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Re: [APD] Solar energy

Hey all,
Finally, some conversation I can contribute to in ways other than asking more questions:
  I believe Nick said:
  "There is only enough nuclear fuel to meet the worlds energy supplies 
for another 50-100 years.  Even by reusing spent rods like some places in
Europe, it simply is not a long term solution.  I had a class on this
last semester.  It is a good alternative to supplement and perhaps
lessen our oil dependence thus lengthening time for both, but we can't
rely on it.
  Yes, this is PARTIALLY true, but not the whole truth.  In my research on the subject, some experts claim there is as little as 30 years of nuclear fuel supplies if you factor in growing consumption of energy in the developing world and the industrialized regions.
  There is another nuclear option:  breeder reactors which create energy and restore their own fuel.  I'm foggy on the specifics (its been years since I discussed this with an environmental/energy professor) but apparently one can filter sea water for a radioactive isotope (strontium or thorium maybe?  I could be wrong).  Regardless, the low-end estimate is there is enough of this element dissolved in ocean water (likely from mid-ocean ridges) to last 10,000 years on the low end to 100,000 years on the high end.  
  Problem with this technology:  its very easy to build THE BOMB with this stuff... 
  Hope this was helpful!
  Cheers & Gig'Em,

Bill D <billinet at comcast_net> wrote:
  I wish it were true that the so-called renewable energy sources - or "new"
upcoming technologies - could solve our current and worsening energy
problem, but it can't and we are just kidding ourselves if we think it can.
I doubt that any informed responsible person will disagree with that.

Why spend "billions" on developing places to store spent nuclear fuel?
Because we have no good alternative. The stuff is now being stored on-site
and that is not a good thing for numerous reasons. Shut down the nukes?
OK, but where will the energy come from? Nukes now account for about 30% of
our electricity and more in the NE US. Build more coal plants? Dam more

":Economics don't enter into it." Sure it does. Someone has to pay the
check. The price would come in the form of higher energy rates plus a
slower economy, with higher unemployment and a lower standard of living.
Then it becomes a political question, but I doubt that most people would
vote in favor of it.

"And in any case I've heard from 'experts' that the alternative energies are
more than adequate to supply all our future power requirements." That's
nonsense, unless we are willing to accept a major reduction on out standard
of living, which we are not.

Alternate ways of creating energy can make a contribution to the solution of
our energy problem. I like the idea of solar, even though it has been
mainly cloudy here for the last 2 weeks. Yesterday driving south on the PA
Turnpike I saw 12 windmills on a ridge. Two were revolving; the rest were
at rest.

There is but one solution to our growing energy problem. That is building
more nuclear plants. Other technologies can help and should be encouraged,
but these will have only a marginal impact.

We should accept that.


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