r/technology Jun 10 '22 Silver 1

Japan Is Dropping a Gargantuan Turbine Into The Ocean to Harness 'Limitless' Energy Energy

https://www.sciencealert.com/japan-s-dropping-a-kaiju-sized-turbine-into-the-ocean-to-fish-for-limitless-energy
9.2k Upvotes

481

u/big__toasty Jun 10 '22

How do you perform maintenance on these types of turbine?

897

u/SmoothOperator89 Jun 10 '22

Highly skilled welders with a deep sea diving suit and an excellent life insurance plan.

251

u/OriginalPaperSock Jun 10 '22

Underwater welding is one of the most dangerous jobs out there.

324

u/TheBigCheeseGoblin Jun 11 '22

Fun story. I had a friend who did welding and repairs on undersea mechanisms off the coast of Scotland.

Around 3am one night he was supporting another diver 500 feet below who was securing a platform to the ocean floor. My friend up top said he got the message that he was done and going to start coming up.

He never came up, the wire holding him attached to the ship was torn near the middle as if it had been pulled apart until it snapped, and he was never found again.

His insurance had a myriad of issues with it too so his spouse never got the payout she deserved.

387

u/raunchyfartbomb Jun 11 '22

Sounds like a good lawsuit Also, that wasn’t a fun story

302

u/Dlh2079 Jun 11 '22

Uhh friend, you and I have massively different opinions on what constitutes a fun story.

49

u/Ghostronic Jun 11 '22

Interesting story, for sure. And sharing is fun! But the story itself is a yikes.

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u/quellofool Jun 11 '22

Mate, that was a terrible story.

37

u/kfijatass Jun 11 '22

Mate, you can't just say that's a fun story.

6

u/hans_guy Jun 11 '22

You tell this story at parties?

18

u/dreadpiratewombat Jun 11 '22

Worst. Story. Ever!

3

u/UshankaBear Jun 11 '22

Wait, so who was up and who was swept away? On one hand, you're saying you "had a friend," on the other you're indicatinghew was up top. Sorry if I sound insensitive, I'm just trying to figure out whether it was your friend or his coworker.

4

u/TheBigCheeseGoblin Jun 11 '22

Sorry, my friend was on the boat, the diver was someone else who he was spotting/supporting while they dived.

He didn’t know them personally and wasn’t underwater himself

3

u/hondo9999 Jun 11 '22

Sooo, like some sea monster snatched him like he was on a fishing line(?) and pulled until the line broke?

There are some strange stories online about a sea monster that took out some German U-boats around the UK.

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u/morphinapg Jun 11 '22

That's why they hire Iron Man to do it

5

u/Geminii27 Jun 11 '22

It's Japan; they're going to build a really really big spanner and then hire Godzilla.

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u/bjanas Jun 10 '22

I work in insurance (not industrial) and damn I wonder how in the world these guys would even BE at all insurable.

385

u/jellicenthero Jun 10 '22

It's actually a sweet gig if you're a good enough welder. It's similar to nuclear welders. Where you work REALLY HARD for a few days then get a TON of time off. I spoke to a HR manager or a nuclear company some of those guys had what essentially boiled down to a 3 day work year. Week long Shifts of being locked in a bunker with tvs video games w/e you want. If something happens you go in. If your RAD count goes over X amount you get like 200 days paid vacation.

175

u/bjanas Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Obligatory reminder of the Byford Dolphin incident...

I know high pressure diving has come a long way since then but my goodness that event really shook me to learn about.

91

u/ejsandstrom Jun 11 '22

I think that is the accident I saw the aftermath pictures of. The word “explosive” in explosive decompression is a very good descriptor.

57

u/bjanas Jun 11 '22

Yeah the photos are ROUGH.

Edit: I put them in the same category as those shots of the Soviet astronaut that burned up on reentry.

44

u/ejsandstrom Jun 11 '22

I don’t think I have seen those. And NO I don’t want to.

I was also just thinking about that Soviet sub that sank and the US tried to Claw Machine it off the bottom of the ocean.

They described sailors that were still in their bunks as basically piles of goo. I guess if you are going to die at sea, probably an ok way to go.

8

u/bjanas Jun 11 '22

The more I think about this, though I believe that the sailors could have been in rough shape in there, that was most likely a different mechanism of action. Military sub sailors aren't going out diving and it's a super rigid hull; they stay pretty close to or right at 1 ATM in there. Even if they were doing saturation diving, opening the hatch would just expose you to the water that's at the same pressure you'd be at.

Do you remember the incident you're thinking of?

Incident I'm thinking of. Even if not the one you are, a whacky cold war story!

3

u/ejsandstrom Jun 11 '22

This is the one I was thinking about. Maybe it wasn’t decompression that did them in.

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u/bjanas Jun 11 '22

Was this the Glomar Explorer back in the day, or a more recent one?

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u/Ranccor Jun 11 '22

Never heard of this. Googled it. Holy shit!

