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In Nothing We Trust

Tweenk Re:Why is this here? (910 comments)

But Slashdot is losing traffic for years now.

Google Trends normalizes against the total volume of search traffic; the graph says what *percentage* of searches were made for this word. Almost every topic is 'losing traffic' because people are searching for more things on the web.

more than 2 years ago

'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

Tweenk Re:Climate change is the wrong argument (744 comments)

Many myths here.

People got alarmist over Global Cooling then Global Warming and then Climate Change when the first two didn't pan out by name at hyped levels.

The biggest problem is that people are fighting the wrong fight, being too concerned about CO2 levels.

Climate change is inevitable no matter what we as a species do or don't do. We have a fossil record going back billions of years proving this, forces like plate tectonics and changes from our own solar system or even supernova's all impact our climate.

more than 2 years ago

'Gaia' Scientist Admits Mispredicting Rate of Climate Change

Tweenk Re:Er, Your Statement and His Don't Quite Mix (744 comments)

Nuclear is great for keeping my computer running and keeping my house cool. Unfortunately, nuclear does nothing that will get me to work.

What about stuff that runs on electricity: trams, railway, subway, electric cars?
Also, given enough energy, we can make synthetic gasoline.

How many new nuclear power plants have been licensed and built in the past 20 years?

88 new grid connections in the last 20 years, 73.3 GW total.
It is obvious that this build rate could very easily be at least 10 times higher.

more than 2 years ago

Japan To Be Without Nuclear Power After May 5

Tweenk Re:Your moniker matches your logic, Erroneus. (267 comments)

How did this pile of ideologically motivated falsehood after falsehood get modded to +5 Insightful? I will just point out one example of blatant lying:

"even 500,000 years later (25xTau) this waste would still be deadly to all living things"

The rule of thumb is that after 10 half-lives, the radioactive substance decays to nothing. But it doesn't apply to very long lived nuclides, which cease to be harmful much earlier, because their radiation becomes very weak. Spent fuel is less radioactive than the ore it came from after 10 000 years.

about 2 years ago

The Coming Energy Turnaround In Germany

Tweenk Re:Nothing but good stuff IMHO (394 comments)

Moving away from nuclear power isn't going to hurt them.

The cost after just a few months is already in the billions of euros due to higher power prices and lost taxes from the nuclear power plants, an E.On alone is planning to lay off up to 50 000 people. Not going to hurt them? To me it looks more like the worst possible shot in the foot.

about 3 years ago

The Coming Energy Turnaround In Germany

Tweenk Re:Scams and Games (394 comments)

That's the third scam, because it is an outdated model

The absurd "baseload is an obsolete concept" thing again... It does not become true if you say it 1000 times. You will end up either relying on imports or having to massively overbuild at a staggering cost.

about 3 years ago

Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022

Tweenk Re:It is not about Fukushima. It is the waste. (822 comments)

For the amount it already invested in renewable energy subsidies, it got back less than 1% of the electricity supply

Correction: solar energy subsidies.

more than 3 years ago

Fukushima To Become Nuclear Dump?

Tweenk Re:Waste (255 comments)

problem is, breeder reactors make plutonium. nobody wants anyone making plutonium

1. Thorium breeders don't produce plutonium.
2. Plutonium from breeders is not useful for weapons.
3. Plutonium is far less toxic that the anti-nuclear clowns claim.

all serious nations are moving away from nuclear

Way to pull a no true Scotsman. The only nation pulling out is Germany, which is heavily infested with Greenpeace and other similar paranoid fanatics. It's obvious that they will return to coal - even the energy comissioner of the EU said so. US, France, Britain, even Japan is not going to abandon nuclear power.

nuclear is a wonderful power source in all regards except for the waste nightmare and the fact that althought hings rarely go wrong, when they do, they REALLY go wrong

Your characterization of accident consequences applies more to hydro power. Fukushima failed to kill anyone. Compare this with 171 000 dead from the Banqiao dam failure.
How many people are dying because of nuclear waste every year? Not even a single one.
I am very disappointed that otherwise rational people like you have given up reason and parrot the doomsaying from the media and anti-nuclear clowns. Even more worrying is the fact that your absurd, fact-free rant was modded up to +5 Insightful. Slashdot is no longer the place I thought it is.

more than 3 years ago

Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022

Tweenk Re:And by 2022 they'll replace it with what? (822 comments)

On the other Hand, building 1.6 Mio. wind turbines is the cheapest viable alternative. Germany alone already has about 22.000 of them, and they are profitable.

