The need to develop Thorium based Nuclear Energy as the major electric energy supply. 21. With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen.

With a Molten Salt Reactor, accidents like the Three Mile Island disaster will not happen. Ah yes, I remember it well, March 28, 1979. We lived in South East Pennsylvania at the time, well outside the evacuation zone, but a fellow engineer at work took off, took vacation and stayed at a hotel in western Virginia over the weekend fearing a nuclear explosion. My wife went to a retreat just outside the evacuation zone, and none of them so much as heard of any problem, there never was any evacuation. There was concern though, and a disaster it was indeed with a partial meltdown of the core, rendering the installation a total loss, just a big, forever cleanup bill. The cost so far has totaled over 2 billion dollars.

A combination of personnel error, design deficiencies, and component failures caused the TMI accident, which permanently changed both the nuclear industry and the NRC. Public fear and distrust increased, NRC’s regulations and oversight became broader and more robust, and management of the plants was scrutinized more carefully. Careful analysis of the accident’s events identified problems and led to permanent and sweeping changes in how NRC regulates its licensees – which, in turn, has reduced the risk to public health and safety.

The side effect of increased regulation is increased cost and delay in construction of new nuclear plants. Eventually, more than 120 reactor orders were cancelled, and the construction of new reactors ground to a halt. Of the 253 nuclear power reactors originally ordered in the United States from 1953 to 2008, 48 percent were canceled.

Another side effect of the TMI accident is fear of trying a different and safer approaches, since they conflict with existing regulations. The next Nuclear power reactor came online in 2016, but it is the same type of boiling water reactor as before, not a Molten Salt Thorium reactor with its increased safety.

 

Bill Nye knows nothing of Climate Change Science. A Limerick. Al Gore and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are worse.

The Roman Northamptonshire wine

was good, not exquisitely fine.

So it just goes to show

that Bill Nye does not know

of Climate Change past, that’s my line.

The “Science guy” Bill Nye once claimed that we are as a globe heating up rapidly and are at the point of no return and the only solution is to drastically reduce burning fossil fuel. As a proof he pointed out that they have started to grow wine grapes in England, unprecedented in history in his opinion.

During the Roman warm period wine grapes were grown almost up to the Hadrian Wall, and there may have been over ten wineries in England. Then the dark ages came and grapes no longer ripened so the wineries were abandoned. During the Medieval Warm Period there was at least one cattle farm on Greenland,  “Gården under sanden”, exporting cheese, seal skins and meat, as well as peregrine falcons, much sought after by the Arabs. But it was abandoned around 1200 A.D. as the glaciers regrew, starting the “Little Ice Age”. We are still recovering from the little ice age. 2018 may have been a warm year, but most years since the ice age were warmer. See Chart.Greenlandgisp-last-10000-newWe are still in the sweet spot of a remarkable stable climate. The next major climate change will be the onset of another ice age. Most of the time the earth is in an ice age.

Image result for ice ages

As we can see, most of the time the earth is in a glacial state. It gets really interesting when we see the temperature versus CO2.

Image result for ice age co2 levels

A similar chart led Al Gore to write “Earth in the balance” since the correlation between CO2 and temperature seemed almost perfect and CO2 is rising faster and faster. His conclusion was that temperature will soon follow, and we are all doomed. All Arctic ice would be melted by 2015, Greenland was soon to follow, and by 2020 the tipping point would occur after which we were all doomed unless we stopped burning fossil fuel and produced no more CO2 than what plants absorbed, the so called sustainable model.

We know these facts: If there were no greenhouse effect the average temperature on earth would be -18C, half a degree more or less dependent on solar activity. But, thanks to greenhouse gases it is a comfortable +15C. The two most important greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2, and of the two water vapor are by far the most important, contributing more than 3/4 of the total temperature rise. We know that if nothing else changes, temperature rise would be between 0.9 and 1.05C for every doubling of CO2. But if temperature rises there would be more water vapor in the atmosphere, so the total rise must be more, maybe as much as 8C per doubling of CO2. This assumption is wrong on at least two accounts. First, water vapor and CO2 absorption spectra are not orthogonal, that is , they absorb mostly in the same wavelengths, and you can not absorb more than all the energy available in that wavelength, so if water vapor absorbed 90% and CO2 30% the total sum of absorption is not 120%, but 93% (0.9 +0.3×0.1). There are over 30 government funded climate models that makes this mistake, and they form the basis for the IPCC climate assessment. Only one, the Russian model does not, they base their model on measurements, and it works much better, so it has been excluded from the IPCC as an outlier.

