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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Energy Development - Technical Progress Enormous - Political Parasitism Too

   It is possible to refine shale gas, of which, with the new fracking technique, there are enormous quantities, into oil. Basically as normal refining involves shortening the chains of molecules making up crude oil this will join the molecules into longer ones. So no oil shortage either for the foreseeable future.

Shale gas doesn't change everything, it's much more important than that.... the report shows that the international shale gas resource base is vast. The initial estimate of technically recoverable shale gas resources in the 32 countries examined is 5,760 trillion cubic feet, as shown in Table 1. Adding the U.S. estimate of the shale gas technically recoverable resources of 862 trillion cubic feet results in a total shale resource base estimate of 6,622 trillion cubic feet for the United States and the other 32 countries assessed. To put this shale gas resource estimate in some perspective, world proven reserves of natural gas as of January 1, 2010 are about 6,609 trillion cubic feet, and world technically recoverable gas resources are roughly 16,000 trillion cubic feet,largely excluding shale gas. Thus, adding the identified shale gas resources to other gas resources increases total world technically recoverable gas resources by over 40 percent to 22,600 trillion cubic feet.
But there's one little adjective here that succinctly describes world shale gas resources: Vast.

On the other hand the "precautionary principle demands the immediate banning of solar panels.
The fifty actual deaths from roof installation accidents for 1.5 million roof installations is equal to the actual deaths experienced so far from Chernobyl.
The same applies to windmills.

But not of nuclear power where IAEA says:
Handling of Fukushima has been exemplary

No one harmed, nothing suppressed, normal life to resume

A preliminary report by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that the response to the Fukushima nuclear incident was "exemplary" and that nobody has been harmed by radiation exposure resulting from it.

Now that the situation at the plant has stabilised and investigations inside the reactor buildings have been undertaken, it appears that fuel elements in the worst-hit reactors actually melted down quite soon after most of their cooling equipment was knocked out. This situation is usually assumed to be catastrophic – the very word "meltdown" has come to mean "a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse" – but in fact, apart from putting the reactors beyond economic repair, it has had no serious consequences (as was also the case at Three Mile Island)....

To date no health effects have been reported in any person as a result of radiation exposure from the nuclear accident.

The preliminary report goes on to praise the way the plant staff handled the crisis:

The response on the site by dedicated, determined and expert staff, under extremely arduous conditions has been exemplary and resulted in the best approach to securing safety given the exceptional circumstances.

  Recent technological developments in solar power satellites, though I should acknowledge that Jerry Pournelle says they are not part of SpaceX's plans (and are not needed to make space development commercial)

  But because of our murderously Luddite political class Fuel poverty numbers rise in Scotland and Wales

entirely unnecessarily.

As will rents

  Why nuclear is only the equal cheapest way of generating power (with coal) rather than the outasight winner:
Duke Power, widely considered to be one of the most efficient utilities in the nation in handling nuclear technology, finished construction on its Oconee plants in 1973-74 for $181/kW, on its McGuire plants in 1981-84 for $848/kW, and on its Catauba plants in 1985-87 for $1,703/kW, a nearly 10-fold increase in 14 years. Philadelphia Electric Company completed its two Peach Bottom plants in 1974 at an average cost of $382 million, but the second of its two Limerick plants, completed in 1988, cost $2.9 billion — 7.6 times as much. A long list of such price escalations could be quoted, and there are no exceptions. Clearly, something other than incompetence is involved...

Even with our personal automobiles, there is no end to what we can spend for safety — This process came to be known as "ratcheting." Like a ratchet wrench which is moved back and forth but always tightens and never loosens a bolt, the regulatory requirements were constantly tightened, requiring additional equipment and construction labor and materials. ...The NRC did not withdraw requirements made in the early days on the basis of minimal experience when later experience demonstrated that they were unnecessarily stringent. Regulations were only tightened, never loosened. The ratcheting policy was consistently followed.

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It's sad that reality has no place in modern politics. It's hard to believe modern politicos do not know the truth so one can only conclude it's deceit not stupidity.
Indeed> I do not believe that many of them, or even their activists, are that stupid.
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