Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power’

Monday Moaning

Electricity – isn’t it wonderful?

The title is from The Guardian.

Electricity is a feature in most of our lives, unless you happen to be a nomadic herder in some remote corner of the planet.

We can’t do without it.

But really we are a bunch of hypocrites.

We want electricity, but we don’t want pollution and global warming; we want electricity, but we don’t want to upset the environment with dams; we want electricity, but we don’t want nuclear reactors making it; we want electricity, but we don’t want unsightly wind farms in our backyard.

You can’t have it both ways!

You either have electricity and the encumbrances, or you don’t.

Fukushima, more disastrous than Chernobyl

Fukushima, more disastrous than Chernobyl

Oil and gas fired electricity produces hot house gases and pollution. Hydroelectric schemes flood great swathes of land and displaces peoples (often indigenous peoples). Nuclear electricity is just plain dangerous, too stupid to even contemplate; just look at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

So we’re back to windfarms, which merely mess up the lovely view we have of the planet. Off-shore or on-shore, they seem to be the only viable solution… but are they?

wind-farms1

Not in our backyard!

The making of these vast wind generators requires rare earths, and where are the rare earths found? In countries that have dubious scruples about mining them, back to pollution on a huge scale damaging the land for millennia.

When you boil it all down, there is no answer.

But there is… REDUCE our dependency on electricity, REDUCE our usage.

We make ‘green’ cars that use electricity, but we still have to generate the electricity and often it is with the very oil that we’re trying to save by making ‘green’ cars. It’s a vicious circle. My question is, are ‘green’ cars really green, or are we just sweeping the oil and coal under the carpet?

Man needs energy to cook, to travel, to work. The increase in population means that we need more energy.

The paradigm must change.

Instead of making more and more energy, we have to learn to use the energy we already have/make in more efficient ways.

house-solar-panels

Excess electricity can be sold to the grid

The use of solar energy must increase.

An example, and one that can be implemented tomorrow, all new houses and commercial buildings have to have solar panels; including those under construction.

“But the expense!” They’ll all cry in unison. To hell with the expense, we are trying to save the planet.

The next step, would be that solar panels must be fitted to all houses and buildings built in the last five years within five years.

We can’t dally about this, it’s not a matter for governments to discuss and spend years making a decision; it must be done NOW!

No procrastination!

We have to put the brakes on for fossil and nuclear fuels. We have to stop destroying people’s lives and natural habitats.

We have to find alternative solutions. If we don’t, there won’t be a need for solutions, because we will be extinct.

 

 

 

It’s Rather Hard to Fathom

Bolivia ‘to build first nuclear reactor’

Evo Morales, a former coca leaf producer, is Bolivia’s first president with an indigenous background

Bolivian President Evo Morales has announced plans to build the country’s first nuclear reactor.

Mr Morales said the development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes has become a strategic priority for his country.

Speaking to members of the Bolivian Congress, he said that Iran, France and Argentina had volunteered to help with the development of the project.

Only three countries in Latin America have operating nuclear power stations.

Brazil, Argentina and Mexico began their nuclear programmes in the 1970s.

Chile has only small-scale, experimental nuclear reactors.

“Bolivia cannot remain excluded from this technology, which belongs to all humankind,” Mr Morales said in his annual state of the union address in La Paz.

“We have decided to create a high-level energy commission. This is a priority of the Bolivian state,” he said.

Read more

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Opinion:

It’s rather hard to fathom after all that has happened at Fukushima (and that is not over yet) that anyone, or any country would want to bring more nuclear power to the southern hemisphere.

I don’t know where they plan to build a nuclear reactor, but much of Bolivia is high in the Andes and beset by the same earthquake problem as Japan.

Men may be mad, but politicians are absolutely crazy!

 

 

Fukushima in a Nutshell

In 1979 it was fiction...

In 1979 it was fiction…

“They think ‘China Syndrome’ has happened at one or several of these reactors. Nuclear engineers don’t know what to do. No way they can contain it… there is nothing to do. The truth is, scientifically, they will never clean it up. It’s impossible.”

– Dr. Helen Caldicott

See the video interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott on: Running ‘Cause I can’t Fly

Opinion:

With the events at Fukushima, I cannot for the life of me understand why some countries are even contemplating nuclear power.

It may already be too late.

Chernobyl was merely a warning, Fukushima maybe the final act in the play of Humanity.

In our ignorance and arrogance we have blindly trodden  the path of nuclear power for decades, thinking that we knew what we were doing.

It appears that we don’t!

And now we have to pay the price.

Could this be a needed change?

Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first

Methane hydrate is also known as burnable or flammable ice

Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast, in a world first.

