Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
billvon   100 MW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 14 2019 11:27am

Cephalotus wrote:
Jan 14 2019 11:04am
On the other Hand I visited Chernobyl some years ago when the finished containment #2. I walked through Chernobyl and Prybjat for some days and I have seen the economic effects over there.
A accident like that with Germany would destroy trillions of Euro, not even counting the psychological effects.
You do realize Germany does not use RBMK power plants, right? They use BWR and PWR reactors, like the US and most other countries. So such an accident cannot happen there.
If it is my decission if I prefer the risc to live in an unhealthy environment with significantly higher risc to get cancer or if I prefer to pay 10ct/kWh extra for living in a healthy enivorment I prefer the higher electricity price any day. You get the bonus that you leave the planet in a more or less healthy state.
OK. That means nuclear - because the alternatives are all more dangerous and more likely to kill you/give you cancer. And if you are willing to pay more, then that answers the issues of the expense of nuclear.
I do not like it when People are camping and after that you have cut down trees, destroyed vegetation, litter and some toxic waste like your old Motor oil hidden in the soil. Because of the same reason I don't want to go leaving a planet with destroyed ecosystems, heatet and with toxic wastes burried everywhere. Radioactive wastelands like Chernobyl are alsonot something I(!) would prefer...
The area around Chernobyl has been declared a wildlife habitat and is now one of the healthiest habitats for wildlife in the Ukraine. This is due to the fact that there are no people there any more, not that radiation is good for animals and plants. But it is hardly a "wasteland" and is a very good thing for wildlife in the area.

"A camera trap survey of the forests and town surrounding the location of the Chernobyl power plant nuclear meltdown in 1986 has given a glimpse into the lives of the animals that have reclaimed the deserted landscape. But rather than suffering from the huge amounts of radiation and contaminants belched out by the disaster, researchers have found that the wildlife populations in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) are flourishing."

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/e ... -1.3009103

https://curiosity.com/topics/30-years-a ... curiosity/
Thankfully we are not neighbours, so our opinions can both survive in our daily life. If a nuclear power plant explodes in China or US it doesn't harm me.
We did have one explode. It didn't harm us either.

If you want the coal plants in Germany to continue to kill thousands of people a year, that's your decision. Not a decision I would make, though. I'd prefer nuclear over coal, which kills far fewer people.

====================
Report: Germany suffers more coal-linked deaths than rest of EU
By James Crisp | EURACTIV.com Jul 4, 2016

Germany – home to the much-hailed ‘Energiewende’ green revolution – suffered more premature deaths linked to coal plant pollution than any other EU member state, research by health and environment campaigners has found.

Analysis of 257 of 280 coal-fired power plants in the EU found that their 2013 emissions caused over 22,900 deaths, tens of thousands of illnesses from heart disease to bronchitis, and up to €62.3 billion in health costs.

3,630 people in Germany died from coal-related illnesses in 2013, according to the report by the Health and Environment Alliance, Climate Action Network Europe, WWF European Policy Office and Sandbag.

1,860 deaths were traced to coal plants in Germany, which is moving to a low-carbon energy system. The Energiewende (energy switch-over) will require the retirement of most, if not, all coal powered generation in Germany.

The remaining 1,770 premature deaths were traced to pollution caused by coal plants in other EU countries. Polish pollution claimed 630 of those lives, the research claims.

Germany buys cheap coal-fired energy from Poland to pick up the slack left by the abandonment of nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

But its domestic coal is also responsible for deaths in other member states, according to the report Europe’s Dark Cloud.

Germany is one of the top five countries whose coal power plants cause the most harm abroad. Poland causes 4,690 premature deaths abroad, Germany 2,490, Romania 1,660, Bulgaria 1,390 and the UK 1,350.
===============
https://www.euractiv.com/section/health ... est-of-eu/
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 14 2019 12:40pm

Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many islands in the Mediterranean sea with microgrids and renewable energy to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
https://electrek.co/2019/01/14/tesla-mi ... ek-island/

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 14 2019 12:42pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 14 2019 11:27am
The area around Chernobyl has been declared a wildlife habitat and is now one of the healthiest habitats for wildlife in the Ukraine. This is due to the fact that there are no people there any more, not that radiation is good for animals and plants. But it is hardly a "wasteland" and is a very good thing for wildlife in the area.
I already brought this up earlier in this thread. We should obviously detonate some dirty nukes for environmental protection :mrgreen:

