wind turbine giving 30% of their out put all the time but when you have lot of turbines spread all over the country you can count on 30% of them.

As for a problem with nuclear power is water. They require a LOT and I mean a LOT of water per MW compared to lets say Coal. One of our current largest problem is having enough water to cooling and producing power.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 02:17 AM   #130
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I understand your point abut Japan.

You're facts about solar and wind are both wrong, and I think you dismiss "bogus green technology" too quickly. That said, I still get what you are saying about Japan.

However, I think this thread applies more to Europe, and EVEN more so to the US. In the US we have 5% of the worlds population and use well over 30% of the worlds energy. We also have an abundance of space, and countless amounts of aging infrastructure that needs investment anyway. The US is actually in a very good position to switch towards much more renewable energy while at the same time, upgrading our aging infrastructure. That said, what we lack is the political will and political capital to actually push such initiatives.

Nuclear is not a necessity in the US like it MAY (I say may because I am skeptical but will take your word for it) be in Japan, and I think the current crisis going on there should make us seriously stop and think for a minute. The combination of wind, solar, tidal and geo-thermal could be quite effective here. Especially when you start consider the option of offshore wind farms which they have already approved in some parts of the NE.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 03:53 AM   #131
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Superb. Replace one fuel reliance on the Middle East with another. Genius idea.
If you want to transport goods with electricity the main off the shelf technology to do that is trains, and to go to India, China and South East Asia from Europe you're going to need to do a deal with at least Iran, Pakistan and possibly Russia, and to go to South America (with a short plane/boat hop across the atlantic at the narrowest point) you're going to need to work with multiple countries in Africa.

Additionally if the US wants to transport goods with electricity from Asia barring some new technology they are going to need to do a deal with the Russians.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 04:09 AM   #132
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I'm kinda dumbfounded that electrical use in the US would be climbing when:

* Lighting, computers, insulation, and hvac systems have all been dramatically improved in the last 20 years. Dramatically.
* Our population growth rate.. oh wait. all those ****** people on the internet that act like you've gotta be ****** around and having kids all the time or you're a loser....

nevermind!
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 05:17 AM   #133
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Bill Gates goes nuclear!

Somewhat old news, but seemingly germane...

With a sparkle in his eyes, Bill Gates explains the Traveling Wave Reactor, a mini-reactor that can use nuclear waste as fuel.

Wonder if Bill had one of these Gilbert sets as a kid?

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Old Mar 14, 2011, 07:47 AM   #134
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My opinion: it's time to end the age of light-water cooled pressurized uranium-fueled reactors. There's so many drawbacks to this design it's not funny.

Meanwhile, the new liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is a vastly superior design that offers these advantages:

1) It uses thorium 232, which is 200 times more abundant than fuel-quality uranium.
2) The thorium fuel doesn't need to be made into fuel pellets like you need with uranium-235, substantially cutting the cost of fuel production.
3) The design of LFTR makes it effectively meltdown proof.
4) LFTR reactors don't need big cooling towers or access to a large body of water like uranium-fueled reactors do, substantially cutting construction costs.
5) You can use spent uranium fuel rods as part of the fuel for an LFTR.
6) The radioactive waste from an LFTR generated is a tiny fraction of what you get from a uranium reactor and the half-life of the waste is only a couple of hundred years, not tens of thousands of years. This means waste disposal costs will be a tiny fraction of disposing waste from a uranium reactor (just dump it into a disused salt mine).

So what are we waiting for?
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 08:07 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by R.Perez View Post
I understand your point abut Japan.

You're facts about solar and wind are both wrong, and I think you dismiss "bogus green technology" too quickly. That said, I still get what you are saying about Japan.

However, I think this thread applies more to Europe, and EVEN more so to the US. In the US we have 5% of the worlds population and use well over 30% of the worlds energy. We also have an abundance of space, and countless amounts of aging infrastructure that needs investment anyway. The US is actually in a very good position to switch towards much more renewable energy while at the same time, upgrading our aging infrastructure. That said, what we lack is the political will and political capital to actually push such initiatives.

Nuclear is not a necessity in the US like it MAY (I say may because I am skeptical but will take your word for it) be in Japan, and I think the current crisis going on there should make us seriously stop and think for a minute. The combination of wind, solar, tidal and geo-thermal could be quite effective here. Especially when you start consider the option of offshore wind farms which they have already approved in some parts of the NE.
<---Degree in chemical engineering with an emphasis in renewable energy.

