Chinese plan to dominate nuclear market worldwide

A California-based correspondent shared the following vignette to a private email list early this morning.

An aside — had dinner with a Stanford biz prof teaching entrepreneurship. His 15 Chinese students were at the table too (big table). A few spoke English. One is international marketing head for China Nuclear Power Engineering Company — largest nuclear plant builder in their country. He said clearly that they plan to dominate the nuclear power market worldwide, just with present technology.

That triggered a response from me that forms the basis for the following thoughts. I’ve refined the rant a little; it still needs some additional work.

There is a key point in your vignette about the Chinese business students that needs emphasis:

plan to dominate the nuclear power market worldwide, just with present technology

From a practical business point of view, nuclear advocates have been a major obstacle to any effort to make near term gains in market share. Instead of refining the technology that we know and making it more and more competitive with an evolutionary approach, nuclear advocates squabble among themselves about the Next Big Thing.

Fossil fuel marketers love that idea. They have often encouraged it. Look at the history of the “fast breeder reactor” which captured essentially all government support in 1963. It also captured the attention of thousands of exceptionally bright people. That distraction lasted for the better part of three decades, during which many other battles were lost because of sharp-elbowed debates about the merits of that Next Big Thing.

Just when the fast reactor folks thought they had answered all of the questions and were ready to perhaps start capturing some actual sales, the ball was snatched away when the IFR project was halted in 1993.

Lucy pulling football away - again

Once again, Lucy moves the football

Look at the squabbling that has been going on for the past six to eight years about the suggestion that all of nuclear’s problems could be solved by adopting the radically different LFTR or some other variant of molten salt. Even the most ardent supporters acknowledge that their concepts need at least a decade’s worth of development before being truly ready to begin building in any significant numbers. After the design work is completed, it will take a decade or more to get the supply chain into place.

In the meantime, how much capital will be invested in extreme hydrocarbon extraction techniques like hydraulic fracturing, oil sands mining, or deep underwater drilling? How many billions of tons of CO2 will be dumped into our common atmosphere, causing an uncertain level of climate disruption and a threatening change in ocean chemistry?

We have plenty of uranium and thorium to fuel thousands of LWRs. Their deployment will give us sufficient time to develop both fast reactors and molten salt reactors AFTER we capture a growing share of the world’s energy market and start making some real impact on hydrocarbon consumption.

By the way, once nuclear fission energy starts capturing market share with the machines that already have a developed supply chain, there might actually be a little money in the business available for investing in the Next Big Thing. When that happens, nuclear advocates could stop wasting so much time trying to beg pennies from the government.

My favorite current punching bag program is the $452 million that the government has promised for SMRs. Even that amount is spread over six years of appropriations risk. It is incredible to me how that tiny amount of money has caused so much distraction among people who claim to be industry “leaders.” It’s “decimal dust” in the DOE budget and completely invisible in the context of the energy industry.

Please do not misunderstand me; I am a huge fan of developing smaller reactors. In fact, a commenter here took me to task for my advocacy of small modular reactors (SMRs) and implied that I was not following my own advice by allowing myself to be distracted by the Next Big Thing. Since I like to “reduce, reuse and recycle” I will repeat my answer to his comment here.

Light water SMRs are not game changers, they are game expanders. Adding them to the mix is like hiring an excellent running back for a team that has a quarterback like Payton Manning or Dan Marino.

As the US demonstrated throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, building large numbers of small light water reactors at the same time as building large numbers of large light water reactors is eminently possible and even advantageous. The smaller reactors give parts suppliers sustaining business because they use exactly the same kinds of materials. The enterprise of operating smaller reactors is like the NCAA teams that supply experienced players for the pros.

Of course, we goofed up a good model by keeping the smaller reactors limited to the US Navy and telling all of the players that most of the information that they learned about those smaller reactors should be kept locked up in a very secret playbook.

I suspect that other leagues (Russian, Chinese, Korean, French) might learn from our mistake and make a different choice. It is generally good business to offer a larger line of similar products that can serve a wider variety of customer needs.

I’m fully aware that some readers get turned off by business competition discussions and sports analogies, but what the heck, I’m on a roll, so I will continue the mixing of metaphors in hopes that I can succeed in tweaking everyone into a response.

My own athletic experience has been in non-contact endeavors like swimming and sailboat racing where the only legitimate way to win is to practice and improve performance. Both of those sports have rules that make it unlikely for anyone to win by focusing on developing ways of slowing down the competition. (Of course, there are some participants in those sports that occasionally attempt to win using the Tonya Harding method of kneecapping the competition, but that’s rare, often unsuccessful, and certainly not legitimate.)

I think it’s great that the Chinese are working hard to get better at nuclear energy technology. Goodness knows that the world needs as much affordable clean energy as possible. In the same email thread as the one that stimulated me to write this post, there is a eye-popping, thought-provoking picture of a presentation slide that should wake people up to both the need and the opportunity for nuclear energy growth.

China's Power Sources Projected Through 2035

China’s Power Sources Projected Through 2035

The best way for American companies to successfully capture a substantial portion of the world energy market using emission-free nuclear energy technology is to focus on our own strengths and weaknesses. We need to practice hard and sell what we know how to do well. We need to get better at the things that we do not do so well right now.

