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Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

macpacheco Re:So it is official. (168 comments)

Except Falcon Heavy reuses the Merlin 1D, Merlin 1D Vac, the basic first and second stage layout, and many other things from F9R. The Falcon Heavy is more similar in design to the F9R than F9R from the first version Falcon 9.
That being said, you are right, FH is still a power point rocket.

about a week ago
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Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

macpacheco Re: So it is official. (168 comments)

Except the orbital rocket is useless for satellite launches. So it doesn't really count.
If you instead focus only on rockets that are launch commercial GEO payloads, then the only american product is SpaceX. Every now and then ULA does a commercial GEO launch, but its a tiny volume.
The really important factor is both ULA, Ariane and the Russians are old school space. SpaceX is silicon valley space, and so far, they model is making every competitor sweat. Like Elon Musk said in the first years of SpaceX, rockets have evolved little since the 70s. In a lot of ways SpaceX has evolved space affordability by leaps and bounds since the F9R rocket became fully operational and enabled SpaceX to launch (less than 4 ton) GEO satellites.
If the Falcon Heavy achieves the same success as F9R, it will undercut every SpaceX competitor in price even without reusability, and with first stage reusability its game over for every rocket currently operational in the world. SpaceX will be able to offer prices at least 50% cheaper than any competitor (in most cases 70-80% cheaper).

about a week ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

macpacheco Re: Predictions (280 comments)

Ohhh so stupid... There is NO enterprise without PROFIT.
Communism doesn't work. Efficient people are greedy, regulated capitalism exploit greed to benefit the people. Without profit there's no capitalism.
At the same time... Electricity distribution will continue, it will just use a different electricity flow profile, it will be more focused on transporting electricity between consumers instead of from large generating assets to consumers.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

macpacheco Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

Clarification. In Brazil Solar+Wind is tiny today, but Solar+Wind should increase enough over the next 10 years that the total non CO2 emitting share of the grid (Brazil hydro + biomass + nuclear + solar + wind) should exceed 90%.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

macpacheco Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

And then there's Canada with hydro+nuclear+wind at 75%.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

macpacheco Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

You probably mean in the USA. In my Brazil hydro + biomass + nuclear + solar + wind is 85% of our MWh generated. Solar+Wind is a tiny part of that but over the next 10 years we should increase that to 90% minimum. We're what German is hoping to be 20 years from now. Except we have NO plans to get rid of nuclear, in fact we're building our 3rd reactor with plans for at least another 4 new nuclear projects over the next 15 years.
France is 90% nuclear + hydro + solar + wind. Except the dumbasses are looking to get rid of nuclear. Bad idea.

about two weeks ago
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Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

macpacheco Re:according to the pro-nuclear lobby; (409 comments)

Wrong. Chernobyl was dangerous. Very dangerous in the first few weeks due to the most radioactive fission products still undergoing decay. Until they finished the Sarcophagus is was very dangerous still. A year after the Sarcophagus is was just dangerous.
And we have to differentiate distance to the reactor. Radioactivity disperse under a inverse square law, so x of radioactivity 1 mile away = x/100 radioactivity 10 miles away.
But ten years after the Sarcophagus was completed all of the very dangerous radiation has decayed. The real remaining risk is drinking / eating alpha emitters. The gamma/beta rays menace is pretty much gone at this point.
30 years later the longer lasting fission products have decayed by 50%
60 years later the longer lasting fission products have decayed by 75%
The other part of the analysis is how much of the radioactive materials have been washed away underground and into rivers.
The plutonium radioactive menace isn't significant as its just a few tens of KGs spread over many square Kms.
Plutonium and uranium is far more dangerous due to its chemical toxicity than due to its radioactivity.
But discussing those inconvenient facts aren't conductive to the main goal which is to severely bash nuclear power as inherently dangerous, while the world keeps burning the really dangerous coal, which kills even without an accident.
My conclusion is quite simple, the american mainstream media isn't in love with renewables, they are being paid of by the coal industry, since they would be attacking coal every day if they truly cared for a clean environment.
Chemical toxic materials have no half life, they stay dangerous forever. Solar panels incorporate lots of chemicals that will be toxic forever.
The other 400 nuclear reactors in operation in the world show that nuclear power can be safe and is safe.

