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Nuclear power, is it required?





EquiSolar
Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?, but what is Nuclear energy?
Lets have a look at it.

Nuclear power is the controlled use of nuclear reactions(currently limited to Nuclear Fission and Radioactive Decay) to do useful work including propulsion, heat, and the generation of electricity. Nuclear energy is produced when a fissile material, such as uranium-235, is concentrated such that the natural rate of radioactive decay is accelerated in a controlled chain reaction and creates heat - which is used to boil water, produce steam, and drive a steam turbine. The turbine can be used for mechanical work and also to generate electricity. Nuclear power is used to power most military submarines and aircraft carriers and provides 7% of the world's energy and 17% of the world's electricity. The United States produces the most nuclear energy (about 20% of U.S. electricity consumption), while France produces the highest percent of its energy from nuclear reactors. [1]

International research is ongoing into various safety improvements, the use of nuclear fusion and additional uses such as the generation of hydrogen and for desalinating water and for use in community heating systems. [2],

Construction of nuclear power plants declined following the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl. Lately, there has been renewed interest in nuclear energy from national governments, the public, and some notable environmentalists due to increased oil prices, new passively safe designs of plants, and the low emission rate of greenhouse gas which some governments need to meet the standards of the Kyoto Protocol. A few reactors are under construction, and several new types of reactors are planned (see below).

The use of nuclear power is controversial because of the problem of storing radioactive waste for indefinite periods, the potential for possibly severe radioactive contamination by accident or sabotage, and the possibility that its use in some countries could lead to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Proponents aver that these risks are small and can be further reduced by the technology in the new reactors. They further claim that the safety record is already good when compared to other fossil-fuel plants, that it releases much less radioactive waste than coal power, and that nuclear power is a sustainable energy source. Critics, including most major environmental groups believe nuclear power is an uneconomic, unsound and potentially dangerous energy source, especially compared to renewable energy, and dispute whether the costs and risks can be reduced through new technology. There is concern over North Korea and Iran operating research reactors and fuel enrichment plants, since those countries refuse adequate IAEA oversight and are believed to be trying to develop nuclear weapons.

You can get more information from following URL
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Energy
Gieter
Here in Belgium, the major part of our electricity is produced in a nuclear plant. The other clean alternatives to produce energy can't deliver enough energy, so we need it. Oil, gas, and other fossile resources are running up. So in that perspective we'll need nuclear power.

Nuclear fission is much cleaner than the current nuclear fissure. The only thing that is quite hard, is to have the right temperature (very high.) I think nuclear fission will be the major method of producing electricity.
Reaper
Well nuclear power plants are not the only choice, scientists are working on a process to create power using hydrogen, in fact they have developed a few small cars that are powered entirely by hydrogen. Keeping in mind that the only pollution they admit is either water vapor or water thats good enough to drink Smile So I think hydrogen power could be a very good alternative to nuclear power especially seeing about 70% of the earth is water so theres no shortage of hydrogen there Smile
Diebels
The Problem with fossil energy is, it ruins our envoirement very fast.(grenhouse effect, melting of the poles and the possebility that the gulfstream collapses) that would be the end. On the other site, Fusion Reactors are not available yet. I think to rescue what is left from this planet we can only employ nuclear power.
altec
There is also another way of producing energy. That is from the garbage.
The garbage can produce gases. This is turn can be converted to produce synthetic gasoline by way of a chemical reaction. Fuel only contains two elements, carbon and hydrogen (hydrocarbon). You can play around with it, adding and substracting the molecules to produce the desired fuel.

Interestingly, Japan has already developed converting cow dung to gasoline.
winglazier
[quote="EquiSolar"]Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?, but what is Nuclear energy?

Our current large population base world wide requires a technological foundation. A quick look back in history will reveal that the populations in many areas were reaching their eco-systems maxium support limit. Fertilizers from petroleum, made it possible to produce large quantities of
food in areas that were previously un-economical for any farming enterprise. The farm implements and the infrastructure needed to transport many of the products manufactured in our high tech world are also dependent on the energy from fossil fuels. You may read about the triggering events of world war one but desperation and domination are products of an eco-system short on resources. Like everything else in nature if it can work somebody will try it. If it works well, then it will gain in popularity. Back in the good ol days where I live electricity was relatively inexpensive. This was due to the local availability of a huge supply of natural gas. During the early 70's it was projected that resources would run short if economic growth and energy consumption followed the current trend. So even though at the time electricity was much cheaper to make with natural gas fired plants,
a halt on construction of all new natural gas fired electric plants was
put into effect. So the two other choices were left at the time.
Coal or nuclear. We have both now. The cost of electricity was initially
quite high but as time wore on eventualy the cost of gas rose and the price controls on it were lifted. So this would seem after about ten years that
the decision was justified. Whoops! Since the price of natural gas
went up, deep well drilling was affordable, So deep wells nearby were
drilled and a lot of gas was found. Also for other reasons the forecasted economic growth, that would gobble up the natural gas and electrical generating capacity, never arrived. So the economic payoff point got put further back. It was too late we had already invested in a high price alternative. Now finally the conditions are such that nuclear power looks
like it might be a good idea but some people have doubts about whether the 40 yr old plant should continue operation. So for forty years we have been paying more for electricity than was really nessesary. Now it finally appears we could really use one but may not be able to afford it.

