Modular Nuclear Reactors

We also build massive FF complexes in the middle of hurricane alley. Is that ok to support?

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1 hour ago, Boat said:

We also build massive FF complexes in the middle of hurricane alley. Is that ok to support?

Not really.  I think all offshore drilling should be banned, but the incidents that have occurred offshore don't make the ocean sterile for 20,000 years.

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8 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Are Pint-Sized Nuclear Reactors A Cheap Way To Cut Greenhouse Gas Levels?

Modular seems to be the way forward in more than one energy segment.

It looks good on paper, but you know darn good and well there's going to be that ONE guy......

http://vt.co/sci-tech/innovation/david-hahn-boy-scout-built-nuclear-reactor/

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How did you translate modular into unlicensed?

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1 hour ago, Marina Schwarz said:

How did you translate modular into unlicensed?

The problem is that everyone, including posters here, translates the ideas being floated into whatever their personal distastes might be.  Let's go back to the underlying article, which speaks of a laboratory level developer designing and building a "modular reactor."  Now, what exactly do they have in mind?

It turns out that the concept involves a smallish self-contained reactor, of 45 MW, which can be twinned up to 12 units together, to produce 540 MW in one installation, thus being at the lower end of the scale of existing plants.  This is nothing new.  "Modular" reactors of this size have been produced by General Atomics for decades.  A 100 MW version sits inside every large US naval ship; two inside each submarine, and 4 inside each aircraft carrier.  (Caveat: that 100 MW number is my recollection; I have not double-checked it). But, remember this: there is nothing "new" or forward-thinking about the G.A> reactors; they are as a substantive matter simple pressurized-water reactors. 

A forward-thinking, "new" modular reactor would be built on different principles; these would likely be molten-salt units, which are inherently self-regulating and fail-safe.  These reactors run on nuclear waste which has accumulated over the decades, thus making the requirement of waste storage at Yucca Mountain a past idea.  There is enough nuclear waste out there to run the reactors to provide US electricity for the next 500 years.  Such reactors, built on an assembly line and trucked to the power site on a flatbed, similar to moving a large shipping container, promise a whole new level of cost reduction.  And yes, you can envision such a reactor in each town or city or large industrial plant, silently sitting there churning out the electricity, a totally stable power platform. 

I predict the USA will never go there.  The American people do not have the collective imagination to do anything like that. Rather, they will spend their billions on solar panels from China and windmill machines from Germany. "Nuclear" translates for them into poisoning the planet for 200,000 years, notwithstanding that the entire planet is nuclear and radiating from isotope decay.  Would small nuke plants wreck the oil and gas industry?  Yes, they probably would.  Will they ever get built?  Probably.  Where will the first ones end up?  Probably in Iran.  And there are reasons for that, which I shall not digress into here.  Cheers. 

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Europeans are even worse with nuclear.

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13 hours ago, Oil_Engineer said:

Not really.  I think all offshore drilling should be banned, but the incidents that have occurred offshore don't make the ocean sterile for 20,000 years.

Neither does nuclear.... Hiroshima... is a city, and so is Nagasaki.  Fact is, people could have moved back into zone around Chernobyl decades ago.  Fukishima?  What radiation levels.  It blew out to sea.  Its a joke.  The effects are bad for about a decade as the quick stuff burns off.  Otherwise, not a problem anymore than going out in the sun is a problem.

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15 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

The problem is that everyone, including posters here, translates the ideas being floated into whatever their personal distastes might be.  Let's go back to the underlying article, which speaks of a laboratory level developer designing and building a "modular reactor."  Now, what exactly do they have in mind?

It turns out that the concept involves a smallish self-contained reactor, of 45 MW, which can be twinned up to 12 units together, to produce 540 MW in one installation, thus being at the lower end of the scale of existing plants.  This is nothing new.  "Modular" reactors of this size have been produced by General Atomics for decades.  A 100 MW version sits inside every large US naval ship; two inside each submarine, and 4 inside each aircraft carrier.  (Caveat: that 100 MW number is my recollection; I have not double-checked it). But, remember this: there is nothing "new" or forward-thinking about the G.A> reactors; they are as a substantive matter simple pressurized-water reactors. 

