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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Trump has apparently named one of TAP's chief investors as as advisor.

Peter Thiel will reportedly join Donald Trump’s transition team

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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2016 7:48 pm 
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I saw a few interesting things in the election news and opinion lately. The first was an opinion piece commenting on Clinton's loss in the election. The focus of the piece was the results from West Virginia where Trump got twice as many votes as Clinton. This is an unusually wide spread in R vs. D from a state with a strong voting base of traditionally Democratic voters, union workers primarily, believed to be attributed to a speech Clinton made on how she was going to put a lot of coal miners out of work. Think what you will about global warming, human CO2 production, and how coal burning contributes, we saw voters go to the polls and vote in their own self interests. These people want to keep their jobs and they will vote in a way they believe will allow them to do so.

Clinton's loss was of her own doing. She advocated policies that will eliminate jobs, make business difficult for many, and increase taxes which were quite likely to make people nervous about their future employment. Her other unpopular views included healthcare, abortion, gun control, drug policy, immigration, foreign policy, and more. Just in the realm of energy she had unpopular policies on (again) coal, natural gas exploration, a very lukewarm support for nuclear power, holding up Keystone XL and other pipelines, and (again) taxation especially when it comes to a cap-and-tax policy on CO2 output. It also didn't help that Clinton was accused of storing state secrets on unsecured electronic devices, selling political influence to potentially hostile nations, and lying to FBI agents investigating these accusations. Questions of her physical and mental health didn't help either.

Perhaps not directly related but I saw a discussion on the scientific community finding evidence of increased CO2 consumption by plant life creating a partial offset to human CO2 output. A discussion is here:
https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/1 ... ate-change

The relevant news articles are here:
http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13428
http://www.economist.com/news/science-a ... now-earths

I don't know how widespread such news and discussion was before the election but it does give more evidence to my earlier comments that global warming is much less of a concern among the public and scientific community than it used to be.

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PostPosted: Nov 12, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Since this thread is about presidential politics here's my opinion about why MS Clinton lost. It was because many people are totally fed up with "the Washington establishment" (I'm one of 'em) that she's a member of & want to "drain that swamp". Like Sen. McCain did before her, her single biggest mistake was to choose a running mate that she was comfortable with rather than the troublemaker who had almost whipped her for the nomination which decision pissed-off many of the idealistic young people comprising much of the Democratic base. If Bernie had been on the ticket too she would of won by a healthy margin.

Incidentally, I "believe" that the climate scientists are right about what fossil fuel burning is doing to the environment & consider it to constitute one of the most compelling arguments for why we need a properly implemented (with breeders, not more of the same) & scaled (really big!) nuclear renaissance ASAP.

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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 12:05 am 
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Her single biggest mistake was what she did with her email.

I guarantee Obama had a conversation a few months ago with her where he marched her in, explained that he had all he needed to put her in a dark hole for the rest of her life, and then when she realized she had to cut a deal, he explained to her how she would be running for president as his third term. She swallowed hard, realized that she had no negotiating position whatsoever, and said "deal".

And that's how Hillary became Obama's policy clone in this election. Then she had to defend Obamacare, and I think that's what killed her in the election. When people got those letters in the mail talking about how much their rates were going up, everyone who got those letters voted Trump.


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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 1:46 am 
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Prof. Siemer & Mr. Sorensen,
I agree that Clinton's policies were a lot of "more of the same" and likely led to her political demise. I mentioned her non-energy policies as an aside and perhaps I should have held my tongue on that since it could lead this thread into places we should not go on a forum dedicated to energy. I did feel a need to mention some of them in passing only because there are a lot of people that do not consider energy as a policy upon which they decide on candidates to vote for. Clinton failed on these non-energy policies because while they may be popular with many dedicated Democrat voters the rest of the voting public saw that Clinton held policies that were in opposition of their own.

I would like to pile on the "why she lost" thought for a bit more, but only where it comes to energy and environment.

For those that see AGW as a threat there were Clinton policies that some saw as not going far enough and/or were not different enough from the position that Sanders had that a lot of people weren't all that excited. The people that liked Sanders' policies on energy might be disinterested in Clinton for other reasons, and while that might not compel people to vote for Trump it might mean they just didn't bother to vote on election day. For those that believe nuclear power is a means to replace fossil fuels there was nothing from Clinton to show she'd do anything other than allow current nuclear power plants to continue operating. This is a minority position, I know, but people do view that opposition to Keystone XL is bad for the environment. Moving oil by pipeline requires much less CO2 burning than moving it by train or truck. This oil is going to move because people will need it for the foreseeable future. We simply cannot toss out all the planes, trains, and automobiles tomorrow and replace them with electric equivalents. To make sure these vehicles still operate it will take oil, and oil is best moved by pipelines. This more moderate or practical view of fossil fuel use also meant transitioning to natural gas to replace coal and oil, which Clinton did not support.

