Bill Nye on nuclear

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Lance Kennedy
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 30, 2017 7:59 pm

EM

That is like your idiotic attempts to create disaster scenarios purely out of your imagination.

You cannot prove a negative. Asking me to prove nuclear energy is not hazardous is asking me to prove a negative, which is actually an irrational and unreasonable demand. Nuclear power is not safe, of course, and I have never said it was. So asking me to prove it is safe is yet another example of you being irrational. But it is safer than other methods. I have already shown that with expert references.

The 50 millisieverts limit is not the highest level that is harmless. It is a legal limit, which incorporates a very large safety margin, based on the scientific observation that 100 millisieverts has never been shown to cause harm. In fact the legal limit for radiation workers engaged in life saving work is 250 millisieverts, which has reflects the scientific observation that, while that is level not harmless, it is actually unlikely to cause serious harm. As I have pointed out before, legal limits are not the same as the NOAEL. If you were a bit smarter, you would have remembered that.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 30, 2017 8:39 pm

Lance: everything proceeds by definition. When you change the definition, your thinking and conclusions should change as well based on the new/different definition. Asking you to imagine the "worst case disasters" is just one exercise along those lines.

I will say again: deaths per accident is only one definition of safety. If Nukes have a history of less deaths per accident that doesn't make it the safist power source except by THAT definition.

What is the worst case that could happen is certainly another definition of safety. By that definition, Nukes are the most UNSAFE power source because they have to be monitored and controled CONSTATLY to avoid meltdown and contamination. Dams may need only a yearly inspection, and only large dams at that. Coal..just dams holding waste materials...particulates in the air...what..once a day monitoring...again its definitional.
Wind...Zero risk. Saw a show last night regarding bird deaths. Seems wind sites now include considerations of migratory bird routes and even radar systems to shut the turbine down when flocks are detected. Solar: as close to zero as one can propose....in that falling off a roof to install or maintain it is not really a component of the technology....again with the definitions.

A different show commented that Nuke Power is "not flexible" and only good for providing base loads. IE: unlike solar and fossil fuel: Nukes cannot be turned on and off in response to load/demand. They take days to turn on or shut off. As we have all agreed: Pros and cons to all we do.
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue May 30, 2017 9:25 pm

Bobbo

When I talk of risk, I am talking of demonstrated risk. There are all sorts of flights of the imagination that people can take to come up with assorted hypothetical risks. I have no interest in them. I am trained to think scientifically, not in the mode of a fantasy author.

Monitoring a power plant to achieve greater safety is a valid way of achieving greater safety.

You cannot separate 'falling off a roof' as not being related to solar energy safety. If installing solar energy leads to a death, that death is part of the risk of that solar energy. By that measure solar energy is MUCH riskier than nuclear.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue May 30, 2017 11:09 pm

Lance: can you recognize how you switch definitions as you please to make your points? You know: looking scientifically at your posts?
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 12:56 am

Demonstrated risk simply means real risk as opposed to the fictional risk you, Bobbo and EM like to invent.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed May 31, 2017 1:29 am

Who is the "you" that you are talking to? (I suspect a fictional someone rather than a demonstrated one.)
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 2:10 am

Sorry. I left out a comma. Should be "you, Bobbo and EM, like to invent."

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed May 31, 2017 4:02 am

I apologize...... too sleepy to have done that myself.

For Grins, I went back to the OP. Trying to get a fresh start. 2 items struck me. One is that Bill Nye is a science/social popularizer rather than "a scientist." The society in which science practices is always relevant and often the deciding factor. Silly to fail to come to grips with the POINT he is making. Worse to denigrate it.

Of note..... you have repeatedly said that falling off rooftops is a hazard of Solar Energy... yet in the OP you totally dismiss the numbers killed in the evacuation of the Fukishima melt down. I thought scientists were consistent?
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 5:03 am

I draw a distinction between deaths due to nuclear energy, or nuclear energy accidents, and deaths due to politicians and bureaucrats being stupid.

Who do you blame for the Manchester bombing deaths? The bomber or the pop singer?
1500 dead at Fukushima because idiots ordered an evacuation against the advice of the experts. Do you blame the idiots or the experts?