A forward-thinking, "new" modular reactor would be built on different principles; these would likely be molten-salt units, which are inherently self-regulating and fail-safe.  These reactors run on nuclear waste which has accumulated over the decades, thus making the requirement of waste storage at Yucca Mountain a past idea.  There is enough nuclear waste out there to run the reactors to provide US electricity for the next 500 years.  Such reactors, built on an assembly line and trucked to the power site on a flatbed, similar to moving a large shipping container, promise a whole new level of cost reduction.  And yes, you can envision such a reactor in each town or city or large industrial plant, silently sitting there churning out the electricity, a totally stable power platform. 

I predict the USA will never go there.  The American people do not have the collective imagination to do anything like that. Rather, they will spend their billions on solar panels from China and windmill machines from Germany. "Nuclear" translates for them into poisoning the planet for 200,000 years, notwithstanding that the entire planet is nuclear and radiating from isotope decay.  Would small nuke plants wreck the oil and gas industry?  Yes, they probably would.  Will they ever get built?  Probably.  Where will the first ones end up?  Probably in Iran.  And there are reasons for that, which I shall not digress into here.  Cheers. 

I have worked on Modular HPWR.  The design is beyond stupid for several reasons. 

1) Not enough nuclear reaction mass creating a LOW temperature which means ULTRA low efficiency.  We are talking less than 20%

2) Still too large to transport

3) Require higher enrichment of Uranium... gets back to #1

*** NOW *** IF, uh hem, IF you go with a modular breeder reactor that does not use fuel rods?  HELL YES!  High Temp salt bath.  But this requires many Billions and should be the #1 priority at the department of Energy as it would 1) advance science and 2) Eat most of our stored nuclear waste.  But will never see the light of day because breeder reactors create Plutonium and we are playing make believe that this will fall under civilian control and somehow in utopian moron land some "civilian" will make a nuclear bomb...As if you cannot already do this with a normal HPWR.... Just insert, higher enrichment uranium rod... which is PRECISELY why those designs were pursued to begin with in the 50s instead of the liquid SALT!!!  Produce weapons grade Uranium.  Salt reactors, separating the Plutonium before it gets eaten is VERY difficult. 

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Hi, Al here, rebel thinker. Modular reactors might the one thing needed in a country with more than 7,000 islands like the Philippines. You think so, folks?

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On 3/23/2019 at 6:22 PM, Al G said:

Hi, Al here, rebel thinker. Modular reactors might the one thing needed in a country with more than 7,000 islands like the Philippines. You think so, folks?

No, they just have to run the underwater power cables for better grid stability.  HVDC solves this.  AC and underwater cables of any length/power rating do not work well.  Couldn't do HVDC when power grids were first made.  We can now.  Your islands are not that far apart. HVDC is the answer.  As for power source.... Could be nuclear. 

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On 3/28/2019 at 10:12 AM, mthebold said:

Anyway, small modular nuclear is a solved technical problem.  What's needed to get the politicians on board? 

That part is impossible.  Cannot be done.  To politicians, nuclear power is the third rail of politics:  you step on it, you are fried.  

What will happen is that the rabid anti-nuke fundamentalists will go totally bezerk and massively come out in an "altered mental state," complete with white foaming at the mouth, ranting about how nuclear power will destroy all mankind in some apocalypse.  It has a certain Taliban stylistic component.  No politician is going to touch it.  Therefore, China and India will continue to exploit and burn lots and lots of coal. Indeed, I predict that India will go back to operating coal-powered locomotives on their railroads. The technical reason is that with new welded plate development for high-pressure vessels, you could construct locomotives with over 300 psi steam pressure and one locomotive would generate 5,000 hp., allowing for a steam card that would have a power extraction from the coal better than an oil engine.  What wrecked the steam engine in the West was the labor cost (and manpower requirements) to operate and maintain those engines, with sleeve bearings and hand oiling ports.  Today all those limits are history and India has lots of surplus labor to put to work at pittance wages, so that is not the limiting factor at all. Coal is cheap. 

Who is going to spend the money that nobody has to build nuclear reactor and string catenary wire when you can send out a train running on cheap coal?  Not these politicians, that's for sure.  I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Maine locomotives will be running on dried wood for fuel source soon enough.  The vast wood lots over millions of acres, intended for the paper industry, are collapsed due to paperless offices. What is going to happen with all that wood?  

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