If you want to contest efficiency percentages, it won't matter; the point is that even if you drastically increase those percentages, it still isn't/won't be enough for Japan, especially when you look at the areas needed for those power sources, which Japan simply doesn't have.

So far, we are several days past multiple earthquakes and aftershocks, and so far there has been no nuclear disaster. That's where we are at right now. Thus, I have more confidence than ever in nuclear power as the way to go.

I don't dismiss green energy per se, didn't mean for it to sound that way. However, what I am saying, is that even if they work for the US or Europe, they aren't going to be viable for every country, every landmass, every population because they aren't all the same. Thus, this means more should be invested into sources like nuclear because even if they don't prove to be the way of the future for America, they very well may be elsewhere in the world, perhaps out of necessity if nothing else.

Sorry if I sounded irate in my last post, I just get tired of seeing the fear-mongering about nuclear power when you can count the number of true disasters on one hand in the history of man, especially when you realize it's been in use for decades in places like Japan with no issues at all prior to now. The issue now isn't even about the reactor or nuclear power itself, it was a natural disaster double-whammy, that knocked out the backup power supply. Had there been a dual backup (which you bet there will be, far up the mountain from where a tsunami can reach, and running underground when this is all done), there wouldn't even be an issue here.

I guess what gets to me is I know people affected by this, living in shelters right now who lost everything, including a guy who lived a mere 3 km from the Fukushima plant, so I guess I'm just thinking of all the people with much more primary needs right now that worrying about a nuclear power plant they've lived in the shadow of problem-free for 40 years.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 08:09 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by SactoGuy18 View Post
My opinion: it's time to end the age of light-water cooled pressurized uranium-fueled reactors. There's so many drawbacks to this design it's not funny.

Meanwhile, the new liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is a vastly superior design that offers these advantages:

1) It uses thorium 232, which is 200 times more abundant than fuel-quality uranium.
2) The thorium fuel doesn't need to be made into fuel pellets like you need with uranium-235, substantially cutting the cost of fuel production.
3) The design of LFTR makes it effectively meltdown proof.
4) LFTR reactors don't need big cooling towers or access to a large body of water like uranium-fueled reactors do, substantially cutting construction costs.
5) You can use spent uranium fuel rods as part of the fuel for an LFTR.
6) The radioactive waste from an LFTR generated is a tiny fraction of what you get from a uranium reactor and the half-life of the waste is only a couple of hundred years, not tens of thousands of years. This means waste disposal costs will be a tiny fraction of disposing waste from a uranium reactor (just dump it into a disused salt mine).

So what are we waiting for?
The problem with this is that the general public will not see any difference between this and the nuclear they are terrified of, so it's probably campaign suicide for any advocates of it.

EDIT: Here's a FANTASTIC read on Fukushima: http://reindeerflotilla.wordpress.co...hima-hysteria/

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Old Mar 14, 2011, 09:05 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by SactoGuy18 View Post
My opinion: it's time to end the age of light-water cooled pressurized uranium-fueled reactors. There's so many drawbacks to this design it's not funny.

Meanwhile, the new liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) is a vastly superior design that offers these advantages:

1) It uses thorium 232, which is 200 times more abundant than fuel-quality uranium.
2) The thorium fuel doesn't need to be made into fuel pellets like you need with uranium-235, substantially cutting the cost of fuel production.
3) The design of LFTR makes it effectively meltdown proof.
4) LFTR reactors don't need big cooling towers or access to a large body of water like uranium-fueled reactors do, substantially cutting construction costs.
5) You can use spent uranium fuel rods as part of the fuel for an LFTR.
6) The radioactive waste from an LFTR generated is a tiny fraction of what you get from a uranium reactor and the half-life of the waste is only a couple of hundred years, not tens of thousands of years. This means waste disposal costs will be a tiny fraction of disposing waste from a uranium reactor (just dump it into a disused salt mine).

So what are we waiting for?
Based on just that list I can assume several things. The biggest the LFTR reactors do not produce as much power for a given size because they use less water. They have less heat out put for a given size.