The point I have made most strongly is that the only real problem with nuclear power is political, which Bill Nye also said. But he said other things which were a lot less correct.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed May 31, 2017 5:05 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
The 50 millisieverts limit is not the highest level that is harmless. It is a legal limit, which incorporates a very large safety margin, based on the scientific observation that 100 millisieverts has never been shown to cause harm. In fact the legal limit for radiation workers engaged in life saving work is 250 millisieverts, which has reflects the scientific observation that, while that is level not harmless, it is actually unlikely to cause serious harm..


Where is your source for this?
how do you know so much more than all the health organizations?
Where are the studies for long-term exposure to highly contaminated food?
Where are they for expectant mothers and babies?

I gave clear data, you have given nothing except hot air and your gut feelings.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 5:48 am

The Web site www.informationisbeautiful.net has a radiation dosage chart with all that data summarized. It is not the only one, and I have seen enough other dose information to realize that their chart is pretty much accurate. For example, I first learned that 100 millisieverts is harmless when reading an article on research done on the survivors of Hiroshima.

Anyway.
I do not know more than all the health organizations, but I do know how they set limits, and I have explained it to you before, though you clearly took no notice. They work from the highest dose found to cause no harm, and then set a legal limit that is way below that, in order to have a big safety margin.

The 50 millisieverts limit is set for radiation workers, who cannot avoid being somewhat exposed. It is actually rather higher than health organizations normally would set, since it is a whole 10% of the dose that 'might' cause harm if experienced briefly. Normally they use 1%, so this is higher than normal. I assume that is because anything less would be quite impractical. The 250 millisieverts limit is even higher, and clearly they allow this again because of necessity.

Highly contaminated food is to be avoided, and can be. The reason for the high thyroid cancer rate after Chernobyl was because they did not do this. It was radioactive iodine in milk that caused the cancers. At Fukushima, they stopped locally produced milk being drunk and thyroid cancer was not measurably higher than normal.

Expectant mothers and babies were part of the Hiroshima study, and they were OK as long as the dose was 100 millisieverts or less.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed May 31, 2017 6:34 am

link the actual studies, don't just drop the site on us
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 8:40 am

EM

Too many, EM.
That table summarizes the results of dozens of studies.

I know it is inconvenient for you to accept the data. You would then have to admit being wrong.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Wed May 31, 2017 9:34 am

What table?
Where are citations?

How come we have to believe it just because you say so?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed May 31, 2017 11:47 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:I draw a distinction between deaths due to nuclear energy, or nuclear energy accidents, and deaths due to politicians and bureaucrats being stupid.


Second pitch: answer the question/respond to the point/explain your self serving inconsistency. The issue has nothing to do with politicians but rather how you make different inclusions and exclusions of deaths to make Nuke look as good as you can while making solar look as bad as you can. Use the same definitions for both when you compare.

Its only being honest.
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 8:20 pm

xkcd.com has another radiation chart, since EM was too lazy to look up the information is beautiful chart.

Bobbo

I understand why you think I am inconsistent. But I think the difference is important. If a person is installing solar panels and has an accident, that accident is directly related to the need for solar panels. If an unnecessary evacuation, as at Fukushima, causes deaths, that evacuation is related only to stupidity. A death caused by an idiot politician is not a death caused by nuclear power.

Or you could look at it as a function of necessity. If you want solar power, someone HAS to climb the roof. With nuclear power, the evacuation is absolutely unnecessary. For wind turbines, you need workers up towers, and sometimes people fall. Those deaths are a result of a task that is absolutely necessary to get wind power. Unnecessary evacuations are by definition not necessary.

Do not blame nuclear power for the results of human stupidity.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed May 31, 2017 11:30 pm

Stupid or dishonest..........the difference being inconsequential. Your "analysis" is based on people not being dishonest and/or stupid when your own analysis is based on both.

Kinda funny. But.......not worth pursuing.

I withdraw.
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed May 31, 2017 11:48 pm

My 'analysis' is based on politicians doing what experts told them not to do. A bit like Donald Trump on global warming.

Let me say another thing. I have said from the beginning that the biggest problem with nuclear power was politics. In other words, the idiocy of people who do not know, and do not want to know the facts, and respond with paranoia, instead of rationality. 1500 people died due to the fact that the Japanese government and bureaucracy were irrational and ignored the experts. I regard it as the duty of every good skeptic to stand up for solid scientific data, and present rational reasons for what we do. Panic and hysterical action because of myths such as the terrible toxicity of small amounts of radiation are a case in point. The scientifically derived data shows otherwise, and we should all stand up for the data, not argue against it like Bobbo and EM.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:34 am

lance, it's your job to present data you base your argument on.
You haven't, so it is my data that stands, which says you are wrong,
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:43 am

EM

I have posted screeds of data. Read It!

