Skip

Proliferation, house by house
December 22, 2007 5:36 PM   Subscribe

The hippies next door are installing solar panels. Me, I'm waiting for my Toshiba Home Nuclear Reactor. I'm no early adopter, either; up in Galena the grizzlies have been keeping their dens warm and hot for several years. Thinking of becoming the first nuclear power on your block? Lots of bullet points, links, and some pretty pix and diagrams in this .pdf and this wiki. (Via Instapundit.)
posted by jfuller (60 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Paging Dr. Stagelove?
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:42 PM on December 22, 2007


From the "for several years" article:

Anyway, if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves it -- which could cost millions of dollars to Toshiba -- the 4S reactor could be installed by 2010. It will use uranium enriched to 20 percent and generate power for 30 years before needing to be disposed of and replaced.

So, I don't think it's actually been keeping Galena warm for several years...
posted by clevershark at 5:44 PM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I totally thought this was a joke. A disposable nuke. What will they think of next?

I wonder how much these cost?
posted by Camofrog at 5:48 PM on December 22, 2007


Also: I wonder why Toshiba is giving one away to Galena.

This is very intriguing to me because i think nukes were unfairly demonized by stupid rock stars back in the day. To my mind, they are ten times better than burning coal, and just might get us through till we can make solar/wind/hydro work well enough to take over.

I'm never listening to a rock star's opinion on anything but music anymore.
posted by Camofrog at 5:58 PM on December 22, 2007


This is brilliant. Toshiba can't even build a laptop that doesn't catch fire, and now they want to install nuclear reactors in apartment buildings?
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 6:07 PM on December 22, 2007 [12 favorites]


This is brilliant. Toshiba can't even build a laptop that doesn't catch fire, and now they want to install nuclear reactors in apartment buildings?

Maybe the capitol building would be the next most logical choice, now that you mention it.
posted by maxwelton at 6:29 PM on December 22, 2007


Hmm, whatever happened to pebble bed reactors?

This is very intriguing to me because i think nukes were unfairly demonized by stupid rock stars back in the day. To my mind, they are ten times better than burning coal

Well, they don't produce any CO2 at all, so as far as global warming is concerned they are infinitely better

Toshiba can't even build a laptop that doesn't catch fire

What are you talking about? Sony was the company that produced those auto-inflammable batteries. Toshiba, along with a bunch of manufacturers used them.
posted by delmoi at 6:32 PM on December 22, 2007


This should be on the gift wiki page, under, "for the person who has everything." ; )
posted by misha at 6:40 PM on December 22, 2007


Calling this "proliferation" is dumb. 20% enriched uranium is still a far cry from an actual weapon, and that sort of unthinking, knee-jerk response is why we're still burning kilotons of coal every day.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:49 PM on December 22, 2007


Well if the first one they build is in this remote area of Alaska, if it does blow up its potential for damage is very limited, isn't it.
posted by clevershark at 6:49 PM on December 22, 2007


"Sony was the company that produced those auto-inflammable batteries. Toshiba, along with a bunch of manufacturers used them."

Let's hope they have better luck with the contractors they use to build parts for these reactors, then...
posted by clevershark at 6:53 PM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


delmoi: I think Camofrog quantified that in terms of a ratio something like (Quantification of coal's environmental damage if it happens * Chance of damage happening to environment because of coal) / (Quantification of nuclear's environmental damage if it happens * Chance of damage happening to the environment because of nuclear).

I think that ratio is a lot smaller than 1/10, and even if it were 1/10 I think nuclear power would be a great idea. In other words, I think this is a great idea.
posted by invitapriore at 6:56 PM on December 22, 2007


I wonder what they mean by "disposal" after 30 years.
posted by clevershark at 7:02 PM on December 22, 2007


Well, they don't produce any CO2 at all, so as far as global warming is concerned they are infinitely better

Yes. I said ten times as a figure of speech, not as an actual estimate. Coal starts bad (ripping the heads off mountains) and ends bad (pumping the carbon you gutted out of the mountain back into the air).

But with nukes in all fairness you do have to figure in the CO2 costs of mining uranium. Which is almost nothing compared to coal.
posted by Camofrog at 7:24 PM on December 22, 2007


But with nukes in all fairness you do have to figure in the CO2 costs of mining uranium. Which is almost nothing compared to coal.

