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August 08, 2007

Comments

Kit P

Again I am perplexed about Calamity. What a maroon (really old slap stick joke not a misspelling). “it's no wonder that the DOE thinks gas fired generation will increase drastically. Notice the projected decline of all others, especially nuclear.” What is the source of this prediction:

The Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry 1999:
Mergers and Other Corporate Combinations
December 1999

Back in 1998 I was using $1.50/MMBTU (summer peaks were $2.50/MMBTU) for business plans renewable energy projects and 1/3 of the nuke plants were going to close early. So much for predictions but Calamity should at least find one that is not already wrong.

So why has the NRC been informed to be prepared to review 30+ new nukes? Both US and China are predicted to start importing coal which is causing the price of coal to increase. Nukes are not going to replace much coal but the LNG. When a few nukes get built pressure will be relieved on the hot coal demand.

Calamity

For example, money has not been “taken out of circulation” since we dropped the gold and silver standard

The money is locked in for 300 years in a project that has little hope for financial ROI. Unless you're betting on methods of recycling the spent fuel completely. To be fair, not all of the money is locked in; some of it returns into the economy (e.g. workers pay, some company margin).

Regarding the 300-year doomsday hypothetical possibility, can you give some scenario you envision that relates to building a nuclear plant today?

The 300 year problem is relating to the waste. More nukes, more waste to store for 300 years.

Many things could happen in 300 years. Civil wars, governments failing. Warlords roaming about. You don't know, you can't know. The point is simply not to make 300 year commitments.

from 1997 to 2005 nuclear power increased from 18% to 19% of the electricity generated in the US.

OOH 1% increase in the energy pie. In 8 years. I am not impressed. Energy demand grows so fast, nuclear will have to grow much faster to be the salvation that some of you think it is.

Here are the figures that you want. 1994 to 2005. As you can see, natural gas grows much faster than nuclear (in terms of Mwhs)

And you have not answered my question. How do you think the nuclear industry will develop in the next decades?

Kit P

The increase in Nuclear generated electricity was 6 times greater than 'other renewable energy' 1997 to 2005 at time when people like Calamity were predicting it decrease because of plant closures.

Of course we make commitments for long periods of time. Hazardous waste that are not radioactive are covered by CERCLA and RCRA. Just because Calamity does not know how to protect the environment does not mean some of us are not able to design solutions for waste that would not attract warlords who fail to provide a medical plan.

Over the last decade producing electricity with natural gas has become more expensive than both nuclear and coal in the US. Some places in the US new nuclear is projected to be cheaper than coal. Therefore utilities started quietly planning to build nukes.

I expect 3 units a year (4500 MWe) to come on line starting about 2015 (a very aggressive schedule). This could double or triple depending on what happens to the price of coal and natural gas because of world demand. If nukes can be built fast enough (not likely) the price of LNG and coal transported by ships could decrease. This is would decrease the demand for new nukes. This is what happed in the 70s & 80s when until oil was reduced for making electricity.

In the longer term, modular HTGCR will be developed that also produce hydrogen off peak to produce transportation fuel by replacing existing natural gas fuel hydrogen plants at refiners.

Calamity

1997 to 2005 at time when people like Calamity were predicting it decrease because of plant closures

Where did I say such a thing? Six years ago I acually liked nuclear better, but now solar thermal is catching up rather quickly and so are various others. Wind increased faster than I ever thought it would.

Nuclear plants will continue to operate as long as they can, squeezing the most out of the investments. That makes sense. Closing them down now is destroying capital. That doesn't make sense. You may say it also makes sense to build a bunch of new nukes, which will no doubt happen. But look at the growth rate per year, and from such a large base of kwh's. This growth will likely continue for several years. An increase of 4500 MW per year - even at 95% capacity - is not nearly enough to keep up with just the increase in demand, let alone replace significant amounts of coal fired plants. Now, if 45,000 MW of nukes could be installed each year, it may be a different story. But it would take many a year to bring production and construction up to such levels, and only under a serous crash program with strong government, public, and private investment support. And then what you say could happen: the quick increase of nukes could backfire. It is safe to say nuclear isn't going to increase it's share in the energy pie for a lot for years.

Also, nukes may be more likely to replace older coal plants, since it's the baseload market in which the current generation nukes work best.

Hazardous waste that are not radioactive are covered by CERCLA and RCRA

The difference is that this waste is unavoidable. Certain industries just produce a bit of heavy metals or other toxins, there is often nothing for it, despite maximum recycling, alternative materials and reuse. The alternative is not producing, which is simply impossible in an advanced economy.

Some places in the US new nuclear is projected to be cheaper than coal.

Maybe, but coal isn't expensive and won't become so overnight. Plus, coal plants can be constructed quite a bit faster and thus respond to demand in a relatively short time. They also usually require less capital than nukes.

Moreover, coal fired plants have improved vastly in terms of emissions (pretty much all sorts), and are the right choice when energy security and energy independence are considered. Sequestration technologies aren't that far off (probably not farther off than a nuclear revolution in the USA). And in the case of a gasifier, some biomass could be used as well with decent efficiency. SOFC's may be a sleeper, significantly lowering capital costs of coal plants and also being a bit more efficient.

Meanwhile, natural gas will do fine. Methane hydrates harvesting technologies are being developed, if they turn out to be commercially viable then not only could they extend the usefulness of natural gas but also increase energy security and energy independence.

So there appear to be plenty of alternative developments that may take place in the near future. That's relevant, as nuclear can't expand significantly over the next several years in % of total generation.

Calamity

From the figures:

Nuclear 1994: ~19.7% of total energy generated
Nuclear 2005: ~19.3% of total energy generated

Calamity

Also:

Natural gas increase 1994-2005: ~65%

Nuclear increase 1994-2005: ~22%

Natural gas MWhs production went from much smaller than nuclear, to about the same as nuclear. So it's also significant in absolute terms.

Calamity

The 4500 MW @ 95% capacity would generate about 37,500 GWh per year, a share of less than one percent of total GWh/year.

Average increase GWh/year 1994-2005: 67,264 GWh per year.

Nuclear by itself cannot keep up.

JohnBo

Calamity said,

"Many things could happen in 300 years. Civil wars, governments failing. Warlords roaming about. You don't know, you can't know. The point is simply not to make 300 year commitments."

I was hoping you had something of substance that I had missed on this subject. You don’t have.

I don’t accept that the US should NOT build nuclear plants in fear of future war loads, etc. Presently there are 31 countries operating 438 nuclear reactors producing electricity. Another 214 reactors are proposed to be built. These are in countries such as Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungry, Iran, Romania, Vietnam, the list goes on! So you say, “Let’s screw our country and forbid this possibility by not staying modern, strong and competitive.” Calamity wake up, the cat is out of the bag. The rest of the world is moving on. I believe the world will be safer if we (the US) remain in a strong economic position. If a power company decides, a thermal solar plant is the best for them then great. If they select a nuclear plant then that too is great. This future fear thing is unreasonable and a dangerous position to take.

