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Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49188363) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> But you have to understand the scale of energy production that they are capable of

Of course you do, it's called CF. And when you divide CAPEX by CF you get a rough estimate of the cost of the power in question. So let's do that.

Wind turbines here in Ontario have CF's on the order of 30%. CAPEX is around $1.50/W. So that's 1.5 / .3 = $5 effective CAPEX.

Darlington B was low-balled at $8.25/W and would have a CF around 90%. So that's 8.25 / .9 = $9.17 effective CAPEX

So even though I have to built three units of wind for every unit of nuke, it's still half as expensive. And that's why they cancelled Darlington B.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49188313) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> Is there a working large scale CCS project to demonstrate the truth of those facts?

It's right beside the nuclear reactor that didn't go overbudget. Sorry, couldn't resist.

But more directly, there are a number of very large plants, and a whole lot under construction. I was surprised to learn this after all the years of inaction. Prices to date have been on the order of 0.01/kWh LCoE, which is in-line with the estimates in the document I posted.

Comment: Re:Smaller reactors are better. (Score 5, Informative) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49188289) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> Generally, modern small reactors for power generation are expected to have
> greater simplicity of design, economy of mass production, and reduced siting costs

All of these statements are likely true, except that they assume, as the quote notes, "mass production".

Nuclear power economy scales *very* strongly with reactor size. That's why almost all modern reactor designs are around 1 GWe. There are somewhat smaller designs, like CANDU6, but they have been unable to compete with the larger designs in the market.

The *very* small designs, the SMR's that you're referring to, attempt to address this through a modular scale-out. But in order for this to work, you need mass production, hundreds or thousands of modules. Until that time, the price/performance appears to be *terrible*. So everyone's sitting on their hands waiting for someone else to pull the trigger. After decades, no one has.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49187699) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> Most of the losses come not from Areva's core business

You're joking right?! Every reactor they are building is over-budget and draining the company's coffers.

> trying to build a reactor in Finland without its usual parters

They're building them in France with their usual partners, and they're just as much a disaster as Finland.

> getting swindled when buying uranium mines

So, bad management. Which is precisely what you want running a company that makes nuclear reactors.

> investing heavily in renewables because it's cool

And profitable, for most everyone else at least. Did Areva *actually* loose money in renewables? I'm not so sure you actually have numbers on that. But it's worse if its true.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49187679) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> Nuclear is not expensive, it requires an upfront investment


You understand that the vast majority of the LCoE from nuclear is the payments on the construction loans, right? And, so, if it requires an upfront investment, that is, by definition, going to make it expensive.

*How* expensive is another question. That is clearly answered by the 11 Euro/kWh price. In other words "youch, expensive!"

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 4, Insightful) 361

by Maury Markowitz (#49187631) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

> Nuclear is cheap.

Nuclear is expensive. Look at page 11.

> Project delays are not cheap in nuclear, or a dam (hydro if you will) or a tunnel

Too true. But it is also true that reactor construction has a history of going overbudget on average by two times, making it one of the most consistently bad investments in history.

> Uncertain political environment is a death knell for large scale projects

Also very true. Which is why wind and solar are the fastest growing sources of power in history: a large wind farm can go from napkin sketch to pumping electrons in 18 months. Residential PV can be completely installed in 2 weeks. Arranging financing for these projects is akin to arranging a car loan. The $30 billion needed for 5 years for a reactor? Not so easy.


Star Trek Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the draw-it-on-and-prosper dept.
bellwould writes The Toronto Sun is reporting that Bank of Canada executives are urging Star Trek fans to stop altering Wilfred Laurier's face on the Canadian $5 bill to look like Spock. Although not illegal to draw on the bills, a Bank of Canada spokesperson points out that the markings may reduce effectiveness of the security features or worse, the money may not be accepted.

+ - Yahoo and Alibaba: Joined at the Balance Sheet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When Yahoo bought a 40% stake in the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, then-CEO Jerry Yang thought it a wise investment to compensate for the fact that his own company was “failing in China,” as he put it. Almost two decades later, the Alibaba stake has turned out to be both a wildly valuable asset and a huge liability to Yahoo, as one activist investor after another tried to pry loose those shares and return the value to shareholders. The situation became particularly grotesque once the value of Yahoo’s Asia holdings eclipsed that of Yahoo’s core business. So to silence those investors—and to protect her job—CEO Marissa Mayer is now spinning off a separate company, SpinCo, simply to hold the Alibaba stock. It could be a brilliant move—or yet another boondoggle for the beleaguered company."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft Convinced That Windows 10 Will Be Its Smartphone Breakthrough 425

Posted by samzenpus
from the for-sure-this-time dept.
jfruh (300774) writes At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, handset manufacturers are making all the right noises about support for Windows 10, which will run on both ARM- and Intel-based phones and provide an experience very much like the desktop. But much of the same buzz surrounded Windows 8 and Windows 7 Phone. In fact, Microsoft has tried and repeatedly failed to take the mobile space by storm.

+ - NVIDIA Unveils Tegra X1 Powered SHIELD Console, Yes It Runs Crysis 3->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "NVIDIA held an event in San Francisco last night at GDC, where the company unveiled a new Android TV streamer, game console, and supercomputer, as NVIDIA's Jen Hsun Huang calls it, all wrapped up in a single, ultra-slim device called NVIDIA SHIELD. The SHIELD console is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC with 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, Gig-E and 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO WiFi. It's also 4K Ultra-HD Ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps (VP9, H265, H264) with encode/decode with full hardware processing. The company claims the console is 2X as powerful as an Xbox 360. NVIDIA demo'ed the device with Android TV, streaming music and HD movies and browsing social media. The device can stream games from a GeForce powered PC to your television or from NVIDIA's GRID cloud gaming service, just like previous NVIDIA SHIELD devices. Native Android games will also run on the SHIELD console. NVIDIA's plan is to offer a wide array of native Android titles in the SHIELD store, as well as leverage the company's relationships with game developers to bring top titles to GRID. The device was shown playing Gearbox's Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, Doom 3 BFG Edition, Metal Gear Solid V, the Unreal Engine 4 Infiltrator demo and yes, even Crysis 3."
Link to Original Source

+ - Mars Curiosity experiences short circuit; rover to be stationary for days-> 1

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "NASA has revealed that its Mars Curiosity rover has experienced a transient short circuit and has a result the rover has halted all work temporarily while its engineers analyse the situation. NASA reveled that from the telemetry data it received from Curiosity indicated a transient short circuit following which vehicle followed its programmed response, stopping the arm activity underway at the time of the irregularity in the electric current. NASA has parked Curiosity as its engineers analyse the issues and figure out if any damage has been done. NASA did say that transient short circuit would have little effect on rover's operations in some systems, but it could force the team to restrict use of rover's mechanism."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Global Convection Oven! (Score 1) 256

> This heat warms the atmosphere

No it doesn't. Waste heat rapidly radiates into space. Temperatures only rise if you interrupt the radiation, say though GHG's that trap it.

> The more wind energy we use the stronger the winds

Premise incorrect, conclusion non-factual by default.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.