Methane hydrates, or clathrates, are a type of frozen “cage” of molecules of methane and water.

The gas field is about 50km away from Japan’s main island, in the Nankai Trough.

Researchers say it could provide an alternative energy source for Japan which imports all its energy needs.

Other countries including Canada, the US and China have been looking into ways of exploiting methane hydrate deposits as well.

Pilot experiments in recent years, using methane hydrates found under land ice, have shown that methane can be extracted from the deposits.

Methane clathrate – ‘Fire ice’

Offshore deposits present a potentially enormous source of methane but also some environmental concern, because the underwater geology containing them is unstable in many places.

“It is the world’s first offshore experiment producing gas from methane hydrate,” an official from the economy, trade and industry ministry told the AFP news agency.

A survey of the gas field is being run by state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).

Engineers used a depressurisation method that turns methane hydrate into methane gas.

Production tests are expected to continue for about two weeks.

Government officials have said that they aim to establish methane hydrate production technologies for practical use within five years.

A Japanese study estimated that at least 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate exist in offshore deposits.

This is the equivalent of more than a decade of Japan’s gas consumption.

Japan has few natural resources and the cost of importing fuel has increased after a backlash against nuclear power following the Fukushima nuclear disaster two years ago.

  • Hydrates, or clathrates, are a frozen mixture of water and gas, primarily methane
  • The methane molecules reside inside a water molecule lattice
  • The methane will ignite in ice form – hence the “fire ice” moniker
  • Clathrates tend to form under frigid temperatures and high pressures
  • They are found in ocean sediments and under the permafrost on land
  • Vast deposits are thought to exist, rivalling known reserves of traditional fossil fuels

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Opinion:

Could this be the much needed drift away from nuclear and traditional fossil fuels?

Monday Moaning

Pee Power

Urine-Powered Generator Could Change Lives

We’ve talked about park lamps fueled by dog poop, and now a group of teens in Africa have developed a generator that runs on urine.

Yes, there’s a bit of an ick factor any time we’re talking bodily functions, but in areas where electricity is at a premium or not available at all, this innovation could make a huge impact on folks’ quality of life. If you’re reading this on a computer, chances are electricity doesn’t feel like a luxury, but for millions of people the lights don’t come on at the flip of a switch.

While turning the lights on might not seem like a big deal, we take electricity for granted in so many other ways, like heating and cooling our homes when the weather is sweltering or freezing. Or in hospitals, where electricity saves lives by powering medical equipment.

How it Works

The generator – showcased at this year’s Africa Maker Faire – was developed by:

  • Duro-Aina Adebola, age 14
  • Akindele Abiola, age 14
  • Faleke Oluwatoyin, age 14
  • Bello Eniola age 15

urine-powered generator

One liter of urine can produce six hours of electricity in their generator using an electrolytic cell to separate the hydrogen from the urine. The hydrogen moves through a filtration system and liquid borax, a system that purifies the hydrogen gas so that it can power the generator.

Six hours of pee power means folks in rural and developing areas can generate their own electricity without petroleum products. Can you imagine the impact this could have if researchers could scale it up, so whole cities could run on pee power?

Images via Maker Faire Africa

Source: Green Upgrader

Opinion:

If four kids can do it, why hasn’t it been done before?

Of course, that wouldn’t be profitable for the oil companies, would it?

This technology needs to be exploited immediately for the benefit of the planet; to hell with the oil companies and their profits.

Imagine that, six hours of light from a litre of pee. How many billions of litres of pee, both human and animal, go to waste each year?

With this technology coal, gas, oil and nuclear generated electricity would be a thing of the past.

It is vital to the survival of the species.

 

Make you Fink on Friday

Green decline ‘may bring irreversible change’

Climate change threatens to make life worse in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa

With forests and fish stocks declining, water demand rising and lack of action on climate change, humanity’s path is anything but sustainable, the UN warns.

The Global Environmental Outlook says significant progress is seen on only four out of 90 environmental goals.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists warns that life on Earth may be on the way to an irreversible “tipping point”.

The UN Environment Programme (Unep) urges leaders to agree tough goals at this month’s Rio+20 summit.

Where governments have agreed specific treaties, it says, major change has transpired.

However, negotiations leading up to the summit appear mired in problems, with governments failing to find agreement since January on issues such as eliminating subsidies on fossil fuels, regulating fishing on the high seas and obliging corporations to measure their environmental footprint.

Source: BBC News Read more

We are in the final week counting down to Rio +20, that is the 1982 environmental conference twenty years on.

The United Nations conference on sustainable development.

I am not holding my breath for anything spectacular; unless you consider hot air and rhetoric as spectacular.

Everything from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which targeted this year (2012) for all nations to reduce their carbon emissions to pre-1990 levels; and what has been done?