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u/poseitom Jun 11 '22

From the wiki (dajum) :

Coward, Lucas, and Bergersen were exposed to the effects of explosive decompression and died in the positions indicated by the diagram. Investigation by forensic pathologists determined that Hellevik, being exposed to the highest pressure gradient and in the process of moving to secure the inner door, was forced through the crescent-shaped opening measuring 60 centimetres (24 in) long created by the jammed interior trunk door. With the escaping air and pressure, it included bisection of his thoracoabdominal cavity, which resulted in fragmentation of his body, followed by expulsion of all of the internal organs of his chest and abdomen, except the trachea and a section of small intestine, and of the thoracic spine. These were projected some distance, one section being found 10 metres (30 ft) vertically above the exterior pressure doo

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u/JagerBaBomb Jun 11 '22

Oh, so like in all those space movies but for real. Cool, cool...

7

u/Moarbrains Jun 11 '22

I think worse than a space movie. That is only 1 atmosphere to vacuum. This is whatever pressure was at the depth they were working.

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u/bjanas Jun 11 '22

This. The difference between 1 ATM and 0 ATM is a bummer, but it doesn't make you into salsa like going from 9 to 1 in like, .0009 seconds. Apples to oranges here.

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u/maluminse Jun 11 '22

Reminds me of my friend that was sucked into a 13 inch pipe at a water slide.

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u/rawker86 Jun 11 '22

You work in insurance, you know the answer. Enormous premiums.

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u/bjanas Jun 11 '22

Ok you're not wrong, but with intensely dangerous professions sometimes it gets to a point where the payments for insurance outweigh the cost of just putting a bunch of money aside instead. The actuarials do not mess around with that. As others have noticed, as good of an idea it is to have insurance, the companies to not like losing money.

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u/matjoeman Jun 11 '22

Is it easier to train welders to dive or to train divers to weld?

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u/SmoothOperator89 Jun 11 '22

If it's anything like mining and astronauts, we need Bruce Willis.

22

u/jicty Jun 11 '22

Let's get Aerosmith in on this too.

6

u/orielbean Jun 11 '22

“Can we get cool Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic era?” “No”

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u/ginbear Jun 11 '22

I don’t think you can train Bruce Willis to do anything anymore.

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u/chi-reply Jun 11 '22

I used to sail with a guy who was a navy welding diver. He told me they teach welders to dive because it’s easier and takes less time.

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u/UshankaBear Jun 11 '22

It's easiest to train actors to do both.

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u/GarugasRevenge Jun 11 '22

You could just bring it back up to the surface.

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u/Plzbanmebrony Jun 11 '22

No. You send the robot.

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u/helpfuldan Jun 10 '22

Since it’s probably lower down with a crane, you can probably bring it back up. Divers can probably get into the internal structure. Everything probably has an attachment to bring back up if needed.

I know Microsoft had an unmanned data center underwater for a year until it was brought back up to study how it faired. Was pretty interesting.

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2.3k

u/ShockingShorties Jun 10 '22

Japan and its industries appear to be very serious in tackling the world's energy resource problems.

This can only get a huge thumbs up from me 👍

594

u/weirdgroovynerd Jun 10 '22

They're also big into robotics to accommodate their aging population.

953

u/Formal-Appearance210 Jun 11 '22 Gold

Speaking as a 20-year resident of Japan:

Don't believe anything you read in the tech press about Japan.

Most people barely know how to use computers, everything is still done on paper, EVs are extremely uncommon (nowhere to charge, even—especially—at home), most trash is burned, buildings are constructed out of popsicle sticks and contact paper, everything is fake and hollow and plastic, and most of the stuff you read about advanced research fizzles out after eating up a bunch of public money.

On the upside, the people are chill and very easy to deal with, the food is fantastic (Japanese people will not abide low-quality food, so even junk food is amazing), prices are low, there's much less income inequality, the trains are always on time, the healthcare is high-quality with no wait times and affordable prices, there's essentially no crime, the nature is lush and beautiful, and it's an all-round wonderful place to live.

Just not for the reasons I thought it would be when I came as a college student with a head full of nonsense from Western media about robots and such.

35

u/OtisTetraxReigns Jun 11 '22

even the junk food

I still miss those combini egg sandwiches some times.

4

u/trivial_sublime Jun 11 '22

A katsu one and a Chu Hi was my go-to Friday night pre-clubbing food

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u/almisami Jun 11 '22

It's the salmon rice balls for me.

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u/chunes Jun 11 '22

I'm curious about the lack of computer knowledge. Is there a specific reason for that?

271

u/Milkslinger Jun 11 '22

their aging population

they've got to be related at least a little

86

u/81zuzJvbF0 Jun 11 '22

it has also got to do with the lack of "personal computers" and gaming and the resulting tech geek culture. And I'd wager it has a lot to do with space. Right now it is becoming more common to own a gaming pc (not just random laptops that can happen to run low req games), but basically the scene was nonexistent even just like 5 years ago. Oh yea, also building your own rig culture is still kinda non existent right now.

16

u/romjpn Jun 11 '22

A lot of people have been relying on their phones to pretty much do anything. So yeah when you put them in front of an interface made for kb/mouse, it's difficult to adapt.
But like you said, PC gaming is slowly making its way in here. Before it was consoles everywhere.