While good to have them I do not see them being more cost effiective since they more than likely require a fair amount of R&D.
I know we could get a lot more power out of our current Urainuim power ones in terms of heat energy instead of losing as much to cooling. Also I believe part of the reasons for the huge cooling towers is so less thermal pollution happens.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 09:14 AM   #138
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So far, we are several days past multiple earthquakes and aftershocks, and so far there has been no nuclear disaster. That's where we are at right now. Thus, I have more confidence than ever in nuclear power as the way to go.
...And that would be a fine position, if vulnerability to natural disasters were the only strike against nuclear power. It isn't.

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I guess what gets to me is I know people affected by this, living in shelters right now who lost everything, including a guy who lived a mere 3 km from the Fukushima plant, so I guess I'm just thinking of all the people with much more primary needs right now that worrying about a nuclear power plant they've lived in the shadow of problem-free for 40 years.
Not to trivialize the immediate suffering or catastrophe at all, but should a full meltdown occur at one of those reactors, I expect that it will very quickly become the "primary" issue of anyone nearby.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 09:22 AM   #139
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In case anyone was wondering.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:02 AM   #140
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In case anyone was wondering.
"China syndrome", not "Japan" syndrome.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:06 AM   #141
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EDIT: Here's a FANTASTIC read on Fukushima: http://reindeerflotilla.wordpress.co...hima-hysteria/
Yes that is a good article although pro-nuclear.I originally was flummoxed by the bit about bringing in portable generators and not being able to use them because the connecting plugs were different,this apparently is not the case it's that the switchgear is in a room that is flooded with radioactive water and they can't get rid of the water.I've quoted this guy before and whether he has an axe to grind or not he is not as confident in the plant as others seem to be:

"Japanese engineer Masashi Goto, who helped design the containment vessel for Fukushima's reactor core, says the design was not enough to withstand earthquakes or tsunamis and the plant's builders, Toshiba, knew this."

Here's another article from the NYT which may be useful:


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/wo...nted=1&_r=2&hp

I think it's to early to make any judgements about what's happening.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:30 AM   #142
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"Japanese engineer Masashi Goto, who helped design the containment vessel for Fukushima's reactor core, says the design was not enough to withstand earthquakes or tsunamis and the plant's builders, Toshiba, knew this."
If you've got an hour 20 to kill, you can view Goto's entire press conference from today: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13320522

(He's also going to be doing an update, with another conference same time tomorrow).

His worry seems to center around the possibility of a hydrogen explosion inside of the containment vessel causing a wall breech. He also believes that the previous hydrogen explosion was due to gas escaping in an unplanned manner.

He's also concerned that the senior people making decisions may not be the correct/most knowledgable... which wouldn't be a surprise to student of Japanese corporations (or any corporation, to be fair).
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:50 AM   #143
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"China syndrome", not "Japan" syndrome.
Silly boy, the Earth's magma would swallow that 'little' pill with no problem.

And gravity has yet to go up. LOL
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:01 PM   #144
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And gravity has yet to go up. LOL
While the idea is ridiculous Lewis Carroll (who was a mathematician amongst other things) did some work on the problem and in a fictional work came up with this:

"In Chapter 7 of Lewis Carroll's 1893 book Sylvie and Bruno. The fictional German professor, Mein Herr, proposes a way to run trains by gravity alone. Dig a straight tunnel between any two points on Earth (it need not go through the Earth's center), and run a rail track through it. With frictionless tracks the energy gained by the train in the first half of the journey is equal to that required in the second half. And also, in the absence of air resistance and friction, the time of the journey is about 42 minutes (84 for a round trip) for any such tunnel, no matter what the tunnel's length."

f
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:12 PM   #145
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While the idea is ridiculous Lewis Carroll (who was a mathematician amongst other things) did some work on the problem and in a fictional work came up with this:

"In Chapter 7 of Lewis Carroll's 1893 book Sylvie and Bruno. The fictional German professor, Mein Herr, proposes a way to run trains by gravity alone. Dig a straight tunnel between any two points on Earth (it need not go through the Earth's center), and run a rail track through it. With frictionless tracks the energy gained by the train in the first half of the journey is equal to that required in the second half. And also, in the absence of air resistance and friction, the time of the journey is about 42 minutes (84 for a round trip) for any such tunnel, no matter what the tunnel's length."

f
It's a cool idea but the frictionless materials to build the tracks from don't exist outside physics exam papers
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:12 PM   #146
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Mag-lev might solve the first loss of energy, but creating a vacuum in front, and behind, the train might be impractical.

