Agreed seems other parts of the world do not fear nuclear power, did a
googling for fun and was very surprised to find forgien investors are trying
buy several US uranium mines. From what i learned i see that other countries
plan on increasing thier nuclear power generation and others wtih no current
nuclear power plant plan on building new nuclear power plants. Looks like
investors see an increasing need for nuclear fuel in the near future. The
here in the US is the negative image created by people who dont know what
thier talking about duped the public into unjustified fear of nuclear power.
Until these fears are overcome i believe the rest of the world will continue
to build nuclear power plants and we will be stuck paying high prices for
electric power generated by fossil fuels. Keep us appraised of how this
all works out in canada.
That is not true. Nuclear reactors can modulate their output perfectly
well. In fact, a pressurized water reactor (that is the most common type of
reactor) changes power nearly automatically to match demand because of its
negative temperature coefficient .
(Vaughn gets a far away look in his eyes) Back in my nuclear reactor
operator days, I could watch power vary from (say) 10% to well over 50% and not
touch a single control. Larger power changes just took a little bump of the
control rod position.
Commercial nuclear reactors are operated near their full power capacity for
economic reasons, not because they are not capable of being modulated.
Hmmmmm....so, I wonder...why we still have coal-fired plants, and why
the latest plants built are coal-fired too? Just cost? Just time (to
build)? Just disposal problems? Just politics? Or do you see an
actual purpose for the coal-fired units, at least at present?
And just a question about your statement...
..."I could watch power vary from (say) 10% to well over 50%"
Are you saying a variation of 10% to 50% of full power, or 10 to 50%
of say 80% baseline, was automatically controlled through NTC? Or
would the cooling towers see a fair load shed? And would this power
generation be at the suggested 1500 possible changes per shift? What
am I, and apparently all the people that are debating this here in
Here is Texas we just narrowly averted a coal power disaster
as the politicos seem to have been (temporarily) bought by the
AIUI, they suddenly changes their considered opinion when the
voters themselves (pesky things that they are) voiced a loud
contrary opinion. Some foolishness about clean air, if you
can believe that...
The squeemish should not watch Law and Sausages being created.
You would need to ask someone who knows for sure, but I doubt it. (I am an
ex-nuclear reactor operator, not a nuclear scientist)
The principle works like this: For a reactor to work, there must be some
substance to slow the neutrons down so that some of them can successfully mate
with an atom of uranium. This substance is called a moderator. Water makes a
great moderator (heavy water makes an even better moderator). When you heat up
water(even heavy water), it gets less dense and then it does not moderate as
well. When you cool down water, it gets denser, moderates better, you get more
fission reactions, which generates more power, which heats up the reactor, which
heats up the water, which reduces its density, which tends to reduce the
So let's review: When you place more load on the reactor, you are drawing
heat from it, which tends to cool it down, which tends to make it produce more
power. This is the famous "negative power coeficient" that makes pressurized
water reactors tend to automatically produce exactly the proper amont of energy.
There are design factors that can give a reactor more or less temperature
coeficient, but the main reason that nuclear reactors are ran nearly "flat out"
is because of the cheap fuel, not because it is difficult to control their
output power. You would not want to live within 100 miles of a nuclear reactor
that was difficult to control.
Not sure what you mean, but he "works" for Ontario Power Corporation.
They operate all the plants, both nuclear and conventional fuel-fired.
That's not to say that he isn't biased by where his home is, of
course. But I doubt he would be slinging too much BS. He'd be more
likely to lose his job doing that, than losing it by losing the plant.
My thoughts upon reading the article are that it might be a good idea to
have a few of these floating nuclear power plants built and ready to use
should we ever need them in an emergency.
On Wed, 10 Oct 2007 01:17:06 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm,
Like for the day after the Big One hits California and everything east
of the San Andreas Fault slips into the Atlantic? Yeah, the quake
might have scrammed San Onofre...
I much prefer the small amount of nuke waste to the crap the coal
fired plants put into the atmosphere. Hell, if we switched our power
production mainly to nukes, we even could have met the Kyoto Protocol
requirements with no other changes (not that the protocol would have
done any good whatsoever.)
Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire
is that which he exercises over himself.
-- Elie Wiesel
I don't know if is a Russian concept or not, but it certainly is not a new
concept. Some were built back in the 1950's for the US military. One was used
in Antarctica for some ten years. (See below) As I recall, a prototype of one
of these reactors had a grisly accident that left an operator skewered to the
roof of the containment building by a control rod.
(From: http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/SepOct01/MS684.htm )
"The Army Nuclear Power Program"
"The military considered the possibility of using nuclear power plants to
generate alternate fuels almost 50 years ago and actively supported nuclear
energy as a means of reducing logistics requirements for coal, oil, and
gasoline. However, political, technical, and military considerations forced the
closure of the program before a prototype could be built."
"The Army Corps of Engineers ran a Nuclear Power Program from 1952 until
1979, primarily to supply electric power in remote areas. Stationary nuclear
reactors built at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Fort Greeley, Alaska, were
operated successfully from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Portable nuclear
reactors also were operated at Sundance, Wyoming; Camp Century, Greenland; and
McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. These small nuclear power plants provided
electricity for remote military facilities and could be operated efficiently for
long periods without refueling. The Army also considered using nuclear power
plants overseas to provide uninterrupted power and defense support in the event
that U.S. installations were cut off from their normal logistics supply lines. "
"In November 1963, an Army study submitted to the Department of Defense (DOD)
proposed employing a military compact reactor (MCR) as the power source for a
nuclear-powered energy depot, which was being considered as a means of producing
synthetic fuels in a combat zone for use in military vehicles. MCR studies,
which had begun in 1955, grew out of the Transportation Corps' interest in using
nuclear energy to power heavy, overland cargo haulers in remote areas. These
studies investigated various reactor and vehicle concepts, including a small
liquid-metal-cooled reactor, but ultimately the concept proved impractical. "
Solves the problem of NIMBY, out of sight
History channel had a segment about that very incident, they interviewed
survivors and rescue workers. As i recall it was a stuck control rod that
accident. They did show fotage of the plant after the accident and described
a missing worker impailed by a control rod that blew out of the reactor and
the roof of the reactor building.
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