Friday, January 21, 2022

Hydroelectric wild geese


This is the fun part about philosophy -- wild fits of fancy.  This hankering for free power comes up every once in a while.  It's a wonderful dream.

The last time this came up, they dug the Niagara Tunnel 'Worth it at any price.'.  This ended up with a 2 billion dollar hole in the ground that does nothing.  I had fun writing for 2 years.

Since this comes up all the time, I spent a lot of my time at the old company looking into it.  The big physics problem is that everything that can be done, has been done.  Northern Ontario is flat as a board, and all tundra.  Any project has to be like Quebec's James Bay and flood all the land and all the tourist rivers.  

However, the intentions are honourable, and I'm looking forward to how they keep the government happy.  Probably won't cost a few billion this time, all that money is going to 'small' nuclear.

ps.  small nuclear is another dream that flies away with the physics geese.  The original dream was to have standard containers shipped to remote places, run it for a fews years and then replace the container.  Ha.  The physics is like an old steam engine, you have to fuel it and take away the ash.  Turns out you can't stock it with enough fuel to be worthwhile.  You need a mechanism for refueling, and that can't be done.  The dream continues.

pps.  what we are getting at Darlington is a good old-fashioned US boiling water reactor, the most dangerous reactor in the world, now that all the graphite reactors are gone.  This has to be refueled in a horrendous manual operation of popping off the top, and refilling.  blah.

more:  in terms of philosophy, this is all wonderful.  I would never debate anybody about it.  They would line up a consensus of self-interested people, and the audience would be convinced..... sounds familiar.

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