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(NPR)   The future of nuclear power is in a series of miniature reactors that are just so cute you'll want to cuddle with them   (npr.org) divider line 233
    More: Strange, nuclear reactors, reactor cores, office park  
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16638 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Feb 2013 at 1:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-04 10:49:26 AM
Seems like a big safety and security risk.
 
2013-02-04 11:06:36 AM
Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.
 
2013-02-04 11:09:10 AM

GAT_00: Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.


OOOooo, but what about a nuclear powered laser gun?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-04 11:17:42 AM

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


No, they would just be grouped onto large facilities.  It costs a lot less to get approval for one large site than ten, and it's the same for providing security and everything else.

Making them smaller just makes them easier to build and assemble and finance.  It's not like they are going to be on sale at Home Depot.
 
2013-02-04 11:31:21 AM
Sweet...

i236.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-04 11:34:06 AM

vpb: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

No, they would just be grouped onto large facilities.  It costs a lot less to get approval for one large site than ten, and it's the same for providing security and everything else.

Making them smaller just makes them easier to build and assemble and finance.  It's not like they are going to be on sale at Home Depot.


I can see how a modular power system like this could be very useful. I would allow you to provide large-scale electrical power to remote areas relatively cheaply and without having to build a ton of supporting infrastructure. But in practical terms where do you deploy these? Africa, with it's chronic security issues(even in the more stable countries)?
 
2013-02-04 11:55:08 AM

Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?


Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.
 
2013-02-04 12:14:28 PM

costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.


Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).
 
2013-02-04 12:15:22 PM

Voiceofreason01: costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.

Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


I want one of these for my doomsday prepper bunker!
 
2013-02-04 12:20:21 PM
Will if fit on the back of my DeLorean??
 
2013-02-04 12:35:17 PM

Voiceofreason01: Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


Who says they need to be remote? There's lots of old coal-fired power plants all over the world, and if you've got, say, an old 600mw plant that needs replacing, you need 3-4 of these to replace it. If the price is right to buy and install, that makes nuclear power a real choice in roles it never was before - nobody builds full scale nuclear plants for a load requirement that small.
 
2013-02-04 12:51:39 PM
Whatever happened to the air cooled ceramic mini nuclear plants we were promised? It seems going with steam is just backward.
 
2013-02-04 12:52:26 PM
I expect a lot of:

upload.wikimedia.org

"Not in my back yard!"
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-02-04 01:02:27 PM

Voiceofreason01: costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.

Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


At the sites of existing reactors. They already have site licenses.
 
2013-02-04 01:09:21 PM

Voiceofreason01: GAT_00: Thanks Asimov, I still don't need a nuclear knife.

OOOooo, but what about a nuclear powered laser gun?


It's our constitutional right to have nuclear-powered laser guns.
 
2013-02-04 01:11:42 PM
The article is talking about micro nuclear reactors. There was a greenlight some time back about the town of Galena in Alaska wanting one of these since it was so expensive to import diesel fuel for their generators.


Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


Not really. The latest generation of reactors are fairly safe, including a number of passive cooling designs that make issues like we saw at Fukushima a non-issue. Keep in mind that the General Electric boiling water reactor at Fukushima was designed in the 1950s, and the RBMK reactor at Chernobyl was designed shortly after (and was a horrible design even for the time; they were illegal to build in the US).

The fuel is kept in sealed containers that can't really be tampered with onsite. When the fuel is exhausted, it is put on a truck and shipped back to the factory, so you don't have holding pools like we saw at Fukushima.

I'd consider coal power a greater health risk since we know that they are actively spewing heavy and radioactive metals into the air. More people have died from coal related illness in the US than from nuclear accidents.  That shiat really has got to go.

The nice thing about these micro facilities is that you can build them close to towns so you can avoid long-distance transmission losses. Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground, so this sorta side-skips the issue.
 
2013-02-04 01:13:58 PM
These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.
 
2013-02-04 01:15:16 PM

violentsalvation: I expect a lot of:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 395x269]

"Not in my back yard!"


Screw distributed power generation
Screw progress
NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY DERPDERPDERP
 
2013-02-04 01:18:01 PM
WAFTR or LFTR are okay, why doe the NRC keep trotting out the same tired shiat, I mean really how much energy could we extract, and how much do we extract are just sad questions.
 
2013-02-04 01:18:28 PM

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?
 
2013-02-04 01:20:33 PM

Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.


Yes but wait until the general public catches wind of any potential installations. Sense will immediately stop being made.
 
2013-02-04 01:20:49 PM
Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

www.ocmodshop.com

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?
 
2013-02-04 01:22:10 PM
They're building one of these next to my house, they've answered all of the community's concerns with "dont' worry, it's safe"....so now I feel much better about it.
 
2013-02-04 01:22:12 PM
"Hey Bill?

"Yes Jeff?"

"We're gonna need about a 450 year detour from Elliot and Lake to exit 38 on the greenway, a semi flipped last night night and took out reactor 22. On the flip side, we' won't need any street lights in the area for a while, either."

"fark. And I suppose EVERYBODY around just has to get out of town right now and visit their aunt in Peoria, too. You get the containment grid turned on and I'll alert the sherriff's office. He's been looking for an excuse to get the boys some range time anyway. God damn it so much."
 
2013-02-04 01:22:15 PM

A Shambling Mound: Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.

Yes but wait until the general public catches wind of any potential installations. Sense will immediately stop being made.


Wait for it:

SkunkWerks: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?


Point proven.
 
2013-02-04 01:25:53 PM
Seems just it was just a decade ago that Toshiba was talking about building mini reactors.

Oh, and Bill Gates was involved, too.
 
2013-02-04 01:25:59 PM
Yep. Build them like house trailers.
Brilliant. I bet they are easy to keep safe and secure, too.
Nothing like having an ADT sticker on the glass window to keep someone away that wants your fuel grade stuff.
I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

We need about 30 years more research, or stop arresting every boyscout who tries this in his own back yard.

Nuke morans are the other end of the spectrum from the crunchy, hippie, Peta wack jobs.
 
2013-02-04 01:27:36 PM
As a proponent of nuclear energy, there are reasons why developing countries can't have nice things.

I'm on the fence about it, but I could be swayed.
 
2013-02-04 01:27:49 PM
pjmedia.com
 
2013-02-04 01:29:34 PM
When can i buy one for my home and get rid of the damned electric utility's ever-expanding costs
 
2013-02-04 01:30:30 PM

vudukungfu: Yep. Build them like house trailers.
Brilliant. I bet they are easy to keep safe and secure, too.
Nothing like having an ADT sticker on the glass window to keep someone away that wants your fuel grade stuff.
I'm sure nothing could possibly go wrong.

We need about 30 years more research, or stop arresting every boyscout who tries this in his own back yard.

Nuke morans are the other end of the spectrum from the crunchy, hippie, Peta wack jobs.


encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com

Deep thoughts...
 
2013-02-04 01:30:32 PM

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


What could the possible fallout be?
 
2013-02-04 01:30:42 PM

SkunkWerks: Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Whatever do you mean?  A nuclear reactor that's small enough to be loaded into a back of a simulated wood-panel van?

FTA: The plan is to build hundreds of mini-reactors, dot them around the U.S. and export them overseas.

What could possibly go wrong here?


Reactor designs are nowhere near what they were when Chernobyl, Fukushimi, or even the dozens of swimming-pool reactors scattered around the USA. Modern technology and engineers has essentially removed the risk of melt-down and the transportation of radioactive waste is an existing issue. We already ship all kinds of radioactive material to hospitals every day. The risk the same using these small reactors. The article doesn't specify, but these should include Thorium-based reactors as well. No reason to limit ourselves to moderately enriched Uranium. I am also curious about down-time for refueling. Large reactors actually have planned outages for refueling and maintenance. Having lots of little cores allows staged refueling - which simplifies the process and evens-out maintenance scheduling.
 
2013-02-04 01:31:02 PM
 
2013-02-04 01:31:16 PM
They didn't say if they were liquid or solid fuel types. Liquid then they make sense but not the solid fuel type.
 
2013-02-04 01:31:45 PM
If these become popular, how will we be able to continue ruining our air and contaminating our water with mercury?
 
2013-02-04 01:32:59 PM
My dad worked at that facility 30 years ago.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:24 PM
There is no mention of it in the article but I read that the military is interested in small portable reactors.  Instead of shipping diesel fuel through let's say Pakistan to run generators at bases in Afghanistan you could bring in a portable nuclear power plant that would run for years without refueling.  They also want them to power bases in the US so those bases are relying on vulnerable local power grids.  My guess is that the DOE money for this is mostly for the purpose of supplying the military.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:28 PM
<i>"It's a developing country that doesn't have a substantial electrical grid that is precisely the kind of country I would not want to see have any kind of nuclear power plant," he says.</i>

Because burning the local forests for fuel or relying on the warlord's oil fields is so much better for people in developing countries.

I suppose the one saving grace about Western environmentalists hating humanity is that they want the impoverished foreigners to die off first.
 
2013-02-04 01:33:46 PM
I'll wait for the arc reactor
 
2013-02-04 01:34:26 PM
As someone who lives within the fallout zones of two nuke plants, I'm not concerned.

Actually, having a nuclear power plant eight miles from my home is kind of exciting, if anything.
 
2013-02-04 01:34:31 PM

Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,


What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?
 
2013-02-04 01:35:39 PM

A Shambling Mound: Point proven.


Really?  I'm actually one of the folks here who would normally weight in against alarmist notions about nuclear power.  In fact, I firmly believe it's the way forward, and still do.

That said, when you alter one of the fundamental properties of nuclear power plants, and dramatically so- in this case, their size- there are certain logistics considerations that should probably be carefully examined at that point.

And it's entirely possible they're being examined, I admit.

It's just that, well, my faith in humanity is a rather dim sort of faith, and with folks all up and gushing about how "neat" this is, it's not exactly uncommon for such glaring issues to be glossed over, or else, entirely ignored.
 
2013-02-04 01:36:14 PM

rwfan: US so those bases are

NOT relying

ftfm
 
2013-02-04 01:36:20 PM
What size of turbine facility would be needed to utilize the output from one of these, I wonder?
 
2013-02-04 01:36:24 PM

doczoidberg: As someone who lives within the fallout zones of two nuke plants, I'm not concerned.

Actually, having a nuclear power plant eight miles from my home is kind of exciting, if anything.


i212.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-04 01:36:54 PM

Thisbymaster: They didn't say if they were liquid or solid fuel types. Liquid then they make sense but not the solid fuel type.


It's a pressurized water reactor.
 
2013-02-04 01:37:18 PM
Knew it all along.
 
2013-02-04 01:37:42 PM
Sounds pretty rad.
 
2013-02-04 01:38:27 PM

willfullyobscure: "We're gonna need about a 450 year detour from Elliot and Lake to exit 38 on the greenway, a semi flipped last night night and took out reactor 22. On the flip side, we' won't need any street lights in the area for a while, either."


Yeah it's a shame nobody knows how to build hardened structures with layers of passive defenses against objects with lots of kinetic energy.

Yeah it's also a shame nobody knows how to build in plain sight without drawing attention.  There's no way to build bland buildings that nobody pays attention to.
 
2013-02-04 01:38:34 PM

GameSprocket: Knew it all along.


This was supposed to have a picture. New editor fooled me.

hubcap.clemson.edu
 
2013-02-04 01:38:41 PM

liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?



Not having to listen to nutcases who claim to be sensitive to magnetic fields, and claim that they cause cancer, rickets, and gingivitis.
 
2013-02-04 01:39:57 PM
I still think that traveling wave reactors are the best idea out there for a global solution.
 
2013-02-04 01:40:13 PM
And remember, unlike the last 57 times, this time, nuclear energy really will be clean, cheap and safe.
 
2013-02-04 01:40:20 PM

liam76: What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?


The benefit of installing transmissions lines underground?  Umm, they don't ruin your view...

retasite.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-02-04 01:40:39 PM

liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?


Downed lines from wind, drunks and ice? Logistics of poles, easement for clearance, and maintenance? Just plain not having to see them?
 
2013-02-04 01:40:43 PM
Came for the Fallout references...

yadda yadda yadda
 
2013-02-04 01:41:01 PM
Article doesn't specify fuel type.  I will reserve judgement until I find this out.
 
2013-02-04 01:41:51 PM
GOOD

Also make the nuclear industry accept for modern technology. These knuckleheads still rely on orifice plates for flow metering.
 
2013-02-04 01:42:04 PM
Mr. Fusion?
 
2013-02-04 01:43:09 PM
Whole bunch of swabbos/squiddos who've been paddling water for a long time within spitting distance of small reactors (not this particular design) who've only had their tags take a hit when wearing them out when spending a sunny day  on the beach.

We spent twenty billion perfecting a passive safety/recycling system Integral Fast Reactor and then said fark it (actually cut the cooling/elec and then went to lunch):

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/ti ll .html
 
2013-02-04 01:46:00 PM

SkunkWerks: A Shambling Mound: Point proven.

Really?  I'm actually one of the folks here who would normally weight in against alarmist notions about nuclear power.  In fact, I firmly believe it's the way forward, and still do.

That said, when you alter one of the fundamental properties of nuclear power plants, and dramatically so- in this case, their size- there are certain logistics considerations that should probably be carefully examined at that point.

And it's entirely possible they're being examined, I admit.

It's just that, well, my faith in humanity is a rather dim sort of faith, and with folks all up and gushing about how "neat" this is, it's not exactly uncommon for such glaring issues to be glossed over, or else, entirely ignored.


Those are all fair statements. The comment of yours that I quoted did not indicate any of that so I hope you can understand how it looked from my end.

For my part I figure it's a pretty safe assumption that before anything like this starts getting dropped all over the place someone will have figured out how to make them impossible to run off with. That assumption doesn't even consider that trying to heist materials from existing power stations is a potentially fatal business on a good day. In the craziest world I couldn't imagine a miniature reactor just sitting exposed on a pad with a bunch of easy-to-access and safe to handle disconnects, waiting for someone to come along and load it up on a truck.
 
2013-02-04 01:46:05 PM

give me doughnuts: Not having to listen to nutcases who claim to be sensitive to magnetic fields, and claim that they cause cancer, rickets, and gingivitis.


Agreed.  If non-ionizing magnetic fields caused cancer, we would have a century's worth of data showing cancer clusters around clear-channel AM radio transmitters.  Yet we don't.

Besides the out-of-sight, out-of-paranoid-mind benefit and not having to look at them, it might be beneficial to bury them in northern latitudes if it helped avoid complications from solar flares / magnetic storms.
 
2013-02-04 01:47:23 PM
Yeah, I hear those Naquadah reactors are man-portable.
 
2013-02-04 01:48:12 PM

Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.


From what I've read, the failsafes on these small nuclear reactors are quite thorough.

From Pop Sci 2009:

" As in modern reactors, the containment shell acts as a heat exchanger, Reyes explains. The water closest to the core is vented into the outer shell as steam, where it condenses and drips into the cooling pool, which is recirculated to cool the core. The whole unit sits below grade, without telltale cooling towers. The reactor doesn't use pumps to circulate the water if the unit overheats, which means it needs no external power to cool down. That's a "passive safety" feature that protects the unit from electrical sabotage.

