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Why Renewable Energy Won't Work

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by patsfan13, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very Good article using math and Physics to explain to non scientist, why renewable energy can't provide our energy needs. This is a matter of Physics not R&D money or good intentions.

    Nuclear Energy can provide our needs for thousands of years. The article also provides the math on this.

    Energy Tribune- Understanding E = mc2



    This paper (from 1983) discusses how long we can use nuclear energy using breeder reactors.

    http://www.sustainablenuclear.org/PADs/pad11983cohen.pdf
  2. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    Sounds great, in theory...

    But here are some facts, which largely explain why we haven't built a single nuke plant in 30 years:

    - nuclear plants will not power vehicles
    - nuclear plants still require massive amounts of fossil fuels to build, secure and maintain ...
    - nuclear plants require astronomical financial cost; the only energy technology with both up-front and back-end capital costs.
    - nuclear plants can not keep crops safe from insects, nor harvest and distribute the food necessary to feed 7-8 billion human beings.
    - nuclear plants require "lead-in" time of 9-12 years in order to permit, build and finish the process of making electricity.
    - nuclear plants will not produce plastics, asphalt or tires.
    - nuclear plants require uranium and/or thorium, both of which are limited resources, and neither of which come anywhere near meeting global demand (and that's just today's rate of demand).
    - nuclear plants produce some of the most dangerous material on the face of the earth, and no one knows what to do with the stuff. It's so bad, that the waste sits on site while governments still try to figure out where to put it. No real progress has been made in that regard, and there it still sits.
  3. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The reason we haven't built plants are the enviro activist.


    If you want to have electric vehicles you need a cheap source of electricity and lot more electricity. I would still use hydrocarbons for transportation uses, BTW if you want synthetic fuel from coal nuke energy can power these processes.[/quote]

    No more than coal or other energy plants, far less than so called 'renewable' sources.

    Due in large part to legal problems caused by government and enviros.


    But they can provide the electricity to cook the food, heat the homes, and power the workplaces for all the homo sapiens for the foreseeable future.



    This is why we should have been doing this for the past 30 years, BTW the regulatory process is artificially long due to government, there are field proven designs ready to go that have been used around the world.


    But they can power the manufacturing plants that produce them.

    [/quote]
    - nuclear plants require uranium and/or thorium, both of which are limited resources, and neither of which come anywhere near meeting global demand (and that's just today's rate of demand).[/quote]


    Incorrect see the 2nd link from the U of Pitts, we have enough for tens million years at electrical production levels greater than todays usage. Hopefully we will figure out fusion then we have a truly 'unlimited' source of energy.



    This is a political problem not a technical problem. Eventually we can recycle all the waste product Breeder reactors will recycle and use the most toxic materials.


    BTW i take it you see no solution to our energy needs other than death and poverty due to peak oil....Or do you see a solution for all the issues you raise above?

    Thanks for raising valid concerns. :)
  4. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    You're wrong on so many points, but one thing you're correct about is that we should have started "transferrence" 30 years ago.

    this is flat incorrect... i've posted "solutions" (such as they may be) many times over -- you're either too self-absorbed to have let it register, or being disingenuous. ... nothing will completely mitigate the full consequences of this phenomenon, and our lifestyles are going to have to change whether we like it or not.

    anyhow, once again, the 25 points from MCR's most recent book:

    A Presidential Energy Policy:
    25 Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money:


    1. Create a second strategic petroleum reserve of 750 million barrels of refined products for state and local governments.

    2. Establish a new and uniform crude oil reserve accounting system for the United States. Through international agreements with the International Energy Agency and the United Nations, move for uniform global transparent and reliable reserve estimation and depletion rates.

    3. Enact the Oil Depletion Protocol. Use all available diplomatic and economic means to encourage global ratification. Done to avoid profiteering from shortage such that oil prices may remain in reasonable relationship with production cost, and ... to set the provision that the world and every nation shall aim to reduce oil consumption by at least the depletion rate.

