Could Earth's Heat Solve Our Energy Problems?
   
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Submitted by Mordhaus
Comments (showing 10 of 14)
*promote
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written by eric3579

Promoting this video and sending it back into the queue for one more try; last queued Friday, September 6th, 2019 8:21pm PDT - promote requested by eric3579.
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written by siftbot

Iceland uses this tech for 30% of their electricity and over 85% of their heating needs. It also heats public baths like the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
Unfortunately, East Oregon and Idaho where our best geothermal locations are are sparsely populated, so it's unlikely the U.S. will adopt it.
*quality
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written by newtboy

Boosting this quality contribution up in the Hot Listing - declared quality by newtboy.
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written by siftbot

There are many areas in the North American continent where geothermal is viable. Unfortunately, the returns are not as rapid nor as great as they are drilling for oil and, as a result, it is difficult to get projects funded.
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written by drradon

For some idea of how much energy could conceivably be extracted this way, see:

https://www.withouthotair.com/c16/page_96.shtml

In a nutshell, the numbers in this video sound extremely bogus. It's unlikely that anything like our current fossil fueled lifestyle would be possible using only geothermal energy.
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written by Buttle

Don't tell the environmentalists how much radiation geothermal releases. It is many orders of magnitude more than a nuclear power station and if they were held to the same standard they would never be built.
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written by Spacedog79

Please site your sources for this information.
I'm assuming they mean the estimated radiation from a properly functioning nuclear power plant and not the average actual radiation, which includes meltdowns, leaks, transportation accidents, etc. I can't imagine any geothermal plant ever contaminating like Chernobyl or Fukushima did.

It bears noting that coal ash is apparently 3-6 more radioactive than properly functioning nuclear power plants emit for the same energy generation, and it gets absorbed both directly from particles and indirectly in food and water.
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written by newtboy

You'd be surprised.

Geothermal try to keep public exposure to less than 1 mSv per year.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283106142_Natural_radionuclides_in_deep_geothermal_heat_and_power_plants_of_Germany

Living near a Nuclear Power station will get you about 0.00009 mSv/year.

Living in Fukushima will get you about 10 mSv in a lifetime, with life expectancy there at about 84 years that is 0.177 mSv/year.

https://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/a_e/fukushima/faqs-fukushima/en/

Even Chernobyl is almost entirely background radiation now. Radiation is all scaremongering and misinformation these days, so people freak out about it but it really isn't that dangerous. It takes about 100 mSv a year to have even the slightest statistically detectable health effect and far more than that to actually kill someone.
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written by Spacedog79

The 1mSv per year is the max the employees at the dump/recycling plant can be exposed to, so leeching more than that into public water systems seems impossible unless I'm missing something. This comes mainly from solid scale deposits removed from the closed loop systems.
Average employees in German plants seemed to get around 3 mSv/yr on their table.

At Fukushima, According to TEPCO records, the average workers’ effective dose over the first 19 months after the accident was about 12 mSv. About 35% of the workforce received total doses of more than 10 mSv over that period, while 0.7% of the workforce received doses of more than 100 mSv.
The 10mSv was the estimated average exposure for those who evacuated immediately, not the area. Because iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days, the local exposure levels dropped rapidly, but because caesium-137 has a half life of 30 years, contaminated areas will be "hot" for quite a while, and are still off limits as I understand it.

Sort of...., most of the area surrounding Chernobyl is just above background levels after major decontamination including removal of all soil, but many areas closer to the plant are still being measured at well above safe levels to this day, and unapproachable, while others may be visited only with monitoring equipment, dose meters, and only for short times. It's not back to background levels everywhere, with measurements up to 336uSv/hr recorded in enclosed areas and abandoned recovery equipment (the claw used to dig at the reactor for instance)....no where near that low at the plant itself. Places like the nearby cemetery which couldn't have the contamination removed still measure higher than maximum occupational limits for adults working with radioactive material. The radiation levels in the worst-hit areas of the reactor building, including the control room, have been estimated at 300Sv/hr, (300,000mSv/hr) providing a fatal dose in just over a minute.
http://www.chernobylgallery.com/chernobyl-disaster/radiation-levels/

Don't get me wrong, I support nuclear power. I just don't believe in pretending it's "safe". That's how Chernobyl happened....overconfidence and irresponsibility. If we consider it unacceptably disastrous if it goes wrong, we might design plants that can't go wrong...The tech exists.
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written by newtboy


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