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Why not nuclear?  The articles below discuss the Pros vs Cons, and the Pros, at least as presented, far outweigh the Cons.  From what I've read it would be and is a fight against both Oil and Renewables industries and supporters, so that is one thing.  The other thing is public perception and therefore the lack of public pressure on Congress to pass laws promoting the nuclear option.  It seems to me that none of those hurdles are so big that a well-run PR campaign with a worldwide budget of, say, $2 Billion couldn't overcome.

The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don't Need Renewables

(Excerpt)

Why is it that, from the U.S. and Canada to Spain and France, it is progressives and socialists who say they care deeply about the climate, not conservative climate skeptics, who are seeking to shut down nuclear plants?

After all, the two greatest successes when it comes to nuclear energy are Sweden and France, two nations held up by democratic socialists for decades as models of the kind of societies they want.

It is only nuclear energy, not solar and wind, that has radically and rapidly decarbonized energy supplies while increasing wages and growing societal wealth.

And it is only nuclear that has, by powering high-speed trains everywhere from France to Japan to China, decarbonized transportation, which is the source of about one-third of the emissions humankind creates.

For many people the answer is obvious: ignorance. Few people know that nuclear is the safest source of electricity. Or that low levels of radiation are harmless. Or that nuclear waste is the best kind of waste.

Stop Letting Your Ridiculous Fears Of Nuclear Waste Kill The Planet

(Excerpt)

Everybody wants to do something about nuclear waste. Nuclear plant operators and most House members want to bury it in Nevada. A bipartisan group of senators wants states to compete for it. And Bill Gates and other entrepreneurs want to reuse it as fuel in next generation reactors.

Almost everybody is wrong to do so. Nuclear waste has never been a real problem. In fact, it’s the best solution to the environmental impacts from energy production.

Consider:

  • No way of making electricity other than nuclear power safely manages and pays for any its waste.

In other words, nuclear power’s waste by-products aren‘t a mark against the technology, they are its key selling point.

By contrast, it is precisely those efforts to “solve” the nuclear waste non-problem that are creating real world problems. Such efforts are expensive, unnecessary, and — because they fuel support for non-nuclear energies that produce huge quantities of uncontained waste — dangerous.

The Complete Case For Nuclear

This last link, above, is full of charts and graphs and seemingly factual data that ties all this discussion together.  So, why not?

 

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The solution could be to build a cluster of nuclear reactors ( 20-30 GW) far from inhabitated areas and transport the electricity to the load centers through UHV DC connectors (600-1,100 kV).

The only problems with such solution is:

1. the source of water for the power plants - artificial lake is needed, 2 the risk of terrorist attack ( this can be mitigated with proper spacing of the subgroups of 4-5 reactors).

Clustered reactors of the same type are much easier and cheaper to build and operate. Also the waste reprocessing plant could be near this site as well as storage for spent fuel.

From the rational point of view location of nuclear power plants ( the only clean source of the base load power) in secluded area does not have any sense, but modern society with their lack of basic education is not rational

Edited by Marcin2
typo

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The elephant in the room is cost and the huge amount of water used. Solve that and nuclear energy might work. 
Just like nat gas shouldn’t be allowed to flare and waste water, solar and wind should be taxed for recycling and landfill solutions. No energy should get a pass on pollution.

Energy for decades should have paid for the messes and healthcare costs they create.

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10 hours ago, frankfurter said:

seems you have not heard of Fukushima?

That is why clustering many nuclear power plants in 1 place is such a smart idea.

In large countries like US or China you can carve out 50 x 50 km area and build 5 nuclear power plants with 6 reactors each.

Every plant spaced 10 km from the next one plus 20 km safe buffer in case of meltdown.

Cause all the area is empty bar the nuclear plants, even in case of single reactor meltdown the site could be cleaned with reasonable cost.

With 30 reactors even a large water diversion project with pump station and artificial lake makes economic sense.

Such a large site could be a closed cycle place together with fuel reprocessing and spent fuel storage.

Nuclear power plants have up to 80-100 years useful life.

