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PostPosted: February 8 19, 6:57 pm 
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heyzeus wrote:
Yeah I would like nuclear to be part of our energy mix going forward. And I also think the green new deal needs to go further in disincentivizing road/highway construction, and reforming local zoning laws to allow construction of dense, walkable urban living environments.


I mean, yeah. But best of luck on that one.


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PostPosted: February 9 19, 8:07 am 
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gone fission
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Arthur Dent wrote:
Hmmm. I was under the impression that spent nuclear fuel reprocessing substantially decreased nuclear waste, but it sounds like even absent the fast breeder reactor problem, it's not really the case. Not all that much less high level waste and WAY more low level waste. Given the expense, proliferation worries, and with the easier course of just using low enriched uranium, why do this at all at this point?


Because fuel is super expensive. It's been roughly 15 years since I studied the nuclear fuel cycle and breeder reactors in college, so part of this may be off, but overall the intent will be accurate.

Conventional US reactors run on 3-5% enriched U-235 fuel pellets. Naturally mined uranium is U-238 - that isotope accounts for roughly 99.3% of the uranium pulled out of the Earth, and the remaining 0.7% is U-235 which is then enriched at various locations into the 3-5% fuel pellets we use here in the States. Enriching enough uranium fuel for a reactor core (~150-200 tons, depending on the size of the core) costs tens of millions of dollars. After being enriched, the fuel goes to fuel assembly fabrication facilities where the pellets are stacked into hollow tubes and the tubes then get arranged in fuel bundles/assemblies. A full core has ~$50MM worth of fuel assemblies.

In Canada, they run their plants on fuel using U-238 because so much of it is mined there that it is easier to use the raw material and get their extra stray neutron via heavy water (D2O) rather than use regular water (H2O) like we use here in the States. They don't have any fuel enrichment centers to my knowledge, so if their plants needed U-235, they would have to import the fuel from the US. That being said, heavy water is also super expensive, so they don't really save money by using this type of fuel.

Breeder reactors are designed to run on (I believe) both Plutonium and Thorium. The first fuel cycle is used with Plutonium fuel (Pu-239?), which after being burned and initial decay turns into Thorium (Th-233?). That fuel is then burned again. So you can essentially get two full fuel cycles with only one set of fuel.

In conventional US reactors you actually burn fuel in the core for 3 cycles before it is spent and permanently removed. After the first cycle, you shuffle it around and move stuff from the very center where it is hottest to kinda the middle area where it won't get quite so hot. After the second cycle, that fuel from the middle area gets shuffled around and moved to the outer area where it's cooler still. After the third cycle, the fuel from the outer area is removed and put in permanent storage. So each refueling outage you only use 1/3 of new fuel in the core, and the remaining 2/3 is reused. I don't know enough about breeder reactors anymore to know if they follow the same guidance or not - can the fuel be used for six cycles (or more)?


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PostPosted: February 11 19, 12:23 pm 
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Denver teachers are on strike.

Denver has become one of our least affordable cities. Teachers have to have roommates to afford to live. A friend of mine is a VP of something-or-another at Career Builder and got relocated there a few years ago and decided to keep his condo in Chicago, rent it out, and rent in Denver for a year while he decided where/what to buy. His rent there was about 130% what a similar place would rent for in Chicago, and home prices are astronomical. He's still renting. The supply of housing cannot keep up with all of the demand from people moving there due to it having a great airport and being really nice for the I Can Work From Anywhere crowd, but mainly due to a lot of people moving there to get baked and do outdoorsy stuff.

So the question is, I guess, how do states who have an influx of residents after legalizing recreational marijuana handle this? They are getting a huge tax windfall. It boosts employment. But, their working poor will be obsolete in less than a decade. People who lived close-ish to downtown who wash dishes, clean hotel rooms or office buildings, cook in little diners will get displaced and they won't have any working class.

Seems to me that the easiest fix to this would be part of AOC's Green New Deal: federal de-criminalization so that the playing field is entirely level. If there are no heavy migration patterns due to localized legalization then decriminalization's negative impacts on local economies can be mitigated.


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PostPosted: February 11 19, 12:34 pm 
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I was just in Boulder not too long ago and it's kinda sad what's happening out there. I'm not sure how much of the growth I would attribute to marijuana industry but there's a lot of growth for sure. And I must say, bland suburban expansion really looks terrible across a mountainous backdrop. McMansion's everywhere going for 3-4x their cost in the midwest.

Colorado has become it's own bubble.


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PostPosted: February 11 19, 1:40 pm 
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Location: Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am.
What you both are saying about metro Denver is true. We lived there from Jan 1996 (about a year after DIA opened) until Sept 2017 and the growth during those 21 years was explosive. Our decision to move was based on a number of things - yes, we wanted to be closer to the kid who lives in Boston - but housing prices along with the rate of growth were major factors. We lived just outside Boulder in one of those bland suburban expansion areas but with easy access to Denver, Boulder, RMNP, the I-70 corridor into the mountains - it was a place we loved. But as we headed into the pre-retirement downsizing phase of our lives, it quickly became apparent how unaffordable it had become. We reaped the benefits of that on our home, but could find nothing that fit our retirement budget. The traffic was becoming a major obstacle. There is light rail service but nowhere near Boulder. Just hard to get around.

I'm no expert on homelessness, but the Denver Rescue Mission is just a few blocks from Coors Field close to where we usually parked for games. The number of people on the street seemed to grow at a similar rate to the overall population. Can't speak to the pot issue - it was all over Boulder long before legalization. You could catch a buzz just walking down Pearl Street.

We'll always love Colorado and will visit often.


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PostPosted: February 11 19, 6:24 pm 
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The front range boom definitely started pre legalization. I can see why, it's beautiful out there but when we were there in 2017 it seemed awfully congested. We got off the interstate and took a two lane road from Ft. Collins to Denver and it was pretty slow going at times. I fear that by the time I'm old everywhere will be like that though. The sprawl in America is insane.

We have dreamed about maybe someday when my parents are gone going out west. Maybe rent out the farm and go some place quiet. We were kind of thinking Montana or Wyoming but even some of those areas near the National Parks are starting to get peopley.


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PostPosted: February 11 19, 8:41 pm 
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It's the same in Seattle, which has the biggest % population growth of any American city since legalization. That city has grown more this decade, which is not yet over, than it did in the 30 years prior. That has some to do w/ weed.

If you're a young graphic designer, architect, musician, or other creative that doesn't need to be in Hollywood, or if you work in hospitality, accounting, medicine, any kind of job where you can either work from home or transfer your skills and find a job easily, and you are in Park City or Portland or South Dakota or wherever, it's not just the decision to be somewhere you can get high, but also to be somewhere that you know people will be liberal/progressive and in a state that probably has a really good tax base on legal weed that will keep your state income tax, sales tax, property tax low and the schools and road crews well-funded.

I think this is a good torch for AOC to carry on her Green New Deal. It's also a thing that helps keep some progressive voters from leaving [expletive] hole states, which gives us some semblance of hope for overcoming the electoral college nonsense. I'd like to see her champion federal decriminalization as well as emptying the prisons of people in jail for marijuana crimes. Seems like an issue that would be in line with her views.


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PostPosted: February 12 19, 9:33 am 
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Just what the government wants. Everybody stoned all the time so they can control our lives.

Thanks pot heads!


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PostPosted: February 12 19, 9:34 am 
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It's probably not totally unrelated that Denver schoolteachers are on strike right now over base pay.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/11/us/denve ... index.html


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PostPosted: February 14 19, 9:50 am 
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THE BRAND IS POLITICS


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