# Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Vote To Modernize US Nuclear Fleet

### Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Vote To Modernize US Nuclear Fleet

7:58 AM 12/22/2018 | Energy

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Congress passed bipartisan legislation that aims to streamline the regulatory process for commercial nuclear plants, bringing relief to an industry that has witnessed decline and uncertainty.

The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act was approved in the House of Representatives by wide margins Friday, clearing the chamber by 361 to 10. The Senate had already approved the bill on Thursday by a voice vote.

Introduced by Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso and co-sponsored by a number of Republicans and Democrats alike, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act calls for a number of reforms that would unburden the industry. The legislation streamlines how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates facilities by improving licensing procedures and giving licensees more transparency on how the agency spends its money. Additionally, it encourages investment in nuclear research and supports the development new technology in labs around the country.

The end goal of the bill is to make the development and commercialization of nuclear technology more affordable.

The trade association representing U.S. nuclear plants hailed the vote.

“The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) is a significant, positive step toward reform of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission fee collection process,” Maria Korsnick, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said in a statement Friday. “This legislation establishes a more equitable and transparent funding structure which will benefit all operating reactors and future licensees. The bill also reaffirms Congress’s support for nuclear innovation by working to establish an efficient and stable regulatory structure that is prepared to license the advanced reactors of the future.”

In passing the bill, Congress joins a growing number of state governments that are also working to save their nuclear fleet.

Nuclear power plant after sunset. Dusk landscape with big chimneys. Shutterstock

Regulators in Connecticut have tentatively agreed to consider the Millstone Nuclear Power Station — the only nuclear plant in Connecticut and the largest in New England — to be “at risk,” allowing it the ability to participate in the state’s support program for carbon-free energy. This action follows New Jersey, where regulators have worked on a Zero Emission Credit program that will support uneconomic nuclear plants in the state. Illinois and New York have already established Zero Emission Credit programs in their states. (RELATED: MIT Study Finds Nuclear Energy To Be Essential In Reducing Pollution)

The federal and state action comes as numerous nuclear plants have closed down in recent years, and more are at-risk of early retirement. Pitted against cheap natural gas and subsidy-backed renewables, many nuclear facilities have been rendered uneconomical.

However, both Republicans and Democrats are recognizing the vital role nuclear plays in the country’s power market, providing reliable energy with zero carbon emissions. The decline of the nuclear industry has caught the attention of environmentalists who are concerned about climate change and more conservative officials who worry nuclear plant closures places the grid’s reliability at risk.

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December 26, 2018 6:10 am

And , as usual, they will ignore the LFTR’s.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 6:36 am

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

December 26, 2018 9:31 am

The USA is moving ahead of other countries, as Trump et al undoes the harm of previous leftist administrations.

Meanwhile, Canada and Europe are still wallowing in the swamp, up to our necks in leftist falsehoods, deliberately intended to destroy our economies and turn us into a dictatorship.

If anyone thinks this is improbable, know that about half the countries in the world have already taken this disastrous path – consider Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, almost all of Africa, Latin America, the Arab world, large parts of SE Asia, etc. etc.

In Canada, the anti-pipeline leftist thugs have cost our country about $120 billion in lost revenues and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. That money could have been allocated to create jobs, do real good and reduce harm in our communities. This is a huge loss of money for Canada, a country of only ~35 million citizens. The equivalent amount in the USA would be a loss of$1.2 trillion, along with millions of lost jobs.

In the USA, Obama and Hillary were on the same destructive path, and the USA dodged a nuke when Hillary was defeated and Trump became President.

These leftist thugs are guilty of treason, and they belong in jail.

Duane
December 26, 2018 11:47 am

Trump had nothing to do with this legislation. It was in the works for quite some time and was supported by a very large, veto-proof bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 12:26 pm

So why wasn’t the bill introduced or passed during the Obama administration? Why instead did the lawmakers wait until 2017 to introduce the bill?

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 1:13 pm

Duane,

Sorry, but yet again you’re mistaken. Obama would have vetoed this legislation, so Congress would never have passed it on his watch:

Catcracking
December 26, 2018 8:24 pm

John and John,
Thanks for setting the record straight on the erroneous claim. Also anyone informed knows that Obama and Harry Reid tried to kill Nuclear by shutting down the Nevada storage for spent fuel rods.
Unfortunately the legislation is to late to save the plant recently shut down in NJ close to my summer home, but the fuel rods remain in the wisdom of the environmentalists. Electricity prices will surely rise with those offshore wind leases that Obama approved to replace cheap electrical power.

December 26, 2018 9:10 pm

Duane – you are off-topic.

It is not just this particular legislation – it is every good thing that the Trump administration is doing to reverse dangerous extremist laws and regulations that have severely damaged America.

America will now leave other western countries in the dust, and we may never catch up. We are hamstrung with destructive socialist governments that are so corrupt and so so incompetent that we may never recover.

brians356
December 27, 2018 12:32 am

Trump must sign it into law. Would Obummer have? If Trump had signaled he was against it, Congress might not have bothered. So Trump had, and will have, something “to do with it”.

How do you feel about the ACA being called “Obama’s signature achievement” and referred to as “Obamacare” (with his blessing) when he had almost nothing to do with crafting it?

Sam Pyeatte
December 27, 2018 3:20 pm

Duane, Trump had everything to do with getting the legislation through by lending support to the legislation – which Obama opposed. Leftists will kill you/us every time.

Sara
December 26, 2018 7:41 am

Based on the headline, I thought “the nuclear fleet” was a reference to the US military, particularly the Navy, which has a full fleet of nuke submarines and no longer uses diesel-powered aircraft carriers. The rest of the fleet is still partly diesel-powered, but is slowly moving toward nuke for all ships.

I am glad to see this legislation come to pass, because it is FAR, FAR preferable to wind/solar power, which is unreliable on the grid but may work well for individual use. In addition, some coal-fired power stations are being replaced by gas-fired power stations, because at this point, natural gas is the cheaper, cleaner fuel.

Thanks for the article

Pop Piasa
December 26, 2018 8:33 am

Please let me add that the shutterstock photo shows a plant older than any wind or solar farm will get before decommissioning, which still can generate the same amount of steady, reliable power as it did when newly built (sometimes more than the designed capacity).
Besides that, it is a better looking, more compact alternative to the square miles of renewables it replaces, and virtually eliminates the rent-seekers.

AGW is not Science
December 26, 2018 9:18 am

Not to mention it won’t chop up any raptors or bats and cause sound-related health problems with those who live nearby.

Crispin in Waterloo
December 26, 2018 9:30 am

Plus those are cooling towers, not chimneys.

Farmer Ch E retired
December 26, 2018 12:36 pm

Since cooling towers generate impressive vapor plumes, they make the front page news to trick the uninformed into believing the stacks (a.k.a. cooling towers) are belching pollution while in reality, they are belching water vapor, the largest and most intentionally ignored greenhouse gas/vapor.

John F. Hultquist
December 26, 2018 2:15 pm

I noticed the “big chimneys” and considered it a “tell” – in poker, an aspect of a player’s behavior or demeanor is thought to give clues to that player’s feelings. Another player gains an advantage if she/he observe and understand the meaning of another player’s tell.
In this case the “tell” conveys that the person writing the caption is not knowledgeable about power plants.

DonM
December 26, 2018 6:05 pm

… could mean they don’t know what they are talking about; or that they do know, and they are exaggerating.

A wrong read on the tell can get you into more trouble than just playing straight up (as you know).

(I have a Calvin & Hobbs cartoon in my pocket when I am playing . The tiger gets a good hand and his tail starts wiggling … he has a tell. When I get lucky and hammer a good player a few times, I act like he’s my friend & give him a copy of the cartoon … dis-advantage goes to the guy that second guesses what he is doing (when he is good enuf that he shouldn’t))

trace
December 26, 2018 12:23 pm

Two comments on the photo, I don’t see any containment domes and there is a smoke stack right between the two cooling towers. Could that be a coal fired power plant?

Gilbert K. Arnold
December 26, 2018 2:31 pm

It would look to be that way.

Ozonebust
December 26, 2018 4:04 pm

Yes it is, enlarge the photo and you can see the plume out of the chimney. Wonderful CO2 being released.

Greebo
December 26, 2018 4:05 pm
Schitzree
December 27, 2018 2:48 am

Reminds me of a story I heard once. Supposedly back in the eighties a small local group of Greenpeace went several counties over to camp out at and protest a Nuclear Power plant. The workers at the plant they ended up at weren’t sure what was going on, but the manager said to leave them alone since they weren’t actually stopping anything. The Greenpeace people picketed for two weeks, with the plant workers occasionally heckling them. It was only when a local TV station sent out a reporter that they found out they had been picketing a coal plant the whole time.

~¿~

oeman50
December 27, 2018 8:57 am

I had the same thought, trace. Those two lit- up structures on either side of the chimney are clearly boilers, most likely coal. This looks like the common confusion that all plants with cooling towers are nuclear-not!

R2Dtoo
December 26, 2018 9:22 am

Common sense, including paying attention to what is happening elsewhere with wind and solar, and allowing the free market to determine power sources would solve energy issues in short order.

Timg56
December 26, 2018 10:55 am

Sara,

Other than submarines and aircraft carriers, the US Navy decided long ago that the rest of the fleet would be conventionally powered. The big [move] was going from steam plants to gas turbine plants. Rather than diesel, these ships run on what is essentially jet fuel.

December 26, 2018 11:27 am

Running on jet fuel? Seems to me in the event of a hit, the jet-fueled ship is much more likely to catch fire and explode than a diesel-powered. I thought we found that out in WWII with the gasoline fueled tanks vs. the diesel tanks.

Editor
December 26, 2018 11:52 am

Running on jet fuel? Seems to me in the event of a hit, the jet-fueled ship is much more likely to catch fire and explode than a diesel-powered. I thought we found that out in WWII with the gasoline fueled tanks vs. the diesel tanks.

No. Not true. You are perhaps mentally confusing “gasoline” (internal engine combustion, rapid burning/explosions in air-fuel mixture/rapid evaporation/very low viscosity) with “jet fuel” – which is much more like “diesel” and the other heavier distallates of petroleum. The older “fuel oil” ships burned very heavy “black oil” fuel – which at low temperatures begins to pump like tar – in burners for steam boilers, steam plants, and steam turbines. Those plants require tremendously expensive, very hard to maintain, very hard to operate high-pressure boilers. Which required very large number of operators working in extremely uncomfortable (110 + degrees) temperatures and noise levels. The steam plants nearly wrecked the fleet with building costs, repair costs, people costs, and non-able-to-finish missed repairs and broken equipment!

Gas turbine fuel fires are no worse than diesel, because the two fuels are much the same. In fact, army tank fuel compatibility is mandatory between diesel trucks and generators and the gas turbine powered tanks they support.

Tired Old Nurse
December 26, 2018 11:59 am

The fuel used in the ships is a close cousin to diesel and doesn’t have the difficulties that gasoline has.

Duane
December 26, 2018 12:06 pm

Kerosene based fuels (the various “JP” formulations) as used in jet aircraft and naval gas turbine powered ships are quite a bit less volatile than gasoline, so less likely to present a fire hazard.

The flash point for gasoline is -45 deg F vs. about 100 deg F for kerosene

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 1:10 pm

RJ,

Jet fuel is akin to kerosene.

