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Post Reply What would happen when unlimited energy is achieved?
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F / ɪ ᴀᴍ ɴᴏᴛ ᴀ ʜᴇʀᴏ
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Posted 3/7/17

ᴏᴠᴇʀ9000 ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴs.

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29 / F / The margins
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Posted 3/7/17 , edited 3/7/17

morte111 wrote:


outontheop wrote:


zangeif123 wrote:

A lot of politics and self interest groups would get in the way. Trying to find ways to ban it or discredit it. Most likely we would end up paying for it in the long run.


Why would they need to? The public does a perfectly fine job of prohibiting the most sensible power sources all on their own, what with their ignorant, environmentally-friendly-virtue-signalling paranoia of nuclear power.



To answer the OP's question, ideally, with unlimited energy, we might finally be able to move to a secular humanist socio-economic framework, but as many other posters have pointed out, incumbent powers will do everything possible to ensure we remain in a capitalist/corporate structure, even going so far as to invent further conflicts with other nations to control other forms of rapidly depleting resources. Thankfully, fresh water will be able to be processed from saltwater with an unlimited energy source, but it will be much more difficult to source rare earth elements used in high technology, as there are a limited amount present on this planet. Capturing asteroids for mining will be mandatory, if we can just stop funding military campaigns for long enough to grow the f*ck up and act like a collectively intelligent life form.

With respect to outonthetop, many of the 'ignorant public' may in fact be simply afraid of the many what ifs of conventional nuclear fission reactors, what with the numerous failures over the past decades, some far more impactful than others, but all with an ongoing and only partially contained leaking of cesium-137 and strontium-90, being two of the more human-tissue-bonding isotopes which progress into the food chain over the long term (half life around 29-30yrs). livescience has some balanced info on Fukushima and related incidents.

This public fear has very little to do specifically with being 'environmentally friendly', or even restricted to nuclear energy, but rather from a justified distrust of governments who claim everything is safe to the public, then take money from the energy companies to rubber stamp their mining & port building, oil drilling, Coal Seam Gas fracking, and who then claim ignorance when news breaks of widespread groundwater contamination ruining farmland & potable water sources, cyanide poisoning of mine outflows, spread of mesothelioma & related respiratory cancers, mass fishkills and destruction of entire coastal regions and reef systems.

The fact is, nuclear fission reactors CAN be built to be extremely safe, and extremely efficient, albeit with a somewhat pressing caveat - they require multiple expensive, continuous systems of redundancy, foolproof safety cutouts, and an independant reliable electricity source to control the reactor when the reactor itself is in a state requiring emergency shutdown. They also require highly trained staff either at the control site, or with reliable, unhackable remote control systems. Fukushima's Daiichi reactors supposedly had many of these systems of redundancy, the infrastructure of which all failed as a direct result of the earthquake & tsunami.

Most importantly of all, (and this is what humans in a capitalist/corporate system will never be able to overcome), nuclear reactors require RESPONSIBLE management from a body which has no obligation to shareholders to reduce costs and cut corners in order to increase profits to shareholders, nor to immediately cover up any imminent risk or safety breaches, which if openly addressed, would prevent a future meltdown or contamination event.

Even with all of those issues addressed, there are still no countries who see the storage of spent nuclear fuel waste as a viable long term option, only as a short term cash grab to profit from the worldwide 'not in my backyard' political suicide pill that it represents. This is primarily because all forms of containment materials designed to date will corrode and degrade long before the nuclear waste becomes relatively safe in 20,000 years or so. (it takes about 40-50 yrs to reduce radioactivity of High Level Waste by a factor of 1000, but this curve flattens and does not completely fall below the radioactivity level of mined uranium for another 500,000 years, or ~1000 years for immediate fission products separate from spent fuel)

Do you still think nuclear fission reactors are a viable 'green' source of energy? Perhaps if we were living in a fantastic utopia where universal goodwill to all man existed, and where individuals could be trusted enough not to abuse any system which doesn't look similar to a nanny state.