The new unit can be manufactured cheaply, with standard turbines from General Electric, for example, rather than custom-made parts. Because the steel reactor vessel is only 9 ft. in diameter, it can be made entirely in the U.S., rather than relying on Japan Steel Works, the only manufacturer who can cast today's one-piece, 25-ft.-plus reactor vessels.

Each 45-megawatt electrical unit would generate enough power for about 45,000 homes. By comparison, plants operated today generate 1000 to 1700 megawatts, according to NRC spokesman Scott Burnell. "You can't take an AP1000, a large base-load reactor, and put it down where there's no grid to support it. A smaller design could be useful in a remote setting."


I've been checking this stuff out for a long time. The community I live in could use one of these. We have a big nuclear power plant within ten miles, but we get no power from it. We get mucho tax and other benefits- but a small reactor right in the middle of our neighborhood would be just as safe and secure as the big guy down the street.
 
2013-02-04 01:49:04 PM

McPoonDanlcrat: Article doesn't specify fuel type.  I will reserve judgement until I find this out.


Think it's safe to assume it's uranium oxide pellets in fuel rods, as is normal for PWRs.
 
2013-02-04 01:49:30 PM
Heard this story on the radio this morning, and was disturbed by the total absence of information about the technology.  Was it Thorium-based?  Was it a pellet reactor?  Is it a new technology with safety advantages over traditional methods?

Sadly, my first thought was:  this is NPR, so they're not going to mention any of that stuff---they're out to scare their hippie demographic, so they'll just describe this as a customary nuclear reactor only smaller.   And double-sadly, I was right.
 
2013-02-04 01:49:39 PM
This is how we go extinct.

No insurance company will pick up the risk.

No company can afford the risk.

This means enjoy large parts of America uninhabitable when these fail.

Enjoy your cancer.
 
2013-02-04 01:49:50 PM
Where does the spent fuel go?

www.personal.psu.edu
 
2013-02-04 01:51:04 PM
Anyone's that has been around a two year-old knows that the biggest meltdowns can come in very small packages.
 
2013-02-04 01:52:31 PM
Didn't the original Batman car on the television series run on a small reactor?
 
2013-02-04 01:52:55 PM
I hear that in the future you can buy plutonium at every corner drug store.


/1.21...
 
2013-02-04 01:53:52 PM
members.chello.cz

Mr Fusion?
 
2013-02-04 01:55:55 PM

give me doughnuts: liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?


Not having to listen to nutcases who claim to be sensitive to magnetic fields, and claim that they cause cancer, rickets, and gingivitis.


I don't think burying them would help with those complaints.


ElLoco: liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?

Downed lines from wind, drunks and ice? Logistics of poles, easement for clearance, and maintenance? Just plain not having to see them?


I think those would actually be worse.

As far as downing them, I was under the impression that they were not bothered that much by wind, drunks and ice.

Dinjiin: Umm, they don't ruin your view


My bad, didn't take your "see" literally.

I never thought they were much of an eyesore.
 
2013-02-04 01:57:02 PM

Mouser: <i>"It's a developing country that doesn't have a substantial electrical grid that is precisely the kind of country I would not want to see have any kind of nuclear power plant," he says.</i>

Because burning the local forests for fuel or relying on the warlord's oil fields is so much better for people in developing countries.

I suppose the one saving grace about Western environmentalists hating humanity is that they want the impoverished foreigners to die off first.


Yes, that's right, we hate humanity.
Specifically, you.
 
2013-02-04 01:57:06 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?

[www.personal.psu.edu image 630x494]


Personally I'd rather have it in drums than in my lungs.
 
2013-02-04 01:57:20 PM

Xcott: Heard this story on the radio this morning, and was disturbed by the total absence of information about the technology.  Was it Thorium-based?  Was it a pellet reactor?  Is it a new technology with safety advantages over traditional methods?

Sadly, my first thought was:  this is NPR, so they're not going to mention any of that stuff---they're out to scare their hippie demographic, so they'll just describe this as a customary nuclear reactor only smaller.   And double-sadly, I was right.


Or maybe they know most peopel listening won't get the difference...
 
2013-02-04 01:58:39 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?


The fuel for some of the models come from used rods from larger plants.
 
2013-02-04 01:59:21 PM
Adorable!  But whose going to pick up the waste?
 
2013-02-04 02:01:48 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
Yippie Ky Ya, Mini Sirloin burgers......
 
2013-02-04 02:05:57 PM

Tax Boy: [members.chello.cz image 500x317]

Mr Fusion?


Honestly, that's about all Miller High Life is good for.
 
2013-02-04 02:06:52 PM
The future of nuclear power should be limited to a footnote in the history books.

Teachers:
"Look kids, here's an industry that told the public that it would be clean, so cheap that meters wouldn't be necessary & completely safe."

Kids: "What a bunch of idiots."
 
2013-02-04 02:10:19 PM

Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.


If'n they'd spend the time developing roof-tile solar panels that were affordable, The power situation would be solved. They are real close to the 'break-even' point in my budget right now as it is.

/just a touch more affordability...
//or, subsidies
///And I'm in Washington State
 
2013-02-04 02:12:22 PM

Mikeyworld: Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.

If'n they'd spend the time developing roof-tile solar panels that were affordable, The power situation would be solved. They are real close to the 'break-even' point in my budget right now as it is.

/just a touch more affordability...
//or, subsidies
///And I'm in Washington State


The subsidies for renewables in WA State are some of the highest in the world. Rooftop solar panels have about a 6 year ROI.
 
2013-02-04 02:13:12 PM

Jument: Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?

[www.personal.psu.edu image 630x494]

Personally I'd rather have it in drums than in my lungs.


I'm pretty sure we can dig deep, make the storage facility have really thick walls with multiple passive containment layers and large enough so that we can store several hundred years worth of waste.  There must be a talent pool of civil engineers large enough in this country to be able to figure it out.  I seem to recall there aren't as many civil engineering projects now as there was a few years ago.  It can't be that hard to find the engineers needed to figure out the details.

Not only that but I do believe that there are a few people out there with construction experience who aren't currently working.  I bet we could get a few of them together to put the whole thing together.  I know, it's crazy but it just might be possible.

I'd rather have it underground than in my lungs.
 
2013-02-04 02:13:14 PM

Dinjiin: liam76: What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?

The benefit of installing transmissions lines underground?  Umm, they don't ruin your view...

[retasite.files.wordpress.com image 850x637]


When this story about TCE ground water contamination:   http://citizensvoice.com/news/report-contaminated-groundwater-no-thre a t-to-mountain-top-residents-1.955951 was big news in my area, my Dad (who worked for PPL, now retired) said to me: "you know that TCE shiat? Back in the '70's, when we were running underground wiring, we'd dump that shiat into the conduits by the drum loads to act as a lubricant. Whole tractor trailer loads of it. I figured the stuff was bad news when the guys handling it had to wear respirators."

So while you're enjoying your view, you might want to avoid drinking the water.
 
2013-02-04 02:16:22 PM

MrSteve007: The future of nuclear power should be limited to a footnote in the history books.

Teachers:
"Look kids, here's an industry that told the public that it would be clean, so cheap that meters wouldn't be necessary & completely safe."

Kids: "What a bunch of idiots."


Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.

And until we get some room temperature superconductors, *something's* gonna be needed for baseline loads. Solar currently isn't able to do that.

Some of the next gen reactor designs are pretty damn sweet, to the point of using spent fuel from traditional reactors *as fuel*, ending with waste that isn't much more radioactive than the stuff they hauled up from the ground in the first place.

(And some are thorium based, and there's enough thorium to use as fuel to, well... that would solve a lot of energy needs for a very, very long time.)

/Not anti-renewable. But also a physicist, and in favor of a hybrid system for our current needs.

Mikeyworld: If'n they'd spend the time developing roof-tile solar panels that were affordable, The power situation would be solved. They are real close to the 'break-even' point in my budget right now as it is.


Solar's awesome, especially for variable loads, but something is needed to provide a baseline load.

/Though there are some neat avenues at storing the energy from solar for use at night-I seem to recall reading something using liquid salt.
//And solar's growing pretty fast, which is awesome.
 
2013-02-04 02:16:29 PM
 www.reallifecomics.com
 
2013-02-04 02:19:05 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?

[www.personal.psu.edu image 630x494]


Jesus Hot sauce./ Root Boy Slim.
 
2013-02-04 02:19:37 PM

Mikeyworld: Pick: These are really cool. You could have one at each power sub-station. That way, you could have a really neat  grid of independent power sources. Someone is finally making sense.

If'n they'd spend the time developing roof-tile solar panels that were affordable, The power situation would be solved. They are real close to the 'break-even' point in my budget right now as it is.

/just a touch more affordability...
//or, subsidies
///And I'm in Washington State


In the Midwest, ice storms and hail storms make them too vulnerable, especially when insurance companies will replace part costs, but not the man hours required to repair, which can be the costliest portion of the bill. However, a few companies are working on solar paint and window glass coverings that may be easy enough for people to maintain on their own. I think that will be the point where solar will really take off.
 
2013-02-04 02:21:29 PM
I was expecting something along the size that could be made to look like a Furby.
Furbys are cuddly!
These don't look like they would be cudly at all.

Leaving. Disapointed.
 
2013-02-04 02:21:44 PM

Felgraf: Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.



What's the half-life on that coal, Doctor? Is it dangerous to have coal lying around, exposed to the air?

/shills, as far as the eye can see......
 
2013-02-04 02:22:10 PM

A Shambling Mound: For my part I figure it's a pretty safe assumption that before anything like this starts getting dropped all over the place someone will have figured out how to make them impossible to run off with.


You'd think that the indicators of any safety system would report on the condition of the system's actual physical components rather than whether or not you pushed a button to place one of those components in a certain state.

You'd think.

Three Mile Island suggests strongly otherwise.


Again, I'm very careful about what I consider to be "pretty safe assumptions", even where they concern people which are demonstrably quite intelligent.

Mind you- once again- I don't feel this is reason enough to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but horrifyingly negligent approaches to stuff like this are commonplace enough to be a worthy cause for alarm.  Where it concerns things like this, honestly I don't see how it's possible to have enough due diligence.


I recall reading an article not long ago (within the past year, in fact) which stated that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was solving the problem of reactor facilities being in unacceptable states of disrepair...

...by relaxing regulation.


Believe me, I want to get behind nuclear power.  Fission might not be perfect, but at the moment it's our best stepping stone to something better.  On the other hand, I'd also love to see these matters taken as seriously as, well, you'd think matters like this would warrant.
 
2013-02-04 02:22:45 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?

[www.personal.psu.edu image 630x494]


Transuranics from weapons and research are being sent to WIPP.  But since these reactors don't produce the same sort of waste, you should probably find a more relevant picture.
 
2013-02-04 02:24:22 PM
Why it will be too cheap to meter! The 'lectrical company will come to your home and pull that old 'lectrical meter right off the side of your house!

That was the promise Com Ed made to use kids back in the 60's. Of course, being a kid, you didn't really care about power meters but ringing Chicago with nuclear reactors sounded like a great idea.
 
2013-02-04 02:25:23 PM
Paging Martin Prince!  Time for your demo!
 
2013-02-04 02:28:48 PM
Family atomics?
www.badmovies.org
 
2013-02-04 02:28:54 PM

Felgraf: Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.


True and false.

True: today's coal's emissions release more radiation *into the environment* than nuclear power.

However nuclear power generates far more intensely radioactive and long-lasting materials than coal - it's just that it's currently kept in a contained environment. Who knows how well that containment will last in the next 100 or 1,000+ years. The USA currently has about 70,000 tons of high level waste, and no way to really deal with it, other than buying it.

"The Department of Energy's 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future reported that "no currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments - including advances in reprocessing and recycling technologies - have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenges the nation confronts over at least the next several decades, if not longer." link

AKA: all forms nuclear technology and waste will still be farking us for at least the foreseeable future. Reprocessing that much waste is a dream.
 
2013-02-04 02:30:21 PM
"We are trying to jump-start a new U.S. industry," he says. "That's my goal: a U.S. industry, U.S. jobs, clean energy."


Can nukaler power really be referred to as clean energy?
 
2013-02-04 02:30:28 PM

Rich Cream: What's the half-life on that coal, Doctor? Is it dangerous to have coal lying around, exposed to the air?

/shills, as far as the eye can see......


... I'm talking about the radioactive particles (and things like, well, mercury) *in* the coal. Not "Coal has a half life", because coal isn't a #@%ing element. The burning of which kind of releases them into the atmosphere.

Are you suggesting that burning coal does not, in fact, put radioactive particles into the atmosphere?

Because here's an article in Scientific American discussing it. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-rad i oactive-than-nuclear-waste

/I'll try to dig up some of the relevant papers, but it may take a bit.
//And no, not a shill.
///Physics grad student. In a field unrelated to nuclear power whatsoever.
 
2013-02-04 02:33:29 PM

pkellmey: In the Midwest, ice storms and hail storms make them too vulnerable, especially when insurance companies will replace part costs, but not the man hours required to repair, which can be the costliest portion of the bill. However, a few companies are working on solar paint and window glass coverings that may be easy enough for people to maintain on their own. I think that will be the point where solar will really take off.


Considering solar panels these days can stop a .22 or .38 bullet from a few feet away - I have a feeling that they're not too vulnerable to piddly little hail.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
Or hold a couple ton truck up between a 48" span, using only glass.
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-02-04 02:36:47 PM

MrSteve007: pkellmey: In the Midwest, ice storms and hail storms make them too vulnerable, especially when insurance companies will replace part costs, but not the man hours required to repair, which can be the costliest portion of the bill. However, a few companies are working on solar paint and window glass coverings that may be easy enough for people to maintain on their own. I think that will be the point where solar will really take off.

Considering solar panels these days can stop a .22 or .38 bullet from a few feet away - I have a feeling that they're not too vulnerable to piddly little hail.

[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x286]
Or hold a couple ton truck up between a 48" span, using only glass.
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x567]


Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them?  I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.
 
2013-02-04 02:38:13 PM

Dinjiin: The article is talking about micro nuclear reactors. There was a greenlight some time back about the town of Galena in Alaska wanting one of these since it was so expensive to import diesel fuel for their generators.


Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Not really. The latest generation of reactors are fairly safe, including a number of passive cooling designs that make issues like we saw at Fukushima a non-issue. Keep in mind that the General Electric boiling water reactor at Fukushima was designed in the 1950s, and the RBMK reactor at Chernobyl was designed shortly after (and was a horrible design even for the time; they were illegal to build in the US).

The fuel is kept in sealed containers that can't really be tampered with onsite. When the fuel is exhausted, it is put on a truck and shipped back to the factory, so you don't have holding pools like we saw at Fukushima.

I'd consider coal power a greater health risk since we know that they are actively spewing heavy and radioactive metals into the air. More people have died from coal related illness in the US than from nuclear accidents.  That shiat really has got to go.