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:46 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:EM

I have posted screeds of data. Read It!


then link to your posts - I'm not going to search for it.
But only if they reference actual data, not something you just typed.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:50 am

EM

Right now I have a computer glitch I am going to have to get fixed. My copy/paste commands are not working, which is why I type in the Web reference, which you will need to access. It is not difficult to do this.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:15 am

To EM

I will type out my next reference for you.

http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/np-risk.htm

This is an essay on the risks of nuclear power by Dr. Bernard Cohen of the University of Pittsburgh.

Couple of points from his essay.
We each get 15,000 nuclear particles striking our bodies per second from background radiation. Average is 3.5 millisieverts per year. To get a cancer or a genetic change takes, on average, 30 million billion particles. That is a lot of Radiation!

I have done the following calculation. At 3.5 millisieverts per year, that is 8 billion particles per year. At 100 millisieverts per year, that is 225 billion particles per year, or enough particles to get one cancer in 100,000 years. So my view that 100 millisieverts is safe is borne out. Add in the human immune system that cleans up most cancers, and the risk is even less.

RISK OF MELTDOWN.

Each reactor will experience a meltdown after 20,000 years of operation, on average. With 500 reactors globally, this comes to one meltdown in 40 years.
How bad is That?
2 out of 3 meltdowns cause no deaths.
1 out of 5 will cause 1000 deaths.
1 meltdown in 100,000 will cause 50,000 deaths.

When you compare this to the numbers of deaths caused by any other means of generating electricity, except geothermal, that is a low level of risk.

http://xkcd.com/radiation

And since you have been too lazy to do this, here is the link to the radiation dose chart.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:16 am

So it only took you a massive amount of poking to produce one paper....


Cohen was an expert, no doubt, but he is in a minority when it comes to many of his assertions, as a quick Wiki check will tell you. It's not necessarily a good sign when Ann Coulter adopts your claims that low levels of radiation are good for you...
Theses claims, as well as his studies on background radiation have been contested, among others, by the WHO, and are not adopted by any regulatory agencies.
At best, we don't know enough yet to decide who is right - which makes it reasonable to remain as cautious as we currently are when it comes to radiation. At worst, he's wrong.
For example, there is an obvious systematic error in studying Hiroshima survivors: it should be obvious that the initial radiation would have killed off those most susceptible to radiation first, leaving the most resilient to it to survive: we would expect lower cancer rates in such a group. Without a control group suddenly exposed to Hiroshima-like background radiation, this study tells you nothing. The same holds of natural regions of high radiation and their traditional local population. Only genetic and cellular studies on DNA repair mechanisms in different populations could tell us if we all could cope with higher levels of radiation than currently deemed safe, or if some mutations make some much more or much less susceptible to irradiation damage.

You can forget your calculation, since it is so highly depended on individual factors that the number you come up with means nothing in practice.
And the paper certainly doesn't justify calling people paranoid, just because they don't pick the the less safe of the different opinions on the matter, both with peer-reviewed studies supports their views. Your vehemence in denouncing caution when it comes to nuclear power is not at all justified by the data you present - especially if you have large gaps in your knowledge, such as the impact of disasters on the food chain.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:50 am

Just to make some things clear:

I, too, think that the danger from Nuclear Power is lower than usually portrayed in the media or by environmentalists. I also think that many other forms of energy cause greater harm than nuclear power, and fission can and needs to play a role in the energy mix of the 21st century.

Having said that, I believe that nuclear power companies never had to face actual competition and were always shielded from the market and the public by governments who assisted them with cheap loans, security, guarantees, secrecy and propaganda of national pride in the technology. They never had to truly compete, and they never had to innovate to stay at the top of the game.
As a result, we use light-water reactors which at the core haven't evolved at all, but have only had layers upon layers of security added to prevent the latest disaster that happened somewhere, similar to new FAA rules after a plane-crash. But we need completely new and different systems, because all these protections have made nuclear power expensive, slow to build, cumbersome to switch on and off, and incredibly inefficient in the use of their fuel. Switching reactors off as soon as fixing them becomes inviable is sensible both in economic and safety terms. And currently, we have nothing to replace them with, since we have no experience with Generation IV+ types yet. And of course, much more effort should have been made to find and build places for permanent storage of waste: it doesn't matter that there was public resistance: it's part of the fuel chain and a nuclear power plant isn't complete without it.

