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SpaceX Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

macpacheco Re:Not sure about the recovery test (121 comments)

Real soft landings require land or calm seas.
Perhaps the criteria SpaceX needs is:
  1 - Prove the rocket touchdown was precise (no more than a few meters off)
  2 - Prove the rocket wasn't spinning or otherwise unstable instants prior to touchdown with water
  3 - Show the rocket didn't break up for some time after splashdown
  4 - Try to recover the rocket
From what we know, criteria 1,2 and 3 were met. Criteria 4 is unknown so far (and is the least important one).
With criteria 1,2 and 3 being met should be enough to give SpaceX hard data to convince NASA, FAA and USAF to at least allow for a near shore splashdown on the the launch (if not a real landing on terra firma).

yesterday
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

The Germany plan includes two ways to preserve electricity when they over produce and retrieve it when they have a shortfall:
1 - It does include LOTS of pumped hydro, but the total of Germany's pumped hydro capacity is insufficient to store all overproduction
2 - Exporting electricity to its neighbors (at a lower price) and buying it back when there is a shortfall (at a higher price), but since that electricity is mostly nuclear and fossil, it represents an on demand peaking source
Now they are shifting to investing on battery based electricity storage solutions (far more expensive than pumped hydro), specially having citizens owning large PV installations storing electricity themselves, such that they can limit selling overproduction during sunny summer days and use that overproduction in the night, and can buy off peak electricity in winter nights after peak hours are gone and consume it during the day (in the peak of winter PV systems produce less than 1/10th of summertime peak production, so they are close to useless in the winter).
Funny thing is pumped hydro works much better with nuclear, since nuclear can produce 24x7 at 100% power (except for refuelling and maintenance outtages both planned), such that pumped hydro can be cycled almost fully on a daily basis, while energy storage capacity needs to be maintained for any periods when the wind underproduces for a few hours any time in the winter or in summer nights.
That's the advantage of having a fully predictable electricity source (nuclear) versus a intermittent electricity source (solar is mostly predictable, while wind isn't very much predictable).

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Apply critical thinking instead of changing top (432 comments)

Oh yeah, if anybody is pro nuclear must be either misguided or a paid propagandist.

While the anti nuclear folks predicts a massive catastrophe after each nuclear accident and are shown to be exaggerating the effects by an order of 1000 in average.
Any presence of radioactivity anywhere is a sure sign of cancers, they don't prove those cancers are happening, content with throwing mud at nuclear. Raising doubt is enough. Come to think of it, those anti nuclear really sound like the paid ones, because they are shown to be radically alarmists all the time.

I'm not a fan of current pressurized water+solid fuel reactors but they are the only solution we know for sure we can solve climate change with total certainty. A paid nuclear propagandist would say LWR reactors are the eight wonder of the world. I want reactors that can't suffer accidents because they are fully passively safe instead of safe through a dozen active safety systems. I have debated this with lots of nuclear technologists that feel that LWR reactors are just fine, thank you.

So I love molten salt reactors because all technical materials about them show me they are truly walk away safe. They aren't pressure cookers trying to throw radiation into the atmosphere. Favorite design is a Fluoride (Lithium and Berrilyum) design. Actually inside the reactor everything is a Fluoride (Uranium, Thorium, Plutonium, Caesium, ...). All of those nuclear atoms and fission products fluorides are solids or dense liquids even at modestly high temps, so they don't want to go into the atmosphere. It changes the whole ballgame.

I'm 41 BTW. My core area of expertise is IT and Telecom, but I would call myself a scientist of everything I work at, since I'm always trying to expand the proverbial box substantially all the time. I question everything. But above all, I have a huge problem with the lack of honesty of those with an anti nuclear stance. I'm also a private pilot, and I see all the time the sensationalism thrown at each aircraft accident, and all the BS invented by the media for maximum sensationalism. Nuclear gets the same badgering, but its worse, cause we have even less nuclear accidents than aircraft ones.

