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Old 2013-02-28, 01:03   Link #441
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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You still haven't solved the issue that for a given amount of funding, solar panels on Earth is still more economical than some Space installation. There is no reason to do things the hard way unless we had to. Earth energy collectors are cheaper to build, cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to transfer energy to where it is needed. You are trying to invent teleportation before we mastered flight.
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Old 2013-02-28, 01:12   Link #442
Dr. Casey
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Spoiler:


I hope that many of the posts made in this thread can be added to this list some day.
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Old 2013-02-28, 01:18   Link #443
Ithekro
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Well if some a bunch of rich folk are trying to set up a Asteroid mining company and another is trying to send a couple to Mars in the next five years, than the seeds could be set for inventing an industry up there rather than down here.

One of the struggling things has been seeing profit in the stars. Such a large scale project would be such an endevour. Sure you could do it cheaper on Earth, but grand scale projects can attract people to them. Setting up solar panels on houses does not generally draw much attention to itself, nor is it for sure able to cover the amount of area of the planet's surface required for the majority of the Human race's energy needs in the long term. Plus getting all the stuff to work in orbit would basically set up an interplanetary economy (at least as far as mining operations, depending on were one needs to go to find the metals needed in the amounts needed). The manufacture would be either in orbit, or in a low gravity enviroment (Lunar factories most likely if the materials can be fabricated in such conditions without having to drag them down to Earth just to send them back up again). Plus their would need to be an infrustructure and companies to do repair work on the Array. There is profit to be had once the ball is rolling, though it will take a good deal of time for the investors to get their money back (much like any of the Private Space ventures in the last decade).
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Last edited by Ithekro; 2013-02-28 at 01:31.
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Old 2013-02-28, 05:38   Link #444
DonQuigleone
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@Nuclear fuel being limited.

I interviewed with a Nuclear consultancy once. According to them, Nuclear Fuel is effectively limitless.

While you might read there's only "80 years of uranium left", that's only at current prices. If prices went up only a small amount, you'd see a large increase in viable reserves.

Furthermore, the price of Uranium, compared to other electricity generation, is only a small fraction of the cost to run a Nuclear facility (~9%).

Finally, if push came to shove, we could just build Breeder Reactors, which don't ever really "run out" of fuel. However, the Nuclear Engineers I spoke to didn't think the process was worth it at current prices. If things change in the future, we could easily see the mass of spent fuel rods going into reprocessing plants.
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Old 2013-02-28, 06:09   Link #445
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Well if some a bunch of rich folk are trying to set up a Asteroid mining company and another is trying to send a couple to Mars in the next five years, than the seeds could be set for inventing an industry up there rather than down here.

One of the struggling things has been seeing profit in the stars. Such a large scale project would be such an endevour. Sure you could do it cheaper on Earth, but grand scale projects can attract people to them. Setting up solar panels on houses does not generally draw much attention to itself, nor is it for sure able to cover the amount of area of the planet's surface required for the majority of the Human race's energy needs in the long term. Plus getting all the stuff to work in orbit would basically set up an interplanetary economy (at least as far as mining operations, depending on were one needs to go to find the metals needed in the amounts needed). The manufacture would be either in orbit, or in a low gravity enviroment (Lunar factories most likely if the materials can be fabricated in such conditions without having to drag them down to Earth just to send them back up again). Plus their would need to be an infrustructure and companies to do repair work on the Array. There is profit to be had once the ball is rolling, though it will take a good deal of time for the investors to get their money back (much like any of the Private Space ventures in the last decade).
You know who we can convince?

The military industrial complex. As long as there is war in space, there is profit for it. And there will be technological advancement and fantastic amount of power around the world.

The Soviet Union kept building tanks while the Americans kept building satellites during the Cold War - look who had the edge in the end?

Think of the endless strategic possibilities of a colony drop as compared to an ICBM! And the Psycommu system! And NEWTYPES!
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Old 2013-02-28, 07:55   Link #446
ganbaru
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Analysis: Cuts unlikely to deliver promised budget savings
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...91R08A20130228
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On paper, there's one thing to like about the ugly spending cuts due to kick in on Friday: $85 billion in budget savings at a time when Washington continues to bleed red ink.

In reality, the so-called "sequester" is likely to yield less than half that much in the short term.

In part, that has to do with the complex way the government handles its money. But it also reflects the probability that the spending cuts will hurt the economy, which in turn will lower tax revenue and drive up the costs of social safety-net programs like unemployment insurance.
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Old 2013-02-28, 09:31   Link #447
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I see there is still some misunderstanding of what ratios are, so let me toss out an analogy.

