[extropy-chat] Nuke 'em

Robert J. Bradbury bradbury at aeiveos.com
Sun Oct 23 16:36:46 UTC 2005

On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, Damien Sullivan wrote:

> My model had been 20 kW toward electricity and
> the rest to make synthetic hydrocarbons from CO2 (at 11% efficiency, a bit
> higher than plants, *cough*) but if one assumes 10% overall that gives 5 kW of
> usable power, which is still First World (at least in good climates) level,
> though not US level.

I'd like to see how you are getting CO2 to synthetic hydrocarbons at 11% efficiency!
Just for general education -- plants generally are harvesting solar energy at 1-2%.
Sugar cane under ideal conditions (Brazil presumably) can push 3-4%.  A photobioreactor
which has light sources surrounding a vessel containing photosynthetic bacteria/algae
can push 8%.  Anything higher than that is going to require significant bioengineering
IMO (the good news is that we are very close to having cheap methods to tackle this
in a robust way).

> Waste takes a lot less volume and lasts
> less if you don't bury the U-238 and actinide products along with the fission
> fragments.

As I said in a previous message -- just transmute the radioactive materials
into non-radioactive materials.  One might also want to consider breeder
reactors so one can produce more fuel over time.  This works well if one
has closed-facilities where the material never leaves the facility.


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