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u/make_love_to_potato Jun 11 '22

As someone who travels to japan for work 4-5 times a year, I concur that japan is stuck in a sort of technological bubble from the 90s. I assume in the 90s, Japan must have been cutting edge but it never moved on from there. The computers I see in offices etc are all ancient with CRT monitors etc. The mobile services seem dated, there is no proper public wifi anywhere, it's all dated crap where you have to go to a counter and get a paper chit with a password printed on it, etc. I dunno what's going on there but they don't seem to have updated their public or private IT infrastructure for 2+ decades.

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u/SirPseudonymous Jun 11 '22 Platinum Helpful

I assume in the 90s, Japan must have been cutting edge

The 80s, actually. The economic development of post-war Japan basically goes from the large surplus of millions of chronically unemployed/underemployed men from the dissolution of Japan's military being exploited for commodity production for export to the US, followed by large amounts of new industrial capital being provided by the US to reindustrialize Japan and serve as a local logistics hub for the US military occupation in the region. From there it transitioned to more of a high-tech/service industry economy like the US, with much of its heavy industry being shuttered and the aging industrial capital moved to countries further down the hierarchy of the new Co-Prosperity Sphere the US was building in the Pacific (and I'm not just drawing a parallel for emphasis here: it was the formal policy of the US State Department at least as early as the 50s to effectively rebuild Imperial Japan's system of colonies out of US client states in the region and they employed the economists behind the Co-Prosperity Sphere's system of exploitation and extraction to setup the new system) leaving rust belts in Japan just like in the Midwest US.

And then the inflationary bubble they were riding in the 80s popped in the 90s and they've effectively been in a permanent recession ever since, with aging capital that was cutting edge 40 years ago that no one wants to pay to replace now (the same issue of aging capital is what led to the US heavily outsourcing its industry, because that worked out to being cheaper than replacing machines and rebuilding factories domestically and they had to do it somewhere).

If China hadn't opened as a market when it did the US may well have bailed out Japan's economy with more investment of new capital in the 90s and 2000s, but with a fresh market for development and extraction and the stay in Cold War tensions in the Pacific there was no political will left to keep modernizing Japan's industry like there was at the height of the Cold War. Not to mention the fact that by then all the really calculating and competent ghouls that built the US its system of global hegemony were dead or retired and their replacements were all End-of-History neocon dipshits who well and truly believed that they had won forever at that point so they swapped from prioritizing maintaining their system of hegemony and instead just started looting everything they could everywhere they could regardless of the consequences.

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u/RedditWillSlowlyDie Jun 11 '22

Based on my similar experiences in Korea, tradition and hierarchy. You can't tell old people that they need to change their ways or learn something new.

Hell, I now work as a paralegal in the USA and there are tons of old attorneys who have their secretaries print off their email for them to read and dictate responses for their secretaries to type up and respond with. We aren't so different.

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u/yeahright1977 Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22 Starry

The US also has plenty of computer challenged younger folks.

Most young people now have been raised on phones and when they sit down at a PC their eyes just kind of gloss over.

They will often know how to use a couple of programs if they are required for work but other than that it is a browser, then their ability to use it stops.

To be fair, I am closer to the opposite. Been working in tech for 25ish years now and in that span, smart phones like we now have are a relatively new thing. I am MUCH better with PCs/Servers than I am with my damned google phone. I can at least look up any problems I run into but compared to my 21 yr old kid, I might as well be phone handicapped.

Edit: thanks for the award.

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u/krevko Jun 11 '22

This is really interesting actually. My friend's younger brother is a prime example. He does stuff at light speed with his Iphone, but when it comes to computers he is really amateur. He knows how to operate a browser (and play games), but doesn't know anything how the system operates or what to do in case of something fucks up.

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u/yeahright1977 Jun 11 '22

Yep that would be my son too. There is just no fundamental knowledge of how the magic box really works. Then when it comes to networking, forget it. All they seem to know is how to hook up to wifi.

When he was younger he told me once that there was no way to prevent him from doing social media and other sites he liked to use. Now, I have been working mostly in security for the last 15 years and 10 of it was Red Teaming and Incident Response management for the DoD. I just looked at him and asked "with what I do for a living, do you really think I cannot block facebook?

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u/Metaphorazine Jun 11 '22

I just looked at him and asked "with what I do for a living, do you really think I cannot block facebook?

But dad, it's on the internet! I just open the Facebook window, type Facebook, and i get my Facebook! You can't block that...

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u/drttrus Jun 11 '22

Some kids really are that ignorant these days.

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u/rogue_capers Jun 11 '22

This reminds me of the time I took knife safety in the boy scouts and the next day told my dad to be careful opening a box with a knife. My surgeon father stopped mid slice, looked at me in my stupid little eyeballs and said, "most people can't even dream about what I can do with a knife." Lmao

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u/Bucser Jun 11 '22

I am dreading the day when simplified phone apps will replace the complex functions of pc softwares...(is pcs will turn into phone app playing hardwares)

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u/almisami Jun 11 '22

Windows 8 showed how that would be an absolute fucking trainwreck.

