Which party will support this effort?

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Josh Cryer
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Post by Josh Cryer »

Non-poliferation isn't about keeping people out of the club, it's about minimising ones ability to be a big player in the club. NK made their first nuke (a fizzle more than anything). They aren't able to make a significant number of them. But if they had Carter-era nuke plants everywhere and processing facilities (as such an environment would have encouraged), then they would arguably be in a much more powerful position. I don't think Carter was necessarily wrong, as non-poliferation doesn't ban nuclear power, it highly regulates it. Nuclear power plants "failed" in the USA primarily due to the competitive nature of coal, and if you look at a chart of US electrical usage nuclear has managed to fullfill the gap pretty well (while no new plants have been built power upgrades have been made).

Likewise a program for Polywell would probably fall under the same sort of scrutiny, but as long as people are burning pB11 we ought not care one iota.

Don't think that Republicans are "pro-poliferatin." It would go against their whole, yaknow, strong on foreign policy thing.

When Roger posted his KOS diary he got a lot of very promising responses from people you might call rapid left wingers. The few leftists I do know who are opposed to nuclear power in any form are afraid of it, believe that the "anti-nuclear movement" quelled nuclear power stations from being built (it didn't, it was the market), and simply have no idea what they're talking about. I don't think most modern liberals (or Democrats) are opposed to fusion to any significant extent. At least not enough to *stop* Polywell from succeeding.

Of course this is all assuming the thing works, but I'm hopeful. :)

And Pure Fusion = 1-100 tons of TNT? OK. A bit of fertalizer would beat the low end projections of that thing.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

Josh Cryer wrote:Non-poliferation isn't about keeping people out of the club, it's about minimising ones ability to be a big player in the club.
Not the original intent. The original intent of the NPT was to keep the club static. That has failed.

After new players join the club, scale up is only a matter of time. :(
Josh Cryer wrote:NK made their first nuke (a fizzle more than anything).
I'm not so sure about that. They may have used reactor grade plutonium in that device. Generally useless for weapons, but possibly sufficient to test the design reliably. And it spares on the rare weapons grade fissionables.
Josh Cryer wrote:I don't think Carter was necessarily wrong, as non-poliferation doesn't ban nuclear power, it highly regulates it.
It worked well for 30 years or so. Not a bad run.
Josh Cryer wrote:Nuclear power plants "failed" in the USA primarily due to the competitive nature of coal, and if you look at a chart of US electrical usage nuclear has managed to fullfill the gap pretty well (while no new plants have been built power upgrades have been made).
Fear of everything nuclear ratcheted up after 1965 and went stratospheric after TMI. IMO the primary reason for the "failure" of nuclear power in the US has been fear-driven suppressive regulation and lawsuits.
Josh Cryer wrote:Likewise a program for Polywell would probably fall under the same sort of scrutiny, but as long as people are burning pB11 we ought not care one iota.
IIRC the pB11 Polywell should be capable of burning all the other fuel cycles, given appropriate reworking of its power conversion systems.

I just don't see a comprehensive regulatory regime as being practical for polywells, even assuming weaponization fears are justified. Too many second tier states have "come of age" since the NPT was promulgated in 1968. Those states want "adulthood," which means nuclear weapons and immunity to Western attack and most political pressure. And once the details are worked out, building polywells should be relatively simple.
Josh Cryer wrote:Don't think that Republicans are "pro-poliferatin." It would go against their whole, yaknow, strong on foreign policy thing.
True.

Greater comfort with hydrocarbon emissions would intuitively seem to indicate higher tolerance of things potentially "dirty" in perception and reality. And anything with the word "nuclear" attached has had 'dirty' connotations for more than a generation.

