Discussion:
Hybrid car cost of ownership
(too old to reply)
Tom Del Rosso
2005-03-05 16:26:32 UTC
Permalink
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
--
Reply in group, but if emailing add
2 more zeros and remove the obvious.
y_p_w
2005-03-05 18:29:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
The cost of batteries is unclear. The cost of NiMH rechargeable
batteries is going down, so the replacement costs could be lower
in the future. Right now they're for the early adopters. I
wouldn't say "not ready for primetime" but rather "a work in
progress". They seem to be fine vehicles, but the cost of
ownership is high compared to comparable size/performance gasoline
powered cars. You've got to really want one.

Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them

It's believed that the Toyota Prius is turning a profit now.
Tom Del Rosso
2005-03-05 19:08:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by y_p_w
Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them
It's believed that the Toyota Prius is turning a profit now.
Thanks, but it sounds like there was no lie, since there really was no
demand at the real price.
--
Reply in group, but if emailing add
2 more zeros and remove the obvious.
JazzMan
2005-03-05 19:08:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by y_p_w
Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them
The EV-1 was never intended to be sold to consumers. That
vehicle was only available under a lease program, GM used
that lease program to do long-term testing of electric
vehicle technology. It was a sad day indeed when the program
was terminated at the end of it's run and the cars were all
taken back. Every single lesee really liked the car and it
worked well for them. If it had been available in my area
I would have leased one in a heartbeat. The volatility and
the gaming going on in the gasoline industry is really
hurting people now, having an all-electric car would allow
someone who truly wanted to to step out of the game altogether.

BTW, the reason for the high production costs of the EV-1 was
because every one was a hand-built and hand-assembled car. If
GM had set up their usual mass-production assembly line for
the EV-1 it likely would sell for less than what a mid-level
SUV sells for now. Fundamentally, the only really expensive
part was the motor and the battery pack, but don't forget that
those costs were offset by elimination of expensive to design
and build transmission systems and complex emissions control
systems on gas engines. No fuel injectors, no catalyst, no
smog pumps or EGR systems, no exhaust system at all for that
matter, no fuel systems, no evaporative vapor recovery system,
no clutch system, no tranny cooler, no radiator, no antifreeze,
I could go on and on. Ultimately I would see an all-electric
direct-drive car being cheaper to make than a regular petro-fuel
vehicle.

Another plus of an all-E car is that it can use better
electrical sources, including reforming fuel cell technology,
and renewable non-carbon energy sources.


JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Bob Paulin
2005-03-05 19:38:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by y_p_w
Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them
The EV-1 was never intended to be sold to consumers. That
vehicle was only available under a lease program, GM used
that lease program to do long-term testing of electric
vehicle technology. It was a sad day indeed when the program
was terminated at the end of it's run and the cars were all
taken back. Every single lesee really liked the car and it
worked well for them. If it had been available in my area
I would have leased one in a heartbeat. The volatility and
the gaming going on in the gasoline industry is really
hurting people now, having an all-electric car would allow
someone who truly wanted to to step out of the game altogether.
BTW, the reason for the high production costs of the EV-1 was
because every one was a hand-built and hand-assembled car. If
GM had set up their usual mass-production assembly line for
the EV-1 it likely would sell for less than what a mid-level
SUV sells for now. Fundamentally, the only really expensive
part was the motor and the battery pack, but don't forget that
those costs were offset by elimination of expensive to design
and build transmission systems and complex emissions control
systems on gas engines. No fuel injectors, no catalyst, no
smog pumps or EGR systems, no exhaust system at all for that
matter, no fuel systems, no evaporative vapor recovery system,
no clutch system, no tranny cooler, no radiator, no antifreeze,
I could go on and on. Ultimately I would see an all-electric
direct-drive car being cheaper to make than a regular petro-fuel
vehicle.
Another plus of an all-E car is that it can use better
electrical sources, including reforming fuel cell technology,
and renewable non-carbon energy sources.
JazzMan
--
Of course. now that it has been established that hybrids will use less fuel
- thus pay fewer fuel/road taxes - Big Brother has proposed that ALL cars
be equipped with spyware - er, monitoring devices - which will determine
how many miles have been driven in order to tax the car owner by-the-mile.

Of course, "absolutely nothing else" would ever be monitored - such as
speeds driven, locations driven to, etc., etc......

One has to wonder why the government is so enthuisiastic about hybrids.
When was the last time YOU heard ANY politician praise a program which will
result in fewer taxes collected?

Could such monitoring of the general population be but a single reason?
JazzMan
2005-03-05 20:16:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Paulin
Of course. now that it has been established that hybrids will use less fuel
- thus pay fewer fuel/road taxes - Big Brother has proposed that ALL cars
be equipped with spyware - er, monitoring devices - which will determine
how many miles have been driven in order to tax the car owner by-the-mile.
Of course, "absolutely nothing else" would ever be monitored - such as
speeds driven, locations driven to, etc., etc......
One has to wonder why the government is so enthuisiastic about hybrids.
When was the last time YOU heard ANY politician praise a program which will
result in fewer taxes collected?
Could such monitoring of the general population be but a single reason?
What's really funny is that because the CAFE standards have
been frozen at 1980's levels and with the burgeoning sales
of gas-sucking SUVs the actual amount of taxes being collected
per vehicle mile are higher now than they ever have been. So,
where's all the extra money going? It's being siphoned off to
pay for invasions of other countries and trying to make up
the shortfalls caused by the massive tax cuts awarded the
wealthiest people in the country. Follow the money, that's
the key, and the money goes to the hydrocarbon fuels industry.

JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Bob Paulin
2005-03-07 16:56:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
What's really funny is that because the CAFE standards have
been frozen at 1980's levels and with the burgeoning sales
of gas-sucking SUVs the actual amount of taxes being collected
per vehicle mile are higher now than they ever have been. So,
where's all the extra money going? It's being siphoned off to
pay for invasions of other countries and trying to make up
the shortfalls caused by the massive tax cuts awarded the
wealthiest people in the country. Follow the money, that's
the key, and the money goes to the hydrocarbon fuels industry.
Or, perhaps, it will be siphoned off to pay for the disposal of of all the
hazardous waste contained in the batteries and computerized controls in
these hybrids and full-electrics....if such a fuel-tax surplus actually
DOES exist....which I doubt.

I'm afraid I AM following the money.......right down the toilet with these
hybrids....
Steve
2005-03-07 17:29:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Bob Paulin
Of course. now that it has been established that hybrids will use less fuel
- thus pay fewer fuel/road taxes - Big Brother has proposed that ALL cars
be equipped with spyware - er, monitoring devices - which will determine
how many miles have been driven in order to tax the car owner by-the-mile.
Of course, "absolutely nothing else" would ever be monitored - such as
speeds driven, locations driven to, etc., etc......
One has to wonder why the government is so enthuisiastic about hybrids.
When was the last time YOU heard ANY politician praise a program which will
result in fewer taxes collected?
Could such monitoring of the general population be but a single reason?
What's really funny is that because the CAFE standards have
been frozen at 1980's levels and with the burgeoning sales
of gas-sucking SUVs the actual amount of taxes being collected
per vehicle mile are higher now than they ever have been. So,
where's all the extra money going? It's being siphoned off to
pay for invasions of other countries and trying to make up
the shortfalls caused by the massive tax cuts awarded the
wealthiest people in the country.
<coughBULLSHITcough>
C. E. White
2005-03-07 17:56:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
What's really funny is that because the CAFE standards have
been frozen at 1980's levels and with the burgeoning sales
of gas-sucking SUVs the actual amount of taxes being collected
per vehicle mile are higher now than they ever have been. So,
where's all the extra money going? It's being siphoned off to
pay for invasions of other countries and trying to make up
the shortfalls caused by the massive tax cuts awarded the
wealthiest people in the country. Follow the money, that's
the key, and the money goes to the hydrocarbon fuels industry.
From http://www.house.gov/mica/projhwygastax.htm :

"From December 1990 until October 1997, and in response
to large federal budget deficits, Congress returned a
portion of the gasoline excise tax to general revenues.
This meant that funds from the gas tax were being spent for
purposes other than transportation.

"Congress passed the Transportation Efficiency Act for
the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998. This landmark
legislation "locked in" the Highway Trust Fund, meaning that
the federal gas tax revenues can only be spent on highway
and transit needs rather than on a myriad of other spending
items through the general fund.

"Currently the federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4
cents per gallon. One tenth of one cent (0.1 cents) per
gallon is dedicated to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank
Trust Fund. 2.86 cents per gallon (about 15%) is allocated
for mass transit purposes and is earmarked to the Mass
Transit Account within the Highway Trust Fund. The balance,
15.44 cents per gallon, is earmarked to the Highway Account,
which is also within the Highway Trust Fund.

"Since fiscal year 1997, federal gasoline taxes have
generated over $20 billion per year for the Highway Trust
Fund. Through a formula set by Congress, a portion of the
Highway Trust Fund is returned to each state each year for
various transportation and infrastructure projects."

Ed
William R. Watt
2005-03-09 13:33:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by C. E. White
2.86 cents per gallon (about 15%) is allocated
for mass transit purposes and is earmarked to the Mass
Transit Account within the Highway Trust Fund.
The government of Canada has also started allocating some of the gasoline
tax to public transit (not *mass* transit because here in Canada is't all
run by socialist governments under the control of public sector labour
unions. The head of the local municipal employees' union brags that he
runs the city). The provincial governments are also turning over part of
the sales tax to city governments for transit. Here in Ottawa people pay
less than half price to ride the buses, the other half paid by property
owners. At the same time people pay full cost for other city services like
drinking water, child day care, and electricity distribution.

Ottawa council just approved this year's city budget which includes $36
million for new hybrid city buses. There has been no trial purchase of
hybrids before "jumping on the bandwagon" and starting to replace all the
gas or deisel buses with hybrids. But then Ottawa is committing to spend
$1 billion (currently $750 million and escalating) on putting commuter
trains on abandonded railway lines in the suburban areas.

In my experience environmental pressure groups do a lot of financial harm
with no actual benefit to the environment, however you care to define
"environment". It's like every other madness which sweeps though
society every once in a while. I only object because they're doing it by
confiscating my savings through taxes.

Anybody checked the price of Ballard Power's shares lately, the fuel cell
company which was supposed to rid us of gasoline engines?


--
Steve W.
2005-03-05 22:03:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by y_p_w
Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them
The EV-1 was never intended to be sold to consumers. That
vehicle was only available under a lease program, GM used
that lease program to do long-term testing of electric
vehicle technology. It was a sad day indeed when the program
was terminated at the end of it's run and the cars were all
taken back. Every single lesee really liked the car and it
worked well for them. If it had been available in my area
I would have leased one in a heartbeat. The volatility and
the gaming going on in the gasoline industry is really
hurting people now, having an all-electric car would allow
someone who truly wanted to to step out of the game altogether.
BTW, the reason for the high production costs of the EV-1 was
because every one was a hand-built and hand-assembled car. If
GM had set up their usual mass-production assembly line for
the EV-1 it likely would sell for less than what a mid-level
SUV sells for now. Fundamentally, the only really expensive
part was the motor and the battery pack, but don't forget that
those costs were offset by elimination of expensive to design
and build transmission systems and complex emissions control
systems on gas engines. No fuel injectors, no catalyst, no
smog pumps or EGR systems, no exhaust system at all for that
matter, no fuel systems, no evaporative vapor recovery system,
no clutch system, no tranny cooler, no radiator, no antifreeze,
I could go on and on. Ultimately I would see an all-electric
direct-drive car being cheaper to make than a regular petro-fuel
vehicle.
Another plus of an all-E car is that it can use better
electrical sources, including reforming fuel cell technology,
and renewable non-carbon energy sources.
JazzMan
--
I love folks who preach how great electric cars are. They never take
into account that generating the power to charge that vehicle is doing
more damage than running an auto. It also seems to escape their notice
that electrics are only useful in large cities since they have such
terrible range they are impractical in the rest of the country. The only
real non good source for electrical power on a long term scale is
nuclear and the green folks scream when they hear that. But it's a fact.
No other power source is even close.
As for fuel cells they are a joke. Current cells fail in less than 10K
and are dependent on natural gas to produce the energy. Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are not
really big sellers.