The nice thing about these micro facilities is that you can build them close to towns so you can avoid long-distance transmission losses. Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground, so this sorta side-skips the issue.


Rich Cream: Felgraf: Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.


What's the half-life on that coal, Doctor? Is it dangerous to have coal lying around, exposed to the air?

/shills, as far as the eye can see......


I'm a true 1970's environmentalist freak, not a shill, and Dinjiin is right. Coal is nasty-ass stuff.
http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/sources.asp
 
2013-02-04 02:38:14 PM

Rich Cream: Felgraf: Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.


What's the half-life on that coal, Doctor? Is it dangerous to have coal lying around, exposed to the air?

/shills, as far as the eye can see......


http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html  Also deals with it.

MrSteve007: True and false.

True: today's coal's emissions release more radiation *into the environment* than nuclear power.

However nuclear power generates far more intensely radioactive and long-lasting materials than coal - it's just that it's currently kept in a contained environment. Who knows how well that containment will last in the next 100 or 1,000+ years. The USA currently has about 70,000 tons of high level waste, and no way to really deal with it, other than buying it.

"The Department of Energy's 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future reported that "no currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments - including advances in reprocessing and recycling technologies - have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenges the nation confronts over at least the next several decades, if not longer." link

AKA: all forms nuclear technology and waste will still be farking us for at least the foreseeable future. Reprocessing that much waste is a dream.


Fair enough, hrm. I was under the impression that some of the up and coming technologies could help with waste disposal. Especially since I seem to recall france doesn't seem to have the same problem we do? (Then again, I suppose we're not willing to reprocess it into weapons grade plutonium and stick that back in the reactor. And even then, that DOES still have some nasty byproducts.)

Question: does that deal with the waste generated by, say, thorium reactors? (That is: I seem to recall the waste they generate isn't all that 'bad', comparatively). While that doesn't alter *current* waste management from existing plants, that would alter the additional waste needing to be stored...

Plus, if we're going to discuss storage issues, I think we have to be fair and also discuss the storage issues surrounding fly ash.

Also, just to be pedantic, fusion technically falls under 'nuclear power' and would *not* (I think?) have waste issues. I believe there are some speculations that fusion would/will pass break even if it's just scaled up (since the surface area needed to be contained only goes up by the square, but the volume of fusion occurring goes up by the cube?), which is why France is trying their hand at a full-scale fusion reactor sometime in the next decade.

/I really, really hope it works.
//I also really, really hope we find high T superconductors soon, that can be cheaply made, because jesus that would make life easier.
 
2013-02-04 02:38:45 PM

MrSteve007: Felgraf: Coal's worse. Because coal puts out *just* as much nuclear waste as nuke power (Yes, really. Coal's got radioactive crap trapped in it), but it puts it out *INTO THE AIR*.

True and false.

True: today's coal's emissions release more radiation *into the environment* than nuclear power.

However nuclear power generates far more intensely radioactive and long-lasting materials than coal - it's just that it's currently kept in a contained environment. Who knows how well that containment will last in the next 100 or 1,000+ years. The USA currently has about 70,000 tons of high level waste, and no way to really deal with it, other than buying it.

"The Department of Energy's 2012 Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future reported that "no currently available or reasonably foreseeable reactor and fuel cycle technology developments - including advances in reprocessing and recycling technologies - have the potential to fundamentally alter the waste management challenges the nation confronts over at least the next several decades, if not longer." link

AKA: all forms nuclear technology and waste will still be farking us for at least the foreseeable future. Reprocessing that much waste is a dream.


OK, my state is talking about setting up a recycling plant for the nuclear waste from just this state. The feds apparently are blocking it because there are plans for a large recycling plant for "new" waste from plants around the country (so existing waste will continue to exist). So, are they just referring to a plant large enough for all waste is not efficient, or are they saying there is not a good tech way to recycle *any* nuclear fuel in a manageable way and the state reps are just talking about something they again don't understand?
 
2013-02-04 02:39:40 PM

SkunkWerks: MrSteve007: pkellmey: In the Midwest, ice storms and hail storms make them too vulnerable, especially when insurance companies will replace part costs, but not the man hours required to repair, which can be the costliest portion of the bill. However, a few companies are working on solar paint and window glass coverings that may be easy enough for people to maintain on their own. I think that will be the point where solar will really take off.

Considering solar panels these days can stop a .22 or .38 bullet from a few feet away - I have a feeling that they're not too vulnerable to piddly little hail.

[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x286]
Or hold a couple ton truck up between a 48" span, using only glass.
[sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net image 850x567]

Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them?  I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.


I imagine it might depend on how much it scatters the light.

It DID just occur to me: That super-gorilla glass that Apple makes for their Ipads? ... How much does that cost to make?
 
2013-02-04 02:41:40 PM
The obvious market for small, dumbed-down, modular, shippable nuclear power generators is Australia. But it ain't gonna happen.
 
2013-02-04 02:46:08 PM

SkunkWerks: Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them? I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.


Oh, I'm sure the panels are royally farked after taking multiple bullet hits. If they do generate a fraction of their original energy, it'll degrade quickly from having the cell exposed directly to the elements. The purpose of the demonstration was more for the fact that this type of panel can stop different small calibers of bullets - without penetrating the double glass system (there is another layer of glass behind the panel).

The point is that if a bullet couldn't go *though* the panel, it shouldn't have much problem with hail bouncing off of it. The force of energy involved wouldn't be enough to crack the panel.

/not all panels are made like this - only made in WA State panels.
//same type I put on the roof of my house and workplace.
 
2013-02-04 02:50:24 PM
But can I safely stick one in my pants?
 
2013-02-04 02:50:57 PM

Felgraf: Are you suggesting that burning coal does not, in fact, put radioactive particles into the atmosphere?


MrBallou: I'm a true 1970's environmentalist freak, not a shill, and Dinjiin is right. Coal is nasty-ass stuff.



I'm not shilling for coal that's for sure.


Felgraf: waste disposal.


This is crucial. You're (both) comparing some naturally occurring radioactive particles with nuclear waste that will kill anything that comes near it. For tens of thousands of years.

There is no comparison to coal in that respect.

/fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(
 
2013-02-04 02:53:52 PM
Lyman says small reactors carry a host of safety, security, environmental and economic concerns.

We're listening to this guy now?
uploads.neatorama.com
 
2013-02-04 02:54:28 PM

MrSteve007: SkunkWerks: Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them? I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.

Oh, I'm sure the panels are royally farked after taking multiple bullet hits. If they do generate a fraction of their original energy, it'll degrade quickly from having the cell exposed directly to the elements. The purpose of the demonstration was more for the fact that this type of panel can stop different small calibers of bullets - without penetrating the double glass system (there is another layer of glass behind the panel).

The point is that if a bullet couldn't go *though* the panel, it shouldn't have much problem with hail bouncing off of it. The force of energy involved wouldn't be enough to crack the panel.

/not all panels are made like this - only made in WA State panels.
//same type I put on the roof of my house and workplace.


I am just passing along the information that I got three years ago when I contacted all of the insurance companies in my area when I wanted to purchase solar panels and asked what their experience was with them in my area. Those were the problems they pointed out to me from their records. Maybe the solar panel tech has changed to hardier materials since then or maybe, as they age, they become more vulnerable - I have no idea. I currently have State Farm and they told me that panels are going to only last a little more than half as long as in other areas of the country, which is about the time they would fully pay off their part and installation costs for me. Maybe if they are using stronger materials now, I might re-investigate it.
 
2013-02-04 02:55:34 PM

MrSteve007: Oh, I'm sure the panels are royally farked after taking multiple bullet hits. If they do generate a fraction of their original energy, it'll degrade quickly from having the cell exposed directly to the elements.


Well, depending on how you define "vulnerable", suggesting that they are "vulnerable to hailstorms" might be a valid concern.

I mean, it's nifty that they can hold a truck up, or take straight bullet hits and still remain in one piece.

From what you're telling me though, they'd still have to be replaced after that.  Although they remain in one piece, they are no longer in any condition to to what they're meant to do.

I mean, it's nice that I drive around in a car with higly advanced crumple zones which will keep me from getting crushed in an accident.  This does nothing, however, in the way of allowing me to drive the car after that accident.
 
2013-02-04 02:56:49 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: Lyman says small reactors carry a host of safety, security, environmental and economic concerns.

We're listening to this guy now?
[uploads.neatorama.com image 168x300]


No one liked that guy...  especially on Mondays.
 
2013-02-04 02:57:18 PM
Does it make moonshine too?

/because it looks like a still
 
2013-02-04 03:06:54 PM
there's been one tiny one located in The Peoples Republic of Cambridge next to Boston for  .  .  .  well since forever I guess.  There's about 24 more of nearly the same size scattered across this great land of ours - all attached to some university.

http://www2.cambridgema.gov/CityOfCambridge_Content/documents/MITRes po nsesNuclearSafetyConcerns.pdf

citation
 
2013-02-04 03:09:52 PM

Voiceofreason01: Yeah but where? Unstable African countries?


If these are the kinds of reactors I've heard about for years now, the entire system is "factory sealed" inside a welded steel tube. There is no access to the nuclear material without taking a cutting torch to it, basically. The ultimate "No user serviceable parts inside" if you will.

When the reactor's fuel life is spent, you ship it back to the factory for refurbishment. You can be damn sure we'd be keeping track of every single unit and they'd probably be fitted with all kinds of alarms and tracking devices so we'd know if someone tried to crack one open.

Rich Cream: /fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(


Uh, we've been operating fission reactors since the 1950s. I'm guessing you meant fusion?
=Smidge=
 
2013-02-04 03:10:18 PM
Been tiny little reactors since the 1950s, very clean energy source if the Government would get out of the way and let our reactors be updated.

Fear and ignorance is much more dangerous than nuclear power, especially now that it has advanced to a very well understood and manageable science.
 
2013-02-04 03:12:53 PM

Felgraf: It DID just occur to me: That super-gorilla glass that Apple makes for their Ipads? ... How much does that cost to make?


Gorilla glass is way over-hyped. It's resistant to all kinds of damage but it's still trivial to break it or scratch it.
 
2013-02-04 03:14:30 PM

Rich Cream: This is crucial. You're (both) comparing some naturally occurring radioactive particles


... These naturally occuring radioactive particles are uranium. They normally don't 'naturally occur' as airborne. Coal does not (generally) spontaneously combust in great quantities.

You are correct that there is a long-term waste disposal issue (Though coal actually has that, too, in the form of highly toxic fly ash). 'U SHILL U LIE.' is, generally, not a good way to start a discussion or point that out. As you can see, I was able to have this discussion with someone else, without resorting to insults!

I'd also like to see fusion, and take heart! France actually intends to have a full reactor finished by 2020.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

/I really, REALLY hope it works. God that would be a watershed moment for humanity. "BEHOLD, biatchES! We have crafted A TINY SUN."
 
2013-02-04 03:15:58 PM

Smidge204: Rich Cream: /fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(

Uh, we've been operating fission reactors since the 1950s. I'm guessing you meant fusion?
=Smidge=


Yea, that thing you said there.
 
2013-02-04 03:17:25 PM
Neato!  I want one!  I already have a degree in nuclear engineering so it would be a piece of cake to operate it.
\
 
2013-02-04 03:17:41 PM
MrSteve007:
The point is that if a bullet couldn't go *though* the panel, it shouldn't have much problem with hail bouncing off of it. The force of energy involved wouldn't be enough to crack the panel.

Related CSB:

Living in Austin, TX, I've seen hail larger than golfballs.  One of the repeat offenders of the do-not-park-in-vistor's-parking rules got nailed when she parked her corvette up front instead of in the parking garage.  Looked like someone took a shotgun to her car - the fiberglass body had big 2-3" holes shot in it.  Granted, that was an especially nasty hailstorm - you could hear the windshields of the cars on the highway shattering from our office building.  I ran outside to get some to show to others, this is what they looked like after carrying a few around inside and letting them melt for 4-5 minutes:


i.imgur.com

No banana for scale, but I can palm a basketball.

We had folks replace the roof of their house, much less their solar panels - and solar panels are pretty expensive too.
 
2013-02-04 03:19:58 PM

Felgraf: ... These naturally occuring radioactive particles are uranium. They normally don't 'naturally occur' as airborne. Coal does not (generally) spontaneously combust in great quantities.

You are correct that there is a long-term waste disposal issue (Though coal actually has that, too, in the form of highly toxic fly ash)


Yea, they are Uranium although not processed in any manner to change their isotopic qualities. Which is why there is no comparison between the elements in coal and what is produced by nuclear reactors. Sure it starts out the same but one just gets heated a little before being released from its carbon casing and the other is transmuted into something else entirely.

/I wasn't shilling you so much as this thread had a preponderance of pro-nuclear comments. Much more than could be expected from general population.
 
2013-02-04 03:20:27 PM

Rich Cream: Felgraf: Are you suggesting that burning coal does not, in fact, put radioactive particles into the atmosphere?

MrBallou: I'm a true 1970's environmentalist freak, not a shill, and Dinjiin is right. Coal is nasty-ass stuff.


I'm not shilling for coal that's for sure.


Felgraf: waste disposal.

This is crucial. You're (both) comparing some naturally occurring radioactive particles with nuclear waste that will kill anything that comes near it. For tens of thousands of years.

There is no comparison to coal in that respect.

/fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(



Did you die 70 years ago? :)

Yeah, I knew what you meant.  Depending on how old you are though, the National Ignition Facility seems to be pretty optimistic about the chances for laser inertial confinement fusion.  But then, hope springs eternal...
 
2013-02-04 03:21:10 PM

Jument: Felgraf: It DID just occur to me: That super-gorilla glass that Apple makes for their Ipads? ... How much does that cost to make?

Gorilla glass is way over-hyped. It's resistant to all kinds of damage but it's still trivial to break it or scratch it.


Hrm, blast. I was hoping it wasn't as hyped, since that would seem to make an excellent solar panel protector...
 
2013-02-04 03:22:47 PM
MrSteve007 AKA: all forms nuclear technology and waste will still be farking us for at least the foreseeable future. Reprocessing that much waste is a dream.

Well, I'll rely on Dr. Till & Co's determination of that.

By the way, Blue Ribbon Panel was nearer to proliferation of the politically correct, than an examination of the science.

http://www.beyondfossilfools.com/assets/files/BRCresponse.pdf

Need `terawattage'  of Carbon neutral elec., on demand, in the briefest time possible?  Ain't no alternative.
 
2013-02-04 03:22:56 PM

Felgraf: Rich Cream: This is crucial. You're (both) comparing some naturally occurring radioactive particles

... These naturally occuring radioactive particles are uranium. They normally don't 'naturally occur' as airborne. Coal does not (generally) spontaneously combust in great quantities.

You are correct that there is a long-term waste disposal issue (Though coal actually has that, too, in the form of highly toxic fly ash). 'U SHILL U LIE.' is, generally, not a good way to start a discussion or point that out. As you can see, I was able to have this discussion with someone else, without resorting to insults!

