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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-22-2004, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
BIF
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Thanks, folks...your posts made me smile when I needed it most!

As for "drill everywhere/slash and burn," I never said that!

I believe we need to conserve first and foremost. But beyond that, we also need to examine ALL alternatives, one of which is to tap existing reserves of "old-fashioned" sources. I don't think conservation alone will solve our problems. There's not enough time. We need to be open-minded.

Open-mindedness means investigating new sources, but it also means finding better, cleaner, and more efficient ways of using old sources. Prematurely making old sources "off limits" may be the kiss of death, figuratively and literally speaking.

As far as that sun-expansion thing? You guys sure about that? If so, maybe I can remove it from my MS-Outlook calendar. Man, that would be a big relief!

Thanks for the smiles.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-23-2004, 08:47 AM
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You should go read Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question". It's about the end of the universe & extinction of humanity in about... oh, 50 billion years.

It's obvious we have to find SOME alternative. The millions of years of stored solar energy that we've been burning (oil) won't last beyond this century.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2006, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Nuclear Power!

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Originally Posted by BIF
Those of you who have studied "peak oil" already know that the Earth doesn't contain enough uranium to fully sustain the world's electricity needs for more than 25 to 50 years.
Dr. M. King Hubbert's seminal paper, Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels, addressed this question in 1956. The conventional thermal reactor used in the United States extracts only 5% of the energy in uranium. Hubbert's answer was to use breeder reactors, which are capable of not only using more than 99% of the energy from uranium but which could also use thorium as a fuel.

I do not propose that fission nuclear power is the ultimate answer to our energy needs. Nuclear fusion in the sun (solar power) is our longest lasting source. We should research practical nuclear fusion power here on earth but not count on it until it is a reality. The chief benefits of using fission nuclear power are a) to provide a stop gap energy solution when fossil fuels run out and b) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The root problem we face is overpopulation. The historically recent explosion of our population was made possible by exploitation of fossil fuels. In the long term, our population will shrink to what the planet can sustain. To prevent anarchy and the loss of civilization, some short term alternative energy solutions must be found for this transition. Otherwise, we face the four horsemen of the apocalypse: famine, war, disease (a weakened population is more susceptible) and death. In desperation, we will promote global warming (as we switch to coal), destroy renewable resources (over-fish the oceans and cut down forests) and cause one of the largest extinctions of species this planet has experienced.

Could we have made the transition without nuclear power? Yes, if we had started soon enough. Unfortunately, it is human nature to ignore warnings of this type because they would inconvenience our lifestyles. Eventually, the consequences can no longer be ignored and we panic.

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Originally Posted by FarNorth
Several years ago I attended a conference where the speaker addressed her challenging job of attempting to create a database of engineering drawings, as-built drawings, lawyer briefs, court records, transportation documents, etc relative to the nuclear depository project.

Her problem was not the simple selection of a database program but the challenge of being able to access this information for the next 25-50,000 years.
Read the December 2005 Scientific American article, Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste. The long term waste is consumed in advanced fast-neutron reactors. The short term waste only needs to be protected for less than 500 years. No uranium enrichment is needed.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
and possibly Australia, where Cameco is currently prospecting.
Fnar, fnar, fnar, snort mumble. That's a good one. I understand Australia has the greatest uranium reserves around. Our production being only limited by government restriction (4 mines policy) and no local nuclear industry.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 10:50 PM
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Well you put your limited fuel someplace central like maybe a power plant or something then you run your car on I don't know electricty that you'd get from A plug of somekind then you wouldn't have to worry about driveing around with plutonim under the hood

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-06-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricTroy
You should go read Isaac Asimov's "The Last Question". It's about the end of the universe & extinction of humanity in about... oh, 50 billion years.

It's obvious we have to find SOME alternative. The millions of years of stored solar energy that we've been burning (oil) won't last beyond this century.
"the last Question" is on my web site in clear text (slight copyright violation) at:

http://doctord.webhop.net

You can also read a related story, "The Dwindling Sphere" by Hawkins there.

JeffD
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