about three weeks ago
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Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

macpacheco What matters ! (409 comments)

The Chernobyl nuclear accident couldn't have happened with a western reactor built to NRC specs be TMI.
Secondary containment would have held or at the very least contained the bulk of the radiation.
The reactor control rod design was utterly defective, the trouble really started when the reactor's control rods were inserted quickly, instead causing the reactor to runaway.
In the meantime, from Chernobyl until today Coal killed many millions of people.
I would love to read a serious (scientific) report from those that claim Chernobyl killed one million people. It's been 25 years, so please document at least 20 thousand deaths, name, date of birth and date of death, along with a diagnosis / coroners report showing death by cancer likely to be caused by nuclear radiation.
Instead the professional people that fear a real debate bomb slashdot with ad hominem attacks on why slashdot sucks.
My simple conclusion is: A nuclear accident even halfway between Chernobyl and Fukushima in severity is impossible.
Many here are just to young to understand what the USSR was all about: People are expendable.
The Chernobyl accident was exposed to breach every layer of defense in depth required to license a nuclear reactor even before TMI.
Think about it.

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Re:FBR fast breeder reactors (138 comments)

If you dig really deep, you will find out that all of nuclear technology is too expensive in the NATO land. Its population was brainwashed with lies about Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima and believe nuclear is a thing of the devil. They irrationally demand nuclear is shutdown, but the pro nuclear lobby pushes back, in the squeeze the NRC (and its sister organizations) create an insane level of absurd extreme anti nuclear regulation that led nuclear power to be too expensive.
All you need to do is compare the cost of a new nuclear reactor in the USA/France/UK with the costs in Russia,China,India and South Korea. The pro nuclear countries can build the SAME reactor for 80% cheaper. So while FBR reactors are currently more expensive than LWR/BWR/HWRs, that is due to its learning curve. If we were building a few dozen FBRs in the world we would quickly learn how to build the faster, we would get better economies of scale (as we move to build a hundred of the simultaneously), and soon they would be cheaper than water cooled nukes (because they are actually much simpler to build, much less complexity).
I would be happy to enumerate all the reasons why an FBR in essence must be cheaper than current water cooled nukes and why an MSR will be ever cheaper than an FBR if you would like to discuss.

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Re:Nevada, not Utah (138 comments)

The anti Yucca plan was based on ignoring science.
But we should instead reprocess spent nuclear fuel.
Leave spent nuclear fuel to cool for a few decades (at the nuclear station), the reprocess the fuel. Out of reprocessing we would get:
    Uranium = put it through enrichment again (make more depleted uranium which is harmless and some low enriched uranium for new fuel)
    Plutonium = mix with depleted uranium and make mox nuclear fuel
    other transuranics = that would go for very long storage until a fast reactor is available to fission it
    fission products = could be further separated between medium radioactivity materials (20%) and fully decayed materials (80%). the medium radioactivity materials have 30 year half lifes, need storage for about 300 years, then its less radioactive than original uranium fuel
      fission products contain lots of extremely valuable minerals like rare earths used to make wind turbines, cell phones, tablets, solar panels and other high tech stuff
In the end the fission products might use a Yucca mountain if we opt not to separate the results of reprocessing. But its important to understand that for each ton of fission product made we avoided generating millions of tons of CO2 and generated enough power to serve the needs of about a half a million people for a whole year ! And we were desperate to do carbon sequestration, yet here we have perfectly sequestered, dense nuclear products and we don't realize this stuff is perfectly manageable (even without reprocessing).

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Re:Mildly off-topic, but... (138 comments)

All true, but Polonium isn't produced by nuclear fission. It is a decay product of fissile/fertile material. It is produced from potential nuclear fuel we don't use.
Nuclear reactors deal with alpha emitters with half lifes in the multi thousand to million year half life. In general those materials are far more deadly due to their chemical toxicity rather than its radioactivity. The lowest half life alpha involved in nuclear reactors is in the 50 thousand + year half life (U-233 and some plutonium isotopes). Plutonium is far more dangerous from its toxicity than its radioactivity if ingested.