And you can build next one 1 km from the closed plant after this 100 years, so the place could be the large permanent nuclear plant site for a few hundred years, or until fussion becomes reality (whatever comes first).

So all the significant grid investment is also for a few hundred years, the only further costs are maintenance.

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I like the idea of much smaller nuclear plants. Are there not a handful being built around the world? We’ll get bundles of stats in a few years along with the needed scrutiny. As a greenie with faith in the modern brain and the human history of incremental improvements it seems like modular nuke plants are poised for a resurgence. 
Unlike fracking nat gas, oil and coal let’s hope greener minded billionaires like Gates will do it openly, honestly with transparency. 
It’s just a shame Republicans are so tied to the many examples of human misery due to political blocking of common sense regulation. The pages of history will be forever stained by their greed.

Edited by Boat
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On 10/23/2020 at 12:49 PM, Boat said:

Energy for decades should have paid for the messes and healthcare costs they create.

Privation has its healthcare cost too. Fossil fuel took the mechanisms of living--staying warm and cool, cooking, commodes and sinks, plastic pipes, medications and medical devices and surgical equipment, travel--to a much higher level and raised them each year. Along the way, fossil fuel producers made some messes on land, in gulfs, and on the sea. The early ones--uncased wells--mostly were subsumed by the earth. The later ones--think Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon--were over-paid if anything. 

There's a healthcare cost to carbon particulate matter, of course, and NOX and SOX. Much more SOX, it turns out, has been emitted by the maritime industry than by all other sources--but you never hear about it. As for the rest, man the user has perpetrated most of it. For example, VW diesel cars were promoted in France for several years while the Paris Opera House kept getting blacker. No telling how many folks died from that little tale told by Volkswagen, but you don't see VW being maligned these days--they're stronger than ever and partnered up with a Stanford group and Bill Gates to build the first economical solid-state battery (QuantumScope).

To use an analogy, Percocet has been a marvelous drug to treat the pain from surgery and bone fractures. However, if the user abuses it, he or she runs into trouble: the opiate epidemic. I'm no apologist for the oil and gas industry or the petrochemical businesses, but we as users can't have it both ways. We are provided goods and services. We have not alway used them responsibly.

In that vein, if California wants to mandate electric cars by 2035, good for them. Quite a few people will move out of California: energy is going to get too high, water too scarce; it is about the only state where homeless people can live year-around; the wildfires aren't being addressed; taxes are rising. As California tries to mitigate its energy "mess," it will run into new issues--messes that weren't expected. We all will, as the world tries valiantly to make this grand transfer from "horrible" fossil fuel to "wonderful" renewables. But we're not victims. If we want energy and the gizmos that are made from petrochemical machinations, we must share the responsibility.   

As an energy guy, I'd say that Exxon and Total and BP and Occidental and Shell are being punished pretty severely. In fact, with share prices down over 50%, they're in a race for their survival. There's going to be a cost to that too: millions of pensioners in Europe and Great Britain--no matter how they feel about fossil fuels--use Total and BP and Shell and Eni as their dividend sources. When those dry up, and then large companies begin going broke, those old-age people are going to be left impoverished. Central banks all over the world have reduced interest rates to zero and below--there is no alternative but to invest in dividend-paying equities for many of those people. This poses an existential question: should the central bankers (they're all rich) pay for the godawful mess they've created? 

To put this in even starker terms, the "mess" created by lockdown has been much more destructive to global civilization than all the fossil fuel "messes" ever propagated. Count up poverty, suicides, alcoholism, a whole generation of children with a gap in their education, loss of self-esteem. Who is to pay for that? Xi? So far, the very people pushing renewables (think Elon Musk and Bill Gates) have said that China's economy is eclipsing ours in the U.S. and Europe and Great Britain and Australia. Yes, it should be Xi, but the renewables people in the U.S. and all over the world want Joe Biden and he wants to climb back in bed with China--business as usual, no punishment. 

I'm sorry to go off on you but there is no free lunch, to use a cliche. To use another one (this one from the movie, The Right Stuff), no buck, no Buck Rogers. 

