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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rdowns, Feb 9, 2012.
It's about time.
This is good news. Glad to hear it.
Hopefully this will lead to more plants.
I for one am against Nuclear Power. True it is very cheap when it comes to moderate production, but it is still very dangerous. Regardless if something doesn't go wrong in the reactor, the waste produced is terribly dangerous.
I'm neither a big opponent of nuclear power nor a big cheerleader. Given the current levels of world energy consumption and our near-total reliance on fossil fuel, I consider nuclear power, for better or worse, to be our only viable alternative power source if we continue to consume energy at current rates. It is inevitable.
True. However, we have a huge fusion reactor beaming down on us. Why not use that?
In terms of solar power? because it is impractical
The article highlights one of the worst aspects of the nuclear industry: it takes an $8.33 billion loan guarantee to get a nuclear plant built.
Because it can't give us the power we need.
There are different forms of harvesting that. Just because you think solar doesn't automatically mean Solar Panel.
Please explain how not?
By that logic, nuclear counts....as would coal/gas plants/ wind turbines/tidal power, you name it...
Regarding solar, it is not energy dense at all and has a whole bunch of other prohibitive factors
We don't have enough room to place enough solar panels, How you you suggest we power NYC on solar?
It could, Solar panels are still incredibly inefficient.
The biggest problem is that we have no way of storing the energy. If we could develop a battery system that could reliably store even a reasonable fraction of the energy coal contains per unit of weight, volume, and cost to produce, the world's energy problems would be solved for the next million years.
But we haven't figured that out; as a result solar power is at the mercy of local weather conditions, which are too inconsistent to count on - not to mention that half the day is dark and we get no power at all.
The only methods of energy storage, besides fossil fuels and nuclear, that can approach the necessary efficiency are hydroelectric with water resevoirs, and that method is obviously limited to places with favorable geology/water sources, of which there are relatively few. They also suffer from other issues (silting) and have their own set negative environmental impacts.
Currently, yes that's true, but I'm not sure that will remain so in the coming decades.
There are two problems for solar. First, the energy efficiency remains low compared to the cost of production. Second, there's the problem of storage.
However, solar has the advantage of being individualized. To make a bad analogy, solar is the personal computer of energy. It's price is set by market forces and manufacturing costs, but a wide distribution would drive these down. Second, nuclear is the mainframe: no one's going to have a Mr. Fission in their basement because the costs are high and the fuel is so expensive, and dangerous.
Solar won't work everywhere, but consider it cost has declined dramatically in the last decade, while nuclear remains mired in high-costs and bureaucratic limitations, it seems to me that betting on solar for some energy needs is a good bet to take.
From what I understand the amount of power we use can't be fully harnessed by solar. An average building could only be powered 1/3 by solar panels.
there have been more ill effects from traditional power generation than from nuclear
Not in this case because we are discussing solar. Not the other types.
Trust me, there is more than enough space. Have you heard, that just a small area (relative... around 10x Vegas size) in the Nevada desert can power the entire US with today's panels?
This was in a Discovery Channel documentary. I know they gave out the area in miles, but I don't remember exactly that amount. I do recall they compared it to Vegas' size.
True, but the danger in Fission is much greater with wastes not being taken care for properly. With the others at least trees can take care of those.
Not really no, the sun releases energy in lots of forms. I predict it will be a lucrative area in the future though, I have even considered getting a degree in physics and do some cross practice research on it.
From what we have now we can't fully meet our demand from Coal.
The Energy grid is always going to be made up of different types of energy production, unless we develop some post scarcity generator.
At the moment, storage issues still trump cost concerns. If the storage problem could be solved, the cost of solar panels would probably drop considerably due to a massive increase in production.
How do we get that power across the country?
I agree. I too am indifferent nuclear power but looking at our current and near future usage levels, it's one of the 'best' options.
The Transmission Line Grid is already built... just hook it up to the current system and there you go.
No, the problem is that the earth (on average) receives only ~160W/m^2
This obviously decreases further poleward and increases equaterward
Regardless, it is not energy dense at all to be practical on a large scale to solve energy needs
The current grid is built into regions, power comes from different sources. One solar farm in Nevada won't be enough.
You'll also start getting power fluctuations and efficiency will drop like a rock when you get past a distance threshold.