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boslab
11-09-2009, 01:18 PM
it seems the UK is going nuke mad, 10 new stations are being fast tracked through the planning process
mark

lazlo
11-09-2009, 02:16 PM
Probably a great idea. Nuclear is, by far, the greenest source of power if you can figure out what to do with the waste.

dfw5914
11-09-2009, 03:23 PM
I get nervous when I see "nuke" and "fast tracked" in the same sentence.

blwn31
11-09-2009, 03:48 PM
We need them here in the US too but, nobody wants one "in there back yard"!
Besides, by the time all the Enviormental Studies, Lawsuits, Appeals, Enviormental Study #2, 3 and 4...Bla,bla, bla...It would cost more for the electricity produced then to just chug a long like we are today with the occasional brown outs.

Keith

derekg
11-09-2009, 03:48 PM
The previous administration signed up for 4 new plants in the US. Unlike my friends and neighbors in Berkeley, I'm all for it. When you look at the safety record of the industry as a whole and then analyze what problems we've had to date, it sure seems to cause a lot few deaths than many of the alternatives. When I see France paying an average of 3.7 cents/KWH and then get my PG&E bill that is 300% higher, it's not too difficult to do the math. I still like Dr. Petr Beckmann's booklet, "The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear", although will concede his comparisons were a bit "zealous".

Just my .02

Derek G

Davek0974
11-09-2009, 03:59 PM
it seems the UK is going nuke mad, 10 new stations are being fast tracked through the planning process
mark

Yes, its only about 10 years too late as usual:mad:

"Fast Tracked" is probably political speak for "it's gonna cost way over budget but it won't be our fault"

Its the after effects of our crap governments listening to the green eco brigade and burying their heads in the sand, now they've suddenly realised that electricity dont grow on trees, complete bunch of wa&%$rs

Evan
11-09-2009, 04:07 PM
Probably a great idea. Nuclear is, by far, the greenest source of power if you can figure out what to do with the waste.


On that we agree.


Unlike my friends and neighbors in Berkeley, I'm all for it.

Shhh. Somebody in Berkeley might be reading this. Then you will be in deep doo doo. They will show up singing and playing Country Joe and the Fish, Donovan and Bob dylan music. They will spray paint peace signs on your house with biodegradeable fish oil spray paint and let the dog out of the yard so it can be FREE.

I know. I was born and raised in Bezerkley...

barts
11-09-2009, 04:13 PM
Personally, my favorite nuclear power station isn't in anyone's backyard.... it's 93 million miles away...

- Bart

lazlo
11-09-2009, 04:25 PM
We need them here in the US too but, nobody wants one "in there back yard"!

You can't blame people for that -- who wants a nuclear waste dump in their back yard? Yucca Mountain is the most exhaustively research, thoroughly designed waste dump in history, and its located in the most desolate area in North America (more than 100 miles away from Las Vegas, adjacent to Death Valley). But the Nevada residents have been fighting it tooth and nail for 20 years, and we'll probably never store nuclear waste there.

So we have around 100 nuclear reactors storing spent rods in storage facilities that were designed to be temporary...

Does anyone know what the French do with their nuclear waste?

derekg
11-09-2009, 04:26 PM
Personally, my favorite nuclear power station isn't in anyone's backyard.... it's 93 million miles away...

- Bart

I'm all for solar as well, but it doesn't have the backing required for large scale distribution. The root of a lot of the problem is fairly centralized creation and distribution of power. If we moved solar to a regional (neighborhood) creation and distribution model, it seems very feasible. The problem is, if I have a solar installation at my house and my wife and I are gone during the day, we can grid inter-tie and sell back to PG&E. The max we can sell back is to 0 offset our bill. So what do we do with the extra? Well now PG&E gets that for free and charges my neighbors. Instead, if I could give the extra to my elderly neighbors, then it would be a great service. But it is illegal for me to tie directly into their panels. And I cannot use the PG&E service drops between houses without filing as a PUC and paying an access fee. So much for solving the problem. Fix those regulatory problems and get middle America backing regional solar and we can move it away from the tie dye hippies and into the main stream.

Evan
11-09-2009, 04:28 PM
I believe the French bury it in salt dome formations. They used to dump it at sea but that became unpopular.

Falcon67
11-09-2009, 04:33 PM
Somebody in the US has to grow the stones required to get the nuc business moving again. Most of the plants are way past design basis and will eventually wear out. The folks in the NE will really get it in the...meter when that happens.

lazlo
11-09-2009, 04:34 PM
They used to dump it at sea but that became unpopular.

That's not a good idea -- that's how they created Godzilla.

boslab
11-09-2009, 04:43 PM
You can't blame people for that -- who wants a nuclear waste dump in their back yard? Yucca Mountain is the most exhaustively research, thoroughly designed waste dump in history, and its located in the most desolate area in North America (more than 100 miles away from Las Vegas, adjacent to Death Valley). But the Nevada residents have been fighting it tooth and nail for 20 years, and we'll probably never store nuclear waste there.

So we have around 100 nuclear reactors storing spent rods in storage facilities that were designed to be temporary...

Does anyone know what the French do with their nuclear waste?
two choices, stuff it down a volcano [murora] or send it to the frenches newly accuired reprocessing plant at Sellafield, in cumbria U bloody K
thanks for selling it mr PM you dimwit
mark

Evan
11-09-2009, 04:49 PM
The problem we have with nuclear power is waste disposal. Yucca Mtn. is already full, they just haven't moved the waste there yet. Not only is it full but it can't handle all the waste currently in local storage, not to mention the undisclosed but very large amount of military waste and the waste that will be generated by the reactors currently in operation.

New reactors should only be built if the plan includes an end to end solution for the disposal of waste with the requirement that all of the plan be implemented before powerup. That means the necessary long term storage facilities must be in place before they are needed. It also means that fully approved and permitted transport solutions must also exist.

Doing otherwise is like installing a toilet in your house and connecting it to a septic tank with no drain field and no way to pump it out. It's gonna back up.

topct
11-09-2009, 05:25 PM
I like the toilet analogy.

Except the toilet isn't connected to anything.

And you can still flush it.

bob_s
11-09-2009, 05:30 PM
I think the most environmentally responsible thing we can do with ALL of our nuclear waste is to ship it to IRAN.

2ManyHobbies
11-09-2009, 05:44 PM
Europe recycles much of their nuclear waste. The US doesn't. No technical reasons, just political -- OMG somebody could might maybe make a dirty bomb or something.

Reprocessed waste can be parted out for industrial processes, medical uses, fuel recovery, and secondary or tertiary burning of the nuclear ash. Nothing more than physics meets accounting.

Sure at the end of the day there will be some active waste to be buried, but the worst stuff isn't active for 20+ millennia, and it isn't even the same firecracker after 2 decades.

aboard_epsilon
11-09-2009, 06:19 PM
Yes, its only about 10 years too late as usual:mad:

"Fast Tracked" is probably political speak for "it's gonna cost way over budget but it won't be our fault"

Its the after effects of our crap governments listening to the green eco brigade and burying their heads in the sand, now they've suddenly realised that electricity dont grow on trees, complete bunch of wa&%$rs

and they will be built by foreign compnies and run by foreign coimpanies ..
we will never see the savings,...if anything the foreigers will charge us more .

all the best.markj

AD5MB
11-09-2009, 06:21 PM
I worked midnight shift for over 15 years. Anybody who works midnight shift and claims they never fell asleep is delusional or deceitful.

Sitting there 8 hours in a room with 100 equipment fans making white noise, watching meters that don't move.

No humans in the loop.

Timo
11-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Yucca Mountain is the most exhaustively research, thoroughly designed waste dump in history, and its located in the most desolate area in North America (more than 100 miles away from Las Vegas, adjacent to Death Valley). we'll probably never store nuclear waste there.

According to what I saw on the news a few days ago our clueless leader has canceled that project. After years of construction and a bazillion dollars of tax payers money it’s just a fenced off hole in a mountain.
I want a refund.

tattoomike68
11-09-2009, 06:33 PM
According to what I saw on the news a few days ago our clueless leader has canceled that project. After years of construction and a bazillion dollars of tax payers money it’s just a fenced off hole in a mountain.
I want a refund.

Amen to that brother. I would like to fill that hole with worthless politicians.... like the whole US congess and senate.

may as well fling the US Constitution in that hole, we dont use it anymore anyway.

lazlo
11-09-2009, 06:40 PM
According to what I saw on the news a few days ago our clueless leader has canceled that project. After years of construction and a bazillion dollars of tax payers money it’s just a fenced off hole in a mountain.
I want a refund.

Yes, after 20 years and $9 Billion dollars wasted, Obama pulled the plug on Yucca. The state of Nevada had the project tied-up in the Supreme Court -- it was never going to pass.

That's the problem with the Senate -- you get two representatives per state, no matter how sparsely populated you are. So we're never going to get another Yucca Mountain project through Congress, in any state...

We should do like the French -- dump the nuclear waste in someone else' country :)

cuslog
11-09-2009, 06:58 PM
Having grown up in Saskatchewan, Canada, I don't understand why they can't send the nuclear waste back up to Uranium city Sask., where most of it came from.
IIRC - Uranium City is waaaay up northern Sask. You've gotta fly in about the last 500 miles. They discovered uranium ore there just laying at the surface.
IIRC I think about 50% of the Uranium ore produced in the world comes from Uranium city. So why not send the depleted fuel rods back to where most of it came from. I think there's some pretty deep, dark holes up there. Makes sense to me.
Yeah, I know politically un-popular but jeez so is burning oil or coal to produce electricity. Brown outs will start to happen lots more too when all the electric cars start getting plugged in.

Tony Ennis
11-09-2009, 07:01 PM
Besides, by the time all the Enviormental Studies, Lawsuits, Appeals, Enviormental Study #2, 3 and 4...Bla,bla, bla...It would cost more for the electricity produced then to just chug a long like we are today with the occasional brown outs.

This is no accident. This is a disingenuous strategy used by zealots to stop the plants from being built.

arcs_n_sparks
11-09-2009, 07:01 PM
Nuclear "waste" is a misnomer. Over 94% of the energy in a used fuel rod is still there when they pull it out. Time to recycle.

Also, all the waste from all of France's nuclear power production is stored in one building.

In 100 years, everyone will want to get to the energy in those spent fuel rods, burning them in advanced reactors. Anyone having to dig them out of the ground will wonder what were we thinking?

Tony Ennis
11-09-2009, 07:06 PM
I'm all for solar as well, ... If we moved solar to a regional (neighborhood) creation and distribution model, it seems very feasible. The problem is, if I have a solar installation at my house and my wife and I are gone during the day, we can grid inter-tie and sell back to PG&E. The max we can sell back is to 0 offset our bill. So what do we do with the extra? Well now PG&E gets that for free and charges my neighbors.

What a nice problem to have. The fact is it is exceedingly unlikely for a personal or neighborhood solar station to fulfill your needs, much less your neighbors. Solar, like wind, isn't dense.

Tony Ennis
11-09-2009, 07:18 PM
I'll go out on a limb here and saw the easiest, quickest, and surest solution is to simply stop using as much power. Each one of us could do things to help lower our usage while helping ourselves. For example, get Evan to design us some LED lights to use for typical room lighting instead of incandescent or those silly florescent lights.

