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Comment Re:Well, (Score 1) 215

It's been done numerous times already jackass. It's called electromagnetic heating. You offload the core, remove the vessel internals, and lower essentially a big electricmagetic coil to generate currents in the vessel wall to heat it up. It's not rocket science, it's not even nuclear science, it's basic metallurgy.

Comment Re:Big deal... (Score 2) 215

  • a) nuclear plants suffer from neutron damage. Almost any material can be degraded by long term neutron bombardment through neutron capture; this means that over the long term parts of nuclear reactors have failure modes that may not be present in any other power plant
  • So? There is nothing new scientifically here, you design for a level of neutron damage and periodically verify your assumptions are correct. And you can always anneal the reactor vessel in place to remove much of the neutron damage and regain operating margins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annealing_(metallurgy)

  • b) nuclear reactor cores are highly radioactive to the level that can even destroy electronic equipment, certainly causes contamination and makes human inspection impossible. This makes it extremely difficult to be sure that equipment degradation has not become serious (compare with aeroplane inspection which uses detailed visual inspection at close range combined with large devices wheeled right up to the plane)
  • Complete B.S. Radiation hardened underwater camera systems have been available for 30 years. And there are fiber optic methods available for remote inspection as well.

  • c) the parts which are likely to fail (those close to the reactor core) are precisely the ones which really matter and can have worse consequences than the typical failures in a conventional power plant
  • More B.S. The most likely parts to fail in a reactor are never in the core. The nuclear industry is well away of which parts are closest to their long term operating margins and which require the most frequent inspection and repair. And the stuff inside the reactor vessel ain't it.

  • d) reactor physicists (the same ones that guaranteed us that Fukashima was safe) tell us that the new generations of reactors are much safer than the old ones; hydro power, for example, hasn't really had a massive safety change in the last fifty (or even hundred) years
  • Nuclear power is the only industry that is not permitted to improve, it must be perfect from day one. FYI, hydro has killed more people than multiples of all other power generation methods combined. It's not even close. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

  • e) nuclear reactors are incredibly complex, difficult and precise mechanisms. They have a huge setup and teardown cost which means that the capital investment is huge, even compared to other large power plants. The more often this is done the more likely that it will go wrong.
  • Ehh? High capital costs are from what? High interest rates. Delays in plant construction and operation many times a result of frivilous lawsuits DESIGNED by environmental organizations to intentionally run up costs. Talk about self fulfilling criticisms. The current generation of plants are avoiding this by getting all that crap doen up front and also by self financing. We'll see.

  • f) nuclear reactors leave large amounts of radioactive waste during decommissioning; one part of this is the fuel, but probably more important is all of the other parts which become radioactive during the lifetime of the reactor (remember neutron capture). The fewer plants that are decommissioned the lower the volume of this waste.
  • This is true, but to put some context on this, the volumes are simply insignificantly small. We have many many many times the volume being buried from nasty municipal waste that have chemicals in it that do not decay away, but thats ok right?

Obviously a), b) and c) push in the opposite direction from d), e) and f). What this means is that basically we should have a smaller number of safer nuclear reactors run for longer by people who we can trust to ensure that a) and b) don't become a problem. Unfortunately people who support nuclear power tend to be in denial about the potential risks and so aren't the right people. I guess it's like politicians. Anybody who wants to be a politician should probably be ruled out from the job / anybody who wants to run a reactor should probably be banned from doing so :-)

This makes no sense at all. So you are saying the people who you recruit who show the proper dedication and professionalism cannot be trusted to be nuclear plant operators BECAUSE of that professionalism? What B.S. Wow.

Comment Re:Nuclear power efficiency (Score 1) 241

No I wasn't looking for that term.

All of our current coal/gas/nuclear power plants are heat engines hooked up to an Rankine cycle steam plant. The maximum theoretical efficiency of any Rankine cycle is a function of the maximum temperature of the working fluid.

Thee is work going on to move to a Brayton cycle power plant. That one change can conceivably double plant efficiencies. But a Brayton cycle needs much higher temperatures than a Rankine cycle.

Look up Rankine and Brayton cycles on wiki.

Comment Re:Nuclear power efficiency (Score 2) 241

The higher the temperature of your working fluid, the higher your possible theoretical efficiency can be. The best out there are hitting 60% with a very high temp gas turbine with a steam generator hooked to it's exhaust and a rankine cycle attached to that.

There are some advanced reactor designs that can hit 50% if built, mostly due to higher working temperatures.

Comment Re:Water-cooled reactors are only 5% efficient? (Score 1) 241

PRISM is a commercialized version of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR). I personally would rather that plutonium be used for LFTR start charges than used in a big tank of liquid sodium. But since we taxpayers have already spent $35 billion on the IFR and related tech since 1965, it would be nice to get some use out of all that money, even of it is GE that benefits. Just hope there are no major sodium leaks.

Comment Re:Must be some AFL-CIO people .. (Score 5, Interesting) 295

So he was 85% correct.

They can continue to deduct 85% of the union dues as long as you work in that union job. By quitting the union you forfeit your right to vote in any union elections, and your dues are reduced by 15%. That 85% covers the supposed cost to the union to provide negotiation and worker protection benefits (what a joke). But sorry you cannot negotiate on your own, or try and provide a cheaper alternative to the union in non-right to work states. And you are still bound by that union contract, i.e., senority limits on your raises, offers for promotions and so on.

Solution: Try and find a job in a right to work state like Nevada or South Carolina, etc.

At one time Unions had a necessary reason for forming and existing. But with the advent of OSHA their main reason for existing (worker safety and working conditions) is redundant. Now they are pretty much just another cash cow of the Democratic Party and senior Union bosses and also a PAC/lobby. Incidentally that 15% that you can reduce your union dues by is supposedly what unions spend on political activities. Yeah right.

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