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(TampaBay.com (St. Petersburg Tim)   Everyone knows nuclear energy is cheaper than natural gas in the long run. Except when, you know, someone looks at the numbers   (tampabay.com) divider line 110
    More: Interesting, Florida Trend, Public Service Commission, Duke Energy, Levy, Progress Energy, natural gas prices, nuclear power, telecommunications facility  
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3385 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 May 2013 at 9:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-12 08:06:34 AM
Not only that, but as more and more people convert to natural gas, the cost of the commodity can only go up. As soon as there is not a backlog in the pipelines, it has to go up. I know they've been saying that for years, I just can't believe nat gas prices can remain this low forever.
 
2013-05-12 08:56:34 AM
One day we'll use up our natural gas reserves while nuclear fuel will still be going strong.
 
2013-05-12 09:19:33 AM
One day, we're all gonna die from our own arrogance and lack of long term thinking. 

/no one gets out alive
//comforted by the reality of having no children.
 
2013-05-12 09:20:08 AM

SurfaceTension: One day we'll use up our natural gas reserves while nuclear fuel will still be going strong.


And while a new fracking MAY be developed, nuclear tech is sure to improve.
 
2013-05-12 09:25:28 AM
Did they factor in the cost of failed crops due to freaky weather, increasingly frequent storms like Katrina and Sandy, increased food prices and the accompanying social upheaval, having to move entire coastal cities further inland, wars over water and oil, and various other secondary expenses that go with continued reliance on fossil fuel?

No?
 
2013-05-12 09:25:59 AM

Smackledorfer: SurfaceTension: One day we'll use up our natural gas reserves while nuclear fuel will still be going strong.

And while a new fracking MAY be developed, nuclear tech is sure to improve.


You can already buy a 5MW self contained low maintenance pocket reactor for less than 8 figures.  I'll take two of those, please.
 
2013-05-12 09:28:51 AM
What?  Study sponsored by the natural gas industry?
 
2013-05-12 09:32:14 AM

mrlewish: What?  Study sponsored by the natural gas industry?


Seems like it was run by the Times. They seem pretty transparent about their methods and outcomes. Why so hysterical?
 
2013-05-12 09:35:53 AM
But but but but but too cheap to meter?

Marcus Aurelius: You can already buy a 5MW self contained low maintenance pocket reactor for less than 8 figures. I'll take two of those, please.


Link, please. The only such reactors I've heard about are at the origami stage, ie paper.

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

No 5MW design here either.
 
2013-05-12 09:39:13 AM

Uncle Tractor: Did they factor in the cost of failed crops due to freaky weather, increasingly frequent storms like Katrina and Sandy, increased food prices and the accompanying social upheaval, having to move entire coastal cities further inland, wars over water and oil, and various other secondary expenses that go with continued reliance on fossil fuel?

No?


Of course not. If you think containing nuclear waste is an issue - try containing CO2.
 
2013-05-12 09:42:26 AM
Of course, the costs of nuclear plants are skewed by the lawsuits, timed for maximum impact on the construction costs.  They wait until year six of the seven year construction cycle to drive the costs high.  Without those (mostly) frivolous lawsuits, I doubt nuclear costs would be higher than natural gas plants.
 
2013-05-12 09:43:49 AM
So lets do both.
 
2013-05-12 09:44:32 AM
FTA "Cheaper even over 60 years and under any likely scenar "

If it stays cheaper than oil for that long, expect cars to swap CNG tanks instead of filling up.  Expect natural gas to oil conversion (similar to coal gassification) and then the proceeds sent to China and Europe.  Or we could just listen to a Churnalist reading T. Boune Picken's talking points.  I might not worship the market, but it does sometimes work, and this is usually one of the ways it does.  Natural gas can't be that much cheaper than oil in the long run.
 
