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Nuke the Energy Problem

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Comments

  • BigRob
    BigRob Member Posts: 297
    It is a shame nobody talks about “the other N word.” The same situation exists in SF- any politician who wants to clean up the homeless problem is quickly shamed as inhumain by the homeless industrial complex. The problem is the current crop in Congress are dinosaurs, or at least likes to burn them. It takes a good month of reading to really wrap your head around the issue, and that’s not with lobby in your ear. It’s a hard enough topic for technical people, let alone lawyers and social activists, who are preconditioned to not read about it seriously. Man, we are so screwed.
    BobC
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,098
    All of a sudden everyone is an expert on fission reactors....
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,257
    I agree the people who are supposed to be in charge of all this are fossils - ESPECIALLY the Nuclear Regulation Agency. They have the mental flexibility of cast iron.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited January 2018
    Interesting thing about Yucca mountain is it's if you look around there are cinder cones in the area. It's a volcanic zone!! Not ideal for 300,000 year storage. Even Gov's report says it won't be too much contamination if lava brings some of these high level waste spent fuel rods to the surface

    Also if you look at the area Yucca mountain is located on Nellis air force base (bing maps) and is home of the trinity nuke test site. So easier to say just dump it there since a nuke has already been tested in the area. No one else wants a high level dump in their backyard.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,257
    A portion of the existing nuclear waste could be processed and used as fuel for liquid fueled reactors. Nobody in their right mind can honestly think any government can safely store the mountain of waste we have for thousands of years.

    Build liquid fueled plants so we can burn up most of the waste, it will cost a lot of money but ignoring it will cost a lot more in the end.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    What happened to encasing it in a salt mine and allowing the salt to encapsulate it? Seems pretty straight forward to me...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,118
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,398
    Leonard said:

    Interesting thing about Yucca mountain is it's if you look around there are cinder cones in the area. It's a volcanic zone!! Not ideal for 300,000 year storage. Even Gov's report says it won't be too much contamination if lava brings some of these high level waste spent fuel rods to the surface

    Also if you look at the area Yucca mountain is located on Nellis air force base (bing maps) and is home of the trinity nuke test site. So easier to say just dump it there since a nuke has already been tested in the area. No one else wants a high level dump in their backyard.


    Exactly, the public is pretty spooked about the N work and politicians know that.

    While the spills and meltdowns have been few, it effects a large area and population for a long time.

    Seems to be a lot more earthquakes and in areas that have rarely experienced them in years past. Is their any safe ground or cave storage? Probably not many engineers want to put their name on that choice :)

    https://world.wng.org/2014/09/locals_suffer_long_term_effects_of_fukushima_meltdown
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,045
    "It does. And it's far more sophisticated than rail cars!"

    Well, then why is it not used? I have been in storage facilities on nukes and I haven't seen much technology. Every power plant stores its own waste, even after it is shut down. How much care and security is there? As I see it, until we show that we can properly handle to old generation of crap that we have produced the new generation of crap won't have a chance and we don't even seem that interested in science and R&D currently. I think I'll stay a greenie!

    One of the things about working on nukes was that we used to say that if you wanted to spoil a good man, put him on a nuke. The work rules were unbelievable. I was in a cell welding some 1" SS pipe. All the pre-fab sections were all hung on wire and we had to do the fit ups and weld it out. So, the process was, fit up and call for QC inspection, and wait. They get there any where from an hour to maybe in the morning, sign off the fit up and leave. Weld the root pass and call for x-ray. They do that at night and the next morning you can weld out the approved X-rays, but they may not X-ray all the joints that were ready. It can take days and you sit and go crazy, but you have to look busy or the white hats will run you off. Hell of a way to run a railroad.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,782
    You ask why it is not used. It is purely political, and in some countries it is used (Sweden, for example, which the process was refined). It is not used in this country because getting the necessary permits to move the spent fuel to a processing facility, build the processing facility, and creating the final storage would take decades tied up in court by every green lawyer in the country (frankly, Greenpeace and Sierra Club are particularly bad actors in this regard), and nobody has the money to even bother to try.

    It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way it is and seems likely to continue.

    I admit to being amused by your comments on working on reactors. Like so much else in the nuclear and hazardous materials industries in general, the regulations are driven by fear, not by any rational analysis of risk, and are based on truly horrible data. Extremely poor science. For reference, the maximum dose permitted (calculated in a rather byzantine manner...) is that which is speculated to result in one additional case of cancer (for carcinogens) or fatality (for toxins) per one billion person-years...

    This should be compared the habitat and human damage alone caused by wind farms or especially hydroelectric facilities.

    And finally -- and now maybe I'll shut up -- allow me to point out that there is no such thing as inherently bad or evil technology. Technology is never bad nor evil in itself; it is what mankind chooses to do with it that makes any particular technology evil or beneficial.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,045
    Jamie, I cannot disagree with anything you say, but I think the objection to nuclear crosses all political spectrums. From the viewpoint of one who has picked up the “zoomies”, I am happy that the millirems allowed are...what they are. The last shut-down I worked was James A Fitzpatrick in ‘86. I just received a card from the DOE requesting that I get a physical. Once you get “crapped up” you stay crapped up. I will refuse to comply.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,756
    ChrisJ said:

    All of a sudden everyone is an expert on fission reactors....