This is the only argument you have against nuclear that I did not fully understand until now. All other negative arguments you have made have been answered. You once supported nuclear. I once did not. I hope you can reason with so many others and see that nuclear should not be shut out of the energy mix for our future. Have a great day. JohnB

Calamity

I was hoping you had something of substance that I had missed on this subject. You don’t have.

That's the problem John. The future is uncertain, so it can be argued that we shouldn't burden it any more than we already do right now. I do not predict the future as that is paradoxically impossible. Does that mean that I am fear mongering? Only to the ignorant. If you are more certain about the future then that is your right, but don't even pretend to think this 300 year waste concept can be fully guaranteed to be safe and problemless.

Why can you not understand such a simple argument? Are you that short sighted? By your reasoning, we could just leave GHG emissions be. After all, it's not we who will likely suffer the most from our own GHG emissions. It's a problem for the other generations. Right?

Presently there are 31 countries operating 438 nuclear reactors producing electricity

That means there are - what? - 200 countries that don't have nuclear power? How is that suppose to convince me of nuclear's world wide potential?

Let’s screw our country and forbid this possibility by not staying modern, strong and competitive

Your words, absolutely not mine. If the choice is between staying modern, strong and competitive with nuclear or falling into a dark age, then certainly I will vote for the former 100%.

However, you are making one assumption: that we cannot be modern, strong and competitive without nuclear power. Most would say that is short sighted, and most likely very wrong. Perhaps this pertains to your worldview of fortune cookie attitudes, or your lack of patience and/or reading skills.

The rest of the world is moving on

That's funny, I always thought 'renewables' got more attention in the world, or at least were seen as the preferred way to go over a nuclear renaissance. Don't know about you, but popular opinion in my country is majorly against new nuke plants. Either we don't belong to the rest of the world, along with many other countries, or you're just full of it.

This future fear thing is unreasonable and a dangerous position to take.

No offense but your opinion doesn't interest me. Fact is, USA has only recently celebrated its 200th birthday. Is it reasonable to assume a 300 year scheme? Or is that dangerous? Will the USA ever celebrate it's 500th year birthday? And if it does, what will the USA be like? What will the rest of the world look like? Will the terrorist threat be eradicated?

Go to any company and propose a 300 year loan or financial construction. You will be frowned, and if they are less polite you will likely be laughed at by this company.

We could have this debate for longer than the nuclear waste has to be stored, and still do reach an agreement. You have your position, and a good case can be made for it. Same for my position.

I hope you can reason with so many others and see that nuclear should not be shut out of the energy mix for our future

Agreed, for the immediate future. After that, we'll just see now won't we? It will be interesting. At least we won't have to be bored...

Calamity

That should be ...and still do not reach an agreement, but the context shows that already

Calamity

Relevance to this topic: if the ancient species of crododiles survives because of nuke plants, I would hardly call that "modern". More like "retro-reptillian" or whatever.

If the nuke industry needs this kind of PR, then I'd reckon they need a lot more than just PR ;)

Clee

How do I think the nuclear industry will develop in the next decades? I was worried that you were trying to set us up by demanding speculation and then shoot it down as speculatio, but so far that's not been the case.

1% increase in the energy pie over an 8 year period when no new nuclear plants came on line is pretty impressive to me. Though new reactors at existing plants did come on line.

I don't think the US will have many, if any new nuclear plants in the next decade, because it takes so long to build a new plant. Renewables will increase exponentially compared with their current installed capacity, but will remain smaller than nuclear as a piece of the electricity pie. Environmentalists have been traditionally anti-nuke, but things are changing because of global warming concerns. If weather related natural disasters continue to increase over the next decade, then I think we will start building new nuclear plants, or possibly instead coal plants will finally put in carbon capture despite complaining of the costs. (I get mixed signals.. some say we can do it now! Some say it's a long way from being proven.)

Natural gas plants will continue to be the biggest increase in power until the limited North American supply of NG forces prices to go up and makes people accept building of new LNG terminals. The temporary tight supply of NG will slow down the building of new NG power plants for at least a while. We will still need them for peaking plants.

After the first decade, we might go on a building spree of nuclear, like we did in the '70s and '80s, in which case nuclear will grow much faster in KWH/year than renewables. Depending on the price of natural gas, nuclear could grow faster than NG. The pro-renewable energy people are afraid of something like this and in the UK have been fighting to stop new nuclear plants for fear that it will kill the renewable energy industry there.

You seem to think that someone here said that nuclear is the only answer. I haven't seen anyone claim that. So saying nuclear by itself cannot keep up is as useful as saying renewables by itself cannot keep up.

Clee

My doubts about storage of spent fuel. Right now it's stored on site in temporary storage good for some decades. We're waiting for the permanent solution of Yucca mountain or whatever. Who knows when and if that will be completed. $0.01/KWH may be collected now, but that money is not going out of circulation. I suspect, like social security, that any amount not being spent now on the waste disposal is being spent by the general fund. When we need the money later, it may or may not be there. If the government collapses, as Calamity worries about, then maybe the money won't be there, especially if the economy collapses as well. The spent fuel may never get moved from temporary storage to permanent storage. But then, if we already have a 100,000 ton problem, I don't know that making it a 200,000 ton problem makes it significantly worse. Still, I'd rather that we knew where the extra waste would go before we build new plants.

Kit P

Calamity wrote “That's relevant, as nuclear can't expand significantly over the next several years in % of total generation.”

This just not true. My estimate of 3 units a year (4500 MWe) to come on line starting about 2015 was a conservative one based on the number of large forgings that have been ordered. It was not an estimate of industry capacity to build power plants.

JohnBo

Regarding the 300-year hypothetical melt down of society Calamity said, "We could have this debate for longer than the nuclear waste has to be stored, and still not reach an agreement. You have your position, and a good case can be made for it. Same for my position."

Perhaps we can never agree. However, my position allows for benefits that far out weigh the hypothetical minuscule risk savings proposed by your position. I assume you do not drive or ride in an automobile since the risk to benefit ratio there is orders of magnitude greater than your nuclear position.

I have enjoyed this discussion. Since you have nothing to substantiate your position (other than fear of the future), I am now more inclined to believe I am right on this point. Thanks for the discussion. JohnB :)

Calamity

Clee said:

1% increase in the energy pie over an 8 year period when no new nuclear plants came on line is pretty impressive to me.

Calamity said:

From the figures:

Nuclear 1994: ~19.7% of total energy generated
Nuclear 2005: ~19.3% of total energy generated

Clee said:

You seem to think that someone here said that nuclear is the only answer.