Second, and even more important, water vapor is a condensing gas and forms clouds when the temperature is below the dew point. This means that part of the indwelling sunlight radiation is reflected back into space rather than hitting earth, and that has a larger effect on temperature than the night time reflection back to earth of the long wave radiation. Can we measure that? Clouds are fickle, they come and go and are hard to grasp. Luckily we have the CERES data set, measuring temperature versus surfaca absorption. The results are staggering.

(Thanks,Willis Eschenbach) Note that 3.7 W/m2 is the increase in downwelling longwave radiation expected from a doubling of CO2 …

There we have it! 0.38C temperature rise globally for every doubling of CO2.

But that is not all! It depends on where on earth we are. Check this temperature rise chart:

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/uah-lower-troposphere-temperature.jpg

Since 1980 CO2 has risen from 335 ppm to about 405 ppm now or about 21%. This change should show itself in rising temperatures. As we can see from this chart there has been no temperature increase at all except for el nino- la nina variations. The tropics has found its temperature since it is mostly water vapor, and CO2 increase is of no consequence. Not so at the poles! The temperature rise at the poles has so far been about 1.2C above the Arctic Polar Circle, less so below the Antarctic polar circle.

What does it mean when the temperature rises in the Arctic? It means More Snow! And we can see that this is happening.

From Rutgers University climate lab comes this chart of fall snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. This year’s snow cover is about 5% larger than last year at the same day, so we can clearly see that the increasing trend is not broken; if anything, it is accelerating. The snow is also melting faster in the spring and summer, but melting snow keeps temperature in check, so even though winter temperatures are rising (It is less cold in the winter when it is snowing. After the snow comes the cold) the summer temperatures are below normal as long as the extra snow lasts.

Let us go to ice cover, this time on the Great Lakes. If there is any climate change they should surely show it: March 8 2019 the Great Lakes ice concentration hit 80 percent.

Lake Superior and Lake Erie both had an ice cover of over 95%, Lake Huron over 90%. Only Lake Michigan and Lake Ontario lagged with 60% and 40% ice cover.

This has happened only seven times in the last 45 years that the maximum ice cover has exceeded 80%. And if one looks at a graph, there seems to be no trend whatsoever.

But we just had a streak of bad tornado outbreaks. Isn’t that a sign of climate change?

Historically, strong tornadoes are declining.

And until this year the trend was down even further

So, tornadoes are down. How about wild fires?

Wildfires used to be much worse before modern forest management (Smokey the bear was the symbol) was initiated. Recent environmental concerns has led to a reversal of proper forest management “to save the environment”.

What else does increasing CO2 bring?  Take a look at all disasters.

Image result for disaster statistics

There seems to have been a strong increase in reported disasters. Could it be that the reporting got better after year 2000, after which we see a slightly declining trend?

Image result for death rate from disasters

We seem to be able to handle disasters better. It was much worse a long time ago. Or – the climate is getting more stable.

How about droughts?  Here is a chart of droughts worldwide

Image result for worldwide droughts

And the U.S. has not been so drought free since measurements started

Image result for worldwide droughts

Yes, but that is because there has been unprecedented rain with unprecedented floods. Isn’t that the extreme climate we are talking about? Yes the Missisippi watershed has gotten a lot of rain lately, and it occurs at a time when the solar activity is at its lowest, in other words, it should be getting colder, but since it is raining and snowing so much this releases a lot of heat into the atmosphere while it is raining out, so the cooling is masked. It is also true that building levees to protect cities increases the flooding in the non levied parts of the rivers, a dilemma indeed.

Could it be that increasing CO2 is good for the climate?

Yes there is a Green New Deal associated with increased CO2! The world is getting greener!

Increasing CO2 helps climate resiliency by greening the earth.

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/increase.png?w=660

(iii) healthy food;

Increasing CO2 helps increasing food supply. This is good for both people and animals. As a side benefit photosynthesis is more efficient and uses less water as CO2 increases.

What do you think? We have enormous environmental challenges, and pollution. CO2 is not a pollutant, but will help delay the coming of the next ice age.

 

 

The need to develop Thorium based Nuclear Energy as the major electric energy supply. 8. Molten Salt Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe.

