The Nuclear Obama

Discussion in 'Congress' started by Navy1960, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday criticized his rival John McCain's proposal to encourage the building of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.

    Obama, a Democrat, said the Republican candidate lacked a plan for storage of the waste. It was among several energy-strategy ideas that Obama said were "not serious energy policies."

    Obama was speaking in Nevada, a state where proposals to build a nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain have generated strong opposition.

    Asked his views on nuclear power in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday, Obama said, "I think that nuclear power should be in the mix when it comes to energy." But he added, "I don't think it's our optimal energy source because we haven't figured out how to store the waste safely or recycle the waste."


    Lets take a look at that last statement,

    Reprocessing of civilian fuel has long been employed in Europe, at the COGEMA La Hague site in France, the Sellafield site in the United Kingdom, the Mayak Chemical Combine in Russia, the Tokai plant in Japan, the Tarapur plant in India, and briefly at the West Valley Reprocessing Plant in the United States.
    In October 1976, fear of nuclear weapons proliferation (especially after India demonstrated nuclear weapons capabilities using reprocessing technology) led President Gerald Ford to issue a Presidential directive to indefinitely suspend the commercial reprocessing and recycling of plutonium in the U.S. This was confirmed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. After that, only countries that already had large investments in reprocessing infrastructure continued to reprocess spent nuclear fuel. President Reagan lifted the ban in 1981, but did not provide the substantial subsidy that would have been necessary to start up commercial reprocessing.[4]

    The technology exist to reprocess spent nuclear fuel and has existed for some time. The problem is that the technology requires an investment from the government.
    Nuclear reprocessing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    At least four sources exist which contribute to the growing plutonium inventory: (1) the increasing amount of excess military plutonium worldwide from arms reduction agreements (As nuclear warheads are dismantled, plutonium is a leftover); (2) the increasing amount of civilian plutonium from nuclear power reactors (which transform energy for civilian use); (3) the increasing amount of separated plutonium from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel; and (4) the small amount of plutonium from nuclear research reactors (Bullen and McCormick 684). And all of this surplus must be discarded somewhere, in a safe and effective manner. Therefore, the major processes explained her are how the plutonium waste is stored and disposed of.

    How to store it;

    The MOX fuel burning option is carried out by mixing plutonium with uranium and producing a slightly different fuel than is now used for civilian reactors. The object of this is to burn up the plutonium by nuclear fission (the splitting of atomic nuclei which releases large amounts of energy). This means more of the plutonium can be used as an energy source in a relatively quick fashion. The burning of the fuel does produce a product of excess plutonium, but this product is far less dangerous to the environment and the global community than the initial plutonium is. So the amount of plutonium is actually reduced as well as leaving the remaining plutonium much less usable for weapons and easier to dispose of (Bullen and McCormick 692). However, the product would still need to be disposed of in some effective manner in order protect the environment and to keep the excess plutonium safeguarded from use in nuclear weapons manufacturing.

    The vitrification method involves the mixing of weapons-grade plutonium with radioactive waste from civilian reactors and placing this mixture in borosilicate glass logs. The logs would then be buried in a deep borehole that is at least 4 kilometers deep (Bullen and McCormick 690). The idea here is that the plutonium could be suitably encased and isolated to the extent that its decay process may occur without polluting the environment, or being utilized in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. But unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if the encasement will not leak is to try it. This means that it is possible for leakage to pollute the water table also the plutonium could still be mined in the future and used for the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

    The Subductive Waste Disposal Method is the most viable means of disposing of radioactive waste. The idea is that the waste is removed from the biosphere faster than it can return. Subduction refers to a process in which one tectonic plate slides beneath another at rate of about 6 cm annually, while being reabsorbed into the Earth's mantle.


    The idea that the technology does not exist, that is environmentally friendly, creates thousands of Jobs , both on-going, and during the construction phase, and will help relieve this countries addiction to foreign sources of energy , shows Baracks Obama's short sighted vision on energy policy, and his adherence to the environmental lobby's mantra of American people last.
     
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  2. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    we won't see one nuke power plant under obama


    not 1
     
  3. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    Thats pretty clear that Barack Obama's energy policy will not result in the building of one Nuclear Reactor. I found it interesting when reading through nis policy a plan called * Health-Care for Hybrids* in which he plans on having the Federal Govt. assume the healthcare benefits of automakers retiree healthcare plans in exchange for % of hybrid car's built.
     
