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PostPosted: May 30, 2015 3:22 am 
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Dear Eino, Dear E. Ireland....

on my Point of view the power transmission systems in Europe and North America did grow step by step in the past and most probably is going on growing step by step. A strong growth will continue in China and India untill the most urgent demand is settled.

There needs to be a demand for several thousand hours/year to justify a new power line. The environmental unfriendly windmills have their main power generation within about 1500h/yr,/environmental unfriendly solar power about 800h/yr. (Germany)). Politics, neighbours and land owners might delay new projects and increase the costs of such projects.

The technical development in VHVDC power lines, switches and other stuff might shift the balance in favor of longer power transmission lines.

In Europa poeple in Poland wake up 2 hours earlier than in Spain. That means peak power demand is earlier in Poland than in Spain
Italy has a high power demand in summer due to plenty of AC`s while it is very low in Germany.

A stronger grid within Europe and as well North America will increase the share of base load. This is very much in favor of nuclear and to a lesser extent as well coal fired power plants.


Last edited by HolgerNarrog on May 30, 2015 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 30, 2015 4:15 am 
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HolgerNarrog wrote:
Dear E. Ireland...
1. According to the Stefan Boltzmann law P = K * A * T * T * T * T, K = 5,67 * 10-8 W/m2/K4 it requires a strong increase in solar activity to increase the temperature on earth slightly. The changes in solar activities are acc. to sceptical scientists a main source of climate changes. Acc. to the IPCC (Inventors of the climate Change) it is negligible.

The Stefan-Boltzmann law only really holds for a true black body. Thanks to the presence of the atmosphere the Earth is rather far from a true black body, the emissivity term can change depending on atmospheric conditions.
Additionally the amount of solar energy hitting the planet is so titanic that even a forcing change of 0.1% can produce these effects over a very long time.


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PostPosted: May 30, 2015 6:11 am 
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Dear E Ireland...

according to old science the solar heat is completly reemitted to the space otherwise it would heat up till it melts. An increase of solar activity of 0,1% will increase the global temp. acc. to Stefan Boltzmann by 0,06 K. and decrease when the solar activity decrease.

There is no doubt that the earth is not a true black body. Please be informed that even the IPCC (Inventors of the climate hoax) use the black body for their modelling.


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PostPosted: May 30, 2015 6:47 am 
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Dear Alex,

"if you understand the climate better than the climate sciences.....". Personally I`m engineer as well. My knowledge about weather and climate is limited. I would not try to compete with scientists working since decades seriously on a topic.

But there are sometimes situations when science becomes political, example economic science in communism, renewable energy, the anti - nuclear movement and other situations. In these situations an amateur has a good chance to get quite close to reality by checking plausibilities.

The IPCC (climate hoax inventors) core consists mainly of Greenpeace, WWF lobbyists with a few scientists in between. 10.000s of scientific institutes around are alimented by the generous funding making their own studies using climate change for justification.

As scientists that are not in line with the IPCC gets in trouble getting attacked personally, getting cut funding, get no publication, getting fired the wellknown sceptics are usually close to retirement or already retired. Over here in Germany there was for ex. an interview with some leading climate scientists where they did give statements in favor of the climate hoax but were very sceptical between the lines.

I would appreciate it very much if there will be once again a serious science on climate science.


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PostPosted: May 30, 2015 10:47 pm 
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alexterrell wrote:
+2C might be managable, but +4C tends to have been associated with mass extinctions in the past.

In the past humanity didn't have coal and oil. We now see the capability to move beyond those with nuclear power. The climate changes no matter what we do, history proves this true. Without coal and oil we lack the ability to adapt to the changing climate.

As others have pointed out, and I agree with, any storage and transmission technology that makes wind, solar, and other "green" energy sources cheaper will also make coal power cheaper. For wind and solar to compete with coal it must be made so cheap that we can put up with the inconvenience of working only when the wind blows and the sun shines. I don't see that happening any time soon. We've been developing the technology behind wind and solar for a very long time, and expending enormous government resources on this for decades, with very little to show for it. Wind energy costs about 3x what coal does, solar is even worse.

