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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Here’s an update.

My “killer apps” paper got turned down a few weeks ago – its reviewers wanted me to simultaneously cut its word count by 70% and add a discussion of Fukushima, Chernobyl, the Western world’s spent fuel disposal issues, etc. They really seemed to dislike its ball park calculations – environmental-type scientists are swayed by “concepts”, not numbers. That journal’s Editor invited me to do a rewrite but the recent presidential campaign had put me into such a funk that I decided to give up trying to tilt windmills for a while. My “nuclear powered geoengineering” paper was also submitted to another journal back in September – haven’t heard anything back about it yet.

The good news is that I've just been invited to write a chapter/article entitled " Silicate Weathering to Mitigate Climate Change" for a book entitled “Soil and Climate” that's due to be submitted to Taylor and Francis sometime this Spring (2017). The book is to be the latest of a series, “Advances in Soil Science”, edited by OSU’s Prof. Rattan Lal (OSU) & West Texas A&M’s, Bobby Stewart. It’s going to be a rewrite of my nuclear geoengineering paper emphasizing the other reasons why its scenario makes good sense; e.g., rendering agriculture “sustainable” – it turns out that basalt application rates needed to “rapidly” fix atmospheric CO2 just happen to be the same at which modern agricultural practices erode topsoils (about 30 t/ha/year – Minnesota has apparently already lost about one half of its topsoil Pimental 1995) . Assuming “average Idaho basalt” were to be used, it also turns out that that application rate could supply all or most of the potassium and phosphorous “macronutrients” in crops raised in such dirt. Of course, I’ll mention that it couldn’t be done unless an equally sustainable “second nuclear era” comes to pass - rock mining, grinding, transport, and scattering would require more energy than any reasonable combination of windmills, solar panels, and batteries could supply.

I’ll be posting drafts of this thing as I write. Let me how I can improve it. Any suggestions now?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Jan 07, 2017 11:28 pm 
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darryl siemer wrote:
Any suggestions now?

Have you considered submitting this idea to places other than academic journals?

I know I'm not alone in that I get much of my news and entertainment from the internet. Perhaps some of the many commentators that have popular podcasts might be interested in interviewing you on your idea. Global warming is a popular topic of discussion for so many. Since this plan as you propose involves government action I would expect any of a number of political commentators would find this interesting. If you can get some interest from someone anywhere then this interest would likely translate into more interest from the academic world.

It seems to me that for much of the global warming crowd "nuke" is just another four letter word. They don't want to say it, hear it, or get close to it. Perhaps you can somehow downplay the nuclear power aspect of the plan for some audiences? I know you cannot go without mentioning nuclear power as it is a big part of your idea but you can "hand wave" over it. Point out that if one finds themselves in a hole that they must first stop digging, that means using carbon free energy like wind, solar, and nuclear, and then move on to how basalt based fertilizer can be used to sequester carbon. No need to go into detail on the kind of carbon free energy needed since that is really not the focus of your plan, at least as I understand it. If something better than nuclear power comes along tomorrow then the rest of your plan is still valid for sequestering carbon. This should also help with those concerned about word count, spend those words on basalt instead of nuclear power.

I've mentioned this before but I believe the title is a real turn off. Also since I've mentioned it before I'll be brief. "Nuke" is a bad word, it's probably best to leave it out of the title. I can imagine that words like "geoengineering" and "weathering" sound bad to many as well. I think that something like "Carbon Sequestration Through the Use of Powdered Rock Based Fertilizers" is a good idea. No "scary" words, no "too technical" words, and still accurate and descriptive.

I think you have a great idea and it needs to be spread far and wide. All that it needs is to take some of the edges off and be tailored to your intended audience. If you are talking to a nuclear friendly crowd then by all means discuss the use of nuclear power at length. If the audience might find nuclear power "scary" then only mention it briefly and move on so the rest of your idea can sink in, let them figure out on their own where the energy must come from since the important part is getting them to understand the value of mining basalt instead of current sources of fertilizers.

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PostPosted: Jan 20, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
darryl siemer wrote:
Any suggestions now?

Have you considered submitting this idea to places other than academic journals? .... the important part is getting them to understand the value of mining basalt instead of current sources of fertilizers.