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6 hours ago, Boat said:

I like the idea of much smaller nuclear plants. Are there not a handful being built around the world? We’ll get bundles of stats in a few years along with the needed scrutiny. As a greenie with faith in the modern brain and the human history of incremental improvements it seems like modular nuke plants are poised for a resurgence. 
Unlike fracking nat gas, oil and coal let’s hope greener minded billionaires like Gates will do it openly, honestly with transparency. 
It’s just a shame Republicans are so tied to the many examples of human misery due to political blocking of common sense regulation. The pages of history will be forever stained by their greed.

The answer is no.

To be more precise NOT A SINGLE smaller (small) nuclear reactor for the generation of electricity is built in the world.

Nuclear reactor is about 1-1.6 GW. (And it will always be like this no matter what you read in the media)

There are of course some special cases:

1. countries that are still technologically backwards and cannot built normal reactors (India, Pakistan)

2. research reactors / prototypes of new technologies

3. special small reactors for isolated areas (a few were built by Russians for Russian Arctic )

Why nobody invests in small (er) reactor technologies ?

It is simple economy.

All the expensive infrastructure needs to be built no matter whether reactor is 300 MW or 1,000 MW, but the smaller one generates less electricity, so brings less revenue from the sales of this electricity.

I will believe in smaller reactors once anybody invests dollars in this technology, gets all the approvals  and later builts at least 1 specimen.

Edited by Marcin2
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6 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

The answer is no.

To be more precise NOT A SINGLE smaller (small) nuclear reactor for the generation of electricity is built in the world.

Nuclear reactor is about 1-1.6 GW. (And it will always be like this no matter what you read in the media)

There are of course some special cases:

1. countries that are still technologically backwards and cannot built normal reactors (India, Pakistan)

2. research reactors / prototypes of new technologies

3. special small reactors for isolated areas (a few were built by Russians for Russian Arctic )

Why nobody invests in small (er) reactor technologies ?

It is simple economy.

All the expensive infrastructure needs to be built no matter whether reactor is 300 MW or 1,000 MW, but the smaller one generates less electricity, so brings less revenue from the sales of this electricity.

I will believe in smaller reactors once anybody invests dollars in this technology, gets all the approvals  and later builts at least 1 specimen.

Doesn’t the fact the Russians built a small floating nuke plant and hooked it to the grid turn your no into a yes? But anyhow in a few years my guess is the demand for electricity will explode and we’ll see if these small nukes will be a competitive choice. Coal and big nuke are already under financial pressure so alternatives that will work better with renewables will attract investment.

Edited by Boat

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On 10/31/2020 at 11:18 AM, Gerry Maddoux said:

 

As an energy guy, I'd say that Exxon and Total and BP and Occidental and Shell are being punished pretty severely. In fact, with share prices down over 50%, they're in a race for their survival. There's going to be a cost to that too: millions of pensioners in Europe and Great Britain--no matter how they feel about fossil fuels--use Total and BP and Shell and Eni as their dividend sources. When those dry up, and then large companies begin going broke, those old-age people are going to be left impoverished. Central banks all over the world have reduced interest rates to zero and below--there is no alternative but to invest in dividend-paying equities for many of those people. This poses an existential question: should the central bankers (they're all rich) pay for the godawful mess they've created? 

 

Quote

 

Gerry great post, however I disagree on one point.

"As an energy guy, I'd say that Exxon and Total and BP and Occidental and Shell are being punished pretty severely. In fact, with share prices down over 50%, they're in a race for their survival"

 

Renewables are not responsible for the demise of Exxon , Total, Occidental  and Shell. 

Ten years ago IOCs business models were based on $90 bbl oil.

That changed 2014 .

Six years ago IOCs adjusted their business models to be based on $65 to $70 bbl oil.

That changed.

Survival of the fittest. Chevron CEO Wirth said it years ago. "Cut costs or die"

I'm not crying for Exxon.  From 2007 thru 2012 between dividends and share buybacks Exxon gave shareholders over $750 Billion return (3/4 $Trillion). During this time Rex Tillerson invested $48 BILLION for XTO natural gas production and invested way more in Canadian Tar Sands. Bad decisions.

