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Old 18th April 2019, 11:00 AM   #41
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The actual coolant boils and turns a turbine.it doesn't transfer heat to the secondary loop to turn a turbine.
We weren't talking about the number of coolant loops used. I don't consider that significant. I was giving a general description.

I said
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
We also HAVE TO MOVE away from solid fuel pressurized water reactors. 95 percent of the safety issues can be addressed by moving away from them. This will enable smaller safer sites that will be cheaper to build and more centrally located.
You replied
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Even though the two nuclear disasters were boiling water and not pressurised water?
And here you are quibbling over the number of coolant loops? Jesus ******* Christ! The point is that pressurized water as the coolant is an inherent hazard that can be eliminated by going to low pressure high temperature salt as a coolant. This is an example of why I hate responding to one of your posts.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:03 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
In a BWR, the primary coolant (the water in contact with the fuel elements) drives the turbine directly. You described a PWR where the primary coolant loop connects to a secondary coolant system, and the secondary coolant loop (water that never contacts the fuel elements) is what drives the turbines.
I did. But a BWR is still a pressurized water reactor Just another form of one.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:21 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I haven't looked but I find it highly unlikely that the turbines were powered directly by the primary radioactive loop generated in the reactor.
That's exactly what both Chernobyl and Fukushima reactors did (both BWR designs).

3 Mile Island was a PWR design where the primary loop doesn't directly drive the turbines.

Quote:
And here you are quibbling over the number of coolant loops? Jesus ******* Christ! The point is that pressurized water as the coolant is an inherent hazard that can be eliminated by going to low pressure high temperature salt as a coolant. This is an example of why I hate responding to one of your posts.
I agree that we should try to move to molten salt. But PWR reactors do have a much better safety record than BWR reactors, the difference isn't trivial and it's worth keeping in mind since the current fleet of PWR reactors should be kept in operation even if we move to molten salt for the next gen.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:23 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
We weren't talking about the number of coolant loops used. I don't consider that significant. I was giving a general description.

I said

You replied

And here you are quibbling over the number of coolant loops? Jesus ******* Christ! The point is that pressurized water as the coolant is an inherent hazard that can be eliminated by going to low pressure high temperature salt as a coolant. This is an example of why I hate responding to one of your posts.
OK, I now owe you an apology. While both Fukushima and Chernobyl were BWRs, they were very different designs. Fukushima is much the way ai described, but Chernobyl was a very was an RBMK. It used graphite to surround the core and pressurized water running through the graphite as a coolant.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:39 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That's exactly what both Chernobyl and Fukushima reactors did (both BWR designs).

3 Mile Island was a PWR design where the primary loop doesn't directly drive the turbines.

I agree that we should try to move to molten salt. But PWR reactors do have a much better safety record than BWR reactors, the difference isn't trivial and it's worth keeping in mind since the current fleet of PWR reactors should be kept in operation even if we move to molten salt for the next gen.
I 100 percent agree. Molten salt makes so much sense it's ridiculous that we aren't moving to them. There are definitely some political, engineering and supply chain issues that need to be worked out. But simply eliminating even the possibility of a catastrophe no matter how remote is a monstrous benefit.

That said TEPCO and the Russians both really screwed up. Especially the Russians at Chernobyl. I'm just now reading the report on it and wow, it just proved that wilful stupidity is very very dangerous.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:43 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
In a BWR, the primary coolant (the water in contact with the fuel elements) drives the turbine directly. You described a PWR where the primary coolant loop connects to a secondary coolant system, and the secondary coolant loop (water that never contacts the fuel elements) is what drives the turbines.
Am I being pedantic on this distinction?
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:46 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I 100 percent agree. Molten salt makes so much sense it's ridiculous that we aren't moving to them.
So why aren't we?
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:48 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So why aren't we?
A salient question.
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Old 18th April 2019, 11:50 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So why aren't we?
It isn't just "we". All of France right now is PWR.

One reason is we are not building new reactors, so by default we are not changing over.
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:26 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So why aren't we?
A lot of people are asking that same question including me. It's a good question without an easy answer. There are in fact many reasons. Some political and some just because no one was familiar with it.

