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Heard a wind turbine?

Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 11:49 AM

Article here about noise complaints against wind turbines. I've heard of these complaints before, but I can't say I've ever heard a wind turbine. I was very close to a big one last year:





and it was turning at a pretty good clip, but there really wasn't any noise that I could hear. Certainly not all wind turbines are alike, and there may be some that make objectionable noise, but I haven't yet heard any.

Have you?
Posted By: Rocer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 12:15 PM

I haven't heard a wind turbine myself but one of our municipalities has / is bringing in a bylaw requiring minimum setbacks from property lines due to noise complaints about domestic wind turbines.
Posted By: Mister Tee

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 02:40 PM

Where I live we have huge farms of these. Can't say they make a noticeable sound. Maybe if you're standing under one.
Posted By: Dave39

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 03:08 PM

I ride my bike occasionally through the Montezuma Hills between Rio Vista and Fairfield where there are numerous windmill farms. Never heard any sound from them.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 03:10 PM

There is a 650KW turbine (they make them much bigger) near where my folks live on Cape Cod. The unit makes no noise at all.

ALTHOUGH, the extremely bright flashing light at the top brightens the walls in peoples bedrooms over 1/2 mile away. That is the only issue I see with these things and it has a simple solution (put a shield on the light so it casts light away from the ground)

I can't think of a better low impact power plant. If the turbine doesn't work out after 10 years, take it down and melt the metal into automobiles. What is left at site is a relatively small concrete pad.
Posted By: bmurphypdx

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 03:17 PM

Directly underneath a wind turbine is not necessarily where the noise is. The noise (pressure waves) propagate out from the turbine (horizontally). Picture a wave - there may be dead (quiet)spots and at some other distance the noise can be noticeable. P.S. I'm an aeronautical engineer with some background in noise generated by airfoils.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 03:27 PM

Originally Posted By: bmurphywa
Directly underneath a wind turbine is not necessarily where the noise is. The noise (pressure waves) propagate out from the turbine (horizontally). Picture a wave - there may be dead (quiet)spots and at some other distance the noise can be noticeable. P.S. I'm an aeronautical engineer with some background in noise generated by airfoils.


Interesting. FWIW the place where I took those photos was in the middle of a rather large wind farm in southwestern NY state, comprised of scores of such turbines. It hadn't occurred to me to listen for noise from more remote turbines, but it's not like any such noise jumped out at me, either.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 05:31 PM

We had a documentary about wind turbines a few months ago at the Bicknell theatre and I asked the 'experts' about noise. Seems that older turbines did create a whooshing and sometimes thumping sound at a low frequency but newer designs have eliminated this. My mother lives near two large wind turbines and you can hear a whooshing sound, they turn them off at night for that reason. The Janimal (Squirrel) is involved in trying to bring wind power to Wayne County since the wind blows quite frequently here, it's a complex undertaking to site a turbine or ten. A flashing light would be completely unacceptable!
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 06:57 PM

Turning wind energy into noise reduces efficiency.

However, I have heard wind turbines, I do not find the noise objectionable. The wind blowing makes noise too, and it is louder.

While you may not like the blinking light, I bet every pilot or person that flies on planes approves of them.

Rod
Posted By: artig

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 07:48 PM

I've experienced 3 different irritants from wind turbines, but two of them have probably been more or less eliminated on newer models.

First is the generator on some early models, which would change speed as the wind speed changed. It was enough for the owners to turn it off during the night, to avoid the constantly changing whirring noises. I certainly couldn't sleep with the turbine running.

Second, on larger models, was the repetitive whoosh, probably from the wing which was passing by the tower. The whoosh would come and go 3 times for every full revolution of the wings.

The third irritant could only be avoided by careful siting. Working in a office where, at certain times of the day, the shadows from the wings flickering across the walls would drive me crazy. Every second or so, out of the corner of your eye, you'd notice a movement. Fortunately I was there only for a limited time.

On the other hand people are very adaptable, and can learn to live with much worse irritants than wind turbines.
Posted By: notacop

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/06/10 09:34 PM

All this concern for noise and irritants may have been why Don Quixote was driven mad enough to run about Spain charging windmills.

I wondered if Cervantes was aware. Maybe no EIR was done.
Perhaps what he wrote can be investigated in a whole new light?
Posted By: RodB

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 01:25 AM

Yes, I have heard the whooshing from the blades from the wind farm we have here in a very remote Appalachian area of the province. So the noise does not bother any settled communities. You really have to trek up close to hear them.
One interesting note about them is the warning to be careful around them in the cold climates. It seems that freezing rain sometimes will build up on the blades and chunks of ice can be pitched up to a Km away.
Posted By: DavidEBSmith

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 02:26 AM

Originally Posted By: EddyQ
ALTHOUGH, the extremely bright flashing light at the top brightens the walls in peoples bedrooms over 1/2 mile away. That is the only issue I see with these things and it has a simple solution (put a shield on the light so it casts light away from the ground)


There's a giant wind farm on I-65 near Lafayette IN that has hundreds of turbines. At night, the bright flashing lights on top all go on and off in sync. It's disconcerting to be riding along surrounded by bright red lights, all of which suddenly simultaneously disappear, then hundreds of red lights suddenly appear . . .
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 02:42 PM

Sure is a good thing coal fired power plants are so dang quiet.
Posted By: upflying

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 02:48 PM

I got a bunch of wind turbines in my neck of the woods. I don't hear them though since they are in sparsely populated areas. I also drive by them at high speed which tends to obfuscate any noise issues..
Much of the debate about them seems to be the hazards they present to birds.
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: upflying
Much of the debate about them seems to be the hazards they present to birds.