----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
y_p_w
2005-03-06 00:54:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve W.
Post by JazzMan
Post by y_p_w
Certainly many of the electrics in recent years were sold at a net
loss. Remember the GM EV1, Toyota RAV4 Electric, or the Honda EV
Plus? GM claimed there was no demand for the EV1 (a lie). The
real reason was because it was costing them $80,000 each to make
them
The EV-1 was never intended to be sold to consumers. That
vehicle was only available under a lease program, GM used
that lease program to do long-term testing of electric
vehicle technology. It was a sad day indeed when the program
was terminated at the end of it's run and the cars were all
taken back. Every single lesee really liked the car and it
worked well for them. If it had been available in my area
I would have leased one in a heartbeat. The volatility and
the gaming going on in the gasoline industry is really
hurting people now, having an all-electric car would allow
someone who truly wanted to to step out of the game altogether.
BTW, the reason for the high production costs of the EV-1 was
because every one was a hand-built and hand-assembled car. If
GM had set up their usual mass-production assembly line for
the EV-1 it likely would sell for less than what a mid-level
SUV sells for now. Fundamentally, the only really expensive
part was the motor and the battery pack, but don't forget that
those costs were offset by elimination of expensive to design
and build transmission systems and complex emissions control
systems on gas engines. No fuel injectors, no catalyst, no
smog pumps or EGR systems, no exhaust system at all for that
matter, no fuel systems, no evaporative vapor recovery system,
no clutch system, no tranny cooler, no radiator, no antifreeze,
I could go on and on. Ultimately I would see an all-electric
direct-drive car being cheaper to make than a regular petro-fuel
vehicle.
Another plus of an all-E car is that it can use better
electrical sources, including reforming fuel cell technology,
and renewable non-carbon energy sources.
JazzMan
--
I love folks who preach how great electric cars are. They never take
into account that generating the power to charge that vehicle is doing
more damage than running an auto. It also seems to escape their notice
that electrics are only useful in large cities since they have such
terrible range they are impractical in the rest of the country. The only
real non good source for electrical power on a long term scale is
nuclear and the green folks scream when they hear that. But it's a fact.
No other power source is even close.
As for fuel cells they are a joke. Current cells fail in less than 10K
and are dependent on natural gas to produce the energy. Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are not
really big sellers.
Generating the power isn't a net environmental loss. The electricity
can often be produced elsewhere - away from urban centers. In the
end, electric vehicles aren't putting out anything while they're
stopped. Powerplants used to generate electricity are far more
efficient than automotive engines.

It's wasn't simply about what's available now, but that there needs
to be a learning curve in advancing the technology. I'm sure that
electric and fuel cell technology will advance like gasoline engines
have over the past hundred years.
JazzMan
2005-03-06 03:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Comments in line below...
Post by Steve W.
I love folks who preach how great electric cars are.
Yay! I'm loved!!!!!!
Post by Steve W.
They never take
into account that generating the power to charge that vehicle is doing
more damage than running an auto.
Of course we do! How could we not? Anyone who thinks electricity
comes from nowhere is an idiot. Large scale power production, say from
a large power plant, produces less pollution for the power generated
because of highly efficient technologies that can't really be scaled
to a car. Cars typically lose over 75% of the energy in the fuel as
waste heat from the radiator and from the exhaust. The remaining energy
goes into kinetic energy in the form of the car's moving mass, but even
that energy is wasted as brake heat every time the car stops. A power
plant is able to convert much more of the energy in fossil fuels into
useable power, so effectively it releases less carbon for the power
generated compared to a mobile source like a car. Internal combustion
cars also can't recover any of the kinetic energy because it's
impossible to convert that energy back into fuel.
Post by Steve W.
It also seems to escape their notice
that electrics are only useful in large cities since they have such
terrible range they are impractical in the rest of the country.
Duh, where does the vast majority of the population live? They live
in or near cities. LOL! Most people drive less than 75-100 miles a
day in their regular commuting, so for these an EV-1 was perfect. Not
only that, but the new NiMH battery that was being developed was going
to double that range to nearly 200 miles. To say that the minority of
people to whom an electric car wouldn't be practical should dictate what
the majority of the people could use is arrogant and ignorant.
Post by Steve W.
The only
real non good source for electrical power on a long term scale is
nuclear and the green folks scream when they hear that. But it's a fact.
No other power source is even close.
Nope, not true. Lots of other power sources are capable of generating
the same levels as nuclear, such as solar-thermal, solar-photovoltaic,
geothermal, wind, tidal, etc. Back in the 80's they built a nuke plant
down here that was supposed to cost 1 billion to build. It ended up
costing
13 billion, and will cost over 30 billion in 1980 dollars to decomission
in less than 20 years when the reactor vessels will no longer be safe
because
of radiation embrittlement. For that same money they could have built
the
same capacity using solar-photovoltaic and wind. And it's for a
terrorist
to build a radiologic bomb out of used solar cells and windmill blades.
We
greens are not only trying to protect our children, but your children
too.
Post by Steve W.
As for fuel cells they are a joke. Current cells fail in less than 10K
and are dependent on natural gas to produce the energy.
I only mentioned fuel cells as a bridge toward better electrical
storage.
An electric car doesn't care where the electricity comes from,
batteries,
fuel cells, etc. An electric car using fuel cells for power generation
can be operated anywhere there's natural gas, propane, butane, etc. This
is almost the entire country including farms and remote areas. Fuel
cells
are twice as efficent at getting power to the wheels as burning fuels
is,
mainly because so little heat is lost unlike radiators and exhaust heat
in a combustion car. Ultimately other forms of electrical generation
will
have to be developed that don't rely on fossil fuels or nuclear fission,
and electric cars won't care one bit. Oh, and with regards to
efficiency,
electrics can do something that no IC car can ever do, and that's
recover
a significant amount of the kinetic energy by converting it back to
power
that can be stored in batteries. That one thing alone greatly increases
effective fuel efficiency. And as to premature failures? Pure Hydrogen
fuel cells last a very, very long time. Reforming fuel cells are a
developing
technology but they certainly last longer than 10k miles, and that
figure
is improving day by day. Remember, the very first cars had motors that
rarely lasted more than a few thousand miles, now they are expected to
last 100-200k miles with minimal problems. New technology has to start
somewhere, and fuel cell technology is good because it can leverage an
existing natural gas distribution infrastructure, giving us time to
design and built the trillions of dollars worth of H distribution
infrastructure needed in the future.
Post by Steve W.
Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are not
really big sellers.
This is just idiocy. Energy losing? They are so much more
efficient at making power from fuel than burning that fuel
that it's not even funny. They aren't big sellers now because
they're still in development and generating units are fairly
expensive. However, they are being installed in large commercial
operations around the world because the increased power effiency
makes them a good investment for the mid-term. As the technology
develops the costs per kWh will come down substantially. How many
steam engines did Watt sell when he started designing them? How
many cars were sold in 1900? How many airplanes flew in 1930?
How many jet engines were on planes in 1950? How many people had
personal computers in 1970? How many people were
on the internet in 1980? How many people had cellphones in 1990?
How many people will be driving all electric cars in 2020? How
much power will be generated by burning fossil fuels in 2050?


JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Pete C.
2005-03-06 16:28:49 UTC
Permalink
A few comments below...
Post by JazzMan
Comments in line below...
Post by Steve W.
I love folks who preach how great electric cars are.
Yay! I'm loved!!!!!!
Post by Steve W.
They never take
into account that generating the power to charge that vehicle is doing
more damage than running an auto.
Of course we do! How could we not? Anyone who thinks electricity
comes from nowhere is an idiot. Large scale power production, say from
a large power plant, produces less pollution for the power generated
because of highly efficient technologies that can't really be scaled
to a car. Cars typically lose over 75% of the energy in the fuel as
waste heat from the radiator and from the exhaust. The remaining energy
goes into kinetic energy in the form of the car's moving mass, but even
that energy is wasted as brake heat every time the car stops. A power
plant is able to convert much more of the energy in fossil fuels into
useable power, so effectively it releases less carbon for the power
generated compared to a mobile source like a car. Internal combustion
cars also can't recover any of the kinetic energy because it's
impossible to convert that energy back into fuel.
I'll certainly agree that a conventional gasoline (or diesel) engine is
not exactly a model of efficiency. The highly variable demands of an
auto application are a large obstacle to efficiency from nearly any
technology.

Other that then environmentally clean but paranoia inducing power
produced by nuclear plants, the remaining bulk of US power production is
coming from pollutant belching coal fired plants. There are certainly NG
fired plants and a smattering of hydro, but nuke and coal ate the bulk
of it.

The location of the power plant as you made note of has less-than-zero
relevance to it's pollution output. Whether it's located in the middle
of downtown or in the middle of a desert it's the technology, not the
location that affects pollution.

I'll also note that while technologies such as solar and wind have
plenty of potential, with the current available technology they both
cause more environmental impact and/or damage than a comparable capacity
nuke or NG plant. This is largely due to the low energy density and
conversion efficiency which causes them to occupy a significantly larger
footprint.

Solar PV is at what now, about 5% conversion efficiency for the most
expensive cells? Solar fueled steam turbines I think can get better
efficiencies and some use can be made of waste heat, increasing the
overall efficiency, but they still require a large collection area
relative to the power produced.

Wind energy is far more limited in where is can be practically located,
and when someone tries to locate a wind plant they get resistance from
environmentalists who apparently would rather keep coal plants in
operation rather than see progress made with renewable sources.

Hydro while location limited has reasonable efficiencies and energy
density, but once again there is a lot of resistance from
environmentalists to even existing hydro plants. Perhaps they're afraid
they'll end up without anything to complain about...
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
It also seems to escape their notice
that electrics are only useful in large cities since they have such
terrible range they are impractical in the rest of the country.
Duh, where does the vast majority of the population live? They live
in or near cities. LOL! Most people drive less than 75-100 miles a
day in their regular commuting, so for these an EV-1 was perfect. Not
only that, but the new NiMH battery that was being developed was going
to double that range to nearly 200 miles. To say that the minority of
people to whom an electric car wouldn't be practical should dictate what
the majority of the people could use is arrogant and ignorant.
I'm not sure it's exactly the "vast majority", there are a lot more
people living in more rural settings than most city folks realize.

Cruising range of an electric vehicle is only one part of the issue,
recharge time is a much larger issue. Even with a cruising range of
100mi an electric vehicle could be reasonable *if* it could recharge in
the 5 min it takes to refuel a gasoline vehicle. Perhaps a battery
exchange station system could solve that problem. It works with electric
forklifts in warehouses. Cylinder exchange has long been common for
industrial gasses and is now common for consumer propane.

The next issue for electric vehicles is capacity - not for cruising
range, but for cargo. Most electric vehicles are fully taxed carrying
two adults and some groceries. It's not that vehicles with higher
capacities can't be built, but the efficiencies start going down again.
This limits the practicality of electric cars to commuting and grocery
use for the most part (for consumers anyway).

Commuting use of electric vehicles, while more efficient than gasoline
is still quite inefficient. For commuter transit, the most efficient
transport is a quality mass transit system. Unfortunately a quality mass
transit system requires a huge upfront capital investment which it seems
nobody is prepared to make.

The only truly practical large scale use of electric technology at the
moment is in commercial applications. Vehicles that only operate within
the grounds of an industrial complex, local delivery vehicles (pizza,
mail, etc.) with short ranges, and similar. Sure there are some people
who have quite sedentary lifestyles who can make practical use of an
electric vehicle, but they are a small percentage of the population.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
The only
real non good source for electrical power on a long term scale is
nuclear and the green folks scream when they hear that. But it's a fact.
No other power source is even close.
Nope, not true. Lots of other power sources are capable of generating
the same levels as nuclear, such as solar-thermal, solar-photovoltaic,
geothermal, wind, tidal, etc. Back in the 80's they built a nuke plant
down here that was supposed to cost 1 billion to build. It ended up
costing
13 billion, and will cost over 30 billion in 1980 dollars to decomission
in less than 20 years when the reactor vessels will no longer be safe
because
of radiation embrittlement. For that same money they could have built
the
same capacity using solar-photovoltaic and wind. And it's for a
terrorist
to build a radiologic bomb out of used solar cells and windmill blades.
We
greens are not only trying to protect our children, but your children
too.
Once again this is a case of people blinding themselves to the realities
due to paranoia. One significant fact is that all of these comparisons
are made against obsolete first (commercial) generation reactor
technology. If compared against a modern reactor design (pebble bed
perhaps) the balance shifts significantly.

The comment about other power sources being capable of generating at the
same levels is only partly true at best. In order to reach the same
power generating levels as a nuke (or even NG or coal) plant *all* of
the other technologies mentioned require a significantly larger
footprint and hence impact the environment on a larger scale. Also when
comparing the technologies remember to factor in production per day, not
just peak output.

A conventional plant can produce x megawatts continuously, whereas a
solar plant needs about 4 times the instantaneous output of a
conventional plant to have the same production. Wind and tidal have
similar limitations. So for comparison with say a 100MW conventional
plant you would need something like a 400MW solar plant to generate the
same amount of power. A 400MW solar plant with even the best
solar-thermal technology would likely cover 10x more ground or more than
a conventional 100MW plant.

The only large scale place where an alternate energy source has truly
practical potential with current technology is with solar PV in a
distributed generation model. In this one model the environmental impact
of the area required is negated since it makes use of existing roof area
on existing housing. The current PV efficiency is still low and the cost
is still high, but a system such as this can reasonably provide 90% of
the electrical energy required for an average home.

Unlike solar heating systems which most often require a fair amount of
maintenance which is not as readily available from commercial companies
(though it could be) solar PV systems are largely maintenance free which
makes them suitable for a mass market. What is needed for this
application to take off is to get the initial cost down to a reasonable
level.

Perhaps a leasing to own model would be a good way to get distributed PV
off the ground on a decent scale. A service company would install and
maintain the PV system while charging a competitive rate for the
electricity produced until the cost of the system had been covered at
which point you would own the system and have essentially free power for
the remaining life of the system.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
As for fuel cells they are a joke. Current cells fail in less than 10K
and are dependent on natural gas to produce the energy.
I only mentioned fuel cells as a bridge toward better electrical
storage.
An electric car doesn't care where the electricity comes from,
batteries,
fuel cells, etc. An electric car using fuel cells for power generation
can be operated anywhere there's natural gas, propane, butane, etc. This
is almost the entire country including farms and remote areas. Fuel
cells
are twice as efficent at getting power to the wheels as burning fuels
is,
mainly because so little heat is lost unlike radiators and exhaust heat
in a combustion car. Ultimately other forms of electrical generation
will
have to be developed that don't rely on fossil fuels or nuclear fission,
and electric cars won't care one bit. Oh, and with regards to
efficiency,
electrics can do something that no IC car can ever do, and that's
recover
a significant amount of the kinetic energy by converting it back to
power
that can be stored in batteries. That one thing alone greatly increases
effective fuel efficiency. And as to premature failures? Pure Hydrogen
fuel cells last a very, very long time. Reforming fuel cells are a
developing
technology but they certainly last longer than 10k miles, and that
figure
is improving day by day. Remember, the very first cars had motors that
rarely lasted more than a few thousand miles, now they are expected to
last 100-200k miles with minimal problems. New technology has to start
somewhere, and fuel cell technology is good because it can leverage an
existing natural gas distribution infrastructure, giving us time to
design and built the trillions of dollars worth of H distribution
infrastructure needed in the future.
They hybrid gas/electric vehicles also make use of regenerative braking.
And at this point fuel cell technology is not even close to ready for a
consumer application. It's even still in it's infancy for commercial
applications.

The best hybrid vehicle I've heard of so far from an efficiency /
practicality standpoint is a diesel turbine electric hybrid delivery
truck. The predictability of this application can allow a turbine to be
sized to the application so that the turbine can provide the total
energy (averaged out) and the batteries charge during periods when the
vehicle is stopped or under light load and provide power under peak
loads.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are not
really big sellers.
This is just idiocy. Energy losing? They are so much more
efficient at making power from fuel than burning that fuel
that it's not even funny. They aren't big sellers now because
they're still in development and generating units are fairly
expensive. However, they are being installed in large commercial
operations around the world because the increased power effiency
makes them a good investment for the mid-term. As the technology
develops the costs per kWh will come down substantially. How many
steam engines did Watt sell when he started designing them? How
many cars were sold in 1900? How many airplanes flew in 1930?
How many jet engines were on planes in 1950? How many people had
personal computers in 1970? How many people were
on the internet in 1980? How many people had cellphones in 1990?
How many people will be driving all electric cars in 2020? How
much power will be generated by burning fossil fuels in 2050?
Fuel cells are more than "fairly expensive" at the moment. In another
decade they might be more affordable, but now you'd pay tens of
thousands for even a smaller unit.

What really needs to be done *now* is 1. replace (capacity wise) all of
the fossil fueled power plants (coal in particular) with clean safe
current generation nuclear plants and 2. start replacing the old first
generation nuclear plants with renewable source plants on a practical
scale.

The problem with both of these steps is not the technology or safety, it
is resistance from irrational paranoid people who are blindly anti-nuke,
and from irrational environmentalists who apparently think we should
immediately go back to the stone age until we can develop renewable
energy technology to a useable level.

One thing that I note is that very few of the environmentalists the you
see protesting one thing or another are actually doing anything about
using alternate energy in their own lives. I was young then, but I
remember back in the mid 70s when people were actually interested in
developing renewable technology and a lot of people were building their
own solar collectors and whatnot.

Today I see a lot of people whining for someone to produce renewable
energy for them, but they are unwilling / unable to do anything for
themselves. The basic technology hasn't changed much, it is still
entirely possible to build a practical working solar heating system for
your home with materials and tools that are all available at your local
Home Depot or Lowe's.

If you own home has solar heating and you make as much use of "green"
technologies as possible, then you have some moral right to say that
others should do the same. If however you drive Mercedes SUV or a 20yr
old pollution belching rust bucket to the protest and then go back home
where you sit around playing an X-Box and eating junk food you need to
think about practicing what you preach.

I suspect death of any sort of mechanical technical education in the
schools is in large part responsible for this. When kids took shop class
in school they were at least exposed to what can be done and learned
something about how to use tools. Today if it's not on a computer it's
not taught and there is a real loss there.

Two true (and scary / sad) stories:

A friend of mine (used to be one of my teachers), is now teaching at a
"talented and gifted technology magnet type high school".

In one class he provided a socket set for a group of students to use in
assembling some parts. The entire group of perhaps six students had no
idea how to use a socket wrench.

In another class there was an otherwise bright kid who had absolutely no
idea how to use a ruler. No lie, he just randomly held it up to the item
in question and read a number. Wasn't use of a ruler taught in
elementary school when you were a kid?

These last few examples show where the real problem lies...

Personally I try to be reasonably efficient in my use of resources.
Being a techie I've always been big on practical recycling, i.e.
salvaging and rebuilding old equipment that would otherwise end up
scrapped. I for the most part buy used business PCs which are quite
adequate for the many uses I have, even my CAD system and keep more
waste out of the landfills. I repair items myself instead of throwing
them out and buying new ones.

I'm not real big on some of the consumer recycling efforts though since
some are "feel good" exercises that really have no practical benefit.

A prime example of this "feel good" recycling is glass. Glass is
basically melted sand, sand as a resource is not under the slightest
threat. In order to recycle glass it has to be collected and transported
to a plant using the same or more energy as it would take to get raw
materials due to the efficiency of bulk transport vs. local collection.
The recycles glass then has to be melted to reuse and it takes about the
same amount of energy there as well. Used glass in a landfill is about
as inert as it gets and has no environmental impact. The end result is
essentially a loss due to the transport efficiencies and labor costs.

I've recently moved to a climate that is more suitable for solar energy
production and on my drawing board already are an air type collector
array to warm my detached workshop which I will also do for the house if
it works well on the shop, and a parabolic solar-thermal steam generator
and steam engine driven electrical generator.

Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Ted Mittelstaedt
2005-03-07 11:39:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
A few comments below...
Other that then environmentally clean but paranoia inducing power
produced by nuclear plants, the remaining bulk of US power production is
coming from pollutant belching coal fired plants.
The bulk of pollution coming out of coal plants these days is CO2 which
is of importance to the greenhouse effect. But the pollution controls on
coal plants today are very serious. Much better maintained that what's on
a typical car.

There are certainly NG
Post by Pete C.
fired plants and a smattering of hydro, but nuke and coal ate the bulk
of it.
The location of the power plant as you made note of has less-than-zero
relevance to it's pollution output. Whether it's located in the middle
of downtown or in the middle of a desert it's the technology, not the
location that affects pollution.
That isn't really true since transmission line losses must be taken into
account.
A plant far away has to produce more power to make up for the line losses
than once close by.
Post by Pete C.
I'll also note that while technologies such as solar and wind have
plenty of potential, with the current available technology they both
cause more environmental impact and/or damage than a comparable capacity
nuke or NG plant. This is largely due to the low energy density and
conversion efficiency which causes them to occupy a significantly larger
footprint.
For wind power, the bulk of this "environmental impact" is visual. Sure,
if you locate the turbines right in the middle of a bird migration route,
you might have trouble. But a wind farm can be put 500 miles away and
nobody will see it.

A nuke plant needs a lot of water which means riverfront property is
often used, this generally puts it in a highly visible place. You also need
a big staff of people and access to rail lines and such, which means
it's going to be close to a population center.
Post by Pete C.
Hydro while location limited has reasonable efficiencies and energy
density, but once again there is a lot of resistance from
environmentalists to even existing hydro plants. Perhaps they're afraid
they'll end up without anything to complain about...
No, it's because your trading one industry for another. The salmon runs on
the Columbia River before it was dammed were so thick you could practically
walk across the river on the backs of fish during a fish run. They are a
shadow
today of what they used to be despite fish ladders and a big hatchery
program.
Post by Pete C.
Cruising range of an electric vehicle is only one part of the issue,
recharge time is a much larger issue. Even with a cruising range of
100mi an electric vehicle could be reasonable *if* it could recharge in
the 5 min it takes to refuel a gasoline vehicle. Perhaps a battery
exchange station system could solve that problem. It works with electric
forklifts in warehouses. Cylinder exchange has long been common for
industrial gasses and is now common for consumer propane.
The next issue for electric vehicles is capacity - not for cruising
range, but for cargo. Most electric vehicles are fully taxed carrying
two adults and some groceries. It's not that vehicles with higher
capacities can't be built, but the efficiencies start going down again.
This limits the practicality of electric cars to commuting and grocery
use for the most part (for consumers anyway).
Commuting use of electric vehicles, while more efficient than gasoline
is still quite inefficient. For commuter transit, the most efficient
transport is a quality mass transit system. Unfortunately a quality mass
transit system requires a huge upfront capital investment which it seems
nobody is prepared to make.
I think that it's a given that long-haul interstate trucking isn't going to
be depending on electric vehicles for some time.

But a mass-transit system is not more efficient than a network of electric
vehicles, it is far less efficient. It is also far more costly to the
society
for most cities.

For mass transit to work in a city you need 2 things in my experience:
1) flat or generally flat topography. 2) Extremely high development
density.

Mass transit doesen't work in a city unless people are willing to do a
lot of walking. New York City is a case in point, most New Yorkers
walk far more than most other city residents do. Same goes for London.
Both these cities are pretty flat. This sort of thing doesen't work in a
city like San Francisco which is built on a hill.

When you have a city like, for example, Los Angeles, or Seattle, you do
not have sufficient density - most of the places people need to go are
different,
not walkable, and so if you put them all in mass transit you are wasting
many
hours of people's time, losing a lot of productivity.

These cities are condusive to automobiles and there really isn't anything
wrong with that. Electric cars work out very well in those areas.
Post by Pete C.
A conventional plant can produce x megawatts continuously, whereas a
solar plant needs about 4 times the instantaneous output of a
conventional plant to have the same production. Wind and tidal have
similar limitations. So for comparison with say a 100MW conventional
plant you would need something like a 400MW solar plant to generate the
same amount of power. A 400MW solar plant with even the best
solar-thermal technology would likely cover 10x more ground or more than
a conventional 100MW plant.
Conventional nuke plants often have long periods of time where they are down
and not producing power.
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are not
really big sellers.
This is just idiocy. Energy losing? They are so much more
efficient at making power from fuel than burning that fuel
that it's not even funny. They aren't big sellers now because
they're still in development and generating units are fairly
expensive. However, they are being installed in large commercial
operations around the world because the increased power effiency
makes them a good investment for the mid-term. As the technology
develops the costs per kWh will come down substantially. How many
steam engines did Watt sell when he started designing them? How
many cars were sold in 1900? How many airplanes flew in 1930?
How many jet engines were on planes in 1950? How many people had
personal computers in 1970? How many people were
on the internet in 1980? How many people had cellphones in 1990?
How many people will be driving all electric cars in 2020? How
much power will be generated by burning fossil fuels in 2050?
Fuel cells are more than "fairly expensive" at the moment. In another
decade they might be more affordable, but now you'd pay tens of
thousands for even a smaller unit.
What really needs to be done *now* is 1. replace (capacity wise) all of
the fossil fueled power plants (coal in particular) with clean safe
current generation nuclear plants and 2. start replacing the old first
generation nuclear plants with renewable source plants on a practical
scale.
Wrong. First of all nuke plants have no answer for high level waste
generation,
while I personally think they ought to just reprocess it and shoot what's
left over into the Sun, it's not practical.

There is of course plenty of answers - high level waste could be buried in
a subduction zone, in Yucca Mountain, etc. Fine - for the pro-Nuke people,
I say go ahead once you get the high level waste disposal site. But if
you think your going to just be able to leave your spent fuel rods in a pool
on the property of the nuke plant - which all current nuke power plants
in the US are doing - then forget it.

The real answer - even though people mostly don't believe it - is
wind. According to the DoE, wind could cover 1.5 times all
generation needs in the US, see here:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/wind_potential.html

Plenty here for electric cars.
Post by Pete C.
One thing that I note is that very few of the environmentalists the you
see protesting one thing or another are actually doing anything about
using alternate energy in their own lives.
That is because nowadays the environmentalists hire professional
protesters.

Haven't you ever wondered how those environmental marches
in front of the White House can turn up 100,000 people who
seem to come out of nowhere, then disappear? There is an entire
industry now built around paying protestors and there is an entire
culture of people who spend all their time just travelling from city
to city, protesting things.

Of course if you ask them they would insist that nobody is paying them
a salary, and that is true. But ask them where they got the money for
their last meal, their last busride from the last place they protested at,
etc. and you will find that most of thes people out there marching, have
no money to their name, and instead are housed, fed, and shuttled around
by this infrastructure. In short, we are talking professional bums. It's
a great deal for them since their only responsibility is to show up and
wave a sign and in exchange they get to travel for free.
Post by Pete C.
I was young then, but I
remember back in the mid 70s when people were actually interested in
developing renewable technology and a lot of people were building their
own solar collectors and whatnot.
Today I see a lot of people whining for someone to produce renewable
energy for them, but they are unwilling / unable to do anything for
themselves. The basic technology hasn't changed much, it is still
entirely possible to build a practical working solar heating system for
your home with materials and tools that are all available at your local
Home Depot or Lowe's.
The reason you don't hear much about this is that you can save more money
by spending your dollars on insulating hot water pipes, insulating your
home,
and so on than by building a solar collector. So that is where those
dollars
are going now. Why do you think people are all up in arms now buying those
radon/carbon monoxide/etc. detectors? It is because they are all now living
in
homes that have almost sealed environments.

What is the point of building a big solar collector and dumping hundreds to
thousands of BTU's per month into a home that is so drafty that the energy
just flies right back out the window?
Post by Pete C.
Personally I try to be reasonably efficient in my use of resources.
Being a techie I've always been big on practical recycling, i.e.
salvaging and rebuilding old equipment that would otherwise end up
scrapped. I for the most part buy used business PCs which are quite
adequate for the many uses I have, even my CAD system and keep more
waste out of the landfills. I repair items myself instead of throwing
them out and buying new ones.
Unfortunately, though, this just delays them going into the landfill.
Another
really big problem now is too many manufacturers using plastic cases for
computers. The real answer is when your buying new hardware, insist on
steel cases (besides the recyclability and increased durability, they have
far
better radio shielding) and when disposing, remove the circuit boards and
plastic and send the sheetmetal to the furnace.
Post by Pete C.
I'm not real big on some of the consumer recycling efforts though since
some are "feel good" exercises that really have no practical benefit.
A prime example of this "feel good" recycling is glass. Glass is
basically melted sand, sand as a resource is not under the slightest
threat. In order to recycle glass it has to be collected and transported
to a plant using the same or more energy as it would take to get raw
materials due to the efficiency of bulk transport vs. local collection.
The recycles glass then has to be melted to reuse and it takes about the
same amount of energy there as well. Used glass in a landfill is about
as inert as it gets and has no environmental impact. The end result is
essentially a loss due to the transport efficiencies and labor costs.
This isn't strictly the case. While you are correct when you are looking
at "mixed color" glass, this is not the case with clear glass. Clear glass
is in demand - for one thing, to get glass from sand you have to introduce
some glass into the furnace to get the melting process going. It is in fact
cheaper to recycle clear glass from bottles if you can source separate
it into containers of clear glass only. (NOT mixed clear plate glass and
container glass, it must be all container glass and all clear, because
container
glass melts at a lower temp than sand or plate glass, and thus is cheaper to
reuse then to do the sand melting thing)

And also the big thing that glass recycling ignores is that a glass
container is
washable and reusable. Back in the "olden days" when people used to get
milk
delivered, dairies all reused glass milk bottles.

If the United States really gave a crap about consumer packaging recycling
they would mandate standard sizes and dimensions for glass consumer
packaging, and mandate water soluble glue for paper labels. For one thing
this would save an enormous amount of money
since glass containers would not have to be custom manufactured, and
metal lids would all be the same sizes. manufacturers would of course still
be free to print their own labels and differentiate their products that way.
And recycling would be easy - you just wash the returned containers and
the labels are washed off, and you have a glass container that is ready to
be reused for your product and your label. A container can take dozens of
washings before it would start etching and have to be scrapped.

As for other kinds of recycling, the consumer recycling for steel, (tin
cans)
aluminum, and for paper is worthwhile. Plastic recycling isn't generally
worthwhile
except for plastic shipping peanuts, but once again, if the government
really
gave a shit about this they would mandate a set of standard plastic
materials
used for consumer containers. Right now for example, there is no law banning
use of PVC plastic in PET containers, (bottle caps for example) and small
quantities of PVC present can destroy an entire load of PET for recycling.
There is also no law banning paper labels on plastic containers either, and
these can also be a problem.

One other issue with recycling is if you do enough of it, it will reduce the
waste stream volume which means you don't have to setup new landfills
as often. In some areas this is no problem, in others where land is at a
premium, it is a very big problem.

The biggest problem with the consumer recycling is that too many consumers
are lazy bastards and won't source-separate their recycling.

Ted
Pete C.
2005-03-07 14:26:16 UTC
Permalink
More comments below...
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
A few comments below...
Other that then environmentally clean but paranoia inducing power
produced by nuclear plants, the remaining bulk of US power production is
coming from pollutant belching coal fired plants.
The bulk of pollution coming out of coal plants these days is CO2 which
is of importance to the greenhouse effect. But the pollution controls on
coal plants today are very serious. Much better maintained that what's on
a typical car.
It's relative, a coal fired plant *does* belch a lot more pollution than
a nuke plant, or even a NG fired plant I think.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
There are certainly NG
Post by Pete C.
fired plants and a smattering of hydro, but nuke and coal ate the bulk
of it.
The location of the power plant as you made note of has less-than-zero
relevance to it's pollution output. Whether it's located in the middle
of downtown or in the middle of a desert it's the technology, not the
location that affects pollution.
That isn't really true since transmission line losses must be taken into
account.
A plant far away has to produce more power to make up for the line losses
than once close by.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
I'll also note that while technologies such as solar and wind have
plenty of potential, with the current available technology they both
cause more environmental impact and/or damage than a comparable capacity
nuke or NG plant. This is largely due to the low energy density and
conversion efficiency which causes them to occupy a significantly larger
footprint.
For wind power, the bulk of this "environmental impact" is visual. Sure,
if you locate the turbines right in the middle of a bird migration route,
you might have trouble. But a wind farm can be put 500 miles away and
nobody will see it.
Two problems with that idea:

1. There are few places in this country or the world for that matter
that are 500 miles away from a population. Somebody *will* see it.

2. If you do find a place 500mi away that also means 500mi of
transmission lines for people to complain about.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
A nuke plant needs a lot of water which means riverfront property is
often used, this generally puts it in a highly visible place. You also need
a big staff of people and access to rail lines and such, which means
it's going to be close to a population center.
I don't believe the current reactor designs require as much cooling
water as the decades old and obsolete designs that are running today.
You also do not need a particularly large staff for operation either,
and you bring in contractors for planned maint. Rail lines are not
limited to population centers either.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
Hydro while location limited has reasonable efficiencies and energy
density, but once again there is a lot of resistance from
environmentalists to even existing hydro plants. Perhaps they're afraid
they'll end up without anything to complain about...
No, it's because your trading one industry for another. The salmon runs on
the Columbia River before it was dammed were so thick you could practically
walk across the river on the backs of fish during a fish run. They are a
shadow
today of what they used to be despite fish ladders and a big hatchery
program.
Life is about tradeoffs, do you want a dam and hydro plant or a belching
coal plant? Pick one, since the power will have to be produced one way
or another.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
Cruising range of an electric vehicle is only one part of the issue,
recharge time is a much larger issue. Even with a cruising range of
100mi an electric vehicle could be reasonable *if* it could recharge in
the 5 min it takes to refuel a gasoline vehicle. Perhaps a battery
exchange station system could solve that problem. It works with electric
forklifts in warehouses. Cylinder exchange has long been common for
industrial gasses and is now common for consumer propane.
The next issue for electric vehicles is capacity - not for cruising
range, but for cargo. Most electric vehicles are fully taxed carrying
two adults and some groceries. It's not that vehicles with higher
capacities can't be built, but the efficiencies start going down again.
This limits the practicality of electric cars to commuting and grocery
use for the most part (for consumers anyway).
Commuting use of electric vehicles, while more efficient than gasoline
is still quite inefficient. For commuter transit, the most efficient
transport is a quality mass transit system. Unfortunately a quality mass
transit system requires a huge upfront capital investment which it seems
nobody is prepared to make.
I think that it's a given that long-haul interstate trucking isn't going to
be depending on electric vehicles for some time.
But a mass-transit system is not more efficient than a network of electric
vehicles, it is far less efficient. It is also far more costly to the
society
for most cities.
1) flat or generally flat topography. 2) Extremely high development
density.
Mass transit doesen't work in a city unless people are willing to do a
lot of walking. New York City is a case in point, most New Yorkers
walk far more than most other city residents do. Same goes for London.
Both these cities are pretty flat. This sort of thing doesen't work in a
city like San Francisco which is built on a hill.
When you have a city like, for example, Los Angeles, or Seattle, you do
not have sufficient density - most of the places people need to go are
different,
not walkable, and so if you put them all in mass transit you are wasting
many
hours of people's time, losing a lot of productivity.
These cities are condusive to automobiles and there really isn't anything
wrong with that. Electric cars work out very well in those areas.
Mass transit is not limited by topography, although it can impact the
initial costs. Same with population density, you don't have to be able
to walk from your house to the rail/subway/bus line, you can drive to a
hub.

Don't underestimate the benefit of getting the lard-ass population
walking a little more to use mass transit either.

Another thing to consider is that a sizable portion of the population is
needlessly commuting to begin with. There are quite a few jobs where
there is little or no legitimate reason a person has to travel into an
office. We need to educate some of the "old school" companies to the
very real benefits of a work-from-home workforce. I work from home
myself for a rather large company that has realized the benefits.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
A conventional plant can produce x megawatts continuously, whereas a
solar plant needs about 4 times the instantaneous output of a
conventional plant to have the same production. Wind and tidal have
similar limitations. So for comparison with say a 100MW conventional
plant you would need something like a 400MW solar plant to generate the
same amount of power. A 400MW solar plant with even the best
solar-thermal technology would likely cover 10x more ground or more than
a conventional 100MW plant.
Conventional nuke plants often have long periods of time where they are down
and not producing power.
Note that I said a conventional plant, that includes nuke, coal, NG and
oil. All types of plants have maint. down time and it generally involves
a fraction of the plant at a time. It is rare that a conventional plant
of any type is operating below 50% capacity since these plants have
multiple generating units and maint. is scheduled on one at a time.

About the only renewable technology that does not generally require much
maint. down time is solar PV and at 5% efficiency it is currently
laughable in MW scale. PV is not likely to be feasible outside of home
distributed generation for decades.

Hydro, Wind, solar thermal and geo thermal all require comparable maint.
periods to conventional since all involve rotating mass, bearings and
other mechanical components.

Once you realize that all plants need similar maint. you're back to all
of the renewable sources, with the possible exception of geo thermal,
requiring 4x the size for comparable energy production.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
Add in the fact
that they are an energy losing item as well and you see why they are
not
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve W.
really big sellers.
This is just idiocy. Energy losing? They are so much more
efficient at making power from fuel than burning that fuel
that it's not even funny. They aren't big sellers now because
they're still in development and generating units are fairly
expensive. However, they are being installed in large commercial
operations around the world because the increased power effiency
makes them a good investment for the mid-term. As the technology
develops the costs per kWh will come down substantially. How many
steam engines did Watt sell when he started designing them? How
many cars were sold in 1900? How many airplanes flew in 1930?
How many jet engines were on planes in 1950? How many people had
personal computers in 1970? How many people were
on the internet in 1980? How many people had cellphones in 1990?
How many people will be driving all electric cars in 2020? How
much power will be generated by burning fossil fuels in 2050?
Fuel cells are more than "fairly expensive" at the moment. In another
decade they might be more affordable, but now you'd pay tens of
thousands for even a smaller unit.
What really needs to be done *now* is 1. replace (capacity wise) all of
the fossil fueled power plants (coal in particular) with clean safe
current generation nuclear plants and 2. start replacing the old first
generation nuclear plants with renewable source plants on a practical
scale.
Wrong. First of all nuke plants have no answer for high level waste
generation,
while I personally think they ought to just reprocess it and shoot what's
left over into the Sun, it's not practical.
There is of course plenty of answers - high level waste could be buried in
a subduction zone, in Yucca Mountain, etc. Fine - for the pro-Nuke people,
I say go ahead once you get the high level waste disposal site. But if
you think your going to just be able to leave your spent fuel rods in a pool
on the property of the nuke plant - which all current nuke power plants
in the US are doing - then forget it.
Only partially true. The plants are currently storing spent fuel
locally, but this is not out of choice. When these plants were build the
government committed to dealing with the waste and has allowed the
paranoid set to obstruct the construction of a facility.

There is little risk of terrorists taking advantage of US reactors or
waste shipments for an attack. Security and safety measures on such
things are much higher in this country than in much of the rest of the
world. Terrorist look for "soft" targets and it would be far easier for
them to procure radioactive materials elsewhere and bring them to the
US.

The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.

I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
- and that plant was generations in design behind the already obsolete
ones operation in the US and the controls and safety systems were also
generations behind what is currently operating in the US.

Yes, there was Three Mile Island, and yes it was a serious accident for
the plant, but the safety design *did* work in the end and there was no
lasting impact to the area. The current generation reactor designs are
far more advanced and even less likely to have a significant accident,
having benefited from the decades of experience with the current plants.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
The real answer - even though people mostly don't believe it - is
wind. According to the DoE, wind could cover 1.5 times all
http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/wind_potential.html
Plenty here for electric cars.
Well, if you really want to build the number of wind plants that would
at least solve the cell tower issue. The hundreds of thousands of wind
towers that would be required would cover the US nicely.

I suspect that if we were to rush and start building wind plants all
over the place without a couple large scale test projects and some time
to study them we would likely find some undesired effects. The same
thing has happened with numerous other environmental knee-jerk reactions
in the past. Examples: the MTBE that was *required* to be added to
gasoline in a knee-jerk effort to reduce pollution, the push for
artificial cork as a "green" alternative to natural cork which actually
caused the destruction of cork plantations when the producers switched
to different crops as cork prices fell. Both cases of environmental
pushes without proper study.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
One thing that I note is that very few of the environmentalists the you
see protesting one thing or another are actually doing anything about
using alternate energy in their own lives.
That is because nowadays the environmentalists hire professional
protesters.
Haven't you ever wondered how those environmental marches
in front of the White House can turn up 100,000 people who
seem to come out of nowhere, then disappear? There is an entire
industry now built around paying protestors and there is an entire
culture of people who spend all their time just travelling from city
to city, protesting things.
Of course if you ask them they would insist that nobody is paying them
a salary, and that is true. But ask them where they got the money for
their last meal, their last busride from the last place they protested at,
etc. and you will find that most of thes people out there marching, have
no money to their name, and instead are housed, fed, and shuttled around
by this infrastructure. In short, we are talking professional bums. It's
a great deal for them since their only responsibility is to show up and
wave a sign and in exchange they get to travel for free.
I can't disagree there and it is a rather repulsive phenomenon. There is
a second component to it as well, which is thrill seekers who protest
simply for the conflict.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
I was young then, but I
remember back in the mid 70s when people were actually interested in
developing renewable technology and a lot of people were building their
own solar collectors and whatnot.
Today I see a lot of people whining for someone to produce renewable
energy for them, but they are unwilling / unable to do anything for
themselves. The basic technology hasn't changed much, it is still
entirely possible to build a practical working solar heating system for
your home with materials and tools that are all available at your local
Home Depot or Lowe's.
The reason you don't hear much about this is that you can save more money
by spending your dollars on insulating hot water pipes, insulating your
home,
and so on than by building a solar collector. So that is where those
dollars
are going now. Why do you think people are all up in arms now buying those
radon/carbon monoxide/etc. detectors? It is because they are all now living
in
homes that have almost sealed environments.
What is the point of building a big solar collector and dumping hundreds to
thousands of BTU's per month into a home that is so drafty that the energy
just flies right back out the window?
The point is that anyone serious about being "green" will be doing both.
Insulation is the first step and is not particularly expensive. The
savings gained from the insulation helps fund the next step to solar
collectors. A competent DIY can insulate and add solar collectors to an
average side house for a few $k at most. The real problem is that lack
of competent DIYs.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
Personally I try to be reasonably efficient in my use of resources.
Being a techie I've always been big on practical recycling, i.e.
salvaging and rebuilding old equipment that would otherwise end up
scrapped. I for the most part buy used business PCs which are quite
adequate for the many uses I have, even my CAD system and keep more
waste out of the landfills. I repair items myself instead of throwing
them out and buying new ones.
Unfortunately, though, this just delays them going into the landfill.
Another
really big problem now is too many manufacturers using plastic cases for
computers. The real answer is when your buying new hardware, insist on
steel cases (besides the recyclability and increased durability, they have
far
better radio shielding) and when disposing, remove the circuit boards and
plastic and send the sheetmetal to the furnace.
Yes and no, even if it ends up in the landfill in the end it is still a
net benefit if the useful life of the product is doubled. Also the
longer that the product is kept in service the greater the change that
the infrastructure will be in place to recycle it properly.

There is no issue with recyclability of plastics either. Plastics are
quite recyclable as long as they are separated properly and these days
virtually all larger plastic components are marked as to the type. Those
components that are not marked or are too small to be marked are still
recyclable at a lower grade which can be used for shipping containers
and similar uses.

Metal case also do not necessarily have better radio shielding than
metal cases. Quality products with plastic cases have a conductive
shielding coating applied on the inside of the case which is just as
effective as a metal case.
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
I'm not real big on some of the consumer recycling efforts though since
some are "feel good" exercises that really have no practical benefit.
A prime example of this "feel good" recycling is glass. Glass is
basically melted sand, sand as a resource is not under the slightest
threat. In order to recycle glass it has to be collected and transported
to a plant using the same or more energy as it would take to get raw
materials due to the efficiency of bulk transport vs. local collection.
The recycles glass then has to be melted to reuse and it takes about the
same amount of energy there as well. Used glass in a landfill is about
as inert as it gets and has no environmental impact. The end result is
essentially a loss due to the transport efficiencies and labor costs.
This isn't strictly the case. While you are correct when you are looking
at "mixed color" glass, this is not the case with clear glass. Clear glass
is in demand - for one thing, to get glass from sand you have to introduce
some glass into the furnace to get the melting process going. It is in fact
cheaper to recycle clear glass from bottles if you can source separate
it into containers of clear glass only. (NOT mixed clear plate glass and
container glass, it must be all container glass and all clear, because
container
glass melts at a lower temp than sand or plate glass, and thus is cheaper to
reuse then to do the sand melting thing)
And also the big thing that glass recycling ignores is that a glass
container is
washable and reusable. Back in the "olden days" when people used to get
milk
delivered, dairies all reused glass milk bottles.
If the United States really gave a crap about consumer packaging recycling
they would mandate standard sizes and dimensions for glass consumer
packaging, and mandate water soluble glue for paper labels. For one thing
this would save an enormous amount of money
since glass containers would not have to be custom manufactured, and
metal lids would all be the same sizes. manufacturers would of course still
be free to print their own labels and differentiate their products that way.
And recycling would be easy - you just wash the returned containers and
the labels are washed off, and you have a glass container that is ready to
be reused for your product and your label. A container can take dozens of
washings before it would start etching and have to be scrapped.
As for other kinds of recycling, the consumer recycling for steel, (tin
cans)
aluminum, and for paper is worthwhile. Plastic recycling isn't generally
worthwhile
except for plastic shipping peanuts, but once again, if the government
really
gave a shit about this they would mandate a set of standard plastic
materials
used for consumer containers. Right now for example, there is no law banning
use of PVC plastic in PET containers, (bottle caps for example) and small
quantities of PVC present can destroy an entire load of PET for recycling.
There is also no law banning paper labels on plastic containers either, and
these can also be a problem.
One other issue with recycling is if you do enough of it, it will reduce the
waste stream volume which means you don't have to setup new landfills
as often. In some areas this is no problem, in others where land is at a
premium, it is a very big problem.
The biggest problem with the consumer recycling is that too many consumers
are lazy bastards and won't source-separate their recycling.
Ted
I didn't say that all recycling was pointless, certainly metals and
plastics are worthwhile. Metals do take less energy to recycle than to
mine and refine initially. Plastics other than packing peanuts do
recycle well, just look at all of the composite decking that it produced
from mill scraps and milk jugs.

Paper is somewhat marginal in that it is biodegradable and renewable.
It's likely that recycling paper into paper is marginal where recycling
paper into different products such as cellulose insulation is more
beneficial. Glass is probably the worst example as the current recycling
is still a marginal proposition.

Refilling of glass containers certainly did work in the past and could
work again. It's not even a real issue of standardizing as all glass
containers could be collected intact and brought to an automated central
facility for initial washing and sorting. Machines are far more capable
than humans of recognizing the different container shapes and sorting
them to be sent back to the products manufacturer for final cleaning and
refilling. All that would be required would be for each manufacturer to
email a copy of the CAD print for their product package to the sorting
administration.

Pete C.
Steve
2005-03-07 19:19:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
More comments below...
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
A few comments below...
Other that then environmentally clean but paranoia inducing power
produced by nuclear plants, the remaining bulk of US power production is
coming from pollutant belching coal fired plants.
The bulk of pollution coming out of coal plants these days is CO2 which
is of importance to the greenhouse effect. But the pollution controls on
coal plants today are very serious. Much better maintained that what's on
a typical car.
Yes, the biggest single emission from a "clean" coal plant is CO2,
however even the cleanest coal plant puts out oxides of sulfur and
particulates in the range of many TONS per year. And a little-known bit
of trivia is that the average coal plant releases more radioactivity
directly into the environment each year than a nuke plant (naturally
occuring radioisotopes are found in coal deposits and aren't normally
separated, and they get out in the particulates that get through the
scrubbers, as well as being present in the fly-ash captured by the
scrubbers, which must be disposed of itself).

I'm worried that we're sneaking up on a quiet power crisis in the US.
Right now, about 20% of the US power grid is supplied by nuclear plants.
The last nuclear plant to go on-line did so over 20 years ago. The
oldest nuke plants are coming up on the age where they simply have to be
shut down, or else heavily re-invested and the enviro-nuts won't allow
new construction or heavy re-investment in nuclear power. So even if
demand were to hold constant (it won't its growing) that means that
greenhouse gas production will ramp up by order of 20% as the nukes are
taken offline. Wind power is the only alternative that's made anything
of a dent, because the same enviro-nuts that would rather breathe coal
fumes than have a new nuclear plant will not accept new dams for
hydroelectric power, and in fact want to tear down several of the most
productive hydroelectric plants in the US as well.
Pete C.
2005-03-07 19:46:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve
Post by Pete C.
More comments below...
Post by Ted Mittelstaedt
Post by Pete C.
A few comments below...
Other that then environmentally clean but paranoia inducing power
produced by nuclear plants, the remaining bulk of US power production is
coming from pollutant belching coal fired plants.
The bulk of pollution coming out of coal plants these days is CO2 which
is of importance to the greenhouse effect. But the pollution controls on
coal plants today are very serious. Much better maintained that what's on
a typical car.
Yes, the biggest single emission from a "clean" coal plant is CO2,
however even the cleanest coal plant puts out oxides of sulfur and
particulates in the range of many TONS per year. And a little-known bit
of trivia is that the average coal plant releases more radioactivity
directly into the environment each year than a nuke plant (naturally
occuring radioisotopes are found in coal deposits and aren't normally
separated, and they get out in the particulates that get through the
scrubbers, as well as being present in the fly-ash captured by the
scrubbers, which must be disposed of itself).
I'm worried that we're sneaking up on a quiet power crisis in the US.
Right now, about 20% of the US power grid is supplied by nuclear plants.
The last nuclear plant to go on-line did so over 20 years ago. The
oldest nuke plants are coming up on the age where they simply have to be
shut down, or else heavily re-invested and the enviro-nuts won't allow
new construction or heavy re-investment in nuclear power. So even if
demand were to hold constant (it won't its growing) that means that
greenhouse gas production will ramp up by order of 20% as the nukes are
taken offline. Wind power is the only alternative that's made anything
of a dent, because the same enviro-nuts that would rather breathe coal
fumes than have a new nuclear plant will not accept new dams for
hydroelectric power, and in fact want to tear down several of the most
productive hydroelectric plants in the US as well.
I've heard larger numbers than 20% from nuke currently.

Either way I stand by my point that from a
reality/technology/practicality standpoint we need to replace the
coal/oil/NG plants with current generation nuke plants to buy some time
and then start to replace the old nuke plants with renewable sources as
practical.

By the time the current generation nuke plants are coming to the end of
their useful life hopefully the renewable source technologies will be
advanced and debugged enough to take up the slack.

Also to add something on the original topic, the fundamental problem to
be overcome with electric and hybrid vehicles is that even if brought up
to full production levels they will still cost more for a less capable
vehicle compared to conventional technology.

A second and somewhat related issue is that there needs to be tax and
insurance reform to allow people to have a second high MPG vehicle to
use for general commuting without a cost penalty.

I have a large pickup that I *need* for various hauling tasks, I
certainly don't need to use it for grocery runs or general commuting
however the additional cost in taxes and insurance to have a second high
MPG vehicle for those tasks would vastly exceed any gas cost savings
even if gas prices were to triple.

Pete C.
JazzMan
2005-03-08 03:20:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
Don't forget these:

http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html

A few others:
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html

I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.

JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Pete C.
2005-03-08 04:13:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html
I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.
And that is exactly incorrect. If there was little to no radiation
release it just proves that the safety systems *did* work. Just because
it feed someone's paranoia does not make it a significant accident.

The accidents are not ignored either, the lessons learned from them are
incorporated into the next generation reactor designs. This is no
different than the lessons learned from aircraft accidents and auto
accidents with exception that in those accidents people get killed.

To imply that because there were accidents the whole idea of nuclear
energy should be scrapped is utterly ridiculous and just the mentality
of the paranoid anti nuke loonies. If the same illogic were applied
elsewhere we would have no aircraft, no cars, etc.

Half a dozen planes crashed, lets ban them all! A hundred cars crashed,
lets ban them all! Total nonsense...

Planes crash, the causes are studied and changes are incorporated in
other planes to prevent the same accident from occurring again. Cars
crash and the causes are studied and changes are incorporated to help
prevent them. The shuttle blew up twice and both times the causes were
studied, changes made and the shuttle flew (or will fly) again. This is
how progress is made.

Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
JazzMan
2005-03-08 05:24:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html
I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.
And that is exactly incorrect. If there was little to no radiation
release it just proves that the safety systems *did* work. Just because
it feed someone's paranoia does not make it a significant accident.
The accidents are not ignored either, the lessons learned from them are
incorporated into the next generation reactor designs. This is no
different than the lessons learned from aircraft accidents and auto
accidents with exception that in those accidents people get killed.
To imply that because there were accidents the whole idea of nuclear
energy should be scrapped is utterly ridiculous and just the mentality
of the paranoid anti nuke loonies. If the same illogic were applied
elsewhere we would have no aircraft, no cars, etc.
Half a dozen planes crashed, lets ban them all! A hundred cars crashed,
lets ban them all! Total nonsense...
Planes crash, the causes are studied and changes are incorporated in
other planes to prevent the same accident from occurring again. Cars
crash and the causes are studied and changes are incorporated to help
prevent them. The shuttle blew up twice and both times the causes were
studied, changes made and the shuttle flew (or will fly) again. This is
how progress is made.
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?

At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.

I bet you have no clue as to how people can disagree with you,
being that you're so absolutely unshakably right.

I'm all for safe nuclear power that doesn't create any dangerous
waste. When that becomes a reality I'll be behind it one hundred
percent.

JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Steve W.
2005-03-08 13:19:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html
I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.
And that is exactly incorrect. If there was little to no radiation
release it just proves that the safety systems *did* work. Just because
it feed someone's paranoia does not make it a significant accident.
The accidents are not ignored either, the lessons learned from them are
incorporated into the next generation reactor designs. This is no
different than the lessons learned from aircraft accidents and auto
accidents with exception that in those accidents people get killed.
To imply that because there were accidents the whole idea of nuclear
energy should be scrapped is utterly ridiculous and just the
mentality
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
of the paranoid anti nuke loonies. If the same illogic were applied
elsewhere we would have no aircraft, no cars, etc.
Half a dozen planes crashed, lets ban them all! A hundred cars crashed,
lets ban them all! Total nonsense...
Planes crash, the causes are studied and changes are incorporated in
other planes to prevent the same accident from occurring again. Cars
crash and the causes are studied and changes are incorporated to help
prevent them. The shuttle blew up twice and both times the causes were
studied, changes made and the shuttle flew (or will fly) again. This is
how progress is made.
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?
At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.
Hate to tell you but you are FOS. There is actually very liite of
Chernobyl that could not be lived in. There are already a lot of people
living in that area.




----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----
Pete C.
2005-03-08 15:20:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html
I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.
And that is exactly incorrect. If there was little to no radiation
release it just proves that the safety systems *did* work. Just because
it feed someone's paranoia does not make it a significant accident.
The accidents are not ignored either, the lessons learned from them are
incorporated into the next generation reactor designs. This is no
different than the lessons learned from aircraft accidents and auto
accidents with exception that in those accidents people get killed.
To imply that because there were accidents the whole idea of nuclear
energy should be scrapped is utterly ridiculous and just the mentality
of the paranoid anti nuke loonies. If the same illogic were applied
elsewhere we would have no aircraft, no cars, etc.
Half a dozen planes crashed, lets ban them all! A hundred cars crashed,
lets ban them all! Total nonsense...
Planes crash, the causes are studied and changes are incorporated in
other planes to prevent the same accident from occurring again. Cars
crash and the causes are studied and changes are incorporated to help
prevent them. The shuttle blew up twice and both times the causes were
studied, changes made and the shuttle flew (or will fly) again. This is
how progress is made.
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?
At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.
I bet you have no clue as to how people can disagree with you,
being that you're so absolutely unshakably right.
I'm all for safe nuclear power that doesn't create any dangerous
waste. When that becomes a reality I'll be behind it one hundred
percent.
JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Not true at all, anyone who blindly thinks that all nuclear energy
should be abandoned is a "whacko loony environut" and paranoid.

Nuclear power may or may not be the "solution to all of humankind's
problems", but it is clearly the best option we have now or likely will
have over the next 10 years. To reject it because of paranoia is absurd.

As noted in another post Chernobyl did *not* leave "a thousand square
mile patch permanently uninhabitable". In fact outside of the plant area
itself everything has been decontaminated. Granted that was a lot of
work, but it was done and the whole accident was due to a reactor design
several generations behind the ones we are currently running, and those
are obsolete as well.

It's difficult to disagree with facts. While I have not personally been
to Chernobyl, I do have several friends who have been there multiple
times doing relief and rebuilding work and their eyewitness reports
confirm that the area is quite inhabitable now.

You can't be "all for safe nuclear power that doesn't create any
dangerous waste" if you try to prevent any progress towards developing
the technology.

I'm for the technology that is safe, available and practical *now* that
does not release any pollution on a daily basis (other than waste heat),
and what waste is generated is compact and containable. It is the
technology that is the best bridge while we develop practical renewable
sources and better nuclear technology for that matter.

Pete C.
JazzMan
2005-03-09 01:59:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
Not true at all, anyone who blindly thinks that all nuclear energy
should be abandoned is a "whacko loony environut" and paranoid.
I don't think all nuclear energy should be abandoned. I, and millions
just like me, don't think that it is safe enough at the current level
of technology, and we all think that the waste byproducts are too
dangerous for too long of a time to be reliably stored in the long
term. Between the human mistakes, the deliberate acts of terrorists,
and plain old bad luck, the negative effects of a problem in the
nuclear industry can be far-reaching and destructive on a large scale.
If a regular power plant suffers a catastrophic failure the results
are contained locally, and no matter how bad, can easily be cleaned up
and no long-term problems exist. The losses associated with Chernobyl
alone are in the trillions, and not only that but when the sarcaphagus
collapses it will produce a radiation event that makes the original
disaster look small by comparison.

Three Mile Island was fully contained, you say that like it means
anything, but in fact there is still an unknown amount of uranium fuel,
radioactive debris, and contamination inside the now dead reactor. The
cleanup cost a billion dollars and took years, and in some ways will
never be completed. Pennsylvania electric customers will be paying for
TMI for decades to come.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/tmi/stories/cleanup032889.htm
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/PA_Env-Her/tmi/tmiEpstein.htm
Post by Pete C.
Nuclear power may or may not be the "solution to all of humankind's
problems", but it is clearly the best option we have now or likely will
have over the next 10 years. To reject it because of paranoia is absurd.
It is not clearly the best option we have. It is clearly the only
option that you are willing or able to perceive, and since that's
an obvious sticking point with you there's not much point in continuing
this discussion, is there?
Post by Pete C.
As noted in another post Chernobyl did *not* leave "a thousand square
mile patch permanently uninhabitable". In fact outside of the plant area
itself everything has been decontaminated. Granted that was a lot of
work, but it was done and the whole accident was due to a reactor design
several generations behind the ones we are currently running, and those
are obsolete as well.
It's difficult to disagree with facts. While I have not personally been
to Chernobyl, I do have several friends who have been there multiple
times doing relief and rebuilding work and their eyewitness reports
confirm that the area is quite inhabitable now.
Your friends apparently missed a few spots:

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/

http://www.livingearthgatherings.org/novozybkov.html

http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/004/Y2795e/y2795e08.htm

Anyone can do a search on Chernobyl and get one point five million
hits, all with information that easily contradicts your assertations
here. In fact, your statements are so out of phase with reality I have
to wonder just where you're getting your information? Perhaps you're
a spin doctor for the nuclear power industry? That would make sense.
Deny, deny, deny, don't acknowledge the facts, ignore the truth.

Sigh.
Post by Pete C.
I'm for the technology that is safe, available and practical *now* that
does not release any pollution on a daily basis (other than waste heat),
and what waste is generated is compact and containable.
Safe, available, and practical now, that covers wind right
now. And, unlike almost every part of a nuclear power plant,
wind generators are both cheap and easy to build *and* are
recycleable. No need to bury that worn out windmill inside
a mountain for a few million years before it's safe again.

LOL!

JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Pete C.
2005-03-09 03:19:56 UTC
Permalink
Uh-huh...
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
Not true at all, anyone who blindly thinks that all nuclear energy
should be abandoned is a "whacko loony environut" and paranoid.
I don't think all nuclear energy should be abandoned. I, and millions
just like me, don't think that it is safe enough at the current level
of technology, and we all think that the waste byproducts are too
dangerous for too long of a time to be reliably stored in the long
term. Between the human mistakes, the deliberate acts of terrorists,
and plain old bad luck, the negative effects of a problem in the
nuclear industry can be far-reaching and destructive on a large scale.
If a regular power plant suffers a catastrophic failure the results
are contained locally, and no matter how bad, can easily be cleaned up
and no long-term problems exist. The losses associated with Chernobyl
alone are in the trillions, and not only that but when the sarcaphagus
collapses it will produce a radiation event that makes the original
disaster look small by comparison.
Three Mile Island was fully contained, you say that like it means
anything, but in fact there is still an unknown amount of uranium fuel,
radioactive debris, and contamination inside the now dead reactor. The
cleanup cost a billion dollars and took years, and in some ways will
never be completed. Pennsylvania electric customers will be paying for
TMI for decades to come.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/tmi/stories/cleanup032889.htm
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/PA_Env-Her/tmi/tmiEpstein.htm
Post by Pete C.
Nuclear power may or may not be the "solution to all of humankind's
problems", but it is clearly the best option we have now or likely will
have over the next 10 years. To reject it because of paranoia is absurd.
It is not clearly the best option we have. It is clearly the only
option that you are willing or able to perceive, and since that's
an obvious sticking point with you there's not much point in continuing
this discussion, is there?
If you took the time to read and comprehend my previous posts you
clearly see what my perceptions are and the facts behind them. I clearly
indicated the numerous issues with current renewable technology and why
it is necessary to look elsewhere to bridge the gap until the renewable
technologies become practical on a large scale.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
As noted in another post Chernobyl did *not* leave "a thousand square
mile patch permanently uninhabitable". In fact outside of the plant area
itself everything has been decontaminated. Granted that was a lot of
work, but it was done and the whole accident was due to a reactor design
several generations behind the ones we are currently running, and those
are obsolete as well.
It's difficult to disagree with facts. While I have not personally been
to Chernobyl, I do have several friends who have been there multiple
times doing relief and rebuilding work and their eyewitness reports
confirm that the area is quite inhabitable now.
http://www.kiddofspeed.com/
http://www.livingearthgatherings.org/novozybkov.html
http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/004/Y2795e/y2795e08.htm
Anyone can do a search on Chernobyl and get one point five million
hits, all with information that easily contradicts your assertations
here. In fact, your statements are so out of phase with reality I have
to wonder just where you're getting your information? Perhaps you're
a spin doctor for the nuclear power industry? That would make sense.
Deny, deny, deny, don't acknowledge the facts, ignore the truth.
You believe everything you see online? I'll note that the sites you've
just listed are not exactly "objective" reputable sites. Do you also
believe all the 911 conspiracy sites, or perhaps the moon landing
conspiracy ones?

My friends lived in the vicinity of Chernobyl for a number of months and
on several different trips, I'm far more inclined to believe what I hear
from them than what is posted on a questionable web site.
Post by JazzMan
Sigh.
Post by Pete C.
I'm for the technology that is safe, available and practical *now* that
does not release any pollution on a daily basis (other than waste heat),
and what waste is generated is compact and containable.
Safe, available, and practical now, that covers wind right
now. And, unlike almost every part of a nuclear power plant,
wind generators are both cheap and easy to build *and* are
recycleable. No need to bury that worn out windmill inside
a mountain for a few million years before it's safe again.
How many wind towers would need to be erected for their production (not
peak) to match one average sized conventional plant (nuke/coal/NG/oil)?
Where are you going to locate all of them? How many access roads and
transmission lines are you going to need to build along the wooded
mountain tops? Think they will have less impact than drilling in ANWAR?

What about the storage facilities required if you wanted to completely
eliminate all the nuke and conventional plants? Wind is not continuous
production so you have to be able to generate larger peaks than your
average steady state load and store that energy to use during the dips
in the wind. How are you going to store this energy, acres of battery
banks? Pumped hydro? Compressed air in underground reservoir?

How about solar-thermal? Once again only producing 25% of the time. How
many acres of collector panels and steam generator towers would you need
to match one average conventional plants production? Again how are you
going to store the energy so you can cover the 75% of the time your
collectors are not producing?

Hydro is at least a (mostly) 100% production resource so you avoid the
energy storage issues although pumped hydro is useful for peak shaving.
But you run into all those issues with fish.

Have you actually taken the time to think about these issues? Think
these technologies are really ready for large scale use? Want to buy a
bridge?

As I mentioned earlier the only renewable technology that is close to
ready for "prime time" is solar PV with a distributed generation model.
In this one case the technology *is* to the point that it can be
practically deployed. In fact the technology only reached this point a
couple years ago with an integrated and certified power management and
back metering unit. The trick here is in educating the public since they
need to play an active role in distributed generation.

Still think I'm blindly pro-nuke? Still believe in the tooth fairy?

Pete C.

PS: And no, I've never lost a moments sleep worrying about a nuclear war
either.
Post by JazzMan
LOL!
JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Steve
2005-03-10 00:26:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
Not true at all, anyone who blindly thinks that all nuclear energy
should be abandoned is a "whacko loony environut" and paranoid.
I don't think all nuclear energy should be abandoned. I, and millions
just like me, don't think that it is safe enough at the current level
of technology,
Hell, man, its been EXTREMELY safe given that all the plants in the US
are (at best) 1970s technology, and many are late 1950s technolgy!
Post by JazzMan
and we all think that the waste byproducts are too
dangerous for too long of a time to be reliably stored in the long
term.
Given the choice between picking some extremely remote area of the
planet and putting a concentrated pile of REAL nasty stuff there, versus
spreading millions of tons of 'just' plain nasty stuff throughout the
whole atmosphere... which makes the most sense?
Post by JazzMan
Between the human mistakes, the deliberate acts of terrorists,
and plain old bad luck, the negative effects of a problem in the
nuclear industry can be far-reaching and destructive on a large scale.
Not all reactors make plutonium- in fact NONE of the ones used for power
generation in the US do.
Post by JazzMan
If a regular power plant suffers a catastrophic failure the results
are contained locally,
The same is true, no matter what stupid TV shows and movies say, for BWR
and PWR fission reactors as well.

and no matter how bad, can easily be cleaned up
Post by JazzMan
and no long-term problems exist. The losses associated with Chernobyl
alone are in the trillions,
Chernobyl is a type of reactor that has never been and will never be
used for power production in the US. 'Nuff said.
Post by JazzMan
Three Mile Island was fully contained, you say that like it means
anything, but in fact there is still an unknown amount of uranium fuel,
radioactive debris, and contamination inside the now dead reactor.
Actually, the condition of the core is very well known. Its stable, its
safe, its not going anywhere. Thats about as bad as an accident can get
with a PWR reactor, and it didn't do diddly to the environment.
Post by JazzMan
It is not clearly the best option we have.
Ok. Start naming other options that can realistically pick up the
production of 1/5 of America's CURRENT power demand. I'm not even asking
that you cover the growth in demand that electric cars would produce!
Steve
2005-03-08 17:50:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
Post by JazzMan
Post by Pete C.
The paranoid anti nuke folks will of course try to hype anything they
can to get attention, but that does not make the terrorist threat any
more legitimate than most of their other arguments.
I'll note that in all the decades of nuclear energy production there has
only been one truly significant accident in the entire world - Chernobyl
http://www.nci.org/i/ib10499.htm
http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/10179.html
http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nuctek/accident.html
I like that "...there has only been one truly significant accident
in the entire world...", except for the others, that is. LOL! There
have been thousands of smaller accidents that resulted in little
to no radiation release to the envirnment, but to ignore those is
the exact same thing as ignoring the shuttle tiles that were damaged
by foam in the years before Columbia. Nothing made by man is perfect.
And that is exactly incorrect. If there was little to no radiation
release it just proves that the safety systems *did* work. Just because
it feed someone's paranoia does not make it a significant accident.
The accidents are not ignored either, the lessons learned from them are
incorporated into the next generation reactor designs. This is no
different than the lessons learned from aircraft accidents and auto
accidents with exception that in those accidents people get killed.
To imply that because there were accidents the whole idea of nuclear
energy should be scrapped is utterly ridiculous and just the mentality
of the paranoid anti nuke loonies. If the same illogic were applied
elsewhere we would have no aircraft, no cars, etc.
Half a dozen planes crashed, lets ban them all! A hundred cars crashed,
lets ban them all! Total nonsense...
Planes crash, the causes are studied and changes are incorporated in
other planes to prevent the same accident from occurring again. Cars
crash and the causes are studied and changes are incorporated to help
prevent them. The shuttle blew up twice and both times the causes were
studied, changes made and the shuttle flew (or will fly) again. This is
how progress is made.
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?
No, only the people who say "absolutely no new nukes, build coal plants
until Solar is viable" are the whacko looney environuts.
Post by JazzMan
At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.
The US built exactly ONE experimental reactor of the type used at
Chernobyl, for the very reason that high-temperature gas cooled reactors
are not as inherently safe as PWR and BWR reactors. Furthermore,
Chernobyl was triggered by an improper procedure being conducted as an
"experiment."
JazzMan
2005-03-09 02:29:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve
Post by JazzMan
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?
No, only the people who say "absolutely no new nukes, build coal plants
until Solar is viable" are the whacko looney environuts.
I wouldn't have any problems with a nuclear power plant
that could be guaranteed never to release any radiation
or radioactive materials no matter how bad the accident,
design or procedural error, or direct terrorist act was.
Also, any radioactive waste products as well as the
irradiated structure and operational consumables would
need to be completely and perfectly proof from any of the
above problems.

Coal is nasty, but it can be made cleaner, especially if
the administration would stop interfering with the state's
efforts to clean it up. I don't advocate building more
coal plants unless the ability to sequester their carbon
is implemented. That's expensive, but not only possible but
proven technology. I would prefer non-fossil fuel-based
power generation, of course, and right now a multiple-layered
approach using wind, solar, geothermal, and conservation
incentives would do just as well as going nukular (sic).

However, I have found that to staunch nuclear proponents
there are no other viable sources of electrical generation
ability, none. There's not much to be done or said to them,
they're just not physically or mentally able to comprehend
anything outside of the nuclear paradigm.
Post by Steve
Post by JazzMan
At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.
The US built exactly ONE experimental reactor of the type used at
Chernobyl, for the very reason that high-temperature gas cooled reactors
are not as inherently safe as PWR and BWR reactors. Furthermore,
Chernobyl was triggered by an improper procedure being conducted as an
"experiment."
There were two graphite core reactors in the states, one is
the N reactor at Hanford and is used primarily to make
weapons-grade plutonium, and the other was a commercial
reactor in Fort St. Vrain, Colorado. The Colorado reactor
was gas cooled, and was shut down in 1989 after years of
being plagued with reliability problems:
http://nukeworker.com/nuke_facilities/North_America/usa/NRC_Facilities/Region_4/fort_st_vrain/index.shtml

Hanford's graphite pile reactor, liquid-cooled like Chernobyl,
was decomissioned in 1986 at a cost of hundred of millions
of dollars. Unfortunately the plant operations left behind
at least 2.6x10^28 Kg of radiologically contaminated soil and
groundwater that will cost trillions to clean up, if it can
be cleaned up at all.

Like I've said before, I'll be more than happy to take
nuclear power as long as it is guaranteed, I mean really
guaranteed, to be ultimately and perfectly safe *and* won't
produce any long-term waste storage issues.

JazzMan
--
**********************************************************
Please reply to jsavage"at"airmail.net.
Curse those darned bulk e-mailers!
**********************************************************
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of
supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to
live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry
**********************************************************
Steve
2005-03-10 00:32:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by JazzMan
Post by Steve
Post by JazzMan
Let's see if I understand your logic correctly: Anyone who
doesn't agree with you that nuclear power is the end all
and be all solution to all of humankind's problems is a
whacko looney environut, right? They're all paranoid, right?
No, only the people who say "absolutely no new nukes, build coal plants
until Solar is viable" are the whacko looney environuts.
I wouldn't have any problems with a nuclear power plant
that could be guaranteed never to release any radiation
or radioactive materials no matter how bad the accident,
design or procedural error, or direct terrorist act was.
Also, any radioactive waste products as well as the
irradiated structure and operational consumables would
need to be completely and perfectly proof from any of the
above problems.
Coal is nasty, but it can be made cleaner, especially if
the administration would stop interfering with the state's
efforts to clean it up. I don't advocate building more
coal plants unless the ability to sequester their carbon
is implemented. That's expensive, but not only possible but
proven technology. I would prefer non-fossil fuel-based
power generation, of course, and right now a multiple-layered
approach using wind, solar, geothermal, and conservation
incentives would do just as well as going nukular (sic).
However, I have found that to staunch nuclear proponents
there are no other viable sources of electrical generation
ability, none. There's not much to be done or said to them,
they're just not physically or mentally able to comprehend
anything outside of the nuclear paradigm.
Post by Steve
Post by JazzMan
At least plane crashes don't leave thousand square mile
patches of the planet permanently uninhabitable like Chernobyl
and Kyshtym did.
The US built exactly ONE experimental reactor of the type used at
Chernobyl, for the very reason that high-temperature gas cooled reactors
are not as inherently safe as PWR and BWR reactors. Furthermore,
Chernobyl was triggered by an improper procedure being conducted as an
"experiment."
There were two graphite core reactors in the states, one is
the N reactor at Hanford
Not the same type of machine at all.
Post by JazzMan
and the other was a commercial
reactor in Fort St. Vrain, Colorado. The Colorado reactor
was gas cooled, and was shut down in 1989 after years of
http://nukeworker.com/nuke_facilities/North_America/usa/NRC_Facilities/Region_4/fort_st_vrain/index.shtml
Exactly. Ft. St. Vrain was the "experiment" I mentioned. It was tiny-
never intended to do anything but be a proof (or dis-proof) of concept.
We tried it, it didn't work. The USSR stuck with it because it was cheap
to build, but they paid the price in the long run.
Post by JazzMan
Like I've said before, I'll be more than happy to take
nuclear power as long as it is guaranteed, I mean really
guaranteed, to be ultimately and perfectly safe *and* won't
produce any long-term waste storage issues.
From a scientific and engineering standpoint, it is ALREADY safer than
increasing the use of coal, if you believe in greenhouse gasses. Its
track record in the US has already proved that.

y_p_w
2005-03-08 04:18:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
That wasn't quite what I was getting at. City centers and suburbs
are polluted as it is. A remotely located powerplant can relocate
the pollution to a place that's less impacted. Of course now with
suburban sprawl, there aren't that many places that aren't reasonably
impacted by pollution.
Pete C.
2005-03-08 15:22:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by y_p_w
Post by Pete C.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
That wasn't quite what I was getting at. City centers and suburbs
are polluted as it is. A remotely located powerplant can relocate
the pollution to a place that's less impacted. Of course now with
suburban sprawl, there aren't that many places that aren't reasonably
impacted by pollution.
Ok, now I see the point you were trying to make, however it is also
incorrect since pollution does not remain in one place. Other than
nuclear plants which produce solid waste, other conventional plants all
produce airborne pollution which can and will travel thousands of miles.

