PDA

View Full Version : Phasing out power sources



carlsson
October 5th, 2004, 12:38 AM
In 1980, Sweden had a referendum on nuclear power, and the advisory result was to phase it out by the year 2010. Since then, the opinion has changed, and polls today says most people want to keep the nuclear power, at least until there is a better alternative or if the problem with what to do with the remains is solved.

The government together with allied environmental parties have recently been in negotiations with nuclear power industry, without getting anywhere. As a result or countermeasure, yesterday it was decided that one, until now fully function nuclear reactor will be closed in January 2005.

In the long end, the idea is to replace all nuclear power with other power sources. I realize the hazards and problems, but right now there only seems to be a handful really viable options:

* use fossile fuels like coal or oil
* import power from other countries (who use fossile fuels)
* seriously limit power consumption

There are experimental alternatives like wind, sun cell or using renewable fuels, but so far neither seems to be (cost) effective enough. We do have some water fall based power too, but it is not possible to expand it further.

So, already this morning, only hours after the decision, experts are speaking about what will happen in the near future. If this winter will be one of the statistically 10th coldest winters, the power production will barely hold without the closed reactor. If it is colder than that (like the winter 1986-87), we will either need to import a lot of power or put limitations and quotations on power consumption. I suppose it mainly affects industry, but a high price on power will make a difference on home and offices too.

Doh. Power limitations in peace time, only because the government needs to show gratitude to their environmental allied parties... I'm not convinced that forced phasing out will speed up the development of new power sources, only that higher power costs or limitations will be yet another obstacle for company development and thus country development.

Argh.

vic user
October 5th, 2004, 06:59 AM
I wonder if they will go down the same road our governments are doing here...

privitization of practically everything, and giving control to corporations.

absolute nonsense what is going on here...

privitization of our water supply, energy, health care, you name it.

such a shame

Unknown_K
October 5th, 2004, 11:56 AM
There has to be a ballance between government ownership and regulation of utilities and private ownership of them.

Governments are very inneficient because they don't have to make a profit and can always tax you more if needed (no need to be efficient). Private firms (assuming there is more then one for competition) are efficient but they also don't like investing in new equipment if they don't have to and hate government regulation.

I think you need government regulation and 2 or more private companies competing for your money for the best utility service.

carlsson
October 5th, 2004, 01:59 PM
Well, the power producing companies are private owned (I think), but to some degree state controlled and governed. Health care is to a less extent taking that course, but it is on its way. Personally I don't have any bad experiences with that, but if it ends up with privatisation followed by prohibiting the business or product the now private owned company does, it will not lead anywhere.

Still the problem remains no matter who is delivering the power; from where should it be produced and are environmental concerns not as important if it is 5000 miles away in another country? Our neighbour Finland for an example last year opened a new nuclear power plant, and a cable is laid across the sea so Sweden should be able to import excess nuclear power from them. Maybe someone did complain, but the cable is there and will get even more used the less we can supply ourselves.

There is one effective fuel source that might replace coal/oil and which we have reasonable amounts of - peat. However, the argument is whether it is fossile or renewable. Unless it can be proven to be renewable, it doesn't seem likely it will be used for fueling power plants. Genious.

Oh well, maybe there is some really whizz engineer or similar who comes up with a new, effective, safe and not too expensive way to produce electricity and heat. Something the whole world would have use of, but I'm sure there are strong parties counterworking, threatening or buying out a such project if it looks too promising. At least for the next 30 years until there is too little oil left to pump. Dunno about the other fossile fuels though.

Unknown_K
October 5th, 2004, 03:40 PM
In the US we use natural gas for heating homes, and some power plants use it as well (works better then coal and cleaner to the environment). Natural gas can be made rather easily by using common household trash containing organic material and adding bacteria to eat it producing methane (which is what natural gas mostly is). I have heard of large trash dumps blowing up because of NG exploding, now they vent and burn it on site.

Most of oil use is for making gasoline for cars.

Terry Yager
October 5th, 2004, 05:53 PM
I wonder why alchol isn't considered a viable alternative fuel? It's a 100% renewal energy source...

--T

Unknown_K
October 5th, 2004, 07:55 PM
I wonder why alchol isn't considered a viable alternative fuel? It's a 100% renewal energy source...