You know I keep hearing that. Seems like an easy question to answer, are there piles and piles of dead birds under them or not?
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 02:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: upflying
Much of the debate about them seems to be the hazards they present to birds.

You know I keep hearing that. Seems like an easy question to answer, are there piles and piles of dead birds under them or not?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power#Birds
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Curious Jorge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power#Birds

Yeah, I don’t get it.

People complain about the noise. But there is no noise. At least not more than from the traffic on the road. People complain about dead birds. But there are no dead birds. At least not more than cause by the traffic on the road. Or your cats. People complain about the bright lights. But there are no bright lights. At least not more than on the cell phone towers. And TV towers, and smoke stacks, and big buildings. People complain about they’re ugly. But they’re not ugly. At least not more so than a coal power plant, or an industrial park, or a mass of cube high-rise buildings. The military complains they interfere with national defense. But they don’t. At least not as much as... well that’s a looong list!

I see them as nothing but a net positive. Yet people complain... I don’t get it.

Besides, this is another of one of those good of the many vs. wants of the one issues. We all benefit from cleaner energy, a given person is annoyed by a wind turbine in their area? Move. This is NIMBY at it’s worst.
Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 03:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.

Yeah, I don’t get it.

People complain about the noise. But there is no noise. At least not more than from the traffic on the road. People complain about dead birds. But there are no dead birds. At least not more than cause by the traffic on the road. Or your cats. People complain about the bright lights. But there are no bright lights. At least not more than on the cell phone towers. And TV towers, and smoke stacks, and big buildings. People complain about they’re ugly. But they’re not ugly. At least not more so than a coal power plant, or an industrial park, or a mass of cube high-rise buildings. The military complains they interfere with national defense. But they don’t. At least not as much as... well that’s a looong list!

I see them as nothing but a net positive. Yet people complain... I don’t get it.

C'mon Ken, what don't you get? People just like to complain! laugh
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 03:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider
C'mon Ken, what don't you get? People just like to complain! laugh

Yeah, some people would complain about a free pass into heaven.

This particular one really irks me though because in the big picture I can see very little negative about wind power. But still people...

Shish.

Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 04:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider
C'mon Ken, what don't you get? People just like to complain! laugh

Yeah, some people would complain about a free pass into heaven.

This particular one really irks me though because in the big picture I can see very little negative about wind power. But still people...

Shish.


I think NIMBY applies. "Yah, wind power is great, just put it somewhere else, will ya!"
Posted By: KDeline

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 10:56 PM

Am I the only one that thinks they are pretty darn cool looking? If the village would let me I would have a small one in my yard.
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 11:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: Curious Jorge
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power#Birds

People complain about they’re ugly. But they’re not ugly. At least not more so than a coal power plant, or an industrial park, or a mass of cube high-rise buildings.


I think they are ugly, butt-ugly. The companies won't even paint them some color that blends in the background. No, stark white is apparently the color they got buy on at Home Depot, or something.

It's their butt-ugly footprint that annoys me -if there's a less efficient means of power generation in terms of watts per square foot of land defaced with no other reward I haven't seen it. There is wind farm in Oregon & Washington, both sides of the Columbia River and alongside US97, that must cover 200 square miles, all told. Betcha they could generate as much power out of a nuke plant in 10% of that footprint, including nuke waste storage.

I'd take a coal-fired plant there over what I see now any day.

Pilgrim
Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 11:36 PM

Nuke plants are probably easily the most efficient form of energy generation we have but we'll never get over the risk aversion factor, in spite of the fact that some countries (e.g., France) get 75% of their power from nuclear generation.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Curious Jorge
Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Originally Posted By: upflying
Much of the debate about them seems to be the hazards they present to birds.

You know I keep hearing that. Seems like an easy question to answer, are there piles and piles of dead birds under them or not?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_wind_power#Birds
" At the Altamont Pass Wind Farm in California, continued efforts to reduce raptor and other bird mortality, including seasonal shutdowns, have proved ineffective."

This is apparently where most of the bird evidence was initially taken from, what they discovered was that the cows grazing under the turbines were actually causing the problem for raptors. The field mice use cow patties as their homes and there was a very healthy population, raptors watched for the mice and dived down to catch them apparently not noticing the turbines. Birds in normal flight seem to able to avoid them. (per Utah State University study) The Altamont turbines are also small and the blades move much faster than the newer bigger units.
Posted By: RodB

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/07/10 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim

I'd take a coal-fired plant there over what I see now any day.


I just did the exercise by googling images.
'Wind turbine farm' = 9,070,000 hits.
'Coal-fired power plant' = 2,050,000 hits.

So it seems a lot more people are interested in photographing the wind turbines. I'd say that a good portion of those pictures were taken by those that enjoy looking at the wind towers.

I know that it's not a real scientific approach, but it must mean something. Myself, I much prefer gazing at the towers than a huge chimney belching out smoke.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: KDeline
Am I the only one that thinks they are pretty darn cool looking? If the village would let me I would have a small one in my yard.
Opinion is sharply divided in my mother's town, my mother likes them especially when the sun makes them shine pink in the evening. Her sister hates them and calls them names.
Posted By: rinkydink

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 10:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Sure is a good thing coal fired power plants are so dang quiet.



I was thinking the very same thing Ken!