Many of us *could* telecommute, and save a good amount on gasoline. Or we could work four 10 hour days and cut our driving by up to 20%. How would you like your fuel bill to be 20% cheaper?

Further, do you think shopping centers might turn off half their lot lights after closing? The malls here are lit up like *mad* for the entire evening. Why? A "Pier 1" store here burns what must be 300 incandescent lights at all times. Why? How about outside lights that direct their light *downward* instead of in all directions? Maybe they could use a lower wattage then?

Low-hanging fruit abounds.

I'm not at all interested in solutions that require me to invest $30,000 in order to save $100 a month. Nor am I interested in any government-mandated savings plan (usage penalties etc) since coercion is the surest sign that the idea stinks.

Dawai
11-09-2009, 07:42 PM
I thought they had the disposal of depleted uranium solved, they make bullets from it and shoot it into other countries.

Some farmers in Former Russia still are cussing us.

jdunmyer
11-09-2009, 07:44 PM
To elaborate a bit on the French and nuclear waste:

It's my understanding that "spent" fuel rods actually contain a LOT of potential energy, but they need to be reprocessed. That's what the French do, and it saves them a bunch, both in cost and in actual waste to be "disposed of".

However! It is possible to take that "spent" fuel and turn it into bomb-making material. In order to prevent that, Jimmeh Carter signed an executive order to outlaw it in this country. It seems to me that I've read that some of our "spent" fuel is being shipped to France, where THEY reprocess and reuse it, probably charging us $$$ for the privilege.

Also, it seems to me that the total pile of "spent" fuel (waste) really isn't that big physically, it could in fact be stored at Yucca Mountain. Except for the rabid anti-nukers.

Speaking of: some years ago, there was talk of putting a low-level nuclear waste repository in location quite close to here. (just north of Toledo, OH) Now, this stuff is wrenches, clothes, worn parts, etc. that is mostly encased in drums of concrete and is low enough in radiation that you could park one in your living room with no danger. Well! You can't imagine the uproar! I understand that home values were affected in Sylvania, OH, just across the border from where the waste facility was supposed to be located in Michigan. Of course, it didn't take long before the whole idea was dropped.

SteveF
11-09-2009, 08:05 PM
Personally, my favorite nuclear power station isn't in anyone's backyard.... it's 93 million miles away...

- Bart

When you figure out how to generate solar power at night, let us know. I'm hoping you are smart enough to not suggest we manufacture 1000 lbs of batteries for every house in the country.

Steve.

Evan
11-09-2009, 08:09 PM
Reprocessing waste reduces the volume of waste but it doesn't reduce the amount of actual waste when measured by radioactivity. That would require that radioactive isotopes be transmuted to non radioactive elements. That can only be done via decay. Even "burning" the reprocessed fuel ends up producing more radioactive isotopes than you started with because of the activation of previously non radioactive material.

Burning reprocessed fuel is also more dangerous than using single mode materials such as enriched uranium. Reprocessing isn't a solution to the waste problem although it will make better use of the available fuel.

Timo
11-09-2009, 08:15 PM
Low-hanging fruit abounds.
I wonder who that guy is.

Evan
11-09-2009, 08:28 PM
I'm hoping you are smart enough to not suggest we manufacture 1000 lbs of batteries for every house in the country.


That brings up a solution to leveling power demand. Stationary flywheels are an ideal way to move power demand into off peak time periods. They can be used at the houshold level to store energy at night and either cough it up to perk the coffee or if not used then dump it back into the grid. With modern solid state inverters the issues of synchronization disappear and measurement of the total power consumed by a household can be accurately done with electronic meters. Flywheel technology for this sort of use is already well developed to carry even very large loads through the time it takes to switch to alternate power sources in the event of a failure. It wouldn't take much to alter the designs a bit to provide an efficient distributed storage system. It would also greatly mitigate the impact of brownouts from the primary producers and would allow better allocation of resources on a moment by moment basis.

jdunmyer
11-09-2009, 08:41 PM
Besides flywheels, newer technology electric cars will be good storage devices. It's not too difficult to make the charging system a 2-way outfit, so the grid can reclaim some of the power if needed.

To reply to another poster who said we should conserve by shutting down all that lighting at the mall, etc.: it wouldn't alleviate the need for more power plants, as those lights are using the electricity that industrial plants and offices aren't using at night. IE: all they do is level the power demand, not really increase it.

airsmith282
11-09-2009, 08:47 PM
maybe they should "man shouild" find a way to use the waste and make it into something usefull , we recycle all kinds of things as it is nuke waste should be able to be used for something pratical,,

aboard_epsilon
11-09-2009, 08:55 PM
maybe they should "man shouild" find a way to use the waste and make it into something usefull , we recycle all kinds of things as it is nuke waste should be able to be used for something pratical,,

yup ..underfloor heating in the governments buildings :D

all the best.markj

The Artful Bodger
11-09-2009, 09:11 PM
When you figure out how to generate solar power at night, let us know. I'm hoping you are smart enough to not suggest we manufacture 1000 lbs of batteries for every house in the country.

Steve.

Grid tie between both sides of the Atlantic would seem to do the job.

jdunmyer
11-09-2009, 09:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveF
When you figure out how to generate solar power at night, let us know. I'm hoping you are smart enough to not suggest we manufacture 1000 lbs of batteries for every house in the country.


Grid tie between both sides of the Atlantic would seem to do the job.


I squared times R

Makes it really difficult.

The Artful Bodger
11-09-2009, 09:24 PM
I squared times R

Makes it really difficult.

Increase E to decrease I, use cable pair separated by distance to avoid insulation issues.

lakeside53
11-09-2009, 09:36 PM
They tried that around here... 250kv to 500kv IIRC... significantly increased the buzz from the lines... and the homeowners that were smart enough to buy houses right beside the lines got upset.

I ski at a local area that has HT lines. Amazing the volume when its snowing - magnetostriction - and the snow is definitely softer (warmer?) beneath the lines.

Evan
11-09-2009, 09:48 PM
That isn't a practical solution. Undersea cables have strict limitations on the maximum voltage and current that can be accomodated with a reasonable cable, especially one that long. Undersea cables are DC and currently the longest is in Norway at around 500 km and 1/2 megavolt. The power delivered tends to be around 1/2 to 1/4 of an ovehead air insulated line of similar voltage because of cooling issues. Extending that across the Atlantic isn't within present technology capability and won't be soon, if ever.

oldtiffie
11-09-2009, 10:34 PM
Here's an under-sea cable in OZ:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basslink

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=basslink&meta=&aq=0s&oq=bass+li

Orrin
11-09-2009, 11:18 PM
While I was still associated with the nuclear industry the US Navy reprocessed all its spent fuel elements. The radioactive waste was converted into a dry powder that resembled powdered laundry detergent. It was then placed in underground stainless steel storage tanks. Being dry, there is no way that it could escape into the acquifer; and, it is highly unlikely the tanks will ever fail.

I suspect the navy is still doing this. If this country had any leaders who were worth their salt they could see to it that the technology became SOP for the civilian nuclear power industry, as well. There is absolutely no reason we must be storing spent fuel in open pools scattered all over the US. There is no reason we need to have a Yucca Mountain storage facility. Dry on-site storage of radioactive waste is a heckuva lot safer than wet fissionable material that can go critical if mishandled.

You see, the main problem is this: Our scientifically illiterate attorney-politicians in DC don't have a clue.

All sorts of clichés would be appropriate, here, but I'll let you supply your own.

Orrin

Evan
11-09-2009, 11:19 PM
There are many undersea cables. They are all relatively short.

Evan
11-09-2009, 11:27 PM
Being dry, there is no way that it could escape into the acquifer; and, it is highly unlikely the tanks will ever fail.


It is highly likely the tanks will fail. High level waste emits high energy radiation. It destroys the crystal structure of metals. Many studies have been done on this and in particular in 316 stainless steel it produces spontaneous stress corrosion cracking and spalling of material. The damage is exacerbated by the high temperature produced by the energy released by the decay of high level waste. It is likely that any such containers more than a decade or two old will disintegrate if moved and may do so without being touched.

Black_Moons
11-09-2009, 11:28 PM
Actualy, here in canada, we charge you americans for load leveling :)

We sell you hydroelectric power in the day, since we can crank that sucker wide open and it generates much more power then the incomming water flow can replenish.

During the night, we shut it off (or at least reduce flow), No costly startup/shutdown proceedure, just turn the valve off, And then buy back coal/nuclear/etc power from the USA at a cheaper rate, as coal/nuclear power plants don't shut down very well or throttle back, and its not very economical to do so.

JoeFin
11-09-2009, 11:30 PM
Probably a great idea. Nuclear is, by far, the greenest source of power if you can figure out what to do with the waste.

They've had the capabilities to "Recycle" spent plutonium fuel rods for a number of years now - were just not supposed to know about it

Evan
11-09-2009, 11:35 PM
During the night, we shut it off (or at least reduce flow), No costly startup/shutdown proceedure, just turn the valve off, And then buy back coal/nuclear/etc power from the USA at a cheaper rate, as coal/nuclear power plants don't shut down very well or throttle back, and its not very economical to do so.


Yep. Electricty production is bought and sold like any other commodity. Except, it has a really poor shelf life. The buyers and sellers are in constant contact and contracts are posted and filled in seconds for minutes and hours of production. It goes on 24/7 unlike the other markets.

The Artful Bodger
11-10-2009, 12:50 AM
Oh fiddlesticks! If the Atlantic is too hard put a cable across the Pacific.:D

blwn31
11-10-2009, 01:47 AM
Just wait till the governments get it there way and everyone is driving an electric vehicle. What's gonna happen when everyone comes home from work plugs in and turns on the A/C at home then proceeds to cook dinner in /on the electric range? Watch the grid go NUTS, UP IN Smoke. LOL...:eek:

Keith

John Stevenson
11-10-2009, 04:34 AM
The damage is exacerbated by the high temperature produced by the energy released by the decay of high level waste.

Excuse me for asking this as I have no knowledge of the subject but as I understand it we are having trouble storing something that is still giving off energy.

Why can't we use this in another system like a heat exchanger ? to generate more power be it electrical or even hot water ?

There must be some simple explanation as surely I'm not the first person to think of this ?

.

Evan
11-10-2009, 05:35 AM
It's too hot to handle in radioactive terms. The heat is what is called "low grade". Not hot enough to generate decent steam. When the cost of doing anything that involves stuff that makes water glow is factored in it better make a LOT of power. That is why it is changed out long before it is exhausted. Nuclear power plants are very expensive to build and operate, in large part because of the multiple redundant safety and containment systems. Those are required because the consequences of an uncontrolled release of the active materials has enormous potential consequences, as was shown at Chernobyl. There is no economic way to make use of the "spent" fuel in an unreprocessed condition even though it does give off a lot of heat. Even the cooling water becomes radioactive.

Reprocessing presents another large can of worms not the least of which is the transport of the high level waste to another facility.

Nuclear power is very inefficient in terms of the amount of infrastructure required to make it work. Current systems in the USA would become entirely uneconomic and would never have been built if the total real cost of dealing with the waste had been factored in at the start.

