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Default First Nuclear Reactors in 30 years approved for construction in US.

February 9th, 2012, 22:54
All I can say is that it's about damn time that the ignorant stopped dictating national energy policies.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/09/news…tors/index.htm
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February 9th, 2012, 23:06
Who are these "ignorant" you refer to?

Agreed that it's nice to see this sort of thing moving forward, though.

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February 9th, 2012, 23:11
Exactly. 2.2 GW is very little compared to the total generated power by the U.S., but it's a step in the right direction.

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February 9th, 2012, 23:11
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Who are these "ignorant" you refer to?

The voting public that equates nuclear energy to glowing potatoes and feels another Chernobyl is imminent because all reactors are still based on 1950's soviet technology of course.
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February 10th, 2012, 02:52
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
The voting public that equates nuclear energy to glowing potatoes and feels another Chernobyl is imminent because all reactors are still based on 1950's soviet technology of course.
The unwashed masses have been brainwashed by the enviro-nuts. Ironic that the "clean energy" lefties are being hamstrung by enviro lefties. It's good business either way, so the righties are on board.

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February 10th, 2012, 10:36
In Finland we are building three new nuclear plants. The first one is allready been built allthough the french who are doing it are having some difficulties.

Green people wish we would use solar and wind power but we tried it and failed. It simply cant replace raw nuclear power in Finland.

Labour is cheap in EU so its good to build stuff now. I.E the electricians in the plant get only three euros per hour. Vietnamese are cheapest they cost only rice cup and two euros per hour. They also work very hard 12 hour long days.

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February 10th, 2012, 11:27
The AP1000 is a solid reactor however if the US was smart it would be looking to increase it's partnership with India which is already manufacturing cheaper PWHR reactors and will be the world leader in Thorium based reactors in the not too distant future.

The cleaner nuclear power gets the more acceptance it will gain. I am certain this is the future for our energy needs.

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February 10th, 2012, 12:47
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
The unwashed masses have been brainwashed by the enviro-nuts.
People tend to fear that which they don't know. This makes them more susceptible to propaganda that reinforces their initial fears.

Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Green people wish we would use solar and wind power but we tried it and failed. It simply cant replace raw nuclear power in Finland.
The main reason why solar and wind power cannot be relied on to replace conventional sources of energy is their intermittence. So, in present their production needs to be backed by conventional sources (consumption side of the energy equation cares not whether the weather is sunny and windy or not) because the EES cannot store huge amounts of energy (limited amounts can be stored through use of reversible hydro power plants). The solution would be discovering an economically feasible way to store huge amounts of energy.

Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
The AP1000 is a solid reactor however if the US was smart it would be looking to increase it's partnership with India which is already manufacturing cheaper PWHR reactors and will be the world leader in Thorium based reactors in the not too distant future.

The cleaner nuclear power gets the more acceptance it will gain. I am certain this is the future for our energy needs.
It is unfortunate that the slow breeder (Thorium) reactor technology, which has great potential to solve the energy production problems in a middle term, has been present for decades, but very little progress has been made by the West on that front since the 1980s.

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February 11th, 2012, 20:53
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
The voting public that equates nuclear energy to glowing potatoes and feels another Chernobyl is imminent because all reactors are still based on 1950's soviet technology of course.
Today's nuclear power plants are not dangerous by themselves… but there's a lot of risk involved if something happens, like earthquake or storm or …
My cousin and her husband were living in Japan during the nuclear incident, and they say it was very ugly. They had to leave everything behind, move back to London and start anew. So, I think the environmentalists may have a point.
I don't say that people shouldn't take risks, but as long as there are less dangerous options, it's wise not to favor the risky ones.
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February 11th, 2012, 21:39
The Fukushima plants were based on 1960's technology.

And, while no technology is infallible in the face of extreme natural disasters, nuclear energy still has a better track record than coal or natural gas. Its stigma brought on by wholesale ignorance has stifled our national energy plan for far too long. If mankind had always been this irrational, we'd still be afraid to venture out beyond the cave to investigate what that hot red stuff was left behind by a lightning strike.
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February 11th, 2012, 21:46
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
Today's nuclear power plants are not dangerous by themselves… but there's a lot of risk involved if something happens, like earthquake or storm or …
My cousin and her husband were living in Japan during the nuclear incident, and they say it was very ugly. They had to leave everything behind, move back to London and start anew. So, I think the environmentalists may have a point.
I don't say that people shouldn't take risks, but as long as there are less dangerous options, it's wise not to favor the risky ones.
A thing to consider is that the number of human lives claimed by other types of power plants in normal operating mode is significantly higher than for the nuclear power plants, counting normal operating mode and the worst disasters (see the charts at pg. 27 of http://www.nuklearno-drustvo.hr/atta…0Fukushime.pdf, for example, sorry about the language, but the charts themselves are understandable).

The actual number of Fukushima radiation related deaths is exactly zero, as far as I know.

