AGM100
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Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:03 pm

I was watching a documentary on the USS Reagan the other night. The show took the viewer on a passage into the reactor area of the ship ..although limited because of security one was able to get a general idea of the size.

I was struck by the general simplicity of the idea .... essentially a steam generating system that turns turbines .. correct ? Next question is why we do we not have these size reactors in every major or mid size city in America ? . According to the narrator the reactor system on the Reagan creates enough power to "light a medium size US city".

Obviously the units are safe ...they have a very good track record I would say.... so would you support the installation of one in your town ?

Positives :

1. Reduce our dependents on hydro electric system in place now ... it would free up water ways for agriculture and ease the overburdened system.

2. Reduce our dependents on coal ... we could sell it to the emerging countries to power their systems.

3. If we go to electric vehicles nuclear charging systems would be able to handle the demand.

4. Free up more of our petroleum and natural gas products to be sold on the markets.

5. Create high tech jobs , and move our energy infrastructure to the next generation of technology.

Negative's :

1. Waste disposal

3. Accidents and radiation containment .... could be solved with containment ideas but is still a huge problem.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
EA772LR
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:06 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
Positives :

1. Reduce our dependents on hydro electric system in place now ... it would free up water ways for agriculture and ease the overburdened system.

2. Reduce our dependents on coal ... we could sell it to the emerging countries to power their systems.

3. If we go to electric vehicles nuclear charging systems would be able to handle the demand.

4. Free up more of our petroleum and natural gas products to be sold on the markets.

5. Create high tech jobs , and move our energy infrastructure to the next generation of technology.

Negative's :

1. Waste disposal

3. Accidents and radiation containment .... could be solved with containment ideas but is still a huge problem.

It seems that the positives far outweigh the negatives. I am full agreement with you AGM100.  checkmark 
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
flanker
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:14 pm



Quoting EA772LR (Reply 1):
It seems that the positives far outweigh the negatives. I am full agreement with you AGM100.   

Same here. Nuclear seems to be the logical source of power for the near future given the demand which will be needed.

I am a huge proponent of it.

Also i am sure one day we will be generating energy from means much more powerful than the nuclear forces.
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ajd1992
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:16 pm

The French have it down to a fine art, pretty much. They have a number of them.

Unfortunately, too many people complain about them (and to a point, rightly so). We don't want another 3 Mile Island or worse, another Chernobyl. That buggered everything up there for those people and their future generations for something like 20 THOUSAND years. I personally don't mind them, my nearest one is Sellafield in Cumbria and nobody really complains about them here. I'm all for them - as long as they're operated properly.
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:21 pm

Because a major accident is not just tragic, but catastrophic.

Nuclear power plants need very strong cooling, making it difficult to run them in the summer. France, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is a major energy exporter in the winter actually has to import huge amounts in the summer. Not a problem on a ship obviously.

Plus Uranium is finite. There wasn't all that much to begin with. And it doesn't really get cheaper to mine it.

And, despite what the involved companies try to tell you - it's really expensive to build a nuclear power plant, especially to today's safety standards.

But the major point remains how catastrophic a nuclear disaster is. If a coal/oil/gas/solar/water/etc power plant blows up you mourn the dead and then start rebuilding it. If a nuclear power plant blows up you can kiss that area and everybody who was in it Good Bye for a long time.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:45 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
If a nuclear power plant blows up you can kiss that area and everybody who was in it Good Bye for a long time.

And how many times has that happened? Once. How many times has it happened in a way that wasn't easily preventable given basic safety standards? Never.

Just curious here - how many people do you think died/will die due to Chernobyl? No looking up on Wikipedia, I want your gut answer.

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Plus Uranium is finite. There wasn't all that much to begin with. And it doesn't really get cheaper to mine it.

Next-generation reactor technologies and fuel reprocessing can lead to efficiencies high enough to make it cost-effective to extract uranium from seawater. That could fulfill our uranium needs for several million years.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
EA772LR
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:46 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Because a major accident is not just tragic, but catastrophic.

Agree, and yet you say:

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
it's really expensive to build a nuclear power plant, especially to today's safety standards.

implying that today's standards would be better than before, and how many 'catastrophic' accidents have we had involving Nuclear power plants?
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
Airport
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:48 pm

I agree that the positives outweigh the negatives. There are some strong negatives, but there are also very strong positives. Perhaps we don't need them in every city, but they could be a major help.

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Because a major accident is not just tragic, but catastrophic.

The hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths from automobile accidents didn't seem to stop us from progressing forward with the automobile.
 
flanker
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:53 pm

Another great thing is that fusion is progressing nicely too.

Just think what that will do to the environmentalists when have it one day!  rotfl 
Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
 
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Tugger
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:54 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Nuclear power plants need very strong cooling, making it difficult to run them in the summer. France, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is a major energy exporter in the winter actually has to import huge amounts in the summer. Not a problem on a ship obviously.