James Beaver
December 26, 2018 10:18 pm

Gas turbine ships are like sports cars, they can throttle up/down very quickly, and due to the relatively lighter weight vs nuclear, the ships are quite responsive. Pressurized water reactors are pretty heavy, and while the Navy reactors are designed to also throttle up/down fairly quickly, they aren’t as responsive as a gas turbine powered vessel. The big advantages of nuclear are rare refueling (years) and very high power density for things like airplane catapults, high power radars and energy based weapon systems.

old engineer
December 26, 2018 3:18 pm

Sara-

My guess is that you have not been in the sea-going U.S. Navy. While this old sailor’s experience is long out-of-date, I don’t believe there are any major Navy ships that are currently diesel engine powered, nor were there ever any that were diesel engine powered. Definitely not aircraft carriers. Steam turbines were the engine of choice, until the steam turbines were replaced by gas turbines. This is not meant to detract from the spirit of your comments, just add a little accuracy.

Sara
December 26, 2018 4:42 pm

Old engineer: No, I was stationed ashore only. But my friends would refer to non-nuke surface ships as “smokers”. I do not recall the Lexingon CV-2 ever showing a smoke plume when it was underway during pilot training out in the Gulf of Mexico. The nuke power plants take up less room than the AvGas fuel-based engines.

On the other hand, the most recent photo I’ve seen of a Russian aircraft carrier has thick black smoke coming out of the stacks, and my friends have speculated that they’re either burning tires or wood/coal, although wood seems unlikely to me.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 11:18 am

There’s no such thing as an LFTR.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 12:03 pm

LFTRs currently exist as a concept only. A couple of experimental prototype reactors were played around with in the 1960s, but that’s pretty much it as far as the existence of actual LFTRs is concerned.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 6:43 pm

“A couple of experimental prototype reactors were played around with in the 1960s”

No they weren’t! That is absolutely false. A molten salt reactor was tested at Oak Ridge. Quite successfully. But there was never any thorium anywhere near it.

U.S. thorium breeding research was conducted at the Savannah River Plant.

Climate Heretic
December 26, 2018 3:54 pm

@Gamecock. Yes, there is such a thing called a LFTR (Liquid Fluoride (Fuel) Thorium Reactor). The LFTR concept was first investigated at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Molten Salt Reactor Experiment. However Thorium was not used in this MSRE.

Regards
Climate Heretic

December 26, 2018 5:53 pm

Cool video from 1969 at Oak Ridge if you haven’t seen it. Proof of concept of he MSRE.

https://youtu.be/tyDbq5HRs0o

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 6:41 pm

‘In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.’

“The LFTR concept was first investigated at the Oak Ridge”

“However Thorium was not used in this MSRE.”

You say LFTR is a real thing, and it didn’t have thorium.

Good grief!

Hocus Locus
December 26, 2018 7:49 pm

Dissing with haughty allegations of dissonance. At least you’re not as annoying as the ‘Tier 1’ folks who also post the dictionary’s name and pronunciation.

Weinberg did not use a thorium blanket in the MSRE because he wanted easier access to the core to make neutron measurements. The particulars of breeding were already known. The term LFTR was coined 37 years later by Kirk Sorensen.

Climate Heretic
December 26, 2018 9:19 pm

@Gamecock
Read the passage correctly, ‘was’ past tense. Think before you jump in.

@Hocus Locus
Thank you for clarifying where the LFTR came from.

Regards
Climate Heretic

Gamecock
December 28, 2018 9:03 am

‘Read the passage correctly, ‘was’ past tense. Think before you jump in.’

No, I will not. Touting LFTR from Oak Ridge is false.

December 28, 2018 3:55 pm

Touting LFTR from Oak Ridge is more true than you admit.

If you watch the video from Oak Ridge in 1969 posted above, starting about the 17 minute mark you will hear that after the success of the MSRE, Oak Ridge proposed a breeder as the next project and this breeder would use thorium. So you could say Oak Ridge came up with the proposal to use thorium in a molten salt reactor which used lithium and fluorine molten salts. Unfortunately, Oak Ridge never got funding for the project.

The actual term LFTR was coined by Kirk Sorensen. But the concept was clearly from Oak Ridge and that is where Sorensen got the idea for the term LFTR.

December 26, 2018 5:03 pm

Shuttering nuclear power would seriously harm grid reliability.
Regulators Confirm Trump’s Concern: Coal And Nuclear Closures Could Lead To Power Outages
https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/18/electric-grid-report-trump/

A stress test conducted by the regulatory authority that oversees North America’s electric grid lends credibility to the Trump administration’s warnings that rampant coal and nuclear plant closures could result in power outages.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) — an international nonprofit that examines and promotes grid reliability among utility systems in the U.S. and Canada — released its Generation Retirement Scenario on Tuesday. In its 44-page report, the regulatory authority found an aggressive rate of coal-fired and nuclear plant retirements risks electric grid reliability.

We need all the reliable dispatchable power we have on the grid, NOT shutting it down. South Australia blacked out its grid when shutting down base load coal fired power and having inadequate energy storage or power transmission to surrounding States.
South Australia blackouts rapidly increased prices
https://stopthesethings.com/category/south-australia-blackouts/
For details see
AEMO releases final report into SA blackout, blames wind farm settings for state-wide power failure

AndyH-ce
December 27, 2018 12:34 am

While I don’t know what this legislation entails I do know that much of what Congress does is more or less the opposite of what they say they are doing.

Walter Horsting
December 26, 2018 6:10 am

Thorium needs common sense deregulation to be controlled by a consortium. Molten Salt Reactors need to be allowed to be built for test reactors without onerous regulation. The Case for the Good Reactor https://spark.adobe.com/page/1nzbgqE9xtUZF/

Check out Seaborg.co 20′ 30-ton shipping container with 250 MWs Thermal. Great for ship power plants, modular power plants, and a highly distributed Grid.

Enginer
December 26, 2018 6:58 am

It’s interesting that Thomas Edison’s foolish attempt to beat Westinghouse’s AC power out by using local DC power sources is now coming to fruition by the use of local modular Molten Salt reactors. (DC or AC)
The true cost of spent fuel sequestration, alone, makes the molten salt breeders justified.
And, note that the need for Rare Earths for all of Musk’s levitation magnets (not readily available anymore from China) can easily be met from USA sources if the Thorium co-product problem is licked. (It costs more than the profit on rare earth mining to dispose of the Thorium.)

MarkW
December 26, 2018 8:22 am

The cost of fuel sequestration is a purely political thing.
Solve the politics and the problem goes away.

Duane
December 26, 2018 12:07 pm

Not true at all.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 4:56 pm

Completely and utterly true.

Schitzree
December 27, 2018 3:20 am

Already solved by every other Nuclear nation. Unfortunately in the US entire States can play NIMBY.

~¿~

Gary Pearse
December 26, 2018 8:50 am

Thorium is very easily separated from the rare earths chemically and I developed a patented physical method to remove it from a solution as it precipitates as a carbonate in a bigh intensity magnetic field. Thorium salts are diamagnetic and are pushed away by a strong field. I devised the technique to separate individual rare earth precipitating salts according to their different mag susceptibilities. Thorium, Lanthanum and Lutetium (all diamagnetic) were concentrated together. Much of the ado about thorium is part of the Luddite hangover about all nuclear.

The thorium reactor is not new. I believe Canada developed the first experiment at Chalk River, Ontario in the 1960s, followed by Oak Ridge, TN facility. The program was discontinued because it didn’t produce weapon material!

Editor
December 26, 2018 9:25 am

Gary,

it was under discussion by Nuclear scientists in the 1950’s to decide to go with Thorium or Uranium, they seem to want Thorium while lawmakers ultimately chose the other way BECAUSE of being able to make nuclear bombs.

Donald Hanson
December 26, 2018 11:15 pm

That is not why they picked Uranium. They picked uranium because the development of the reactors was for the nuclear navy. It is pretty easy to see why you would not want molten salt reactors at sea.

Enginer
December 26, 2018 4:22 pm

Good post. I strongly support references to technologies that have been belittled or ignored.
However, my father had disputes with Hyman G Rickover, who chose heavy, lead-shielded reactors because his ships needed (could tolerate) weighty ballasts. Weinberg’s reactor was originally intended for airplane use.
Breeder reactors can make lots of weapon material.

Alasdair
December 26, 2018 8:51 am

Thanks for the link Walter. A must read for anyone involved in the energy business, particularly the politicians who only seem to listen to swivel eyed lobbyists.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 11:20 am

Thorium is the dream of the 1960s. It has been dead for 50 years. For good reason.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 12:14 pm

Interesting. However, that third core wasn’t a thorium molten salt core (the post you were replying to was replying to a post about molten salt reactors and I quote “Thorium needs common sense deregulation to be controlled by a consortium. Molten Salt Reactors need to be allowed to be built for test reactors without onerous regulation.”) but rather a light water reactor. That experimental third core was only around for 5 years (1977 to 1982) so ~35 years ago.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 7:04 pm

“Thorium needs common sense deregulation to be controlled by a consortium.”

Not sure what you mean by this. But SRP breeding experiments with thorium produced not only U-233 (600kg), but some ultra nasty U-232 (8g). Deregulation (I didn’t know that anyone cared enough to regulate thorium) must wait until actual experience is gained with breeding thorium in a molten salt reactor to find out what U-232 is produced in that environment. It is possible – but still unknown – that putting thorium in your MSR could POISON it. How much U-232 is produced is a massive consideration. And we don’t know how much will be produced.

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 9:35 am

Not sure what you mean by this.

ask Walter Horsting as it’s his post that the quote you take issue with came from, I was merely pointing out to Steve the context of the conversation that he was apparently overlooking.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 6:50 pm

“I’d have you note the date that the 3rd core was in operation at Shippingport.”

Absolutely false! Thorium targets were in place at Shippingport. Some thorium was indeed bred to U-233. None of which – NONE – participated in the operation of the reactor. The U-233 was eventually extracted from the targets in the Separations section at Savannah River.

The amount of U-233 produced over time at Shippingport was significant, approaching replacement levels. But it was not fuel. It was uranium atoms imbedded in thorium, which were subsequently extracted at SRP. And never used.

Gamecock
December 26, 2018 6:56 pm

“What reason is that?”

Uranium was rare and expensive. Breeding thorium seemed like a good way to produce uranium. Until it was realized that uranium is not rare. It is no longer expensive. Ipso facto, thorium serves no purpose. None.

Centuries out, it might. But not now.

Fuel for fission reactors is less than 20% of the cost. There is little margin to justify thorium breeding, even if it were viable.

Gamecock
December 28, 2018 9:11 am

‘Thorium is three times as abundant in the earth’s crust as uranium, and makes more sense as a nuclear reactor fuel.’

Water is more abundant than sand. Sand is not rare.

December 29, 2018 4:43 pm

See my post above about thorium being four times as abundant as uranium. Meant to be posted here.

Gamecock
December 28, 2018 9:07 am

“You are wrong when you say “But it was not fuel.” IT WAS.”

False. It was fuel after it was processed at SRP.

Petroleum out of the ground is not fuel. Parts of it can become fuel after refining.

This is not symantics. That created U-233 did not participate in supbsequent fission was a major factor in ending experiments.

2hotel9
December 28, 2018 9:36 am

Now this is cool to hear! Innovative at its best, no transport costs, no refining costs, that is hard to beat.

December 29, 2018 4:41 pm

Thorium is actually four times as abundant in the earth’s crust as uranium. The problem is that uranium 238 which is fertile is 99.3% of the uranium in the earth’s crust and only .7% is uranium 235 which is fissionable. Since we were never able to successfully breed uranium 238 in reactors in the fast spectrum, which was considered to be the best way to breed U238, all uranium nuclear plants have to use U235. And U 235 is as rare as platinum. So there really is a scarcity of the uranium isotope that we need for nuclear power.