4 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Apply critical thinking instead of changing top (432 comments)

Honestly, I'm not paid to post here. This helps me think, blow steam. Like J.K.Rowling once said, if I stop writing, I'll go insane.
Plus this goes around in circles anyways. It's not like this will be the ultimate argument that will settle this subject forever.
I have already explained all my opinions on this subject. You don't need further answers from me.
I know I can't silence anybody with an opinion, I'm not looking to a formal I give up.
Bottom line is while Solar and Wind work just fine for small scale projects (compared to retail electricity prices), I'm still unconvinced about solar PV and wind turbines on a utility scale until I see a real world example for a half a million or larger isolated grid running on such sources. Every assertion that I'm not thinking, and that perhaps with more thinking I would see the light, no, I'm not going to think further, I'm waiting for a real world proof that it works until I believe. Then we can sort out the economics in a real world system. Until then, I believe in baseload and peaking sources. I believe that in solar+wind could scale up to 20% of total grid generation (with lots of load following like hydro, biomass and natural gas), but I'm convinced a grid 50% wind+solar will be seriously unstable with current tech.
My opinion is we desperately need to loose the anti nuclear attitude. If nuclear were that risky, I'm sure we would see hundreds of former nuclear workers with cancers, showing symptoms of radiation sickness and other serious bad stuff. Instead what I see is lots of conjecture based on FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Green Peace has a US$ 200 million / yr budget. They have the money to do some serious studies and publish them. But I'm fully convinced those on the anti nuclear side are locked in a view that nuclear can't possibly be good, that their job isn't to sort out the truth, instead their job is to throw as much dirt as possible on the subject (exact definition of FUD). And I'm pissed that how ridiculous it has become. Since Three Mile Island we see a pattern of extreme dire predictions that are always off by a factor of 200 to 10000 in level of exaggeration and they never seem to learn. So, yeah, that's my agenda. I'm like youtube thunderf00t, I'm in it so cleanup the BS. I'm pro nuclear because I think we are killing the goose that is laying golden eggs every day. Until I see the likes of you starting a nuclear discussion agreeing that Chernobyl didn't kill one million or even 200 thousand people like predicted, but about 6000. Until you agree that the prediction that the Pacific is lost is totally bonkers. Like some guy measuring naturally occurring uranium / thorium radiation in a California beach as proof Fukushima radiation has poisoned his beloved beach. Or just cause some fish has measured borderline radiation levels over recommended maximums means eating that fish would be even a minimal radiation risk. Those levels are set because we can't experiment on people to find out what are the real risks, so they are utterly conservative. Or the fact that right now, the radiation exposure at the areas evacuated present a lower risk to life than living in downtown Tokyo, but Tokyo isn't being evacuated, while the Fukushima evacuation is still in place. Or that the health hazard of having a smoking parent is like an order of magnitude higher risk of cancer than living less than a mile from the Fukushima Daichi.
Unless you can agree to those logical pieces of data, don't see much of a point in arguing anything else.
Bye bye.

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

Except when you consider the cost of the peaking sources or energy storage to give you a 99.9999% stable electrical grid.
If a wind turbine gives you cheap electricity when the wind is blowing, it doesn't make it cheaper than natural gas, because gas will produce when you want it to produce.
Solar is the same thing.
Plus you are conveniently disregarding the cost of the real state used to install the solar panels. That's why I like rooftop solar, while I have little respect for those huge desert solar farms.
We need a solution to make desert land perfectly livable. We need massive scale desalinization of seawater. The only people that can say they have an economical proposal to do that is the LFTR nuclear reactor (using waste heat means it's having zero or a tiny impact on the reactors electricity generation capacity).
That's why I reject this statement of fact about the cost of solar and wind connected to the grid. Show me a real world system with zero fossil fuel energy sources being used, and then we can make a real world evaluation about the cost of wind and solar instead of a biased one like what you quote.
This is why we always are locked in this circular debate. Baseload and peaking electricity sources are an essential characteristic of today's grid, and will probably be for another 20 years. Saying baseload is an outdated concept is an extreme exercise in wishful thinking.

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Apply critical thinking (432 comments)

You are ignoring the words of many serious environmentalist scientists. They are saying there's no way out without lots of more nuclear power !
People like James Hanson. All the folks that made Pandora's Promise.
I watched every anti nuclear attempt to answer Pandora's Promise. Filled with utter generalities calling it names, void of facts.

