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PostPosted: Sep 18, 2016 9:05 pm 
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TVA's Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant near Hollywood/Scottsboro, AL is for sale. Starting bid? $36.4M.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/ ... le-n647296

https://tva.gov/Newsroom/Bellefonte

About Bellefonte: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellefont ... ng_Station

For $36M and some change, if I was a billionaire, I'd buy this before I spent some $.75B on some ranch in TX.

Could a R&D LFTR be designed to fit inside the PWR containment buildings? Seems like a solution looking for a problem, all built at taxpayer expense, of course.


Last edited by FTG-05 on Sep 19, 2016 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sep 18, 2016 9:56 pm 
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After reading what you linked to about the site I get the idea that it could be useful for a lot of things, depending on who would want to move there. Reading about how far they are on the completion of the nuclear reactors I'd think it would be a waste of that work to not complete at least one of the reactors. I get the impression that they are looking for someone to do just that, pick up where they left off. The reactors don't necessarily have to be used for electricity even though that might seem logical. They did say the power plant was not completed because they did not see sufficient demand for the electricity.

What else might someone want to use the nuclear reactor to power? I have a few ideas. Is there a market for more rocket fuel? Aluminum refining needs a lot of heat and electricity, that might work. A paper mill perhaps? They need a lot of steam for that. Nuclear power might be a bit much for a paper mill alone so combine it with something. What of an oil refinery? Is there a gas pipeline nearby? Access to a natural gas line would be useful for an oil refinery, a fertilizer plant, maybe even that rocket fuel plant I mentioned.

If I were a billionaire, and didn't mind moving to Alabama, I'd consider buying it too. I have nothing against Alabama, I'm sure it's a fine place to live, just too far from my family is all.

Some wealthy guy or gal could buy this up and have some fun with it. The office building could be used for some business or another, or turned into a residence. I suspect that there is enough room for an airstrip to land a small plane, and the warehouse used to park it. Use the cooling pool for a swimming pool perhaps? There's probably a good sized conference room in a place like that which could be used as a theater of sorts. Likely enough land to hunt, or ride horses, have some fun with some off road vehicles, or whatever else one enjoys doing outside.

The place is big enough to make a small town out of it, with a mix of residence and light industry. Do all the above. Putting residences on the property would probably make it unsuited for a nuclear power plant though.

It will be fun to see what happens to this site. I hope it is put to good use.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2016 9:17 am 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
What else might someone want to use the nuclear reactor to power?


Steam methane reforming.
CH4 + 2H20 = 4H2 + CO2.

This is a highly endothermic reaction that can be driven by heat at about 650C. Anyone got a reactor that can deliver heat at that temperature?

The CO2 is relatively pure and pressurised, so ready for sequestration, and the H2 can be turned into electricity or used for heating.

With nuclear heat, you get more MWh out of hydrogen than you put in of methane.


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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2016 9:20 pm 
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Location: Iowa, USA
alexterrell wrote:
Kurt Sellner wrote:
What else might someone want to use the nuclear reactor to power?


Steam methane reforming.
CH4 + 2H20 = 4H2 + CO2.

This is a highly endothermic reaction that can be driven by heat at about 650C. Anyone got a reactor that can deliver heat at that temperature?

The CO2 is relatively pure and pressurised, so ready for sequestration, and the H2 can be turned into electricity or used for heating.

With nuclear heat, you get more MWh out of hydrogen than you put in of methane.


Methane is already a perfectly acceptable fuel for heating and electricity generation, there is little to gain in converting it to hydrogen unless it is used as feedstock for some other process, such as making fertilizer or rocket fuel. Hydrogen is very difficult to store and transport as a gas. Liquifying it makes that somewhat easier but it is a very expensive and energy intensive process, making it valuable only for things like rocket fuel where the expense can be justified.

I believe that there would be greater value in turning that process around, use the nuclear energy to create methane from CO2 and hydrogen. The US Navy has been researching this and it seems that they have had considerable success with it. Their goal is to have nuclear powered vessels gain the capability to fuel the aircraft and smaller watercraft that protect and service it. Think of the advantages of an aircraft carrier that can fuel the jets that land on its deck without needing an oiler to bring it jet fuel.

This technology would also be valuable on land. It is a means to store energy, allowing for a means to manage load. It is a means to transport energy, meaning that energy can move not just by wires or pipes but also by truck and train.

