The Nuclear Renaissance.

General discussion of thorium and nuclear energy.
Garrett
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The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by Garrett » Apr 23, 2012 9:27 pm

So I was just wondering what the different opinions were out there in triggering the Nuclear renaissance? With the future of humanity essentially depend upon over coming people’s perception of nuclear power what the easiest most practical way to implement LFTR to do so?

jkiel
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jkiel » Apr 25, 2012 9:08 am

The current strategy seems to be implementing it for military first.

Things will need to get much worse than they are today. They will need to fear something else far more, and be thoroughly convinced that the reality of solar and wind will likely never fulfill the promise. There is so much misinformation out there, I honestly don't think we'll see wide spread civilian acceptance of nuclear energy in the US within 20 years.

jagdish
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jagdish » Apr 26, 2012 1:40 pm

It is alive and kicking in China. Old US and European companies have a marginal role as midwives.

dezakin
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by dezakin » Apr 26, 2012 10:10 pm

Nuclear has its work cut out for it for the next couple of decades as I see it. Wind and solar are getting cheap enough that they can compete with fossil in certain regimes, which leads people to unfortunately conclude that they are the same as baseload, where they can't ever compete because of the negative load anti-dispatch qualities. Another problem is the huge natural gas rush in the US has led to some very cheap natural gas in the short run, while ignoring the reality that natural gas depletion curves are very steep. So when it runs out, it will hit hard.

jagdish
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jagdish » Apr 27, 2012 3:38 am

Natural gas in the US will slow down the nuclear construction further to a crawl. The skills will be further depleted. The center of nuclear construction has shifted to Russia and Asia. The US designs are being proved in China before being cleared in the US.
The next phase of nuclear construction in the US will be cost effective imports from China or Russia, provided they cross the NRC barrier. One hope is the SMR designs if they get cleared during the coming gas era.

rgvandewalker
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by rgvandewalker » May 01, 2012 2:46 pm

@jagdish is absolutely right.

I think natural gas is only temporarily cheap. Once the gas liquefaction systems in the U.S. are on-line, U.S. customers will pay the world price. Nuclear is always going to be cheaper.

Therefore, building out a huge natural gas generation infrastructure is a mistake, and one that I see happening everywhere in the U.S. It's bait and switch.

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Lindsay
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by Lindsay » May 02, 2012 4:53 am

I'm not sure about that, I don't see any strong drivers for the US to become a LNG exporter. Liquifaction plants are big and expensive and almost everyone hates them, that creates a barrier to entering that LNG export market, this in turn means that there has to be a lot of gas available over a long period at a low price to make the infrastructure investment pay off.

New drilling technology including fracking is opening up gas opportunities all over the world, so I can see the potential for a downturn in gas shipping between existing gas producing nations due to more local production when it is needed because local fracking is much cheaper than building very capital intensive LNG transport infrastructure.

Current US natural gas prices are less than $2.50/MMBTU (~$2.50/GJ), with gas at those price levels, nothing can beat CCGT for cheap efficient and increasingly flexible generation, at the cost of the associated CO2 emissions. The big question is whether the current prices will persist or not. My best guess is that cheap gas will be available in North America for quite some time.

rgvandewalker
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by rgvandewalker » May 08, 2012 3:17 pm

@lindsay -- natural gas liquefaction is like money in the bank, therefore it will happen. Evidence: http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2012/05/07/t ... gas-again/

jagdish
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jagdish » May 12, 2012 7:55 pm

When talking about liquefaction of methane, what about its dissolution in a solvent like another fuel gas, the acetylene? The solvents like acetone are themselves fuels and could be consumed with the methane.

Cyril R
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by Cyril R » May 13, 2012 7:03 am

Nuclear renaissance? So far it's much more of a coal renaissance. Oddly enough, few seem to notice. They're much too busy cheering about their wonderful solar panels and bragging about the nuclear plants they've shut down by their forceful ideology, to even notice the explosion in coal fired generation around the world. Developed countries are NOT reducing coal use, nothing is happening. Almost all the growth is in China which is "far away" and that may help explain why most people don't give a fuck.

http://www.energyinsights.net/cgi-scrip ... 201990.gif

jagdish
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jagdish » May 13, 2012 9:44 am

China is fast catching up on energy use, though still short of US. It has gone up to using half the world coal consumption and probably staring the 'Peak Coal' in the face. Wisely enough it is turning to nuclear energy for further progress. Various parts of the world can be leading at different times.

Cyril R
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by Cyril R » May 13, 2012 11:41 am

jagdish wrote:China is fast catching up on energy use, though still short of US. It has gone up to using half the world coal consumption and probably staring the 'Peak Coal' in the face. Wisely enough it is turning to nuclear energy for further progress. Various parts of the world can be leading at different times.
It isn't turning to nuclear for further progress. Many projects have been delayed by Fukushima. Fear mongering has reached even Chinese nuclear projects. As if coal was somehow a safe alternative, with or without Fukushima.

Even without the delays, China is building loads of coal plants. at least 1 per week. Not exactly a nuclear transition. More like coal, coal, coal, and some nuclear on top.

Cyril R
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by Cyril R » May 13, 2012 11:44 am

Here's a more detailed story of what I'm talking about:

http://uvdiv.blogspot.com/2009/09/china-2020_03.html

No nuclear transition, Sir. Nuclear's a complete failure to launch, and will be for many decades. Pretty dismal situation.

camiel
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by camiel » May 13, 2012 4:52 pm

That is bad news indeed, if you like to see a greater role for nuclear energy and reduced CO2 emissions. However, it could be very beneficial for U.S. exports. The USA is the 'Saudi Arabia of coal' and it could be that a lot of coal will be shipped from the USA to China in the not too distant future. China is already importing lots of this black stuff from Australia. From an investment perspective, it may be time to buy stock in U.S. coal and railway companies.

jagdish
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Re: The Nuclear Renaissance.

Post by jagdish » May 14, 2012 1:38 am

The Chinese are going for maximum energy development, in all directions. Coal is definitely peaking, though by no means over. They are setting up maximum nuclear capacity, followed by Russia, Korea and India. With their own modified designs, it will only accelerate further. They are already keen to export it to UK, if some approved designs like AP-1000 are acceptable. They are also developing PBMR (only one left in the field), fast reactors and thorium MSR.
Hail China, the nuclear workshop of the world!

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