This webcast features perspectives from operational technology (OT), information technology (IT) as well as the general industry outlook, to provide attendees insight into the challenges utilities are facing today as well as a holistic view into smart grid strategies to more...
Grid threats increase daily - from foreign foes, terrorists, criminals and hackers. Utilities are tasked with guarding against a rising tide of potentially disruptive intrusions into their power grid and electronic networks. What will it take to keep the power more...
Monday Jun 24, 2013
- Tuesday Jun 25, 2013 -
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - USA
Data Informed´s Marketing Analytics and Customer Engagement provides marketing, sales, and customer support managers with the information they need to create an effective data-driven customer strategy. more...
We know you have something to say!
There is an immediate need for articles on
the hot topics in the Power Industry!
EnergyPulse, like no other publication,
also provides a means for our readers to
immediately interact with experts like you.
During the 10 years of so that I taught international finance at Uppsala University (Sweden), I made two things clear: I didn't teach nonsense any longer (meaning a large part of advanced macroeconomics), and so whatever I taught had to be learned perfectly.
I also informed my students that they were never to mention The (London) Economist in my presence, or to refer to it on the very long examinations I graciously gave them to conclude the course. I was also accustomed to refer to that publication as "a compendium of London wine bar gossip".
A few days ago I found myself face to face with the latest issue of The Economist (March 10, 2012), and on the cover was the title of a particularly obnoxious 'leader' called "The dream that failed", which had to do with the uncertain future of nuclear, as well as the termination of a fantasy of nuclear-based energy "transformation".
I have discussed this topic frequently over the past decade, and anyone interested in my latest thoughts can examine them in the leading 'net' energy publications 'The Energy Tribune', or '321 Energy'. What I did not say in those articles, or in my new energy economics textbook (2012), and especially the promotion for my lectures is that I find it difficult and often impossible to make fools of persons whose ideas on this topic are different from mine, because of their almost complete ignorance of pertinent economic theory.
In the final paragraph of the leader in question, we are gratuitously informed that "Reactors bought today may end up operating into the 22nd century, and decommissioning well-regulated reactors that have been paid for when they have years to run -- as Germany did -- makes little sense".
A silly claim is making the rounds over most of the world that United States now has a supply of natural gas that -- at unchanged production -- could last a hundred years. Until I see more evidence of a scientific nature, I intend to believe that, with luck -- with luck -- the present production of natural gas in that country could be continued for at most 50 years. On the other hand, it is certain that there is enough uranium and thorium to supply every reactor being constructed (or for that matter contemplated) for at least -- at least -- a hundred years. This is because, as I pointed out in my latest Energy Tribune article, it is nuclear and not natural gas or anything else that will benefit the most from the march of technology.
That contention, by the way, brought an outburst of fury to the face of a celebrity environmentalist when I made it a few months ago at the 'Singapore Energy Week'. Fortunately though, during a short pause, he announced that the construction of new reactors would always take ten years, which is so fruitcake a statement that it was unnecessary for me to formulate a civilized reply.
Other than saying that the nuclear foolishness proposed for Germany is no more than a brazen attempt by Frau Merkel and her foot soldiers to prolong their tenure at the helm of the German government, I would like to make it clear to the leader writers of The Economist and similar publications that if we are prepared to deal in time horizons of 100 years or more, the most expensive nuclear equipment now being purchased or contemplated is, in reality, less expensive than the least expensive alternatives that are presently available!
If you require a proof of this, ask your favorite economics teacher to give you a helping hand. Assuming that he or she can add and subtract -- which unfortunately is not always certain -- and can do the kind of algebra taught in the remedial math classes at Boston Public, I am sure that they can acquaint you with what you need to know when various kinds of dreams are mentioned in widely circulated periodicals.
