• Global Warming

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 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-29 07:48 PM



What is thermal pollution?


I see to remember a statistic, often given by solar enthusiasts,  that the solar power reaching the earth, if it could be harnessed,  could provide us with enough electricity 100,000 over. Maybe that should be a million times over?


Anyway, whichever, I'm sure that such an eminent scientist as yourself will have immediately grasped the point I'm making here: compared to the amount of solar energy received by the earth, the amount of heat used, and even wasted, by humanity is neither here nor there. Global warming isn't caused by overheating nuclear power stations or even by overheating Humvees. Its the CO2 and other pollutants emitted by the Humvee that causes the environmental damage.


Your only possible argument is that there may be some heating in a sea or a river which may cause some small local problem. But, as I have already conceded, no source of energy comes at zero environmental cost. If all nuclear reactors were air or gas cooled, would that satisfy your concern?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-04-29 08:56 PM

Thermal pollution is as you say the heating in a sea or river caused by the plume of warmer water.

It assists the growth of certain algae and adversly impacts on the growth of the larvae of many aquatic species. For these reasons limits on temperature rise are imposed. These effects have an an impact far beyond the measurable limits of temperature rise due to depleted food stocks and the toxicity of the algal blooms as they sweep down the river or along the coast, not a "small local problem" at all.

A preferred method is to use cooling towers where the latent heat of vapourisation is utilised to cool stuff. There is a loss of water involved but it enters the atmosphere as pure steam (water vapour actually) not "smoke" cyberman. Like I said this process is common to all steam based cycles. Cooling towers do not pollute, and are essentially benign from an environmental viewpoint - although they do lead the ignorant yokels in the vicinity to talk about smoking towers of evil and doom..

BTW unlike yourself I do not claim to be a "scientist". This claim is the penultimate refuge of the scoundrel after patriotism.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-04-29 09:25 PM


Well I don't think I've ever made that claim. If I did I've forgotten where. It might be in the same place where I supposedly claimed that the answer to nuclear waste was to spread it evenly over the globe. Maybe you'd be good enough to refresh my memory on both of these?

Maybe we should leave it for now. I hope your objections to nuclear power have finally been whittled down to the question of the waste heat in the discharge of cooling waters emitted into the sea. I don't want to trivialise the effect as a "little local problem". If it is a sigificant effect then, of course,  it warrants further study but I doubt it will turn out to be the sort of killer argument that decides the question one way or another.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-01 03:43 PM

Cyberman. Today the Queensland government announced the grant of a licence to explore for geiothermal energy.

Now if your nuclear cabal for which you tout had its way there would be no need for geothermal and no imperative to go that way. The resources of the state would be diverted to building a nuclear waste dump for our kids to contend with. Well done Cyberman.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-04 01:27 AM



I have no problem with geothermal energy. What the Queensland government are hoping to do is harness the natural nuclear power than is available in the earth's crust. There is even a suggestion, but not generally accepted, at least  not yet, that the interior of the earth is heated by a natural nuclear reactor:




My feeling is that this is probably an overstatement but nevertheless, as the advocates for geothermal energy assert,  the earth's interior is heavily radioactive. In the Ramsar region of Iran the springs and streams are 'hot', both in temperature and radioactivity terms. Some residents of the region receive as much radiation in a year as anyone working in a nuclear establishment would receive in a lifetime. Much more than would generally be considered safe.


So, if it acceptable to use natural nuclear power in the form of geothermal energy, why isn't it acceptable to use nuclear power in other ways too? It is too hard, you say, and the storage of nuclear waste is too dangerous and will burden future generations. The earth is naturally full of radioactivity. Providing that any additional radioactive materials are sensibly stored, in suitable geological sites, it is not going to make any additional difference to the background radiation level.


