Author Topic: Nuclear issues  (Read 48943 times)

Boom Boom

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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2007, 01:54:34 PM »
Ottawa has the worse urban planning I've seen in quite a while. I love the Driveway, Ottawa River Parkway, Island Park Drive, and the Rideau Canal, but the downtown is the shits. The only good thing about Ottawa's downtown was the Sparks Street Mall, and, a little further away, the Byward Farmer's Market.

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2007, 01:57:34 PM »
Someone forgot to tell the road planners that the funnel strategy fails, when you reach the car density ratio we now unfortunately have in Ottawa.  :roll:

Mandos

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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2007, 02:15:11 PM »
Ottawa's downtown is way better than, say, downtown Baltimore or Philadelphia.  Wastelands after 6.

Berlynn

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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2007, 02:28:16 PM »
I should hope our capital city is better than almost any US city! It distresses  me to hear how horrid Ottawa has become, auto-wise.
Never retreat, never explain, never apologize--get the thing done and let them howl.  -- Nellie McClung

Mandos

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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2007, 03:16:49 PM »
Ottawa has become that way because of neglect and foot-dragging, a foot-dragging that was only exacerbated when Larry O'Brien was recently elected as mayor.  Some of the areas in the suburbs and around the city are highly reactionary.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2007, 03:48:23 PM »
I've heard that Larry O'Brien is an absolute disaster. However, I think part of Ottawa's problem is the considerable growth it's experienced. Ottawa had doubled or tripled in population since I lived there, plus folks in nearby Kanata commute to the city as well. Thank goodness for the suburbs, which takes pressure off the inner city. But as others have noted, Ottawa desperately needs a decent tram, streetcar, or other mode of mass transportation for the downtown, and ban those !@#$!!! cars from the downtown area altogether - except for taxis, which should be electric or hybrids. There should in fact be a free mass transportation mode downtown, from say Vanier right through downtown, all the way out to Preston/Dow's Lake, if not further, and south all the way to at least Hog's Back, certainly past the university. North of Ottawa, across the Ottawa River to Hull, well, that's something to consider as well, perhaps.

I really do believe cars should be banned from the inner city hubs of all cities, period. Use taxes to provide free inner city mass transit. Park your cars around the perimeter of the inner city hub, and get on to mass transportation. That's been my position for many years now.  :age:

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2007, 04:07:29 PM »
:shock: I am sooooo sorry that I contributed to the drift that has taken the discussion away from the original topic - nuclear issues.

However, there are ongoing urgent concerns and a need to discuss cars, public transport, urban planning and those kinds of thoughts should be posted here, Reducing Car Traffic or  here, Urban Densification.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2007, 04:21:27 PM »
Were we discussing nuclear issues? Oh, my.  :oops:  :oops:  :oops:  :oops:

Croghan27

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« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2007, 04:31:29 PM »
Quote from: Mandos
Ottawa has become that way because of neglect and foot-dragging, a foot-dragging that was only exacerbated when Larry O'Brien was recently elected as mayor.  Some of the areas in the suburbs and around the city are highly reactionary.


Ah Ha! we agree - the conflict between the city and the NCC has not helped, but Mr. O'Brian's cancelling of a mass transit proposal is a disaster. AND we are being taken to court for several hundren millions of dollar because if it.

But he is not going to raise taxes .... process 'improvements' will save untold millions!  
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2007, 05:14:02 PM »
:drift_police:

Listen up: the posts about traffic congestion and urban planning or lack of if rather, have been copied and posted here.  Please follow the yellow brick road ... errr, link to continue discussion in appropriate thread.

Merci!  :whis:

Mandos

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« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2007, 05:17:38 PM »
Quote
That is certainly a large part of what I am speaking about - cities have to be redefined. The cost of one nuke would go a long way toward that - and is it any more of a disruption to lives then having thousands of people up and truck off to Alberta for work?


I'm somewhat skeptical about this.  The Great Retrofit has a problem: it requires fairly deep changes to our infrastructure not only in transportation but in manufacturing and agriculture. Energy production in general.

The problem is not just the money involved but the coordination of the investment.  It's a lot easier to build one project that removes CO2 from the system than it is to get everyone to agree to a radical but diffuse change in urban planning.  I mean, sad as it is, Ottawa is a case in point, where the logic of change is laid out bare and obvious and still people find excuses to foot-drag.

And, well, actually, come to think of it...why are we talking about transportation anyway?  Ah, yes, global warming---I admit that I pay a lot more attention to energy scarcity than to global warming, partly because one perversely exacerbates the other.  Well, no matter what we do, we need electricity, and any mitigation on the transportation side risks being offset at least partly by greater demand on the grid.  Which means you still need power plants.  And these are, if not a huge source of CO2 emissions, then at risk of running out of fossil fuels...

Croghan27

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« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2007, 07:54:45 AM »
Here is an interesting article by David Cromwell from Znet about nuclear power. It is mostly about the British reactor at Sellafield - that I see on the news the other say, is being torn down. After reading this, it is worth wondering if it is being 'retired' for technical reasons, or poor management reasons.  :shock:

It was written in 2001, but points out that:
Quote
However, one positive outcome of the failed climate talks in The Hague last year was, according to journalist Oliver Tickell writing in The Independent, 'that nuclear power was dealt a firm (if not decisive) "no" and is now unlikely to qualify' as an emissions reduction policy under the Kyoto Protocol. That remains to be seen, given that the nuclear industry has considerable lobbying resources.