Pete C.
y_p_w
2005-03-09 00:01:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
Post by y_p_w
Post by Pete C.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
That wasn't quite what I was getting at. City centers and suburbs
are polluted as it is. A remotely located powerplant can relocate
the pollution to a place that's less impacted. Of course now with
suburban sprawl, there aren't that many places that aren't
reasonably
Post by Pete C.
Post by y_p_w
impacted by pollution.
Ok, now I see the point you were trying to make, however it is also
incorrect since pollution does not remain in one place. Other than
nuclear plants which produce solid waste, other conventional plants all
produce airborne pollution which can and will travel thousands of miles.
Yeah - but it's going to be spread out over a larger area, and
certainly
much of the area can withstand a little industrial pollution.

Of course one of the problems with the Central Valley of California
is that the prevailing winds tend to bring pollution from the San
Francisco Bay Area. They're also in a valley, so it tends to get
trapped. That used to be a relatively unpolluted area, until
sprawl and additional Bay Area pollution came.
Steve
2005-03-08 17:47:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by y_p_w
Post by Pete C.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
That wasn't quite what I was getting at. City centers and suburbs
are polluted as it is.
Exactly- they're already a lost cause
Post by y_p_w
A remotely located powerplant can relocate
the pollution to a place that's less impacted.
No, it will bring pollution to a remote pristine area that will be MORE
impacted than the already-dirty city.

Typical urban NIMBY thinking.
y_p_w
2005-03-09 00:16:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve
Post by y_p_w
Post by Pete C.
Technically true although a relatively small factor, also the OP was
implying that a power plant located far away from a city would somehow
be less polluting.
That wasn't quite what I was getting at. City centers and suburbs
are polluted as it is.
Exactly- they're already a lost cause
Post by y_p_w
A remotely located powerplant can relocate
the pollution to a place that's less impacted.
No, it will bring pollution to a remote pristine area that will be MORE
impacted than the already-dirty city.
Typical urban NIMBY thinking.
I'm thinking in terms of reducing asthma and other ailments in the
more populated (and already impacted) urban centers.
Post by Steve
From a practical point of view, there virtually no areas that are
truly pristine. There are some areas that can withstand additional
emissions without reaching harmful levels.
B. Peg
2005-03-05 18:39:05 UTC
Permalink
Mostly because American buyers want large vehicles (fat people can't fit
well in small cars, ya know) and to haul large (take it anyway you want)
families around. If they made a hybrid SUV, then they will come - and kick
the price of gas to $4-5 gallon too.
Look at all the large vehicles sitting in used car lots, some '04 models
even. I think the hybrid trend is coming later this summer, but the true
cost of ownership (ergo, the $$$$ battery) remains to be seen. If
Kalifornya goes to a mileage-based tax system at the pump there won't be
much incentive either.

B~
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
--
Reply in group, but if emailing add
2 more zeros and remove the obvious.
Tom Del Rosso
2005-03-05 19:23:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by B. Peg
Mostly because American buyers want large vehicles (fat people can't fit
well in small cars, ya know)
I'm not fat, but I have found this is also true of tall people and people
with elbows.
Post by B. Peg
and to haul large (take it anyway you want)
families around. If they made a hybrid SUV, then they will come - and kick
the price of gas to $4-5 gallon too.
I don't follow. It would raise the price if demand lowered?
Post by B. Peg
Look at all the large vehicles sitting in used car lots, some '04 models
even. I think the hybrid trend is coming later this summer, but the true
cost of ownership (ergo, the $$$$ battery) remains to be seen. If
Kalifornya goes to a mileage-based tax system at the pump there won't be
much incentive either.
Is their plan to tax gas more if the vehicle has high mileage??? That seems
backwards even for them.
--
Reply in group, but if emailing add
2 more zeros and remove the obvious.
B. Peg
2005-03-06 01:50:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Is their plan to tax gas more if the vehicle has high mileage??? That
seems backwards even for them.
The plan is (and there is a test plan going on right now in Oregon) to tax
by the mile with a device that gives your mileage at the pump and is added
to your bill. This will alleviate any loss of road construction money from
hybrids that would be lost in the now present gasoline tax if less gas
consumption is done by hybrids.

Think of it as just another way of regaining lost tax revenue.

B~
Bob Paulin
2005-03-08 13:03:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by B. Peg
The plan is (and there is a test plan going on right now in Oregon) to tax
by the mile with a device that gives your mileage at the pump............
Of course, they would NEVER consider downloading other retrievable
information such as speeds driven, where the vehicle has been recently, or
if there are any outstanding parking citations......

......and, disregarding the "Denver Boot", they would NEVER consider some
means of electronically disabling a vehicle until fines and assessments
against said vehicle are paid.....

.....or WOULD they?
Steve
2005-03-07 17:27:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Is their plan to tax gas more if the vehicle has high mileage??? That seems
backwards even for them.
Of course, didn't you see that coming? It happens all the time:

Tax the fire out of cigarettes to "discourage" smoking and rake in
reveue.... then the amount of people who smoke really DOES go down and
"whoops! Not enough tax revenue, gotta open a new revenue stream."

Tax the snot out of gasoline, people go buy efficient cars, and "whoops!
Not enough gasoline tax revenue, better start charging people by how
many miles they drive to recover revenue."
y_p_w
2005-03-08 04:24:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Is their plan to tax gas more if the vehicle has high mileage??? That seems
backwards even for them.
Tax the fire out of cigarettes to "discourage" smoking and rake in
reveue.... then the amount of people who smoke really DOES go down and
"whoops! Not enough tax revenue, gotta open a new revenue stream."
Tax the snot out of gasoline, people go buy efficient cars, and "whoops!
Not enough gasoline tax revenue, better start charging people by how
many miles they drive to recover revenue."
It was kind of strange how it worked with regulated energy utilities.
They created customer credits and incentives to purchase more efficient
electrical appliances, and as a result were allowed to increase rates
to make up for a lower demand for power.

Of course that went all batty when California deregulated its power.
Pete C.
2005-03-08 14:59:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by y_p_w
Post by Steve
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Is their plan to tax gas more if the vehicle has high mileage??? That seems
backwards even for them.
Tax the fire out of cigarettes to "discourage" smoking and rake in
reveue.... then the amount of people who smoke really DOES go down and
"whoops! Not enough tax revenue, gotta open a new revenue stream."
Tax the snot out of gasoline, people go buy efficient cars, and "whoops!
Not enough gasoline tax revenue, better start charging people by how
many miles they drive to recover revenue."
It was kind of strange how it worked with regulated energy utilities.
They created customer credits and incentives to purchase more efficient
electrical appliances, and as a result were allowed to increase rates
to make up for a lower demand for power.
Of course that went all batty when California deregulated its power.
The problem is that CA didn't really deregulate their power, they only
*half* deregulated it. It was their "deregulating" the retail and still
regulating the wholesale that caused the whole thing to implode. Sure
Enron may have tried to manipulate things near the end, but it was CA's
bogus deregulation that set things up for collapse.

Pete C.
clifto
2005-03-08 21:03:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pete C.
The problem is that CA didn't really deregulate their power, they only
*half* deregulated it. It was their "deregulating" the retail and still
regulating the wholesale that caused the whole thing to implode.
I thought it was the other way around; the state didn't care how much it
cost the producers to produce or buy wholesale, but it regulated the
selling price at a level far too low to cover costs.
Pete C.
2005-03-08 22:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by clifto
Post by Pete C.
The problem is that CA didn't really deregulate their power, they only
*half* deregulated it. It was their "deregulating" the retail and still
regulating the wholesale that caused the whole thing to implode.
I thought it was the other way around; the state didn't care how much it
cost the producers to produce or buy wholesale, but it regulated the
selling price at a level far too low to cover costs.
That's more or less it, just a different way of describing it. The mock
deregulation of the retail side let the consumer pick a producer, but
the prices were capped (still regulated), they made the suppliers
compete.

Either way it was phony deregulation and they're now paying the price
for trying to squeeze the suppliers.

Pete C.
Steve
2005-03-07 17:23:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by B. Peg
Mostly because American buyers want large vehicles (fat people can't fit
well in small cars, ya know) and to haul large (take it anyway you want)
families around. If they made a hybrid SUV, then they will come - and kick
the price of gas to $4-5 gallon too.
I've said all along that Toyota and Honda blew it by introducing hybrid
small cars first. The Ford Escape hybrid is a step in the right
direction, but its still too small. Something the size of a Durango or
Tahoe is the perfect vehicle for a hybrid to have the maximum advantage
over a conventional drivetrain. Any bigger, and the battery pack would
dominate the whole vehicle, any smaller and the advantage over
conventional just doesn't justify the cost (as was CLEARLY the case with
the first-gen the Prius- the contemporary Echo got better mileage with
the A/C running than the Prius did.)
Lawrence Glickman
2005-03-05 19:58:37 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 05 Mar 2005 16:26:32 GMT, "Tom Del Rosso"
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
From what I've seen, not ready for Prime Time.
Know of one lady, battery died after trip up from Kentucky. $150
minimum to service, and possibly not under warranty.

Also saw one of these going down the highway. Bouncing around like a
sardine can in a hurricane. While my 3,800 lb car never moved, except
forward.

My own opinion is a Hybrid is a motorcycle with a passenger
compartment built over it.

Lg
Kruse
2005-03-05 22:50:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
Forgive me if this gets posted twice. I crashed earlier.....

Anyway, we had a Ford Escape Hybrid in our shop a few days ago for
pre-delivery inspection. Cost is about $27,000. The technician that was
trained to work on the thing said the battery costs $8,000, but Ford
puts a 150,000 mile warranty, free replacement on the battery. We'll
see. Everything under the hood that has 330 volts is colored red as a
warning. EPA rated mpg is 31 highway, 36 city. Yep, it's rated higher
mpg in the city than the highway. 'Course we all know that EPA ratings
are not accurate.
I'm not posting this to praise or to bash the thing, but if gas goes
higher (and it is) more people will be interested in them.
My sister-in-law has a Toyota hybrid which I have yet to see or drive.
She says that with more than two people in it, it REALLY is
underpowered.
Jan Kalin
2005-03-07 10:11:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else
there
Post by Tom Del Rosso
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due
to
Post by Tom Del Rosso
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for
primetime?
Forgive me if this gets posted twice. I crashed earlier.....
Anyway, we had a Ford Escape Hybrid in our shop a few days ago for
pre-delivery inspection. Cost is about $27,000. The technician that was
trained to work on the thing said the battery costs $8,000, but Ford
puts a 150,000 mile warranty, free replacement on the battery. We'll
see. Everything under the hood that has 330 volts is colored red as a
warning. EPA rated mpg is 31 highway, 36 city. Yep, it's rated higher
mpg in the city than the highway. 'Course we all know that EPA ratings
are not accurate.
This might actually make sense if the energy recovery on braking is high
enough.
--
/"\ Jan Kalin (male, preferred languages: Slovene, English)
\ / http://charm.zag.si/eng/, email: "name dot surname AT zag dot si"
X ASCII ribbon campaign against HTML in mail and postings.
/ \ I'm a .signature virus. Copy me to help me spread.
Don Stauffer in Minneapolis
2005-03-06 17:12:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Del Rosso
Besides higher mileage I suspect there must be hidden costs or else there
would be hybrids on dealers' floors. Is there a significant cost due to
replacing batteries or something? Or are they just not ready for primetime?
I have heard the companies are sort of subsidizing them, to gain good
will and to test market, that is- not making the profit they make on
other comparable models. I suspect they don't want to sell too many at
the current prices. If they decide to flood the market, I'm sure the
price will go way up.
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...