Unlike the carbon dioxide which we emit into the atmosphere, these waste materials will not be a burden on future generations.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-05 04:17 PM

Cyberman, you are really showing your desperation. The nuclear reactor core for the earth is entirely speculation, there is no empirical evidence at all for this assertion. Its about as true as your assertion - again without any evidence - that coal fired plants deliberately expel particulates into the atmosphere, when in fact they take all possible steps to remove particulates from the exhaust gas.

The water from artesian geothermal is the same as the stuff you drink every day when you open that bottle of mineral water - it has a radioactivity below normal background levels. So stop all that bullshit about "natural reactors". In fact the biggest threat to the water from the artesian basin comes from uranium mining.

Dr Gavin Mudd from Monash University says the report inadequately deals with the public submissions.

................'.......we need to be taking an attitude that we protect our groundwater resources.
'The nature of the acid leaching process is they inject the acid, it removes a lot of the uranium obviously but also in that same process it also mobilises a lot of the other metals and so on, so it leaves the groundwater quality a lot worse than what it was prior to mining'.....

So cyberman, when you build your 30+ nuclear reactors (yes 30+) to supply your "clean green" power for Australia will you guarantee that the hitherto pure artesian water will be uncontaminated with radioactive and heavy metal leachate from the massive mining operations that will be required to fuel this venture?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-05 05:03 PM

Cyberman This report may assist you to bring this debate back onto a rational and informed level.


"The NJFF participants agree that to build enough nuclear capacity to achieve the carbon reductions of a Pacala/Socolow wedge (1 GtC/year or 700 net GWe nuclear power; 1,070 total GWe) would require the industry to return immediately to the most rapid period of growth experienced in the past (1981-90) and sustain this rate of growth for 50 years."  ( Oh yes and where will the money come from ? The country has been bankrupted by the Iraq war and would borrow it from China?) This - by the way - is the Mcain plan, well he's your bedfellow Cyberman - enjoy.

Put into language you would understand Cyberman, this means about 700 nukes - about 14 comissioned every year for the next 50 years - almost one every month. Dream on Cyber-Mcain.


The NJFF group observes that the Yucca Mountain project has repeatedly failed to meet its own schedule. There is little confidence that currently established DOE schedules will be met. Projected delays in the commissioning of a repository mean added liability for the federal government, open-ended obligations on the part of nuclear plant owners to manage spent fuel, and additional physical and financial requirements for interim storage. Given this experience, the search for a second site or an alternative site would benefit from a different approach."

OH and there's nowhere to put the radioactive shit. Like I said it's all too hard.


Oh and By the Way: Nuclear war any-one???


Civilian Pu Stock at End of 2005 (Tonnes)

Belgium 3.3 (plus 0.4 in France)

France 81.0 (30 foreign-owned)

Germany 12.5 (plus 15 in France and UK)

India 5.4

Japan 5.9 (plus 38 in France and UK)

Russia 41.0

Switzerland <2.0 (in France and UK)

UK 105.0 (27 foreign owned plus 0.9 abroad)

Total 250.0

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-06 04:50 PM



"A rational level" ? That's a bit rich, coming from someone who can't bring themselves to say that they accept the scientific evidence, even on both sides of the argument, on nuclear issues.


I'm prepared to use reason, science and established evidence to find the best way forward. Are you?


If you can't,  there is really no point carrying on the discussion. It would be a bit like trying to discuss evolutionary theory with someone who believed in the literal truth of Noah's Ark!



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-06 06:33 PM

Cyberman, the report I posted answers most of the rubbish that you have been touting for the nuclear industry and nut bags like McCain.

Debating nuclear power with you has the dimensions of a debate about the merits of Cyclon B vs Phosgene for ethnic cleansing. You can debate the science of gassing people all you like but there is another dimension (or two) its called ethics, morality or whatever. In my view the so called "science" of nuclear power has been used to totally obscure the issues of the toxic legacy and nuclear proliferation that you lightly skim over. Now like a practiced opportunist you seize upon Global Warming to justify a massive expansion in nuclear power generation. Next I expect a "scientific" rationale for the torture of terrorist suspects.