--T

Because it is made from grain or corn fermentation and the last thing you want is to use all your food for making car fuel. Also alcohol does not provide anywhere near the BTU content of gasoline so you would have to use quite a bit more fuel to get the same horsepower as gasoline (plus the vapor problems in the fuel system, freezing/boiling points, and ability to absorbe water).

carlsson
October 6th, 2004, 03:39 AM
But methanol is used as a car or bus fuel in more and more vehicles, so maybe it is getting bigger. Yes, natural gas is another fuel source but I don't know what investments and natural requirements (heat?) are required to efficiently use it.

As a side note, the nuclear power plant whose last reactor will be shut down next year will not be possible to deconstruct until 2020, so right now it looks to be an empty monument for the next 15 years. Only the phasing out of a reactor will cost the state between 700-1100 million USD. The other plants are scheduled to be closed one reactor every 3rd year starting from 2010, so I really hope we found alternative power sources by then, or half the country will close for winter 4-6 months every year.

Unknown_K
October 6th, 2004, 03:55 AM
Sooner or later we will run out of fuel oil, or it will be so expensive that nobody except the super rich can use it.

Getting rid of nuclear powerplants does not sound like a wise choice to me at the moment.

I always wondered how many miles into the earths core you had to drill untill the rock was hot enough to produce saturated steam when you pump water through it. Putting a steam generator system 5 miles down (some mines go pretty deep already) and sending the electricity back up top would be interesting.

vic user
October 6th, 2004, 05:43 AM
in canada, farmers regularly have a surplus of grain they produce, and cannot sell it, due to regulations etc.., and would i am sure love to have another market (in this case ethanol production) where they could sell their grain and straw that they normally throw out.

our power needs will continue to rise, as long as our society is driven from a consumption based economic system. bigger is better and more is desirable... the message is in everything

one thing we can do is change our behaviours, but sadly that is an extremely hard thing to do it seems.

i am a socialist freak i think, and believe that corporations have no place in the running of institutions or services that have been created to serve the public good.

i do not want my fire department, police, health care, schools, etc.. being run by corporations. they are only out for profit, and nothing else, and don't think otherwise, no matter how good their image management teams are.

corporations often break labour and environmental regulations if the penalties are less than the costs of adhering to the regulations. it is common business sense to them.

if our public institutions are failing then we should fix them and not pawn it off to corporations. this is in our common good, which is what the public instutions are there in the first place. some things are more valuable than efficiency or profit.

it is also good to have state run industries running alongside private industry, since they can both work under different economic systems. the private ones operate in the usual supply and demand ones everyone is used to, but the state run one, can operate at a loss, say during times od recession, creating employment, allowing workers to buy things which starts to alleviate the recession etc..

a corporation will simply lay people off to save money, resulting in less goods bought, which increases the recession.

i am even worse than this actually, as i believe all rent is theft, and that there should be no private or public ownership of land. we are of the earth, we didn't make it and thus we should not be allowed to say we own it. who the hell do we think we are?

ownership is an artificial construct and nothing more.

ok, off to my Lenin seminar :)

carlsson
October 6th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Sheesh, what did I unleash? :) I admit there are cases where it is more cost effective to break the laws and pay fines than adhering, but I'm not sure it is common practise. In many cases, a profit driven business can turn out to be more cost effective - although not necessarily doing a better job - on the cost of fewer people employed but really working.

I suppose with ownership you limit yourself to land and nature resources, not human made goods? I can to some extent agree about owning land, but it is also about who should have the rights to exploit and develop the land. I guess you could let different parties operate the land and resources for every season, but it would make long-term planning more difficult.

vic user
October 6th, 2004, 09:51 AM
for the land ownership thing, for me it is just viewing the land differently.

if people want to own land then they should try and seal it up from the rest of the earth, and see how long their piece of land lasts. does someone own the water the instant it hits their land, or what about the air, or the microbes keeping the land healthy etc..? since it is not a closed system, as far as i am concerned, land cannot be owned.

for a man made object, it would be nice if the manufacturer and the new owner of the object both had to take responsibility for the object, especially when the owner wants to throw it out. the materials to make objects don't come out of nothing... they materials are borrowed from the earth, and will eventually make it back to the earth.

but we seem to not connect things together very well, and only see the finished product and not the process needed to make that object

carlsson
October 7th, 2004, 02:36 AM
for a man made object, it would be nice if the manufacturer and the new owner of the object both had to take responsibility for the object, especially when the owner wants to throw it out. the materials to make objects don't come out of nothing... they materials are borrowed from the earth, and will eventually make it back to the earth.