They've been building a new coal fired plant in the SW portion of Arkansas for 6-7 years now and the enviromentalists have fought it tooth and nail. First it was the mercury it puts off and now it's the endangered yellow-bellied snail darter somthing or other. All the while lawyers are reaping the $$$ in the various court cases. They may never get it finished.

I'd take wind turbine whoosh whoosh anyday!
Posted By: KDeline

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim

I'd take a coal-fired plant there over what I see now any day.

Pilgrim



Then you won't mind one in your back yard with smoke blowing into your house. I'll take a windmill in mine.
Posted By: RonStewart

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 03:45 PM

Originally Posted By: KDeline
Am I the only one that thinks they are pretty darn cool looking? If the village would let me I would have a small one in my yard.

I like the look too. But then, I have posters of rockeships in my classroom.
Posted By: notacop

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 04:04 PM

Yeah, some people would complain about a free pass into heaven.

Swear to Gawd, man, your talking about my Mom. Bless her resting soul!
I personally love those great big buggers sitting proudly atop ridges. They let me know miles ahead of an up coming pass whether the winds are up and in what direction.
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 04:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Betcha they could generate as much power out of a nuke plant in 10% of that footprint, including nuke waste storage.


Well, a nuke plant near me averages 10GW of power annually. It would take 5,000 2MW wind turbines to generate that sort of output.
BUT, the wind turbines could be installed much closer to where the power is being consumed. They can be installed out off the coast over water (as proposed for off Nantucket, MA). So, power delivery, which has loss and consumes a footprint of its own, should be considered. Nuclear waste certainly doesn't itself consume much space, but you cannot put it anywhere.
I feel nuclear is certainly efficient, but not a long term solution.
Posted By: Redbrick

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 05:27 PM

The two largest wind farms in the world are in California; outside of Livermore (Altamont Pass) and Tehachapi....Currently 1% of the states energy needs are produced by wind....Did a little Googling and found this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/energy-environment/06noise.html
Posted By: Killer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 05:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Redbrick
....Did a little Googling and found this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/energy-environment/06noise.html
Not good, not good at all. I'll see if I can get the university people to comment.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Redbrick
The two largest wind farms in the world are in California; outside of Livermore (Altamont Pass) and Tehachapi....Currently 1% of the states energy needs are produced by wind....Did a little Googling and found this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/energy-environment/06noise.html


grin That's the same article I linked to in my OP.
Posted By: Killer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 06:50 PM

Didn't notice that Mitch, too busy looking at the pretty pictures...
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 07:04 PM

Originally Posted By: EddyQ
Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Betcha they could generate as much power out of a nuke plant in 10% of that footprint, including nuke waste storage.


Well, a nuke plant near me averages 10GW of power annually. It would take 5,000 2MW wind turbines to generate that sort of output.
BUT, the wind turbines could be installed much closer to where the power is being consumed. They can be installed out off the coast over water (as proposed for off Nantucket, MA). So, power delivery, which has loss and consumes a footprint of its own, should be considered. Nuclear waste certainly doesn't itself consume much space, but you cannot put it anywhere.
I feel nuclear is certainly efficient, but not a long term solution.


It appears they are working toward that number down on the Columbia. cry

Well, maybe sometimes. You have to put it where the wind is. In that case, that means central Washington and Oregon around the Columbia Gorge, whence it is shipped via many, many new power lines across the Pacific NW.

Sure you can put nuke waste somewhere; it's just not a popular addition to somewhere. Once again, NIMBY, not even in the remote reaches of Nevada.

One wind turbine might be beautiful. Hundreds spread out across the landscape are a blight.

As to living downwind from a modern coal-fired plant - okay. Better yet, build a nuke plant down the street. Just get those effing wind turbines out of my sight. tongue

Pilgrim
Posted By: Redbrick

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 08:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Killer
Didn't notice that Mitch, too busy looking at the pretty pictures...


Mee too Mitch....Sorry, admit I didn't read all posts and links.....
Posted By: notacop

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/08/10 11:57 PM

Pilgrim is colorful writer if a bit misinformed. Wind can be generated close to a need provided the wind blows there. Nukes can be built anywhere, just supply water for cooling. Nukeys can be putting the watts all the time not just when the atmospherics change. Doldrums ring a hollow thud when it comes to lighting the way.

There is so much animosity to nukes that real hard correct data is missing. I was lead to believe years ago, many long times, that the French use a glassification process to render their waste products more inert and storage safe. We don't do that. We just sit on our dead booties and wring our hands and retrogress rather than work toward the future.
Posted By: ESokoloff

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 12:09 AM

I haven't but the Air Force & FAA have. It's solvable but co$tly.

If you want to see how these farms affect weather Doppler radar see for yourself via WunderMap & bring up an area with a nearby farm.
That constant (displayed) precipitation is the effects of spinning blades on the Doppler.
If you zoom in you can see the turbines through the clutter.
Posted By: russell_bynum

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 04:55 AM

Originally Posted By: notacop
Pilgrim is colorful writer if a bit misinformed. Wind can be generated close to a need provided the wind blows there. Nukes can be built anywhere, just supply water for cooling. Nukeys can be putting the watts all the time not just when the atmospherics change. Doldrums ring a hollow thud when it comes to lighting the way.

There is so much animosity to nukes that real hard correct data is missing. I was lead to believe years ago, many long times, that the French use a glassification process to render their waste products more inert and storage safe. We don't do that. We just sit on our dead booties and wring our hands and retrogress rather than work toward the future.