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

I hope they succeed and that we know the honest cost to fix it.
My main contention with the trillion euro number is the solution can't be applied in less developed countries.
I'm not cheering for them to fail. I'm just being honest about the risks of failure.
I'm specially worried about the risk of them not investing on nuclear and never reaching significant CO2 emissions reductions.
The reality is in other forums populated by a few very anti nuclear germans, they see nuclear as absolutely unacceptable. There are way too many people that are like that. So I have some serious doubt Germany will ever build another nuclear power plant until "they feel the shit has hit the fan".

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

There is no question that Fukushima could have been avoided. With a cheap solution (moving the generators from the basement to higher floors, increasing tsunami defenses height, either would have done the job). And those exact suggestions were made to TEPCO years prior to Fukushima. But since they were suggestion instead of mandatory, and TEPCO was cash strapped, they thought since the reactors were fine for 35 years, why they needed to change.
I wish those anti nuclear can conduct a serious honest study that proves your point, and that they announce they are going to conduct such study and publish the results regardless if they prove or disprove their point. My contention is we get no such honesty from anti nuclear folks, anything they might stumble upon that is pro nuclear is censured inside.

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

Every hydro dam that isn't full is an energy storage system. It can follow load demand. With its turbine generating full time (but variable load) regardless.
I'm not against having economical energy storage. My contention is that purely pumped hydro doesn't get many viable sites. Some countries have none or extremely few.
But the specific characteristics of wind turbines are extreme. They vary too much constantly. I'm not saying no to wind. I'm just saying that I have a big issue with saying we have the solution with solar+wind+energy storage alone, when the storage component is still perhaps a decade from becoming economical on a GWh scale.
I'm not against solar or wind. I'm against those that say we don't need nuclear cause "renewables alone" are a sufficient solution.
I'm pro geothermal power, but against those that ignore geothermal is produced by very inefficient thorium consumption (decay) in the earths core. Thorium is as renewable an energy source as geothermal. Thorium decay produces radioactive radon gas, which is one of the radioactivity sources we inhale from constantly. It seeps from the ground continously.

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Apply critical thinking (432 comments)

I am thinking for myself. I have college level physics education (engineering basic curriculum), and I have friends and relatives that are accomplished electrical engineers in transmission, industrial electricity consumption (MW+ levels) and some generation experience.
You seem to ignore that the grid has ZERO energy storage characteristics. Ohms law isn't the issue. It's that electricity flows at the speed of light, use it or it overloads the grid (too much electricity = high voltage, too little = low voltage).
Load following sources can't shift production like 1% up or down every sub second period.
So I don't see you showing how I'm wrong to say that specially too many wind turbines on the grid with their power output from 0 - 35Km/h winds proportional to wind speed cubed, a mere drop from 35Km/h to 30Km/h reduces production by 1/3. The theory that having thousands of turbines linked up smooths that is certainly true when looking at 15+ minute power production intervals, but electricity is nanosecond by nanosecond !
The solution is technically simple, but economically daunting which is having gigantic electrical battery storage systems to smooth out the oscilations. To date it's still acknowledged as uneconomical. Huge capacitors would be much better (very fast charge/discharge, even though they have low energy density).
Bottom line, I'm yet to see a self contained grid operating on at least 2/3 wind + solar year round. The case in point isn't Germany, it's the whole European grid, with nuclear + hydro + baseload fossil + peaking fossil producing well over 3/4 total electricity production, in that scenario, wind has plenty of buffer in the rest of the grid.
That's why I insist on something like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Bermuda that is big enough to become an energy storage challenge to run without fossil or nuclear sources. Show just one of those running on solar+wind+geothermal+biomass+hydro alone... Make it happen. I'm indifferent to being proven wrong or not. I'm not cheering against renewables. I'm just posing the challenge hoping some of you is an accomplished transmission and generation electrical engineer that shows me with solid arguments I'm wrong (that I will run by my buddies, on of which is my dad, to verify it, BTW most of them are retired, they have zero vested interest in renewables failing).