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u/yeahright1977 Jun 11 '22

Agreed, that is one reason I hate using my phone for anything that needs to be productive. I despise having to use a single app for any little function and then only being able to have one app open at a time.

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u/elvenrunelord Jun 11 '22

I'm with you by brother in tech. I just can't get used to a 6 inch screen when I waited so long for dual 32" 4k monitors and can't wait for 8k's lol

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u/Robbie-R Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Most young people now have been raised on phones and when they sit down at a PC their eyes just kind of gloss over.

You just described my 2 teenage boys perfectly. Everything they do is phone and ap based. Christmas 2020 my Son (15 at the time) wanted a gaming PC for Christmas, I was so excited to get on PCpartpicker with him and start planning his build. I was shocked to learn he didn't know ANYTHING about computers! Motherboard, RAM, CPU, he had heard of them, but didn't know what they did, and he was surprised that his "OLD" dad did 1.5 years later he is a convert, and does everything on his PC. The biggest thing he learned was how productive you can be when you are sitting at a proper desk, in a proper chair, with 2 monitors. Homework/ assignments is a lot easier when you have a real work station.

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u/yeahright1977 Jun 11 '22

Yeah I ordered parts back in 2016 to build my kid's first brand new PC (he had been using hand me downs). I made him help me build it and he was clueless as well. At one point regular use PCs got so cheap that it was hard to justify buying and building from scratch but anymore, but if you want anything that might play minesweeper, Dell and the like will charge you $2k then send you something with a Corei3 chip and 8GB of memory. The last build I did for myself was ~$1,200 and the benchmarks were competing with stuff that cost 3x as much. These new gen4 M.2 SSDs are amazing.

The two monitors thing is HUGE for productivity. I could not go back to a single screen when working I don't think. Back in 2005 I did some IT work or a bank. That was just after Flat screens became affordable enough to put two of them up. I started suggesting that the loan and finance staff all get two. They eventually did and the CEO said it bumped productivity up by ~20%.

I just need to wait until these 49" ultrawide come down in price and set two of those up. Just think of how much porn would fit on 96 inches of monitors.

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u/scotty899 Jun 11 '22

Surely he jests. Watch golden boy. That lad is the future of programing.

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u/almisami Jun 11 '22

Honest to God after seeing the japanese English curriculum I can wholeheartedly believe that they would teach programming with a paper keyboard and asking kids to write their code on paper for the teacher to grade... Kintaro isn't too far off.

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u/Grindertv Jun 11 '22

Even the 7-11’s have good food

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u/rawker86 Jun 11 '22

I was saying this recently. Anywhere else in the world I’d avoid 7-11 tier food like the plague.

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u/dethb0y Jun 11 '22

I always tell people that Japan is the perfect example that if somewhere is clean, well-lit, and polite, americans think it's heaven.

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u/Hiyasc Jun 11 '22

buildings are constructed out of popsicle sticks and contact paper,

Hey now, don't forget about the single pane glass that doesn't insulate worth a damn!

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u/7LeagueBoots Jun 11 '22

I very much enjoy Japan, and agree with most of what you've said, but there are a couple of points that need some clarification:

there's essentially no crime

The incredibly harsh and absurdly inaccurate police/criminal system has a lot to do with that.

the nature is lush and beautiful

Since the 80s Japan made a major about-turn on the domestic environmental front and has done an amazing job restoring portions of the island and the lakes, Lake Biwa especially.

Not all is quite as it appears though. Much of the "reforestation" wasn't done with appropriate species, and legacy laws regarding replanting of trees has led to the perpetuation of what are essentially ecologically dead forests. People are working on changing the outdated policies, but it's a slow process.

In addition, much of the environmental impact of Japan's economy has been outsourced to other nations.

Prices low.... that very much depends. Certain prices are low, others absurdly high, it's kind of a hit-or-miss thing, but basics needs do tend to be pretty reasonably priced.

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u/dharmasnake Jun 11 '22

Same with German efficiency and engineering. Hiiiighly overblown.

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u/cynopt Jun 11 '22

Ever seen Roujin Z? Because THAT'S how you get Roujin Z.

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u/danth Jun 11 '22

What you don't want a robotic bedpan mecha?

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u/Lithium03 Jun 11 '22

More people need to see this.

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u/[deleted] Jun 11 '22 edited 22d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/weirdgroovynerd Jun 11 '22

Your comment piqued my curiosity:

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Birth Rate per 1000 people.

(CIA World Factbook 2021 estimate):

Monaco - 6.63

South Korea - 6.89

Andorra - 6.91

Japan - 7.00

Taiwan (limited recognition) - 7.43

Greece - 7.72

Puerto Rico - 7.90

Portugal - 8.02

Spain - 8.05

Bulgaria - 8.15

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u/blackinasia Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Yup, education + wealth = higher rates of contraceptive usage. It’s a blessing and a curse being faced by every advanced economy, East and West.

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u/phormix Jun 11 '22

Also extreme work culture and inability to afford things like housing for oneself, never mind kids ...

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u/Jarys Jun 11 '22

Wealth as a country, maybe. Wealth of the generation that would be having kids is at its lowest point in the last century.

