Read more reader reponses to DN Editor-in-Chief John
Energized about Energy" column in the August 11 issue as well as Design
News' exhaustive hydrogen
fuel cell vehicle and fueling infrastructure package.
HFCV topic is exciting stuff. Similar to what tubular tires did for cars at the
turn of the century, it will also change the way we
your 'Dodge Report', you go on to say 'There was somewhat of a knee-jerk
reaction that nukes are the answer. At best, they are a small part of the
answer and have considerable downsides...sky-high expense, limited fuel supply and
no good solution for fuel rod disposal. But there's an even bigger problem with
nukes, we don't have the time it would take to build them'.
Well I guess now I know that I got
at least one jerking-knee attached to my waist. Explains some of my anomalous
behavior to be sure!
no, I did not contact you earlier on this either.
think all of your assumptions above are true based on the current paradigm, but
the shift that would lift you up and out is not that unobtainable. But it is
biggest problem I am sure we will agree is the hyper-toxic radioactive waste.
What if we took the paradigm for a moment that we could actually succeed with
nukes? Launcher reliability (I know a LOT about this topic) is .975 probability
of success for our current Atlas V and Delta IV (well that's the factory spec
value we all use these days). The Ares will have something closer to .99 Pos or
1-.99 Loss of Vehicle with about 1/10 of those resulting in Loss of Crew. So we
are talking one in thousand launches being fatal based on rocket technology that
is virtually unchanged from the 1960s. Composite structures and
microelectronics are the only real changes. In fact if you consider Ares is a
solid launcher, one might easily argue it's a quantum leap backward (and
simplicity was the overreaching decision factor in that
Interestingly, the first airlines
runs of the 1930 had about the same Pos rates as Ares will hopefully
demonstrate. If another launcher program took the next step in technology
evolution or revolution with a focused generation to generation launcher
development (the lack of this is the real reason why Pos sucks today) you could
easily get up to 1/1000 launcher failures, and of course the whole time you
could be slinging a 10-30Kg dummy payload capsule and learn about survivability
characteristics and grow that in parallel. The real goal would be to get to
about 1/10,000 to 1/100,000 loss of containment, which could be a catastrophe on
the order of Chernobyl, worst
course you know what I am talking about; we both heard it as kids and thought it
was silly in both its simplicity and absurdness. The Sun as
in all this excitement, well I kinda lost count myself, so you've got to ask
yourself one question...do I feel lucky today? What would 50,000 launches x 20KG
of Pl 244 and various and sundry other nasties buy you? My assertion, and this
can be calculated within +- 20% rather easily, would be several trillion tons of
CO2 + several other of the dozen or so greenhouse gases. Gone, poof, eliminated
the same way birth control eliminates. They just never
what's scary about 3000 nukes powering the world? Plenty. What if, just for
the sake of argument, we established a 130 Nation committee/organization with
it's own engineering and construction organization, and a military with clear
a-political goals and mission. NATO model possibly. Simply to build, secure and
maintain a fleet of nukes. A standardized fleet with Swiss watch precision.
Got a bad actor (dictator). Send in the army, extract it and demo it. Oh, did
I mention you could set up some really cool guidelines, like the energy can only
be distributed free (or at the cost of distribution) but if xyz govt. wants to
charge the populace for it, then it works on a sliding scale based on your other
'green' activities, like not polluting the rivers and whacking rain forest, etc.
cost and complexity...well, I must tell you, that is only another facet of any
solution that will cause unacceptable delay. What is most likely to make my
nuke model work where all others fail is social-economic-political realities and
constraints. Any solution, to avoid a century of stalling until it becomes a
dire question of survival, is that it must necessarily have to work around the
brick wall of human nature's short-sightedness and greed that is set in the
concrete social-economic-political realities and constraints. Let me give you
and example; we won't even sign on to Kyoto Accord because of a threat to our
economy. This the greatest and most powerful nation, and that rejection under
the and most progressive green Prez since TR.
Berrien Moore and Dr. Charles Kennel spoke at my plant here yesterday; there
title: 'Global Climate Change'. It pretty much spewed the IPCC 2007 results
back, and noted repeatedly how hard it is to model the climate with any
accuracy. Not much news to me. I did learn in talking to him that the trapped
Methane in the thawing tundra is probably order of magnitude more threatening
than the retreating ice sheets.
Since I ran across this article back
in December, my mind has worked incessantly on it http://www.wunderground.com/climate/abruptclimate.asp It always comes back to the
International Nuke model.
tell me, am I nuts? Because everyone that I tell this to seems to react that
way. Like boiling the ocean.
and by the way, hydrogen vehicles are only zero emission at the tailpipe, you
seem to have overlooked the source of energy--you probably know, if the source
energy is carbon based, it is a zero net gain on the carbon footprint scorecard
(a loser for global warming). Ethanol included. But I agree with you on the
need to launch it, and get the technology proving and
only study and wish, but not make a drastic and rapid change in CO2 emissions,
is to virtually guarantee that 1/100 year and 1/1000 year climatic events as we
know them now, will occur on an annual basis. And endangered species? Multiply
There, vent complete. I feel much
NORTHROP GRUMMAN Space Technology