Author Topic: Global Warming etc  (Read 4399 times)

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Offline Alfred the Great

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Global Warming etc
« on: November 29, 2004, 11:34:59 pm »
Dear People,

A serious, non-provocative discussion (I hope).

I recently heard that the Greens now think that Nuclear power might be the answer to the global warming thing, a view which I have long held on the basis that the oil must run out sometime. Of course France gets most of its power in this way and they are not all glowing in the dark yet (sorry, must keep it serious otherwise the intellectuals will have a go).

But, assuming that we could safely deal with the main objections to nuclear, viz: safety and disposal of waste, there still remains the unpalatable truth, which is that no matter where the power comes from, it all ends up as heat eventually which will inevitably add to the global warming problem.

So in a world with an exponentially rising population are we doomed to get hotter and hotter, and should we not just try to adapt? How could we adapt? And should we not be using the limited supplies of oil left to us to try to develop the alternative energy sources, instead of just burning it profligately?

ATG

(and I didn't mention gas guzzlers once...... oops yes I just did.............smack hand)
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

Offline Swan

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2004, 10:17:22 am »
Fission rather than fussion would be a better (though infinately less likely) answer.

Less heat, less waste, much cleaner. and here is a wiki on the subject

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fission

sadly it's still very much a pipe dream, although there have been some interesting results from various labs around the globe
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Offline Alfred the Great

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2004, 10:35:57 am »
One other thing which I forgot to mention on my original post was, how long will the uranium/plutonium etc last if we start using it for world wide power, as compared to oil?

ATG
Confucius he say "a dog is for life not just for Christmas Dinner"
 

Offline Swan

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2004, 11:28:43 am »
Quote
One other thing which I forgot to mention on my original post was, how long will the uranium/plutonium etc last if we start using it for world wide power, as compared to oil?

ATG


I don't think that will really  be an issue considering the small amounts of material involved (small in comparison to fossil fuels).

It will only become an issue if people really start making money out of it, which may lead to suppression of research into alternatives including fission, hydrogen, etc

Then we are back to square one
Godwin's Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2004, 12:00:43 pm »
Quote
Fission rather than fussion would be a better (though infinately less likely) answer.

Less heat, less waste, much cleaner.


It's the other way round.

All of today’s commercial reactors are fission (i.e. splitting heavy elements) rather than fusion (i.e. smashing hydrogen together to form helium). There are a couple of fusion projects and the US and Japan have now thrown in their lot with Europe. This has resulted in a lot of arguments about where to build the next reactor.

Fusion creates more, not less, heat. It does produce radioactivity, but less.

“Fusion power is fifty years away. And always will be”
 

Offline Swan

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2004, 01:09:52 pm »
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It's the other way round.



Yup my mistake, I have a mental block on those two
Godwin's Law:

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Offline trinity

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2004, 08:03:42 pm »
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One other thing which I forgot to mention on my original post was, how long will the uranium/plutonium etc last if we start using it for world wide power, as compared to oil?


Ages. The trouble with Uranium is that the bulk of it isn't easily fissionable, and it needs to be enriched to make it useable directly in reactors (this, incidentally, is where the "depleted" uranium comes from that the Russians, British and Americans make anti-tank rounds from, as a byproduct of the process - it is hard, heavy, and very cheap since it isn't much use for anything else, apart from armour).

But you *can* make the otherwise unproductive uranium fissionable by turning it into plutonium. Pretty much all fission reactors do this to some extent, although devices such as the old British Magnox reactors do it lots (to make plutonium for weapons, originally), as to the fast neutron breeder reactors which are designed to do it to make fuel for power-generation purposes, and have been built and operated in the UK and Japan.

As to environmental hazard, one of the problems with nuclear energy has, historically, been its connection with the military and with governments and their political agendas. Neither organisations, nor purposes, are known for being particularly pleasant or efficient. There isn't any particular reason why it shouldn't be possible to operate nuclear power generation facilities safely.

Incidentally, making more heat isn't that much of a problem. Heat is only a problem if it can't get out, but instead sticks around and warms things up. Much of what causes the heat to be retained is carbon dioxide produced as a byproduct of current heat-generating activities. Make the heat other ways, and there will be less insulation and so even if we're making more waste heat, mor ewill be radiated to space.

« Last Edit: November 30, 2004, 08:04:12 pm by trinity »
 

cheenu

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Re: Global Warming etc
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2004, 01:46:33 pm »
Just a note on the side, please bare with me.

It has been a few years that I have heard of cellphones damaging effects on the brain, and my basic physics make me understand the relationship between the microwaves and the heat that this causes. However, having read an article by the UN's telecoms branch, ITU, gone public today, I have just  made a search trying to see if anyone had "conceived" a potential future risk between a cellphone subscription (and usage) boom and potential addition to the global warming process. Do any of you global warming fundis out there have any leads to give me in terms of research, resources, etc.

Many thanks.

Cheenu
 

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