This is a spent fuel holding pond at a nuclear power plant. This is how the high level waste is currently stored at most reactors. It is so radioactive that it makes the water glow via Cherenkov radiation. The water acts as coolant and also as shielding. They are running out of space at most reactors to store more spent fuel rods.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/fuel.jpg

Alistair Hosie
11-10-2009, 05:41 AM
The main problem is they nuclear companies never factor in the cost of decomisioning into their electricity prices.wWat starts out as seemingly cheap electricity end up costing 3 or more times the original rate.Bill always picked up by the taxpayer. I am afraid to say we have no alternative that said.Alistair

arcs_n_sparks
11-10-2009, 07:35 AM
"They are running out of space at most reactors to store more spent fuel rods."

True, and they are moving to on-site dry cask storage systems. Good for at least 100 years, and by then we will have pulled our heads out of you-know-where and extract the balance of energy left in the material.

Orrin
11-10-2009, 09:13 AM
It is highly likely the tanks will fail. High level waste emits high energy radiation. It destroys the crystal structure of metals. Many studies have been done on this and in particular in 316 stainless steel it produces spontaneous stress corrosion cracking and spalling of material. The damage is exacerbated by the high temperature produced by the energy released by the decay of high level waste. It is likely that any such containers more than a decade or two old will disintegrate if moved and may do so without being touched.

I don't want to get into a p _ _ _ ing contest with you, Evan, but I would like for you to provide some citations to back up your claims.

The structures immediately surrounding a reactor core last for years and years of operation. Furthermore, the metals are subjected to intense neutron radiation which is far more damaging than the gamma and beta radiation given off by spent fuel rods. The radiation exposure of the storage tanks is many orders of magnitude less than than that of reactor components, yet, they do not spall or disintegrate.

Furthermore, the radiation decay of fission products is relatively rapid, so the waste storage tanks are not subjected to intense radiation for as long as one would think. If it were not, folks wouldn't be able to walk the streets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or to explore the area around the original Trinity test site, as a buddy of mine has. Granted, one can still pick up radioactive contamination at the Trinity site, but the simple expedient of wearing shoe covering (booties) takes care of that problem.

I've said all I'm going to on the matter; but, I'm still interested in reading some cites.

Orrin

andy_b
11-10-2009, 09:29 AM
Just wait till the governments get it there way and everyone is driving an electric vehicle. What's gonna happen when everyone comes home from work plugs in and turns on the A/C at home then proceeds to cook dinner in /on the electric range? Watch the grid go NUTS, UP IN Smoke. LOL...:eek:

Keith

The cars are supposed to charge at night when demand is lower (and you're sleeping and not cooking or running the A/C on high).

andy b.

andy_b
11-10-2009, 09:32 AM
This is a spent fuel holding pond at a nuclear power plant. This is how the high level waste is currently stored at most reactors. It is so radioactive that it makes the water glow via Cherenkov radiation. The water acts as coolant and also as shielding. They are running out of space at most reactors to store more spent fuel rods.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/fuel.jpg

Right there is an example of waste. Why are all of those lights on in there when they have a perfectly usable radiation glow to see by. :)

That IS a cool picture though. Too bad you'd die (or worse) if you used it to light your house.

Why don't they just store all the spent fuel rods at Gitmo? I hear it will have a lot of vacant space soon.

andy b.

Evan
11-10-2009, 10:16 AM
Orrin,

Do a search for radiation damage metals. You will find more than you wanted to know.

This is one of the first items that came up for me.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/rad1.jpg

http://books.google.ca/books?id=DsO3xTfN2lYC&lpg=PA308&ots=vs4kiXucDh&dq=stainless%20steel%20radiation%20damage%20storag e&pg=PA319#v=onepage&q=stainless%20steel%20radiation%20damage%20storage&f=false


This item is directly relevant to the method that Navy used to store spent fuel.



Summary

This is a status report on the progress of the radiation damage experiments that are being performed at
the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in support of the Plutonium Immobilization Program (PIP) to
dispose plutonium that is surplus to the defense needs of the US. This report covers the progress of
238
Pu to the titanate phases that comprise the PIP ceramic. With the
radiation damage from the decay of
exception of brannerite, all the phases are represented in the specimens we are testing and characterizing.
The phases appear to damage faster than anticipated from the information in the literature. Pyrochlore
appears to become metamict 2 to 3 times faster. Zirconolite is more resistant, but this depends on what
impurities are present.

Radiation damage results in swelling of the specimens. After 650 days, the trend in the data suggest
that swelling will continue as the damage process appears to be incomplete (it has not yet “saturated” or
reached a steady-state condition). The decrease in density from swelling is between 8 % and 15%, based
on measurements of the pyrochlore baseline and a zirconolite-rich ceramic. The linear expansion of the
specimen dimensions is between 2% and 5%.

238
Pu-bearing pyrochlore
The dissolution rate appears to be between 500 - 1000 times greater for a baseline sample than for the corresponding
239 Pu specimen. Although we believe that this increase in rate
is due to radiation damage, we cannot be absolutely certain because we did not manage to obtain SPFT
data on these specimens before damage started to accumulate. It is possible that the increased rate is due
to some effect related to the higher dose rate and radiation field near the Pu 238 specimens that we don’t
understand.

http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/pnnl-13721.pdf



If it were not, folks wouldn't be able to walk the streets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or to explore the area around the original Trinity test site, as a buddy of mine has.

Those were air bursts. If you want to read what happens in a ground burst look up "Project Plowshare"

aostling
11-10-2009, 10:50 AM
I was unaware that 10% of American electric power comes from dismantled nuclear weapons, including many from Russia: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/business/energy-environment/10nukes.html?_r=1&ref=global. The Russian bombs account for 45% of the fuel in American nuclear power plants. This source will become unavailable in a few years, raising the cost of nuclear fuel.

So the economics of nuclear power may be getting worse, while the possible benefits in terms of non-polluting energy improve. It's hard to see how this will turn out.

Evan
11-10-2009, 10:57 AM
There is still a lot of uranium in Canada. If the US could get over the NIH factor the newest CANDU reactor design can not only burn unenriched uranium but can also run in mixed mode burning plutonium and other so called "spent" fuel elements. On top of that it is routinely refuelled while operating at full power and is essentially melt down proof since in a loss of coolant accident it also loses the moderator.

BobWarfield
11-10-2009, 11:19 AM
Personally, my favorite nuclear power station isn't in anyone's backyard.... it's 93 million miles away...

- Bart

Simple construction, proven design, but very expensive to build any more of them.

Cheers,

BW

lazlo
11-10-2009, 11:41 AM
I was unaware that 10% of American electric power comes from dismantled nuclear weapons, including many from Russia: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/business/energy-environment/10nukes.html?_r=1&ref=global.

Wow, that's an amazing article Allan.


In the last two decades, nuclear disarmament has become an integral part of the electricity industry, little known to most Americans.

Salvaged bomb material now generates about 10 percent of electricity in the United States — by comparison, hydropower generates about 6 percent and solar, biomass, wind and geothermal together account for 3 percent.
Utilities have been loath to publicize the Russian bomb supply line for fear of spooking consumers: the fuel from missiles that may have once been aimed at your home may now be lighting it.

But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors, while another 5 percent comes from American bombs, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade association in Washington.

lazlo
11-10-2009, 11:45 AM
There is still a lot of uranium in Canada.

It's a cost effectiveness issue. We (the US) have just as much uranium, but it's a lot cheaper to re-process old weapons.

"The deposits with large uranium reserves which can be mined in a cost-effective way are distributed to many countries:" (http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/u/uranium-reserves.htm)

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/WorldUraniumReserves.png

What's interesting is that I've read in a couple of articles that we only have enough easily-available uranium for about 100 years, at the current rate of consumption. If everyone switched over to nuke power, we'd run out pretty quickly. Then again, we're making incremental advancements in fusion power, so if you figure we (the human race) could have the first fusion plant online in, say -- 50 years, we'd just need enough uranium for half that time...

philbur
11-10-2009, 12:21 PM
Why would you think that a "Welsh" company would rip you off any less than a "foreign" company? I guess by foreign you mean anybody east of Ellesmere Port;)

Phil:)


and they will be built by foreign compnies and run by foreign coimpanies ..
we will never see the savings,...if anything the foreigers will charge us more .

all the best.markj

aboard_epsilon
11-10-2009, 12:43 PM
Why would you think that a "Welsh" company would rip you off any less than a "foreign" company? I guess by foreign you mean anybody east of Ellesmere Port;)

Phil:)

Dont read if youre proud to be british ..

found here

http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/64514/second-french-utility-joins-fray-to-build-uk-nuclear-power-stations.html

Second French utility joins fray to build UK nuclear power stations


10:06 05 Feb 2009
By Aaron Morby (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Authors/ArticleAuthor.aspx?liArticleID=64514)

France's second biggest power company has joined the race to build nuclear power stations in the UK, as tipped by CJ earlier this week (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/03/64409/french-utility-gdf-suez-circles-uk-nuclear-firms.html).
French power company GDF Suez yesterday said it is teaming up with Iberdrola, Spanish owners of Scottish Power, to bid to build two reactors on exisiting nuclear sites.
Big suppliers from across Europe are lining up to take part in the UK's nuclear new build programme, needed to replace a third of electricity generating capacity in the next 15 years as ageing reactors are closed, and European environmental regulations force the closure of coal-fired power stations.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) started the process to sell land adjacent to three existing power stations in January. The Iberdrola-GDF Suez group will be bidding against two other European teams.





One is EDF, the French utility giant that took over British Energy last year for £12.5bn. A 25 per cent stake of that group is now being taken by Centrica, the UK utility, and the venture is committed to building one nuclear power station by 2017 and another three plants by 2025.
The other is a joint venture set up by RWE and E.On, the two German utilities, last month with the stated intention of building at least four reactors in the UK, adding at least six gigawatts, or around 10 per cent of the UK's current installed capacity.
The deadline for expressions of interest in the first three NDA sites to go under the hammer – at Wylfa in Anglesey, Bradwell in Essex and Oldbury in Gloucestershire – was last month. The next stage in the bidding process is in March.
GDF Suez was created last year by a merger of France's former state gas company with Suez, a Belgian group.
Utilities are not the only companies jostling for a position in the new market. In December Rolls-Royce, Balfour Beatty and Areva, the French reactor maker, signed up to a partnership expected to create up to 15,000 long-term manufacturing and construction jobs in the revived industry.

even our own "Electric mountain" in Llanberis is joint owned by Mitsui ...the gov have sold us out

All the best.markj

MrSleepy
11-10-2009, 01:00 PM
Its a shame that building these will not lower the amout of school leavers on the dole..another category ,along with teenage pregnancy that we seem to excel in..

The jobs will go to French / Spanish / Italian contractors berthed in huge offshore accomodation..as per the Lindsay Oil refinery model.

And we do need these after all...we've just about used all the north sea gas we own and we seem to have forgotten that we live on an island floating on coal..

Rob

Evan
11-10-2009, 01:06 PM
What's interesting is that I've read in a couple of articles that we only have enough easily-available uranium for about 100 years, at the current rate of consumption. If everyone switched over to nuke power, we'd run out pretty quickly.

That makes the assumption that a sizable fraction of the available uranium must be coverted to depleted uranium in order to enrich the remainder. Switch the calculation to the CANDU design and the 100 years becomes hundreds of years. Add in the stockpiles of depleted uranium lightly enriched with plutonium and the hundreds of years becomes thousands.