I'd also like to see fusion, and take heart! France actually intends to have a full reactor finished by 2020.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

/I really, REALLY hope it works. God that would be a watershed moment for humanity. "BEHOLD, biatchES! We have crafted A TINY SUN."


Yeah, I still hold out more hope for NIF than ITER, but I'm certainly no expert.
 
2013-02-04 03:23:11 PM

Rich Cream: /I wasn't shilling you so much as this thread had a preponderance of pro-nuclear comments. Much more than could be expected from general population.


Ah. Well, eh, I'm a physics grad student, and don't have a the reflexive "ZOMG IT HAS THE WORD NUCLEAR! That means it's bad!" reaction that portions of the population have. (to be fair, I understand WHY they have that reaction). And I'm sort of of the opinion that nuclear power can be pretty safe *IF YOU DO IT RIGHT* (like, say, the way France does it), but that does also require a crap-ton of government regulation and investment, which to be fair doesn't really fly in this country.
 
2013-02-04 03:23:16 PM

Felgraf: Fair enough, hrm. I was under the impression that some of the up and coming technologies could help with waste disposal


Some of those spent fuel rods can be used as fuel in breeder reactors, but outside of the EBR-II reactor at ANL-W (now INL) near Idaho Falls, we haven't had the best luck with breeder reactors.

There is reprocessing, but it is expensive and creates is own mess of toxic waste.

If you dilute the material enough, there are a couple strains of microbes that have been isolated that chew through radioactive materials.  They're used to cleaning the water tables near old uranium mines and leaky storage facilities.

Supposedly vitrification does an excellent job of making the fuel ready for long-term storage, but you don't hear much about it these days.  I wonder if there was a cost issue or something else.
 
2013-02-04 03:26:36 PM

Smidge204: I'm guessing you meant fusion?


Should we also tell 'im that you can create your own DIY fusion reactor for a few thousand in parts off of eBay?  There are a couple of sites online on how to build them.

images49.fotki.com
 
2013-02-04 03:27:46 PM

Felgraf: Because here's an article in Scientific American discussing it. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-rad i oactive-than-nuclear-waste


But this is the problem with this evaluation.

"The result: estimated radiation doses ingested by people living near the coal plants were equal to or higher than doses for people living around the nuclear facilities."

Comparing the direct radiation output from the energy production at the immediate level (time/distance) is nothing compared to the waste afterward. There is no way the coal byproduct is more radioactive than nuclear byproduct. It's an absurd and dishonest argument.
 
2013-02-04 03:29:29 PM
Eh, sounds good.  Honestly, this will _increase_ the safety of nuclear facilities for the most part, because they haven't been allowed to upgrade the tech at most of them since the '50s.

Having smaller-load nuke plants will be nice as well.

Dinjiin:Some of those spent fuel rods can be used as fuel in breeder reactors, but outside of the EBR-II reactor at ANL-W (now INL) near Idaho Falls, we haven't had the best luck with breeder reactors.

Thing thing about the breeder reactors is that, frankly, you only need one.  Remember that the physical mass of nuclear fuel is incredibly low by power generation standards, even the shipping concerns for replacing solar panels every 5-10 years involve a bigger process stream and require more plant capacity.
 
2013-02-04 03:33:02 PM
But the industry counters that these reactors are so small and self-contained, they are almost "plug and play." Smaller, cheaper, with less staff - it's your entry-level nuclear reactor, perhaps coming online in about a decade.

So are they saying that sometime in the near future I can go to SEARS or Lowes and buy myself a nuclear fusion reactor to power my home etc to replace my lil Honda 1600W AC generator?  LOL

COOL!!!

3.bp.blogspot.com
I'm sure that in 1985 plutonium is available in every corner drug store, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by.
 
2013-02-04 03:36:26 PM
Dinjiin:
Supposedly vitrification does an excellent job of making the fuel ready for long-term storage, but you don't hear much about it these days.  I wonder if there was a cost issue or something else.

I had heard years ago that the problem with vitrification was that there was no way of reversing the process if you wanted to use the waste for your weapon program in the future, so nobody would approve it. The same argument would go for using the waste for peaceful purposes as well, but it was the weapons thing that was the stumbling block politically. Nobody wanted to give away a potentially strategic asset, even if nobody knew how it might be useful.

I'm not sure if that remains the case, or indeed if it was ever actually true since I can't remember where I saw it. It seems makes sense though.
 
2013-02-04 03:37:17 PM

MrSteve007: The future of nuclear power should be limited to a footnote in the history books.

Teachers:
"Look kids, here's an industry that told the public that it would be clean, so cheap that meters wouldn't be necessary & completely safe."

Kids: "What a bunch of idiots."


Teachers: Well, that's today's lesson. Now head back into the fuel starved wasteland to try and scavenge some gasoline.
 
2013-02-04 03:37:46 PM

liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?



1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-02-04 03:39:03 PM

FatherChaos: Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

[www.ocmodshop.com image 354x221]

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?


Are you kidding? Some of those highway areas were fun, especially when you sucker a bunch of raiders on onto the road bed and cause a three or four car chain explosion. I'm all for exploding cars!
 
2013-02-04 03:43:02 PM

SuperNinjaToad: I'm sure that in 1985 plutonium is available in every corner drug store, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by.


Doc Brown may have been wrong about the availability of plutonium-239, but you can get americium-241 at almost any home improvement store.

Just ask this guy:

www.dangerouslaboratories.org
 
2013-02-04 03:43:41 PM

Rich Cream: Felgraf: Are you suggesting that burning coal does not, in fact, put radioactive particles into the atmosphere?

MrBallou: I'm a true 1970's environmentalist freak, not a shill, and Dinjiin is right. Coal is nasty-ass stuff.


I'm not shilling for coal that's for sure.


Felgraf: waste disposal.

This is crucial. You're (both) comparing some naturally occurring radioactive particles with nuclear waste that will kill anything that comes near it. For tens of thousands of years.

There is no comparison to coal in that respect.

/fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(


Yes you will because FISSION is what we have now. FUSION is the holy grail of energy.
 
2013-02-04 03:46:31 PM
hmm...

I wonder if by "export them overseas" they meant something rather than the obvious.

I guess we'll find out in a few years if we "export them overseas" to Iran, Pakistan, etc.
 
2013-02-04 03:46:54 PM

Richard C Stanford: /fission will be nice, probably won't live to see it :(

Yes you will because FISSION is what we have now. FUSION is the holy grail of energy.



Oh you so smrt.

/I always get more replies to mistakes than I do to trolling or even valid arguments.
 
2013-02-04 03:47:57 PM

Dinjiin: SuperNinjaToad: I'm sure that in 1985 plutonium is available in every corner drug store, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by.

Doc Brown may have been wrong about the availability of plutonium-239, but you can get americium-241 at almost any home improvement store.

Just ask this guy:


Oh my God! He's turning into a ghoul from "Fallout"!
 
2013-02-04 03:49:43 PM

violentsalvation: I expect a lot of:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 395x269]

"Not in my back yard!"


You can put one in My back yard.  I'm OK with it.
 
2013-02-04 03:50:30 PM
 
2013-02-04 03:52:17 PM

Dinjiin: The article is talking about micro nuclear reactors. There was a greenlight some time back about the town of Galena in Alaska wanting one of these since it was so expensive to import diesel fuel for their generators.


Voiceofreason01: Seems like a big safety and security risk.

Not really. The latest generation of reactors are fairly safe, including a number of passive cooling designs that make issues like we saw at Fukushima a non-issue. Keep in mind that the General Electric boiling water reactor at Fukushima was designed in the 1950s, and the RBMK reactor at Chernobyl was designed shortly after (and was a horrible design even for the time; they were illegal to build in the US).


It is physically impossible (as in "would break the laws of physics") for a modern pebble bed reactor to melt down.  They are gas cooled and self moderating from a temperature standpoint.  The hotter they get, the less efficient they become.

Done right, a reactor in every neighborhood is a great idea.
 
2013-02-04 03:53:27 PM
Nice!  My computer really needs a better UPS.
 
2013-02-04 03:54:33 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-04 03:56:09 PM

Richard C Stanford: FUSION is the holy grail of energy.


Fusion?  How quaint.

i1095.photobucket.com
 
2013-02-04 04:00:50 PM

OscarTamerz: Not exactly a new idea.  They've had minireactors at universities for 50+ years.  Here's a picture of the one at the University of Utah.  It's illuminated by its own Cerenkov radiation.

[www.nuclear.utah.edu image 440x240]


Um...research reactors don't generate electrical power.
 
2013-02-04 04:05:14 PM

Rent Party: It is physically impossible (as in "would break the laws of physics") for a modern pebble bed reactor to melt down.


Pebble bed reactors are going out of favor because of a couple of reasons.  One is the radioactive dust caused by pebbles bumping into each other while traveling down the conveyor system, knocking fragments of ceramic casing off or just splitting the pebble in half.  The other problem is that the pebbles sometimes get stuck.

The big draw of a PBR was the low fuel density preventing runaway fission.  I believe scientists have found ways to do the same with other fuel structures.
 
2013-02-04 04:08:26 PM
The big draw of a PBR was the low fuel density preventing runaway fission.

That and the reasonable price.
images.brewbound.com
/tastes as good coming up as it did going down
 
2013-02-04 04:08:45 PM

treesloth: Fusion? How quaint.

i1095.photobucket.com


Dude, we already have to deal with terrorists.  Last thing we need is the Goa'uld snooping around.
 
2013-02-04 04:10:06 PM

MBooda: tastes as good coming up as it did going down


You got one thing right: both PBR (the fuel) and PBR (the beer) are all about diluting the final product.
 
2013-02-04 04:13:44 PM

FatherChaos: Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

[www.ocmodshop.com image 354x221]

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?


You should really put them in Fission.

Mmmmmm Fission Chips.
 
2013-02-04 04:15:46 PM

Slaves2Darkness: FatherChaos: Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

[www.ocmodshop.com image 354x221]

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?

Are you kidding? Some of those highway areas were fun, especially when you sucker a bunch of raiders on onto the road bed and cause a three or four car chain explosion. I'm all for exploding cars!


Well, true.  Once you found out about how to set them up in traps, especially that area down a ways from the Nuka Cola plant.  I'd kite them out of that outpost on the right and set the bus on fire, back up to a safe distance, then watch it all go.  I just hated trying to use them as cover, not realizing they still had live reactors in them.
 
2013-02-04 04:17:14 PM
SkunkWerks:
Well, depending on how you define "vulnerable", suggesting that they are "vulnerable to hailstorms" might be a valid concern.

I mean, it's nifty that they can hold a truck up, or take straight bullet hits and still remain in one piece.


From what you're telling me though, they'd still have to be replaced after that. Although they remain in one piece, they are no longer in any condition to to what they're meant to do.

Yeah, if you shot at them a couple times, then yes, you'd have to replace them.

Keep in mind that a .38 bullet has ~1806 joules of force behind it. That was enough force to crack one layer but not penetrate a reinforced solar panel.

A 3 inch hail chunk, traveling at 130 mph (terminal velocity) has ~162 joules of energy. Less than 1/10th the force is involved, even with the largest hail.

I'm sure with Chinese made solar junk, then yes, it would likely have a problem. But with the panels that I'm talking about, no, it wouldn't even leave a scratch.

quietwalker:
Living in Austin, TX, I've seen hail larger than golfballs.  One of the repeat offenders of the do-not-park-in-vistor's-parking rules got nailed when she parked her corvette up front instead of in the parking garage.  Looked like someone took a shotgun to her car - the fiberglass body had big 2-3" holes shot in it.  Granted, that was an especially nasty hailstorm - you could hear the windshields of the cars on the highway shattering from our office building.  I ran outside to get some to show to others, this is what they looked like after carrying a few around inside and letting them melt for 4-5 minutes:

No banana for scale, but I can palm a basketball.

We had folks replace the roof of their house, much less their solar panels - and solar panels are pretty expensive too.


You can take the largest guy you can find, span the glass between two 2x4's and jump on it all day long. It won't cause a single problem.

I'm sure if you took a 250 lbs guy and had him start jumping on top of a fiberglass Corvette, it wouldn't be too difficult to put some holes in it and crack the windshield.

They even mount them on the edge of sea walls here in the Puget Sound. It's been in place for a couple years now, and I haven't heard of any issues.
ts4.mm.bing.net
 
2013-02-04 04:18:39 PM

Rich Cream: Comparing the direct radiation output from the energy production at the immediate level (time/distance) is nothing compared to the waste afterward. There is no way the coal byproduct is more radioactive than nuclear byproduct. It's an absurd and dishonest argument.


And I'd argue that claiming stuff that's sealed in containers and stored somewhere is patently different than crap that's airborne and can get into people's lungs.
 
2013-02-04 04:19:46 PM

Dinjiin: Rent Party: It is physically impossible (as in "would break the laws of physics") for a modern pebble bed reactor to melt down.

Pebble bed reactors are going out of favor because of a couple of reasons.  One is the radioactive dust caused by pebbles bumping into each other while traveling down the conveyor system, knocking fragments of ceramic casing off or just splitting the pebble in half.  The other problem is that the pebbles sometimes get stuck.

The big draw of a PBR was the low fuel density preventing runaway fission.  I believe scientists have found ways to do the same with other fuel structures.


I think the point that we will both agree on is that reactor designs have come a long, long way.  There is no reason to not put them to good use.
 
2013-02-04 04:20:20 PM

MrSteve007: They even mount them on the edge of sea walls here in the Puget Sound. It's been in place for a couple years now, and I haven't heard of any issues.


That's pretty sweet. I do look forward to panels getting cheaper and easier to manufacture. We have a LOT of unused roofspace in this country.
 
2013-02-04 04:23:14 PM
So, it's a good idea and has only to surmount the hysteria sure to be whipped up by those who find no form of realistic mass energy generation acceptable such that we don't need to revert to living in caves after slaughtering 90% of the population?

Yeah, it's pretty much farked from the get go.
 
2013-02-04 04:25:39 PM

TypoFlyspray: FatherChaos: Meh, I'm putting my chips on Fusion reactors that create plasma.

Plus:

[www.ocmodshop.com image 354x221]

Who else gets seriously annoyed when these things blow up and irradiate you?  Is that what we want for our kids?

You should really put them in Fission.

Mmmmmm Fission Chips.


Mmm...unprocessed Fission Chips...

Well, here's some more info on Fusion technology.  There's a reactor in the city of Toki, Gifu Prefecture in Japan.  I really wanted to visit it before I moved back to the States, but I might try to go back sometime soon for a tour.
 
2013-02-04 04:27:01 PM

johneee: Dinjiin:
Supposedly vitrification does an excellent job of making the fuel ready for long-term storage, but you don't hear much about it these days.  I wonder if there was a cost issue or something else.

I had heard years ago that the problem with vitrification was that there was no way of reversing the process if you wanted to use the waste for your weapon program in the future, so nobody would approve it. The same argument would go for using the waste for peaceful purposes as well, but it was the weapons thing that was the stumbling block politically. Nobody wanted to give away a potentially strategic asset, even if nobody knew how it might be useful.