For those that don't see AGW as a threat Clinton was seen as supporting wind, solar, and cap-and-trade which would have raised electricity prices with no perceived benefit. Her support for cars powered by bio-fuels (specifically ethanol and vegetable oil), hydrogen, electricity, or methane/natural gas (which gets back to my earlier comment where even the "pro-AGW" group could agree) were seen as raising the costs of fuel, vehicles, and transportation generally. Her opposition to nuclear power may or may not have played a part here since this is a policy where the "pro" and "con" AGW groups may disagree or agree. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong but I see a lot of overlap between the pro-nuclear and "drill, baby, drill" groups and by not supporting either Clinton loses here.

Trump on the other hand seemed to be relatively silent on nuclear power. I don't recall him mentioning it even once but I do see that he supports nuclear power expansion when I do a search on his policies, but he does so with the caveat of needing care to avoid another nuclear disaster. His support for natural gas appeals to the "con" AGW people and the moderate/practical "pro" AGW people. Trump took a kind of middle of the road stance on wind and solar subsidies, believing in (what appears to me at least) a true "all of the above" strategy. This middle of the road stance seemed to also extend to ethanol subsidies, where he'd support ethanol blends but not to the point that ethanol should replace gasoline totally.

Just generally when comparing Clinton to Trump on energy and environment Clinton just seemed to lose in many ways to Trump. Clinton seemed to appeal only to a small portion of the public that believed in big changes in government policy to address AGW. Trump is pro nuclear power, pro natural gas, and didn't seem to want to either grow or eliminate many subsidies to wind, solar, or ethanol, which would appeal to many "pro" AGW people, especially the moderate/practical types, and the "con" AGW group. Clinton was a threat to many on both sides of the energy and environment debate, while Trump as seen as friendly or at least not threatening to both sides.

That post was longer than I intended, congrats and thanks to all that read it to the end.

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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 10:16 am 
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Energy was a huge component of Hillary's loss, albeit indirectly. She swallowed the codswallop that wind and solar were the replacement for coal and oil, and then proceeded to instruct all the deplorables in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin how she would shut down the coal plants and stop the drilling and kill the fracking. For all this she promised windmills and solar panels. It didn't take regular people very long to stop, scratch their head, and say "hey, I don't think that's going to work. We've got a factory over here that needs power, and another factory over here that makes paper, and a lot of people work at these places."

Hillary's response was to sniff, stick her nose in the air, and say "those factories should be shut down anyway."

Then along comes Mr. Trump in his trucker hat like a carnival barker and says "I'll bring the jobs back! Make America great! I love coal!"

And your average deplorable says, "hmm, I think he's probably wrong. But if there's even a slim possibility that he is right I'll vote for him, because she has told me that she's shutting down the factories and turning off the coal, and that I'll have to ride the bus instead of driving my truck."

It was a no-brainer, if anyone in the DNC had any brains. Telling people that they can't have access to energy, particularly in cold, northern states with a strong tradition of heavy manufacturing, is a guarantee of electoral failure. These people knew that Trump respected the work that people do (or did) there and that Hillary did not. I can't believe in retrospect that she was so sure she'd win Wisconsin that she never even bothered to campaign there.


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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 3:28 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I can't believe in retrospect that she was so sure she'd win Wisconsin that she never even bothered to campaign there.


I heard that Clinton didn't go to Michigan either. Michigan is having a hard time declaring a winner because it is so close there, if Trump wins by a large enough margin then not only would he win the electoral vote by a landslide it is possible to discover he won the popular vote as well.

I get the impression that Clinton was looking to win electoral votes while Trump was looking to win America. Clinton seemed to have, at least mentally, divided up the country into voting blocks by demographics, states, and electoral votes, to then make a platform that can play to enough of a portion of these blocks to win. Trump on the other hand had an idea on where America should go, took a look at what people wanted, and then came up with a platform that would get America where it needed to be while also not driving away people on lesser matters.

I believe that Clinton not visiting Wisconsin hurt her in places like Iowa, and by not visiting Michigan it hurt her in North Carolina. When a candidate lands somewhere that is national news. If a candidate appeals to dairy farmers and corn growers in Wisconsin the dairy farmers and corn growers in Iowa see that. If a candidate visits an automotive plant in Michigan the auto workers in North Carolina will know about it.

It didn't hurt that Trump was selling himself as a product for a very long time as a business man and entertainer. In the campaign he was still selling himself but no longer as a leader of a large company, but now as the leader of a large nation. Clinton was (and I emphasize was) a politician and so she was playing politics. Her campaign style may have worked in friendly territory like New York but it fell flat with even moderately hostile places like Michigan and Iowa. At least that's my theory.