I picked it up from an excellent entry from the always readable Marginal Notes.

The article quotes extensively from yet another article from Leila Darwish and Helen called "What's Wrong With Nuclear Power?    Here is part of their assertions:
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Beyond the environmentally destructive mining of uranium, nuclear energy produces (both in extraction and production) large quantities of radioactive waste—spent fuel from CANDU reactors contains over 200 deadly radioactive elements. Plutonium, for example, remains radioactive for over 24 400 years. These highly toxic byproducts make long-term storage a serious political and environmental catastrophe. There is not one safe and secure disposal option for the highly radioactive waste produced by nuclear power stations. And the history of Canadian (CANDU) reactors is plagued with problems, with many of them breaking down early or being decommissioned, as the costs of repairs are far greater than initial startup costs. It is also critical to note that accidents do happen, with 22 accidents occurring since the catastrophic incident at Chernobyl.

There is also quite a passage about where our natural gas is going - I can tell you that making oil acceptable for public use is a huge consumer of natural gas. Manufacturing it takes a large furnace run at about 980C - and the actual process consumes even more gas. All of these release CO2 into the atmosphere. The formula for the reaction is quite simple: water, (H2O) and a light hydrocarbon (HC) are reacted to form free hydrogen that is used in reforming of oil. Look at the constituents - H20 + HC and the product is H2, so what is left is CO and CO2 in huge quantities. (Then, of course, the an oil/hydrogen mixture must be heated to about 250C in order to remove the sulphur and nitrogen in the oil.)For this, natual gas is being diverted from heating of homes to make more H2 to reform oils that are shipped to the USA.

Written some time ago, it predicts that
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Having been rejected already by tar sands companies that recognized the liability and unfeasibility of nuclear power in Alberta, nuclear proponents are currently campaigning to gain support and clientele in communities across the province.
Was not a nuke plant recently proposed to the Peace River Country?

as well -
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Approximately 240 000 to 366 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are produced every year from plant construction, uranium mining, milling uranium ore, road transportation, fuel fabrication, conversion and refining activities. Beyond these direct emissions, low-grade uranium mined from Saskatchewan is upgraded, largely in the United States, using coal fired power—the most carbon intensive energy producer.


Nuclear power as a viable sourse of 'clean' power? NOT. Reduce, reuse, recycle - saying we have an environmental problem with our current life is meaningless why not say the sky is blue, it is that innane so to be without meaning. We do not need alternate places to get power - our current life cannot be sustained in any way, no matter what. More of the same will not solve anything. Either we do something now, or our children will be saddled cleaning up after us, and clean up is harder than prevention.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Mandos

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« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2007, 02:46:29 PM »
When people assert the carbon intensivity of uranium processing (uranium may not be the nuclear fuel of the future as technologies based on the more abundant thorium are in development, apparently), they don't give the important statistic: how much CO2 is produced in coal, oil, and gas-fired plants per kWh of consumer electricity.  

Actually, the CO2 production of uranium use is massively less than natural gas, etc.

The waste issues, I suggest, can be dealt with via burial.  It is held that this is an experiment whose safety can be assessed over thousands of years.  That is, um, true of any large-scale electricity production procedure.

As for conservation, you can assert "reduce, reuse, recycle" all you want, but it doesn't get around the fact that people are not doing this.  It doesn't seem to happen unless there's an energy price shock.  In the 70s, it happened to the West, it had a finite life span, and people actually managed to conserve, set standards, etc, because it wasn't so acute that it would cause mass starvation.  Once it ended, we got the SUV culture.

Not even countries with moderate amounts of socialism really conserve so much more that it would make a big dent, except when forced.  People want more.

I am afraid that when the next oil shock happens, it will be too steep and too permanent to avoid the failure of industrial agriculture.  That risks mass starvation.  There's a reason why eating local organic is expensive, you know.  Many reasons, but that's one of them.

So that leaves us with one option:using less fossil fuels to allow people to live in the maximum consumer comfort that they're used to.  For some people, consumption does buy happiness, or the closest approximaton that they're going to get..  When renewables are online and technology is efficient enough that people are as consumer-happy as they were without using fossil fuels, lets use renewables.

But when they're not, I don't think we can exclude the nuclear option.

Mandos

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« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2007, 02:47:56 PM »
Oh, and, actually, it seems to be---empirically speaking---the case that prevention is way, way harder than cure/mitigation.  I mean, it's probably due to the fact that human beings as a group are morally fallen creatures, and we can wring our hands about that, but that's the observed reality.

Croghan27

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« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2007, 03:27:15 PM »
A non-poluting nuclear heaven would be nice - if only .....

we could mine the damn stuff without expensing massive amounts of energy:

if only they were safe to operate:

if only we could do something with the detris of their operation

if only
our water problem allowed for the massive amounts needed for cooling

if only they were cheap to build, operate and shut down.

and people that advocate reducing, reusing and recycling are living in a world that does not exist?

what is wrong with this picture?   :shock:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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