I'm not sure if that remains the case, or indeed if it was ever actually true since I can't remember where I saw it. It seems makes sense though.


I don't know, processing old commercial waste into new weapons plutonium sounds like a huge pain in the ass.  The reactors that made plutonium for weapons are pretty specific designs to simplify the process, and its still hugely complicated and dangerous.

That said, one big reason why plants today use uranium is because of decisions in the 40s and 50s to focus on a fuel that could create plutonium for weapons.  Given that, the military of that era bankrolled the initial science and engineering that all commercial plants are presently based on.

Reactor designs that don't require uranium exist, but they've never had enough funding to build up beyond experimental scale.  Unfortunately that early decision to use uranium led to the nuclear waste issues we have, proliferation concerns and general pain in the assedness that it all is.
 
2013-02-04 04:30:40 PM

Felgraf: stuff that's sealed in containers


At the moment....
 
2013-02-04 04:31:42 PM
Not having to listen to nutcases who claim to be sensitive to magnetic fields, and claim that they cause cancer, rickets, and gingivitis.
I don't think burying them would help with those complaints.


In most cases with nutcases it's a matter of out of sight out of mind. If they don't know exactly where the line is, they can't pick that place to decide is the cause of all their ailments.

As far as downing them, I was under the impression that they were not bothered that much by wind, drunks and ice.

Did you forget a couple years ago when the entire east coast infrastructure was taken down by 1 falling tree branch?

If'n they'd spend the time developing roof-tile solar panels that were affordable, The power situation would be solved.


Except up here in AK where we have little to no sun during the times of highest energy use. Different solutions are needed for different situations. These plants (if they can get them working safely) would be ideal for villages. Comparably low power needs and several hundred of miles from the nearest major power plant. There is NO financial benefit for major power companies to provide service for these people.
 
2013-02-04 04:40:57 PM
All I want to know is will it keep me warm at night and power my vibrators, if so then I found my new best friend ; )
 
2013-02-04 04:41:56 PM

Voiceofreason01: costermonger: Voiceofreason01: But in practical terms where do you deploy these?

Replacing existing end of life (conventional) power stations.

Yeah but where? Unstable African countries? There are remote areas of the US and Canada where it might work but the article specifically mentioned sending these units abroad. I really like the idea of these mini-reactors but you'd have to site them really carefully(keeping in mind that they're potential security and environmental hazards for decades, even after they're offline).


America.

/fark yeah

Seriously though, we lose a LOT of juice running it through long-distance cables, and we lose even more because a lot of those cables are old and crappy.  If local generators could upgrade to these things to meet current needs (double meaning there) we'd be better off.
 
2013-02-04 04:43:34 PM
Lead-bismuth cooled small reactors make more sense. They run at lower pressures and are not subject to steam-driven meltdowns. Another interesting design is the traveling wave fast reactor. They require far less enriched uranium to get started and breed more fuel as they generate power. The breeding zone is small and because of the long burn times, the majority of the fission byproducts are consumed as well.
 
2013-02-04 04:46:16 PM
Don't worry, won't happen. Too many fat cats make money in the conventional energy business. Until they are guaranteed the same income, through ownership of new energy production ideas, or government intervention on their behalf, we will be using coal and oil for a long time.
 
2013-02-04 04:47:09 PM
I'm ambivalent about this.  On the one hand, I've changed my formerly anti-nuke mind to accept the reality that mining and burning coal, and burning fossil fuels, are much worse for the environment.  On the other hand, I live fairly close to the North Anna plants which are situated directly over the earthquake fault that rattled the entire Eastern seaboard two years ago, despite the fact that we were completely assured in the early 70s, when they built the plant, that it was a dormant fault.  So, I worry about them being built in appropriate locations.
 
2013-02-04 04:50:42 PM

Rich Cream: Felgraf: ... These naturally occuring radioactive particles are uranium. They normally don't 'naturally occur' as airborne. Coal does not (generally) spontaneously combust in great quantities.

You are correct that there is a long-term waste disposal issue (Though coal actually has that, too, in the form of highly toxic fly ash)

Yea, they are Uranium although not processed in any manner to change their isotopic qualities. Which is why there is no comparison between the elements in coal and what is produced by nuclear reactors. Sure it starts out the same but one just gets heated a little before being released from its carbon casing and the other is transmuted into something else entirely.

/I wasn't shilling you so much as this thread had a preponderance of pro-nuclear comments. Much more than could be expected from general population.


Fark is quit a bit smarter than the general public (horrifying as that may seem.)
 
2013-02-04 04:56:05 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?

[www.personal.psu.edu image 630x494]


Under careful supervision, waste remains in the barrels. Where these barrels are stored is another story entirely. But at least they aren't spewing waste out into the atmosphere.
 
2013-02-04 04:56:43 PM

Ned Stark: Fark is quit a bit smarter than the general public (horrifying as that may seem.)


Then this thread is the outlier?
 
2013-02-04 04:57:28 PM

Huggermugger: despite the fact that we were completely assured in the early 70s, when they built the plant, that it was a dormant fault


One of the nice things about a small reactor is that you can use seismic base isolation for the reactor chamber and inner coolant loop.  It quickly becomes cost prohibitive to do that with large reactors.
 
2013-02-04 04:58:31 PM

laivincolmo: Under careful supervision, waste remains in the barrels. Where these barrels are stored is another story entirely. But at least they aren't spewing waste out into the atmosphere.



Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.
 
2013-02-04 05:04:07 PM
Cheap power, no matter how simple, safe, and proven from usage in the navy, is not congruent with the left. They'll find a way to railroad it.
 
2013-02-04 05:07:48 PM

liam76: Dinjiin: Nobody wants to see high-voltage transmission lines go up yet they don't want to pay to have them installed underground,

What is the benefit of puttingt hem underground?


Besides view, nothing. High voltage lines above ground are hardly insulated, that is why they are spaced farther apart than your typical distribution lines you would see in an ally. Lines with high voltages that are underground are usually insulated with oil connected between manholes. Something that most will not pay for.
 
2013-02-04 05:08:01 PM
Some day we will power our homes with miniature methane-driven generators in our  Speedos.
 
2013-02-04 05:10:54 PM
This is a good idea. The existing centralized power generation and distribution networks have a fatal Achilles's Heel. Power loss during transmission which is caused by electrical resistance in the transmission cables. To combat power loss, they increase the voltage, reducing the amperage and losses are less but your still losing a good deal of power.

Decentralized power generation and distribution is a good idea and can really make the issue of loss in transmission a less important factor. It also helps reduce some of the systemic failures of a centralized network causing brown or black power outages.

As a science fiction fan, I sometimes can't believe that in 2013, we still haven't solved the problem of power generation and are still burning dinosaur juice or solidified old plant material.

When I get my ranch I plan to install multiple, redundant power sources including a micro co-generation unity, wind and solar energy units to be self sufficient and ecologically sound.
 
2013-02-04 05:11:38 PM

Rich Cream: Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.


How long does fly ash remain toxic?

/Hint: A long time.

So, currently, we have *NO* base load line power method that doesn't produce some long lasting problems, whether radioactive or simply highly toxic.
 
2013-02-04 05:16:18 PM
Rip Dashrock

Don't worry, won't happen. Too many fat cats make money in the conventional energy business.

That's right, it has been the extreme right wing big business fat cats who have been blocking improvements and upgrades to the US Power infrastructure.

It's never been you bed wetting liberals. Nawww you loonies have never opposed clean and reliable power plants.
 
2013-02-04 05:16:47 PM

Spanky3woods: This is a good idea. The existing centralized power generation and distribution networks have a fatal Achilles's Heel. Power loss during transmission which is caused by electrical resistance in the transmission cables. To combat power loss, they increase the voltage, reducing the amperage and losses are less but your still losing a good deal of power.

Decentralized power generation and distribution is a good idea and can really make the issue of loss in transmission a less important factor. It also helps reduce some of the systemic failures of a centralized network causing brown or black power outages.

As a science fiction fan, I sometimes can't believe that in 2013, we still haven't solved the problem of power generation and are still burning dinosaur juice or solidified old plant material.

When I get my ranch I plan to install multiple, redundant power sources including a micro co-generation unity, wind and solar energy units to be self sufficient and ecologically sound.



The problem is something that doesn't actually exist in reality - money.  It would cost a lot of money up front to do the basic science and engineering.  With the current system of economics, even when a project would do an amazing thing such as solve man's energy problems almost entirely once and for all - it's too "costly".

I'm reminded of a Kurt Vonnegut quote - "We could've saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap".
 
2013-02-04 05:16:53 PM
mydisguises.com
Portable reactors?
 
2013-02-04 05:21:04 PM

Felgraf: Rich Cream: Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.

How long does fly ash remain toxic?

/Hint: A long time.

So, currently, we have *NO* base load line power method that doesn't produce some long lasting problems, whether radioactive or simply highly toxic.



Deja Vu to where I said I'm not shilling for coal either.

All I'm saying is "stop lying". The waste byproduct of coal burning is not as radioactive as the byproducts of nuclear energy production. Even at "ten times normal levels found in natural conditions". How many times more radioactive is nuclear byproduct? Less than ten times? Not farking likely.

Yes, they are both dirty fuels, no doubt, but pick on the sulpher or carbon or particulates or acid rain, or something else realistic. Not bullshiat.
 
2013-02-04 05:21:53 PM

Rich Cream: laivincolmo: Under careful supervision, waste remains in the barrels. Where these barrels are stored is another story entirely. But at least they aren't spewing waste out into the atmosphere.


Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.


Rich, the thing that you have to understand is that the stuff you see about waste with a really long half life, that's stuff isn't giving off a lot of radiation.  The stuff that's really radioactive has a much shorter half life, so that means if you store it for a few years, in the bottom of a pool it gets a lot safer.  In fact the one waste component with the longest half life is U238, which is exactly what they mine up in the first place, and exactly what coal plants spew into the air.  It's your right to remain ignorant and afraid, but you don't have to.
 
2013-02-04 05:26:17 PM

Mouser: <i>"It's a developing country that doesn't have a substantial electrical grid that is precisely the kind of country I would not want to see have any kind of nuclear power plant," he says.</i>

Because burning the local forests for fuel or relying on the warlord's oil fields is so much better for people in developing countries.

I suppose the one saving grace about Western environmentalists hating humanity is that they want the impoverished foreigners to die off first.


Because said warlord wouldn't dream of trying to take these materials and do Bad Things™ with them. Nor would they try to monopolize said resource in any way.

Twit.
 
2013-02-04 05:26:42 PM

IronHorse: Rich Cream: laivincolmo: Under careful supervision, waste remains in the barrels. Where these barrels are stored is another story entirely. But at least they aren't spewing waste out into the atmosphere.


Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.

Rich, the thing that you have to understand is that the stuff you see about waste with a really long half life, that's stuff isn't giving off a lot of radiation.  The stuff that's really radioactive has a much shorter half life, so that means if you store it for a few years, in the bottom of a pool it gets a lot safer.  In fact the one waste component with the longest half life is U238, which is exactly what they mine up in the first place, and exactly what coal plants spew into the air.  It's your right to remain ignorant and afraid, but you don't have to.


So what happens if you don't keep those nice pools filled with water? Just curious ; )
/And nope don't like the way coals done either.
 
2013-02-04 05:42:13 PM
I enjoy occasionally looking at the live output of the grid's fuel mix up here in the Pacific NW:

transmission.bpa.gov

The red line is the actual level of demand in the region. The blue is the hydro power output. The gray is the coal, nuclear, natural gas and biomass, and the green is wind power.

It's pretty obvious that our region can more than survive off of the hydro power alone. And as you can see, wind power is quite variable - but when at full output, produces more energy than our nuke, gas and coal plants combined. Also, if you take a look at the load profile of demand, we could easily integrate ~20% solar power into our regional grid to level off our peak demand during the daytime.

At least for this quadrant of the nation, there's no need for nuclear, coal or even natural gas power to keep our lights on.
 
2013-02-04 05:45:11 PM
Isn't this how the French do it? With neighborhood reactors rather than massive power stations?
 
2013-02-04 05:46:11 PM
Id like a nucleon.
 
2013-02-04 05:46:15 PM

IronHorse: Rich Cream: laivincolmo: Under careful supervision, waste remains in the barrels. Where these barrels are stored is another story entirely. But at least they aren't spewing waste out into the atmosphere.


Today. Not sure about tomorrow, or the day after that, or the century after that, or the eons after that.

/humans are incapable of creating anything that can last longer than the radiation in this waste.

Rich, the thing that you have to understand is that the stuff you see about waste with a really long half life, that's stuff isn't giving off a lot of radiation.  The stuff that's really radioactive has a much shorter half life, so that means if you store it for a few years, in the bottom of a pool it gets a lot safer.  In fact the one waste component with the longest half life is U238, which is exactly what they mine up in the first place, and exactly what coal plants spew into the air.  It's your right to remain ignorant and afraid, but you don't have to.


Which is why it would make much more sense to develop a breeder reactor such as LFTR to burn up existing wastes.  It's crazy to bury partially burned fuel when we could eliminate it and produce electricity from it instead
 
2013-02-04 05:50:08 PM

Dinjiin: Felgraf: Fair enough, hrm. I was under the impression that some of the up and coming technologies could help with waste disposal

Some of those spent fuel rods can be used as fuel in breeder reactors, but outside of the EBR-II reactor at ANL-W (now INL) near Idaho Falls, we haven't had the best luck with breeder reactors.

There is reprocessing, but it is expensive and creates is own mess of toxic waste.

If you dilute the material enough, there are a couple strains of microbes that have been isolated that chew through radioactive materials.  They're used to cleaning the water tables near old uranium mines and leaky storage facilities.

Supposedly vitrification does an excellent job of making the fuel ready for long-term storage, but you don't hear much about it these days.  I wonder if there was a cost issue or something else.


I have a few vitrification samples from when Hanford was going through the process. Pretty cool idea and makes spillage a non-issue.For kicks I should take them to Sea-Tac and see all the lights go off.
 
2013-02-04 06:15:44 PM
The Constitution guarantees your right to an atomic bomb unless you're Iranian.
 
2013-02-04 06:29:37 PM

MrSteve007: I enjoy occasionally looking at the live output of the grid's fuel mix up here in the Pacific NW:

[transmission.bpa.gov image 760x560]

The red line is the actual level of demand in the region. The blue is the hydro power output. The gray is the coal, nuclear, natural gas and biomass, and the green is wind power.

It's pretty obvious that our region can more than survive off of the hydro power alone. And as you can see, wind power is quite variable - but when at full output, produces more energy than our nuke, gas and coal plants combined. Also, if you take a look at the load profile of demand, we could easily integrate ~20% solar power into our regional grid to level off our peak demand during the daytime.

At least for this quadrant of the nation, there's no need for nuclear, coal or even natural gas power to keep our lights on.


You're right, we should probably start demolishing all those nuclear plants in the Pacfic NW, oh wait:

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

Maybe what works in one region doesn't work everywhere.
 