The California environmentalist Tam Hunt recently took me to task because he does not find sufficient numbers in my paper 'In the Head of U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. I then gave him a set of three to work with: Sweden constructed 12 reactors in 13+ years that eventually provided this country with 45 percent of its electricity production capacity, and more than 50 percent of its electric energy. China has recently produced a reactor in less than five years, and most important of all 2 + 2 = 4! The last of these is the most important, because if he should ever make the mistake of visiting Uppsala University in order to question my mathematics, he will be supplied with a deluge of mathematics and numbers accompanied by non-academic language.
Banks, Ferdinand E. (2012). Energy and Economic Theory. Singapore, London and New York: World Scientific (Forthcoming).
(2012) 'In the head of U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu' EnergyPulse (March 15, 2012).
For information on purchasing reprints of this article, contact sales. Copyright 2013 CyberTech, Inc.
Canada learned its economic lessons well in the last century, (witness its effortless surviving of the recent "economic crisis") with the result that it is presently extending, planning to extend or has already extended the lives of all 22 existing reactors at least another 45 years then to build at least two more new-technology units in Ontario.
And I've seen nothing, though I've looked hard, which can convince me that N. American gas supplies will be sufficient to supplant coal or nuclear for even the next 25 years, much less 100. Tight-gas wells deplete EXTREMELY rapidly, on the order of a couple of years, versus traditional gas wells which usually last 10 years or more to a given % reduction in flow. But the EIA only recently discovered this detail apparently (or were forced to involuntarily admit it).
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.21.12
Better keep those observations and thoughts to yourself Len, at least when making the rounds of the big corporations and financial institutes. The liars and purveyors of misunderstandings are working night and day to make fools of the television audiences where energy matters are concerned.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.21.12
Better keep those observations and thoughts to yourself, Len, at least when making the rounds of the big corporations and financial institutes. The liars and purveyors of misunderstandings are working night and day to make fools of the television audiences where energy matters are concerned.
Fred Linn 5.22.12
Methane, CH4, can be made low tech, economically, and easily from any type organic waste at all, including sewage, and landfills. It is being done right now. At industrial scale volumes. And we've been able to do it for over 160 years.
There is no chemical difference between fossil methane and biomethane. They are both CH4---the same stuff. The two can be mixed in any proportion whatever and there is no loss of performance in any application.
And methane can be used in any application we need. There is nothing we need done that can not be done with methane.
Methane use does not pollute the air, water, land and produces no toxic combustion emissions. Methane produces no ash, soot, particulate matter, or radioactive waste.
What is left over after methane is manufactured from organic waste is clean water and compost. You can grow a garden with it. Try going a garden with the waste from coal furnaces or radioactive waste from a nuclear reactor,..................................................but don't invite me to dinner.
bill payne 5.22.12
Five new generators are on track for completion this decade, including two reactors approved just a few weeks ago (the first new reactor approvals in the US in over 30 years). Those will add to the 104 reactors that are already in operation around the country and already produce 20% of the nation’s power. Those reactors will eat up 19,724 tonnes of U3O8 this year, which represents 29% of global uranium demand. If that seems like a large amount, it is! The US produces more nuclear power than any other country on earth, which means it consumes more uranium that any other nation. However, decades of declining domestic production have left the US producing only 4% of the world’s uranium.
With so little homegrown uranium, the United States has to import more than 80% of the uranium it needs to fuel its reactors. Thankfully, for 18 years a deal with Russia has filled that gap. The “Megatons to Megawatts” agreement, whereby Russia downblends highly enriched uranium from nuclear warheads to create reactor fuel, has provided the US with a steady, inexpensive source of uranium since 1993. The problem is that the program is coming to an end next year.