2013-05-12 09:44:50 AM
I'm sure the nuke nuts will be here any second now to explain this away as part of the vast hippie conspiracy which has corrupted engineers and accountants all over the world into thinking that nuclear power plants are radioactive white elephants. Evil hippies! Don't they know that nuclear Jesus will descend to Earth and give us electricity too cheap to meter if only we have the faith to spend trillions on unproven magical thorium boojum reactors which will run forever and whose waste products consist of beer and strippers?
 
2013-05-12 09:46:36 AM

Confabulat: mrlewish: What?  Study sponsored by the natural gas industry?

Seems like it was run by the Times. They seem pretty transparent about their methods and outcomes. Why so hysterical?



I've always been a big fan of nuke power, but this does make me pause. The Times used the power companies own numbers and the existing info to come to their conclusions. Seems pretty strong to me except for one thing.

The profit margins.

When you look at the total prices and then deduct the profit margins that are found later, then nuke becomes much cheaper. Nuke has a built in profit of $4 billion while natgas is only $369 million, that just seems like bad legislation. Someing completely unheard of in my great state.
 
2013-05-12 09:46:40 AM
damn hippies
 
2013-05-12 09:46:55 AM

Pants of Pants: I'm sure the nuke nuts will be here any second now to explain this away as part of the vast hippie conspiracy which has corrupted engineers and accountants all over the world into thinking that nuclear power plants are radioactive white elephants. Evil hippies! Don't they know that nuclear Jesus will descend to Earth and give us electricity too cheap to meter if only we have the faith to spend trillions on unproven magical thorium boojum reactors which will run forever and whose waste products consist of beer and strippers?


Feel free to make an actual argument instead of that strawman. We'll still be here when you are ready.
 
2013-05-12 09:53:42 AM

Pants of Pants: I'm sure the nuke nuts will be here any second now to explain this away as part of the vast hippie conspiracy which has corrupted engineers and accountants all over the world into thinking that nuclear power plants are radioactive white elephants. Evil hippies! Don't they know that nuclear Jesus will descend to Earth and give us electricity too cheap to meter if only we have the faith to spend trillions on unproven magical thorium boojum reactors which will run forever and whose waste products consist of beer and strippers?


I'm a nuke nut. And nuclear power has it's warts.

But try running a super carrier or a submarine on conventional fuel. Works fine for short hops, but for longer durations you really are glad to have uranium pushing the prop and lighting the lights.
 
2013-05-12 09:55:48 AM

Evil Twin Skippy: And nuclear power has it's warts.


So does that possessive pronoun.

Evil Twin Skippy: But try running a super carrier or a submarine on conventional fuel.


Good thing they don't need to run a profit, or care too much about regulations.
 
2013-05-12 10:16:25 AM

Pants of Pants: I'm sure the nuke nuts will be here any second now to explain this away as part of the vast hippie conspiracy which has corrupted engineers and accountants all over the world into thinking that nuclear power plants are radioactive white elephants. Evil hippies! Don't they know that nuclear Jesus will descend to Earth and give us electricity too cheap to meter if only we have the faith to spend trillions on unproven magical thorium boojum reactors which will run forever and whose waste products consist of beer and strippers?


Was there an actual argument in the midst of that stupidity or was that just a little bit of the old ego self-bukake? I have to tell you, you sound like a farking idiot with the exact same flaw you accuse your opponents of having (being unable to recognize both the positives and the negatives of the position you're supporting). I could be wrong because you're such a smug coont, I'm having to extrapolate your belief systems here, but just so you know, most systems have both negative and positive attributes.
 
2013-05-12 10:17:25 AM
The big issue with nuke plants is having each of them essentially be a one-off design. Every time someone has built a new one in the past, they effectively have to start from scratch and prove each design element along the way. From the reactor to the cooling system to the containment dome to the control room, each time they build a nuclear power plant, they have to go completely through the design process again.

The same goes with the regulatory process. Government regulations are so long and complicated (and often illogical) that at least 20% (some say as much as half) of the cost of a new nuke plant is from either hiring a law firm to deal with the government - or interest costs from waiting for the regulatory folks to change their minds for the twentieth time over some minor point.