(Plus, you can in theory use ethanol or other renewables to do the mining)
posted by delmoi at 7:31 PM on December 22, 2007


The hippies next door are installing solar panels

Do other sub-cultures use solar power?
posted by stbalbach at 7:41 PM on December 22, 2007


I like the 3.5 gen reactors, especially the ideas worked on at Argonne, but the idea of liquid metal reactors with no skilled techs around scares the crap out of me. I'm curious about the economics of the "use once" reactor idea, but don't see real data on this.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:16 PM on December 22, 2007


The stupid coal vs. nuclear thing is such a stupid straw-man debate.

How about we use NEITHER coal NOR nuclear. Would you want to live next door to one of these things? Would you want to live with in fifty miles. Fucking GE and companies like them have been trying to revive this stupid debate with all their media connections.

WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THE WASTE IN 30 YEARS!!!!!!!

Try and explain to the people who live near Yucca mountain that nuclear has no environmental impact. Hell, tell it to the folks at Chernoybol. Maybe if Toshiba and GE and the like stop trying to justify nuclear and put their efforts into wind and solar then we would have it by now and would not have to go through another round rediscovering how stupid nuclear is.
posted by jonjacobmoon at 8:34 PM on December 22, 2007


But with nukes in all fairness you do have to figure in the CO2 costs of mining uranium. Which is almost nothing compared to coal.

I don't think so.. I'm no uranium mining expert, but my impression is that the process is much like mining for gold - the uranium content is only a tiny percentage of the ore. Even then you have to throw away a huge amount of uranium before you get to 20% enrichment. On the other hand, once you find a coal seam, it is almost all coal.
posted by Chuckles at 8:35 PM on December 22, 2007


The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years

Damn. Try selling that extended warranty.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:47 PM on December 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THE WASTE IN 30 YEARS!!!!!!!

Well, I'd suggest you reprocess it and reuse it, but I forgot that would fall under the US laws so they wouldn't do it unlike every other nuke power using country.

Your emotional argument does have a bit of merit, but at the same time we're not in any position to replace 700 homes with wind/solar for anything approaching the same efficiency or cost as this micronuke reactor. If you think you can put together a proposal to get Galina running on something sustainable for 10 cents/kWh, why not present it?
posted by barc0001 at 8:55 PM on December 22, 2007


While calling it a "Home" nuclear reactor does generate interest (and some ideas for a King of the Hill plotline) it does not appear that this is intended for single family homes.

Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks.

To jonjacobmoon's question:

WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING TO PUT THE WASTE IN 30 YEARS!!!!!!!


All I can say is that with wood stoves and conventional generators, not to mention water heaters, stoves, furnaces, and anything else in your home that runs on hydrocarbon gases, you put the waste right into the air immediately. Having to worry about disposal of contained nuclear waste in 30 years is hardly cause for outrage by comparison. I agree it's a question and if this kind of thing ever went to market it would have to be thought through and regulated. Why should we think it would be any more complicated than handling waste from larger nuclear plants?
posted by scarabic at 9:12 PM on December 22, 2007


If you think you can put together a proposal to get Galina running on something sustainable for 10 cents/kWh, why not present it?

The great thing about high energy prices, and the not so great thing about this idea, is that they encourage people to conserve.
posted by Chuckles at 9:12 PM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Try and explain to the people who live near Yucca mountain that nuclear has no environmental impact.

Yeesh. Try explaining to the people who live near Yucca mountain what an environment is.

Sorry, now I'm snarking. I realize it's a slippery slope, but I've never considered anyone's unqualified desire to live in the asshole of the world a convincing reason to hinder a more rational domestic energy policy, certainly not in the face of global annihilation.
posted by scarabic at 9:16 PM on December 22, 2007


This is brilliant. Toshiba can't even build a laptop that doesn't catch fire, and now they want to install nuclear reactors in apartment buildings?

I'm watching a DVD on my wife's Toshiba and it's stuttering. I bet it's really nuclear powered.
posted by craniac at 9:52 PM on December 22, 2007


Seems like a great idea, if it works and it's certain to be safe... but then that's an awful big bet, isn't it?

Another option would be to set up solar energy farms that are used in the summer months to send electricity back to the utility for sale in southern markets, either in exchange for money or cheaper power rates in the winter. In the summer the area would have 24-hour sunlight, wouldn't it?
posted by clevershark at 9:55 PM on December 22, 2007


The great thing about high energy prices, and the not so great thing about this idea, is that they encourage people to conserve.