The Upside to a Natural Gas Downturn Marin Katusa, for The Daily Reckoning Monday April 2, 2012
Dr. Bank's observation that "…it is nuclear and not natural gas or anything else that will benefit the most from the march of technology" may be coming true faster than even the good doctor would believe. A little background. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy issued a funding announcement to support Small Modular Reactors (SMR's) development work. The DOE apparently intends to spend about 1/2 billion dollars over the next 5 years, with the aim of having a SMR operating by 2022. I'll leave comments on this particular nuclear subsidy to others. Most of the submitted proposals are smaller versions of their larger conventional water reactors brothers, although the SMR's tend to incorporate most of their nuclear components in a single vessel. The net cost of these SMR's appears to be around a semi-affordable $1.5 to 2 billion (best guess) for a 250 megawatt electric power plant, which is certainly less than the $5-7 billion cost of a big reactor. Not so sure the SMR works out to be good deal for the power users, as a natural gas plant of similar size would cost about $250 million. The price of power from the water reactor SMR's is probably about twice that of natural gas plants and likely very similar to that from the big reactors. However, there was one SMR submittal that was quite different from the rest: a hybrid that marries the high-temperature helium reactor with a fossil fueled gas turbine. From our (Hybrid Power Technologies) press release:
“The patented hybrid-nuclear SMR produces massive quantities of pressurized air, while the fossil fuel burning gas turbine generates electrical power. With a nuclear thermal output of about 600 megawatts, the hybrid is technically a small reactor. However, the use of the gas turbine allows the plant to produce over 850 megawatts of electricity. This approach yields significant economies of scale that lead directly to reasonably priced power for industry and the consumer.
The hybrid can use all fuels indigenous to the US, thus significantly strengthening our strategic energy independence goals. The highly efficient use of multiple fuels greatly improves energy sustainability for future generations. The hybrid beneficially transforms about 85% of fossil energy whereas conventional power plants usefully transform from 30% to 50% of carbon-based fuel energy.
The partial use of nuclear fuel results in exceptionally low emissions, including green-house gases. Most of the hybrid’s electrical power is produced by the combustion turbine’s generator and that means water needs are low. The high efficiency of the plant and partial use of fossil fuel collectively produce significantly lower amounts of spent nuclear fuel than conventional (large or small) reactors.
The hybrid is specifically designed to: (1) use materials already approved by industry codes, standards and government regulations; and (2) be fabricated and manufactured by existing US facilities. Efficient modular construction techniques, similar to methods used by US shipyards, are employed.
The simple, fail-safe hybrid relies on a number of diverse passive methods to dissipate the reactor’s decay heat. A full containment is employed. The key safety objective of the hybrid is to insure that the public is always safe even if cooling water, electrical power and plant personnel are unavailable. The hybrid is several orders of magnitude safer than conventional nuclear reactors.”
An unusual feature of the hybrid-nuclear proposal is to salvage the taxpayer's over 1/2 billion dollar investment in the recently mothballed Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) program, which was a high-temperature graphite reactor effort that was apparently aimed at providing high-temperature nuclear heat for process industries (kind of a bridge-too-far from an engineering perspective).
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.23.12
Somebody should tell Fred Linn how environmentalists feel about Methane.
Anyway, the safe reactor is already here (Finland and France), although some tuning up is probably necessary. As for the benefits of technological change when it comes to nuclear, that should be obvious. Of course, I don't want to go too far into that because I might end up saying a few things that I dont want to say.
But don't worry. We - in the US and hopefully Sweden - are going to get the nuclear equipment we deserve. This is certain. What I want though is the educational system we deserve, although I suspect that the people who are badly in need of that are people like Mr Obama and the ignorant Swedish politicians hanging around the NATO meeting in Chicago.
Jim Hoerner 5.23.12
Even if the cost of fuel (U3O8+SWU+fab) were to triple, it would still only account for about 1.5 to two cents per kWh of production costs. Importantly, at that rate, MOX fuel becomes economically competitive, and there's plenty of spent fuel at relatively low burnup with great plutonium isotopics all over the united states waiting for recycling. :-)
Best regards, Jim
Fred Linn 5.23.12
bill payne---------" Hello Fred, Any comments?"------------
Producing nuclear power produces extremely radioactive nuclear waste.