JohnBo said:

Let’s screw our country and forbid this possibility by not staying modern, strong and competitive

...latently arguing that without nuclear, there is no possibility of staying modern, strong and competitive. You've got to read between the lines Clee.

Clee said:

So saying nuclear by itself cannot keep up is as useful as saying renewables by itself cannot keep up.

Exactly! Right now it's cutting demand growth, and then hopefully demand itself, that makes the most sense. No, not screwing in a few LED lights, I'm talking about quantum leaping efficiency, so that it yields a lot more decrease in energy demand than the annual growth of it. "Negawatts" was mentioned further above in this thread. What's so great is that it can be applied virtually everywhere, with relatively little environmental impact and also relatively fast compared to blindly constructing new generation. (Now, Kit P has shown he thinks such a development is impossible. That means that his favourite power source, nukes, will not grow significantly in terms of % of the energy pie, even though it may increase much in absolute terms.)

This would also give nuclear and renewables more time to reach a greater potential, so the best options are likely to be chosen. This period could and should be used to push every option to the maximum, like Bill mentioned in his paper. We've got some time (except for liquid fuels maybe). Burning more fossil fuels for a decade or two will not have all that much more impact on global warming, assuming CO2 is the major culprit. Doing a frenzy on nuclear or any other power source right now is probably not a good idea, hell it probably couldn’t even be done for many reasons I'm sure you can envision.

Clee said:

Still, I'd rather that we knew where the extra waste would go before we build new plants.

Then we agree. Dispersing the waste over a very large area such as the pacific ocean might be an excellent method for dealing with the waste permanently. However people are not that objective and such a scheme would be met with serious, although largely ungrounded, opposition. It's not "politically correct" I'm afraid but I would prefer it as a "long term solution". Maybe it's worth a serious attempt.

Of course it would be best to recycle the waste completely, unfortunately that's impossible right now, even in laboratories.

There still is the terrorist threat, which may be mitigated by high security measures and shielding the reactor with a 100+ feet thick reinforced concrete dome. Even a 747 couldn't pierce through that.

So it would seem the problems are quite solvable for the USA. CO2 emissions are supposed to be a global problem, so other countries will also have to decrease their CO2 emissions. "clean" coal - if cheap enough, very important - would be a decent solution, and less politically worrisome than nukes (even with the best regulatory schemes).

I would argue that mainstream carbon capture and sequestration technologies, although not quite commercially mature, are not further off than a nuclear renaissance in the USA, let alone in the entire world.

Kit P wrote:

This just not true. My estimate of 3 units a year (4500 MWe) to come on line starting about 2015 was a conservative one based on the number of large forgings that have been ordered. It was not an estimate of industry capacity to build power plants.

A decrease of nuclear power in the energy pie has empirically shown to be true, see above figures. When you factor in the 2015 starting date, nuclear will have an additional ~7 years to make up for, and so will have to grow even more significantly than 4500 MW/year. Three times will do decently, but if nuclear is to be the dominant mode of electricity production in our lifetimes, a lot more is needed. 45,000+ MW/year (average over decades) would do it almost certainly.

JohnBo wrote:

I assume you do not drive or ride in an automobile since the risk to benefit ratio there is orders of magnitude greater than your nuclear position.

Actually I do, and your comparison is ludicrous.

First, there are very little highly toxic intergenerational waste issues in driving the car.

Second, there is no alternative to road transport (rail is point-to-point transfer and hence does not substitute completely, but may however complement road transport).

Third, in the event of a crash only a small number of deaths could possibly occur.

Fourth, in the event of a crash the crash site can be repaired fairly easily and quickly.

Fifth, car deaths are understandable to the public, and although sad, are more or less accepted as a cause of death.

Lastly, my car will not last for three hundred years. No really it won't, if you could see it you'd know why :(

Maybe I could come up with more stuff but really it's apples and oranges.

JohnBo, rather than actually trying to solve the problems at hand, you casually dismiss them, saying that you do not consider the problems serious; that they are not substantial. Don’t you think it would be fair to internalise all costs in the LEC? After all, it would be fair to consider the cost of emissions of fossil fuelled plants, otherwise coal has an unfair cost advantage due to free dumping “grounds”. Well then you may run into a problem with nuclear power since it is a gargantuan task. You do not think there will be fuel volatility; not price but supply itself. After all, the price of uranium has little impact on the LEC, but if you don’t have the uranium then that’s another story. Having a physical fuel has advantages, not in the least dispatchability, availability, calculability and storability. It also has most of the market disadvantages and volatilities belonging to other physical fuels. You do not think 300 year commitments pose any problem other than a “hypothetical minuscule risk” while the USA isn’t even that old. Indeed, a 500 year old government, now that would be hypothetical! You do not think terrorists will be a serious issue, neither now nor in the future. You do not think that nukes will be used to make fission weapons and/or dirty bombs in other countries. You think the USA could oversee dangerous (e.g. fissionable/radioactive) materials trading and locating, contrary to the massive failing in Iraq to locate WMD, despite a large effort and billion dollar intel which leads me to believe the Bush government could find WMD if it was in the White House. You do not think that the time value of money is any problem in 300 year schemes. You do not think all the other options (combined) will be suitable for the USA, that only nuclear can bring salvation and all others will be marginal. You do not think the USA, it’s companies and it’s policies have significant influence on the geopolitical playgrounds, that other countries will not want to create their own nuclear industry if the USA proves it can be done, and that they will execute their nuke programmes just fine and that they are ‘responsible’, stable and strong enough to guarantee the conditions required for a thriving nuclear industry as seen in France. And yet you are not able to back this up with anything other than your subjective position of negation.

I really hope for you that the USA citizens are near unanimous on this position.

Kit P

There is a difference between having an open mind as when Clee says he has doubts and being an arm waving anti-nuke who agree to disagree.

Spent fuel is not dangerous because simple precaution are all that is need to protect people. Moving spent fuel is dangerous because moving anything heavy is dangerous. Transporting solar panels and windmills is much more dangerous.

I do not think that hurting someone with spent fuel is at all credible. Yes, we have heard that terrorist have considered it. However, they discarded the idea after determining that it was not feasible.

Paul Dietz

My estimate of 3 units a year (4500 MWe) to come on line starting about 2015 was a conservative one based on the number of large forgings that have been ordered.

Moreover, there are some reactor designs (such as CANDU) that don't require large unitary reactor vessels. The pressurized space in a CANDU reactor is in a larger number of pipes that contain the fuel elements; these pipes go through a calandria that contains cool heavy water moderator.

The Canadians chose this design because at the time they didn't have the ability to make large forged reactor vessels.

Calamity

There is a difference between having an open mind as when Clee says he has doubts and being an arm waving anti-nuke who agree to disagree.

Is this the multi denial confusion-tactic? You should have your own talkshow ;)

Spent fuel is not dangerous because simple precaution are all that is need to protect people.