Yup. It's a sad day when you realize that we've gotten to the point where even the French have bigger balls than we do.

dopeslap
Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 10:31 AM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Yup. It's a sad day when you realize that we've gotten to the point where even the French have bigger balls than we do. dopeslap

Ain't that the truth! frown
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 05:13 PM

Originally Posted By: notacop
Pilgrim is colorful writer if a bit misinformed. Wind can be generated close to a need provided the wind blows there. Nukes can be built anywhere, just supply water for cooling. Nukeys can be putting the watts all the time not just when the atmospherics change. Doldrums ring a hollow thud when it comes to lighting the way.

There is so much animosity to nukes that real hard correct data is missing. I was lead to believe years ago, many long times, that the French use a glassification process to render their waste products more inert and storage safe. We don't do that. We just sit on our dead booties and wring our hands and retrogress rather than work toward the future.


Lest there be a misunderstanding, let me clarify.

Yes, you have to put wind turbines where the wind is. In the case of Washington/Oregon, the big place for wind is in and around the Columbia River and much of its Gorge. If you need power somewhere the wind isn't then the tendency (as in Washington/Oregon)is to build them where it is and send the power to where it's needed.

A big issue for wind power is that many of the places where there's ample wind are not supported by the now-antiquated national power grid. Thus, we see thousands more miles of power lines installed, to the detriment of the landscape. Under current circumstances they are a necessary evil, though, no matter the source of the power.

As to nuke power, that's my first choice among all the available technology now. Not only does it have a fundamentally smaller footprint per amount of power created, if people will tolerate their use there can be many more of them. That reduces the need for massive transfers of electricity from the source of generation to the consumer, thereby eliminating much of the tangle of power lines that cover the landscape now.

If you've been down US666 from the Four Corners area of New Mexico to Gallup you know what I mean. That beautiful desert country now looks like someone spilled a plateful of spaghetti there.

Pilgrim
Posted By: Paul Mihalka

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 05:54 PM

Yup, I definitely find the looks of long distance power lines much uglier than the wind turbines.
I often wonder how much of the movement against nuclear powerplants is instigated by the oil and coal business. It would be the most serious competition for them. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but some times I feel that in the USA the power of big business has no limits.
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 07:42 PM

IMHO If the "nuclear age" had started with light bulbs coming on instead of bright flashes on the horizon the opinions toward nuclear power would be different. Add to this the endless "B" movies of giant spiders, two headed men, end of the world scenarios etc. and the general hysteria arising from fear, ignorance and superstition and you have the opposition to nuclear power.

With regards to disposal we, the U.S., had a program in place, Yucca Mountain in NV to store high level waste, But, congress in their infinite self serving genius managed to kill it. So, I have little confidence this country will ever have it's electrical supply base loaded by little neutrons giving it up for the cause.
Posted By: ShovelStrokeEd

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 07:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Paul Mihalka
Yup, I definitely find the looks of long distance power lines much uglier than the wind turbines.
I often wonder how much of the movement against nuclear powerplants is instigated by the oil and coal business. It would be the most serious competition for them. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but some times I feel that in the USA the power of big business has no limits.


The big business of power has no limits.

Fixed it for ya. smirk

We blew our chance to have a reliable source of power 30 years ago when the NIMBY folks but the clamp on building of nuclear power plants. Given current restrictions and costs, we couldn't get an adequate supply chain going now for another 30 years. Far too late, IMHO. I'm not worried about it, I don't have another 30 years left.

I love the concept of renwable/reusable energy sources but remember, currently, we get about 3% of our energy needs from all of those sources combined. Are you ready to go without AC and heat? How about lighting and that fancy induction stove? Take a look at your energy bill today and imagine what you have to give up to reduce it by 90% or so.

Nukes are the answer, we just should have asked the question a long time ago.
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 08:08 PM

You are correct sir. A supply chain in 30 years. if it were only so. If you even got a company to invest in a single plant your looking at a couple of billion dollars and 20 years before you saw one watt. Tens years just to design, build and test. Add to that the endless legal challenges, red tape and you could easily go 20+ years. The government would have to heavily subsidize and help streamline the regulatory process as well as assist in legal challenges. But without some leadership it won't happen, and there is damm little of that around nowdays.
Posted By: SageRider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 09:53 PM

Quote:
Yucca Mountain in NV to store high level waste

Yep. The perfect NIMBY solution. Except for Nevada. Except for everyone along the transportation corridors.
Except for everyone some years down the road as the "solution" was to store all the waste in Yucca and hope our kids could deal with it.

Too bad the money poured into Yucca Mountain and the decision making process behind it (very much political. Not so much scientific.) wasn't instead spent on research into being actually able to reprocess /reuse the material.
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: SageRider
Quote:
Yucca Mountain in NV to store high level waste

Yep. The perfect NIMBY solution. Except for Nevada. Except for everyone along the transportation corridors.
Except for everyone some years down the road as the "solution" was to store all the waste in Yucca and hope our kids could deal with it.

Too bad the money poured into Yucca Mountain and the decision making process behind it (very much political. Not so much scientific.) wasn't instead spent on research into being actually able to reprocess /reuse the material.



Nuclear waste has been moving around this country for years with little if an effect. As far as reprocessing where would you like that facility placed? Probably not in your backyard. As far as reuse, do seriously believe that no research has gone on over the decades to find a viable way to handle spent fuel and if there currently was do you think the option would have been to take the most difficult solution, i.e., to hollow out a mountain? I'm sure that the Natl. Labs would be more than will to take research $$'s.

