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Emerging technologies / industry?


Homz

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Hmm are you asking about what we should be spending research on or new technologies that companies will be producing in the near future? There are a bunch of ones missing here that I'm working on right now and I'm busier than ever (haven't felt a recession at all in my areas), so I'm going with other. Anyhow, the top 3 seem to be big areas. But there are serious questions on return for investment. For example, if you really want the cleanest (and I mean BY FAR the cleanest) energy technology than we've got the answer already. It's nuclear energy. All of this solar, wind, other stuff, we here about today will not be viable in our lifetime. Biotech stuff is interesting, like using supercomputers to help develop drugs but this is still way into the research world (my university is heavily involved in this area). Nanotechnology is nice too but again it's still in the research world (huge problems here). There are some practical things like MEMS accelerometers on cars that are used to deploy airbags, but most applications are limited.

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Hmm are you asking about what we should be spending research on or new technologies that companies will be producing in the near future? There are a bunch of ones missing here that I'm working on right now and I'm busier than ever (haven't felt a recession at all in my areas)' date=' so I'm going with other. Anyhow, the top 3 seem to be big areas. But there are serious questions on return for investment. For example, if you really want the cleanest (and I mean BY FAR the cleanest) energy technology than we've got the answer already. It's nuclear energy. All of this solar, wind, other stuff, we here about today will not be viable in our lifetime. Biotech stuff is interesting, like using supercomputers to help develop drugs but this is still way into the research world (my university is heavily involved in this area). Nanotechnology is nice too but again it's still in the research world (huge problems here). There are some practical things like MEMS accelerometers on cars that are used to deploy airbags, but most applications are limited. [/quote']

 

I don't necessarily agree with nuclear being the cleanest. When considering the cost, efficiency, and use of fossil fuels to refine and mine the ore. But when comparing it to other available options I am hard pressed to come up with one that is better. I suppose if one was to use the nuclear fuel already mined and to use the decommissioned fuel from nuclear bombs it would be an efficient way to use them. The shelf life is of coarse awesome being something like 4 billion years for U235. Interesting thoughts though.

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This article begins to explain my point, but it fails to finally answer the question even after reprocessing. That being what is the final efficiency. I used to know the efficiency of Uranium, but my considerations didn't include the reprocessing prospect. Still considering that reprocessing prospect I imagine that greatly boosts the final assessment. I shall reconsider my initial points. Thanks.

 

Here is the part of the article that address my concerns.

 

C/P from article http://discovermagazine.com/2008/may/02-is-nuclear-energy-our-best-hope

Is Nuclear Energy Our Best Hope?

What about the waste? Uranium is an extremely dense source of energy, and the volume of waste is therefore small. According to David Bradish, a data analyst at the Nuclear Energy Institute, a nuclear fuel pellet measures 0.07 cubic inch (about the size of your fingertip) and contains the energy equivalent of 1,780 pounds of coal. The nation’s 104 reactors generate roughly 800 billion kilowatt-hours a year and contribute about 2,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel a year. By contrast, U.S. coal combustion produces some 100 million tons of toxic material annually. At nuclear plants, spent fuel is currently being transferred from pools to robust concrete casks, where it can be secured for about a century. But this spent fuel, which retains more than 95 percent of its energy, can be reprocessed to make new fuel, reducing the ultimate volume of waste by more than 60 percent. The National Academy of Sciences has given the nod to long-term disposal of spent fuel in canisters that will be sealed deep inside a mountain near the vast, remote Nevada Test Site, where hundreds of atomic bombs were once exploded.

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