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Comment: Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 301

by macpacheco (#47733255) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Civilian BN-600 reactors have been in operation for 40 years !
BN-800 reactor is operational for a few months:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

It's funny those anti nuclear types that must ignore any reactors that are operating well, and focus on the ones that had any trouble.

> Riiiight. Like the Gen III reactors were going to be so much better than Gen II. Look how that turned out.
Nuclear power killed as many people in 60 years as natural gas kills every year.
Nuclear power killed as many people in 60 years as coal kills every few days.

How about a retraction ?

Comment: Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 301

by macpacheco (#47717467) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Coal kills without a coal power plant blowing up.
Nuclear kills only on extreme case accidents where the reactor is destroyed and there's no serious secondary containment structure. (Chernobyl)
Sodium cooled and Molten Salt cooled reactors can be walk away safe.
Your question is 99.9999% FUD. If Nuclear were unsafe, we'd already had at least an order of magnitude more nuclear accidents.
Stop trying to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. We need lots of nuclear to avoid the worst of climate change.
1 - Solar+Wind is a limited solution
2 - We need to get away from coal in a few decades. Just now the largest solar PV manufacturer in the world (Yingly) finally achieved shipping of 10GW worth of panels. That's less than the largest hydro dams in the world, less effective power production than a single 4 large reactor nuclear site. Since solar doesn't produce at night, have winter and daily fluctuations, it takes over 5GW worth of panels to effectively produce as much electricity as a full size nuke (1333MWe). And depending on the latitude, solar is useless in the winter. The anti nuclear pundits ignore we don't need only a solution for electricity, we need a solution for heating too, solar+wind is extremely lousy for a full energetic solution (electricity+transportation+heating). Nuclear on the other hand can directly fuel EVs and/or produce hydrogen economically (using high temperature reactors) for FCVs. Nuclear can also produce district heating steam (used in fairly large scale in baltic countries).

Comment: Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 301

by macpacheco (#47717427) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Yeah, the LHC was funded because it's not a threat to coal and natural gas consumption.
Nuclear OTH is a kiss of death threat to fossil fuels. No wonder the NRC is being politically driven to make as hard as possible for nuclear to advance.
Nuclear can actually save us from climate change. Solar and Wind can get us a third of the way, but not much more than that.

Comment: Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 301

by macpacheco (#47717415) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

The russians have been operating sodium / lead fast reactors for decades. The first commercial operational fast reactor has been operational in Russia for 40 years.
After 40 years they deployed the second model (BN-800), achieved criticality a few months ago. The next step BN-1200 promises better economics and a scale similar to current large nuclear reactors (1200 MWe vs typical 1333 MWe of LWR/BWR/CANDU reactors).
The story around fast reactors in the USA = Clinton/Al Gore/John Kerry killed them in the 90s for strictly political reasons.
There were minor fast reactor incidents in France and Japan, the anti nuclear activits love to increase the magnitude of those events one thousand fold, the fact is sodium cooled IFR reactors are the closest we are to a nuclear renaissance. I would much rather have Thorium LFR reactors, but the first generation of more basic Thorium/Molten Salt reactors are a decade away from operation outside the USA. The NRC isn't even interested in producing a certification framework for Molten Salt reactors until the first company tries to certify them.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 1) 436

by macpacheco (#47696449) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Nuclear can be deployed a few dozen miles from urban centers, and sized to use 100% of its generation right into that urban center. Those that claim nuclear is too expensive almost always ignore that fact.
So, Solar PV rooftop with FIT arrangements = production and consumption within a mile of each other, great, but that model can't scale beyond even 10% of total grid production, need large solar plants in order to use large inverters that operate with extreme accuracy to avoid AC synchronization issues. Most anti nuclear pro solar nuts ignore this serious limitation.
The reality is solar + 2 hrs worth of local storage can greatly mitigate the AC sync issue, but even 2 hrs worth of local storage = solar solution total cost goes far more than 100% up. But it still ignores the needs of the whole grid. If 100% of households in sunny area go solar you are destroying the premise of baseload production, so you are forced to have like 4-6 hours worth of local storage, plus what are you going to do in the winter, when solar production drops hugely ?
It might be possible to have a fossil fuel grid with at least 40% baseload electricity (hydro+geothermal+nuclear+biomass).
But this study is hugely flawed, it ignores huge transmission losses.
My Brasil transmits much of its electricity demand for over a thousand miles distance, this works because that is cheap big hydro electricity.
If having a mostly solar+wind grid were practical, Hawaii would have already got rid of its very expensive oil based generators (many times more expensive even than modern peaking natural gas power plants), but the reality is you have the inverter problem threatening grid AC stability.
Germany's Energiewende is also fairly stuck, shutdown of 5 nuclear power plants offset about 50% of CO2 emission reductions, with lots of brown coal burning going up.
C'mon, look at the nuclear energy facts, instead of the environmentalists biased FUD. It's safe, it's clean, it expensive upfront, but a lot of transmission costs and losses are avoided, and people insist on comparing price/MWe generated without fully accounting for nuclear's advantage. Plus water cooler reactors is old technology that we much migrate away from, even a modern AP1000 is way more expensive to build and operate than a Russian BN800 IFR reactor. The NRC overregulation model makes GE's work on the S-PRISM walk at a snail's pace instead of at the brisk pace we need it to be.