Because all of this is complicated, and will take a decade or more to come to fruition, we should focus on what can replace the aging and failing reactors without increasing greenhouse gas emissions; and renewable energies have performed spectacularly in this regard, with the massive benefit of rather low investments. And there is still a lot of room for improvement, which is why quick gains in energy technologies will continue to come from renewable and not nuclear.

I have no doubt that once the returns on renewable energy innovations diminish we will again focus on Fission (and maybe by that time Fusion) as other sources of energy, and rightly so. But that will probably be the project for the second half of the 21st century.

I strongly object to people denouncing critics of nuclear power as naive hippies and ideologues who would rather risk global warming than use nuclear power: the nuclear industry had all the support it could possibly have in many countries, and it blew it spectacularly by not taking care of issues that were obvious from the start. Now, as its weaknesses have been exposed it has lost that support - and it turns out that without it, nuclear power simply isn't economically viable. Publicly stating these facts is rational and empirically well supported.
Making up theories about how we all should eat more radioactive stuff is not (see Cohen's plutonium challenge).

So Lance, could you please see that the case isn't as cut and dry as you thought, and moderate your denigrations and personal attacks?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:28 pm

To EM

On Hiroshima

That is not an error.
10 sieverts kills.
1 sieverts has a 5% chance of cancer
100 millisieverts is essentially harmless.

The categories are very wide. Those at Hiroshima exposed to 100 millisieverts of less (Many thousands of people) all survived. To say that the weakest died off immediately is crazy. Even those exposed to 1000 millisieverts had a 95% survival, and the few who got cancer died mostly decades later. To say the weakest died off is nuts. Your "logic" needs revamping. Those exposed to 10,000 millisieverts all died (100%), so your illogical fails there too.

To say that nuclear power was established only under financial shelters is also ridiculous. There are nearly 500 nuclear power stations all around the world. They were not all subsidized. France is 70% nuclear and the French are not crazy. Similar things can be said for many other nations.

Nor is the steady output of nuclear power a problem. Admittedly it would become a problem if 100% of electricity was generated this way, but it is not. The steady and reliable output is an advantage as long as something like 40% of the power generation is done by some means that can easily be altered, such high as hydroelectric its. Nuclear at around 60% of requirements is an excellent main supplier, and your much loved renewable sources can help in contributing to the other 40%.

The reason I denounce you and the other anti nuclear idiots is because of the harm you do. Nuclear has many advantages and should be used to its potential. The main reason it is not is political and the cause of the political problem is people like you. When the world generates over 60% of its electricity using fossil fuels, something is wrong, and you are part of the problem.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:57 am

Why don't you do some research on nuclear power in France? Saying "they are not crazy" is hardly an argument against sheltering their nuclear industry.
What data do you have that shows that, unlike in the US, in the rest of the world nuclear power is not subsidized?
Hint: It certainly is in all of Europe, with Germany just having accepted to let its taxpayers pay the lion share of the price of decommissioning their plants and providing permanent storage.

You also wilfully ignore the real reason why hydroelectric is so popular in developing countries: it's needed for water supply and agriculture during dry seasons. Case in point, your doomsday Zimbabwean dam which is at risk of running empty, not breaking.



Lance, I offered an olive branch and you took a dump on it.

Where exactly have you learned to hold a civilized debate? Prison?

You are nothing but a wannabe bully who thinks he can win an argument by declaring the opponent to be idiots.
In other words, you can't debate - full stop.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:06 am

EM

You resent the fact that I have no respect for your position. I understand that. But that is the way I feel about anyone who argues from the point of propaganda and ignores data. You need to earn respect, and you do not do that by demonstrating ignorance of the subject, and then arguing against the real facts.

For example, you persist in assuming that legal limits are the same thing as safe limits. The law is not science. In many cases, it is politicians and bureaucrats covering their arses, something you seem to fail to understand. Incidentally, I looked up the USA safe limit for radiation for citizens, and it is 1 millisieverts per year. Bearing in mind that the global average we all experience is 3.5 millisieverts per year, and inside the USA it gets to 40 millisieverts per year in some mountain areas where there is lots of granite containing uranium, then how sensible is that legal limit? Answer, not at all.