Then, of course, there's the waste disposal issue. Due to Federal regulations, you pretty much have to plan on storing the high-level waste indefinitely on-site. If we'd ever opened Yucca Mountain, they could wait for it to drop in level and send it there, but we know how that worked out (effectively, they set the theoretical "release" dose level for a million years in the future at background level).

The best thing would be to have two or three modular designs (and they're working on that now), but the one they're talking about is still effectively an old-school process with some new-school design features.
 
2013-05-12 10:21:40 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: But but but but but too cheap to meter?


The minute a utility executive heard those words you knew that they would keep piling regulations on top of regulations to make sure that would never happen.  Utilities are a cost+ operation (and were much moreso when the regulations were written).  Maximize costs and you maximize profits.
 
2013-05-12 10:25:46 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: But but but but but too cheap to meter?

Marcus Aurelius: You can already buy a 5MW self contained low maintenance pocket reactor for less than 8 figures. I'll take two of those, please.

Link, please. The only such reactors I've heard about are at the origami stage, ie paper.

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

No 5MW design here either.


They're all awaiting approval from the NRC.  And the legalities alone will kill it for US installation.

Here's Toshiba's.  The only reason it's not in production are the politics.
 
2013-05-12 10:25:48 AM

yet_another_wumpus: The minute a utility executive heard those words you knew that they would keep piling regulations on top of regulations to make sure that would never happen.


Yes, it's all a conspiracy. It's not like nuclear reactors are complex and reality rarely matches the sales brochure. The too cheap to meter remark was about fusion power anyways. Who's holding that back?
 
2013-05-12 10:29:56 AM

cirby: The big issue with nuke plants is having each of them essentially be a one-off design. Every time someone has built a new one in the past, they effectively have to start from scratch and prove each design element along the way. From the reactor to the cooling system to the containment dome to the control room, each time they build a nuclear power plant, they have to go completely through the design process again.

The best thing would be to have two or three modular designs (and they're working on that now), but the one they're talking about is still effectively an old-school process with some new-school design features.


At this point in time, reactors are rarely ever one-offs.  Especially in Europe and Asia, where construction of new facilities continued after it waned in the US, plant complexes will consist of a handful of identical reactor+turbine+cooling facilities.  And those same designs will be re-used at multiple plant sites.  So the designs exist.  They're still multi-GW scale plants, and inherently-large civil construction projects but they aren't exactly one-offs.
 
2013-05-12 10:37:33 AM

Confabulat: mrlewish: What?  Study sponsored by the natural gas industry?

Seems like it was run by the Times. They seem pretty transparent about their methods and outcomes. Why so hysterical?


FTFA: What building a new nuclear plant does really well, the analysis showed, is fatten a utility's bottom line. Duke Energy would pocket as much as 10 times the profit from the Levy project as it would from a natural gas facility.

FTFA: The Times analysis included the extra cost of building a natural gas plant that captured 90 percent of the carbon emissions, and taxed the rest at $25 a ton. The results:

Levy nuclear: $13.9 billion

Natural gas: $10.1 billion to $12.6 billion, depending on the cost of fuel.


So a gas plant saves 3.8 to 1.3 billion but the nuclear plant makes 10x the profit. This means that prices should be dropping, which puts money back in the pockets of the people who will spend it in the economy at large. And if the nuclear facility is 3 billion dollars more expensive, how can it make 10 times the profit of a gas plant? Does it produce more electricity?
 
2013-05-12 10:42:25 AM
The government in Japan has even more convincing numbers.
 
2013-05-12 10:42:57 AM

Quantum Apostrophe: yet_another_wumpus: The minute a utility executive heard those words you knew that they would keep piling regulations on top of regulations to make sure that would never happen.

Yes, it's all a conspiracy. It's not like nuclear reactors are complex and reality rarely matches the sales brochure. The too cheap to meter remark was about fusion power anyways. Who's holding that back?