I find it interesting that the same people who support totalitarianism in all its aspects are the same people who support nuclear power, nuclear weapons expansion and the rising tide of fascism in the US and the UK.

Well at least we know where you stand Cyberman.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-08 12:41 AM

To Everyone (other than Dalek),


I have been making the case for nuclear energy, particularly electricity generated by nuclear power. No source of energy is risk free but statistics have shown that electricity supplied by nuclear power is actually the safest.


For environmental reasons, natural gas is a better alternative than coal but it is not risk free. This sort of thing:
or multiple deaths from faulty gas heaters,  happens all over the world on a regular basis.


It is news today, but will be forgotten tomorrow. And yet, if just one person, as in this explosion,  had died in a nuclear incident it most certainly would never have been forgotten. In fact,  it would rank as the second highest death toll from the peaceful use of nuclear power on record.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-08 06:54 AM

I have slightly overstated the case in the last post. A death toll of one would rank joint 4th or 5th* in the list of civil nuclear accidents rather than  2nd. There were two regrettable incidents in Japan which I overlooked. 


This List of Accidents puts it all into perspective. The nuclear accidents come in after the deaths caused by wild animals.


* Depends on whether you include the Mayak (1957) incident as civil or military. This was much worse than Chernobyl. Both were caused by criminal negligence and a lack of regard for worker safety by the Stalinist and post-Stalinist ruling elite in the USSR.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-08 04:12 PM

Cyberman, the bit you left out was  " 200+ - Mayak nuclear waste storage tank explosion, (Chelyabinsk, Soviet Union, 29 September 1957), figure is a conservative estimate, 270,000 people were exposed to dangerous radiation levels. Over thirty small communities had been removed from Soviet maps between 1958 and 1991.

No doubt the 270,000 people who were exposed to dangerous radiation levels, many of whom would have died a slow and agonising death are of no concern to you, just as long as you get your plaything.

Now demonstrate how any other power generation technology has the capability of destroying the lives of 270,000 people in one simple hit.

Or in the Cyberman world are dangerous radiation levels just collateral damage ? there are some good photo's here   the deformed still births should really excite you. All this from the safe Cyberman radioactivity that is no worse thath that in Iran.

As a matter of interest where are you going to site the 50 nuclear generation plants that would be required to implement your "french vision" in Australia by 2030?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-08 06:13 PM

Yes of course it is a great pity that the Stalinist regime of the USSR, which no doubt many ex- CPA members ( maybe including you?) spent their younger political life apologising for,  has, due to a mixture of criminal negligence and political incompetance, done so much harm, not only to the image of nuclear power but to the reputation of Socialism generally in the world.


No-one is denying that if you set up a nuclear facility and run it with a cavalier disregard for the most basic of safety considerations that the end result isn't going to be disaster.


And no-one is advocating anything other than the highest of standards. In Western Europe,  the Trade Unions play an important role in ensuring the safety of  nuclear plants. It is not only for themselves but for their families and the nearby communities in which they live. Check again on the relative safety of coal and nuclear power in Western Europe and let me know what figures you come up with.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-11 06:22 PM

Cyberman, no I was never a member of the CPA or any-thing like that. Too many self seeking opportunists in there for my liking.

Now that you have admitted that a "Stalinist" regime is incapable of safely conducting a nuclear power program what are your views of the possibility that China can run a safe nuclear program? Given that the levels of accountability and public scrutiny are about the same in both regimes?


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-11 08:44 PM



You must have the touching view that secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party actually read the correspondence of Lastsuperpower.


I can just image Hu Jintao saying to himself " Yes Comrade Cyberman has made a good point there. The way the Soviet Union had no concept of a safety culture was deplorable. And, yes, we too are pretty bad in that regard, so we'll listen to Comrade Dalek instead and go for renewable energy with a special emphasis on geothermal".


