US Nuclear - Progress bill to cement future

OVERKILL

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https://www.powermag.com/bipartisan-senators-move-to-cement-nuclear-powers-future/
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A wide-ranging bill introduced by a large group of bipartisan U.S. senators on March 27 seeks to cement the role advanced nuclear reactors will play in the nation's future power mix. The "Nuclear Energy Leadership Act" (NELA), aims to "reestablish U.S. leadership in nuclear energy," which has been lost to state-sponsored development in Russia and China, the senators said in a joint press release. The bill contains a lengthy list of significant measures. For one, it seeks to "define and establish" a domestic market for advanced nuclear reactors by extending term limits for federal power purchase agreements (PPAs) from the current 10 years to 40 years. "Initial capital costs for nuclear reactors are paid for over a period beyond ten years, which means 10-year PPAs do not work for nuclear projects," a section-by-section factsheet disseminated with the bill says. The bill also establishes a pilot program that will see the federal government partner with industry to be an early adopter of new technologies using a PPA that exceeds 10 years. To compete with state-owned or state-sponsored developers in "rival nations"— namely Russia and China—the bill also encourages significant collaboration between the federal government, national laboratories, and private industry. One provision directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish specific goals and ultimately demonstrate advanced reactors with the private sector. It also requires the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy to develop a 10-year strategic plan to support advanced nuclear research and development (R&D) goals. "There has not been a cohesive long-term strategy for the direction of U.S. nuclear science and engineering R&D policy across administrations," it says. As notably, the bill seeks to boost development of fast neutron reactors. Fast reactors have the potential to extract 60 times more energy from uranium compared to existing thermal reactors and contribute to a significant reduction in the burden of radioactive waste. But while wide progress has been made of late in many countries, only a handful of mature concepts have been demonstrated. At the end of 2016, Russia put online the BN-800 at its Beloyarsk nuclear plant (a POWER Top Plant winner in November 2016), and though at least 16 other fast reactor projects are inching closer to deployment, only two—Russia's BN-1200 and China's CDFBR-1200—could be commercial projects when they come online by 2030. To grasp any hope of advancing U.S.-developed fast reactor technology, the bill introduced on Wednesday directs the DOE to construct a fast neutron-capable research facility. At the same time, the bill pushes for rapid advancements in high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuels, which several small modular reactors under development require but no domestic production capability currently exists. "This program will provide a minimum amount of HALEU to U.S. developers until a long-term domestic supply is developed, while also facilitating the development of HALEU-appropriate transportation equipment," the fact sheet says. Finally, the bill will establish "a world-class, highly-skilled workforce to develop, regulate, and safeguard the next generation of advanced reactors" by creating a "university nuclear leadership program" to meet workforce needs. Senators sponsoring the legislation include: Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; James Risch, R-Idaho; Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Cory Gardner, R-Colorado; Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois; Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Michael Bennet, D-Colorado; Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. While the measure will be crucial to "electric reliability, keep energy prices affordable, and address climate change," Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, stressed U.S. nuclear innovation was lagging behind other countries. "We once led the world in nuclear energy, but have surrendered that position to Russia and China. It is imperative that we reverse that trend and develop advanced nuclear technologies domestically," she said. Bennet, meanwhile, pointed to national security. "U.S. investors should not need to look to other countries to invest in advanced nuclear technologies," he said. "If we don't make a concerted effort now to strengthen our clean energy economy, China, Russia, and others will continue to surpass us. This bill is one step we can take toward ensuring our national security and addressing climate change," he said.
The only thing missing is a plan for waste reprocessing as has been a huge success in France. Japan is leveraging that to reprocess their domestic spent fuel stores (shipping back and forth to France), so the US really needs to get on-board with some sort of long-term plan that would ideally result in domestic reprocessing capabilities. The 40-year PPA's should result in Nuclear actually being attractive to investors, which is imperative for the future of the industry. This has been an obstacle given the massive capital they require, which has made them a hard sell in recent years despite the long-term power they can provide. Typical US Nuclear plant has now had its life extended to 60 or 80 years.
 
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Great. Another boondoggle that will result in astronomical rates for the consumer. The viability of nuclear is painfully obvious by the very fact that huge amounts of taxpayer money are required as collateral. Large scale nuclear is dead. NIMBY runs rampant, the reactors too expensive and too slow the modulate. Meh. Next?
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Great. Another boondoggle that will result in astronomical rates for the consumer. The viability of nuclear is painfully obvious by the very fact that huge amounts of taxpayer money are required as collateral. Large scale nuclear is dead. NIMBY runs rampant, the reactors too expensive and too slow the modulate. Meh. Next?
While some of the applications for new builds may leverage existing designs, a lot of the intended support is, as indicated in the text, for next-generation advanced reactor technologies which are smaller in size and output and designed to be Modular. They will require less capital and will be more tolerant of being paired with VRE than existing Gigawatt+ units. Traditional designs certainly are capable of load-following. That's how France does it, because Nuclear makes up 85% of their generating mix. We are doing it up here at Bruce B via steam bypass to accommodate VRE, but it's less than ideal to dump power from a manned and fuelled source to make room for VRE. If curtailment is required, VRE is the obvious choice, as the impact of curtailment on its operating costs is less. There is inherent value (and that includes monetary) in reliable generation technologies and as such, allowing plants that are the most efficient running wide open to do so, keeps the per kWh cost of those facilities down. Besides hydro, there is no other zero-emissions stand-in for coal, which is what makes nuclear attractive.
 