    4. Immediately declassify the May, 2001, National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) records.

    5. Impose an immediate moratorium on all highway and airport expansion, including NAFTA superhighways.

    6. Completely rebuild and expand America's rail system.

    7. Feed-in tarrifs. Implemented to mandate that electric utilities will pay back 3% above market rates for all surplus electricity generated from renewable sources, especially including homes and businesses.

    8. End speculation and immediately halt all derivatives contracts on non-renewable energy sources.

    9. Enact a national speed limit of 55 mph, and strictly enforce it.

    10. Eliminate all federal subsidies for ethanol and biofuel production.

    11. Create feed-in tarrifs for local food production point of origin labeling.

    12. Stimulate and strengthen local food production through federal and local governments - make vacant urban land available for cultivation.

    13. Soil assessment - the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior shall be directed with the utmost urgency to evaluate soil conditions around the country.

    14. Create a federal clearing house to track and report on all state and local initiatives/progress with respect to relocalization and energy use. In order to (1.) identify regions that are most vulnerable to energy shortages and any unique conditions that may exacerbate that vulnerability. ... 2)...

    15. Draft and pass a new Public Utility Holding Company Act that will provide that all public utility companies must maintain sufficient energy reserves, infrastructure and resources.... Mandate and enforce infrastructure repair and maintainance standards for all public utilities.

    16. Rebuild the grid and energy infrastructure including oil and natural gas pipelines.

    17. Create a public energy oversight board to police and monitor advertising and public dissemination of information about energy.

    18. Redraft the tax code of the United States. Thereby doing what is possible to make it more profitable to produce alternative or energy-saving regimes. Require all corporations to use accepted accounting practices.

    19. A new nuclear intiative that relies heavily on the dismantling of a portion of U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal for uranium supply. Get a better grasp of global uranium supply shortages.

    20. Draft new federal building codes for home and office construction.

    21. Education. Direct the Secretary of Education to develop energy-curriculum standards in mathematics and basic sciences.

    22. Efficiency - reduce federal government energy use by 15%.

    23. Drastically reduce overseas military deployment.

    24. Decriminalize the hemp plant and encourage widespread domestic production. Acknowledge its undeniable use for textiles and fabrics, fiber and pulp paper, paints and varnishes, lighting oil, medicines, food oil and protein and building materials.

    25. Open a rational, open and ethical domestic and global dialogue on the population problem
    .​
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #23 @ $400.00 per gallon for fuel in Afghanistan this makes mucho sense..

    Here is another factoid, there are over 700 bases in 130 countries around the world... all of which have to buy a lot of fuel, and continue the drain on the economy..

    There are 6,000 bases on the mainland US and it's territories...

    53 cents of every federal dollar goes to the military... it goes on and on.
  6. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Paragraph 23:
    "The problem arises when solar enthusiasts try to claim solar power can provide base load power for an industrial society. There is no technology for storing commercial quantities of electricity. Until something is developed – which seems unlikely – wind and solar can serve only as intermittent, unpredictable resources."

    Final two paragraphs:
    "This is what people finds hard to grasp. It is almost beyond our comprehension. How can we run an entire city for five years on six ounces of matter with almost no environmental impact? It all seems so incomprehensible that we make up problems in order to make things seem normal again. A reactor is a bomb waiting to go off. The waste lasts forever, what will we ever do with it? There is something sinister about drawing power from the nucleus of the atom. The technology is beyond human capabilities.


    But the technology is not beyond human capabilities. Nor is there anything sinister about nuclear power. It is just beyond anything we ever imagined before the beginning of the 20th century. In the opening years of the 21st century, it is time to start imagining it."
    ___________________________

    So I get it now. Future tech breakthroughs and development of commercially viable energy storage capabilites for wind and solar are "unlikely", however, when regarding safe and long-term human-life viable storage of nuclear waste we simply need to "start imagining it".

    Sorry, PF13, but the writer has some 'splainin' to do about that disconnect.
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I agree with this point.

    I have never been opposed to Nuke plants in my adult life. I went to a protest in Seabrook when I was 17 mainly because a chick I was chasing went.

    Either way, we need to wean off of fossil fuels or at least limit their use to the military (which could be cut down to a fraction of what it is now when we become independent) and air travel. All power plants could be replaced by nukes as far as I'm concerned. We can store or recycle the waste until we're technologically able to dispose of it permanently. That would be a great bridge to the next phase of energy production in the not-so-distant future, whether it be fusion reaction, advanced solar collection, or geothermal sources.

    The toxicity and environmental effects of nukes vs. fossil fuel combustion is huge. Many nations use it safely and are free to live in peace without involvement in the Middle East.

    No question in my mind. Build them yesterday.
  8. State

    State Rookie

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    #70 Jersey

    No, you're wrong, PC.

    There's a left-leaning science writer who thought the same thing until she, as a science reporter, looked into the matter.

    Gwyenth Cravens has written a book. I won't bother telling you to read it, since people don't read anymore.

    But for anyone who might still do such an activity, here it is: Amazon.com: Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy (Vintage) (9780307385871): Gwyneth Cravens, Richard Rhodes: Books
    William Tucker, a gadfly writer living in one of the boroughs of NYC (I helped edit one of his obscure books on rent control in the early 1990s.), also has a book out trumpeting the merits of nuclear power.

    Here's a transcript of a conversation he had with Dennis Prager:The Dennis Prager Show
  9. patsfan13

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    Look at the energy density and intermittent nature of solar there is no way to run an industrial economy using this highly inefficient technology. The math doesn't work, you are limited by physics and not R&D.


    Breeder reactors reduce the waste material by 'recycling it' there are solutions for low level waste (ie Yucca mtn for example) we haven't done it for political reasons. Japan for example is doing what we will not.
  10. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    If Three Mile Island can come close to happening and Chernobyl can actually happen by accident, what about 20 guys with AK's and the technological knowledge to force it to happen? I have to think that if its possible for an accident to occur then a successful attack where the terrorists control the plant for even a hour will lead to a catastrophe that won't go away for 1000's of years. Do we really want to give our enemies that many more targets?
  11. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    PF would rather blame the "liberal congress" for blocking nuclear expansion... To him, it has nothing to do with uranium shortage or astronomical cost, nor catastrophic dangers...

    Interestingly, he gives no link to his claim that there "millions of years" of uranium. Where?
  12. patsfan13

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    The design or reactors now is far different than the reactors you cite.

    As to terrorist, since they have successfully used airplanes to kill more Americans that have died as a result of nuclear power perhaps we should ban air travel to 'save lives'.

    So I guess you would rather impoverish the country when our supplies of enegys dwindle and become much more ecxpensive. Wonderful.
  13. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Of course there is NO URANIUM SHORTAGE.


    The oceans for example have 4.6 * 1,000,000,000 TONS or Uranium. This quantity is augmentend with Uranium flowing into the oceans from rivers each year. We can exreact this materials from the Oceans economically. See the 2nd link to the PDF I posted on this topic.

    The scinetific illeteracy of the congress crosses party lines. As is shown by the MM Global warming faith among pols.
  14. PatsFanInMaine

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  15. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    Ever the optimist.... Then why is uranium supply only at 58% of global demand and getting worse? Do you know something that energy investors do not?

    Current global uranium production meets only 58 per cent of demand, with the shortfall made up largely from rapidly shrinking stockpiles. The shortfall is expected to run at 51 million pounds a year on average from next year to 2020. During the last 15 years, the shortfall between production and requirements was made up by excess commercial inventories, uranium released from military use and other secondary sources. These are now in decline, and the shortfall will increasingly need to be made up by primary production.

    Eleven countries, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, DR Congo, Gabon, Bulgaria, Tajikistan, Hungary, Romania, Spain, Portugal and Argentina, have already peaked their uranium production and exhausted their uranium resources and must rely on imports for their nuclear programs or abandon them. Other countries have reached their peak production of Uranium and are currently on a decline.​
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  16. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    Just about everything that possibly could go wrong at 3 Mile Island did go wrong, and yet the safeguards in place did their job and we experienced no casualties. 20 guys with AK's could not force a nuclear meltdown just because they had access to a nuke plant. It isn't like you could just detonate a bomb and create a nuclear explosion. It doesn't work that way.

    As for the "catastrophe that won't go away for 1000's of years" comment, that just isn't how it works. As bad as Chernobyl was, there are people who have returned to living in that area and their faces are not melting off. The consensus opinion is there is an increased risk of exposure to cancer causing radiation and living there is unwise - but so is smoking and sunbathing. I guess some people are just determined to do things that aren't healthy.
  17. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    Agreed. Power plants are fortresses, which underscores the fact that they are enormously expensive to secure and maintain, and require enormous amounts of FOSSIL FUELS to run.

    Disagreed. While your statement is conveniently vague, people are still dying there in exponentially disproportionate numbers, and the rate of birth defects for tens (likely hundreds) of miles around is horrific. Where are you getting your information? Hopeful guesswork?

    View:

    HBO: Chernobyl Heart - Synopsis

    In Belarus, only 15-20% of babies are born healthy. Roche comforts children who are born with multiple holes in their heart, a condition known in Belarus as "Chernobyl heart."
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  18. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Most of the Uranium on the planet is in the oceans, that is where we should be extracting uranium.....
    Many of the countries you reference are landlocked.


    from the pdf above:


    The problems are political not technical.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009
  19. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    PF13, you are struggling to tread water in this debate. It's time, for once, that you concede that your argument is wrong. If uranium was abundant, and easy to find "in the oceans," there would not be a global shortage. None of these countries are landlocked:

    Peak uranium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    * Germany—Between 1946 and 1990, Wismut, the former East German uranium mining company, produced a total of around 220 kilotonnes (490×10^6 lb) of uranium. During its peak, production exceeded 7 kilotonnes (15×10^6 lb) per year. In 1990, uranium mining was discontinued as a consequence of the German unification.[10] The company could not compete on the world market. The production cost of its uranium was three times the world price.[99]

    * India—India, having already hit its production peak, is finding itself in making a tough choice between using its modest and dwindling uranium resources as a source to keep its weapons programs rolling or it can use them to produce electricity.[100] Since India has abundant thorium reserves, it is switching to nuclear reactors powered by the thorium fuel cycle.

    * 'Sweden - 1969—Sweden started uranium production in 1965 but was never profitable. They stopped mining uranium in 1969.[101] Sweden then embarked on a massive project based on American light water reactors. Nowadays, Sweden imports its uranium mostly from Canada, Australia and the former Soviet Union.

    * UK - 1981The U.K.'s uranium production peaked in 1981 and the supply is running out. Yet the UK still plans to build more nuclear power plants.[40]

    * France - 1988—In France uranium production attained a peak of 3,394 tonnes (7.48×10^6 lb) in 1988. At the time, this was enough for France to meet the half of its reactor demand from domestic sources.[102] By 1997, production was 1/5 of the 1991 levels. France markedly reduced its market share since 1997.[103] In 2002, France ran out of uranium.[98]

    * U.S. - 1980—The United States was the world's leading producer of uranium from 1953 until 1980, when annual US production peaked at 16,810 tonnes (37.1×10^6 lb) (U3O8) according to the OECD redbook.[104] According to the CRB yearbook, US production the peak was at 19,822 tonnes (43.70×10^6 lb).[105] The U.S. production hit another maximum in 1996 at 6.3 million pounds (2.9 kt) of uranium oxide (U3O8), then dipped in production for a few years.[106] Between 2003 and 2007, there has been a 125% increase in production as demand for uranium has increased. However, as of 2008, production levels have not come back to 1980 levels.[citation needed]

    Now, if you want to talk about disabling nuclear weaponry for needed uranium/plutonium, then you might have something (short term).
  20. patsfan13

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    As usual you are unable to differentiate between reserves and production. In the case of the US the production problem is political not a matter of supply. Try getting a permit to open a uranium mine, tougher than getting a coal plant permit.


    Apples and oranges.



    PS in this argument you are contradicting your olutions points above...
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2009

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