Molten Salt Thorium Reactors are earthquake safe. Thorium reactors have a very simple and compact design where gravity is the only thing needed to stop the nuclear reaction. Conventional nuclear reactors depend on external power to shut down after a SCRAM, where poison rods fall down to halt the reaction.  The next figure shows the concept of a Thorium reactor.

The idea is to empty the fissile U-233 core through gravity alone. All that is needed is a melt-plug that is constantly cooled by cold air. In an earthquake the cold air flow automatically shuts off, and since the fuel is already molten, it will then run down into channels like pig-iron into cooling heat exchangers with  water supplied through gravity alone.

As we can see the reactor hardened structure is compact, and can be completely earthquake and tsunami proof. What can be sheared off are the steam pipes and external power, but the reactor shutdown will complete safely without additional power, even if the earthquake is so bad the reactor is broken into pieces.

China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. Why is that important?

One week ago, President Xi and Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, visited a rare earth metals mine in Jiangxi province. This has led to the rumor that China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the US. China may also take other countermeasures in the future. The trade negotiations between U.S. and China got a lot more serious. It extends far beyond tariffs and intellectual property, it now involves strategic materials.

The first thing we must realize is that rare earth metals are not all that rare. They are a thousand times or more abundant than gold or platinum in the earth crust and easy to mine, but a little more difficult to refine. Thorium and Uranium will  also be mined at the same time as the rare earth metals since they appear together in the ore.

Related image

U.S. used to be the major supplier of rare earth metals, which was fine up to around 1984. Then the U.S. regulators determined that Uranium and Thorium contained in the ore made the ore radioactive, so they decided to make rare earth metal ore subject to nuclear regulations with all what that meant for record keeping and control. This made mining in the U.S. unprofitable so in 2001 the last domestic mine closed down. China had no such scruples, such as human and environmental concerns, so they took over the rare earth metals mining and in 2010 controlled over 95% of the world supply, which was according to their long term plan of controlling the world by 2025.

Rare Earth Element Production

The U.S. used to have a strategic reserve of rare earth metals, but that was sold off in 1998 as being no longer cost effective or necessary. Two years later the one U.S. rare earth metals mine that used to supply nearly the whole world, the Mountain Pass Mine in California closed down, together with its refining capacity. From that day all rare earth metals were imported. In 2010 it started up again together with the refining capacity but went bankrupt in 2015, closed down the refining but continued selling ore to China. They just announced they will start up refining again late 2020. Meanwhile China is slapping on a 25% import tariff on imported ore starting July 1. Rare earth metals may be in short supply for a while.

So, why is this important? Just take a look at all the uses for rare earth metals. The most sought after pays all the cost of mining and refining, and the rest are readily available at nominal cost.

The Chinese almost got away with it, and that is but one reason the trade negotiations are so complicated and hard fought, but necessary. Donald Trump fights for reciprocity and fair competition.

The Philadelphia Soft drinks tax, a disaster, a Limerick.

The City of Philadelphia has levied an 1.5 cents per ounce of soft drinks.

So, if you buy one gallon of sweetened ice tea for 1.72 (on special) you end up paying 1.92 in tax, for a total of of 3.64, a 112 percent tax.

philly-beverage-taxpng-63dc7e14e957b452

The soda tax levied in Philly

all soft drinks are taxed willy nilly.

Aspartame is taxed too

sugar drinks, shame on you.

The tax that lacks facts, Philly silly.

Nearly one third of Philadelphians  receive food stamps (SNAP).

According to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), soft drinks are the #1 expenditure for people on food stamps (# 2 for the general population).

Great job, Philadelphia! Tax the people on food stamps! It would have been better to make soft drinks not eligible for food stamps!  (They would have to settle for 70% or more non carbonated fruit juices!)

commodities_ranking-sc-1

So, what was the result of the beverage tax!

Wonders never cease. People stopped buying their soda in the city (and almost undoubtedly a lot of other shopping list items) and decided to shop where prices were lower. The study they reference also goes on to note that there was no corresponding increase in sales of bottled water or healthier beverage options. And as for the revenue question? They don’t even delve into that, but you can do the math easily enough. The tax on soda increased by 17%, but the sales fell by 51%. The only people left paying the soda tax were those without transportation alternatives, such as people on SNAP. The rest took the more economic option, shop elsewhere.

