• Global Warming

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 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-23 12:20 AM



You've been taken in by another "urban myth" . Plutonium is toxic on two counts but is far from being the most toxic substance known to humankind either in chemical or radiological terms. As a heavy metal it has a chemical toxicity which is higher than its radiological toxicity. There's lots of information on the net. And that doesn't mean that I'm saying it is safe to be used for saucepans either! It is dangerous and needs to be treated with respect but it isn't unmanageable.


I take your point about fish kills. This can happen at any water inlet. Hydroelectric would have to be worse. Its not an intrinsic problem of nuclear technology as such. Obviously it is something that can be improved on  and the problem minimised. I'd fully support that. I don't like the idea of birds being killed in wind turbines either. That problem also needs to be addressed.


You may be right about the current level of informality and low security, which might even be called slackness, in the   natural gas industry. I hope it never happens, but that may well change radically if someone deliberately detonates a tanker full of the stuff in a crowded urban environment.


"Nuclear is just a huge magnet for every rent seeker, irrelevant expert  and underemployed academic."  Yes attention is paid to nuclear safety. That is why the figures are so good. Much better than for natural gas.  There are safety committees and I dare say that even Physics professors may be paid to participate. If you want to campaign against excess, I'd suggest you make a start with what goes on in the financial sector of the economy.  Do I detect a big chip on your shoulder? Are we getting to the real reason for your opposition?


"This is not a debate about power generation" Well you could have said earlier. There was me thinking it was exactly that!

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-23 06:14 PM

Cyberman, the real reason for my opposition to nuclear power is that it is just too difficult. Almost all the effort that goes into it has to do with the nuclear part of the generation process. It is fundamentally unmaintainable, so huge effort has to go into every aspect of the design and remediation of design errors is costly.

You are so sanguine about radioactive substances and radioactivity in general. A student I once knew,  accidentally knocked over a wall of graphite bricks that were placed to protect him and fellow workers from a low level nuclear hazard. He died a slow and painful death. This was no Chernobyl type meltdown it was just an ordinary day in a nuclear establishment.

You have no idea Cyberman. Thanks to people like you Iraq is now populated with vast quantities of "depleted" uranium that is considered safe and non toxic or perhaps "It is dangerous and needs to be treated with respect but it isn't unmanageable." Tell that to the Iraqi children who play in the 1,700 tonnes of the dust from the DU weapons that wiped out the rest of their families. This stuff came from your beloved nuclear "industry" Cyberman.

Iraq: the DU dust settles

"Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the incidence of radioactive contamination on Iraqi territory is being linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) in munitions used by Coalition forces. JID's weapons specialist reviews the continuing political fall-out for Washington and its allies.

DU has created controversy since it was used in the 1991 Gulf War. Activists and veterans' groups blame US weapons containing DU as the prime cause of 'Gulf War syndrome', an elusive combination of maladies that has affected more than 50,000 US veterans. Iraqi medical authorities also claim that increases in child cancers and birth defects were caused by DU contamination from tank battles on farmland west of Basra.

The Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) estimates the amount of DU used in the 2003 war at 1,700 tonnes, deployed in fighting vehicles, tanks, and aircraft. According to a UMRC research team, DU rounds used by US and British forces may have subjected parts of the country to high levels of radioactive contamination. The team's preliminary tests showed that air, soil and water samples contained 'hundreds to thousands of times' the normal levels of radiation. Tanks used in the battle for Nasiriyah examined by the UMRC team were found to be emitting several hundred times the background level of radiation.

Depleted uranium - U-238 - is a waste by-product of uranium enrichment and is 40 per cent less radioactive than natural uranium, but remains radioactive for 4.5 billion years. DU is used in munitions because its density is 1.7 times that of lead; ignites and burns on hitting a hard target, acting as a self-sharpening penetrator; and has exceptional performance against armoured targets. Its hardness also makes it ideal for use in armour plating."

Note that this is not from some "bleeding heart hippie scum" site.

