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Author Topic: Coldplay and the environment  (Read 2959 times)

dave briar

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2019, 10:46:23 pm »

The one thing the instructor of a bore-hole geophysics class I took many years ago wanted us to remember was “Time, distance, and shielding”. How long are you exposed, how far away is the source, and what’s between you and it.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 10:49:29 pm by dave briar »
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #31 on: November 28, 2019, 07:20:31 am »

The Trojan Nuclear Power Plant near Portland, Oregon, was decommissioned beginning in 1992. All of the spent fuel used during its operation is still stored onsite, currently in "dry cask" storage that is vented to the atmosphere. All of the remaining incidental radioactive material (including the reactor core) was shipped to permanent disposal sites, mostly the Hanford Reservation in eastern Washington state.

The irony of radioactive material is that material with a short half-life is more dangerous initially but quickly degrades to a safe level, while material with a long half-life is only mildly dangerous but for a very, very long time.

My wife and I just finished watching the HBO Chernobyl series. It was incredibly well done and did a good job of not overly dumbing down the technological aspects.  I am just old enough to remember the aftermath of the disaster - I remember reading about the cleanup in Reader’s Digest, of all places.  While it is hard to overestimate the cost of the Chernobyl event in terms of human life, ecological damage, and financial impact, as JR said, it was caused by two factors - a poor reactor design that was intended to be cheap, and gross mismanagement, both from the people directly involved and the Soviet system.

The other long-term fallout of Chernobyl and other disasters is people lump all nuclear technology into the same bucket, so we’re stuck continually recertifying 1950’s-era designs (I live 30 miles from a GE Mark 1 reactor - same design that Fukushima is; thankfully without the Tsunami risk where I am) since we need the power, but we’re unable to build anything safer due to the political fallout.

There are very cool nuclear designs being tested. The molten salt reactors are particularly interesting - there’s no steam pressure in the reactor loop to blow things up, there are passive mechanisms to handle out of control situations like freeze plugs and core catchers, and most importantly, some designs can run on low enrichment fuel, meaning they can actually burn up existing “spent” nuclear material, which goes a long way to solving the fuel storage problem.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2019, 07:30:28 am »

Honestly, I'm still scratching my head about wind energy.  As a maintenance manager for a facility, I had a conversation with a local utility about their investment in wind turbines.  I was told that it would take 40 years to pay for the initial investment.  One of the utilities in Iowa is replacing a bunch of blades on turbines (installed no earlier than 2004)-and the old blades are being landfilled because no one has found a way to recycle them yet.  According to the article they expect turbines to generate 1 million Tons of landfill waste.  I wonder how many concerts it would take to generate that much trash?
Maybe you can help me with one other factor - every time I drive by wind farms, only a minor fraction of them are actually running, and this is on days with seemingly adequate wind. I realize there is a minimum threshold of wind needed to get them turning and I realize there is some upper limit to the usable wind before the turbine needs to shut down to not blow up, but it sure seems that they’re off a lot more than that? It’s got to be hard to make money when they’re off 50%+ of the time.

You mention in another post the unknown impact of extracting a bunch of wind energy from the environment. This is very interesting to me - certainly cities affect weather patterns with tall things of warmer than ambient temperature sticking up high enough to disrupt wind, and I know that trees have a major impact on wind speed, which is generally seen as a positive factor, but I haven’t heard anyone speculate on impact due to turbines.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2019, 10:08:28 am »

Maybe you can help me with one other factor - every time I drive by wind farms, only a minor fraction of them are actually running, and this is on days with seemingly adequate wind. I realize there is a minimum threshold of wind needed to get them turning and I realize there is some upper limit to the usable wind before the turbine needs to shut down to not blow up, but it sure seems that they’re off a lot more than that? It’s got to be hard to make money when they’re off 50%+ of the time.
Just taking a WAG I suspect it is a storage/demand issue. Utility scale storage is not inexpensive, I recall hearing about a massive battery storage project in OZ to save excess power for use later, batterie are not very clean either.
Quote
You mention in another post the unknown impact of extracting a bunch of wind energy from the environment. This is very interesting to me - certainly cities affect weather patterns with tall things of warmer than ambient temperature sticking up high enough to disrupt wind, and I know that trees have a major impact on wind speed, which is generally seen as a positive factor, but I haven’t heard anyone speculate on impact due to turbines.
This seems like a spurious low information argument. The primary hazard from wind turbines seems to be toward birds. Tree huggers don't seem to care that much about birds. Maybe they shut down the turbines during a bird migration but even I don't suspect that.