The results were devastating. Many ShopRite stores closed within Philadelphia boundaries, and many mom and pop stores finally gave up, leaving the most needy with even fewer shopping alternatives.

The Democrats solution to this problem would normally be to launch an all out effort to tax all soft drinks nationwide equally, but instead Philadelphia may throw in the towel and give up with the damage to the city’s economy already done.

What is more precious? Babies, Eagles or fighting climate change?

When I was a little boy is Sweden my father had a dear old friend that was so in love with birds and they with him that he had a great horned owl that came down and sat on his shoulder when he called. I was only three years old at that time, but the sight of this giant bird coming down from the big spruce tree is a sight I will never forget. Since then I have always enjoyed watching birds, especially soaring hawks, but especially eagles, rare as they may be.

Later in life I got gloriously saved and started reading the Bible, and one verse from the prophet Isaiah stands out :Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I am now at the stage in my life where walk and not faint seems pretty good, but following what goes on in the world is still exciting, even watching the birds.

The big talk is fighting climate change, and one belief is that rising CO2 levels has something to do with it, so no expense is spared to find renewable energy in the form of wind power, but at what cost?

The Eagle has landed in aerie

on top of a windmill – that’s scary.

Doesn’t know she will die,

whacked right out of the sky

from rotating blades unawary.

The idea of wind farming is to create sustainable energy.

Will the population of eagles and other large birds be sustainable?

Image result for eagles and wind turbines

They like to build their aeries on top of wind turbines, the highest structure in their territory.

It is estimated that the total bird kill by the year 2030 is going to be 1 million three hundred thousand birds. And that is if the Green New Deal is not implemented.

Is the large bird population sustainable even now?

Image result for eagles and wind turbines

In parts of Ohio they have forbidden the turbines to run at night to protect a rare bat.

The allowable yearly limit for killing bald eagles by wind turbines  was upped from 1100 to 4200 on Jan 17 2017, still under the Obama administration. The allowable limit for golden eagles is still 0. If the bird-kill exceeds the allowance, heavy fines are imposed, but that is just the price of producing clean energy. in 2013 Duke energy paid a 1.9 million dollar fine for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds.

If you as aperson poaches an eagle egg, see this picture

And it takes energy to produce energy. The cost of de-icing the average airplane is $1500. And that is without the helicopter.

And I am not sure about the former.

 

Water vapor and CO2 – why nearly all climate models fail.

The candidate Beto O’Rourke

on Climate change is but a dork.

He does not understand

that the world will not end.

Fake News! – Only New Green Deal pork!

Quote from Beto O’Rourke:

“The scientists are unanimous on this. We have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis, can we make it? I don’t know. It’s up to every one of us. Do you want to make it?”

I beg to differ.

We live in only one world. As a concerned citizen I realize we have immense environmental challenges before us, with water pollution; from plastics in the ocean, excess fertilizer in the rivers, poison from all kinds of chemicals, including antibiotics, birth control and other medicines flushed down the toilet after going through our bodies, animals fed antibiotics, pest control, weed control and so on. Increasing CO2 is not one of the problems, it will in fact help with erosion control, and allow us to feed more people on less agricultural land with proper management, and require less fertilizer and water to do so. In fact, proper water management is a larger problem, with some rivers no longer reaching the ocean. All water is already spoken for, especially in the 10 to 40 degrees latitude, where most people live.

Allow me to be somewhat technical and give the background to why I know we will never experience the thermal runaway they are so afraid of.

Many years ago I worked at Hewlett Packard on an Atomic Absorption Detector. It was a huge technical success but a commercial failure, as it was too expensive to use for routine applications. However it found a niche and became the detector of choice when dismantling the huge nerve gas stockpiles remaining from the cold war. I was charged with doing the spectrum analysis and produce the final data from the elements. One day two salesmen came and tried to sell us  a patented device that could identify up to 21 different elements with one analysis. They had a detector that divided the visual band into 21 parts, and bingo, with proper, not yet “fully developed” software you could now analyze up to 21 elements with one gas chromatic analysis. What could be better? We could only analyze correctly four or five elements simultaneously. It turns out the elements are absorbing in the same wavelength bands, scientifically speaking they are not orthogonal, so software massaging can only go so far. It turned out that the promised new detector was inferior to what we already had and could only quantify three or 4 elements at the most.

