Mini-nukes, the future of distributed power?

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It's going to take getting beyond the generations who lived in very tangible fear of nuclear apocalypse (believe me, I don't blame them) before nuclear power will be accepted well.
 
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Are you gonna need any Uranium to power these mini nukes ? With the boatload of Uranium in the ground in Eastern Oregon and Northern Nevada, would that be of interest to anybody ?
 
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The problem is the eco-nuts will never tolerate more nuclear power. Of course, they'll be doing all their whining on their MacBook plugged into the wall NOT running on any sort of renewable, at 8pm at night...
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
We can plan for disasters, but we cant plan for ALL disasters. The Japanese never thought a 9.0 earthquake would kick up 125 ft tsunami waves and knock out the backup generators, and the backup - backup generators. There are a lot of far fetched scenarios that could cause disasters. That being said, I am 100% for nuclear power. Its a shame what the US nuclear power system looks like it does. I am also of the opinion that these small plants should be used a LOT more. Like in small Alaskan towns that currently run diesel generators. And on huge ocean going cargo vessels. Can you imagine the impact on carbon emissions and fuel consumption alone if these big ships were nuclear powered? The Russians have nuclear powered ice breakers.
The Russians don't give a **** about emissions, and laugh as they make side-deals with the Chinese to bring down American supremacy. That includes not having to worry about fuel shortages. Make no mistake, those icebreakers are 100% about reliability (unlike the eco-freaks trying to drive us back into the stone-age with unreliable renewables).
 

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Originally Posted By: bubbatime
We can plan for disasters, but we cant plan for ALL disasters. The Japanese never thought a 9.0 earthquake would kick up 125 ft tsunami waves and knock out the backup generators, and the backup - backup generators. There are a lot of far fetched scenarios that could cause disasters. That being said, I am 100% for nuclear power. Its a shame what the US nuclear power system looks like it does. I am also of the opinion that these small plants should be used a LOT more. Like in small Alaskan towns that currently run diesel generators. And on huge ocean going cargo vessels. Can you imagine the impact on carbon emissions and fuel consumption alone if these big ships were nuclear powered? The Russians have nuclear powered ice breakers. ...That includes not having to worry about fuel shortages. Make no mistake, those icebreakers are 100% about reliability (unlike the eco-freaks trying to drive us back into the stone-age with unreliable renewables).
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Thorium reactors are where it's at. Cheaper and well not zero risk but pretty close to it on any kind of meltdown.
thumbsup For sure and I have been echoing distributed nuclear power systems for years, especially in terms of HS.
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Solar/renewables, though in your OP, weren't in my thought process at all. Sure, those things are huge... But the two school bus sizing will ultimately become more like 20 (granted that's still quite small), when things are said and done. As someone who is an active participant in power and energy research, it's highly annoying when people pushing their wares don't tell the whole story. On the other side,,I'm still not sure that the turnip/down speeds of these devices are really fast enough for widespread renewables. But evidence one way or another must still be generated...
Certainly, I think the schoolbus sizing is just the reactor itself, not the total footprint but I see how that could be misleading. And yes, I know you didn't mention the renewables, I brought them up just for the sake of comparing the size occupied by the facility. That is, in a way, another example of what you speak. Talking about area per KW of installed capacity, it often isn't brought up when discussing wind/solar, and if it is, it often again isn't mentioned in terms of actual output relative to a typical turbine and instead nameplate is used because it sounds/looks better.
 

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Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Thorium reactors are where it's at. Cheaper and well not zero risk but pretty close to it on any kind of meltdown.
Canada has had a CANDU reactor design able to use Thorium since 2012. The Chinese have two facilities containing these reactors. They will also run off the spent fuel from US plants. They are 700MW units, so smaller than the Uranium versions, but that's a pretty decent trade-off given the diverse cross-section of fuels they can utilize.
 
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How is a thorium cycle more resistant to meltdown than a conventional uranium reactor? The thorium has to be converted to U-233 before it will fission. Then you have nearly the same situation as U-235 fission, including the problem of decay heat which causes most meltdowns. Any nuclear station regardless of MW capacity is going to occupy many acres of real estate when you consider the support, security, containment and isolation facilities needed on site. Wind and solar is often installed on real estate that has little other usage value, such as deserts mountainsides, and water. They can be in remote areas since they need little human attention and are not a security risk.
 