Several years ago I attended a seminar by Prof. Bruce Marsh, a prominent volcanologist who was commissioned by the U.S. government to analyze the risks of geologic activity to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project. Marsh was very clear: the arguments against the repository are bullshit. The reason the project keeps getting canceled and uncanceled is that Democrats (in particular Harry Reid) don't like it. Actually completing the project - giving us a long-term (meaning hundreds of thousands of years) site for nuclear waste storage - may be the one thing the Trump DOE might possibly do right. That we have to rely on someone as absurd as Donald Trump to do this puts the lie to a magical "secular humanist socio-economic framework."

I wouldn't rely on Live Science; as a theoretical physicist, I find them kinda hackish.
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Posted 3/7/17

auroraloose wrote:

Several years ago I attended a seminar by Prof. Bruce Marsh, a prominent volcanologist who was commissioned by the U.S. government to analyze the risks of geologic activity to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project. Marsh was very clear: the arguments against the repository are bullshit. The reason the project keeps getting canceled and uncanceled is that Democrats (in particular Harry Reid) don't like it. Actually completing the project - giving us a long-term (meaning hundreds of thousands of years) site for nuclear waste storage - may be the one thing the Trump DOE might possibly do right. That we have to rely on someone as absurd as Donald Trump to do this puts the lie to a magical "secular humanist socio-economic framework."

I wouldn't rely on Live Science; as a theoretical physicist, I find them kinda hackish.


Excellent points all - I should emphasise I was not trying to be touchy-feely regarding humanism, different people understand it to mean different things.
I strongly advocate a system driven by peer-reviewed replicated science wherever feasible, and government departments capable of determining their priorities through actual research and experience, rather than political agenda & the lowest common denominator of fear-driven public opinion.
That in turn requires the scientific community to exist as an independent body, not relying solely on research funding from groups with that very same political agenda, because that is how you end up with powerful backers of climate change hoaxers, claiming there is no scientific concensus. It is fortunate that particular issue should have no bearing on nuclear waste storage in Yucca Mountain.
If it goes ahead, it will bear testament to the US Department of Energy's responsible ownership and planning, not dissimilar to the Norwegian Kingdom's Svalbard global seed vault, or the continued efforts of the global community of Atomic Energy Commission branches, who fill a vital role in continued oversight of safe application of nuclear energy.

I have no personal opinion of Live Science, it is a common failing of popular science media to go easy on the science for the benefit of the common reader, often to the detriment of accuracy, as has been the case of the Australian "Catalyst" Science TV program, axed end of 2016 - however that was also related to widespread conservative government de-funding of the ABC, with a large number of job losses and presence lost in spheres which commercial media groups co-incidentally had interests in.
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52 / M / Inside the Anime...
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Posted 3/7/17

fredreload wrote:

So, few things I can think of, maybe people won't have to work anymore aside from doing research for higher pay. Focus on food and mining operations controlled by robots. Increase in house price. Ac 24 hours a day, 24 hours restaurant, 24 hours everything. As long as you can think of a creative way to waste electricity. Anyway, speculations on my part. Let me hear yours


A diaspora off the Earth. With unlimited energy, terraforming and space travel become dirt cheap. I'm outta here. So long suckers!
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34 / M / outer wall, level...
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Posted 3/7/17
hephestus class lasers.
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Posted 3/7/17
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27 / M
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Posted 3/12/17
Depends on the person who achieves it.

1 Free World

2 World Domination

3 Keep it on the low
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25 / F / PA, USA
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Posted 3/12/17
I imagine that it'd be jealously guarded and monopolized by greedy, rich people and businesses. I'm hard-pressed to believe that corporations would simply give it away out of the goodness of their hearts. No, I imagine that it'd play out much as it does now; world powers hog all of the fancy technological advancements. I suppose that it makes sense, though. In all reality, it would be anything but cheap to harness the power, and it takes more than selfless humanitarianism to make things happen.
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28 / M / Helsinki
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Posted 3/13/17
Already here, kept under wrap for population control.
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