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Re:Mildly off-topic, but... (138 comments)

For a nuclear reactor, there are essentially three types of nuclear materials:
  1 - Fissile material (hit it with a neutron and it has a high probability - from 60% to 99.9% of fission)
  2 - Fertile material (hit it with a neutron and it turns into Fissile material)
  3 - Fission products - new atoms resulting from fission

Fission products typically are highly radioactive materials, but they have already undergone fission. Many of them are fission poisons (they are neutron magnets to make it simple). So the longer they stay in the reactor, the more they tend to poison the nuclear chain reaction (its all about the neutrons). Although they release energy, their neutron absorption is very undesirable inspite of their energy release. This is specially true for Gaseous fission products (Xenon and Krypton).

So while fission products could make useful nuclear thermal batteries (similar to the Plutonium 238 batteries used in space missions), they aren't terribly useful to keep around inside a reactor for long.

Nuclear fission releases a boatload of energy. We don't need to depend on decay of fission fragments to supplement that energy.
In general fertile materials have very high half life (ultra low radioactivity), with half lifes over millions of years.
Fissile materials range widely in half lifes, from tens of thousands of years to many millions or years.
Fission fragments in general have half lifes of less than 30 years, some with half lifes in seconds to a few weeks. So fission fragments are a much bigger radioactive menace, but if they were separated from the fertile/fissile materials we would get a very limited volume of material for a very large level of energy produced. One ton of fission products = around 3 Gigawatts power of thermal heat for a whole year or 1GW year of electricity, or 8760000000 kWh of electricity (8.76 billions of kWh). Put it another way, all nuclear reactors in the world produce around 400GW of electrical power, they also produce around 400 tons of fission products per year, that's enough electrical juice to essentially power all of North America. To do that with coal it would take about one billion tons of coal (and would generate about 2.86 billion tons of CO2).

The real problem is nuclear technology got stuck in the 50s. We never left water cooled, solid fuel reactors, which are very lousy in their ability to fission U-238 (99.3% of mined uranium). While reactors greatly increased in power levels and increased significantly in safety, we waste a lot of mined uranium.

250 tons of mined Uranium is needed to produce 35 tons of low enriched uranium suitable for nuclear fuel (215 tons of depleted uranium created)
of 35 tons of uranium made into nuclear fuel, about 1 ton is fissioned
of those 34 tons of unfissioned uranium one ton is transmuted into fertile material (mostly plutonium) that has intermediate radioactivity levels (takes millenia to decay and produces just enough radiation that it would be deadly if ingested even in tiny quantities, but not enough radiation to even cause cancer if you lived your entire life a 20 meters from a Kg of Plutonium). But we have solutions to fission all of that material. Fast Sodium reactors were in very late stages of engineering prior to hand off of technology to the private sector (a few years) when Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry killed that research in the early 90s. It was a very stupid decision, 99.9% to please the radical green wing of the democratic party. Russia has been operating one large fast reactor for 30 years (BN-600) has just started up the next generation BN-800, and should have the final full scale reactor BN-1200 operational in less than 10 years. Any of those could just take in those transuranics (the troublesome fissile material we want to fission) without problems.

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Re:Molten Salt Reactor FTW (138 comments)

True, Fast reactors, reduced moderation reactors could also get the job done (fissioning most of the Uranium on spent nuclear fuel or newly mined uranium or Thorium).

about three weeks ago
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Shale: Good For Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste Disposal?

macpacheco Nuclear storage must be temporary (138 comments)

Spent Nuclear Fuel is still FUEL !
At least 98% of SNF is fissile / fertile nuclear material.
Out of 35 tons of Enriched Uranium used to make fuel, just 1 ton is fissioned, 34 tons remains as Uranium, Plutonium, Neptunium, Americium and Curium. All of that stuff can be fissioned using a fast reactor. Using more complex reprocessing Uranium and Plutonium can be extracted and recycled into fuel any reactor could use.
The USA isn't doing nuclear fuel reprocessing due to economical reasons, the technology is available, the French, Japanese, Russians and others reprocess nuclear fuel all the time.
Using higher efficiency nuclear reactors (Fast reactors, Molten Salt Reactors or Reduced Moderation water cooled reactors a virtuous cycle where with reprocessing at least 99% of mined uranium could be fissioned). Why is that important ? If we used high efficiency reactors a typical person would use less than 1Kg of Uranium for all of their energy needs for their entire lifetime, and that 1Kg of Uranium would become 1Kg of fission products. 80% of fission products are stable in a few decades, the remaining 20% are stable in 300 years.
So any plan to inject SNF into shale rock is stupid. We should instead be investing on fast reactors. If all the money put into Yucca mountain went into MSR research we would already have two designs hitting the market. Even the most basic MSR Uranium burner uses 1/6th the Uranium a regular reactor needs per GWh of electricity produced.

