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FZeroOne
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Postby FZeroOne » Thu May 20, 2004 8:54 pm

Funnily enough, there was an article in New Scientist a little while back about how some people are beginning to think about nuclear power seriously again. Apparently, technology has advanced a bit and its now possible to think about nuclear power without thinking about mushroom clouds at the same time... (I realise this is not what happens when things go bad to nuclear reactors, but its probably the image most people immediately bring to mind...! ) There was even a suggestion that small fission generators could be used to provide heating and power for houses in the same way as gas generators!
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Thu May 20, 2004 9:56 pm

Yeah, but in the current climate, how much potential for dirty bombs would that generate? The mind boggles...
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FZeroOne
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Postby FZeroOne » Fri May 21, 2004 9:28 am

Would you believe not as much as you might think? One of the items discussed in the article was a laser-based method of reducing the half-life of nuclear waste from thousands of years to minutes...! Obviously, AFAIK, its still theory at the moment but I think some lab tests have been done...
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

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Postby AndyThomas » Tue May 25, 2004 5:08 pm

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FZeroOne
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Postby FZeroOne » Wed May 26, 2004 6:36 pm

I saw that article - I'd be a little bit surprised if Japan was chosen, given their past nuclear experiences, though it has to be said their attitude to nuclear power is, through sheer need, a little ambigious (I was a bit amused to see that in the new Godzilla film - Godzilla being the personification of nuclear evil -the heroic MechaGodzilla, which runs on "safe" battery power, gets recharged by a huge power transmssions dish. The irony is because the energy would almost certainly have been nulcear-power station generated in the first place!).Mind you, isn't Europe also getting the Worlds biggest particle accelerator as well...? I believe some people were worried we are all going to be wiped out by an accidential quantum collision, or something...  
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

FZeroOne
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Postby FZeroOne » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:07 pm

Perhaps the energy crisis is not quite as serious as previously thought...?!:http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.a ... E_ID=38645
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:10 pm

Well, having just come back from watching "The Day After Tomorrow" can I just point out that pumping more hyrdrocarbon byproducts into the atmosphere and converting oil into non-biodegradable substances on the surface does not necessarily equal good news for the planet. It's an interesting article certainly, assuming that oil companies took the view that the presumably more expensive deep drilling was worth it. But consider the likes of China - it's already got an energy crisis. What sort of increased demand are we looking at in the near future?
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felice
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Postby felice » Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:57 am

Interesting... that's the first I've heard of such a theory. Searching on abiotic oil or non-fossil oil doesn't return many results, and I don't believe the theory would have gotten so little attention over the years if it was plausible. But I don't think it matters - deep oil isn't necessarily of any use, as it might require more energy to extract than it would supply, and the rate of refilling of near-surface reservoirs is much slower than our rate of consumption.According to that article, the Middle East currently has enough oil to last the world about 25 years, at present levels of consumption. The problem being that consumption (or at least demand) is constantly increasing, not staying at present levels, and production levels aren't sustainable. It's not a case of pumping out oil steadily for 25 years, then stopping suddenly. Annual production is going to trail off gradually over many decades, as the remaining oil becomes harder and more expensive to extract. The Middle East already supplies a third of the world's oil, and the rest of the world's production levels have already started trailing off.

FZeroOne
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Postby FZeroOne » Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:53 pm

Andy, I agree that more hydro-carbon pollutants are probably not a good thing, but perhaps a shock followed by a stablisation period might focus minds a bit more. Felice, I agree it sounds an unlikely theory, though it wouldn't be the first time a major discovery has gotten little attention at first - look at "Junk DNA".And getting back where we started... SpaceShip One, as you've all probably heard, is set to go on June 21st. As a frustrated space cadet, I wish them luck...!
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.


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