Timing is everything . When Rex took the Secretary of State job on the Trump Administration he was forced to sell all his Exxon stock.  I believe it was still in the $90 range at that time.  

Occidental way overpaid for Anadarko and issued Warren Buffet an 8% NOTE to finance the purchase !

The extent to which solar and wind can replace electric generation is limited in my opinion.

Renewables aren't responsible for the dour outlook on oil . .   .   Electric Vehicles are.  

Solar build out are not responsible for the outlook for crude going forward. How fast the transition to EVs is the reason. 

Europe and Mideast will build nuke plants now.  Natural gas will fuel electric production for a while .

The ideal solution is FUSION REACTORS.  I have to admit even with recent very positive developments and outlooks for fusion there is no guarantee of commercialization in early 2030's .

As for dividends for pensioners . Yes they get hurt. But what are you going to do ?   Oil industry is not the first industry to be hit as a result of technology advancements and won't be the last.

Should we have legislated the prevention of digital cameras to protect pension funds that held Kodak stock.

PS If you think the Oil Majors have it bad. What do you think about the OPEC Oil States.  Their predicament scares me.  

Remember Oil was trading at $52 bbl before anyone heard about Coronavirus.  And Libya and Iran were shut down.  Guyana was not producing yet.  On the other side of the debate U.S. will not get back to 13 mm bbls/day anytime in the next two years. 

 

 

Edited by BLA

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^

It's like a lot of things, the investment that XTO made, and perhaps even the giant investment Exxon made offshore Guyana, seem like "bad decisions" in retrospect. However, at the time all boardroom projections were a profound natural gas shortage for the extraordinary move toward NG that was seen coming. And big projects were lacking, leading models to show a looming oil shortage (about now). 

I don't think anyone had a clue that the Delaware Basin was going to be so prolific or that it was capped by such massive volumes of gas. And of course, no one saw the virus coming. The rear-view mirror always distorts images that were clear as day. 

I maintain that big oil has actually done a pretty good job in catapulting the human race from the cold privation and stilted existence of the human spirit into the age of modern cures, heating and cooling, jet travel, and of course, automobile conveyance. It would appear that the world is determined that global warming is due to fossil fuels, despite the fact that geology shows about fifty climate changes in the last several hundred million years, all of them without burning fossil fuels. And the virus has telescoped about a decade of change into 2020. 

The determination of investment banks, hedge funds and others to put a cent into fossil fuels, the media lambasting them daily, and the emergence of good lithium-ion batteries have all converged to undermine the value of large companies like Exxon, BP, Total and Chevron. I think this propaganda "death" is premature--we're not nearly able to make our way from an ICE vehicle to all EV, nor from NG-fired utility plants to a landscape strewn with windmills and solar farms. 

The thrust of my post wasn't to apologize for Big Oil. My post was in response to someone saying that "energy for decades should have paid for their messes and the healthcare costs they create." I believe they have paid for their messes, and since progress always comes with fatalities, for healthcare too. Big Oil gave jobs to millions of people, preventing poverty. Those jobs came with health benefits. As I pointed out, Volkswagen took the diesel that BP provided and lied about emissions, killing untold thousands--and yet escaped scot-free.

Not to be too argumentative here, but you want to see a mess go up to Lithium Valley and see for yourself the giant gouges made into the earth in order to get the several hundred tons of rock and soil moved for one lithium-ion battery. Or to The Congo and peer at the orange-red pits of cobalt mining. Or visit a nickel smelter and take a sample of the ambient air filled with sulfurous gases that cause acid rain. More and more lithium is going to be needed: massive amounts of it. I haven't seen the mining operations of Abelmarle or China but I'll bet they're a mess.

That's all I was trying to point out, that energy does not come cheap, or without collateral damage. It's the ringing voices of confidence that fossil fuels were evil, and that change is so urgent that bothers me. Nuclear will claim its own victims, not to mention absolutely gargantuan volumes of water and electricity. Everyone is so cocksure that EV's are "carbon-neutral" or have "zero-emissions," which is insane. Like Big Oil, the lithium mines are hiding their "messes" and we haven't even begun to see the collateral damage from giant wind and solar farms--but we will. We will. 