We became a strong nation by finding or making things that people wanted to buy and selling those things to the world. Mining and manufacturing are a valuable enterprises that provides useful, well-compensated jobs for a wide variety of people. I can testify from personal experience that working in a factory can be immensely satisfying; there is a good feeling at the end of the day when you can see the pallets of finished products from the day’s work piled up on the loading dock, ready to ship to happy customers.

Nuclear technologists need to bear down and focus on producing things that make a difference. We need to learn how to tell both our opponents and our advocates to “lead, follow, or get out of the way.” We have an important product to sell; it should be pretty obvious to many people in North America who are shivering under a polar vortex that an energy system that depends on energy conservation, “cheap natural gas”, wind and solar energy is not a great foundation for strength, prosperity or even comfort.

About Rod Adams

99 Responses to “Chinese plan to dominate nuclear market worldwide”

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  1. Daniel says:

    You mean China wants to get rid of It’s biggest macro économic risk of holding way too much US dollars

    They Will Lend that money by building nukes And collecting a Nice stream of recevables in foreign non US based currency for a humdred year a unit.

    Can you spell political hégémony.

    The Russian can too.

    • Smiling Joe Fission says:

      And why shouldn’t China want to divest from US currency? The US certainly isn’t providing any confidence in a sustained value of the dollar. We can only fight off inflation for so long, and with things like bitcoin rearing its head to compete with the dollar domestically it is only a matter of time before the FED can’t artificially hold interests rates to almost negative values.

      • starvinglion says:

        Didn’t you read the handbook of Modern Money Theory from the socialist crackpots? The ivory tower types want to buy everything. Any sort of native industrial process is just mindless overhead (job programs). A cost centre, no value in it whatsoever.

        The USA wants to buy nuclear reactors from China. See, the socialist “geniuses” believe they are suckers trading goods for IOU’s. And then when the industrial infrastructure in the US is run into the ground thanks to these parasites, the chinese show up on the border with nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Guess who the sucker is then?

  2. Eric_G says:

    I was under the impression that the AP1000 was the evolution of current technology.

    Did I miss something?

    Arguing over Discussion of the next generation design of anything is a good thing. Many of these people in the discussion can influence the evolutionary designs that will come about sooner than their “big idea” theoretical designs.

  3. Martin Burkle says:

    I don’t think the US can compete with China because the US no longer has any companies that can build a nuclear reactor. (Westinghouse is a Japanese company).

    The only competitors are Russia, Japan, France, and South Korea. Now we add China.

    In the nuclear world the US leads in operational experience but certainly not in economic construction, research, or finance.

  4. FermiAged says:

    I work for one of the utilities building the AP1000. I think the design is superior to the EPR and the Korean stretch System80. I can’t comment on any of the newer BWR designs.

    The AP1000 is made up of modules produced in a central facility to minimize on-site construction with the intent of reducing cost, improving quality and speeding up construction time. This central facility has had some throughput problems that have delayed us even as the on-site work has gone very well.

    My greatest concerns are:

    1. Some sort of problem with the first of a kind unit in China, due to start operation this year. I do hope that they built with care.

    2. An upheaval in the financial markets that makes financing the project to completion impossible. What are the odds of this happening in the next 4-5 years?

    • SteveK9 says:

      Nice to hear from someone on the project (Vogtle or Summer?). I suppose one has to expect that module factory will have some problems at the beginning. Do you happen to know if modules manufactured here have been sent to China?

      I know the Chinese are building their own module factories, but they need all the nukes they can get (see below).

      • FermiAged says:

        To my knowledge, the Chinese are producing all of their own modules. For the US projects, many of the big items (RV, SGs, heat exchangers and Core Makeup Tanks) are provided by non-US manufacturers. If the modules produced here were being sent to China, I think we would raise a major stink.

        One other worry I have is the SGs. They are very similar in size and design to SONGS (AP1000 and SONGS are both 2 Loop, approx. 3400 MWt).While fabricated by different vendors, I hope all the lessons learned from SONGS have been incorporated especially for the Chinese units nearing completion.

        • Cory Stansbury says:

          I know the guys who designed the AP1000 steam generators. My understanding is the areas that had problems on those SGs don’t even exist in a similar configuration in Westinghouse units. As such, the lessons-learned aren’t directly applicable.

  5. SteveK9 says:

    Agree 100%. Build a bunch of AP1000′s and THEN nuclear development will get the attention it deserves. If China does it, more power to them!

    This article on coal production in China is depressing though. I wish they would gear up their program to go even faster. Exporting reactors is really a stupid distraction for China. They have all the dollar reserves they are ever going to need, and should be working to reduce their trade surplus, it is only hurting their standard of living. What they should be doing is building as many reactors as they possibly can IN CHINA. The air pollution in China now is horrendous. They should also import as much as they can. I hope and expect that they will soon place a large order for AP1000′s, maybe once they have the first one running and all seems OK. They are also scheduled to start construction their CAP1400 variant this year. It all is going slow though if you care about the environment.

  6. SteveK9 says:

    Agree 100%. Build a bunch of AP1000′s and THEN nuclear development will get the attention it deserves. If China does it, more power to them!