2013-02-04 06:43:20 PM

SN1987a goes boom: You're right, we should probably start demolishing all those nuclear plants in the Pacfic NW, oh wait:

Maybe what works in one region doesn't work everywhere.


Well, there's only one nuclear power plant in the Pacific NW (a legacy from the massive WPPSS nuclear debacle of the 1970's and 80's - resulting in the largest public bond default in history). And at least when it comes to coal, they're legally required to shut down the last two coal plants in the coming decade.

We already know how to deal with the lies of safety and affordability by the nuclear industry:
farm1.staticflickr.com

As it is, we send about half of our power out of the region - to Canada in the winter and to California in the summer. Since our grid is federally managed and publically owned, the "profits" of selling that power on the free market goes to reduce our regional power cost.
 
2013-02-04 07:04:22 PM
Rich Cream:
Deja Vu to where I said I'm not shilling for coal either.

All I'm saying is "stop lying". The waste byproduct of coal burning is not as radioactive as the byproducts of nuclear energy production. Even at "ten times normal levels found in natural conditions". How many times more radioactive is nuclear byproduct? Less than ten times? Not farking likely.

Yes, they are both dirty fuels, no doubt, but pick on the sulpher or carbon or particulates or acid rain, or something else realistic. Not bullshiat.


Arsenic is carcinogenic forever. No half-life. Radioactivity is irrelevant to the result.
 
2013-02-04 07:22:49 PM

Stranded On The Planet Dumbass: Where does the spent fuel go?


It gets reprocessed so we can get more energy out of it. The current model of burning off only the most easily accessible nuclei is ridiculous and was only started because people conflate nuclear weapons with nuclear power. There's still waste, but not nearly as much (plus we get waaaaay more power from the same amount of fuel).

Also, what do we do with all the waste from coal plants? Currently we mostly dump it into the atmosphere. Recently we've started collecting some parts of it (though not much) and burying it in the ground. And there's all sorts of really nasty stuff in coal waste.

I'm not saying waste disposal isn't a problem, but let's compare apples to apples.
 
2013-02-04 07:23:54 PM
these would work in an ephesians 4:5 kinda world. in the meantime, i'll be in subsaharan Africa, fighting the UN and US troops.
 
2013-02-04 07:27:21 PM

tinfoil-hat maggie: So what happens if you don't keep those nice pools filled with water? Just curious ; )


The material gets hotter.  Not just because the water transfers heat better than air, but also because water "moderates" the emission of neutrons, slowing them down fission.  Depending on the purity and radioactivity, it could become hot enough that it melts through the bottom of the pool.*

The water also acts as a barrier for all of the radioactive particles (alpha, beta) and ionizing radiation (gamma rays) that shoot out.  Without it, that stuff is blasting into the air and anything in the room.  Even dust in the air could become radioactive, which would suck if it were to escape.

This is a photo from Chernobyl showing how the fuel got so hot that it turned into lava, escaped out the bottom and eventually cooled back into a solid.

upload.wikimedia.org

In short, no water = very bad.  That's why they had helicopters dumping water onto the cooling ponds at Fukushima even though it was dangerous as fark.
 
2013-02-04 07:28:57 PM

tshauk: Been tiny little reactors since the 1950s, very clean energy source if the Government would get out of the way and let our reactors be updated.

Fear and ignorance is much more dangerous than nuclear power, especially now that it has advanced to a very well understood and manageable science.


I declare not Poe's Law: This must be a troll. No one could possibly be insane enough to believe that we should trust the safety of devices as potentially dangerous as nuclear reactors to profit-driven corporate entities.

You know TMI, Fukushima, Davis Besse NPS? Those near-catastrophes occured with over-the-top government mandated safety systems, one was made far worse by profit-motivated corner cutting, and one would have never happened at all if not for profit-motivated corner cutting. If you want to know what would've happened without all that stupid government regulation in the way, look up the the Kyshtym disaster, Chernobyl, or what the Soviets left in Lake Karachi. And if you think private industry would do any different, just remember: Proper monitoring, containment domes and nuclear waste disposal are expensive.
 
2013-02-04 07:55:40 PM
IIRC, Three Mile Island was made far worse by the engineers on staff not letting the automatic systems do their jobs. Beacuse the staff didn't want to look like they weren't doing anything, they caused the water level in the reactor to drop too far, exposing the core. Fukushima could have been prevented, or at least seriously mitigated, if either the generators had been on high ground, or the pumps could have used the plants own power lines to provide electricity directly. I don't know anything about Davis Besse NPS. Chernobyl was , again, caused by human interference with the safety systems. I'm not saying that the Chernobyl system was safe in normal use, but when you TURN OFF THE SAFETY SYSTEMS as part of a test and FORGET TO TURN THEM BACK ON, don't be surprised when your reactor core explodes/melts.

One other thing. All 3 designs (again, I don't know anything about Davis Besse NPS) were drawn up in 50s and 60s. These are ancient, technology and design wise. The newer designs that I have read about sound like they are more efficient, have much more in the way of passive safety systems, and sound like much less of a maintenance nightmare. Yes, storage of waste is a current issue. Some of the new designs would take much of the current waste, and use it for fuel, thus lowering the overall amount of waste needing storage.
 
2013-02-04 08:05:40 PM

Jim DiGriz: One other thing. All 3 designs (again, I don't know anything about Davis Besse NPS) were drawn up in 50s and 60s. These are ancient, technology and design wise. The newer designs that I have read about sound like they are more efficient, have much more in the way of passive safety systems, and sound like much less of a maintenance nightmare. Yes, storage of waste is a current issue. Some of the new designs would take much of the current waste, and use it for fuel, thus lowering the overall amount of waste needing storage.


um, yeah, but currently we're about as good as the engineers in 'Idiocracy' despite our good school-lize-ing ( lauryn hill RULES). it's almost like something has desrever the progress of technology, recently.
 
2013-02-04 08:12:02 PM

utah dude: Jim DiGriz: One other thing. All 3 designs (again, I don't know anything about Davis Besse NPS) were drawn up in 50s and 60s. These are ancient, technology and design wise. The newer designs that I have read about sound like they are more efficient, have much more in the way of passive safety systems, and sound like much less of a maintenance nightmare. Yes, storage of waste is a current issue. Some of the new designs would take much of the current waste, and use it for fuel, thus lowering the overall amount of waste needing storage.

um, yeah, but currently we're about as good as the engineers in 'Idiocracy' despite our good school-lize-ing ( lauryn hill RULES). it's almost like something has desrever the progress of technology, recently.


Are you high?
 
2013-02-04 09:13:56 PM

MrSteve007: The future of nuclear power should be limited to a footnote in the history books.

Teachers:
"Look kids, here's an industry that told the public that it would be clean, so cheap that meters wouldn't be necessary & completely safe."

Kids: "What a bunch of idiots."


dude. stop it. you're embarrassing environmentalists. You don't understand nuclear physics and reactor design. PLEASE STOP.
 
2013-02-04 09:20:51 PM

MrSteve007: True and false.

True: today's coal's emissions release more radiation *into the environment* than nuclear power.

However nuclear power generates far more intensely radioactive and long-lasting materials than coal - it's just that it's currently kept in a contained environment. Who knows how well that containment will last in the next 100 or 1,000+ years. The USA currently has about 70,000 tons of high level waste, and no way to really deal with it, other than buying it.


in newer more advanced reactors, with proper fuel cycle management "hot waste" is called "fuel". Almost all of the existing waste is reusable as fuel in newer reactors. Gen III+ reactors get like 100x the power output for the same fuel. Gen IV can get up to 1000x more. Also the Thorium cycle is safer and has a more abundant fuel. The US's problem with fuel cycle management is caused by people like you who freak out and go mind blank soon as they hear "nuclear" or "radioactive", but insist on shooting their mouth on things they don't understand.

You have great renewable energy knowledge, but you know nothing about nuclear and you are of this mistaken impression that we can have a free lunch. We cannot - no reasonable environmentalist can think that humans will have ZERO impact. We will always have some. Nuclear, done properly, is the second safest baseload option (after hydro, but you cannot use hydro most places) - it also has lower total environmental impact than coal, gas, hydro (habitat inundation MUST be considered).


Please, please stay to your area of expertise and defer to those of us which greater knowledge of physics when it comes to nuclear.
 
2013-02-04 09:24:26 PM

MrSteve007: SkunkWerks: Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them? I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.

Oh, I'm sure the panels are royally farked after taking multiple bullet hits. If they do generate a fraction of their original energy, it'll degrade quickly from having the cell exposed directly to the elements. The purpose of the demonstration was more for the fact that this type of panel can stop different small calibers of bullets - without penetrating the double glass system (there is another layer of glass behind the panel).

The point is that if a bullet couldn't go *though* the panel, it shouldn't have much problem with hail bouncing off of it. The force of energy involved wouldn't be enough to crack the panel.

/not all panels are made like this - only made in WA State panels.
//same type I put on the roof of my house and workplace.


you'd be surprised at the level of energy in hail. in fact golf ball sized hail strikes are about the strength of a .22 caliber hit Link
 
2013-02-04 09:28:56 PM

MrSteve007: I enjoy occasionally looking at the live output of the grid's fuel mix up here in the Pacific NW:

[transmission.bpa.gov image 760x560]

The red line is the actual level of demand in the region. The blue is the hydro power output. The gray is the coal, nuclear, natural gas and biomass, and the green is wind power.

It's pretty obvious that our region can more than survive off of the hydro power alone. And as you can see, wind power is quite variable - but when at full output, produces more energy than our nuke, gas and coal plants combined. Also, if you take a look at the load profile of demand, we could easily integrate ~20% solar power into our regional grid to level off our peak demand during the daytime.

At least for this quadrant of the nation, there's no need for nuclear, coal or even natural gas power to keep our lights on.


yes, the pacific northwest is very fortunate to have a wealth of hydro power opportunities. they've also largely decimated the salmon fishery.
 
2013-02-04 09:29:13 PM
Reinforcing my theory that no man wants to be described as "cute" because it implies "small".
 
2013-02-04 09:34:46 PM

MrSteve007: SN1987a goes boom: You're right, we should probably start demolishing all those nuclear plants in the Pacfic NW, oh wait:

Maybe what works in one region doesn't work everywhere.

Well, there's only one nuclear power plant in the Pacific NW (a legacy from the massive WPPSS nuclear debacle of the 1970's and 80's - resulting in the largest public bond default in history). And at least when it comes to coal, they're legally required to shut down the last two coal plants in the coming decade.

We already know how to deal with the lies of safety and affordability by the nuclear industry:
[farm1.staticflickr.com image 640x482]

As it is, we send about half of our power out of the region - to Canada in the winter and to California in the summer. Since our grid is federally managed and publically owned, the "profits" of selling that power on the free market goes to reduce our regional power cost.


aaand there you go off derping again.

You really don't know what your'e talking about. You're comparing modern Gen III+ and Gen IV reactor designs to a poorly managed Gen I w/ Mark I containment that was supposed to be retired a decade ago AND was mismanaged and poorly sited (Fukushima) and a royal total utterly stupid farked up soviet design (Chernobyl.. which makes Fuku look like nothing).

Three Mile Island - the USes worst 'accident' was a joke. the most radiation anyone was exposed to was equivalent to the dose of radiation from the uranium in the granite in the halls of congress for 1 day. The containment structure did its job and kept it inside.

STOP KNEEJERKING AND STOP APPLYING PACIFIC NORTHWEST ECONOMICS TO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

I have a lot of respect for you man, but you're seriously out of your element here. stop.
 
2013-02-04 09:35:19 PM

SN1987a goes boom: Are you high?


i wish.
 
2013-02-04 09:40:23 PM
Boggles my farking mind that people will defend coal power because nuclear waste might some day hurt someone, somewhere.

If other 20th century technologies had been stymied the way practical use of nuclear power has, we'd still be driving steel boats with no shoulder harnesses and we'd still be using computers that fill entire rooms, because hey - we've already got a computer.
 
2013-02-04 10:13:42 PM
Technology is not the problem in nuclear operations. We have adequate advanced technologies. The real problem IMO is and always has been management, and to make atomic power safe, I think you have to have the government run it, rather than any private for-profit corporation. We could also take a tip from the French, who have a strong nuclear power generation sector, in that they require their plant managers to live with their families in the shadow of the plants they operate. On the theory that you don't shiat where you eat, and you won't endanger your own family making bad decisions for others.

I'm for thorium-based nukes and traveling-wave mini-plants. I think we should be working harder on pebble bed technology.
 
2013-02-04 10:32:48 PM

Any Pie Left: I'm for thorium-based nukes and traveling-wave mini-plants.


Have they gotten traveling-waves working? Last I heard they had nice designs but couldn't actually make it work.
 
2013-02-04 10:42:05 PM

Kazan: MrSteve007: SkunkWerks: Honest question: How well do they generate after having a spiderweb of cracks laced across them? I'd have to imagine that this would have some effect on their overall efficiency.

Oh, I'm sure the panels are royally farked after taking multiple bullet hits. If they do generate a fraction of their original energy, it'll degrade quickly from having the cell exposed directly to the elements. The purpose of the demonstration was more for the fact that this type of panel can stop different small calibers of bullets - without penetrating the double glass system (there is another layer of glass behind the panel).

The point is that if a bullet couldn't go *though* the panel, it shouldn't have much problem with hail bouncing off of it. The force of energy involved wouldn't be enough to crack the panel.

/not all panels are made like this - only made in WA State panels.
//same type I put on the roof of my house and workplace.

you'd be surprised at the level of energy in hail. in fact golf ball sized hail strikes are about the strength of a .22 caliber hit Link


You simply add a tough piezoelectric layer to extract the hail energy first.
 
2013-02-05 01:35:32 AM

Kazan: you'd be surprised at the level of energy in hail. in fact golf ball sized hail strikes are about the strength of a .22 caliber hit Link


That is an interesting article, but you should take a second read to it. First off, they're comparing baseball sized hail, not golf ball. 2nd, even they say "Does this mean that baseball sized hair is like getting shot by a .22 bullet? No."

They then go on to describing the density and impact absorption involved collapse of ice vs. that of lead, and say that the bullet will do far more damage - further backing up my claim that hail isn't much of a worry to reinforced solar panels.

Frankly, you can drive a 1 1/2 ton truck on them, you can jump on them as hard as possible, mount them on sea walls, pounding them with ocean waves for years at a time and you can even take a baseball bat to them without damaging these solar panels. As I showed, they even stop *multiple* shots from small caliber bullets (a .38 has a lot more force than a .22), which is one of the only things that will damage their exterior glass. Think about that for a second, I could mount these panels in front of my house and stop a barrage of bullets, while sitting perfectly safe behind friggen glass solar panels. Outside of Kevlar, or thick plated steel, good luck trying that with any other material.

I've already bet $25,000 that they'd survive any weather event, outside that of a direct hit from a tornado, and survive. In fact, they're certified to withstand 125 psi loads on the front or back. With an area that's 4 sq.ft., the *glass* panels are rated to handle a 72,000 lbs static load across the surface (that's the equivalent of 5 full-sized African elephants) . The roof trusses will tear off before the panels do.