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 14 2019 12:44pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 14 2019 12:42pm
I already brought this up earlier in this thread. We should obviously detonate some dirty nukes for environmental protection
Well, just telling people that we detonated the dirty nuke there would be a much better idea. But the "big idea" is not that nuclear waste is good for nature - it is that it has far less impact than we thought it would, and descriptions of a 'radioactive wasteland' around Chernobyl are imaginative nonsense.
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 14 2019 1:02pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 14 2019 12:44pm
and descriptions of a 'radioactive wasteland' around Chernobyl are imaginative nonsense.
How would you describe it ? Holiday destination for eco-tourism ? There are probably millions of pages of scientific reports and studies from the incident. Is there at least a quarter of them to describe the area as clean and non-threatening for humans ? Or perhaps you mean because it has trees and animals (contaminated) living there it's not a wasteland ?
Barn swallows sampled between 1991 and 2006 both in the Chernobyl exclusion zone had more physical abnormalities than control sparrows sampled elsewhere in Europe. Abnormal barn swallows mated with lower frequency, causing the percentage of abnormal swallows to decrease over time. This demonstrated the selective pressure against the abnormalities was faster than the effects of radiation that created the abnormalities.[66] "This was a big surprise to us," Dr. Mousseau said. "We had no idea of the impact."[65]

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 14 2019 1:19pm

cricketo wrote:
Jan 14 2019 1:02pm
How would you describe it ? Holiday destination for eco-tourism ?
That's what many people use it for. I would describe it as a wildlife refuge on the site of a nuclear reactor accident.
There are probably millions of pages of scientific reports and studies from the incident. Is there at least a quarter of them to describe the area as clean and non-threatening for humans ? Or perhaps you mean because it has trees and animals (contaminated) living there it's not a wasteland ?
It is not a wasteland because it is one of the healthiest ecosystems in Ukraine. They are seeing species recover there that they thought were nearly extinct. From Nature:

================
Chernobyl's ecosystems are bouncing back 19 years after the region was blasted with radiation
Despite high radioactivity, plants and animals seem to be thriving.

Nature
Aug 2005

Researchers who have surveyed the land around the old nuclear power plant in present-day Ukraine say that biodiversity is actually higher than before the disaster.

Some 100 species on the IUCN Red List of threatened species are now found in the evacuated zone, which covers more than 4,000 square kilometres in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, says Viktor Dolin, who studies the environmental effects of radioactivity at the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences in Kiev. Around 40 of these, including some species of bear and wolf, were not seen there before the accident.

If animals at the top of the food chain are present, then the plants and animals they eat must also be thriving, says ecologist James Morris of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, who chaired a panel of scientists presenting the results at a meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Montreal, Canada, this week.

"By any measure of ecological function these ecosystems seem to be operating normally," Morris told news@nature.com. "The biodiversity is higher there than before the accident."
=====================

Does that sound like a "wasteland?"
Barn swallows sampled between 1991 and 2006 both in the Chernobyl exclusion zone had more physical abnormalities than control sparrows sampled elsewhere in Europe. Abnormal barn swallows mated with lower frequency, causing the percentage of abnormal swallows to decrease over time. This demonstrated the selective pressure against the abnormalities was faster than the effects of radiation that created the abnormalities.[66] "This was a big surprise to us," Dr. Mousseau said. "We had no idea of the impact.
Good example. So the radiation could not damage swallows faster than they could breed.

The point of the above, of course, is not that "radiation is good for you." It is that the damage it does has been hyped by the media. The region is now one of the healthiest in the Ukraine, due to the absence of people. We would all have been far better off, of course, if they had just declared that region a wildlife preserve _without_ the accident.

But it's an example of an accident that is worse than the worst accident you can have. PWR and BWR cannot go prompt-critical like Chernobyl did - and thus you cannot see an accident that bad with modern reactors, of the type used in Germany and the US.
Last edited by billvon on Jan 14 2019 2:54pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jan 14 2019 2:52pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Jan 14 2019 11:16am
Our economy is fine. Privatley for me energy prices are perfectly fine. I could very easy pay twice or three times per kWh for electricity, heating and fuel. If needed I could even pay 10 times (would not like to do that), but this is not even likely.
But..its not about YOU .!
...its about that huge part of the community who cannot afford the electricity to keep warm, (cool in hot periods) , heat water, refridgerate food, or even cook with .
.... And industries who eventually realise that energy costs ( and its knock on effects on labour costs etc) ....are so much cheaper in other countries , and move their business base there.
.....That is already happening.
In Germany the strategy is to remove the nukes first and coal second.