Thorium was able to be bred in the thermal spectrum where uranium 238 was not able to breed and was considered to be a very successful breeding process.

So in reality, thorium is about 400 times as plentiful as the U235 we must have for our present reactors. So it makes sense to use thorium based on supply alone.

But the other major reason for using thorium is to prevent long term nuclear waste, aka, transuranics. These are atoms with an atomic weight of 239 or more. All present reactors have some U238 so these U238 atoms only have to absorb one neutron to become a transuranic. However, thorium has an atomic weight of 232 and needs to absorb seven neutrons without splitting at every odd number in between before it becomes a transuranic. Very hard to do. The numbers are infinitesimally small.

RickWill
December 26, 2018 1:54 pm

Anything tagged nuclear will not get through the gate in Australia; maybe thorium fuelled generator (TFG). I believe that Australia has allowed nuclear powered ships to dock but typically under protest. Getting the countries abundant uranium to market is also subject to protest and kept secret as much as possible.

The slide show labels CO2 a pollutant, which it is not as it is the basis of all life on earth (despite US court saying otherwise). Would be better to just make the case for thorium on relative abundance.

The solar and wind area comparisons depend on where they are done. Places like South Australia have good solar resources. In fact solar with storage is getting close to economically viable at the fringe of the grid in solar rich locations. There are high cost of transmission and distribution in sparse grids. In fact in Australia residential electricity consumers are paying about 3 times the cost of the power generation for the power they consume – network costs, metering costs, retail margins, subsidies to grid scale intermittents etc. Those who own a roof already have the free space to mount panels. The global total of built-up area is possibly of the order of the area of Spain. So the area issue for solar panels is not a sound argument.

Some remote mines in Australia are installing solar fields to reduce their consumption of diesel fuel. This is an economic proposition for a mine of 10+years life. A compact packaged Thorium generator rated say 50MW would have a potential market; maybe not Australia but certainly in other parts of the world.

My view is that eventually solar plus storage of some form will become economic for low density residential use in some locations. These locations would not need a power grid. Energy intensive industry in these regions would need to be making their own power using compact packaged generators with easily handled fuel.

Greg Cavanagh
December 26, 2018 4:05 pm

It’s always surprised me that the mines don’t burn their own coal to produce their own electricity. You don’t need a full size power station to do this.

Even the aluminum smelters could set up shop right beside a mine and feed their own power station, they’d have the expertise with high temperatures and high voltages.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 4:19 pm

Oz does now permit visits by nuclear-powered ships, after required bureaucratic hoop-jumping.

The Oz government apparently now fears growing Chinese aggressive military might more than American naval nuclear radiation.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 4:20 pm

Similarly, Japan accepted home porting of CVNs after the USN retired its last conventional powered carrier.

Neutron Powered, High Side, Sideways Racer
December 26, 2018 6:13 am

That is not a photograph of a ‘nuclear power plant’, ‘after sunset’, or after any other time of day.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Neutron Powered, High Side, Sideways Racer
December 26, 2018 6:45 am

I only see one chimney, not *that* big either.

Here it is from a different angle:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/dusk-thermal-power-plant-suichang-jiangxi-1109569631

December 27, 2018 1:31 am

Thank you, Peta.
Well spotted. I smelt a rat at first glance. It was not nuclear.
Before I aged so far, I used to judge photographic competitions, some at international level. One expected high accuracy, not just in the caption, but also in the image. Like, no aftermarket adjustments. These days, I see a lot of ignorance in photography. My windows 10 from Microsoft volunteers modern screen savers of scenes from famous places, but most of them are so digitally overcooked as to look juvenile. There is a real art to mastery of photo manipulation, and it ain’t there. I would take up to a week to ‘improve’ an image for my own education as to technique, not for public exhibition. A 30 MB image file takes a lot of time when you work at individual pixel level.
But, just as science has been corrupted in recent years by climate amateurs, so has classy photography, while all I can do is weep at the lowering of standards by people who think they are improving.
Geoff.

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  Neutron Powered, High Side, Sideways Racer
December 26, 2018 7:56 am

But Shutterstock labeled it as a nuclear plant as in the caption above.
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/nuclear-power-plant-after-sunset-dusk-1172023999

2hotel9
December 26, 2018 8:01 am

My first thought was,”No chimneys, two cooling towers.”, then I figure it was a label from image source, as usual wrong, and moved along. My nieces, both intelligent young ladies, lamented all the smoke coming from the chimneys of a nuke plant we were passing. Yes, I corrected them, and then directed them to several sources of info they could get to through their smartphones as we drove down the interstate. Got to fight your battles where you can. 😉

RonPE
Reply to  Neutron Powered, High Side, Sideways Racer
December 26, 2018 8:00 am

For some reason, most people assume that natural-draft hyperbolic cooling towers are used ONLY at nuclear power plants. Not true.

2hotel9
December 26, 2018 8:14 am

Yep, a friend of mine retired from pipefitter profession, he worked on such towers at coal and gas plants all over America. Has a cooling tower in logo on most shirts, hats, jackets he owns and people constantly ask what nuke plant he works at.

2hotel9
December 26, 2018 8:16 am

Too “recycle” the water from the steam system as much as possible, using less water from that lake or from wells.

beng135
December 26, 2018 8:20 am

Don’t know ’bout China, but most “western” countries anymore don’t allow direct discharge of cooling water, except maybe in/out of the ocean itself. In fact there’s some kinda multiple-hair-splitting “zero discharge” water regulations (any use of water) in place now for power plants/industry, at least in the US.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 8:39 am

For some reason, most people assume that natural-draft hyperbolic cooling towers are used ONLY at nuclear power plants. Not true.

Probably because that’s the image the media shows every time they talk nuclear.

December 26, 2018 9:26 am

It is the source of cooling water: –
water is extracted from the lake/river & sprayed over the hot steam pipes to condense the steam back to water, cooling towers use the principles of latent heat of vaporisation & convection & are the most reliable & efficient way of condensing large amounts of steam.

If you just pumped water though a heat exchange & returned it to the lake the lake would heat up

David Kelly
December 26, 2018 5:55 pm

Weither your dealing with a nuclear, gas, or coal plant the water needs to be treated to remove impurities, mainly silica and calcium. If you don’t these impurities will build up and damage the turbines and heat exchange equipment. The QA/QC standards for water treatment are rigorous and treatment is costly. So, utilities recycle as much water as possible.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Neutron Powered, High Side, Sideways Racer
December 26, 2018 8:45 am

Indeed correct, it’s a coal plant that was retired in ’09.
https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/CPI_Xinchang_power_station
To the glee of sourcewatch and the chagrin of investors.

Tom Halla
December 26, 2018 6:22 am

There will continue to be problems with other electric suppliers, whether gas, coal, or nuclear, as long as utilities are variously required to use “renewables”. Eliminate the preferences for wind and solar, and part of the problem will go away.
As far as nuclear in particular, the regulations set up by and since Jimmy Carter need to be seriously revised (meaning generally eliminated with extreme prejudice).

Gary Pearse
December 26, 2018 9:01 am

Jimmy Carter may have got his thing about nuclear as a lieutenant in the Navy. He was sent to chalk River Ontario to assist with the clean-up of a experimental reactor meltdown caused by human error and, some say, in adequate cooling.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/jimmy-neutron-ex-president-carter-recalls-role-in-chalk-river-meltdown/article614379/

Enginer
December 26, 2018 4:32 pm

I voted for Carter. Big Mistake! He initiated the Department of Energy to make US safe from Foreign energy intimidation, but we are more dependent today than then (minus a blip in the wind from shale). Sorta like Nixon’s War on Drugs. By the way, I heard Carter graduated from Annapolis as a Nuclear Engineer :;

dan no longer in CA
December 26, 2018 7:21 pm

I had a tour of the 3-unit Brown’s Ferry nuke plant several years ago. I was impressed that most of the employees worked in an administration building not connected to any power plant activities. I guess they spend their time pushing paper, rather than working to produce power. No wonder nuke power is more than twice as expensive in the US compared to many other countries. Here’s a more quantitative report on the cost of nuclear power.
https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/The-Myth-Of-Expensive-Nuclear-Power.html

icisil
December 26, 2018 6:27 am

Nuclear would be great if they could do it right. The status quo of tens of thousand of tons of spent fuel sitting in cooling pools forever, that introduces the possibility of open air burning, definitely isn’t doing it right.

December 26, 2018 6:44 am

Much of those spent fuel rods could be disposed of in the LFTR’s, releasing even more of the nuclear energy while at the same time breaking down the long half-life isotopes into very short half-life isotopes. Waste disposal/storage becomes much less of a problem.

bonbon
December 26, 2018 7:01 am

With the relevant technological progress and energy flux density, “All the World’s a Mine”.
Fusion will make all that “waste” a raw material, a resource.
Crude oozing from the ground in tar pits was just dirt before the internal combustion engine.

Jon Jewett
December 26, 2018 7:02 am

Blame Jimmy Carter (outlawed recycling of the spent fuel) and Harry Reid (blocked in senate). Not to mention the entire Obama regime, Sierra Club, etc.. Curiously they were all Donks.

Duane
December 26, 2018 11:54 am

Reagan and both Bush’s declined to change the executive order, and Congress regardless of party has declined to change the law. Reagan in particular made the decision to stop using the Federal government to subsidize nuclear power production R&D in the 1980s. That led eventually to the shut down of virtually all the Federal government’s test reactors in the 1980s and 1990s.

Spent fuel reprocessing is both very expensive and it creates the opportunity for nuclear proliferation, which is an even bigger problem today than it was back in the 1970s.

DHR
December 26, 2018 12:27 pm

The French have done it for many decades without incident.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 4:59 pm

So the fact that Republicans can’t get a bill past Democrat fillibusters constitutes proof that the Republicans wanted the status quo to remain?

Do you ever stop to think about the propaganda you are paid to spout?

The claim was that reprocessing would promote proliferation. However like most everything else that you believe, that is also not true.

Tom Abbott
December 26, 2018 6:55 am

Perhaps a little sanity is entering the picture.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 6:56 am

Deal between standing (formerly travelling) wave reactor company TerraPower and China signed in 2015:

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-TerraPower-CNNC-team-up-on-travelling-wave-reactor-25091501.html

“TerraPower – a company largely funded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates – plans to build a 600 MWe demonstration plant, known as the TWR-P, by 2018-2022, followed by larger commercial plants of 1150 MWe from the late 2020s.

“In February 2014, Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) signed an agreement to support the development of TerraPower’s TWR. Under the agreement, B&W will provide TerraPower with services and program support, such as: design and fabrication of components; fuel fabrication process development, prototype fabrication and fuel services; reactor design engineering; reactor operations support; engineering services; flow loop testing; licensing support; and materials testing.”

beng135
December 26, 2018 8:26 am

Well that’s encouraging. Russia also has some running liquid-sodium-cooled reactors and is building more.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 8:49 am

This one started up in 2016:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-800_reactor

The USSR deployed Alfa-class fast attack subs in 1977-96 with lead-bisthmus reactors.

The second nuclear submarine, USS Seawolf, commissioned in 1957, was the only American SSN with a sodium-cooled nuclear power plant.