Or end up on eBay if the man made object is collectable. :lol:

vic user
October 7th, 2004, 05:02 AM
Yes, too true man!

carlsson
October 13th, 2004, 02:17 AM
This morning it was reported that the remaining nuclear power plants have offered to slightly increase their production to compensate for the one closing next year. Obviously they have more capacity if required. The responsible minister was positive to the idea, which must be a big slap in the face for the real environmental lobbyists. Although one plant less means fewer risks for accidents, I suppose the amount of waste will increase the more nuclear fuel you use?

Don't take me wrong, I also want to care for the environment and our children's future, but there ought to be many ways to take to do it in the best way. To me it sounds like an excellent solution to use the remaining reactors as much as you safely can as long as they still are in use at all. Nuclear waste which needs to be stored somehow will be produced anyway, and it shouldn't matter much if it is 500 or 1000 kg (figures picked from thin air). If, God forbid, it happens an accident, I'm sure the nuclear radiation will be "enough" to damage the habitat even at a reactor's working grade of 65% compared to 80%.

Unknown_K
October 13th, 2004, 04:09 AM
They should dump the nuclear waste from the operating reactors into the closed reactor untill they find a better place for it. Why contaminate a different site.


People will not give up their electronics way of life (they buy more gadgets) so more electricity will be needed not less.

The problem with running the reactors at full capacity is that when something happens and you need to shut down (problems or just maintenance of the fuel rods), you are risking a small blackout or maybe a cascading blackout because the other plants cant keep up and shutdown one after the other.

tachyon
October 15th, 2004, 08:31 AM
Nuclear Fission power plants are not the answer to our long-term need for electrical power. Unfortunately, they are as close as we've come so far.

Many environmentalists fail to realize that a manufacturer can be more efficient with material when they have abundant power to apply to the process. Scrap can be reclaimed and reused. Additive manufacturing can be applied (where you add material to an object, rather than milling material away). Nanotechnology is beginning to bear fruit, but the limiting factor is power. Electricity is too expensive and not available in sufficient quantity to make nanomanufacturing practical.

The sad part is that environmentalists don't WANT to understand anything except humano-nihilism. For every 'responsible' environmentalist who realizes that the spare time they have to champion their cause is only there because of industrialization, I can show you one who simply wants to remove humanity from the environment, at any cost (so long as it's the other person who's removed first...)

The next ten years may bring advances in technology that are just as revolutionary as the assembly line, telephone and microcomputer. If they do, it will be possibly only if we find a way to produce more electricity at a lower cost economically and environmentally.

tachyon

vic user
October 15th, 2004, 10:32 AM
The sad part is that environmentalists don't WANT to understand anything except humano-nihilism

Can you elaboarte on this? I am not sure if I am getting your meaning.

Do you mean that enivornmentalists believe, that human needs have no meaning in an environmental context?

I am just trying to wrap my head around your argument.

chris

tachyon
January 28th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Sorry I didn't come back to this thread sooner.

There is a very large majority of environmentalists who believe that anything human is wrong. Further, they don't factor in the benefits to the environment of certain things.

Nihilism is the philosophy of death and destruction. The only solution is death. Modern society depends on power. It depends on industry. What is the agricultural surplus of most European nations? The US has a HUGE ag surplus that rots most years because there is no transportation infrastructure in many nations that need the surplus. If there was a way to get the food there at a reasonable cost, there are ways that even an old hoary capitalist nation like the U.S. would get it where it was needed. If you take energy away from the U.S. or Europe, you would have mass starvation in those nations. And this in countries that feed themselves and millions more besides. Advocating the reduction of nuclear power while at the same time opposing fossil power is the result of ignorance or Nihilism. Since nobody on the environmentalist side of the argument will ever admit to ignorance, they must therefore be Nihilists.

Some even publicly admit that they want the mass death of humanity to protect the environment. They may be nuts, but at least they're honest.

