I blame ninja turtles.
God damn it people are laughably stupid.Originally Posted by http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/
What the fuck people? Who do we need to vote out of office so we can get genIII reactors built?Early in 2003 France's first national energy debate was announced, in response to a "strong demand from the French people", 70% of whom had identified themselves as being poorly informed on energy questions. A poll had shown that 67% of people thought that environmental protection was the single most important energy policy goal. However, 58% thought that nuclear power caused climate change while only 46% thought that coal burning did so. The debate was to prepare the way for defining the energy mix for the next 30 years in the context of sustainable development at a European and at a global level.
I blame ninja turtles.
Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.
Star Citizen referral code - [STAR-C3G4-2XMJ]
And its dumb as shit.
Luckily, in 2014, for the first time, more renewable energy capacity was brought online than oil and gas, so we've crossed the barrier and I imagine that the oil and gas industries titan grip on our society will begin to wane, gradually, from this point on.
Renewables Account For More Than Half of 2014 EcoWatch
Last edited by hodj; 04-29-2015 at 04:09 PM.
So if lobbying is that powerful, would you guys vote for a candidate that was going to follow a set voting platform (which is what they say they're going to do anyway) but never give a single lobbyist an audience, and take no donation money from anybody but individuals?
Might be kind of a pivot from the intent of the thread, but...
Because it would rez the Mooto's and then Godzilla would have to lay the smackdown.
I want the government to fund elections so politicians are not in anyone's pocket and I want a national election day.
As a senior Nuclear Engineering student, I'll just share whats been said by our profs and the seminars I go to: Its a combination of things. First is the NIMBY/mal-informed general population of our country.
Second, is the fact that nuke plants require a substantial initial investment to build, and in the US, this money generally comes from private investors. The payoff of the plant takes many years (I've heard ~25-30 yrs) to see a profit, so investors are hesitant to throw money at them. Couple this along with all of the protests/security/regulations/more stuff that the US has, and it can be difficult to get one started up, much less see a future return. For the large part, we are at the mercy of the people who want to invest in energy production.
Compare this to China where the gov't has funded the construction of ~11 (forget the exact number) Gen III plants to be finished over the next few years. They don't have to worry about the investment problem, the gov't carries the monetary load. This makes a huge difference in plant construction. Last month I talked to an Exec from Harbin (http://www.china-hei.com/en/product-3-5.php) who visited our school, he talked at length of the differences seen in getting two plants started up when you compare our countries, mostly about how private investment is a huge problem for the US right now in constructing plants.
On a side not: Ill be visiting China for a month, in July, to tour all of the plants being constructed and write some reports on them, pretty stoked. Maybe Ill make a thread in the travel section when I head off.
When the Harbin guy was talking to me, one of the things he spoke of, was in the future, China wants to create its own "Chinese" signature proprietary plants, like Westinghouse does for the French (AP 1000s and what not). The big idea is, once their new plants are running, they want to use Chinese labor to sell parts for the plants for much cheaper than any other country.
Thought that was pretty funny. It was almost like he was admitting to using Chinese sweatshop labor to sell cheaper parts for nuke plants. Lol.
Calling me a Cunt is a lot like calling Hitler a Nazi, it's not exactly received as the insult you were intending.
Star Citizen referral code - [STAR-C3G4-2XMJ]
Plenty of lobbying in Europe. Fracking is banned directly as a result of European environmental lobbyists backed by Putin cash, mainly as a means to keep Europe sucking on Russia's oil/gas teat.
The O & G lobby is the most powerful in the country.
Shit, Pig Farming Lobbies wield the power to control congress, you think THAT SWEET OIL wouldnt?
They are so powerful Fracking has turned Oklahoma into a trampoline and the state STILL pushed through a law banning regulation on fracking.
I have posted this many times, and nobody believes me, but if you want any of this shit to change you have to stop voting for Republicans and Democrats.
Yeah well, while Rand Paul might be good on nuclear power, he is batshit on lots of other stuff.
Ironically I'm getting an advertisement on this page for a Master's degree in nuclear engineering from Penn State Online. No thesis required. Sounds encouraging.
Fukushima didn't help. Having places be uninhabitable for 30+ years if a problem happens is kind of an issue.