This is not true, there are many types of reactors out there that do not need cooling, the Chinese are looking to utilize these types of designs for their reactors.

The example I know of is called a "pebble bed reactor", they are design such that even a complete loss of coolant (indefinitely) does not cause the reactor to overheat. Both GE and Westinghouse reactors that don't require "strong cooling".

Tugg
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ManuCH
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:56 pm

The greens in Switzerland are making a big fuss about additional nuclear power plants, not because of the risk of an accident, but because of waste disposal. They do all the scaremongering that we don't really know how disposed waste will behave in 100+ years, if containers will hold correctly, etc.

I'm in favor of expanding nuclear power to gain our independence from fossil fuel. Realistically it's the only way forward I see.
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waterpolodan
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:01 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):

And, despite what the involved companies try to tell you - it's really expensive to build a nuclear power plant, especially to today's safety standards.

And there's the basic problem. It's a question of economics. Building a nuclear plant that is fully compliant with the latest regulations of the IAEA in this country costs literally billions of dollars, and the time it would take for the plant to return a profit to the initial investors is far longer than simply building another 5 or 6 coal, oil, or natural gas power plants. There are reactors under construction in IIRC Tennessee and Georgia for the last 20 years, and still haven't been completed due to massive cost overruns, budget shortfalls, and ever more regulatory hurdles. I'm all for Nuclear energy as well, so long as we can figure out a truly safe method of waste containment, but until the cost of pollution is internalized by the other types of power generation and the playing field is leveled with nuclear energy, I don't think it's a realistic proposition.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:03 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
Obviously the units are safe ...they have a very good track record I would say.... so would you support the installation of one in your town ?

Shipboard - at least US Navy - reactors are quite a bit smaller than needed for any but a small city. They are extremely labor intensive and cost significantly more than civilian reactors. Which ain't cheap by any yardstick.

Shipboard reactors have access to basically unlimited cooling water supplies.

This is a significant issue with land based reactors - the access to sufficient cooling water. Even conventional coal and oil fired electricity generating plants required the construction of lakes to provide sufficient cooling.

Cooling the steam after it is used to generate power can cause major unplanned ecological changes in a smallish body of water - as the water is heated permanently above the normal temps.

Now personally, I see nuclear power as the ONLY way to break our dependence on fossil fuels. Other generation methods all have their own enviornmental damaging aspects - even wind generation has negative enviornmental consequences.

However, the capacity needs show that only nuclear can provide a sufficiently large volume of electricity to replace some fossil fuel plants.

Yes, nuclear is a potential disaster, but as countries like France and Japan have shown, they can be built and operated safely. Even by for-profit companies.

We have one nuclear plant with two reactors about 85 miles from my home. It is almost directly upwind based on average yearly weather/ wind conditions. So if there is an accident, the odds are 50-70% that we would get radiation, along with most of the rest of the Fort Worth / Dallas metroplex.

I think we need to embark on a program to build substantially more nuclear reactors in the US.
 
AGM100
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:03 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
If a nuclear power plant blows up you can kiss that area and everybody who was in it Good Bye for a long time.



I am not a scientist ... but how is this the case when we see Nagasaki and Hiroshima essentially uncontaminated and thriving? Was it due to the type of bomb used , the type of uranium ?

If the reactor and system is the size able to be operated in a aircraft carrier or submarine ... it seems a containment system could be built fairly easily like underground or hardened. I understand it would need to withstand a tremendous blast like Chernobyl possibly , but I don't envision reactors the size of Chernobyl .

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Plus Uranium is finite. There wasn't all that much to begin with. And it doesn't really get cheaper to mine it.



That is a real problem , I agree . Although I believe that the uranium in one of those reactors last for a very long time , is that correct ? Point being that with planning it could be sustained somewhat .

I don't see these being the sole energy source for our future ... but it seems like it could be a strong link in the energy chain.
You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
 
777236ER
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:05 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
But the major point remains how catastrophic a nuclear disaster is. If a coal/oil/gas/solar/water/etc power plant blows up you mourn the dead and then start rebuilding it. If a nuclear power plant blows up you can kiss that area and everybody who was in it Good Bye for a long time.

Not convinced this is a strong enough argument against nuclear power. There were 56 direct deaths from Chenobyl and maybe 4,000 extra cancer deaths from the 600,000 most heavily exposed. Certainly terrible, but not catastrophic. Certainly not something to destroy the industry. For example, there were 4,717 on-board aviation fatalities from 1999 to 2008, and we all support that industry.
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waterpolodan
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:12 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 14):

Not convinced this is a strong enough argument against nuclear power. There were 56 direct deaths from Chenobyl and maybe 4,000 extra cancer deaths from the 600,000 most heavily exposed. Certainly terrible, but not catastrophic.

Granted, the number of deaths was minimal given the scope of the radiation released, but how many square miles are included in the exclusion zone in Belarus? IIRC, it's nearly 1/3rd of the country that is uninhabitable because of the "heat" that will remain for thousands of years. Now that truly is catastrophic. Imagine that happening anywhere near a large urban center in the US.