about three weeks ago
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Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

macpacheco Re:Contradictions (134 comments)

Really low bandwidth is 99% text with fairly small pics. Like Wikipedia.
Music is medium bandwidth, assuming that wikipedia (or slashdot) is actually read and pics are looked at intently.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

macpacheco Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

The "we could have a Chernobyl every year" argument is just stupid.
I believe the argument made was (by an actual PhD in climatology, in defense of large scale deployment of nuclear to avoid climate change): If we increase nuclear power usage 5 fold, worst case we'll have a significant nuclear accident every 25 years. But that's not a statement of fact. It was an argument to say that having a significant nuclear accident every 25 years is far less serious than climate change screwing up the Earth for good.

I'm all for replacing every Gen II nuke in the world in earthquake/tsunami prone areas. Just in case. That eliminates the possibility of flooded generators, although the proper solution is to put one in the roof, one in the basement, one in an ancillary building very close to the reactor. Way cheaper than building a replacement reactor.

Replacing old Gen II nukes with an AP1000 or ESBWR would likely cost US$ 10 billion, best case, each reactor. Start a nuclear construction project and you can be sure Green Peace will sue along with many others. In Canada the legal system allows the judge to recognize its an unreasonable lawsuit and dismiss the suit without going to trial, but in the USA the system is setup to almost always go to trial (unless there's a settlement). Then there's the insane NRC requirements. It's not enough to follow a list of pre existing requirements and know that will be enough. The NRC certify reactor designs but then redo a huge portion of the certification work for every new reactor of the same type built. You can't even decide to build 4 reactors of the same type, on the same site, one after the other, tens of thousands of hours of regulatory work in billed in duplicity ! And the NRC bills the nuclear operator at US$ 300/hr ! Building a new reactor costs over a hundred million dollars in NRC fees alone !

So until we have a new type of reactor that fundamentally changes to cost structure of building a new reactor, operators will prefer to continue pushing existing reactors into re certification.

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

macpacheco Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

When it comes to reactor lives, you're seeing it wrong.

Nuclear reactors weren't expected to be in critical state after 40 years of utilization, not even by a long shot. Instead designers opted for an initial 40 year certification since it would be very hard to *prove* they could last 60, 80 or even 100 years originally. Now that hundreds of reactors are around 40 years old, there is hard data to show that extending their certification for 60-80 years lifespan is perfectly safe and economical. It might be possible to extend to 100 years, but this could only be determined when reactors get close to 80 years operations.

It actually is environmentally advantageous to continue operating reactors as long as possible. Most reactor materials don't require replacement even at 40 years operation. Materials that are continuously irradiated, for instance steel that can't simply be sent back to the steel forge and molten together with other steel to make new stuff. It will eventually be considered medium radioactivity materials that will have to decay for decades before recycling after the reactor is fully shutdown.

Per the usual, those outside the nuclear industry always see everything as some dirty game against the best interests of nature. It just isn't like that.

Realize that large hydro dams are designed to last 150+ years.

If the NRC considers it possible to operate reactors until 80 years, you can be damn sure this isn't some plot to risk mankind. Those reactors can actually take it. The Fukushima reactor survived the earthquake and the tsunami. It was the flooding of the emergency reactors that prevented the reactor from cooling itself down safely. Those were 620MWe reactors or 2000MWt (thermal heat). 1 hour after shutdown a nuclear reactor is still producing 1.5% of its last power setting, so that's 25MWt (mega watts thermal heat) that it was producing when the tsunami hit. Solid fueled reactors operate under significant temperature gradients even when the primary pumps are in full operation (some fuel pins at 1800C, while the coolant is around 350C). At around 2100C fuel pins melt. One of the most critical aspects is usage of Zirconium in the cladding, which reacts with water making H2 gas, which is explosive.

MSRs fully avoid that problem since the fuel and coolant is molten together, making it easy to drain the reactor core into a drain tank designed to halt reactivity and maximize thermal dissipation. This is completely impossible with water cooled, solid fuel reactors, as the water is the coolant AND the moderator. As the moderator it's helping the reactor continue to produce some power. An MSR typically uses solid graphite as moderator, the graphite stays in the core, away from the drain tank. A water cooled reactor doesn't have much temperature margin. An increase in 100C in coolant temp is a critical condition. In an MSR an increase of coolant temp of 100C is within safety margins and automatically reduces reactivity (power production) as the core materials expand. And a very simple safety feature is the freeze plug of core salt that if molten drains the reactor into the drain tank (either due to loss of power to the reactor OR unacceptable temperature excursions).

No Zirconium and no water, no similar reactions that produce explosive gases in MSRs.

I studied all of those criteria. No I'm not a nuclear engineer, but I know enough engineering and physics to understand that stuff extremely well.

Some MSR proponents say that once MSRs are in full scale construction its possible that water cooled reactors will be banned from further construction, considered too risky. That would only go to prove the absurdity of today's nuclear regulatory agencies. We have 400 nuclear reactors in operation, about 350 of those are water cooled, all operating safety, why would a remote risk be considered a serious risk ? It just shows the continuous knee jerk mode nuclear regulators operate under, they have no obligation to prove their very expensive regulatory demands are actually required, cause the people just don't understand it.

In essence water cooled, solid fueled reactors are safe due to advanced safety systems. MSRs can be designed to be safe simply using gravity solidifying a plug of the core salt (see the freeze plug feature of MSRs).

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

macpacheco Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

High costs = high profits because it usually means large govt given subsidies. Much like high molten salt reactors development has been stuck for 40+ years. There is a whole spectrum of MSR reactors. In its simplest form it would be so cheap it would replace all demand for new water cooled nukes. The reactor is cheaper, avoids solid fuel fabrication, much easier to reprocess spent nuclear fuel (both reprocessing SNF in solid fuel form and future reprocessing of MSR SNF), at least twice the burnup (raw heat extracted from the same load of nuclear fuel before fuel is done) than a regular water cooled nuke. But that's exactly the reason its not pursued. It would canibalize investment on the latest water cooled nukes: AP1000 (Westinghouse), ESBWR (GE), EPR (Areva) brand new reactors.
Why don't neither of those three companies pursue it and become the first ? Because the current NRC regulatory system makes the first company have to pay for the NRC to develop the whole base regulatory framework, plus actually certifying a brand new type of reactor, call it a billion in direct NRC fees and engineers allocated to prepare the required NRC documentation.
The more you dig, the more you find that the problem with nuclear is too expensive is a result of too much power for the NRC to destroy the nuclear industry. I'm a private pilot, and unlike the FAA where the aviation users groups (private/airlines/business) can actually get some support from the public when the FAA goes too far, nobody actually understands when the NRC is completely gone insane with ridiculous cost, because of the perception that nuclear is too risky !

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

macpacheco Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

I am talking about getting rid of at least 90% of coal usage and at least 50% of natural gas worldwide and 50% of oil too (to start with). So its not just the electrical grid, you also need the heating solution and transportation. We need that to fix climate change.
That's why nuclear is essential. Specifically high temp nuclear (around 700C outlet temps or 1300F).
High temp nuclear is good for:
  Electricity production, increases net efficiency from around 33% to close to 50%
  Mass scale desalination of water, the cooling part of the cycle of a high temp nuclear reactor can boil water strictly using the heat it needs to give off before being heated again, so its a free utilization of high temp nuclear
  Ammonia production for fertilizers
  Cheap and CO2 free Hydrogen production for fuel cells
  District heating
  Industrial process heat
  Using nuclear heat instead of burning natural gas to process crude oil, which would improve total CO2 intensity of gasoline and diesel based transportation by a significant margin (and that natural gas can go into further offsetting gasoline usage)
  The most promising high temp nuclear is development is being funded exactly with tar sands money in Canada. Avoiding burning natural gas to extract tar sands plus refinining that crude with nuclear heat would reduce carbon intensity of the whole supply chain by a serious margin.
Many of the items above are either done by burning natural gas or are just plain uneconomical without cheap heating source.
Anywhere you need a high temp source, its too expensive to use electricity to produce that heating source, directly using a high temp reactor improves the economics over producing electricity using low temp nuclear by a margin of three. Its also not economical to use CSP alone, manufacturing facilities need 24x7 operations to be economical.