When it comes to the theory that Obama "forced" Clinton campaign policy I have to wonder about that. I don't know how much leverage Obama had over Clinton. The two certainly had dirt on the other and if one went down the other could get dragged down too. Deals were made between the two, I am certain of that too. I just don't know if either had enough of an upper hand to dictate anything.

Clinton might say she had enough to make Obama look bad and so Obama backed off on the e-mail investigation to stop that but he's leaving office, there's only so much damage Clinton could do. Clinton could have offered to maintain Obama policies to gain favor but that could go only so far too, because Clinton wasn't in public office any more. I think that if a deal was made then it was more of a cease fire to avoid mutually assured destruction. My view is really not that much different than your own, Mr. Sorensen, just more of calculating the same sum by weighting the factors differently.

This might be a matter of counting angels doing the hokey-pokey but I can see some value in it for planning future elections.

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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2016 4:12 pm 
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If we come back to Trump energy politics...

It seems to me very likely that Trump will reduce/end the governmental funding of useless wind and solar power. As there are no solar nor wind power plants without subsidies on this planet...Solar & Wind will lose. :lol:

It seems to me as well very likely that Trump will stop the climate hoax in the US. Coal will become a favorable option again.

Nuclear will have to improve its economics to become competitive with coal again!

As investor I like the quick return and hate huge employed capital and long investment cycles.
That means all efforts needs to be directed in favor of reducing the cost of nuclear power.
That means as well that simplification of design is a key priority for LWR and as well for new designs.
That means the it is to put the actual regulation with its long and costly certifications in question.


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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2016 3:06 pm 
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darryl siemer wrote:
Incidentally, I "believe" that the climate scientists are right about what fossil fuel burning is doing to the environment & consider it to constitute one of the most compelling arguments for why we need a properly implemented (with breeders, not more of the same) & scaled (really big!) nuclear renaissance ASAP.
HolgerNarrog wrote:
It seems to me as well very likely that Trump will stop the climate hoax in the US.
The investor says climate change (from growing atmospheric load of CO2 and methane monitored by real-time geosensors) is a hoax, and the experienced scientist says what the US national security folks say that GHGs are causing dangerously destabilizing climate change. But if a kilo of thorium "burned" in a Th-MSR (FE LFTR) outperforms 1,000 tonnes of coal in the energy markets, the winning energy technology in that competition also happens to be non-emitting. The capitalist free-market competition makes the hoax versus real argument moot. Kirk's UT-Knoxville masters thesis noted the equivalent value of thorium reserves at thousands of trillions USD equivalent.

The NET Power pilot at La Porte, TX, will be energy and climate news next year that will become a part of the energy technology policy decisions. With 100% CCS for NG and coal, where some of the pipeline-ready CO2 output is used in fracking more oil and gas, thorium-derived energy will have stiff competition.

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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2016 4:39 pm 
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Hi Tim,

Question: You are a utility GM and your managers did find out that there is about 1000 MW baseload capacity needed in 6 - 7 years from now. You have some space available in existing sites with sufficent cooling water, grid connection and railway connection. What are you going to do:

a. Build a gas power plant for 800 MM$ with high operating costs available in 4 - 5 years
b. Buld a coal fired power plant for 2 bn $ with lower operating costs available in 6 - 7 years
c. Buy a PWR for 7 bn$ with potential cost overruns and plenty of groups opposing it available in 10 years
d. Wait untill someone develops, designs and builds a technical reliable commercial thorium nuclear power plant.
e. Believe in Greenpeace science of global warming and wind power.


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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2016 9:59 am 
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Hi Holger,

Thank you for the promotion! Unfortunately, I must decline the offer. But your rhetorical question is an excellent illustration as to the state of affairs in energy. Here in Florida, two-thirds of our baseload capacity is gas:
Five-sixths of the natural gas consumed in Florida is used to generate electricity, and natural gas fuels nearly two-thirds of Florida's net electricity generation.
So the high operating costs evidently are not enough to discourage gas-fired electrical energy production. The Duke Energy Citrus combined-cycle NG plant project began January 2013 and the "plant’s first 820 megawatts are expected to come online in spring 2018, and the second 820 megawatts are expected to come online by December 2018." That's five years. Option a.

Can you please add your perspective on: Toshiba Ships Turbine for Net Power Supercritical CO2 Power. It resolves your items a, b, and e. Our hard-charging host here already weighed in.

Option c is a situation that has energized our host to create option d and start a company based on a specific fluoride salt composition for a thorium fluid fueled nuclear reactor tested at Oak Ridge in the 1960s—and in over ten years of hard work called the world's attention to a disruptive technology foreseen by the fathers of the nuclear age.

Your scenario is 6–7 years. I'm going for option d minus the waiting. The DOE secretary and Congress still do not acknowledge the TMSR advantages. What will President Trump's position be on fluid molten salt nuclear energy technologies?

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"Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it."