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/01/china-will-go-to-48-billion-tons-of.html

    This article on coal production in China is depressing though. I wish they would gear up their program to go even faster. Exporting reactors is really a stupid distraction for China. They have all the dollar reserves they are ever going to need, and should be working to reduce their trade surplus, it is only hurting their standard of living. What they should be doing is building as many reactors as they possibly can IN CHINA. The air pollution in China now is horrendous. They should also import as much as they can. I hope and expect that they will soon place a large order for AP1000′s, maybe once they have the first one running and all seems OK. They are also scheduled to start construction their CAP1400 variant this year. It all is going slow though if you care about the environment.

  7. PilotBob says:

    Rod,

    I see a real chicken or egg issue here.

    The world, probably more so the US, seems to fear nuclear, pointing to Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and more recently Fukishima. This is a large road block to building current gen (G2/G3) reactors. So, the response to that is, well, we’ve got these G4 designs that address many concerns.

    You can’t get funding for G4 reactor research and testing since there aren’t enough G2/G3 reactors being built/run asuaging peoples fears but we can’t build G2/G3 reactors do to people fears.

    So, now what?

    I do think that more Nuclear reactors built and used “anywhere” helps the cause. High tide raises all boats and all that.

    BOb

    • Rod Adams says:

      @PilotBob

      Based on my smoking gun series and continuing research, I largely discount the validity of the opposition arguments as mostly invented or exaggerated concerns motivated by a desire to protect market share. Though there is no doubt that Gen2/Gen3 reactors are imperfect, that is true of every manufacture product known to man.

      Overcoming the “large road block” will not be a result of addressing the concerns that the opposition has expressed, because the market issue will remain. If nuclear designers somehow come up with a more nearly perfect system, the opponents will make stuff up if they have to.

      So far, most nuclear advocates are looking in all of the wrong places for “funding” and have not yet recognized the real value proposition that they have to offer potential investors. I remain hopeful that is changing.

  8. Engineer-Poet says:

    I suggested exactly this (that waiting for newer, better designs was a formula for indefinite delay) to George Monbiot not long ago.  I got a short but polite response.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Engineer-Poet

      The search for perfection is the enemy of good enough.

      • Daniel says:

        Voltaire 1764.

        Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.

      • mjd says:

        The cost of perfection is infinite. The rules of certification result in a design where NRC finds the “risk of core damage” acceptable, followed by the “risk of containment failure” acceptable, followed by the “consequences of containment failure” acceptable. The current problem as I see it is “lack of adult supervision” of the NRC so they don’t keep their eye on the original ball of “acceptable risk”. Zero risk cost is infinite. We need to change the law defining the structure of the Commissioners, sixty years of of input provides enough data to show the “eye deer” of non-professional nukes supplying the adult supervision ain’t working. A total new wheel design is not needed, just borrow from a system that works. Naval Reactors was executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the navy program using the same folks who were part of original design, procedures, operators, etc. The potential cog in that wheel is $, but NR had “ways” to get what they needed. That could still be a problem in a new structure, but that structure works.

        • Joel Riddle says:

          The cost of perfection is infinite. The rules of certification result in a design where NRC finds the “risk of core damage” acceptable, followed by the “risk of containment failure” acceptable, followed by the “consequences of containment failure” acceptable. The current problem as I see it is “lack of adult supervision” of the NRC so they don’t keep their eye on the original ball of “acceptable risk”. Zero risk cost is infinite.

          Very well put, mjd.

        • donb says:

          I could buy the current level of NRC regulation if they could show that those regulations improve the safety of the overall electrical energy system.

          As it is, NRC regulations have made nuclear energy so difficult and expensive to do that most power utilities bypass the option, opting for gas turbines and (previous) coal fired plants instead. These plants are more hazardous in themselves, and their waste dumped into the environment is an additional hazard.

          • EL says:

            I could buy the current level of NRC regulation if they could show that those regulations improve the safety of the overall electrical energy system.

            @donb

            http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_Nuclear_Power_Capacity_Factor.png

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            Are you implying that regulations as enforced by the NRC are responsible for the improvement in US nuclear power plant capacity factors? That discounts the well motivated efforts by the industry to refine and improve, the self monitoring provided by INPO, and the whole culture of safety and performance.

            Have you ever dug deeply through the regulations, memos, advisories, guidance, etc that govern the way that US licensees have to function within the constraints of the NRC? The regulations are voluminous, sometimes conflicting and often confusing. They require whole armies of specialists to interpret. They layer costs and delays in a manner that is difficult to quantify and they encourage a lot of wasteful discussion among designers about how to best meet them. That discussion often includes the perceived need to understand the specific personality of the regulator who is assigned to review the documents; which is kind of scary considering that the review can be reassigned or retire before completing the task.

            Essentially all of the reactors operating today were not initially licensed by the NRC, but by an organization that was not specifically designed to impose a one sided test of “safety” without consideration of the harm that can be imposed by NOT using nuclear energy. Over the course of its history, the NRC has had a number of commissioners that have been appointed because of their opposition to nuclear energy; they have ratcheted regulations and imposed interpretations that have lasted far longer than their term of office.

            Regulations can be beneficial, but when imposed by lawyers and influenced by people who would prefer for the regulated activity to disappear, they can be a costly hurdle.