December 26, 2018 7:03 am

One of the main reasons nuclear plants have become uneconomic , IN SOME LOCALES BUT NOT OTHERS, is because the grid accepts renewable power at the expense of nuclear. Nuclear plants were designed as baseload plants and all of their power needs to be purchased in order for them to make a profit. Here in South Carolina that is what happens – the state gets roughly 60% of its pwer from 7 nuclear plants and the cost of nuclear is very low. Since current nuclear plants cannot load follow (vary output to match demand) they cannot save fuel when operating at less than 100% capacity (some nuclear plants operate well above 100% capacity) , but even if they could, nuclear fuel is so cheap (2/3rds of a cent per kWhr) that it would still lose money. The NRC also charges nuclear companies to certify their designs for new plants, a very lengthy and very expensive proposition. They take way too long to certify designs. Companies developing the modern (practical) versions of molten salt small modular reactors have received a mere pittance in govt support, especially in comparison to the enormous govt subsidies for crappy renewable power generation.
The govt also has charged a fee from the nuclear plants to cover the cost of taking care of nuclear wastes
and to decommission the plants when they cease operations. No such fees are being charged windmill or solar farm operators. The future of nuclear power is clearly molten salt reactors, very cheap to build and operate, ridiculously safe, able to load follow, can be located anywhere (do not require a body of water for cooling) – the two leading designs Moltex Energy and Terrestrial Energy have been cost analyzed by independent engineering analysis companies, who estimate that their levelized cost of energy output should be 4.4 cents and 5.0 cents per kWhr , respectively.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 7:33 am

Right one cue is Kent with the molten salt hype of the day. As soon as I saw the headline of the article I knew kent would be banging his molten salt drum. I was not disappointed.

The future of nuclear power is clearly molten salt reactors

the future is clearly more molten salt hype from kent (not that he’ll ever respond to anyone who replies to his spam, he’ll just move on to the next article to provide more of the same hype). Whether or not molten salt is the future of nuclear power remains to be seen, as so far hype is all we’ve gotten from it after decades of it existing as a concept.

very cheap to build and operate

Great where can I see one in commercial operation so I can see just how cheap it was to build and how cheap it really is to operate? oh, what’s that? there are none in commercial operation? then you can’t claim how cheap it is to build or operate because you don’t know as none have been built or operated to scale and put to test in the real world of energy usage. Reality trumps theory.

ridiculously safe

Well yeah zero accidents is a great safety record, the fact that there are zero reactors to go with that safety record is neither here nor there apparently.

able to load follow, can be located anywhere

In theory. I’m waiting to see how well that theory works in practice. Judging by the record so far, I suspect I have a long wait indeed.

the two leading designs Moltex Energy and Terrestrial Energy have been cost analyzed by independent engineering analysis companies, who estimate that their levelized cost of energy output should be 4.4 cents and 5.0 cents per kWhr , respectively.

And Wind and Solar were cost analyzed as well. Have you ever looked at how the actual results vs those cost analyzed numbers widely differ?

Again, lots of hype there Kent, but no real world data from real world operating reactors. in other words just so much vaporware at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to see MSR live up to the hype as it does sound very promising. But promises aren’t worth much with out actual real world follow-up, and MSR have so far failed to leave the lab and enter the real world.

December 26, 2018 6:08 pm

Video from Oak Ridge, 1969. For all the disbelievers.

https://youtu.be/tyDbq5HRs0o

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 9:38 am

So where are all the MSRs in commercial operation since 1969? work in test/experimental conditions is not the same thing as being commercially viable. Let alone being everything it’s been hyped as being despite ZERO in commercial operations.

December 28, 2018 4:25 pm

Well as I am sure you are aware if you have done your research on this, Oak Ridge never got funding for its breeder reactor project and it was cancelled in the early 70’s. The assumption was that we could breed uranium in the fast spectrum and so that is the direction the US went an every one followed. And it really didn’t work. But breeding thorium in the thermal spectrum did work. But by the time the world figured out breeding uranium in the fast spectrum wasn’t going to work, the Oak Ridge project was long dead, and most of its scientists, dead, retired or working on other things.

You are right to say that none of these breeder reactors using thorium exists yet. But we have bred thorium to create fissionable U233 and we have run molten salt reactors successfully and many people think we could combine the two. And I have no doubt there will be attempts by some country or company to see if it works.

If it happens it will be a game changer. So it is definitely worth trying to figure out. Unfortunately, it is unlikely it will happen in the US unless the government gets involved. China just built a bridge twenty times as long as the Golden Gate. I expect that they have the will, necessity and expertise to get LFTRs done. We probably don’t have any of those three things in the US.

December 26, 2018 7:51 am

Forcing any grid-connected conventional power generator to accommodate the huge fluctuations in wind and solar power is lunacy. This practice is so ridiculous and uneconomic that the following scenario is probably more economic and efficient:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/16/stacking-concrete-blocks-is-a-surprisingly-efficient-way-to-store-energy/#comment-2520849

Here’s an even better solution:
1. Build your wind power system.
2. Build your back-up system consisting of 100% equivalent capacity in gas turbine generators.
3. Using high explosives, blow your wind power system all to hell.
5. To save even more money, skip steps 1 and 3.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 7:54 am

Those steps work just as well replacing “solar” for “wind”.

2hotel9
December 26, 2018 8:11 am

I like that plan! Sounds like something that worked before, perhaps.

December 26, 2018 7:23 am

Seems odd to get behind after pols very deliberately put Westingouse out of business through excessive legislation after handing the AP-1000 to the Chinese to mass produce and sell world wide? Seems a cyncical move by corrupt politicians to me. Only GE-Hitachi can benefit from this now.

Why don’t they get rid of the ugly old cooling towers, which are not chimneys BTW, they are evaporative water cooling devices, and use low profile fan arrays that no one will notice? Obs the cooling technology is nothing to do with the actual heat source that generates the steam that drives the turbines, be it molecular or nuclear binding energy. Lots of confused messages here… but its good that the inevitable solution to the supposed problem of CO2 and the eventual and real problem of sustainability is becoming self evident, even unto politicians w/o the slightest clue about what they decide upon.

Ending renewable subsidies would support nuclear better.

William Astley
December 26, 2018 7:31 am

Come on. Is anyone awake?

What was the question that the idiots in the swamp asked that was answered by: New and better regulation.

60% of the population is terrified of “Nuclear Power”. Why? What the heck has happened in the last 30 years?

Is the current reactor design a success? Did no one think to question the design rather than add more and more engineering? What about the old reactors? What is going on?

We need to discuss is the engineering abomination that is being regulated.

The nuclear safety issue is we have built stupid light water reactors, that have 50,000 fuel rods (35,000 to 75,000 50,000 average) that will melt if water flow is stopped in the reactor or if pressure to the reactor is lost and the water boils.

The light water reactors produces hydrogen gas during accidents which will exploded.

To contain hydrogen explosions and massive water phase changes the light water reactor design for “safety” requires a massive containment building.

One third of the 50,000 fuel rods must be removed every two years as the reactor is run up to the failure of the fuel rods. The fuel rods crack if they are not removed.

The fission reaction produces two water soluble reactive elements cesium and iodine and radioactive gases that released if the fuel rods leak.

Water boils at 100C. The pressurized water reactor produces hot water at 315C. That water in the reactor must be kept at 150 atmospheres to keep it liquid.

If pressure is lost to the reactor it boils and a number of the 50,000 fuel rods melt.

What we need is a mass producible Fission reactor, that contains no fuel rods to melt, that operates at near atmosphere pressure, that cannot blow up in any operation mode, that produces heat at 600C rather than 315C.

There as much industrial energy requirements at heat above 400C than there is for electrical power.
What we need is a reactor that is 6 times more fuel efficient.

The molten salt reactor design which was tested fifty years ago is a mass producible, no water, no fuel rod, reactor that is sealed.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 7:41 am

The molten salt reactor design which was tested fifty years ago is a mass producible, no water, no fuel rod, reactor that is sealed.

so why are there none in commercial operation? (hint: any answer that boils down to “conspiracy” will be mocked).

Gary Pearse
December 26, 2018 9:06 am

US Atomic Energy folks withdrew funding in1967 BECAUSE it didn’t produce weapons material!

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 10:48 am

the Oak Ridge experiments took place well into the 1970s (until 1976 when the funding ended). But putting aside that dating discrepancy, that only explains why they weren’t built 50 years ago. There’s been a lot of research and a lot more hype about MSR since than (particularly in the past couple of decades) and yet MSRs still remain more theory than fact.

CD in Wisconsin
December 26, 2018 11:24 am

“…..[S]o why are there none in commercial operation?”

https://medium.com/the-history-geek/nixon-s-awful-legacy-part-two-4e058625b3b8

Quote:
“…So why have these potentially revolutionary technologies based on thorium and molten salt been pretty much ignored for decades in favor of the liquid water system, which has proven itself to be extremely dangerous, extremely expensive, extremely demanding in terms of management and supervision, and which produces waste materials that remain deadly for more years than human civilization has existed? Simple: the decision as made years ago, under Richard Nixon, to commit to the water-based system.

Once committed, an infrastructure was built, an economy developed, jobs were created — in other words the nuclear power system became a self-sustaining machine, not just in the US but worldwide. The result? Nuclear power has a horribly bad reputation. Hardly anyone even knows there are different approaches to spliting the atom and only some of them risk meltdowns…”

Nixon made that decision back in the early seventies, and he fired Alvin Weinberg for supporting the MSR. Once Nixon made the decision to commit to the water-cooled nuclear plant types (and supporting infrastructure) we have today, the MSR idea would understandably die out and be forgotten. MSR was rediscovered back in 2008 (if I recall correctly).

Nixon’s decision, as I understand it, was political and had nothing to do with any technological or design problems with the MSR. From what I’ve read, the MSR experiment at the Oak Ridge NL back in the 1960s under Weinberg was considered largely successful.

Ken, if you will look at the link above, there is a photo of a reactor under construction. The caption underneath identifies it as an MSR under construction in Hainan, China. I was wondering if I could ask you please why to appear to be so hostile to the concept of MSR reactors? I don’t believe they should be counted out until the R&D is complete and we have determined (one way or the other) whether they are commercially viable. The Dept. of Energy allocated money to develop the MSR here in the U.S. back in 2016.

The federal govt has put a of money and effort into things that are considerably more idiotic than the money and effort going into the MSR. Wind and solar energy are two of them.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 11:42 am

“Ken, …. I was wondering if I could ask you please why to appear to be so hostile to the concept of MSR reactors?”

I’m not sure who this Ken person you are addressing is, but as your post was post under mine, I’ll assume your post was in part directed at me. I’m not “hostile” to the concept of MSR, as I’ve said on numerous occasions it sounds promising and would be happy to see it live up to the hype. What I am “hostile” to is the spammed hyped the kent beuchert (and others, but mainly kent) post about MSR. I don’t “count it out” but neither (unlike kent) do I “count it in” (I never count in vaporware). Indeed, one *shouldn’t* count it in until, as you say, “the R&D is complete and we have determined (one way or the other) whether they are commercially viable”. Counting it in (as kent and a few others do) is very much counting your chickens before they’re hatched.

CD in Wisconsin
December 26, 2018 12:26 pm

Sorry John, my comment was indeed in reply to yours.

I acknowledge that its supporters probably hype up the MSR concept more than they should. The solar and wind supporters are just as bad at doing this, if not worse. They should not make it sound as though it is a sure thing until it has proven to be so.

I am just glad that R&D for the MSR appears to be on track again (to some degree) after being dead for decades thanks to Nixon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that engineers and scientists can get all the kinks worked out of it and I see (at least) a pilot plant up and running before I go. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Again, my apologies for getting your name wrong.

William Astley
December 26, 2018 12:38 pm

The molten salt results were not documented. That is not a conspiracy, that is corruption, an idiotic system, that enables greedy insiders to put their personal and company’s commercial interests above the country’s and the world’s.

The nuclear industry is a fuel rod industry. The fuel rods are highly engineered,expensive. The average light water reactor has 50,000 fuel rods, 1/3 of which must be removed every two years.