Oh yes Cyberman you are so sorry about the DU but you must have your plaything.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-23 08:58 PM



" it was just an ordinary day in a nuclear establishment" Of course it wasn't if someone was killed. And it wouldn't have been from 'low level' radiation either.  It takes a lot of radiation to kill someone. There would have been hell of a rumpus. That is just unacceptable. When anything like that happens in nuclear establishment, which is very rarely, it isn't just shrugged off as a natural hazard of the job as it most likely would be in a coal mine. Or even the oil/natural gas industry.


I do keep asking for your statistics which you are loath to disclose. If you know something that we don't, then please share it! If you can show rationally that nuclear power is too difficult and too dangerous then I'll stop arguing for it. That is a common perception. Becuase it is unintelligible to most people, it becomes too hard and therefore too scary. I'm surprised at you for thinking along those lines, though.


You're back on the long -term half life thing. 4.5 billion years. What if the half life were 9 billion years? Would it be twice or half as radioactive? I have explained this point before so you really should know the answer.


Depleted Uranium shouldn't be left lying around any more than lumps of lead or arsenic. It's a heavy metal and the toxicity is chemical rather than radiological. Or are you disagreeing with the science on that question?  Don't try to tie me to the Iraq war either! That's pretty underhand of you. I'm not arguing for nuclear power to be used in weapons either. Peaceful purposes only.


Radiation shouldn't be treated lightly. But you need to understand that we live in a naturally radioactive environment, and it's actually less dangerous than is often assumed.  I'm a scientist, and I'm trying to make a reasonable risk assessment of  nuclear power versus the alternatives. You can only do that on the basis of rational thought but you seem incapable of that as far as nuclear power and radioactivity is concerned. Where science is concerned, you seem to want to cherry pick the bits you like , such as AGW. Aren't the scientists marvellous for pointing out that problem?  But when they say anything you don't like, you  become just as bad as the global warming deniers,  and then, for you, scientists just become another self serving group out to further their own interests.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-27 04:40 PM

Cyberman, you are just a one trick pony, the ring master is bored with your antic and the knackers yard looms. Trouble 'tmill? This here nuclear reactor will fix it to rights governor. Too much CO2 ? uup Norf we use radioactivity - you see it fixes it right uup a treat it does.

I am prepared to concede that the dumber and more effete and cowardly of our brethren will build lots of Nuclear as a response to GW or even trumpet their nuclear weapons driven program as a solution as have the perfidious, sly and treacherous French.

New thinking, new zero-emission power generation technologies? Noo they must be old radioactive ones that require an immense non productive infrastructure and significant risk of a meltdown some-where some-time. Basically a statistical certainty if you know now what I know about the ability of people in corrupt Feudal states to bypass safety regulations. 




 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-27 06:28 PM


If the Japanese are switching over to nuclear technology is a big way , well good on them, I say. They will always have their ill-informed critics, but not only will they  reduce their CO2 emissions, they will also produce less particulate pollution and less radiaoactivity ( yes the nuclear industry does emit less radioactivity than the coal industry) which will contribute to the general health and wellbeing of their population. Particulate pollution from fossil fuels is estimated to be responsible for 6% of the world's annual death toll which works out at about 4 million deaths per year.

Can I just ask you if you do , or do not, accept the scientific evidence on nuclear issues? It is a simple question and a 'yes or no' answer will do.

I would suggest that you don't. I'd say that there is the same comparison to be made between you and science on the nuclear issue, as there is with the anti-AGW lobby, and science, on that issue.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-27 06:49 PM

Cyberman, show me even one single coal fired power station that has done a Chernoble and spewed radiactive crap over half of Europe and I will accept your bullshit comparison. (Oh but it created a wildlife sanctuary you will bleat). Did you know that not a single american or frenchperson or any other person is able to get insurance against a nuclear accident ? If it's so fucking safe cyberman how come no insurance company in the world will write insurance against it. If there is one thing Insurance companies are good at , it is assessing risk. They won't touch it.  