            In my dream world, the NRC would be restructured to more closely resemble the FAA. They clearly have an important public safety role as rule enforcers and as referees, but the regulators should agree that basic enterprise is valuable and should be enabled to flourish safely.

          • EL says:

            Are you implying that regulations as enforced by the NRC are responsible for the improvement in US nuclear power plant capacity factors?

            They certainly don’t appear to be hurting.

            For someone who is a supporter of nuclear power on an unqualified basis, I think it makes sense you would want to look outside of the industry for any impediments and obstacles. It’s always anti-nuclear charlatans, anti-nuclear NRC, utilities and politicians captive to fossil fuel interests, objective scientific work informed by bias and flawed assumptions, environmentalists who have been mislead, ratepayers who don’t know what is in their interest, journalists looking for sensational headlines, etc. And somehow, other industries don’t live in the same public spotlight or oversight (in a regulator or otherwise) that fetters and limits their activities (doctors, bridge builders, security traders, politicians, shippers, etc.).

            I guess if you believe radiation really isn’t that dangerous, and that significant accidents (such as Chernobyl or Fukushima) don’t result in any significant public risk … I think I am starting to understand your perspective.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            Our discussion is not about whether or not nuclear energy should be regulated, but about the way that regulations and the way that those regulations have been developed and applied has slowed the development of nuclear fission technology. This is a lengthy response that I will most likely use as the basis for a front page post.

            You made a comment that credited the NRC for the improvement in US nuclear plant capacity factors. When I pointed out that there were many other factors involved in that improvement, you responded by saying that the regulations as enforced by the NRC had not hurt. You then went on to make some statements about my bias as a nuclear power supporter that need to be addressed.

            You wrote:

            For someone who is a supporter of nuclear power on an unqualified basis

            I’m not a defender of the “nuclear industry” and not an unqualified supporter of nuclear power in its current state of development.

            My pronuclear perspective is driven by the realization that atomic fission, the basic physical process discovered in 1938, is several orders of magnitude more capable than combustion by at least a few objective measures.

            Even with current technology, which has room for substantial improvement, a tiny pellet no bigger than the tip of my finger contains as much energy as a ton of coal. On an energy equivalent basis, manufactured nuclear fuel delivered to a nuclear plant costs less than 1/5th as much (75 cents versus $4.13 per MMBTU) as “cheap natural gas” at a trading hub (before delivery costs to the end consumer). When it fissions, it releases such a small amount of waste that it can all be stored inside the original fuel elements for an indefinite period of time under all but severe accident conditions.

            Combustion has obviously served mankind well for millennia, and it will continue to do so. Fission opens up a vast realm of new development possibilities. Fission is the new fire.

            During the past several decades, I’ve been reading, writing and conversing about the history of atomic fission technology development. My search has been conducted with an obvious bias; I started with fascination for the near magic of the basic comparison between energy from fission versus energy from fire. The more I’ve learned, the more I realize how much more there is to learn. If I’ve ever claimed to have a solid handle on all aspects of the story, I was wrong.

            During my quest, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some true pioneers and intellectual giants. I’ve also read numerous stories about technological developments that have not yet been fully developed.

            My search for understanding has also been informed by a relatively brief career detour into a competitive commodity business where I learned some hard lessons about the profitability impacts of managing supply and demand. The lessons included discovering how much effort most businesses put into the process of raising the barriers to entry for competitors.

            The combustion industry permeates our entire economy; it is the foundation on which the “industrial age” and all subsequent periods of development have been built. The profitability of that large scale enterprise was placed at continuing risk from the discovery of fission because it is such a potent competitor. In addition to the profitability concerns — which were probably only recognized by a tiny fraction of the involved decision makers — nuclear energy also represents the kind of fundamental change that is always slowed by normal human behavior, habits and paradigms.

            All of the entities that you list in your comment (“anti-nuclear charlatans, anti-nuclear NRC, utilities and politicians captive to fossil fuel interests, objective scientific work informed by bias and flawed assumptions, environmentalists who have been mislead, ratepayers who don’t know what is in their interest, journalists looking for sensational headlines”) exist and have played a role in slowing progress for atomic fission.

            That said, I do not just “look outside of the industry” to understand how we have arrived at our current state of development. Many within the industry have also taken action to tilt the playing field towards the maintenance of combustion energy’s dominance of the energy market. Again, it is likely that only a tiny fraction of the actions were purposeful, many were more likely to have been a continuation of old habits or fear of the unknown.

            There really is no “nuclear industry” that is separate from the energy industry. From the very beginning, even before fission was discovered, combustion interests recognized the potential competitive threat posed by releasing energy from atomic nuclei. Some of them logically took successful steps to be involved in the development. (See the note about the 1930 World Power Conference, where Eddington said “subatomic energy would provide the plain diet for engines previously pampered with delicacies like coal and oil”.)

            As the old saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” By remaining deeply involved in the nuclear power industry’s development, combustion interests have been able to help manage fission technology progress and have contributed to its current failure to approach its full potential.

            You wrote:

            I guess if you believe radiation really isn’t that dangerous and that significant accidents (such as Chernobyl or Fukushima) don’t result in any significant public risk …

            Radiation can be dangerous if not properly controlled so that exposure is kept within safe limits. It is not so vastly different from other hazards. It needs to be regulated in order to be safely used.