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On 10/31/2020 at 10:18 AM, Gerry Maddoux said:

Privation has its healthcare cost too. Fossil fuel took the mechanisms of living--staying warm and cool, cooking, commodes and sinks, plastic pipes, medications and medical devices and surgical equipment, travel--to a much higher level and raised them each year. Along the way, fossil fuel producers made some messes on land, in gulfs, and on the sea. The early ones--uncased wells--mostly were subsumed by the earth. The later ones--think Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon--were over-paid if anything. 

There's a healthcare cost to carbon particulate matter, of course, and NOX and SOX. Much more SOX, it turns out, has been emitted by the maritime industry than by all other sources--but you never hear about it. As for the rest, man the user has perpetrated most of it. For example, VW diesel cars were promoted in France for several years while the Paris Opera House kept getting blacker. No telling how many folks died from that little tale told by Volkswagen, but you don't see VW being maligned these days--they're stronger than ever and partnered up with a Stanford group and Bill Gates to build the first economical solid-state battery (QuantumScope).

To use an analogy, Percocet has been a marvelous drug to treat the pain from surgery and bone fractures. However, if the user abuses it, he or she runs into trouble: the opiate epidemic. I'm no apologist for the oil and gas industry or the petrochemical businesses, but we as users can't have it both ways. We are provided goods and services. We have not alway used them responsibly.

In that vein, if California wants to mandate electric cars by 2035, good for them. Quite a few people will move out of California: energy is going to get too high, water too scarce; it is about the only state where homeless people can live year-around; the wildfires aren't being addressed; taxes are rising. As California tries to mitigate its energy "mess," it will run into new issues--messes that weren't expected. We all will, as the world tries valiantly to make this grand transfer from "horrible" fossil fuel to "wonderful" renewables. But we're not victims. If we want energy and the gizmos that are made from petrochemical machinations, we must share the responsibility.   

As an energy guy, I'd say that Exxon and Total and BP and Occidental and Shell are being punished pretty severely. In fact, with share prices down over 50%, they're in a race for their survival. There's going to be a cost to that too: millions of pensioners in Europe and Great Britain--no matter how they feel about fossil fuels--use Total and BP and Shell and Eni as their dividend sources. When those dry up, and then large companies begin going broke, those old-age people are going to be left impoverished. Central banks all over the world have reduced interest rates to zero and below--there is no alternative but to invest in dividend-paying equities for many of those people. This poses an existential question: should the central bankers (they're all rich) pay for the godawful mess they've created? 

To put this in even starker terms, the "mess" created by lockdown has been much more destructive to global civilization than all the fossil fuel "messes" ever propagated. Count up poverty, suicides, alcoholism, a whole generation of children with a gap in their education, loss of self-esteem. Who is to pay for that? Xi? So far, the very people pushing renewables (think Elon Musk and Bill Gates) have said that China's economy is eclipsing ours in the U.S. and Europe and Great Britain and Australia. Yes, it should be Xi, but the renewables people in the U.S. and all over the world want Joe Biden and he wants to climb back in bed with China--business as usual, no punishment. 

I'm sorry to go off on you but there is no free lunch, to use a cliche. To use another one (this one from the movie, The Right Stuff), no buck, no Buck Rogers. 

Go off on me all you want, I am used to made up narratives. Here is mine. Health care in particular has taken on huge costs from the FF industry. The Republican talking point on capitalism is let that market work. Do not pick winners and losers. Of course that is all crap while hundreds of billions were spent on damaged humans, much of it by governments and corporations making products. 
So why the conveluted process of whitewashing the true costs of FF instead of directly charging the source? 
Could it be big oil bought off Republicans decades ago? Isn’t this the real deep state today’s Republicans run? 
Why not all energy pay their true costs and let the market decide. Me thinks socialized FF would have a rough time.

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17 minutes ago, Boat said:

Health care in particular has taken on huge costs from the FF industry.

What are they, specifically? 

 

18 minutes ago, Boat said:

So why the conveluted process of whitewashing the true costs of FF instead of directly charging the source? 

What would you charge them?