Everyone replying to this thread should be required to watch this before posting:
PSN: Araxen, Xbox Live: Araxen II, WiiU: Araxen, Steam: Araxen
The real issue is this, and it's a logical check-fucking-mate to anti-nuke people: If they use power in their home AND would not readily give it up, they are already reliant on it even if they are not directly connected to a plant. Establishing that fact, the idiot-created inability to replace KNOWN problematic and potentially dangerous reactor designs with newer, SAFER and better designs from the 50s-60s (JUST REPLACE, not even additional!) means that they are also just functionally retarded. It's like protesting a company putting in a second explosives plant in town because the first one is too dangerous, but let's also protest fixing the first one so it's safe for the town. Granted, there ARE some glacial movements in nuke power in the US, but the majority of them are stopped by "don't replace unsafe reactors in MY backyard with better safer ones!" idiots.
I'm pretty sure Tanoomba is anti-nuke because it seems right up his alley of internally inconsistent platforms.
Last edited by Palum; 04-30-2015 at 03:12 AM.
I sat in a meeting today with the state head of Entergy in the state with one of the largest nuclear plant in the country. He said they had planned to add on with the price of natural gas being low they just gobbleb up natural gas power plants instead at a cost of $1 billion which is a fraction of the cost of a nuclear plant and they had more output.
I would absolutely want a nuclear plant in my backyard.
It would keep the rabble out, decrease my taxes, and increase my services.
I'd buy 100 of those orange extension cords and never pay for electricity again. I would befriend a security guard and learn their wifi password. Life would be sweet.
The problem is there is cheap as dirt shit in the ground that we already have centuries of infrastructure to extract, process and haul to where its needed. No one gives a shit about carbon foot prints, global warming, cow farts etc and until people can't run their A/C or power their modems they are NIMBYFYVM it works so one finger in each ear "LALALALALALALALALALA" <deal with it later>
Coal and natural gas would have to sky rocket I would think before companies want to speculate on the cost and permitting time as well as the price. I am project manager on a $1 billion experimental clean coal process at an existing coal plant, they figure it's got a 5% chance of actually working but it's cheaper than the alternatives. The only thing that made it the least bit attractive was that the fluids/carbon they are recovering will be pumped into the ground where they hope to use it in the fracking process. At least the feds are paying for a portion of it lol. The Japenese say it will work (it's their design) MIT says they are full of shit. We will see I guess.
The two closest nuclear plants here of 1,000 MW's and 1,500 MW's (4000 at the reactor and producing 1500) are both located pretty much in BFE along the river.
Last edited by Borzak; 04-30-2015 at 04:54 AM.
To prove my point about how effecient the government is. They are subsidizing the design, fabriaction and erection of the carbon capture project. It's designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. At the same time AFTER they have awarded the contract to build it way after the design etc...they paid for the study at MIT to see if they thought it would work.
This stuff where taxpayers get involved may turn out to be more lucrative than my petro chemical work in the past, at least they expected results and the quicker the better.
We're actually shut down and have been for the last month since MHI in Japan can't get their shit together and they are paying for us (fabricator) to hold their spot in line while they decide what to do. Nothing beats a multi week paid vacation for a company of 135.
It does piss people off when they get all excited when you metion a carbon capture project, then say the byproduct of it will be used in fracking lol.
Workers I assume would love to see another. I worked until just recently with a guy who had been a welder on the River Bend Nuclear plant in LA during contruction. He said it was the best job he ever had. Two pipe fitters to get the weld ready, 10 minutes for him to weld. A week to wait for two inspectors to come by and inspect it/develop film or whatever. If they disagreed it was at least a month shut down while the owner, contractors and I assume some regulatory oversight agreed on why the inspectors disagreed. The entire time he sat there waiting to move to the next weld.
Last edited by Borzak; 04-30-2015 at 06:02 AM.
Yup, thankfully in the past I have never experienced that. In the past I did very fast turnaround work for the petrochemical industry, with the biggest customer being Exxon. Lots of people say "Money is no object", they were literally the only company I have ever dealt with that backed it up on a daily basis. But in the grand scheme of things it was nothing compared to having the 2nd largest refinery in the country shut down versus an inflated cost of even 200% or whatever. It amazed me (and still does) the number of people who couldn't wrap their minds around who cares what we charge compared to the shutdown of a refinery not to mention the thousands of workers standing around waiting on a $10,000 item.