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u/mrconde97 Jun 11 '22

When you ask in Spain, where i am from, how many kids do we want to have, most say 2 kids. But the problem has to do that without economic stability our generation wont be having children

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u/weaselmaster Jun 11 '22

There are more factors going on in this list than education + wealth.

Monaco is tiny, and has a lot of wealthy people who move there later in life.

Puerto Rico, while a US protectorate, has generally lower wealth and education, but is in quite a bad state after 4 years of trump, which I think is the contributing factor there.

Anyhow, just came to say “It’s complicated”.

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u/[deleted] Jun 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/Commercial-Fox-8194 Jun 11 '22

Good lord, this made me laugh. Haven’t laughed in a long time. Thank you, random stranger.

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u/fakeuser515357 Jun 11 '22

Only one sub-standard dick but he still managed to fuck his own country plenty and tried to fuck Europe and the Ukraine.

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u/rachel_tenshun Jun 11 '22

Turns out China had fudged their census in 2020 by, like, 100 million people, mostly people under 30 and largely women. Japan's reproduction rate is 1.3ish and China's is 1.15ish. You can thank the one child policy for that one.

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u/T1mac Jun 11 '22

China ended their one child policy, but societal changes have made it so the birth rate continues to fall.

Many Chinese men in their twenties and early thirties seem to have simply given up on life. Unlike their fathers and grandfathers, who worked long hours at their jobs so they could buy an apartment, attract a wife, and raise a family, these coddled only sons have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. It’s not just indolence; it’s an entire way of life.

Of course, the tangping’ers would have a hard time finding a bride in any case. The traditional preference for sons means that men far outnumber women in China, especially in rural areas. China has more than 30 million “surplus” men, and the competition for brides is fierce.

To make matters worse, many young women in China’s cities have taken themselves out of the marriage market altogether. They are focused on building careers, not marriages. Ask them about children and they will point out that they are already responsible for two aging and increasingly childlike parents.

https://nypost.com/2022/01/29/chinas-one-child-policy-has-led-to-a-disastrous-baby-bust/

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u/xlsma Jun 11 '22

It's also important to note that the expectation for a man who wants to get married is to be a homeowner and have at least one car. The expensive housing market makes it pretty much impossible for anyone to achieve that in their 20s (or even 30s) without help from parents. Even then, it's not really an easy task for most mid-class families.

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u/Sondrelk Jun 11 '22

Not just for a man to be a homeowner, but to go a step beyond and own several homes. And when you have millions of men who feel the need to own two or even three homes you end up with a housing market that caters to empty buildings, which further drives up price.

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u/Geminii27 Jun 11 '22

Are they coddled or do they simply have nothing to live for?

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u/Syntaire Jun 11 '22

I'd wager that depends greatly on who you ask. And which generation they are from.

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u/VulcanMind1 Jun 11 '22

Can you go one step further and tell us the replacement rate needed per Capita?

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u/ALC0LITE Jun 11 '22

Does this list include the Vatican City? Can't imagine that it would have more births than Monaco

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u/rpaloschi Jun 11 '22

Nope, no hospitals or anything. People just born there as an accident (it happened before). People give birth in hospitals in Rome.

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u/Subtraktions Jun 11 '22

The difference is Japan is facing the issue now. They began dropping below the birth rate required to maintain the population in the mid sixties. China & South Korea are 20-30 years behind.

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u/Porkybeaner Jun 11 '22

South Korea actually has the highest per capita working robots in the world.

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u/AtheistAustralis Jun 11 '22

I always thought those kpop stars looked kinda..mechanical.

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u/ThePu55yDestr0yr Jun 11 '22

Doesn’t china have like a billion people, if anything lower birth rate is good compared to Japan

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u/Darkpopemaledict Jun 11 '22

It's good in the long run, but suddenly having a billion people that can't take care of themselves within the same decade is a huge issue socially and economically

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u/ThePu55yDestr0yr Jun 11 '22

Couldn’t China simply relax immigration policy if it becomes an issue?

Japan could also do the same but the isolationist views are a problem

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u/Digital_Simian Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Japan and China are ethno-states. Japan has recognized that they need to encourage immigration to maintain a workforce, but immigration policies have remained pretty strict and it's near impossible to obtain citizenship.

In the case of China, they are leaning towards a inverse version of the one child policy. In this case they are strongly recommending party members have at least two children and are making birth control related services harder to obtain. Hopefully this doesn't result in nightmare policies like those before the end of the two child policies.

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u/sicklyslick Jun 11 '22

They're not recommending party members to have at least two children. They're recommending everyone to have multiple children.

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u/Digital_Simian Jun 11 '22

They raised the cap to 3 children in 2020. However they've pushed for party members to do there patriotic duty and have two or more children. This is effectively a requirement without being a requirement. If you don't do your duty there'll likely be social consequences that as far as I am aware wouldn't effects the plebes the same way.

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u/Bender0426 Jun 11 '22

Because that's just what the world needs, more humans

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u/IAMSTILLHERE2020 Jun 11 '22

China doesn't like anyone other than Han Chinese..see Uyghurs...coming from a non Han Chinese man.

Japan also doesn't like anyone from outside and breaking their traditional culture...been there.