The molten salt reactor has no fuel rods. It is 1/8th the cost. It is sealed. There is no fluid or gas flow into or out of the molten salt reactor.

The entire nuclear industry is based on fission of U235. There is a red book 80 year supply of U235. The molten salt reactor is 6 times more fuel efficient than the light water reactors. The molten salt reactor produces 1/6th the waste in volume and its waste has 1/9th transuranic elements.

Ionic salts unlike water are not effected by radiation. There is no hydrogen produced in a molten salt reactor to cause explosions.

DonM
December 26, 2018 6:14 pm

Sara
December 26, 2018 7:58 am

Just a question, William: why are you blaming what happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima on US technology? Those “failures” were committed by people, not by the equipment which they caused to fail.

You aren’t providing any links to information about molten salt reactors being tested 50 years ago. If they had been, I’d have heard about it.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 8:06 am
2hotel9
December 26, 2018 8:07 am

Both those examples are human error, Chern from operator error and Fuk from designer error. Placing a nuclear plant along the coast of an island that suffers frequent strikes by tsunamis was a major designer error.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 8:27 am

The design error was putting the back up generator in the basement in a non-water tight room.
Absent that mistake, nobody would have ever heard of Fukushima.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 8:34 am

Exactly so. That along side other design layout mistakes is what led to the disaster. It was entirely preventable even give the less than ideal location.

AGW is not Science
December 26, 2018 9:38 am

Yup! Sort of like having a backup generator in an area with lots of trees that tends to suffer from power outages due to falling trees and branches…

…and not protecting the generator from falling trees.

Only in the case of Fukushima, the consequences were much worse than a loss of power.

D’oh!

icisil
December 26, 2018 9:12 am

“Placing a nuclear plant along the coast of an island that suffers frequent strikes by tsunamis was a major designer error.”

Maybe, maybe not. A nuclear plant just up the coast from Diachi was undamaged because the engineers placed their plant about 50% above the highest modeled tsunami height. I think the tsunami came within a few meters of the plant. Fukushima engineers lowered their plant to get it as near the ocean as possible to save on seawater pumping costs. That is documented in Tepco documents.

Hivemind
December 26, 2018 4:52 pm

The main error in Fukushima was the obscene over-reaction by the Japanese Prime Minister. The level of radiation released was massively over-hyped. Evacuating such a large area was unsupported by the evidence. One particle of cesium was found in South America and used to claim it was a disaster, when the water flow doesn’t even support the claims.

All because he didn’t support nuclear power and wanted to shut it down.

Ken Irwin
December 27, 2018 6:38 am

All the while ignoring the “Mother Nature” event which killed ±16000 people.
Fukashima killed no one (one died in a Hydrogen gas explosion and one subsequently probably from radiation exposure).
Despite all the fear less that 200 people have been killed by nuclear accidents (obviously excluding Hiroshima & Nagasaki).
That’s a 0.00% rate against all other industrial causes of death.
Ignorance is what kills.
I’m a registered radiation worker – driving to work is millions of times more hazardous.

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 9:40 am

Despite all the fear less that 200 people have been killed by nuclear accidents (obviously excluding Hiroshima & Nagasaki).

Obviously, as deliberately dropping a bomb can hardly be classified as an accident.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 8:22 am

Just a question, William: why are you blaming what happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima on US technology? Those “failures” were committed by people, not by the equipment which they caused to fail.

indeed. Chernobyl was a completely different design type to anything used by the west. It’s failure literally can not be replicated by western reactors (doesn’t mean western reactors can’t fail, just that any failure that they might experience won’t be the same as what happened at Chernobyl). As for Fukishima, they were warned of many of the dangers long before the tsunami hit, yet nothing was done in regards to mitigating those dangers. In short it was poor planning and design layout that was at issue, not nuclear power per se.

As for “molten salt reactors being tested 50 years ago” I believe he is referring to the Oakridge experiments in the 1970s but the design that was tested wasn’t a full fledged reactor, it merely simulated the “kernel” of one. It remains unknown if the small scale tests could be scaled up to a full fledged reactor and be “mass producible” as hyped.

markl
December 26, 2018 2:14 pm

“…they were warned of many of the dangers long before the tsunami hit, yet nothing was done in regards to mitigating those dangers….” Didn’t they put up a sea wall? Not high enough, but something was done.

Sara
December 26, 2018 4:55 pm

The coastal sea wall was 30 feet high. The best guess Japanese geologists and seismologists could come up with on the height of a tidal wave was 30 feet.

They did not, however, include in their calculation that the coast itself would drop enough during that horrendous earthquake to let the tsunami pour over the top.

The height of the highest wave was 33 feet – 11 meters. If they had included a possible coastal drop of 4 to 6 feet in the engineering of the seawall, that devastation might have been less or not happened at all.

That, and placing the Fukushima reactor in a bad spot on the coast, all contributed to the plant’s meltdown.

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 9:42 am

They were warned, among other things, that the sea wall needed to be higher and did nothing to increase the sea wall height.

Enginer
December 26, 2018 4:50 pm

there’s been many Western graphite moderated reactors….

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:02 pm

There is a lot more to the “technology” of a nuclear plant than what type of a moderator it uses.

William Astley
December 26, 2018 12:05 pm

Hi. There is a PBS program that discusses how a NASA engineer re-discovered the molten salt test results about 10 years ago while looking for a reactor design that could be used for a moon base.

KIrk could find no molten salt test data or performance summary. He therefore located some of the engineers and scientists that had worked on the test 50 years ago.

The molten salt test workers told Kirk the test was completely successful. The PBS film shows Kirk meeting with the scientists along with a UK duchess that is pushing the same design for the UK.

The molten salt test team were told by congress to immediately stop all work on the molten salt test including documentation of the test results.

They ignored the orders and complete documentation. Kirk found the test results had been moved to a local library. He copied the test results and sent them to every nuclear company and agency. No response. He then put a copy on the internet.

From Kirk’s work, there is now a Canadian company and their US affiliate that have a molten salt design that has passed Canadian phase 2.

The inherent safety problem in light water reactors is fuel rods and water.

US technology makes a naturally very, dangerous design less dangerous.

The molten salt reactor is not safer, it does not have the catastrophic failure modes.

The molten salt reactor can be mass produced. The US light water reactor is constructed from 8-inch plate and can hence only be produced in one factory in the world. The light water reactor turbines are special constructed, long delivery, as they must handle the low temperature wet steam from the 315C reactor.

The molten salt reactor, is waterless, a no fuel rod reactor, that requires 1/3 the fuel that is 1/3 the size. It is 6 times more fuel efficient. It is 1/8th cost.

The molten salt reactor has no natural catastrophic failures modes. The salt melts at 400C and boils at 1400C. The reactor operates at around 650C.

From page 683
Introduction to Nuclear Engineering 3rd edition, J. Lamarsh and A. Baratta

If the containment structure is not present or is improperly designed or if the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) is not present or is inoperable, the consequences of a loss of coolant accident is very serious, especially for a pressure water reactor or a boiling water plant.

To begin with the water is under great pressure flows out and flashes to steam.
More important, in the absence of an ECCS the uncovered fuel rods melt due to the fission product melting. This in turn leads to various exothermic reactions chemical reactions between the molten material and the water-steam mixture, some of which will produce hydrogen.

Furthermore, the pool of molten fuel and structural material at the bottom of the reactor vessel might, in time, melt its way through the vessel, then through the concrete underneath the reactor vessel, and then sink into the ground.

commieBob
December 26, 2018 7:38 am

I am gobsmacked at the size of the majority supporting this bill. It’s not that there was no opposition.

“We believe any focus on ‘expediting and streamlining’ NRC licensing for nuclear reactors of any type is misplaced, [and] will do little to facilitate the deployment of advanced reactors in the United States, whatever the well-intentioned purposes of the sponsors of these bills,” the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Sierra Club and four other groups said in the letter. the usual suspects

We also have the recent story about re-introducing forestry to federal lands, over the objections of the environmentalists.

Could it be that people are finally getting fed up with environmentalists and maybe the wacky left?

There seems to be a great hunger for the return of wisdom. I would say that the immense popularity of Jordan Peterson is exhibit ‘A’ in that regard.

beng135
December 26, 2018 8:43 am

Could it be that people are finally getting fed up with environmentalists and maybe the wacky left?

Nice thought, but no. Have to hit bottom first before going upward can occur. Unfortunately the bottom may be very nasty indeed.

commieBob
December 26, 2018 9:04 am

I did the link for the above wrong. the usual suspects

Steve O
December 26, 2018 7:41 am

On behalf of the same crowd that is now alarmed about global warming, lawmakers and regulators have tried to regulate nuclear power out of existence. It’s a positive step that lawmakers feel it’s politically safe to make intelligent decisions regarding nuclear power. As others have noted, it does not need to be nearly as expensive as it is.

Gary Pearse
December 26, 2018 9:12 am

And they have a one-off president that can do this. He’s not deterred by whingeing and whining, nor, despite MSM pap that he wants everyone to love him, he almost always alienates millions with his behavior. Go Donald!

Rhee
December 26, 2018 9:20 am

Is it too late to reverse the decisions to shutter San Onofre and Diablo Canyon power stations? CA is hurtling toward a future of Brownouts (pun possibly intended) if the out of state providers ever decide to embargo electricity to CA. The existing sun & wind plants look shiny and impressive but are a smidgen of the power needs of 40M inhabitants.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 9:42 am

The extremist enviro-wackos have a history of trying to bomb electric towers. The bigger, the more they want to destroy them.
Now that these inter-ties are the only thing preventing much of California from returning to the stone age, I hope they have increased the budget for protecting them.

December 26, 2018 7:41 am

One more thing…. this is good news for a rationlpolicy that prefers what best delivers enrgy policy. Also, as has been pointed out by Peter Lang, who knows about these things from his knowledge of the roll out of modern power plants, nuclear build costs will come down significantly as their build out is productionised, as it was with fluidised bed coal coal and CCGT gas.

And the fuel costs are close to zero in the most modern nuclear designs, comparable with “renewables” , so the actual costs are the long term repayment of the cost of materials and their putting in place as reactor components, which is FAR less, millions of times less?, per lifetime unit energy than any intermittent renewable energy wind catcher can ever be with its weak and intermittent power sources. Physics meets economics. Just sayin’. I know applying science to optimising energy and other human life aids (fot the people who don’t have them yet in particular) is not approved of by the liberals here.

bonbon
December 26, 2018 7:43 am

Meanwhile something has changed – Fusion Power Associates noticed many more attendees than expected at the upbeat Dec. Meeting. No one had any doubts of the difficulty, and innovation is busy.
What’s missing is a Government crash program, Manhattan style, not another endless “study”.
Reducing regulatory hurdles is a small step.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 8:10 am

Liquid Li is showing promise as a plasma-facing material.

2hotel9
December 26, 2018 7:45 am

Cutting out over regulation is just a step, killing the nuisance brought by envirotards, and paid for by US tax payers, is THE step needed to bring nuclear back from the brink.