I really thought Entergy was going to go ahead with another reactor at their River Bend plant in LA just north of Baton Rouge and were already in talks with Jacobs for engineering and construction. Apparently now they have cancelled their permit application even tho I believe it was approved. I'm not sure when the last new plant was built or even a new reactor at an existing plant.
I know when Shaw Industries (Fortune 500 company that did engineering etc...related to petro chemical and power plant work) was bought out by Chicago Bridge and Iron they sold off their nuclear division to Toshiba. No idea what is happening now on that front.
edit: right after I wrote that, a cheaply made Chinese lighter fell on the ground, exploded, and cut my foot with its entrails. This country.
Last edited by Alexzander; 04-30-2015 at 08:05 AM.
Ive just come to understand people are fucking morons and very few truly look at anything from a legitimately rational viewpoint. Its just amazing to think that in the 1950s people thought power would be an unmetered service, use all you want for XX amount. Now? We face an electrical grid that is in abysmal condition and power generation issues.The real issue is this, and it's a logical check-fucking-mate to anti-nuke people: If they use power in their home AND would not readily give it up, they are already reliant on it even if they are not directly connected to a plant. Establishing that fact, the idiot-created inability to replace KNOWN problematic and potentially dangerous reactor designs with newer, SAFER and better designs from the 50s-60s (JUST REPLACE, not even additional!) means that they are also just functionally retarded. It's like protesting a company putting in a second explosives plant in town because the first one is too dangerous, but let's also protest fixing the first one so it's safe for the town. Granted, there ARE some glacial movements in nuke power in the US, but the majority of them are stopped by "don't replace unsafe reactors in MY backyard with better safer ones!" idiots.
There is something fundamentally wrong with our society when we are having to scale back our use of power and push more and more efficient consumption not because of better technology, but because we simply can not meet the demand.
Last edited by Big Phoenix; 04-30-2015 at 10:16 AM.
They're still making nuclear power plants in the US. I remember seeing some sweet pics from the construction of the 3rd and 4th reactors of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant a few months ago. Can't for the life of me find them though.
But I have to say I'm on the fence so to speak with regards to nuclear power. Some of the older reactor designs are scary as fuck and should probably be scheduled for decommission. However some of the new stuff looks good, however I do think we need to pour even more money into researching both safer and less polluting plants. And by pollution I mean finding ways to decrease the nuclear waste.
Just fire that waste into the Sun. It'll burn up long before it gets there, so far away from us it wouldn't matter. Dunno why nuclear waste has ever been an issue.
I'd imagine it isn't cost effective to send nuclear waste to the sun. It isn't exactly cheap to send something that massive out of LEO.
Plus I'm sure fears of the rocket exploding in the atmosphere and scattering the waste deter that idea a bit.
Originally Posted by supertouch
for those who asked:
i haven't sucked her penis but i have stroked it. it sounds odd but i don't view it as a masculine organ on her.
Yeah you're probably right.
Besides most of the "waste" doesn't need to be waste if you use breeder reactors to recycle it.
1) Anti technology environmental Luddites
2) Coal is cheaper and we have a almost 300 year supply of it in country
3) Natural gas is cheaper and we have a 100+ year supply.
4) Legacy non standard existing nuclear facilities.
5) Constant fighting over where to store waste from retired reactors.
6) Three to six trillion $ worth of estimated Oil in US
7) Corn farmers pushing Ethanol
8) Solar costs dropping rapidly.
9) Thorium reactors competing for government money.
It's actually not surprising that Nuclear power suffers in US compared to France because it is completely optional in US while France feels it is there only real choice.
Floating Nuclear plants built to a standard design. Where reactor core can be dumped into the ocean if something goes wrong and is designed to not be able meltdown if left in ocean water. That is the only way I see Nuclear making a come back in US. You build the plants in a shipyard to standard model then float then to near city and hook them up. Then 30 years later you unhook and sale them to a shipyard for deconstruction, You recycle most of it and keep a few hundred ton of radioactive bits and peaces for long term disposal.
The sad fact is, and I've seen it with a lot of green energy people, even a Gen 2, if we collect all the major catastrophes in the last 50 years? Probably has caused less deaths than fossil burning, when you account for lung conditions and ground water spillage--as well as the toxic run off from pulling coal out of the ground. (That's a big thing; it's not just burning coal that's dirty. Getting to it is also dirty.) So even with the threat of melt downs, it's still better. But the new Generation 3s? Are clearly superior, from an environmental perspective, in every way.
And the new prototypes, that can burn up the "waste" from old reactors? Stuff like that just seems like a no brainer to continue development on.
Doesn't burning coal also release radio activity that overshadows most Nuclear reactors with exceptions to the few instances of meltdowns?
Sure, even including the instances of failures. Not that this is the big problem with coal though.
Nuke waste disposal isn't really an issue either. We've got plenty of deep mines in stable geology that can store it until we want to use it for something. It's just that transportation is a bit expensive so they lobby to store it more locally and in generally less secure places.
To be fair, the human stupidity factor and the catastrophic potential for damage nuclear reactors have is an issue. I'm pretty sure even the later generations of reactors will still explode if you deliberately sabotage all of the automatic systems, rip out all the control rods, and then actively work to frustrate the computer control as it tries to stabilize the reaction. This is pretty much exactly what they did at Chernobyl. To be fair, the Chernobyl technicians actually left about 10% of the control rods in place, but if there's one group of people stupid enough to do all that and rip out 90% of the control rods, there's another group of people somewhere that will be dumb enough to remove them all.
I realize I'm a bit late to the thread, but Fukushima should be a shining beacon to the world as to how incredibly safe nuclear reactors are, not a warning about their dangers.
Draegan is a faggoty piece of shit who sold the forum to mmorpg.com just to spite us. Register at the new site.
ReReRolled.org - A Gaming Community
I do enjoy the extent to which certain powers in Oklahoma are retconning like comic-book editors on PCP. Apparently there have always been lots of small earthquakes in Oklahoma, its just that people were too busy/tough to notice. I have neocon relatives in Oklahoma who have LIVED THERE for decades and who know they never had anywhere near this number or magnitude of quakes and yet they have managed to convince themselves that everything is fine and they are just more sensitive to them now...
Talking about it today with some co-workers. The amount of money they throw around to build a new nuclear plant seems incredibly low. We're doing a $1 billion project at an existing coal plant and it's nothing more than a pair of two 150' tall towers. The exhaust goes up one and cools and then is sprayed with a liquid on the downside tower. Nothing really complex at all other than a fraction of the materials is inconel instead of regular A36 steel. I can't imagine expanding that out to a new nuclear plant with all the regulations, paperwork, testing and certifications etc...
On February 16, 2010, President Obama announced $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees to construct the two AP1000 units at the Vogtle plant. The cost of building the two reactors is expected to be $14 billion.
The Chinese are building 4 of these units and 2 in the US. Theres the cost for whoever is interested.
The west is too busy building feel good solar panels and wind mills everywhere. Green idiocy rules the day. Look to the east for advancement in nuclear power.
Russian and China are the two countries most serious about advancing nuclear power right now. Russia has over $100 billion dollars in reactor exports with various countries because Putin realizes that building a nuclear power plant for a country gives Russia influence over that countries energy market for the next ~60 years. Russians builds damn good reactors though, better then any country atm. The state government backs the loans and the Russians build a plant for a country, they then operate it with Russian workers, handle all the nuclear waste which gets sent back to Russia and then eventually handle all the dismantling of the plant after the lifecycle is through. Pretty good deal.
Russia building nuclear reactors and influence – around the globe
One thing to consider is that it was the oil shock of the 70's the lead to many countries to invest heavily in nuclear power to diversify energy sources. France for example had their massive reactor build out in response to the oil shock of the 70's. Now part of the reason why not many nuclear plants are being built in the U.S is because of the shale gas boom which has caused extremely cheap natural gas to flood the market. If the amount of shale gas they've been pumping in the states ever goes on the decline and natural gas prices begin to rise again then nuclear energy will start to look a lot more competitive in the eyes of the big power companies.
Last edited by Strifen; 04-30-2015 at 08:35 PM.
Next Big Future: Deaths per TWH by energy source
Deaths per terawatt/hour by fuel.
Banqiao Dam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for reference. Yeah, a catastrophic failure of a "green" powerplant killed nearly a fifth of a million people and made eleven million homeless. Kinda makes Chernobyl look like a fart in a hurricane.Coal (elect, heat,cook –world avg) 100 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal electricity – world avg 60 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal (elect,heat,cook)– China 170
Coal electricity- China 90
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (0.2% of world energy for all solar)
Wind 0.15 (1.6% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)
Thread kinda sucks because no one want to take the anti nuclear side of the debate.