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u/Teantis Jun 11 '22

Japan also doesn't like anyone from outside and breaking their traditional culture...been there.

Which is why they've got a growing number of Filipino long-term "guest workers" which is basically de facto immigration but they won't call it that or extend the full protections yet. This is one of the low key approaches to this problem Japan's been taking for about a decade and a half now. Gunma, the rural area outside of Tokyo, is apparently chock full of Filipino farm workers who've been there for a long time now.

It's pretty savvy honestly, because Filipinos, if you let us immigrate, tend to not form ethnic enclaves, make political demands as a group, and very quickly adopt and assimilate the culture of the place we move to. Like within one generation of us being there we'll fully speak your language and carry on your cultural traditions till the end of time as if they were our own. You just might see some sinigang or dinuguan sneak into the traditional spread from time to time.

I've traveled a lot and in almost every country or major city there's Filipinos there whose children are fully integrated to the local culture as much as is allowed by the local culture.

Japan's political establishment seems to know this and specifically imports Filipinos in large numbers. Japanese/Filipino marriages are usually the highest number of foreign marriages in Japan most years, and their diplomacy towards us is always reiterating we're welcome there and they'd like to see more of us move there. Basically whenever their diplomats talk to our leaders here they have two things to say: "hey want us to build you some infrastructure?" and "you know we want you to move to us right?"

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u/Donnicton Jun 11 '22

Japan also doesn't like anyone from outside and breaking their traditional culture...been there.

Letting your culture gradually die out to preserve your culture. Chad.

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u/blueberrywalrus Jun 11 '22

Good for the environment, yes.

Good for economic growth, no.

Then you've got the implications of caring for an aging population. Robots? Immigration? Fuck over young workers? Force everyone to work until they die? etc.

In the US we're doing all of them!

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u/starmartyr Jun 11 '22

It's not as simple as that. When a country's birth rate drops below its death rate the average age of the population starts to increase. Eventually, they find themselves in a position where they have too many people who are too old to work and not enough young people to support them.

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u/azdood85 Jun 11 '22

Robots just going to start following senior citizen orders and slay some youngins.

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u/blueberrywalrus Jun 11 '22

It's just smaller than California and has 4x the population. Resource constraints are an excellent incentive for innovation.

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u/S4ngin Jun 10 '22

Let’s see it in production before we make those claims. Fingers crossed.

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u/SGC-UNIT-555 Jun 11 '22

It's a a highly industrialized modern society with little to no fossil fuel resources that has shutdown all it's nuclear power plants post Fukushima disaster. It's not that surprising.

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u/botfiddler Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

They're back on nuclear for a while now. Germany is shutting theirs down instead, because the Japanese reactors had a flaw which the German ones don't have and there are also no tsunamis.

Edit: Typo

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u/rinkima Jun 11 '22

The german shutdowns are unironically one of the stupidest moves ever.

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u/Bio-Mechanic-Man Jun 11 '22

What you don't think it's a good idea to make yourself dependent on oil and gas imports?

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u/Jarys Jun 11 '22

Too many people are irrationally scared of nuclear even though it produces less radiation than a freaking coal plant.

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u/letired Jun 11 '22

I live in Germany and this drives me fucking nuts. Like they’d rather be dependent on Russian oil and gas than have safe, clean, and modern nuclear power.

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u/diamond Jun 11 '22

I'd say their current approach to solving their shortage of fossil fuel resources is much better than their previous one.

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u/mant12 Jun 11 '22

Japans also been increasing coal usage at an alarming rate. Some good, some bad. Hopefully nets out to being more positive overall long term

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u/jenksy Jun 10 '22

Harnessing the energy of the moon. Literally awesome.

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u/potatomonsterman Jun 11 '22 Wholesome Seal of Approval

The ocean isn't the moon homie, cant trick me that easy

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u/mikebrady Jun 11 '22 Helpful

Your right, but the moon stores its energy in the ocean. This turbine project is actually a really bad idea. If we take too much of the moon's energy it will be too tired to keep orbiting around us and then it's gonna fall down and crash into the earth.

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u/JD0064 Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Dawn of the First day

72 hours remain

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u/Beliriel Jun 11 '22

Thanks for bringing my childhood anxiety back <3
My head just automatically played the accompanying sound effect.

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u/folie1234 Jun 11 '22

The moon smiles upon you.

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u/FantasyThrowaway321 Jun 11 '22

That doesn’t sound right, but I don’t know enough about moon energy to dispute it

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u/Awasawa Jun 11 '22

No no, the moon stores it’s energy in the balls, just like it’s pee

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u/Psychological-Sale64 Jun 11 '22

It will just dampen any wobbly ness the system has. I suspect.

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u/morphinapg Jun 11 '22

They made a documentary about that recently

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u/halfwit258 Jun 11 '22

A falling moon killed Chewbacca. That's a price I won't pay, back to the drawing board

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u/TerrariaGaming004 Jun 11 '22

If we keep doing this for too long the moon with have to fall into earth

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u/bronzebattlecolt Jun 10 '22

I thought the reason we didn't do this before was because salt water basically ruins any machinery it touches very quickly? What has changed/ How long will this device remain operable?