In this discussion, even Bobbo has made some concessions when he learned his facts were not correct. You have stuck to a position based essentially on irrational and superstitious beliefs.

When you start to make sense, I will accord you the respect which you will then deserve.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:44 am

Lance, you have no clue about my arguments, since you totally ignore them: you argue against a strawman of me that you've made up. You never address my actual issues, my actual data (yes, I have provided plenty, much more than you).

So I not only have no respect for your position, but no respect for you, as a person capable of introspection - you should know better.
By now, you should have stepped back and tried to see that you knew not nearly as much as you thought about the effects of nuclear power, yet you insist that everyone else must obviously be aware of everything you know about it.

But, as I mentioned before, your opinion doesn't matter: scientists, politicians, economists and companies all over the world have decided to reduce their plans for new nuclear power plans: they know something you don't.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:58 am

I have been looking, unsuccessfully, for your data. Assertions you give, aplenty, but very little actual data.

But take a look at https://www.wired.com/2016/04/nuclear-p ... te-change/

This is partly an opinion piece, but also mentions a lot of the data I have previously used.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:47 am

Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant To Shut Down In 2019

((bobbonote: I read this reference too fast and did not find its shutting down because Nat Gas is Cheaper....so in this article, they want access to the "Green Energy Funding" because Nuke is non-Co2. I see validity to that argument. Silly to close down a working asset "if" its energy cost/price really is competitive. Lots of amibuities and conflicts during times of transition))

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... wn-in-2019
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:48 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:
But take a look at https://www.wired.com/2016/04/nuclear-p ... te-change/



have YOU read the article?

because it says exactly what I've been trying to drill into you for the last 10 pages or so.

Spent fuel—about a third of the uranium in a reactor’s core is replaced every two years—is a bigger concern, because the US nuclear industry doesn’t have anywhere to dispose of it.


“Uranium miners seem to be the ones who have the body count you can point to,” says Lochbaum. Between 1950 and 2000, the US government estimates the rate of lung cancer in uranium miners was six times higher than in the general population.


That is probably the biggest risk with nuclear: It takes so long to see a return on investment, if one comes at all. Imagine you start building a nuclear power plant today. If, at some point in the next two decades, some hardworking genius builds a battery capable of storing wind or solar energy, scrubs the carbon out of coal emissions, or plugs the methane leaking from natural gas, the odds of there being a market for your expensive atomic energy by the time you finish construction is pretty slim.

“What we have seen from the last seven years is a number of old plants being shut down well before they are required simply because they are not able to compete on the electrical market,” says M.V. Ramana, a physicist at the Nuclear Futures Laboratory at Princeton University.


Even people within the nuclear industry think it is an impractical choice. “You can make a pretty strong argument that it’s really foolish to burn a resource that’s as special as nuclear energy making something as inexpensive and ubiquitous as electricity,” says Arthur Ruggles, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee. By becoming more efficient and scaling up renewables, society could save the uranium for cool stuff like powering interplanetary spaceships.


So I guess that means that you are agreeing with me now...
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:12 am

Those were not our points of disagreement. I disagreed with you when you said nuclear waste was a major technical problem, and I told you that problem was POLITICAL. Waste is only a problem because of human idiocy. There is very little waste in tonnage, and a little sense permits it to be disposed of safely. It is the lack of that sense that is the problem.

I agreed that mining was hazardous. But that is true of all kinds of mining. Here in NZ, we have lost a lot of men in coal mining accidents. But even if we take into account deaths from uranium mines, nuclear power is still killing fewer people than any other forms of generation, except geothermal.

The author says the biggest problem is financial. I claim the biggest problem is political, but obviously the need for a lot of investment up front, and a long time before it becomes profitable, is also a problem. I doubt it is as big a problem as the author claims, though, since many investors are used to thinking long term. For example, think of the people already investing in researching asteroid mining. They are unlikely to make a profit for many decades, possibly lnot till long after they themselves are dead. Yet they have a vision and make the investment.

As long as the world makes more than 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels, nuclear is needed. Stop the use of coal, for example, and nuclear will HAVE to be used.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:08 am

Lance, give it up:

you wanted to prove that it is only paranoid narrow mindedness of environmental extremists and their choke-hold on politics that hinders the worldwide triumph of nuclear power.