Is this a case of internet tribalism? Where communities become increasingly homogeneous in there views, because god knows there are tons of anti nuclear environmental crazy's out there.
Last edited by Siddar; 05-02-2015 at 05:21 PM.
There's the uncomfortable fact that modern nuclear is extremely green and efficient. So you have to be literally crazy and uninformed, not just "passionate". It's mostly a cover these days. People really don't want a nuke, no matter how safe, in their neighborhood. They'd rather nothing in fact, but nukes have the "ermagerd Chernobyl Fukushima mk 2" as the easy out.
How much surface area of ground do you have to cover with solar panels in order to generate as much energy as a the average nuclear plant?
The solar constant is 1.36 kW/m^2 as measured by satellites. Assuming one third of that is collectible at the ground, 1 km^2 of ground area can collect 450MW of energy. This is in the range of nuclear plant output.
Last edited by Tolan; 05-02-2015 at 06:26 PM. Reason: corrected solar constant units
Add geothermal advances, and we have an unending supply of clean/harmless energy to go around.
Im all for combining solar, wind, and nuclear sources of energy, but solar right now simply cannot compete with nuclear, in a large scale commercial sense for powering a grid. Small scale solar stuff is great but theres problems with large scale solar implementation right now such as energy storage, intermittent sunshine, relative cost, and widespread use of rooftop panels is very resource expensive to match the power output of a reactor. The amount of copper, steel and glass used to do that would be some deal higher than a centralized power plant.
Heres just one example I pulled from a 10 second google search, from the Wall Street Journal.
The cost of building and operating the Finnish nuclear plant over the next 20 years will be $15 billion. Over that time period, the plant will generate 225 terawatt-hours (twh) of electricity at a cost of 7 cents per kilowatt hour.
Since 2000, Germany has heavily subsidized electricity production from solar panels—offering long-term contracts to producers to purchase electricity at prices substantially above wholesale rates. The resulting solar installations are expected to generate 400 twh electricity over the 20 years that the panels will receive the subsidy, at a total cost to German ratepayers of $130 billion, or 32 cents per kwh.
In short, solar electricity in Germany will cost almost five times more for every kilowatt hour of electricity it provides than Finland's new nuclear plant.
Yeah, there are break points for Solar--and solar tech has been progressing faster than expected toward them. In the future, solar is going to be one of the primary sources of energy as cells become more efficient and are fabricated in an easier fashion. It will happen even faster as methods of energy storage become better. The new Tesla "wall battery" is an example of such storage (Still not great, but energy storage is one of those holy grails we really need to advance.) Solar is also good because it can be modular, the grid isn't as vulnerable if everyone is producing a little (Or if everyone is self sustaining and the grid mainly becomes a transfer structure to sell and buy energy on the fly when needed.
But this is all mainly because solar is just a once removed energy generation method from....a giant nuclear reactor in space :P. But all this stuff is 20-30+ years from now, and even then, there will still be need of grid electric. No matter how you slice it, given what we know right now, it makes all the sense in the world to build more of these Gen 3's.
Where do you see that?
This wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of...#United_States has the IEA making some tables. Taking the values for Solar vs Nuclear:
Levelized Cost in USD/MWh:
Solar = 130 (lowest value) vs Nuclear = 96.1
Just for the sake of discussion, in England, lets check out Wiki's value for £/KWh:
Solar = 125-180
Nuclear = 80-105
Heres some data from that wiki article from California:
Technology Cost (US$/MWh)
Hydro power 48–86
Wind power 60
Advanced Nuclear 67
Fuel Cell 86–111
Wave Power 611
Note that the above figures incorporate tax breaks for the various forms of power plants. Subsidies range from 0% (for Coal) to 14% (for nuclear) to over 100% (for solar).
Also, with regards to the statement about 5c/KWh, Finland's nuke plant currently operates at 7cents/KWh, right now, not in the future. I wont project the cost of nuclear with regards to Gen IV plants, because it'll likely be very good, especially with things like breeder reactors, but there's dozens of different genIV designs floating around and we don't really likely know whats going to stick around right now.
Most (all?) of those cost comparisons you posted from Wikipedia have solar at less than twice that of advanced nuclear and, even in the worst case for solar (thermal transfer), a fraction of what it cost a decade ago.