Tho after review, Roger was correct that the perspective on the institutional Left does seem to be shifting productively. For this I am very grateful.
Josh Cryer wrote:When Roger posted his KOS diary he got a lot of very promising responses from people you might call rapid left wingers.
The more the merrier. :D Polywell is a distinct effort and we can all march side by side on it, whilst returning to the paintball range to take pot shots at each other every other Saturday. :lol:
Josh Cryer wrote:The few leftists I do know who are opposed to nuclear power in any form are afraid of it, believe that the "anti-nuclear movement" quelled nuclear power stations from being built (it didn't, it was the market), and simply have no idea what they're talking about. I don't think most modern liberals (or Democrats) are opposed to fusion to any significant extent. At least not enough to *stop* Polywell from succeeding.
I would agree about Democratic leaders NOT wanting to stop fusion research or power. I remain concerned over the influence of their environmental/anti-nuclear absolutist wing, but the party establishment seems to have them under control. I wouldn't agree about the market vs psychology/ politics :) . But the fear of nuclear power prevalent for the last generation does seem to be dying down. No emotional state lasts forever.

And, from my perspective, it is both ironic and reassuring that we are starting to get murmurs of support for nuclear power from the Environmental movement.
Josh Cryer wrote:Of course this is all assuming the thing works, but I'm hopeful. :)
Ditto. Implications here and elsewhere are highly promising.
Josh Cryer wrote:And Pure Fusion = 1-100 tons of TNT? OK. A bit of fertalizer would beat the low end projections of that thing.
Its entirely scalable Josh. A Teller-Ulam bomb is typically two stages but can notionally be "stacked" to any scale. So too a 4G nuke. Wrap it in U238 metal and use the 4G as the "spark," build the rest in stacked stages conventionally...

Curses of starting one's interest in nuclear sciences as an Orioneer. :)

Duane
Vae Victis

Roger
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Post by Roger »

djolds1 wrote:

The Democratic position seems to be shifting.... Your input? Duane
Sigh. Democratic positions, somewaht consistent for 30 yrs.

Or maybe you were originally lacking information, maybe you now have more information, that has caused you to shift your views on liberals.
djolds1 wrote:

Am I mistaken in that assessment?
Duane
Yup. I was trying to be insulting, looks like I failed. You thought it was intimidation.......
djolds1 wrote: Nothing I have said has been uncivil nor a personal attack upon you.
Duane
Straw man, I never accused you of that. But I'm a liberal so its OK.

Tom Ridge never said that kind of crap to me or any other Democrat in the bar that afternoon, why you feel the need to start?

BTW, there was some sarcasm in the above.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

Roger
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Post by Roger »

djolds1 wrote: but the party establishment seems to have them under control.
Thats your view ? Trust me not so. Circumstances have changed over 30 yrs. Party establishment has absolutely nothing to do with that.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

Roger wrote:Sigh. Democratic positions, somewaht consistent for 30 yrs.
In general it has appeared for most of the last 35 years that the generic position of the Democratic Party has been the Edwards/Reid positions I substantiated.

If you have sources to the contrary, accounts of major conventions & assemblies, planks in the Party platforms over time, etc., I would love to see them.
Roger wrote:Or maybe you were originally lacking information, maybe you now have more information, that has caused you to shift your views on liberals.
It would appear the Party mainstream's view on nuclear (i.e. fission, hopefully fusion) power is shifting toward more positive. This is good. :)
Roger wrote:Yup. I was trying to be insulting, looks like I failed. You thought it was intimidation.......
So. insult, not intimidation. Got it. Distinction without a substantial difference, however.
Roger wrote:
djolds1 wrote: Nothing I have said has been uncivil nor a personal attack upon you.
Straw man, I never accused you of that. But I'm a liberal so its OK.
You said:
If I can sit down and... have a civil discussion with men I consider to be extreme ring wingers...... Then I can ask the same of you.
Does appear to be an accusation of personal attack.

I may be mistaken.

And civility has zilch to do with party or party faction affiliation.
Roger wrote:Tom Ridge never said that kind of crap to me or any other Democrat in the bar that afternoon, why you feel the need to start?
I have attempted to step back and take a second look at biases I may have brought to the table. I have attempted to give fair assessment to your claims, and extend an olive branch.

And you are still growling.

At this point sir, look to your own house.