There is no such thing as a nuclear power reactor that does not produce radioactive waste.
Jim Hoerner 5.23.12
Hello, Fred Linn.
I'll tell you what. You sit in a room full of your friendly methane (or its ash, CO2) for 10 minutes. If you survive, I'll sit in a room full of radioactive waste.
Best regards, Jim
[The point is, that dangerous substances like gasoline and plutonium can be effectively managed]
Jim Beyer 5.23.12
It looks like all those Swedish reactors were built by 1983. How much will it cost for a new reactor to be built in a first world country today? I think that's kind of an unknown.
I have a goofy belief that complicated things become much more expensive (or even impossible) to build as the political and regulatory infrastructure matures. Thus, we could build Apollo rockets in the 60's, but it would be very hard to go back to the moon today. Similarly, we could build complicated nuclear reactors in the 70's and 80's, but are hard-pressed to do so now. I don't know why this is -- just an observation.
Fred Linn 5.23.12
Jim Hoerner----------" I'll tell you what. You sit in a room full of your friendly methane (or its ash, CO2) for 10 minutes. If you survive, I'll sit in a room full of radioactive waste."---------
No problem Jim. I have done it many times. CH4 is lighter than air. It migrates up to the ceilings by diffusion. That is why dairy or hay storage barns have cupolas on top----to allow the naturally generated methane to escape.
Good luck with the radioactive waste.
------------" [The point is, that dangerous substances like gasoline and plutonium can be effectively managed]"------------
Maybe so-----------but not by humans.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.24.12
Hi Jim Beyer.
The cost of nuclear in a first world country is unknown to this dumb guy, but you see, he aint interested. Without having a nuclear industry, Sweden constructed 12 reactors in 13+ years. They did it because they thought - thought - that if they didn't they would go under. Also, beginning in the l970s, they constructed one million apartments, although some very smart - and I mean smart - bankers told them that it was impossible, and if they tried it would ruin the capital market. What they did then they could do today - if they wanted to.
What are we dealing in today?. Ignorant Swedish politicians go to Chicago to suck up to dumb NATO politicians, hoping that some day there will be a highly paid non-job for them in Brussels, and the incompetent US president evidently doesn't know how much the stupid war in Afghanistan costs.
The most relevant failure iin the US is the failure of the educational system. When they started tooling up for the BIG war in the US they were coming out of a recession, and the country was in terrible shape. People like George W. and Obama dont even know what century that war was in, and they definitely dont know that 5 years later the US was in the process of building a navy larger than all the navies in the world, and probably also an air force with similar dimensions, and moreover TRAINING A COUPLE OF MILLION MEN AND WOMEN TO BUILD AND OPERATE THOSE SHIPS AND PLANES. What I am talking about here is miracles, and miracles that would be possible today if the American voters had not gone crazy and reelected George Bush.
And you are right when you suggest that nuclear facilities cannot be construced in less than 5 years today in the US and Sweden.. It's impossible because to the morons mentioned above think anything is impossible if it cant be done in a few months, or maybe a year or two.
Jim Hoerner 5.24.12
Hello again, Fred Linn.
I am sure you know that a room full of CH4 cannot support life and is very dangerous due to its explosiveness. Still, it's a great way to heat homes or cook food and is piped long distances into homes nearly everywhere in the developed world.
I believe you were making the claim that nuclear waste is extremely dangerous, and natural gas would be a better alternative. Try googling killed natural gas explosion. It's quite shocking.
When I am in France, I read the French newspapers and news magazines. I don't remember seeing anything about nuclear waste. One reason is that this waste is regarded as fuel for a future generation of reactors, and every kind of police and military in France are keeping an eye on it.
This couldn't happen in e.g. Sweden, because having the police and military guarding nuclear waste would be regarded as an infringement on somebody's freedom. Instead, a pile of nuclear waste might be guarded by a couple of young part-time students, who while away the lonely nights watching song and dance contests on TV, or maybe documentaries about 'crime scene investigations' in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue. Those charming young people would be armed though - with billy clubs.
