I’ve mentioned before here that I haven’t seen jellyfish in the upper Chesapeake Bay in several years now. Once were extremely plentiful.
So, back to air-cooled nuclear reactors! Worked like a charm at Windscale, didn’t it.
One consequence of climate change and many environmentalists who opposed (past tense) nuclear power is that, with various fossil fuel power plants getting shut down (coal, often), and carbon footprinting still being an obviously bad thing to be avoided, nuclear power is enjoying a swelling base of popular support because–ok ok–it doesn’t have a carbon footprint anywhere close to the size of comparable output fossil fuel-based power plants.
Nuclear waste storage.
Meltdowns and runaway reactions.
Plant security and bad actors, and highly refined radioactive material security (something that comes up in debriefs of former presidents and vice-presidents: making sure The Bad Guys don’t get a hold of radioactive materials in nuke power plants).
And uh… that regrettable thingy re: water-cooling… just a detail, really. /s
If one listens to the Stewart Brands of the world, or people who think like my friend who worked for JPL for a while, nuclear power is totes gonna save us. We have have aaaallllll the power we need, and it’s just a shakedown detail here or there. Thorium beds! The French! “Energy too cheap to meter!”
Fusion, man! It’s only 20 years away! (And always will be, although in all seriousness there have been encouraging steps recently. Still not exactly on the horizon, though.)
I don’t think it always will be. With recent advances I think it is very likely that within our lifetimes, fusion will be only 15 years away.
Gonna cross-post this in the BLM thread…
Can’t find the reference… was it Teller who suggested simply letting off fusion explosions underground then using it like a geothermal source? He certainly suggested it as a way of fracking and also getting at regular geothermal.
So fusion power is perfectly viable… but perhaps just a little more exciting than we might like…
In that case you could presumably also let fusion happen in space, and then collect the electromagnetic radiation it emits as a way to get electricity. I’m sure that’s viable.
Well, Eddie was just this guy, you see…
In addition to Beau’s take on the Colorado River, here’s a report from John Oliver that covers the history of the problem, inadequate/unrealistic agreements, and lack of regulation that led to where we are now:
Since the GOP has been promoting states’ rights, governors screwing over their constituents for profit, and encouraging folks who disagree with regulations to just ignore them, I’m wondering at what point people affected by this will start screaming for federal intervention. The demand for states to produce their own plans is likely to go as well as the Republicans health care effort. They’d probably put a requirement for Mike Judge’s Brawndo in there somewhere.
Eight years on, the people of Flint whose lives have been changed forever by lead in their drinking water still await real justice.
Prosecution against officials charged in Flint water crisis to continue, despite ruling