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Old 04-25-2011, 05:42 PM   #121
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I understand that if you die, but still glow in the dark due to too many rad's - they bury you in a lead box anyway ...
Oh, it's much worse than that:
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The bodies of all three were buried in lead-lined caskets sealed with concrete and placed in metal vaults with a concrete cover. Some highly radioactive body parts were buried in the Idaho desert as radioactive waste. Army Specialist Richard Leroy McKinley is buried in section 31 of Arlington National Cemetery.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #122
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(Compare also what happened when the US government made a number of people get smallpox jabs after 9/11 based on the entirely unsubstantiated fear that terrorists could get hold of smallpox virus and weaponize it; smallpox vaccine kills a few people per million too.)

Hey, I was one of those!!!!! Lots of jabs.

As for the Germans and clean energy, yes, Baden-Wurtemburg took a serious political hit on the nuclear issue (conservative flip to more liberal - worst in 58 years) *HOWEVER* the Germans were also very concerned about how their savings are going to prop up the southerly regions' bankruptcy problems - I'd say here it was more about the money than the nuclear issues, although the press would like you to think otherwise. BD is known for being the cheap ba$tards of Germany....

And just to add fuel to this fire - nuclear, if done safely, is a cheap, clean source of energy - I drive around Europe and find the wind generators eye polluting; having oil pumped into your house basement into plastic containers isn't necessarily all that safe; solar panels plastered all over every southern facing roof isn't necessarily eye pleasing either - every one of these energy sources has something 'bad' about them; it's the nature of decisions, good and bad parts.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:29 PM   #123
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I drive around Europe and find the wind generators eye polluting
I love them. I like to stand right under them and hear them whoosh.

Back to the nuclear discussion: whichever side of the discussion you're on, here's an interesting graphic showing the development of nuclear power worldwide. Before clicking the link: try to guess how many reactors there are right now.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:20 AM   #124
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Notice how the amount of nuclear plants has been stable and very slowly growing since 1990's - notice France has >51 and yet is quite a small geographical area; notice that Canada has turned on and off their nuclear power plants (light orange to dark orange and back several times); notice US has remained steady since 1990s (I believe I've read there have been no or very few built since then) - nuclear power capacity is truly slowing and becoming steady with very little growth---what takes its place?

@Big Nick - you are kidding - right? I had a British man tell me that Germany was in the process of ruining their landscape with the windmills all over the place---and I don't think they are getting a very good return on the investment in terms of price for the energy (i.e. quite heavily subsidized) - I don't see the Germans ever weaning themselves off of the gas or oil - they love their fast cars and no speed limit autobahns too much - I love their fast cars and no speed limit autobahns:-)
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:17 PM   #125
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@Big Nick - you are kidding - right? I had a British man tell me that Germany was in the process of ruining their landscape with the windmills all over the place---and I don't think they are getting a very good return on the investment in terms of price for the energy (i.e. quite heavily subsidized) - I don't see the Germans ever weaning themselves off of the gas or oil - they love their fast cars and no speed limit autobahns too much - I love their fast cars and no speed limit autobahns:-)
Nope - I'm not kidding, I think they are beautiful to watch. That doesn't mean that I have an opinion as to whether they are efficient or effective; I know there's controversy about that.

As for no-speed-limit autobahns, there's only a few hours in the day when you can average even 80mph on them. Put a truck in lane 1 going 50mph, a van wanting to overtake it going 60mph which has to go into lane 2, a VW Golf in lane 2 going 70mph which now has to go into lane 3, and you're tooling along at 130mph in your BMW 5-series, that's a closing speed of 60mph. I've tried it; you have to be constantly scanning for problems a quarter of a mile ahead. So it's not sustainable, in terms of driver stress and fatigue, over the kind of distance that would be necessary for this kind of driving to actually save a significant amount of time. But it's true that this doesn't stop a lot of Germans driving on the autobahn as if their accelerator pedal is a binary switch. (Once off the autobahn, the red mist usually floats away and they tend to drive OK - at least compared to the Belgians or Italians, OMG...)
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:47 PM   #126
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Notice how the amount of nuclear plants has been stable and very slowly growing since 1990's - notice France has >51 and yet is quite a small geographical area; notice that Canada has turned on and off their nuclear power plants (light orange to dark orange and back several times); notice US has remained steady since 1990s (I believe I've read there have been no or very few built since then) - nuclear power capacity is truly slowing and becoming steady with very little growth---what takes its place?
Dreaming?