 

19 minutes ago, Boat said:

Why not all energy pay their true costs and let the market decide.

Again, what are those "true costs?"

 

20 minutes ago, Boat said:

Me thinks socialized FF would have a rough time.

Finally, we agree on something!

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9 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

What are they, specifically? 

 

What would you charge them?

 

Again, what are those "true costs?"

 

Finally, we agree on something!

A friend worked for Shell in the day. He witnessed first hand Shell's operation in Columbia. He saw how they took the oil and left a mess behind in open pits filled with contaminated  crude, waste and  pollutants from drilling . Not in their (Shell's) backyard but Columbia's.

Big Oil provided energy to the world from the 1950s thru 1980s and beyond .  .  .  but "Things Change" . 

Granted those pushing for the green wave are getting a little ahead of themselves, but when it comes to investing it is better to be early then it is to be late. Especially, when it has become apparent legislation will hasten oils decline. 

As for Exxon they now have greatly increased (second round) their additional headcount reduction, cutting overhead costs and inevitable write down of assets in Canadian Tar Sands and XTO natural gas assets in PA and WV to increase cash flow  .  .  .  or maybe dressing themselves up to be bought or more likely a merger of equals with Chevron ?

 

 

Edited by BLA

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14 hours ago, Boat said:

Doesn’t the fact the Russians built a small floating nuke plant and hooked it to the grid turn your no into a yes? But anyhow in a few years my guess is the demand for electricity will explode and we’ll see if these small nukes will be a competitive choice. Coal and big nuke are already under financial pressure so alternatives that will work better with renewables will attract investment.

2 Lomonosov reactors are reactors from icebreakers at 32 MWe. In the past Russians also used icebreakers Arctica in this capacity (as the source of electricity in isolated areas not connected to Russian grid, were there is no grid, and cannot be due to rmeote location) but building a vessel without engine and specialized hull was just much cheaper. Nuclear reactors are a good solution for areas were even supplying diesel for generators can be at times difficult. With climate change, when North Passage is accessible for transport at least for a few months, diesel generators are enough.

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21 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

The answer is no.

To be more precise NOT A SINGLE smaller (small) nuclear reactor for the generation of electricity is built in the world.

Nuclear reactor is about 1-1.6 GW. (And it will always be like this no matter what you read in the media)

Readers should note that this is rubbish, basically a political cant.  In the USA, probabluy one hundred (100) or more small nuclear reactors have been built, and their operating record is totallty flawless.  The standard size is 100 MW.  These are of the (rather primitive) light-water pressurized reactors, to develop high-pressure steam that will drive a turbine.  The design is that of the very earliest nuke reactors, going back 75 years, and all have had a perfect record - zero failures.  

Readers should note that, at least in the USA and probably also in Germany, the push against reactors was made by the Malthusians, whose mantra is that there are "too many people on the planet."  Oil & gas will support many billions in a reasonably comfortable lifestyle once the price points and distribution are sorted out equitably.  It is those billions that the Malthusians rail against - they would prefer those people to be dead.  Along comes nuclear power and the billions numbers can become permanent; that really upsets the Malthusians.   So the political tactic was to create fear of "explosion," which is ridiculous.   A standard pressurized water reactor, which today would be considered antique, is cheap enough to build, to the point where you can go to flat-rate metering and not even charge for the electricity itself, only a fee for maintaining the wires that bring it to you. Ironically, the slogan "too cheap to meter" is actually true.

What the "anti" crowd then did was convince politicians, who control the permitting process, to require plant operators to have very expensive add-ons, including a full-time fire department, a police department, and all manner of massive containment domes in hardened concrete.  All of that is unnecessary, and the Malthusians knew it, but did it anyway so as to make nuke power cost-prohibitive.  Faced with these massive add-on costs, the nuke operators responded by making the plants as big as possible - not because that was desireable, but because then overhead costs could be spread anomg lots more production. 

Remember this: the Malthusians believe that the world population should be no more than 200 million.  That is the goal.  Forcing down the population by denying the fruits of engineering, by removing power and all that that power promises, including clean water, sanitation, raods, heat, buildings, jobs, food, everything, is their goal.  