The best we can hope is that the PRC will be as open as possible and join the IAEA and take as responsible a position as possible on their use of nuclear power. Besides the question of whether they can safely run a nuclear power program we should be asking if they can safely run their coal mines and what we can do to improve safety. It seems to me that what the Chinese working class are in need of it is some decent trade unions to protect their interests in all industries and an export of the concept of worker democracy is the best way forward in that respect.


Fortunately, even in Soviet Union, the safety of nuclear power was better than coal and other alternatives, even though, of course, it wasn't anywhere near as good as it should have been.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-11 09:16 PM

Cyberman, The growth of the nuclear power industry has been essentially static since 1987 I would say that the capitalist system is voting with its feet in the face of the future liabilities. The only countries that are really gung ho are the fading feudal systems such as Indonesia and the remnant "Stalinist" bureaucracies such as China. Other countries have to coax their capitalists into the industry with offers of special insurance deals and immunities from prosecution. Contrast the growth of nuclear growth with that of solar cells sure its early days yet but the growth rate is very fast, only an insane moron would invest in nuclear with a flat growth curve ahead of solar cells with an exponential rise. I guess the world is running out of insane morons. BTW geothermal has the same rate of growth as solar, again off a low base.

BTW here are the global cumulative wind energy charts in 8 years the generation capacity has gone from 20GW to 100GW. during the same 8 years nuclear has been static and will shortly go backwards.

You are backing a loser Cyberman.



 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-11 10:50 PM

Cybermutant some information about Yucca mountain

The taxpayers of the US are paying for nuclear madness.

No doubt Cyberman would suggest that we all store a bit of waste in our backyards. Cheaper eh cyberman.

Yucca Mountain Head Defends '09 Budget Request

Updated: Feb 6, 2008 05:40 AM


The head of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump says the $494.7 million President Bush requested for the project in 2009 is necessary for plans to stay on track.

The Energy Department's Ward Sproat spoke to reporters on a conference call Tuesday morning, the day after Bush released the budget proposal.

Sproat acknowledged that in recent years Congress has slashed Bush's budget requests for the nation's first nuclear waste dump, planned for Nevada.

He said that when Congress convenes budget hearings this spring he will tell lawmakers about the delays that have resulted, and about the mounting $7 billion liability facing taxpayers because the Energy Department can't make good on the contracts to store their spent fuel.


Now get this Cybermutant

Earthquake Fault Possible Beneath Yucca Mountain Site

Updated: Sep 25, 2007 11:59 AM


Drilling operations at the Yucca Mountain project, north of Las Vegas, have unearthed a big surprise that could create concern about the project.

New rock samples show preliminary evidence of an earthquake fault right underneath where Yucca Mountain project planners want to handle highly radioactive waste.

U.S. Geological Survey maps show the fault beneath where officials hope to build concrete pads to store spent radioactive fuel canisters.

The possible discovery of a fault doesn't surprise environmental science professor Barry Perlmutter who says Nevada ranks third in the nation, behind California and Alaska, for active fault lines.

(Well at least they haven't built on the San Andreas fault! D.)

View recent earthquake activity in Nevada and California

The head of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects calls the finding an example of technical work being done after-the-fact.  Executive Director Bob Loux says this is one of the reasons the project should be stopped.

"If you had a bunch of spent fuel on this concrete pad and some sort of event that triggered the fault, the dry canisters could fall and come apart and release some of the contents," he said.

The Department of Energy released a statement saying safety is their number one concern and the purpose of the drilling is to find specific places to put the concrete facilities. They say they will not build on spots that are seismically active.

Congress picked Yucca Mountain in 2002 to become the nation's nuclear waste dump.