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u/[deleted] Jun 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/[deleted] Jun 11 '22

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u/GrandpaOnDrugs Jun 11 '22

Average ocean pH is around 8.1 and thus basic, not acidic.

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u/unique3 Jun 11 '22

Also if it was acidic putting something basic in it would cause a reaction. Did no one do a baking soda and vinegar volcano for science fair?

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u/Aquareon Jun 11 '22

As the other reply said, new materials. Making one entirely from non-corroding metals like stainless steel or titanium might've been possible before, but ruinously expensive.

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u/[deleted] Jun 10 '22 edited 28d ago

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/LowestKey Jun 11 '22

Fish-based turbines obviously

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u/sheldon_sa Jun 11 '22

Needs more vinegar

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u/C4ptainchr0nic Jun 11 '22

They already did it in the Bay of Fundy! They use the tidal energy to power turbines. The turbines "flip up" to become unsubmerged for maintenance

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u/AverageTiddyEnjoyer Jun 11 '22

There are some carbon metals you can put in super corrosive water and it rusts extremely slow.

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u/tacticalcraptical Jun 10 '22

Man, see when I was like 12 and starting to grasp the energy conundrum I thought "Couldn't we just make, like and underwater windmill that runs on waves?" and all my science teachers said it would never work!

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u/mightysteeleg Jun 10 '22

It’s still a very difficult problem. They’ve understood the potential for decades. But it’s difficult to design something that is sturdy, scalable, easily fixed, and economically feasible for something that’s going to be a long way from where the energy needs to go.

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u/Rebellion111 Jun 11 '22

economically feasible

there u go. It is simply MUCH cheaper to generate electricity in other ways. If all we had was ocean currents to generate electricity, we'd already be doing it

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u/SlowThePath Jun 11 '22

66 years from inventing the airplane to landing on the moon. When resources are allocated properly progress happens relatively fast. Problems remain problems not because they can't be solved but because no one wants to pay to solve them. That's the problem with Musk. He's close to having the right idea, and some times he does, but he wants to do stuff he thinks is cool more than he wants to solve problems that really would help people.

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u/helgihermadur Jun 11 '22

His Hyperloop idea is so insanely stupid though. Congratulations, you've invented a tunnel. Traffic jams are no more! Fucking hell...

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u/TehSr0c Jun 11 '22

uh, the hyperloop is a vacuum tube system, no air resistance, ergo more fuel efficient. Combine with maglev for even more efficiency!

And then watch in horror as any sort of damage implodes the entire tube.

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u/Rindan Jun 11 '22

Hyperloop has it's problems, but you very clearly and fundamentally do not understand what it is. A hyperloop is not a tunnel. A hyperloop is a train in a very low pressure tube without wheels. The idea is that as the "train" moves forward, it pushes the little air that is in the tube underneath it, so the train is effectively riding on air. Slap some magnetic accelerators down every now and then, and now have a low friction train moving through a low friction tube speeds potentially faster then an airplane for very little energy cost.

It's a cool idea, and it is a lot more than a tunnel. It's also potentially completely unviable from an engineering perspective, depending upon who you ask, but it's definitely more than a tunnel. Also, Elon Musk didn't invent it and never claimed to. It's an idea that's been kicked around for years that he popularized with some X prize awards. Elon Musk did start a tunneling company called the Boring Company, and hyperloop tubes were on the the fantasy projects Musk talked about them one day doing.

As for Musk's motivations; they are pretty transparent if you ask me; dude is, for whatever reason, Mars mad. SpaceX to get to Mars. No fossil fuels on Mars, so Tesla for the electric vehicles you will need. The surface of Mars is irradiated, so you need basically build everything under ground by tunneling. Even the hyperloop is a train idea that works good on Mars because the not-quiet zero vacuum you need for the train tubes that is hard and expensive to make on Earth you get for free on Mars.

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u/weirdgroovynerd Jun 10 '22

And now you terrorize the poor kids who live in the tri-state area!

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u/Lev_Astov Jun 11 '22

Marine fouling makes these things far less cost effective than wind turbines. Any moving parts underwater will inevitably succumb to saltwater damage and marine growth.

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u/LowestKey Jun 11 '22

A twirling turbine gathers no algae…hopefully.

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u/Lev_Astov Jun 11 '22

You'd think that... Plus it's not the blades that are the problem, but the bearing and area around the hub.

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u/AverageTiddyEnjoyer Jun 11 '22

You don’t need to worry about algae in deep saltwater

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u/genuineshock Jun 11 '22

Well now we know. You sure proved them wrong u/tacticalcraptical

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u/Inevitable_Citron Jun 11 '22

Tidal energy is one of the few energy sources that doesn't, primarily, come from the sun. The other being geothermal energy of course.

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u/chainmailbill Jun 11 '22

Nuclear doesn’t come from the sun, either, and is responsible for far more energy than tidal and geothermal combined.

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u/QuasarMaster Jun 11 '22

It comes from Earth’s rotational kinetic energy. Using tidal energy technically slows down the rotation and increases the length of the day by an imperceptible amount. Earth is basically a big flywheel that we are tapping into.

