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Comments 351 to 400:

  1. michael sweet at 02:38 AM on 5 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer Poet:

    You are having trouble with the moderators.  SkS wants to encourage people to discuss nuclear power.  I have some suggestions for you to improve your relationship with the mods.

    1) At 255 the moderator does not want exchanges of opinion.  At Skeptical Science you have to provide references to support your position.  You need references for every assertion you make.

    2) At 261 there are several issues.   The moderators do not want repetition.  You have only linked two papers and you linked one of them twice.  The conversation on LRNT is now completely repetitious.  Once you and I have had our says move on to another topic.

    3)  Sloganeering is making assertions without supporting documents.  You need to provide links to information supporting all your claims.  You have made many claims with only two references, both about LRNT.

    4) Your posting style is very hostile.  Try not to be argumentative.  Hostile posts invite hostile replies and make the conversation degrade.  The forced variations thread at Real Climate has more posts insulting other posters than posts with real contributions.  That is not allowed at SkS.

    Your posts are long.  That makes it more likely that you will say something that the mods don't like.  Try to make your posts only two or three paragraphs long. 

    Keep each post to a single topic, like LRNT or power plant locations.  Only discuss one or two topics at a time.  After that topic is exhausted move on to the next topic.  When too many topics are discussed at once none get resolved.  My last post discusses 5 topics in reply to you.  It is hard to read and no topic is covered in detail.

    Upthread poster Ritchieb1234 and I had a long, thoughtful conversation.  That shows it is possible to discuss nuclear power.  He did not cite as many links as SkS likes, but his extraordinary experience made up for that.  He posted on one topic at a time.  Normal people like you and I have to cite sources.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] All of this is pretty clearly stated in the Comments Policy.

  2. ulifwischnath at 21:30 PM on 4 August 2021
    Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    Dear Melanie,

    I fully understand where you are coming from and have had a number of lengthy dsicussions with people whose 'research' mainly consisted of cherry picking.

    Nevertheless I cannot accept that all who aren't scientists shall just trust the experts and done. Trust is something that needs to be earned. In this case the science has in my eyes the obligation to explain the findings in a way that as well the non-experts can get an idea of their own what is right and wrong.

    Additionally we have got the problem that taking decisions is often interfering with a number of scientific fields and often the experts representing different fields come to different conclusions on such complex matters as how best to fight a Corona pandemic or climate change. Which scientist should a decision maker (and be it a voter) listen to? In my eyes there is definitely a necessity for the ability to form an opinion on your own based on information that you look at.

    Best regards Uli

  3. Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    I have heard the exact term "Do your own research", from a person who then went on to explain why the science is all wrong.

    Needless to say the person was repeating absolute rot about how CO2 is not a greenhouse gas but grows plants etc.

    Very hard to put up with needless to say I have never crossed the threshold of the business again.

     

     

  4. michael sweet at 12:26 PM on 4 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer Poet:

    You continue to waste our time discussing LRNT.  I have pointed out to you that I have orders of magnitude more professional experience, professional training and radiation knowledge than you do.

    As far as your assertion at 272:

    "If it had been Sr-90 you would have had some serious beta burns and some gamma exposure from the decay of excited isomers to their ground states. Further, I'm certain that holding such things in your hands is a violation of safety protocols."

    This demonstrates your complete ignorance of radiation.  Sr-90 is a low energy beta emitter, not a high energy emitter as I described.  I was using the daughter product of Sr-90, Yittrium-90, which is a higher energy emitter.  You do not even know about the Cerenkov gamma radiation field which is a big issue with high energy beta emitters.

    Strontium-90 has a halflife of 29 years and emits beta particles of
    relatively low energy as it decays. Yttrium-90, its decay product, has a shorter half-life (64 hours) than strontium-90, but it emits beta particles of higher energy. source my emphasis

    Since I am trained in the use of high energy radiation I was able to safely remove a sample from an unshielded vial containing a curie of Y-90.  I got no burns, the exposure on my finger ring was minimal and it is not a violation of safety rules.  Internet educated wanna-bees like you don't know what they are talking about.

    The rest of your rants just serve to demonstrate that you do not care if nuclear power plants are unsafe.  You cut off my point of sea level rise overwhelming the Big Bend power plant site.  What about the effect of sea level rise on Big Bend and Turkey Point in Miami?  80% of current nuclear plants in the USA are threatened by floods they were not designed for.  You do not care how many people you kill building dangerous power plants.

    A consensus does is not the same as a unanamous consensus.  We all know there are scientists like Linzden and Spencer who do not agree with the climate change consensus.  Similarly, there are wackos like Calabrese who do not agree with the consensus of LRNT.  Scientists have had a consensus on using LRNT for over 70 years.  The nuclear industry has argued for that to be changed but the data overwhelmingly indicates that radiation causes harm at low doses.  

    I note that you have only one citation in your entire rant.  That is to a paper published in 1958.  Perhaps scientists have learned something in the last 60 years.  You have produced nothing to answer the 15 points that Abbott made.

    France loses money on every watt they generate using nuclear power.  They have not paid off the original morgages and have not set aside funds to shut down their reactors.  The government subsidizes the power prices to make people think nuclear was a good investment.

    It is a waste of my time to respond to the rest of your Gish Gallop.  There are to many ignorant mistakes and deliberate falsehoods to respond in a reasonable amount of column length.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Please hold off on any further responses to Engineer-Poet, until moderators have had the chance to assess them (and delete them as needed)

     [DB] Engineer-Poet has recused themselves from further participation here.

  5. Engineer-Poet at 11:23 AM on 4 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @266:

    I have held a curie of high energy beta radiation in my unshielded hand (for those with no radiation training like you that is an very, very large amount of radiation). I do not appreciate condesending remarks from internet educated wanna-bees like you. I am familiar with all the reactors you mentioned.

    Depends what it was, doesn't it?  A curie of tritium is about 100 micrograms, and a bit of polyethylene is enough to shield its emissions.

    If it had been Sr-90 you would have had some serious beta burns and some gamma exposure from the decay of excited isomers to their ground states.  Further, I'm certain that holding such things in your hands is a violation of safety protocols.

    Even in industry sponsored training it was obvious that the nuclear industry does not care how many people they kill and cherry picks their references.

    Which is why they have such painstaking dosimetry and exposure reporting requirements.  Which is why nuclear plants are rated by the amount of radiation exposure their workers receive, and ones at the bottom of the scale are subject to increased NRC oversight.

    I've been hanging around, reading the stories told by actual nuclear professionals, for decades now.  The tales of the work they have to do for "minimization" are head-shakingly incredible, but they all have them.  You're the one whose claims are not credible, and your talk of "does not care about how many people they kill" is simply libelous.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL} Yet more violations of the comments policy.

  6. Engineer-Poet at 11:18 AM on 4 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @265:

    You are wasting your time talking about radiation safety.

    Oh, I don't know.  Putting your intransigence out there for all to see has value.

    My experience is that people who do not like nuclear recognize that the scientific consensus is LRNT.

    How much of said "consensus" is from people in the "radiation protection" business—in other words, people with an interest in maintaining and ever-tightening the rules so they can make money from "minimization"?  Meanwhile, health physics deals with the REAL world, and workers at university research reactors routinely take many times the dose allowed at commercial nuclear plants, yet suffer no ill effects. Why is this allowed?  It's because research reactors are not competing with the fossil fuel industry; nuclear electric plants do.  Evidence-based radiation standards would seriously reduce the operating and maintenance cost of nuclear electric plants, and applying the same radiation standards to fossil fuels would require things like the handling of radium-rich petroleum well pipe scale as radwaste with all the same protection standards as at nuclear plants.  Such cost shifts might even get people to build more nuclear and use less fossil.

    There is a LOT of uranium in the ground, and the decay chain of U-238 produces Ra-226 and Rn-222.  A lot of this uranium chemically deposits in the same strata which host coal, oil and gas, which is why natural gas from the Marcellus shale is so high in radon.  Gas stoves dump the radon straight into the air people breathe.  I don't see any major "environmental" organizations demanding protection from that,do you?

