Japanese N-Plant Explosion

Discussion in 'World Events' started by ULTRA, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Obvious troll is obvious.

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    Once again you've presented part of what I said, out of context, and then bowled right ahead with misrepresenting it.
    Are you suggesting that the 25,000 year waste problem is less obvious to the general public than the environmental impacts of solar power (PV or thermal)?
    Are you suggesting that the reliance on depleting resources is less obvious to the general public than the environmental impacts of solar power?

    Because that's what I actually said - that the environmental damage caused by Solar power is less obvious than the environmental damage caused by Nuclear (and suggested that both cause long term, or permanent damage or disruption).

    For example - even using liquid salt, do you know how much water some plants use? The plant being planned by Solar Millenium for Armagosa Valley, Nevada will require about 20% of the water available in that catchment. Then there's the fact that you're spreading mirrors out over 18.2 km[sup]2[/sup] (SCE/SES plant) - even if they're not packed edge to edge, which will shade the ground, and disrupt the local ecosystem. Maintenance will be neccessary, so vehicle access will need to be maintained, and that's without getting into the visual ammenities that will be disrupted. AndaSol in Spain only has a gross efficieny of around 2.0% - 2.5% of the solar energy that falls within the permiter of its grounds is converted to electricity. Denser packing increases effiency, but also increases disruption and damage.

    Not only that, but I have an... Let's call it an inkling, that what will effectively be a mirror the size of Connecticut (1.36 kWh/m[sup]2[/sup], 7.9 billion kWh, 40% efficiency) will have a long term effect on local climate. Of course, if we're going to use AndaSol as a model, then that requires an area the size of Minnesota to be used for power generation. You don't think, perhaps, that that might have a long term effect on the global climate?

    All of which is without getting into things such as effects on visual ammenity, which form part of the environment.
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What you actually said was this:
    I think that claims not only invisibility for solar, but equivalence of harm and risk - of several kinds.


    Stick them on rooftops, already shading, and break even. Or use realistic numbers for actual sitings of power stations, rather than global averages - here's an illustration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_land_area.png
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  5. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Right, and as the author of that post I'm telling you, that you are wrong, and that if you infered that from my post, then you misunderstood what I was saying.

    1.36 kW/m[sup]2[/sup] > 0.35 kW/m[sup]2[/sup]

    It's also the total solar constant, which is the total power of sunlight at a distance of 1AU from the sun, accross all wavelengths, so it ignores atmospheric absorption - the clear implication being that it has the net result of underestimating the land area required.

    It's not a global average it's a global maximum.

    Incidentaly, 8% is four times higher than is achieved at AndaSol or SCE/SES. Also, that image, those disks are for PV cells, not solar thermal plants.

    Oh, and I believe i've already suggested that the only completely friendly solution is if every household is completely self sufficient in water, electricity and waste.
    "The only way to come close to a green solution would be for each and every house to generate the power it uses - each house being self sufficient for electricity and water and waste. "
    It's right there, in the rest of the post that provided context that you chose to ignore.

    MicroCSP is still 1MW and a community, rather than an individual solution. So it seems that single houses would have to (at this point anyway) rely on PV solutions instead.
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
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  7. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    BS, I gave two examples just to show MAGNITUDE, one conventional (nuclear) and one Renewable (Wind). I simply chose wind because we are in fact adding many thousands of MWs of capacity per year.

    And NO, when talking about renewable energy in general I don't leave Solar PV out.


    Baseload plants run at full power nearly all the time, that's where they get their name. Extra capacity is added via peaking which in our case is almost always Natural Gas, and NG plants are some of our most efficient plants, it's just the fuel is more expensive. Spinning reserves are usually NG and sometimes hydro.

    It is accurate when you are talking large amounts of energy, like 10% of our transportation needs. Sure we can absorb a bit with exisiting capacity, and even more if most charging is done at night, but after you get past a few percent you have to start adding capacity.

    But not Like I said, don't be lazy do the calculations.....

    For nuclear power, that's pretty much exactly what it means. In general they run full power or no power, their reliability is why their capacity factor is so high.

    The average capacity factor for U.S. plants in operation in 2010 was 91.2 percent.


    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You didn't say what you meant, apparently. (The quote is right there, in English.) That would help explain why you can never paraphrase my posts, or respond to their meaning.

    Although I don't believe that - I think you meant what you said: that the downside of nuclear power was equivalent (in some relevant sense) to that of solar except for being more obvious. Recall the exact phrase: "the only difference between nuclear and solar is that the effects of nuclear are more obvious, and more obvious to the general public [/quote].

    But convince the readers of standard English you didn't quite mean that the way you wrote it - detail for us the ways in which you actually think that the downside of nuclear power is not equivalent, is in fact relevantly different in kind and scale and significance, from that of solar power. Respond to the counter posts, in a way that indicates comprehension.

    And in the barrage of idiosyncratic comprehensions:
    And true, our poster did not leave solar PV out of his previous calculations. He wrote this, representatively:
    Another calculation that leaves out thermal solar (and much else, including common sense). This is strange, no?
    And non baseload plants do not. That's a substantial fraction of the capacity you are using to calculate the necessary addition. That's a fraudulent calculation.
    But you don't have to add capacity as a straight multiple of existing nominal capacity presumed to be fully employed. You only have to add capacity as it and existing capacity would be employed in those more efficient ways.
    The nukes in the US operate at lower overall efficiency than those in Europe - I'm sure you can remember those posts somebody here made about the excellent performance of French nuclear power? - and the ones in Europe run at theoretical "availability" of around 82% - not counting mishap and accident and anything else not "within operator control". I posted the links, above. You are playing games with the term "capacity factor".
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  9. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    BS, I posted THIS article in that same post:

    And that paper is all about Thermal Solar.

    So NO, there is nothing strange at all, you apparently just didn't bother to read the link I provided in that post.

    No it's not, if you are adding that much more daily demand, which is what our transportation is, you have to do it by adding baseload plants, you can't simply count on the existing reserve capacity as what we have in reserve is pretty much what we need in reserve to handle those peak days and allow for unexpected outages.

    You have not shown any actual calculations to indicate that the efficiency of our existing capacity would be significantly higher because of demand for electricity needed for 10% of our transportation system, indeed recharging of EVs during the day and particularly fast charging just before the drive home could significantly drive up the daily peaks. Indeed, my numbers probably low balls the amount of generation capacity that must be added because I don't take into account additional reserve capacity that would likely be needed based on planning for peak outages occurring during periods of peak demands.

    France is not Europe, and our capacity rates are some of the best in the world.

    I linked to the source of the 91.2% number.


    Here's the EIA's view on it:

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    92% in 2007

    So NO, I'm not playing games with Capacity Factor, my use of the term is exactly like the definition of the term.


    Where they list Nuclear Capacity at 90.5 in the USA in 2009.

    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Of course. The question was: how many, how much, what kinds?
    You didn't use the sections concerning thermal solar in your calculations, or mention them in your own posting. You left them out.
    The definition of the term in practice is the game, especially with something like Reagan Era EPA numbers. The US efficiency or reliable availability of nuclear power would include the permanent deficit of Three Mile Island, for example - if honestly calculated. It would prorate refueling and maintenance downtimes over their time of applicability, rather than their nominal dates of performance. It would include all downtime, regardless of its recorded status vs "nameplate" power.

    And if being used to estimate future power supply vs cost, it would include a risk factor for serious accident.
  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Is your memory that short? Quit trolling.

    You're telling me that you know better than I do what I meant?


    I have precisely addressed the content of your counter posts, in good faith, by elaborately detailing what I meant with greater precision, and you respond with personal attacks and choose only to address a single sentence, and then go on to effectively you accuse me of not being able to respond in a way that indicates comprehension? This after having accused me how many times of derailing the thread with tangents? And you wonder why I get irritated with you,

    Having said that.

    You want to talk about land being rendered useless for any kind of farming?

    Here's an image of AndaSol:

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    Do you think that the land occupied by the plant is still useable for farming?

    I don't. I think that's 19 km[sup]2[/sup] that's no longer useable for the production of food. In fact, I can recall having seen only one configuration for solar thermal energy collection that would allow the land that is being used for harvesting solar energy to be used for anything else - it uses a tower mounted dish, like a radio dish that has a stirling engine mounted at the focal point of each dish.

    Additionally - consider photovoltaics, for example. Have you stopped to consider their long term environmental impacts? The impacts of Cadmium Telluride, Camium Sulfide, Copper, Silver, Gallium Arsenide, when they are released from PV cells that have been disposed of? The impacts of accidental releases of the precursor metallorganic compounds used in their manufacture? Did you know that Gallium Arsenide is listed by California as a carcinogen?
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  12. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    But that's NOT the answer that I was trying to provide. I only said I was computing the magnitude of new generation capacity. For simplicity I stated the answer in the terms of all of one kind of generation and used just the capacity factor to determine that. Of course that is a somewhat generous assumption, in the real world it would likely a mix of baseload and reserve generating capacity, but then the total additonal capacity that would be added for that much demand would likely be higher than the capacity that I specified, which was baseload capacity X capacity factor = number of quads required.
    In the real world, a reserve factor for unexpected outages at peak time would be added.

    Since nothing has as high a capacity factor as our Nukes, that was by far the most optimistic estimate, for Wind, I actually calculated it as if Wind qualified as Base Load, another very generous assumption.

    But again you are simply being argumentative for no good reason. The pretty basic calculation was clearly only to give an idea of the magnitude of electrical generation capacity we would need for 10% of our transportation system and only a dolt wouldn't realize that in practice it would obviously be the same kind of mix of generating plants that we have today with X amount of baseload and Y amount of reserve capacity. Still X + Y would be higher than a simple baseload only computation. How much higher cannot be determined until we see what adding this much new demand does to existing peaks. The good news is that a lot of the recharging will be done overnight which means we can probably supply much of the new power demand via simply adding additional baseload capacity, but we really won't know that level of detail until a substantial number of EVs are on the road in daily use and drivers charging habits become known.

    I only gave two examples, that's true, but so what? I didn't give one for Hydro either. What I did was give two examples, one conventional and one renewable, but what you claimed is that People who do calculations like that, with that motive, always leave out thermal solar - every time on this forum, over multiple threads

    And that assertion is clearly NOT true since, first of all there is no "motive" and indeed I've posted an excellent study on the potential for Solar Thermal and have mentioned it in many threads, simply do a search on Solar Thermal and my ID, but I don't typically include Solar Thermal calculations simply because that technology is just starting to be deployed and things like cost per kW and capacity factors aren't well established (note that in the Wiki article I linked to on Capacity Factors they give two for PV but don't give one for Solar Thermal).

    While it doesn't include the permanent deficit of TMI, nor does it make sense to do so, just like we don't include the permanent deficit of all Wind Turbines that have failed. But even if you did that would be less than a 1% change and so for the purpose of my calculations, to give an idea of magnitude, it would have no effect at all. All the other things you mentioned are indeed included in determining Capacity Factor.

    Indeed, Capacity Factor is a well understood term and is used to compare lots of different power generation technologies.

    From Wiki:

    Typical capacity factors
    Wind farms 20-40%.
    Photovoltaic solar in Massachusetts 12-15%.
    Photovoltaic solar in Arizona 19%
    Hydroelectricity, worldwide average 44%, range of 20% - 75% depending on water availability
    Nuclear energy 90.5% (USA 2009)

    Risk of a serious accident is factored into the expense of building a reactor but that risk has nothing to do with the amount of generation capacity required for a given demand.

    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    This image is helpful to understand the impact when you add significant new demand to the system:

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    As you can see, there is no significant amount of unused baseload capacity, and everything above that line costs more to operate. I figured the increased capacity using the most optimistic of assumptions, that the entire demand would be satisifed equally across all hours of the day and thus in the diagram above, the baseline would simply move up just enough so that it could accomodate the extra demand. Real world, it wouldn't be spread evenly and though you would add somewhat less baseload capacity then I stated additional intermediate and peak load generation capacity would also be needed.