Duane
Vae Victis

JoeStrout
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Post by JoeStrout »

MSimon wrote:
And Obama doesn't make promises he does not intend to keep.
The question is how long will he keep them? Until the polling results change?
No, I really don't believe that's the case. While many politicians do engage in flip-flopping to chase poll results, everything I've seen of Obama so far leads me to believe he is cut of a different cloth — a very intelligent guy who thinks about things deeply, and makes careful decisions based on what he truly believes is best for his constituents.

That's not to say he doesn't occasionally change his mind — for example, his position on space policy, which shifted a bit this year, I believe as a result of deeper study into the issues (and which also resulted in a very sensible proposal to reestablish the NASC). Nothing wrong with that; if a deeper understanding of the issues leads one to realize a mistake, then changing your mind is the only sensible thing to do.

But energy policy is one of the critical issues for our country these days, and he's already looked into it quite deeply. To get us off foreign oil in 10 years is an enormous proposition, and he knows that. It would necessarily make energy R&D a major national focus.

I also don't buy the argument that "10 years" was picked because it's slightly longer than two terms of office. History will have no trouble judging whether the president making such a plan sat on his hands for eight years and then blamed the next guy for the failure to meet the goal, or instead worked hard at it and got us 80% of the way there (or more) in his tenure.
That is a very good reason to build support independent of politicians. We have done a pretty good job so far.
Well, sure, I agree with that. My point is just that, by this time next year, we could be in a very different environment, where any reasonably promising approach to energy production finds it easy to find funding, and the kids all want to grow up to be plasma physicists like they wanted to be astronauts in the 60s.

Best,
- Joe
Joe Strout
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JoeStrout
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Post by JoeStrout »

Josh Cryer wrote:All politicians are liars. All politicians are unknown variables. Politicians are "handled" by a feedback. If they *don't* do what they promised they would do, and cannot give a good explaination for their failure, then they may or may not get reelected.
That's certainly been the case for a long time — and is pretty much a plank of the Republican party, leading them not only to lie extensively about their opposition, but to claim their opponents are lying, without a single example to point out. Their strategy seems to be: we've been caught lying, so let's accuse them of lying too, so the stupid voters will just conclude that everybody is lying and we won't look so bad.
Josh Cryer wrote:Roger, I'd contest that solar is more than enough (2.5 million exajoules of useable energy, 500 used by humans from a variety of sources, etc, etc, the math is really apparent, low trophic life forms use magnitudes more energy than us). Polywell is just a game changer because solar requires, absolutely requires heavy government subsidies and intervention.
I don't know about that — if the government would stop subsidizing coal and oil, solar PV would be pretty competitive already, and the economies of scale (in production, I mean) haven't even begun to kick in for that yet. I'm getting a 1.4 kW system on my roof in the next month, and it's about half the cost of what it was a decade ago — and from what I've learned about it, I think it the cost has the potential to halve several times more in the next decade or so.

But polywell is still a game-changer, because it provides dense, concentrated, cheap power that fits neatly into our existing distribution system. (And its implications for space travel are huge too.)
Josh Cryer wrote:But even that requires educating our youngsters in strong science and not crackpottery.
Hear hear!

Best,
- Joe
Joe Strout
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Roger
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Post by Roger »

JoeStrout wrote:
I don't know about that — if the government would stop subsidizing coal and oil, solar PV would be pretty competitive already,
IMHO If the playing field was truly level.... it would turbo jump start new capacity for solar & wind.

I recently read that a new nuke for the Salem plant in NJ would cost 15 to 20 billion to build a 1000-1200MW plant. And that the existing price points would favor solar.

Consider the proposed 4 billion in tax breaks for oil companies, apply that to new solar PV factories... and see what happens... LOL.
djolds1 wrote: In general it has appeared
Positions.

1) Shut down all nukes now.
2) Continue running what we have now.
3) Build some new nukes.

What we may be seeing is a percent or 2 shifting towards #3, from #1.