  4. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    Yeah, I truly find it amazing that 80% of France electric comes from nuclear power, yet onlyu like 15% of ours does...

    I read somewhere, i'll try to find the source that for the same amount of power a nuclear power plant puts out you would need like 50 square miles of windmills.

    Thats a lot of fans
     
  5. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    Here is a contrast for you,

    In Massachusetts, USA, the 130-turbine Cape Wind project will generate
    over 400 megawatts of electricity - enough for 400,000 homes. Thats 130 wind turbines

    The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, commonly referred to as Palo Verde Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located in Tonopah, Arizona, about 45 miles (80 km) west of central Phoenix, and is currently the largest nuclear generation facility in the United States, averaging over 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of electrical power production in 2003[1] to serve approximately 4 million people. Arizona Public Service.

    That will help a little in the math department.
     
  6. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    Obama speaks of Renewable energy and wants to give 15 billion a year to develop methods, which almost all experts agree will be no where near enough funding.

    "Currently we consume the equivalent of 19,343 billion KWh of total energy in this country (if you convert all the petroleum and natural gas to its electric energy equivalent using 2006 data). That means we need to produce 437 billion KWh of new energy each year. That is equivalent to 50 Giga Watts (GW) of new electric production capacity.

    Let's put this into perspective. This is equivalent to:

    * Building 50 new nuclear plants each year.
    * Building 40,000 3 Mega Watt (MW) wind generators each year.
    * Installing 150 GW of solar cells.

    (I am assuming that wind production is 40% or max capacity and that solar cells produce power for 8 hours per day at rated capacity.)

    Let's look at the cost of the three alternatives:

    * Nuclear - $5 billion per plant (1 GW) = $250 billion per year
    * Wind - $7.5 billion per 1 GW rated capacity = $375 billion per year
    * Solar - $10.5 billion per 1 GW rated capacity = $525 billion per year

    What is clear is that we are going to need to drastically increase our capacity to produce renewable energy. It is also going to be expensive. We might be able to get by with a smaller increase in new renewable capacity if we can become more efficient with energy. For example, the technology for plug-in hybrid cars may increase the efficiency of driving. Substituting electricity for gasoline may require less energy because electric motors are more efficient than gasoline engines. Maybe we could get away with annual increases in renewable energy capacity of 30 GW per year. It is still going to be very expensive. It will be expensive to retool our auto industry to produce these new fuel-efficient cars. Billions of dollars of investment required.

    Barack Obama is against nuclear power, which could be an important part of the mix of new non-carbon energy sources. He has proposed $15 billion per year to invest in renewable energy. It is more likely that we will need 20 times that number. How is he going to fund this development? Part of this money could come from the off-shore oil production which Barack is against. We are also going to need more oil for the next 40 years. Does he think we can just buy it from our friends in the Middle East? What does that cost do to our balance of payments? What will that large transfer of wealth do to our economy?"
     
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  7. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    Currently three quarters of global wind turbine sales come from only four turbine manufacturing companies: Vestas, Gamesa, Enercon, and GE Energy.[5] With a 23% market share, Vestas is the largest supplier of modern wind turbines. Vestas has installed some 35,000 wind turbines in 63 countries on five continents. Vestas wind turbines generate more than 60 million MWh of energy per year: enough electricity to supply millions of households. Vestas is a Danish company which employs 14,000 people globally and, in 2003, merged with the Danish wind turbine manufacturer NEG Micon.[6]

    Gamesa, founded in 1976 with headquarters in Bilbao, Spain, is currently the world's second largest wind turbine manufacturer,[2][7] after Vestas, and it is also a major builder of wind farms. Gamesa’s main markets are within Europe, the US and China. In 2006, Europe accounted for 65 percent of Gamesa’s sales, of which 40 percent were within Spain.[5]

    In 2004, German company Enercon installed a total of 1,288 MW of wind power and had around 16% of the global market share. Enercon constructed production facilities in Brazil in 2006, and has extended its presence there, as well as in the more traditional markets of Germany, India, Austria, UK, Canada and the Netherlands.[2]