In the mean time here is an item   that should stop your thermodynamically naive pre-occupation (along with other cupboard GW deniers) about average global temperatures and the precedence or otherwise of CO2 rises.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-27 09:17 PM


All modern coal fired power stations are fitted with very tall chimneys which are designed especially for the purpose of spreading radioactive and other particulate 'crap' as far and wide as possible. Chemical and radiological waste is spread, all the time, that way and over the whole of Europe, not just half of it.

It is as I thought and you are unable to tell me that you do accept the scientific evidence. You must be pretty embarrassed about that as you are unable to tell me that you aren't either. To Marx and Engels, socialism and science were pretty much synonymous , remember Engel's tract Socialism: Utopian and Scientific ? I would suggest that the present day unworldly fringe of the Green movement, who you do seem to be closer to,  would be very aptly descibed as Utopian.

I'd be happy to discuss nuclear power with anyone who approaches the subject from a rational and scientific viewpoint. But it is just a waste of time if you aren't.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-27 10:13 PM

Cyberman, they build the chimneys so high  because they need room for the electrostatic precipitators not for dispersal reasons you techno ignorant tree hugger. The dust from the precips is sent down to the bag room-bag room - Cyberman - it then goes to a site where it is converted into building materials, where the radiation cannot be measured above background.

You talk about Utopian? How do you think cement is made? Smelters, Refineries and ceramics kilns are all emitters of vast quantities of slightly radioactive dust. Do you want to shut these down on the grounds that the dust is slightly radioactive ? Better bend your efforts to the extraction of Mercury. (The dust from uranium mining is uncontrolled, I once saw a huge plume of it at 10,000 feet over Northern Queensland, I asked the pilot of the small plane I was in if he would fly through it -no fucking way he said).

So to be consistent Cyberman we should close down all cement works, ceramic kilns, smelters, refineries, rubber manufacture. Also stop diesel trucks and buses as they emit fine particulate emissions at road level that are very dangerous as they pass straight through into the bloodstream through the lungs.

That means no metals Cyberman, no crockery for you to smash in a fit of rage at being out debated, no tyres - you will have to walk everywhere as there will not be even enough metal for a bicycle nor tyres for it. No roof for your house, no car.

Oh so a bit of dust is OK now?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-27 10:34 PM

BTW Cyberman when I said  "emitters of vast quantities of slightly radioactive dust" I should also have added that Electrostatic Precipitators are used to remove just over 99% of these dusts in all modern plants. Your talk about radioactive dust emissions from coal fired plant is just bullshit; the emissions certainly happen but they are captured with precips. An industry that converts them to other products including fertiliser and metal extraction has grown up over the past 20 years.

I would rather take my chances with this scenario than the uncontrolled radioactive plumes from a Chernobyl or other nuclear "accident" that would be 1000 -1000000 times more intense.

The reason the chimney's are so high (I took a little poetic license here) is that it is necessary to provide extra therodynamic room in the form of extra buoyancy to drag the gas through the precipitators which are a dense matrix of plates and tappers and high voltage cables etc.

Unlike you in your cosseted world  I have actually seen  these things.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-27 11:27 PM

So its Ok to emit radioactivity, but only if its from a cement works? What I am suggesting is that the rules for cement works, coal fired power stations, and the other examples you have mentioned should be the same as for nuclear power stations. No more no less. Safety should be the priority issue.

True, there has been progress in reducing pollutants such as SO2 but I don't think you are correct that the height of a chimney has nothing to do with dispersing the emitted products over a wider radius. It is not just particulates , sulphur dioxide is also a big problem leading to acid rain. The Norwegians and Swedes campaigned for years against acid rain primarily caused by coal fired power stations in the UK and Germany. They always claimed that the problem was made worse for them after the contruction of tall chimneys in the Uk in the 60s.

When the chimneys in coal fired power stations have been made tall enough to incorporate electrostatic removal of CO2, maybe your arguments may make more sense. 