And none of it would be happen had not Hanoi Jane terrorized Americans with her fake a$$ed movie in the ’70s. December 26, 2018 7:55 am No. I am not in favor of more nuclear plants. For one thing, there is the waste. Never mind the weather…geo storms do exist??? John Endicott Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 8:02 am nuclear is a safe, reliable energy source. It’s safety record is better than any other energy source out there (and, as a bonus, it doesn’t chop or fry flocks of birds). As for the waste, that’s just fuel that we haven’t yet made proper use of. There are reactor designs that would take that waste and make energy with it. It’s just a matter of time for finding the right design that can be built economically to the needed scale. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. Reply to John Endicott December 26, 2018 8:12 am John To build a nuclear plant is much more expensive than building a gas powered plant? Additionally, the extra CO2 from a gas powered plant is like dung in the air, giving us more crops – remember everything we eat or drink depends on CO2? John Tillman Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 8:22 am Cement production, required for the concrete in present tech nuke power plants, releases life-giving CO2 as well. Reply to John Tillman December 26, 2018 8:32 am @ John T You did not answer the question. It is cheaper!!!! to build gas powered plants. Also, as a matter of interest, I tried to get near to the place where they bury the nuclear waste here, ca. 500km north of Cape Town on the road to Kimberley. I was stopped by numerous fences, gates and signs warning me of the radiation waste that is apparently being buried there…. John Endicott Reply to John Tillman December 26, 2018 8:36 am It is more expensive to build a nuke plant due to onerous and unneeded regulations and even more onerous lawsuits (that take forever to work their way through the legal system). Actual energy production nuclear is much more cheaper. John Tillman Reply to John Tillman December 26, 2018 8:40 am Henry, Didn’t know I was required to reply to your entire comment. But if you insist, then, over its lifetime, the cost of energy from a nuke plant is cheaper than coal, but for onerous regulations. MarkW Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 8:32 am Much of the cost of building a nuclear plant lies in unneeded regulations and fighting lawsuits from idiots who are scared of their own shadows. griff Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 8:47 am Decommissioning, decommissioning and decommissioning! John Tillman Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 8:53 am Griff, Who will pay for decommissioning tax-subsidized wind turbines and solar farms? Fossil fuel companies and utilities using coal, oil and gas, by contrast, pay taxes rather than spend them. Rhee Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 9:26 am The “it’s too expensive” cost argument is common among various issues that are opposed by leftist marxist activists. Analogically, the death penalty is considered “it’s too expensive” for the exact same reasons, unneeded regulations and fighting lawsuits (endlessly) from idiots scared of their own shadows. Indeed, I heard some activists on a radio show a few years ago admit that was the entire intent of their foolish activism, to make it so costly that they could then argue it’s too expensive to execute criminals when proposing legislation to eliminate the death penalty. EERILY the same for nuclear power stations, it’s too expensive… MarkW Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 9:44 am griff, if you were [pruned], then you would already know that the cost of decommissioning is already included in the price of the plant. John Endicott Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 11:50 am “griff, if you were [pruned], then “ Ouch, sounds painful. LOL MarkW Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 8:31 am The waste is a political problem, not an engineering one. And no, geo storms do not exist. donb Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 11:33 am Both uranium and thorium reactors produce radioactive fission products that must be safely stored. They cannot be allowed to build up in the reactor too much without slowing the fission. But few fission products have half-lives above 100 years. Reactors using 235U for fission (conventional types), produce trans-uranic elements by a series of neutron capture starting with 238U. Although some of these trans-uranics can fission (property of odd, not even isotopes), several are long-lived radio-activities that must be safely stored for many thousands of years. Th reactors produce little trans-uranics. It is not the Th that produces useful fission. Rather Th breeds 233U by neutron capture and it fissions. By keeping the 238U low, little trans-uranics are produced. So nuclear waste from Th reactors produce a simpler, but not negligible storage problem. MarkW Reply to donb December 26, 2018 5:05 pm The long lived isotopes aren’t pollution, they are fuel that isn’t being used. Gary Pearse Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 9:23 am hp, 1)fewer than 90 people have died in 70 yrs of nuke reactor ops with 79 of them being at the zero safety designed Chernobyl (4000 -5000 a year were dying in Chinese coal mines up until recently). 2)Only one person has died (fuel rod facility – maybe a forklift accident) in France, the most nuclearized country in the world. Henry you have to think back where this fear was instilled and take out the trash. Reply to Gary Pearse December 26, 2018 9:34 am Gary I suggest you keep the nuclear trash for yourselves I don’t want anything of it here. No more nuclear/ plse Paul Penrose Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 10:07 am Keep your irrational fears to yourself, please. John Endicott Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 10:12 am henryp, I suggest you keep your irrational fear of nuclear to yourself. The sane members of society want the cheap, clean, safe & reliable energy it brings. Reply to John Endicott December 26, 2018 10:17 am John E you are not making an argument. Why pay more money for installing nuclear energy? The problem with nuclear energy is that you cannot just switch it off just like switctching of the gas [when you do not want the energy] John Endicott Reply to John Endicott December 26, 2018 10:37 am you are not making an argument. neither were you. “I don’t want anything of it here.” is not an argument, it’s an irrational fear. Why pay more money for installing nuclear energy? because, over the life of the facility, it’s still cheaper (despite onerous regulations driving up the cost of building them), it’s cleaner, it’s reliable (much more so than wind & solar), it doesn’t require miles of pipelines and it has a higher safety record than any other energy source. Why use more expensive, less reliable, and/or dirtier energy sources that require disturbing miles of the environment (large wind & solar farms, nat. gas & oil pipelines etc.)? Does that mean we should exclusively use nuclear? no, of course not. But there’s no valid reason not to have it in the mix. MarkW Reply to John Endicott December 26, 2018 5:06 pm It really is fascinating how acolytes such as henryp completely ignore the responses to their rants and just keep repeating the same tired lies over and over again. December 26, 2018 8:13 am John To build a nuclear plant is much more expensive than building a gas powered plant? Additionally, the extra CO2 from a gas powered plant is like dung in the air, giving us more crops – remember everything we eat or drink depends on CO2? John Endicott Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 8:31 am Saying it twice doesn’t make it any more meaningful. A lot of the expense of building a nuclear reactor is the needless regulatory hurdles anyone that wants to build one has to jump through. And while I agree that the extra CO2 is good for plant life, nuclear energy is cheap (the expense is in the building not in the energy production) and reliable and clean (CO2 isn’t the only byproduct of energy production, other energy sources, like coal or gas, release real pollutants alongside the plant food) and if those who think CO2 is evil really want to cut back man’s production of CO2, they should be all aboard the nuke-train. But mostly they aren’t, which speaks volumes about their little doomsday cult. beng135 Reply to John Endicott December 26, 2018 8:50 am Saying it twice doesn’t make it any more meaningful. A lot of the expense of building a nuclear reactor is the needless regulatory hurdles anyone that wants to build one has to jump through. Yes. The large public utility I worked for as an engineer at a coal plant had something like twice as many people in the home office working on ONE nuclear plant (mostly dealing w/regulations) than dealing with over TWENTY fossil plants and several more hydro plants. Simply astonishing….. Michael Keal Reply to beng135 December 27, 2018 8:17 am Someone may wish to correct this if wrong but I do seem to recall that proliferation is a problem with nuclear plants. i.e. they can become a source of militarily useful materials. December 26, 2018 8:24 am Post- Harry, what’s the status of Yucca Flats. Now that the Republicans don’t have to protect Heller – can the green light be given? John Tillman Reply to Jean Parisot December 26, 2018 11:14 am Yucca Mountain NWR got no funding in FY 2018. The DoE/NRC has yet again requested funding for FY 2019. https://www.exchangemonitor.com/190982-2/ December 26, 2018 8:41 am MarkW LOL Ja, I watched this movie today, Geo storms. I have never seen such nonsense. Seems the USA like this sort of scary movies? Anyway, the msg I got is that men is set ‘to control’ the weather….which of course is far from the truth. We cannot even stop a that is brewing. Click on my name and read the end of my report as to how and why man is shifting blame for the climate from God to man…. Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 9:14 am We cannot even stop a that is brewing. should read We cannot even stop a storm that is brewing. MarkW Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 9:47 am The only storm that is brewing is in your fevered imagination. Please, seek professional help. MarkW Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 9:46 am You watched a movie? Really? No wonder you’re an idiot. Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 9:50 am Mark W I am an idiot? Ha,ha,ha, ha, ha, that is a very good idea!!!! (somebody should block this man from this site because of ad hominem attack?) MarkW Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 9:57 am Yes you are an idiot, and I strongly suspect you have been imbibing in multiple illegal drugs as well. John Tillman Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 12:57 pm JPP, When Climaterecon(struction), aka Tony Brown, called me an idiot, I didn’t demand his prompt ejection and an apology. Merely pointed out how he was wrong, IMHO. Maybe it depends upon how thin is your skin or how often you’ve been called names without IYO justification. John Tillman Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 1:21 pm JPP, No, he just called me an idiot without further elaboration. John Tillman Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 1:25 pm PS: I’d have welcomed further elaboration, since it was unclear what he found idiotic in my comment. I asked for elaboration, but his comment proved a hit and run. MarkW Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 5:08 pm It really is funny how JPP and henryp can dish out insults, but they get the vapors when any are directed their way. John Tillman Reply to henryp December 26, 2018 12:58 pm If the shoe fits, wear it. Or show that it doesn’t. griff December 26, 2018 8:46 am Extending the life of older reactors is massively expensive… See details in here (which also touches on the huge decommissioning costs) https://theecologist.org/2017/mar/16/edf-facing-bankruptcy-decommissioning-time-frances-ageing-nuclear-fleet-nears It is unlikely this initiative will come to very much John Tillman Reply to griff December 26, 2018 9:07 am That’s about decommissioning old French reactors, not about what the US Congress has voted to do. Why did you post a link irrelevant to what you claimed it said? MarkW Reply to John Tillman December 26, 2018 9:48 am Because that’s what griff does. John Tillman Reply to MarkW December 26, 2018 10:13 am It’s great to have a purpose in life! Michael Jankowski Reply to griff December 26, 2018 11:03 am You had de-commissioned yourself from WUWT, griff. Nobody was even allowed to say your name without getting reprimanded for making fun of the fool who was no longer here to defend himself. It is unlikely this initiative of yours will come to very much. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 December 26, 2018 9:14 am I would love to see some reason return to the nuclear power debate. For the US, we are blessed with abundant energy resources of every type: coal, oil & gas, uranium (even after the Uranium One giveaway) and thorium. The only place the US comes up a little short is hydro. With our natural gas resources and current CCGT technology, the US can afford to be leisurely in deploying new nuclear, and CCGT costs a lot less in$$ and time to build.

But nuclear fission delivers 1 million times the fuel energy density relative combustion and in the longer run I don’t see how we can ignore this, even leaving aside any real or imagined benefits of reduced CO2 emissions. It is very much in our interest to push development of new nuclear designs which offer better safety and lower nuclear proliferation risks, because even if we don’t build more current generation nuclear plants it is guaranteed someone else will. I think LFTR sounds darn neat, which is a long way from saying it’s ready to deploy. But we should be building some demonstration units now and hopefully get it ready to deploy.

Somebody is gong to be selling nuclear power plants around the world over the next 50 years and I think there is a better chance of a beneficial outcome if the US is seriously involved in developing, testing and promoting better designs.

In related news, work continues on units 3 and 4 and Plant Vogtle in spite of major cost overruns and schedule delays. This is not especially surprising — units 1 & 2 were also way over budget and behind schedule. But in 2014 unit 2 celebrated 25 years of operation:

Unit 2 is celebrating 25 years since the start of its commercial operation. In that time, the 1,215 megawatt plant achieved a lifetime capacity factor of 90.5 percent. In a release Tuesday, Southern noted that the Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactor generated electricity equal to what it would take to power the city of Atlanta for more than three decades.

Vogtle unit 1 went into service in 1987 and unit 2 in 1989; construction started in 1976 for both (11 and 13 years to completion respectively). Unit 1 has been in service for more than 30 years; unit 2 will reach that milestone May next year. The two units combined have a lifetime capacity output of 91.25%.

Contrast that with the Vindeby offshore wind farm:

1991 Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm – Denmark

Years of Operation: 1991-2016 (25)

Capital Cost: 75M Kroner = $13M (1991USD) =$23M (2017USD)

Number of Turbines: 11 @ 450 kW

Nameplate Capacity: 4.9 MW

Average Power Output: 1.1 MW

Cost/Nampepate Capacity: $2.65/Watt (1991USD),$4.7/Watt (2017USD)

Cost/Effective Output: $12/Watt (1991USD),$21/Watt (2017USD)

Levelized Capital Cost: $53/MWh (1991USD),$95/MWh (2017USD)

Levelized VOM Cost: $65/MWh (Estimated using$130/kw-hr industry figures for 2015)

Lower Bound of LCOE: \$160/MWh (2017USD)

Construction started on Vogtle units 3 and 4 in 2013. The current projected service dates are 2021 and 2022, which would make the completion times 8 and 9 years respectively, absent further delays.

If it takes almost 10 years to build 2 GW of new nuclear capacity, I don’t see how we can expect nuclear to replace aging coal plants. A flexible and efficient regulatory approval process is one of the needed improvements.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 26, 2018 9:41 am

Alan
nuclear fission is not yet an option.
Figure out what happens on the sun and you know that which causes cooling and warming (on earth).
As I understand it, the problem on earth is building a magnetic field strong enough to contain the heat….

let me know when you have build a field as strong as it is on the sun…

(as I think it might destroy ‘the weather ‘ on earth as we know it)

[Please reserve [ ] brackets to indicate which words are edited. .mod]

MarkW
December 26, 2018 9:52 am

Among his many other shortcomings, apparently henry doesn’t know the difference between fission and fusion.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 26, 2018 11:20 am

henryp: I said fission, which you have confused with fusion.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 26, 2018 11:24 am

Yes. I got that when others already made the argument. I am sorry. My mistake.

December 26, 2018 9:23 am

to whom it may concern

the plant built here in Cape Town caused considerable death of sea life around.
Namely, due to its extensive need of cooling water, nuclear plants raise the water ‘s temperature.
(the plant here was built on the atlantic ocean)
Hence, the idea of building another nuclear plant on the other sided (the Indian ocean) was met with a lot of opposition.
I agree.
Thx/

MarkW
December 26, 2018 9:53 am

All power plants need cooling water.
The fact that the cooling water for this plant was released improperly is the fault of the managers, not nuclear power.

Is there anything you know that is actually true?

December 26, 2018 6:32 pm

Molten Salt reactors do not use water for cooling.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 7:40 pm

They don’t use water to cool the core, but they do evaporate water in order to turn the turbines, and that water needs to be cooled back down.

Steve Reddish
December 26, 2018 11:25 am

You are saying a cooling tower was not built because the ocean was deemed unharmable? Then just build a cooling tower for the Indian Ocean plant, if heat input into the ocean is determined bad.

I thought waste heat released into the ocean by the San Onofre plant in California was determined beneficial?

SR

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:10 pm

He’s desperate for any argument that can be used against nuclear power. No matter how nonsensical.

A remember another troll proclaiming that the radiation leaking from Fukushima was going to render the Pacific ocean devoid of life.

December 26, 2018 9:39 am

Imposing required storage of nuclear waste on any state or locality is fundamentally wrong and has resulted in misguided, but expected, response from politicians. With regulations established that describe what the requirements are, not how they are to be accomplished, engineering creativity can be exploited and storage can be accommodated by competitive bid with minimum political interference.

December 26, 2018 10:07 am

Dan
truth is that nobody wants the waste….
why don’t we send it into space?

[???? .mod]

Paul Penrose
December 26, 2018 10:15 am

Despite numerous attempts to educate you on the subject, your ignorance of nuclear power remains appallingly high. I can’t tell if you are unwilling or unable to understand, but you really should stop embarrassing yourself by commenting on it.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 10:25 am

Yes, there’s only so much one can blame on the language barrier. henryp clearly knows enough English to be able to read, reply and post here, so it’s clear that it’s more an unwillingness to understand the facts than it is an inability to understand them (due to language issues).

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:11 pm

He’s paid to be agin it. That’s all he wants to know.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 10:17 am

What would be a waste (pun-intended). as that “waste” is potentially usable as fuel for other (future) reactor designs.

Steve Reddish
December 26, 2018 11:42 am

Henryp,
Rather than send nuclear waste into space as payload, use the waste to power propulsion. Much better return on investment.

December 26, 2018 2:50 pm

Sending it to space might be one of the bids.

December 26, 2018 10:12 am

MarkW

I admit that I was a bit confused about fission and fusion/

remember that English is not my native tongue.

However, if you want me carry on talking to you {Mark} you must make an official apology { about saying I am an idiot}
fair enough?

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 10:15 am

Henry,

In your mother tongue are they “splitsing en samesmelting”?

December 26, 2018 10:31 am

John T
I am originally Dutch. Afrikaans is 2nd and English is my 3rd language.
I remember that when I came into this country 42 years ago, [2 Hale cycles ago} there was also a big drought here [just like about now]
and everybody was asking us/me to pray for rain [on TV, radio/churches etc.]
I remember that I found this strange. Coming from Holland, we never prayed for rain. We hoped for sunshine>?
Anyway, now 42 years later we are told that the ‘climate is changing’ and it ‘our fault’.
Funny, how things can change when ‘faith’ appears to be changing??

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 10:53 am

Henry,

Not much of a stretch from Dutch to its descendant Afrikaans. For that matter, Dutch is the modern Germanic language second closest to English, after Frisian.

English: nuclear fission and fusion;

Dutch: kernsplijting en kernfusie;

Afrikaans: kernsplyting en kernfusie.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:12 pm

If the truth offends you, that’s your problem, not mine.

Betapug
December 26, 2018 10:32 am

The photo appears to show part of the 2000+ MW Dukovany 4 reactor site in the Czech Republic which has been in operation since 1985. https://www.cez.cz/en/power-plants-and-environment/nuclear-power-plants/dukovany.html

December 26, 2018 10:33 am

John T
I am originally Dutch. Afrikaans is 2nd and English is my 3rd language.
I remember that when I came into this country 42 years ago, [2 Hale cycles ago} there was also a big drought here [just like about now]
and everybody was asking us/me to pray for rain [on TV, radio/churches etc.]
I remember that I found this strange. Coming from Holland, we never prayed for rain. We hoped for sunshine>?
Anyway, now 42 years later we are told that the ‘climate is changing’ and it ‘our fault’.
Funny, how things can change when ‘faith’ appears to be changing??

December 26, 2018 10:49 am

John E

I did make an argument,
namely that the fish and sea life were/are dying here because of the extra cooling water required by nuclear reactors.
Now bringing same thing to the other side of the country [the Indian Ocean] is making me/us upset.
In the face of this argument some of you have said that the fish in the rivers {USA} was getting bigger [after putting in nuclear]
I believe that story. But it is not going to work out here? So you keep nuclear there.
But please donot bring it here.
Thanks!

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 11:27 am

Not in the post I was replying to you didn’t. Here is the exact text of the post I was replying to:
“Gary
I suggest you keep the nuclear trash for yourselves
I don’t want anything of it here.
No more nuclear/
plse”

No where in that post do you mention “fish and sea life”, so my reply to that post should not be expected to address something from some other posting somewhere else in the mass of posts on this page. That’s not how forums work.

As for the post where you did mention sea life (in a completely different sub-thread) as it was an uncited anecdote, it was adequately address by markW with the comment:
“All power plants need cooling water.
The fact that the cooling water for this plant was released improperly is the fault of the managers, not nuclear power.”

Editor
December 26, 2018 11:43 am

Ocean and lake-cooled nuclear reactors here have NOT caused any fish loss, but on both Atlantic, Great lakes, and Pacific sides the marine bilogy loves the warmer continuously-circulated cooling water near the power plants – both fossil-fueled and nuclear. The claims are exaggerated and (deliberately) projected fears created to cause the fear you now have.

On the other hand, with the tribal/race wars now underway and racial killing of educated minorities now condoned by South African racists in its government and by law in parliament, it perhaps is a good thing no more reactors will be built there.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 11:46 am

Now bringing same thing to the other side of the country [the Indian Ocean] is making me/us upset.

Frankly, judging by your postings here, you are getting upset due to your own ignorance about nuclear power, not over any real danger from nuclear power.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:15 pm

As has been pointed out to you every time your repeat this claim, nuclear reactor’s don’t require any more cooling water than do any other type of power plant.

Your desperate efforts to remain uneducatable on this issue (assuming it actually exists) is why you have earned the monikers that have been applied to you.

December 26, 2018 11:15 am

BTW

another argument that you guys seem to be forgetting is that uranium is not exactly lying on the streets here.
It is mined here, similar like mining gold,
you have to go deep into the ground,
and the mining of it is not without cost of lives.
Like I always said: gas is best.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 11:25 am

HP,

There is a lot of U.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/mining-of-uranium/uranium-mining-overview.aspx

Besides which, we have reworked bomb fuel and other fissile materials, to include nuclear waste. Plus of course breeder reactors.

Fusion, when and if it becomes economical, can run on seawater.

But natural gas is good, too.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 11:28 am

And, as link shows, open pit mining and in situ leaching are also common. Not all U mining is underground.

Coal mining is less dangerous than it used to be, but still deadly.

Brian RL Catt
December 26, 2018 2:18 pm

All mining is deadly. Much safer in well anaged pits so you wuld have to be specific about that. It needn’t be more dangerous than other etractive industries. This demads two shaft ventilation and two neans of exit, plus appropriate safety measures enforced. THis is stil NOT the case in the USA BTW. money comes before safety in ultra caitalist reginmes with inadequate or ineffective laws.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 2:25 pm

Mining in the USA is a lot safer than in the PRC or in the old USSR.

Free enterprise capitalism and freedom far surpass socialism and state capitalism on every possible metric.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:19 pm

Ultra capitalist????

He don’t know us very well, do he?

Why is it some people think the world runs from communist, to capitalist to ultra capitalist.

PS: Why is it that communists are convinced that the answer to any problem is more government?

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:20 pm

John, as good as the US is, it’s not perfect, and as the young communists that I’ve dealt with assure me communism will be perfect, once they get the bugs worked out.

John Endicott
December 26, 2018 11:27 am

Gas costs lives too. google gas pipe explosion.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:17 pm

The fact remains, that even including the mining (drilling) of the resources needed, nuclear is by far the safest form of power out there.

WXcycles
December 26, 2018 5:34 pm

You can insist on that if you wish, but the fact of large exclusion zones around former reactor meltdown sites, and the abandoned towns, property, lives country side and agricultural land refutes the assertion that lives are not destroyed en-masse by such horrendously damaging incidents and their aftermath.

December 26, 2018 6:25 pm

Both Chernobyl and Fukushima prove one thing very clearly. Radiation is far less dangerous to wildlife than humans.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 7:42 pm

Outside a few hotspots, there isn’t much need for a Chernobyl exclusion zone any more.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 7:38 pm

Ah yes, use the over reaction of ignorant politicians as proof of your position.
By that standard Global Warming is real and is going to kill us because so many politicians apparantly believe in it.

People are living in both of the exclusion zones, and are all quite healthy.

There was never any need to evacuate anyone from Fukushima.

December 26, 2018 11:43 am

We don’t make it without nuclear power.

December 26, 2018 1:03 pm

This looks like the right decision based on the wrong (carbon-free energy) premise.

John Tillman
December 26, 2018 1:08 pm

The fact that CACA acolytes reject nuclear power just shows yet again that the “climate change” scam isn’t about climate change, but domination by Marxist globalists by means other than the “proletarian revolution” scam. Both the Green and Red of watermelons are fronts for “power to my and my friends!”

John V. Wright
December 26, 2018 2:24 pm

More years ago than I care to remember I was MD of a PR and marketing consultancy that was pitching to an in-house client. By that, I mean that although the healthcare company involved were already clients they had reached what we perceived as a growth crossroads in their corporate
life and we were pitching a change in pace and scope.

We had worked closely with the Board for more than 10 years and had a good agency/Board relationship. But we always told them the truth and they never suffered fools gladly. So. We knew this market as well as our clients. We could see that they needed a step change in profile and expenditure. But the bottom line was massive and we knew that they could easily walk away.

At the end of the presentation, the Chief Executive sat back and looked at us for many long seconds. Finally, he stood up and picked up a black marker pen, walked up to a whiteboard we had screwed to one of the office walls and scrawled JGOWI over it. As he walked out of our agency building with the rest of the Board in tow he just smiled and briefly nodded at me.

Our FD watched him go, turned to me and shrugged: “JGOWI? What’s all that about?”

“Just get on with it” I explained.

MarkW
December 26, 2018 5:22 pm

At least you got it in writing.

markl
December 26, 2018 2:39 pm

What this really shows …. by a 97% ( ! 🙂 ) congressional vote…. is we really do understand the value and necessity of nuclear energy despite all the demonstrations by a relatively small group activists, lobbying by well funded NGOs, and bad press by the MSM. As shown by the yellow vests there’s only so much BS that can be shoveled to the people before they step up to the plate for their rights and start questioning decisions that are supposedly make on their behalf but in reality are made to support and ideology contrary to their welfare.

December 26, 2018 2:45 pm

I think nuclear electrical power should be advanced, by reducing regulatory blockages, by the private sector.
Diversification is worthwhile.
But something important is happening with the now obvious financial pressures.
The intolerably long experiment in authoritarian government could be ending.
Previous ones such as was imposed in the 1500s became “too much” by the early 1600s. Quite simply the state had pushed taxation and tithes to the limit and then used currency depreciation for funding.
Popular uprisings turned into a great reformation, which included freeing up science.
Another authoritarian experiment has been doing much the same. The Fed has been corrupted to trying to provide unlimited funding for another experiment in unlimited government.
In so many words, the Deep State has been funding itself with serial financial bubbles.
The latest bubble is over and the public will condemn the trillions spent by theoreticians boasting that they can prevent “bad things” from happening.
The notion that a committee of experts can “manage” a national economy is about to be widely seen as a magnificent failure.
Further cooling due to the Solar Minimum will soon trash a couple of notions.
One is that the temperature of the nearest planet needs “managing”.
Two is that a committee of “experts” can set the temperature of the Earth.
Both assume audacity usually assigned to gods.
A credit contraction and further cooling will expose the fraud of beneficial central planning.

Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 26, 2018 6:18 pm

In terms of environmental impact, consider the following: A 1000 MWe coal fired power plant consumes what is known in the USA as a “unit train” of coal every day. A unit train is 100 coal cars carrying 100 tons of coal each. The volume of 10,000 tons of anthracite coal is about 308,000 cubic feet (8,700 cubic meters), or a cube 67.5 feet (20.6 meters) on a side. A 1000 MWe nuclear power plant consumes an amount of U-235 of 10.3 cubic inches per day (a cube 0.86 cm on a side). Yes, but U-235 is only 0.7% of uranium. So the total amount of natural uranium required is 1.5 liters, or a cube 11.4 cm on a side. The amount of low grade uranium ore (1,000 ppm) required to produce this would be 1,430 tons, equivalent to a cube 26 feet (7.9 meters) on a side. Note that almost all of that volume of material would be returned to the place it originated, sans the radioactive uranium.

It baffles me how the nuclear industry has failed to capitalize on the major environmental, cost, and safety advantages it has over every other mode of energy production. I know that there are opponents of all stripes. Some of good faith, many who simply want to see the demise of industrial civilization. But facts are facts, and all of them mitigate in favor of nuclear fission as a primary energy source.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 26, 2018 6:47 pm

And using thorium, which is four times as plentiful as U238, would produce a much smaller amount of material than uranium. Plus the mining of it would allow the US to mine for rare earths since thorium is found in rare earth deposits.

beng135
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 27, 2018 8:27 am

It baffles me how the nuclear industry has failed to capitalize on the major environmental, cost, and safety advantages it has over every other mode of energy production.

Government “help”.

December 28, 2018 4:38 pm

And that is why China will do it and we won’t. China provides its corporations with government help all the time because the free market is not the answer 100% of the time.

There are somethings that the free market sucks at. Sometimes things need to be done that don’t make a profit. Do you clean your house because it needs to be done, or do you rely on the free market to do it for you?

Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 29, 2018 6:17 pm

10.3 cubic inches should have been a cube 2.2 inches, or 5.5 centimeter, on a side. I started out with the volume as a sphere, and it’s almost exactly the size of a tennis ball. No fun when you have to correct/explain it.

Patrick MJD
December 26, 2018 9:54 pm

Nuclear is the best option for Australia, IMO, being large, geologically stable and sparsely populated country, but after decades of fear mongering it will never happen. How France has managed to supply ~80% of power via nuclear over decades without a major incident doesn’t matter.

December 27, 2018 2:15 am

In 1969 an aerial survey east of Darwin NT detected a uranium signal that led to the discovery of the Ranger ore bodies. I consulted to, then joined the team and stayed with it until 1993. These were the world’s largest U deposits by far when first discovered. There is more resource there, but politics has sterilized it for the time being.
Last time I checked, there were no fatalities attributable to this mine. The accident safety record was better than other comparable non-U mines.
As far as I am concerned, uranium can be mined in safety today and for ever more. It is anti-science to claim it cannot.
Geoff.
Here is a picture of this proud achievement. There are a couple more big mines from our efforts elsewhere.
http://www.geoffstuff.com/Ranger aerial.jpg

December 27, 2018 2:18 am

Something is causing URL accidents. Geoff
http://www.geoffstuff.com/Ranger aerial.jpg

December 28, 2018 6:11 pm

Found the bug. Probably I am ignorant of an old convention for titles of URLs by using capitals and spaces that are usually but not always corrected by the host.
Here is the third time lucky try
http://www.geoffstuff.com/rangeraerial.jpg

December 27, 2018 3:36 am

And another thing:
as long as too much electrical power is in too few hands [like with a big nuclear plant] you are always going to have problems with corruption, price fixing, damage to supply lines (people are stealing cables here], work stoppages [strikes] and ‘maintenance’ periods, leading to black outs, etc.
I therefore think that it would be a good thing if everybody made sure he is able to supply his own house with electricity.
I have a patrol driven generator for emergencies [which are happening more frequently here now] but I must admit that it is rather noisy. I wonder if it would be possible to ‘make’ a small generator that is driven by gas and that is not so noisy?> Now, if anyone can create such a product, I am sure that it will have a great future. If you don’t already have a gas supply line to your house you can just buy the big LPG bottles?
Let me know if such a product already exists?
I am saying we must look at power that can be easily generated in our own backyards.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 27, 2018 5:27 am

henryp:

You are arguing against several centuries of industrial experience, which show that economy and efficiency increase with scale and concentration. And quality, safety and pollution control as well.

But for your personal situation: yes multiple manufacturers offer home generators of various sizes that are natural gas or propane fueled. In the US, Genrac is commonly available as is Honda to name just two. I have looked into them for my house and concluded it would not be worth the expense.

But in any case that’s just for emergency power; there’s no way any of these could replace the central power distribution system.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 27, 2018 7:04 am

Alan
thx for ur comment
but that would still be a noisy 2 – or 4 stroke engine providing the power?

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 27, 2018 7:42 am

henryp:

We have friends who recently replaced an older whole-house generator with a new, larger one. Among other things they report the new one is both much quieter and faster to come online. They live in a neighborhood that has frequent power outages due to fallen tree limbs. Even from the outside porch right next to the generator you can barely hear it. From inside you hear nothing.

All the natural gas home generators I am aware of are 4 stroke.

2hotel9
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 27, 2018 7:51 am

After our pre-Thanksgiving ice storm there has been a surge in whole house generator installations. Thanks to the Evil Marcellus Shale most are natural gas, the rest propane. This according to 2 contractors I know, they and their crews missed out on most of deer season and worked on Christmas Eve to finish some jobs. I got a few days in with Rich cutting and tying rebar for pads so his other guys could be doing interior work. It is a very ill wind that does not blow some bit of good.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
December 27, 2018 7:54 am

Increased size also increases inefficiencies as decision makers get further away from those who do the actual work.
Each type of company has a best size, above which and below which overall efficiency decreases.
There’s a reason why companies go through cycles of growth, followed by cycles of divestment.

MarkW
December 27, 2018 7:52 am

Wow, the paranoia is strong with this one.
Nuclear plants aren’t that much bigger than gas and coal plants.
What promotes corruption is turning control of your electrical system over to the government.

December 27, 2018 8:23 am

MarkW

I told you. Your conduct here was unacceptable. You have not yet apolologized for calling me an idiot.
The forum here is like a universal place [lecture room] of learning. We are all teachers and students to each other.
must say: people resorting to A H attacks know that they have lost the argument so all that is left is insulting the people who do not agree ….
i.e.
those who did bring the other side of the argument

Go home, MarkW, and count your blessings without nuclear power.

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 9:57 am

Despite the rudeness, Mark made some excellent points refuting the nonsense you have posted (hence his frustration resulting in rudeness at your continued ignoring said points to go on and repeat the same nonsense in multiple posts).

And speaking of “unacceptable” conduct, I seem to recall you being told that you should reserve the [ ] brackets for edits (by the mods). yet here you are still using them. please use the ( ) or { } brackets instead.

And, BTW, I shall count my blessings *with* nuclear power, thank you very much.

December 27, 2018 10:08 am

John Endicott

clearly you are unaware of the relevant procedures

Much more cooling is required for nuclear plants than for gas powered plants.
why not have a look at the ywo plants offering similar electricity?

e,g
\in the case of Fukushima, disaster struck to the spent rods that were left to ‘cool’ in the water

no more nuclear?

thanks

John Endicott
December 27, 2018 10:24 am

henryp, you’ve shown your ignorance (bread from irrational fear) about nuclear in multiple posts in this thread. No other fuels source has the safety record that nuclear has, and that’s even with the overhyped Fukishima and Chernobyl accidents counted in the mix. For example, more people have died in Natural gas accidents in the past decade than have died from nuclear power accidents throughout the history of the nuclear power industry.

December 27, 2018 10:54 am

John Endicott

irrespective of the ARGUMENT

it seems to me that you have agreed with MarkW that I am/must be an idiot.

namely, you have not callled MarkW to order,
like others did;
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/26/lawmakers-overwhelmingly-vote-to-modernize-us-nuclear-fleet/#comment-2567620

and the moderator simply failed [again] to respond…

I must tell you, that Jesus [God} tells us that calling another person an idiot [and refusing to apologize for it] means that that person [who calls another person an idiot] is on its way to hell?

Matthew 5:22

Or how do you interpretate the Scripture?

2hotel9
December 28, 2018 6:17 am

December 28, 2018 7:16 am

@2hotel9

I take it from your comment then that you also prefer to be on your way to hell?

looking at your writer’s name that must be somewhere in your 2nd motel, room no. 9 and you have nobody that gives a hoot whether you live or die.

2hotel9
December 28, 2018 7:31 am

Ahh, so triggered! Don’t worry, your Access Card will be monied up on Tuesday and we will still be laughing at you.

December 28, 2018 7:29 am

but there is always hope….