I want to fix climate change. What do you want to do ?

about three weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

macpacheco Re:Deliberate (652 comments)

Again you're being irrational. Solar and wind can't fix climate change. You keep insisting it can. It's not solar/wind or nuclear. It's about all of the above.
Chernobyl was serious. But it is unlikely to EVER happen again. What part of that don't you GET ? It should NEVER, EVER happen again. We don't need to get rid of all nuclear in the world to prevent another Chernobyl. So we shouldn't use it as an anti nuclear argument. If we took all serious airline accidents that happened since the year of TMI against the airline industry like you'd like to use nuclear accidents, we should ground all airliners and give up air flying altogether.
Fukushima evac is unnecessary. It should be downgraded to an optional evac right away and be lifted completely in a few years.
Look at your own words "Nuclear costs much more than renewables, takes longer to build, and regularly destroys regions.".
Your irrational anti nuclear attitude is the greatest culprit for nuclear being too expensive (in developed countries), also for taking too long to build.
"Nuclear regulaly destroys regions" is utter crap. You are projecting future serious accidents. That's wrong. That's irrational (trying really hard not to curse you).
Do you have any engineering knowledge ? Engineers learn from accidents and improve designs. Your analysis is based on some assumption that mankind is too stupid and will continue being too stupid for nuclear. That is utter CRAP ! I'm sorry it makes me so angry, it makes me think you are a paid anti nuclear shill.
Go study nuclear FACTS. Not anti nuclear fiction. Your arguments show you haven't read a single nuclear FACT article, instead that you are fixated on the anti nuclear CRAP that is reinvented every day.

BEING ANTI NUCLEAR is BEING IMPLICITLY PRO COAL. By shutting down the 5 nukes in Germany, it increased coal and natural gas consumption in Germany. Nukes weren't offset by wind and solar, they were offset by COAL and Natural Gas. That's a fact. First get rid of coal, and half of natural gas consumption, then we can talk about getting rid of nuclear.

BTW I am very much pro solar. I'm in the process of investing on a 10kW solar PV solution for my condo in Brazil. And looking into 100kW worth of solar for a family business. I don't have a problem with solar, nor with wind. I have a problem with morons like you that can't think straight. If you aren't an engineer or at least have engineering minded education you should excuse yourself from any nuclear opinions, you just don't have the mindset to analyze things rationally.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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GPS L2C/L5 pre operational signal available

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about 8 months ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "For ages, high accuracy GPS meant using a mix of civilian and military signals.
In order to obtain high accuracy GPS positioning (better than 2 meters) receiver must know local ionosphere corrections. This requires two GPS signals at a minimum, the difference between both is used to calculate ionospheric corrections which is then applied to either one.
However since GPS doesn't offer two usable civilian signals, a technique known as semi-codeless was devised, that calculates ionosphere corrections by using the two military encrypted signals L1P(Y)+L2P(Y), then applies the iono corrections to the civilian L1 C/A signal, however the military was never to fond of that usage, since it limits what changes they can do with the military signals. Specially changes in power levels.
Since September 26, 2005 GPS satellites capable of broadcasting the L2C (2nd civilian signal) and since May 2010 GPS satellites capable of broadcasting the L5 (3rd civilian signal, usable for aviation) have been launched, however those signals are still not fully usable.
Today those signals were enabled in a pre operational format meaning:
  1 — All messages required for full L2C and L5 utilization are broadcast
  2 — L5 signals are broadcast with an alert flag (not usable), L2C is broadcast without an alert flag
  3 — L2C/L5 almanac and ephemeris will be updated about twice a week, while regular L1 C/A updates happen typically twice a day, so L2C and L5 signals will be less accurate in this phase