    People who are avid supporters of nuclear, like you, do not care how many people nuclear power kills

    That's libelous.  I used to spend 2 weeks a year mere miles from a Generation I nuclear power plant, and the rest of the year not too far from a university research reactor.  Neither ever killed ANYONE.  Both are gone now, with only the casks storing the used fuel showing the former was ever there (I don't know about the latter).  I now live year-round mere miles from this "danger".  Do I sound like I don't care about lives?  It's MY life on the line here.  I walk the walk.

    Know what I'd love?  I'd love a new nuclear plant on the site of the old one, causing people with radiophobia to stay away and not buy homes here.  It would reduce my property value and thus my property taxes.  Pay less money for the same or better quality of life (less crowding and cleaner air)?  Sign me up!

    and cherry pick their references to the few scientists who disagree with the consensus.

    Science is not determined by consensus.  It's determined by evidence, and anyone who will not look at the evidence has no business calling themselves a scientist. The evidence is on the side of Calibrese.  Those opposed are not scientists, whatever degrees they hold or what they call themselves.

    We are all familiar with the scientific deniers of climate change. Citing the few outliers of the LRNT consensus does not prove your point. The National Academy of Science strongly backs LRNT.

    The acronym is "LNT", and the NAS shows every sign of having been captured by special interests.  Fossil-fuel interests are notoriously wealthy.

    As you pointed out, dissenters of the consensus were allowed on the committee.

    But not allowed a voice.  Calabrese has published many papers on radiation hormesis and the errors in LNT.  None of those objections made it into the BEIR VII section on radiation hormesis, and yes I read it from end to end. What does this mean?  (lemme try list tags here)

    1. The BEIR VII report reflects a majority view, not a consensus view and certainly not a view of the actual range of opinion in the field.
    2. The majority view is subject to capture by various interests, especially wealthy ones.
    3. Those interests are overwhelmingly benefitted by fossil fuels.

    You need to acknowledge this.  (love it, list tags rock)

    Reviewing this thread I notice that opponents of nuclear power have never raised the issue of low level exposure to radiation as a reason not to build out nuclear.

    That's implicit in the use of LNT to oppose nuclear energy.

    It is raised by nuclear supporters.

    Because we see no detectable increase in morbidity or mortality due to small increases in radiation; on the contrary, the evidence supports hormesis (when you can extend the median lifespan of rats from 460 to 600 days by irradiating them with gamma rays, it very likely has the same effect in all mammals including humans).  We do see increases in morbidity and mortality with increases of criteria air pollutants and things like PM 2.5, neither of which are produced by nuclear energy.  So why are you raising these issues?  It's enough to make anyone think you're doing it in bad faith.

    1) Nuclear plants are not economic. They cost too much to build.

    France proved otherwise; France has some of the cheapest and cleanest electric power in Europe, while "renewable" Germany has some of the most expensive and continues to burn lignite.  The way you make nuclear power cheaply is the same way you make automobiles cheaply:  series production of stanard units.  That's what France did in the 80's.  That is not what France is doing now, which is why Flamanville costs so much.

    2) Nuclear plants take too long to build.

    They didn't used to.  Ever ponder what's different now?

    The breeder reactors you support have not yet been designed. Once they have a design (at least 5 years from now), the approval of the design takes 3-5 years.

    So you admit that the regulators are a big part of the problem.

    3) There are not enough rare materials to build a significant number of nuclear plants.

    Nonsense.  Nuclear plants do not require rare materials; they've just been convenient for the way we've been doing things since the 1950's.  We don't have to keep doing things that way, and there are a great many reasons not to.  Many of the new reactor concepts use other physical mechanisms than e.g. control rods to control the rate of reaction, so they have no need for the elements which go into them.

    You admit in your post 260 that there is not enough uranium for your plan.

    No, I said there's not enough land-based uranium to start the required fleet of fast-neutron reactors.  There's more than enough in the oceans, and the depleted uranium already on hand in the USA would suffice to run the entire world for about a century on fast reactors.  Also, there's more than enough thorium available to do the job (3-4x as abundant as uranium and it's almost 100% convertible to energy with thermal neutrons).

    4) Your responses to Abbott are grossly inadequate and uninformed. For examply you claim "pretty much ANY site that has ever hosted a coal plant is suitable for a nuclear plant." Only 10 miles from my house is the Big Bend power plant (it is switching from coal to gas). This plant is too close to a city to be converted to nuclear

    It's "too close" for nuclear, but far more dangerous and polluting coal (with far more radioisotope emissions from the tramp actinides) was just fine?  Ye gods, if it wasn't for double standards, anti-nukes wouldn't have any standards.

    (Mods:  there's a bug in the way the post editor JS handles closing bold and italic tags when switching from "Source" back to "Basic" after pasting in HTML; a trailing space is deleted even when it's explicitly in the source.)

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Enough is enough. You continue to violate the Comments Policy. From this point, on, any comment from you that contains a violation will be deleted in its entirety.

     

  7. Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    By my observation most people appear hopeless when it comes to investigating the credibility of various claims. They get fooled by obvious junk science, cherrypicking of information, misleading claims, the simplest of logical fallacies, self appointed experts without relevant qualifications, emotional manipulation, and anyone in a suit that tells them what they want to hear.

    People have little understanding of their own inherent biases and even less ability to control them. They will hold onto ideas that conform with their instincts or preferences despite multiple lines of carefully gathered evidence they are wrong, partly because they are too proud to accept they were mistaken or fooled.

    Why do people do all this? Partly because schools and universities do almost nothing (in my experience) to teach them about these things!

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 05:45 AM on 4 August 2021
    Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    Adding to my previous comment:

    "Everyone's perceptions are the basis for their understanding of reality" combined with "All opinions are equally valid" challenges efforts to develop a common sense understanding.

    A sustainable common sense requires everyone developing it to pursue increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and unsustainable and the need to limit harmful actions.

    And in cases like human induced climate change impacts the need is to actually rapidly end the harm being done, not somehow justify extra harm done because it is perceived to be harmful to stop the harm from being done.

    The over-development of harmful consumptive ways of living does not mean that developed perceptions of status need to be maintained. Playing that game rewards undeserving winners, encouraging others to try to win more that way. And the wealthy and powerful are well aware of that reality.

  9. One Planet Only Forever at 05:14 AM on 4 August 2021
    Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    The root of the issue is very complex. But a few things stand out:

    • There is a tragic popularity of the belief that all opinions are equally valid. The truth is that having learned something and basing an Opinion on that learning, including constantly updated understanding as more evidence is obtained or better explanations of what is going on develop, is different from developing a personally liked Opinion, especially if that Opinion is maintained as a Gospel-type Constant in spite of updated learning requiring it to change.
    • Harmful selfishness is excused, encouraged and rewarded in many cultures. The more competition there is for perceptions of superiority relative to others the more harmful the culture becomes, including increased resistance to efforts to educate the population to reduce how harmful its collective actions are (how harmful the actions of its leaders and winners are).
    • Many supposedly highly advanced cultures (and supposedly more intelligent people) can be seen to have developed massive Harmful Selfishness problems. And many developing people (supposedly less advanced) tragically take their development cues from the examples set by the supposedly superior people. And those who don't play the game the way the harmfully wealthy and powerful want the game played can get penalized in many ways ... particularly with the abuse of misleading marketing along with the other undeserved mechanism available to the harmfully unjustifiably wealthy and powerful.
    • Harmful unsustainable pursuits of perceptions of success and status relative to others has developed almost all of the harmful results of human actions to date.

    The Guardian article "Yep, it’s bleak, says expert who tested 1970s end-of-the-world prediction" discusses a recent re-evaluation of a 1972 MIT sustainability study that suggested there was no long ter future for the developing dominant socioeconomic games humans played.

    In addition to the rapid ending of additional climate change harm due to fossil fuel use, deforestation, and other activities, all of the Sustainable Development Goals, and more, needs to be achieved.

    The lack of attention by leadership to Sustainability, even though it was undeniably recognised by global leadership in the 1970s (at the Stockholm Conference and everything that followed), has produced the current day result of "a lack of time to pick and choose and slowly act to correct what has developed".

    Big changes are needed rapidly regarding how receptive populations are to actually becoming more aware with improved understanding about what is harmful. That will include severely limiting the ability of competitors for leadership to be able to win through misleading marketing efforts. And that requires ending the false belief in the "equivalency of all Opinions", that irrational misunderstanding of Relativism (everyone's perceptions are their reality).

    The efforts to make the required major corrections is not going to be easy, especially in the supposedly superior cultures and nations. But it is undeniably dangerous to compromise better understanding just to get along with people who do not like the idea of better understanding.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 03:11 AM on 4 August 2021
    2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    Eclectic, It would indeed be amusing to hear the WUWT crowd, especially Dr. Spencer and "The Error-Prone Viscount", attempt to present a rational solid argument justifying not presenting the real satellite data TLT temperature values.

    The -26C baseline value for the average TLT makes sense. But the large negative value would trigger questions that could scramble the cognitive dissonance into a flurry of fuzzy attempts to dismiss the clear evidence that satellite data averages are not to be considered to be a rational replacement for the surface temperature averages.

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 02:50 AM on 4 August 2021
    2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    MA Rogers,

    Thanks for the info about the WMO.

    As a structural engineer I am infinitely familiar with the 10 year update of climate design data based on the most recent complete 30 years ending in a Zero.

    And maintaining a consistent basis for presentation of climate change information rather than updating all of it every 10 years is logical.

    So it appears that the change Dr. Spence made is likely intentionally misleading - no real good reason likely able to be provided.

    btw, NOAA do not appear to have implemented 1991 to 2020 as their updated baseline. The NOAA page I go to for temperature data still says  "Please note, global and hemispheric anomalies are with respect to the 20th century average. Coordinate anomalies are with respect to the 1981 to 2010 average. All other regional anomalies are with respect to the 1910 to 2000 average."

  12. citizenschallenge at 02:13 AM on 4 August 2021
    Thinking is Power: The problem with “doing your own research”

    Ultimately knowledge is a community effort. We don’t think alone…. and that’s what makes humans a successful species.

    Wonderful summary.  Or to put it another way, science is founded on an unspoken principle that: "We Need Each Other, To Keep Ourselves Honest."

    In serious science doing your own research (lay or professional) also includes trying to 'prove' one's own ideas wrong.  How else can one learn to appreciate the strength's and weakenesses in one's personal assessments?

  13. 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    One Planet Only Forever @1,

    You ask about the change in anomaly base to 1991-2020 "Why was it done?"

    The deniers at UAH are not alone in making this change. Both Copernicus and NOAA have made this same change although GISTEMP LOTI continue with 1951-80 as an anomaly base. The change comforms with the WMO who ruled in 2017 (see page 2 here) that "the definition of a climatological standard normal ... now refers to the most-recent 30-year period finishing in a year ending with 0 (1981–2010 at the time of writing)."  Mind, they do add, "However, the period from 1961 to 1990 has been retained as a standard reference period for long-term climate change assessments." So the correct choice isn't actually written in stone.

    The choice of anomaly base does make a difference when, say, looking at monthly anomalies through a year when there is a change in the annual cycle. Thus in UAH, throwing an OLS through each individual month shows a warming of +0.115ºC/decade for June but +0.163ºC/decade for September.

  14. 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    One Planet,

      it really doesn't matter much, which baseline Spencer uses - since his main monthly publication site seems to be on the WattsUpWithThat*  blog.

    *Where "The Error-Prone Viscount" ( as science journalist Potholer54 terms Lord Monckton)  has already posted another global temperature has paused for 6 years now . . . as per usual.

    It is a pity - and absolutely quite inexplicable - that WUWT  doesn't ever publish the Spencer UAH TLT graph overlaid with the RSS graph of TLT temperatures.

    The WUWTers are frequently complaining how climate scientists mislead the ordinary public by giving temperatures as temperature anomaly figures instead of expressing a real Celsius temperature.  Perhaps we can persuade Dr Spencer to chart his UAH TLT temperature figures in simple Celsius figures - where the TLT baseline is about Minus 26C .  (If I have correctly understood commentary at RealClimate blog.)

  15. One Planet Only Forever at 15:03 PM on 3 August 2021
    2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    Checked Dr. Roy Spencer's update for the July UAH global average.

    He has a new twist for presenting data to make it appear as though the current numbers as not unusually high. He has shifted all the data to be lower relative to the zero line. And he helpfully provides the following:

    "REMINDER: We have changed the 30-year averaging period from which we compute anomalies to 1991-2020, from the old period 1981-2010. This change does not affect the temperature trends."

    If the change does not affect the presentation of the temperature trends then - Why was it done? Probably to try to make things appear more like he wants them to appear.

  16. michael sweet at 02:06 AM on 2 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill:

    This paper claims that Jacobson underestimated the number of fatalities resulting from the Fukushima accident.  It estimates approximately 1000 cancer deaths world wide instead of the approximately 150 estimated by Jacobson.  

    Obviously the zero fatalities claimed by Conca, without a paper to suport the claim, is a severe underestimate.  Claims that nuclear power is "orders of magnitude safer than other energy systems" leave out the 27,000 killed at Chernobyl and the 1600 killed at Fukushima. (1000 killed by cancer and 600 killed in the evacuation.  The Russians did not keep track of the people killed in the evacuation so Conca claims none killed. a transparently false claim)

  17. michael sweet at 01:42 AM on 2 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John Oneill:

    I found this free copy in less than 30 seconds.  Search on Google Scholar.  Papers displayed on the right are free.  It shows how much you read the peer reviewed literature when you cannot find free papers.

    Jacobson wrote that paper specifically to answer nuclear shills like James Conca and the Breakthrough institutes false claims that no-one was killed by radiation at Fukushima.  Jacobson was replying to false claims, not bringing up the issue.  Jacobson 2009 rates various methods of generating energy in the future.  He does not rate nuclear based on accidents.  Nuclear primarily fails because of its long lead times to build.

  18. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet ,  Post 265

    'Reviewing this thread I notice that opponents of nuclear power have never raised the issue of low level exposure to radiation as a reason not to build out nuclear. It is raised by nuclear supporters. I have never raised this point in debate about nuclear power. It is a waste of time. Neither Abbott or Jacobson mention this issue.'

    In fact, Jacobson has co-authored at least one paper on risk of low radioactivity emissions from Fukushima - https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2012/ee/c2ee22019a

    It's based on LNT, not clinical data, of course. They want 42 pounds to read it, or I'd do so.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated.

    The web software here does not automatically create links. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box.

     

    [DB] Full copies are available for that paper, for example here.

  19. michael sweet at 11:50 AM on 1 August 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer Poet:

    I am sorry, I put the incorrect handle for you in my last post.  It was an accident.

  20. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2021

    Thanks Dawei— all sorted now.

    Indeed we made some changes to bring NR's guts into better alignment with some other work we're doing, namely adding  references for rebuttal supporting articles to our glossary system. Unfortunately when I noticed we had some "issues" with this edition  of NR Unpaywall was having some problems of its own. Then I clean forgot to circle back. :-P

  21. michael sweet at 23:29 PM on 31 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Nuclear Poet:

    You have made several condesending comments to me about my radiological knowledge. For example stating about LRNT "You have been informed. You can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse." (now deleted by the moderator).

    You obviously do not know that I have worked professionally for years with large amounts of radiation and have spent weeks in professional radiation safety training.  I have forgotten more about LRNT and hormesis than you will ever know.  I have held a curie of high energy beta radiation in my unshielded hand (for those with no radiation training like you that is an very, very large amount of radiation). I do not appreciate condesending remarks from internet educated wanna-bees like you. I am familiar with all the reactors you mentioned.

    Even in industry sponsored training it was obvious that the nuclear industry does not care how many people they kill and cherry picks their references. I accepted the work based on my own assessment of the risks.

    I do not normally rely on my personal experience to make an argument. Your repetitive condesending remarks provoked me to point out that you have little knowledge or training compared to me.

    I note that you claim no educational or professional training in radiation.

  22. michael sweet at 23:23 PM on 31 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer Poet:

    You are wasting your time talking about radiation safety.  My experience is that people who do not like nuclear recognize that the scientific consensus is LRNT.  People who are avid supporters of nuclear, like you, do not care how many people nuclear power kills and cherry pick their references to the few scientists who disagree with the consensus.  We are all familiar with the scientific deniers of climate change.  Citing the few outliers of the LRNT consensus does not prove your point.  The National Academy of Science strongly backs LRNT.  As you pointed out, dissenters of the consensus were allowed on the committee.

    Reviewing this thread I notice that opponents of nuclear power have never raised the issue of low level exposure to radiation as a reason not to build out nuclear.  It is raised by nuclear supporters.  I have never raised this point in debate about nuclear power.  It is a waste of time.  Neither Abbott or Jacobson mention this issue.  I suggest you concentrate your efforts on the arguments that matter:

    1) Nuclear plants are not economic.  They cost too much to build.  It currently costs more for operation and maintenance of a nuclear plant than to build a new renewable plant with a mortgage.  Nuclear plants are shutting down because they cannot make money at the price of renewable energy.

    2)  Nuclear plants take too long to build.  The breeder reactors you support have not yet been designed.  Once they have a design (at least 5 years from now), the approval of the design takes 3-5 years.  Than it is 10-15 years to build a test plant.  The earliest that a pilot plant will be built is 20 years from now.  Production of many plants can not start before 2050.  The entire energy system will be renewable by then.  A few nuclear plants cannot make money against renewable energy.

    3) There are not enough rare materials to build a significant number of nuclear plants.  You admit in your post 260 that there is not enough uranium for your plan.  Nuclear plants use many other exotic materials that are already in short supply.  

    4) Your responses to Abbott are grossly inadequate and uninformed.  For examply you claim "pretty much ANY site that has ever hosted a coal plant is suitable for a nuclear plant."  Only 10 miles from my house is the Big Bend power plant (it is switching from coal to gas).  This plant is too close to a city to be converted to nuclear and it is very seriously threatened by sea level rise.  For both reasons it is unsuitable for nuclear power.   This disproves your "ANY site" claim and I didn't even have to look past the nearest plant to my home.  The Turkey Point Nuclear plant in Miami is almost isolated by sea level rise already.  Its location is unsuitable for nuclear power. 

  23. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer-Poet and Michael Sweet :

    though non-expert in this area, I can point out some context for the Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) concept and radiation-hormesis concept (of benefit from low-dose radioactivity exposure).  But I won't go into the fundamental evolutionary aspects, nor the False-Binary aspects of the discussion.

    # Yet regardless of the existent/non-existent status of LNT & hormesis, the whole question is moot for fission power plants, because of the bogeyman status of radioactivity (wrt public opinion).

    # It is notoriously difficult to achieve good-quality, un-assailable scientific studies in the biological field ~ owing to the large number of confounding factors.  Animal studies are in short-lived non-primate species.  Observational studies in humans, have selection bias as well as even greater confounding factors.

    As general background, I note [without citation] that human & animal studies show health/longevity benefits of reduced-calorie (semi-starvation) diets . . . but in pragmatic terms, this will never be a politically-acceptable mode.   Similarly, the surviving Prisoners-Of-War (from Japanese prison camps in Malaya) did very well in subsequent years ~ but it is arguable whether this resulted from "hormetic" semi-starvation effect or the survivor-selection effect.  Again, moot in pragmatic terms.

    # The metastudy [linked @263] by TD Luckey (2008) shows its own red flags.   Luckey does not touch on the profound difficulties in the post-war studies (even up to the early 1980's) of atomic bomb survivors who showed increased lifespans.  Control groups from outside the blast area, included exposure to "residual radiation" [fall-out] ~ as were the subjects, to an uncertain degree.   Fetus abnormalities were assessed by "phenotypic abnormality" (i.e. by crude physical examination).   And in these early times, there was of course no possibility of technical genomic assessment of survivor subjects and controls.

    Ethically, no human experimentation is possible.  We do have retrospective studies [cosmic radiation exposure] of airline flight crews ~ the results are not-at-all  reassuring, but are as expected fraught with confounding factors.

    One of the red flags is Luckey's comment: "The redistribution of radioactive waste is a solution for better health in the 21st century."

    We have quite enough trouble with conspiracists such as the Antivaxxers and Chemtrails people.  I won't even try to imagine the political response to "redistribution of radioactive waste".

  24. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2021

    Thanks Dawei for the heads-up! Doug is aware of the issue with the malformed PDF-links and the blog post will be updated in due course.

  25. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2021

    Most of the links are broken. For example the first 7 of them. Glad to see using the DOI under the main link, I guess a bit of a bug related to that change? 

    They look cut off... for example for:

    Increasing probability of record-shattering climate extremes

    The DOI it shows is:
    10.1038/s41558

    It should be:
    10.1038/s41558-021-01092-9

  26. Engineer-Poet at 11:23 AM on 31 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @262:

    You post this in response to my citing the most recent National Academy of Science BEIR VII concensus science report on the topic of LRNT, published in 2006. This report was specifically written to determine the consensus of scientists on the effects of low level exposure to radiation and resolve the LRNT argument. They strongly endorsed LRNT.

    Yes, about that.  I found a great many references to it, including one taking the authors to task for failing to deal with issues straightforwardly(sadly, the full text is paywalled):

    Risk of low-dose radiation and the BEIR VII report: A critical review of what it does and doesn't say Michael K O'Connor PMID: 28826776 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2017.07.016 Abstract This article briefly reviews the history behind the BEIR VII report and the use of the linear no-threshold hypothesis. The BEIR VII committee considered four primary sources of data on the stochastic effects of ionizing radiation. These were environmental studies, occupational studies, medical studies and studies on the atomic bomb survivors. These sources are briefly reviewed along with key studies that run counter to the LNT hypothesis. We review many of the assumptions, hypotheses and subjective decisions used to generate risk estimates in the BEIR VII report. Position statement by the Health Physics Society, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and UNSCEAR support the conclusion that the risk estimates in the BEIR VII report should not be used for estimating cancer risks from low doses of ionizing radiation.

    It wasn't until I was way down in the search results before I found the actual report itself rather than your link to a press release about it (which, strangely, did not link to the report either).  Sadly, I can't find specific quotes with which to identify details about which there is more recent research.  But here's something from the introduction:

    (4) assess the current status and relevance to risk models of biologic data and models of carcinogenesis, including critical assessment of all data that might affect the shape of the response curve at low doses, in particular, evidence for or against thresholds in dose-response relationships and evidence for or against adaptive responses and radiation hormesis;

    Except they didn't do that, or did it incompetently.  Here's a meta-study from just 3 years later, compiling studies which contradict BEIR and LNT (full text at the link):

    Media reports of deaths and devastation produced by atomic bombs convinced people around the world that all ionizing radiation is harmful. This concentrated attention on fear of miniscule doses of radiation. Soon the linear no threshold (LNT) paradigm was converted into laws. Scientifically valid information about the health benefits from low dose irradiation was ignored. Here are studies which show increased health in Japanese survivors of atomic bombs. Parameters include decreased mutation, leukemia and solid tissue cancer mortality rates, and increased average lifespan. Each study exhibits a threshold that repudiates the LNT dogma. The average threshold for acute exposures to atomic bombs is about 100 cSv. Conclusions from these studies of atomic bomb survivors are: One burst of low dose irradiation elicits a lifetime of improved health. Improved health from low dose irradiation negates the LNT paradigm. Effective triage should include radiation hormesis for survivor treatment.

    Back to you now.

    You are welcome to your opinion, but the consensus of scientific experts is LRNT.

    I know it's NOT a consensus, because the BEIR VII committee included Dr. Edward J. Calabrese, who is a strong opponent of LNT and has published a number of papers showing that it is inaccurate and often flatly contradictory to the truth.

  27. michael sweet at 02:06 AM on 31 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Engineer-Poet:

    Congratulations on getting your first warning on your first post!  A new record.

    I note that in your 6 post rant that you have referred to only two peer reviewed reports, both in post 259.  One report, published in 1958, is apparently an attempt by the nuclear industry to argue against using the LInear Response No Threshold model of exposure to harmful radiation.  You post this in response to my citing the most recent National Academy of Science BEIR VII concensus science report on the topic of LRNT, published in 2006.  This report was specifically written to determine the consensus of scientists on the effects of low level exposure to radiation and resolve the LRNT argument.  They strongly endorsed LRNT.  You are welcome to your opinion, but the consensus of scientific experts is LRNT.  Upthread a nuclear supporter said the data supporting LRNT was too old.  Here you use ancient data to argue against the most recent NAS report which used no data older than 1990.  Even in 1958 the consensus was LRNT.  You also link a 1982 paper that describes the medical effect of radiation.  That seems unrelated to LRNT exposure in large populations.

    In post 256 your comments on entropy are designed to start an argument.  You do not add anything to the defination of heat, energy and entropy.

    Post 256: your speculation on how future reactors might be designed is irrelevant to the question that was asked.  Again you are trying to start an argument and not answer the question asked.

    Post 256: you make the unuspported claim that nuclear reactors are safe.  The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates 27,000 deaths from Chernobyl alone.  The nuclear industry denies responsibility for the people they kill.

    Post 257: Peer reviewed papers state that not enough materials exist to build out more than an insignificant number of nuclear reactors.  See Abbott 2012 linked in the OP.   It is the job of nuclear proponents to show that enough material exists for your proposed system.  Claiming there are many undesigned, proposed reactors that might use less materials is not an answer.  You must show materials exist for your proposal.   Nuclear proponents claimed that enough materials did not exist for a renewable system. Jacobson 2011 (free copy for those who don't know how to find papers) shows all the materials needed for a renewable energy system exist.

    Post 258: Arguing that it is a good idea to build cheap, unsafe nuclear reactors will not get you many supporters.  If you think that is a good argument go for it.

    Post 260: I note you have only your own, unsupported opinion to argue with Abbott 2012.  I note that you have no experience designing or operating a nuclear power plant and have no related educational experience either.  I guess you learned a lot watching videos on the internet.

    Post 261: I linked the same copy of Jacobson 2018 the moderator found at least 3 times upthread like here and here and here.  It indicates how familiar you are with the peer reviewed literature that you are unable to find a copy of a linked paper yourself.

    I will not respond in more detail to your extended Gish Gallops.  I know that your system to issue long, repetitive, opinion statements unsupported by any data.  Eventually the moderators will ban you for sloganeering.  They have already started warning you for not adhering to the comments policy.  If you do not start producing data to support your insane claims they will not allow you to post any more.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Please let the moderators do the moderation.

  28. Engineer-Poet at 12:39 PM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Note to all:  Jacobson et al. 2018 remains paywalled in 2021.  This makes it infeasible for un-connected critics to give it a full fact-checking.

    If you wish to be fair in your demands for criticism, do please quote the specific claims and whatever references are provided for them (recursively for the references that are also paywalled).

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] It took me less than a minute to find a full version

    [BL} Engineer-Poet. Nearly every one of your comments had required moderation of some sort. And  you have had three different moderators step in.

    In addition to finding it difficult to find easily-found papers, you seem to be having difficulty reading and understanding a simple comments policy. Amongst your many diverse forms of violations, you are being excessively repetitious, sloganeering, using ALL CAPS, and taking a very inflammatory tone.

    Final Warning

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive, off-topic posts or intentionally misleading comments and graphics or simply make things up. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
     
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter, as no further warnings shall be given.

  29. Engineer-Poet at 12:35 PM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @126:

    Abbott 2012 gives about 15 reasons why nuclear cannot produce more than 5% of world power.

    Thanks for the link.  It's much easier to debunk something that's ready to hand, rather than having to dig for it. If Abbott was serious, he'd put his strongest points first and last.  Yet what's his first objection?  Site selection!  Never mind that pretty much ANY site that has ever hosted a coal plant is suitable for a nuclear plant.  How weak is that?  Next, he goes into neutron embrittlement.  So what?  A plant is eventually going to become too expensive to keep refurbishing, though Rosatom has already changed that game with its innovative annealing technology.  Adding an additional 30 years of RPV life to a plant which can run for 80 years without it, you've got the potential for over a century of operation. Reactors like FLiBe, Thorcon and Elysium have none of Abbott's supposedly-insurmountable elemental scarcity problems.  So far as I know, none of them even HAVE control rods and none use burnable poisons either; they just drain the reactor to tanks in a sub-critical configuration.  Neither do they use zirconium.  And what's the big deal with end-of-life reactor vessels?  Just throw the metal into an electric furnace and forge it into new ones.  As for "radioactive waste", a great deal of that can either be recycled or has plenty of valuable uses (yes, even Sr-90 and Cs-137).  Frankly, after seeing how pathetic Abbott's objections are, I'm astounded that anyone is still citing him.  I'm not going to bother reading any further in his paper, I have better things to do such as refilling my drink.

    If there's any real obstacle to scaling nuclear energy to world-powering levels, it's the immediate supply of fissiles.  Fast-spectrum reactors can generate net fissiles from uranium, but the fission cross-section of transuranics gets pretty small at high neutron energies so the concentration has to be much higher than in thermal-spectrum reactors.  You can see this in the proposals for both standard and high-burnup cores for the S-PRISM reactor; even the standard core requires almost 2.5 tons at over 21% total Pu at the beginning of a fuel cycle and the doubling time is almost 42 years.  The potential for rapid scale-up exists with thorium, however.  IIUC, the total fissile inventory of a 1 GW(e) Th/U-233 reactor is around 100 kg, it consumes about 0.8 tons/year and has a breeding ratio of about 1.03.  Ergo, every year such a reactor would consume 800 kg of fissiles and generate an extra 24 kg or thereabouts.  This leads to a doubling time of less than 3 years at scale.  30 years of doublings every 3 years scales up roughly 1000x.  This is the sort of rate we need to make things happen.

    (Note that tone comes across VERY poorly in text, even given emojis and pseudo-tags like .  Sticking to the meaning of the straight text instead of assuming what was very likely not meant is generally a good policy.)

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Once again, you need to read the terms for commenting on this website. 

  30. Engineer-Poet at 11:33 AM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @106:

    Apparently every health organization in the world and every nuclear regulatory organization in the world use LRNT.

    Health physics doesn't, and as people who work directly with therapeutic radiation on a daily basis, they're the true experts.  For instance, health physicists calculate both radiation doses and dose rates to kill tumors while doing the least damage to surrounding healthy tissue.  If LNT was correct, the mortality of healthy tissues around tumors would not be changed by dividing the total radiation dose into fractions with recovery time between them (sample paper from 1982; this has been established for a LONG time).  But it IS changed, proving LNT to be false.

    LNT has been contradicted by evidence going back at LEAST to the UNSCEAR report issued in 1958. When steady gamma irradiation EXTENDS the lives of lab rats by at least 25% and by as much as 1/3 versus controls, you've got iron-clad proof that LNT is false... and the pretense for adhering to it requires malicious intent.

    You have been informed.  You can no longer claim ignorance as an excuse.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Again, please tone it down. 

  31. Engineer-Poet at 11:31 AM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @29:

    Higher prices for nuclear are not generally considered a positive trait. In the USA we prefer lower prices.

    So why do you prefer policies which increase the price of GHG-free nuclear energy?  Be specific.

  32. Engineer-Poet at 11:30 AM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @14:

    I have provided two examples of hafnium use in civilian reactors so you have shifted the goalposts. We do not know how much hafnium is used in civilian reactors because you have provided no references to show its use is limited.

    On the contrary, YOU need to show that the use of hafnium is required by ALL nuclear fission technologies, because so many of them are fungible.  For the moment, hafnium and gadolinium are used because they are convenient.  They will stop being convenient, and stop being used, when they become too costly.  What's hard to understand?  Boron is a convenient and a pretty cheap replacement as a neutron poison.  For that matter, sub-critical drain tanks provide a completely non-neutron absorbent method of shutting down a molten-fuel reactor.  There's nothing consumed, so nothing to use up.

    If you wish to argue that enough enough metals exist for reactors you must provide a peer reviewed report that details all the metals used in nuclear plants and shows they exist.

    FFS, there are more types of nuclear reactors than you have ever counted.  PWR, BWR, LMFBR (both sodium- and lead-cooled), PBR, MSR... the list goes on.  They ALL have different attributes, and NONE of the detriments you attribute apply to even a majority of them, let alone ALL of them.

    You are also confused about citations. Scientific papers are written for peope who have done their homework and understand the subject that is being discussed.

    Obviously false in the case of Jacobson, because his reviewers couldn't understand a half-order-of-magnitude error in his energy calculations.  That should lose them their positions and send them back to teaching undergrads, if not bagging groceries.

    (I think I've got the formatting trick figured out; write in HTML, post in "Basic", click "Source", paste over the mangled HTML with the original HTML, go back and check that it all came out right.  Takes a few go-rounds before it all makes sense.)

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Please go back and re-read commenting policies.

  33. Engineer-Poet at 11:26 AM on 30 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @8:

    You say “Um, you mean heat? Why wouldn't you just call it heat?” No, Abbott means entropy. You obviously did not take college chemistry or physics. Heat and energy are similar. Entropy is complicated but for this discussion it is similar to randomness.

    I know I'm coming very late to this discussion, but I do happen to have a bunch of physics, chemistry AND thermodynamics under my belt.  I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the first poster in this thread to have done a detailed analysis of a steam-cycle power plant as well as picking apart the thermochemistry of the reforming of methane and solid carbon to syngas (I got partway to a patent on that, I took a refund from Harness, Dickey and Pierce on the patent work because I delayed too long and the SOTA got ahead of me). Coincidentally, I have not only done my best to explain entropy to the ignorant, I wrote a blues about it in the early years of this century.  I can not only summarize the science, I can make it humorous too.  That's more than you can do; at your best, you come across as a scold.

    In the scenario you describe the water coming in contact with the extremely hot salt would instantly cause a steam explosion that would destroy the facility.

    Hogwash.  In a molten salt reactor, the steam generator would be fed from a secondary salt loop and likely be sited outside the containment.  In the case of the Elysium concept, water never ENTERS the containment; superheated steam is used to boil the feedwater to saturation, and only steam enters the containment (enters saturated, leaves superheated).  This is one of the more elegant solutions to the various issues that I've ever seen; Ed Pheill has my admiration.

    In the explosion a lot of hydrogen gas would be generated from the highly reducing salt solution.

    You're full of crap; the salts are fully oxidized.  Metallic sodium would generate hydrogen in mixture with steam, but chloride and fluoride salts cannot.

    Abbott describes how many reactors would need to be built to illustrate the size of the problem.

    Abbott overstates the number of reactors by a factor of 3.  He makes errors which would fail a high-school physics exam, and his reviewers weren't competent enough to catch them.  This disqualifies all of them; their institutions should revoke their degrees, and should be publicly shamed for having granted them.

    For myself, I would prefer that reactors were made safer and not cheaper.

    Nuclear reactors are orders of magnitude safer than any other source of electric power on the planet.  I want them cheaper, because I want them to replace all the generation that's more dangerous.  If that requires accepting a bit more danger from nuclear energy, it's still better than the alternatives.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Please tone it down if you want to continue to comment here.

  34. Engineer-Poet at 12:25 PM on 28 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Excuse me, I fixed the formatting on the last one.  (It's a lot more difficult than just pasting the correct HTML, though I'm beginning to figure out the quirks of the system here.)  Can I get a break?

    I'll be happy to repost the previous stuff with the formatting fixed, so long as you're willing to cut me a little slack while I figure things out.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] A careful read of the comments policy is required to have posts accepted here. In particular, ensure that assertions are backed by links to reputably sources (eg and especially, peer reviewed literature). This is not a suitable forum for exchanges of opinion, but references to new information are appreciated. Peer-reviewed responses to Abbott in particular would be welcome.

    [BL]. Don't paste html in the main edit box. Paste plain text and format using the tools provided.The "Source" tab can give more direct html control if needed.

    ...and read the Comments policy. There is always a link to it directly above the box you use to add a comment.

  35. It's Urban Heat Island effect

    blaisct @62,

    Perhaps repeating some of the criticism @64:-

    You say "The IPCC seems to give man-made albedo changes low significance because it is hard to measure and hard to detect change." But difficulty does not appear to be something to dampen your enthusiasm.

    Do note that 0.04 albedo is far too low and, while potentially applicable to a sky-pointing piece of asphalt, is not applicable to urban areas. Also note that clouds float above cities forests and oceans alike and they contribute some 75% of the planet's albedo. And also note that the sun sets every evening and never rises to be overhead except at noon in the tropics. You need to divide the tropical noon-day value by four to satisfy the very simple geometry of spheres.

    radiation budget diagram

    The solar radiation actually reflected spacewards by the Earth's surface is shown in the diagram at 23Wm^-2. If by 2100AD, the planet's urban spread were somehow to reach over 0.7% of the planet's surface area (as the most extreme projection in the graphic @60 suggests is possible) and even if that 0.7% had an albedo of zero, that 23Wm^-2 would only reduce by [23 x 0.007 =] 0.16Wm^-2 which, despite the use of the most exaggerating numbers, is significantly smaller (x10 smaller) for 2100AD than the value you arrive at for today's value. Using more realistic numbers would return an insignificant result (x100 smaller).

  36. It's Urban Heat Island effect

    Blaisct @ 62.

    As Rob Honeycutt says, there is something clearly amiss in your calculations. Let me point out the obvious ones.

    1. You do not cite a sources for your urban albedo of 0.04. Wikipedia lists 0.04 as a value typical for fresh asphalt. Most urban areas are not fresh asphalt. I have a well-worn copy of Tim Oke's Boundary Layer Climates, where he lists typical urban surafaces as follows (p 281):

    • Asphalt 0.04 to 0.20
    • Concrete 0.10 to 0.35
    • Brick 0.20 to 0.40
    • Roofing materials (various) 0.08 to 0.35

    Your estimate of urban albedo is way too low.

    Typical natural land surfaces (Ok.e op cit, p 12)

    • Soils (wet to dry) 0.05 to 0.40
    • Deserts 0.20 to 0.45
    • Grass 0.16 to 0.26
    • Crop land 0.18 to 0.25
    • Forests 0.05 to 0.20

    You need to consider just what urban material is replacing what natural material. Then you can estimate a change in albedo. Most urban landscapes are not that different from natural ones.

    4. Global albedo is not just a surface albedo. You need to factor in cloud cover. For a global cloud cover of 50%, only half the surface is seen from space - and surface albedo changes only have half the effect you get when you ingore cloud cover. You'd need to know the cloud cover over the urban areas you are doing calculations for.

    Your estimate of the contribution of urban surface albedo is an over-estimate. A serious over-estimate.

    7 through 13. Urban area is not proportional to population. Haven't you ever noticed how much more closely packed people are in cities, compared to rural areas? Population density is not uniform. Oke (op cit, p291) notes that the urban heat island effect tends to be proportional to the log of population, not linear. You are seriously over-estimating the amount of global albedo change in relation to urban population growth.

    14 and 15. The 1367 W/m^2 figure is for a measurement perpendicular to the sun's rays, in full sun. To compare to CO2 and other forcings, you need to divide by four, as the CO2 forcing is calculated for the entire globe, perpendicular to the earth's surface - not the sunlit side perpendicular to the sun's rays.

    You are over-estimating the effect by a factor of 4.

    16. As you have the wrong forcing in W/m^2, you are getting the wrong temperature rise.

    17. Essentially, garbage in, garbage out.

    Real scientists have been doing this the right way for decades. Try this one from way back in 1979:

    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/206/4425/1363.abstract

     

  37. Engineer-Poet at 06:04 AM on 28 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @29:

    Higher prices for nuclear are not generally considered a positive trait. In the USA we prefer lower prices.

    So why do you prefer policies which increase the price of GHG-free nuclear energy?  Be specific.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Also deleted.

  38. Engineer-Poet at 06:03 AM on 28 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @14:

    I have provided two examples of hafnium use in civilian reactors so you have shifted the goalposts. We do not know how much hafnium is used in civilian reactors because you have provided no references to show its use is limited.

    On the contrary, YOU need to show that the use of hafnium is required by ALL nuclear fission technologies, because so many of them are fungible.  For the moment, hafnium and gadolinium are used because they are convenient.  They will stop being convenient, and stop being used, when they become too costly.  What's hard to understand?  Boron is a convenient and a pretty cheap replacement as a neutron poison.  For that matter, sub-critical drain tanks provide a completely non-neutron absorbent method of shutting down a molten-fuel reactor.  There's nothing consumed, so nothing to use up.

    If you wish to argue that enough enough metals exist for reactors you must provide a peer reviewed report that details all the metals used in nuclear plants and shows they exist.

    FFS, there are more types of nuclear reactors than you have ever counted.  PWR, BWR, LMFBR (both sodium- and lead-cooled), PBR, MSR... the list goes on.  They ALL have different attributes, and NONE of the detriments you attribute apply to even a majority of them, let alone ALL of them.

    You are also confused about citations. Scientific papers are written for peope who have done their homework and understand the subject that is being discussed.

    Obviously false in the case of Jacobson, because his reviewers couldn't understand a half-order-of-magnitude error in his energy calculations.  That should lose them their positions and send them back to teaching undergrads, if not bagging groceries.

     

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More badly-formatted text deleted.

  39. Engineer-Poet at 06:01 AM on 28 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @8:

    You say “Um, you mean heat? Why wouldn't you just call it heat?” No, Abbott means entropy. You obviously did not take college chemistry or physics. Heat and energy are similar. Entropy is complicated but for this discussion it is similar to randomness.

    I know I'm coming very late to this discussion, but I do happen to have a bunch of physics, chemistry AND thermodynamics under my belt.  I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the first poster in this thread to have done a detailed analysis of a steam-cycle power plant as well as picking apart the thermochemistry of the reforming of methane and solid carbon to syngas (I got partway to a patent on that, I took a refund from Harness, Dickey and Pierce on the patent work because I delayed too long and the SOTA got ahead of me).

    Coincidentally, I have not only done my best to explain entropy to the ignorant, I wrote a blues about it in the early years of this century.  I can not only summarize the science, I can make it humorous too.  That's more than you can do; at your best, you come across as a scold.

    In the scenario you describe the water coming in contact with the extremely hot salt would instantly cause a steam explosion that would destroy the facility.

    Hogwash.  In a molten salt reactor, the steam generator would be fed from a secondary salt loop and likely be sited outside the containment.  In the case of the Elysium concept, water never ENTERS the containment; superheated steam is used to boil the feedwater to saturation, and only steam enters the containment (enters saturated, leaves superheated).  This is one of the more elegant solutions to the various issues that I've ever seen; Ed Pheill has my admiration.

    In the explosion a lot of hydrogen gas would be generated from the highly reducing salt solution.

    You're full of crap; the salts are fully oxidized.  Metallic sodium would generate hydrogen in mixture with steam, but chloride and fluoride salts cannot.

    Abbott describes how many reactors would need to be built to illustrate the size of the problem.

    Abbott overstates the number of reactors by a factor of 3.  He makes errors which would fail a high-school physics exam, and his reviewers weren't competent enough to catch them.  This disqualifies all of them; their institutions should revoke their degrees, and should be publicly shamed for having granted them.

    For myself, I would prefer that reactors were made safer and not cheaper.

    Nuclear reactors are orders of magnitude safer than any other source of electric power on the planet.  I want them cheaper, because I want them to replace all the generation that's more dangerous.  If that requires accepting a bit more danger from nuclear energy, it's still better than the alternatives.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Once you learn to properly format code, we will consider letting you continue in this discussion.

     

  40. Engineer-Poet at 05:58 AM on 28 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet @8:

    You say “Um, you mean heat? Why wouldn't you just call it heat?” No, Abbott means entropy. You obviously did not take college chemistry or physics. Heat and energy are similar. Entropy is complicated but for this discussion it is similar to randomness.

    I know I'm coming very late to this discussion, but I do happen to have a bunch of physics, chemistry AND thermodynamics under my belt.  I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the first poster in this thread to have done a detailed analysis of a steam-cycle power plant as well as picking apart the thermochemistry of the reforming of methane and solid carbon to syngas (I got partway to a patent on that, I took a refund from Harness, Dickey and Pierce on the patent work because I delayed too long and the SOTA got ahead of me).

    Coincidentally, I have not only done my best to explain entropy to the ignorant, I wrote a blues about it in the early years of this century.  I can not only summarize the science, I can make it humorous too.  That's more than you can do; at your best, you come across as a scold.

    In the scenario you describe the water coming in contact with the extremely hot salt would instantly cause a steam explosion that would destroy the facility.

    Hogwash.  In a molten salt reactor, the steam generator would be fed from a secondary salt loop and likely be sited outside the containment.  In the case of the Elysium concept, water never ENTERS the containment; superheated steam is used to boil the feedwater to saturation, and only steam enters the containment (enters saturated, leaves superheated).  This is one of the more elegant solutions to the various issues that I've ever seen; Ed Pheill has my admiration.

    In the explosion a lot of hydrogen gas would be generated from the highly reducing salt solution.

    You're full of crap; the salts are fully oxidized.  Metallic sodium would generate hydrogen in mixture with steam, but chloride and fluoride salts cannot.

    Abbott describes how many reactors would need to be built to illustrate the size of the problem.

    Abbott overstates the number of reactors by a factor of 3.  He makes errors which would fail a high-school physics exam, and his reviewers weren't competent enough to catch them.  This disqualifies all of them; their institutions should revoke their degrees, and should be publicly shamed for having granted them.

    For myself, I would prefer that reactors were made safer and not cheaper.

    Nuclear reactors are orders of magnitude safer than any other source of electric power on the planet.  I want them cheaper, because I want them to replace all the generation that's more dangerous.  If that requires accepting a bit more danger from nuclear energy, it's still better than the alternatives.

     

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  41. Rob Honeycutt at 04:50 AM on 28 July 2021
    It's Urban Heat Island effect

    blaisct... Something is clearly amiss in your calculation since we can quite clearly see that most of the warming is not occurring in urban areas. Most of the warming is occurring in the Arctic, which is consistent with predictions made a century ago.

  42. It's Urban Heat Island effect

    Thanks MA Rodger, my fault, I used the % (3%) of the earth land mass that was urban instead of the % of the total earth that was urban. The number from your graph of 0.7% urban (of the total earth area) seems to agree with other published information. I assume the heat from the “heat island” effect would be well mixed around the earth and become part of the total measurement of climate change. I present the following to check out the significance of the 0.7%.
    1. The reported albedo of urban areas is about 0.04. (Albedo on a 0.0 to 1.0 scale)
    2. The reported total albedo of the earth is about 0.31. (Assume that includes clouds and urban albedo)
    3. The non-urban area of the earth is: 100%-0.7%= 99.3%
    4. The contribution of urban areas to the total albedo is: 0.04 * 0.7% = 0.00028
    5. The total non-urban area albedo contribution to the total is: (0.31-0.00028)/ 0.993 = 0.31190
    6. Assume the non-urban area albedo in the 1880 era was the same as today: =0.31190
    7. Current earth population is about = 7.8 B
    8. 1880 era population is about =1.3 B (Using 1880 as the approximate start of IPCC temp data)
    9. Assume the 1880 era urban area was proportional to population: = 1.3/7.6*0.7% = 0.12%
    10. The 1880 era urban area contribution to total albedo was: 0.04*0.12% = 0.000047
    11. The 1880 era non-urban area contribution to the total albedo was: (1- 0.12%)*0.3119 = 0.31154
    12. The 1880 era total albedo estimate is: 0.311538+ 0.000047 = 0.311585
    13. The difference in 1880 vs 2021 albedo is : 0.311585 – 0.31 = 0.001585 (or about 0.16% albedo change)
    14. The reported out put of the sun reaching the earth is about: 1367 W/m^2
    15. Therefore, this albedo difference is: 0.001585* 1367 = 2.1680W/m^2
    16. I have seen conversion factors for converting this to ‘C in earth temperature rise of 0.5 to 0.7 ‘C/W/m^2. I’ll use the 0.5.
    17. The equivalent earth temperature rise of the above albedo change from 1880 to now is: 2.168*.5 = 1.08’C


    The IPCC reported temperature rise over the 1880 to now is about 1.0’C. This calculation implies that a 0.7% urban area could account for all of that temperature rise. I know this is over simplified, and was only done to find out the significance of small changes in a higher heat source ( over 4X lower albedo in urban areas vs the earth as a whole) on the earth surface. Other factors in albedo change should also be included: roads, forest fires land area, sea ice melting, land ice melting, rain forest destruction, and farming practices. I can only guess that including these albedo changes in the above would increase the man-made albedo global warming calculation.
    The IPCC seems to give man-made albedo changes low significance because it is hard to measure and hard to detect change. Population change and even atmospheric CO2 change should also be an indicator of historical man-made albedo change, just need a reference point.

  43. michael sweet at 03:28 AM on 27 July 2021
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONiel:

    A peer reviewed study, published in 2020, said:

    "Reliable mechanical valves that can withstand the corrosive and high-temperature conditions in Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) have not yet been demonstrated. In their place, freeze valves (sometimes called freeze plugs) represent a unique nuclear design solution for isolating salt flow during operations." my emphasis.

    Your reply is "Freeze valves are actually very simple".   Apparently we do not need to verify that freeze valves work before we build these new nuclear designs.  I think most reasonable people would disagree.  Valves do not exist for MSR designs. 

    Watchng your Youtube advertisement, the company produces valves made out of stainless steel.  The paper linked above states clearly that no known materials can withstand the extreme conditions inside an MSR for the lifetime of a reactor.  Obviously, stainless steel would have been one of the first materials tested.  The valves you cite are only for short, experimental usage and are not exposed to the extreme hot, radioactive and corrosive environment for any significant amount of time.  These are not valves that can be actually used in a nuclear reactor.  They are valves used in test equipment to evaluate possible future valves once a supply of "unobtainium" is found.

    It is a waste of time to discuss speculative possible solutions to problems that are known to exist.  Obviously, you have no idea how possible valves can be built for MSR's since your reference is for a completely different use and you did not recognize that.  Suggesting that freeze valves are so simple that they do not need to be tested is absurd.  Freeze valves open and close too slowly to help in an emergency.  Engineers in the 1950's rejected their use. 

    Your suggestion that repairing pipes in a shut-down, cold, non-radioactive system is comparable to active regulation of a nuclear reactor core demonstrates that you do not care if the reactor you propose to build has been safely designed and tested.

    The entire discussion is premature since no proposed reactor design exists, only speculative rough proposals.  Come back to discuss MSR's when they have a buildable design.

    hat tip to Philippe Chantreau for producing the peer revidewed article about freeze valves.

  44. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    From 228, Michael Sweet

    'Freeze valves are apparently not used in any existing chemical or nuclear processes. Therefore the knowledge of their manufacture, use and failure modes is rudimentary. They are complicated and have many failure modes compared to normal mechanical valves. They open and close very slowly in emergencies. The size of pipes used is restricted. Test valves have suffered catastrophic failure.'

    Freeze valves are actually very simple - a short length of flattened pipe with fins on the outside, with a fan blowing air over it. Failure can hardly be 'catastrophic', because there's a very wide margin between the normal operating temperature of the molten salt, and that high enough to melt the metal holding it. If the metal is hot enough to melt, so is the salt in the freeze plug. If the reactor is not operating, there is no power going to the coolant fan. ( The Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, back in the 1970s, didn't make any power, so they used sensors and manual controls instead.) What's more, they are easy to test using non-radioactive versions of the salt, which are chemically identical but easier to handle. (Depleted uranium has very low radioactivity, and plutonium, usually a minor fraction of a thermal reactor's salt composition, can be substituted with cerium.) Failing open would shut the reactor down, which might be bad for the owner's financial return, but not really a safety concern.

    In fact, 'freeze valves' are widely used when working on power systems using water circuits, including nuclear ones - if a valve, pipe or pump needs maintenance, the pipe either side of it can be frozen and then cut, and the work done without having to drain the whole system. An MSR freeze valve is designed to drain the whole system, so there's very little to go wrong - they're 'fail safe'.

    In any case, valves of any sort are not a prerequisite for MSRs. One alternative is to have the salt level actively kept up by the main fuel pump. If the pump stops, the salt drains to a tank where fission cannot occur because of the geometry. Another is to surround the reactor with a salt with a higher melting point. If the reactor exceeds a predetermined temperature, fission will stop from fuel expansion and doppler broadening of the neutron absorption spectrum, and the surrounding salt will suck up the excess heat by change of state. Rupture disks are another option if there is any danger of overpressure.

    Finally, these guys - Copenhagen Atomics - are building and testing mechanical valves, among other components, and selling them to anyone else working in the field -2 minutes in to the video if you want to check my veracity in a hurry.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7U7I7QkttM&ab_channel=gordonmcdowell

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  45. CO2 effect is saturated

    Yet another aspect of Ingrahammark7's failure is to only think in terms of the radiation that starts its upward travel at the surface and ends its travel at the top of the atmosphere, in one single passage.

    In reality, IR radiation emitted at the surface will undergo several absorption/re-emission cycles, and increasing CO2 will shorten the distance for each cycle - which means more cycles. Each re-emission also sends some energy back down (well, half), which further reduces the efficiency. Even if one sees very little difference at the end (direct IR transmission to space, after surface emission), there is a lot fo difference in the middle. And given that the entire atmospheric profile plays a role, along with other energy transfers such as convection, what happens in the middle is important.

    As Phillippe points out, Ingrahammark7's comments are yet another case of reinventing the flat tire. I pointed out the problems of this particular flat tire in comment #529. In that comment, I provided the followiing diagram showing the intermediate effects on IR transmission of decreased atmospheric transparency.

    https://static.skepticalscience.com/pics/Beers.gif

    Even though both transmission coefficients result it essentially nothing making it through 200 layers, the differences in the first 100 are obvious.

    There's that "obvious" word, yet again...

  46. CO2 effect is saturated

    Philippe Chantreau @608,

    I'm not too sure that fig 5 from Clough & Iacono (1995) is particularly useful at "Chart(ing) the incremental temperature insulation from different thicknesses of co2." as Ingrahammark7 @599 requests.

    Looking back @381, I note within-thread much use of output from Chicago Uni's MODTRAN. Running that model for the planet with only CO2 as a GHG for different ppm yields the following reductions in OLR for (as Ingrahammark7 puts it) "different thicknesses of co2" with no sign that "a doubling does nothing."


    0ppm(v) ... ... ... ... 0 Wm^-2
    0.375ppm(v)... ... 3.45 Wm^-2
    0.75ppm(v) ... ... 5.02 Wm^-2
    1.5ppm(v) . ... ... 7.22 Wm^-2
    3ppm(v) .. ... ... 10.05 Wm^-2
    6ppm(v) .. ... ... 13.19 Wm^-2
    12ppm(v) . ... ... 16.64 Wm^-2
    25ppm(v) . ... ... 20.41 Wm^-2
    50ppm(v) . ... ... 24.18 Wm^-2
    100ppm(v)... ... 27.63 Wm^-2
    150ppm(v)... ... 29.83 Wm^-2
    200ppm(v)... ... 31.40 Wm^-2
    250ppm(v)... ... 32.34 Wm^-2
    300ppm(v)... ... 33.28 Wm^-2
    350ppm(v)... ... 34.23 Wm^-2
    400ppm(v)... ... 34.85 Wm^-2
    450ppm(v)... ... 35.48 Wm^-2
    500ppm(v)... ... 36.11 Wm^-2
    550ppm(v)... ... 36.74 Wm^-2

  47. Philippe Chantreau at 11:07 AM on 25 July 2021
    CO2 effect is saturated

    Ingrahammark7's: "Chart the incremental temperature insulation from different thicknesses of co2" is a little cryptic a question but it seems that the Iacono & Clough 95 paper would answer that, to an extent, I think (hard to tell, the language is a little puzzling). The Iacono & Clough graph is featured in post #381 of this thread by Tom Curtis.

    This following statement, to me, is not making enough sense to try to answer: "You chart should be utterly absurd because you have to explain why the first few co2 cause the entire effect and once you get to hundreds or thousands of feet which exist a doubling does nothing."

  48. Rob Honeycutt at 11:00 AM on 25 July 2021
    CO2 effect is saturated

    My question for Ingrahammark7 is, given that what is being explained here is science that's been well accepted for over a century, what makes you think that somehow the world's leading scientists don't understand something that, as you put it, would be obvious to a small child?

    I find that to be a rather ridiculous position to put forth.

  49. CO2 effect is saturated

    MAR:

    Possibly, but Ingrahammark7's statement also resembles the kind of thing you'd hear from the group that think there is absolutely no greenhouse effect, no backradiation, violates the 2nd, law, etc., and pressure is the only factor.

    Ingrahammark7's understanding of basic physics hasn't been very good so far.

  50. Philippe Chantreau at 10:33 AM on 25 July 2021
    CO2 effect is saturated

    As DB said years ago, this is not quite like reinventing the wheel but rather reinventing the flat tire..

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