The thing is, Chuckles, once you have a mini-nuke plant providing your power, it doesn't much matter whether you conserve or not.
posted by Malor at 10:01 PM on December 22, 2007


I'd be happy to have one in the basement of my apartment building provided I was one of the beneficiaries of the lowered electric bills. Seriously. Clearer conscience, marginally higher air quality locally, and lower bills? Where do I sign up?

And honestly, the very very few "people living in the Yucca mountains" can go and whistle. Pay them fair value to leave and then start up the tunneling equipment already.
posted by Ryvar at 10:35 PM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


How about we use NEITHER coal NOR nuclear. Would you want to live next door to one of these things? Would you want to live with in fifty miles. Fucking GE and companies like them have been trying to revive this stupid debate with all their media connections.

That's great. Now take off the rose-colored glasses. Do you like your refrigerated milk in the morning? Would you like it kept cool by nukes or coal? Those are the only options in some places. Sucks, yeah.

I would have no problem living near a nuke plant. None at all. 3 Mile Island worked; it was contained. Chernobyl would never have been built in a regulated country. Do some homework.

I would have a serious problem living near a coal plant.
posted by Camofrog at 10:36 PM on December 22, 2007


if you have a mini-nuke plant, why turn your lights off? why not leave your A/C running when you're out of the house? it's a mindset thing, i think, but the mindset that bothers me most is..
"...just might get us through till we can make solar/wind/hydro work well enough to take over..."

well, they do. but sustainable, long lasting and so forth requires money, and there's always fresh air and more coal.. right? they can work well. the US, if it really wanted, could probably meet a large chunk of it's power needs with sustainable electicity. But it doesn't want to. Building a dam, or a wind farm is a long term investment that only works when one is actually interested in a long term solution.

Do you know where you power comes from? If you said "the outlet" you loose. The age of convenience is also the age of ignorance. Coal plants are horrible, disgusting things, coal mining is worse. I'm just lucky I live in a country where we plan long-term.. at least in comparison.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 10:43 PM on December 22, 2007


I'd live next to one of these. Bring them on. I'd like to see a demo of the fail-safe nature.

If the sodium circuit is breached. There's a fire. Is it just a nasty, impossible to extinguish plain-jane fire or is does said fire release radioactive matter into the environment?
posted by maxwelton at 12:04 AM on December 23, 2007


This will all be solved when we all have our own Mr. Fusion.
posted by SansPoint at 12:40 AM on December 23, 2007


Would you want to live next door to one of these things?

Yes. Next door to me. Fifty miles from me. In my fucking basement.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Please start building new nuclear power plants as soon as possible. Use them to generate electricity. Use the electricity to crack water to make hydrogen. Use the hydrogen to power vehicles.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Please!!!!
posted by willnot at 1:10 AM on December 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


And honestly, the very very few "people living in the Yucca mountains" can go and whistle. Pay them fair value to leave and then start up the tunneling equipment already.

The local environment itself isn't really the issue with the Yucca Mountain location. The problem is that it's a seismically active area, in an alluvial flat, in a very large and wide-spread water table.

A water table that feeds parts of Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Whatever your personal opinions are about these particular cities aside - Yucca Mountain is not a viable long term storage location.

This is part of the inherent problems with "long term storage locations" on Planet Earth - there really aren't any. The Earth is extremely dynamic and active on those time scales. Earthquakes happen. Floods, fires. Meteorites fall. Ice ages advance and retreat. Ten thousand years is a long time - fifty or a hundred thousand is even longer.

These are the scales we need to think about when storing unrecyclable radioactive waste. These are the dynamic geologic issues we need to address.

And what about geopolitical issues? Borders change. Countries rise and fall. Regimes change, governments change, ideologies change. War happens.


So, Ryvar. Considering the sum total of the dynamic stupidity and malice of humanity, considering the spectacularly bad record of human planning in the past - where exactly do you propose we store highly toxic, dangerous and even often weapons-refineable nuclear waste for 10 to 100,000 years?

So, because people have to run their TVs, their fridges, their centralized heaters, their computers and cable TV boxes we want to exercise this level of audacious hubris?

I would argue that our descendents are going to hate us all - but they probably won't even really understand as they pick through the confusing and deadly rubble of our wanton and destructive laziness.

The way we approach and think about energy is ridiculous. It's so ignorant. No grasp or integration of thermodynamics. We approach the problem as though energy only flows one way - but it doesn't, does it? So we waste it by piping it over huge distances, stepping it, transforming it down, each coil and kink in the stream more waste, more heat, more entropy... all out of scale.