BTW, I wouldn't invest in fusion power. It produces large volumes of high level waste too if it can even be made to work. ITER is expected to produce something like 100 tonnes or more. Exact information is no longer available since ITER removed the estimates from their web site. Apparently it was embarassing because the estimates, according to a tiny foot note at the time, didn't include any of the highly radioactive parts that would be routinely replaced during operation of the reactor. They have never released that particular number but it could be in the hundreds of tonnes on top of what they did admit to. Now all you can find is vague handwaving about large quantities of very low level waste and some "short lived" unspecified amounts of high level waste that still need to be buried in repositories.

boslab
11-10-2009, 01:33 PM
Theres no fear of running out, were mad enough to stick 10 fast breeder reactors on a little island [UK] its brilliant really, no one can run away weree all getting irradiated whoopeee, blinky the three eyed fish move over were going to end up with blinky the 5 eyed cat [were all doomed], our goverment would have difficulty finding thier own arse with a map, let alone 10 fast breeders.
UK Nirex drilled the whole country to find out whare they could stick all the waste [think disused coalmine!], the French own all our Nuke plants [Aliston] and our car parks too!
if nuclier war was declared britain would onle require a sharp tap to blow up as i think it stores and reprocesses everyones plutonium.
the Scots have been so badly irradiated thier waring lead sporens to save futre generations of swimmers
the Welsh are now hybrids, half human half Sheep.
And the south on England are very rich [not sure what thats got to do with it]
Our prime minister is a complete A...hole whose behind the whole fiasco.
Help us Obi wan your our only hope
the cold was was our only hope, there was a chance that the USSR and the US would use us for targer practice, it seems that ended but we didnt give up our dream of self anhialation, now we get to do it our selves.
saves time
regards
mark

aboard_epsilon
11-10-2009, 01:35 PM
Its a shame that building these will not lower the amout of school leavers on the dole..another category ,along with teenage pregnancy that we seem to excel in..

The jobs will go to French / Spanish / Italian contractors berthed in huge offshore accomodation..as per the Lindsay Oil refinery model.

And we do need these after all...we've just about used all the north sea gas we own and we seem to have forgotten that we live on an island floating on coal..

Rob

and
more from that site...its dismal reading .

£40bn nuclear programme could be hit by unrest over migrant labour (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/02/11/64705/40bn-nuclear-programme-could-be-hit-by-unrest-over-migrant.html)
Contractors ready for renewable energy boom (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/02/10/64693/contractors-ready-for-renewable-energy-boom.html)
French utility GDF-Suez circles UK nuclear firms (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/02/03/64409/french-utility-gdf-suez-circles-uk-nuclear-firms.html)
Hochtief tipped to win UK nuclear new build contracts (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/01/27/64259/hochtief-tipped-to-win-uk-nuclear-new-build-contracts.html)
EDF refutes modular nuclear build reports (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/01/19/63887/edf-refutes-modular-nuclear-build-reports.html)
RWE and E.ON join forces to build new nuclear in UK (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2009/01/15/63712/rwe-and-eon-join-forces-to-build-new-nuclear-in-uk.html)
New nuclear power station planned for Anglesey (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2008/12/29/63341/new-nuclear-power-station-planned-for-anglesey.html)
Concern that UK nuclear market will be dominated by French (http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/02/05/Articles/2008/12/08/62916/concern-that-uk-nuclear-market-will-be-dominated-by.html)

madman
11-18-2009, 09:50 AM
With more shoddy workers high on dope in England or just drunk building Faulty Reactors its going to mean More wacky Englishmen in the Far Future i Imagine?

aostling
12-01-2009, 07:47 PM
This article http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/12/01/science/01scillo_graphic.html?ref=science has good illustrations of the NuScale plants, currently going through the NRC approval process. A NuScale module generates 45 MW, and a proposed plant would contain 12 modules.

Cost and land use are much reduced, and safety (presumably) enhanced.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Screenshot2009-12-01at54610PM.png

hoof
12-01-2009, 08:03 PM
Waste ? I know, let's put it on ships in the Gulf of Aden, When the pirates take over the ship - Let them keep it. Not in our back yard.:D

Hoof

aostling
12-01-2009, 08:37 PM
Waste? Not in our back yard.
Hoof

I think the problem of nuclear waste is not so much where to store it, but how to transport it safely to wherever that is.

How do the French, who get virtually all their power from nuclear, handle the transportation problem?

Evan
12-01-2009, 08:47 PM
Just a wild guess but I imagine that they put it on a truck or train and take it to the dump. The difference is that they probably don't tell anybody or ask them if they like the idea first.

edit:

Have you ever seen a truck on the hiways that is pulling a hiboy trailer that has a long slender tank supported by a heavy steel space frame? The frame is designed so that in an accident the tank can't be reached easily by an impactor.

Those trucks are carrying uranium hexafluoride.

aostling
12-01-2009, 09:02 PM
Those trucks are carrying uranium hexafluoride.

Francophobes, are we?

Actually, I have not seen one of those trucks. But now that you described one, I probably will.

Evan
12-01-2009, 09:09 PM
I looked it up and they have changed the design somewhat but they still operate under an exemption that permits trucking UF6 without notification or pilot vehicles. It is one of those dirty little secrets that is obvious if you think about it. How do they get the high level enriched fuel made in the first place and then delivered to the point of use?

tattoomike68
12-01-2009, 09:30 PM
I think all nuke waste should be dumped in mexico. Pay them 5 bucks a ton.

jdunmyer
12-01-2009, 09:37 PM
Years ago, we visited Oak Ridge, TN and toured the museum there. They had a video of a semi-trailer that's used for transporting Things Nuclear, showing various kinds of impact. Needless to say, they're pretty sturdy. :-)

Guido
12-01-2009, 10:17 PM
Kinda interesting, all these thoughts--------Year ago April we did a drive up/down Germany's Rhine River with more than one sidetrip. To drive along a twisty road, everything was Springtime beautiful, just like the pics we had seen except about every ten miles or so, on a slight rise in the landscape, from three to seven humongus wind turbines would slowly be turning out the juice. Quite impressive, no problems.

Germany is well along the road now, dismantling all nineteen of their nuke stations. Have to wonder how many more turbines will be needed.

On a side note, Iberdrola, the General Electric of Spain was recently told to hold off, regarding their manufacture/installation of turbine wind farms in New York state, I believe. Sxxt hit the real fan when it was determined the heavy equipment was to be built in Pennsylvania, not NY. Seems GE had lost the bid.

Oh well, G

38_Cal
12-01-2009, 10:56 PM
Evan
Senior Member

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Williams Lake, BC, Canada
Posts: 27,469
Default
Quote:
Probably a great idea. Nuclear is, by far, the greenest source of power if you can figure out what to do with the waste.

On that we agree.

Quote:
Unlike my friends and neighbors in Berkeley, I'm all for it.

Shhh. Somebody in Berkeley might be reading this. Then you will be in deep doo doo. They will show up singing and playing Country Joe and the Fish, Donovan and Bob dylan music. They will spray paint peace signs on your house with biodegradeable fish oil spray paint and let the dog out of the yard so it can be FREE.

I know. I was born and raised in Bezerkley...


Born in Oakland, raised in Berkeley and Albany. Escaped to Iowa 22 years ago. The music was great, the politics were naive.

David
__________________

Evan
12-02-2009, 01:42 AM
It doesn't matter what you use as an energy source, they all have some sort of downside. Wind turbines in particular can kill a lot of large birds if they are sited poorly. They can make a lot of noise depending on the type and location. A very real problem for any type of wind turbine in northern climates is slinging ice from the blades. Large chunks of ice can be thrown long distances from the large turbines and this presents a real safety problem as well as a problem of equipment damage to nearby turbines.

We are faced with a problem that has only one real solution. USE LESS ENERGY. Adding more generating capacity will not solve the problem as it will only end up replacing existing capacity as it goes off line. There are huge savings to be realized without sacrificing the quality of living standards. Very simple solutions such as changing the types of light fixtures to put the light where it is needed instead of lighting up outer space can save enormous amounts of power.

Just turning off lights when they aren't required can save a great deal. Is there any logical reason to have a traffic light blinking yellow or red all night? Why not do as they do in Germany and nail a sign to the light standard that says STOP or YIELD? Late at night they turn off the traffic lights and you follow the sign instead. Turn off a few million lights for 8 hours per 24 and it adds up.

Put proper reflectors on street lights and you can reduce the power consumption by 50% without giving up anything.

These are not options. They are mandatory and will be forced by economics if for no other reason. The sooner we implement such strategies the cheaper it will be. I recently replaced a 60 watt bulb at my back door with a 5 watt LED floodlight. I am moving to LED lighting as fast as the technology presents adequate emitters to replace my CFL bulbs. It isn't just a matter of saving money, it's a matter of saving energy and the attendant requirement to build infrastructure that always produces some sort of negative side effects.

The Artful Bodger
12-02-2009, 02:53 AM
I would like to see serious effort put into tidal flow generator systems. The tides are predictable and the water of the ocean is much more dense than air so all the turbines can be much smaller.

SDL
12-02-2009, 03:27 AM
I would like to see serious effort put into tidal flow generator systems. The tides are predictable and the water of the ocean is much more dense than air so all the turbines can be much smaller.

Its Starting see here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8173570.stm

Steve Larner

terry_g
12-02-2009, 07:54 AM
I found this on The National Geographic web site.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/aftermath/environment/index.html

What would happen to the earth if we all disappeared.

Terry

wierdscience
12-02-2009, 08:23 AM
I found this on The National Geographic web site.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/aftermath/environment/index.html

What would happen to the earth if we all disappeared.

Terry

Ya,saw that one also the one running on the History channel.Makes me wonder if they are hoping for it to happen or planning it.

Eco-terroism is on the rise,ever see the movie 12 Monkeys?

aboard_epsilon
12-02-2009, 08:26 AM
I think the problem of nuclear waste is not so much where to store it, but how to transport it safely to wherever that is.

How do the French, who get virtually all their power from nuclear, handle the transportation problem?

heres how its done in europe first

then the usa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as3VQeYfd2c

comentry by my home town's carole voderman

all the best.markj

SCT
12-02-2009, 09:34 AM
The problem with tidal flow generators is the same problem as the nuclear plants - nobody wants them in their backyard (or beaches.) The power companies have the technology readily available but can't get approval to build them where there is demand for the power.

Rustybolt
12-02-2009, 10:30 AM
http://lss.fnal.gov/archive/other/ssc/ssc-n-686.pdf

Shows the average 24 hour power requirements for Fermilab particle accelerator.

A nuke plant was built on the Rock River to power it.


The Zion Illinois nuclear plant on the shore of Lake Michigan was recommisioned to use natural gas because of some of the aging problems with its nuclear reactor.


Personally I'm in favor of nuclear. It's here. It's scalable and it s attendant problems are small when compared to its benefits.

Evan
12-02-2009, 10:35 AM
There are other problems with tidal power that are at least as significant as public opposition. It is hard to generate power with a very low head system. It means you have to make up for pressure with a lot of volume and that means the physical size of a generator must be a lot larger. Also, it means damming an estuary in most cases and that can have a major negative ecological impact by prevent adequate flushing of the waters behind the dam. Nothing stinks worse than a rotting salt water mud flat (except maybe a pig farm).

Also, the environment is about as bad as it gets for generating equipment. Salt water just isn't good for electrical machinery.

andy_b
12-02-2009, 11:12 AM
heres how its done in europe first

then the usa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as3VQeYfd2c

comentry by my home town's carole voderman

all the best.markj


They should give each of us one of those flasks to keep us safe in case of any disasters.

andy b.

jdunmyer
12-02-2009, 03:40 PM
Here's the problem with large-scale wind power generation:
http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wp-content/uploads/halkema-windenergyfactfiction.pdf
and:
http://www.nerc.com/docs/pc/ivgtf/EON_Netz_Windreport2005_eng.pdf

Also, as far as LEDs and other energy-saving lights go, they don't really help relieve the need for nukes, as lights are mainly used at night, and there's all kinds of extra generating capacity then. You can't simply throttle back a nuke or large coal burner for a few hours.

The nuclear waste issue is mainly a matter of politics, not technology.

Weston Bye
12-02-2009, 04:07 PM
Some years ago, Consumer's Power in Michigan built a pumped storage unit next to Lake Michigan. When power supply exceeded demand they pumped water from the lake into a reservoir, and drained the reservoir back to the lake, generating power when demand exceeded supply. The problem that created the most political noise with this system was that fish in the lake were being sucked into the pumps and chopped up into fish food. When the water (now fish soup) was let back into the lake, it attracted more fish which were ,in turn sucked into the pumps...

Don't know what the current status of the facility is.

andy_b
12-02-2009, 05:02 PM
Some years ago, Consumer's Power in Michigan built a pumped storage unit next to Lake Michigan. When power supply exceeded demand they pumped water from the lake into a reservoir, and drained the reservoir back to the lake, generating power when demand exceeded supply. The problem that created the most political noise with this system was that fish in the lake were being sucked into the pumps and chopped up into fish food. When the water (now fish soup) was let back into the lake, it attracted more fish which were ,in turn sucked into the pumps...

Don't know what the current status of the facility is.


I remember reading about that. I think that would be a pretty good idea. Any idea how much loss there is in pumping the water into the reservoir (ie - how efficient is the system)?

andy b.

aboard_epsilon
12-02-2009, 05:08 PM
I remember reading about that. I think that would be a pretty good idea. Any idea how much loss there is in pumping the water into the reservoir (ie - how efficient is the system)?

andy b.

those systems are meant to meet peak power demands ..

they are there for a back-up

we have one here in the wales called "electric mountain"

part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ho2yCvOXo&feature=related

part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VONAYCsLRc

the guy doing the commentry sounds like he has hours to live ..lol

all the best.markj

The Artful Bodger
12-02-2009, 05:37 PM
There are other problems with tidal power that are at least as significant as public opposition. It is hard to generate power with a very low head system. It means you have to make up for pressure with a lot of volume and that means the physical size of a generator must be a lot larger. Also, it means damming an estuary in most cases and that can have a major negative ecological impact by prevent adequate flushing of the waters behind the dam. Nothing stinks worse than a rotting salt water mud flat (except maybe a pig farm).

Also, the environment is about as bad as it gets for generating equipment. Salt water just isn't good for electrical machinery.

Best to go back to bed then eh?

Weston Bye
12-02-2009, 08:49 PM
.... Any idea how much loss there is in pumping the water into the reservoir (ie - how efficient is the system)?
andy b.

No idea how efficient, but the system would use power that was otherwise lost or wasted. It need only justify the construction and maintenance costs as long as it helped with the peak load.

Evan
12-02-2009, 09:16 PM
I seem to recall that pumped water storage is around 50% efficient. Not great but better than wasting the power altogether.



Best to go back to bed then eh?


As I said, every method has it's downsides. They aren't all show stoppers but they aren't aways obvious either.


The nuclear waste issue is mainly a matter of politics, not technology.

Those are always the most difficult problems to solve. In many cases reaching concensus or even some agreement is impossible. That is the problem with Yucca Mtn. How did anybody ever expect a dozen or more states to all get on the same page and allow high level waste to be trucked or rail roaded through their cities? They must have pretty good crack on Capitol Hill.

wierdscience
12-02-2009, 09:29 PM
These are intresting,vertical axis turbines,but ones that use Maglev technology not only for load carrying,but also power production.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-bnIYouQNU&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Those are the smaller units,these big,well huge actually units have been proposed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytkWriX3WG8&feature=player_embedded#

Notice the scale.

The Artful Bodger
12-02-2009, 09:43 PM
There are other problems with tidal power that are at least as significant as public opposition. It is hard to generate power with a very low head system. It means you have to make up for pressure with a lot of volume and that means the physical size of a generator must be a lot larger. Also, it means damming an estuary in most cases and that can have a major negative ecological impact by prevent adequate flushing of the waters behind the dam. Nothing stinks worse than a rotting salt water mud flat (except maybe a pig farm).


You make make too many false assumptions, not all tidal schemes require damming an estuary. How difficult do you think it would be to establish a generator in an ocean channel with a tidal flow of 3 metres per second? This is what is available between the two main islands of New Zealand and I have never heard it to be unique.

If I am not mistaken that is a water flow of about 10 kilometres per hour which probably compares quite well with many wind power schemes, except the medium is so much denser.

andy_b
12-02-2009, 10:03 PM
those systems are meant to meet peak power demands ..

they are there for a back-up

we have one here in the wales called "electric mountain"

part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ho2yCvOXo&feature=related

part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VONAYCsLRc

the guy doing the commentry sounds like he has hours to live ..lol

all the best.markj


I watched that (painful as it was). I think I am missing something. The "spare capacity" turbines seem to be capable of being powered up and shut down as demand changes. Uh, why don't they just shut down one of the main turbines at night instead of pumping water back up to the lake to run the turbines that they just shut down for the night????? Looks like a big waste of money to me.

andy b.

The Artful Bodger
12-02-2009, 10:11 PM
I watched that (painful as it was). I think I am missing something. The "spare capacity" turbines seem to be capable of being powered up and shut down as demand changes. Uh, why don't they just shut down one of the main turbines at night instead of pumping water back up to the lake to run the turbines that they just shut down for the night????? Looks like a big waste of money to me.

andy b.

I think you can do that with a hydro station but it takes much longer to stop or start a large thermal (including nuclear) generator.

J Tiers
12-02-2009, 10:59 PM
A couple things not mentioned....

The IFR....... uses virtually all the energy in the uranium, as opposed to a light water type as presently used, meaning that up to 100 times more energy may be available per loading than is presently obtained.

I am not sure of the relation of the IFR to the CANDU, I don't know much about the CANDU. But the IFR seems like the place to be NOW. Apparently a government task force rated it the #1 best nuclear power option in 2002. Too bad it was canceled back in 1994.

according to the info I have, the products from the IFR reactor are never pure enough to be easily used for any reasonable sort of nuclear weapon, really just dirty bombs, which are always possible now as well. The material need not be sent off-site for processing.

For the NON-existence of this type plant, we have Bill Clinton to thank, he had it squashed.

Then also, geothermal, using the energy in the earth's core, or more precisely, the heat energy down deep in the mantle. It's non-renewable, but there's a whole lot of it.

wierdscience
12-02-2009, 11:21 PM
Then also, geothermal, using the energy in the earth's core, or more precisely, the heat energy down deep in the mantle. It's non-renewable, but there's a whole lot of it.

And according to Albore ....."the temperature down there is several million degrees":rolleyes:

Evan
12-03-2009, 12:11 AM
I am not sure of the relation of the IFR to the CANDU, I don't know much about the CANDU. But the IFR seems like the place to be NOW. Apparently a government task force rated it the #1 best nuclear power option in 2002. Too bad it was canceled back in 1994.



The CANDU is a Canadian invention so like the Avro Arrow that just isn't acceptable for use in the US. Never mind the fact that it burns unenriched uranium and is refueled while running at full power. We won't mention the fact that it can use mixed fuel without reprocessing or the fact that it can't melt down in a loss of coolant situation.


You make make too many false assumptions, not all tidal schemes require damming an estuary. How difficult do you think it would be to establish a generator in an ocean channel with a tidal flow of 3 metres per second? This is what is available between the two main islands of New Zealand and I have never heard it to be unique.


I am going to make a guess that the stated velocity is right in the middle of the shipping channel. It is most places such as the channel under the Golden Gate Bridge. Any place you have that sort of current you also have a bottleneck for shipping and usually a narrow deep channel. Right off the top how are you going to anchor sub surface turbines? If it were easy they should be everywhere by now. I think it is probably very difficult.

oldtiffie
12-03-2009, 12:24 AM
Try these for starters:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_power

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=tidal+power+generation+%2B+image&btnG=Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 12:37 AM
I am going to make a guess that the stated velocity is right in the middle of the shipping channel. It is most places such as the channel under the Golden Gate Bridge. Any place you have that sort of current you also have a bottleneck for shipping and usually a narrow deep channel. Right off the top how are you going to anchor sub surface turbines? If it were easy they should be everywhere by now. I think it is probably very difficult.

More assumptions, Cook Strait is abou 22Km wide at the narrowest point and I expect shipping could be educated to avoid any floating or near surface power stations. I am not actually going to go through a design critique with you Evan but I imagine suitable anchors could be cast in ferro concrete and sunk on site. Yes it may be quite difficult but fortunately that is not a show stopper for us on this side of the globe and if I am not mistaken there are at least two projects to build such systems in Cook Strait.

aostling
12-03-2009, 01:34 AM
I expect shipping could be educated to avoid any floating or near surface power stations

Depends on the weather. Here's Cook Strait on a typical stormy day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUWascqCBe0

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 02:15 AM
Depends on the weather. Here's Cook Strait on a typical stormy day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUWascqCBe0


That video was taken just a few hundred metres from our house! I am sure the Captain of the Bluebridge ship knew exactly where his ship was and was able to avoid all hazards to navigation and complete his voyage. As I said, the strait is over 20 Kms wide and any imagined hazard to shipping is just that, imagination. One of the proposed projects will be 95 metres below the surface and will only be a hazard to skulking submarines from former allies.

oldtiffie
12-03-2009, 02:15 AM
That's typical of the Tasman Sea.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasman_Sea

But in that video of Cook Strait (NZ) you've got tide and wave energy.

Its not uncommon here in the north and NW of OZ to have tidal differences of well in excess of 3 metres (~ 10 feet):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Sound

for this link, select "Broome" - you might be surprised:
http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/MAPS/wa.shtml

gearedloco
12-03-2009, 02:22 AM
Look up "Storm King Mountain" - hope I got the name right. Don't know if they ever finished the job. It is/was in New York State, along the Hudson River.
Quite a boonedoggle, IIRC.

-bill

Evan
12-03-2009, 03:42 AM
More assumptions, Cook Strait is abou 22Km wide at the narrowest point and I expect shipping could be educated to avoid any floating or near surface power stations. I am not actually going to go through a design critique with you Evan but I imagine suitable anchors could be cast in ferro concrete and sunk on site. Yes it may be quite difficult but fortunately that is not a show stopper for us on this side of the globe and if I am not mistaken there are at least two projects to build such systems in Cook Strait.


Any idea what the cost will be? You now admit it may be quite difficult so strike one "false assumption". Can NZ afford the project?

aostling
12-03-2009, 06:04 AM
... will only be a hazard to skulking submarines from former allies.

I'm sure I've come across you before. In a Barry Crump novel, perhaps?

aboard_epsilon
12-03-2009, 08:16 AM
I watched that (painful as it was). I think I am missing something. The "spare capacity" turbines seem to be capable of being powered up and shut down as demand changes. Uh, why don't they just shut down one of the main turbines at night instead of pumping water back up to the lake to run the turbines that they just shut down for the night????? Looks like a big waste of money to me.

andy b.

