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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Rising Ape Re:my rant... (323 comments)

Yes that's right, but the Norman words are so well integrated now that most English speakers wouldn't recognise them as foreign. The German ones still tend to look German. I doubt too many people would see this post and know that recognise, foreign, tend, recent, doubt, people and post are loanwords. "Integrate" still has a foreign feel about it though.

about two weeks ago
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On Independence for Scotland:

Rising Ape Never mind the Slashdot poll (192 comments)

For those who don't trust Slashdot and are too impatient to wait for the official result, there's a poll from a source of unimpeachable virtue - Grindr.

Results suggest 54% no, 46% yes, with a small minority for "fancy a shag".

about a month and a half ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Rising Ape Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

Did not know that the english speak a celtic dialect

Most Scots don't either - less than 2% speak any Scottish Gaelic.

about a month and a half ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

Rising Ape Re:BBC content paid for by Brits (363 comments)

Prescription drug prices in the US market are much higher than the NHS negotiated prices; without the US market and the high amount of US consumer spending on drugs, drug companies would have little incentive to invest in new drugs.

Your own doctors' and hospitals' inability to negotiate a good deal isn't the NHS's fault. You don't really think that if the NHS paid more the drug companies would say "oh well, we'll charge everyone else less", do you? They'll charge as much as they can get away with, just like now.

A more likely reason for drugs being so expensive in the USA is that they spend more on sales & marketing than R&D. How much cheaper would it be if they didn't do that? Don't blame your own dysfunctional system on the NHS "not paying up" because they do, and the companies make a fat profit out of it.

about 1 month ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

Rising Ape Re:BBC content paid for by Brits (363 comments)

For example, American consumers and taxpayers are paying for most of the medical research that the UK's single payer system would never be able to finance on its own;

What? The NHS pays for is medicines and technology at prices negotiated with the pharmaceutical companies. It doesn't get them for free.

about 1 month ago
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Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

Rising Ape Re:Reprocessing? (258 comments)

The fact that material with less than 2% fissile content can't go critical on fast neutrons is easily calculated by looking at the well measured fission and absorption cross-sections for U-238, U-235 and Pu-239. There's a *reason* why fast reactors use fuel with fissile content of 15%-20%, despite the higher cost of doing so.

Everything that happened at Fukushima can be explained by loss of AC power -> loss of coolant -> decay heat driven meltdown -> containment failure due to containment pressure & temperature beyond design limits. The decay heat is quite large - tens of megawatts for hours to days after shutdown. There's absolutely no need to invoke criticality to explain what happened, and absolutely no evidence that there was any such criticality. And a detector at the gate certainly couldn't provide any such evidence as the cores were and are inside enough shielding to block the neutrons that result from full power operation. You know, to stop the workers from getting radiation poisoning from normal operations. Any neutron pulse large enough to be detected there would have had to come from a fission reaction large enough to pretty much level the entire site and kill everyone nearby.

And before you mention the spent fuel pools again, the fuel in those has been inspected and found to be intact. So no meltdown there.

The weird thing is that my original post was explaining why a particular nuclear solution *wasn't* a quick and easy answer. I'd have thought that'd be the kind of thing you'd agree with.

about 2 months ago
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Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

Rising Ape Re:Reprocessing? (258 comments)

What sort of neutrons do you suppose are involved in a meltdown?

What happens in a meltdown is irrelevant to my original post, which was referring to use of spent LWR fuel in a fast reactor and had nothing to do with meltdowns of any kind. Stop moving the goalposts.

But since you ask - in a meltdown like Fukushima? No neutrons. It was subcritical and the meltdown was caused by decay heat, as was Three Mile Island. Chernobyl was driven by thermal neutrons - it would have been subcritical on fast neutrons alone.

As you would know if you put a fraction of the effort into researching a subject as you do on talking about it.

about 2 months ago
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Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

Rising Ape Re:Reprocessing? (258 comments)

No mistake. I said "You can't just dump spent LWR fuel into a fast reactor - the concentration of fissile material is far too low for it to go critical.". Which is true, without a moderator even fresh LWR fuel won't go critical, let alone spent fuel.

Do you even bother reading comments or just shoot off your anti-nuclear points as often and as fast as you can?

about 2 months ago
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Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

Rising Ape Re:Reprocessing? (258 comments)

Unlikely, and definitely not on fast neutrons which is what's relevant for a fast reactor.

about 2 months ago
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Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

Rising Ape Re:Reprocessing? (258 comments)

You can't just dump spent LWR fuel into a fast reactor - the concentration of fissile material is far too low for it to go critical.