    I notice that as well. For one thing Hanford made fuel for bombs; quite different from producing electricity. Then there's that "last a thousand years" business. It's the short life stuff that's so deadly. Heavy long life elements like Pu239 are valuable. Don't carry a lump in your pocket but you are safe having some in your closet. We actually enjoy more radioactivity from fossil fuels than from atomic electricity.

    The notion that laypersons make the rules for atomic power is as sensible as my mother-in-law having a say about how your next brain surgery will be performed.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,782
    jumper said:

    ChrisJ said:

    All of a sudden everyone is an expert on fission reactors....

    I notice that as well. For one thing Hanford made fuel for bombs; quite different from producing electricity. Then there's that "last a thousand years" business. It's the short life stuff that's so deadly. Heavy long life elements like Pu239 are valuable. Don't carry a lump in your pocket but you are safe having some in your closet. We actually enjoy more radioactivity from fossil fuels than from atomic electricity.

    The notion that laypersons make the rules for atomic power is as sensible as my mother-in-law having a say about how your next brain surgery will be performed.

    Right on all counts!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,023
    Well, yes and no. While it's true that a "layperson" shouldn't necessarily be making technological decisions, a flat denial of anyone but "expert" input is mistaken at best, for a number of reasons. One, a professional standing in no way guarantees excellence, as most of us can attest to on a daily basis. Two, a lack of a professional standing in no way indicates a lack of understanding, even deep understanding. Do you know anyone who's opinion you value greatly? Is it because you're asking something that they're skilled at or because you trust them?
    Three, again while laypersons shouldn't necessarily be specifying the wall thickness of the containment vessel doesn't mean that they (we?) have no input as to policy questions like "Do we use nukes?" or "Where do they go?"
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,098
    edited January 2018
    ratio said:

    Well, yes and no. While it's true that a "layperson" shouldn't necessarily be making technological decisions, a flat denial of anyone but "expert" input is mistaken at best, for a number of reasons. One, a professional standing in no way guarantees excellence, as most of us can attest to on a daily basis. Two, a lack of a professional standing in no way indicates a lack of understanding, even deep understanding. Do you know anyone who's opinion you value greatly? Is it because you're asking something that they're skilled at or because you trust them?
    Three, again while laypersons shouldn't necessarily be specifying the wall thickness of the containment vessel doesn't mean that they (we?) have no input as to policy questions like "Do we use nukes?" or "Where do they go?"

    All I know is I don't trust anyone that doesn't use a Weber, right @Harvey Ramer ? :D:p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,782
    I somewhat agree that the public should have some input into siting (or use) considerations, but it should be done on an informed basis. Unhappily, this is not the case for either use or siting --,not that they don't have input; they do, all too often through the courts -- but that that input is not well informed.

    Siting considerations for all forms of power are usually done by a State Public Utilities Commission, which equally usually operates on an out of sight principal. Rural folks and farmers don't count, but make great places for wind farms and solar panels; the laws -- at least in New England -- effectively prohibit local input on commercial scale renewable power projects.

    (In Canada, First Nations people don't count at all -- so HydroQuebec is wonderfully green with it's big hydro projects, which have displaced thousands of them -- not to mention the habitat destruction).

    The problem for use is more severe: the general public, I'm afraid, is firmly convinced (thanks to the media and other sources) that all nuclear power plants are on the verge of either melting down (The China Syndrome) or blowing up (think mushroom cloud) at all times, which makes any kind of rational decision making almost impossible.

    There's no good solution for that.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,023

    There's no good solution for that.

    QFT

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,257
    @ChrisJ I have the best grill Weber ever mad - the Q100. It's 10 years old and works like new, sips fuel like I SHOULD sip sour mash.

    On the nuke front, from what I understand the water cooled reactor was lifted from the navy because they did all the heavy lifting and nobody wanted to foot the bill for different design reactors at that time. Sometimes designs don't scale well when you try to multiply the size by a factor of 100.

    Water cooled reactors all run at very high pressure and that gets a lot harder when you scale them up dramatically. The engineers that worked on early water cooled designs all knew this was just a step along the way, it was never intended to be the final step.

    If you go to liquid fuel everything gets easier, low pressure designs are dramatically easier to build and can cost a lot less IF the fossils at the ARC climb down off their thrones and look at the designs from an engineering POV.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,782
    Anybody else remember the CANDU design? That was a victim of "NIH" (Not Invented Here).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,345
    edited January 2018
    I must admit this is one of the best reading threads I've been privy to in a long time! Great input! And well balanced, seems everywhere else it was so one sided and stomach turning to read. I know very little about the nuke process.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,257
    The regulatory agencies in this country are intensely political and because of that they are beholden to big business. The cost of fuel rods is huge and big business is not about to let that cash cow slip away without a fight.

    The people running these agencies are about as forward looking as Strom Thurman was - fossils all of them.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge