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Comments on Hyperion Power Module Neighborhood Nuclear Reactor
The story about small 'nuclear batteries,' small plants that produce enough power for small towns or big neighborhoods, just keeps coming back. (Read the complete story)

"I'm also fascinated by the idea that a nuclear power source could be reduced to an arbitrarily small size to power any kind of device. You may recall the pocket nucleo bulb from Asimov's 1951 novel Foundation. More recently, the Rat Thing from Neal Stephenson's 1992 novel Snow Crash also has a tiny nuclear power source (thanks to Jerry for also pointing that one out)."
(Bill Christensen 11/11/2008 9:33:39 AM)
"If "Silent Spring" is the case against the Hyperion Power Module, I'm all for it. Because in a nutshell "Silent Spring" is crap. By getting DDT banned completely, "Silent Spring" and it's author Rachel Carson, are responsible for millions of Third World deaths from Malaria."
(AJ Dual 11/11/2008 1:51:35 PM)
"If I recall correctly, "Silent Spring" relied on a clinical study showing that DDT was a carcinogen. A study that later (too late) was shown to be a fraud. What I don't remember is what exactly was wrong with it. I think it was either a preliminary study published as "conclusive evidence" or a study that was exaggerated to get the expected results. In any case, it was found that those results were impossible to replicate, invalidating everything."
( 11/11/2008 3:55:27 PM)
"My purpose in using 'Silent Spring' was to focus on people who are concerned on environmental contaminants as opposed to people who see nuclear power as a viable option. I don't want to go into the whole Rachel Carson matter, other than to note that she never personally pushed for a ban on DDT, and that she wrote "No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored. The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse... Practical advice should be 'Spray as little as you possibly can' rather than 'Spray to the limit of your capacity.'" Take a look at the Wikipedia article on DDT, which notes that "DDT has lost much of its effectiveness in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey and Central America, and it has largely been replaced." Anyway, this is all off topic! My real interest in small sources of electricity is that my neighborhood constantly loses power due to the fact that people in surrounding neighborhoods won't give up their decorative trees (which fall on power lines). I want my own neighborhood power supply!"
(Bill Christensen 11/11/2008 7:16:07 PM)
"I have to say that this would be very, very impressive...but having to get a new one every 7 to 10 years is a pretty pricey proposition. Plus, no matter how safe everyone says it is, or how safe it is proven to be, people are simply too scared to put a nuke plant anywhere near their homes. I find that people have a distressing tendency to fight against survival oriented behaviors, and to pull for counter-productive behaviors like spraying large amounts of DDT."
( 11/12/2008 7:48:54 PM)
"American homes hardly use 3 times the energy of homes elsewhere, excepting developing countries or Japan, where 400 square foot houses are the rule. Get your slander straight, please. As for the desire for "renewab;e" energy sources, I might point out that coal, oil and natural gas are all "renewable, sustainable" and also that renewable, sustainable energy sources like biomass will do nothing to reduce carbon emissions, quite unlike nuclear power, which also has none of the unsavory side effects of wind, solar or anytechnology that is not dispatchable - they ALL result in extensive extra emissions from the (almost always) fossil generators that must "chase" the crappy renewable inputs to the grid. Nor is the fact that nucelar is not sustaninable of any importance whatsoever. By the time a nuclear plant is decommissioned (in 60 or more years), those "sustainable" power geenrators like wind/solar will have been replaced three times. And the supply ofnuclear ore will probably never run out - increases in its cost (fuel costs are still trivial at less than .5 cents per kilowatthpour) will result in another doubling of feasible reserves, or another 100 years of fuel. Now what, exactly, was you point about "sustainable" power generation? "
(Kerry Bradshaw 1/21/2009 1:20:24 PM)
"what every one has forgotten is that you have to have a license to have a nucler power plant of any type at all it would not matter what size or power output or type you would still have to be traind to handle fissionable materials"
(Christopher Thomas 2/22/2010 6:57:04 PM)

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