JR
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Don't tune your drums half-ass. Listen to what a properly "cleared" drum sounds like.   http://circularscience.com/

Weogo Reed

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2019, 11:46:29 am »

Hi JR,

"Of course opinions vary, and if we don't do the math EVs look and feel good."

I agree that, read different ways, numbers can mean different things.
The article you note from 2013 has several inaccurate assumptions.
Some numbers, from 2017:
 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/much-ado-embodied-energy-paul-martin

 A friend, Dave Erb, is an automotive engineer who created and taught a three day
professional development short course on "Design of Hybrid Electric Vehicles" for
the Society of Automotive Engineers from 1995 to 2004.
He's very current on EVs, PhotoVoltaics, has crunched the numbers and is an author in this book:
 https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Net-Stories-Carbon-Future/dp/0692143831/
An article from 2017:
  https://mountainx.com/opinion/sparking-a-revolution-with-plug-in-electric-vehicles/

Looking at the whole picture of sourcing raw materials, transporting and building a car,
for both gas and electric cars there is significant environmental damage and pollution.
(Road building and maintenance is an additional significant consideration.)
All the materials and processes that go in to internal combustion engines and oil extraction
have had over a century of production/extraction to refine efficiency.
Electric motors have been around a similar length of time but
are only now being optimized for cars.
Battery technology is slowly maturing, as well as control and charging systems.

My 2014 Mitsubishi I-MiEV(my wife named her Maeve, for the Irish goddess of intoxication)
has the latest and greatest battery technology from when it was developed in 2009.
Current batteries are half the weight/volume, will go 30% farther, charge faster, and last longer.
(This specific battery came with a ten year warranty and
right now still has about 99% of original capacity.)

A British journalist researched the CO2 lifetime production and
running costs of an I-MiEV and a similarly sized Honda Fit.
Over its life, the Fit puts out about 100 grams of carbon per mile and
the I-MiEV about 50 grams, if using electricity from a coal-fired power plant.
The number gets better for batteries made in solar-powered plants and
when charged with solar generated electricity.
The number also goes down for newer car designs.

Some observations:
From 0~30 Maeve will beat my wife's Honda Fit.
After that, her 109HP will roll past my 66HP.
About 90% of the miles we drive are within Maeve's range.
The longer wheelbase Maeve is more comfortable on the interstate than the Fit.

This may be the car that makes EVs common:
 https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/vw-id3-economical-over-e-golf/

Dusenfeld and other companies are recycling Lithium batteries,
with a current recovery rate over 80% :
 https://www.duesenfeld.com/recycling_en.html


Alternatives? :
I would like to see the USA have the train system we had in 1946,
the highest ever year of passenger ridership.
There are multiple roadblocks, including outdated safety regulations saying
locomotives have to be incredibly heavy.
I see light-rail as the way to go between cities.


What does all this mean for those of us working audio gigs?
Educate ourselves and do what we can.
For a couple decades now I've been pushing the venues
I regularly work in to install good sound systems.
Maeve gets an assistant, me and quite a bit of gear to many gigs.
The big truck runs fewer and fewer miles every year year.
Around here, carpooling to shows is fairly common.

We can all slow down a bit, enjoy the trip, and notably reduce energy use.

I'm happy to see large, international touring groups addressing all of this.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
 
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2019, 11:48:32 am »

Hi Jr,

"The primary hazard from wind turbines seems to be toward birds."

 https://www.statista.com/chart/15195/wind-turbines-are-not-killing-fields-for-birds/

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2019, 12:48:20 pm »

Steven,

"Honestly, I'm still scratching my head about wind energy."
 
I haven't found lifetime comparison numbers for waste from coal, nuclear and wind power plants.
Here are some numbers on the types and amounts of waste from decommissioning a nuclear plant:
 http://energyskeptic.com/2019/decommissioning-a-nuclear-reactor/

I did a search for recycling wind turbine blades and there are a
few commercial options and quite a bit of research being done.
One good result is the same technologies for recycling fiberglass turbine blades
can be used on airplanes, boats, fuel tanks, etc.

Odd thought: transport would be expensive, but
I wonder about using these blades structurally for building big music sheds?