Nothing!

The countries that were the worst offenders then, are still the worst offenders, many of whom wouldn’t sign the agreement.

I fully expect a similar result from Rio +20. Like Copenhagen was sabotaged by the Chinese, these conferences are a grand excuse for lots of talking, fancy dinners and exhibitions.

The world is in imminent danger, we are creeping closer to irreversible changes by the day and the world’s leaders make promises, then breath a sigh of relief and go home to worry about how to get elected again. If that means pushing environmental issues to the background because big money demands it, so be it.

I disagree with the use of ‘may’ in the title, ‘may’ implies a strong possibility. I would prefer to think ‘is going to’ is more appropriate, ‘is going to’ implies a high level of certainty.

Because I am certain that the irreversible changes are already here.

We no longer have a beautiful green planet.

The planet has been relegated to being a dirty mud ball.

Oh, the conference will talk about pollution, water, agriculture, food shortages, hunger, sustainability, etc. All wonderful things, but will it address such issues as Japan’s nuclear power and the ever present danger of the moment where a catastrophic collapse of the cooling towers will release enough radiation to contaminate the entire northern hemisphere.

If the northern hemisphere becomes uninhabitable, where the hell are the survivors going to go?

The southern hemisphere, of course. There isn’t enough habitable land mass in the southern hemisphere.

Just think, all of Europe, North America and much of Asia fitting into Australia, Africa and South America. Do the math, it doesn’t fit.

Stop for a moment and think of the entire northern hemisphere migrating to the south. Think of the sovereignty issues, think of the enormous refugee camps, think of the food shortages then.

Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis, the Libyans, the Mexicans, the Russians; where are you going to put a billion Chinese… all refugees clambering for space and survival.

The result:

Total chaos!

That is a high probability situation for the future given the prevalence of earthquakes in Japan that could collapse the cooling towers.

And, nobody is talking about it, neither governments, nor media, nor Japan, nor nuclear vested interests.

If you are in the northern hemisphere, and if you survive, you could reduced to refugee status.

Now, where is your house, your SUV, your high standard of living, your precious college education, your social media networks?

All gone!

Japan shuts down last reactor

All 50 reactors now closed for maintenance after 2011 tsunami but government faces major public opposition to reactivation

Operators have begun to shut down the third nuclear reactor (centre in foreground) at the Tomari plant in Japan. Photograph: AP

Japan is shutting down its last working nuclear reactor as part of the safety drive imposed after the March 2011 tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

The closure of the third reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido prefecture, northern Japan, means all of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors have been taken offline, leaving the country with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970.

Hokkaido Electric said it started lowering output from the reactor at 5pm (8am GMT). The unit should be shut down completely by the early hours of Sunday.

Hundreds of people marched through Tokyo waving banners to celebrate what they hope will be the end of nuclear power in Japan.

Source: The Guardian Read more

Opinion:

Has Japan learned its lesson?

Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant

“The trade minister, Yukio Edano, and three other ministers have been trying to win public backing to restart two reactors taken offline at Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant to help ease expected power shortages of nearly 20% in the summer.” – The Guardian

Obviously not!

In another article the statement was made, “It’s okay, we know what we are doing now!”

Sorry, you don’t!

You have no more idea of what you are doing now than when nuclear energy was first proposed.

When it comes to nuclear energy, you are playing with fire! As my mother always said, “Little boys should not play with fire!” She was right.

The whole nuclear issue is so clouded by unkowns, that moves to make the WORLD nuclear free ought to be the highest priority.

Reading the news (NOT MSM, they’re full of shit and omissions) the Fukushima disaster is much worse than we have been lead to believe.

We all remember Chernobyl, Fukushima has 85 times the amount of fuel rods. Fukushima is not safe; the tank holding spent fuel rods is so badly compromised that even a minor earthquake could topple it. They can’t fix it. To remove all the fuel rods in Fukushima (something that has NEVER been done on this scale) cannot be completed before 2014.

What happens if there is a small tremor before then? Remember that Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. The chances are extremely high.

The radioctivity from a total collapse of the cooling pool (remember this is 30 metres (90ft) in the air) is enough to annihilate Hawaii, Alaska, the western seaboards of Canada and the USA and badly contaminate the rest of the two countries, before spreading across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.

Radiation levels in the US are already being held responsible for for an identifiable increase in deaths since the disaster.

American women pay high price for Fukushima cover-up: 35% more dead babies

Babies are dying at a 35% increased rate in eight northwest U.S. cities since the Fukushima meltdowns, evidence supporting radiation expert…

This is fact not fiction. Read the source: The Examiner

MSM, TEPCO and the governments are not telling you the full story!

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