Nuclear industry looks toward smaller reactors

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 27, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    "What energy technology is portable, powerful and prefabricated? Small modular reactors are generating buzz as federal officials co-fund a project that could transform the U.S. nuclear industry."

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/26/nuclear-small-modular-reactors/1727001/
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    Nov 28, 2012 2:07 AM GMT
    A few random thoughts.....Is one actually up and running yet? Not sure that I would be any more comfortable with a 360 megawatt Nuclear plant vs a 2000megawatt plant, if it flooded or experienced some catastrophic failure.....I mean meltdown...ie "China Syndrome" is a bad thing....right?....at $1.5 Billion to build is AEP and DUKE Power and CON EDISON gonna be popping these up in the 'hood? I like the idea of "all energy options" being used, but have we really proven nuclear? ....3Mile island, Chernobyl, Fuckishima...etc....That's BAD SHIT when it goes wrong, for years! icon_eek.gif
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Nov 28, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    It's unclear whether small reactors have any advantage if more of them are needed. But in places where less power is required and one small reactor will do the job, they may be a reasonable approach. Probably research should continue, but I see an alternative to uranium reactors as probably better.

    I favor the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) and have spent hours studying LFTR technology. It is the closest thing to a panacea that I have seen. The fuel, thorium tetrafluoride, is a crystalline solid at normal temperatures but a liquid at reactor operating temperatures. Because it is a liquid, obviously a melt-down is impossible. Because it operates at atmospheric pressure, a pressure vessel is not needed. Also, it produces less than 1% as much nuclear waste as our current pressurized water reactor technology. Because thorium occurs with rare earth elements, enough has already been mined (and discarded) to last for decades with no more mining. The high operating temperature makes it practical to use the Brayton (gas only, probably helium) cycle instead of the Rankine (steam) cycle which is more efficient and does not require water cooling.

    For more information, read the book Super Fuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, by Richard Martin; it is readily available from the usual sources. Also, I suggest visiting the following web site:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1YjDdI_c8

    You can also find detractors of LFTR technology. If you have become familiar with LFTR technology, you will be able to see that many of its detractors are not informed; they don't even understand that the LFTR doesn't use solid fuel.
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    Nov 28, 2012 6:39 AM GMT
    Or you could instal solar panels on most buildings and tall places. costs more, but it's not like solar panels ever killed anyone.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Nov 28, 2012 6:51 AM GMT
    Gym_bull saidOr you could instal solar panels on most buildings and tall places. costs more, but it's not like solar panels ever killed anyone.


    Actually, solar panels have killed people; people have fallen off of roofs while working on them. Also, toxic materials are used in their manufacture. When solar panes reach the end of their lives, they will need to be recycled properly because of the toxic materials that they contain.

    For solar panel fatalities, check out this site:
    http://asiancorrespondent.com/54571/green-deaths-the-forgotten-dangers-of-solar-panels/

    You can find more information on the hazards of solar panels by doing a google search. It appears that they are far more dangerous than nuclear power.

    Solar panels are wonderful if you need power only during daylight hours on sunny days. Otherwise, you either need rechargeable batteries or have to connect to the grid and contribute to the use of fossil fuels.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Nov 28, 2012 7:12 AM GMT
    Here are videos of wind turbine accidents:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QL-cRuYAxg0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uydJJdQzZv8&feature=related

    This one is not a video, but it includes interesting pictures of wind turbine accidents:

    http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/9238

    And more:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppLh5pGX3qQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLWvSoBAjOc


    You can find many more with a google search.