In the atmosphere the two most important greenhouse gases are water vapor and CO2 with methane a distant third. Water vapor is much more of a greenhouse gas everywhere except near the tropopause high above the high clouds and near the poles when the temperature is below 0 F, way below freezing. A chart shows the relationship between CO2 and water vapor:

Image result for h20 and co2 as greenhouse gases

Source: http://notrickszone.com/2017/07/31/new-paper-co2-has-negligible-influence-on-earths-temperature/

Even in Barrow, Alaska water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas. Only at the South Pole (And North Pole) does CO2 dominate (in the long winter).

All Climate models take this into account, and that is why they all predict that the major temperature increase will occur in the polar regions with melting icecaps and other dire consequences. But they also predict a uniform temperature rise from the increased forcing from CO2 and the additional water vapor resulting from the increased temperature.

This is wrong on two accounts. First, CO2 and H2O gas are nor orthogonal, that means they both absorb in the same frequency bands. There is three bands where CO2 absorb much more than H2O in the far infrared band, but other than that H2O is the main absorber. If H2O is 80 times as common as CO2 as it is around the equator, water vapor is still the dominant absorber.

Secondly gases cannot absorb more than 100% of the energy available in any given energy wavelength! So if H2O did absorb 80% of the energy and CO2 absorbed 50% the sum is not 130%, only 90%. (0.8 + 0.5×0,2 or 0.5 + 0.8×0.5). In this example CO2 only added one quarter of what the models predicted.

How do I know this is true? Lucky for us we can measure what increasing CO2 in the atmosphere has already accomplished. For a model to have credibility it must be tested with measurements, and pass the test. There is important evidence suggesting the basic story is wrong. All greenhouse gases work by affecting the lapse rate in the tropics. They thus create a “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere. The theorized “hot spot” is shown in the early IPCC publications. (Fig A)

Fig. B shows observations. The hotspot is not there. If the hotspot is not there, the models must be wrong. So what is wrong with the models? This was reported in 2008 and the models still assume the additive nature of greenhouse gases, even to the point when more than 100% of the energy in a given band is absorbed.

How about Methane? Do not worry, it absorbs nearly exclusively in the same bands as water vapor and has no measurable influence on the climate.

But it will get warmer at the poles. That will cause melting of the ice-caps? Not so fast. When temperature rises the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, so it will snow more at higher latitudes. While winter temperatures will be higher with more snowfall, this will lower the summer temperatures until the extra snow has melted. And that is what is happening in the Arctics

https://i1.wp.com/ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2017.png

As we can see from this picture, the winters were about 5 degrees warmer, but starting from May through August temperatures were lower. It takes time to melt all the extra snow.

These are my suggestions

  1. Do not worry about increasing CO2 levels. The major temperature stabilizer is clouds, and they will keep the earth from overheating by reflecting back into space a large amount of incoming solar radiation. Always did, and always will, even when the CO2 concentration was more than 10000 ppm millions of years ago. Ice ages will still come, and this is the next major climate change, maybe 10000 years from now.
  2. Clean up rivers, lakes and oceans from pollution. This is a priority.
  3. Limit Wind turbine electric energy to areas not populated by large birds to save the birds. Already over 1.3 million birds a year are killed by wind turbines, including the bald Eagles that likes to build their aeries on top of turbines.
  4. Do not build large solar concentration farms. They too kill birds.
  5. Solar panels are o.k. not in large farms, but distributed on roofs to provide backup power.
  6. Explore geothermal energy in geologically stable areas.
  7. Where ever possible add peak power generation and storage capacity to existing hydroelectric power plants
  8. Add peak power storage dams, even in wildlife preserves. The birds and animals don’t mind.
  9. Develop Thorium based Nuclear Power. Russia, China, Australia and India are ahead of us in this. Streamline permit processes. Prioritize research.
  10. Put fusion power as important for the future but do not rush it, let the research and development be scientifically determined.
  11. When Thorium power is built up and do  replace coal and gas fired plants, then is the time to switch to electric cars, not before.
  12. Standard Nuclear Power plants should be replaced by Thorium powered nuclear plants, since they have only 0,01% of the really bad long term nuclear waste.
  13. Start thinking about recovering CO2 directly from the air and produce aviation fuel. This should be done as Thorium power has replaced coal and gas fired power plants.
  14. This is but a start, but the future is not as bleak as all fearmongers state.