Ironically, it's been a boon for the wildlife of the exclusion zone, and on some darwinian level it has accelerated the evolution of those animals because the ones that thrive are the ones that are the most resistant to the toxic nature of the radioactive water, soil, and foliage.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:14 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
I understand it would need to withstand a tremendous blast like Chernobyl possibly , but I don't envision reactors the size of Chernobyl .

I think you would need reactors the size of Chernobyl if you want to power a city of any real size. The reactors on a carrier might power a city of 10,000 people, but that's not really much.

I also don't think nuclear power would really create a lot of new jobs since you are talking about replacing many of the people who work in the fossil fuels industry (goodbye coal miners!).

I do support nuclear power and think we should be building more plants. My only issue is coming up with an effective way to deal with the waste.
 
Superfly
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:14 pm

I am pro-nuclear power all the way.
It is the cleanest and most efficient source of power. France doesn't seem to have much of a problem with it either.

How about all of the coal mining deaths?

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
it's really expensive to build a nuclear power plant, especially to today's safety standards.

Well thank Ralph Nader and his minions for that.  


Listen to Penn and Teller on Nuclear Energy.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usg7-xbQOcM
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777236ER
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:19 pm



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 15):

Granted, the number of deaths was minimal given the scope of the radiation released, but how many square miles are included in the exclusion zone in Belarus? IIRC, it's nearly 1/3rd of the country that is uninhabitable because of the "heat" that will remain for thousands of years. Now that truly is catastrophic. Imagine that happening anywhere near a large urban center in the US.

'Truly catastrophic' has surely to be measured in lives lost. I agree that the land loss is large, but is it truly out of proportion to the benefits? Remember, nuclear power is essentially a carbon-free way of producing power. The mitigation of climate change must also be considered.

Also consider that burning coal reduces carcinogens. Per gigawatt-year of energy produced by coal there are 0.8 lethal cancers per plant per year. That's 320 deaths per year from cancer caused by radiation released from coal power plants.
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waterpolodan
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:19 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):

I am not a scientist ... but how is this the case when we see Nagasaki and Hiroshima essentially uncontaminated and thriving? Was it due to the type of bomb used , the type of uranium ?

Short answer, yes. The type of waste from the original atomic weapons dissipated almost immediately, but the type of waste from a Chernobyl-type meltdown has a far, far longer half life, and there is a lot more of it than a simple "clean" bomb like fat man or little boy. For nitty gritty specifics, ask a nuclear engineer, I'm certainly not one of those  
 
AverageUser
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:21 pm

As I write this, the Finnish nation consumes 12,055 megawatts of networked energy (exluding gas), out of which 6,158 MW is produced domestically in the form of electricity, and further out of this 2,726 MW (44%) is nuclear power. The percentage is actually higher as much of the imported electricity (1,412 MW) is produced by nuclear around St. Petersburg.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:22 pm



Quoting 777236ER (Reply 18):

'Truly catastrophic' has surely to be measured in lives lost. I agree that the land loss is large, but is it truly out of proportion to the benefits? Remember, nuclear power is essentially a carbon-free way of producing power. The mitigation of climate change must also be considered.

I say saying something is a catastrophe can also be measured in lost economic output. If you are forced to abandon huge swaths of land, that is definitely out of proportion to the benefits of a mostly carbon-free power source. What if those lands aren't just wilderness, but thriving farmland? Or a major watershed like Lake Powell out west? That would have economic and personal repercussions on an unimaginable scale, even if the actual death toll is low.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:24 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
I am not a scientist ... but how is this the case when we see Nagasaki and Hiroshima essentially uncontaminated and thriving? Was it due to the type of bomb used , the type of uranium ?

Hiroshima's bomb was a Uranium bomb, Nagasaki's used Plutonium.

Both bombs were very inefficient, and released a relatively small amount of radiation. I have a feeling this was by design.

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 14):
Not convinced this is a strong enough argument against nuclear power. There were 56 direct deaths from Chenobyl and maybe 4,000 extra cancer deaths from the 600,000 most heavily exposed.

Chernobyl was very much a worst-case scenario. While the sealed reactor core itself will contain deadly amounts of radiation for a couple thousand years, the surrounding area has already started to recover, and could possibly be hospitable within 50 years.
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Yellowstone
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:26 pm



Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 15):
Granted, the number of deaths was minimal given the scope of the radiation released, but how many square miles are included in the exclusion zone in Belarus? IIRC, it's nearly 1/3rd of the country that is uninhabitable because of the "heat" that will remain for thousands of years. Now that truly is catastrophic. Imagine that happening anywhere near a large urban center in the US.