            Regulations are useful when applied with some recognition that there is no such thing as perfection and that an almost infinite amount of money can be spent seeking the last marginal increments of improvement. Regulations and the way they are interpreted can be used to increase uncertainty about schedules and resources to the point at which any prudent investor will seek an easier path. Among the regulated entities that you mentioned, nuclear energy is perhaps unique in posing a competitive threat to a wide ranging set of established interests.

            I do not claim that the significant accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima posed zero public risk or had zero impact on the lives of the surrounding population. I will claim, however, that the risk of physical harm has been proven to be quite small when compared to any other reliable form of energy production as long as a layered approach to public protection is employed. I depart from the story line of the western nuclear industry by pointing out that even Chernobyl had enough layers, including a reasonable site boundary, to provide the general public a reasonable level of protection when compared to other reliable energy production sources.

            It is also pretty obvious to many nuclear energy supporters that the primary risk factor from both accidents has been the application of overly restrictive assumptions about the health impacts of low level radiation. Those assumptions have expanded the size of the affected population and the impact on that population by permanently displacing them from areas where they could have lived more comfortably and relatively risk free.

          • EL says:

            @Rod Adams.

            Thanks Rod. I think it is clear and helpful to have these points summarized in this way (and I think I did misrepresent you on some points … in particular regarding your “unqualified” support of the industry). I apologize for that. As I have sometimes believed in the past, our positions really aren’t that different on many of these issues (which is a pretty good indication that discussions on these matters can be constructive and helpful … particularly when there is good will from all available parties). This is something that you show in your conception for the site, and on a thoughtful and consistent basis in your own contributions.

            If I had anything else to add (especially with respect to making this a top post) … I would perhaps maybe look more closely at two areas: 1) to stay away from arguments that are based on notions of “false equivalence.” I don’t really find these all that convincing (especially when they are being used to advocate for a position of a lower safety or regulatory standard). Yes, industrial accidents are pretty bad in manufacturing and fossil fuel production, but shouldn’t we be trying to sufficiently regulate and minimize impacts in all of these industries. And 2) I also feel you should be aware that many people (myself included) are likely to still view your qualitative assessment of the difference between evacuations v. health risks from radiation for the general public in accident zones (mortality and cancer incidence) as being rooted in personal values and subjective assessment (namely, your stated confidence in the superiority of fission energy). Especially at radiation doses that many consider unsupported by extensive scientific study (even when evidence of hormesis is looked at carefully and closely). We have a scientific, policy, and regulatory consensus about health risks and radiation doses. I’m not sure why this isn’t enough (and why the industry can’t work within these regulatory and scientifically supported exposure limits)? Why highly speculative dose rates (or cumulative collective doses), and scientifically unsupported positions should be the response of advocates (with a defense that there is plenty out there that is much worse). Well, the public doesn’t see things this way, and those who have these projects (or accident sites) in their back yards don’t see it this way either. We always need to be doing better, and lowering standards to increase risk is unlikely to win very many new supporters.

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            Yes, industrial accidents are pretty bad in manufacturing and fossil fuel production, but shouldn’t we be trying to sufficiently regulate and minimize impacts in all of these industries.

            Actually, I think safety standards and performance levels are pretty good in manufacturing and fossil fuel production. In fact, the public seems to think that they are acceptable although there are always some cost effective improvements that can be made. I’m not a perfectionist; I recognize that there is some amount of risk in any enterprise. I don’t see this as a “false equivalence” argument or as one that is advocating a wild west. The point is a reasonable, cost-aware approach that recognizes “safe enough”.

            I also feel you should be aware that many people (myself included) are likely to still view your qualitative assessment of the difference between evacuations v. health risks from radiation for the general public in accident zones (mortality and cancer incidence) as being rooted in personal values and subjective assessment (namely, your stated confidence in the superiority of fission energy).

            Actually, my qualitative assessment is rooted in careful understanding of the implications of the body of evidence associated with studies of the population affected by Chernobyl. http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html

            By the way, in several of your recent comments, you have used the term “cumulative collective dose.” Are you aware of the recommendation from the Health Physics Society to refrain from using collective dose computations for predicting health effects?

            See bottom of page 2 http://hps.org/documents/risk_ps010-2.pdf

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            We always need to be doing better, and lowering standards to increase risk is unlikely to win very many new supporters.

            The members of the public that I know are cost-conscious. “Lowering standards” is a slanted way to phrase a suggested regulatory change.

            Here is a specific example. Under current NRC “guidance” for new reactor licensing, the Commission has established several safety goals.

            http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/secys/2013/2013-0029scy.pdf

            The NRC has made the following statement part of its policy for licensing new reactors:

            While maintaining the overarching safety goals for all nuclear power plants, the Commission has established expectations that new reactor designs achieve a higher standard of severe accident safety performance and provide increased margin before exceeding safety limits through various means (e.g., severe accident mitigation features, diverse and simplified systems). As a result of these and other enhancements, risk estimates for new reactor designs are one or more orders of magnitude lower than for current operating reactor designs, based on consideration of quantified internal and external (excluding seismic) hazards.

            It seems worth asking the public just how much money they expect the industry to spend on “various means” to produce systems that are computed to be one or more orders of magnitude less risky than current operating reactors.

            Stated another way, how much money do you think we should spend to hurt 1/10th as many members of the general public as we have harmed in 57 years of commercial nuclear plant operation in the US?

          • EL says:

            By the way, in several of your recent comments, you have used the term “cumulative collective dose.” Are you aware of the recommendation from the Health Physics Society to refrain from using collective dose computations for predicting health effects?

            @Rod Adams.

            I am aware of it, which is what I am specifically referring to it. Will you be revising your statements on this basis for doses in excess of 50 mSv in one year, or 100 mSv lifetime (above background)?

            Stated another way, how much money do you think we should spend to hurt 1/10th as many members of the general public as we have harmed in 57 years of commercial nuclear plant operation in the US?

            You are aware protecting people in the 57 years of commercial operation of nuclear has come at a large cost (this isn’t something that just happened all on its own)?

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            I am aware of it, which is what I am specifically referring to it. Will you be revising your statements on this basis for doses in excess of 50 mSv in one year, or 100 mSv lifetime (above background)?

            I acknowledge that the HPS statement, “Radiation Risk in Perspective” includes the following statement in the summary of an already very short document:

            In accordance with current knowledge of radiation health risks, the Health Physics Society recommends against quantitative estimation of health risks below an individual dose of 5 rem in one year or a lifetime dose of 10 rem above that received from natural sources

            That does not mean that the professional members of the HPS believe that the LNT model is somehow magically valid above those numbers. Here is the first paragraph of the document that is not italicized:

            In part because of the insurmountable intrinsic and methodological difficulties in determining if the health effects that are demonstrated at high radiation doses are also present at low doses, current radiation protection standards and practices are based on the premise that any radiation dose, no matter how small, may result in detrimental health effects, such as cancer and hereditary genetic damage. Further, it is assumed that these effects are produced in direct proportion to the dose received, that is, doubling the radiation dose results in a doubling of the effect. These two assumptions lead to a dose-response relationship, often referred to as the linear, no-threshold model, for estimating health effects at radiation dose levels of interest. There is, however, substantial scientific evidence that this model is an oversimplification. It can be rejected for a number of specific cancers, such as bone cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and heritable genetic damage has not been observed in human studies. However, the effect of biological mechanisms such as DNA repair, bystander effect, and adaptive response on the induction of cancers and genetic mutations are not well understood and are not accounted for by the linear, no-threshold model.

            (Emphasis added.)

            Aside: As a word major, I don’t understand the use of the word “however” in the last sentence. It does not contrast with the sense of the prior sentence, it lists several additional reasons to distrust the results of the LNT model and the predictive math that is based on that model. End Aside.

            You continue to misunderstand my position regarding a recommendation to shift clean up standards from our conventional “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA) to a more comprehensively risk-aware standard that Wade Allison describes as “As High As Relatively Safe”.

            Studies have not been able to prove conclusively exactly what the risk model numbers should be for chronic doses that are accumulated slowly enough so that biological mechanisms have time to work their evolutionary magic. For performance standards associated with building, operating, maintaining or decommissioning of nuclear facilities, there are some side benefits to setting standards that are tight enough to keep people focused on improvements in design and work products.

            Studies have suggested that there might be a risk above certain accumulated lifetime doses and the authors of those studies have often made statements to the effect that the risk is “not inconsistent” with the LNT. Further analysis of the data used often reveals that the statistical fit at low exposure is a stretch, to put it mildly. The more honest answer is that the effect is only visible if you look really, really hard and you are highly motivated to discern “signal” amongst a lot of “noise”. Even the linear model acknowledges that small doses impose small risks. BEIR acknowledges that dose rate matters.

            When establishing standards for evacuation or abandonment of widespread areas that have intrinsic value (after some kind of event has already occurred), standards should balance the assumed risk of radiation doses against the known risks of stress, displacement, victimization, depression, poverty, alcoholism, malnutrition, etc.

            That is when “as high as relatively safe” standards make sense. If society does not ban smoking, diesel engines, fatty foods, alcohol, dropping out of school, driving cars, walking on busy streets, or working on roofs to install solar panels, why should it establish standards for radiation exposure that are orders of magnitude less risky than those activities – even if you use the math of the questionable LNT assumption?

            The health effects of low level radiation have been studied long enough. Even though we are not precisely sure what they are and even if we realize they are not the same for all populations (some people are apparently more vulnerable than others), we are pretty sure that the risk is low and the effect, if any, is something that happens many decades into the future.

            At a certain age, people are essentially immune to low level radiation-induced cancer that takes decades to develop. That is one of the reasons why I have stated that I would resort to civil disobedience if anyone told me I had to abandon my home in the event of radioactive material releases that might expose me to something less than 100 mSv/month. The possibility of that dose having any negative effect on me or my wife is incredibly small and not worth worrying about. It is certainly not worth losing my home.

            Please note that this recommendation would not primarily benefit the nuclear energy industry. It is aimed at providing a utilitarian benefit to society as a whole because it reduces the “terror” value of a radiation dispersal device as well as enabling a more sensible use of many other beneficial medical capabilities of radiation. It would lower nuclear medicine costs, possibly by more than it would lower the liability costs associated with operating nuclear power plants.