Of couse, in this Brave New World, the Malthusians will run everything and control all lives, including your reproduction  (and especially your reproduction), and in that Brave New World they will be the dictators and you will obey or be executed, discarded as "surplus population."  Don't have any illusions about those people, they are nasty, brutish, and evil. Your life means nothing to them; only their vision of how the planet should look.  This is what happens when ideology overtakes reason.

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(edited)

44 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

Readers should note that this is rubbish, basically a political cant.  In the USA, probabluy one hundred (100) or more small nuclear reactors have been built, and their operating record is totallty flawless.  The standard size is 100 MW.  These are of the (rather primitive) light-water pressurized reactors, to develop high-pressure steam that will drive a turbine.  The design is that of the very earliest nuke reactors, going back 75 years, and all have had a perfect record - zero failures.  

Readers should note that, at least in the USA and probably also in Germany, the push against reactors was made by the Malthusians, whose mantra is that there are "too many people on the planet."  Oil & gas will support many billions in a reasonably comfortable lifestyle once the price points and distribution are sorted out equitably.  It is those billions that the Malthusians rail against - they would prefer those people to be dead.  Along comes nuclear power and the billions numbers can become permanent; that really upsets the Malthusians.   So the political tactic was to create fear of "explosion," which is ridiculous.   A standard pressurized water reactor, which today would be considered antique, is cheap enough to build, to the point where you can go to flat-rate metering and not even charge for the electricity itself, only a fee for maintaining the wires that bring it to you. Ironically, the slogan "too cheap to meter" is actually true.

What the "anti" crowd then did was convince politicians, who control the permitting process, to require plant operators to have very expensive add-ons, including a full-time fire department, a police department, and all manner of massive containment domes in hardened concrete.  All of that is unnecessary, and the Malthusians knew it, but did it anyway so as to make nuke power cost-prohibitive.  Faced with these massive add-on costs, the nuke operators responded by making the plants as big as possible - not because that was desireable, but because then overhead costs could be spread anomg lots more production. 

Remember this: the Malthusians believe that the world population should be no more than 200 million.  That is the goal.  Forcing down the population by denying the fruits of engineering, by removing power and all that that power promises, including clean water, sanitation, raods, heat, buildings, jobs, food, everything, is their goal.  

Of couse, in this Brave New World, the Malthusians will run everything and control all lives, including your reproduction  (and especially your reproduction), and in that Brave New World they will be the dictators and you will obey or be executed, discarded as "surplus population."  Don't have any illusions about those people, they are nasty, brutish, and evil. Your life means nothing to them; only their vision of how the planet should look.  This is what happens when ideology overtakes reason.

I am one of those who would prefer a smaller world population but not by having more dead people but less people being born. Seems like 5 billion would be much more sustainable than our path to 10. I suppose I will be called nasty, brutish and evil because I want much cleaner air and water to boot. A patriot like me would rather be FF independent as a market driven renewable future developed but not one drop more exported. I am brutish on this point. You can kill a few babies and grandparents on our path to a renewable future but no more killing off our own so FF can make a few bucks selling to foreigners. Of course no more importing foreign FF to refine and export at the cost of our lungs. You infidels have ruled far to long using this barbaric trade.

The fruits of engineering are quite clear, make no mistake every wind turbine, battery and solar panel should carry the cost of recycle or disposal, their full life cycle. Any and all healthcare costs associated with these energies as well. Just like FF energy should pay for health of the land and it’s people they harm. Then you have a fairer marketplace and let the cheapest, cleanest people friendly energy compete for market share. My god that’s an evil idea. 
 

Edited by Boat
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Sadly, the nuclear industry continues to practice selective remembrance and to push ideas that haven’t worked. Once again, we see history repeating itself in today’s claims for small reactors—that the demand will be large, that they will be cheap and quick to construct.