You're confusing the fallout zone with the exclusion zone. Yes, quite a bit (~25%) of Belarus got fallout dumped on it, but the exclusion zone around Chernobyl is only 30km in radius. It's even safe to go inside the exclusion zone for limited periods (workers at the Chernobyl plant work 4 days on, 3 days off). And yes, the radioactive heat will take many centuries to dissipate entirely, but it's down to safe levels in most areas.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
racko
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:55 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 20):
As I write this, the Finnish nation consumes 12,055 megawatts of networked energy (exluding gas), out of which 6,158 MW is produced domestically in the form of electricity, and further out of this 2,726 MW (44%) is nuclear power. The percentage is actually higher as much of the imported electricity (1,412 MW) is produced by nuclear around St. Petersburg.

Wasn't Olkiluoto III supposed to be finished last year? I read something about Siemens causing some delays. Is it working by now?
 
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par13del
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:07 pm



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 5):
And how many times has that happened? Once.

The technical experts can weigh in but I do not believe that we have ever had a nuclear reactor "blow up", Chernobly was a melt down which is significantly different. However, it does highlight the dangers of nuclear power generation, the fall out of radiation is just as bad / deadly as if the plant actually blew.

Everyone likes and wants nuclear power, it eliminates some dependency on foreign oil, once you get over the minor hurdles of NIMBY's, no waste storage, environmental regulations, state and federal regulations, financing, companies willing to invest long term and spear head the project, and other public concerns, building new plants is a breeze  
 
mt99
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:13 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
Negative's :

1. Waste disposal

3. Accidents and radiation containment .... could be solved with containment ideas but is still a huge problem.

You forget cost.
Step into my office, baby
 
ozglobal
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:19 pm

Energy independence and security were primary drivers for France going nuclear after WWII. This is now paying huge dividends with 90% nearly of all electricity being nuclear. The 1000 or so daily TGV (HSR) services throughout France are all nuclear electric powered, rendering carbon footprints per journey nearly nil. Domestic nuclear power technology is now a major export industry for France.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:30 pm

Thorium reactors seem to solve all the current issues with uranium - cost, size, and safety. Perhaps this should be taken more seriously, though I don't claim to be an expert on nuclear energy.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/

Quote:

Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the ’50s through the early ’70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the ’60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.

Today, however, Sorensen spearheads a cadre of outsiders dedicated to sparking a thorium revival. When he’s not at his day job as an aerospace engineer at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama — or wrapping up the master’s in nuclear engineering he is soon to earn from the University of Tennessee — he runs a popular blog called Energy From Thorium. A community of engineers, amateur nuclear power geeks, and researchers has gathered around the site’s forum, ardently discussing the future of thorium. The site even links to PDFs of the Oak Ridge archives, which Sorensen helped get scanned. Energy From Thorium has become a sort of open source project aimed at resurrecting long-lost energy technology using modern techniques.

And the online upstarts aren’t alone. Industry players are looking into thorium, and governments from Dubai to Beijing are funding research. India is betting heavily on the element.

The concept of nuclear power without waste or proliferation has obvious political appeal in the US, as well. The threat of climate change has created an urgent demand for carbon-free electricity, and the 52,000 tons of spent, toxic material that has piled up around the country makes traditional nuclear power less attractive. President Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, have expressed general support for a nuclear renaissance. Utilities are investigating several next-gen alternatives, including scaled-down conventional plants and “pebble bed” reactors, in which the nuclear fuel is inserted into small graphite balls in a way that reduces the risk of meltdown.

Those technologies are still based on uranium, however, and will be beset by the same problems that have dogged the nuclear industry since the 1960s. It is only thorium, Sorensen and his band of revolutionaries argue, that can move the country toward a new era of safe, clean, affordable energy.

-------

When he took over as head of Oak Ridge in 1955, Alvin Weinberg realized that thorium by itself could start to solve these problems. It’s abundant — the US has at least 175,000 tons of the stuff — and doesn’t require costly processing. It is also extraordinarily efficient as a nuclear fuel. As it decays in a reactor core, its byproducts produce more neutrons per collision than conventional fuel. The more neutrons per collision, the more energy generated, the less total fuel consumed, and the less radioactive nastiness left behind.

Even better, Weinberg realized that you could use thorium in an entirely new kind of reactor, one that would have zero risk of meltdown. The design is based on the lab’s finding that thorium dissolves in hot liquid fluoride salts. This fission soup is poured into tubes in the core of the reactor, where the nuclear chain reaction — the billiard balls colliding — happens. The system makes the reactor self-regulating: When the soup gets too hot it expands and flows out of the tubes — slowing fission and eliminating the possibility of another Chernobyl. Any actinide can work in this method, but thorium is particularly well suited because it is so efficient at the high temperatures at which fission occurs in the soup.

In 1965, Weinberg and his team built a working reactor, one that suspended the byproducts of thorium in a molten salt bath, and he spent the rest of his 18-year tenure trying to make thorium the heart of the nation’s atomic power effort. He failed. Uranium reactors had already been established, and Hyman Rickover, de facto head of the US nuclear program, wanted the plutonium from uranium-powered nuclear plants to make bombs. Increasingly shunted aside, Weinberg was finally forced out in 1973.

