This is my last post on this blog topics discussion thread, but it's not the end of the discussion, which will be moved to another venue. This is clearly the wrong forum for moving forward technical solutions that advance the state of the art toward the goal of reducing fossil fuel death and illness.
PatB writes - "If we want to go forward, we need to invest a few hundred billion in infrastructure and new energy."
Agreed ... solar and wind have failed for the last 40 years to become viable without storage, dispite huge subsidies, and failed companies being bought up by China.
new energy, is new fail safe reactor designs to replace the horrible mistakes around light water cooled nukes. We can both agree that we should not be building any more 50 year old light water designs.
new energy is designs like Pebble Bed, liquid salt, and lower fuel cost Thorium designs that are cheaper than coal, and cheaply produce H2 fuel gas for transportation ... not 10-30 times more expensive like wind/solar that are highly intermittant and require expensive battery solutions.
Fossil fuels have a limited life span ... some say a few decades ... that's about how long it will take to build up any solution ... at least PBR's can be released to the field for commerical use inside a decade, and we know that we have a solution that can be deployed almost anywhere. Wind/Solar have huge areas they can not be deployed, and even where they can be deployed, they are unreliable, even if the cheap storage problem is solved.
WInd/Solar need coal base line generation ... and that kills people. Oil for transportation kills people.
Your fear of fail safe nuke designs, is irrational, and idealogically rooted in being a nuke free zone.
Lacking the ability to generate a large scale steam explosion, Pebble Bed and Molten Salt designs simply would not fail in as big way as early water cooled designs from 40-50 years ago.
21 years of AVR operation was a pretty reasonble test bed for the technology, and clearly points to a few issues that need design changes to prevent or minimize dust generation. The NRC would clearly be looking for solutions to those problems before granting an operating license. Engineers do that ... they take negative outcomes, and find solutions from the experiences.
But that said ... the statistics are clear ... Solar and Wind without storage are more expensive. Fossil fuels have an expense orders of magnitude higher than nukes because of global warming and fossil fuel health issues.
So the question remains ... how many more people should die and become ill to support an illogical nuke free zone idealogy that has failed.
If you want to point to a couple nuke accidents, that were agreed bad, then you can not avoid the global mess that fossil fuels have created that is many orders of magnitude worse.
" But you do actively and loadly present a voice for the nuke free zone idealogy, which leaves no other viable choice, except fossil fuels."
You appear to have trouble with something called "Current Reality". The reality is the capital costs of nuclear power plants makes them so frightening that without enormoustaxpayer subsidies, they wouldn't ever get built.
The Green Eye Shade Types killed Nuclear Power plant construction a long time ago.
"One of the largest subsidies is the cap on liabilities for nuclear accidents which the nuclear power industry has negotiated with governments. "Like car drivers, the operators of nuclear plants should be properly insured," said Gerry Wolff, coordinator of the Energy Fair group. The group calculates that, "if nuclear operators were fully insured against the cost of nuclear disasters like those at Chernobyl and Fukushima, the price of nuclear electricity would rise by at least €0.14 per kWh and perhaps as much as €2.36, depending on assumptions made"
I presented most of the numbers earlier in the discussion. Sorry you came to the party late.
And you are welcome to argue that they are one or two orders of magnitude smaller.
That is still four orders of magnitude larger than nuke power accidents.
I guess I need to dig a little deeper, and pull up more of the numbers related to fossil fuel deaths and illnesses.
Since gobal warming is largely linked to CO2 production from fossil fuel use, consider this report for probably a couple millions deaths, and a few hundred million illnesses over the next several decades: http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarmingandhealth/a/gw_deaths.htm
Notice in this report statements about lung cancer for smokers and those exposed to a lot of wood smoke ... another significant source of fossil fuel death and illnesses: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/952/1/Beware-Your-Fireplace-Or-Wood-Burning-Stove-May-Be-Harming-Your-Health.html
World wide there are about 1.3 million deaths from lung cancer, so burning wood as a heat source, instead of using an electric geothermal heat pump, does have a significant cost in lives, and illnesses. In cold winter months, which unfortunately is a time of use when solar performs poorly.
There is roughly another 5,900 that die mining coal each year, and a significant number of miners that have serious health problems. Over the last 50, and next 30 years that adds to the totals significantly more people that have been killed or made ill by nuke power accidents. http://cadlab6.mit.edu/2.009.wiki/anchor/index.php?title=Number_of_people_killed%2C_world-wide%2C_mining_coal_each_year
Oil and gas field operations are not quite that deadly, but over a few decades the numbers still exceed those killed and injured by nuke accidents in the same period by a couple orders of magnitude.
Add this all together, and still many orders of magnitude more than the last 50 years of nuke accidents. Add that to the previous studies cited earlier, for other causes. Still not convinced ... there is more :)
We can add to that oil refinery deaths, and leukemia for workers and residents around them. And there is still more ... any and every one of these types of death and illness is far more than nuke power accidents.
And when you figure this out, then please answer the question:
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.