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[cdn-nucl-l] Re: cdn-nucl-l digest, Vol 1 #1990 - 2 msgs
Randal Leavitt, in response to Jeremy Whitlock, wrote
> Answer: no. They are too expensive compared to fission electricity.
> And the machines associated with liquid carbon fuels are too slow.
> now need to move at electric speeds.
The cost and speed, or lack of same, are completely beside the point.
There is no way, as far as I can determine, to use fossil fuels -
coal, gas, or oil - in such a way as to avoid the production of CO2.
It is the CO2 which is the problem: global warming. Pumping the CO2,
after liquification or not, into underground reservoirs, is just
postponing the problem for another day. Underground, under pressure,
the CO2 becomes a time bomb - just waiting for the next earthquake or
ill-advised drill rig to rupture the reservoir, thus releasing the
stored CO2 in one fell swoop.
I would like to point out the tragic accident of a few years ago when
the CO2-laden water in the crater of an "extinct" volcano in (as I
recall) the former French West Africa finally turned over, thus
releasing a vast quantity of CO2, which over-flowed the crater and,
flowing down hill, killed every breathing thing for quite a distance
We need to go nuclear NOW. There is little or no time to waste.
Reactors built in complexes to reduce the guarding and other
infrastructure must replace our current coal-, oil-, and gas-fired
power plants. They should be built to handle the peak loads, not just
the base loads. The excess power will not be wasted: it can be used
to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it (I don't know the
chemistry involved, but there surely is some usable reaction sequence)
to a long-term-stable form: CaCO3 or what ever.
By burning coal, gas, and oil we are simply reintroducing to the
atmosphere carbon that was sequestered in solid form over millions of
years millions of years ago. This reintroduction is taking place at a
rate which apparently vastly exceeds the rate that natural processes
sequester gaseous CO2. This excessive release is responsible for
global warming and the acidification of the oceans.
This acidification - the forming of carbonic acid - is causing
problems in the life-cycle of the plankton which forms the base of the
food chain in the oceans. We are thus, albeit indirectly, destroying
the basis of ocean life: good bye sea-food.
By going nuclear we also incidentally end the comparatively minor
problems of coal mines (enormously destructive to the land-scape:
forget the humans killed in the process of mining) and the
concommitant release of incidental toxic substances, such as mercury,
Most cars and light trucks are driven less than 50 miles a day:
plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles fill this bill perfectly.
Granted, gasoline for some tools is NOT going to go away near term: a
battery-powered chain-saw is ridiculous. Likewise locomotives and
over-the-road freight haulers, freight vessels, etc., are going to be
difficult to cut over to electric. HOWEVER: if we have the
infrastructure to remove and sequester CO2 we can eliminate the
CO2-in-the-atmosphere problem, and, with excess power available,
synthesize high-energy fuel like gasoline and diesel oil.