    GE Energy has installed over 5,500 wind turbines and 3,600 hydro turbines, and its installed capacity of renewable energy worldwide exceeds 160,000 MW.[8] GE Energy bought out Enron Wind in 2002 and also has nuclear energy operations in its portfolio.[9]

    Acciona Energy is a leader in the renewable energy sector and the company’s mission is to "demonstrate the technical and economic viability of a sustainable energy model".[10] Acciona Energy is the largest developer, owner and operator of wind farms in the world, with 164 wind farms in nine countries representing over 4,500 MW of wind power installed or under construction.[10]

    The last company Acciona Energy is a spanish company, and you would never guess where their US Headquarter is? try Chicago, Il.

    States
    Located in the states of Illinois and Oklahoma, they are now under construction and will be completed by the end of this year
    Their total capacity is 223.5 megawatts, distributed in 149 wind turbines of ACCIONA Windpower technology
    They will produce clean energy equivalent to the consumption of 65,000 US homes
    17 October 2008. Before the end of the year ACCIONA Energy will complete the installation of two wind parks in the United States with a total capacity of 223.5 megawatts (MW), representing an investment of around 495 million dollars (366 million euros).

    http://www.acciona-energia.com/default.asp?x=00020401&z=000105&item=343

    So it does not surprise me that possible Obama Administration would promote an energy plan centered on 1.) placating the environmental lobby 2.) enhancing the stature of his home state industries. bio-fuels from corn based ethanol, and as you can see presented above a very large investment in Illinios in Wind and Solar technology.
     
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  8. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Gold Member

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    Article about Solar Power I came across a while back

    At present solar energy is perhaps the vastly dominant source of energy we use. It just comes in a form we don’t really contemplate, which is oil. The first step of oil formation is the photosynthesis of sunlight by extremely small plankton like plants millions of years ago.

    These days, we need a quicker way to convert sunlight into energy. There is more than enough energy in a day’s worth of sunlight to meet our energy needs for a year. The question is how to harness it in an efficient and cost effective manner. Currently, we are failing when it comes to both elements, but are making progress.

    The solar panel has always been the prime component of the solar industry, but it has one major flaw. It is incredibly inefficient. It traditionally converts 6 to 10 percent of the energy hitting it in sunrays into usable energy. Recent trends have pushed this into the mid teens. The really exciting news is new technology could push this number into the 40 to 60 percent conversion rates. If this occurs, the viability of solar becomes much greater because a smaller amount of panel is needed to produce vastly more energy.

    Another area where solar is making jumps is in new products. The solar panel has its limits, but few every thought beyond it. Now various companies are. The advent of solar dots is exciting a lot of people. Solar dots work by converting the energy in sunlight at a molecular level.

    The dots are actually quantum nano dots. Yes, nano. They work by forming a crystalline structure of certain materials. When sunlight hits them, they release multiple electrons. These electrons, of course, form an electrical current that can be harnessed for use. Since the dots are on such a small scale, they could literally be imbedded in just about any structure exposed to the sun.

    Solar dots are expected to be cheap and easy to make. The big, bulky solar panels will most likely become a thing of the past. With a high rate of efficiency and low cost, they will truly make solar power a viable energy platform for our needs.

    So, when can we expect to see these dots on the market? It is unclear. No commercially viable product has been put together yet as there are hurdles to jump. The hurdles include how to capture the currents being created and how to deal with reliability and such. While the future is certainly bright, pun intended, it will probably be a few years yet before we all become very fond of solar energy.

    Is solar power actually viable?- by Navtej Kohli Navtej Kohli
     
  9. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    What many don't seem to understand is that the United States is woefully behind in production and market share in these "green technologies" that an Obama Administration promises to create millions of green jobs with. All you need to do is seperate the current technologies out, and you see in most if not all these fields the United States is a large importer as they are in current technologies. While a combination of All energy solutions and I stress the world all IMO is the best solution, I am constantly amazed why anyone would leave any energy solution on the table given the amount of money we transfer to OPEC each year.
     
  10. Jeepers
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    Jeepers Senior Member

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    I would place my guess at 15 plants come online within 10 years.. some of that number could be from putting defunct plants back online...
     

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