Exactly. No real problems for the USA right now. What about 200 years from now? Will there be an entity that makes "simple precautions"? Oh wait no worries, we've got Kit P around to protect us all. He'll be a bit senile but his advice couldn't get much worse than this anyway.

It's a different story for a lot of other countries, and if "simple precautions" cost a bit more or are too troublesome they may "simply" not take these precautions. Sure, US could force other countries to have good safety precautions. But that may very well provide an incentive for conflict, USA telling other countries how to do their power generation, other countries get pissed, USA get pissed, USA invading other countries (they really like to do that you know). People dying. No world peace. Drama.

Moving spent fuel is dangerous because moving anything heavy is dangerous. Transporting solar panels and windmills is much more dangerous.

You don't seriously expect me to answer this, do you?

I do not think that hurting someone with spent fuel is at all credible. Yes, we have heard that terrorist have considered it. However, they discarded the idea after determining that it was not feasible.

So Kit P finally reveals himself. He's Bin Laden's consultant! Did you know there's a price on his head? You could make good money. Bring a .45 on your next meeting.

JohnBo

Calamity Calamity... my Calamity,

I know you acknowledge there are dozens of countries who have nuclear power. This is why I say the "cat" is out of the bag. Please realize nuclear is everywhere and will remain.

Hence, it makes no difference whether we in the US build more nuclear plants or not. It makes no difference if our country fails or not. There are many countries with nuclear, and many will likely fail economically and politically in the future. Moreover, you give the US far too much credit with influence and control over other countries’ actions. People in Hungary, Ukraine, Japan, Iran and all over will do what they want to do. The US has very limited control. History proves how little control the greatest of empires have had, (not that I consider the US an empire because I do not).

In fact, it’s far better for future scenarios of terrorism, if the American, European and Asian countries people of good faith stay current in nuclear technology and develop it safely. This will give the world a body of knowledge and expertise to help combat those who would do evil. The only country using a Generation 1 reactor is Great Britain. The US has only Generation 2 reactors for electric power. In 1996, Japan installed Generation 3 and now has 3+ reactors. Generation 4 reactors are in development. The Generation 4 reactors may very well eliminate the old waste that exists today and create none in the future. This is progress. Let’s give them a chance.

I believe that humankind will develop with good eventually conquering evil. At least I hope so. However, what happens to those people living 300 years or 500 years from now will depend on them, not us. You see, we will be dead (a little humor here). :) JohnBo

Kit P

“What about 200 years from now?”

Well what about it? How do you think an unstable government will make spent fuel dangerous? Maybe unstable governments will have spent fuel eating contests.

JohnBo

Calamity moved over into the arm waving dark side again. I think this is due to being wrong and now realizing it. It’s a defense. However, I feel Calamity is in the process of turning over a new leaf and joining the bright side. Don’t fight it Calamity. Let the bright force of nuclear power lighten your day and the streets of your city too. JohnBo

Henry Gibson

NUCLEAR VIRGINS

Copper is a poison that stays around for the life of the universe. YUP copper is a poison if you get too much of it. So is lead, but the decay of uranium and thorium makes more lead all the time. The earth likely has massive quantities of both Uranium and Thorium dissolved in the molten metal core. And their decay is keeping the core hot and the magnetic field operating which shields us partially from the nuclear particles from the sun and the rest of the universe.

The main problem with understanding how to deal with radioactive wastes is that people think they are NUCLEAR VIRGINS or would have been if nuclear bombs and reactors had never been built.

How many of those who worry about the hundreds or thousands of years that it takes nuclear fuel rods to decay to a low level of radio-activity know that your bodies and the body of your great-great-great-great-grandmother is permiated with radioactive potassium that will not decay noticeably in tens of millions of years. Every apple that she ate or you eat added to the radio-active(and non) potassium already present.

Pure white refined sugar and perhaps highly refined oils are the least radioactive foods available, and both of them would kill you if you ate only them. Actually glycerin or ethanol made from petroleum is slightly less radioactive because there is almost no carbon 14 in oil and compared to green plants.

If you could avoid radio-active food then you might also live in a submarine a few tens of feet below the surface of the water to avoid most cosmic rays and few tens of feet above the ground to avoid the earths radioactivity.

There is uranium in most soils, and it will not decay for billions of years(Carl Sagan)and many times when phosphate fertilizer are applied much more uranium is added, but those who object to the storage of nuclear materials, do not to go to great expense to remove it from their yards and store it away where nothing can get at it for thousands of years.

All of the used nuclear fuel assemblies from a single power plant could be dropped into a new or old two mile deep well in a sandy desert and the rest of the hole filled with bentonite slurry and mud. Even with a concentrated effort the rods would be almost impossible to fined or recover and would never come to the attention of the race of man again in the history of the earth. The natural sources of Uranium would overpower the chances that such a deposit would noticable contaminate any water source.

Actually without reprocessing, but just by putting into the right sized fuel assemblies, the used fuel material from US reactors can be used again in CANDU reactors. The used rods are then just fuel again not Waste.

The Uranium that comes from mines cannot be used in US reactors without isotope 235 enrichment by a factor of six, and for similar reasons, the Plutonium from US power reactors is not the same kind of Plutonium that is used for making bombs. It has too many of the wrong isotopes and is to radioactive to handle.

Someone has already made the point that highways are statistically more dangerous than nuclear wastes. Helen Keller, a totally blind and deaf woman, said. "Security is a superstition. On the whole the children of men do not experience security. In the long run the person who takes no risk is not safer." The chance that any person will be damaged by exposure to nuclear fuel rods is far far less than the chance of being killed by driving to work.
Humans did not invent fission reactors. Some natural ones happened in Africa a billion or so years ago when fissionable Uranium was more plentiful. The radio active wastes hung around until humans appeared and did not do any where as much damage to the human race as volcanos and hurricanes have. On the average you will not live one microsecond longer if there is or is not a nuclear repository in nevada, but the statistics are much bettery that you will suvive the heat of the summer or cool of the winter if electricity from a nuclear power plant is available.

IF YOU ARE RICH ENOUGH to afford solar electricity? Great! But almost all people on the earth do not have enough capital or land area. According to the National Geographic, 3000 children die each day in Africa of the preventable disease malaria, because they don't use mosquito nets because most of them can't afford them. It is only because this country uses vast amounts of fossil energy at low prices for industry that we don't have hundreds of children die each day of malaria in this country.

Read the internet sites that instruct Africans how to make burnable briquettes out of small twigs held together with very limited amounts of waste paper, and small efficient stoves out of tin cans to cook their suppers efficiently...hg....

Calamity

Please realize nuclear is everywhere and will remain.

Sure it will remain. But your position is the nuclear salvation one. I do not find it plausible that nuclear will be the dominant mode of electricity production anytime soon. Beyond that, other options may prove to be superiour over nuclear.