Yes was terrible explanation ..and poor video.!!!
I picked the wrong videos out ..the originals were discovery's program "how do they do that"..which are no longer there ..

The normal power stations cannot re-act quick enough to meet peak demand ...

This station can run up quickly and address that demand

The station is an independent one .......run by private companies
they buy power off the normal stations "at night" at reduced rate.
and use it to pump water back up to the top lake overnight.

Then they sell it back to them at higher rate in the peak demand periods...such as commercial breaks on TV..during peak viewing times on tv.

During commercial TV breaks..
people will boil a kettle to make tea or coffee ...if you had say 3 million people boiling a kettle at the same time ....then you see, there is a need for this peak demand power station.

The station has the largest man made cavern in Europe ..and has 16 miles of tunnels lots of them two lane that you drive a single decker bus through...you can fit st-Paul's cathedral in that cavern ...and the vertical shaft from the lake to the turbines is as tall as the empire state building.

if youre ever in wales ..

there is a visitor centre in Llanberis .....this is the starting point of the full electric mountain tour.

tours are £7.50.

the tour guide person, can make or break the enjoyment of the visit ......as some are rubbish at thier job ..and some are spot on...

All the best.markj

Evan
12-03-2009, 08:42 AM
As I said, the strait is over 20 Kms wide and any imagined hazard to shipping is just that, imagination.

Apparently not.




New Zealand:

There are two sites around New Zealand's South Island where undersea windmills may be installed. The angle formed by South Island and Stewart Island captures a 70-mile wide band of the West Wind Drift Ocean Current and forces it to converge into the 20-mile wide Foveaux Strait. The water depth changes rapidly from under 600-ft outside the strait to under 150-feet in the strait. The combined convergence of width and depth causes a strong current to flow in the strait where a "farm" of undersea windmills may be installed and generate up to 1000-megawatts of power.

A portion of the West Wind Drift merges with the East Australian Current and is deflected to flow in a northeasterly direction along the 500-mile west coast of New Zealand's South Island and into the 60-mile wide (north - south distance) entrance to Cook Strait. Twice a day an eastward-moving band of tidal rise from the Tasman Sea that is 450-miles wide would combine with this ocean current. The converging angle made by New Zealand's two main islands would funnel the tidal rise into the entrance of Cook Strait that further converges to a width of 12-miles at its narrowest point.

For power to be generated in Cook Strait, undersea windmills may need to be installed between Cape Jackson and Kapiti Island where the water depth is less than 600-feet. This channel may be made narrower by building breakwaters and shallower by depositing rocks and boulders on the channel floor. The reduced width and depth of the flow of water would increase the speed of the current that would flow through the artificially narrowed channel where up to 2000-megawatts of electric power could be generated. A designated shipping channel may have to be implemented in Cook Strait at a future time if power from the ocean is to be generated there. This power generation would be complimented by New Zealand's high capacity for hydraulic energy storage.


http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_print.cfm?a_id=1226

This is untried technology it seems. No such installations exist at present.

J Tiers
12-03-2009, 09:00 AM
The CANDU is a Canadian invention so like the Avro Arrow that just isn't acceptable for use in the US. Never mind the fact that it burns unenriched uranium and is refueled while running at full power. We won't mention the fact that it can use mixed fuel without reprocessing or the fact that it can't melt down in a loss of coolant situation.


Stripping out the Canadian nationalist politics..........

It is unclear to me in a quick overview of on-line documentation if the CANDU offers the same radical improvement of energy usage as the IFR. A number of "15% more efficient than typical light water reactor" was mentioned, which does not sound like much, but may be misleading.

There was some short discussion of fuel recycling "not necessarily requiring reprocessing", which did not clearly detail the level of reprocessing required, where it is done, etc..

The IFR burns the fuel down to virtually nothing, well down the fission chain. As a result, it is alleged to be up to 100X more effective in fuel usage than traditional reactors, dramatically lowering the magnitude of the "spent fuel" problem, and suggesting that existing uranium deposits might last a LOT longer than if the "standard" reactor is used, in which "spent fuel" still has a lot of energy, and no "breeding" occurs.

With the IFR, reprocessing can be done "on-site", lowering the exposure of the material to theft and accident, as well as the threat to the population while traveling, as no shipping occurs.

And, similar inherent safety features exist with the IFR, which is a relatively recent development, since 1984.

Evan
12-03-2009, 10:29 AM
The CANDU starts with fuel that is "nothing" in that is uses unenriched uranium. "Burnup" figures for a CANDU reactor can't be calculated in the same way as a reactor that uses enriched fuel. When a fuel module is loaded in a CANDU it actually increases in reactivity for a while as the U238 is converted to plutonium by the irradiation. In this respect the CANDU is a type of breeder that makes it's own fuel as it operates. Standard burnup calculations don't take this into account so comparisons are meaningless. Furthermore, the CANDU is able to use depleted uranium if it is "salted" with some small amount of decomissioned weapons grade plutonium. The CANDU can also use so called "depleted" fuel from the current generation of Light Boiling Water Reactors in the US and capture a large amount of the remaining energy in that fuel.

The fact that a CANDU doesn't need enriched fuel eliminates a very expensive part of the infrastructure required to support reactor operation. It also means that the input fuel is useless as material for constructing atomic weapons without a full blown enrichment processing plant.

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 03:21 PM
Any idea what the cost will be? You now admit it may be quite difficult so strike one "false assumption".

There is a difference between 'quite difficult' and 'too difficult', not a day goes by that we do not attempt the former but the latter we would try only after due consideration.


Can NZ afford the project?
I respectfully decline your kind invitation to change the subject.

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 03:26 PM
Apparently not.


"A designated shipping channel may have to be implemented in Cook Strait at a future time if power from the ocean is to be generated there."



Like I said, shipping may have to be educated to avoid the power plants..



This is untried technology it seems. No such installations exist at present. So once again I ask you, should we therefore just go back to bed for the day?

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 03:30 PM
I'm sure I've come across you before. In a Barry Crump novel, perhaps?

I am more the Footrot Flats sort of guy.;)

Alistair Hosie
12-03-2009, 03:38 PM
I sometimes wonder how cheap nuclear fuel is when you eventually build in the dismantling costs.That aside I don't see either how we have much choice .In any case the French are nearly all nuclear stations if they have a fault we are shafted anyway . Especially since we were affected from chernobyl we must be more affected by any French leaks .MY 2 cents bring it on we need power nothing is completely without problems.I am for windmills and would have one in my backyard if I could but nobody wants the landscape dotted with them.Tough choices but we need something coal is not without hazard either and is also not cheap.Alistair

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 03:51 PM
Alistair, the true costs of nuclear power generation may be difficult or impossible to determine but I am reminded of a comment made by a Czech friend of mine when a nuclear station was being built over their border in Austria. He commented that "A properly run a nuclear power station may never harm anyone but a coal fired power plant begins killing people the first day the fires are lit".


Nothing is entirely safe and I am waiting for someone to show how tidal and ocean flow systems are such a hazard to dolphins.:rolleyes:

aboard_epsilon
12-03-2009, 04:04 PM
I sometimes wonder how cheap nuclear fuel is when you eventually build in the dismantling costs.That aside I don't see either how we have much choice .In any case the French are nearly all nuclear stations if they have a fault we are shafted anyway . Especially since we were affected from chernobyl we must be more affected by any French leaks .MY 2 cents bring it on we need power nothing is completely without problems.I am for windmills and would have one in my backyard if I could but nobody wants the landscape dotted with them.Tough choices but we need something coal is not without hazard either and is also not cheap.Alistair

trouble with windmills is you need back up, for when the winds not blowing .......that back-up is as many power stations as possible .

so the idea of windmills being environmentally sound is not sound ..if you have to have other means (fully maned power stations ) to generate when the winds not blowing

all the best.markj

The Artful Bodger
12-03-2009, 04:09 PM
trouble with windmills is you need back up, for when the winds not blowing .......that back-up is as many power stations as possible .

so the idea of windmills being environmentally sound is not sound ..if you have to have other means (fully maned power stations ) to generate when the winds not blowing

all the best.markj

Thats why I would like to see more work done on tidal and ocean flow systems. At least you know when the tides will flow and with ocean currents (no pun intended) I presume the flow is continuous.

aboard_epsilon
12-03-2009, 04:22 PM
So much for canada. Evan.read this

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/30/canada-tar-sands-copenhagen-climate-deal

All the best.markj

boslab
12-03-2009, 04:49 PM
i still havent been entirely convinced that global warming is man made, i still maintain its natural, historicly its happened before and according to the ice cores the CO2 level rises after the veg dies not before, deforestation cant be good so ill admit that that will have impact, but thats my opinion which is in the great scheme entirely worthless.
However i cant throw myself on the nuke bandwagon either, weve seen what this technology can do when mismanaged, apart from creating the most deadly poison [even if it wasent radioactive] known, the fence i'm afraid is very crowded these days!
mark

andy_b
12-03-2009, 04:57 PM
The station is an independent one .......run by private companies
they buy power off the normal stations "at night" at reduced rate.
and use it to pump water back up to the top lake overnight.

Then they sell it back to them at higher rate in the peak demand periods...such as commercial breaks on TV..during peak viewing times on tv.

All the best.markj


Ahhh, now it makes more sense. As a private business venture buying excess capacity and then selling it back during peak demand it looks to be a good deal.

Thanks for the explanation!

andy b.

bollie7
12-03-2009, 07:19 PM
But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors, while another 5 percent comes from American bombs, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade association in Washington.
This raises another interesting question. If 45% of the recycled bombs are Ex USSR and only 5% are Ex USA. Does this mean that the USSR had a lot more nukes than the USA or just that they are getting rid of them faster?

bollie7

Weston Bye
12-03-2009, 09:22 PM
This raises another interesting question. If 45% of the recycled bombs are Ex USSR and only 5% are Ex USA. Does this mean that the USSR had a lot more nukes than the USA or just that they are getting rid of them faster?

bollie7

When the USSR fell apart and lost central control, there were a lot of nukes scatterted around and nobody to pay the wages of the keepers. I seem to remember that US scientists, in (remarkable) cooperation with what was left of the Russian government went around gathering (and probably buying) loose nukes, dismantling them and shipping the fissionable materials back to the US for disposal. No such collapse occurred in the US so decommissioning takes place at a more leisurely pace.

I fear that they may have lost track of a few of the Soviet nukes.

wierdscience
12-03-2009, 09:45 PM
When the USSR fell apart and lost central control, there were a lot of nukes scatterted around and nobody to pay the wages of the keepers. I seem to remember that US scientists, in (remarkable) cooperation with what was left of the Russian government went around gathering (and probably buying) loose nukes, dismantling them and shipping the fissionable materials back to the US for disposal. No such collapse occurred in the US so decommissioning takes place at a more leisurely pace.

I fear that they may have lost track of a few of the Soviet nukes.

That and they did have many more than we did.They also had nuke powered everything,that stuff still litters the landscape.