Dalek, destroyer of cybermutants.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-11 11:36 PM



Often, the problem with economists is that their grasp of mathematics isn't too good and they'll talk about 'static' growth of say n %. But this is exactly the same mathematically as exponential growth, with a doubling every 18 years, for n=4% .  I hope you are not falling into loose  ways in that respect. The other one that annoys me is "zero sum", meaning win-lose,  and "finite sum", meaning win -win, which, literally,  is just nonsense, but I digress.


I'm not knocking solar power and wind power, as far as it goes. It just doesn't go far enough.  Well, maybe wind power is a bit over blown, :),  and it does blight the landscape unnecessarily. The Germans are committed to 20% solar and wind mix in the next ten years or so and we'll see how they go with that.  There has been a lot of discussion about this 20% as you'll know. What about the other 80% I would ask?


My fear is that most people , including the relatively Green Germans, are more addicted to their comforts and convenience in life than they are to saving the environment, and if their central heating fails or their TV programs disappear from their screens too often when the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining they are going to say "bugger it" or whatever the German phrase might be,  and the coal burning power stations, with no carbon capture or storage,  are going to cranked up to get everything working again. In other words, people will just let environmental damage happen.


I would argue for a nationalised nuclear power industry rather than having to rely on the capitalists. This is supposed to be a Marxist website! Who needs them? If you could bring yourself to look at the question scientifically you would realise that the risks of nuclear power  are much exaggerated. And it is a myth that insurance is a problem. Coal fired power stations emit more radioactivity every year than came out of Chernobyl. If the same radiation standards  applied to them, as applies to nuclear power stations,  they would all have to be closed down overnight!


PS Can morons be insane? Next time you are in Europe you might want to take a look round a French nuclear power station and also take look at their beautiful countryside which is almost totally free of wind turbines. They are quite a bit smarter than you give them credit for.

 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by dalek at 2008-05-12 06:39 PM

OK cybermutant, sorry about the resort to the vernacular "exponential" it was lazy. The convenient truth that you ignore (obscure) about Chernobyl is that the radioactive plume from there took about a day to travel across part of Europe. It was thus at least 365 times more intense than any year long emissions from coal stations across the entire globe. However these emissions are not sent out into the environment, as you continually imply; they are trapped by electrostatic precipitators and stored in "Ash Dams". These could be seen as a source of Uranium and Thorium and if you think they are dangerous you had better stop mining Uranium right now.

You also came up with the totally absurd and dishonest canard about geothermal being radioactive. (sauce for the Goose?) well I suggest you read this report.

So now we have laid to rest two of your canards,

  1. Coal fired generation is a major emitter of radioactivity - it is probably an order of magnitude less emissive than an Uranium mine
  2. Geothermal has SFA to do with radioactivity , except for the remote possibility of Radon emissions if there is a water leak (BTW people now drink this water).

Sorry Cyberman you are so wrong - even your Nationalised (dream on) nuclear power industry will massively proliferate bombs (even more so  than privatised I would guess). Probably because the private owners and shareholders would have a distinct aversion to being tried as war criminals.


 • Re: Global Warming

Posted by Cyberman at 2008-05-12 09:44 PM

The facts of the matter are that the chances of experiencing adverse health effects from radiation are slim for both nuclear and coal-fired power plants—they're just somewhat higher for the coal ones.  About one chance in a billion for nuclear power plants and it's one in 10 million to one in a hundred million for coal plants.


Precipitators, in a coal fired staion,  are OK for maybe 95% of pollution removal but there is so much pollution produced that the other 5% is still significant. I posted a link some time ago about how there was a panic in the Uk when their biggest power station used up its annual SO2 allocation by July.


Pricipitators don't work with CO2 yet either as far as I know. The CO2 link to Global warming, remember that?, is the best reason why we should switch to nuclear.


This links shows that 24000 people per year die from coal burning pollution per year  in the USA.


I previously posted another link showing that the world figure was several million per year. That works out at more per day than for the total of the Chernobyl accident.


I'm not a violent person and I'm getting fed up of beating you up with these statistics which you don't even bother to try to refute!