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February 11th, 2012, 23:20
The Fukushima plants were based on 1960's technology.
As far as I know, the nuclear plant technology today is not too different from that of 1960s. But even it was, comparing nuclear tech with human's first venture out of the cave is just as irrational. These are two completely different things on widely different scales. I see your point, but being too daring and bold is just as illogical is as being too conservative. I fail to see how a path that leads to death is better than the path that leads to decay.
The undeniable truth is that trying to scale nuclear accidents with the number of causalities does not do the justice. Nuclear accidents have far reaching consequences and their ramifications are not as temporary as a simple coal-plant accident.
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February 12th, 2012, 02:34
How about fusion? There are a couple of giant projects there.
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February 12th, 2012, 02:45
Yes, we certainly can't compare the afflictions brought on by a century of coal mining and electrical power to a single nuclear accident in 50 years [Chernobyl] that caused loss of life.

Going on your logic, hydroelectric power should be avoided as well because of the Banqiao Dam's failure with a "once-in-2000-years" flood and resulting 171,000 deaths.

And yes, today's plant designs have significant redundant safeguards. Your "far-reaching consequences" do no exist. The main problems stifling nuclear energy are not its safety but ignorance and questions regarding waste disposal. If you wish to discuss the latter, then I'd gladly be all ears.

Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
How about fusion? There are a couple of giant projects there.
Consumer-grade fusion is currently not a reality. It currently takes more energy to produce fusion than is harnessed back.
Last edited by Drithius; February 12th, 2012 at 03:23.
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February 12th, 2012, 14:53
Originally Posted by blackcanopus View Post
As far as I know, the nuclear plant technology today is not too different from that of 1960s.
This is, when it comes to safety systems, simply not true. Additionally, even the old PWRs are inherently much safer than the BWRs such as the ones in Fukushima.

The undeniable truth is that trying to scale nuclear accidents with the number of causalities does not do the justice. Nuclear accidents have far reaching consequences and their ramifications are not as temporary as a simple coal-plant accident.
Are you claiming that human death (the chart on the left side of pg. 27 of the document I have linked) is a temporary consequence?

Are you claiming that pollution (see the chart on the right side of pg. 27 of the document I have linked) is a temporary consequence?

Are you claiming that significant landscape change and population relocation (as in the case of the Three Gorges Dam, for example) is a temporary consequence? Comparison between the space needed for a 1 GW power plant, on the pg. 14 of the document I linked, shows that nuclear power is the most concentrated power source.

You are talking about the choice between death (I'll repeat, how many deaths has Fukushima accident caused?) and decline, when in reality the choice is between the reduction of death (e.g. replacing coal, which causes 39 deaths per 1000 TWh of produced energy, with nuclear with nuclear, which causes 1 death per 1000 TWh of produced energy, Chernobil included) and polution on one side and decline leading to poverty on the other side.

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February 12th, 2012, 17:33
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
The unwashed masses have been brainwashed by the enviro-nuts. Ironic that the "clean energy" lefties are being hamstrung by enviro lefties. It's good business either way, so the righties are on board.
I am a liberal and I am for nuclear. While it does not have a 0 footprint it is, comparitivly speaking, VASTLY better then coal or oil burning plants. So on that level it indeed is a welcome sign.

As for the right, they won't be happy until every tree, clean lake and mountain is spoiled, harvested and they wonder why they can't eat, drink or breath their money they made on said exploitation.

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February 12th, 2012, 22:11
Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
As for the right, they won't be happy until every tree, clean lake and mountain is spoiled, harvested and they wonder why they can't eat, drink or breath their money they made on said exploitation.
This bit of stupidity doesn't even merit a response, but I just couldn't let it go unidentified.

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February 13th, 2012, 08:54
Lol, oh you guys.

Have we found a cheap, safe way of dealing with radioactive by-products, yet?

The cost of nuclear energy is just wildly underexaggerated. It would be really cheap if all plants were built like Fukushima and we just threw all waste into the drinking water, but for some reason those liberal drones are against that!

This is classic straw man in this thread. "Nuclear reactors kill!" is a great slogan, but only very poorly informed people argue that. Nuclear reactors are expensive, the technology to properly contain the radiation they produce isn't here yet, they represent reliance on another limited and diminishing natural resource, they're a potential national security concern for countries like the US, they're bad for the drinking water and property values, they're a disaster of the "low probability, but devastating consequence" variety, increasing the extraction of uranium and the breadth of its supply chain increases the risks that some will fall into the wrong hands, the expanding extraction would mostly favour politically unstable and corrupt nations, the wider expertise in nuclear power spreads, the greater the potential for technicians and their research to be misappropriated, etc., etc. That's why new construction has been held up in the US.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be built, but you guys are being silly, arguing against imagined leftards with arguments you made up for the purpose of defeating. Critique the arguments that people are actually making. Anything else is just masturbatory.
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February 13th, 2012, 15:53
Originally Posted by Skittles View Post
Nuclear reactors are expensive
What does this mean? First of all, let's define the problem: energy consumption is ever increasing, so we need to build something in order to up the production.

