Assorted links

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The most important path dependence argument is when there are significant benefits to switching, but it is impractical. I've always been a little weary of path dependence arguments (like QWERTY vs. DVORAK or VHS vs. Betamax being overplayed). Even when the argument isn't overplayed, those making the argument almost always say it is a form of market failure or something.

This case on its face appears very much like a case of path dependence (more so than the others I think). Of course, how strong are the benefits of the other reactors if you can't get regulatory approval or if your employees would have to be retrained (the benefits would need to exceed the cost of retraining). Given how much the government has regulated or promoted the nuclear industry, it seems to be a mistake to blame the lock-in on the market.

The author of the article on nuclear reactors admits that *we don't really know* if the alternatives to light-water nuclear reactor design are superior, for lack of testing. That's too bad. But testing is expensive, and potentially dangerous. Would it be worth the trouble? The author gives us no reason to think so.

generation IV reactors are already underway. the main benefits would be more electricity from same amount of fuel, fuel waste is radioactive for tens of years instead of thousands, and more of the waste byproduct can be reused as fuel. some reactor designs are actually considered to be theoretically meltdown-proof. but at the end of the day, these things cost money. since governments only like to subsidize reactors with proven track records in safety, itll take time to reach the market. especially since it takes anywhere between 7-12 years to complete a reactor.

The list of Philippine quirks omitted the biggest one of all - balut.

Hi Peter, I didn't think it was a Pinoy quirk since it is also served in Cambodia, Vietnam and China. It wasn't my favourite afternoon snack, I can tell you that!

Good list! Coming from India, I can tell you that many on the list apply to us as well. Especially the Kraft cardboard-cheese, roosters, motorbikes=male, and nano-sized pouches of everything.

Jodi's understanding is mine: balut is also eaten in other Southeast Asian countries although I've heard the Vietnamese eat more mature duck eggs than Filipinos. I think for Pinoys the standard is around 21 days old and lots of people throw away the embryo although they won't admit that to squeamish foreigners.

Two things the author missed were pointing with your lips (e.g. "it's over there!" followed by turning your head and puckering your lips in the direction) and drinking beer with ice.

Excellent point. (I'm the one who wrote that post). I also left off the Jeepneys and halo-halo; it was hard to narrow down!

Yes, these lines struck me in the nuclear article:
"Part of it, also, is that it takes a long time to get a license for a new reactor concept."
"Ultimately, experts say, overcoming technological lock-in requires the deliberate participation of the federal government"

It's such a common thread... make a bunch of regulations, and instead of just figuring out better regulations, create a new program to overcome those regulations.

Yeah, it's kind of hard to take claims that only the Federal government can break lock-in in the nuclear sector when it's the Feds that require an additional eighteen months to approve a design change.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Dominion_Luminant_COLA_reviews_extended-0803114.html

And regulate small reactors exactly the same as large reactors.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/jsp_includes/articlePrint.jsp?headLine=Sizing%20Up%20Small%20Nukes&storyID=news/dti/2011/03/01/DT_03_01_2011_p14-290951.xml

We just entered a war and it barely makes the news.

Yeah, OK, maybe I should stop viewing "Assorted links" on MR as my main news source.

Speaking of Canada and nuclear reactors, the nuclear article makes it sound like the lock-in was somehow finalized at some point, as though the Canadian and British designs were abandoned.

I don't know about the UK, but there are several Candu reactors in service throughout the world, and several under refurbishment. The design continues to be refined, and you can still buy these things, at least according to the Wikipedia page.

Disclaimer: I am not actually a Candu salesman or anything, but I did have significant exposure to the Candu design folks in grad school.

On 6. More on technological lock-in and nuclear power.

a set of approaches
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Simplified_Boiling_Water_Reactor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercritical_water_reactor
http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectionCode=76&storyCode=2055642

makes a) much more economic reactors ( at least twice less expensive than now ) b) no problems with waster c) much more reliable and passive cooling d) no problems with uranium (100 times more uranium could be used + including all previously mined + thorium for breeding )

and this is all - is a next step from light water reactors.

BTW - please change font - slowly but I read MR fewer and fewer times - the font gets on me...

"maybe I should stop viewing “Assorted links” on MR as my main news source."

Why?

On nuclear, apparently it's hard to determine safety a priori. Maybe consider stop trying.

One of the data sets used in the peanut butter analysis is the IRI Marketing Data Set, which is now 7 years of store week level data for 30 categories (over 70 gigabytes). For more information see http://mikekr.blogspot.com/2009/07/iri-marketing-data-set-one-year.html This points to ordering information from IRI and to a paper describing the data set.

The FT model . They copied it from them

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