The MSRE or Molten Salt Reactor Experiment took place in the 1960s which believe it or not was designed to create a nuclear reactor to power a bomber for the Air Force. The Navy had nuclear powered vessels so the Air Force just had to do the same.

The reactor ran for almost 4 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was considered a highly successful experiment, but was not very realistic for use in a bomber. And the advent of ICBMs pretty much eliminated the need for a bomber to stay aloft for weeks at a time. It also wasn't very suitable at creating fuel for bombs. The military drove it and then weren't interested. It was abandoned. And the knowledge of it was lost for the next 40 years. Most nuclear engineers had never even heard of it. Now it's just having to overcome the entrenched way of doing nuclear.

I could go into this deeper, but there are some great YouTube videos. Just search for molten salt reactor and you can learn more about it.
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:28 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
A salient question.
If that pun was deliberate...
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:33 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It isn't just "we". All of France right now is PWR.

One reason is we are not building new reactors, so by default we are not changing over.
Actually reactors are being built all over the world. Mostly in China, India and the developing world. But not nearly enough. And France gets almost all of its electricity from nuclear. You used to be able to even tour their reactors.
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:39 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Actually reactors are being built all over the world. Mostly in China, India and the developing world. But not nearly enough. And France gets almost all of its electricity from nuclear. You used to be able to even tour their reactors.
I read "we" as applying to United States nuclear power. The last one started construction in 77.
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:51 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_water_reactor

Both Fukushima and Chernobyl actually boiled coolant. They were BWRs. The turbines were actually turned by primary coolant that turned into steam after contacting the cladding.
If you'll read for understanding you'll find that the BWR is still pressurized. 75 atm is cited at one point.
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Old 18th April 2019, 12:52 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I read "we" as applying to United States nuclear power. The last one started construction in 77.
Fair enough. But it didn't go online until 1996. How insane is that? It's like very little has changed in nuclear power for 50 years.

If you want to blow a few hours and learn about the road not taken, I highly recommend this video.

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Old 18th April 2019, 01:02 PM   #56
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Wink

Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
If you'll read for understanding you'll find that the BWR is still pressurized. 75 atm is cited at one point.
I obviously know that.
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:04 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Fair enough. But it didn't go online until 1996. How insane is that? It's like very little has changed in nuclear power for 50 years.

If you want to blow a few hours and learn about the road not taken, I highly recommend this video.

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If I wanted to, I wouldn't have gotten out of the nuclear power field.
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:09 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If I wanted to, I wouldn't have gotten out of the nuclear power field.
Is that like I could have been a doctor if I had gone to medical school?
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:14 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Is that like I could have been a doctor if I had gone to medical school?
I did six years in the Navy, 2 years in nuke school, and 4 years on a boat sampling both the primary and secondary coolant
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:17 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I did six years in the Navy, 2 years in nuke school, and 4 years on a boat sampling both the primary and secondary coolant
I thought you were from South America. How did you go to Nuke school?
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:19 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I thought you were from South America. How did you go to Nuke school?
?

Arizona is the south of America.
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:27 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
?