We need "dense" and constant sources of energy, due to EES characteristics, so that automatically excludes energy sources like wind or solar (which are also more expensive than nuclear). Hidroelectric potential has mostly been used in the majority of developing countries.

It is important to compare the total costs of energy production over lifetime with other energy sources and it is obvious that the price of power produced in a nuclear power plant is competitive (if it wasn't, Westinghouse would have been out of business a long time ago - there are no subsidies for the nuclear power). Also, it is important to note that I am arguing diversification of energy production rather than reliance on the single source.

It is known to everybody that the initial investment, which can range between 3000 $ and 6000 $ per installed kW, is the highest cost associated with the electricity production in the nuclear power plant, contributing about 60% to the total cost. Operating costs make around 25%, while the costs of fuel contribute about 15%.

Compare it with other conventional sources of energy, like oil, coal and natural gas where the price of fuel contributes in excess of 50% to the total price of energy. Since huge disturbances are ever present in the fuel source markets, it is reasonable to base a significant part of energy production on the source which is economically competitive (i.e. does not need subsidies to be competitive) yet is relatively inert to the change in fuel prices.

With estimated availibility of 90% and total operating time of 40 years total costs of energy production (using projected fuel prices) can be easily calculated, unlike the alternative sources, which are very fuel dependent, however even in the worst case nuclear is in the same order of magnitude of total cost as coal, oil, or natural gas.


the technology to properly contain the radiation they produce isn't here yet,
This is incorrect, as pointed earlier. In normal operation of the power plant, radiation is practically completely contained (0.01% increase in background radiation is negligible). In case of an accident, even 2nd generation PWRs are well equipped to contain the radiation and additional safety measures (including autonomous passive cooling systems) are being made in 3rd generation reactors to make this unlikely event even more unlikely.

they represent reliance on another limited and diminishing natural resource,
Turnover of uranium is very low, reprocessing of used fuel rods is possible as well as further enrichment of uranium ore that has lower percentage of U-235. Those processes do not significantly alter the costs of produced energy (given relative energy price / fuel price independence).

Additionally, thorium based slow breeder reactors resolve this problem completely.

they're a potential national security concern for countries like the US,
This is a real question. 3rd generation plants are equipped to survive a direct jumbo jet impact and the rest can be resolved by the on-site security.

they're bad for the drinking water
WTF? There is absolutely no influence of normally operating nuclear power plant on drinking water. What do you think, that primary or secondary systems come into direct contact with environment? Actually, it is the alternatives that affect the environment negatively.


Check this out (from life cycle assessment article, Paul Scherrer institute):




and property values
And the alternatives make property values soar? Living beside TE or NE, which is better and why?

they're a disaster of the "low probability, but devastating consequence" variety
So what? So is the dam rupture in an accumulation HE (except for the low probability part). Risk management still applies. The possibility has been analysed through risk management techniques and I've already stated and linked the results in this topic. Look up Paul Scherrer institute.

increasing the extraction of uranium and the breadth of its supply chain increases the risks that some will fall into the wrong hands,
It is a long way from the low enriched uranium fuel to the weapons grade uranium. And if you mean the danger of dirty bomb, then radioactive cobalt and other isotopes used e.g. in radiology represent much higher risks (taking hospital security into account).

the expanding extraction would mostly favour politically unstable and corrupt nations
Could you back this up with some facts? Which nations? USA is quite rich in uranium.

the wider expertise in nuclear power spreads, the greater the potential for technicians and their research to be misappropriated,
The expertise has already been widespread (for decades) and does not directly translate into nuclear weaponization.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be built, but you guys are being silly, arguing against imagined leftards with arguments you made up for the purpose of defeating. Critique the arguments that people are actually making. Anything else is just masturbatory.
Arguments that people have been making in this topic have been addressed. You cannot expect me to provide arguments for both sides. I'd rather play chess against myself.

Of course, there are arguments for nuclear power that haven't been addressed by the opposition and some have already been stated:

- energy source diversification (as in all aspects of human life, placing all your bets on one horse is never wise)

- relative price stability (resistant to the uranium price fluctuations)

- normal operation doesn't impact environment with respect to alternatives

- most concentrated source of energy with respect to spatial requirements, as well as transport requirements

- the lowest number of deaths per produced kWh of energy

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February 13th, 2012, 16:39
Don't feed the codex troll with data - you'll make his head explode!

Safety of nuclear power plants with current technology & designs is not so much a problem as waste disposal. It is the only REAL issue in my opinion. Nevertheless, it would be greatly diminished if US companies had some sort of "green light" for developing waste reprocessing methods and facilities. Ever since the Carter ban on fuel reprocessing (and subsequent Reagan lift of the ban), little has been done along this avenue due to, primarily, the uncertainty of the future of nuclear energy in the U.S. (why dump millions of dollars into research if you won't recoup those costs, unable to build new plants).
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