1. To my knowledge there's three electrical components that produce electricity, but alternators are the best way to produce large amounts of electricity and steam seems to be the best way to get the mechanical energy for them

  2. remembered to finally watch it because of this post (and comment) and man it’s good. disappointing lack of nuclear power generation but the comedy made up for that.

  3. my disappointment as a young adult when i learned that nuclear waste storage is actually very safe, meaning we could've phased out fossil fuels as a source of electricity over half a century ago.

  4. I don’t get this reaction. Steam is fucking amazing. Water is amazing. I’ve spent the last ten years of my life studying and publishing science on water, and I still love it. It might be common but it’s properties are incredibly unique, and I think using phase changes to convert heat energy to mechanical energy and then to electrical energy is maybe one of the most clever things we as a people have ever invented. Recovering useful energy from heat flies in the face of the slow entropic march of the universe, and it’s fucking brilliant.

  5. My disappointment as a 17 year old when unrealized nuclear fuel will run out pretty soon, too and is technically also a fossil fuel since it can't really be replaced (without a supernova nearby).

  6. "Oh man I'm so excited for the advent of fusion energy! We're gonna be harnessing the power of the stars themselves! I wonder through what arcane means the energy will be harnessed!"

  7. There was that time they tried using mercury vapour rather than steam, since they could boil it at a higher temperature without the system having to withstand crazy high pressures or deal with supercritical weirdness.

  8. That was my reaction when I watched the Chernobyl mini series. "Wait, so a nuclear power plant is just a glorified steam engine? Like basically all fuel based power plants"

  9. Well, there are many ways of making (electrical) energy without requiring moving water or steam. First and fairly significant is photovoltaics, no steam required. Other direct kinetic-electric energy generation is pretty boring (and usually not new) - windmills have been around for centuries. Thermocouples do indeed generate power (their sizes vary from the single junction smol thermoelements in your fridge, oven or heating to larger arrays that can start generating power. They aren't very efficient and scaleable (plus they are expensive!) so if you already have a temperature difference there is usually no point bothering with them. Then there are galvanics-based devices, mostly fuel cells and batteries. Modern primary batteries generally use zinc (or lithium) as the "fuel" part. Metallic zinc is industrially produced in huge carbon based forges and they dont really require steam-moving-wheels to make electricity. There are fuel cells that can burn methanol made from plants, but plants need water so you be the judge of it.

  10. It really just isn't our fault that the single most efficient way to convert heat energy to electricity is by turning water to steam. If we found something better in the past 200 years we would have started using it by now.

  11. There’s no problem with it, it’s just funny to imagine that all the complexity behind a nuclear reactor does nothing but steam to create energy

  12. I love that the thing we are mostly composed of is also the best way to generate power. I guess that’s just because it’s an incredibly plentiful substance, but it’s still nice

  13. I mean, no, the nuclear fission is generating the energy, the turbine just makes it into electricity

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