Maybe you think the US could build 50,000 MW/year of new nuke plants in the next couple of decades. In which case I would say you are not connected to reality.

My position is that nuclear power has some issues. Solve these first, then go ahead and build more nuke plants. The issues are not yet solved now, so it is not sane to start constructing nukes like madness. Stop trying to convince me that nukes have no problems and actually start contributing to solving these problems. If political solutions are all you can come up with, then I must warn you about the volatility and instability of this type of solutions. Simple (technical) solutions are preferable.

It's a shame that nukes are so inherently dependent on, and loaded with, politics.

Now, powering the contemporary world with nuclear fission is very risky. The USA has already shown incompetence in finding WMD in just one country. How will it monitor this with 100% accuracy world-wide? Even if you think the USA example argument is weak, you must certainly realise that a lot of countries will not execute their nuclear programs as well as the USA could. Even if the governments themselves mean well, there are militant and terrorist groups that will try to do nasty things with the nukes.

In a different geopolitical framework, global nuke power might make more sense.

However, what happens to those people living 300 years or 500 years from now will depend on them, not us.

This is exactly the kind of irresponsibility that I would have expected from nuclear advocates. Again, not trying to solve anything, just shove it off to other generations, or pretend the problem isn't there or insignificant. It would have been good humor if it wasn't so sad.

How do you think an unstable government will make spent fuel dangerous? Maybe unstable governments will have spent fuel eating contests.

How could you possibly think that it wouldn't? Let's take this a level further, and say that the government collapses. That creates a power vacuum. Other entities may seize control, not caring about the waste or even using it for their own less benign purposes. It is an empirical fact that nuclear power does not work without serious government involvement. That simple.

Calamity moved over into the arm waving dark side again. I think this is due to being wrong and now realizing it.

Only you could come up with such a conclusion. Some parts you appear to read well, others you don't. Why am I typing this, chances are you won't/can't read it anyway.

Just to get things right, I was never against nuclear. There are problems. There are solutions. I am confident that some problems will be solved - some have already been solved - but also afraid some will be incredibly difficult to solve adequatly. That's one of the reasons why we should investigate the other options as well. Another is that nuclear is currently ~20% of total electricity generated. This has not changed much for years. In fact it's portion has declined. See the figures.

Someone has already made the point that highways are statistically more dangerous than nuclear wastes.

And I already showed you that comparing the two is ludicrous. I must have really pissed people off, no one is actually reading my comments anymore...

IF YOU ARE RICH ENOUGH to afford solar electricity?

Solar electricity has come down rapidly in price, and it looks like this will continue for quite some time. It's worth finding out. If solar and others don't work out, there still are the improvements of conventional generation methods such as 'clean' coal, methane hydrate harvesting etc. With most of the carbon sequestered, and a much cleaner method of burning, what major objections to coal remain? With a domestic supply of methane hydrates and carbon sequestration, what major objection to natural gas remains? Just a few things that may all happen, and in the unlikely even that all else fails, there still is plan B: nuclear. If it comes to that, I really hope the waste issue is solved permanently without rediculous storage periods. Please abandon the 300 year storage schemes, it's silly.

It is true that CANDU reactors can utilise various reprocessed wastes etc. as fuel. This will minimise the ultimate level of waste - some waste is mandatory with fission, no matter what - which shouldn't be stored for 300 years but should be dealt with permanently. Dispersing it over the ocean? Excellent idea but just try to convince the public. Recycling it fully (not just reprocessing - RECYCLING). Maybe even better, but alas, that's not possible right now. Need. More. Research.

Calamity

While all the research and pilot projects are conducted, one other thing must be given priority: cutting demand by efficiency. The 'problem' must be made smaller not bigger, wouldn't you agree?

Nucbuddy

Calamity wrote: Currently nuclear is [...] a [...] physical fuel dependent energy source

Are there energy sources that are not dependent-upon physical fuel?

Nucbuddy

Henry Gibson wrote: without reprocessing, but just by putting into the right sized fuel assemblies, the used fuel material from US reactors can be used again in CANDU reactors. The used rods are then just fuel again not Waste.

Calamity wrote: It is true that CANDU reactors can utilise [...] reprocessed wastes [...] as fuel.

Henry Gibson did not say that CANDU's can utilise reprocessed spent-fuel. He said that CANDU's can utilize unreprocessed spent-fuel. Implying, as you did, that he said the former -- rather than the latter -- is an act of rape. Please stop raping the commenters here on The Energy Blog.

Kit P

The problem is not with the electricity generating industry. Irrational fears about mercury and radiation are a product of a irresponsible media. Fear is a great way to sell movies and newspapers. The electricity generating industry provides a valuable service that greatly reduces everyday risk and hurts with a perfect safety record outside the fence.

Calamity style is evident now. Present a long list of issues. Each issue has been addressed but Calamity then misstates the others position and claims, 'you are not connected to reality'. (NUCBUDDY – debating styles should not be compared to rape.)

Which concern should I address:

1.Nuclear power will not lead to salvation
2.We can not build them fast enough
3.WMD
4.Terrorist
5.What might happen in other countries.
6.Responsibility for unidentified risk of future generations
7.Stability of future governments
8.Nuclear power declined 0.3% of the mix while increasing more in absolute terms than any proposed alternative
9.Alternatives
10.300 year waste issue
11.Recyling verses reprossesing
12.Conservation

I will address one issue related to spent fuel.

Calamity wrote, “Simple (technical) solutions are preferable.”

Done!!! The problem is within Calamity who enjoys holding irrational fears. Calamity could go to the Yucca Mountain web page a read that spent fuel will be an a geological repository 1000 feet below the surface and a 1000 feet above ground water. Calamity is worried about something bad happening 200 years from now. It is not going to happen with spent fuel in the US.

Ok Calamity, sticking to one of your concerns at a time. Do you have a specific issue with the US plan to handle spent fuel for the next six ice ages?

I will be happy to take the time to address one issue at a time. However, do not take the 'agree to disagree' position if you want technical solutions. What technically is wrong with the Yucca Mountain TSPA? Every Dem running for president is opposed to the solution decided by congress many years ago when Dems had control. We have spent billions coming up with what I think is an excellent solution. President Bush made a decision that he was legally obligated to make and that his predecessor left sitting on his desk.

So we have a simple technical solution after considering many options. Put spent fuel inside a ridge line (it does not look like a mountain), in a arid climate (very little surface water), on piece of land already desecrated by underground weapons testing, inside robust corrosion resistant containers.

Calamity

Nucbuddy wrote:

Are there energy sources that are not dependent-upon physical fuel?