Considering this is a forum dedicated to the advancement of thorium as an energy source I thought I'd see more people simply pointing out that the global warming problem is solved, all we have to do is build more nuclear reactors.

What bothers me most about the global warming scaremongers is that their solutions almost always involve more government. Since when has more government actually solved anything? This is a problem too important to hand over to the government, we need to solve this problem. There also seems to be a lot of debate on what the problem is and how bad it has become. In my mind we have a federation addicted to foreign oil, leaving us vulnerable economically, strategically, and militarily. I see two solutions to this problem, "drill, baby, drill" and nuclear power.

If someone wants to argue that more oil, domestically produced, is only going to make the problem worse (again the real problem at hand is debatable) then I state we still have the nuclear power option. I will still maintain that using coal and oil is a better option than not, until technology advances to provide a better option.

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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 6:21 am 
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But unfortunately the free market solution has failed to and always will fail to deliver nuclear reactors.
The capital costs are just too front loaded - investors will always demand huge returns which will drive generation towards the lowest capital cost energy source available. Which will always be some form of gas turbine. CCGTs in Britain cost something like $800/kW

Nuclear can't compete with CCGTs in a high capital-return environment.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 7:24 am 
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Dear E. Ireland,

I completly agree with you!

I`m an investor as perhaps many of the participants in this forum invest their personal savings somehow. I`m usually looking a few years ahead. The max. I look ahead is 25 -30 years as it is my statistical life expectance.

A nuclear plant needs 15 years from the idea till grid connection. It might generate electricity for some 60 years and needs at least another 10 - 15 years for denaturation all in all a century.

If you calculate the whole plant life it will most probably generate a positive cash flow if you include inflation and its return might be better than that of a bond if everything works well. In Europa we have plenty of anti-nuclear greens, we have socialist parties and most probably you would loose the investment (ex. Germany, Austria....).

Hence from my point of view nuclear needs 3 supporting actions to become more popular.

1. A reduction of regulation, licensing, safety features, documentation to a level that is in line with the very low real risks in order to decrease capital investment significantly.
2. A governmental regulation system that rewards long term investment in nuclear and coal rather than gas turbines.
3. An investor protection would be a great asset.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 9:11 am 
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Investor protection is very dodgy in my opinion.

Since it essentially binds the state to cover losses of a private investor engaged in a private business arrangement.
Why is this better for the people than the state just owning the plant - at least that way the people who pay taxes will see some of the returns.

If you want a free market, have a free market.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 11:08 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
But unfortunately the free market solution has failed to and always will fail to deliver nuclear reactors.

That's true so long as we remain focused on gigawatt scale nuclear reactors. Nuclear power plants on that scale are very expensive, so expensive that only governments can afford them. Newer designs like LFTR and DMSR can be built as small as 20 MW. At that scale they become much more affordable. At that scale they can be mass produced on an assembly line.

As I see it we have three choices:
- Continue to burn coal and oil
- Transition to nuclear power
- Watch energy costs rise and society revert to a nearly pre-industrial age economy

I'll have people argue with me that we have other choices, such as algae farms and grid scale electrical storage. Problem with those is that they are theoretical, that technology does not exist yet. Until we have those technologies we have only the three choices. Jet planes cannot yet run on algae. Wind and solar power is much too expensive and unreliable to run things like trains, aluminum refineries, and water treatment plants.

While I agree that government regulation is holding back technology the regulation is something we can change. We can't change the laws of physics.