Thanks Kurt,

I've considered trying to get this stuff "published' in other ways/venues but really don't know how to go about doing it. I don't Tweet or pay much attention to most of the FACEBOOK stuff that people send me - I'm not very social & too old (71) & stuck in a rut to change much. If you have some specific suggestions, let me know, or better, contact 'em in my behalf.

Anyway, I stayed up until about 7 AM last "night" to finish up a rewrite of my basalt-in-dirt "save the world" scheme emphasizing it's agricultural benefits (I was asked to do it - it's going to be a "chapter" in a soil science book)

Here's the draft (ATTACHED). I may end up adding a co author if we can agree on things. He's a still-practicing EU academic who might have reservations about some of the things I've said.


Let me know what you think about it ASAP - it's got to go out soon

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PostPosted: Jan 24, 2017 4:54 am 
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Here's the final version of my "Advances in Soil Science" chapter. Most of its changes reflect Editorial suggestions - agromomists use different terms/units than do nuclear engineers or chemists - but I've also corrected a few typos & added stuff that's fairly important. The Climate Science establishment (very "big science" these days ) would probably deem its conclusions rather controversial.


Attachments:
Soil chem RAL's change accepted.docx [743.08 KiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Here's the current version of "killer apps". I'd appreciate getting your feedback about it ASAP - it's going to be resubmitted pretty soon.

It's pretty much finished but I'll probably be adding a shootdown of the LNT hypothesis to its Safety Issues section before it's resubmitted. Bob Hargraves has just put together a nice little ppt presentation that will supply the ammo. Let's talk/comment about that sort of stuff rather than arguing back and forth about whether or not it's necessary to assume that breeders would be necessary. To me anyway, the notion that anyone could get enough NU out of 3 ppb seawater to generate 30000 GWe worth of CANDU or GEN III+ LWR power is about as fantastic as is believing in Jacobson's WWS hypothesis.

If you want to discuss this "privately" send me a note at d.siemer@hotmail.com

Thanks


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killer apps current version.docx [1.2 MiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Here's the LNT discussion-incremented update.


Attachments:
killer apps current version.docx [1.22 MiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 08, 2017 11:58 pm 
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Regarding what Kurt Sellner was saying about the tone of your paper, ' killer apps ' probably sounds a bit bloodthirsty to sensitive souls as well. Haven't thought of a synonym yet, though.
It also implies that you've got a solution looking for a problem to solve, rather than working from first principles. Antinukes invariably accuse pronukes of jumping on ' their ' climate change bandwagon, and indignantly attempt to sling them off. ( Disclaimer - I jumped the other way. )


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PostPosted: Feb 18, 2017 4:16 pm 
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Here's the latest/greatest version of the killer apps paper. I keep telling myself that I'm going to send it off "tomorrow" but always seem to come up an "improvement " by then, add it, & then put off submitting once again.

This version adds a section about "proliferation", a few more words about "safety", plus a paragraph that puts biofuels into their proper place.

What's really come through to me during the last year or so is just how short-sighted most of the practicing environmental/climate/nuclear-type scientists/engineers seem to be. For instance, the folks studying the MSFR are now saying that they might have a (not thousands of) reactor(s) ready to go by 2050 by which time virtually all of the gas & oil will almost surely be gone.

I'd appreciate your comments/advice.


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killer apps current version.docx [1.23 MiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 19, 2017 10:05 am 
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There is no money or political will to get it done faster.

Without the former you cannot proceed to scale reactor or physical loop studies - you have to content yourself with time consuming computational work that is always open to challenge on the basis of the model being flawed or whatever.
Without the latter you will never get permission to shortcut through the bureaucracy to get it done any faster.
For example in the UK to build a nuclear power station requires a decade of public enquiries before detailed design work even starts.

EDIT:

Additionally you should perhaps consider NaS batteries - they are probably the closest to economic of any of the battery concepts available to us.
And then there is the proposal to use Resistance heated firebricks as the heat source for a gas turbine, it has low end to end efficiency (~60% at present) but it has the advantage that firebricks cost almost nothing.
(Lot of interesting work been done on FIRES, I like it because it sets a minimum price for electricity equal to the price for the same heat in the form of natural gas, which is useful]


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PostPosted: Feb 19, 2017 2:23 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
There is no money or political will to get it done faster.

Without the former you cannot proceed to scale reactor or physical loop studies ....


Thanks,

At 71 years of age & long time retired, I don't intend to "proceed to scale reactor or physical loop studies... etc on anything myself - that should be the government's & its "industrial partners"' job. However, nobody will/can do anything until the government gets its priorities straight.

Thanks much for the hint to look into sodium sulfide batteries. This article http://energystoragenews.com/NGK%20Insu ... orage.html points out
that NGK has been making/selling them for quite a few years & gives enough numbers to scope out what a backup up system for my brave new world's 30000 Gwe power requirement would cost. Those numbers include the size (MW) & cost of the world's biggest such unit recently sold to the UAE: in that case, 300000 kW & 65 billion yen (0.72 $Billion). It would take 100,000 such units costing $72 trillion to provide that much power (for a max of 6 hours) - that's about the same as would be a storage system based upon Li ion batteries.

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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2017 11:54 am 
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I have been trying to find more up to date pricing information but it is rather difficult, probably because there is only really one significant manufacturer so there are less likely to be open quotes floating around.

The advantage of NaS over Lithium is that NaS requires effectively no rare materials - sodium metal, alumina and sulfur are all available in almost limitless quantities (sodium from the sea, alumina from a wide variety of clays and sulfur is so abundant that we have huge mountains of cast sulfur sitting in Alberta).
So the 'asymptopic' price in massive production is likely to be much smaller.


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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2017 1:34 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
I hav...
The advantage of NaS over Lithium is that NaS requires effectively no rare materials - sodium metal, alumina and sulfur are all available in almost limitless quantities (sodium from the sea, alumina from a wide variety of clays and sulfur is so abundant that we have huge mountains of cast sulfur sitting in Alberta).
So the 'asymptopic' price in massive production is likely to be much smaller.


I totally agree. I’ve reworked “killer apps” with the assumption that a wind-derived future power system would store its temporarily excess energy in NGK’s Na/S batteries (ATTACHED). It also contains a few other changes/improvements.

It’s become a tar baby that I can’t seem to quit fooling around with so I’ve just sent it off to ESE for a “prereview”- that’ll give me time to do some other work.

Thanks again.


Attachments:
killer apps current version.docx [1.24 MiB]
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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Prof. Siemer,
I did a quick read of your paper and it does look interesting, I'll have to read it more thoroughly when I have time. In reading this a few things jumped out at me as out of place. For a paper concerned with nuclear power "killer apps" it seems very odd to mention issues with unemployment and overpopulation. This seems especially odd since you mentioned some critics commented on it being too long. The jobs angle might be made to fit if you want to make the argument of how nuclear power is somehow better on the employment aspect than other sources but even then the argument you make does not fit. Generally when making the argument to choose one process, product, etc. over another to a buyer one would argue on how fewer people would be needed, as paying people to work is a cost that gets passed on to customers.

Mentioning population growth, unless framed in the need for more demand for product due to that growth, is out of place. I understand your passion and desire to solve the world's problems but mentioning birth control in a paper on nuclear power is very out of place. This is also something that is politically charged, so I suggest leaving that part out.

Your section on cements and concretes mentions geopolymeric binders, which also seems out of place. While using such products to replace Portland cement would reduce CO2 output the connection to nuclear power is not clear. What is also not clear is how basalt rebar applies to nuclear power. I suggest making this connection clearer, leaving that out of the paper, or making it clear that there is no connection to the use of nuclear power but is still worthy of mention.

In your section on atmospheric geoengineering and sustainable agriculture you mention that farmers currently spread materials similar to the basalt rock but don't explain why, other than that farmers already spread fertilizers. I believe it would make a better case if you went into a little more detail here, such as mentioning the value of basalt rock as a pH buffer. I'd also think it would be best to avoid the word "geoengineering" as that is a politically loaded word, and since I mentioned that in previous posts I'll leave it at that.

I'll have to make time to read that paper again and give it the attention it deserves. I hope you've found my feedback helpful. I would also like to give this conversation we're having here the time it deserves but I must make priorities, I trust you understand that. Your comment on having to step away from this paper for a while shows that you do. I look forward to your next revision.