But nothing in the history of small nuclear reactors suggests that they would be more economical than full-size ones. In fact, the record is pretty clear: Without exception, small reactors cost too much for the little electricity they produced, the result of both their low output and their poor performance. In the end, as an analyst for General Electric pronounced in 1966, “Nuclear power is a big-plant business: it is most competitive in the large plant sizes.” And if large nuclear reactors are not competitive, it is unlikely that small reactors will do any better. Worse, attempts to make them cheaper might end up exacerbating nuclear power’s other problems: production of long-lived radioactive waste, linkage with nuclear weapons, and the occasional catastrophic accident.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-history/heroic-failures/the-forgotten-history-of-small-nuclear-reactors

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(edited)

https://splash247.com/bill-gates-joins-nuclear-powered-shipping-push/

This is a really interesting experiment... I know some of the people in CORE-POWER and this really has the potential to be a game-changer.

Oil will only have petchem & niche transportation applications if this takes off... 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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7 hours ago, Jay McKinsey said:

as an analyst for General Electric pronounced in 1966, “Nuclear power is a big-plant business: it is most competitive in the large plant sizes.”

Back around 1966, some analyst for IBM concluded that the market for computers was limited to about a dozen machines.  Yup, mighty IBM actually said that.  

Just as the personal computer took over the world, so could small reactors.   

Right now, some five small reactors in the 50MW to 100MW range are built and brought on-line each year in the USA alone.  And that has been the pattern for several decades now.  To think that will never expand is a bit silly.  Of course it will. 

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It's like these people never heard of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines? 

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1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

Back around 1966, some analyst for IBM concluded that the market for computers was limited to about a dozen machines.  Yup, mighty IBM actually said that.  

Just as the personal computer took over the world, so could small reactors.   

Right now, some five small reactors in the 50MW to 100MW range are built and brought on-line each year in the USA alone.  And that has been the pattern for several decades now.  To think that will never expand is a bit silly.  Of course it will. 

You owned your own argument. The president of IBM said that in 1943 before the computing cost curve was identifiable. Since then the costs have fallen every year for all these decades driving the demand that led computers to take over the world.

Your small reactors have remained at the exact same supply and demand level for decades. This means there is no decrease in cost or increase in demand being generated. The trend line has been flat for decades and it is silly to think it will change in the coming decades. 

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53 minutes ago, Ward Smith said:

It's like these people never heard of nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines? 

Its like you haven't heard of economics. Nuclear power for carriers and submarines has a very different demand and cost function than reactors for civilian power production.

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6 minutes ago, Jay McKinsey said:

Your small reactors have remained at the exact same supply and demand level for decades. This means there is no decrease in cost or increase in demand being generated. The trend line has been flat for decades and it is silly to think it will change in the coming decades. 

Sorry, Jay, not true.  Look, everybody here knows that you are the most ardent proponent of your wind machines on the face of the planet.  Your enamoration of that technology does not mean that other technologies are stagnant.  

6 minutes ago, Jay McKinsey said:

Its like you haven't heard of economics. Nuclear power for carriers and submarines has a very different demand and cost function than reactors for civilian power production.

Nope.  There are two reactors on a sub and four on a carrier.  They are all the same, built by General Atomics in their plant near Albany, New York.  They are based on the rather primitive design used in the Nautilus, lots and lots have been built, they all work flawlessly, and due to the commonality of design the cost per unit drops. 

And that is "old" technology.  Much newer designs are being proved out, specifically the thorium reactor that runs on a molten salt.  The machine has a plug in the bottom and if it overheats then the plug melts, around 800 C, and all the salt that supports the reaction simply drains out and spreads out into a basin below the reactor core.  Without the salt volume in close proximity, the reaction chain stops.  When the salt cools, then it can be scooped up and put back into the reactor and the machine re-started.  Because there is no high-pressure water for cooling, there is no need for a containment dome and all the other expensive hardware that the hysterical have demanded that the regulators insist be built, of the plant operators.  Do you seriously maintain that technology will never advance?  Come on, now. 

Look, Jay, you can go convince yourself of anything you like, I certainly don't mind.  Your infernal wind machines have been banned here in Vermont.  Absolute prohibition; the downsides are just not tolerable.  And if you put one up, you can bet that the locals will go there some night and drag along some acetylene torches and cut it up for scrap.  Timberrrrr!  Crash goes that tower. 

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