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:00 AM   #127
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Once off the autobahn, the red mist usually floats away and they tend to drive OK - at least compared to the Belgians or Italians, OMG...)
(I'm Belgian)

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:24 AM   #128
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While the thread is in hijack mode: Did you hear the joke about British and Italian drivers?

The Italians drivers use their cars as an extension of their penis, the British instead of it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:40 PM   #129
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(I'm Belgian)


Well, at as the Germans say - at least you're not Dutch - the bright yellow license plates and campers make them quite visible....let alone their driving ;-)
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:43 PM   #130
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Nope - I'm not kidding, I think they are beautiful to watch. That doesn't mean that I have an opinion as to whether they are efficient or effective; I know there's controversy about that.

As for no-speed-limit autobahns, there's only a few hours in the day when you can average even 80mph on them. Put a truck in lane 1 going 50mph, a van wanting to overtake it going 60mph which has to go into lane 2, a VW Golf in lane 2 going 70mph which now has to go into lane 3, and you're tooling along at 130mph in your BMW 5-series, that's a closing speed of 60mph. I've tried it; you have to be constantly scanning for problems a quarter of a mile ahead. So it's not sustainable, in terms of driver stress and fatigue, over the kind of distance that would be necessary for this kind of driving to actually save a significant amount of time. But it's true that this doesn't stop a lot of Germans driving on the autobahn as if their accelerator pedal is a binary switch. (Once off the autobahn, the red mist usually floats away and they tend to drive OK - at least compared to the Belgians or Italians, OMG...)
OK - you live in France - yes, what you describe can happen in Germany - however, one just needs to know where and when the open road is truly open....

Joke about the Italians drivers is not a joke - they are scary - what I like about the Germans is they are predictable - the Italians are not.....did I say they were scary?
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #131
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I have driven in Italy and have noticed a difference between the city drivers and the autostrada drivers.

In the city, they are, for lack of a better word, insane. The traffic signs and signals are mere suggestions, not commandments. To the victor go the spoils, or more appropriately -- to the boldest goes the intersection.

On the autostrada, I find the Italian drivers to be far superior to American drivers. They pay attention to their driving. They don't talk on the phone, eat or apply their makeup while driving. They don't hog the left lane. They look well ahead, anticipate correctly and act accordingly.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:20 PM   #132
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Merkel's government announced Monday that it will shut down all of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany -- the world's fourth-largest economy and Europe's biggest -- by 2022. But Merkel, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, now says industrialized, technologically advanced Japan's "helplessness" in the face of the Fukushima disaster made her rethink the technology's risks.

Japanese nuclear regulators trusted that the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex were safe from the worst waves an earthquake could muster based on a single-page memo from the plant operator nearly a decade ago. In the Dec. 19, 2001, document — one double-sized page obtained by The Associated Press under Japan's public records law — Tokyo Electric Power Co. rules out the possibility of a tsunami large enough to knock the plant offline and gives scant details to justify this conclusion, which proved to be wildly optimistic.

It looks like the problems are not purely technical, but also that mitigating very large risks by relying on human processes are also fallible. Germany, even with their reputation for engineering excellence, has apparently decided to refuse to take that risk in the future.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:17 PM   #133
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Merkel's government announced Monday that it will shut down all of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany -- the world's fourth-largest economy and Europe's biggest -- by 2022. But Merkel, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, now says industrialized, technologically advanced Japan's "helplessness" in the face of the Fukushima disaster made her rethink the technology's risks.

Japanese nuclear regulators trusted that the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex were safe from the worst waves an earthquake could muster based on a single-page memo from the plant operator nearly a decade ago. In the Dec. 19, 2001, document — one double-sized page obtained by The Associated Press under Japan's public records law — Tokyo Electric Power Co. rules out the possibility of a tsunami large enough to knock the plant offline and gives scant details to justify this conclusion, which proved to be wildly optimistic.