As a side note on regulations and physics I maintain that alcohol prohibition set back bio-fuel development by a century. Even today an ethanol plant must jump through all kinds of hoops to keep the BATFE from shutting them down. You want to see ethanol and other bio-fuels get some real research? Then get rid of the BATFE so that people can brew their own fuel like they did in the 1920s. Neo-prohibitionists will claim doing away with alcohol taxes would result in people drinking their fuel and then filling their car from it. Why would anyone do that when a bottle of wine, that doesn't taste like rubbing alcohol, can be bought at any corner store for three bucks? Also, I'm not proposing we do away with laws on drinking age or public intoxication, I'm saying that if someone wants to make alcohol for fuel then the government should back off and let people do it. If they want to taste test the product before burning it? Whatever, it's their funeral.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 11:21 am 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
But unfortunately the free market solution has failed to and always will fail to deliver nuclear reactors.

That's true so long as we remain focused on gigawatt scale nuclear reactors. Nuclear power plants on that scale are very expensive, so expensive that only governments can afford them. Newer designs like LFTR and DMSR can be built as small as 20 MW. At that scale they become much more affordable. At that scale they can be mass produced on an assembly line.

But the fact that the reactor costs are in the billions of dollars is not the problem, the fact is that the price per kilowatt of those small reactors will probably be even higher than a modern gigawatt range LWR. Which means your capital cost problem gets even worse. The only way to build nuclear reactors cheap is to build them big, we have known this since the 60s.
Big business can afford to spend ten billion dollars on a power station if they want - but they won't because they can get better returns spending one-two billion on CCGTs.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
As I see it we have three choices:
- Continue to burn coal and oil
- Transition to nuclear power
- Watch energy costs rise and society revert to a nearly pre-industrial age economy

I think coal is largely finished in the long run either way.
LTO and Shale Gas have killed it, apart from maybe underground gassification if they get the plant capital costs down.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
As a side note on regulations and physics I maintain that alcohol prohibition set back bio-fuel development by a century. Even today an ethanol plant must jump through all kinds of hoops to keep the BATFE from shutting them down. You want to see ethanol and other bio-fuels get some real research? Then get rid of the BATFE so that people can brew their own fuel like they did in the 1920s. Neo-prohibitionists will claim doing away with alcohol taxes would result in people drinking their fuel and then filling their car from it. Why would anyone do that when a bottle of wine, that doesn't taste like rubbing alcohol, can be bought at any corner store for three bucks? Also, I'm not proposing we do away with laws on drinking age or public intoxication, I'm saying that if someone wants to make alcohol for fuel then the government should back off and let people do it. If they want to taste test the product before burning it? Whatever, it's their funeral.

Define fuel ethanol.
People will just distill whiskey and claim its fuel, or better yet - distilleries will start selling fuel ethanol that is chemically identical to vodka/whiskey/rum.
You essentially abolish alcohol taxes, which in the UK at least, tears a rather larger hole in the national budget.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 1:19 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
The only way to build nuclear reactors cheap is to build them big, we have known this since the 60s.
Big business can afford to spend ten billion dollars on a power station if they want - but they won't because they can get better returns spending one-two billion on CCGTs.

I maintain that LFTR and DMSR changes the equation. They do not require the expensive fuel rods of solid fuel reactors and all the expensive equipment to handle them, as just one example of how these are different.

E Ireland wrote:
I think coal is largely finished in the long run either way.
LTO and Shale Gas have killed it, apart from maybe underground gassification if they get the plant capital costs down.

Define "long run". I've seen estimates that the USA has one thousand years of accessible coal within its borders.

E Ireland wrote:
Define fuel ethanol.

Ethanol that does not meet FDA or USDA requirements for food sanitation. I grew up on a dairy farm so I have a rough idea on what makes the USDA happy. I also did some consultation work for a company that built machines to handle food and alcohol, so I have a rough idea on what make the FDA and BATFE happy. If the pipes used to handle the ethanol is not food grade then it cannot be used for human consumption. If the processes used in its production does not exceed minimum sanitation standards then it cannot be used for human consumption. Basically remove the BATFE from the equation and put the FDA and USDA in charge.

