A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2013 7:29 PM GMT
    A cause to be skeptically optimistic:
    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518116/a-nuclear-reactor-competitive-with-natural-gas/

    A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas
    General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2013 9:18 PM GMT
    I think the US Navy should be given responsibility for operating all nuclear power stations. They have ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and 67 nuclear-powered submarines roaming the seas and most people don't give them a second thought when it comes to nuclear safety.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2013 9:30 PM GMT
    It doesn't surprise me. Although I do wonder if they've really taken into account the cost of disposing of the waste--seeing as we still aren't 100% sure how best to do that, I think a large uncertainty would be in order. Also, I'm a little dubious about cost projections of new reactor designs. If this company is anything like the established ones then it will end up costing way more (AECL and Areva I know can be quite bad this way, and I'd be willing to bet that Westinghouse is too). It's not even that I think the extra cost is a reason to avoid nuclear technology, I just don't like how we never seem to know in advance how expensive it will be. Anyway, just my general cynicism whenever someone announces a new technology that is supposed to be way better in some way...
  • Machina

    Posts: 419

    Aug 21, 2013 8:18 AM GMT
    If General Atomics has decided to pursue the Gas-cooled fast reactor design using helium as coolant, the problem of waste disposal could be further reduced and further eliminate the costs associated with refueling as often as their light-water reactor cousins.

    Nuclear power can go terribly wrong when mishandled, but that shouldn't be a deterrent against utilizing it as a valid and widespread source of power. The accidents we have seen thus far have been due to wanton negligence or ill-equipped and poorly trained staff. If the designs of the new reactors are inherently safer, then we ought to believe that they are worthy of investment and development.