Posted by Jeff Id on July 30, 2013
Well, I’m not really interested in replacing coal plants as our eco-nazi climate science community would have us do, but there are a bunch of forms of nuclear power which are viable replacements and this one is fairly interesting to me. A smaller modular plant produced in a factory using the latest passive cooling safety features. The idea seems quite viable, excepting the strong anti-anything-that-actually-works stances which EPA enviro’s regularly spout. I like it because it is a simple step forward in production relative to already existing fission technologies. No giant leaps here, yet many of the bigger problems with running ancient 50 year old plants are addressed. Honestly, I don’t like living next to 1950’s fission technology being deliberately held on the continual edge of a cascade failure by 1970’s electronics. I’m not afraid of it, it just doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense that we can’t build new ones which use passive cooling and better reaction control geometries .
Modular in-factory construction gives repeatable plants:
B&W has taken the lead in the development of SMRs with its mPower design. Eighty-five feet tall and 13 feet wide, it incorporates several systems into one unit. The unit is built in a factory, instead of in the field, and then shipped to the site on a truck.
The technology, called “small modular reactors,” will be the centerpiece of an entirely new way of thinking about nuclear power. They are much smaller than what traditionally has been built in this country — producing about one-sixth the power. They’ll also cost less — about $1 billion-2 billion apiece, compared with $10 billion-$15 billion for a large plant.
It is asstoundingly (2 ss’s) anti-science to believe that wind, biofuel, solar or gas are the long-term future of power in this world. There isn’t enough of it available for it to be the primary energy source in 1000 years (without giving up huge land masses) and we have mountains of fossil fuels available in the short term. Fortunately for us, if the dirt in tAV readers smallest yard were converted to energy, we would have enough power to run the entire planet for eons.
There are 9.0 × 1016 Joules of energy in every kilogram of mass. All mass is created equal so whatever matter you chose as fuel, it does not matter which matter is THE matter. In our modern vernacular, the unit of choice for a kilogram of energy is a “shit-ton”. Kiloton or Megaton of TNT are the old units. One kiligram of mass is 21 megatons (millions of tons) of TNT. The largest nuclear bomb ever built was made by Russia at somewhere around 56Megatons, or 2Kg of mass-to-energy conversion. In other words, if you put the atoms of the atomic bomb back together a year later, you would be missing about 2.7 kg worth of photons!