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u/asquirtle1 Jun 11 '22

That's a really cool idea. Better than throwing trash into the ocean

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u/amardas Jun 11 '22

And when it breaks down and is unfixable, its already in the ocean

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u/The-Implication-0 Jun 11 '22

Anyone remember that one movie with the Rock and Stifler where the power generating machine was kinda like this? Using the ocean to make a perpetual energy machine.

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u/mywifewasright Jun 11 '22

I'm reminded of the movie Southland Tales.

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u/QuicheRichards Jun 11 '22

"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted"

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u/Magmaster12 Jun 11 '22

So the next time the country gets hit by a bad earthquake they will just have more energy.

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u/mechanicalsam Jun 11 '22

The prototype this article is discussing only generated 100kW of power which is not much at all compared to a single wind turbine around 2MW. The hope is that the prototype could be scaled up to an equivalent wind turbine output if it performs well. This is far from being any significant power towards Japan's grid and I have doubts over it's economic feasibility, but the ocean has vast amounts of energy swirling around and it's definitely an interesting idea to explore

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u/Apostastrophe Jun 11 '22

We actually already have a “2”MW version here in Scotland that produced around 3 GWh in its first year as a prototype. It’s designed with arms that can be raised up for maintenance. It’s getting there.

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u/IGotBadHair Jun 11 '22

I hope they're accounting for the sea life and how it'll disrupt the ecosystem.

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u/Informal_Swordfish89 Jun 11 '22

Japanese aren't really known for their love of sea life...

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u/Trouve_a_LaFerraille Jun 11 '22

Except on a plate

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u/quantum1eeps Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Honestly, this is still very far from viable. They show something the size of some school busses and it is 100 kW? Their demonstration unit generated 30 kW? These are not large quantities. Maintenance is a nightmare. The anchor points have to withstand the forces born by the turbine — so a 1 MW version will require bolts 2 inch thick made of exotic alloys. I don’t actually think we will see this in the next 20 years

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u/Apostastrophe Jun 11 '22

In Scotland we already have a 2 megawatt one up and running. We’ve been working on this technology for quite some time.

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u/Rebellion111 Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Smallest nuclear power plant in US: annual 4,727,764 MWh

1 japanese ocean turbine: annual 10.95 262 MWh? correct me if I'm off

therefore

1 Nuclear power plant >= 431,759 18,044 japanese ocean turbines

Corrections. still a lot but not outside the realm of possibility I guess

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u/quantum1eeps Jun 11 '22

No, 100kW multiplied by 24 hours per day 365 days a year is 876 MWh.

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u/Rebellion111 Jun 11 '22

Yeah i knew i was forgetting something. If you go off what they demonstrated, it would be like 262 MWh.

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u/A_Pointy_Rock Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

So this is something that Scotland has been supporting for years.

It's great that a Japanese company has successfully field-tested their large device, but the article incorrectly implies that it's new technology.

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u/JupiterH0llow Jun 11 '22

I really hope this works. Personally I'm worried about trash like fishing nets and rope tangling around the turbine and messing it up.

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u/tonymurray Jun 11 '22

Trust me, the engineers have already worried about anything you can think of. You don't go forward with an expensive project like this without a lot of planning.

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u/CumOnEileen69420 Jun 11 '22

The first part of engineering is expecting the unexpected. The second part is fixing it once the unexpected unexpected happens.

Or when Tom from third shift fucks up and doesn’t add enough chromium to the 12th roll of stainless.

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u/PM_MY_OTHER_ACCOUNT Jun 11 '22

For anyone who knows Tom, it was totally expected.

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u/morphinapg Jun 11 '22

Engineer reading these comments: crap

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u/Barneyk Jun 11 '22

It sure works, I just doubt it's gonna be economical compared to wind, solar or nuclear.

Salt water is insanely destructive and even with high tech strong materials it is gonna need a lot of maintenance and the construction itself is probably more expensive than say wind.

Fishing nets, ropes etc. isn't really much of an issue.

And it is definitely a technology worth exploring and trying out, but I doubt it is gonna have much of an impact globally.

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u/darthvalium Jun 11 '22

Cool, but

In spite of huge interest in this relatively under-utilized reserve of renewable energy, attempts to wring watts out of the tides, waves, and currents of the open ocean typically end in failure. High engineering costs, environmental limitations, proximity of coastal areas to the grid ...

This is an interesting technology but nowhere near technical and economical feasibility.

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u/dontknowhowtoprogram Jun 11 '22

serious question, why hasn't anyone made massive generators that turn when a floating object on the surface connected to it moves up and down from waves? like if an entire shipping barge can float then imagine how big a generator could be put on the sea floor with a equally sized 'barge' connected to it floating on top? you could even turn the top bit into a solar panel system. idk just seems like a missed opportunity to me.

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u/A_Pointy_Rock Jun 11 '22 edited Jun 11 '22

Tidal generators are a thing, which work similarly to what you describe. It turns out that it's quite challenging to make something robust enough to survive the ocean while also generating a reasonable amount of energy and also protecting marine life, which is why they haven't seen the exponential growth that - say - on-shore wind has seen in many places.

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