E Ireland wrote:
People will just distill whiskey and claim its fuel,

Why would someone take a $40 bottle of whiskey and turn it into $1 of fuel? Even if someone was to do so why would anyone care? They are taking food grade alcohol and putting it to non-food uses. That's like complaining that people use food grade vinegar to clean their windows.

E Ireland wrote:
or better yet - distilleries will start selling fuel ethanol that is chemically identical to vodka/whiskey/rum.

Again, why should anyone care? We can place warnings on the label that it is not fit for human consumption, if people still want to drink it then that's their problem. Here's a question for you, how many people, pets, and livestock have been poisoned from accidental consumption of denatured alcohol? There are stupid adults that will drink the stuff knowing they will get drunk, but there are also children that don't know any better and end up dead.

I've come to the conclusion that the DEA and BATFE would rather you be dead than high. Is that the government we want? A government that kills us, and our children? Sure, I don't want to see children get drunk from drinking hand sanitizer but that's better than seeing them dead.

I could go on for pages on how stupid current laws on alcohol are, and how they end up making people dead. Ethanol is a very useful chemical, and a very safe one, or at least a relatively safe one. It bothers me that we allow our government to poison us and our children to make the puritans happy.

E Ireland wrote:
You essentially abolish alcohol taxes, which in the UK at least, tears a rather larger hole in the national budget.

You know what also tears huge holes in the national budget? Subsidizing windmills that produce no net electricity. I thought global warming was a threat to our very existence, is not doing away with the alcohol tax income worth potentially saving human civilization?

Here's something that I'd like to see spelled out for me. How much income is there from taxing alcohol? How much is spent on fuel ethanol subsidies? If we did away with both then how would the government budget look?

Here's another problem with "sin taxes" like those on alcohol, tobacco, and even marijuana and gasoline, the government becomes addicted to it. I've had this argument with "greenies" before where I argue that at some point the gasoline tax and ethanol subsidies must go away. I always get the response, "We can't do that!" Why not? The claim is we must tax gasoline to pay for the roads and subsidize ethanol. If ethanol is successful in replacing gasoline then we have no money to pay for the roads and we're effectively paying people to drive their cars. I argue that it would be better to make this transition in taxation policy sooner, before it becomes a problem, rather than later.

Another interesting fact to give to the "greenies" is that the government makes more money off of gasoline taxes than the oil companies make in profits selling it. So, who's addicted to oil? It's the government. Just another example of the powers that be are not taking global warming seriously. If the government is dependent on oil sales to pay for vital infrastructure like our highway system then they are not taking the transition away from oil seriously. If they honestly believe that ethanol is going to replace gasoline as the fuel of the future then we'd see ethanol taxed like gasoline to pay for the roads.

Here's what I think the powers that be know to be true, they know that giving up on coal and oil is suicide. It can be political suicide because a lot of people enjoy being employed digging up coal and refining oil, and people enjoy the standard of living that inexpensive energy gives them. It can be economic suicide, arbitrarily doing away with coal and oil means people will have a much lower standard of living. That means people will die because they couldn't afford medicine, heat, clean water, food, education, and transportation. It can mean societal suicide, which is just economic suicide taken to another level. If infrastructure cannot be maintained then the nation ceases to exist, without roads, postal services, and other means of trade and communication break down then those of us in Iowa won't care what people in DC have to say. We'll be sitting in our sod houses hoping we've collected enough cattle dung to burn through the night.

Rather than face the hard truth that "green" energy does not work these politicians shuffle our tax money around to buy votes. They just need to make promises that in 20 years we'll be living the life of "sustainable energy", knowing that in 20 years they will most likely be dead or retired, and then it's not their problem. Until then they get to live a life getting paid three times the national average, knowing that what they are doing does nothing to solve global warming.