Evan
12-03-2009, 10:19 PM
So much for canada. Evan.read this


I do hope you realize that we make all that oil for the USA. If they didn't need it we wouldn't be making it from tar sands and we wouldn't be burning natural gas to melt the bitumen. Also, in case you are not aware, Canada is the single largest supplier of oil to the USA and has been for a decade.

gmatov
12-03-2009, 10:40 PM
andy_b,

I don't know how many if any pumped storage projects are private enterprises. Here is a list of all those to date of the link there are in the world:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

Note that the Helms Pumped Storage Project, parts of which I worked on years ago at Westinghouse, is owned by PG&E.They are load levelers.

Those who say you can't run up or down a steam plant, I don't understand. Steam turbines are governed. When you load the gen, you open the steam valve and keep the gen turning to produce 60 cycles at the load you have, up to, what generator customers have told me, 150% of the rated load. Their thinking was that if they got 50% more production, they have made back their investment, and they don't worry about our warranty, which was monitored by load meters.

(I can also tell you that not long before we shut down our Plant Manager took us all to a theatre to show us a film that had Utility CEOs complain that we reduced our copper conductors to the minimum needed to produce what the gen was designed to produce. ie, they could not run at 150% of rated capacity without a probable burn out. Not only did they not like that, our Manager SEEMS to think that was a failing of the people building the gens, and not a fault of the Management and Engineering holding design to the parameters. Neither here nor there.)

The entire power industry is intertied. If there is no load, they will "bank the fire" or hand off the load to another plant that has to run at 1/2 load or whatever. IT will run at nearer peak efficiency. Down the wire, more would and can do the same.

I don't know how long it takes to make a full head of steam. Not a great deal of time. NOT hours. Minutes, maybe 10 to hot up the water and be up to full load.

Allowing a boiler to shut down and go cold is a no-no. Allowing an armature to sit still is another no-no. They will sag. Have to be on slow roll to stay straight.

Regardless, a gen puts out NO energy unless you put a load on it, just as a battery does not discharge electrically unless there is a draw on both terminals. (That they will die over time has no comparison to a gen that is not called upon.)

If you think that the Utilities don't KNOW when they have to hot up the boilers to cover the AM load, you have no idea how closely they monitor the loads on the entire grid in their area of coverage.

Though this is not my foundation of thought, read "Overload" by Arthur Hailey, about 30 years or more old, author of "Airport" and many other Industrial catastrophe novels.

Load shifting is the norm in power generation. Our problem now is that there is not an excess of power TO shift. The Grid is failing us, AND we are again in the NIMBY stage.

We don't have the infrastructure to move the electricity we CAN produce to where we NEED it. That is the big argument about the wind farms. We can't USE it, we have NO ties to the GRID. That is bull****.

We can run the wires to the Grid. Problem is the Grid is insufficient to handle the extra load, at least the intertie at the location of the most favorable or least restrictive of the sites where wind farms are permitted to be built.

Rather than build a new corridor, running a second wire for each phase should be cheaper, BUT, still, locals oppose any additional power to be run. It is not CHEAP. Wire is not free, but it would be cheaper than a new right of way and new towers and new wires.

If the new line is slated to carry power to another Metro Area, those bets are off. BIG todo about building a new transmission line across W.VA, PA, MD, VA. No one wants it. Lines have to go in a straight line, more or less. I don't know how far off line they can go before the angularity puts too much side stress on the towers, I would assume built to the minimum strength needed. Contraction in Winter and a strong wind might topple borderline towers.

I like the modular Nuke plants. Mag I just got has a big article about it. Have to refer to it if I post here again.

Cheers,

George

J Tiers
12-03-2009, 10:42 PM
The CANDU starts with fuel that is "nothing" in that is uses unenriched uranium. "Burnup" figures for a CANDU reactor can't be calculated in the same way as a reactor that uses enriched fuel. When a fuel module is loaded in a CANDU it actually increases in reactivity for a while as the U238 is converted to plutonium by the irradiation. In this respect the CANDU is a type of breeder that makes it's own fuel as it operates.

The IFR is similar in that way, it is a breeder, and that is what got it canned, because congress and the Clinton administration "knew" that breeders make weapons-grade stuff that will blow up exactly as it comes out of the reactor in a refueling.........:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Apparently the technical facts were of no importance.

The real question is the megawatt-years from a fuel pack. I don't know that for either the IFR or the CANDU. Since the IFR was shot in the head before the pilot plant, nobody knows from experience, but apparently the IFR calculates to burn down a lot farther than present day plants, by a large factor.

As I mentioned, figures of 100X the energy extraction are thrown around by credible people. That would be good if true, and if the program can get going. I don't know how those figures compare to the CANDU, which promises at least a small but significant improvement.

A friend's father is a nuclear engineering consultant who has worked at a dozen or so plants around the US. Haven't seen him for years, but I could ask if and when I do.


Those who say you can't run up or down a steam plant, I don't understand. Steam turbines are governed. When you load the gen, you open the steam valve and keep the gen turning to produce 60 cycles at the load you have, up to, what generator customers have told me, 150% of the rated load. Their thinking was that if they got 50% more production, they have made back their investment, and they don't worry about our warranty, which was monitored by load meters.


I don't know how long it takes to make a full head of steam. Not a great deal of time. NOT hours. Minutes, maybe 10 to hot up the water and be up to full load.

Allowing a boiler to shut down and go cold is a no-no. Allowing an armature to sit still is another no-no. They will sag. Have to be on slow roll to stay straight.

If you think that the Utilities don't KNOW when they have to hot up the boilers to cover the AM load, you have no idea how closely they monitor the loads on the entire grid in their area of coverage.

It doesn't take a long time to get steam, because plants are made with lots of pipes and small boiler drums... the days of a big scotch marine type boiler have been past for 80 years.....But output still cannot be brought up quickly, or varied quickly because the stress on the pipes and structure is increased by changing the heat input. And a turbine will expand unevenly and might wipe if it is not warmed-up slowly. I strongly doubt if a "banked" plant can be back up in "10 minutes"...... And I am not entirely sure what 'banking" a pulverized coal fired boiler really means....... the term goes back to hand fired boilers, when it had meaning.

Even a pumped storage plant can't be instantly turned on or off, because of inertia, better known as 'water hammer". At that scale, what just bangs your pipes a bit can cause a seriously bad day. Taum Sauk, which was in daily use, had a real bad day a while back when the reservoir was overtopped due to faulty equipment, and the whole load of a billion gallons or so washed down the back slope of Proffitt mountain, which it actually is on. It should be back on-line in about 6 months, and is 100% pumped storage, 450MW at 800 foot head.

prior to the failure in 2005, it had been running since 1963.

Pete F
12-03-2009, 10:56 PM
I do hope you realize that we make all that oil for the USA.

Yeah, you guys are like a drug dealer... and we're the junkies...

:eek: :D

-Pete

Evan
12-03-2009, 11:06 PM
CANDU has a very big advantage. It works and has been working for decades. It has a proven track record. There are 32 CANDU reactors in operation and, as far as I know, none has ever has a significant accident.


As I mentioned, figures of 100X the energy extraction are thrown around by credible people.

That sounds a lot like a "free energy" scam to me.

gmatov
12-03-2009, 11:08 PM
"So much for canada. Evan.read this "

I read about that in PM long time ago. The head of the operation said they made money down to 38 buck a bbl oil. It is now, what, 76 bucks. It is probably holding down the World cost of crude.

It is in one of the most inhospitable areas of the World, how in the Hell they even thought to send people up there to find it, I don't know.

It is, indeed, despoiling countryside, but I don't know if there was anybody there, before the Greens came along to condemn it, who were pissed off about the despoliation.

Why are not near as many pissed off about taking off the tops of mountains in W.VA, and filling in streams and rivers to make digging coal easier? This is home to people. Athabasca Tar Sands are in uninhabitable lands.
That it costs 3 times as much in energy to recover per barrel should make you wonder why the oil we buy from Arabs and others costs 76 bucks.

They make so much up there that a 5 million buck truck is paid for in a week, a 25 million buck excavator in a month. And they have lots of both. Biggest of both in the world. More of them, I think, than in any other project in the world.

(I know why it does not go for less than 76 bucks. That is business. You make it cheaper and sell it at the going rate. You don't want to lower the price. You want to sell it AT the going price and make more per unit than the other guy. Competition, y'know.)

Cheers,

George

J Tiers
12-03-2009, 11:16 PM
BTW, We right here in the US have almost as much out west......over parts of 10 states or so. It's not as good as the Canadian stuff, but still usable. But there is no way that the greenies will ever let anyone dig it up and extract the petroleum......

gmatov
12-03-2009, 11:31 PM
Evan,

Banked is not what you did with a home coal burning furnace, in a power plant. You did not have 100 thou CF blowers ready to hot up your fire, you did not have the type of stokers that a Gigawatt plant has.

They can hot up a fire in minutes, nay, seconds, though it might take minutes to get a full head of steam.

Regardless, every PSI made makes more electricity, carries more of the load, and if the load never materializes, you have burned lots of fuel to make a head of steam that goes straight to the condensor. Not through the turbine blades.

The turbines I built used "ball valves". Pull the lever to lift the ball off its seat. STILL governed. Woodward Governor STILL had the final say. I dialed in 15 thou RPM, and 900 PSI steam, when the RPM got there, UNDER the required test load, steam admission was throttled, sufficient to carry the load.

That is not so different from your foot on the gas pedal. Although I can tell you that a governor can pull back on you pretty damned hard when you try to increase speed, unlike a gas pedal. Those flyballs exert some inertia.

As to type of boiler in vogue today, what is it? Fire tube? Water tube? Regardless, they all make steam. How fast they can get up to full steam would dictate the type the Utilities buy, IF the indicator cards can convince the bean counters one is less energy intensive than the other.

I have to look at boilers more. I haven't had anything to do with them since the 60's in the Navy and Turbines since 90.

Cheers,

George

Evan
12-03-2009, 11:37 PM
None of the new projects involve any digging. The reason so much natural gas is used is because they drive a series of horizontal wells and pump in high temperature steam to melt the bitumen. It then can be pumped to the surface like regular oil and there isn't massive disruption to the landscape. It can also recover crude from deposits that are too deep to get at by digging.

Funny thing is that this isn't off topic. The simple alternative to burning all that natural gas is an on site nuclear reactor to generate steam. It would be dead simple to operate and maintain and can even be made portable. Canada already has such designs. The oil industry would really like to use them because it would be cheaper than burning the gas. Then they could sell the gas and it would pay for the reactor and the carbon police would be happier, sort of...

J Tiers
12-03-2009, 11:57 PM
That sounds a lot like a "free energy" scam to me.

Actually, it sounds more like efficient use, instead of getting 2% of the energy and being too much of a frightened wuss to allow anyone to clean it up enough to get the other 98%.

I had links to an academic paper on the IFR, but the paper was removed from the site and I hadn't nabbed a copy. My father sent me the link quite some time ago.

The "spent" fuel rods that were going to be buried in Yucca mountain have A lot of energy left, as has been mentioned here. Stupid to let it go to waste. And U238 is abundant, why not use it?

A little like licking off the cake's icing and then claiming there isn't any more cake.

Edit, I found some bits that my father sent me. I have extracted a few here (ANL= Argonne national laboratories) I notice that the CANDU is not considered among the competing types..... as it also uses U238, I believe.



