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(edited)

I've wanted to make a topic where I could get people to talk about nuclear, and to debate educated doubters. Everywhere else I go, I get people who think that plutonium is naturally occurring. I'm going to make a bunch of claims without substantial evidence. I'll save this for the actual discussion. So here goes my rude outburst. 

The title is based on the article. I saw this article and became irritated since, in my opinion, this isn't the thing to get excited for when it comes to water extraction. 

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Tech-Breakthrough-Could-Revolutionize-Lithium-Extraction.html

Oh so now we're extracting lithium from water eh? I've got a better idea. How about we make use of that idling nuclear fuel that's ALSO trapped in water, specifically the ocean?

But we already know better than to make this argument about Uranium, because they claim "it just isn't profitable!" as they stand in the way of the progress necessary for it to be profitable. A perfect example of this would be Yucca Mountain. What was supposed to be a waste disposal site for the U.S. was canceled because a bunch of wrenches in a desert decided that waste buried in a mountain was a huge problem. I think that nuclear needs to be a major source of both electric power and fuel for industry. 

In regards to transportation, the EV concept annoys me since nuclear has a huge potential to outdo this system. A "green" vehicle fleet that operates on synthetic fuels prepared by heat from nuclear is a far better option than this silly campaign for the usage of wind and solar as the dominant power source for home, industry, and transportation (EV).  Points that support this system:

  • A thermochemical process with nuclear as the energy source makes greater use of a reactor's "Megawatt thermal", as a reactor's MWth is much higher than its MWe. The sulfur iodine process is the best candidate for thermal hydrogen production, and the rest of the process from water gas to methanol to end products is and will remain thermal. 
  • With this option, we no longer need to invent ways of turning thermochemical processes into electrochemical processes specifically in regards to the synthesis of fuel. 
  • We won't need to replace the ICE, and we won't need to fight the enormous challenges of making Semi-trucks or tractors electric. At least some people have sense enough to realize that commercial EV aviation is utterly ridiculous. 

For me personally, the emergence of Gen IV reactor technology removes any reason to be concerned about safety, waste, and proliferation (why do we really care about proliferation within the United States anyways? maybe somebody can demonstrate that below). Hell, Gen III has done the job too, but at least with Gen IV the old excuses look stupid. 

We can breed fuel, we can achieve increased fuel burnup, we can make use of a previously useless nuclear fuel. We have the potential to raise nuclear brayton cycles above 50% efficiency with new technology, which will literally amount to greater revenue for the same plant costs. If anybody is curious as to how, go to the World Nuclear Association's page on Gen IV reactors, and scroll down to "Very High Temperature Gas Reactors". 

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/generation-iv-nuclear-reactors.aspx

 

That being said, nuclear has some hurdles that I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge. Costs are high and construction periods are long (see France's approach to this problem by building standardized plants). Stress on materials, especially with the high temperature and pressure models, is enormous and will require years of material science research before we have reactors that will last long enough to be commercially profitable. Secondly, it is NOT reasonable for me to demand that the general public simply be informed on the science and economics of nuclear plants, and so the old arguments and general fears cannot be dismissed as idiocy. Since the industry isn't as developed as I'd like, extraction of fuel from seawater remains totally unprofitable and unfeasible as of late. As for my arguments regarding synthetic fuel, in order to set up such systems, a massive upfront investment would be required by any chemical company looking to produce said fuels. 

Edited by KeyboardWarrior
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I'd also like to clarify, my interest in renewables comes only from the concept that coal, oil, and gas are in fact limited. I understand that we have a long ways to go before supply is a concern, but I like nuclear anyways. Just because... 

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As someone who has worked in this field: You are preaching to the choir. 

Hell, just the switch to combined nuclear/NG would jump efficiency by ~50% and possibly as high as 100% compared to current plants.  What we are using today is insanely expensive to operate, uses a TINY fraction of available fuel, creates a bit of waste(not much), and is not able to be regulated for power output all that well, and on top of it is inefficient. 