They are profitable to their operators but not to the society, as they are supported by large subsidies.

Safe nuclear power is not commercially viable. The only reason why it looks cheap is because today's commercial reactors are unsafe by design and the risk costs are carried by the society.

Where is this risk?
How many people died because of accidents at German NPPs? How many people died in Fukushima because of the nuclear accident (as opposed to direct effects of the earthquake and tsunami)? In both cases the answer is zero. Your perception of risk is very far from reality. People in Japan are evacuating to avoid 20 mSv per year of radiation, even though its negative effects are too small to measure below 50 mSv/year, and a dose of 100 mSv corresponds to only 0,5% higher chance of eventually dying from cancer (the normal chance is about 25%). That's how pervasive the anti-nuclear bullshit has become.

With the cheap nuclear reactors that are still being build today we will have a major nuclear disaster every 20-30 years, and the economic damage to the affected country is huge.

The Fukushima design was not built since the 70s. There is a second nuclear plant (Fukushima II) very close, and it did not suffer an accident, because its reactors are newer and the site is laid out differently. The economic damage from the nuclear accident is completely dwarfed by the damage from the tsunami.

in some areas in Bavaria deer still can not be consumed because the meat is too radioactive

Deer meat from Bavaria is not dangerous. This is simply a result of unscientifically low limits on radionuclides in food. The limit is usually computed by requiring that you can't get more than 1 mSv per year even if you ate the most contaminated meat as your only source of food. This level of paranoia cannot be justified in any way, as health effects below 50 mSv are undetectable.

more than 3 years ago

Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022

Tweenk Re:It is not about Fukushima. It is the waste. (822 comments)

That's only your interpretation. The real reason is stupid overreaction to Fukushima. Otherwise Merkel would not overturn the phaseout decision in the first place.

When someone says "nuclear waste" people stop thinking rationally. Did someone actually die because it was not stored properly? All those claims how dangerous it is sound hollow unless you can point out some actual harm (as in, measurable health consequences, not a small radioactivity release causing stupid people to shit their pants).

So there is no place in Germany were we could safely store nuclear waste at all.

That's some kind of joke. There are plenty of places, but the real problem is that the government is fixated on the "metal can in salt" method, which has been proven inadequate by experience. It is not the only method in existence; for instance, the Swiss method uses metal containers in clay backfill buried in granite rock. The problem is that the extremely high concentration of anti-nuclear clowns in Germany is preventing any change from happening.

any politician will fight tooth and nail against a mine in his district.

That's another example of hysteria.

At the same time Germany tries to increase the amount of renewable energy and is quite successful.

For the amount it already invested in renewable energy subsidies, it got back less than 1% of the electricity supply, while an equivalent amount of money spent on new nuclear reactors could completely decarbonize power generation. How wise.

more than 3 years ago

Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022

Tweenk Re:Serious question; (822 comments)

Care to put some substance to that claim? What are you going to do with nuclear waste? Reprocessing produces more waste than what goes in.

No it doesn't. It separates the waste into fission products which decay to the level of radioactivity of uranium ore after 300 years, plutonium which can be reused as fuel, and uranium which can be re-enriched.

Yes, but they didn't have them. You see, real safety, not mickey-mouse make believe duck-and-cover safety is much too expensive to the folks in the executive class that get to become rich with this type of projects. So they prefer to allow for the occasional meltdown.

This makes completely no sense. It is far more profitable not to allow an accident to happen than to cut corners, because operating a nuclear power plant after its construction cost has been amortized is like printing money.

more than 3 years ago

Fukushima: What Happened and What Needs To Be Done

Tweenk Re:Persective indeed (370 comments)

About 25% of the ocean floor is suitable for sub-seabed disposal. Sites suitable for deep geological disposal are also quite common. I don't think that running out of space for waste storage is going to be a significant problem.

more than 3 years ago

Fukushima: What Happened and What Needs To Be Done

Tweenk Re:Persective indeed (370 comments)

Economically speaking, yes, nuclear waste is the biggest problem. Right now the US has enough nuclear waste to fill the proposed Yucca facility more than twice.

Yucca Mountain's capacity limit has no scientific basis it could be expanded to take several times more waste. AFAIK it was negotiated by a senator from Nevada on purely political grounds. Dry cask storage is not bankrupting anyone so far.