Solar energy is ultimately derived from fusion; so you would have a point. After all E=MC2 commands that all energy is exchangable for matter. However, the sun's gravitational reactor design has enough fuel inside to last billions of years more. Unless you could design a fission reactor with a multi billion year fuel supply in the reactor itself (i.e. no refuelling needed ever), your argument does not appear relevant.

Nucbuddy said:

Henry Gibson did not say that CANDU's can utilise reprocessed spent-fuel. He said that CANDU's can utilize unreprocessed spent-fuel. Implying, as you did, that he said the former -- rather than the latter -- is an act of rape. Please stop raping the commenters here on The Energy Blog.

This is a very ironic accusation considering how many times my own words were "raped" here in this thread. But I did not imply such a thing as I didn't quote Henry Gibson there, just something that came to my attention. My sincere apologies if that has upset you, however I was not wrong about it and how does this change the point I made there anyway?

Calamity

Kit P yes that would be appear to be a very decent solution. The reason I didn't mention it is because this is not really a way to deal with the waste permanently as in ultimately getting rid of it which is what would be preferable.

For the longest term solution, ocean dispersal sounds better than the Yucca mountain proposal, that is if it could be approved by the public. Because that is permanent and irreversable.

Clee

Permanent solution? I'm tempted to say, maybe we should just blast it into the sun. It'd be irreversible unless some alien terrorists grab it on the long journey to the sun. But I suspect someone will tell me it takes to much energy to do that.

Kit P

The interesting thing about radioactive fission products is go away with time. In effect, the Yucca Mountain repository is a permanent solution. Not that I every considered anything less than permanent.

Ok then, next topic Calamity?

Clee

Transportation of used nuclear fuels is extremely safe. I like the videos of the testing that they've done on the containers. They start half way through
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8888201601449270779
While the containers can end up dented, none of them are breached.

Looking for the video, I came across some articles
http://nei.org/search?keywords=transportation+container+safety
Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants Shows Aircraft Crash Would Not Breach Structures Housing Reactor Fuel
Used Nuclear Fuel Is Not a Radiation Source That Can Be Used for ‘Dirty Bomb’
Experience, Testing Confirm Transportation of Used Nuclear Fuel Is Safe, Reliable

JohnBo

Calamity said, “My position is that nuclear power has some issues. Solve these first, then go ahead and build more nuke plants.”

My response: The above statement is the biggest disagreement I have with you. You want to stop building nuclear plants until “your” issues are solved. The fantastic benefits and potential of nuclear power generation far exceeds the small issues you list. Arm waving and shouting does not make “your” issues more significant.

Calamity wrote, “The USA has already shown incompetence in finding WMD in just one country. How will it monitor this with 100% accuracy world-wide?”

My response: I live relatively close to a nuclear power plant. I am not at all concerned with the waste management. The plant has operated 40 years and all the waste is stored securely in a small tennis court sized pool. I believe this waste will become a valuable resource in a few years. I see no failure in the US with WMD other than big government politics (which we surely do have).

Secondly, why do you think the US is required to monitor the waste worldwide? It’s not our business what France, the UK, or any other country does with WMD. Only if there is some threat to us need we be concerned. There is no threat to us for anyone making electricity from nuclear energy.

It is encouraging to read the cooperation involved in the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). In 2002, they announced the selection of six reactor technologies which they believe represent the future shape of nuclear energy. These are selected based on being clean, safe and cost-effective means of meeting increased energy demands on a sustainable basis, while being resistant to diversion of materials for weapons proliferation and secure from terrorist attacks.

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and the USA are members of the GIF, along with the EU. Russia and China were admitted in 2006. What a wonderful goal to work together on the next generation (IV) reactors to better humankind.

We need to promote both the construction of newly approved reactors and encourage the cooperative development of generation 4 reactors. It is good for us all. I hope more countries will join this organization.

I am not pushing nuclear energy as the “save it all” source. I hope solar, wind, etc. will develop. I would be most pleased if some other clean source would out perform clean nuclear and put it out of business. In addition, I have no “fear of the future” about nuclear power. It will only get better. JohnBo

Nucbuddy

Clee wrote: Permanent solution? I'm tempted to say, maybe we should just blast it into the sun. It'd be irreversible unless some alien terrorists grab it on the long journey to the sun.

If its orbital-velocity were cancelled, a package starting at Earth-orbit would fall toward the sun. Orbital velocity is higher than half of the solar escape-velocity. Therefore, a less-energy-intensive option would be to launch a package out of the solar system.

A package falling toward the sun would never get past the surface of the sun. It would be atomized at 5800 degrees Kelvin and then blown away from the sun along with the rest of the debris that constitutes solar-power (including windpower) radioactive-waste-products. Some of these atoms would become trapped by the earth's ionosphere and remain suspended there until the next magnetic-pole-shift, at which time they would rain down upon the surface of the earth.

Here is an article that examines various other disposal-in-space options:
thespacereview.com/article/437/1

By the way, why would you want to launch spent-fuel off of the surface of the earth?

Clee

I don't particularly want to launch spent fuel off the surface of the earth, but the article you listed mentions all the reasons that I could possibly think of.

Hadn't known that launching it into the sun would backfire. Thanks for the info.

Calamity

Kit P said:

In effect, the Yucca Mountain repository is a permanent solution.

It would be if governments were guaranteed to last that long. Moreover, this solution is not irreversible. The only thing I could think of that would work right now is ocean dispersal.

JohnBo said:

The fantastic benefits and potential of nuclear power generation far exceeds the small issues you list. Arm waving and shouting does not make “your” issues more significant.

Neither does your propaganda! Name one peer review that says "the fantastic benefits and potential of nuclear power generation far exceed the small issues". (Even the nuke industry wouldn't say this literally!)

You won't find it because that's nothing short of propaganda. This is not an objective statement nor would such a comparison be valid anyway. Risk vs benefits "outweighing" each other or not is ALWAYS subjective, because risk itself is subjective and not the same for all people and so are benefits. Stop swimming in the pool of ignorance and exit the realm of your own subjectivity, and you will find your position is not shared by a large part of the world's population. The sentiments on nuclear power are still irresolute and divided.

The question remains: what clear benefit does nuclear power enjoy over cleaner coal + carbon sequestration techs? Cost? Natural gas is likely to be more expensive, and yet this consititutes a far greater percentage of total energy use.

What follows is: should (and could) the USA expand it's nuclear share in the energy pie? It has bungled around 20% for many years now. KWh's has increased much and will increase more in the future most likely, but it couldn't keep up with demand increase.

MIT has done a study on the future of nuclear power. [corpulent PDF warning]

Clee, maybe the sun blasting idea isn't too bad. Seeing how the earth only receives a fraction of the sun's radiation, only a fraction of the radiactive waste would return to the earth right? That's difficult to quantify of course. As the article mentions, one thing to make sure is that the package would be extremely strong so that in an event of rocket launch failure (explosions etc) the package would not break.