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1 minute ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

I'd also like to clarify, my interest in renewables comes only from the concept that coal, oil, and gas are in fact limited. I understand that we have a long ways to go before supply is a concern, but I like nuclear anyways. Just because... 

PS: You read the article wrong.  It is about extracting lithium far quicker and more efficiently out of Lithium brine ponds, not the ocean. 

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Just now, footeab@yahoo.com said:

PS: You read the article wrong.  It is about extracting lithium far quicker and more efficiently out of Lithium brine ponds, not the ocean. 

Big mistake. I'll probably just make an edit to not waste anybody's time. 

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(edited)

There, just generalized it a bit. 

Hang on a second, is this brine a product of desalination or from oil/gas extraction?

If it's desalination then it's possible that the ocean is the source. I'm not familiar with ocean lithium content though.

Edited by KeyboardWarrior

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4 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

I'd also like to clarify, my interest in renewables comes only from the concept that coal, oil, and gas are in fact limited. I understand that we have a long ways to go before supply is a concern, but I like nuclear anyways. Just because... 

Theoretically, isn’t nuclear limited as well?

In my opinion, the nuclear option has gotten short shift due to the nuclear ‘incidents’ in the past. Three Mile Island and Chernobyl are in the past, nuclear technology and engineering has made quantum leaps since these incidents. A tsunami hitting the reactor in Japan was an unfortunate issue with the physical location of the reactors and an Act of God.

Nuclear SHOULD be part of the energy matrix.

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9 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

With this option, we no longer need to invent ways of turning thermochemical processes into electrochemical processes specifically in regards to the synthesis of fuel. 

Most ICE vehicles will go away to reduce emissions in cities, but there will still be large demand airplanes, shipping and other uses where we need densely-packed energy. Methane into kerosene does fit the bill very well, and the Saudis and EU have been putting some effort into researching this. I'm unclear how far they've gotten, though.

With modular nuclear coming online, costs of nuclear should come down. Today's massive nuclear builds are completely over-engineered because of the incidents Douglas has mentioned. Small modular won't have the same type of footprint. We should probably rename it to something less bomb-related so people don't get as spooked.

I have hopes for modular nuclear, and I have hopes for the micro-nuclear the Pentagon is beginning to invest in.  https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a31294499/pentagon-nuclear-microreactors/

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1 hour ago, Geoff Guenther said:

Most ICE vehicles will go away to reduce emissions in cities, but there will still be large demand airplanes, shipping and other uses where we need densely-packed energy. Methane into kerosene does fit the bill very well, and the Saudis and EU have been putting some effort into researching this. I'm unclear how far they've gotten, though.

With modular nuclear coming online, costs of nuclear should come down. Today's massive nuclear builds are completely over-engineered because of the incidents Douglas has mentioned. Small modular won't have the same type of footprint. We should probably rename it to something less bomb-related so people don't get as spooked.

I have hopes for modular nuclear, and I have hopes for the micro-nuclear the Pentagon is beginning to invest in.  https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a31294499/pentagon-nuclear-microreactors/

And I have hopes that internal combustion engines are around for a long, long time...just to piss off the politically correct tree huggers who feel it is their right toforce  their views on others.

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34 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

And I have hopes that internal combustion engines are around for a long, long time...just to piss off the politically correct tree huggers who feel it is their right toforce  their views on others.

My ICE motorcycle will be around for a long, long time... but my next car will be an EV fueled by solar panels on my roof.
 

This forum is a dinosaur museum. 

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3 hours ago, Maag said:

My ICE motorcycle will be around for a long, long time... but my next car will be an EV fueled by solar panels on my roof.
 

This forum is a dinosaur museum. 

Enjoy your walks 

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11 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Theoretically, isn’t nuclear limited as well?

Right now we use a fraction of ~0.3% of the Uranium on earth that is EASILY accessible(does not count that which is in ocean)  This 0.3% actually wanted can power all of human civilization for ~1000 years if not 10k.  And this at piss poor efficiency.  That leaves the other 99.7% of Uranium to be used

Thorium has at LEAST 3X as much as Uranium around the earth and more importantly comes up with most other minerals so the actual amount available is more like 10X-->100X than Uranium.