Oddly enough. inspite of many, many atmopheric and below ground nuclear tests less than 60 miles from Las Vegas you all survived and at least when I lived there, were relatively normal. In fact prospered! "We don't mind if you bomb us, we just don't want anything buried deep underground out in the middle of nowhere".
Posted By: ratfink

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: russell_bynum
Yup. It's a sad day when you realize that we've gotten to the point where even the French have bigger balls than we do. dopeslap


They're just bigger on account of they're swollen with mutant spawn.
Posted By: RodB

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/09/10 11:53 PM

Quote:
we see thousands more miles of power lines installed, to the detriment of the landscape

Quote:
I definitely find the looks of long distance power lines much uglier than the wind turbines


Maybe for now, the best we could do about these power lines is something like this.
Posted By: Groanup

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 12:27 AM

Not tying to hijack.
I find this to be interesting, though I have not finished reading it all. You can download the whole book in PDF form for free if interested.
Sustainable energy - Without the hot air
Posted By: SageRider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 01:19 AM

Quote:
As far as reprocessing where would you like that facility placed? Probably not in your backyard.
Reprocessing optimally would be done where the waste is created. Among other things, it minimizes the transportation of hazardous materials.
While my current location has no need for additional power, I lived most of my life in southern California, within 50 miles of San Onofre. I never had a problem with the plant then or now.

Quote:
do seriously believe that no research has gone on over the decades to find a viable way to handle spent fuel

No.
Quote:
and if there currently was do you think the option would have been to take the most difficult solution, i.e., to hollow out a mountain?
I'm sure that the Natl. Labs would be more than will to take research $$'s.

We'll never know what might have been achieved if the billions of dollars spent on Yucca Mountain had been redirected to research.
Yucca Mountain is the end result of political decisions and inertia dating back to 1957.

Quote:
Oddly enough. inspite of many, many atmopheric and below ground nuclear tests less than 60 miles from Las Vegas you all survived and at least when I lived there, were relatively normal.
In fact prospered!

What was the population of the Las Vegas and surrounding area when the majority of the nuclear testing was performed?
What is the population now?
Also, The testing that I am aware of was performed when certain environmental conditions such as wind direction, speed, etc... were met, and relatively low yield / little material was involved.
Even then, check out the link for claims resulting from being downwind of these experiments:
http://www.justice.gov/civil/omp/omi/Tre_SysClaimsToDateSum.pdf
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 01:31 AM

Originally Posted By: SageRider
Quote:
Yucca Mountain in NV to store high level waste

Yep. The perfect NIMBY solution. Except for Nevada.


Michael, in all seriousness, putting aside the atavistic fear of the unknown and un-understood, what is the downside for storing waste inside one of the most stable geologic formations on earth?

I know there was/is a lot of opposition to it, but in all truth, I never understood why.

I'm working on the assumption that what was to go in there would be vitrified. If that wasn't the case then I can understand a bit better.

Pilgrim
Posted By: ratfink

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 01:47 AM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
what is the downside for storing waste inside one of the most stable geologic formations on earth?


The less ativistic among us probably understand the terms "half-life" and "mass wasting".
Posted By: RodB

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 01:58 AM

Originally Posted By: ratfink
The less ativistic among us probably understand the terms "half-life" and "mass wasting".


I don't even understand 'ativistic'.
Posted By: ShovelStrokeEd

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 02:20 AM

FWIW, there is already considerable research being done at National Labs on just this problem. Treatment and storage of high level nuclear waste.

I have always favored the idea of using our considerable space capabilities to just launch the stuff back into the sun. It would give NASA engineers something to do and probably wouldn't cost all that much more than what we are doing now.
Posted By: Flyer5

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 02:28 AM

http://www.localactionpa.org/news/new-nuclear-reactor-at-berwick



This is right near my work , 2015 if all goes well .



I am for nuclear energy ,even though I make my living in the anthracite coal industry .Actually I MFG anthracite burning hearth and heating products.I look at nuclear as well as coal as more independence from foreign oil .Plus we create American jobs. Anthracite is a very clean source of fuel.Oh Yea in N.E.P.A. we have a lot of wind turbines I think they are great as well . Dave
Posted By: Jerry_75_Guy

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 02:59 AM

Originally Posted By: ShovelStrokeEd
I have always favored the idea of using our considerable space capabilities to just launch the stuff back into the sun.


Me too (really), but the fact that smarter people than I weren't, apparently, seriously considering the idea, lead me to think that I must have been ignoring some basic math that might get in the way. Dunno.

[hijack]I like the Frank Herbert reference Mitch thumbsup
[end hijack]
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 03:13 AM

Originally Posted By: SageRider
Quote:
As far as reprocessing where would you like that facility placed? Probably not in your backyard.
Reprocessing optimally would be done where the waste is created. Among other things, it minimizes the transportation of hazardous materials.
While my current location has no need for additional power, I lived most of my life in southern California, within 50 miles of San Onofre. I never had a problem with the plant then or now.

Quote:
do seriously believe that no research has gone on over the decades to find a viable way to handle spent fuel

No.
Quote:
and if there currently was do you think the option would have been to take the most difficult solution, i.e., to hollow out a mountain?
I'm sure that the Natl. Labs would be more than will to take research $$'s.

We'll never know what might have been achieved if the billions of dollars spent on Yucca Mountain had been redirected to research.
Yucca Mountain is the end result of political decisions and inertia dating back to 1957.