Are you saying lobbying does not exist? Or are you classifying it as a 'conspiracy'?
 
2013-05-12 10:56:44 AM

Moopy Mac: Quantum Apostrophe: yet_another_wumpus: The minute a utility executive heard those words you knew that they would keep piling regulations on top of regulations to make sure that would never happen.

Yes, it's all a conspiracy. It's not like nuclear reactors are complex and reality rarely matches the sales brochure. The too cheap to meter remark was about fusion power anyways. Who's holding that back?

Are you saying lobbying does not exist? Or are you classifying it as a 'conspiracy'?


No, I'm saying that "too cheap to meter" was a wildly over-optimistic hope and it was never going to be "too cheap to meter". If you can find me a design for a nuclear reactor that was going to make energy "too cheap to meter" and find me the utility executive that did what was claimed, (not a lobbyist), then I'll think about it.
 
2013-05-12 11:00:05 AM

SurfaceTension: One day we'll use up our natural gas reserves while nuclear fuel will still be going strong.


Because the half lives of fission reactors are the gifts that keep on giving.....
 
2013-05-12 11:09:28 AM
Funny how they are debating the relative merits of 2 different techs that rely on finite fuels and produce nasty wastes in Florida - the "Sunshine State". If only there was a natural resource that was abundant there that they could produce power with... Maybe some high tech thing involving nuclear fusion kept safely millions of miles away...

My math says "no pollution" is cheapest in the long run. Especially with PV prices dropping every year. But feel free to debate the relative merits of CO2 vs nuclear waste.
 
2013-05-12 11:13:04 AM

adamatari: Maybe some high tech thing involving nuclear fusion kept safely millions of miles away...


Does 93 work for you?
 
2013-05-12 11:15:12 AM

adamatari: If only there was a natural resource that was abundant there that they could produce power with... Maybe some high tech thing involving nuclear fusion kept safely millions of miles away...


I used think that such a thing didn't exist.

Then I moved to Texas in the middle of a drought...
 
2013-05-12 11:20:25 AM

DerAppie: So a gas plant saves 3.8 to 1.3 billion but the nuclear plant makes 10x the profit. This means that prices should be dropping, which puts money back in the pockets of the people who will spend it in the economy at large. And if the nuclear facility is 3 billion dollars more expensive, how can it make 10 times the profit of a gas plant? Does it produce more electricity?


They don't have to keep paying for fuel.  (at least not the first 30 years or so) Also natural gas like all other expendable fuels is very volatile.   You think natural gas will always be cheap?  Regardless of the availability of natural gas when another expendable fuel starts to run out the prices of all of them start to go up.  We are already over peak oil and it will only get worse.  Besides I'm pretty sure that the study didn't do their due diligence and take into account that when you pay for a fuel that the money leaves the local economy. This does not happen with nuclear or any renewables.  (not that I'm defending or being a proponent of nuclear)  See OPEC.
 
2013-05-12 11:38:34 AM
As long as knee-jerk nuclearphobes exist, nuclear power will struggle to go mainstream.  I bet that even if fusion power were to become practical, knee-jerk nuclearphobes will still decry it because it's "nuclear".
 
2013-05-12 11:45:56 AM
nuclear energy is inherently unsafe.  It doesn't matter how well you build the plant... soon enough there will be another Chernobyl or more likely a Fukushima.
 
2013-05-12 11:52:51 AM
Does anyone know of a nuclear plant that was built on schedule and without going over budget? All those plants built close to me went over budget by a factor of 5 or more and were several years behind schedule. One nearly put the power company I am hooked to as well as several others sharing interest in the plant into bankruptcy.
 
2013-05-12 11:56:09 AM

adamatari: Funny how they are debating the relative merits of 2 different techs that rely on finite fuels and produce nasty wastes in Florida - the "Sunshine State". If only there was a natural resource that was abundant there that they could produce power with... Maybe some high tech thing involving nuclear fusion kept safely millions of miles away...

My math says "no pollution" is cheapest in the long run. Especially with PV prices dropping every year. But feel free to debate the relative merits of CO2 vs nuclear waste.

 Why don't you go play with your friends, adults are having a discussion about realistic, feasible solutions that can scale up for the energy needs of the future.
 
2013-05-12 12:01:31 PM

Dufus: Does anyone know of a nuclear plant that was built on schedule and without going over budget?


voyager.jpl.nasa.gov

OK, so it's maybe not a "plant"...
 
2013-05-12 12:28:40 PM
adamatari:
Funny how they are debating the relative merits of 2 different techs that rely on finite fuels and produce nasty wastes in Florida - the "Sunshine State". If only there was a natural resource that was abundant there that they could produce power with... Maybe some high tech thing involving nuclear fusion kept safely millions of miles away...

It's a shame the one we know about - solar power - just doesn't work that well.

All it takes is a couple of days of cloudy - yet hot - weather (yes, we get that a lot here), and solar starts dropping in effectiveness, really quickly. High demand and reduced output will do that to you. Remember those stories from Germany about the one day they got more than half of their total supply (for a few hours) from solar? One day, perfect weather, very low demand. They forgot to mention the weeks at a time they had very cold, cloudy weather, when they had almost no solar output during one of the highest demand periods of the year...

While solar is a good supplement, you need "baseline" supply. Something that will run 24/7, for months on end without interruption, no matter what the weather is. Coal/gas,nuclear is the standard there. Even considering the reduced amount of power available from the relatively small number of nuke power stations, they're a disproportionate part of the baseline supply in much of the world. In the US, they're about 20% of the total supply of electricity - and a times, they represent a lot more (the fossil fuel plants are often shut down or throttled back at night).
 
2013-05-12 12:36:34 PM
Natural gas is cheap, so cheap they are using it to produce oil.  We should just convert our vehicle over to using that.  Maybe even move electric production to it.
 
2013-05-12 12:42:28 PM

Pants of Pants: I'm sure the nuke nuts will be here any second now to explain this away as part of the vast hippie conspiracy which has corrupted engineers and accountants all over the world into thinking that nuclear power plants are radioactive white elephants. Evil hippies! Don't they know that nuclear Jesus will descend to Earth and give us electricity too cheap to meter if only we have the faith to spend trillions on unproven magical thorium boojum reactors which will run forever and whose waste products consist of beer and strippers?


i39.tinypic.com
 
2013-05-12 12:48:59 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Quantum Apostrophe: But but but but but too cheap to meter?

Marcus Aurelius: You can already buy a 5MW self contained low maintenance pocket reactor for less than 8 figures. I'll take two of those, please.

Link, please. The only such reactors I've heard about are at the origami stage, ie paper.

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

No 5MW design here either.

They're all awaiting approval from the NRC.  And the legalities alone will kill it for US installation.

Here's Toshiba's.  The only reason it's not in production are the politics.


"Currently Toshiba, together with its preliminary design review stage of the Design Certification process before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission "

"A reactor based on the 4S design has been proposed for operation in Alberta by 2020 "

This is a PAPER DESIGN. NOTHING, NOT A SINGLE WASHER, has been built.

So much for your "can already buy" BS.

They haven't even figured out the process to design it!

Yes, by all means, let's skip all that and just build whatever looks good! Maybe add some '50s style fins for that Space Age look?

So, there are no such reactors, and you got the power wrong too.

Fantasies are fun, but they don't power a lot of CFLs.

Zero CFLs last I checked.
 
2013-05-12 12:51:48 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Marcus Aurelius: Quantum Apostrophe: But but but but but too cheap to meter?

Marcus Aurelius: You can already buy a 5MW self contained low maintenance pocket reactor for less than 8 figures. I'll take two of those, please.

Link, please. The only such reactors I've heard about are at the origami stage, ie paper.