In short, government is the problem, not the solution.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 3:08 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
The only way to build nuclear reactors cheap is to build them big, we have known this since the 60s.
Big business can afford to spend ten billion dollars on a power station if they want - but they won't because they can get better returns spending one-two billion on CCGTs.

I maintain that LFTR and DMSR changes the equation. They do not require the expensive fuel rods of solid fuel reactors and all the expensive equipment to handle them, as just one example of how these are different.

Firstly fuel rods aren't capital - so the price of them has little bearing on the argument I am making. Especially since while they are "expensive" the cost of fuel for an LWR is already almost zero. You are bearing down on the wrong component. If anything I would prefer increased fuel costs if they reduced the capital cost of the plant in the present economic environment (obsession with free markets leading to private capital leading to huge demanded returns).

The machinery necessary to handle fuel rods is simple and cheap compared to the madness required to handle spent fuel salt which is not already in handy containers that can be cooled simply be submerging them in water. Especially with these compact high performance cores often suggested that mean you will have regular handling of fuel salts.
Kurt Sellner wrote:
Define "long run". I've seen estimates that the USA has one thousand years of accessible coal within its borders.

And Britain has 300 years worth of coal within its surveyed land reserves and several millenia under the north sea.
Does not been it will be worthwhile to extract it with the fact that cheap natural gas and LTO appears to be here semi-permanently.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
Why would someone take a $40 bottle of whiskey and turn it into $1 of fuel? Even if someone was to do so why would anyone care? They are taking food grade alcohol and putting it to non-food uses. That's like complaining that people use food grade vinegar to clean their windows.

Because they wouldn't sell it for $40, they would sell it for $35 or something (depending on the size of the alcohol taxes). It would look identical to an ordinary bottle of alcohol but would have "Fuel use only" written on it in tiny writing just large enough to meet the letter of the regulations.

Kurt Sellner wrote:
Again, why should anyone care? We can place warnings on the label that it is not fit for human consumption, if people still want to drink it then that's their problem. Here's a question for you, how many people, pets, and livestock have been poisoned from accidental consumption of denatured alcohol? There are stupid adults that will drink the stuff knowing they will get drunk, but there are also children that don't know any better and end up dead.

But they would make "fuel ethanol" that will be suitable for human consumption - and if you are allowing home-brew alcohol to be used it will be essentially impossible to mandate denaturing, since that would require very nasty stuff be sold and stored in unsecured locations. And that will lead to large numbers of poisonings.
Kurt Sellner wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
You essentially abolish alcohol taxes, which in the UK at least, tears a rather larger hole in the national budget.

You know what also tears huge holes in the national budget? Subsidizing windmills that produce no net electricity. I thought global warming was a threat to our very existence, is not doing away with the alcohol tax income worth potentially saving human civilization?
Here's something that I'd like to see spelled out for me. How much income is there from taxing alcohol? How much is spent on fuel ethanol subsidies? If we did away with both then how would the government budget look?

Cider Duties, Wine Duties, Beer Duties and Spirits Duty (all being seperate taxes in Britain) raise something like £8.6bn.
In the EU/UK there is very little ethanol produced compared to the US, largely due to the absence of a massively powerful corn/agro lobby. This is also the reason there is almost no HFCS used in Europe. Its under a quota to protect Sugar Beet farmers.
Kurt Sellner wrote:
Here's another problem with "sin taxes" like those on alcohol, tobacco, and even marijuana and gasoline, the government becomes addicted to it. I've had this argument with "greenies" before where I argue that at some point the gasoline tax and ethanol subsidies must go away. I always get the response, "We can't do that!" Why not? The claim is we must tax gasoline to pay for the roads and subsidize ethanol. If ethanol is successful in replacing gasoline then we have no money to pay for the roads and we're effectively paying people to drive their cars. I argue that it would be better to make this transition in taxation policy sooner, before it becomes a problem, rather than later.

