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Comment count is 17
Aelric - 2008-02-20

Chernobyl has been popping up in alot of media lately. There really is something about it that is horrifyingly fascinating.

TinManic - 2008-02-20

probably because with oil production peaking nuclear energy is the next best option. just don't have your plants run by "barely qualified" technicians.

Roachbud - 2008-02-20

Oil production "peaking" doesn't have anything to do with nuclear's resurgence. No one fires power plants with oil unless there's a disruption in the supply of natural gas because it's too expensive otherwise (even that is just a small % of power in the US) and cars don't run on nuclear power. Nuclear power is the cheapest baseload, no-carbon option and with a price on carbon coming to fight climate change its economics are starting to make a lot of sense.

Aelric - 2008-02-20

a combination solar/wind, while certainly not capable of providing as much raw energy as a nuclear plant, is actually cheaper, has minimal upkeep and obviously doesn't kill cities for a thousand years. The only problem is that it can't produce enough to power everything without a extensive initial investment on a wide scale, which is a tough sell on capital hill.

That said, it still doesn't solve the car problem.

Roachbud - 2008-02-20

Wind costs more than nuclear in the price/kwh which is what electricity consumers pay, it's competitive with gas generation at this point though. Solar PV costs several times nuclear in a price/kwh at this point, though those costs are sinking and PV could get grid price parity in 10 years or so - that would still be more than nuclear. Solar thermal power is three quarters the price of solar pv.

Also both resources are intermittent and without a viable storage method - which is decades away - you need to build gas generation to back them up. They're also far away from from the existing transmission grid and need a lot of lines built out to them to get up and running.

Renewables are important, but you can't supply more than 15-20% of total electricity with them across the country. Nuclear power is cheap, safe (no one in the US has even gotten sick from it and new reactors are ridiculously better than this Soviet shit). It will be part of any reasonable solution to climate change.

the_clencher - 2008-02-20

Solar PV is very far off, take a look at any Si cell that has been in the sun for about 4-5 years. The surface quality will have degraded so much due to the high energy UV light hitting it. Efficiency will also drop significantly after a year or so. The GaAs cells are far to expensive to even consider using for large scale power generation.

TinManic - 2008-02-21

i realize oil doesn't usually generate electricity but when oil production starts falling short of demand the cost of energy in general is going to rise.

Roachbud - 2008-02-21

That is true to an extent, but nuclear's rise has to do with climate change and policies to prevent it.

Repomancer - 2008-04-11

One of the tricks is not to build a reactor with a freaking POSITIVE VOID COEFFICIENT. Only the Soviets thought it was a neat idea.

It's better for making bombs, but not so great when it gets steam bubbles in the coolant.

MaulLove - 2008-02-20

That part with the little boy with cerebral palsy kept haunting me.

Baldr - 2008-02-20

I thought that was a little too sensationalist. They flat out said that they couldn't prove any of the children in that orphanage had been affected by radiation. Then they run around the orphanage looking for the most mutant-looking, fucked up kid they can find, and film him for several minutes.

I'd be more convinced if they followed up with, "And the prevalence of this disorder has risen by an order of magnitude in the surrounding area", or "New evidence indicates that fetuses exposed to radiation have an increased risk of developing this disorder". However, it turns out that no one is even completely certain what causes cerebral palsy in the first place.

Still, he gets forgiveness stars for filming the control room.

MaulLove - 2008-02-20

I agree with you that they didn't have any proof that any of the mental retardation or deformities were caused by the radiation. I just thought that was particularly sad, though I'm sure similar scenes play out all over the world, regardless of radiation.

the_clencher - 2008-02-20

I agree with Baldr about it being sensationalist. For example, there's not much a Tyvek suit is going to do to stop radiation from being absorbed by your body. I guess it just makes it look like serious business.

TeenerTot - 2008-02-21

Actually, the uranium core would emit Alpha particles, which aren't particularly penetrating, but are extremely dangerous if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed (like into a cut in your skin). So the suit he was wearing was appropriate.
I did, hower wonder why he would then pull down his protective mask, which supposedly would protect him from inhaling radioactive dust.

Valkor - 2008-02-20

Don't let incompetents run your nuclear power plants. Do not build nuclear power plants that are obsolete at the time they are planned. Got it.

Now, how hard is it going to be to convince people that would rather kill off three fourths of the world's population than use nuclear power that they are wrong?

mouser - 2008-02-20

I'm fucked. I'm definitely going to hell for laughing at 10:22.

Jeriko-1 - 2008-02-21


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