Quote:
Oddly enough. inspite of many, many atmopheric and below ground nuclear tests less than 60 miles from Las Vegas you all survived and at least when I lived there, were relatively normal.
In fact prospered!

What was the population of the Las Vegas and surrounding area when the majority of the nuclear testing was performed?
What is the population now?
Also, The testing that I am aware of was performed when certain environmental conditions such as wind direction, speed, etc... were met, and relatively low yield / little material was involved.
Even then, check out the link for claims resulting from being downwind of these experiments:
http://www.justice.gov/civil/omp/omi/Tre_SysClaimsToDateSum.pdf


"Reprocessing optimally would be done where the waste is created. Among other things, it minimizes the transportation of hazardous materials.
While my current location has no need for additional power, I lived most of my life in southern California, within 50 miles of San Onofre. I never had a problem with the plant then or now."

Yes, by all means lets have many facilities handling hazerdous materials instead of one centralized location. Forget the cost and transportation is a problem?

"We'll never know what might have been achieved if the billions of dollars spent on Yucca Mountain had been redirected to research.
Yucca Mountain is the end result of political decisions and inertia dating back to 1957."

Yes and we will never know what would have happened if I had become a Dentist instead of N. Engineer or where I'd be today if only I had invested in Zerox or Microsoft. Yucca or any site for that matter and poltics? I'm shocked....shocked I say!

"What was the population of the Las Vegas and surrounding area when the majority of the nuclear testing was performed?
What is the population now?
Also, The testing that I am aware of was performed when certain environmental conditions such as wind direction, speed, etc... were met, and relatively low yield / little material was involved"

What does population have to do with it? Unless I've forgotten the basics there is a big difference between detonation hazards and storage of high level waste.
Yes, there were very strict environmental condition to be met before a test. Were there problems, yes, I'm well aware of the "downwinders". But as far as I know the waste isn't going to be thrown into the back of a pick-up and driven haphazard across the desert. Have you seen the casks used to transport low level waste to NM?

What do you consider low yield/ little material?

Just as an aside I hope no one is taking offense at these comments. Just fun to argue. smile
Posted By: Dave McReynolds

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 03:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Jerry_75_Guy
Originally Posted By: ShovelStrokeEd
I have always favored the idea of using our considerable space capabilities to just launch the stuff back into the sun.


Me too (really), but the fact that smarter people than I weren't, apparently, seriously considering the idea, lead me to think that I must have been ignoring some basic math that might get in the way. Dunno.


I have no expertise in this at all (not that that's ever stopped me from commenting), but what is the probability that a rocket will blow up at some point before it is safely out there in outer space, spewing its contents over the earth? Since that has already happened, I assume the probability is somewhere in the range of 1/1,000 (or so). I assume it would take quite a few rockets to get all the waste removed, so I would imagine that the probability of something going terribly wrong, cumulatively, is much greater than with other methods of disposal?
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 04:05 AM

1/1000 to risky for me! I could live with a failure rate of 1/1,000,000 but the consequences even at 1/1,000,000 make it completely unacceptable.
Posted By: tallman

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 01:03 PM

I say we move our nuclear waste and death row population to the same site.
"half-Life" in prison would be the new sentence minimum.
smirk

Rationing ala WWII with rolling brownouts.
Instead of "cash for clunkers" tax credits for maintaining mpg averages above X.
A slow lane for those who want to drive at 45-50 mph and conserve.
Since we invested in Interstates rather than trains, we placed the societal expectation in the backseat of your new Chevy rather than a window seat in fast, efficient, inexpensive public transport.

I think we should reManhattan Project with the best/brightest and create both alternative uses and applications but a mindset that will support a new social use policy.

If not, we'll be burning the "No Nukes" signs to keep warm.
Posted By: SageRider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 03:38 PM

Quote:
what is the downside for storing waste inside one of the most stable geologic formations on earth?

Please tell me where this formation is.
It isn't Yucca Mountain.
Part of the facility has already been relocated due to being on an earthquake fault.
Yucca Mountain as the location was not a scientific decision, but a political one.
In 1987, the choices had been narrowed down to 3 sites (Hanford, WA, and Deaf Smith County, Texas were the other 2), and scientific studies begun to determine which was best.
Congress pre-empted the studies and chose the location with the least political might.
Might Yucca Mountain still have been chosen based on science? Possibly, but that was not the case. The decision to "screw Nevada" is where much of the opposition comes from.


Quote:
Probability that a rocket will blow up at some point before it is safely out there in outer space, spewing its contents over the earth?

I'm sure that the same Yucca Mountain scientists that can guarantee safe emission levels from Yucca Mountain out 1 million years can construct the perfect rocket too...


As a general question, why would anyone want to locate all the high level waste for the USA (as well as possible imports from other countries) in one spot?
Talk about a target.......
Easier to defend/protect one site than many? Maybe, but since no defense is foolproof, I'd much rather have smaller amounts of waste in more spots.
Reduce both the value of the target and the penalty for a penetrated defense.

It does seem highly irresponsible to me to continue accelerating the creation of this high level waste without a method to make it safe......
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 10:55 PM

"As a general question, why would anyone want to locate all the high level waste for the USA (as well as possible imports from other countries) in one spot?
Talk about a target.......
Easier to defend/protect one site than many? Maybe, but since no defense is foolproof, I'd much rather have smaller amounts of waste in more spots.
Reduce both the value of the target and the penalty for a penetrated defense".