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Great. Another boondoggle that will result in astronomical rates for the consumer. The viability of nuclear is painfully obvious by the very fact that huge amounts of taxpayer money are required as collateral. Large scale nuclear is dead. NIMBY runs rampant, the reactors too expensive and too slow the modulate. Meh. Next?
While some of the applications for new builds may leverage existing designs, a lot of the intended support is, as indicated in the text, for next-generation advanced reactor technologies which are smaller in size and output and designed to be Modular. They will require less capital and will be more tolerant of being paired with VRE than existing Gigawatt+ units. Traditional designs certainly are capable of load-following. That's how France does it, because Nuclear makes up 85% of their generating mix. We are doing it up here at Bruce B via steam bypass to accommodate VRE, but it's less than ideal to dump power from a manned and fuelled source to make room for VRE. If curtailment is required, VRE is the obvious choice, as the impact of curtailment on its operating costs is less. There is inherent value (and that includes monetary) in reliable generation technologies and as such, allowing plants that are the most efficient running wide open to do so, keeps the per kWh cost of those facilities down. Besides hydro, there is no other zero-emissions stand-in for coal, which is what makes nuclear attractive.
In the US the State of Georgia* is dealing with two reactors which are so far behind schedule and over budget that turning the on would is the worst decision from an economic perspective. It also doesn't help that the manufacturer (Westinghouse) filed bankruptcy in late 2017. The US will probably eventually turn into a mixture of storage (Batteries) + renewables (Solar, Wind, Hyrdo) and NatGas peaker plants which can quickly ramp up/down. * https://www.georgiapower.com/compan...een-light-to-finish-vogtle-reactors.html * http://ieefa.org/ieefa-update-vogtle-nuclear-reactor-a-runaway-project-nobody-needs/
 
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Keep funding fusion. I think a lot of the design issues for the current nuclear power plants go back to Admiral Rickover. He was deciding what the design would be for nuclear power for subs and decided on the current design used in most ships and power plants. But the best design for a can in the sea might not be the best for a commercial power plant, but everyone building commercial power plants decided to go with the same design Admiral Rickover decided on. There are a lot of better designs today. Fusion will be here in less than 25 years.
 
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We gotta try. Failure, spent monet, etc are all part of the process. I support research and development which is why I went solar and electric even though they may not have been the best short term economic decisions.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
One last comment to the OP. Why do you post something interesting like the Ravenol 0w40 VOA you promised? bop
Nuclear is my hobby. You are welcome to not click the threads if the topic is not of interest to you shrug
 
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
One last comment to the OP. Why do you post something interesting like the Ravenol 0w40 VOA you promised? bop
Nuclear is my hobby. You are welcome to not click the threads if the topic is not of interest to you shrug
I was joking. wink
 

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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
We gotta try. Failure, spent monet, etc are all part of the process. I support research and development which is why I went solar and electric even though they may not have been the best short term economic decisions.
thumbsup Agreed. There are a number of extremely promising SMR designs out there right now, some of which can be run on existing waste stores. The Canadian government is sponsoring an SMR program and most of our utilities are engaged in the process, offering up potential sites for these new builds, in many cases at sites that already have active CANDU units. This pairing makes sense. Ontario has some of the lowest GHG emissions in the world thanks mostly to Nuclear, which provides 60% of our electricity. 85% of our power comes from Nuclear/Hydro.
 

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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
One last comment to the OP. Why do you post something interesting like the Ravenol 0w40 VOA you promised? bop
Nuclear is my hobby. You are welcome to not click the threads if the topic is not of interest to you shrug
I was joking. wink
Ahhhh, OK, I missed that obviously wink
 
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Nuclear is my hobby. You are welcome to not click the threads if the topic is not of interest to you
I recently vacationed in New Mexico, as an "atomic tourist" . Absolutely fascinating. While not a hobby of mine, I remain quite interested in nuclear power. Clearly, we have developed the methodology to manage all of the associated issues with an acceptable margin of safety. Much like aviation safety, over time, we have developed a significant understanding. People that claim otherwise can only point to outdated and immature designs, and their associated failures as evidence. It would be interesting to see a comprehensive list of newer safety measures. Including various methods for containing "corium" the lava like core meltdown material that contains things like molten uranium, metals, carbon, ceramics and glass.
 
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You guys got it together that's why. We have too many Special Interest and Political Action Committees blocking more nuke plants. They want 0 emissions solar to power the nation.
 

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Originally Posted by Donald
Keep funding fusion. Fusion will be here in less than 25 years.
You will never see another Nuke go online in your lifetime, including the ones built in GA. Fusion will not occur either...except maybe to power a wristwatch. This coming from someone who has followed and worked as a Nuke worker since 1970. Pretty much know about fusion. Its too complicated to go out of the lab.
 
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OVERKILL

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Originally Posted by Al
Originally Posted by Donald
Keep funding fusion. Fusion will be here in less than 25 years.
You will never see another Nuke go online in your lifetime, including the ones built in GA. Fusion will not occur either...except maybe to power a wristwatch. This coming from someone who has followed and worked as a Nuke worker since 1970. Pretty much know about fusion. Its too complicated to go out of the lab.
I assume you mean in the USA? Because several have come online in China lately, and in Russia. You don't think Vogtle will come online? It recently secured funding to ensure its completion shrug What do we get if you are wrong? grin
 

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Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
Solar is fusion, right? In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second, right?
The sun is predominantly fusion, though fission does occur as well.
 
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