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On Weightman Warns Nuclear Industry To Do More Research

David, I would be the last person to deny the importance of nuclear safety, or the need to do nuclear safety research.  But if the Fukushima reactor events demonstrated anything, is was rgar even old reactor designs are remarkably safe by indistrial standards.  The Fukushima reactors themselves survived an earthquake that was latger than their designed maximum quake and syrvived a 15 meter tsunami.  Earthquake caused damage to the Japanese electrical infrastructure, a tsunami caused damage to secondary back up generators were responsible forthe reactor safety failures.  Reactors are designed to mitigate deaths and injuries in the event of catistrophic failures, and infact there were no deaths reported as a direct consequence of the Fukushima accident.  Given that a near by dam failed completely as a result if the earthquake and killed as many as 12 people, and the eqrthquake-tsunamy killed over 20,000 people, the Fukushima reactor events proved that nuclear safety is remarkably successful.  The Fukushima incidents demonstrate that more attenion needs to be paid to site related safety issues, and that backup safety systems need to be passive and intrensic.  Recent nuclear safety developments have produced reactor designs that would have continued to successfully function in Fukushima like circumstances.  Were Greenpeace truely interested in Nuclear safety, it would support the adoption of the safest possible nuclear safety design.  But Greenpeace in not in the slighest interested in nuclear safety.  No report on nuclear safety will be acceptable to Greenpeace if it does not find nuclear safety issues to pose unacceptable risks.  Greenpeace does not support nuclear safety researc, nor does it support the adoption of safety improvements.  Greenpeace's sole interest is the obstruction of all nuclear developments and the shutting down of every nuclear plant in the world, no matter how safe a plant may be.

Greenpeace is irrationally hostile to nuclear power, hostile to the point of paranoia.  Greenpeace offers views on nuclear safety that are simply not credible.  

October 13, 2011    View Comment    

On Weightman Warns Nuclear Industry To Do More Research

Translation,"a rushed report" means a report that did not meet the Greenpeace standard for anti-nuclear media.  I do not think highly of Greenpeace.

October 12, 2011    View Comment    

On China's Carbon Intensity Makes Long Term Climate Targets Nearly Impossible

The writer fails to note China's very considerable commitment to nuclear power.  China is already planning to build something like 500 GWe of nuclear electrical source by 2050.  The trickto eliminating Chinese carbon emissions, whould be to speed up the adoption of nuclear energy and heat sources.  In order to do that, China would need to adopt high deployability and inexpensive new nuclear technology.  Molten Salt nuclear technology would offer the best path forward to meet the goals of a Chinese high deployment nuclear plan.  The Chinese have begun development of MSR development including development of thorium breeding MSR technology.  Thus while posing a very large challenge, the large scale adoption of carbon mittigation technology by 2050 is possible.

October 11, 2011    View Comment    

On Honda Pushing Clean Transportation Sweepstakes With Its 2012 ‘Civic Natural Gas’

I don't understand why a natural gas ppowered care is clean when the car driver, passengers, and even people in the street will be exposed to more radiation in the cars exhaust, than workers in nuclear plants are exposed too?  How can natural gas powered cars be safe when they are radioactive?  How can they be clean when nuclear power with much lower radioactive emission is so dirty?

October 10, 2011    View Comment    

On Community Energy Storage Leads the Way to Electricity Storage on the Grid

Paul the most cost efficient form of energy storage is molten salt storage.

http://www.nrel.gov/csp/troughnet/thermal_energy_storage.html

http://www.webcitation.org/60AE7heEZ

Among renewable energy soruces, only CSP is compsatable with Molten Salt energy storage.  CPS as an energy source is limited by levelized cost, daytime clouds, and winter limitations on sunlight.  CPS is not cost competitive with nuclear power, and never will be, and CSP with storage is even less competative.  

It is possible to build Nuclear Power Plants that can take advantage of the potential benefits of Molten Salt Storage without the high costs or sunlight variability of CSP.

http://www.energyfromthorium.com/pdf/ORNL-TM-2010-199.pdf

http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2011/03/post-carbon-industrial-process-...

The Small High Temperature Advanced reactor appears particularly attractive for short term development because it is capable of producing large amounts of Molten Salts, at temperatures as high as 750 degrees C, and from small nuclear unites that cost less to build than small light water reactor units.  Such systems can be used to produce industrial process heat, can be located any where in the world, can be air cooled thus fo not require to coolant water, are extremely safe, and can be designed to produce only small amounts of short lived nuclear waste.  They will cost less to build than conventional reactors of equivalent output.  With molten salt storage, SmAHTRs can provide peek serve as peak electricity at a low cost.  

