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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

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PostSubject: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptySat Nov 23, 2019 3:28 pm

How does everyone feel about how we're willingly missing out on future core industries and economies so we don't ruffle any feathers now; sticking our heads in the sand and acting like the world isn't moving onto the next energy phase, whatever that might be? I'm also not all that jazzed on standing aside and allowing governments with less environmental concern to run the show.

I found this to be an interesting piece, but it isn't without responsibilities beyond the haul, as touched upon in the story.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/united-states-sitting-out-race-to-mine-ocean-floor-for-rare-earth-elements-metals-electronics-60-minutes-2019-11-13/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-earth-elements-u-s-on-sidelines-in-race-for-metals-sitting-on-ocean-floor-60-minutes-60-minutes-2019-11-17/
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Brewdude
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Brewdude

Age : 67
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptySat Nov 23, 2019 6:42 pm

News to me. Very interesting articles. Thanks for posting Zeno.

I'll caution anyone who responds to this to keep from making political statements or it'll be moved to the Rubber Room immediately.


Cheers,

RR

_________________
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin


future energy and economy Purple11x 2future energy and economy Bombx10  future energy and economy Bombx9 future energy and economy D6bddf10 future energy and economy 44902965465_19121c84ed_s_d future energy and economy Cowboy13

Site moderator and BoB Bomber's co-commander.
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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptySun Nov 24, 2019 2:15 am

I saw that 60 minutes segment. Amazing to just see those remarkably uniform sized nodules. Not a bad resource.
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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptySun Nov 24, 2019 6:30 pm

Brewdude wrote:
News to me. Very interesting articles. Thanks for posting Zeno.

I'll caution anyone who responds to this to keep from making political statements or it'll be moved to the Rubber Room immediately.


Cheers,

RR
Sorry. I didn't think about that. It is indeed a political situation and difficult to discuss without that angle.

Having said that, I should know more about battery technology insofar as advancements, components, etc. It's so strange to me that nickel is one of those metals so highly in demand now. When I worked at an electro-plating shop, almost everything they plated had a nickel base. Most of the plating baths in the building were nickel. It was sort of considered the crap plating of everything they did. It had to be done well, but everything else was considered valuable, whereas nickel was little more than utilitarian. They went through nickel like crazy. I wonder how much pricing has exploded since the cell phone.
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Carlos
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Carlos

Age : 62
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptyMon Nov 25, 2019 10:30 am

I'm allergic to nickle. If I carry change in my pockets, any sweat will cause the coins to eat holes in me. Nickle is used to strengthen stainless steel. Cheaper watch bands eat me alive. They make hypo-allergenic stainless, but it's uncommon.

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"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Vito

Vito

Location : Earth
Registration date : 2007-12-10

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptyThu Dec 26, 2019 4:48 am

Frankly, it drives me nuts that there are tiny little third world countries moving way ahead of the U.S. with Generation 4 nuclear technologies that we pioneered, but that U.S. companies can't develop into a working infrastructure of safe, cheap, clean nuclear power because of the massive bureaucratic hurdles imposed by the AEC.

I won't argue whether those regulations were necessary, presumably as safeguards against all the things that could go wrong with the few utterly obsolete Gen 1 and Gen 2 plants that are still in operation...although most are extinct by now. Instead, I'll simply state that such regulations are irrelevant to most Gen 4 technologies.

When you have intrinsically safe designs that:
  • Are 95% fuel-efficient (such as any of the molten salt reactors);
  • Produce a fraction of the waste of the current solid fuel reactors (which are only ~5% fuel-efficient; 95% of the fuel ends up as highly radioactive waste); and,
  • Have a ubiquitously available, virtually inexhaustible supply of fuel (e.g., thorium)
...it boggles the mind that we can't get such plants built because of crippling regulations that were applicable to completely different, obsolete technologies.

What's most incomprehensible of all is that those who are convinced that catastrophic anthropgenic global warming (CAGW) is a fully corroborated fact aren't thrilled to orgasmic levels about Gen 4 technologies, which have zero carbon footprint. I won't argue about that either; it's also irrelevant. We could reduce the carbon emissions that result from energy production to essentially zero with Gen 4 technologies.

I'll go further; the current belief that electric automobiles can replace combustion engines is fantasy, as is the assertion that our energy needs can be supplied by so-called "green, renewable" sources like solar, wind, and geothermal. They have insufficient energy density, and in any case, the production of all the batteries (and the electricity to charge them) relies on current carbon-based energy generation. Solar can't replace it because physics, as anyone who has actually done the math knows. Ditto wind, geothermal, etc.

The only non-carbon-based energy source with sufficient energy density to supply the needs of modern civilization is nuclear...but not the inefficient, potentially dangerous, problematical, vulnerable, half-century-plus-old designs (like Fukushima) that everyone thinks of when they recoil in horror from the word "nuclear". Gen 4 has none of those disadvantages.

Considering the current zeitgeist, which holds CO2-producing energy sources in approximately the same esteem as child molestation, I would think that the most aggressively devoted proponents of Gen 4 technologies would be those who are most concerned about CAGW. Yet, for some reason, I'm not seeing anything of the kind.

I wonder why that is...could it be that they are simply unaware that Gen 4 obviates every objection to current nuclear energy technologies (whether those objections are valid or bogus)? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that's the case.

Anyhow, cheap, plentiful fuel; designs that produce negligible amounts of waste, or none at all (and some that actually use existing wastes as fuel); walk-away safe designs, wherein the plant operators could drop acid and go to the beach, and if anything went wrong the plant would simply stop operating—not because of automated systems (which can fail), but because of the laws of physics; add it all up, and the only reason not to go with Gen 4 is stupidity.

Alas, we seem to have an abundance of that, and it's NOT confined to the left or the right, so this isn't a political rant. I don't care which "side" you're on. We all use energy; we need it to live. It's available in the least costly, most abundant, and most environmentally friendly form via Gen 4 technologies.

If there's a rational reason for not developing a Gen 4 energy production infrastructure, I don't know what it is. Apparently, neither does Indonesia. They're already building thorium reactors. It's instructive that they don't have an ossified, institutionalized army of career nuclear bureaucrats administering useless regulations designed for obsolete technologies, most of whose dinosaurs are now extinct.

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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

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PostSubject: Re: future energy and economy   future energy and economy EmptyThu Dec 26, 2019 1:01 pm

Isn't that the problem with most reporting these days? They don't, or can't because of budgets, delve deep into an issue. I don't think most news organizations have expert reporters in the field. I was actually thinking about some of this yesterday. There's some great reporting and content on youtube, made by independent creators. Because youtube is monetized, people are creating their own career path because they can't go to a newspaper, TV station, or bigger international news group to battle for a job. Those jobs don't exist anymore. I know they only make pennies on youtube...unless a video goes viral. Some of these creators can get their foot in the door with a single viral video.

So the fact that we aren't getting in-depth nuclear energy discussion is more than politics. At least I feel it falls under that umbrella of the bigger news organizations not knowing how to report on it and not having the budget or infrastructure to develop expertise. They repeat the same 1-3 lines over and over again.

Unrelated, but an example of this is the Australian fires. Every single time they talk about the fires now, they throw in how the prime minister was on family vacation in Hawaii rather than locked to his office desk in this time of national crisis. I don't know about you, but I don't need that thrown into every single time they cover the fires. It buys them another 10 seconds of air time rather than having to get reporting with new information. It costs them nothing to repeat the same crap, often ultimately inconsequential crap, but to get new information would cost them some money to pay a reporter or another organization.
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