Funny enough, there is another part in the article:

The problem of nuclear waste disposal is real, especially for future generations. Leaving radioactive wastes on earth creates permanent and tempting targets for terrorism as well as threatening the environment. We have a moral imperative to solve this problem now so we do not burden our children and their children.

Are you reading this JohnBo and Kit P?

Kit P

Calamity is stuck on stupid. Just when you think you have a agreed on a position, an out of date, irrelevant reference is found that Calamity does not understand. This becomes an excuse to again mistate. what others have stated.

Again the US is handling spend fuel with no problems that do not have identified short term and long term solutions. The identified long term solution for the US is final in that no further action such as guarding is necessary. A technically advanced society could reverse it safely, so what.

Terrorist hurting people when spent fuel is not credible. The geeks at MIT are wrong. I am not going to provide a list of temping targets for terrorists other than what is a known fact after 9/11. I really do not care what idiots think you can do with spent fuel. Identify the mechanism to cause harm and I will provide you a passive reliable solution.

Calamity

Kit P is stuck on shortsightedness. This refererence uses fairly realistic (cost, discount etc) numbers for power plants which have in recent decades been more often cancelled than not, has rather large upfront capital costs and takes at least ~4 years to start producing power.

Because of this, the financial risk for nuke plants is higher than for coal plants in the USA.

Had Kit P actually read the report more thoroughly, he would have noticed the advancements that MIT calculated to happen so yes, even though somewhat outdated this reference is still quite in the right ballpark. A low of about 4 cents/kwh was calculated.

Even in the MIT "grow" scenario, nuclear power constitutes no more than 19 percent of total world electricity generation by 2050.

The AEO 2006 incorporates several technology advancements etc. and comes to a cost of about 6 cents/kwh. It projects some cost decrease by 2030.

Kit P holds himself in high regard, thinking he is so much more credible than MIT that he doesn't have to back up his counter intuitive statements.

OK Great Oracle, what percentage of total world electricity do you think will be generated by nuclear power in 2050?

Calamity

Kit P also doesn't understand semantics. the word "permanent" implies irreversability, which is not the case for Yucca mountain. If you can put it in now, it doesn't magically disappear; you can get it out in the future. Well then, if you don't guard the mountain anyone with decent excavation equipment could also get it out. So yes it absolutely has to be guarded. Perhaps you think it's unlikely, but it is not impossible so it's a liability for the future especially since it's such a long period.

Waste disposal has to be integrated in the LEC. You cannot integrate 300 year periods in economic analysis. There was no USA economy 300 years ago!

Calamity

another cost calculation acknowledged MIT data and comes to about 4.6 cents/kwh, taking into account some future cost improvements.

Calamity

Figures from World Nuclear: 3.7 to 7.4 cents/kwh

Uses some of the same figures as well as others. So it appears you are quite wrong Kit.

JohnBo

JohnBo said:
The fantastic benefits and potential of nuclear power generation far exceeds the small issues you list. Arm waving and shouting does not make “your” issues more significant.
Calamity then said: “Neither does your propaganda! Name one peer review that says "the fantastic benefits and potential of nuclear power generation far exceed the small issues". (Even the nuke industry wouldn't say this literally!)”

JohnBo responds: We don’t need a peer review to know water runs down hill. Likewise, my statement is intuitively obvious to anyone with sound judgment from reading the above links. I will quickly explain a few key terms from my statement.

Regarding “fantastic benefits”: Looking at its 50-year history nuclear is the safest, cleanest, lowest cost electric energy of capacity we have in the US. On a life cycle basis, it produces 50 or more times the energy it consumes. Only hydroelectric comes close to being as energy efficient. All these facts are well documented above in reference links.

Regarding “potential”: Generation 4 reactors will exceed the safety, energy efficiency, etc. to be even more fantastic. Many countries are working together to make this happen. This too is well documented above.

Regarding “your small issue”: Calamity, there is no basis for your fear of the future. The “dooms day” fear syndrome can be applied to anything. For example, there may be mass starvation in the future due to global warming disrupting the food supply caused by driving automobiles. A radical person might say, “Let’s stop making automobiles right now until this issue is resolved.” It’s so easy to forecast doom. Come on Calamity, get on board with progress and help clean up the earth by supporting nuclear power plants for our children’s future. If I could get close to a nuclear plant right now, I would give it a big kiss. Yes, the more I discuss nuclear the more I love it. A bit of humor here to keep things light and friendly… ha-ha.

Simply, my position is, we here in the US should expand clean nuclear power for our country. What other countries do is entirely up to them, their resources, their skills, their needs, etc. I think the alligators and people who live next to a nuclear plant in the US live in a very healthy environment. They are much better off than living beside a freeway. This is not propaganda. This is all well documented.

By the way Calamity, in what country do you live? I do enjoy your accent.

Clee

Stop building more cars because of global warming? Better stop building new natural gas and coal plants too until carbon sequestration is proven. Sometimes I think I'm in denial about global warming because I'm not willing to do these things.

I was just reading that Yucca mountain has enough space to hold ten times more spent fuel than is in the current plans. So I'm not so worried anymore about where an extra 100,000 tons of waste would go if we built more nuclear plants. It's not much bigger problem than we have with the spent fuel that is already stored at nuclear plant sites. Cool to hear that generation IV plants could use them. What is left in terms of mass and radioactivity after a generation IV plant uses them?

Nucbuddy

Clee wrote: What is left in terms of mass and radioactivity after a generation IV plant uses them?

One kilogram of mass converts to about 3 gigawatt years of heat. Therefore, a 1-gigawatt-electric coal-fired plant -- at 33% efficiency -- would use-up about one kilogram of mass. A 1.5-gigawatt-electric coal-fired plant -- at 50% efficiency -- would also use-up about one kilogram of mass.

Clee

Nucbuddy, I was talking about Generation IV nuclear plants. Why are you talking about coal fired plants?

JohnBo

Clee, I read about the generation IV reactor systems here:

http://www.gen-4.org/

and here:

http://www.uic.com.au/nip77.htm

There are links so you can dive in deeper... :)

JohnBo

Clee, here is a link to a DOE pdf document that explains the 6 generation 4 reactor systems being explored. It is rather old, 2002, but has some interesting information. For example the Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor operates at 1 atmosphere of pressure and consumes 99.9% of the actinides. That about takes care of nuclear waste. Although I'm sure some fuel containment materials and other minor radioactive items may be created which need disposal. Generation IV is all new development at this point.

The pdf file is 4MB in size. It is here:

http://www.ne.doe.gov/genIV/documents/gen_iv_roadmap.pdf

Kit P

Calamity wrote “this solution is not irreversible.”