Because it is far easier to detect and defend a facility that has miles of fairly empty space around it rather that what surrounds many of the Nuke sites. Plus it (Yucca) is many miles inland and trust me we would see them air or ground way out. Plus you have several military assests a stones throw away and an all out defense, if needed, could be done with out fear of schools, churches, malls, etc.. Yes, by all means lets put high value targets in population centers!

"The decision to "screw Nevada" is where much of the opposition comes from."

Yes, I can appreciate the feelings. But seriously just how has NV been negatively impacted? Up until recently the NV (and I'm speaking of the LAX area) economy was booming. No doubt, a lot of the $$'s that funded Yucca stayed in NV, that was a bad thing? Too bad the project was halted, you might have used the $$'s to offset your less than stellar economy.

Perhaps, since it's been 23 years since you were screwed, you need to find a way use the situation to your advantage, and no offense intended get over it. smile
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/10/10 11:58 PM

I'm sorry I meant "LAS" is the last post not LAX. Too may moving parts...I guess.
Posted By: MotorinLA

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/11/10 03:10 AM

Interesting reading.

If wind farms are so detrimental to RADAR, how did they manage to put the ones in Tehachapi so close to Edwards Airforce Base, a major aeronautical testing grounds? Must not be as bad as some want it to appear.

Having lived in northern Europe during the Chernobyl incident, I'd have to say I have some reservations about nuclear power. Perhaps the specialists on this board could ease my fears, by explaining how a highly toxic by-product that stays potent for millions of years and is highly corrosive to most known storage devices is not a problem. Especially when stored undergorund close to our ground water. Call me paranoid, but I think wind turbines are a little safer at least in that respect.
Posted By: SageRider

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/11/10 03:29 AM

Quote:
But seriously just how has NV been negatively impacted?

To date it hasn't been. To date, the project is unfunded...
I do wonder how you would have felt if Hanford was the (purely political) choice instead.
And if that does not disturb you, it's not too late to start lobbying now!
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 03:04 AM

As you say the project is halted....with no $$'s on the horizon. But, if there is a resurgence of N. Power in the country, which I seriously doubt, a HL waste facility will be built......and most likely in NV. And I will support it then, as I did when I lived in NV. It wouldn't bother me in the least to have it built in WA.

I have enough faith, based on 32 years experience, that the Safety Analysis and regulatory process would ultimately decide where a HL waste facility would be built, regardless if the initial siting decision was "Purely Political" or not.
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: MotorinLA
Interesting reading.

If wind farms are so detrimental to RADAR, how did they manage to put the ones in Tehachapi so close to Edwards Airforce Base, a major aeronautical testing grounds? Must not be as bad as some want it to appear.

Having lived in northern Europe during the Chernobyl incident, I'd have to say I have some reservations about nuclear power. Perhaps the specialists on this board could ease my fears, by explaining how a highly toxic by-product that stays potent for millions of years and is highly corrosive to most known storage devices is not a problem. Especially when stored undergorund close to our ground water. Call me paranoid, but I think wind turbines are a little safer at least in that respect.


Can't argue with you!
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 06:23 PM

Given that Mitch’s discussion about wind turbine noise seems to have morphed into one about energy alternatives, there is yet another option that doesn’t seem to get much attention (but IMHO should) - Deep Geothermal
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 08:39 PM

The real problem is an unwillingness to recycle the nuclear waste. Recycling and breeder reactors are the way to go, except "free market" fights the expensive controls to keep it from be used for weapons, and the lobbies to have the government take it off their hands at our expense.

The best solution is Thorium reactors. Google it and read.

Rod
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 08:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Given that Mitch’s discussion about wind turbine noise seems to have morphed into one about energy alternatives, there is yet another option that doesn’t seem to get much attention (but IMHO should) - Deep Geothermal


The geothermal project at the geysers in California seems to be causing earthquakes. Can't get something for nothing it seems.

Rod
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 09:01 PM

Originally Posted By: ragtoplvr
The real problem is an unwillingness to recycle the nuclear waste. Recycling and breeder reactors are the way to go, except "free market" fights the expensive controls to keep it from be used for weapons, and the lobbies to have the government take it off their hands at our expense.

The best solution is Thorium reactors. Google it and read.

Rod


You mean like the LMFBR?
Posted By: Redbrick

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: ragtoplvr
Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Given that Mitch’s discussion about wind turbine noise seems to have morphed into one about energy alternatives, there is yet another option that doesn’t seem to get much attention (but IMHO should) - Deep Geothermal


The geothermal project at the geysers in California seems to be causing earthquakes. Can't get something for nothing it seems.

Rod


Continuing the morph, here's a link to the plant near Mammoth Lakes...Before the facility was built, the area used to be called Casa Diablo and for a buck or so, maybe less, you could take a hot bath...That was in the middle of the last century however..... grin

http://www.mammothpacific.com/geothermal.html
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 09:16 PM

I do not think the LMFBR (Light Metal Fast Breeder Reactor) was thorium, but not an expert. There are several thorium fuel cycles, some use light water, some use sodium or molten salts. There are less byproducts and very difficult to weaponize, However the desire to kill your fellow man is not to be underestimated.

Rod
Posted By: 1springer

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 09:56 PM

I didn't mean to imply that the LMFBR was Thorium. "Thermal breeders" (Thorium) involve fissile U-233 and small amounts of U-232 which if memory serves me has a real nasty gamma associated with it. More difficult to handle than Pu.