I'm always amused by people who have less than 100 years of empirical data who insist that they and only they understand how anything will impact the environment, or public health, etc.

Terrestrial nuclear power has been around for less than 100 years. There is just over 150 years of temperature data available to base theories on. Yet environmentalists are absolutely certain that homeostasis (the possible positive impact of nuclear radiation) is a myth and global warming is the one true god of modern environmental science. Evidence of cycles of temperature on earth are dismissed as anecdotal and unaccountably healthy people in apartment buildings in Hong Kong are forcibly relocated when the building has a higher than average radiation count, then when they revert to normal illness levels the environmentalist science establishment reacts violently at any suggestion that radiation may be beneficial.

The public has been programmed to believe the environmentalists doctrine and there is little if any scientific effort spent to determine their validity, just billions upon billions poured down a rathole based on theories that were as recently as 30 years ago thought to be exactly the opposite. Who doesn't remember the popular scientific articles of the mid 70's about the coming ice age?

There is a great deal of basic science that needs to be studied before the conclusion that there is an unnatural warming trend occurring. If it's natural and we try to stop it, isn't it just as wrong as if we were causing it in the first place?

Tachyon

vic user
February 17th, 2005, 10:30 AM
man, it will be difficult to reply to your last posting, as you have quite a few things you pointed out :)

i am just going to reply to a little bit of it.

although i agree with you that there is much more science to be done, i think there is very little debate as to what can cause global warming.

we also have much data regarding temperature changes for many years, as scientists do not have to rely on what temperatures have been recorded by people, as there are other sources.

i think it is always better to side on caution, rather than continuing doing something that could cause problems, and at the rate we are pumping out greenhouse gases, is stunning, and thus we should be reducing what we can right now.

also, our two biggest carbon sinks are taking a beating - terrestrial plants and the oceans.

here we are screwing with the homeostatic system from two ends - increasing the amount of gases, yet reducing the ability of the planet to absorb those gases.

it is amazing to think that all that carbon stored in fossil fuels, and how long it took to get to that amount, is being released so quickly.

i don't know if you have read any of james lovelock's writings, but he has has some excellent info on planetary homeostasis, and the various feedback systems.

our economic system seems to me to be based on trying to produce more and consume more than the previous year. we consume at an alarming rate, and more nations are joining into this consumption addiction.

we live on a finite planet with finite resources, yet function as if we have limitless resources.

in my opinion, nothing will be changed until we start to think differently about so many things.

although we can travel to outer space and do some incredible things, for the most part, we are just like people from thousands of years ago.

our tools have evolved, but we haven't

i often picture us as a chimp with a lighter and a can of gasoline.
the chimp might be able to get the gas ignited, but i sure wouldn't call him a master of fire.

and now we are affecting the planet in massive ways, and playing around with genetic technology etc.., yet have not developed the wisdom to handle these things properly.

i just find it sad that it will probably take something horrible to happen, before we start to change how we think.

from what i have read, the original people's of north america used to behave very much like europeans etc.. but after seeing diminishing animals to hunt etc.. began to adopt a change in thinking of their role on this planet, and incorporated it into all aspects of their lives.

i wish we were that smart.

chris

carlsson
February 17th, 2005, 02:14 PM
i often picture us as a chimp with a lighter and a can of gasoline. the chimp might be able to get the gas ignited, but i sure wouldn't call him a master of fire.
Maybe we're even closer to a chimp (or they to us) than you think; recently I read some notice about research on apes - I think it was a chimpanzee but it may have been a gorilla - which were trained to oogle at pictures of female apes. Then the scientists took the pictures away, but offered to "sell" pictures, using bananas as payment. Amazingly enough, the trained ape was willing to trade bananas for some satisfaction.. :?


playing around with genetic technology etc.., yet have not developed the wisdom to handle these things properly.
But great advances are reported every day! Yesterday I read about animal experiment with rats about some genetic mutation which would absorb 25% less fat than otherwise, and people rejoiced the option that in a near future, we may be able to stuff all the greasy stuff into us without worrying about the consequences. Today I read about some other rat which on the other hand had grown natural fat from stem cells, and this breakthrough may play an imporant role on breast augmentation and all the other things in life that we want to become bigger.