  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I know what you said. I judge what you mean by what you say. Can't read your mind. My providing a clearly framed opportunity for you to clarify and correct - this:
    was met with more whining, and nothing relevant.
    No, you haven't. Not even close. No precision, no address - even recognition sparse on the ground. The good faith remains plausible, despite a continual recourse to invective matching the standard cover of the poser.
    Why? I have been specifically complaining about that. Let's not focus on PV tech. It's good for many things, but this is large scale power generation we are talking about here.
    It's fortunate, then, that the very best locations for thermal solar - large rooftops, high desert lands, etc - are not currently being used for anything else.
    It seemed extremely biased and full of dubious assumptions, to me, and clearly designed to mislead the uninformed into regarding nuclear reactors as all but inevitable - the only means of getting adequate power into the grid.
    And keeping to the simple, I pointed out that that doesn't work for comparing the required new capacity of different kinds of power generation.
    You do have motives, visible ones, and you have never included - yourself, your post, on your own - thermal solar in any one of these calculations anywhere on this forum. Neither has anyone else doing a calculation like that one.
    They've been replaced, and their cost of failure completely absorbed by the industry. Otherwise, as with TMI, honest accounting would include them as deficit - as down plants, being paid for but not producing.
    No, it isn't. It's kept out of the accounting by governmental legislation and financing. If it were otherwise, no reactors would be built - far too expensive and risky.
    It has a lot to do with the estimates and comparisons of new capacity necessary. If you allow for serious accident (say by using experienced events to inform a Bayesian probability estimate) the amount of nuclear capacity you will project to need increases significantly in comparison with (say) solar, for example.
    You can't actually see that, as a characteristic of the US electrical grid, from that graph.

    In my town, large consumers of juice get a significant price break if they use it during times of excess capacity - excess cheap, baseload capacity. That situation is common.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Quote: "Radiation falls with the square of the distance from the source". Another entry in the 'false reassurance' file.
    The normal graphing of average, presumably dispersed exposures - but the worth noting that a large sort of plume or concentration aisle stretches inland from the plant, away from the news media concentration on Tokyo etc; that if someone were to have somehow by chance received the impression that the serious trouble was all blown out to sea, the map contradicts it.
    A log scale (so it easily hides large variation) graph of averaged (not much good for specifying exposure of individuals) exposure in Tokyo (not, fortunately, in the main line of dispersal). Again: dissipation and dispersal presumed, not measured or modeled, at the scale of individual exposure.
  17. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You can, however, take my word for it when I suggest to you that what you have infered from my statement is not something I deliberately implied, and not a position I intend to defend.

    It's what other reasonable minded people in this thread have done in similar circumstances.

    Yes I have, in every case except possibly one, in that I still have not commented on whether or not I consider some of the media statements to be false reassurances.

    Once again, you've extracted a single sentence, presented it out of context, and avoided addressing the points being made.

    But to address your objection - because it's easier to cover specific examples, than it is to generalize about the whole - and besides, we've already discussed some of the negative impacts of solar-thermal.

    Perhaps focusing on large scale, centralized power generation is the central mistake, after all you've previously had this to say "Stick them on rooftops, already shading, and break even." however, at this point, doing so would require the use of PV, not solar thermal.

    But, even in the desert, it's still going to disrupt the environment, you're still disrupting flora, and fauna, as sparce as it may be, and you're still changing the albedo over - if we use the proposal you linked to - hundred of thousands of square kilometers of land at each location which is going to impact weather patterns and climate. And that's without considering things such as the demand for water - unless you're suggesting that we should build updraft chimnies, but that's even worse than the mirrors.

    See, in amongst all of this, there's a point that you seem to be missing.
    I'm looking at you from the other side of the looking glass, with regards to this idyll.

    I live in a country where 75% of our power generation and 30% of our total energy consumption comes from renewable resources 0% of it comes from nuclear sources, and the government has pledged/voiced/suggested/been told that we can get that up to 90% (renewable) by 2050 for what more or less amounts to chump change.

    The problem is that people don't want to sacrifice their uplands, and their rivers and so on for power generation for a number of reasons, ranging from flora and fauna in the area, to simple things like visual amenity.

    The point here is that even deserts have value - they're still part of the environment, they will still be significantly disrupted. Just because we're not using it for anything useful, doesn't mean thee isn't anything useful there. The Gila Monster, for example, live in succulent deserts (including the Mojave desert), and is protected by Arizona and Nevada state law.
  18. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    And just what are those motives I had in presenting the magnitude of the generation capacity needed to move 10% of our transportation off oil to electricity?

    So what? Doing the calculations myself was not necessay since I found and posted a link to a very well done paper on Solar Thermal with far better calculations than I could possibly do on the subject. Saying that I don't do the calcs myself in that case is just being incredibly PETTY.

    Same with TMI its capacity has been replaced.
    Cost is not part of the formula for Capacity Factor.
    Still, like I said, if you DID include TMI at 0%, it would only lower the Capacity figure by about 1%, so it doesn't matter at the rough level of calculations I was doing to show MAGNITUDE of generation capacity needed.

    Not at all, every investor in a NPP figures in risk. The government loan guarantee is only for getting it built, if it fails after it's operational the government isn't on the hook for it.

    No it wouldn't.
    We've lost 1 reactor out of our 104 operational reactors to a serious accident over a period of about 40+ years of running (not sure of exact number of reactor years, but I'm sure it's over 3,000), besides I gave the number of Wind Turbines needed and didn't factor in how many of them would fail either, and we know they fail.

    See Figure 7

    Why didn't I include failures of turbines? Because it wasn't important to the point, to show the magnitude of capacity needed. It simply doesn't matter if a few percent of the turbines don't last 20 years, that's not going to seriously change the numbers I posted.

    Yes you can. The baseline is pretty flat with only a small amount of baseload capacity that is not used in the wee hours of the morning

    Sure and the power companies price the electricity such that industries that use large amounts of power will tend to use it at night and use up that unused baseload power generating capacity, which they do, which means it isn't available, which means if you add that much more demand, you will still predominately add baseload capacity to handle it.
    The fact is you haven't posted any evidence that we have a significant amount of unused baseload generating capacity available.


    In any case, like I said, I did the calculations to give an idea of the MAGNITUDE of the additional generation capacity needed, not as a blueprint, and you've posted nothing to indicate that the numbers I came up with are significantly off.

    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The reactor itself has not been replaced. And it is still being paid for, accruing costs.
    Your link does not do that calculation. You did it. And so have others, on this forum and in many other places. And you and they left out thermal solar, every time.

    That is not true. The government guarantees the loans, and also limits the liability. The risk of disaster is not completely - or even largely - borne by the investor.

    And even with the building loan guarantee and the liability limits, investors shy away. There aren't that many billion-dollar investments that can be so totally lost in such a brief few hours of human error and technical malfunction.
    It is available, to local industry, from a nuclear power plant just a few miles from my front door.
  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    That it dalls with the square of the distance from the source is a statement of fact.

    Actual measurements taken from an aircraft, not averages, full column activity (IIRC), I've looked at the presentation before (in full) but not recently.

    Yes. Fancy that, using a Log scale to display data that follows a log normal distribution. How absurd.
    IN some instances, they appear to have used the daily average, but that's not universally true, and they are based on measurements made at Wako University campus in Western Tokyo (Machida City, I believe). If you examine the original data, on, for example, March 18, the Radiation varied between 0.10 and 0.13 μSv/h, with most of the values recorded being 0.11. Additionally, they have included interesting features in the data - for example the short term spikes that were recorded.
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Something occurs to me, in regards to pursuing a decentralized solution. Even that is not without consequences.

    Consider, that irrespective of whether you go roof mounted PV or Solar thermal, you're still altering the albedo of a city - this is going to change the climate and weather patterns in the city. IN fact it''s even been suggested at several different levels that if everybody painted their roofs white, it might help to combat climate change.

  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, it's not. Your own links show plumes, for example, from Fukushima - and those are averages, with the actual variation in exposure concealed. The real life departure from the misapplied inverse square law is huge, in this kind of dispersal.
    Those are averages, even before they are used to map areas over time spans. They are not capable of resolving exposure at the individual scale.
    Nothing wrong with it. Only it makes individual exposure risk difficult to pin down - large variations in delivered exposure are hidden, especially at the low end - and derived estimates of them misleading. But that's no problem, because no one would use that kind of data for that purpose so carelessly - right?
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You're grasping at straws.

    Those aren't averages, they're instaneous readings taken at specific locations.

    Within the plumes, the intensity varies as the square of distance from the source. And they're not averages - if you think that an instrument looking downwards sees an average, rather than a total, you're going to have to demonstrate it.

    And they're not averages, they're contours. The information is displayed as a range.

    Large variations are emphasized, not masked.
    Here's a real world example.
    Microbiological water quality. It's well established to vary on a log normal scale - it varies over orders of magnitude.

    This data covers 5 orders of magnitude.
    Here it is plotted as a time series with the parameter on a linear scale:

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    And here it is plotted as a time series with the parameter on a logarythmic scale.

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    Now, you tell me, which one shows the "Large variations... Especially at the low end" more clearly.

    There's a reason why Log scales get used to illustrate log normal data, it's because it makes the variations easier, not harder to see.
    (that's not to say that distortion doesn't occur, however).
    Last edited: May 12, 2011

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