Author Topic: Bill Gates interview  (Read 4069 times)

Liberty

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 05:49:01 AM »
I disagree that green (and not only green - people in general too) are against nuclear because they don't understand it. Mostly they are against it because of possible radiation leaks/accidents. Chernobyl and Fukushima did not help. And, yeah, maybe you can argue that modern systems make the risk of accident negligible. But the counterargument to that would be that Japanese claimed Fukushima was safe. So people don't trust safety claims of nuclear industry. And unlike other industries people don't trust, nuclear does not have strong enough lobbyists and backroom dealers who would push through deals even without public support. And BTW the huge cost overruns of recent/attempted projects did not help.

Nuclear is way safer than other forms of power, even despite all these decades old plants and some plants that were built near seismically active zones (not the best idea). Probably safer than wind and solar, if you count accidents building and maintaining these things. It's similar to how people fear air travel more than car travel even if one is much safer than the other, it's a cognitive bias. Chemical spills and exploding natural gas plants and mercury poisoning from coal fly ash and such have killed and contaminated way more people, but it doesn't get people's imagination going quite the same way...

I remember this book being a good introduction to some of the science and technology behind it:

https://www.amazon.com/Power-Save-World-Nuclear-Energy-ebook/dp/B001FA0J0U

Quote
BTW, I am pro-nuclear. But I see pretty much zero chance for nuclear development in US and mostly in EU. China/Asia will probably build nuclear. For other countries, the discussion turns to non-proliferation. (And yeah, again, potential solutions exist, but persuading people that they are good/viable is not going to be easy).

Also BTW, based on Wikipedia there is currently no commercial Thorium reactor and most plans are for pilot projects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power
So the situation is not really that <insert country X> could just buy cheap (prebuilt?) thorium reactor and have it running quickly. It's not even that they could build it quickly and reliably. So assuming <insert country X or state/municipality Y> came to you and asked you for input, you could not really advise them to build thorium-based power plant, since there's no successful precedents.

Yeah, that's why I said we need to do R&D into thorium. I'm thinking long term. It was always among the very best approaches, but it was put aside because you couldn't make nuclear bombs with these reactors, and back when the nuclear industry grew up, the government really wanted more bombs. But this isn't like fusion, we know how to make thorium reactors and have built working ones in the past, we just need to build big ones. These things are so safe, it's basically that you have to keep them in a precise equilibrium to get the reaction, and if anything at all changes (any kind of failure, a rise in temperature, a lack of power, etc), the molten salt just drains into a big underground container and the reaction stops by itself. Orders of magnitude less waste too, and breeders can generate their own fuel from thorium, so no enrichment process.

"Comparing the amount of thorium needed with coal, Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia of CERN, (European Organization for Nuclear Research), estimates that one ton of thorium can produce as much energy as 200 tons of uranium, or 3,500,000 tons of coal"
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 07:18:49 AM by Liberty »
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rb

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 11:06:04 AM »
I think that the problem with thorium back then was that this stuff was/is extremely corrosive so for practical purposes it would have needed some serious spend to find new materials. Whereas water cooled solid fuel reactors were ready to be built. Now, I don't know if we're there yet, but I know that we've made some serious advances in materials science since the 60s so we're definitely a lot closer. Promising.

Liberty

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2019, 11:58:08 AM »
I think that the problem with thorium back then was that this stuff was/is extremely corrosive so for practical purposes it would have needed some serious spend to find new materials. Whereas water cooled solid fuel reactors were ready to be built. Now, I don't know if we're there yet, but I know that we've made some serious advances in materials science since the 60s so we're definitely a lot closer. Promising.

It's a challenge, but it's not like there aren't challenges with any reactor design. Since thorium has had a fraction of a fraction of the attention of other fuels, it's not surprising that some questions remain open while other questions with U or P have been solved over time as they were implemented... I doubt it's a show-stopper:

"Using high Nickel and Molybdenum content, experimenting with Manganese and other additive content, and reducing Iron and Chromium content has proven to be relatively effective for reducing corrosion. For MSRs to become a viable option, a more effective alloy or material should be used to lengthen the life of the containment structure and to maintain relatively pure salts."

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/sunde1/
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Packer16

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 09:57:59 AM »
Thanks for posting these.  I think Gates is onto the key behind this whole climate debate.  If focus is made on developing new technologies that will make fossil fuels less economic versus newer products then the issue of change by government fiat (which IMO is one of the largest objections to the whole climate issue in the US) will be overcome by events.  It is too bad politicians are focused on imposing gov't fiats versus funding/encouraging with tax credits some of the more feasible solutions (like Gates is pursuing).  I guess these guys lack patients & have to come up with doomsday scenarios to sell there ideas.  What a waste of resources.

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Liberty

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 11:31:32 AM »
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Liberty

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2019, 05:29:52 AM »
Hour-long interview with Bill Gates from June 20, 2019:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5g4sPi1wd4
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dcollon

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2019, 08:29:32 AM »
Thanks for posting the interview Liberty

Liberty

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Re: Bill Gates interview
« Reply #17 on: Today at 05:15:48 AM »
Thanks for posting the interview Liberty

My pleasure
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