Watching anime kills 1 person out of a hundred per hour of anime watched. So, if you had a hundred people watching anime in particular hour, odds are about 1 person will die. Whether suffering a coronary from sitting still for so long, or a bookcase calls on them, or a meteor comes through the roof and hits you... cause of death doesn't matter.

Climbing a particular mountain kills 10 people per hour spent climbing, out of every 100. Again, cause of death doesn't matter. So, if you had a hundred people climbing this mountain for an hour, about 10 of them will die. There could be some variation, ie, maybe 8 people or 13 people will die in reality. But on average, 10 will die.

It doesn't matter if you scale up the number of people watching anime or climbing the mountain. It doesn't matter if you shrink them. The ratios stay the same. You can have a million people watching anime, and still only 1 person every hundred per hour, will die on average.

Regardless of what you like, watching anime is, and always will be, safer than climbing a particular mountain.

As of January 18, 2013 in 31 countries 437 nuclear power plant units with an installed electric net capacity of about 372 GW are in operation and 68 plants with an installed capacity of 65 GW are in 15 countries under construction. That is a lot of nuclear power, and yet the ratio remains the same. And this doesn't count the nuke reactors on ships and subs, but those numbers are reflected in the 0.04.

If we powered our world solely with nukes, only 4 people would die for every 3,600 that would have died if we powered our world solely with oil instead.

tl/dr: whether we have 10 nuke plans or 10,000, the ratio of power to death is still 0.04. The number of actual people killed goes up,
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Old 2013-02-28, 09:59   Link #448
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
If we powered our world solely with nukes, only 4 people would die for every 3,600 that would have died if we powered our world solely with oil instead.
Something to bear in mind is that your numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story.

For instance, most Coal plants are in developing nations, most Nuclear Plants are in highly developed nations, with Oil being found everywhere. Developing countries tend to have much more lax health and safety laws then developed nations, if you were instead to just compare these industries within the USA, you might find a much smaller difference.

Furthermore, the Nuclear industry is the most tightly regulated industry in the entire world. Consequently there's a lot more oversight over health and safety then in Coal. The safety you speak might be more as a result of more or less regulation in those industries.

Finally, if we speak of armed conflict, then any mineral resource has the potential to be fought over with many deaths. Just as many wars go on today over Oil, there are also many wars going on over Uranium. And if the world switched to Nuclear Power in a big way, those wars would become similar in scale to those fought over Oil.

What is needed is an energy production regime that uses every possible sourge of energy available to us., We need renewables, clean fossil fuels (Carbon Capture?), and Nuclear. The more variety we have, the more robust our energy regime will be. And Robust it must be, because without a stable supply of energy our world would crumble.
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Old 2013-02-28, 10:55   Link #449
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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The point is we really should be using nuclear more than we are currently. It isn't logic that prevents more nuclear plants; it's the fiction that somehow coal and oil plants are "better".

I full on expect multiple power sources. But only nuclear is labelled as inherently evil by those who have no idea what they are talking about.
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Old 2013-02-28, 11:15   Link #450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Something to bear in mind is that your numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story.

For instance, most Coal plants are in developing nations, most Nuclear Plants are in highly developed nations, with Oil being found everywhere. Developing countries tend to have much more lax health and safety laws then developed nations, if you were instead to just compare these industries within the USA, you might find a much smaller difference.
There is some truth there, with coal in the US dropping to 15. But as you can see, coal still kills many more. The link I pointed to awhile back has more information that answers your assertions.
Quote:
Finally, if we speak of armed conflict, then any mineral resource has the potential to be fought over with many deaths. Just as many wars go on today over Oil, there are also many wars going on over Uranium. And if the world switched to Nuclear Power in a big way, those wars would become similar in scale to those fought over Oil.
False Equivalence. The reason we fight those wars, is because we needed a LOT of oil, and the vast majority was in the middle east. No one fights wars over coal, because it is everywhere. No one fights over uranium, because you only need a small fraction of it and it is everywhere. We'll be fighting wars over drinking water long before that.
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Old 2013-02-28, 11:35   Link #451
DonQuigleone
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
False Equivalence. The reason we fight those wars, is because we needed a LOT of oil, and the vast majority was in the middle east. No one fights wars over coal, because it is everywhere. No one fights over uranium, because you only need a small fraction of it and it is everywhere. We'll be fighting wars over drinking water long before that.
There are a few countries that produce most of the world's Uranium ore. The two big ones are Australia and Canada, but you also have Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Namibia and Niger. None of those latter countries are particularly stable, and if Uranium became a lot more valuable, they could be major conflict hotspots.