Big Government to the rescue every time.

The real problem is the waste and handling it. Are the costs going to justify the rewards? When it's dark and cold people tend to get short sighted.

Still compared to hurricanes an occasional tornado does't seem all that bad.

Winglazier, 80 kph = a mild kansas breeze.
winglazier
[quote="EquiSolar"]Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?, but what is Nuclear energy?
Lets have a look at it.

The cost of electricity and generating methods are easier to define.
But the plotical ramifications of the decision to require an approval and
non weapons based goals for research are much harder questions.
There could also be other economic based reasons for one country to oppose tecnological advance by another. It wouldn't be fair to make a post
about the easy less controversial stuff with out trying to ansewer the harder questions.

From what I know about nuclear power, the concentration of the fissille material normally used in commercial generating facilaties is anywhere from 4% to 7 %. I may not be correct but I have heard that weapons grade
material needs to be almost 100%. So As long as a country doesn't
use low concetration material for dirty bomb casings or depleated
uranium armour piercing munnitions or even depleted uranium armor.
The milatary uses for low concentration material shouldn't be of much
concern.

However, for some inexplicable reason the first goal of any country seems to be the big bang. It is very little wonder that the nuclear club is rather exclusive. I would bet there are nuclear generating facilities in countries that have no nuclear bombs. So, apparently bombs are not required
For nuclear electrical generation. Still it is of international interest that
another chernobyl or three mile island never happens again. So even
with the peaceful atom some standards should be in place. If you can't have a secure diplomatic presence in a country I see no reason to even consider approval of any type of research on even an advanced form of bow and arrow in that country. Even during WW2 Japanese diplomats were present in the United States. How, can the foolishness of wars be avoided or stopped if there are no official representatves present in both countries with a dis-aggreement?

Winglazier,
winglazier
[quote="EquiSolar"]Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?, but what is Nuclear energy?
Lets have a look at it.

When last I noticed India has not been in the news threatening the U.S.
They may disagree with the U.S. but as far as I can tell they do not
appear to concern the U.S. in that way. They do have some close nieghbors
that they have a hard time getting along with. Wide open warfare would not
be a good direction for that situation for either side. I guess they can't seem to just agree to disagree either so it appears a continual low level conflict may exist with the potential for a broadening of the confrontation. Even with those concerns a peaceful atom that benifits both sides may lessen the driving forces behind the disagreement. Iran on the other hand last I checked has more than an adequate petroleum reserve. The costs of operation and construction of conventional generation plants
is far more economical than nuclear facilaties. A friend of mine has a farm. The power company built a High Voltage power transport line over the top of his shelter belt of trees. The wires are high enough that if the trees are trimmed regularly they will not interfere with the power lines. For him this is a great windfall. Every so often the power company trims the trees leaving a couple of years worth of heating fuel on the ground for him.

He could heat with natural gas but wood for him is the best choice.

Winglazier,
winglazier
[quote="EquiSolar"]Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?, but what is Nuclear energy?
Lets have a look at it.

For one last post I will put up some viewpoint on the greenhouse
gas issue. There probably exists some point at which the
concentration of green house gases will definitley effect the
enviroment. Any burning of anything with carbon as a base
will produce greenhouse gas. Also many other much more hazardous
gases are produced in many combustion processes. The identification
of the rate of production of the green house gases as a rate that is
beyond the safe limit may be difficult. There may be other causes to
global warming. The contributions made by these other sources seem
hard to pin down. Yes, the U.S. is a nation that is dependent on the
production of greenhouse gas. Wind power looks attractive to me.
Replacing the burning of fossil fuels with wind generated electricity
would take a major redirection of labor. This would provide many
jobs. It could be sustainable at some level. Hydrogen has to come
from somewhere also. The energy needed to get hydrogen from
water by electrolysis is a net loss. Other means of producing hydrogen
are as a by-product of burning and refining fossial fuels which produce
green house gases. With excess generating capacity from wind power
even though the energy conversion cost runs at a loss hydrogen could
be produced in the off peak hours.