about a week ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

I see you are a fair person and so am I.
I want solar and wind to get their fair chance, so I hear you that the extra cost is unfair, but it's a one time cost, so it's not like it's a deal breaker.
They should separate transmission costs and profits from generation costs and apply feed in tariff just to generation costs. And get rid of the $3000 cost.
That would make the number fair.
Hawaii citizens unite. Make it a campaign issue, force the hand of the politicians. Protest.
The interesting challenge is once Hawaii runs over 50% from solar and wind, it will mean overproduction during the day. What to do with the surplus energy ? Do they have viable pumped hydro sites ? Ultra expensive electrical batteries ? Those are challenges that have only been fully solved on much smaller grids that migrated from diesel generators to solar+wind+battery storage, considering ultra high electricity to being with (much higher even than oil thermal plants, due to small scale demand).
Germany is mostly doing it with pumped hydro and selling their overproduction to their neighbors and buying it back when it needs to (selling cheap and buying expensive, they are selling unplanned overproduction and buying surplus energy at peak demand times).

about a week ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Apply critical thinking (432 comments)

Fact one - Germany's CO2 emissions have gone up since they shutdown nuclear reactors after fukushima, and they still haven't managed to offset that.
  google "germany co2 nuclear 2014"

Fact two - Too much electricity in the grid is just as bad as too little.
Solar and wind are unpredictable energy sources, each cloud passing over then leaving a solar panel is changing electricity production, wind gusts are way worse.
Plus you have the problem of what to do if they have a few hours in the winter without wind or a windless summer night. In the peak of winter solar PV is producing 5% of what it produces in the best day of the year, so solar is next to useless all day long in the winter at Germany's latitude range.
I know they have some pumped hydro, some peaking fossil fuel sources, and can import electricity from its neighbors, but that's where the fun begins, if they need their neighbors to have lots of baseload nuclear, hydro, coal, natural gas, the bottom line is they are kind of preventing their neighbors from doing the same, since wind patterns affect large areas.

The Germany clean energy plan is a one trillion euro plan. For a 65GW peak demand grid, and to shift about 40GW worth of fossil fuels and nuclear to renewables. 40GW is 10 full sized nuclear reactors (1333GW each), even using the crazy anti nuclear numbers, that's 10 billion euros each, or 100 billion euros using the crazy inflated numbers the anti nuclear nuts use. One tenth the trillion dollar Energiewende plan.

about a week ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

If the rate is less than 1% more cancers than normal, then you just proven my point.

It will be really proven by the time Fukushima is some 10 years old, and we can show with statistics that cancers among even those most affected by the accidents radiation caused a small extra cancer and a tiny extra death rate. Like Chernobyl, the nuclear community learned very little from Fukushima, cause the mistake was disregard to common nuclear safety knowledge, rather than the need for fundamental redesign of state of the art reactors. The real problem is the reluctance of replacing all Gen II reactors with Gen III+ or Gen IV reactors. Not that I'm a big fan of AP1000 and similar designs, but they are safe enough to have two miles from my home.

Such a finding would both show that the anti nuclear community are very wrong on all of their predictions and should be ignored.
Most people are unaware that there are 435 operational nuclear reactors in the world with an output around 400GW electrical.
My contention is that if nuclear fission were really that unsafe, we would have many more accidents over the decades.
If France and USA can do safe nuclear for 30 years (top 2 users of nuclear fission today) why can't the whole world do safe nuclear ?

about a week ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

macpacheco Re:Nuclear? (432 comments)

You need to look no further than Germany renewables plan, flush with hundreds of billions of euro in funding has stalled. They can't add more wind or solar panels to the Germany grid. The problem isn't money. Every extra solar panel and wind turbine added to the grid increases grid instability a little more.
When are you environmentalist nuts start studying how the electrical grid actually works instead of having fantasies about how it should work.
If solar and wind were so great, Hawaii would have shutdown its oil based thermal plants already. They have very expensive electricity, making renewables cheap, yet it doesn't quite work, cause it's just not that simple.
Get a grip. Without nuclear, there's no hope to solve climate change. And nuclear is not the boogeyman your environmentalist friends have convinced you it is. Zero Fukushima deaths, zero confirmed radiation related cancers. Its been three years. It's already becoming another Chernobyl (as in the environmentalists overblow the problem about a thousand times).
Until the environmentalists show they understand the actual impact of nuclear accidents, accurately predicting the effects of nuclear accidents, in my view they are a bunch of looney tunes alarmists that should be given ZERO credit when the subject in nuclear power.