Obviously this does not give you a huge CO2 reduction at the start. the large CO2 reductions will come when we replace most of our electricity production from coal power plants in the 2020s. In the same time frame electric cars will replace many ICE vehicles which will also lower CO2 emissions significantly.
Germany will not be able to eliminate its coal generation in the 2020's !
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by cricketo » Jan 14 2019 3:04pm

Hillhater wrote:
Jan 14 2019 2:52pm
...its about that huge part of the community who cannot afford the electricity to keep warm, (cool in hot periods) , heat water, refridgerate food, or even cook with .
THINK OF THE FREEZING CHILDREN! LOL!

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by TheBeastie » Jan 15 2019 1:22am

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 13 2019 8:18am
Did I post the Jeremy Rifkin lecture here yet? Watch it on 1.5 speed to save time. He outlines the infrastrucure shifts needed worldwide for a new, more efficient society.
.
https://youtu.be/QX3M8Ka9vUA
.
Very optimistic and inspiring. But he only briefly alluded to the relationship of energy and economy by stating that a crash is coming when oil prices go over $120 and skipped past it.
.
I agree that we need to move to an internet of things sharing economy world wide. But it takes energy to make the transition so we need to stop all superfluous human activities and focus our remaining fossil fuel wealth to get as much done as possible before oil starts to slip away. It will leave us before we are ready to leave it. Along with many other peaking non renewable resources.
.
He also (deliberately?) leaves out any concept of scale and density of rebuildable solar and wind compared to the amount of energy we are using now.
.
So I agree we should strive for his vision with full dedication of remaining resources but also be ready with a simpler "Plan B" for the times when the techno solution falters over the inevitable speed bumps.
Interesting Youtube presentation.
I totally agree on the idea of trying to get off from fossil fuels because they will one day run out, but I really am strictly in the Bill Gates camp where logically only Nuclear is the future.
If anyone wants to see the low "low emissions" nuclear is just compare nuclear-based France vs Germany https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=fa ... emote=true

There really seems to be an acceleration in 4th gen nuclear support. Lots of articles and talk about more support to get it built.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/only-nucle ... 1547225861
Bill Gates has promised to talk up nuclear in 2019, but to make it into MSM/broadcast media he will probably need to have a stunt or say something thats shocking in some way or else he will just be headlines on science/environmental websites that far less people look at.
Bill Gates: to save Earth, we will need more nuclear power
https://www.sustainability-times.com/lo ... ear-power/

My biggest hope for seeing 4th gen nuclear is the Terrestrial Energy Molten Salt Reactor.
It's design is fully done, it just needs regulatory approval in Canada and they can build their first pilot/demo plant. They are a head in approval that most other reactors as they are in "Phase 2" of the approval process.
http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/reactors ... /index.cfm

This is my whacked together thoughts on MSR, I am no expert, just been looking around on the web, I could be wrong on specifics. but I included a lot of links so try and prove me wrong.
This is as brief and to the point on key benefits as I think anyone could ask for.
In reality, if the TE MSR project had a lot of public and government support it could be up and running in a few years rather than expected "fair while yet", because its all about attitudes and support more than people sitting in government pretending to analyse a design for years then rubber stamping it.
The way to look at it is how fast were they able to make the original Molten Salt Reactors in the 60's and 70s, they basically put them together in a year and had comparatively limited technology like today's super-computer modelling etc to know how well they would work. But they did work and it was really because of nothing other than full government/public support.

You can see they whacked the first MSR power-plant together like a mere formality and ran it successfully for 6000hours. If it had never been built or proven and was going to be built for the first time today it would probably take 100's of years in approval government processes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Sa ... Experiment
Image
This tech was a spin-off from a silly request from the US airforce to have a nuclear-powered super-hotair-turbine aircraft simply because the US Navy had the successful nuclear submarine in 1955 that could spend months at sea without needing to refuel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_ ... Propulsion
Image

The technology and safety behind MSR technology is truly remarkable, they did a test in 1955 where they poured the nuclear fuel salt into an open pit surrounded by Geiger-counters/measuring-instruments just to watch the radioactive-fuel-salt instantly harden and not emit any gaseous radioactive particles because it sticks to the specially designed fluoride salt mixture.
Image
This is because the incredibly high boiling point of Flibe salt is 1430°C, unlike water where its merely 100°C there is no issue of it turning into a gas.
https://www.knowablemagazine.org/sites/ ... -vials.jpg
^Here is the fuel mixture heated up in a test tube, image from the article on MSR further below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5iEQ6LXIWY&t=2055s
^ As talked about here, the idea and safety around a nuclear aircraft crashing and how dangerous it would be was actually tested in the real-world.