Nuclear is certainly a better option than coal plants, environment-wise, but I don't think it's the smartest option. Although solar is twice the cost of nuclear, society ought to view solar as a technological investment. Let's stop thinking about short-term cost savings (like a corporation trying to boost it's stock price so the CEO can pump and jump in 3 years) and let's start thinking long term (like a smart company that plans for the next generation and doesn't give a fuck about quarterly gains).
not worth it at this point -- in a decade or two we'll have the technology to go fully sustainable energy.
Gen III nuclear plants would be fantastic if we could have them up and running tomorrow. But given the rate at which the cost of renewables is declining, there's no way a nuclear plant is going to be cost-competitive toward the end of its expected life cycle. This holds especially as we're unlikely to make progress that reduces the cost of nuclear, while renewables are still new-ish enough that vast improvements are feasible, especially with mass production.
Suppose we decided to build one today. It'd take 10 years to plan and build the thing, even without NIMBYism. Nuclear plants are projected to run for 50-70 years. So the price of nuclear power has to be competitive with solar at least 60 years from now. That simply doesn't seem realistic to me. Taking this Wikipedia table on the estimated costs in 2019 (so well before a plant would turn on), we have advanced nuclear at $96/MWh, wind at $80/MWh, hydro at $84/MWh and solar at $130/MWh. We only need a 30% cost decline over a couple decades for solar to be cheaper than nuclear and price it out of the market.
edit: Deutsche Bank is predicting that solar power prices will drop 40 percent in the next 5 years (Source). At that point, it'd be substantially cheaper than the alternatives.
Deutsche Bank says unsubsidised rooftop solar electricity costs anywhere between $US0.13 and $US0.23/kWh today, which is well below retail price of electricity in many markets globally.
“The economics of solar have improved significantly due to the reduction in solar panel costs, financing costs and balance of system costs,” it notes. And further cost falls over coming years will come from improved panel efficiencies, and falls in balance of system costs due to scale and competition.”
Last edited by Soriak; 05-02-2015 at 10:18 PM.
Read an article last year saying that the only thing making solar "affordable" right now was the Chinese subsidizing their production of solar panels in an effort to get market share. Not sure if that was for home panels or industrial/large scale panels.
Alternate energy does not work for base load, end of story. That's something even the most lunatic Greens acknowledge.
Admittedly they then tends to segue into some lunatic rant about how we need to remove the need for base load (i.e. the end of civilisation) and move back to subsistence farming, but I usually stop paying attention by that point.
Yeah they really get uptight when you tell them modern fertilizer is a petroleum product as well.
Then there are distributed solutions, like Tesla's new batteries. One of those should be more than sufficient to power a house over night, plus a second one to provide backup power in case the weather is bad for more than a few days.
So in answer to your question of why the fuck we are not building nuclear reactors in the US?
Because we always have people saying "in 15 years, solar will totally be better than nuclear, so it doesn't make sense to build nuclear!" and dismissing cost concerns with impractical bullshit. They have been doing this for 30 fucking years and in 15 years, when nuclear still is cheaper than solar power, they will again say nuclear power doesn't make sense because in 15 years solar this time will be better.
In the meantime, we will all have fun with our coal power plants for base load.
Solar kind of sucks because it only generates when the sun is out and that's not when we need the most electricity. Maybe some day we will all have Elon Musk's battery pack in our houses and that will make it more practical. From what I hear a lot of people are putting solar panels on their houses in Hawaii and it's raising hell with the power companies because all of these panels are erratically putting power on the grid that they have nothing to do with.
Well, as Soriak said--there are methods to capture energy that are "practical" now (But not economically practical). Molten Salt (Which can store a huge amount of energy)--there is also a method with steam, and the gravity method. The issue is these all increase footprint size, and even the cheapest (Which is the Salt, I believe) doubles the cost per KWH. So it extends the break point where Solar becomes feasible by quite a bit.
Really though, the biggest hurdle in energy right now is not generation, it's storage. Musk's battery is probably a step in the right direction of eventually making renewables a more stable source of energy, but 3k dollars pushes the profit point for most home solar arrays out into the 20+ year mark. (Which makes them unfeasible for cost savings.)
Two batteries won't run a central air conditioner at all. One battery has about 2/3 the power of a standard home emergency generator and people shut down everything but the lights, refrigerator, freezer when they use them. Even two batteries aren't going to run a cooling unit.
Battery storage isn't going to be cost-effective from day 1 everywhere in the country. That's fine: this is really a first generation product. There's no reason to think batteries will have the same storage limits and costs 5 years from now, never mind 10 years from now when a nuclear plant decided on today would finish construction. Moreover, you don't need 100% of energy consumption to be covered by solar, as power generation from wind and water is also feasible at night. Lastly, as mentioned, there are large-scale batteries that could power a city at night to supplement batteries at home -- and that's also the kind of technology for which investments may become a lot more lucrative in the near future, so we should expect advances there as well.
Betting on nuclear is a bet that it'll still be cheaper than renewables 40 years from now. Otherwise, the massive upfront investment cost simply won't be worth it. It appears that's the kind of bet most investors aren't willing to make, even when the government assumes all the insurance risk, pays for the waste storage, and offers to cover a substantial part of the investment risk through loan guarantees.
It may well be that the market is completely wrong here and renewables won't become more cost-effective anytime soon. But it's not going to be a bunch of hippies who were off in their projections, but people with substantial experience and who jointly manage trillions of dollars in investments.
Last edited by Soriak; 05-03-2015 at 06:21 AM.
I'm all for nuclear power, doesn't bother me and we don't have many evniromentalist in this part of the world considering we already have two and 100 chemical plants and refineries. I wouldn't mind another. I still think their numbers seem way off on cost however. Like I said I'm PM now on a billion dollar project and if you drove by it you couldn't even really pick it out of the rest of the power plant. Not to mention I did some work post 9/11 for the River Bend nuclear plant and OMG the paperwork. We only built a 6'x6' guard shack that was more heavily built than the previous ones. We literally delivered it on a 1 ton flatbed truck and I'm not sure the paperwork involved would have fit in my 3/4 ton truck bed.
I'm not up to date on the new reactor types etc...but in the past a good portion of them were built for really easy access to water for cooling. The 2 here being built on the MS river. Are there enough locations with non freezing water that never runs dry etc? It's also why we have so much petro chemical industry - easy water for shipping and cooling. Which a nuclear plant wouldn't need to worry about shipping other than having it barged in during construction maybe. Again just thinking out load about how many sites area really suitable if we really went on a building spree.
Plus a lot of places I assume they want to build a plant aren't really in areas that have the infrastructure close by like we do and would have to bring in all the workers, shops etc..We were lucky because we had a huge industry overlap - we share a parking lot with a nuke certified piping shop that does most of their work in the petro chemical industry etc...Just thinking out loud.
River bend is partially shut down for an extended period becuase the NRC wanted to do a complete review after they shitcanned a half dozen or so workers for browsing the internet at work.
Last edited by Borzak; 05-03-2015 at 06:36 AM.
Its funny watching people drink the Musk Kool-Aid this weekend, thinking we can power society exclusively with wind and solar. As long as we all buy a PowerWall™ of course.
Nuclear vs renewables: A tale of disparities. | The Curious Wavefunction, Scientific American Blog Network
“A 1,000-MWe solar electric plant would generate 6,850 tonnes of hazardous waste from metals processing alone over a 30-year lifetime. A comparable solar thermal plant (using mirrors focused on a central tower) would require metals for construction that would generate 435,000 tonnes of manufacturing waste, of which 16,300 tonnes would be contaminated with lead and chromium and be considered hazardous…Wind farms, besides requiring millions of pounds of concrete and steel to build (and thus creating huge amounts of waste materials), are inefficient, with low (because intermittent) capacity. A wind farm equivalent in output and capacity to a 1,000-MWe fossil-fuel or nuclear plant would occupy 2,000 square miles of land and, even with substantial subsidies and ignoring hidden pollution costs, would produce electricity at double or triple the cost of fossil fuels.”
Why is it when you drive by these massive wind farms in places like west TX and Wymong are only a tiny percentage of them actually engaged. Every year I go out west and maybe 1 in 10 are are actually engaged and this is when it's fairly windy and hor as hell when you would think demand is high. Serious question.
Same reason you don't run all the turbines on a hydroelectric dam all at once, not enough demand for the full energy load, probably cycles through them to keep maintenance down as well, etc.
You can't really store all that excess energy efficiently and for a long period of time so they only run enough to meet current demands at any point in time.
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