The process the US Navy proposes is to produce the hydrogen by electrolysis of water. This process is more efficient if done with heat or a combination of heat and electrolysis. This is not likely something that can be done at sea but on land there are not such constraints on size and weight. The CO2 they use comes out of solution from the water, much more efficient than trying to grab it from the air. Making hydrocarbons from this, from methane to fuel oil, is a process that I don't completely understand but comes roughly to how long it is left to "cook". The longer the process is run the longer the carbon chains become. A short process produces something equivalent to natural gas, a bit longer and its essentially petroleum gas (usually liquified and sold as LPG or "propane" even though its primary component is butane), longer still is gasoline, then jet fuel, then fuel oil, and any longer is asphalt but that's not a very valuable product.

Depending on how this synthesis of hydrocarbons is done there's opportunities for many useful byproducts, like liquified gasses or water purification.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2016 7:35 am 
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Assuming we want to limit CO2 emissions, I see both processes could be of benefit at different points:

- Steam methane reforming, with sequestration of the CO2.
- Production of hydrogen using high temperature reactors, and Fischer Tropsch to make hydrocarbons.

Paradoxically, they are the opposite processes, but steam methane reforming can be done now.

Norhern Gas Networks has done some work on this and a big study
http://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/do ... city-gate/
Their aim is to keep a role for their distribution network in the future. It seems that steam methane reforming creates a suitableCO2 stream for sequestration, unlike gas combustion.

I did some research into reforming and estimate that for every unit of gas in (heat of combustion, using Higher Heating Value), you get 71% of a unit of hydrogen out (measured by heat of combustion, HHV). So a bit of a loser.

If however you use a molten salt reactor to provide the heat of the reaction, you can raise that 71% to 121%.

The temperature required is about 650C, so nice for MSRs, whereas the hydrogen production (using sulfur-iodine cycle) needs about 1000C.


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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2016 1:07 am 
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alexterrell wrote:
Steam methane reforming, with sequestration of the CO2.


Knowing what I do about CO2 sequestration I don't see it as a very practical means to limit CO2 emissions. Just generally I believe CO2 sequestration as a bad idea but especially in this case. What is likely the most practical CO2 sequestration is to pump it deep into the sea and according to my map of Hollywood, Alabama it's not exactly close to the sea.

CO2 sequestration in nearly any form has a risk of catastrophic gas release, like what happened at Lake Nyos in 1986. That Lake Nyos CO2 release was a natural event but if we plan to sequester CO2 in any way where it can bubble out like it did there then we can have a very deadly problem. Unless the CO2 is chemically captured, like Professor Siemer's basalt reaction idea, I fear another suffocation event. Not only could such an event be deadly for a lot of people but it would negate all the sequestration efforts.

There are other ways to get hydrogen that don't require the CO2 sequestration, I say we use those.

If you want to sell the idea of this site, and sites like it, to do any process that requires CO2 sequestration then I believe you need to be specific on how the CO2 would be sequestered. Did you have a process in mind?

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2016 11:22 am 
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I posted a thread in the Energy Policy section about a project called 'CarbFix' in Iceland where the carbon dioxide was converted into limestone type rocks within a couple of years of injection.


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PostPosted: Sep 22, 2016 7:19 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
I posted a thread in the Energy Policy section about a project called 'CarbFix' in Iceland where the carbon dioxide was converted into limestone type rocks within a couple of years of injection.

Sounds similar to what Prof. Siemer proposed. Prof. Siemer proposed digging up the basalt and spreading it on croplands as a fertilizer and exposing it to atmospheric CO2, this "carbfix" is bringing the CO2 to the basalt. Either way the chemistry is the same.

It sounds like the CO2 reaction with the basalt requires water to carry the CO2, doing that far from the sea would require pumping the CO2 into an aquifer or something. Pumping anything into the sea can upset a lot of people, I can imagine pumping anything into an aquifer would upset even more people.

I'd rather we simply not produce the CO2 in the first place. It just seems simpler that way.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: Sep 24, 2016 11:50 am 
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In Germany we had a commercial PWR in Stade that produced electricity plus steam (after high pressure turbine) plus hot water (before low pressure turbine) for a chemical complex mainly operated by Dow till 2003. In 2003 it was shut down by the mellons (green communist ideology including anti nuclear, climate hoax...).

If you would extend the use of nuclear energy from making base load electricity the lowest hanging fruits are chemical and other industrial complexes that need steam and heat for processes and heating. The advantage of such a complex ist that it is usually run 24h/365d and fits well to the production of a nuclear plant.

Of course you can use the Bellefonte site for a LFTR/MSR. Till today I do not have the impression that the site is the biggest challenge for such a technology. As far as known to me it requires first a reactor concept that is superior to a LWR, coal and gas fired alternatives. Then it requires someone to spend about 1/2 bn to develop the technology ...then it requires a prototype ... then you will need someone to invest a couple of billions to realize it. I would place the prototye in a country open to nuclear and willing to support financing.


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