All the technology around MSR is so unlike 3rd-gen that you have to watch a technology video on it to understand how much better /safer/advanced it is than 3rd gen nuclear, including using up all the waste as well as a bare minimum of 35x times more efficient use of uranium.
Main technology overview speech for the Terrestrial Energy Molten Salt Reactor
http://gifsymposium2018.gen-4.org/docum ... eBlanc.pdf
https://youtu.be/OgTgV3Kq49U
^Must watch video Terrestrial Energy Molten Salt Reactor.
https://youtu.be/aHsljVnY6oI
^Similar technology reactor competitor video.
https://youtu.be/R4GSDRqah-0
^And another one.

The second most notable key feature of MSR reactors is the virtually "atmospheric pressure" the reactor vessel runs at, instead of needing about a 1-foot thick steel reactor-vessel of today's 3rd-gen water-reactors it only would require around 1inch think steel reactor core for MSR.
3rd gen nuclear is especially difficult/expensive because so much of the plant/design is based around containing the insane level of pressure that 3rd-gen water-based nuclear coolant creates.
https://www.jsw.co.jp/en/products/shell ... index.html
Image
Making reactor vessels for 3rd gen nuclear is a bit of a science project in its self, there are only a few custom-built steel-forges in the world that can make 3rd-gen reactor vessels and they are booked solid for new orders for a long time, apparently.

For 4th gen MSR this complete removal of pressure in reactor part changes building large nuclear-reactor plants from a expensive time consuming process (with 3rd gen) into something closer to the lines of making a large tractor inside a building in terms of materials and construction process for MSR 4th gen, once the manufacturing processes are in place.
Also, 4th gen MSR is aimed to be "modular" rather than 3rd gen which is typically seen as "custom" in its design or lack of consistency.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generatio ... advantages
https://whatisnuclear.com/msr.html
Some people use the unrelated "sodium-cooled fast" reactors to attack MSR but they are nothing like MSR.

There is frequent confusion between Molten-salt reactor (MSR) and Sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR).
The "Sodium" reactors have been around for a long time in experimental reactors and have clocked up some bad news/headlines over time, these are NOT the same as MSR reactors.

DOES SALT MEAN SODIUM?
Molten salt reactors are quite different from sodium fast reactors, even though many people think of sodium when they hear of salt. The sodium metals used by those reactors can release a hydrogen byproduct that is combustible in the presence of air or water. Our fluoride salts remove this fire risk, while further simplifying and increasing the safety of the plant design.
http://www.transatomicpower.com/nuclear ... -of-terms/

Another thing to note about the company Terrestrial Energy is they have publically said they are not seeking public funding (its in the provided Youtube video above or one like it), they just want to right to make their product. Maybe this declaration has changed since the video release date.

https://www.terrestrialenergy.com/technology/
Here is a great "general" article over how nuclear MSR designs work and their history behind it all.
https://www.knowablemagazine.org/articl ... er-outlook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO73hmNXpEw


https://www.terrestrialenergy.com/wp-co ... iagram.jpg
Image

Another youtube video explaining how Molten Salt Reactors work
https://youtu.be/R4GSDRqah-0


If you want to know how dangerous nuclear really is in the quickest easily absorbable way possible this is it
https://youtu.be/3ItOIz5gJiQ


If you ever wanted to be convinced how useful nuclear propulsion is to the military watch the TV show series "The Last Ship", the executive producer is Michael Bay.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ship_(TV_series) It's probably on USA Netflix or some other streaming service.
It's a show about a diesel-powered US warship that saves the remaining world from a virus pandemic disaster. But so much of the ship's problems revolve around having to battle it out with remaining enemy states while constantly having to "refuel" because they can't reach their destinations on diesel.
They keep this real-world problem in this TV-show remarkably realistic when it comes to pointing the issue with distance travelled and the need for energy-rich fuel.
If you keep this real-world problem at the back of your mind while watching this show it helps make it that bit extra entertaining.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 6:56am