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Should have gone with thorium (174 comments)

The limited molten salt reactor research was conducted for military interests (nuclear powered bomber in the 60s). After ICBMs were perfected USAF lost interest in bombers capable of staying in the air for weeks. Oak Ridge National labs managed to get a few more years of molten salt research funding, eventually running a 5MW research reactor for 22000 hours. But since Thorium doesn't produce plutonium, U-233 is bad for bombs and the political interest was in plutonium fast breeders, funding was cancelled and molten salt research was restricted to theoretical work, even after they showed the solution that was proven to work and had none of the drawbacks of fast plutonium breeders (even lead cooled reactors have the problem with fast neutrons degrading internal reactor materials much faster than a thermal reactor).
    There are even White House tapes from the Nixon area that document talks between Nixon and California congressman showing there were fully vested in the fast breeders.
    So of course the answer is right now zero molten salt reactors operating, but my point is, we don't have LFTR (an advanced molten salt reactor) because its the right solution for civilian usage (99%+ burnup, core materials non reactive with oxygen or water, have all advantages of fast plutonium breeders, plus Thorium is essentially free, and uranium spent nuclear fuel could be diluted at 3% concentration to slowly burnup all spent nuclear fuel, freeze plug, catch pan, negative reactivity coeficient resulting in a truly walk away safe reactor with the sole risk of contamination in case of a precision military strike or a precision comet/asteroid hit).

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Should have gone with thorium (174 comments)

Then why is GE still proposing a Sodium cooled fast reactor instead of a Lead one ?
How many civilian lead cooled reactors in operation in Russia and former USSR states ?
Just because something works well for subs doesn't mean they are great for civilian needs.

If something was designed for military needs, gets no respect from me, cause it's the same reason we're mostly stuck with LWR and AHWR reactors.

Awareness that we got the light water reactor exactly because it was the solution decided upon for military usage, and since the US govt had no honest interest in fully funding civilian oriented nuclear research, we're so far stuck in LWR reactors that only use 0,65% of mined uranium, that is riddled with required safety systems, overall too expensive exactly because of the insistence on ignoring the simple, efficient solution, because it wasn't seen as good for military usage (molten salt reactors).

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Last hope (174 comments)

If you are only interested in criticizing then for you it's just videos on you tube.
There are many more resources. But since you are clearly not interested in studying the available materials and producing a consistent criticism of the vision around molten salt reactors, I don't see much of any point in trying to debate with you.
I'll reply solely for other's to understand why you are soooo wrong.

There are discussion forums.
And even many of the videos on you tube are deeply technical. If you aren't interested in watching them, then please don't criticize, you are just not interested in new technology.

If you are unwilling to understand the simple fact that large corporations are EXTREMELY RISK AVERSE, they only invest in something AFTER GOVERNMENT funded at least 90% of the basic R&D on that technology (typically more like 95+%), they expect to get that tech for free and do minor refinement and offer that as something great.
If you are inside the GE, Westinghouse, ... corporate bubble, it will likely be impossible for you to see outside your sanitized view of politics and economics.
The basic issues I'm trying to show you have nothing specific to nuclear power.
Its the same reason only Tesla came up with a real, revolutionary electric cars, instead of GM, Ford, Toyota.

You need to look no further than GE S-PRISM. They got all the basic research for free from the US government. The US government put billions towards fast U-238/Pu-239 breeders, then GE invested a few millions, and are unwilling to make the first one happen out of its own pocket. Instead its shopping around the world for the first guinea pig govt to pay for the first reactor, to pay for any mistakes in its design.
If GE was anything like the company that would be interested in thorium, GE would already have the first S-PRISM reactor being built somewhere to put its money where its mouth is. But it doesn't. I rest my case. Westinghouse, AREVA, Toshiba, Bechtel, ... Are no better. They are only interested in investing on absolute sure things, zero balls, zero willingness to take large risks.