Here's a slow-mo video of a billard sized hail striking a standard construction solar panel.

Here's another man, who's roof was destroyed by hail - but the standard solar panels survived without a single bit of damage.

Another guy, who had $6,500 damage to his Jeep, but zero damage to the standard solar panel (warning, annoying editing and music)

There's plenty of evidence out there that shows that even standard construction (lightly reinforced glass front, plastic back) panels hold up well to hail. As I point out, the panels that I use have much stronger, double sided glass.

Kazan: in newer more advanced reactors, with proper fuel cycle management "hot waste" is called "fuel". Almost all of the existing waste is reusable as fuel in newer reactors. Gen III+ reactors get like 100x the power output for the same fuel. Gen IV can get up to 1000x more. Also the Thorium cycle is safer and has a more abundant fuel. The US's problem with fuel cycle management is caused by people like you who freak out and go mind blank soon as they hear "nuclear" or "radioactive", but insist on shooting their mouth on things they don't understand.


Before you try to talk down to me and tell us how new technology will save us, without backing up a single fact, check out what I linked to above in an earlier comment. The late 2012 Department of Energy Oak Ride Lab's report says that even with the available current and emerging nuclear technologies, we're *at best* still two decades away from being able to reprocess fuel, and pointing to next-gen reactors does next to nothing to get us out of the hole we're digging every day when it comes to commercial nuclear waste.

U.S. To Bury Almost All Existing Used Nuclear Fuel; Recycling Deferred At Least 20 Years

Between now and 2030, we'll produce another 2,000 tons of commercial nuclear waste a year, adding some 40,000 tons to the already 70,000 tons currently sitting around the nation. They expect to have somewhere between 500 and 1,000 ton capacity of recycling commercial waste by 2030. It doesn't take a math genius to see that we're totally farked when it comes to dealing with the waste we're guaranteed to create with the plants currently out there. Even worse, according to the DOE, most of what we've creating is all but useless - with an exception to fast-flux reactors.

Directly from the DOE report: (pdf)
"The current U.S. fleet of 104 operating reactors discharges ~2000 MTHM of UNF annually. The current inventory of commercial UNF, ~67,600 MTHM, is the result of reactor operation over the last ~50 years, although there were far fewer reactors in the early days of nuclear power. At the current rate of production, the current fleet will generate another ~67,600 MTHM of UNF over the next 30 years or so, a time frame that is similar to that anticipated for completing RD&D and moving forward with deployment of a recycle fuel cycle, if the decision were made to do so . . . As a consequence, this study concludes that there is no compelling reason to retain any of the existing UNF inventory for production recycling purposes in the future.

As previously discussed, since the fuel designs are converging to a relatively few common designs, the current and future UNF discharges would have the most advantages for optimizing the front-end design and facility operations. Hence, the older fuel, and much of the current UNF inventory, would not be desirable feedstock as it differs from the large amount of available nearly uniform design UNF that will be discharged in the future."

I spent several years working as the CBS affiliate reporter and producer for the Yakima and Tri-Cities area (the area is home of the nation's largest nuclear waste debacle, Hanford). I've seen our shuttered fast-flux reactor firsthand, so please don't say that I don't know what I'm talking about and am derping on the subject. I got paid to become knowledgeable on this subject, and met with many of the main players involved with waste processing, weapons waste vitrification, and the egg heads behind the new designs. I back up what I say with links to facts, from reputable sources. I know exactly what kind of legacy we've left ourselves with nuclear weapons waste, and the legacy the commercial nuclear industry brought to the Pacific NW with the largest financial bond flop in history (which is the main reason why Wall Street still shuns financing nuclear power, and no one will insure them - forcing the industry having to get all the financial loans from the Feds and a majority of the insurance costs limited, pushing the potential damages to the American taxpayer).
 
2013-02-05 02:27:11 AM

MrSteve007 Before you try to talk down to me and tell us how new technology will save us, without backing up a single fact, check out what I linked to above in an earlier comment. The late 2012 Department of Energy Oak Ride Lab's report says that even with the available current and emerging nuclear technologies, we're *at best* still two decades away from being able to reprocess fuel, and pointing to next-gen reactors does next to nothing to get us out of the hole we're digging every day when it comes to commercial nuclear waste.

The work on the Integral Fast Reactor was killed not long before completion (Clinton and his butt boy in the Senate J.Kerry) for political reasons (had spent 20 billion on the project `84-`94). This is from an interview with Charles Till who headed the project:

Q: So this concept of the IFR sounds almost too good to be true, because it gets energy from waste, it substantially solves your waste problem. Now, you'd think, if anything was easy to sell, this would be. How much luck have you had?
A: Well, we had ten years of development where we were able to prove these characteristics. And I must say in fairness that to be able to start with a new concept, as we did, in the mid-1980s, and develop it as far as we were able to go, was in itself quite remarkable. And I think it's testimony to the quality of the concept and quality of (people) on it. But in the end, of course, the arguments for it proved to be insufficient to keep the development going.

Q: Curiously, a number of the people in utilities haven't been especially supportive. They say the thing is just too expensive. Why aren't they ordering IFRs?
A: Well, I think that there's really two different cases to be made. It's very easy, I think, for those who simply oppose nuclear energy outright, to if you like, soften their statements to the [innocent ear] by saying, "Well, really it's too expensive," without having any sound basis for making any assessment [to] whether it's too expensive or not. The price of nuclear energy today, if the plants were properly built and properly run, would be perfectly competitive with coal and gas. If the plants cost far too much in the building, even through regulatory or inefficient management or whatever, then the price of that would [increase]. But there's no intrinsic reason why nuclear in general, even today, should not be very competitive. The reuse of recycled fuel in the IFR is where the potential great benefits lie, in the solution of the waste problem, in the sense that the waste is much easier to get rid of. And then the plants don't have to, as they do today, simply build up the spent fuel in pools and wonder what on earth are they going to do with it. There's nobody today who can tell you how much it's going to cost to get rid of that spent fuel. The utility today, because of agreements, can give it to the Department of Energy, and at a very low price, if they can convince the Department of Energy to take it. And it seems to me they will succeed and are succeeding in doing that. But now the Department of Energy has got a problem. And how much that will cost the nation there's no way of predicting. The IFR gets at those problems. But really the powerful argument for nuclear is not whether it's necessary today. It produces 20% of our nation's electricity. That's a lot of electricity. That's a lot of benefit. But the real benefit of it is in the decades and the centuries to come, where you [could] have an energy source that you can count on, and not to wonder, you know, whether we have ten more years of reserves or 50 more years of reserves or whatever. It takes away that problem entirely. Now, in having done that, to do that in a way that the reactors are safe, that they don't contribute to proliferation, and that they have a fairly easily disposable waste product, in my view, that's a wonderful thing. And that was the promise and is the promise.

Q: The other aspect of the integral fast reactor is that it's one of a type of what's called passive reactors. What does this mean?
A: Well, the IFR has characteristics that are really quite different and superior to any other reactor that has yet been tried, because in the very nature of the materials that are used, it does not allow the reactor to be harmed in any way by the kinds of accidents that typically can happen to reactors, or indeed any other large plant. The electricity-producing plant reactor has a lot of valves, a lot of pumps, a lot of mechanical things that can go wrong. And the thing that you don't want to happen is to have the coolant, at once cooling the reactor and also then acting as the source of heat for steam to produce electricity. You don't want that flow to stop. That's what happened at TMI. That's what happened at Chernobyl. And if it does stop, then what happens? And in the IFR what happens is, the reactor just shuts itself down. There's no mechanical devices needed to do that. There's no operator interaction. There isn't anything. It's just in the nature of materials. When the coolant flow stops, the reaction stops. That's remarkable. Q: So it's inherently safe. A: So it's inherently safe. It's a remarkable feature. Q: And you in fact ran an experiment that was comparable to what happened at Chernobyl? A: Yes, yes. Let me go on a little bit about that, because it is a rather dramatic characteristic. The Chernobyl accident happened in April 26 of 1986. Earlier that month, the first week in April, with our test reactor in Idaho, in fact the same reactor control room where we're now sitting, we performed a demonstration of that characteristic, where if you cut off the coolant from the reactor, what would happen? And there are two ways to cut off the coolant. One is that simply the pumps that are pumping the reactor stop. The reactor just shut itself down. And in the afternoon, we brought the reactor back up to full power again and did an accident situation where the reactor's unable to get rid of the heat it produces, because the heat normally is taken away by the electrical system, and so we isolated the electrical system from the plant, and the reactor then has to deal with the heat it produces itself. Again, another real accident situation. Again, the reactor just quietly shut itself down. Now, later that month, the Chernobyl accident happened. And the first of those scenarios that I described, where the cooling pumps were shut off, is exactly what happened at Chernobyl. The public was privileged to witness what happened there, over a period of weeks. What happened here was, the reactor just quietly shut itself down. That was the basis of the story in The Wall Street Journal, when some very alert science reporter realized the similarity of the two events, and the nonaccident in one case and the terrible accident in the other



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/ ti ll .html
 
2013-02-05 03:38:27 AM

Crazy Lee: The work on the Integral Fast Reactor was killed not long before completion (Clinton and his butt boy in the Senate J.Kerry) for political reasons (had spent 20 billion on the project `84-`94). This is from an interview with Charles Till who headed the project:


Keep in mind that the Integral Fast Reactor isn't exactly the same as Hanford's Fast Flux test facility.

It's also interesting to note that in the interview with Charles Till, he glosses over the fact that nuclear power is expensive. It doesn't matter where in the world you build a plant, it costs several billion dollars to get one up and running - even if you're skirting safety regulations and using next-to-slave labor like China, who claim to be building several plants for $2 billion each. Most new US plants seem to sit around $8-$12 billion apiece. He also foresees that wind power will only account for a tiny fraction of energy in the US. In 2011, wind energy accounted for 3% of total grid energy. It looks like with the massive expansion of wind power in 2012 (adding some 13,000 MW, bumping total wind nameplate capacity to 60,000 MW), and continued expansion this year, total wind energy output by the end of 2013 should be about 6% to 7% of national grid energy output. Considering nuclear is hovering at about 18% of the US grid, and wind had almost 0% just a few years ago, it's not out of the question to see total electrical output of wind shadow domestic nuclear output by 10 years from now.

It's also interesting to note coal's meteoric fall from electrical energy dominance, now usurped by natural gas as the #1 source of grid power in the states. No one would have predicted that a decade ago.

Nuclear power and nuclear related projects have this funny way of running away in cost. As I pointed out earlier WPPSS did just that. Then the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project. Estimated to cost $400 million in 1971, the project ballooned to nearly $8 billion by 1983. And while it isn't commercial power related (since it's designed to handle the nuclear waste from weapons production), Hanford's vitrification plant is currently spiraling out of control. It's been under construction for 11 years now, yet the *design* is only 80% done! In 2000, the plant was estimated to cost $4.3 billion and begin operating in 2007. The last in-depth estimate, completed in 2006, put the price at $12.2 billion, and an estimate in May raised the cost to $13.4 billion. It probably won't meet its legally required 2019 start up date.
 
2013-02-05 08:03:42 AM

erik-k: tshauk: Been tiny little reactors since the 1950s, very clean energy source if the Government would get out of the way and let our reactors be updated.

Fear and ignorance is much more dangerous than nuclear power, especially now that it has advanced to a very well understood and manageable science.

I declare not Poe's Law: This must be a troll. No one could possibly be insane enough to believe that we should trust the safety of devices as potentially dangerous as nuclear reactors to profit-driven corporate entities.

You know TMI, Fukushima, Davis Besse NPS? Those near-catastrophes occured with over-the-top government mandated safety systems, one was made far worse by profit-motivated corner cutting, and one would have never happened at all if not for profit-motivated corner cutting. If you want to know what would've happened without all that stupid government regulation in the way, look up the the Kyshtym disaster, Chernobyl, or what the Soviets left in Lake Karachi. And if you think private industry would do any different, just remember: Proper monitoring, containment domes and nuclear waste disposal are expensive.


But they weren't were they?

Are you suggesting our technologies are the same as they were in 1957, or 30+ year old soviet mistakes?

Educate yourself on today's capabilities.
 
2013-02-05 09:14:37 AM

MrSteve007: we're *at best* still two decades away from being able to reprocess fuel


so because since we cannot do it now, we shouldn't do it at all? That sounds exactly like the polluters who say "oh we cannot solve it instantly, let's just let the pollution run"


MrSteve007: Crazy Lee: The work on the Integral Fast Reactor was killed not long before completion (Clinton and his butt boy in the Senate J.Kerry) for political reasons (had spent 20 billion on the project `84-`94). This is from an interview with Charles Till who headed the project:

Keep in mind that the Integral Fast Reactor isn't exactly the same as Hanford's Fast Flux test facility.

It's also interesting to note that in the interview with Charles Till, he glosses over the fact that nuclear power is expensive. It doesn't matter where in the world you build a plant, it costs several billion dollars to get one up and running - even if you're skirting safety regulations and using next-to-slave labor like China, who claim to be building several plants for $2 billion each. Most new US plants seem to sit around $8-$12 billion apiece. He also foresees that wind power will only account for a tiny fraction of energy in the US. In 2011, wind energy accounted for 3% of total grid energy. It looks like with the massive expansion of wind power in 2012 (adding some 13,000 MW, bumping total wind nameplate capacity to 60,000 MW), and continued expansion this year, total wind energy output by the end of 2013 should be about 6% to 7% of national grid energy output. Considering nuclear is hovering at about 18% of the US grid, and wind had almost 0% just a few years ago, it's not out of the question to see total electrical output of wind shadow domestic nuclear output by 10 years from now.

It's also interesting to note coal's meteoric fall from electrical energy dominance, now usurped by natural gas as the #1 source of grid power in the states. No one would have predicted that a decade ago.

Nuclear power and nuclear related projects have this funny way of running away in cost. As I pointed out earlier WPPSS did just that. Then the Clinch River Breeder Reactor project. Estimated to cost $400 million in 1971, the project ballooned to nearly $8 billion by 1983. And while it isn't commercial po ...


you want to talk about economics but you're not talking about per KWh generation cost? why exactly is that, hmm? why are you only talking about up front costs?

oh.. because it doesn't play into your narrative.

i don't normally trust forbes (Right wing rag).. but you cited them so i will too

Link
"Clean" Coal: $0.11/KWh per EIA
Nuclear: $0.11/KWh per EIA
Wind: $0.082/KWh per EIA, $0.18/KWh according to some conservative rag
Adv Gas: $0.063/KWh per EIA

goal plants also cost a lot of money to build up front.. imagine that. capital expenditures cost capital.

stop parsing information about nuclear plants through your confirmation bias filter.
 
