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Author Topic: Antarctica, nuclear power and ozone.  (Read 2568 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Antarctica, nuclear power and ozone.
« on: 25/09/2007 16:12:54 »
We're going to run out of fossil fuel pretty soon. People are wary of nuclear power stations as they believe them to be dangerous and there is the question of what to do with the waste.

So, international co-operation to build a few mega-size nuclear power plants in Antarctica. They'd be well away from population centres and what better place to bury the waste. Cables (maybe superconducting cables would be an option by the time the power stations are built) could be laid on the ocean floor to carry the power to where it's wanted.

Plus, a bit of the power generated could be used to produce ozone to plug the hole above.

OK, guys & gals - shoot me down in flames!


 

another_someone

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Antarctica, nuclear power and ozone.
« Reply #1 on: 25/09/2007 16:38:32 »
Flame thrower coming right up :)

The ozone hole cannot be fixed (if it needs fixing) at ground level, since ozone at ground level is a problem and the lack of ozone at high altitude is the thing people are concerned about in Antarctica.

Superconducting cables are expensive in material costs, and require constant refrigeration.  Aside from the refrigeration itself consuming energy, it is likely to have an impact on the oceans the cables lay beneath (the area around the refrigeration plant, where excess heat is pumped out, will be warmer than the surrounding sea, while the are of the cable between the refrigeration plants, where the cold is sucking in heat from the surrounding oceans, is likely to be cooler that the surrounding sea.  There are also going to be maintenance issue in maintaining the undersea refridgeration plants.

That having been said, my own preference is to move away from long distance transport of energy by electrical conduction, and to use chemical energy stores (e.g. use the electricity to produce hydrocarbons, then transport the hydrocarbons, and use them as a fuel at the other end).  The losses involved in producing the chemical energy store would be too great to make it viable for nearby usage of energy, but when compared to the losses involved in the long distance transport of electricity, and the low loss of transporting chemical fuels, it does seem to be a more practical way for the long distance transport of energy.

Then there are the political issues associated with territorial ownership of Antarctica.  This is an issue that will end up rearing its head sooner or later (just as has now been the case with the Arctic - with the Russians claiming ownership of the North Pole), but as yet the politicians have been unwilling to address it.

There is also the problem, as has been an issue with the idea of covering the sahara dessert in solar panels, that it would be politically, as well as economically, and in terms of systems resilience, suicidal to concentrate all of one's global energy generating capacity in one small geographic area.

Finally, you have to remember that nuclear power plants generate enormous amounts of waste heat, and this is itself likely to have an impact on the local ecosystem around the power plant.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Antarctica, nuclear power and ozone.
« Reply #2 on: 25/09/2007 18:55:25 »
Sometimes I really hate you!   :P

Quote
The ozone hole cannot be fixed (if it needs fixing) at ground level, since ozone at ground level is a problem and the lack of ozone at high altitude is the thing people are concerned about in Antarctica.
So we build very tall chimneys.

Quote
Superconducting cables are expensive in material costs, and require constant refrigeration.  Aside from the refrigeration itself consuming energy, it is likely to have an impact on the oceans the cables lay beneath (the area around the refrigeration plant, where excess heat is pumped out, will be warmer than the surrounding sea, while the are of the cable between the refrigeration plants, where the cold is sucking in heat from the surrounding oceans, is likely to be cooler that the surrounding sea.  There are also going to be maintenance issue in maintaining the undersea refridgeration plants.
I did say "maybe" with regard superconductors. So we stick with ordinary cables.

Quote
That having been said, my own preference is to move away from long distance transport of energy by electrical conduction, and to use chemical energy stores (e.g. use the electricity to produce hydrocarbons, then transport the hydrocarbons, and use them as a fuel at the other end).  The losses involved in producing the chemical energy store would be too great to make it viable for nearby usage of energy, but when compared to the losses involved in the long distance transport of electricity, and the low loss of transporting chemical fuels, it does seem to be a more practical way for the long distance transport of energy.
Do you have any comparitive costs? I'd be interested to see them.

Quote
Then there are the political issues associated with territorial ownership of Antarctica.  This is an issue that will end up rearing its head sooner or later (just as has now been the case with the Arctic - with the Russians claiming ownership of the North Pole), but as yet the politicians have been unwilling to address it.
That's why I said "international co-operation".

Quote
There is also the problem, as has been an issue with the idea of covering the sahara dessert in solar panels, that it would be politically, as well as economically, and in terms of systems resilience, suicidal to concentrate all of one's global energy generating capacity in one small geographic area.
As above.

Quote
Finally, you have to remember that nuclear power plants generate enormous amounts of waste heat, and this is itself likely to have an impact on the local ecosystem around the power plant.
Insulation. We could even possibly get a grant from the EU for energy saving.

« Last Edit: 25/09/2007 19:04:44 by DoctorBeaver »
 

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Antarctica, nuclear power and ozone.
« Reply #2 on: 25/09/2007 18:55:25 »

 

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