Straight solar heat for household use is not uneconomical either.
My father and I added a solar sourced heating system to our house
back in the early 70's. It worked well, even without high tech control
systems. My fathers experiace in refinery design helped him size the
heat load and costs. Even so we learned some things about how to do it
back then. We were do it yourself pioneers almost. The capabilities and
economic feasability of wind power should not go un-noticed. One
scandinavian country has the largest single wind generating structure
ever erected. That single generator produces enough electricity for Ten
thousand homes. There may be no one best replacement for fossil fuel in
all cases. A combination approach may be the best direction to try.

Winglazier,
Reaper
winglazier im not going to bother to read your posts right now but please dont post 3 times in a row, one its annoying, two it looks like your just trying to amass enough posts for an website account, and three theres something called an edit buttion USE IT!!
Gieter
Reaper wrote:
Well nuclear power plants are not the only choice, scientists are working on a process to create power using hydrogen, in fact they have developed a few small cars that are powered entirely by hydrogen. Keeping in mind that the only pollution they admit is either water vapor or water thats good enough to drink Smile So I think hydrogen power could be a very good alternative to nuclear power especially seeing about 70% of the earth is water so theres no shortage of hydrogen there Smile


Hydrogen power is nice indeed. But there's a problem: to make it, you need energy to get the hydrogen out of the water. A vicious circle Smile So we'l definitely need another source of energy.
ocalhoun
EquiSolar wrote:
Lots of talks are going on INDIA - USA nuclear deal, Why USA is supporting India on the supplying Nuclear Fuel, and why it is opposing it to IRAN?

That's because India hasn't announced that it is interested in the total destruction of a long-time US ally. Also, India already has nuclear capability, and short of WWIII, the USA can't do much about that.
Reaper
thats true enough Gieter but eventually could we not use the power hydrogen produces to power the process? or if not can we not use another method of power gathering to produce hydrogen, like say solar power?
Also equisolar in addition to what ocalhoun stated i'm sure were not supporting them just to be nice, in fact im pretty sure we will get something out of helping India weither it be military support or something else.
DeFwh
Nuclear power is great we could power the world with fewer than 500 plants and reduce all carbon emitions by 35% probably speaking. Though nuclear waste is dangerous if we learned that throwing it into a landfill just doesnt work + 1000000 regular powerplants versus 500 nukelears sounds rewarding and attracting
Gieter
Reaper wrote:
thats true enough Gieter but eventually could we not use the power hydrogen produces to power the process? or if not can we not use another method of power gathering to produce hydrogen, like say solar power?
Also equisolar in addition to what ocalhoun stated i'm sure were not supporting them just to be nice, in fact im pretty sure we will get something out of helping India weither it be military support or something else.


I don't know, maybe it's not enough. Maybe the process requires huge amounts of energy. Then, we have a problem. I should check it out, but I had to do lots of work for school today so I'm not in the mood, sorry. Smile
zxr750
Why dont we harness the power of the sun. We could put lots of mirrors in the desert and stuff. I think that we could also pedal bikes and stuff. Why has perpertiual motion never been found yet. I wont my mummy. We should tap in to the vents in the ocean where there is countless energy. The oceans water is superheated and rises. We could put a tube with a fan in it over the vent and when the hot water rises it turns the fan.
Gieter
zxr750 wrote:
Why dont we harness the power of the sun. We could put lots of mirrors in the desert and stuff. I think that we could also pedal bikes and stuff. Why has perpertiual motion never been found yet. I wont my mummy. We should tap in to the vents in the ocean where there is countless energy. The oceans water is superheated and rises. We could put a tube with a fan in it over the vent and when the hot water rises it turns the fan.


Great ideas, but they're hard to execute. Putting mirrors in the dessert looks like a good idea, but you'll have to transport that energy, and the longer the cable, the lower the voltage.

The idea of pedal bikes is funny, but they wouldn't provide enough power. Why the perpetual motion never have been found? Because it's impossible. When something is moving, it allways will produce some other kind of energy, like heath. Or the friction makes it impossible. So forget about that too.

The idea of an ocean is nice too, but I don't see it happen in real life.
amicalindia
Reaper wrote:
Well nuclear power plants are not the only choice, scientists are working on a process to create power using hydrogen, in fact they have developed a few small cars that are powered entirely by hydrogen. Keeping in mind that the only pollution they admit is either water vapor or water thats good enough to drink Smile So I think hydrogen power could be a very good alternative to nuclear power especially seeing about 70% of the earth is water so theres no shortage of hydrogen there Smile


Unfortunately it will not work that way because energy required to disintegrate water in to hydrogen and oxygen is more than the energy we get by burning the hydrogen thus produced. Thus efficiency is less than unity defeating the purpose.

On the positive side scientist are now working on certain algae which has the capability to break water in to hydrogen and oxygen. Algae has 2 advantages over traditional hydrogen making. 1. It uses solar energy instead of electricity and 2. It can multiply itself further reducing costs.
So if this becomes successful we may see economical hydrogen cars in future.
jickson
I think the provide much safer than diesel power plants in terms of pollution
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