Go Nuke or Go Home

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Bickendan, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    If you think that I'm trolling, then you should hit the "Report post" button, since that's not allowed in this forum.

    As for doing better, why? If you've been paying attention to the environmental movement you'll know that many folks in the movement have become pro-nuke post-Fukushima. What with the reactors getting hit with basically two worst-case scenarios at the same time, and the end result not being nearly as bad as had been projected by many in the environmental movement for just one worst-case scenario. That piece, however, is current and says some environmentalists are moving in favor of nukes. That's really all that I cared about so far as the article goes. You want something in-depth, there's this thing known as "Google" as well as "Wolfram Alpha" to help you that way. Oh, and I'll give you a little tip if you want to access paywalled scientific articles but you can't afford to pay for access, link to it on Twitter with the hashtag icanhazpdf (you can even @ the folks who wrote the piece) and someone (often the researcher who published the paper) will quickly DM you with the PDF. No shit. Pretty neat, huh?

    And honestly, pro-nuke folks can be their own worst enemies. I can remember having a discussion about nukes on what was then the Bad Astronomy forum (now the Cosmoquest forums) and one of the posters was bitching because he was still having to deal with paperwork related to Three Mile Island, something like 26 years later. What he didn't mention is that the paperwork dealt with parts of the reactors that had only been able to be inspected recently as the radiation levels in that area had fallen enough that they could send a robot in to look at things. So, instead of it being over-regulated bullshit, it was, in fact, simply the first time anyone could get detailed information about a particular part of the reactor because it took that long for the radiation levels to die down.

    Also, Toshiba had a pretty good idea worked out for nuclear reactors, they just couldn't get folks to buy them. They were small, compact units (somewhere between the size of a phone booth and a cargo container, all told) that could be placed underground and could power something like 30K homes (don't remember the details, ain't gonna bother to google 'em, cause you ain't gonna read 'em). A design like that could be rapidly iterated on, so improvements made to them could be quickly deployed to units being built, and one wouldn't have the massive investments in time or money in getting any individual plant up and running.
  2. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    Steve says that his report functionality was disabled at some point.
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  3. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not an admin, so I have no idea if that's true or not. It's not certainly anything I could have done, and I've not seen any notifications that someone has reported a post in like years. I don't know if that's tied to particular forums or not, it's been so long since I've seen such a notification. It's entirely possible that I only see them for the forums I have mod authority over. I don't know. I do know that I don't trust Steve to be entirely honest. YMMV.
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  4. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Environmentalists are less anti-nuke after fukushima?

    I think nukes are safe enough, but what is the point of drawing a picture of nuclear waste? You can't see radiation.

    Nukes have never been competitive with fossil fuel and can't compete with renewables today.

    There really isn't a viable argument to build more.
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  5. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    This has been corrected.

    Apologies for the oversight, @steve2^4
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  6. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    Ummm . . .
    energy.jpg

    Or, put in cartoon form:
    Log_scale.png

    Nuclear is not "more expensive" when total lifetime cost is looked at. And even greater efficiencies could be achieved by reprocessing "spent" fuel or using breeder reactors. Nuclear is a high-density power source that is scalable and sustainable and has no problems with availability, unlike solar or wind, which depend on environmental conditions for optimum performance. If the wind isn't blowing, there's no power generated. Conversely, if the wind blows too hard, the turbines have to be shut down and the blades feathered to avoid damage. Solar needs the sun, obviously, and provides zero power at night. Wave and tide generators are somewhat more reliable but not of much use once you move away from coastlines. Geothermal is a good option. Hydropower used to be a good option until we started figuring out how much damage damming a river did to the environment.

    Near-term but not here yet, thorium-based reactors hold a lot of promise. Long-term and not here yet, fusion power solves all the problems.
  7. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Can you show statistics for any operating plant where the lifetime costs have been less than an equivalent coal or natural gas plant?

    Nuclear is more expensive when considering lifetime costs. Nuclear is bankrupting manufacturers and utilities where they don't pass costs on to rate payers.

    It's very very complicated, but this is a comparison I found. It doesn't attempt to quantify externalities. This is unsubsidized. My money is in onshore wind and solar, with backup natural gas combined cycle steam plants.


    upload_2021-4-1_11-3-40.png
    source.

    Lazard is a finance/investment advisor specializing in investment banking.
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  8. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    That example above was for 2016. Here is the same source for 2020. What's interesting is solar and wind both go down. Nuclear goes up. Coal goes up too (but to a lesser extent) during the Trump Era!!!! source
    upload_2021-4-1_13-21-37.png
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  9. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    So, in conclusion lanz, unless you want rate payers or taxpayers to subsidize nuclear with the inherent government regulation to achieve your dream of standardized nukes. You won't see more nukes.

    Your cute chart above fails to account for the energy content of the sun.

    If you're willing to pay for nukes, sure, but the next one is at least 15 years out. In the meantime we'll have gone to cheaper solar and wind in the private market, and you'll be left holding the bag.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  10. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    Your mass of data has convinced me.

    Actually, I shouldn't be trying to argue at all. I'm stuffed full of cold meds and mucous right now. :sick:
  11. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    ooooo, I wondered what that splat was on the screen.
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  12. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Heard on the radio this morning that part of Biden's infrastructure proposal (?) was to be zero carbon for electric utilities by 2035. This nixes even natural gas combined cycle plants. Oh well.

    If it's mandated to be off natural gas (even as stand-by) this leaves renewable, hydroelectric, and nuclear.

    I think this is doable without new nuclear plants, if existing plants have their licenses extended (most expire in the 2030s). But it might make new plants more interesting (with subsidies).

    Peak demand is the tough part.

    Nuclear has ramping capability, but I don't know how economical this would be. Might be OK since the plants will be already "paid for."

    Storage using batteries or mechanical (hydro) might be better.

    We'll be OK. Except UA will be driving an electric with unpredictable results.
  13. Uncle Albert

    Uncle Albert Dare to be Stupid

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    :lol:

    The only way you'll ever catch me driving an electric vehicle is if I built the fucker myself.
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