2013-02-05 12:24:19 PM
MrSteve007

It's also interesting to note that in the interview with Charles Till, he glosses over the fact that nuclear power is expensive. It doesn't matter where in the world you build a plant, it costs several billion dollars to get one up and running - even if you're skirting safety regulations and using next-to-slave labor like China, who claim to be building several plants for $2 billion each. Most new US plants seem to sit around $8-$12 billion apiece. He also foresees that wind power will only account for a tiny fraction of energy in the US. In 2011, wind energy accounted for 3% of total grid energy. It looks like with the massive expansion of wind power in 2012 (adding some 13,000 MW, bumping total wind nameplate capacity to 60,000 MW), and continued expansion this year, total wind energy output by the end of 2013 should be about 6% to 7% of national grid energy output. Considering nuclear is hovering at about 18% of the US grid, and wind had almost 0% just a few years ago, it's not out of the question to see total electrical output of wind shadow domestic nuclear output by 10 years from now.

So, we're agreed that recycling, according to the fellow that designed a system to do just that is viable. Now, it is a matter of cost? Primary overruns/sketchiness is legal in nature (TMI? only one unit knocked out - 5 years after the other unit had been cleared to restart - lawsuits continued - judge finally opined that `feeling nervous' wasn't going to fly/ Nuscale power submitted SMR design that consisted of two small `thermos' reactors - basically batteries - one would run for 25yr./ then the second would be turned on and the `used' unit would be returned to factory by rail for refueling - difficulty level? NRC demanded two fully staffed control rooms (though only one reactor would be active) - absolutely `regulated' out)

Talk the wind and even the hydro (didn't Columbia have to buy fossil fuel derived elec in 2010-11 to make up for shortfall?). I want an overbuilt, juice on demand. With enough elec - direct capture of CO2 from atmosphere for conversion to synfuel becomes an industrial process). There is enough waste (including the 700 metric tons of depleted uranium at Oak Ridge) available to power the U.S. for over a thousand years - and if `breeding'? forever.

Sorry, I'm looking at Carbon neutrality in the briefest possible time (I know, I know, nuclear is one of those issues where the greenies(so called) and the coal/gas boys all play under the covers, together.
 
2013-02-05 12:38:41 PM

pkellmey: Didn't the original Batman car on the television series run on a small reactor?


no.
 
2013-02-05 12:39:56 PM
"They can literally be made in the USA. With the large plants, that's simply physically impossible."


Huh? Apart from the awful grammar... how is it impossible?
 
2013-02-05 01:46:23 PM

Kazan: so because since we cannot do it now, we shouldn't do it at all? That sounds exactly like the polluters who say "oh we cannot solve it instantly, let's just let the pollution run"


As pointed out above, there's no financial incentive or commercial need to reprocess our current spent fuel - so all the signs point to the DOE ignoring it (like they have for the past 50 years) and working out a plan to permanently bury it.

Let's say we do get into the reprocessing game by 2030. Would you count the cost of that towards the operational cost of nuclear power? Because as it stands, the industry pays almost nothing towards dealing with the issue of the waste they create - unloading a vast majority of the costs onto the taxpayer.

Kazan: you want to talk about economics but you're not talking about per KWh generation cost? why exactly is that, hmm? why are you only talking about up front costs?

oh.. because it doesn't play into your narrative.

i don't normally trust forbes (Right wing rag).. but you cited them so i will too

Link
"Clean" Coal: $0.11/KWh per EIA
Nuclear: $0.11/KWh per EIA
Wind: $0.082/KWh per EIA, $0.18/KWh according to some conservative rag
Adv Gas: $0.063/KWh per EIA

coal plants also cost a lot of money to build up front.. imagine that. capital expenditures cost capital.


Keep in mind that not a single kWh has ever been generated from a 'clean coal' plant, even after 30 years of massive financial support. All we got were small demonstration projects. Your link is an interesting article about how the end of wind is nigh (they don't mention that the tax credit has been extended, and that the month of December had more wind capacity come online than the previous 11 months combined).  I greatly enjoy the wind energy math that the "American Tradition Institute" did to raise the cost of wind. They back off the 30-year lifespan of wind turbines. Why? Just cause.

Also note that the Trojan nuclear plant in Oregon was shut down after just 16 years of operation, due to mechanical failure and exorbitant cost to repair. And hot off the presses this morning, Duke Energy is shutting down Florida's Crystal River nuke plant because it's too expensive to fix.

We know that it costs between $5 and $8 billion to build a new nuclear plant in the US today, and that they last from anywhere between 16 and 45 years (lets call it an even 30 years, since that's the average age of currently operating plants). They have an average capacity factor of 89% A 2008 Time article pegs new nuclear energy to cost between $0.15 and $0.20 a kWh.

If you look at the latest data from the EIA estimates for new capacity in 2017, taking into account all construction, fuel, operations, transmission, capacity factor, etc - wind beats out nuclear for cost. Geothermal too. The only cheaper energy source is natural gas.

Almost all of the latest data available, from reputable groups (not right wing think tanks or left wing blogs), shows that nuclear power is a dying breed. Wind and natural gas is what's coming online and taking over. Heck, even the Texas grid operator ERCOT just said "that if you use updated wind and solar power characteristics like cost and actual output to reflect real world conditions, rather than previously used 2006 assumed characteristics, wind and solar are more competitive than natural gas over the next 20 years"

You may call it confirmation bias, but in the past year, a lot of real world data - from operators, government, and independent sources show that wind power is really cheap and works quite well. In fact, if you get your power from PSE, take a look at your bill. You'll probably see a "renewable energy credit" which factors in excess wind production. It's nice to see wind directly lowering the cost of your bill.
 
2013-02-05 01:50:43 PM

Crazy Lee: So, we're agreed that recycling, according to the fellow that designed a system to do just that is viable.


Technically viable? Of course. Economically viable? Nope.
 
2013-02-05 02:12:18 PM

MrSteve007: ould you count the cost of that towards the operational cost of nuclear power?


yes, and they've already worked out the cost. about $0.02 per KWh generated. and that is with less advanced reprocessing techniques they came up with decades ago.

MrSteve007: , there's no financial incentive or commercial need to reprocess our current spent fuel


yet

MrSteve007: Keep in mind that not a single kWh has ever been generated from a 'clean coal' plant, even after 30 years of massive financial support. All we got were small demonstration projects. Your link is an interesting article about how the end of wind is nigh (they don't mention that the tax credit has been extended, and that the month of December had more wind capacity come online than the previous 11 months combined). I greatly enjoy the wind energy math that the "American Tradition Institute" did to raise the cost of wind. They back off the 30-year lifespan of wind turbines. Why? Just cause.


like i said.. it's a rag citing a rag, but i wanted those AEI numbers.

MrSteve007: Also note that the Trojan nuclear plant in Oregon was shut down after just 16 years of operation, due to mechanical failure and exorbitant cost to repair. And hot off the presses this morning, Duke Energy is shutting down Florida's Crystal River nuke plant because it's too expensive to fix.


NEWSFLASH: 40 year old power stations are expensive to fix, money better spent investing in safer, easier to maintain, and more economical in terms of fuel modern plants. More at 11.

MrSteve007: If you look at the latest data from the EIA estimates for new capacity in 2017, taking into account all construction, fuel, operations, transmission, capacity factor, etc - wind beats out nuclear for cost. Geothermal too. The only cheaper energy source is natural gas.


that's great. we still need large baseload generation capacity and nuclear is more widely usable than hydro due to geology, and it is far safer than you claim it is.

MrSteve007: You may call it confirmation bias, but in the past year, a lot of real world data - from operators, government, and independent sources show that wind power is really cheap and works quite well. In fact, if you get your power from PSE, take a look at your bill. You'll probably see a "renewable energy credit" which factors in excess wind production. It's nice to see wind directly lowering the cost of your bill.


we can argue the economics till we're blue in the face. That's fine, we're arguing economics. that is the RIGHT argument to be having.

What i'm taking an exception to your posts is when you're fear mongering with absolutely incorrect information about nuclear.
 
2013-02-05 02:32:42 PM

MrSteve007: As pointed out above, there's no financial incentive or commercial need to reprocess our current spent fuel -


But one could claim the same about *any number* of environmental initiatives. I mean, hell, isn't this what anti-renewable people bleat about *constantly*?
 
2013-02-05 03:16:24 PM

Kazan: NEWSFLASH: 40 year old power stations are expensive to fix, money better spent investing in safer, easier to maintain, and more economical in terms of fuel modern plants. More at 11.


And as I point out, not only are they phasing out old plants - but new plants aren't economically viable today. That's why most of them are either being outright cancelled, or "shelved indefinitely." Even the British nuclear proponent George Monbiot admitted yesterday that nuclear is over in the UK. I'll be very curious to see how much the two new reactors in Georgia's Vogtle nuclear power plant end up costing when finished. They'll be an excellent standard to measure the cost of new nuclear power . . . if they get built. The US is littered with quite a few unfinished nuclear plant projects. You should go visit Washington's Satsop Business Park - built in the carcass of the Satsop Nuclear Plant.

img.groundspeak.com

Kazan:
What i'm taking an exception to your posts is when you're fear mongering with absolutely incorrect information about nuclear.

What is incorrect about the statements that the government doesn't plan to do anything to the current (and next several decades) of highly radioactive spent fuel? Other than bury it? Because that's 100% true. Please point out exactly what I said that isn't true. Because almost all of my statements have been backed up with good quality 3rd party sources.

It's the nuclear backers who are grasping at straws when they say that reprocessing will save the day. I point out that even with the best case scenario, direct from the DOE, it'll be decades before we start (and according to the DOE, there's no economic case to do so), and even then, at best possible rate of reprocessing, our children will likely pass-on before they see all of the current generation reactor waste dealt with. We're talking about a nearly century long legacy of tens of thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel rods. Both you and I are going to die before we see even half of the waste is dealt with - and you promote the idea that it makes sense to continue with unproven nuclear designs?
 
2013-02-05 03:31:08 PM

MrSteve007: What is incorrect about the statements that the government doesn't plan to do anything to the current (and next several decades) of highly radioactive spent fuel? Other than bury it? Because that's 100% true. Please point out exactly what I said that isn't true. Because almost all of my statements have been backed up with good quality 3rd party sources.


i'm talking about when you were spouting off in FUD fashion several pages ago about nuclear being unsafe. Plus freaking out about that waste... that stuff is easy to deal with if people would stop freaking out. stick it in a bunker somewhere deep in a mountain, sealed in non-corroding casks. boom, handled.

howevber that would be a WASTE OF FUEL.

MrSteve007: you promote the idea that it makes sense to continue with unproven nuclear designs?


no, i promote the idea that it makes sense to use nuclear technology when economically viable and not to overstate the risks and using PROVEN TECHNOLOGY that has been iterated upon multiple times.
 
2013-02-05 03:38:05 PM

Kazan: no, i promote the idea that it makes sense to use nuclear technology when economically viable and not to overstate the risks and using PROVEN TECHNOLOGY that has been iterated upon multiple times.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I pretty sure there aren't any proven "next-gen" commercial nuclear reactors operating today. I'm thinking of Gen IV - fast flux, thorium (ha) or the mini reactors mentioned in the parent article.

Or are you talking about standard Gen III reactors as being the proven technologies?
 
2013-02-05 03:44:44 PM

MrSteve007: Kazan: no, i promote the idea that it makes sense to use nuclear technology when economically viable and not to overstate the risks and using PROVEN TECHNOLOGY that has been iterated upon multiple times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I pretty sure there aren't any proven "next-gen" commercial nuclear reactors operating today. I'm thinking of Gen IV - fast flux, thorium (ha)


No, that's Hahnium.  Thorium is Th.
 
2013-02-05 04:00:02 PM

MrSteve007: Kazan: no, i promote the idea that it makes sense to use nuclear technology when economically viable and not to overstate the risks and using PROVEN TECHNOLOGY that has been iterated upon multiple times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I pretty sure there aren't any proven "next-gen" commercial nuclear reactors operating today. I'm thinking of Gen IV - fast flux, thorium (ha) or the mini reactors mentioned in the parent article.

Or are you talking about standard Gen III reactors as being the proven technologies?


Gen III/III+ and Gen IV BWRs are essentially the same old reactor, just with lots of refinements to make them more fuel efficient, safer and cheaper to maintain.

thorium is unproven, but very promising and much safer.
 
2013-02-05 10:45:48 PM
Ft St Vrain was a thorium plant.  The nuke side worked even if the circulators were flaky and the secondary side was too.  It was really a prototype though.  Indian point unit 1's first core was thorium, too.
 
2013-02-06 05:01:53 AM

tshauk: erik-k: tshauk: Been tiny little reactors since the 1950s, very clean energy source if the Government would get out of the way and let our reactors be updated.

Fear and ignorance is much more dangerous than nuclear power, especially now that it has advanced to a very well understood and manageable science.

I declare not Poe's Law: This must be a troll. No one could possibly be insane enough to believe that we should trust the safety of devices as potentially dangerous as nuclear reactors to profit-driven corporate entities.

You know TMI, Fukushima, Davis Besse NPS? Those near-catastrophes occured with over-the-top government mandated safety systems, one was made far worse by profit-motivated corner cutting, and one would have never happened at all if not for profit-motivated corner cutting. If you want to know what would've happened without all that stupid government regulation in the way, look up the the Kyshtym disaster, Chernobyl, or what the Soviets left in Lake Karachi. And if you think private industry would do any different, just remember: Proper monitoring, containment domes and nuclear waste disposal are expensive.

But they weren't were they?

Are you suggesting our technologies are the same as they were in 1957, or 30+ year old soviet mistakes?

Educate yourself on today's capabilities.


TMI (which, even if user-interface flaws did play a large part in the incident, was considered to have state of the art instrumentation when it came online in 1974, not the 50s) was close to becoming a full-on disaster before Babcock and Wilcox finally managed to finish playing the telephone game and scream "turn your goddamn coolant pumps back on" at the operators: By that point nearly 40 percent of the core had melted, irretrievably destroying within hours a multi-billion-dollar state-of-the-art investment. From a PR perspective, the bungling public response to the problem absolutely was a full-on disaster. Davis-Besse was also a near disaster, given that the corroded section would have resulted in a beyond design basis LOCA, had it not been finally uncovered (in a manner that couldn't be swept under the rug) mere months before the failure would've occurred.

Don't kneejerkingly assume I'm against nuclear power because I've pointed out that it is possible for it to go wrong, and laid out a history of it doing so (though rarely spectacularly) under conditions which share certain common factors. Fukushima, Davis-Besse, Kysthym, Chernobyl and SL-1 were all made possible or much worse due to lack of safety measures or insufficient enforcement, and one man's insistence on an outflow filter was all that prevented Windscale from being Chernobyl, 30 years before Chernobyl.

Do you have any idea the kind of damage that taking this kind of haughtily dismissive attitude towards any criticism of nuclear power does to the cause of nuclear power? I have in fact educated myself, thank you very much. I know a good deal more about nuclear power, history and safety than most people, including likely yourself, which fact you might have ascertained had you not immediately spoken down to me as one does to a small and obstinate child because I had the audacity to acknowledge that humans are a demonstrable (but manageable) problem with nuclear power. You might even have learned that I believe nuclear power is our only reasonable hope to provide baseload power without destroying the planet by putting into the air and oceans in 300 years what took Mother Nature three hundred million years to take out.
 
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