Because that money has to come from somewhere - which will lead to problems as the economy changes shape to minimise liabilities under the new taxation arrangements. All this imposes costs on the economy and causes all sorts of economic planning problems.
Fuel Duties in the UK raise something approaching 5% of all Government revenue for example, >£25bn/annum.
Finding a way to replace that will not be easy.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2015 4:54 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
The machinery necessary to handle fuel rods is simple and cheap compared to the madness required to handle spent fuel salt which is not already in handy containers that can be cooled simply be submerging them in water. Especially with these compact high performance cores often suggested that mean you will have regular handling of fuel salts.

The equipment needed to handle the fuel rods was just one example. Other examples, containment dome, backup generators and backups to those generators, large water reservoirs. LFTRs and DMSRs don't need all of those things to operate safely. They'd be air cooled, no need for active cooling, no water under high pressures, all kinds of safety systems needed for solid fuel water cooled reactors go away.

I'll concede to your point that fuel costs are near zero, as they would also be for MSRs. The capital expenditures would be much lower for MSRs due to much simplified safety systems, unique to air cooled reactors, and much smaller power plant size.

E Ireland wrote:
Does not been it will be worthwhile to extract it with the fact that cheap natural gas and LTO appears to be here semi-permanently.

You are making my point for me. Fossil fuels are here to stay until something cheaper comes along.

E Ireland wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
Why would someone take a $40 bottle of whiskey and turn it into $1 of fuel? Even if someone was to do so why would anyone care? They are taking food grade alcohol and putting it to non-food uses. That's like complaining that people use food grade vinegar to clean their windows.

Because they wouldn't sell it for $40, they would sell it for $35 or something (depending on the size of the alcohol taxes). It would look identical to an ordinary bottle of alcohol but would have "Fuel use only" written on it in tiny writing just large enough to meet the letter of the regulations.

I've been to college and I've seen what even poor college students will do to get drunk. I've seen near fist fights starting over one man's opinion over getting a deal on beer and another upset of having pitched in real money to have to drink cheap beer. Are you telling me that these college students will drive past the liquor store to go to the hardware store so that they can save 10% on their alcohol? That's desperate.

Want to see desperate? I remember one of those national news programs showing alcoholism on first nation reserves. This is federal land but the people on the reserves go outside of the tribal territory to neighboring communities that abide by state laws. Some of these communities are "dry" counties where alcoholic beverages are banned, or have "blue laws" that restrict alcohol sales at certain times. People craving alcohol will drink hair spray, vanilla extract (which is dissolved in alcohol of course), among other things to feed their addiction. Having cheap, safe (or safer), industrial alcohol available to them does not seem to me to be a problem. The problem is untreated alcoholism. Denaturing the alcohol only seems to put these people in a very difficult position.

The word "addiction" can mean many things. When it comes to alcohol an addiction can mean a physiological change where the body cannot function without alcohol. Failure to get enough alcohol means death. So, again, another means by which the government would rather see people dead than high. That $35 dollar bottle of industrial alcohol could mean lives saved.

I believe that we'll never see a $35 bottle of industrial alcohol because no one is going to go through the expense of making human safe alcohol and not put a human safe label on it. No one is going to buy it because there will always be another bottle just like it, made to industrial specifications, on the next shelf for $2. No grocery store is going to put industrial alcohol next to the fine whiskeys, except maybe those that border tribal territory. In which case they are a symptom of the problem, not the disease.

E Ireland wrote:
But they would make "fuel ethanol" that will be suitable for human consumption - and if you are allowing home-brew alcohol to be used it will be essentially impossible to mandate denaturing, since that would require very nasty stuff be sold and stored in unsecured locations. And that will lead to large numbers of poisonings.

As opposed to the large number of poisonings we have now? I don't follow how the status quo is any better than removing the tax. Again, I thought global warming was a problem that was going to kill us all. If we are to assume that we're all dead from global warming, as some will claim, then perhaps a few accidental poisonings is acceptable. As it it now we seem to accept accidental poisonings from denatured alcohol, the government doesn't seem concerned with a few dead children here and there.