Arizona is the south of America.
Wow, I swore I thought you once said you were from Argentina or Brazil or Peru. I'm wrong again. I'll tell you this though. If you're qualified, you easily could get a job at a lot of existing nuclear plants making 6 figures because there is a huge growing need of engineers because of retirements and hardly anyone studied the field during the last 3 decades.
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Old 18th April 2019, 01:31 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Wow, I swore I thought you once said you were from Argentina or Brazil or Peru. I'm wrong again. I'll tell you this though. If you're qualified, you easily could get a job at a lot of existing nuclear plants making 6 figures because there is a huge growing need of engineers because of retirements and hardly anyone studied the field during the last 3 decades.
You are thinking of my uncle, Roberto de Cobarde.
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Old 18th April 2019, 02:46 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Wow, I swore I thought you once said you were from Argentina or Brazil or Peru. I'm wrong again. I'll tell you this though. If you're qualified, you easily could get a job at a lot of existing nuclear plants making 6 figures because there is a huge growing need of engineers because of retirements and hardly anyone studied the field during the last 3 decades.
Fascinating that in 1940 Robert Heinlein wrote a science fiction story called 'Blowups Happen" that predicted a lot of the issues and problems with Nuclear Power Plants;how to dispose of the waste is one of the major problems.
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Old 18th April 2019, 03:01 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Fascinating that in 1940 Robert Heinlein wrote a science fiction story called 'Blowups Happen" that predicted a lot of the issues and problems with Nuclear Power Plants;how to dispose of the waste is one of the major problems.
It is a problem, but comparatively it is a minor and over-exaggerated one. Especially if molten salt breeder reactors are developed which can burn up most of that waste.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 08:38 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
That said TEPCO and the Russians both really screwed up. Especially the Russians at Chernobyl. I'm just now reading the report on it and wow, it just proved that wilful stupidity is very very dangerous.
Even with a terrible unsafe design, in order to blow up the reactor they had to make multiple specific mistakes. But Russia being Russia, they managed to actually do everything exactly wrong. It's like they set out to prove Murphy correct.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 08:51 AM   #67
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no (non-state-) investor wants to go nuclear at this time.
What might be the bring to a new era of Fission would be meltdown-proof reactors to power the biggest freighters and tankers on the ocean - massive reduction in emissions of the dirtiest of oils, less weight, and can be decommissioned by sinking at a deep spot.
Once that technology has a track record, people might be willing to have nuclear power plants near their homes again.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 09:07 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
What might be the bring to a new era of Fission would be meltdown-proof reactors to power the biggest freighters and tankers on the ocean - massive reduction in emissions of the dirtiest of oils, less weight, and can be decommissioned by sinking at a deep spot.
Once that technology has a track record, people might be willing to have nuclear power plants near their homes again.
Not going to happen. The security concerns are prohibitive. That's a vessel that you absolutely cannot, under any circumstance, ever let pirates anywhere near. And it's also the most tempting target for terrorists. Want material to make a dirty bomb? Now it comes with a built-in delivery system!

Another aspect is that current maritime nuclear reactors are all military, and they also use highly enriched uranium. That allows more compact designs as well as much longer fuel cycles, which are major advantages for naval vessels. But you cannot dare risk using highly enriched uranium for a civilian ship, because that **** is just a refinement (not an enrichment) away from turning into bomb material, and you don't need to be a state actor to pull off that step. So even if you did go to civilian maritime nukes, they wouldn't have the performance of current naval reactors.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 10:08 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I did six years in the Navy, 2 years in nuke school, and 4 years on a boat sampling both the primary and secondary coolant

Which ustafish?

USS Altlanta SSN712 myself machinist mate welder.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 12:20 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

2. Solar power is intermittent and must be supplemented with a reliable 24x7 power supply. That means gas or coal fired or if you're lucky hydroelectric and you really can't build more dams. Or nuclear.
"it takes a long time" doesn't imply "It takes to long" If something does go wrong with nuclear power it can be very long lasting and incredibly expensive even when not many people are hurt. For the cost of dealing with Fukushima, Japan could have replaced all of it's coal powered generators with Wind/Solar and had money left over to put into a smart grid and storage capacity.

A long detailed review and permitting system is needed to make sure nothing gets missed because the cost of missing any detail is incredibly expensive.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
2. Solar power is intermittent
It's also inherently synced to peek power consumption. Furthermore there is no reason why activities can't be further modified to fit power availability. There is also smart grid technology, HVDC power transmission and electrical storage technologies that can mitigate this.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
3. Nuclear power can be a lot cheaper than it has been.
Maybe it can maybe it can't. What we know for sure is that it currently isn't cost comparative.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post

Do some research on molten salt reactors, SMRs and hopefully, someday Thorium breeder reactors. I recommend watching some videos on YouTube to start.
I've been following these more at least a decade. While the concepts are interesting, large scale commercial deployment is a long way off even if it turns out to be viable.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 12:25 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
Which ustafish?