Wind power has been around a long time, and can be a much lower polluting energy source:
 https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/06/wooden-wind-turbines.html

Nuclear energy:
 “There is only one logical answer: we must stop generating nuclear waste, and
that means we must stop using nuclear power. You would think that it would make sense to
suspend nuclear power projects until we know what to do with the waste they create”.
Gregory Jaczko, former Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Council 2005~2012,
with a Doctorate in Theoretical Particle Physics

My opinion: 
As long as humans are involved with the design, building, running and maintenance of stuff,
sh!t will happen.
I'll reconsider nuclear energy, after all current waste is safely dealt with for the long run, and
the cost and environmental impacts are shown to be less than other options.

From what I see, with the extraction of fossil fuels, humans went on a 200 year
concentrated energy binge.  The future will see energy use, but not on the 
massive scale we've had.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2019, 07:48:44 pm »

Steven,

"Honestly, I'm still scratching my head about wind energy."
 
I haven't found lifetime comparison numbers for waste from coal, nuclear and wind power plants.
Here are some numbers on the types and amounts of waste from decommissioning a nuclear plant:
 http://energyskeptic.com/2019/decommissioning-a-nuclear-reactor/

I did a search for recycling wind turbine blades and there are a
few commercial options and quite a bit of research being done.
One good result is the same technologies for recycling fiberglass turbine blades
can be used on airplanes, boats, fuel tanks, etc.

Odd thought: transport would be expensive, but
I wonder about using these blades structurally for building big music sheds?

Wind power has been around a long time, and can be a much lower polluting energy source:
 https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/06/wooden-wind-turbines.html

Nuclear energy:
 “There is only one logical answer: we must stop generating nuclear waste, and
that means we must stop using nuclear power. You would think that it would make sense to
suspend nuclear power projects until we know what to do with the waste they create”.
Gregory Jaczko, former Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Council 2005~2012,
with a Doctorate in Theoretical Particle Physics

My opinion: 
As long as humans are involved with the design, building, running and maintenance of stuff,
sh!t will happen.
I'll reconsider nuclear energy, after all current waste is safely dealt with for the long run, and
the cost and environmental impacts are shown to be less than other options.

From what I see, with the extraction of fossil fuels, humans went on a 200 year
concentrated energy binge.  The future will see energy use, but not on the 
massive scale we've had.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Certainly we have become addicted to the lifestyle energy provides.  It has powered advances that have helped more 2nd and 3rd world nations decrease mortality and increase literacy.  I don't see a path to rolling back the services the energy provides.  Technology will have to find more efficient and cleaner devices that are as simple to operate as the current tools we use. 

It's really bad in the US where the suburban lifestyle and vehicle is tied to our way of living, so much new infrastructure to consider. 

I do have confidence in technology and finding sustainable solutions.  I think scaring the kids we are going to be at an extinction level event in 10 years is as bad as the nuclear bomb scares of the 60's. 
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman

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Randy Pence

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2019, 08:20:49 am »


Alternatives? :
I would like to see the USA have the train system we had in 1946,
the highest ever year of passenger ridership.
There are multiple roadblocks, including outdated safety regulations saying
locomotives have to be incredibly heavy.
I see light-rail as the way to go between cities.


What does all this mean for those of us working audio gigs?
Educate ourselves and do what we can.
For a couple decades now I've been pushing the venues
I regularly work in to install good sound systems.
Maeve gets an assistant, me and quite a bit of gear to many gigs.
The big truck runs fewer and fewer miles every year year.
Around here, carpooling to shows is fairly common.

A big issue with transportation systems is figuring out how passengers travel the last mile in each direction. I am quite lucky in that Berlin boasts at least a bus stop 500m from any address, but last mile solutions will not be very simply in most of the US, due to suburban (and often urban - the amount of surface area dedicated to parking in american cities is crazy!) densities and street designs. Who would bother taking light rail between neighboring cities if they still need a car to get to and from the tracks?


Something sound providers can do is invest in gear which requires fewer trucks, although what does it really matter when xxx amount of attendees drive a big vehicle on their own to get to the gig?
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2019, 11:07:13 am »


Something sound providers can do is invest in gear which requires fewer trucks, although what does it really matter when xxx amount of attendees drive a big vehicle on their own to get to the gig?
It all matters. Less is less.
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Re: Coldplay and the environment
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2019, 11:07:13 am »


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