Monday, March 5, 2012

Forget Nuclear Power, We Could Have Sewage Power Soon

Nuclear Power Plant and Landscape,
Cofrentes, Valencia, Spain

It's almost like a landscape by Goya, with a few differences, especially those cooling towers

Picture placed using native sharing code from Flickr and allowed via Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).  Roll over to see name of photographer who has no connection to this blog or blogger.

Though George Monbiot did multiple talk shows last year after the March 11  Honshu quake and following tsunami  that created a nuclear emergency at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, telling people that we cannot wean ourselves from nuclear power (showing sad levels of ignorance) a recent publication at Science Magazine shows that using waste water could help to create the equivalent of 15-20 nuclear reactors in gigawatts of power just within the United States according to a podcast at the site.

The Guardian reports on the study  at Science Magazine (I cannot access the original report at Science due to a pay-wall) in New device heralds potential to turn sewage plants into power stations.

Even better hear the podcast at Science Magazine where they warn "The contents of this podcast interview represent the opinion of the author and may go beyond the content of the published paper" But that could be good.  The guy who has been working on this technology is probably the most qualified to project on how the technology can be improved beyond it's current state.

Where would we be if Edison had created a light bulb that would last longer than a few seconds and everyone had then said "But what is one light bulb going to do for the nation?"

A troll commenter at The Guardian, self named "Plutonium" whines and moans his way through a screed denigrating the amount of power that could be created by the system as explained by the Guardian which most likely stuck with just the facts from study.

That's where the projection comes in. After all the first Apple computer would be pretty much a joke these days.  Who would go back in time and tell Steve Jobs to give it up, knowing what we know now? (I mean besides Bill Gates.)

George Monbiot's latest on nuclear power at The Guardian deals with the promise of fast breeder reactors in We cannot wish Britain's nuclear waste away.  Okay, I won't keep him from dreaming big either, though I wonder sometimes that -- since nuclear power must be done by the biggest companies because of the expense -- if it isn't easy to back it because the industry will help protect your career, rather than because it really is the best solution.  Also, how can Monbiot assure the people that they truly have been able to overcome the dangers of fast breeder reactors?

Another plus it seems to me is that this could reduce or eliminate the power for third world communities that are often adversely affected by power that relies on burning products which create heavy soot, whether in the home or by a regional utility.  Such  dirty energy production makes millions of people in the world sick though they need to be strong so they can nurture their families.