USS Altlanta SSN712 myself machinist mate welder.
San Francisco 711.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 01:44 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
It is a problem, but comparatively it is a minor and over-exaggerated one. Especially if molten salt breeder reactors are developed which can burn up most of that waste.
Waste disposal may be a minor problem technically, but it is a huge problem politically. Nobody wants a nuclear waste disposal facility in their back yard, and that's not entirely irrational. Having such a facility in your neighborhood does involve some risk, both of leakage from the facility and from accidents related to transporting waste to the facility.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 02:03 PM   #73
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With no coal etc. and buying natural gas from Russia, Finland had high hopes for Olkiluoto 3. It's a giant reactor. Endless delays.
Areva had to pay: The main contractor, Areva, is building the unit for a fixed price of €3 billion, so in principle, any construction costs above that price fall on Areva.
March 2019 The Finnish Government granted an operating license to the reactor.[44]
now waiting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkilu...r_Plant#Unit_3
the waste disposal site is in fact in the backyard
see Onkalo in the same article

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Old 22nd April 2019, 02:11 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Tero View Post
With no coal etc. and buying natural gas from Russia, Finland had high hopes for Olkiluoto 3. It's a giant reactor. Endless delays.
Areva had to pay: The main contractor, Areva, is building the unit for a fixed price of €3 billion, so in principle, any construction costs above that price fall on Areva.
March 2019 The Finnish Government granted an operating license to the reactor.[44]
now waiting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkilu...r_Plant#Unit_3
the waste disposal site is in fact in the backyard
see Onkalo in the same article
Trivia: it's located on the Gulf of Bothnia. I wonder if that used to be part of Yugothlavia?
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Old 22nd April 2019, 02:59 PM   #75
Giordano
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
So?

Plastic waste is a problem. So is the waste from electronics. What are you going to do with discarded solar panels in 20 years? They include toxic metals. What about the millions of tons of mercury created by coal mining? There are millions of people that die from mining and burning coal. Nuclear waste amounts to only a tiny fraction of waste compared to every other form of energy generation.

Even how they are stored today, they are safe. And guess what? We can use that waste in molten salt and breeder reactors. In fact, we should be able to burn up in the new breeder reactors more than 80 percent of the waste that has been stored today.
This is a simplication of the theoretical and practical problems unique to high level radioactive wastes. They are.. intensely radioactive and must be constantly and seamlessly handled and stored in manners that shield both staff and the larger population from what would otherwise would be rapidly lethal exposures and must do so for many thousands of years. Further they initially generate substantial heat and are often in chemically unstable forms. These issues make design of long term stable storage complexes unusually difficult, uncertain, and particularly expensive compared to many other forms of toxic waste.

Current storage of high level radioactive waste is not safe: known leaks have occurred at virtually all sites, containers at many have undergone corrosion that have greatly undermined their safety, and most have exceeded their planned capacities and trustworthy lifetimes. Identification, let alone construction of any long time storage facility in the USA remains stalled.

The creation and use of breeder reactirs has also stalled out due to technical problems, economic considerations, and concerns as to diversion of materials to weapons.

I agree that coal is the deadliest and dirtiest form of energy known and must be greatly reduced and soon eliminated. I am not afraid of radioactivity; I've worked with in in my own research for many decades. I think relatively safe nuclear power plants can be created. Just convince me that we have viable ideas and practical facilities for what to do with the waste and I am fully onboard.

Last edited by Giordano; 22nd April 2019 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 03:28 PM   #76
Tero
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Trivia: it's located on the Gulf of Bothnia. I wonder if that used to be part of Yugothlavia?
What, you have not heard of Both music? It's like Goth but a liitle wimpier.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 04:20 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Waste disposal may be a minor problem technically, but it is a huge problem politically.
Nuclear power in it's present form simply isn't a viable replacement for fossil fuels. If we get to all fast reactor fuel cycles it becomes a much better option and as a side benefit the waste problem is much diminished. nuclear waste is mostly unused fuel that is still undergoing fission, just at a slower rate than it was when it was powering the reactor.

With an all fast reactor fuel cycle there should be very little fissionable material left at the end so the waste should be much safer and easier to handle.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 08:33 AM   #78
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
This is a simplication of the theoretical and practical problems unique to high level radioactive wastes. They are.. intensely radioactive and must be constantly and seamlessly handled and stored in manners that shield both staff and the larger population from what would otherwise would be rapidly lethal exposures and must do so for many thousands of years. Further they initially generate substantial heat and are often in chemically unstable forms. These issues make design of long term stable storage complexes unusually difficult, uncertain, and particularly expensive compared to many other forms of toxic waste.