That proved to be “the most pivotal year in energy history,” according to the US Energy Information Administration. It was the year the Arab states cut off oil supplies to the West, setting in motion the petroleum-fueled conflicts that roil the world to this day. The same year, the US nuclear industry signed contracts to build a record 41 nuke plants, all of which used uranium. And 1973 was the year that thorium R&D faded away — and with it the realistic prospect for a golden nuclear age when electricity would be too cheap to meter and clean, safe nuclear plants would dot the green countryside.

So basically, if it wasn't for the Cold War, we might have a lot more nuclear power...for more reasons that the obvious. The second page of the article has more info, but the estimated cost of a thorium reactor is about $10,000, while uranium is usually $50-60 million. Also, thorium can't be used in weapons, and degrades to safe handling condition within 100 years. And...the US at least has enough of it to provide power for the next millenium. Did I mention it requires no water cooling and is self-regulating?

I'm sure there's some issues with it like anything else, but just the above benefits seem to give a very tempting reason to research it further.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:31 pm



Quoting Racko (Reply 24):
Wasn't Olkiluoto III supposed to be finished last year? I read something about Siemens causing some delays. Is it working by now?

In short, no. (I don't know if one can single out Siemens as it's a Aveva-Siemens consortium that is builning the reactor as a turnkey project.) Anyways' the project is a mess. For instance if you sub-sub-sub contract the design of concrete structures to India, how were the Indians to know that concrete will cure differently when it's cast at below 0 degrees!

Collecting on the site construction workers from Eastern Europe who made the cheapest offer and will work at or near the minimum salary, and then their Western European foremen, forced to accept wages one scant rung upper on the food chain, will establish a jolly nice European Tower of Babel.

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Con...ar+construction+site/1135252583331
 
MD-90
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:37 pm

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Nuclear power plants need very strong cooling, making it difficult to run them in the summer. France, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is a major energy exporter in the winter actually has to import huge amounts in the summer. Not a problem on a ship obviously.

That sounds more like France doesn't have enough electricity generating capacity for a/c use during summer.

I grew up less than 15 miles from Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama. It was TVA's first nuclear plant and the most powerful in the world when it became fully operational in 1977. It has three reactors and they were the first in the world to be capable of generating over 1000 megawatts each. If France doesn't have enough power then they need more plants or to upgrade their reactors.

And I've never been afraid of living so close to Browns Ferry, even though it was the site of a fire inside Reactor One in 1975 (the first reactor ever to generate over 1000 megawatts).

[Edited 2010-02-02 14:41:34]
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:58 pm



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 22):
Chernobyl was very much a worst-case scenario.

What they did at Chernobyl was playing some sort of "war games" and experimenting with non-standard operational conditions and given the nature of the reactor intentionally asking for trouble.
The even worse "fallout" of the disaster was that it stalled the development in this field for quarter of a century. Any rational, fact-based discussion on this has become virtually impossible.... at least in Europe because it's all about emotions and opposition being almost some sort of religious conviction.

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 10):
The greens in Switzerland are making a big fuss about additional nuclear power plants, not because of the risk of an accident, but because of waste disposal. They do all the scaremongering that we don't really know how disposed waste will behave in 100+ years, if containers will hold correctly, etc.

The issue of waste disposal is primarily a political one, how to deal with NIMBYism rather than the technical aspects of storage as such.
How many of these "greens" participate on the annual riots at Gorleben and how many of them are militant lunatics willing to go as far as derailing the train (had they been given the chance to do so) just to "prove" how unsafe nuclear waste handling is.
Interestingly enough the carbon footprint of those tens of thousands of cops dispatched along the train route for protection against them, not to mention taxpayers' money seem to not concern them

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU1nX8SycFI
 
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:15 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
so would you support the installation of one in your town ?

Absolutely would have no problem with it. In fact I am sitting about 2,500 feet away from one as we speak (granted it is not a commercial sized one). I wonder how many people in Boston are even aware there is a nuclear reactor so close to them?
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:26 pm

There are large neighborhood sized reactors being sold now, just not in the US, I saw their marketing last year somewhere. Can be installed underground.
In any discussion about the risks of nuclear power, we need to include the many thousands of deaths the greenies claim attributable to coal every year.
 
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:33 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
would you support the installation of one in your town ?

Yes.

The soon-to-be closed General Motors/Toyota plant (NUMMI) down in Fremont or at the fmr. Naval shipyard at Hunters Point here in San Francisco.
Those are already industrial areas zoned for heavy industry.
I'd much rather see that area put to good use rather than some cheap looking, cookie cutter, over-priced luxury condos with small lots and few parking spaces. Our course this city would pretend that it's 'affordable housing' to get public support.
Industrial areas should stay industrial.
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:49 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
I was watching a documentary on the USS Reagan the other night. The show took the viewer on a passage into the reactor area of the ship ..although limited because of security one was able to get a general idea of the size.

The reactors are suprisingly small. I've been into the reactor area of a sub and it was fascinating, although the control rooms were far from simple, and swealteringly hot because of the confines of a submerged vessel. I've also been to Chernobyl and walked around neighbouring Pripyat. Moving isn't the word for it, you just can't imagine what the citizens felt in those early days after the explosion, let alone the long term effects.
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:12 am



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 22):
Both bombs were very inefficient, and released a relatively small amount of radiation. I have a feeling this was by design.

Not by design, per se, but rather our limited understanding of nuclear weapons design in 1945. Fat Man and Little Boy were only the second and third nuclear devices ever detonated.
 
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:15 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 29):
Collecting on the site construction workers from Eastern Europe who made the cheapest offer and will work at or near the minimum salary, and then their Western European foremen, forced to accept wages one scant rung upper on the food chain, will establish a jolly nice European Tower of Babel.

Sounds like the perfect way to build a safety-critical building.
 
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:45 am



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
how is this the case when we see Nagasaki and Hiroshima essentially uncontaminated and thriving? Was it due to the type of bomb used , the type of uranium ?



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 36):
Not by design, per se, but rather our limited understanding of nuclear weapons design in 1945.

I think it was more due to a lack of understanding of the way radiation released by a bomb works.

But the key design factor of both bombs was that they were air burst weapons - denotated at about 600M altitude - and they were very small, very low power weapons for nukes. They were purposely denotated at that height to cause more physical damage from the thermal flash and shockwave. This meant very little radioactive material reached the ground.

Chernobyl put out more radioactive material than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It actually put out almost as much radioactive material as all the above ground weapons test ever conducted. It was a massively dirty accident.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 13):
I understand it would need to withstand a tremendous blast like Chernobyl possibly , but I don't envision reactors the size of Chernobyl .

Actually you need reactors much bigger than Chernobyl in their power output. The design of Chernobyl was the problem, not the size. The design allowed the accident to happen. An identical accident cannot happen in western design reactors. The danger event for western reactors was Three Mile Island.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:46 am

You don't build a nuclear reactor in a city, that's foolish. You build it where there are as few people as possible.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 9):
This is not true, there are many types of reactors out there that do not need cooling, the Chinese are looking to utilize these types of designs for their reactors.

The example I know of is called a "pebble bed reactor", they are design such that even a complete loss of coolant (indefinitely) does not cause the reactor to overheat. Both GE and Westinghouse reactors that don't require "strong cooling".

Tugg

Unless it has a 100% yield, it needs cooling. It's just a safer (and maybe cheaper, we'll see when one is built) alternative. Well, we'll also see about the safer part then, but in theory it is.
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:49 am



Quoting Superfly (Reply 34):


The soon-to-be closed General Motors/Toyota plant (NUMMI) down in Fremont or at the fmr. Naval shipyard at Hunters Point here in San Francisco.

Yeah, I have one problem with nuclear reactors in San Francisco. See, sometimes the ground here moves. And sometimes it moves really hard. Better move the reactors into the east a bit where the ground doesn't move so much.

Now, the thorium reactor might be the perfect solution to this problem. It ain't fusion, but it's the next best thing.
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Aesma
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:06 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 30):
That sounds more like France doesn't have enough electricity generating capacity for a/c use during summer.

Yeah that's possible. Until some years ago nobody had A/C here, but in summer 2003 we had record high temps (with a lot of death due to lack of preparation) and now it is quite frequent.

BTW we're starting to have problems in the winter too, this winter being colder than usual, there is not enough power and we import again, the colder days.

That's easily explained by capacity not being builtd at an adequate pace. Now that we're seeing that it's more difficult to build a power plant as quickly as back in the day, let's hope that something is done quickly.

edit : truth be told, France in the summer is idle so the cooling problem is real but wasn't an hindrance until recently. Summer is also used to do most of the maintenance.



[Edited 2010-02-02 17:09:49]
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:37 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Yeah, I have one problem with nuclear reactors in San Francisco. See, sometimes the ground here moves. And sometimes it moves really hard. Better move the reactors into the east a bit where the ground doesn't move so much.

That hasn't stopped the Japanese from building more than 30 powerplants. Accident free for over 40 years! *crossing fingers*
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connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:40 am

Well, there's just too much here for a nuclear physicist (me) not to comment on:

Quoting AGM100 (Thread starter):
1. Reduce our dependents on hydro electric system in place now ... it would free up water ways for agriculture and ease the overburdened system.

Hydro power is good power - it's renewable. Dams, properly located, hold back water that might ultimately be lost, and, by reducing the surface-to-volume ratio of a given stretch of water, reduce evaporation and help keep the water cooler.

2. Reduce our dependents on coal ... we could sell it to the emerging countries to power their systems.

No argument, although coal will be with the USA for a long, long time. In Canada it's just about gone.