Clearly then renewable advocates who are considering the combination of renewable energy and energy storage are barking up the wrong tree.  Nuclear power systems offer superior reliability at lower levelized costs and are compatable with low cost energy storage systems that lack the geographic limitations of renewable systems with storage.  

October 3, 2011    View Comment    

On Community Energy Storage Leads the Way to Electricity Storage on the Grid

It never ceases to amaze me how much renewable energy advocates who supposibly want energy efficiency, tout energy systems that are very inefficient.  CAS looses at least 40% of energy input to efficiency loss.  In addition a CPS system is a gand air conditioner.  The air comes out really cold, colder than freezing.  The humidity in the air turns to ice, and the ice will destroy air turbines.  In order to get rid of the ice you have to furn natural gas.  But if you were going to make energy by burning natural gas, wouldn't it be a whole lot cheeper to burn the gas without running the air through a compression system? 

October 2, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

Ed, that makes no sense.  Coal use increased dramatically during the 18th century in the UK, triggering a slight carbon rise, but not enough to force climate significantly.  Coal use increased to rise dramatically during the 19th century, and especially during the second half of the 19th century.  

September 24, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

Ed we do not agree on the MWP as a global phenomena.  The evidence from the Arctic suggests no warming during the so called MWP that was in any way comprable to the warming since 1990.  Thus the MWP was a local rather than a global climate phenomena. Other evidence suggest that the warming did not extend to significant parts of the Southern Hemisphere.  In the Arctic the trend is clear.  Gradual cooling for most of the past 2000 years with a dramatic warming beginning in the 20th century.  

I would also not that the dramtic rise in local temperatures flooing the temporary terminiation of Air Traffic on 9/11/01 suggests that Anthropogenic solar dimming is masking some of the effects of AGW.

http://articles.cnn.com/2002-08-07/tech/contrails.climate_1_contrails-ci...

September 24, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

Ed, The stance you take would suggest you are not a climate scientists and that you identify with the political right.  There are, however, some extreme leftists who would agree with you, so your political orientation cannot be predicted with certainty and there are a few climate scientists who share your views.  

The "Little Ice Age" can be explained by the orbital forcing cycle up too about 1850, when human fossil fuel use began to increase atmospheric CO2.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age#cite_note-58

The orbital forcing cycle is often pointed too as a cause of ice ages, and appears to have tending toward cooling for the last 2000 years.  A 2000 year cooling trend has been observed in the Arctic.  However this trend ended about 1990 when a sudden. dramatic and rapid warming trend was observed.  

http://www2.ucar.edu/news/846/arctic-warming-overtakes-2000-years-natura...

Thus the "Little Ice Age" would have probably continued without the CO2 forcing casused by humas fossil fuel use which was increasing rapidly in the 19th century when climate researchers say the "Little Ice Age" ended.  This is by the way what AGW theory would expect. So you do not disprove AGW by using the words, "Little Icew Age."

 

 

September 24, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

willem, I believe that the efficts of particulate emissions from burning fossil fuel has caused a small but significant decrease in the amount of solar radiation falling on the Easth's surface.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

The effict of Anthropogenic Solar Dimminghas at least partially masked the full effects of AGW on global climate.  

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7046/abs/nature03671.html

September 24, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

Ed if you do not deny climate change, and you acknowledge that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, how can you deny that climate change is due to AGW?  I first heard Jerry Olsen accurately predict the course of climate change 40 years ago, on the basis of AGW theory.  At the same time climate scientists were predicting global cooling.  The ability of AGW theory to accurately predict the course of climate change still impresses me.  Secondly, the AGW skeptics have not been able to establish a strong case for another source of observed climate change.  Thirdly, we know that oil companies hired some of the same people who worked for tobacco companies to permote skepticism about the tobacco-cancer connection. The oil companies have finnced other AGW skeptics. Thus the oil companies have sicessfully sold their manufactured anti-science AGW skepticism to the Republican party, and too Libertarians. 

I regard this as most unfortunate, because I share some social goals with Libertariams.  I believe, for example that the social and economic advantages of a free market economy have been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, and I believe that society will benefit far more from abundant energy that can be provided by nuclear power, while the the energy scarcity approach promoted by the renewable energy and efficiency crowd is very unlikely to suceed and will lead to great human suffering if it is successful.   

September 24, 2011    View Comment    

On Scientists 100 Years Ago Recognized The CO2 - Climate Link

Ed I have seen enough of climate change in my 69 year long lifetime to have little doubt about the reality of climate change.  There is appadictic certainty, and reasonable certainty.  A prudent person is willing to base actions on reasonable certainties.  By that standard, the climate change deniers are not being prudent.  

September 23, 2011    View Comment