Bob Hargraves continues to post materials from his class at Dartmouth Rethinking Nuclear Energy He's now in Part 5 of an 8 part class.
The class on Energy Policy and Environmental Choices was held today and the slides and audio are posted.
The homework problem was from unit 3. Environmental Choices which asks "How many cows would meet Vermont's need, in 2006, for 9,589 GWH of energy?"
The answer was computed in class. it is 5.7 million cows! Prof. Hargraves did not say whether the cows were "contented" or not. He notes that the waste from one cow produces enough energy to light two 100-watt light bulbs 24-hours a day.
Now the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in 2006 Vermont had a population in 2006 of 624,000 people. That works out to about 9 cows per person. Put another way the land area of Vermont, whether covered by buildings, roads, farm crops, or other livestock, is 9,250 square miles. That works out to 616 cows per square mile. Clearly, while cows are a viable energy source on a very small scale, meeting base load demand is out of the question. The rest of the math is in the slides.
BTW: For those of you who want a self-guided field trip, readers are reminded that the 52nd annual Vermont Dairy Festival will be held up north in Enosburg, VT, June 5-8. Don't miss it!
The class finished the unit 4. Current Technology and went through unit 5. covering new technologies through spent fuel reprocessing and pebble bed reactors.
Bob writes, "Next week we finish all the prepared materials, and the week of May 12 we visit Seabrook Station."
Note to readers - the slides are in Microsoft Powerpoint [tm] format. Because of their size your best bet is to save the files to disk and then open them. Class 3 is in a 22 Mb file composed of 134 slides.1