Unfortunately, there is no free lunch!
Posted By: EddyQ

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/12/10 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken H.
Given that Mitch’s discussion about wind turbine noise seems to have morphed into one about energy alternatives, there is yet another option that doesn’t seem to get much attention (but IMHO should) - Deep Geothermal


Yes and why isn't the Bay of Fundy used for it's huge tidal power. There are lots of alternatives to nuclear and burning.

Back in 1992, the Yankee Rowe Nuclear plant in Rowe, MA was closed. Just a few years ago, after how many years, 533 800lb spent fuel assemblies were finally contained for long term on site storage. The decommisioning cost of this small 179MW facility has exceeded $450 million and now the storage costs will continue forever. What would a wind turbine field cost relative to this $450million? SO, why again are folks pro nuclear?



Posted By: ltljohn

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 01:37 AM

Another technology under development. Pebble Bed Reactor
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 02:36 AM

Originally Posted By: SageRider
Quote:
But seriously just how has NV been negatively impacted?

To date it hasn't been. To date, the project is unfunded...
I do wonder how you would have felt if Hanford was the (purely political) choice instead.
And if that does not disturb you, it's not too late to start lobbying now!


I live 40 miles west (upwind, admittedly) from Hanford. I'll take it, once they've got the WWII mess cleaned up, hopefully before some of the leaking ancient containment vessels pollute the Columbia River so that it glows in the dark like a twisted Cyalum lightstick.

There's a price to be paid for any form of energy. There's no such thing as "free" energy; it all comes from somewhere. All we do is convert it from one form to another.

We haven't even touched here on something I had a certain PdD on this board do some wild-assed guessing about, and that is the effect of taking energy from the windflow over the earth, which is, at its lowest level, an energy transfer device that drives the climate. It appears (as one would suppose on first guess) to be nearly negligible, but what does "negligible" mean if you subscribe to the butterfly effect?

Pilgrim
Posted By: RonStewart

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 03:44 PM

Quote:
Yes and why isn't the Bay of Fundy used for it's huge tidal power.

It is. A bit. Nova Scotia has a 20 MW generator that runs about 10 hours a day.

The biggest problem with tidal generation is the relatively low speed of the water. You need honking big turbines to capture useable quantities of energy. I saw a recent documentatry about such a turbine off Ireland. It was similar in size to a mid-sized windmill. It broke a blade under testing.

And, environmental considerations come into play.

And the economic impacts on fisheries.

Also, the presence of the generators can alter the water flow in such a way as to reduce the available energy much more than you might expect. The Bay of Fundy is in resonance. If you effectively change the length of the bay or dampen the motion with your generation project, you can lose your resonance and 70% of the power that you thought was there for the taking.

I am writing off the top of my head here. It has been a long time since I have looked at most of this stuff.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 04:48 PM

Originally Posted By: RonStewart
...dampen the motion...


Dude, my head hurts. grin

dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap
Posted By: tallman

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 05:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday
Originally Posted By: RonStewart
... dampen the motion...


Dude, my head hurts. grin

dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap


Dampen?
Isn't the Bay already wet?

Pedal power and better storage batteries.
You want coffee in the morning?
Pedal for 1/2 an hour to power your coffee pot.
This would produce energy, reduce obesity, increase fitness, reduce health care costs, stimulate jobs, be portable, andgive you something to do when you want to watch TV,






or post on a thread.
smirk
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 08:17 PM

[
Just to watch tv you would already be pedaling.

Now add coffee or my favorite, popcorn,, Oh my. And then you pedal for the refrigerator for the cream or butter.

Achhh.

Rod

quote=tallman]
Originally Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday
Originally Posted By: RonStewart
... dampen the motion...


Dude, my head hurts. grin

dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap dopeslap


Dampen?
Isn't the Bay already wet?

Pedal power and better storage batteries.
You want coffee in the morning?
Pedal for 1/2 an hour to power your coffee pot.
This would produce energy, reduce obesity, increase fitness, reduce health care costs, stimulate jobs, be portable, andgive you something to do when you want to watch TV,






or post on a thread.
smirk [/quote]
Posted By: Ken H.

Re: Heard a wind turbine? - 10/13/10 09:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
There's a price to be paid for any form of energy. There's no such thing as "free" energy; it all comes from somewhere. All we do is convert it from one form to another.

We haven't even touched here on something I had a certain PdD on this board do some wild-assed guessing about, and that is the effect of taking energy from the windflow over the earth, which is, at its lowest level, an energy transfer device that drives the climate. It appears (as one would suppose on first guess) to be nearly negligible, but what does "negligible" mean if you subscribe to the butterfly effect?

Of course you’re right; indeed all we are is the middlemen between one form of energy and another.

The best we can do in the big-big picture is to minimize our impact on the availability of the ‘source’ form of energy (e.g. stored in fossil fuels) and the impact of the ‘destination’ form of energy (e.g. motion or heat).

From the source availability perspective, while we don’t know the final numbers, our impact on the future availability of fossil based fuels is high, probably measured in decades rather than centuries. Our impact on the availability of energy stored in wind and tide motion something less, probably measured in 1000s of years rather than centuries, and our impact on the availability of say geothermal is likely in millions of years rather than 1000s of years. (And can we “use up” the sun at all?)

One thing is certain though, sooner or later it will all run out. The only real question is in what timeline relative to mankind’s existence and needs?

To me the more pressing issue is the unintended consequences of our ‘energy form conversion’ activities. Can we out live, out run those?
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