It looks like the problems are not purely technical, but also that mitigating very large risks by relying on human processes are also fallible. Germany, even with their reputation for engineering excellence, has apparently decided to refuse to take that risk in the future.
Context: In Baden-Württemberg she got her a$$ handed to her in the election - a conservative area for 40+ years went liberal (her party lost). This happened right around the Fukushima issues. If you read the German press, they say they will do this by 2022, but they want to refuse any importation of energy from nation-states using nuclear and want to try to improve their other alternative energy sources. German energy prices are already quite expensive - very expensive (I live here). What with the bailout of Greece (the Landerbanks bought most of the crappy Greek bonds), Ireland, Portugal and possibly Spain being manily floated by Germany; what with Libyan oil not flowing as easily as before; what with Germans being very sensitive about inflation due to the Weimar Republic history; we'll see how much this stands. The group that lives here in Baden-Württemberg are notoriously cheap (Schwabian) and don't take too kindly to too much spending.

So, all politics is local - I believe Merkel did this to try and shore up her prospects for staying in office and not necessarily because of any safety issues......
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #134
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Merkel's government announced Monday that it will shut down all of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany -- the world's fourth-largest economy and Europe's biggest -- by 2022. But Merkel, who holds a Ph.D. in physics, now says industrialized, technologically advanced Japan's "helplessness" in the face of the Fukushima disaster made her rethink the technology's risks.
Hmmm... There goes 20% of the German electrical production capacity. I wonder what it will be replaced with?

Heh. I know the usual suspects will declare the Germans will move to solar and wind power... in a country with the most energy-intensive industries in Europe. I eagerly await the results of moving Germany's metallurgical foundries, glassmaking, and industrial production facilities to solar and wind power.

(This will not actually happen, of course. A combination of coal-fired power plants, and import of power from France and the Czech Republic, from nuclear and coal power plants respectively, will be used.)
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:30 PM   #135
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Heh. I know the usual suspects will declare the Germans will move to solar and wind power... in a country with the most energy-intensive industries in Europe.
Wasn't Germany getting ready to cut its photovoltaic subsidies back in January or February?
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #136
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Wasn't Germany getting ready to cut its photovoltaic subsidies back in January or February?
Yup. First round of cuts are up to 15%, starting July.

UPDATE 1-Germany to cut solar subsidies by up to 15 pct | Reuters

There is consideration of a further 6% cut starting in March 2012 as part of the renewable energy law reform, tied to the nuclear energy phaseout.

Germany Mulling Further Cut To Solar Subsidies - Minister - WSJ.com

More coal plants are planned but are hitting assorted roadblocks, along with some conversions to natural gas. Gazprom, the Russian state gas monopoly that is Germany's biggest supplier, is doing a bit of a happy dance, I suspect.

Power imports from France and the Czech Republic have doubled since the March shutdowns, and exports to Switzerland and the Netherlands are roughly halved. The biggest headache appears to be in southern Germany, which has lost four nuclear power plants, with marginal grid capacity to import power from other regions.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:37 PM   #137
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As we used to say back in the day -- "No nukes? Learn Russian and freeze in the dark."
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:34 PM   #138
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I eagerly await the results of moving Germany's metallurgical foundries, glassmaking, and industrial production facilities to solar and wind power.
I'd love to know what a roll of aluminum foil would cost if all the energy used to produce it came from renewable sources at present market rates.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:31 AM   #139
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I'd love to know what a roll of aluminum foil would cost if all the energy used to produce it came from renewable sources at present market rates.
At those prices, demand for aluminum foil might drop to zero...
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:07 PM   #140
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A physicist about the risks: We 'came close to losing northern Japan' - CNN.com

Now this man, while an important physicist, does seem to love sensational language.
What I would like to know: is what he says wrong?

"Michio Kaku (加来 道雄 Kaku Michio?, born January 24, 1947) is an American physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York of City University of New York, the co-founder of string field theory, and a "communicator" and "popularizer" of science."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michio_kaku
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