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The US Army had a program in the 50's for a small portable reactor. Unfortunately they had an accident during maintenance that revealed a design issue caused the program to be terminated. They did continue with newer designs like the ML-1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1 I find our early nuclear history fascinating, and something to be learned from.
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Originally Posted By: Thermo1223
Thorium reactors are where it's at. Cheaper and well not zero risk but pretty close to it on any kind of meltdown.
Canada has had a CANDU reactor design able to use Thorium since 2012. The Chinese have two facilities containing these reactors. They will also run off the spent fuel from US plants. They are 700MW units, so smaller than the Uranium versions, but that's a pretty decent trade-off given the diverse cross-section of fuels they can utilize.
You really need to drop this rah rah type promotion of the candu reactor. The article discusses PWRs. We could do this right now by copying the design on the aircraft carriers. I really don't think the candu will be the future of nuclear power. The heavy water is too cumbersome and problematic
 
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I think the reverse philosophy is better. My professor at LSU said we should put a large number of sodium cooled breeders somewhere in the middle of a dessert and run transmission lines out. It makes a lot of sense. Only one spot to secure that you can control, like area 51. Distributed generation is horse excrement. Power can be run very long distances very efficiently with EHV transmission. There are a number of 1000 Mile lines at 1 million volts on the west coast.
 

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Originally Posted By: turtlevette
You really need to drop this rah rah type promotion of the candu reactor. The article discusses PWRs. We could do this right now by copying the design on the aircraft carriers. I really don't think the candu will be the future of nuclear power. The heavy water is too cumbersome and problematic
Well that's not going to happen and you know it, so that was a pretty pointless request. I also only brought it up because Thorium was mentioned and we currently have the ability to utilize that for fuel. It was not mentioned in this thread until that point, so relax already. I haven't seen evidence that with traditional sites that heavy water is cumbersome or problematic. Perhaps for a mini nuke, but then I wasn't promoting a mini CANDU, the device discussed in the OP is a Rolls Royce PWR which is likely similar to the aircraft carrier and sub design and I was thinking the same thing when I read about it.
Originally Posted By: turtlevette
I think the reverse philosophy is better. My professor at LSU said we should put a large number of sodium cooled breeders somewhere in the middle of a dessert and run transmission lines out. It makes a lot of sense. Only one spot to secure that you can control, like area 51. Distributed generation is horse excrement. Power can be run very long distances very efficiently with EHV transmission. There are a number of 1000 Mile lines at 1 million volts on the west coast.
The reason this is being discussed is because distributed power has become quite prevalent. With wind and solar farms all over the bloody place, it isn't like we are just going to reverse from that, there is already far too much invested. While I don't think baseload generation is going away any time soon, nor nuclear power, I believe this is the primary driver for interest in scaled-down systems such as the one being discussed, to compete with these smaller installs and appear "just as viable" due to a scaled-down cost as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Just saw this Which gave me a bit of a chuckle, as I was recently thinking about the feasibility of a pressure-cooker sized CANDU
Am I going to have to take the time and effort to show how the CANDU is a piece of junk? Don't make me do it.
 

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Originally Posted By: turtlevette
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
Just saw this Which gave me a bit of a chuckle, as I was recently thinking about the feasibility of a pressure-cooker sized CANDU
Am I going to have to take the time and effort to show how the CANDU is a piece of junk? Don't make me do it.
Do you honestly think you could convince me? Come on, use your head. This is one of those stupid arguments that is going to get you absolutely nowhere and just make you angry like has happened time and time again in our past discussions. Give it a rest, you don't like me championing Canadian power technology, I accept that fact, just like I let your pro-American rhetoric to the point that it is painful to read at times get a pass. For the sake of the civil conversation that we've been able to have these last few months, think before you reply to this. Use your head. You know me well enough by now.
 

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Originally Posted By: turtlevette
To put it in the simplest terms, if Fisher Price built a nuclear reactor it'd look much like a CANDU. For ages 2 and up.
LOL! Typical turtle, you really can't play nice when the topic comes to any sandbox but your own. Yours always has to be the BEST!!!! And you'll argue it to the death and get yourself banned in the process like you have countless times in the past. USA-1 indeed buddy. You are a smart guy but you have the personal relation skills of a turnip. Congratulations on the slide-back thumbsup This thread is done.
 
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