I like the Thorcon design for it's shipyard style mass production.
.
http://thorconpower.com/design/thorcon-can
.
Molten salt reactors have many big advantages over water reactors. They do not breed weapons grade fuel (this is why we never pursued them in the 60's). The emergency controls are completely input free, passive, and walk away safe with no emergency back up electricity needed. They operate at 650C so they can use the same turbines that are being made by the dozens for current gas plants, and can store the heat in standard salt tanks for load following from 0%-200% in order to compliment solar and wind.
.
But all of these big projects (wind and nuclear, giant hydro, rebuilt social infrastructure, electric rail, ground source heat pumps) are liquid fuel intensive in their construction so we would be wise to allocate much more of our remaining oil to their build out in the fast lane.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 11:45am

Re: the Yellow Vest movement. "it’s not the gas tax that’s the problem. It’s inequality that’s the problem." https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019 ... ransition/

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 11:51am

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 15 2019 6:56am
.
Molten salt reactors have many big advantages over water reactors. They do not breed weapons grade fuel (this is why we never pursued them in the 60's). The emergency controls are completely input free, passive, and walk away safe with no emergency back up electricity needed. They operate at 650C so they can use the same turbines that are being made by the dozens for current gas plants, and can store the heat in standard salt tanks for load following from 0%-200% in order to compliment solar and wind.
They look good but they have a fairly long way to go before they are ready for prime time (i.e. be operated by the general public for decades for power production.) I'm all for more research, but we should be building what we have (and what works now) in the meantime.
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Chalo » Jan 15 2019 12:33pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 11:51am
I'm all for more research, but we should be building what we have (and what works now) in the meantime.
You mean what occasionally fails to work now, with horrifying catastrophic and unrepairable consequences? No thanks.

https://blog.safecast.org/2013/12/curre ... -zone-map/

If you're talking about renewables rather than Fukushima-style nuclear, then sure, let's do it.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 2:15pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 12:33pm
You mean what occasionally fails to work now, with horrifying catastrophic and unrepairable consequences? No thanks.
Nope. I am talking about inherently safe nuclear, not coal or existing nuclear. The AP1000 is an example; four are running now in China.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by wturber » Jan 15 2019 4:02pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 2:15pm
Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 12:33pm
You mean what occasionally fails to work now, with horrifying catastrophic and unrepairable consequences? No thanks.
Nope. I am talking about inherently safe nuclear, not coal or existing nuclear. The AP1000 is an example; four are running now in China.
That is one weird sentence. First of all, how can any nuclear reactor be "inherently safe?" That seems to imply foolproof, and the reality is that human beans get fooled all the time. And wouldn't four running nuclear reactors in China be, by definition, "existing nuclear."

I get the idea that there are better and worse ways to run a nuclear reactor. But what I don't get is that what constitutes that is generally agreed upon or understood. Then there's the question around waste products...

I'm not necessarily against nuclear. But the notion that any design could be "inherently safe" seems like an oxymoron to me. What am I missing?
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 4:13pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:02pm
But the notion that any design could be "inherently safe" seems like an oxymoron to me. What am I missing?
Look at many of the molten fuel reactor designs such as Thorcon or Moltex.
.
http://thorconpower.com/design/thorcon-can
.
http://www.moltexenergy.com/stablesaltreactors/
.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Chalo » Jan 15 2019 4:17pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:02pm
I'm not necessarily against nuclear. But the notion that any design could be "inherently safe" seems like an oxymoron to me. What am I missing?
I think he means "inherently self-extinguishing" rather than inherently safe. There would still be persistent hot actinides, risk of explosion and/or loss of containment, etc. Just no China Syndrome as far as we know.
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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 4:28pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:17pm
wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:02pm
I'm not necessarily against nuclear. But the notion that any design could be "inherently safe" seems like an oxymoron to me. What am I missing?
I think he means "inherently self-extinguishing" rather than inherently safe. There would still be persistent hot actinides, risk of explosion and/or loss of containment, etc. Just no China Syndrome as far as we know.
Not really. there is no radioactive water steam to explode. No zirconium to make hydrogen to explode. control rods are held OUT via electromagnets so any loss of control power inserts the rods with no hyman ability to even stop it if you tried to override the system maliciously. If the rods fail, the freeze plug in the bottom of the tank opens and the molten fuel runs into the containment area underneath via gravity, and lacking the necessary moderator, the reaction is ceased and the heat is carried away 100% passively with no pumps.
.
There is a mess of solid nuclear salt to clean up but nothing escapes. You just let it sit there for 4 years until it cools off and then remove it. Please review the designs in the links that I posted so that you will learn how they work.

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Chalo » Jan 15 2019 4:40pm

sendler2112 wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:28pm
there is no radioactive water steam to explode.
There is superheated pressurized water, so there is the risk of explosion. There is a mechanism to insert the control rods, so there is a mechanism that can fail to insert the control rods.

Things that can fail, sometimes do. Necessary maintenance that can be neglected, sometimes is. Corrosion and erosion that can happen, eventually will. Technical faults that can go undiscovered, often do.

I'd much rather live near a fallible solar array than a fallible fission reactor.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

billvon   100 MW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 4:43pm

wturber wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:02pm
That is one weird sentence. First of all, how can any nuclear reactor be "inherently safe?" That seems to imply foolproof, and the reality is that human beans get fooled all the time.
Well, nothing (including solar) is foolproof. But reactors have varying degrees of shutdown safety.

One is "walk away safe" or "passively safe." No matter what happens, you can walk away and nothing bad will happen.
Another is "passive cooling safe." Doing some very simple things makes the reactor able to cool itself after a shutdown.
Another is "active cooling required." Most reactors are this way now. After shutdown you need to run pumps for a long time (weeks to months) to get the heat out. Fukushima relied on this, and so when the power went out, the reactors melted down.

"Inherently safe" generally refers to reactors that are safer than existing reactors based on passive cooling features. The AP1000 falls in the middle of that list. By flipping a switch the reactor shuts down and goes into passive cooling mode, where it will keep itself cool for three days without any active pumping. After that you have to periodically fill a water tank to provide cooling water. (Can be filled by an onsite pump, a fire truck, a potable water line etc.)

(The IAEA has a more comprehensive breakdown; they have passive safety categories A through D.)
And wouldn't four running nuclear reactors in China be, by definition, "existing nuclear."
True. I guess I should have said "conventional nuclear."
--bill von

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 4:47pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:40pm
There is superheated pressurized water, so there is the risk of explosion. There is a mechanism to insert the control rods, so there is a mechanism that can fail to insert the control rods.
The AP1000, like many reactors, has an active control that keeps the control rods retracted. If the system fails or loses power, the rods fall into the reactor.
I'd much rather live near a fallible solar array than a fallible fission reactor.
Me too. However, that's not the choice - the choice is to live next to a fallible gas or coal plant or a fallible fission reactor. And of those I'd much rather live next to the reactor.
--bill von

sendler2112   100 kW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 4:51pm

It would be nice if people would review links that are supplied if they want to participate in the discussion knowledgeably.

sendler2112   100 kW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jan 15 2019 5:36pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:40pm
I'd much rather live near a fallible solar array than a fallible fission reactor.
By the way... Germany's solar PEAKED at 7% of installed capacity today. For a couple hours only. making an average of about .6% capacity factor for the day. There are many days at a time for months in the winter where solar will be near zero output.
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https://www.electricitymap.org/?page=co ... tryCode=DE
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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Chalo » Jan 15 2019 5:40pm

billvon wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:47pm
Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 4:40pm
There is a mechanism to insert the control rods, so there is a mechanism that can fail to insert the control rods.
The AP1000, like many reactors, has an active control that keeps the control rods retracted. If the system fails or loses power, the rods fall into the reactor.
Are you saying that machines never bind up and fail to do what they are supposed to do? Because most of my paying work comes from machines doing exactly that. And those machines don't have to cope with stuff like superheated water or molten salt.
This is to express my gratitude to Justin of Grin Technologies for his extraordinary measures to save this forum for the benefit of all.

billvon   100 MW

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Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jan 15 2019 5:46pm

Chalo wrote:
Jan 15 2019 5:40pm
Are you saying that machines never bind up and fail to do what they are supposed to do?
Sure, they can. It is merely unlikely.
Because most of my paying work comes from machines doing exactly that. And those machines don't have to cope with stuff like superheated water or molten salt.
True. But then again, the machines you work on don't have 2x or 3x redundancy, and are built to a somewhat lower standard.
--bill von

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