Asteroid mining? Seriously? You compare the need for a stable energy source for a society with the Space Wild West?
I hope you can see who utterly stupid this sounds,

I have clearly demonstrated, and so has your article, that is is political and economic considerations (not financial) that make nuclear power unattractive as an energy source: it simply requires too much commitment, both in terms of time and money, which means too much uncertainty and risk: neither investors nor politicians want to bind themselves to projects that even in the very best scenario take over a hundred years from start to finish.
There is nothing irrational about this at all, it's cold cost/benefit analysis. If you disagree with this it means you have an irrational bias for this form of energy.

All of the above is separate from the issue of safety, which is the point on which you continuously try to strawman my arguments.
Nuclear power is safer than coal, though it is far from clear by how much because it is very difficult to compare long-term effects on the scale of centuries (climate change) with those of tens of millennia.
I have made you aware that you systematically underestimated the long-term impact of nuclear disasters or the difficulties of long-term storage and decommissioning of power plants and mines. All of these problems probably still don't make nuclear as dangerous as coal, but it is far from irrational to be concerned about these issues, especially when it becomes obvious that nuclear proponents aren't even aware of them.

And no, as I have also shown in the example of Germany: there is enough renewable energy to get out of nuclear and coal at the same time.
You are really not up to date on the issue, and it shows on all levels. You are in no position to call other people uniformed.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:32 am

EM

You said ..."POLITICAL and economic considerations (not financial) make nuclear power unattractive."

Tell me for a start the difference between economic and financial?
I have said from the beginning that it is politics that is the main problem, and I am prepared to accept that financial considerations are second. That is, the amount of investment required and the delay before a good financial return. So in what way is this proving me wrong?

I have been doing a bit of Google research on capital costs. For solar, wind, nuclear and diesel energy, capital costs run to between (in American dollars) 1 and 4 dollars per watt output. A 10 gigawatt nuclear power station costs about 10 billion. That is at the low end of the range at 1 dollar per watt. To build wind towers enough to produce 10 gigawatt would cost initially a lot more than 10 billion dollars. Solar panels a lot more, even than wind. More like 3 dollars per watt. The only problem here for nuclear is the time taken to build the nuclear power stations and the fact that that you cannot scale it down in size and cost.

I am glad you admit that nuclear is safer than coal. Now let me hear you admit that it is also safer than wind, solar and hydro. Because the numbers show that it is.

I have NOT accepted that there is a significant long term negative impact of disasters, except in the minds of idiots. Cohen's missive shows that such an event is one in 2000 years (50,000 deaths). Much less than what we would see in other methods of making electricity.

Nor that there is any significant difficulty in long term storage of the tiny amount of waste, except in the minds of idiots. Cohen said that deep burial is similar to billion year stability.

The worst nuclear disaster is a total melt down, of which we have seen two in 60 years of operation, with a total death toll of less than 100. Over the same period, coal burning has killed millions, gas thousands, hydro hundreds of thousands, wind at least hundreds, and ditto solar. The data is clear cut. Deaths due to nuclear power per unit electricity produced are way way less than deaths from any other source of power, even if you include mining deaths.

Yes, there is enough energy in wind and solar to get out of coal and gas. But IT IS NOT HAPPENING,
When there is an energy shortfall, the nation's concerned fall back on coal and gas. That has not changed. Wind has increased to almost 5%. That growth is way less than the total growth in electricity produced globally. The biggest growth, in fact, has been in gas. Solar is still under 1% globally. The problem with wind and solar is the intermittent nature of the resource. Wind is most unsteady, and solar is not available at night or under heavy cloud. The providers of electricity have to be able to provide it at all times, and nuclear does this. So does coal or gas, which has is why the greatest growth is in coal and gas power, despite the implications for global warming.

Germany is not a good example. As part of the EU, when it needs extra power, it buys it from its neighbors. If from France, guess where that power comes from?

There are three methods of generating electricity which are ecologically sound, and can be expanded to meet need. Nuclear, wind and solar. Of those three, only nuclear offers steady supply without intermittent variation. Wind and solar energy have a place, but the mainstay should be nuclear, unless you are talking of a country with great geothermal and hydroelectric resources.

The asteroid mining example was only to illustrate that many investors take the long term. It amazes me that you should misinterpret that.