Long ago there were reports about a mouse who had grown a human ear on his back. I'm foreseeing a future where most humans will have a narrow waist, slim thighs, enormous breasts (or some other body part) and at least three ears. If there also is a way to utilize the brain more and rebuild brain cells or at least make new synapses, things look better than ever. Then you can try to say we're the same people as thousands of years ago.

(since this whole message is sarcastic and/or ironic, I saved you all the unneccessary smileys)

vic user
February 17th, 2005, 02:27 PM
I wonder how much people will accept modifying their own genetics and also of their offsrping?

in my opinion, eugenics can hide in the most subtle ways, and start from the most benevolent of intentions.

if people are not careful, i think that we can lose sight of what it means to be a person, and slowly slip into becoming a true product.

oh, those corporations will love it!

and i don't know about you, but if i was a kid and ofund out that my parents planned out my gentics, right down to my hair colour etc.., i would be mighty pissed! who am i then?

chris

Terry Yager
February 17th, 2005, 04:15 PM
I wonder how much people will accept modifying their own genetics and also of their offsrping?

chris

Look how many people are into body modification today. If some of those folks could grow a third ear, don't you think they would?

http://images.google.com/images?q=body+modification&hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-03,GGLD:en&sa=N&tab=ii&oi=imagest

--T

joe sixpack
February 17th, 2005, 09:11 PM
I wonder how much people will accept modifying their own genetics and also of their offsrping?

in my opinion, eugenics can hide in the most subtle ways, and start from the most benevolent of intentions.

if people are not careful, i think that we can lose sight of what it means to be a person, and slowly slip into becoming a true product.

oh, those corporations will love it!

and i don't know about you, but if i was a kid and ofund out that my parents planned out my gentics, right down to my hair colour etc.., i would be mighty pissed! who am i then?

chris

I agree but the things we could learn almost force us to continue research.
You can't unlearn something, It's possible for it to bring much good. However there
is one flaw that can not be fixed in humans GREED
We wont stop and fixing genetic defects, No No it's already been said here
im sure we will try to redesign our children, But there is no reset button.
Who knows more mother nature / god or us stupid humans?
This question means nothing to the future!, As will kill our each other off long before this happens.

carlsson
February 18th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Yes, it is a bright future. Regarding corporations, aren't those run by humans too, who would be genetically perfected so they stay on top? Fashion will probably shift around, and save humanity from final stereotyping; if someone finds a cute defective from before, scientists will offer to recreate that defective and it will become fashion for one generation.

Today a child can feel insufficient and insecure if one doesn't live up to your parents' and others expectations - wrt. schooling, hobbies, finding the right partner and so on. I'm not sure if those feelings would be worse or soothened out if you knew your parents had designed you according to their tastes and needs - if I flunk school, at least my basic properties and prerequisites were according to what my dad wanted out of me.

Even with the fat-repelling protein, the gene against alcoholism, the perfect brain, all fatal diseases running in the family and whatever more you need (three ears?), the environment and how you were raised will probably affect you far enough away from the ideal development path.

Of course, humans can be kept in labs until we're a little past 20 years, to ensure that everyone become what they're supposed to be and get the best out of their prerequisites. Then it gets scary, but again all people would have to go through that process, as a "naturally raised" leader probably would feel incomplete, on the edge to inferior. If we manage to produce robots that can think and act for themselves, maybe they will enslave the whole human population in these labs/factories, but now I'm hopefully just babbling sci-fi stuff.

carlsson
February 22nd, 2005, 01:44 PM
Oh! Even more great scientific news! Larry Young of Emory University presented a study on field-mice and compared one kind that stay faithful to their partner for the whole life compared to one more asocial and promiscuous species. It seems the faithful mouse has receptors in his brain for a kind of hormones associated with mating, and gets a reward for staying to his or her partner, while the other one lacks the receptors.

The scientists have already spotted the genetic difference that makes up for the receptor, so my question for the future is whether it will be possible to make a human drug to compensate the missing receptor - or maybe even genetically modify the human race - in order to reduce the number of break-ups. :wink: What we can't fix emotionally, maybe we can fix biologically. At least it is some lame excuse if you are left behind, that your ex had a genetic disorder. :twisted: