Things that have withstood the test of time

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  • What death toll is attributed to Chernobyl in those calculations?

    If you used Greenpeace's wildly exaggerated figure, it's only about 4 times safer than coal.
    That would be twice as dangerous as natural gas then?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    edited February 2021

    What death toll is attributed to Chernobyl in those calculations?

    If you used Greenpeace's wildly exaggerated figure, it's only about 4 times safer than coal.
    That would be twice as dangerous as natural gas then?
    Are you factoring the cost to climate change in this figure?

    As presumably if you burn enough gas you end up a fair bit closer to extinction.


    I sort of feel the idea that because it's being pumped into the air and you can't see it that it is somehow less bad than being put in a concrete hole 200m below the surface.

    it really isn't. Au contraire.
  • What death toll is attributed to Chernobyl in those calculations?

    If you used Greenpeace's wildly exaggerated figure, it's only about 4 times safer than coal.
    That would be twice as dangerous as natural gas then?
    Are you factoring the cost to climate change in this figure?

    As presumably if you burn enough gas you end up a fair bit closer to extinction.
    I was just wondering what it was based on, whether it was the official number directly killed (31) or the thousands that suffered from it.

    Like with the after effects of burning stuff, it's easy to show that it's not dangerous if you ignore a load of stuff.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    rjsterry said:

    rolf_f said:

    rjsterry said:

    Well yes, induction will be fine if the electricity power station is not burning stuff for the electricity, agreed.

    Once central heating is not running off gas, will people bother with a supply just for the hob? The power stations will of course need to continue to shift away from burning stuff, too. Domestic consumption is significant, though.
    Hydrogen. Maybe (got to shove something through the enormously valuable gas pipe infrastructure).

    I think there might be some issues running hydrogen through a standard gas hob.

    https://www.theengineer.co.uk/domestic-hydrogen-appliances/
    Just have a remote ignition operated from behind a closed door in the next room......

    Faster than a tent.......
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    How cool would it be having a piped supply of hydrogen and a packet of balloons to play with...
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,737

    How cool would it be having a piped supply of hydrogen and a packet of balloons to play with...




    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    rolf_f said:

    morstar said:

    I am of the view the anti-nuclear campaign has been a massive disaster for humanity and hugely costly to the world.

    I’d much rather have nuclear than shale gas but conversely, there have been two nuclear disasters in my lifetime. It is right that nuclear is heavily scrutinised.
    What is your objection to shale gas (beyond that America has really made it look bad by being woefully incompetent at its implementation and regulation as you'd expect)?

    First off, the desperation to secure more fossil fuels when we know we have to wean ourselves off them is highly questionable.

    The water contamination and tremor issues are almost secondary.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,624
    rolf_f said:

    rjsterry said:

    rolf_f said:

    rjsterry said:

    Well yes, induction will be fine if the electricity power station is not burning stuff for the electricity, agreed.

    Once central heating is not running off gas, will people bother with a supply just for the hob? The power stations will of course need to continue to shift away from burning stuff, too. Domestic consumption is significant, though.
    Hydrogen. Maybe (got to shove something through the enormously valuable gas pipe infrastructure).

    I think there might be some issues running hydrogen through a standard gas hob.

    https://www.theengineer.co.uk/domestic-hydrogen-appliances/
    Just have a remote ignition operated from behind a closed door in the next room......

    And blast proof kitchen cabinets.

    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,624

    How cool would it be having a piped supply of hydrogen and a packet of balloons to play with...

    Erm...


    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 14,623
    You are mostly looking at the aluminium paint going up in that photo.

    I would have thought bigger issues with hydrogen will be leakage. Also, it has a propensity to self-ignite if it escapes from a pressurised container.

    Plenty of it available though. For haulage, aerospace and wotnot it is either that or some sort of synthetic hydrocarbon. The latter is inevitably going to end up competing with food and/or natural habitat.
  • focuszing723
    focuszing723 Posts: 7,202
    edited February 2021
    The photovoltaic effect was experimentally demonstrated first by French physicist Edmond Becquerel. In 1839, at age 19, he built the world's first photovoltaic cell in his father's laboratory.

    Willoughby Smith first described the "Effect of Light on Selenium during the passage of an Electric Current" in a 20 February 1873 issue of Nature. In 1883 Charles Fritts built the first solid state photovoltaic cell by coating the semiconductor selenium with a thin layer of gold to form the junctions; the device was only around 1% efficient. Other milestones include

    1888 – Russian physicist Aleksandr Stoletov built the first cell based on the outer photoelectric effect discovered by Heinrich Hertz in 1887.

    1905 – Albert Einstein proposed a new quantum theory of light and explained the photoelectric effect in a landmark paper, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

    1941 – Vadim Lashkaryov discovered p-n-junctions in Cu2O and Ag2S protocells.

    1946 – Russell Ohl patented the modern junction semiconductor solar cell, while working on the series of advances that would lead to the transistor.

    1948 - Introduction to the World of Semiconductors states Kurt Lehovec may have been the first to explain the photo-voltaic effect in the peer reviewed journal Physical Review.

    1954 – The first practical photovoltaic cell was publicly demonstrated at Bell Laboratories. The inventors were Calvin Souther Fuller, Daryl Chapin and Gerald Pearson.

    1957 – Egyptian engineer Mohamed M. Atalla develops the process of silicon surface passivation by thermal oxidation at Bell Laboratories. The surface passivation process has since been critical to solar cell efficiency.

    1958 – Solar cells gained prominence with their incorporation onto the Vanguard I satellite.


    It's really good to see solar panels become mainstream especially in Sunny environments. I still have a small 3v cell I got from Epcot as a kid, an off cut peice from the roof.

    Wind power has been utilized for thousands of years, starting with the invention of sail boats as the first and most obvious example of making use of wind energy. The earliest known wind powered grain mills and water pumps were used by the Persians in A.D. 500-900 and by the Chinese in A.D. 1200.


    http://www.thirdplanetwind.com/energy/history.aspx#:~:text=The earliest known wind powered,in his Connecticut machine shop.

    Wind power and Hydro power as well in various ways.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,860
    Are there any successful tidal generation schemes? The only ones I've heard about have been disappointments, and I imagine that the profound immediate environmental changes they would produce would more or less rule out anything on a grand scale, certainly in the UK. I imagine the basic engineering problem is the massive turbine capacity required at peak flow in order to capture all the potential energy but that isn't then needed for 75% of the time. I've seen the one at Dinard in Brittany, but even 25 years ago they said it hadn't lived up to its hopes. And as far as I've read (Private Eye), the Swansea Bay lagoon was just a financial scam, rather than a serious engineering proposal.

    And if there haven't been any in the UK, where we have big tides (I think the tide at Avonmouth is the second biggest in the world), what hope elsewhere?
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    morstar said:

    rolf_f said:

    morstar said:

    I am of the view the anti-nuclear campaign has been a massive disaster for humanity and hugely costly to the world.

    I’d much rather have nuclear than shale gas but conversely, there have been two nuclear disasters in my lifetime. It is right that nuclear is heavily scrutinised.
    What is your objection to shale gas (beyond that America has really made it look bad by being woefully incompetent at its implementation and regulation as you'd expect)?

    First off, the desperation to secure more fossil fuels when we know we have to wean ourselves off them is highly questionable.

    The water contamination and tremor issues are almost secondary.
    Is the right answer. Water contamination and tremors certainly are issues but can be largely avoided if your country isn't Hicksville USA and has the benefit of modern environmental legislation. There are risks but there are risks with everything. When people were protesting at the Balcombe planned fracking site I doubt that any of them thought about whether the petrol station that they had filled up at used single lined underground tanks in the major chalk aquifer which is a far higher contamination risk than fracking (a bit like all those people protesting about Colston and wearing clothes made by 21st century slaves - a lot of protestors really don't seem to have thought much about what they are protesting about) .

    Fracking is not as bad as a lot of things we already do but really, why bother?

    Faster than a tent.......
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    Ultimately renewables, as great a they are, rely on certain weather conditions, and to achieve the necessary power we need, you need a base line that is weather independent. Nuclear is clearly the most sensible option currently for that.

    It's all very well people talking about future technologies, but the issue of climate change is now and we need to be realistic about what behaviours we can change and which we can't.

    Our reliance on power is not going to change today so we need to be sensible about what is an existential threat and what isn't.
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,624

    You are mostly looking at the aluminium paint going up in that photo.

    I would have thought bigger issues with hydrogen will be leakage. Also, it has a propensity to self-ignite if it escapes from a pressurised container.

    Plenty of it available though. For haulage, aerospace and wotnot it is either that or some sort of synthetic hydrocarbon. The latter is inevitably going to end up competing with food and/or natural habitat.

    That link I posted suggested that there are enough differences from natural gas that switching to H would be almost as much work for the homeowner/landlord as switching to ASHP heating and induction hobs. Then there is the question of whether any insurer would cover it. I would suggest a couple of bad leaks/explosions would knock the idea on the head for domestic heating and cooking when there is a non-explosive option.

    Agreed on use in transport and generation. Farmed hydrocarbons is a daft idea, I think.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,624

    Ultimately renewables, as great a they are, rely on certain weather conditions, and to achieve the necessary power we need, you need a base line that is weather independent. Nuclear is clearly the most sensible option currently for that.

    It's all very well people talking about future technologies, but the issue of climate change is now and we need to be realistic about what behaviours we can change and which we can't.

    Our reliance on power is not going to change today so we need to be sensible about what is an existential threat and what isn't.

    An ASHP or GSHP is not future technology, nor is it weather dependent. Neither is a massive programme of upgrading uninsulated buildings.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    rjsterry said:

    You are mostly looking at the aluminium paint going up in that photo.

    I would have thought bigger issues with hydrogen will be leakage. Also, it has a propensity to self-ignite if it escapes from a pressurised container.

    Plenty of it available though. For haulage, aerospace and wotnot it is either that or some sort of synthetic hydrocarbon. The latter is inevitably going to end up competing with food and/or natural habitat.

    That link I posted suggested that there are enough differences from natural gas that switching to H would be almost as much work for the homeowner/landlord as switching to ASHP heating and induction hobs. Then there is the question of whether any insurer would cover it. I would suggest a couple of bad leaks/explosions would knock the idea on the head for domestic heating and cooking when there is a non-explosive option.

    Agreed on use in transport and generation. Farmed hydrocarbons is a daft idea, I think.
    I don't know what the real numbers are. On R4 there was a recent discussion about it. The expert said that costs for GSHP or Air pumps would be of the order of 12-20k for a typical house. The idiot interviewer then seemed to think that that that equated to maybe three or four times the cost of a new combi boiler.......

    H compliant Combi boiler fitted - say £2k. Induction hob - £250; if they are flagging the cost of fitting an induction hob as a significant issue then they are being a bit desperate. Plus the fact that Air source currently doesn't seem very effective compared to gas and is not suitable for all homes anyway.

    The idea of paying up to ten times the price for a functionally worse system isn't going to encourage me to be an early adopter.

    Faster than a tent.......
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,624
    edited February 2021
    rolf_f said:

    rjsterry said:

    You are mostly looking at the aluminium paint going up in that photo.

    I would have thought bigger issues with hydrogen will be leakage. Also, it has a propensity to self-ignite if it escapes from a pressurised container.

    Plenty of it available though. For haulage, aerospace and wotnot it is either that or some sort of synthetic hydrocarbon. The latter is inevitably going to end up competing with food and/or natural habitat.

    That link I posted suggested that there are enough differences from natural gas that switching to H would be almost as much work for the homeowner/landlord as switching to ASHP heating and induction hobs. Then there is the question of whether any insurer would cover it. I would suggest a couple of bad leaks/explosions would knock the idea on the head for domestic heating and cooking when there is a non-explosive option.

    Agreed on use in transport and generation. Farmed hydrocarbons is a daft idea, I think.
    I don't know what the real numbers are. On R4 there was a recent discussion about it. The expert said that costs for GSHP or Air pumps would be of the order of 12-20k for a typical house. The idiot interviewer then seemed to think that that that equated to maybe three or four times the cost of a new combi boiler.......

    H compliant Combi boiler fitted - say £2k. Induction hob - £250; if they are flagging the cost of fitting an induction hob as a significant issue then they are being a bit desperate. Plus the fact that Air source currently doesn't seem very effective compared to gas and is not suitable for all homes anyway.

    The idea of paying up to ten times the price for a functionally worse system isn't going to encourage me to be an early adopter.

    Not sure why you thi think it's not very effective. You may need larger emitters to compensate for lower flow temperatures and siting of the external unit needs some thought, but so does a boiler flue. We are really past the early adopter phase with these now. My folks have just had a an ASHP installed - rather tricky installation due to tight physical constraints - and it was significantly less than £10k. If you replace all your rads and pipework, plus making good then you might get to the quoted figure but then you are not comparing like with like. A combi boiler is fine for a small family, but £2k is very lean down here and if you want a system boiler + invented cylinder as most larger homes do, then you are up at £5-£6k. Still a couple of grand gap to an ASHP at the moment, but if you are redoing a bathroom or kitchen alongside then you are talking a marginal extra cost.

    If you are a landlord refurbing a property and don't fancy the hassle of annual gas safety checks, you'd think twice about fitting a gas boiler this time and certainly when that comes up for replacement.

    Tl;dr R4 in shock not very accurate reporting of technical subjects.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • I remember listening to a program about decommissioning nuclear waste and how to label the storage. They didn't want people to 'go there' for 1000 years or more so weren't sure how to signpost what was there - both to stop people visiting out of curiousity but also to inform generations to come.
  • UK SMR (Small Modular Reactor) technology envisaged by the Rolls-Royce-led UK consortium can produce nuclear power in a new way anywhere in the world. It solves the conundrum of how to create affordable energy, and more of it, with a lower carbon footprint

    The global energy sector is facing increasing pressure to produce more power more quickly and in more places with more certainty of availability cost, capacity and flexibility and lower input costs and a smaller environmental impact. Satisfying both has called for a new approach. Our UK SMR concept is the answer.


    https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-and-services/nuclear/small-modular-reactors.aspx#section-leading-the-consortium
  • A consortium led by Rolls-Royce has announced plans to build up to 16 mini-nuclear plants in the UK.

    It says the project will create 6,000 new jobs in the Midlands and the North of England over the next five years.

    The prime minister is understood to be poised to announce at least £200m for the project as part of a long-delayed green plan for economic recovery.

    Rolls-Royce argues that as well as producing low-carbon electricity, the concept may become an export industry.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54703204

  • I remember hearing about the US and the SU in the 50's testing nuclear powered planes. I'm not sure about that one yet!

    Fukushima is still pretty fresh in my mind too. I think the general public will need convincing if it's being considered near their doorstep.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585

    I remember hearing about the US and the SU in the 50's testing nuclear powered planes. I'm not sure about that one yet!

    Fukushima is still pretty fresh in my mind too. I think the general public will need convincing if it's being considered near their doorstep.

    As opposed their doorstep being 5m under water?
  • I remember hearing about the US and the SU in the 50's testing nuclear powered planes. I'm not sure about that one yet!

    Fukushima is still pretty fresh in my mind too. I think the general public will need convincing if it's being considered near their doorstep.

    As opposed their doorstep being 5m under water?
    Churlish at best!

    Germany by the end of 2022 is phasing out nuclear power. Since a first reactor started operations in 1955, the country had built more than 100 nuclear facilities, including power and research stations, and waste deposits.

    Even after Germany’s nuclear exit, the country will face high costs, such as at least €7bn for the rehabilitation of the Morsleben nuclear storage facility and the Asse research storage facility as well as the Wismut uranium ore mine, or for the closure of former nuclear power plant sites.

    Tangermann said he hopes Berlin will resist current demands for an extension of Germany’s nuclear power plants, or investments into new ones, also as those would serve to discredit the expansion of renewables.

    https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/no-higher-cost-energy-nuclear-has-drained-germany-of-more-than-1trn-to-date/2-1-877313

    The concept and safety aspect will have to be explained to people. It's is a fair point though that these are pressing issues, especially if electric cars are to become the norm.
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674

    Fukushima is still pretty fresh in my mind too. I think the general public will need convincing if it's being considered near their doorstep.

    I think this post nicely illustrates the circular logic behind a lot of anti-nuclear attitudes:

    "Nuclear power is dangerous"
    "Why's it dangerous?"
    "Because people are afraid of it!"
    "Why are they afraid of it?"
    "Because it's dangerous!"
    ... etc
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,585
    Yeah I think the German reaction to fukushima is highly irresponsible.

    Climate change is existential. Do you not understand that?
  • Fukushima is still pretty fresh in my mind too. I think the general public will need convincing if it's being considered near their doorstep.

    I think this post nicely illustrates the circular logic behind a lot of anti-nuclear attitudes:

    "Nuclear power is dangerous"
    "Why's it dangerous?"
    "Because people are afraid of it!"
    "Why are they afraid of it?"
    "Because it's dangerous!"
    ... etc
    Come on, be a bit realistic. I'm not saying they shouldn't be built, just that the concept and safety aspect needs to be explained to people.
  • Yeah I think the German reaction to fukushima is highly irresponsible.

    Climate change is existential. Do you not understand that?

    Do you drive a petrol car?

    Next question why?
  • mrb123
    mrb123 Posts: 4,612

    I remember listening to a program about decommissioning nuclear waste and how to label the storage. They didn't want people to 'go there' for 1000 years or more so weren't sure how to signpost what was there - both to stop people visiting out of curiousity but also to inform generations to come.

    I think I saw that - wasn't it about a storage facility in Scandinavia somewhere?

    They were thinking so far ahead that they were trying to design signage that people might understand who had no knowledge of our current language.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,479
    Surely Fukushima just shows more thought possibly needs to go into the location of power stations and that putting them in earthquake / tsunami zones.