View Full Version : Nuclear Power

tony draper
30th Apr 2005, 21:34
Just watched a facinating documentry on UK History on the history of the nuclear power industry,Engineers Scientists managers ect involved in its development and deployment speaking frankly about same about the mistakes that were made,commercial considerations overiding safety factors as per usual and and a great deal of self deceit and head in the sand atitude over possible catastrophic failier.
Struck me that given this data base and the information and the knowledge and new technology we have at our disposal, wouldn't it be possible to design a safe Nuclear Power Station now?.
Always impresses the hell out of me when I see that chap hold up a piece of Uranium fuel rod about two inches in diameter and six inches long and says this contains the same amount of usable energy as 2,600 tons of coal.
Surely given the situation we will eventually be in,ie low fossil energy reserves,oil gas ect we cannot aford to ignore this form of energy.
Seems to me that the promise of fusion power, like the cure for cancer will always be twenty years in the future.

30th Apr 2005, 22:08
I'm with you 100% on this.
It's only a matter of time before the fossil fuel runs out, or becomes prohibitively expensive, and when that happens, we will be in a big pile of sh1t.

The sooner we start rebuilding nuclear plants, the sooner they will be ready.
Wind, wave and solar power have their uses, but I can't see that they will ever produce the power required to run the U.K

30th Apr 2005, 22:10
Ok, I'm unqualified on this - but is antimatter even a remote possibilty??

30th Apr 2005, 22:17
Sadly, there's no funding for the research required into fusion.

The Joint European Torus experiment at Culham has, I believe, now been shut down.

Similarly, there is very little research into methods of disposing of the nuclear waste created during fission.

Until governments invest in this research (and no government is reknowned for its long term strategies), then these forms of clean power will not be in use.



tony draper
30th Apr 2005, 22:39
No research? a vast plant was built in Cumbria to reprocess spent nuke fuel.
If you mean dismantling and decommisioning old nuclear power stations always struck me a silly, why dismantle them?,remove fuel rods encase reactor vessel in concrete and leave for geology to deal with.

30th Apr 2005, 22:48
JET is alive and well here. (http://www.jet.efda.org/index.html) It doesn't get as much funding as it should, possibly since we have already got fusion bombs. I have no doubt that we will return to nuclear (nucular to our colonial cousins) energy. I cannot see us giving up our energy habit.

Nucular energy, it's nutty man.

tony draper
30th Apr 2005, 23:17
One hates to be pedantic here,but there's no such thing as a Fusion bomb, there are fisssion fusion, bombs, and there fission fussion fission bombs, but def no fusion bombs.
Just learned the other week that the UK detonated the biggest fission bomb in history, 700 kilotons or thereabout ,spoil yer day that would, makes yer proud dun it.

1st May 2005, 00:09
So, to get this straight, we can stop fashin’ aboot this fusion, but no’ aboot the confusin’ faction and fashion or fashions fur flexin’ flashin’ fission fusion fission and fission fusion, flushin’ us awa’?

1st May 2005, 08:35
Fusion research is very much alive. Millions of euros are being put into it by guess who? the european union and, to a lesser degree, the good ol' US of A, Japan and Russia.
The latest development is that the participating countries have agreed to start building an experimental machine in Cadarache France, after strong opposition from the japanese who wanted it to be built on their grounds, (with the support of uncle Dubbya who wanted to punish the cheese-eating- surrendering- monkeys for not sending their elite troups to Irak to teach one or two things to the marines).
But the cheese-eating-surrendering- but- not- too- bad- in- nuclear- technology monkeys won :p

1st May 2005, 09:47
Be pedantic by all means Drapes but here at Effortless tower we believe that fusion triggered by fission is still fusion. The nature of fusion energy as envisioned in the torus project is looking at almost total conversion which would leave no by-product with a military application. That was the point I was inneptly trying to make. All the above is from my own ruminations and consequently may well be absolute bollocks. :O

tony draper
1st May 2005, 10:26
Oh I remember the ZETA project in early fifties,they thought they had fusion sussed then ,it was not going to be worth sending out electricity billsthey said,tee hee.
It may well be we will never beat the containment prob.

2nd May 2005, 16:16
It's pretty clear the widespread use of nuclear power for virtually all energy requirements is ultimately inevitable. The Greens who shut down the nuclear industry in the US in the 80s and 90s can take credit for forcing greater greenhouse gas and airborne particulates than there would have been without their anti-nuke campaign.

I believe the day will come when everything plugs into a giant electricity grid fueled by nuclear power. Petroleum will be used as a lubricant and raw material for synthetic fibers and resins.

Spent fuel will be deposited in vaults to be sunk into the Marianas Trench or somesuch. The volume of material isn't significant, it's the assurance of its containment that's the dicey part.

2nd May 2005, 17:25
S'cuse me fer being a bit plank-wise.
We live on a planet where H2O is in abundance.........ie two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
Why is there no water fuelled enrgy.........not Hydro .........combustion.
If a bomb could ,in theory!!, set fire to the atmosphere.....why can we not harness the same energy in controlled circumstances??
Yours sincerely,

2nd May 2005, 17:45
Why is there no water fuelled enrgy.
That would be fusion.....see above.

I'm sure you're not plank-wise, but maybe if you were Planck wise it would help.............perhaps put the "e" into "enrgy" as a start? ;)

2nd May 2005, 18:03
Loverly idea, water-produced-energy. But in order to separate the H2 from the O, you have to pass lectrickery through it, and I suspect that the amount of power needed to seperate the two might be just a bit more than you get by burning the H2 in the O (thus getting back to the water that we started with).

Of course, the Hydrogen is a great way of storing the energy, so if we run out of fossil fuels, we could split water (using nuke lectrickery) and stuff it into tanks in our Kawasaki, Porche, 787, DreamLiner, etc. (Boing & ScareBus would, of course, have to make stronger tanks ;) )

Or maybe the current experimentation with solar cells on the upper surfaces of the aircraft might get somewhere useable - but then there'd be another reason for avoiding storms:) (and not to fly inverted!!)

2nd May 2005, 20:18
Or maybe the current experimentation with solar cells on the upper surfaces of the aircraft might get somewhere useable - but then there'd be another reason for avoiding storms (and not to fly inverted!!)

Just think how much electric string will be needed to get the wiggly amps from 39,000 feet to the ground! :)

On a more serious note, my wife was born and brought up within 2 miles of the Sizewell nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast. Most of the local population were delighted when Sizewell 2 was built - many are campaigning to get Sizewell 3 built. Much of the organised opposition seems to come from some distance away......

2nd May 2005, 23:39
I've always believed that most of the opposition to nuclear power is funded by those very wealthy people who have most to lose from its widespread adoption - the oil companies. Rather like CND being funded by an "international" peace organisation based in .... Russia!

Loose rivets
3rd May 2005, 05:26
The Joint European Torus experiment at Culham has, I believe, now been shut down.

WHAT? When?.............hope not. Some serious science goes on there.

Now, if you happen to be a FLYWHEEL buff, there's enough rumbling mass there to keep you amused for awhile. They suck all they can get out of this energy, then crowbar the national grid, just for good measure... Great stuff!