Re: Government hinders solar power

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 20:52:10 MST

At 03:27 PM 1/18/01 -0500, you wrote:

>When you're done with radioactive materials, you can shoot some of them
>far away. This implies economical launch costs.

Argonne National Labs near Chicago was within a year of demonstration of a
commercial fast breeder / reprocessing plant / intrinsically safe reactor -
the IFR project - when Mr. Klinton rose to power. His administration
cancelled the project with cancellation costs greater than the balance of
the program's estimated completion costs - and without any results.

The IFR would have provided clean, safe nuclear power, with no long term
storage of wastes, as the spent fuel is reprocessed on site and any fission
products neutron irradiated on site to quickly degenerate them into
short-lived isotopes. The plan was for a plant to operate for 25 or 30
years on one fueling, then be sealed for the next 100 years or so to allow
the remaining radiation to die off. What would have been left would have
been classified "low level" wastes.

Launching anything through the atmosphere - raw ore, processed fuel, or
wastes - carries with it the real risk that the launch will fail and the
payload will be scattered a'la Challenger.

> >
> > > We're talking about electrical equipment, I wonder what the order is
> in terms of
> > > consumption of these products: green pc, green monitor, iron,
> electric stovetop
> > > range, electric furnace, stereo, large television, 100W light bulb,
> dishwasher,
> > > microwave. These are some typical home products.
> >
>Here's a guess:
>large television
>green monitor
>green pc

Actually, you have this in order of current draw, not energy consumption. A
5000 watt oven operated for one half hour every day uses 2.5 kWh of energy.
The TV which draws 75 watts, but is on ten hours per day uses 750 Wh. A
'green" PC that is on 24/7 may use much more energy than the iron, for
instance, since the iron is a very intermittently used device.

>We talk about decentralized power, but if there was one big fusion
>tokamak then it could support a large grid.

And then one little failure or terrorist attack could black out everything.
Centralization is fine for some ideas, but death for power generation.

If It turns out that fusion is only practical in huge sizes, we need to
make everything at least duplicated, if not quintuple, to avoid such problems.


Chuck Kuecker

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