We can go out now. NOW. For less cost than coal per watt, and put up solar on every roof, every billboard, every culvert and overpass. We waste so much land to advertising, to traffic, to parking and more - make it pay for itself and then some.

We can do this now. The sooner we start doing it, the sooner it starts paying for itself.
posted by loquacious at 2:44 AM on December 23, 2007


Does anyone know what happens if someone deliberately tries to destroy that THNR?
posted by ersatz at 6:36 AM on December 23, 2007


Just wanted to point out that I think the article was misinformed on the power source of these reactors. They appear to be using lithium-6 instead of 20% enriched uranium. I suppose it's possible that in 2005 when the article was written, full details weren't available from Toshiba of the technology.

Does anyone know what happens if someone deliberately tries to destroy that THNR?

It appears that the worst danger from destroying these is the possibility of being severely burned by liquid sodium. There doesn't appear enough density of neutrons to sustain a chain reaction (eg. boom, or meltdown).
posted by samsara at 7:39 AM on December 23, 2007


I think the lithium-6 was instead of liquid sodium ie. as the coolant. It has a higher boiling point which may possibly explain why it was changed, to give it that extra margin of safety. I doubt it would be used as the fuel as it isn't radioactive.

If you tried to destroy one deliberately I imagine you'd get the 'dirty bomb' effect, along with the liquid metal catching fire on contact with air. Then again, it is quite a way underground for a reason...
posted by 999 at 10:33 AM on December 23, 2007


Lithium does act as a neutron absober (hydrogen appears to be the other fuel component), but it from the PDF sodium is still the main coolant...the fuel appears to be a mixture of hydrogen and lithium. I came across an older New Scientist article describing the project in its earlier stage too. It's fairly interesting that they state that it is a proliferation-resistant fuel...that might be the one main thing that makes it acceptable to impliment in the U.S.
posted by samsara at 12:18 PM on December 23, 2007


Please start building new nuclear power plants as soon as possible. Use them to generate electricity. Use the electricity to crack water to make hydrogen. Use the hydrogen to power vehicles.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.


Sometimes I wish people would put down the Popular Science and take an actual physics class. The kind with the equations.
posted by cytherea at 8:30 PM on December 23, 2007


I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I continue to cling to the hope that if people will throw enough money and attention at it, there will be a breakthrough in solar power, either bringing the costs down significantly or increasing the performance significantly.

Of course, I would say that, seeing as I live in the San Fernando Valley and have a roofline surprisingly suited for solar panels.
posted by davejay at 10:23 PM on December 23, 2007


Sometimes I wish people would put down the Popular Science and take an actual physics class. The kind with the equations.

Well, drop some knowledge on us cytherea. What formulas in particular should we be concerning ourselves with here?
posted by willnot at 12:13 AM on December 24, 2007


We can go out now. NOW. For less cost than coal per watt, and put up solar on every roof, every billboard, every culvert and overpass.

That's just incorrect. Solar still costs about 25 cents/kW and coal is around 10.
posted by electroboy at 7:26 AM on December 24, 2007



Well, drop some knowledge on us cytherea. What formulas in particular should we be concerning ourselves with here?


Dude, this is the internet, you don't need to back up your assertions with facts. You just act like the other guy is beneath you and you win!

Electrolysis is definitely not the most efficient way to produce hydrogen, but if you have copious amounts of cheap electricity it's not a bad alternative.
posted by electroboy at 7:40 AM on December 24, 2007


I want one. I want to customize it with colorful paints, Type R stickers and a agressivly styled hood scoop.
posted by Hicksu at 11:42 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, if we have had copious amounts of cheap electricity there would be a lot of other, better alternatives. Like something as fancy and magic and cool as--an electric train. But we don't. Our economy has blossomed because for the past seventy years gasoline, which is marvelously flexible and incredibly energy dense has basically come out of the ground for free. No more.

But even if we had electricity for nearly free, say, by burning lots of coal, the energy density of compressed hydrogen is still only about a seventh as dense as gasoline, which means you're going to need a fuel tank in your cars seven times the size as a gas tank. And the efficiency loss from turning electricity into compressed hydrogen gas and then turning that into mechanical energy is about 25%--you've just thrown away about three quarters of your energy which was already in an extremely flexible and perfectly good form. That's really, incredibly bad for the environment. For comparison, the grid to motor efficiency of an electric car is about 86%--but there we run into the energy density of a battery which is about 100 times worse than gasoline--and good batteries are very, very expensive. An electric car is never going to be affordable, except for movie stars. I hope I'm wrong. It still makes more sense then hydrogen vehicles.