Yes you do have a chip on your shoulder don't you!  While I was at public school, conjugating Latin verbs,  and playing cricket, ;),  you were forced to sweep out tall coal stack chimneys. That's tough! Oh well at least you've learned to namecall and swear better than me, and if that's what it takes to win the debate!

You've ignored my jibe about the unscientific nature of your position. You've let it go through to the keeper. I was hoping you'd have played a shot at that one.   


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-28 03:06 AM


"Your talk about radioactive dust emissions from coal fired plant is just bullshit"

Is it? You might want to read this:


The radiation emitted from coal fired power plants is two orders of magnitude higher than is emitted from a nuclear reactor. I'm not just making this up !

Do your own reseach on the net and come back with some figures if you aren't sure. It must be a more productive use of your time than thinking up new insults!


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-28 07:03 PM

Cyberman, while you were poncing around the playing fields of Eton and fagging for some Lord I was actually part of a research team whose mission was to improve Precipitators over here in the colonies so that we could extract that last nasty 1% of goop that conventional precipitators missed. The actual recovery figure is now very close to 100%. Your statement that they build chimneys really high so that they can disperse the radioactive particles over a wide area is just plain wrong,

You are caught in a dilemma Cyberman you want to pretend that the waste from Uranium is safe and at the same time condemn coal for generating the "same unsafe" waste.

Conveniently ignored in your facile analysis is the question of radiation intensity - although you could not resist that anecdote about that part of Iran that has really high natural radiation levels-intensity is every-thing. I'll take my chances in a fly ash dump any-time (have actually) but you won't get me any-where near a nuclear wast dump.

Nox and Sulphur Dioxide.

Sulphur dioxide is no longer such a problem with coal. Coal is selected for low sulphur and is often desulphurised before burning. You no longer hear stories about acid rain except from effete cricket playing Etonians.

Nox is another problem, I happen to know the people here in Brisbane who are researching this, already major step have been taken globally based upon their research. The most advanced combustion method is to burn the coal in pure oxygen; it works and is being implemented in Australia the US and China. The use of pure oxygen also makes the CO2 sequestration easier.

Lest you think I am an apologist for the coal industry , I am not. In fact I have had a some-what fractious relationship with the industry over the years.

My last run in with them was when I presented a paper at an Industry forum calling for a large scale conversion of base load electricity generation from coal to gas. The case is compelling on these grounds:

  • 50% reduction in Co2 emissions
  • No particulate emissions hence no need for Precipitators etc
  • Increase in thermal efficiency from <40% to >60% means lower cost plant
  • Aircraft derived turbines can be used for the primary cycle, these are really low cost and reliable

Note that I did not suggest a nuke.

Only a loser retard would do that.

Oh yes what happened to the last retard who deperately wanted a nuke for Australia  ?

What was his name again?





 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-28 08:59 PM


It was just a joke about public school. For better or worse, I have to say that I'm 100% a product of  the UK state educational system. I have never been sent up a chimney to clean them though and I do have to admit that I haven't ever given them much technical thought. However a quick bit of research on the net threw up the following piece of information:

" Chimneys are tall to increase their draw of air for combustion and to disperse pollutants in the flue gases over a greater area so as to reduce the pollutant concentrations in compliance with regulatory or other limits."


So my statement is "just plain wrong" ? I don't think so.

Neither am I, or anyone else, caught in a bind about nuclear waste. Nothing less than the highest standards will do. What I would argue is that the same standards should apply to coal too. The playing fields, like those of Eton, should be flat. It would never be tolerated for the nuclear industry to be as much as 1% as dirty as the coal industry and rightly so too.  There is no argument from the nuclear industry that they should take full responsibility, in perpetuity, for the safe storage and disposal of all their waste products. The same should apply to the coal industry, and that has to start to include CO2 and other waste emissions.  

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-28 09:35 PM

Cyberman you said " All modern coal fired power stations are fitted with very tall chimneys which are designed especially for the purpose of spreading radioactive and other particulate 'crap' as far and wide as possible."