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Should have gone with thorium (174 comments)

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors are a "breeder reactor", as in they produce more U-233 from Th-232 than they consume.
U-238 -> Pu-239 fast breeders are trouble, because of the Sodium, because of the fast neutrons wreaking havoc inside the reactor, and because Plutonium is probably an even dirtier word than nuclear in the minds of the general population.
If Fast Breeders were a good idea, Russia would be filled with them. They have been operating a few for almost 40 years. If they were economical, they would have super seeded their light water reactor fleet.
The gossip is they always build them in pairs. Two reactors for a single turbine. The maintenance is so heavy, you don't even plan to have both operational at once.
Just lookup sodium fires on youtube.
I can't be OK with another reactor that uses materials that want to spontaneously explode / catch fire with water or oxygen. A really bad idea. Even though they could probably be engineered to be safer than current light water reactors (big pressure cooker at 150 atmospheres / 2500 psi internal pressure). We need a reactor that is safe because it uses the laws of physics smartly instead of trying to defy physics. That's by far the most important feature of molten salt reactors, walk away safe. Impossible to contaminate the surrounding environment unless hit by an asteroid or a precise military strike.

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Should have gone with thorium (174 comments)

I'm against funding fusion because it's not really meant to work. It's meant to be a glimmer of hope to take the heat away from coal and gasoline burning, a way to tell the public "we have the future covered".
If the government was even half serious about cheap nuclear energy, they would have reinstated molten salt research back in the 80s when most knowledge base on the subject was still alive (versus today where all experts from the 60s and 70s are either dead or too old to work on this). The reality is that GE, Westinghouse, ... are lobbying behind the scenes to prevent this from happening. No, I don't have any real proof of that, but they would be really stupid if they aren't, because they would be the first ones to loose billions in yearly revenue if molten salt reactors materialize.
The NRC has zero interest in moving from a prescription based regulatory model to a performance based regulatory model. Since they work based on how you must work, and they have zero regulatory framework for molten salt reactors, hence that's an enourmous entry barrier to molten salt reactors. Even if the US government don't want to actively invest on molten salt nuclear development, they could at least mandate the NRC work with molten salt startup to develop a molten salt regulatory framework without charging them the usual US$ 300/hr fee they charge the light water reactor industry. Just that alone would be enough to create investment interest in the area, since the current implied message from the US government on molten salt reactors is "No way Jose !".

about a week ago
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Cost Skyrockets For United States' Share of ITER Fusion Project

macpacheco Re:Should have gone with thorium (174 comments)

It would take 40 billion to do it the GE / Westinghouse / Areva / Hitachi way of doing (the complete opposite of the startup way).
There is already a credible effort to produce a DMSR (KISS version of the Thorium LFTR) in Canada. Terrestrial Energy Inc, Dr. David LeBlanc is working on this. They already have the funding for the next year's work. And due to the far more sane Canadian version of the NRC regulation, they are promising to have the first DMSR in commercial operation in 10 years.
Lookup DMSR (denatured molten salt reactor) in youtube.
Instead of using Thorium in a breeding configuration, the reactor will startup with a mix of spent nuclear fuel + thorium and will get some extra enriched uranium yearly (about 20% of the uranium required per MWt of a regular water cooled reactor).
The problem is there is zero interest in the USA to invest public money on non military nuclear research, unless the party getting the money is already investing millions on republican / democrat politicians. Startups without well connected DC backers are out of the game.
The reality is that today green peace has far more political clout than the nuclear industry, they have so much clout that anything remotely related to nuclear gets zero interest from politicians. Its a "radioactive" subject, pun intended.
And there we go slaughtering the goose that is laying golden eggs every week.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Forbes tries to smear Tesla and gets burned !

macpacheco macpacheco writes  |  about a year 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  |  about a year and a half 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  |  about a year and a half 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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