The most environmentally sound and practical car, for the medium term, is nothing more or less fancy than an efficient gasoline burning engine, and hybrids are a good step in that direction. There's a reason why we stopped hearing about hybrids and started hearing about hydrogen at about the same time George Bush was elected--it was a way to put off the production of energy efficient vehicles into the indefinite future.
posted by cytherea at 11:56 AM on December 24, 2007


I'm sure that in 2055, plutonium is sold in every corner drug store, but here in 2007 it's a little hard to come by.
posted by XMLicious at 12:11 PM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Electric train? No way man. Trains have the inconvenient problem of only going to certain places, which people don't seem to like. Electric blimp, now that's an idea.

But the whole problem with gasoline is that it isn't free. Obtaining and refining fossil fuels requires massive infrastructure and energy inputs to obtain them. Nukes require probably similar amounts of infrastructure, but much less energy inputs to transport the fuel. But the biggest problem with fossil fuels is that they take advantage of externalities, like the ability to pollute for free, so they're not paying the true costs of the technology. Nukes, on the other hand, have little costs beyond the actual costs to produce, if done properly.

The most environmentally sound and practical car, for the medium term, is nothing more or less fancy than an efficient gasoline burning engine, and hybrids are a good step in that direction.

Yes and no. The plugin hybrid isn't far off and meets the needs of 90% of drivers. Part of the problem is that people are pretty bad at assessing what their needs are and want a car with a 400 mile range when an all-electric car with a 60 mile range would meet their needs most of the time.
posted by electroboy at 1:48 PM on December 24, 2007


Trains are great in population/destination dense places like NYC, but in the rest of the US, trains aren't going to happen.

I guess the gas tank must be strapped to the side of this Honda fuel cell vehicle. Because if it's as comically large as you assure us that that it has to be, I gotta to think it must exist outside of the car, and the only reason we don't see it is because of the way the car has been angled to hide it.

And, while $600/month isn't as cheap as I'd prefer, I'm pretty sure I could swing the payments even if I'm not a movie star. And, that's before the price comes down through mass production and enhanced technology.

If we can come up with a better, more efficient battery than hydrogen, then great. I don't much care how we store the power in the car. Right now, hydrogen seems best to me, but I'm open to whatever alternatives scientists and researchers want to bring to the table.

However, I know for a fact that we're not going to give up cars. If we have to throw away 3/4 of the power or even 99/100 of the power to move them, then that's what we're going to do.

So either we keep burning gas, or we find some other way to move our cars. If it's going to be hydrogen then we probably need electricity to generate it. Maybe one day, more of that can come from solar and hydro and wind and geothermal (and dream of dreams the eternally "just 50 years away" fusion), but in the short term it will also have to include nuclear and probably coal too although I'd MUCH rather have a nuclear plant in my backyard than a coal plant.
posted by willnot at 2:11 PM on December 24, 2007


Yes, with a range of 270 miles compared to 580 miles for a 2008 Accord. On top of that, consider that both of those figures are probably based on driving at ~50mph, rather than the ~70mph that most people do, which takes the range down by about half. The Accord's range is still several hours of driving, and people need to take stops about that often anyway, where the fuel cell vehicle will be stopping more than twice as often.
posted by Chuckles at 3:42 PM on December 24, 2007


I guess the gas tank must be strapped to the side of this Honda fuel cell vehicle. Because if it's as comically large as you assure us that that it has to be, I gotta to think it must exist outside of the car, and the only reason we don't see it is because of the way the car has been angled to hide it.

Look, I'm not making up the difference in energy density between compressed hydrogen and gasoline. It's about seven to one. That car has massive compressed air tanks taking up most of the trunk space. But you're confusing hydrogen with electric--it's the ridiculously low energy density of chemical batteries--100 times less dense than gasoline--that make hydrogen look like a good idea.

And, while $600/month isn't as cheap as I'd prefer, I'm pretty sure I could swing the payments even if I'm not a movie star.

Again, you're confusing hydrogen with electric. The problem with electric is the cost. The problem with hydrogen is the insane inefficiency going grid to motor. It's totally--immoral--to burn fossil fuel to make compressed hydrogen. It's like trying to save the sturgeon by eating the caviar instead of the flesh.
posted by cytherea at 6:15 PM on December 24, 2007


However, I know for a fact that we're not going to give up cars. If we have to throw away 3/4 of the power or even 99/100 of the power to move them, then that's what we're going to do.