Calamity must not have have taken nuclear physics in college. The decay of fission products is not reversible. After the fission products decay away they are no longer exist. In fact, the fission products will have decayed away to the point that the dose from standing next to it while it on the truck being shipped to Yucca Mountain would be about the same as eating a banana.

Not only have I read the MIT report about the economics of building nukes, I have read:

Total System Performance Assessment, Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain, Las Vegas, NV.

Calamity want to pretend that there is a problem with the selected solution to for protecting the environment from spent fuel by not reading the TSPA.

Let me again point out the dishonest approach Calamity is taking that is so typical of anti-nukes. The MIT report is irrelevant to the waste issue. infers that I am wrong about he waste issue by shifting the topic to the economics of building new plants and saying I am wrong about the economics.

It would hard for me to be wrong about the economics discussed in the MIT because I did not even discuss the issue here. Furthermore, Calamity challenged me to predict the world mix of nuclear power. More dishonest dishonest crap. The mix of nuclear power will be whatever it needs to be based on the energy policy of each nation. Clearly the biggest merit of nuclear power is the ability to produce electricity in location that do not have other resources.

Calamity

JohnBo said: Likewise, my statement is intuitively obvious to anyone with sound judgment from reading the above links.

Then just leave the word “fantastic” out, first because the word itself really doesn’t mean a thing, second because it isn’t objective no matter how good the facts really are, third because people can draw this conclusion themselves if the facts really are as good as you say.

Regarding “your small issue”: Calamity, there is no basis for your fear of the future.

There is also no basis for guarantees. There are two sides to the future fear medal. Better safe than sorry is my adage. Solving the problems now means you really don’t have to worry about them in the future.

Generation 4 reactors will exceed the safety, energy efficiency, etc. to be even more fantastic.

We will know that when they have been in mainstream operation for decades, now won’t we?

A radical person might say, “Let’s stop making automobiles right now until this issue is resolved.”

The difference is that for automobiles, a realistic solution is on the horizon: plug-ins. Various cleaner coal technologies are already maturing now, sequestration technologies are nearer than a nuclear renaissance and will be able to scale up far faster than nukes. There does not appear to be a clear cost advantage for nuclear over coal. Neither coal nor nuclear have serious supply issues for the USA. France, for example, has relatively little fossil fuel reserves which is a clear argument for nukes. Same for Japan. China and the USA have no good argument to chose one over the other. Moreover, geopolitical perception of nuclear power is a serious constraint limiting it’s expansion.

What other countries do is entirely up to them, their resources, their skills, their needs, etc.

In case you hadn’t noticed, GHG emissions are a global issue. Decarbonisation is a moot argument if (developing) countries continue to burn coal et al. All countries will have to switch to nuclear power, but this brings an entire new set of geopolitical issues: global radioactive materials monitoring and management, global market with easy access to fissile materials for every country etc etc. Cleaner coal plus sequestration for all countries would possibly bring more peace of mind than nuclear power in all countries.

Or do you think global proliferation and radioactive materials management will be without trouble? How will the waste of 200+ countries be managed and controlled to guarantee no materials are diverted for malignant purposes? We don’t know this yet because the magnitude of the issue is far smaller today. “Big politics” does not sound like a stable long term solution. Keep in mind the USA will not be the only player in nuclear plant production and construction. Countries may choose their own design and fuelling, and they would be in their right to do so. From a security and independence position, it doesn’t always make sense to buy US reactors or even fuel. How would you feel if all reactors and fuel in the US were outsourced from France? It also makes sense to create domestic nuclear industries for economic purposes.

This may of course have not much to do with the USA doing a nuclear frenzy or not. However it is a problem in a broader sense for global nuclear power that seems difficult to adequately solve.

By the way Calamity, in what country do you live? I do enjoy your accent

Believe it or not, I live on the Easter Island. Together with my friends, the Stone Statues. We are unanimous on the problems of global nuclear power. They don’t talk much, so it’s fairly easy to reach consensus ; )

For example the Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor operates at 1 atmosphere of pressure and consumes 99.9% of the actinides. That about takes care of nuclear waste.

If that’s true, then the remainder could be dispersed over the ocean even easier, solving the waste problem for the USA. What is crucial is that these plants can be constructed really fast, scaled up really fast, be really cheap especially in terms of ‘overnight capital costs’. One more problem will be the other countries: will they choose to set up their own industry, and if yes what designs will they choose? I realise this is not really a US responsibility, but again a problem for global nuclear power in general. If the gen IV design is dirt cheap then most countries would likely outsource them from e.g. USA, which would solve most issues already.

Kit P said After the fission products decay away they are no longer exist. In fact, the fission products will have decayed away to the point that the dose from standing next to it while it on the truck being shipped to Yucca Mountain would be about the same as eating a banana.

The radioactive materials are contained well during transport. This is proven, I have no issues with transport. I never said that the decay of nuclear fission products is a reversible process. The point is if you disperse the material over the ocean, radiation levels will not increase much over current levels. Doing so will solve the problem NOW and it's irreversible. Better than Yucca mountain. The waste could not be retrieved from the seawater, if you could do this then it’s also possible to just mine the uranium that naturally occurs in the ocean anyway.

Furthermore, Calamity challenged me to predict the world mix of nuclear power. More dishonest dishonest crap.

Maybe, but I didn’t mean it that way. I think it’s relevant dishonest crap then. If nuclear cannot provide a majority of the world's electricity by 2050 or 2060 or so, other techs may very well have outpaced it in the quest to replace other generation. It takes a long time to get production up to high enough levels to quickly replace other generation. Global warming, if caused by human GHG emissions, has to be mitigated. If nuclear isn’t up for it, other options have to be investigated and implemented. This strategy is good no matter what as it’s spreading the risk of one solution not working or not working fast enough.

It would hard for me to be wrong about the economics discussed in the MIT because I did not even discuss the issue here.

That’s interesting. You have a very short memory. You should re-read your own comments about cost again.

I already knew you didn’t read my comments very well but now you’ve forgotten what you said yourself? If the operating costs are so low, then how come the total costs are 2x,3x,4x higher? Because operating costs is useless, real LEC is needed.

Not only have I read the MIT report about the economics of building nukes, I have read:

Total System Performance Assessment, Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain, Las Vegas, NV.

Calamity want to pretend that there is a problem with the selected solution to for protecting the environment from spent fuel by not reading the TSPA.

You obviously didn’t read the report any better than my comments, or you would have noticed the part where they stated that Yucca Mountain is a relief, not a total, ultimate solution to the waste problem. Expanding it’s capacity by x times will not change this, it is relating to time more than capacity.

I must also say I’ve never heard about a 300 year system performance study. Probably because such a study would have little connexion to reality. What systems are 300 years old? Do you have performance data on this?

Clearly the biggest merit of nuclear power is the ability to produce electricity in location that do not have other resources.

This argument is valid for France and Japan, not so valid for the USA which has vast coal reserves.

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