True, to use that 99.7% Uranium and 100% Thorium requires breeder reactors.  Breeder reactors are also far more efficient.  We have known how to build them since the 60's.  Requires a little chemistry to sort out some unwanted fission killers.  Why do we not have breeder reactors?  Private institutions have been barred from playing with anything nuclear which means the ONLY prime mover allowed to create are the governments which are led by ignorants of the physical world.  Politicians know HUMANITY and how to manipulate them, but reality such as farming, engineering, physics?  AHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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(edited)

1 hour ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

Right now we use a fraction of ~0.3% of the Uranium on earth that is EASILY accessible(does not count that which is in ocean)  This 0.3% actually wanted can power all of human civilization for ~1000 years if not 10k.  And this at piss poor efficiency.  That leaves the other 99.7% of Uranium to be used

Thorium has at LEAST 3X as much as Uranium around the earth and more importantly comes up with most other minerals so the actual amount available is more like 10X-->100X than Uranium.

Indeed, and according to some estimates, there's enough Uranium in the ocean to last us until the end of time. As to how much we can actually recover, I'm not sure, but it's largely irrelevant since the perfection of fusion is not a matter of if,  but when. We should have commercial fusion reactors before 2500, and we have plenty of nuclear fuel to get us there. 

Edited by KeyboardWarrior

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Preaching to the choir here too.    I oppose cutting down forests like they’ve done in Scotland and Canada to put in solar of wind farms.

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23 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

I'd also like to clarify, my interest in renewables comes only from the concept that coal, oil, and gas are in fact limited. I understand that we have a long ways to go before supply is a concern, but I like nuclear anyways. Just because... 

Howdy KW;

The Lithium extraction article was an interesting read. Thx for postin it.  I agree that Coal is a finite resource.  Gas & Oil not so much.  After the 1973 Oil Embargo, several' experts testified before congress the earth was running out of oil. In fact by the year 2000 we would be completely out of it.  Yeah...

Oil is not a 'fossil based' commodity. It is replenished by the earth because the earth is it's 'source rock'. When a big rock fell from the sky falling all the T-Rex's they didn't 'become' oil. Plus the fact there weren't that many of them too have 'supplied' us with all the oil we've consumed mush less all that awaits discovery.  Not to mention, oil in massive quantities has been found and Continues to be found in Non-sedimentary rock formations around the globe. One such point is the Sea of Vietnam. The seabed in this region is granite. 

I do agree that Nuclear is not only a viable option; IMHO it is a Must option.  Nuclear power combined with Space based Solar collectors that transmit via Microwave beaming to ground collectors would provide us clean and nearly Limitless power for our electric grids. Coupling that with advances in battery technology derived from this new Lithium cultivation will continue to drive down the cost of said battery technology making the EV/Hybrids a truly economical alternative too internal combustion powered vehicles. The advanced batteries would also in concert with the abundant electric supply allow for an order of magnitude increase in charging stations. Tesla's dream of affordable abundant power for all would finally be realized.

In closing I must in fairness divulge that I am a Space geek. I love Manned Spaceflight!!  For humanity too truly become a Spacefaring species; we Must harness Nuclear propulsion. Lightsails too.  Advances in Lithium batteries will be critical to our  solving the 'time scale' issue with respect to long duration flights to Mars, the 'Belt and the even the Gas giants.

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14 hours ago, Maag said:

My ICE motorcycle will be around for a long, long time... but my next car will be an EV fueled by solar panels on my roof.
 

This forum is a dinosaur museum. 

My present motorcycle is ICE, my next one (assuming Indian brings the FTR1200S to Malaysia) will be ICE. I am an unrepentant petrol/gear head.

That said, my buddy was at the recent Harley launch in Spain and rode their electric bike. I’d like to ride one, but until they get some ‘legs’ on them they are simply city bikes. 

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