Until it becomes too cost prohibitive to commute. People will move to the cities and take the subway. It's happening now.
posted by cytherea at 6:19 PM on December 24, 2007


It's totally--immoral--to burn fossil fuel to make compressed hydrogen.

I don't think anyone is arguing that we should. The subject of this story is small nuke plants. Also, I'm not so sure about insane inefficiency. This suggests that hydrogen produced by electrolysis would be about as efficient as an internal combustion engine.

People will move to the cities and take the subway. It's happening now.

I haven't seen anything to suggest that. Care to back that up?
posted by electroboy at 12:47 AM on December 25, 2007


Um, electrolysis is only part of the process. First you've got to crack the water (~70%), then you've got to compress the hydrogen (~90%), and then you've got to turn the hydrogen into mechanical force (~40%). When you multiply those together, you'll find that, as I said, grid to motor for compressed hydrogen has a 25% efficiency compared with 86% for chemical batteries.

And, no, I don't care to back that up. It's a terribly well documented phenomenon that the rural areas of not only America, but also the rest of the world, are emptying out while the cities are expanding rapidly. I find it very hard to imagine that elevated fuel costs will act as anything but further incentive.
posted by cytherea at 1:57 AM on December 25, 2007


Right, my point is that internal combustion engines are about 25% efficient, slightly higher for diesels (40%, I think?). But the efficiency of the system is not really what's important, it's generating/capturing then temporarily storing the massive amount of energy that we currently get from petroleum. There are several options in terms of generation, but nukes are a mature techonology and don't require huge off peak storage when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing. But even if you don't eliminate fossil fuels for power generation, there's a huge benefit to removing pollution from a non-point source (cars) to point source (power plants).

Fossil fuels aren't "free" because it requires large energy inputs to extract, refine and transport them. And there are significant unaccounted for costs, such as deaths due to pollution, environmental degradation from coal mining, post mining cleanup, etc.

You're absolutely right about the migration from rural areas to urban ones. I read it as people were moving to cities because it was too expensive to commute, rather than leaving just for lack of jobs.
posted by electroboy at 7:53 AM on December 26, 2007


There is also a large and well documented migration toward downtown living (condos, anybody?). And, I think that it would be an even stronger trend if it wasn't for the migration of employers to suburbs - personally, instead of letting a job drag me to the suburbs, I live without regular employment, but that is a tough decision to make..
posted by Chuckles at 9:22 PM on December 26, 2007


the efficiency of the system is not really what's important

Ugh!

I mean sure, if carbon and fossil fuels are the only things you're concerned about, the point might at least be arguable, but the next externality is right around the corner, right? Exponential growth in a closed system, and all that..
posted by Chuckles at 9:28 PM on December 26, 2007


I don't know if you know, but carbon is sort of a big deal. Lots of people are talking about it. I can send you some brochures, if you like.

but the next externality is right around the corner, right?

I'm mostly concerned about the giving-me-lung-cancer-and-radically-altering-the-environment one. If some jackrabbits living in Nevada have to die of radiation poisoning for that to happen, I think it's an acceptable loss.
posted by electroboy at 8:17 AM on December 27, 2007


The solution is obvious: an in-car nuclear reactor.
posted by scarabic at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2008


I'm mostly concerned about the giving-me-lung-cancer-and-radically-altering-the-environment one. If some jackrabbits living in Nevada have to die of radiation poisoning for that to happen, I think it's an acceptable loss.

10,000 years. A fucking deal with the devil. Until there is an effective means of disposing nuclear waste, nuclear power is a very bad idea. It's not rabbits you need to worry about, but the 300 generations of your decedents. How unbelievably selfish can you be that you're going to risk the habitability of the planet because you are too special to take public transportation.
posted by cytherea at 10:14 PM on January 15, 2008


Vitrification and geological storage are effective means of disposal. Not to mention using Fast Breeder Reactors and reprocessing fuel significantly reduces the overall amount of waste. Besides, most of the waste going into Yucca Mountain already exists. Public transportation can't do anything about that. As it stands, coal fired power plants are producing more radioactive material than nuclear ever will.

And you're right, I am too special to take public transportation. I walk to work.
posted by electroboy at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2008


« Older Her majesty's a pretty nice girl but she doesn't...   |   I Waterboard! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post