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:55 am

A China Syndrome meltdown could pollute and poison ground water over a huge area. Terrorist use of nuke waste could be quite severe as well with details left to imagination. Safer defined as number of immediate deaths is only one very limited definition.

bio-mass and algae are good green energy sources....... as is retrofitting better insulation according to those advocates.

with battery tech or conversion of sunlight/wind to hydrogen gas/liquid/hot salt then wind and solar could be stable power producers...everything sized to it location/grid/steady loads.

Germany gets 40% of its energy from Russia.

Asteroid mining......got a link to the investment reality? Seems to me a few might "invest" to show support for the "vision" rather than any expectation at all for a return.

Did you read how fast Germany transitioned to Solar as a result of sound gubment support by giving an initial incentive and then letting the market handle the rollout? Very impressive.

How many repeats are possible in this thread???............to the point perhaps of Bill Nye's point: if the politics don't allow it........then take that option off the list. You know?
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:35 pm

Lance, stop making stuff up to save your sorry arguments: people much better than you or me have made the calculation that Nuclear isn't profitable without subsidies. That is the current fact.
Generation III reactors in build are supposed to be more economical, but they are suffering major construction delays and cost overruns.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ear-at-bay

Nuclear power is too slow to rescue anyone.


Meanwhile, solar power output is exploding everywhere because it's so cheap and quick to build: the US, China and India are all way ahead of projected output.

As usual, you compare the wrong things to make nuclear appear safer than other energies. But Hydro is a lot safer than nuclear, since it keeps people from drowing in floods, starving and dying of thirst on top of producing power. So stop your silly comparison.

At this point, the only sensible thing to do is to see how the III and III+ reactors are doing and in the meantime find and test permanent waste storage sites.
This is a question of economics, not financial, because there would be no problem to raise the capital if it made any sense.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Custom Title: Super Skeptic
Location: Paradise, New Zealand

Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:48 pm

Bobbo

The China Syndrome was a fictional device, and the title of a Hollywood movie. It is not real!

Battery tech is very expensive. Hydrogen is like nuclear fusion, always the technology of tomorrow, never achieved today.

Germany has not transitioned to solar. It has subsidies for those people who want to mount solar panel's on their house roof, but it still is very much a minor contributor to electricity generation. There is more wind generation than solar.

EM

Nuclear power without subsidies can, indeed, be profitable, but the problem is the delay until it becomes profitable. Let me see if you are capable of simple arithmetic. The wholesale price of electricity in the USA is 20 to 40 cents per kilowatt hour (it varies a lot). A nuclear power station over its lifetime averages a cost of 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour (and that includes building the plant and decommissioning it). Now calculate the profit!

Your statement that hydro is safer is ignoring data. Not something you have not done before. Indeed, it appears to be a staple of your debating technique. If you do not like it, you say it is wrong. Duh!! The Banqiao dam bursts took 700,000 lives. Nor is that the only time something like this has happened https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam Frankly, your claim that hydro is safer is classic head in the sand tactics. You do like to ignore reality. Again, Duh!

Now for other disasters https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... n_failures
Read this long list of hydroelectric power station failures, and the death toll attached, and tell me it is safer than nuclear. Duh!

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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:44 am

ElectricMonk wrote: As usual, you compare the wrong things to make nuclear appear safer than other energies. But Hydro is a lot safer than nuclear, since it keeps people from drowning in floods, starving and dying of thirst on top of producing power. So stop your silly comparison.


Thanks EM. I was entirely captured by Lance's example of that burst dam...........but INDEED, its only one side of the ledger. You made me think of my visit to the Three Gorges Dam. Built in part to prevent the common flooding of the Yangtze River which had a history of drowning 100K's people every 5 years or so.xxxxxxxx ((Google......oops........says Millions died from flooding every other decade)).

I suppose Lance will not count those deaths because they are the result of Human Stupidity in not learning how to swim.

I mean............fair is fair.
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Re: Bill Nye on nuclear

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:48 am

None of which alters the fact that hydro electricity has killed more people than nuclear, hundreds of times over.

The question is, which is most dangerous. The answer is clear. Hydro is much, much, much more dangerous than nuclear.

What of future disaster https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2016/1 ... time-bomb/

According to this reference, without very expensive repair work, the Kariba dam will collapse within three years. Probably after rains have filled the lake, which will send a wall of water down the Zambezi Valley. The Zambezi River valley not only contains large numbers of people, who will die, but also vitally important African wildlife.

Hydroelectric generation is far, far, far more dangerous than nuclear, even if you guys are not willing to admit it.


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