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PostPosted: Feb 20, 2017 9:12 pm 
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“quote : I did a quick read of your paper and it does look interesting, I'll have to read it more thoroughly when I have time. In reading this a few things jumped out at me as out of place. For a paper concerned with nuclear power "killer apps" it seems very odd to mention issues with unemployment and overpopulation(both represent serious problems that the nuclear scenario I’ve outlined would solve – hence “killer apps”) . This seems especially odd since you mentioned some critics commented on it being too long. (Frankly I don’t care what they say about length – the subjects I’ve tried to address in this paper actually requires a book-length document but I’m unwilling to get sucked into the vanity book racket – papers get more readers & don’t cost their authors as much. )The jobs angle might be made to fit if you want to make the argument of how nuclear power is somehow better on the employment aspect than other sources but even then the argument you make does not fit. Generally when making the argument to choose one process, product, etc. over another to a buyer one would argue on how fewer people would be needed, as paying people to work is a cost that gets passed on to customers (my scenario would require and enable the “electrification” of just about everything now done with fossil fuels – this will “make” worthwhile work/ jobs for millions of people that are unlikely to find such jobs in today’s “service” economy).

Mentioning population growth, unless framed in the need for more demand for product due to that growth, is out of place. I understand your passion and desire to solve the world's problems but mentioning birth control in a paper on nuclear power is very out of place. (Not so – my scenario is about the only one that could make everyone “rich” and therefore tend to reproduce at rates like those of today’s Scandinavians) This is also something that is politically charged, so I suggest leaving that part out. (Again I’m not afraid to address “issues” that are politically charged – it’s the deliberate avoidance of such issues that’s rendered modern “science” unable to address real problems)

Your section on cements and concretes mentions geopolymeric binders, which also seems out of place. While using such products to replace Portland cement would reduce CO2 output the connection to nuclear power is not clear. What is also not clear is how basalt rebar applies to nuclear power. I suggest making this connection clearer, leaving that out of the paper, or making it clear that there is no connection to the use of nuclear power but is still worthy of mention. (One of the reviewers of the previous version of this paper thought that that section was especially “interesting”. It’s just another good thing (“app”) that nuclear powered “electrification” would make possible – imagine trying to heat a cement kiln or basalt glass melter with windmills?)

In your section on atmospheric geoengineering and sustainable agriculture you mention that farmers currently spread materials similar to the basalt rock but don't explain why, other than that farmers already spread fertilizers. I believe it would make a better case if you went into a little more detail here, such as mentioning the value of basalt rock as a pH buffer (thanks, I might add this if the present version of the paper doesn’t fly) . I'd also think it would be best to avoid the word "geoengineering" as that is a politically loaded word (see above ), and since I mentioned that in previous posts I'll leave it at that.

I'll have to make time to read that paper again and give it the attention it deserves. I hope you've found my feedback helpful. I would also like to give this conversation we're having here the time it deserves but I must make priorities, I trust you understand that. Your comment on having to step away from this paper for a while shows that you do. I look forward to your next revision

Thanks for your input Kurt - I really do appreciate it.[/quote]

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PostPosted: Feb 22, 2017 7:23 pm 
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Perhaps a slogan more along the lines of "Unified Energy" in the internet cloud sense or "Life Power"may fit better, as there are two parallel actions here; a shift for industry/society to electricity as the core energy medium for transfer and industrial precursor/refining work, and the end-to-end value proposition of nuclear reactors beyond something that just spins a generator. I also get a sense there may be a better treatment of the tragedy of the commons, and related solutions.

A lot of the up front usage descriptions point to electrified industry (remote from an energy source), but probably need to clearer that a fair amount is process heat in various flavors that can be substituted with electric heating in various forms.

The concrete bit probably could better point out that the preferred concrete is a combo of low CO2 cements AND life extending basalt rebar, as concrete replacement forces more CO2 regardless. That and basalt fiber requires fairly high process heat.

A small modular reactor approach can also fit directly into process heat applications and greater localization of power sources (regional/town level pseudo-distributed power, rather than megaplants with long distance transmission grids)

Low cost electricity, feeding electrified industrial processes and direct nuclear process heat industrial applications create stacked value chains. Examples would be municipal plasma torch incinerators with exhaust sorting that create local recycled raw resources for industry. Nuclear heat provides desalination and heat assisted electrolysis of the resulting water, supplying hydrogen for synfuels.


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