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Nuclear power
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Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #1
09-06-2008 10:49 PM

Interesting facts on nuclear power - Russians decided to do their own thing and designed an inherently unsafe reactors (RBMK/Chernobyl).

Americans built a bullet proof one ( PWR)but still did their best to destroy it (TMI) by deciding not to believe their instruments and turn off the cooling water supply.

They'd had a previous go when they'd had a powercut. Not having a torch in the control room they thought they'd use the next best thing and light a candle to check some circuits and managed to burn through important safety cabling. Fortunately we haven't got a nuclear power station operated by stupid Americans in SE23 or else we may have had similar near miss yesterday.

Two more interesting facts that may interest our friend on the wrong side of the tracks - Greenwich is (or was) a nuclear free zone but until recent years had a research reactor in the former Naval College (now Greenwich University)

And ditto for Lambeth that allows nuclear fuel through for reprocessing from Dungeness to Sellafield.

And forget wind turbines and solar generation and get your own nuclear reactor to provide your heating:

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Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #2
10-06-2008 09:19 PM

The trouble with nuclear reactors (meltdowns aside) is that they are very expensive to decommission due to being so toxic.
I guess we could hide our old domestic reactors in the green wheelie bins under some newspapers and hope they are not discovered - 'oh sorry. I wasn't sure.'
Or just dump them next to the fridges and cr wide-screen tvs on some convenient corner. That too would decrease the lifetime cost.

But BD, is windpower that hopeless?
We have a nice hill in se23 - we must get as much wind as most.
So why not build a nice wind farm on Horniman Heights?
I understand the council are very open minded about controversial proposals up there, so planning should not be a problem.Smile

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Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #3
10-06-2008 10:24 PM

The trouble with wind (and solar and tidal) power is that the amount of power produced tends to fluctuate rapidly and be unpredictable.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to turn gas, coal and nuclear power plants 'up and down' anywhere nearly as quickly to match.

And in order to avoid blackouts, the National Grid needs to consistently produce enough for the nation's energy needs.

So the majority of the energy produced by renewable sources simply gets wasted.

It's unfortunate that more focus is not put on nuclear fusion (which doesn't create any radioactive waste or other harmful emissions). It has been shown to work on a small scale but by current estimates it'll take about 50 years before it industrial scale production becomes a reality.

I'm sure if governments really pushed the development of the technology along (as the US government managed with the Manhattan project, for example) then that could be reduced to 20 or 30 years and all our energy problems would be solved.

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