Duane, the site is searchable, I've called for restraint from day one.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Dems have generally been better on funding research, Repubs less scared of the word "nuke" and more apt to fund defense spending (this is a Navy contract, remember). Overall, a wash I think.
While many politicians do engage in flip-flopping to chase poll results, everything I've seen of Obama so far leads me to believe he is cut of a different cloth — a very intelligent guy who thinks about things deeply, and makes careful decisions based on what he truly believes is best for his constituents.
I haven't seen any difference from the usual pandering, except perhaps that he does it more shamelessly. This is a guy who tells rich San Fran liberals that poor people in small towns cling to their guns and religion out of bitterness, then tells those same small-towners he shares their values. Right.

And I would bet the farm he's no more intelligent than Bush or any other average politico. So far he's refused to even release his college grades. His only evident talent is to read a teleprompter well.

The evidence argues he thinks deeply only about what his audience would like to hear. He hasn't ever made an important decision or authored an important piece of legislation. He shows little intellectual honesty as he still refuses to admit he was wrong to oppose the surge. He shows poor judgment in close associations with an unrepentant terrorist, a virulently anti-American pastor, and a convicted Syrian political-fixer felon, all cultivated in order to further his career as a Chicago Machine politician. The image you're describing is a facile myth created by an adoring media.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

To get us off foreign oil in 10 years is an enormous proposition, and he knows that. It would necessarily make energy R&D a major national focus.
It's not merely difficult, it's impossible as he's not adding any nuclear power (currently 20% of U.S. power production) or new drilling. I would call it gimmickry, but it doesn't even rise to that level. It's a lie designed to appeal to the gullible, as is much of his energy plan:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy

A “Use it or Lose It” Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases --- An especially ridiculous bit of pandering to fears of "Big Oil" (cue scary music). Oil companies don't sit on exploitable leases. They would lose money. Most leases just don't pan out.

Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025 --- Laughable. You might be able to do this if you forced consumers to double or triple what they pay for electricity. Doubt too many going to volunteer for that.

Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015. -- Great, a huge new load on our power grid, just in time for our hugely expensive (or more likely, nonexistent) alt-energy production. And remember, there are no new nuke plants in this plan.

About the only sensible thing he advocates is clean coal, which everyone is for. This is a plan for national rolling blackouts.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Chuck Connors
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Post by Chuck Connors »

I work in the family business- Farming. When I was just out of school, I went to my first Produce Convention with a Co-worker. It was in a huge convention hall, packed with Vendors from all over the U.S. We were there to meet with Customers and Vendors in our industry.

My Co-worker introduced me to a Produce Broker we worked with occasionally. In our Company office he was cursed as a sleazy broker who had no morals and would do anything for a buck. I was wary at first, but he invited us to lunch and during that time discussed his family, his love for his children (with pictures), his church, and his love of the produce business. He said gracious things about my family and how much he respected our integrity.

After lunch, we said our goodbyes- I walked away with a smile on my face wondering why anyone could have thought badly of him. My Co-worker turned to me with a frown and said “Do you still have your wallet? You better check…because I think mine is missing.”

My Co-worker was obviously joking, but made his point quite clear- A silver-tongued devil, is still the devil….no matter how good it sounds.

I’m Republican, and if I really believed Obama…I would be first in line to vote for him. Unfortunately, his message rings hollow to me. IMHO some of you might want to check your pockets- :)

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

JoeStrout wrote:
MSimon wrote:
And Obama doesn't make promises he does not intend to keep.
The question is how long will he keep them? Until the polling results change?
No, I really don't believe that's the case. While many politicians do engage in flip-flopping to chase poll results, everything I've seen of Obama so far leads me to believe he is cut of a different cloth — a very intelligent guy who thinks about things deeply, and makes careful decisions based on what he truly believes is best for his constituents.

Rezko ? Earmarks for Biden's corrupt son ? Bill Ayers ? (member of the weather underground who participated in killing people with bombs.)
Against the surge ? The Georgians (who were being invaded) should show equal restraint with the Russians ( who were invading) ?
Picking Joe Biden for Vice President ?


That's just off the top of my head.

The only thing of which I am aware that looks like good judgement coming from Obama is his statement that people should lay off of Sarah Palin's daughter because people's families is off limits, and especially their young children.

If you can point to something else that demonstrates good judgment on his part, I would like to hear it.


