A Conversation for New Zealand's Anti-nuclear Stance

Nucleur powered vehicles

Post 1

Lonnytunes - Winter Is Here

A lot of rational New Zealanders find the ban on harmless nuclear-powered, as opposed to nuclear-armed, ships to be slightly ridiculous.

Birds and fish world-wide would mutch rather share the sea with nuclear ships rather than oil-burning (spilling) ones


Nucleur powered vehicles

Post 2

MainLander

Although I tend to agree with you I suspect some of the fish mum and dads will be saying "bring back the oil burners" after the first reactor melt-down, as they look at their strange shaped, glow in the dark children.


Nucleur powered vehicles

Post 3

Mustapha

That'd be fine, Loony, if they were all nicely looked after vessels like the Americans have, but the former Soviet fleets are decaying at an alarming rate, in the Baltic and in the Black Sea. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be within a hundred miles of these ageing death-hulks.

Although there is evidence, from those that have sunk (like one off the coast of Sweden) that particular qualities of the seabed could neutralise the effects of radiation.


Nucleur powered vehicles

Post 4

Gwennie

Hey chaps! I lived for a couple of years in New Zealand and loved it.

You should try living in the arm pit of England - the North East, where I am now... We live in an area between two nuclear plants who, in spite of expensive publicity campaigns, have school trips around their sites (one of my friends is refusing to let her son go on one of these) and have all sorts of obviously white-washed "scares". I won't let my kids swim around here at all - they'd glow in the dark! This doesn't include all the pollution caused by run-off from disused mines, heavy industry and chemical plants....

Don't knock being a nuclear free zone. It's a disgusting thing to have to live with. Your country is beautiful and you should fight to keep it that way... smiley - smiley


Power to the People!!!

Post 5

Mustapha

NZ doesn't really need Nuke energy to begin with, since we already have a number of under-utilised power plants around the country.

But that doesn't really solve the need for cheap, clean, efficient energy around the world. Until a power source comes along that can rival traditional suppliers, Nuclear will remain a major player.


Power to the People!!!

Post 6

Gwennie

True, but if they spent as much money on research as was spent on cleaning up Chenobyl (sorry about the spelling - not one of my best attributes) and maintenace on other plants plus all the costs involved in reprocessing nuclear waste, I'm sure they'd come up with an alternative pretty soon.


Power to the People!!!

Post 7

Mustapha

If they didn't have expensive maintenance costs, they couldn't pass these expenses onto the consumer and make a profit.

Spending heaps of money on research sounds suspiciously like foresight, something that 90% of most business people lack. And there would simply be no profit in finding a cheaper energy source. Research funds tend to go to things that will make money, or are scientifically in vogue.


Power to the People!!!

Post 8

J Murphy

Hello all...

As to the remark about research in tew technologies... I had the joy/agony of slaving an internship this summer past at DaimlerChrysler HQ here in the states. The Fuel Cell technology being developed both here in the states and worldwide is optimistically projected to replace the powerplants of autos in 5 years, and challenge city power grids in as few as 15. This would probably make a nice new shiny substitute for sub power. Especially because the process relies heavily upon water.

J Murphy


Power to the People!!!

Post 9

Mustapha

Hi J! Some of the problems with alternate fuel/electric cars in the past have been poor performance, low practicality (remember the electric cars designs that would have be plugged up to the national grid or visit special electric stations), low mileage and to reach 60 mph took just over a week.

How would DaimlerChrysler's new system be different?

Is it similar to the hybrid petrol(gas)/electric cars being produced at the moment?

If it isn't, what's your take on them?


Power to the People!!!

Post 10

J Murphy

Well first off it's not just DaimlerChrysler that has stake in this... All the major auto producers have a lot of capitol sunk into the systems.

The fuel cell technology uses a system of a very small (I'd say breadbod sized) combustion engine that burns some form of natural gas, nost popularly to date, ethanol or other low emmission fuels. The gasses produced from the combustion are passed through a series of screen that ionize the water and hydrocarbons, converting them into electic energy which is stored in batteries normally places in the rear of the vehicle while still allowing trunk space in newer models.

The performace of these vehicles is not only on par with standard gaas burners, with the new Chrysler Charger clocking at 130 m.p.h. (that comes to what... 220 k.p.h?) and had an effective range of several hundred miles.

The only factor left is the cost of materials and the wieght of batteries. They are hybrids of gas electric, but they are much surpassing the days of a sub compact that spent more time pluged into a wall than driving.

J Murphy


Power to the People!!!

Post 11

J Murphy

oops.. WHat I forgot to say is that this technology is also being developed for company and city wide levels first as a backup power grid... that would be able to power buildings or blocks to stat with, replacing heavy burning factory stacks, or nuclear plants... It's just much larger batteries and much more water and stuff.


Power to the People!!!

Post 12

Mustapha

But hopefully not as environmentally overwhelming as your standard hydro-electric power plant. smiley - smiley

I've seen one of those old battery powered cars, thing's not much bigger than a compact but it weighs nearly two tons.


Power to the People!!!

Post 13

The Tea Totaller

The next big thing will be fuel cell technology - the Daimler Chrysler project is actually a partnership with a Canadian company (Ballard Power Systems Inc). Ballard have a joint venture with Ford, and I have recently seen articles suggesting negotiations with some Japanese manufacturers and, more recently, Hyundai in Korea. To some extent this is being driven by California emission laws that take effect in 2003, but the European Community has also announced it will reduce emission limits on Korean vehicles.

Studies have been done on the economics of converting petrol stations to methanol in California to support the introduction of this technology.

Ballard has just successfully completed a 3 year trial of fuel cell powered buses in Chicago and (I think) Vancouver.

Ballard's website (www.ballard.com) is well worth a visit.


Power to the People!!!

Post 14

Mustapha

Cool! Sounds like my hometown New Plymouth ( http://www.h2g2.com/A225811 ) will be the place to live, we got ourselves a Methanol plant right in our backyard.


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Nucleur powered vehicles

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