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Last edited by Tim Meyer on Nov 17, 2016 8:14 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2016 4:19 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Energy was a huge component of Hillary's loss, albeit indirectly. She swallowed the codswallop that wind and solar were the replacement for coal and oil, and then proceeded ...
Then along comes Mr. Trump in his trucker hat like a carnival barker and says "I'll bring the jobs back! Make America great! I love coal!"

And your average deplorable says, "hmm, I think he's probably wrong. But if there's even a slim possibility that he is right I'll vote for him, because she has told me that she's shutting down the factories and turning off the coal, and that I'll have to ride the bus instead of driving my truck."

It was a no-brainer, if anyone in the DNC had any brains. Telling people that they can't have access to energy, particularly in cold, northern states with a strong tradition of heavy manufacturing, is a guarantee of electoral failure. These people knew that Trump respected... .


In light of the fact that Mr Trump might be willing to thumb his nose at some of the international conventions/rules dictating the design of "advanced" US reactors, his election might prove to be a better thing for the world at large (& the US in particular) than was Obama's. He might end up actually earning a Nobel prize.

For instance, Kirk's LFTR is currently "impossible" because the imaginary terrorists lurking everywhere around US reactors ('cept the US navy's of course) might divert some of the bomb grade uranium (>12% 233U) within it.

THORCON's current design doesn't make much sense because the 238U required to keep it consistent with that rule screws up its neutronics, reduces its CR to well under that of LWRs, & greatly complicates subsequent fuel reprocessing/recycling.

TERRAPOWER's MCFR is also "impossible" because it would both breed & operate with plutonium any isotopic mixture of which ('cept pure 238Pu) is currently deemed "bomb grade".

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Last edited by darryl siemer on Nov 15, 2016 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2016 4:49 pm 
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Oh, "impossible" in the mind of our government seems to be a very fluid notion, no pun intended!

For 70 years, their objective has been a fast-spectrum, sodium-cooled, breeder reactor whose plutonium would have exceptionally high isotopic quality. Nevermind that this is precisely the substance that a would-be weapons designer would find most attractive, they have pursued it without a great deal of concern.

But a reactor that utilizes a uranium mixture where uranium-233 predominates? That is considered unacceptable, despite the reality that no operational nuclear weapon based on U-233 or thorium exists anywhere.

One might imagine our government is run by anti-nuclear people who graduated with their degrees in "Non-Proliferation Studies" from an Ivy-League school....

Nah.....


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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2016 11:33 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
One might imagine our government is run by anti-nuclear people who graduated with their degrees in "Non-Proliferation Studies" from an Ivy-League school....


While I don't dispute your observation I would like to note that it does not necessarily follow that people that went to less prestigious schools and studied more practical subjects would be pro-nuclear if elected to government office. As an example I give Jimmy Carter.

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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Kurt Sellner wrote:
I would like to note that it does not necessarily follow that people [who] went to less prestigious schools and studied more practical subjects would be pro-nuclear if elected to government office. As an example I give Jimmy Carter.
Wikipedia wrote:
In 1952 Carter began an association with the US Navy's fledgling nuclear submarine program led by then-Captain Hyman G. Rickover. Rickover's demands on his men and machines were legendary, and Carter later said that, next to his parents, Rickover was the greatest influence on his life. He was sent to the Naval Reactors Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission in Washington, D.C. for three month temporary duty, while Rosalynn moved with their children to Schenectady, New York. On December 12, 1952, an accident with the experimental NRX reactor at Atomic Energy of Canada's Chalk River Laboratories caused a partial meltdown resulting in millions of liters of radioactive water flooding the reactor building's basement and leaving the reactor's core ruined. Carter was ordered to Chalk River to lead a U.S. maintenance crew that joined other American and Canadian service personnel to assist in the shutdown of the reactor. The painstaking process required each team member to don protective gear and be lowered individually into the reactor for a few minutes at a time, limiting their exposure to radioactivity while they disassembled the crippled reactor. During and after his presidency, Carter said that his experience at Chalk River had shaped his views on atomic energy and led him to cease development of a neutron bomb. After that experience, Carter rejoined his family to work on the USS Seawolf, one of the first two U.S. nuclear submarines, at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory which supports the U.S. naval nuclear propulsion program.

In March 1953 he began nuclear power school, a six-month non-credit course covering nuclear power plant operation at Union College in Schenectady, preparing to become an engineering officer for a nuclear power plant. But in July his father died and the family business became his. . . . Carter was honorably discharged from the Navy on October 9, 1953. He served in the Navy Reserve until 1961, and left the service with the rank of lieutenant. Carter's awards included: the American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; China Service Medal; and National Defense Service Medal.

Image

President Jimmy Carter dedicating the White House solar panels in 1979 removed by President Reagan in 1981.

Carter must have known about the ORNL MSBR project, or did he? Reagan? Old news. The question is President Trump.

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