And breeder reactors are not a magic bullet... we'd need hundreds of breeder reactors to reprocess all that fuel.

You are ignoring the fact that breeder reactors would provide huge amounts of energy in the process. It's common to fixate on how nuclear waste is bad but ignore how much emissions-free electricity it is responsible for.

Nuclear power is not getting cheaper. All the research is pretty much done, and we've squeezed that R&D bone dry.

Far from true. The only well developed field is light water reactors using uranium dioxide fuel, but there's a lot more to reactor technology than that. Breeder reactor research has just scratched the surface. The LFTR was built only once, despite being a success. Thorium breeding in light water reactors is known to be possible but is not investigated very well. Overbearing regulations on everything related to radiation and nuclear technology are slowing down progress in this area.

For your several points about subsidies and R&D spending, see:

Just as an example, the costs of solar has been more than halved in the last 10 years, and this done without heavy government investment. Over time, I'd estimate in the next 20 years, solar power will become as cheap, in reality, as proliferators claim that nuclear is now.

1. Who is "proliferators"? Some guilt-by-association neologism for nuclear power proponents?
2. Despite the cost halving, solar is still far more expensive than other renewables and is already starting to suffer from diminishing returns. It's physically impossible to build a solar panel that is more than 100% efficient, and the economies of scale also have some limit.

more than 3 years ago

Fukushima: What Happened and What Needs To Be Done

Tweenk Re:Persective indeed (370 comments)

There are several reasons.
1. About 25% of the ocean seabed is composed of clay that naturally encapsulates the waste containers. The containers just bury themselves under their own weight. But to be extra sure we could drill a hole.
2. If the containers are breached, radioactive materials are adsorbed on the clay, and their diffusion to the surface of the seabed is extremely slow.
4. Even if the do reach the surface somehow, they still need to reach the surface layer of water, which can take hundreds of years in places where there is no vertical mixing of water. By then, the release will be extremely diffused and not dangerous.
4. Volcanic activity on the seabed happens in certain, localized places. The burial would take place far from those zones.
5. Earthquakes would not affect the sub-seabed repository, because it's just barrels deep in clay. Any cracks would fill themselves under gravity.

Yes, I would support a nuclear fuel disposal facility in my backyard. I would even bury some under my house (if it was inside a sturdy container).
The ocean floor is hardly anyone's backyard. You might associate it with coral reefs, but the majority of it is far more bland.

more than 3 years ago

Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

Tweenk INES is not a "threat level" (673 comments)

I am very annoyed by a critical bit of misinformation being spread about this. Most reports imply that there was some kind of undisclosed escalation at Fukushima, and that the "threat level" was increased.

This is seriously wrong. INES is not a "threat level" like a hurricane warning. It is a post-mortem estimate of seriousness. This is a reassessment of events which happened weeks ago on the basis of more detailed information being available, not some new unfolding problem.

more than 3 years ago

Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

Tweenk Re:And some people still wonder why... (673 comments)

Your problem is not that the mushrooms pose a danger. The problem is that the nuclear safety agency in your country sets the permitted levels of strontium in mushrooms by assuming you will eat only the worst contaminated mushrooms for an entire year, and you can't get more than a few mSv from that. This is not a reasonable safety precaution, it's a fantasy.

more than 3 years ago

Japan Raises Nuclear Plant Crisis Severity To 7

Tweenk Re:Bring on the nuclear applogists (673 comments)

The Japanese officials have raised the severity to a 7 all on their own. That's not a matter of people making the story worse with each retelling.

Yes it is, they completely missed the fact that INES is not some kind of "threat level" like a hurricane warning. This is not an escalation of the situation, it is a reassessment of the events that already happened weeks ago.

sweeping it under the rug (er a mountain) is not even a valid long term solution.

How? Will it magically transport itself to the surface and kill someone? Or will a wizard do it? Yes, I acknowledge that nuclear power is not safe from wizards.

Plutonium does not exist naturally on earth, it's extremely toxic

Urban myth, you can eat several milligrams of plutonium and it will not kill you. It is very poorly absorbed from the digestive tract. Only airborne dust is very toxic, but it settles very quickly (plutonium is heavy).

and it lasts for millions of years

Its half life is 24 000 years. So it is gone after 240 000 years (10 half lifes). But it ceases to emit dangerous amounts of radioactivity far before that. Long half life = weak radioactivity.

more than 3 years ago


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