------------" Contrary to most European countries, France has recently reinvested in nuclear energy. After the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March, which was the largest nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, countries like Germany, Switzerland and Italy voted to discontinue their nuclear programs.
But in June, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy said he was committing one billion euros (about $1.36 billion) to nuclear power.
"We are going to devote a billion euros to the nuclear program of the future, particularly fourth-generation technology," Sarkozy told a news conference in June."--------------------
Perhaps this is why Sarkozy is no longer president. You can fool some of the people, some of the time, and you can fool part of the people, part of the time---------but Ferdinand Banks is the only person you can fool ALL of the time.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.28.12
I was aruguing with some ignoramus from Spain about nuclear energy, and after I had given him his lumps, he sent ME - Fred Banks - a clipping from the (London) Financial Times about nuclear, obviously written by a Fred Linn type who could not add and subtract. He sent ME...ME something written by an ignorant journalist. Can you imagine someone that stupid?
They did not VOTE to dump nuclear in Germany. The totally stupid Angela Merkel and her flunkies in the German government and their advisers decided on that, because they thought they could win a few votes. If the polls in Germany mean anything, Ms Merkel will be out of office in the not too distant future.
But I dont care whether she is or not. Germany is not going to abandon nuclear. As for France, if Sarkozy had sworn on a stack of bibles that he would not abandon nuclear, and I could have voted in France, I would have voted against him. You see Mr Linn, your knowledge is the kind you get from the evening papers in whatever country it is that you live in, while nuclear economics is a science to me.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.28.12
I am working on a long lecture on nuclear energy, and I intend to give a lesson to anyone who disagrees with me that they will never forget.
Which brings us to that staunch reader of the evening press, Mr Fred Linn. Sarkozy lost in France because he did not provide French voters with the employment and welfare they want and deserve. Where nuclear energy (and energy in general ) is concerned, he never learned that action speaks louder than words.
As for those countries that say that they will dump nuclear, Switzerland is the richest country in the world, and comparatively speaking, Germany is also in good shape. They are both heavy users of nuclear and will continue to be so REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY SAY! Sweden is also doing fairly well, but if this country would progressively reduce the export of electricity, and either nationalize the big electric generators or insist that they operate efficiently, the Swedish economy (industries and households) would get a huge boost.
Note what I said, the electric generators in Sweden should be nationalized if they do not shape up - they should not be permitted to make fools of Swedish voters and the Swedish government. I would also like to make it clear that JAPAN WILL NEVER GIVE UP NUCLEAR!
What about Spain and Italy. Few countries need nuclear more than Italy, which has none, but does have an extremely weak economy, while the Spanish government - which is so proud of its renewables - is now supervising a country whose economy is in free fall . Spain has no nuclear, but it does have a general unemployment of more than 20 percent, and unemployment among young people is over 40 percent.
Japan will never give up nuclear and Germany will never give up nuclear. As the richest country in the world, Switzerland can do as they please. But they are not so dumb that they will risk their prosperity by having to import a very large amount of electricity.
Fred Linn 5.28.12
---------" JAPAN WILL NEVER GIVE UP NUCLEAR!"-----
As of this month, there are no operating nuclear reactors in Japan. And no plans to restart any of them any time soon.
Fred Linn 5.28.12
--------" Japan will never give up nuclear and Germany will never give up nuclear. "----
Japan already has. There are no current plans to restart any of 58 shut down nuclear reactors.
Germany has already shut down 8 of 17 reactors, and the rest will be taken off line by 2022.
-------" On 30 May 2011, Germany formally announced plans to abandon nuclear energy completely within 11 years. The plan included the immediate permanent closure of six nuclear power plants that had been temporarily shut down for testing in March 2011, and two more that have been offline a few years with technical problems. The remaining nine plants will be shut down between now and 2022. The announcement was first made by Norbert Röttgen, head of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, after late-night talks."-----------
---------" Italy nuclear: Berlusconi accepts referendum blow
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has accepted the rejection of his nuclear power plans and other policies in a popular referendum.
With more than 90% opposition to his policies, he said Italians had made their opinion "clear" and government and parliament must "respond fully".
The PM had wanted to restart a nuclear programme abandoned in the 1980s."-------
Spain-------" There are currently no plans for either expansion or accelerated closure of nuclear plants. A leak of radioactive material from the Asco I nuclear power plant in November 2007 sparked protests. The country’s government has pledged to shut down its eight nuclear reactors once wind and solar energy become viable alternatives such as in neighouring country Portugal."----------
Switzerland--------" In May 2011, the Swiss government decided to abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors. The country’s five existing reactors will be allowed to continue operating, but will not be replaced at the end of their life span. The last will go offline in 2034."------------
JAPAN AND GERMANY WILL NEVER GIVE UP NUCLEAR, Mr Linn. I dont care what the ignorant journalists in your favorite evening paper say, those countries will never give up nuclear. To do so would be to voluntarily accept a decline in their standards of living, and this is out of the question. Did you get that: For those two countries giving up nuclear is equivalent to voluntarily accepting a fall in their standard of living.
As for Switzerland, which is the richest country in the world - by my standards - the nuclear future cannot be predicted. But one thing is certain, I am not interested in the ignorant terminology in those quotations you cite. They were not written for me and many persons in this forum.
Spain and Portugal are almost economic basket cases, and they need nuclear. The same is true of Italy. Now, repeat after me everybody: JAPAN AND GERMANY WILL NEVER GIVE UP NUCLEAR. Notice my use of the world ignorant in the above. Well, to think that wind and solar can replace nuclear is not ignorant - IT IS STUPID.
Jim Beyer 5.29.12
Truthfully, Fred, I don't know who is stupider, the people that want to mothball all of their nuclear power plants, or the nuclear power industry itself, who repeatedly makes stupid decisions to save a few pennies today at the cost of billions tomorrow (along with relighting fears in the public). I'm referring of course to the poorly trained operators at TMI (Three Mile Island) who did everything they could to make the core melt down. And the owners were too cheap to add a phone line to the control room. And to the Japanese operators that couldn't put their generators on stilts to prevent the meltdowns there due to secondary power losses.
At this point (at $1/Watt) it's possible that solar is actually cheaper than nuclear. Which, I think, says more about the nuclear power industry than it does solar.
Len Gould 5.29.12
It's impossible for me, with my possibly paranoid mindset regarding big money, to avoid being amazed by how neat the attacking of nuclear generation fits with the interests of the big oil companies in N. America. The oil companies need fuel liquids, which are available from many of the tight formations now being drilled. They would drill for these liquids regardless of the natural gas also produced, but they can make more money by also selling the natural gas at as high a price as possible. But natural gas prices would go much higher if all the nuclear reactors could be shut down to be replaced by CCGT's burning natural gas.
Solution - obviously, throw as big a scare as possible, using their controlled media, into the likes of Tam Hunt etc. Perhaps a "headline story" about radiation from Fukushima being "detected" (at levels above background in yellowfin tuna conveniently unstated, therefore probably just barely detectably higher than background with no proven risk to anyone) off the coast of California. Bingo. We have a winner. Thank you pointless arts education systems which completely ignore any sciences or maths, which even their revered greek philosophers would have considered crazy.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.29.12
Jim, the man who should be answering our questions about who is stupid and who is less stupid where energy is concerned is the man who was appointed to head the USDOE, the good Dr and Nobel Laureate Stephen Chu.
I dont know whether we are witnessing a tragedy or a farce. I attended a sort of conference in which a perfectly honest young engineer gave a talk on the future of coal and his firm - the Swedish firm Vattenfall - which led me to believe that he was not only honest and well meaning, but completely ignorant. So, I guess that we will just have to tough it out for a while and hope that sooner or later we will get lucky.
Fred Linn 5.30.12
--------" At this point (at $1/Watt) it's possible that solar is actually cheaper than nuclear. Which, I think, says more about the nuclear power industry than it does solar."--------
Using the figures from the permit applications for the two reactors in Georgia on estimated construction costs/ design capacity, you will get a cost basis of $6.86 per watt. This is considerably more than $1/watt.
The cost basis is for construction only----and does not make allowance for cost overruns, something the nuclear industry is a bar setter at accomplishing-----many projects coming in at over twice the original cost estimates.
It also does not consider any other associated expenses---payroll, fueling, etc.
Jim Beyer 5.30.12
Fred L. :
A nuclear power plant runs nearly 100% of the time. Solar panels perhaps 40% of the time. I'm not saying solar is a slam dunk over nuclear, far from it; just interesting. Also, what area would need to be covered to get a GW of solar? My technical mind tells me "a lot".
I am trying to avoid being in the stupid camp as cited by Fred B.
Jim Beyer 5.30.12
Unfortunately, I don't think you can blame Big Oil for the public's nuclear aversion. NG will remain cheap because we really can't store it. There's some geological structures in Michigan that are pumped up and I imagine they are quite busy right now; and topped off...
Personally, I will show off my own ignorance in not knowing that a nuclear power plant needs several megawatts of electric power to avoid melting down, even when it's not running (but not shutdown). I didn't really know that. I knew that shutting one down is a protracted process, but not the power requirements. Makes total sense for the cooling, etc.
But gees! If that power was so critical, then why not have a protected source for it? It bothers me what happened at Fukushima. If nothing else, completely trashing 3 (4?) reactors because they didn't have adequate power backup will do that much more to raise costs for new plants. Shame on them! At the risk of sounding culturally insensitive, these are the same folks that were bright enough to pull off the Pearl Harbor attack, but still failed to hit the fuel depots, the repair docks, and of course, the carrier force.
BTW, a GW of solar would cover roughly 20,000 acres. This is based on the 200 MW farm in Hardee County, FL covering 2000 acres.
Jim Beyer 5.30.12
Oops, bad math. 1 GW would cover 10,000 acres.
Fred Linn 5.31.12
Jim B-----------you think Iran and North Korea want to build nuclear reactors and missiles so they can impress you with beautiful fireworks displays?
NO. They want to fry your butt.
That's what a nuclear reactor IS----a nuclear bomb that that they are trying to slow down enough to make useful energy out of. It works by chain reaction either way. A nuclear reactor is like being on a bicycle on a steep hill that go supersonic and destroy everything in sight if there are no brakes.
And the only brakes you have are dragging your feet.
That is why they are so expensive and dangerous----if the brakes give out---you and everything else for a long ways around it are toast.
Ferdinand E. Banks 5.31.12
There are three things that are useful when studying or thinking about the economics of nuclear energy. A little physics, somewhat more economics, and a lot of history. Fred Linn doesn't understand the cost of constructing reactors in China, and what they cost in Sweden. although he is an expert on history - the history that he gets from trashy evening newspapers.
I was arguing with some fool who said that he had a PhD from MIT. When he decided to put me in my place, he sent me an article from the Financial Times. What can you do with people like that? From the FT no less.
Len Gould 6.4.12
Mr. Linn. Not sure who you think you're talking to with that foolish metaphor comparing reactors to bicycles, but I'd suggest you should save it for your regular speaking tour crowds. It only gets laughs here. Reactors are bombs! Are you serious? OMG, that must explain why we've seen mushroom clouds over all the failed reactor events..... LOL. Reactors are NOT bombs, are NOT risks for thermonuclear explosions. The reactor fuel is nowhere near concentrated (enriched) enough to explode like a nuclear bomb.