An Introduction to Argonne National Laboratory's
INTEGRAL FAST REACTOR (IFR) PROGRAM

The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) program was the nation's premier research and development
effort focused on the basic design concepts and testing the next generation nuclear power plant.
The IFR development work provides solutions in the areas of concern for today's nuclear plants.
.......................
Safety
The IFR gains safety advantages through a combination of metal fuel (an alloy of uranium,
plutonium, and zirconium), and sodium cooling. By providing a fuel which readily conducts heat
from the fuel to the coolant, and which operates at relatively low temperatures, the IFR takes
maximum advantage of expansion of the coolant, fuel, and structure during off-normal events
which increase temperatures. The expansion of the fuel and structure in an off-normal situation
causes the system to shut down even without human operator intervention.
In April of 1986, two special tests were performed on the Experimental Breeder Reactor II
(EBR-II), in which the main primary cooling pumps were shut off with the reactor at full power
(62.5 Megawatts, thermal). By not allowing the normal shutdown systems to interfere, the
reactor power dropped to near zero within about 300 seconds. No damage to the fuel or the
reactor resulted. This test demonstrated that even with a loss of all electrical power and the
capability to shut down the reactor using the normal systems, the reactor will simply shut down
without danger or damage. The same day, this demonstration was followed by another important
test. With the reactor again at full power, flow in the secondary cooling system was stopped.
This test caused the temperature to increase, since there was nowhere for the reactor heat to go.
As the primary (reactor) cooling system became hotter, the fuel, sodium coolant, and structure
expanded, and the reactor shut down.
......................
Waste
Discussions on waste, nearly unlimited fuel supply, transportation, and a nearly
diversion-proof fuel all hinge on the fuel type and the fuel reprocessing scheme. To describe
the waste advantages, fuel reprocessing will first be described. Reprocessing of fuel is a key
requirement of the IFR. However, IFR reprocessing is very different from processes which
have been proposed or which are in use in other countries. Basically, reprocessing IFR fuel
consists of two simple steps: [1] fission fragments are removed from the fuel, and [2] unused
fuel is recovered, along with the transuranic elements (sometimes called actinides). Normally,
the transuranic elements would go to the waste stream with the fission products, but in the IFR,
they are kept with the fuel and sent back to the reactor to also serve as fuel. In the above
description, note that the waste stream consists of only the fission products.
The result is that instead of a waste that remains radioactive for many thousands of years,
as would be the case if the transuranic elements were present, the radioactivity in the waste will
decay to a value less than that of the original uranium ore in about 200 years. An additional
advantage to the waste side of the IFR operation is that the IFR plant produces less low-level
waste than today's nuclear plants. The sodium coolant used in the IFR does not corrode the
piping or structure, and, as a result, there are no radioactive corrosion products to remove from
the primary system and send to a low-level radioactive waste repository. The fission product
waste from an IFR type plant will amount to about 1700 pounds of waste per year for a plant
of about 1000 megawatts electric output. This is in contrast to the waste from an equivalent
coal plant of about 1,275,000 tons per year. These figures are for a plant that operates about 70
percent of the year.
....................................
"Limitless" Fuel Supply
There is sufficient fuel to power IFR type facilities for well over 100,000 years. This results
because the IFR is a breeder reactor which can utilize uranium 238. Today's reactors use
only uranium 235, which is less than 1% of the uranium found in nature. The IFR, with its fuel
reprocessing capability, can use all the uranium. There is enough uranium that has been mined
and placed in barrels (uranium 238) for IFR-type plants to provide all the electricity for the
United States for over 500 years -- without mining. Also, the IFR can likely reprocess the spent
fuel from today's reactors, and use the recovered materials for fuel. Uranium is as abundant in
the earth as many of the commonly used materials such as bismuth, cadmium, mercury, silver,
etc. In fact the uranium in a typical 1 ton block of granite (concentration of about 5 ppm) is the
energy equivalent (if used in the IFR) of 10 tons of coal! The abundance of uranium suggests
that its price will likely not increase as an IFR fuel material for the foreseeable future.

tdmidget
12-04-2009, 01:02 AM
Weston Bye, the reason most of the uranium fuel comes from Russia is that they had many Uranium warheads. We did not due to their inherent danger of nuclear explosion in event of a accident. Virtually all of ours were plutonium implosion type bombs.
gmatov, NO generating plant runs at 15000 rpm. The generator turns 1800 or 3600 depending on it's size. A cold unit cannot be brought on line rapidly, in fact it might take couple of days for a large steam unit to come to full power. However once it is hot it can run under a rather wide load range though it is most efficient at full load. It is governed for speed and amperage. Speed is controlled by steam valves and the current produced is determined by the exciter.

Evan
12-04-2009, 03:33 AM
Jerry,

With those descriptions it really sounds like a solution to the "Not invented here" problem more than anything else. The CANDU has all those advantages plus some.

The numbers given for the burnup of the IFR are misleading, probably intentionally. While it may well burn nearly all the fuel the fission cycle of U235 produces about half the energy in an enriched fuel reactor even though it is only about 3% of the mass. The remaining U238 which is fissionable but not fissile contributes the other half by conversion to plutonium and the subsequent fission to daughter products. The balance changes for a reactor not using enriched fuel but the so called total burnup does not result in an energy release directly proportional to the percentage of burnup.

aboard_epsilon
12-04-2009, 05:08 AM
I do hope you realize that we make all that oil for the USA. If they didn't need it we wouldn't be making it from tar sands and we wouldn't be burning natural gas to melt the bitumen. Also, in case you are not aware, Canada is the single largest supplier of oil to the USA and has been for a decade.

this is the bit i wanted you to read ..


In 2006 the new Canadian government announced it was abandoning its targets to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol#Canada). No other country that had ratified the treaty has done this. Canada was meant to have cut emissions by 6% between 1990 and 2012. Instead they have already risen by 26%.

all the best.markj

Evan
12-04-2009, 06:03 AM
It is directly connected to the increase in production in the tar sands as well as the switch to extraction methods that don't disturb the soil. The law of unintended consequences has bitten the greenies on the butt hard. By insisting that extraction methods be found that don't disturb the landscape the oil companies began using in situ extraction which resulted in a major increase in carbon emissions from burning natural gas. I notice that nobody is seriously calling for Canada to stop producing oil. You do realize that if we did that the price of oil now would seem like a 90% off sale.

andy_b
12-04-2009, 08:12 AM
We don't have the infrastructure to move the electricity we CAN produce to where we NEED it. That is the big argument about the wind farms. We can't USE it, we have NO ties to the GRID. That is bull****.

We can run the wires to the Grid. Problem is the Grid is insufficient to handle the extra load, at least the intertie at the location of the most favorable or least restrictive of the sites where wind farms are permitted to be built.

Rather than build a new corridor, running a second wire for each phase should be cheaper, BUT, still, locals oppose any additional power to be run. It is not CHEAP. Wire is not free, but it would be cheaper than a new right of way and new towers and new wires.

If the new line is slated to carry power to another Metro Area, those bets are off. BIG todo about building a new transmission line across W.VA, PA, MD, VA. No one wants it. Lines have to go in a straight line, more or less. I don't know how far off line they can go before the angularity puts too much side stress on the towers, I would assume built to the minimum strength needed. Contraction in Winter and a strong wind might topple borderline towers.

I like the modular Nuke plants. Mag I just got has a big article about it. Have to refer to it if I post here again.

Cheers,

George

George,

I am VERY familiar with the transmission line protests in PA. They made the news around here all the time. I still don't understand why they didn't just increase the capacity of the existing lines instead of moving them to new areas.

andy b.

SDL
12-04-2009, 08:18 AM
There are other problems with tidal power that are at least as significant as public opposition. It is hard to generate power with a very low head system. It means you have to make up for pressure with a lot of volume and that means the physical size of a generator must be a lot larger. Also, it means damming an estuary in most cases and that can have a major negative ecological impact by prevent adequate flushing of the waters behind the dam. Nothing stinks worse than a rotting salt water mud flat (except maybe a pig farm).

Also, the environment is about as bad as it gets for generating equipment. Salt water just isn't good for electrical machinery.

About todevelop commercial system.

See Here http://www.theengineer.co.uk/1000213.article?cmpid=TE01&cmptype=newsletter

Steve Larner

aboard_epsilon
12-04-2009, 08:28 AM
Some useful UK gov websites

This one is offering £2500 grant towards micro-generation (bought approved systems )

Solar electricity (solar photovoltaic)
Wind turbines
Water turbines (small scale hydro)
Solar hot water
Ground source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps
Wood-fuelled boilers (biomass)
Automatic pellet-feed wood burning stoves (biomass)

http://www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/home/

Ive just been speaking on the phone to a UK gov department ..
and all UK planning permission laws will be waved by April 2011 as regards all home generation, CHP (combined heat and power..eg whispergen) systems, ground source heating systems and the above systems .....some of the planning permisions have been waved as of last month .

Here you can answer a questionnaire ..to see if you are suitable .

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewableselector/start/

All the best.markj

J Tiers
12-04-2009, 09:19 AM
The numbers given for the burnup of the IFR are misleading, probably intentionally. While it may well burn nearly all the fuel the fission cycle of U235 produces about half the energy in an enriched fuel reactor even though it is only about 3% of the mass. The remaining U238 which is fissionable but not fissile contributes the other half by conversion to plutonium and the subsequent fission to daughter products. The balance changes for a reactor not using enriched fuel but the so called total burnup does not result in an energy release directly proportional to the percentage of burnup.

You ARE a conspiracy theorist and heavy Canadian patriot...... and it shows..... Since the US canned the IFR as an "ILLEGAL" breeder, it doesn't seen likely that it is an evasion of the CANDU idea...... there isn't much evasion going on..........;)

Both are breeders, but the difference seems to be in the fuel cycle. The IFR uses on-site electrolytic refining/reprocessing, I am not so sure of the type of reprocessing for the CANDU, as the info I found on short notice was very tight-lipped about that aspect, as if there was something that needed to be concealed.

probably the only thing a typical hysterical and uneducated American NIMBY (90% of the population) would hate more than a Nuke plant of any sort, is a Nuke plant with reprocessing plant on-site. if anything were to be the kiss of death for a plan, that right there would be it.

Evan
12-04-2009, 10:24 AM
There is something to be concealed. You can simply repackage bomb grade plutonium together with U238 and feed it to the reactor. The CANDU is a true breeder which was proven by India years ago. Canada sold them a CANDU and India used it to make plutonium for their first atomic weapon. This was rather embarrassing to Canada. The fact that the CANDU can easily burn MOX (mixed oxide ) isn't something they want to advertise much as it implies that it would be used for "waste" disposal from weapons programs and the burnup of used fuel elements from light water reactors.

There is plenty of secrecy in respect of operating reactor systems just because of the potential for negative public perception. It's the usual "Hell no, we don't want no atoms 'round here" problem.

Ever notice how a lot of bad actor elements tend to end with "ium"? That includes liquid sodium in my book. Molten sodium just doesn't strike me as a safe material to use in a cooling system.

aostling
12-04-2009, 10:55 AM
Molten sodium just doesn't strike me as a safe material to use in a cooling system.

Or a heating system either? An Arizona solar-thermal venture proposes heating liquid sodium in the tubes at the focus of parabolic troughs, with a heat exchanger to generate steam for turbines. But if they ever lose the sun focus the sodium might solidify in all its plumbing, and getting it molten again would be a real problem. So I was told, by an engineer I met atop Camelback.

What exactly is the toxic hazard of liquid sodium?

Evan
12-04-2009, 01:10 PM
:eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY7mTCMvpEM