JoeStrout wrote: That's not to say he doesn't occasionally change his mind — for example, his position on space policy, which shifted a bit this year, I believe as a result of deeper study into the issues (and which also resulted in a very sensible proposal to reestablish the NASC). Nothing wrong with that; if a deeper understanding of the issues leads one to realize a mistake, then changing your mind is the only sensible thing to do.


He did change his mind on drilling for oil. Sort of. Under duress from the public he feebley supports the idea with conditions as part of a more expansive package. I personally don't think he will do it unless the public forces him. I don't think he's changed his mind, he's just changed what he is saying. I actually think he favors the idea of drilling, but he's afraid of a few constituencies of his own party.

Drilling is a no brainer.

JoeStrout wrote: But energy policy is one of the critical issues for our country these days, and he's already looked into it quite deeply. To get us off foreign oil in 10 years is an enormous proposition, and he knows that. It would necessarily make energy R&D a major national focus.

I also don't buy the argument that "10 years" was picked because it's slightly longer than two terms of office. History will have no trouble judging whether the president making such a plan sat on his hands for eight years and then blamed the next guy for the failure to meet the goal, or instead worked hard at it and got us 80% of the way there (or more) in his tenure.

It is a laudable idea, but so was "the great society" and the "war on poverty." etc. I think the maket is having more of an impact getting us off foreign oil than is government intervention. Prius cars are being sold because people want to keep more of thier money. Natural Gas powered cars are being snatched up all over the country to be used in Utah because they can fill them up with something like 87 cents to the gallon fuel.

JoeStrout wrote:
That is a very good reason to build support independent of politicians. We have done a pretty good job so far.
Well, sure, I agree with that. My point is just that, by this time next year, we could be in a very different environment, where any reasonably promising approach to energy production finds it easy to find funding, and the kids all want to grow up to be plasma physicists like they wanted to be astronauts in the 60s.

Best,
- Joe

Yeah, me too.



David

Josh Cryer
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Post by Josh Cryer »

TallDave,
Oil companies don't sit on exploitable leases. They would lose
money. Most leases just don't pan out.
They do. They have thousands of square miles of leases in the green river basin. Known *only* to have oil shale. ie, it's more profitable for them to sit on it waiting for the technology (in situ extraction) to pan out than it is to spend money on R&D to actually ... get it out of the ground.

Profit is about maximizing ones costs to ones income, if you're making windfall profits it's ludicrious to exploit reserves that would increase supply and lower prices.

They don't do what's good for society, in the same way that they will side with environmentalists with regards to building new refineries. They're fine with the way things are.

Use it or lose it is perfectly awesome, especially if they start throwing out grants to venture capitalists trying to exploit Shell's in situ extraction tech (I'm in Colorado and have friends in the oil industry, it's quite exciting times here; most are Obama guys for that reason).

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Known *only* to have oil shale. ie, it's more profitable for them to sit on it waiting for the technology (in situ extraction) to pan out than it is to spend money on R&D to actually ... get it out of the ground.
That's a non-exploitable lease. Drilling for oil at a loss wouldn't make sense.
Profit is about maximizing ones costs to ones income, if you're making windfall profits it's ludicrious to exploit reserves that would increase supply and lower prices.


OPEC already has that covered. US oil companies will happily drill wherever they can do so at a profit. They aren't even remotely near to having the volume to lower their margins such that profits would be lower at higher volume. Such an arrangement would also require very strict (and very illegal) collusion, because otherwise the companies that do drill make more profit than those that don't (that's why prices fell to $20/bbl despite OPEC; they all cheated).
Use it or lose it is perfectly awesome
It's perfectly stupid. If they don't use it before it expires, that's because it wasn't profitable, not part of some evil scheme.
Last edited by TallDave on Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

Josh Cryer
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Post by Josh Cryer »

So you're saying the government *should* give them first rights over land that they don't deem worthy of exploitation for the time being (despite the fact that they have extremely ridiculous profits and are able to exploit the resource with current technology)?

What is the justification for them sitting on land that they're not exploiting?

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