Comment: Re:Jaw dropping (Score 1) 120

by macpacheco (#47680967) Attached to: Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

> IFR fuel is still solid fuel rods
Are you sure ? How is the core fuel be reprocessed with the fuel in solid fuel rods ? Will have to destroy / recreate the cladding before/after each reprocessing event ?
Doesn't make much sense.
The only design with an integral reprocessing facility I studied at a deep enough level was the Thorium LFTR and that uses the fuel molten with the primary coolant... So I wrongly assumed, but still it doesn't make sense vis-a-vis reprocessing.

Comment: Re:Jaw dropping (Score 1) 120

by macpacheco (#47671923) Attached to: Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

I'm very pro nuclear. But the problem isn't VVER-1200 vs EPR vs AP1000.
The problem is water cooled, solid fuel nukes. Plus the sum of all regulatory/political costs of building a nuclear reactor in an anti nuclear environment.
An IFR plant can cost less than a similarly sized water cooled reactor (BN800 reactor estimated at US$ 2 billion, so 2xBN800 is about 20% larger than your usual 1330MWe reactor), however an IFR reactor uses essentially free fuel (spent nuclear fuel aka nuclear waste + depleted uranium). Plus an IFR reactor fuel is molten in the core, so there is no fuel fabrication costs (aka making the solid fuel), just the cost of reprocessing the LWR/BWR/AGR spent fuel before loading it into the IFR reactor. The IFR low pressure, no water in the core, small secondary containment costs is offset by IFR being a relatively new technology plus the integral reprocessing feature cost.
Anyhow, you must compare a large (1333MWe) nuclear reactor to some 15GW worth of solar panels for england or germany. Sun doesn't shine at night, and summer to winter, solar produces 1/10th of power in the winter vs summer. In the meantime, a 1330MWe nuclear reactor is producing that same power day and night, except for about a month of maintenance every 18 months (scheduled). I know the critics can point out old trouble ridden reactors, but we're talking about a new reactor, otherwise the nuke's cost have already been incurred and the reactor is now racing towards being a cash cow.
I would actually prefer Thorium LFTR reactors, but those are still a decade away.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by macpacheco (#47650487) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

No energy sources are perfect.
But when you compare all aspects of nuclear to all other energy sources (except for hydro and geothermal), nuclear wins. All countries should maximize usage of available hydro and geothermal energy, then resort to nuclear+wind+solar for the rest.
But nuclear It IS safer. It IS more reliable. It IS far less polluting than any fossil fuel powered sources.
That doesn't mean it's perfect. Current water cooled, solid fueled reactors using once through (no reprocessing) fuel are able to use just 0,65% of mined uranium, with reprocessing that goes up to just over 1%. Plus it's not the safest form of nuclear. They require lots of complex active safety systems (at least when the reactor is operating).
But still nuclear is the BEST energy source available for baseload electricity and when large volumes of heat in the form of steam is needed.
Hopefully we'll get lots of electric vehicles and hydrogen powered cars. High temperature reactors are the best solution to make hydrogen. EVs with large capacity batteries can be mostly charged at night, increasing baseload electricity need (decreasing peaking electricity demand). Nuclear makes huge sense in this future scenario.
Solar PV = combination of two of the ten most deadly professions in the world (roofing and electrician), double risk factor for its workers.
Wind turbines are maintenance hogs, specially considering how little each turbine actually produces on a yearly basis. A 10MW wind turbine will in average produce the equivalent of 1 to 3MW continuous production on a yearly basis, even on the best wind sites. That means it takes a thousand wind turbines spread over lots of excellent wind sites to average the power output of a single large nuclear reactor.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by macpacheco (#47631003) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

Another anonymous coward hiding behind anonymacy making an extremely shallow statement.