  9. Old Nuke says:

    Rod–I suggest that your take on the history of small reactor development in the US is somewhat at odds with the facts. As far as I’m aware, there was no attempt to keep information about small reactors “locked up” by the Navy or anyone else. In fact, in the early 1980s, not long after the TMI accident, there was a major effort to develop small reactor designs, including one by (surprise!) B&W, called the CNSS (based on a ship design for the Otto Hahn). What it came down to, in the end, is that a bunch of economic studies (including by ORNL, where I was working at the time–though not on this issue) could not establish that the benefits of the economics of serial production were sufficient to overcome the negative economies of scale associated with smaller plant designs. And so the impetus to move forward with those designs basically died. Frankly, I can’t see that things have changed much up to today. The big question mark about the LWR SMRs is not the technology, which–as you note–is not “game changing,” but the economics. (While LWR SMR technology is not revolutionary, recognize that there are some elements of some those designs that will result in additional licensing challenges because they have not been used before in US nuclear plants–e.g., seismic isolation.)

    Nonetheless, throughout the 1980s, there was continued development of modular advanced reacctor designs–the MHTGR, the PRISM and SAFR liquid metal designs, PIUS (the “inherently safe” design from Sweden), etc., at least some of which undergirds the development of the Gen IV reactor designs of today. There really is not a whole lot new under the sun in this business.

    As for China, I can’t judge, at this point, the likelihood that it might become a major player in the international market for nuclear power technology. But from what I’ve seen to date, if that’s the case, I think it will take quite some time before it happens.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Old Nuke

      As far as I’m aware, there was no attempt to keep information about small reactors “locked up” by the Navy or anyone else.

      I am referring specifically to the design information of the small reactors that we are still building in a series fashion using existing factories and existing trained work forces.

      The studies that you refer to probably envisioned having to make the FOAK investments all over again.

      Current Navy cores use rather specialized materials, but designing a commercially viable fuel core is a completely different challenge than building a new supply chain for a completely new design.

      Of course, there are negative economies of scale associated with regulations, security, and manning requirements, but many of those have been artificially imposed by competitors in a specific effort to increase the cost of nuclear energy, specifically the cost of smaller nuclear plants that might not need the type of infrastructure that the “big boys” used to own in the US.

      • Old Nuke says:

        It’s been about 30 years, and I don’t recall all of the details, but I don’t think those 1980s-era SMR economics studies “envisioned having to make the FOAK investments all over again.” Back in those days, there was still a pretty robust domestic civilian nuclear industry infrastructure that could have supported the deployment of small reactors, had they been economically competitive. (And there were four US-owned vendors, as well.) Basically, I just don’t think there was any real utility interest in lower-power reactor designs, because they could not justify the economics.

        As far as the economies of scale you mention, certainly those are considerations, but the fundmental engineering economies of scale work against SMRs, as well. Blaming the NRC (or “competitors”) for the high cost of SMR designs is a convenient “out,” but in my view, it’s largely a red herring.

        • starvinglion says:

          “While LWR SMR technology is not revolutionary…”

          But high temperature gas cooled SMR technology is revolutionary for one reason: remote Process Heat for unlocking unconventional hydrocarbons.

          “Blaming the NRC (or “competitors”) for the high cost of SMR designs is a convenient “out,” but in my view, it’s largely a red herring.”

          Thats because all the ‘Old Nukes’ people at the NRC are obsolete. They know specific configurations of light water reactors and little else. The idea of a entrepenuer paying these centralist fools huge sums of money to be trained is obscene.

          Unfortunately, the nuclear industry is paralyzed either with ‘radical innovation’ (LFTR’s, fusion) that are hopeless pipedreams or people with no ambition whatsoever that just want the status quo of LWR’s producing electricity.

          • Old Nuke says:

            Sorry, my friend, but the idea of using of reactors to generate high temperature process heat has been around for a very long time. It’s hardly a revolutionary concept. It has been difficult to accomplish because the development of materials that can tolerate the high-temperature, high-radiation environment of such a reactor has been a slow (relatively speaking) process. As is so often the case, practical engineering issues can interfere with what is otherwise a marvelous concept. (If you don’t believe me, you can go back and read textbooks from the ’50s and ’60s where such concepts are discussed.)

            As for the NRC, I know far too many people there who do not fit your stereotype to take your comment seriously. You may not like the people at the NRC, and you may not appreciate the job they do, but they aren’t “fools.” Most of the NRC staffers I know are very smart, very dedicated scientists and engineers–and if you’ve attended any of the recent Regulatory Information Conferences and heard the talks about NRC staffing, you know that there are not that many “old nukes” left there. (And as far as being “obsolete” is concerned, I suspect that most of the “old nukes” who remain have forgotten more about nuclear engineering than most people will ever know. Whether or not you acknowledge it, corporate memory is a valuable commodity.)

        • Joel Riddle says:

          Old Nuke, a huge aspect of the economics evaluations during that 1980′s time frame is the massive reduction in electricity demand growth rates through the 1970′s, reducing the needs of additional generation to levels far below projections from the 1960′s into the 70′s.