It's the same for Oil. The Oil that's found in the US or Russia, or even Saudi Arabia (3 of the largest Oil producing countries) is not where the Oil sparked conflicts occur. It's in the countries with smaller reserves, but that are much more unstable.
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Old 2013-02-28, 11:50   Link #452
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Here in Australia we have half the world's uranium. If your country want to buy some, you just had to ask. No need to go to some war torn hellhole.

Small nations are only digging their own deposits because they are banned from buying from us.

There is no uranium shortage, we are sitting on our reserves because there isn't that many people to sell it to. As I said, people are treating nuclear power like it is somehow evil. There are even those who are dumb enough to think Japan doesn't have nuclear power because Japan was anti-nuclear weapons. Logic doesn't work against pure stupidity.
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Old 2013-02-28, 11:52   Link #453
willx
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
Here in Australia we have half the world's uranium. If your country want to buy some, you just had to ask. No need to go to some war torn hellhole.
Uranium isn't uranium if I didn't have to pry it from the cold dead hands of some sort of indigenous population. Then again, both Canada and Australia, the main places where uranium is present .. have done a lot of prying already..
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Old 2013-02-28, 12:03   Link #454
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Uranium isn't uranium if I didn't have to pry it from the cold dead hands of some sort of indigenous population. Then again, both Canada and Australia, the main places where uranium is present .. have done a lot of prying already..
The uranium mines here are of course, on known indigenous lands. But it doesn't cost very much to pay off the traditional land owners if we need to. We are just having trouble marketing the stuff; we tried to sell to India, but there was complaint that they would make nukes out of them. Frankly since India is already a nuclear power it shouldn't matter anymore. But oh well.
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Old 2013-02-28, 13:55   Link #455
mangamuscle
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Someone should invest in developing a working thorium reactor, you can't produce weapon grade uranium or plutonium with it and does not produce dangerous waste. That should be mankinds short-term energy goal. Well, india is building one, but I am sure that if developed countries were also at it we could get them in less than five years.
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Old 2013-02-28, 14:09   Link #456
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by ogon_bat View Post
Someone should invest in developing a working thorium reactor, you can't produce weapon grade uranium or plutonium with it and does not produce dangerous waste. That should be mankinds short-term energy goal. Well, india is building one, but I am sure that if developed countries were also at it we could get them in less than five years.
Why should it matter if plutonium gets made?

I mention it previously, that since I no longer trust America with nuclear weapons, I don't see the point of restricting nuclear proliferation anymore. Right now all the restrictions are not designed to make the world safer, but to make sure America can invade other people easier.

Nuclear power exists. Deal with it.
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Old 2013-02-28, 14:24   Link #457
mangamuscle
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
Nuclear power exists. Deal with it.
I feel like I have been confused with Barack Obama or some other very influential fellow. Nope, it is not me who makes the rules, as you have pointed out, Australia will not sell uranium to India (or China) for so called "fears of nuclear proliferation". It is irrelevant whether this a gimmick or a clear and present danger, the USA and EU will not change their stance and developing countries will not build nuclear reactors unless they can secure secure the fuel first. So in the meantime they continue to burn coal and oil. But Thorium would be the answer, not only it is more common than Uranium (and therefore cheaper), as I said it does not produces dangerous radioactive waste (which even today can be an environmental hazard).
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Old 2013-02-28, 17:26   Link #458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
Why should it matter if plutonium gets made?

I mention it previously, that since I no longer trust America with nuclear weapons, I don't see the point of restricting nuclear proliferation anymore. Right now all the restrictions are not designed to make the world safer, but to make sure America can invade other people easier.

Nuclear power exists. Deal with it.
I'm more gung-ho for nuclear power than most, but... this is still a concern. Iran has a history of supplying militants. It wouldn't take much to supply a group with a weapon and detonate it in Israel or the US. MAD only works if both sides are vulnerable. Al Qaeda and other groups have no centralized country to hit.
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Old 2013-02-28, 18:14   Link #459
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I'm more gung-ho for nuclear power than most, but... this is still a concern. Iran has a history of supplying militants. It wouldn't take much to supply a group with a weapon and detonate it in Israel or the US. MAD only works if both sides are vulnerable. Al Qaeda and other groups have no centralized country to hit.
And? A bigger concern is Pakistan where they are far more militant, far more unstable, and has nuclear weapons.

You know what's the difference between Iran and Pakistan? America can't invade Pakistan. Because Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Enough with the excuses, nobody is buying it.

Unless you advocate turning Pakistan into a crater, no point wasting words on why you think Iran should be put down.
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Old 2013-02-28, 18:44   Link #460
Ithekro
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Technically we already invaded Pakistan and got away with it. We just didn't have a need to topple its government.
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