I have demonstrated that your statement about particulates is total and absolute garbage. Electrostatic Precipitators have been fitted to coal powered stations since the 60's. Today there are vittually no particulate emissions from coal fired plants. The chimneys haveto be high becuse the surface area and complexity of the Precip has to be increased to remove the last bit of stuff. this means that the chimney needs a big increment of height to keep the mass flow constant. 


At about that time the legacy cohort of 12% efficient generation plants had almost all (except in China) been retired at the owners cost. They were demoloshed without any problems due to radioactivity that has seen a very slow and costly retirement of old nuclear plant (At the taxpayers cost). Both polant have had serious problems with asbestos (a nuke is just a steam plant with a nuclear boiler) but that is another story.

BTW. China now has some of the best and most modern plant in the world.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-28 10:48 PM

"Virtually" is a handy little word at times !

So this sort of thing doesn't happen in China or anywhere else any more?

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-28 11:44 PM

Cyberman, I would be very surprised if those chimneys belonged to a steam raising plant, if they do it is an atypical situation as only a brain dead moronic retard would run a thermal plant so far from stoichiometric that it actually produced any smoke at all. Perhaps it is located in the UK :)

Are you seriously proposing that no industrial process that produces particulate or even gaseous emissions should be permitted?

Now lets see:Steel, Aluminium, Cement, Plastic, just to name a few; are processed in really dirty CO2 producing plant. In fact the entire 21st century industrial base rests upon processes that are, in our primitive mode of production, reliant upon the sort of emissions that you have pictured. They have been trans located from the developed countries to places such as China, Korea, India - any-where there are no laws against pollution.

What you have inadvertently exposed here is the poverty of the "go faster more progress" school of thought. These people have yet to realise that the "progress" they adore comes at the cost of massive pollution in China, India etc. They sit here fat dumb and happy in a pollution free environment (while they plot even more pollution for other countries) and urge the poverty stricken masses to make them plasma screen TV's etc.

What is not happening is that more benign and less damaging technologies are either not being developed or are put on the shelf and forgotten because they cost a little more. Any-one who points to the cost of the "externalities" (that they have successfully exported) is cursed as a greenie scum.

The fact that the go faster more progress school knows absolutely sweet fuck all about industrial processes does not deter them from their bleating. You seem to have joined this kingdom of the blind; do you think that because you have one eye they will make you king?



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-29 04:11 AM



Maybe you are right. I don't know how old the photos are or where the smoking chimneys are. I do know that you can see very polluting chimneys in Asia , so you are right that as pollution has lessened in the western world it has increased in Asia.


These two power stations are, however,  in the UK:






Drax is generally considered to be the cleanest coal power station for its size in the UK and Europe, and  does attempt to minimise SO2 emissions, currently down to a mere 5000 tons per week,  and yet National Power environmental manager Jeff Gyllenspetz was recently quoted as saying 
" If we dont get a relaxation in SO2 emissions we will have to shut down the entire plant in July when we reach our permitted annual release", and estimated it would cost UKP20M a month in lost production.


Of course there is no attempt to control CO2 emission from the plant. They are emitted at 22.8 million tons per year.  There is much talk, but no action,  of capturing CO2 and storing it in depleted North Sea gas fields. You might think that it is irresponsible to have to store radioactive waste for a thousand years or so. When, and if, CO2 is ever captured from these huge dinosaurs, and stored, it will have to be for ever. Particulate emissions are estimated to be 26kg per hour. That works out at over  200,000 tonnes per year.


If you compare all these figures with the near zero emissions from a successful nuclear plant like Sizewell B. You'd have to agree that the choice for the future has to be a no-brainer as the Americans would say. (and, before you say it,  that doesn't mean what you are going to say it means!)

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-29 04:46 PM

Cyberman the "scientist" cannot distinguish between a cooling tower and a chimney. Those photo's are cooling towers oh Mr Scientist Cyberman the "smoke" you see coming out of the top is 100% water vapour condensing in the winter air.