Reprocessing's been done, but it's quite messy and there's no demand for the recovered fuel. Making MOX is much more difficult and expensive than making standard uranium fuel. It's cheaper, easier and probably safer to just store the spent fuel in dry casks until a suitable disposal site is found. Fortunately, those casks last a long time.

about 2 months ago
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Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

Rising Ape Re:Public cynicism about fusion (147 comments)

If I were king of the world, I'd fund solar heavily because it can do good NOW.

We are funding solar heavily. Something like 37 GW of solar was installed worldwide last year. That's tens of billions spent in one year, more than an order of magnitude more than is spent on fusion development. And that's just for one type of renewable energy. R&D is cheap, deployment is expensive - so it makes sense to fund research into lots of different things in case one of them pays off.

Now, I think that fusion is probably going to be just too tricky - but I might be wrong, and there are helpful spinoffs in superconductor technology, etc.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Rising Ape Re: American car companies... (426 comments)

I'm from Europe myself (well, Britain), so I know about the kind of models we get. It's not clear what "fault rate" means - does this refer to number of faults discovered at legally required inspections (like the UK MOT)? A simple percentage is a bit vague as it doesn't give any indication of how costly the faults are to fix.

I was basing my original comments partly from the figures from here,as that tries to take into account cost of repairs too.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Rising Ape Re: American car companies... (426 comments)

Do you have a link to those statistics? I'd genuinely like to know, because everything I've seen suggests that the German brands are not as good as Ford for reliability these days. Especially BMW, which may be nice to drive but can have some expensive problems (cooling systems that break after 60k miles, high pressure fuel pumps, diesel engine swirl flaps which can come loose and destroy the entire engine...). The Japnnese brands are typically better than both though.

It's debatable to what extent Ford of Europe can be considered American cars anyway - they have traditionally had completely different models and manufacturing plants.

about 2 months ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear fanbois (442 comments)

mdsolar accusing someone else of being a fanboy. Now I've seen it all.

about 2 months ago
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Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

Rising Ape Re:not big in UK (120 comments)

Especially in this case since Windscale was also gas-cooled.

Air-cooled. Which is indeed a gas, but very different to the CO2-cooled reactors described here. Windscale was an air-cooled, open-loop plutonium production reactor designed in the 1940s. It didn't generate electricity and has very little relation to the later electricity-generating reactors.

about 3 months ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Rising Ape Re:Jungles, but I'm too scared (246 comments)

In the UK there is pretty much nothing that can hurt you by way of flora and fawna (bee stings and bramble prickles aside).

Well, someone got repeatedly bitten by an adder recently. But given that he'd apparently picked up... well there's just no helping some people, is there?

about 3 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Not unheard of (442 comments)

I didn't complain about them, I was making a more general point. Jealousy is indeed not a good reason to stop someone from earning money, but accusations of jealousy are often used to stifle legitimate complaints about wealth distribution in the world. Few people would expect everyone to be paid the same, but having CEOs earning 1000 times an average employee is hardly reasonable either, given that that money only exists thanks to the work of those lower down. It's not jealousy to question that.

about 3 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Not unheard of (442 comments)

Unequality is not a bad thing - it's natural

Most wealth inequality is far from natural - it's the result of it being easier to get more money when you already have it, thus favouring those from wealthy backgrounds. It's no more natural than the old feudal system, where those who inherited land and titles had the power.

about 3 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

True, but it certainly doesn't sound like natural laughter. What's the betting they manipulate the laughs a lot - increasing the amount, adding them where there weren't any before, etc.

about 3 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

Power purchase agreement prices are not the whole story as they ignore the effects of any extra, separate subsidies (such as the federal tax credit for wind). If the PPA was the whole story, why is there such a large variation (factor of 3) in prices for the same year? The nuclear price is an "all-in" levelised cost of electricity (plus an element of profit for EDF) - the relevant comparison is to the equivalent for wind, which your own link shows to be $80 to $100 per MWh. Unless the Energy Information Administration have got it wrong, but I trust them more than the AWEA's carefully selected figures. Would you trust nuclear figures from Areva?

And as I said before, what they can *sell* power for isn't necessarily what it costs to produce. Germany often now has negative wholesale electricity prices - is that because they can genuinely afford to pay people to take it away? No, it's because they get a separate feed in tariff for anything produced. There are many factors determining the sale price, which is why I'm trying to compare based on the actual costs of installation. And that shows nowhere near as rosy a picture as you're trying to paint.

With the cost of wind falling, the fairer comparison would be for future wind PPA's where we might see a factor of 12 or 14 rather than seven.

Can I borrow your crystal ball when you've finished with it? Your own link shows that the cost does *not* consistently fall - there's a significant increase from 2000-2008, for example. There's a recent fall since that peak, but if it went up before it can do so again.

about 3 months ago

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