However this means there is no technical excuse for GPS equipment manufacturers to finalize their L2C and L5 offerings, since they now have a complete signal to test against, and right after GPS satellites have received an upload they should have similar accuracy as L1 C/A.
This should continue for the next few years, until the new GPS control segment, OCX comes online, OCX block 1 is needed for full L2C capabilities and OCX block 2 is needed for full L5 capabilities.
Notice that it will take at least another 12 GPS launches for L2C to reach a state known as FOC (full operational capability), meaning that are enough satellites with L2C capability for L2C to be usable for standalone positioning and it will take another 19 GPS launches for L5 to reach FOC as well."

Link to Original Source
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Forbes tries to smear Tesla and gets burned !

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about a year and a half ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Very interesting to read a clearly Big Oil sponsored article, and then read all comments, not a single comment supporting the writer's stupid, short sighted views.

Forbes needs to first write articles scathing the trillions of dollars the Oil + Coal industry got in subsidies over the last 50yrs before they be allowed to try to criticize the solutions to our pollution problems !"

Link to Original Source
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USA Election. It's the productivity dummy !

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  more than 2 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Another critical fact neither the GOP nor the Dems address which is critical to economical recovery:
In 1970, a business needed as many as 10x more employees to accomplish the same administrative tasks (invoicing, payroll, accounting, IT, production planning, inventory), as today.
After the PC revolution, businesses needed less people to do the same, they got fired, but the services sector re-used them for other jobs, many started businesses of their own. However their a limit to how many people large businesses can fire until the economy can't re cycle them. The current economy is getting too productive. B2B and B2C processes are further reducing the number of employees needed to get the job done.
Eventually there will be next to none clerical employees, forklift jobs get automated, robots take over production. How can the economy re accomodate that labor force ? The services sector need customers ! Eventually unemployment will rise. Don't we need to have some limits to automation to ensure that manufacturing actually hires ?
If the whole economy hires 10% of what it did in the pre PC age, how is full employment possible ?
That's a difficult question no sides are willing to answer."
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Mitt Romney, conservative/moderate or just plain liar ?

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  more than 2 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "After listening to the 47% tape, following the Republican primaries and the first month of all out electoral campaign, I'm puzzled.

Is Romney just a flip flopper, or is he a pathological liar ?
People that tell you what they want you to hear, just because they can get away with it, no matter how untrue, are the worse type of politician and human beings on the planet.

I'm not from the US (I'm from Brazil), if I was a US citizen, I'd be an independent, I would vote for Obama not because I like him, but instead because I think the current generation of Republicans are just 10 times worse !

I do have an agenda, I'm a pragmatic environmentalist, and I'm against all kinds of corporative inefficiency, specially the government type of corporative inefficiency. The Dems have their faults, but the GOP fails to show any way that they actually mean to do the positive side of their agenda."
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Smaller, cheaper lighter atomic clocks are here

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  more than 3 years ago

macpacheco (1764378) writes "Atomic clocks for a long time have been a research lab item, used in production environments only in high budget, ultra performance demanding environments. Their high power consumption, 4U size and weight also didn't help.
Chip scale atomic clocks (CSAC) have been a promise for a long time. They're finally here. Typical atomic clocks cost tens of thousands of dollars each, this first generation CSAC costs US$ 1400 in small quantities. 1 cu inch volume (16 cc), 115mW power consumption (down about 1000 fold), and just 35 grams weight, will make them more interesting than current GPS based frequency standard.
They're called frequency standard, because 99% of the time someone needs an atomic clock, it's not to actually track time (day, hour, minutes, seconds, milliseconds), its used instead a replacement for quartz crystal oscillators, mainly transmitting and receiving radio signals, synchronizing telecommunications equipment. This atomic clock claims to be about 10000 times more accurate than typical quartz based oscillators.
This is very exciting, as it will enable better 4g/WiMax/... base stations, better ultra high speed networking equipment, and will help tremendously in GPS augmentation solutions like WAAS, EGNOS, DGPS. Having an atomic clock on a GPS receiver works like an extra GPS satellite."

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