So is "smoke" coming from the chimney in the background. How do I know it's winter I know because the pond in the front is frozen over. Now the self styled Scientist Cyberman has the audacity to suggest that he is qualified to pass on power generation systems! What is your scientific field Cyberman, the mating habits of Panamanian bullfrogs perhaps, it sure as hell ain't physics.

So here is a physics lesson 101.

To extract energy from any system you must have a temperature difference, you can express this as entropy enthalpy or any-way you like but the core requirement is delta t.

A geezer call Carnot came up with a formula about 300 years ago that presaged the discovery of the second law of thermodynamics. (T1T2)T1 it actually exposes the Achilles heel of nuclear energy and all steam raising plant. Since T1 is limited by the properties of steam it is advantageous to get T2 as low as possible - hence cooling towers. The nuke you show in your photo gets its cooling from a river - takes cool water from the river and  sends warm water back into the river to kill fish eggs and stuff.

In Queensland some of the power stations take their water from our drinking supply and send it back into the sea to kill fish eggs and stuff.

The only real difference between nuclear cooling towers and coal fired cooling towers is that the heavy water moderated  and even boiling water types also emit highly radioactive Tritium. Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen (more physics 101 for you Cyberman) and is thus not particularily constrained by piping. Steel and plastic just look like a whole bunch of windows to Tritium. 

After years of cover-up the truth about the leukemia clusters near nuclear reactors is at last emerging, suggest you check out this weeks New Scientist.

Any way the leukemia is mostly in babies so who cares?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-29 06:23 PM



You are getting yourself too worked up again and you'll end up making yourself ill! This forum isn't supposed to about chimneys. We might put in a request to the LS steering committee for a "nerds corner" for chimney enthusiasts. I'd just make two points. Firstly I didn't say that the Drax towers were chimneys. Secondly, according to Wiki it is possible to use a cooling tower as a chimney and give the example of the power station at  Rostock and another one in Germany whose name is too long to be bothered with. I don't really know whether the Drax cooling towers double up as chimneys too. Who cares?


You'll have to write to Greenpeace about the thermodynamic considerations of nuclear power stations. I'm sure that is going to be a real clinching argument. When they hear it, there must be thousands of people out there who'll be saying something like "Well, originally we were perfectly happy with the idea of a nuclear power station in our locality, but we've changed our minds now. We had absolutely no idea theat the 'enthalpy entropy'  properties of nuclear power were quite so poor."


I'll have to take a look at the tritium article. You read the New Scientist? If so, why have you found it so difficult to say that you accept the scientific evidence on nuclear power?

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-29 07:05 PM

I read lots of things Cyberman but I seldom get to read items with your level of sophistry - congratulations.

There is a thermodynamic consideration with nuclear power as it is confined to the steam cycle with present and planned stations. This means a thermodynamic efficiency of < 40% vs an efficiency of >60% for gas  (gas is not confined to the steam cycle, thus T1 can be made much higher).

The consequence of this is that the thermal pollution from nuclear power stations is almost twice that of Gas and the emerging combined cycle coal fired stations that use pure oxygen and GT's.

I think the real point here is that we don't need nuclear. I have shot your wild assertions about coal fired particulate emissions down in flames, your equally absurd conflation of cooling towers and chimneys and your lame assertion that cooling towers can be used as chimneys is also dead in the water.

You assert without any proof at all (except the handouts from the nuclear pimps) that nuclear is essential for our survival as a species on and on it goes - the nuclear mantra.

I have demonstrated that there are a host of alternatives. Gas, artesian based hydro, Pumped storage wind, even some of the thermal storage solar thermal plants, to say nothing of the retirement of obsolete and energy hungry electrical appliances and their replacement with more efficient ones. (For example the new LED lamps are about 70% efficient compared with the old incandescent lamps that are about 5%.)

The question you should answer is why?

Why do you want to risk more nuclear "accidents", want our society to be run like a police state to protect us from "nuclear terrorists" who want to sabotage the plants. Give us radioactive material that we have yet to find safe storage for? Poison our children with slow leaks of radioactive crap.

It's just insanity Cyberman.