Doing Something Constructive About Oil Prices

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Silverback
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Post by Silverback »

RTO wrote:Yesterday I was talking to someone who was complaining about $4 gasoline
while holding a cup of $4 coffee in their hand... :roll: :lol:
What about fucking water at $1.50 per 12 ounces????
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Post by rgrokelley »

ANGRYCivilian wrote:
rgrokelley wrote:When in doubt...

Chuck Norris

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/Chuc ... ments=true
If any of that is true, about the massive stores of oil, natural gas, and coal, then now's the time to start doing something with all that fuel.
Its true.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... nergy.html

There is one alternative fuel that is used by most of Europe as a primary source of power. However due to government regulation, and fear (caused by Hollywood more than reality), this energy is pretty much untapped in the US. This is nuclear energy.

Here is an excerpt, from an Imprimis article located at:

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/ ... 8&month=02

Consider: At an average 1,000 megawatt coal plant, a train with 110 railroad cars, each loaded with 20 tons of coal, arrives every five days. Each carload will provide 20 minutes of electricity. When burned, one ton of coal will throw three tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We now burn 1 billion tons of coal a year—up from 500 million tons in 1976. This coal produces 40 percent of our greenhouse gases and 20 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.

By contrast, consider a 1000 megawatt nuclear reactor. Every two years a fleet of flatbed trucks pulls up to the reactor to deliver a load of fuel rods. These rods are only mildly radio-active and can be handled with gloves. They will be loaded into the reactor, where they will remain for six years (only one-third of the rods are replaced at each refueling). The replaced rods will be removed and transferred to a storage pool inside the containment structure, where they can remain indefinitely (three feet of water blocks the radiation). There is no exhaust, no carbon emissions, no sulfur sludge to be carted away hourly and heaped into vast dumps. There is no release into the environment. The fuel rods come out looking exactly as they did going in, except that they are now more highly radioactive. There is no air pollution, no water pollution, and no ground pollution.
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

There is one alternative fuel that is used by most of Europe as a primary source of power. However due to government regulation, and fear (caused by Hollywood more than reality), this energy is pretty much untapped in the US. This is nuclear energy.
No, I beg to differ. I think the danger is pretty fucking real with nuclear power. Yes, those fuel rods might be pretty benign at the beginning, but when used they are lethally radioactive for 10,000 years. Ten Thousand.

Now, it would be naiive to think that nuclear power is going away. It isn't. But two things must happen before I will trust power companies with nuke plants.

First, the regulations that are in place need to be strictly enforced. They are there for saftey, and not just to be a pain in the ass. In the 80's there was almost an accident in Connecticut. The power company tried to save money by cutting corners and moving all the fuel at once, coming dangerously close to an accident that would have made Chernobyl look like spilled milk. By the grace of God this did not happen. There was no need for "Hollywood Hype" to scare the shit out of me. Reality was just fine. (incidentally, the engineer that pointed out the problem was black balled for whistleblowing..)

Second, the problem of used fuel storage has to be solved decisively. The problem is that no matter where it goes, the local populace rightfully shout "Not in my back yard!" Do you want to have lethal waste anywhere near where you live? The power companies have not figured a management plan for 10,000 years into the equation. They have shirked the responsibility of storage and disposal to the federal government. Several options are on the table, such as storage in Yucca Mountain, but these are still being debated. Meanwhile, it continues to be stored on site at the plants. Security is another concern, because hundreds of sites must be managed as opposed to a few. Also, it isn't the spent fuel that poses the biggest problem, but the low level waste (exposed equipment, tools, protective clothing, etc..) this type of waste is piling up far faster than the fuel, it is still very dangerous (think dirty bomb) and must be managed just as long.

Unfortunately, there is no "magic bullet" to solve our energy needs. I used to think using ethanol to enhance gasoline like in Brazil was the grail. However, as I researched more I found that it has it's own set of problems. It is going to take addressing the issue on every front; reduce personal consumption, develop alternate sources, make cleaner and safer the ones we have, including fossil fuels, etc. Coal isn't going anywhere either, but Goddamn, do we have to flatten mountains to get at it? If it means saving a mountain or two I'd much rather go without AC.
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Post by rgrokelley »

The Sleepy Doc wrote:
There is one alternative fuel that is used by most of Europe as a primary source of power. However due to government regulation, and fear (caused by Hollywood more than reality), this energy is pretty much untapped in the US. This is nuclear energy.
No, I beg to differ. I think the danger is pretty fucking real with nuclear power.
Chernobyl was the worst nuclear disaster in history, in a country that had fucked up quality control. Ignoring hype, what was was the actual number of deaths? 31 people died as an immediate result of the accident and fighting the resulting fire (28 from radiation injuries, two from non-radiation blast injuries and one due to a coronary thrombosis), and 134 were diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome. Of the latter, 14 people have since died, but their deaths were not necessarily attributable to radiation exposure.

So, the worst nuclear disaster in history has 48 deaths.

The worst nuclear disaster in US history was 3 mile island. Number of deaths? None.

If the French, Germans, Italians, Japanese, etc, all over the world can handle nuclear power, with no problems, why can't we? The French store all of their nuclear waste in a single room at Le Havre.

As for concerns about the actual refuse from nuclear plants, here is another excerpt from the Imprimis article:

Another objection to nuclear power is the supposed waste it produces. But this is a mischaracterization. A spent fuel rod is 95 percent U-238. This is the same material we can find in a shovel full of dirt from our back yards. Of the remaining five percent, most is useful, but small amounts should probably be placed in a repository such as Yucca Mountain. The useful parts—uranium-235 and plutonium (a manmade element produced from U-238)—can be recycled as fuel. In fact, we are currently recycling plutonium from Russian nuclear missiles. Of the 20 percent of our power that comes from nuclear sources, half is produced from recycled Russian bombs. Many of the remaining isotopes are useful in industry or radiological medicine—now used in 40 percent of all medical procedures. It is only cesium-137 and strontium-90, which have half-lives of 28 and 30 years, respectively, that need to be stored in protective areas.

Unfortunately, federal regulations require all radioactive byproducts of nuclear power plants to be disposed of in a nuclear waste repository. As a result, more than 98 percent of what will go into Yucca Mountain is either natural uranium or useful material. Why are we wasting so much effort on such a needless task? Because in 1977, President Carter decided to outlaw nuclear recycling. The fear then was that other countries would steal our plutonium to make nuclear bombs. (India had just purloined plutonium from a Canadian-built reactor to make its bomb.) This has turned out to be a false alarm. Countries that have built bombs have either drawn plutonium from their own reactors or—as Iran is trying to do now—enriched their own uranium. Canada, Britain, France and Russia are all recycling their nuclear fuel. France has produced 80 percent of its electricity with nuclear power for the last 25 years. It stores all its high-level “nuclear wasteâ€
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Post by RangerX »

Three words-

Fast. Action. Reactor.

A little money tossed towards stabilization research, and we would be in very good shape with that.
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The worst nuclear disaster in US history was 3 mile island.
Not to hijack, but I flew out of Harrisburg last night. We took off right over the facility. (My son said that apparently TMI is the only reactor without restricted airspace...?)

Have to admit it gave me a strange feeling to fly right over it. We were banking right as we passed it and I could almost see down the stacks. A bit unusual. All I could think was...I wonder what would happen if a plane did crash into this thing?
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Post by Ops NCO »

What about fucking water at $1.50 per 12 ounces????
Only $16 bucks a gallon...for something that's being bottled from a garden hose behind the Dasani plant!

My wife and son think drinking tap water is like drinking out of the toilet. I can't convince them that it's the same stuff, just packaged pretty (and without flouride, to boot).
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

I was going to give a lengthy reply to rgrokelly about some of the holes in his arguments, but my distrust of Nuclear power comes down to this; I don't trust the fuckwits who own and manage the plants.

Where I live in CT has several nuke plants within a 50 mile radius. We get almost half of our power from them. Chances are better than average that my computer is being run by one right now. The utility company which runs them has been charged millions of dollars and been cited for multiple safety violations in all of their plants. Their ineptitude and blatant disregard for the public safety is fucking criminal. They have even come dangerously close to a complete meltdown of one of their reactors. It wasn't human intervention that saved the day, but sheer, rotten blind-ass luck. I mean a "China Syndrome" style real fucking meltdown. It was completely kept from the public by the company as if it never happened. One of the plants they manage has been shut down and decommissioned because it was so unsafe.

When properly used and managed, nuclear power is great. It can provide a cheap reliable source of electricity. I realize it isn't going anywhere. the technology of "pebble bed" reactors (as opposed to "fuel rod") looks promising; less contaminated fuel, hydrogen is a by product, almost no chance of meltdown accidents. However, when they risk making most of southern New England and New York a fucking ghost town so they can maximize the profit margin, that is when I take exception. Mabey the power companies where you live run their plants better, but I doubt it. They sure as fuck don't here.
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Post by BadMuther »

The Sleepy Doc wrote:I was going to give a lengthy reply to rgrokelly about some of the holes in his arguments, but my distrust of Nuclear power comes down to this; I don't trust the fuckwits who own and manage the plants.

Where I live in CT has several nuke plants within a 50 mile radius. We get almost half of our power from them. Chances are better than average that my computer is being run by one right now. The utility company which runs them has been charged millions of dollars and been cited for multiple safety violations in all of their plants. Their ineptitude and blatant disregard for the public safety is fucking criminal. They have even come dangerously close to a complete meltdown of one of their reactors. It wasn't human intervention that saved the day, but sheer, rotten blind-ass luck. I mean a "China Syndrome" style real fucking meltdown. It was completely kept from the public by the company as if it never happened. One of the plants they manage has been shut down and decommissioned because it was so unsafe.

When properly used and managed, nuclear power is great. It can provide a cheap reliable source of electricity. I realize it isn't going anywhere. the technology of "pebble bed" reactors (as opposed to "fuel rod") looks promising; less contaminated fuel, hydrogen is a by product, almost no chance of meltdown accidents. However, when they risk making most of southern New England and New York a fucking ghost town so they can maximize the profit margin, that is when I take exception. Mabey the power companies where you live run their plants better, but I doubt it. They sure as fuck don't here.

Not sure which holes you are talking about in kelley's arguments...I thought it was pretty good.

Bottom line being ZERO folks dead in the US and 48 in the WORST accident in the world.....

I trust the power company more then my guvmint, I'll tell you that.

Contrast deaths/injuries with electrical plants....I bet it would be eye opening....
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Post by Sleepy Doc »

Mabey calling them "holes" in his arguments was the wrong way of putting it.

Depending upon your sources, there were only about 48 deaths from the initial exposure. Some say more. They are the ones I consider lucky. The long term health effects aren't fully known yet and probabally never will. The ones who will be effected the greatest are the kids who were exposed initially and those who did the "cleanup". Some estimates say upwards of 50,000 of the cleanup workers will be affected in their lifitemes from various maladies. The immediate exclusion zone around the plant and the town of Pripyat will be uninhabitable for centuries. You can go there now, but you can't go off the roads without protective gear. Radiation levels are 4 to 5 times higher once you leave built up areas.

Part of the problem in tracking the people exposed is that initially it was a state secret and official accounts conflict. Remember, this was still the height of the Soviet Union. They didn't let anyone know the magnitude for about 7 days after it happened. It took them even longer to evacuate the immediate area.

As far as zero dead here? I am not exaggerating when I say that but for the grace of God we didn't have someting worse here. I'm happy as a pig in shit that we didn't, considering I'm from CT. I can't even speculate how many would have died if we had an accident. Where the plants are in CT is near some of the most populated parts of the east coast.

Fuck it. I guess if ther were a serious accident here I'd only have 10 minutes to get past New York, so I'm pretty much fucked.. :?
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Post by RTO »

The Sleepy Doc wrote:Mabey calling them "holes" in his arguments was the wrong way of putting it.

Depending upon your sources, there were only about 48 deaths from the initial exposure. Some say more. They are the ones I consider lucky. The long term health effects aren't fully known yet and probabally never will. The ones who will be effected the greatest are the kids who were exposed initially and those who did the "cleanup". Some estimates say upwards of 50,000 of the cleanup workers will be affected in their lifitemes from various maladies. The immediate exclusion zone around the plant and the town of Pripyat will be uninhabitable for centuries. You can go there now, but you can't go off the roads without protective gear. Radiation levels are 4 to 5 times higher once you leave built up areas.

Part of the problem in tracking the people exposed is that initially it was a state secret and official accounts conflict. Remember, this was still the height of the Soviet Union. They didn't let anyone know the magnitude for about 7 days after it happened. It took them even longer to evacuate the immediate area.


I was living in Bavaria at the time of the Soviet accident. The cloud of radioactive dust was tracked drifting south over us as well as Austria and other countries hundreds and even thousands of miles away.

Thousands of animals (cows, sheep etc...) were slaughtered and most of the crops were destroyed. We were advised to not go outside for periods not exceeding 15 minutes and to scrub exposed skin and wash clothing every time we went outside.
All the kids sandboxes in my town playgrounds were turned into little Nuculear microwave ovens because the sandboxes collected and concentrated the radiation.
Radiation levels in the sandboxes were high enough to kill a small child.
And this was multiple hundreds of miles away in a different country.

Fuck. That was some scary shit.
It effected our economy and every day of our lives and every time we went outside for years.
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