Nuclear is cost effective in most cases.
Solar and wind look cheap in the surface, and can be cheap if you limit solar+wind to less than 25% of a grid's production. It's more like 20%.
Solar is extremely lousy at high lattitudes. For instance in Germany solar produces ten times more electricity in the summer vs the winter.
And don't get me started on wind extreme intermitency.
If you rule out fossil fuels for electricity production, unless you have lots of good big hydro sites, nuclear is your only choice to provide the base of a country's electricity baseload.
Wanna have a discussion, don't be a coward.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by macpacheco (#47630943) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

Clueless nuclear fanboys ? I'm yet to find such people. Nuclear isn't sexy, so it doesn't tend to attract the clueless.
Most nuclear proponents have STEM background.
You probably mean the professional nuclear engineers that are tired of having to refute absurd anti nuclear accusations.
If you want to get just enough education to see the nuclear facts, enroll to this free online course:
  https://www.coursera.org/cours...
I'm not sure one can enroll and get the materials right now since there's no current class going on.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by macpacheco (#47630887) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

anti-nuclear people saying the sky is falling is incompatible with the hard data.
pro-nuclear people saying the other side is irrational just needs basic hard data analysis.
all nuclear power accidents, incidents for both civil and military cases account to less than 2000 deaths worldwide for the 60 years we've been using nuclear power for electricity, heat and naval applications.
Coal kills 13000 people per YEAR in the USA alone.
A single hydro dam burst in China killed 200000 people in the 70s. Hydro kills those 2000 people every few years. Dams burst every year.
Natural gas kills about 100x more per TWh produced than nuclear.
Those are facts.
The only scenario that the anti nuclear pundits can make a case is entirely based on Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
I took an Intro to Nuclear technology course to form this conclusion. Anyone that has studied nuclear technology properly comes with the same conclusion.
Anti nuclear arguments are based on lies and absurd extrapolations.
Nuclear can be shown to be safer than solar PV and wind electricity. In all honesty I just consider all three energy sources similarly safe.

Comment: Re:So.. what? (Score 1) 255

by macpacheco (#47630777) Attached to: TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

You need to look no further than all predictions made within the first few months of the effects of TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima.
TMI = zero deaths, zero cancers (from the predicted China Syndrome catastrophe)
Chernobyl = predicted millions of deaths, currently at less than 200 deaths, 5000 long term cancer deaths
Fukushima = predicted millions of deaths, so far zero deaths, zero cancers
Get a grip. Nuclear is safe. The biggest impact of nuclear accidents except for Chernobyl is mass fear.
Nuclear safety standards are ridiculously exaggerated. Billions of USD are spent yearly on unnecessary safety precautions.
Specially the nuclear decommissioning costs are so high because they demand the land be returned to essentially zero residual radiation, which is nonsense.
It's because of people like you that nuclear is so expensive. In the meantime, Coal powerplants are allowed to emit soot with uranium, thorium and radium into the air. A coal powerplant emits about a thousand times more radiation than a nuclear power plant will ever be. But the coal evils are never put in evidence, while nuclear is attacked viciously.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 143

by macpacheco (#47622855) Attached to: Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

Wrong. There are lots of MSR variants. Some are designed to need no reprocessing at all, example the DMSR.
A DMSR design is being worked on right now. Canada's Dr. David LeBlanc, Terrestrial Energy Inc.
You need reprocessing to achieve close to 100% burnup of nuclear fuel (water cooled reactors achieve less than 3% burnup).
DMSR can achieve around 20% burnup without reprocessing, a huge improvement.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 2) 143

by macpacheco (#47622829) Attached to: Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

Wrong. MSRs could be used to power ships and subs.
The primary reason water cooled reactors were chosen was: The US NAVY was far more comfortable with water cooling than anything else. There was no reactors cooled by anything but water when the US Navy submarine reactor program started. The first MSR research reactor took another 15 years to come to be.
Gas cooled reactors were actually discarded because they weren't as compact as water cooled reactors.
But MSR reactors are about an order of magnitude more compact than a water cooled reactors considering their total secondary containment requirements.
Since the NAVY was willing to spend the equivalent of tens of billions in today's money to get the first reactor done, and by the time the first MSR test reactor showed results, politics killed MSR research, you should watch the youtube video from Kirk Sorensen on this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment: Re:A Joke (Score 2) 143

by macpacheco (#47622755) Attached to: Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

Just enough to do their detailed due dilligence, finalize their base design, run detailed computer simulations.
Once they are ready to petition the NRC for a license to run a test reactor, they will in the order of US$ 200 million to build the test reactor and operate it for a few years. Assuming the NRC will actually allow it.

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