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

No 5MW design here either.

They're all awaiting approval from the NRC.  And the legalities alone will kill it for US installation.

Here's Toshiba's.  The only reason it's not in production are the politics.

"Currently Toshiba, together with its preliminary design review stage of the Design Certification process before the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission "

"A reactor based on the 4S design has been proposed for operation in Alberta by 2020 "

This is a PAPER DESIGN. NOTHING, NOT A SINGLE WASHER, has been built.

So much for your "can already buy" BS.

They haven't even figured out the process to design it!

Yes, by all means, let's skip all that and just build whatever looks good! Maybe add some '50s style fins for that Space Age look?

So, there are no such reactors, and you got the power wrong too.

Fantasies are fun, but they don't power a lot of CFLs.

Zero CFLs last I checked.


Nor do fantasies help you live forever, but you've still got a crapton.

Are you just going anti-nuke because SOME space people think it's the perfect space-based tech?
 
2013-05-12 12:57:43 PM

Felgraf: Are you just going anti-nuke because SOME space people think it's the perfect space-based tech?


Who said I'm anti-nuke? Just don't make up BS is what I'm saying. And what's this space-based crap? Where did that come from?

Or should I use a bigger font next time?

You could just use CTRL + mouse scroll wheel too.

And what fantasies about living longer? We already are. Unless you live in the forest and eat dirt, not a single one of us is living "naturally" anymore.

Longer and better life is already here. It just doesn't seem that way because most people are shockingly ignorant of history and also unable to imagine what life was like before germ theory and dentistry.

Or giving birth in hospitals with doctors who wash their hands after their autopsies.
 
2013-05-12 01:09:34 PM

Quantum Apostrophe: Felgraf: Are you just going anti-nuke because SOME space people think it's the perfect space-based tech?

Who said I'm anti-nuke? Just don't make up BS is what I'm saying. And what's this space-based crap? Where did that come from?

Or should I use a bigger font next time?

You could just use CTRL + mouse scroll wheel too.

And what fantasies about living longer? We already are. Unless you live in the forest and eat dirt, not a single one of us is living "naturally" anymore.

Longer and better life is already here. It just doesn't seem that way because most people are shockingly ignorant of history and also unable to imagine what life was like before germ theory and dentistry.

Or giving birth in hospitals with doctors who wash their hands after their autopsies.


Well, given you're tendency to barge into threads that have very little to do with space exploration and rant about space nutters (See: Global Warming thread), I can't imagine why you'd think it odd for someone to assume that was your motivation here. Oh hey look! You start ranting about the space age look in a post or two above this one. Yes, clearly my assumption had no basis whatsoever.

And yep! Longer life is here, just like nuke technology has improved in the past decades.  Which is why we should mock any arguments that it could get ANY better. (Which is what you did-No one but you had said 'too cheap to meter' when you 3-d printed your way into the thread.)
 
2013-05-12 01:34:26 PM
Biomass + solar plant. But that would be far too intelligent for them to even consider.
 
2013-05-12 03:16:04 PM

The All-Powerful Atheismo: nuclear energy is inherently unsafe.  It doesn't matter how well you build the plant... soon enough there will be another Chernobyl or more likely a Fukushima.


Ok, how unsafe are they? how many people died in chernobyl? How many in fukushima? How safe are they say compared to coal or natural gas? How safe is it compared to hydroelectric?'

That's right use a blanket statement without any facts and claim its "inherently unsafe" without any supporting proof.

I hate people like you.
 
2013-05-12 03:34:52 PM
I feel a strange parallel between drawing septic systems and commenting on Fark.
 
2013-05-12 04:08:19 PM

maddogdelta: SurfaceTension: One day we'll use up our natural gas reserves while nuclear fuel will still be going strong.

Because the half lives of fission reactors are the gifts that keep on giving.....


If you think the price of containing nuclear waste is high, wait until you see the price of using the atmosphere as a dump for fossil fuel waste.
 
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