3. If we go to electric vehicles nuclear charging systems would be able to handle the demand.

It's not the demand, it's the electric vehicles that are the limiting factor. Better to sue the electricity for high-speed rail.

4. Free up more of our petroleum and natural gas products to be sold on the markets.

Free up petroleum for transportation and natural gas for feedstock at plastics plants.

5. Create high tech jobs , and move our energy infrastructure to the next generation of technology.

To some degree.

Negative's :

1. Waste disposal

Not as big a problem as you might think. Deep geologic disposal, which is what we have demonstrated up here (partly funded by US DOE).

3. Accidents and radiation containment .... could be solved with containment ideas but is still a huge problem.

Containment is a last resort type of thing, better safety system and safety analysis during licensing are what will protect you.

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 3):
Unfortunately, too many people complain about them (and to a point, rightly so). We don't want another 3 Mile Island or worse, another Chernobyl. That buggered everything up there for those people and their future generations for something like 20 THOUSAND years.

Three Mile Island was a hiccup, mostly attributable to inadequately trained staff (now a thing of the past, thankfully). Chernobyl's exclusion zone is being repopulated by wildlife quite succesfully, workers work ibnside it for days at a time, and I would expect repopulation to occur within a couple of generations.

Quoting Racko (Reply 4):
Plus Uranium is finite. There wasn't all that much to begin with. And it doesn't really get cheaper to mine it.

And, despite what the involved companies try to tell you - it's really expensive to build a nuclear power plant, especially to today's safety standards

Uranium is finite, yes. But there's more of it than you might think, since it exists in seawater. If we can figure out how to extract it (likely using nuclear power...) then we'll have an essentially unlimited resource.

As to cost, IAEA and national safety standards are part of it, ICRP (International Committee on Radiological Protection) has set radiation exposure standards so ridiculously high that it makes work itself quite expensive. Finally, the whole way we finance these things is a big part of the problem: you borrow a large amount of $, then some tree hugging group (and I like trees) holds the whole process hostage through the courts, particularly in the USA. Meanwhile the interest piles up. Hopefully in the USA the NRC's new 'one-stop shopping' license process will help correct this: all the approvals are done at one time, thumbs up or down, and the opponents get one chance to intervene.

RFields5421 -- some very good commentary !

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 16):
I think you would need reactors the size of Chernobyl if you want to power a city of any real size. The reactors on a carrier might power a city of 10,000 people, but that's not really much.

The Greater Toronto Area in Canada is ~5M people give or take. Most of its' power comes from the Pickering Nuclear Station (4x525MW + 4x550MW, our first big nuclear plant, built in the suburbs) and Darlington (4x885 MW, in the exurbs). That's how much electricity you need.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 25):
The technical experts can weigh in but I do not believe that we have ever had a nuclear reactor "blow up", Chernobly was a melt down which is significantly different. However, it does highlight the dangers of nuclear power generation, the fall out of radiation is just as bad / deadly as if the plant actually blew.

Chernobyl was a far more complex accident than most understand. In the first place, a test was being performed to determine how long electricity could be generated as the reactor was powered down, which required turning off some safety systems -- this would never be permitted in the West. Second, the reactor core itself became decoupled into two essentially independent components, the lower of which essentially melted in place, the upper suffered something like a steam explosion in a locomotive. I have to admit, when I saw the first aerial photos I understood all of us in the nuclear business had reached a crossroads.

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 28):
Thorium reactors seem to solve all the current issues with uranium - cost, size, and safety. Perhaps this should be taken more seriously, though I don't claim to be an expert on nuclear energy.

Quite, in some respects. Thorium is very abundant, much more so than uranium. You would use it in a reactor to breed U233, which is quite fissile. U233 fission, thoguh, does produce some very nasty daughter products. We have tested this in Canada on a very small scale, but turned away. India seem to be going ahead with one, however.

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 33):
There are large neighborhood sized reactors being sold now, just not in the US, I saw their marketing last year somewhere. Can be installed underground.

Not sure they are being sold, as I don't know about the license status from the NRC, but they are definitely being marketed. Basically a nuclear battery where a slow reaction is cooled by molten lead (IIRC) which sheds the heat into the ground. It's supposed to be 'maintenance free' but to get the electricity out they stuill need a secondary side, turbine,etc., all of which would need maintenance. Unless they're using direct energy conversion which is horribly inefficient.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 38):
Actually you need reactors much bigger than Chernobyl in their power output. The design of Chernobyl was the problem, not the size. The design allowed the accident to happen. An identical accident cannot happen in western design reactors. The danger event for western reactors was Three Mile Island.

See above comment re Toronto for size. But agreed the Chernobyl design (called RBMK in Russian) was a primary culprit. The control rods had carbon graphite tips, which, upon insertion when operators realised things were getting out of hand, added reactivity to the core, not what you want to do.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Yeah, I have one problem with nuclear reactors in San Francisco. See, sometimes the ground here moves. And sometimes it moves really hard. Better move the reactors into the east a bit where the ground doesn't move so much.