You could just build a much larger version of the vacuum system, used by stores in the past, to send internal memos between departments.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:16 PM   #147
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The US is actually in a very good position to switch towards much more renewable energy while at the same time, upgrading our aging infrastructure. That said, what we lack is the political will and political capital to actually push such initiatives.
Look up State RPS and DOE programs. Legislation has been in place for awhile. Here in CA, we had a 33% renewables mandated by 2020 law passed in 2006. The problem isn't political. It's financial and technological. Financial because most of these renewables are way more expensive and require rate hikes. Technological because energy storage sucks and most of these renewables can't be used for base load.

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Nuclear is not a necessity in the US like it MAY (I say may because I am skeptical but will take your word for it) be in Japan, and I think the current crisis going on there should make us seriously stop and think for a minute. The combination of wind, solar, tidal and geo-thermal could be quite effective here. Especially when you start consider the option of offshore wind farms which they have already approved in some parts of the NE.
Wind and solar can't cover base load. Tidal is too small in capacity. Geothermal is speculated to have the potential to cover only 10% of US capacity by 2050 and that's assuming demand won't skyrocket due to electric vehicles (which it will). That's also too small in capacity. For the US, there is no other option for base load generation other than coal, nuclear, or combined cycle natural gas. So all the replace nuclear/coal with green talk doesn't work.

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I'm kinda dumbfounded that electrical use in the US would be climbing when:

* Lighting, computers, insulation, and hvac systems have all been dramatically improved in the last 20 years. Dramatically.
* Our population growth rate.. oh wait. all those ****** people on the internet that act like you've gotta be ****** around and having kids all the time or you're a loser....

nevermind!
20 years ago, you didn't have 3 TV's in every home. Wait til Electric Vehicles become mainstream.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:31 PM   #148
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His worry seems to center around the possibility of a hydrogen explosion inside of the containment vessel causing a wall breech. He also believes that the previous hydrogen explosion was due to gas escaping in an unplanned manner.
AFAIK the problem with reactor 2 is now that the pressure inside the containment is very,very high because of damaged valves preventing steam from escaping in a controlled manner. thus they cant simply pump in more and more water to cool the currently not covered fuel rods because it would dramatically increase the pressure and thus risk containment damages

so they are currently walking the fine line between risking the containment by pumping in water and a meltdown if they don't.. hardly a situation anybody wants to be
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 12:56 PM   #149
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Silly boy, the Earth's magma would swallow that 'little' pill with no problem.

And gravity has yet to go up. LOL
So who was it posting the map?
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 02:16 PM   #150
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You need to separate capacity from demand. Capacity is just the maximum power a station can theoretically produce. In practice, most of these renewable stations never reach that max. I've checked the stats at my utility's wind farm and that thing is usually around 9% of capacity. Considering a wind farm costs 4 times as much money as a natural gas generator to build for the same capacity, efficiency-wise, the station is a joke.

What's more important is demand - being able to produce enough energy when we need it. This is where solar and wind fall short. They don't generate when we want them to, they only generate when mother nature wants them to. It would be fine if grid energy storage (IE batteries) technology was developed enough to be able to store enough energy to power a service area through an entire winter (in the case of solar). But last I checked, current grid energy storage batteries can only store a charge for 8-12 hours before they start losing charge on their own. They're also the size of buildings, fail after 10 years, and cost a ton of money.

This is why a lot of utilities have gone to nuclear to replace coal and why here in the US, we still rely on coal to provide roughly 50% of our electricity and most of our base load. There are few options.
It would require a multi-tiered approach. We have abundant coal which I believe can be made to burn cleanly although I'm not necessarily advocating that. And none of these sources if they break down (except nuclear) threaten huge geographical areas with basically permanent radioactivity. In case of worst case accidents, it could be plowed under but we'd still have substantial problems. The thing about nuclear power if it was perfect it would be a great power source, but it is far from perfect and the most dangerous.
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Apple Change of Policy in Regard to Product Replacement joegomolski iMac 8 Dec 17, 2013 04:04 AM

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