Current storage of high level radioactive waste is not safe: known leaks have occurred at virtually all sites, containers at many have undergone corrosion that have greatly undermined their safety, and most have exceeded their planned capacities and trustworthy lifetimes. Identification, let alone construction of any long time storage facility in the USA remains stalled.

The creation and use of breeder reactirs has also stalled out due to technical problems, economic considerations, and concerns as to diversion of materials to weapons.

I agree that coal is the deadliest and dirtiest form of energy known and must be greatly reduced and soon eliminated. I am not afraid of radioactivity; I've worked with in in my own research for many decades. I think relatively safe nuclear power plants can be created. Just convince me that we have viable ideas and practical facilities for what to do with the waste and I am fully onboard.
While I agree I oversimplified the problem, I'm saying unequivocally that any problems can be addressed. I agree that politics is the biggest issue. People require education. It's not the boogeyman that it has been made out to be.

My stance is that we go all in on NEW NUCLEAR as opposed to old nuclear. Old nuclear are reactors built decades ago. You don't close them down, but don't do what has been done in a lot of states and that is to give green power incentives to old plants which is happening. That is basically a political robbery. Another example of lobbyists using politicians to pick taxpayers and ratepayers pockets.

We do what is necessary to develop molten salt reactors and breeder reactors. Moving to molten salt as the fuel and coolant addresses the major safety issues. There still could be potential accidents but if there are, their effects are minimal.

Breeder reactors allow the processing of our existing waste and creates energy as well as more fuel that can supply other reactors. Breeder reactors may have stalled out. But that is because we quit on it. Sure there have been technical problems. But we keep trying to build them using solid fuel and volatile coolants like sodium and high pressure water. We have 1970 ridiculous regulations that prevent even the use of liquid fuels. And proliferation issues with processing can be addressed. I imagine scenario where we could have non-breeder reactors sending their spent fuels to present nuclear powers which would have breeder reactors that could process it.

Or we could just sit back and continue destroying the planet with CO2. Which in fact is the alternative.



Solving the energy problem is the number one thing we can do to save the planet. We cannot do without cheap power without causing massive hardship.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 08:51 AM   #79
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In the past, the best way to reduce costs for reactor construction was to have one-fits-all designs so that some parts could be produced on scale instead of having to do everything custom.
That only works once prototype reactors have had their time of trail and error.
So even in the best of cases, we are 10 years away from mass-replacing CO2 belching power plants with nuclear power.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 09:34 AM   #80
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
In the past, the best way to reduce costs for reactor construction was to have one-fits-all designs so that some parts could be produced on scale instead of having to do everything custom.
That only works once prototype reactors have had their time of trail and error.
So even in the best of cases, we are 10 years away from mass-replacing CO2 belching power plants with nuclear power.
Here's the thing Zag. You're absolutely right. But if we don't start now, we'll only be farther away. I cannot emphasize this more. Renewables like solar and wind is like trying to use a bandaid on a cut artery. It won't and can't solve the problem. And I love my solar panels.

Part of the problem is the public. Part of the problem is government. Part of the problem is politics. Part of the problem is politics. Part of the problem is an entrenched business model and lastly part of the problem is technical. And frankly, while there are definitely technical challenges they are very likely to be the smallest of hurdles.

America use to be the "can do" country. We've become the "can't do" country. We've turned into the gang that can't shoot straight.

The public is polluted by nimbyism and irrational fears. Government (at least in regards to developing new safe nuclear power is a regulatory mess) The politics of nuclear power is juxtaposed by Republicans giving handouts to old entrenched Nuclear Power companies who are just pocketing the cash and Democrats held hostage by old environmental groups who scared the crap out of public. The entrenched business model of nuclear power revolves around solid fuel water reactors. There is a supply chain for that. The big companies don't make their money on building power plants, but on the solid fuel. And one is permanently locked in to that vendor. They have no interest in moving to liquid fuel where customers can buy their fuel anywhere.

I don't want to minimize the technical challenges. But this isn't pie in the sky either. It's much more realistic than any other solution. Molten Salt Reactors work. The MSRE ran for 4 years straight as opposed to the billions spent on fusion reactors that have worked for fractions of a second. Or the forever promising cheap battery technology.

We need to get off our asses and solve the god damn problem.
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