A terrible earthquake struck Armenia in I believe 1982. The Medzamor reactor (Russian design PWR) not only survived, but was restarted a few years later with no apparent safety issues. CANDUs currently are rated to a 6.0 and should easily be upgraded to 7.0 for future units.

Don't want to seem like too much of a windbag so I'll shut up now. Hope my contribution was useful at least to some.
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rfields5421
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:31 am



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 43):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Yeah, I have one problem with nuclear reactors in San Francisco. See, sometimes the ground here moves. And sometimes it moves really hard. Better move the reactors into the east a bit where the ground doesn't move so much.


A terrible earthquake struck Armenia in I believe 1982. The Medzamor reactor (Russian design PWR) not only survived, but was restarted a few years later with no apparent safety issues. CANDUs currently are rated to a 6.0 and should easily be upgraded to 7.0 for future units.

The October 1989 San Francisco earthquake was a 7.0.

The January 1994 Northridge earthquake near Los Angeles was 6.7. The San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants continued to operate normally. San Onofre is closest to the epicenter but it is 112 km from the epicenter.

There was a December 1988 quake at 6.9 in Armenia. The reactors were 75 km from the epicenter and continued to operate.

I agree that San Francisco is too active a fault area for a nuclear plant. The plants at Eureka California were closed because upgrading them to withstand a 6.0 quake was too expensive.

Reactors are quite safe as long as they are distant from fault zones.

You cannot find someplace not close to a fault in San Francisco. There are simply some cities where you are not going to be able to place nuclear reactors close to the city.

That is how we can use long distance transmission lines and other generation sources. The United States west of the continental divide is a problem. There are too many people needing too much power, and water, for the natural systems to be able to support them.

Unfortunately many of those most crowded areas are filled with the same people who want to stop any 'unnatural' sources of power.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:46 am



Quoting Racko (Reply 37):

Sounds like the perfect way to build a safety-critical building.

Not to speak of the image of what major European high-tech building cooperation has to offer to the world.
Let's hope the Chinese officials won't unnecessarily delay the building of similar projects in China the way their Finnish counterparts have done (if you ask Areva)!
 
AGM100
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:48 pm

Well it seemed like a good idea ...but many on here have pointed out the week points and I agree . I guess it just makes more sense to me than just talking about green technology and dumping billions into phantom solar and wind projects . We have these reactors ...they are in use every day ...we send our young men and women to work right next to them . It sure seems allot more attainable than solar or wind power on a large scale.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 43):
I have to admit, when I saw the first aerial photos I understood all of us in the nuclear business had reached a crossroads.



Do I understand your point being that it was essentially "human error" during the test in that they did not follow procedure?. Or do you believe that it is something just inherently unstable and dangerous about nuclear reactors? When you say that you came to a crossroads .... could you explain ?
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:53 pm



Quoting Flanker (Reply 8):
Just think what that will do to the environmentalists when have it one day!

THIS environmentalist is pro-Nuclear. Let's not paint with too broad a brush.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:34 am

[quote=AGM100,reply=46]Do I understand your point being that it was essentially "human error" during the test in that they did not follow procedure?. Or do you believe that it is something just inherently unstable and dangerous about nuclear reactors? When you say that you came to a crossroads .... could you explain ?

It wasn't so much human error as human arrogance, combined with a bad design. All power reactors have shut off rods that drop into the core to quench the nuclear reaction if there is a serious issue. In the Soviet RBMK designs (originally) the SORs had graphite tips on them, the reason for which escapes me at the moment. Graphite is in nuclear parlance a moderator -- it makes more neutrons available to stoke the reaction, so that at Chernobyl, when the SORs were dropped, core power actually increased. Combined with the fact that there was very little cooling water available under the conditions of the test, this caused a 'prompt critical' situation in the reactor. May not mean much but it basically is putting the reactor beyond the control of the control room. Power ramped exponentially and voila!

There is nothing inherently unstable or unsafe about nuclear reactors either experimental or power. What is required are well thought out procedures, well trained operators, and a design that has been subject to as much critical review as you can think of. Kind of like an airliner. Except that basically once you start up the reactor, you can't go into the core to fix things. So it has to be right the first time.

PM me if you have further questions.
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Aesma
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RE: Nuclear Reactors In Every Major City..

Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:24 pm



Quoting AGM100 (Reply 46):
Well it seemed like a good idea ...but many on here have pointed out the week points and I agree . I guess it just makes more sense to me than just talking about green technology and dumping billions into phantom solar and wind projects . We have these reactors ...they are in use every day ...we send our young men and women to work right next to them . It sure seems allot more attainable than solar or wind power on a large scale.

Well, did anybody put billions in solar or wind projects ?

In France we have the first solar furnace since 1970 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_furnace ). There are challenges to overcome but until recently we just didn't try to.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams

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