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16 Comments

  1. @ Rod,

    You said, “You might even want to dig up a pocket calculator or use the software version installed on your computer.”

    I recommend using Wolfram Alpha as a handy tool. There’s a website http://www.wolframalpha.com/ as well as iPhone and Android applications. Wolfram Alpha is a computational search engine. It will calculate, integrate, plot, unit conversion, and search technical data. It even does nuclide data (enter “Am-241”). A wind example is the use of the Weibull distribution, is a good functional description of the wind speed distribution. Say the mean wind is 7 m/s. Given a power curve of a typical windmill, the probability of finding a windmill at or above its capacity factor can be found by inputing “Integrate[PDF[WeibullDistribution[2,14/Sqrt[Pi]],x],{x,8,25}]” on the Wolfram Alpha site. In this case it’s about 0.35.

  2. This is one of the greatest articles I’ve read on nuclear. But how do we “unscare” the public? How can we get to the masses without using the scare tactics and dirty politics that wind/solar are using?

  3. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. But how do we “unscare” the public? How do we reach the masses without the scare tactics and dirty politics that wind/solar are using?

    1. Sadly I don’t think we can. The general public simply aren’t the logical types we want (need?) them to be.
      The slick marketing machine we are facing knows this and has for a long long time. There’s a precedent mentioned in the above article (tiger in your tank anyone?)

      Maybe the way to “unscare” them is to “scare” them to the point where they don’t “care”?

      Pardon the puns!

      1. “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
        Agent Kay, Men in Black (1997)

  4. Is it still a “scare tactic” when the topic, such as having your house blown to matchsticks by natural gas, is actually scary?

  5. Having an impact on public perceptions of cheap and easy energy. A man in 1970 Dallas, Texas drove a car around town using Fusion Energy. He scared the Hell out of the establishment to the extent his marketing efforts were “put to rest”.

    Bring about the Phoenix of that car and the public would jump at the technology.

    Now comes the rub. Your portfolio includes energy dependent stocks and retirement plan based upon energy of the carbon signature kind. This pyramid economic structure, of which most of us are a part, can’t tolerate change.

    Adapting our energy portfolio to include fusion powered cars would disturb our mindset, not to mention major oil companies. It has been done and then buried and who the hell ever saw a phoenix anyway? Answer: It lurks beneath the waves on a boat named Sarov. Project Phoenix surfaces every so often.

    1. Fusion energy to propel a car? Ridiculous. Physically impossible. There is today no known mechanism to produce sustained nuclear fusion. Cold fusion has been shown decisively to be a fraud.

  6. Rod – great as always. I’ve tangled the comments and posts over at my comment on another BNC thread. Thanks for the Atomic Show link as well.

  7. The simple reason to build wind mills if they don’t reduce co2 is that they are profitable for the people building them.

    Eventually as gas prices rise nuclear will become more and more profitable. As a result they will be built more then, regardless of their co2 emissions.

    1. Jason – wind mills are ONLY profitable with a combination of subsidies and policies. At current gas prices, the rate of construction has slowed by about 50% this year compared to last even with the following banquet of incentives:

      30% of project cost available as a tax credit in lieu of a long term production tax credit
      loan guarantees
      federal government payment of the required credit subsidy cost for the loan guarantee
      renewable portfolio standards in many locales
      free federal land
      renewable energy certificates that can be traded for cash
      lots of free advertising by the Department of Energy
      no requirements for any decommissioning plan for the foundations or towers
      guaranteed head of line privileges in the power grid – even if there is little demand for power, other generators have to curtail their production and opportunity to obtain revenue

      Industrial scale wind power generation is a scam. The large corporations that are behind the political decisions to award all of those incentives are making some money at the scam, but there are going to be an awful lot of taxpayers, ratepayers and stockholders left holding the bag when reality finally starts to sink in. The managers and executives will work hard to absolve themselves of any responsibility and will most likely fail to repay any of the incentive bonuses that they have awarded to themselves by controlling their captive boards of directors. There are going to be a large number of workers who receive lasting harm due to investing time and money learning skills that have no market. There will be large, empty industrial facilities left to blight the land and many small towns who thought that the factories were so valuable that they offered long term tax incentives.

      I just hope I can help stop some of the damage.

      1. I wasn’t trying to say that wind is profitable without all the hand outs. My post was just a direct answer to your title of the thread. I guess I could have elaborated upon why they are profitable for the builders.

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