E Ireland wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
If ethanol is successful in replacing gasoline then we have no money to pay for the roads and we're effectively paying people to drive their cars. I argue that it would be better to make this transition in taxation policy sooner, before it becomes a problem, rather than later.

Because that money has to come from somewhere - which will lead to problems as the economy changes shape to minimise liabilities under the new taxation arrangements. All this imposes costs on the economy and causes all sorts of economic planning problems.
Fuel Duties in the UK raise something approaching 5% of all Government revenue for example, >£25bn/annum.
Finding a way to replace that will not be easy.

I already gave a solution to the tax problem, tax alcohol like fuel. Right now fuel ethanol is subsidized, drinkable ethanol is taxed. If we tax all ethanol at the same rate then the government should not care if people drink it or drive on it, so long as they don't do both at the same time. If someone wants to distill that whiskey to run their car then the government doesn't lose. If people want to drink the fuel ethanol then they are stupid, because perfectly safe alcohol can be obtained at the same price at a corner store.

If someone wants to sip on some Chivas while smoking their cigars then they are going to pay for the flavor and quality. College students that just want to get drunk can find safe, cheap, ethanol to mix with lemonade, let them gyrate to loud music until they vomit and pass out on the floor. If these college students would rather save a few pennies by mixing lemonade with motor fuel then they can pay the price for their stupidity with their health.

This is all pointless unless we can actually prove ethanol is a sustainable fuel. Had we not had alcohol prohibition then that question may have been answered a century ago. As it is now we'll never know because ethanol cannot compete on a level field with fossil fuels. No small company can compete as the regulations impose costs that few can afford. Large companies compete more for government subsidies than any real market share. Wind, solar, and ethanol as energy sources live in an artificial economy. We cannot know if they are real and true competitors to oil and coal until the subsidies are removed.

To those that claim oil and coal are subsidized I have a one word response, it starts with a "B", ends with a "T", and roughly translates to, "I don't believe you". In Iowa we pay about 50 cents per gallon of gasoline, diesel fuel tax is a bit more. With gasoline hovering around $2.50 per gallon that is a lot of taxes.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2015 3:15 pm 
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Dear E. Ireland,

Your comment "Why is this better for the people than the state just owning the plant" looks somehow logic.

The practical experience with governmental run companies is mostly negative.

A governmental run Company runs well in a build-up or wartime phase. As soon as it is settled politicians tend to follow objectives away from generating electricity for reasonable costs. In some countries they used governemental run companies to generate jobs, or placed new investments close to their voters base. Today they would invest in green technologies.

All in all it does not work well in the Long run with real poeple.


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PostPosted: Jun 01, 2015 7:47 pm 
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Investing in green technologies would drive up the price of electricity.
I imagine a state run company would result in the price of electricity becoming an election issue.
And experience with private run companies recieving massive taxpayer assistance (as is inherent in a nuclear buildout) is mostly negative as well - they simply become rent seekers who attempt to bleed the taxpayer dry.

Proper monitoring both by quasi judicial and political bodies, and with the advent of FoI, by the press and other interested parties can restrain the so called pork barrelling of the operator's money.
This is especially true if the legislation establishing the Crown Corporation (or similar body) were to bar ministers from interfering in its operation without Legislative authority.

Despite numerous rants about the "zombie corporations" in Britain it now appears the CEGB (Central Electricity Generating Board) and NCB (National Coal Board) were relatively efficient. Electricity prices only fell in the aftermath of the privatisation of the former because the new operators essentially stopped capital investment and are now demanding taxpayer assistance to restart said programme after running the system into the ground. The NCB also produced the cheapest deep-mined coal in the world which was only marginally more expensive than the imported Russian and American coal that replaced it (in Britain we don't like the idea of demolishing whole mountains or just bulldozing towns to make way for huge strip mines).


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