          Just as an example, look at the number of started and unfinished plants for TVA during mostly that 1980′s timeframe (11 total – 2 a Phipps Bend, 2 at Yellow Creek, 4 at Harsville, 2 at Bellefonte, and Unit 2 at Watts Bar that is being finished at this moment).

          • Old Nuke says:

            No argument there, but today’s electric power market has its own set of considerations and constraints that impact the economic viability of various generation options–the biggest (in my view) being the abundant and (relatively) inexpensive supply of natural gas. Now, I happen to think that it’s foolish to burn natural gas to make electricity, essentially throwing away half (or more) of the energy content of an incredibly versatile natural resource, but I’m also well aware of the economic pressures on investor-owned electric utilities. (Some of those pressures are artificial, created by government support for “renewable” technologies, but I think that’s a discussion for another place.)

            In any event, regardless of the reasons for the current economic foundations of the electric power market, nuclear power plants–large and small alike–must play in the same sandbox as everyone else. If the plants aren’t economically competitive with the alternatives, they won’t get built. (And at the risk of incurring the wrath of others who post here, I’ll add this: Don’t whine about the fact that the playing field is not level. Life’s not fair. Deal with it. If you don’t like the decisions that our elected representatives–and the people whom they appoint to jobs like DOE Secretary and NRC Commissioners–make about energy, then get out and work to get people elected who will do a better job.)

    • mjd says:

      I no longer buy the “economy of scale myth”. It is an old theory shown to be untrue in reality; because it requires the plant to be completed on schedule and budget. That has never happened and it never will, and also nobody has even been willing to risk trying for 30 years. When the cost of the interest on the construction loan exceeds the cost of the plant proper, all arguments of economy of scale turn to myth. All eyes are on Votgle, heaven forbid they encounter a real technical problem in power ascension testing of the unproven design. These big units are too big to construction manage for a lot of reasons, even 30 years ago with experienced construction management teams and work forces. Those are all now gone, but reg ratcheting and design backfits still exists. The real economy of scale reality is “build small”; I need a “SMRs Forever” bumper sticker. mjd.

      • Old Nuke says:

        The fact that you no longer believe something does not mean it’s a myth. We’ve been through the “small is beautiful” thing before. Somehow, in the end, it never seems to work out quite like its proponents claim it will.

      • Engineer-Poet says:

        The top conical cap on one of the AP1000′s being built in China was recently lifted into place.  Long before Vogtle Unit 3 goes critical China will have shown that the AP1000 works, or doesn’t.

  10. starvinglion says:

    In other words, Rod Adams will never be seen again posting on energyfromthorium.com. Thats fine, those people over there are in la la land pumping the deceased Weinberg as the undiscovered Steve Jobs of nuclear reactors. Its a sham, a chemical nightmare induced by an aeronautics engineer who doesn’t appreciate the problems.

    I expect China to dump vastly underpriced SMR’s onto the market to destroy competition (Areva and Rosatom). Since the USA is filled with a bunch of procurement officers from bidness schools pretending to be scientifically competent, I don’t believe nuclear builds will produce many jobs in the USA.

    • Dave says:

      New nuclear construction has the purpose of building reactors, not creating jobs. The fewer man hours that are necessary for construction, the cheaper the capital cost of the reactor is. The fewer man hours that are necessary for operation, the cheaper the operating cost of the reactor is. Building and running reactors as cheaply as possible is a good thing. This means minimizing both construction and operation labor costs as well as every other cost, while maximizing revenues.

      If we want to create jobs in a poor economy, government programs like the former WPA are far more appropriate than featherbedding employment in construction and operation of energy facilities. The WPA and similar programs trade a hand-out on the dole into a well-earned fair wage when there are not enough jobs to go around.

  11. Eino says:

    “Thats fine, those people over there are in la la land pumping the deceased Weinberg as the undiscovered Steve Jobs of nuclear reactors. Its a sham, a chemical nightmare induced by an aeronautics engineer who doesn’t appreciate the problems.”

    I actually liked your phraseology on that one.

    The Wright brothers and many others were probably touted as being in la la land too. History is full of figures who were ahead of their time.

    Steve Jobs was not a technical man. He was more of the artistic type. Woz was the original technical man of the duo.

    There are a lot of problems with the LFTR. I’m not smart enough to understand many of them, but I see a potential there that we should at least try to develop. Like the space program, solving the problems of the Molten Salt reactor will lead to a lot of healthy spinoffs.

  12. starvinglion says:

    “Nuclear technologists need to bear down and focus on producing things that make a difference. ”

    Now thats a laugh. In the heart of unconventional oil (tarsands), Nuclear technologist or engineer does not even exist in the list of occupations:

    http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/Content/RequestAction.asp?aspAction=GetTitlesSearchFirstLetter&Page=TitleSearch&SNT_ID=55&FirstLetter=N&Results=TRUE&format=html

    But, yep, that ridiculous solar and windmill crap is the hot new job despite the fact the sun rarely shines here:

    http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/Content/RequestAction.asp?aspAction=GetTitlesSearchEmergingOccs&Page=EmergingOccs&SNT_ID=55&format=html

  13. JimHopf says:

    In addition to efficiency, higher quality, and an expert workforce, another advantage of factory-built components, in general, is that the factory can be built where production is cheapest (e.g., cheapest labor, etc…). Other energy sources, which are in economic competition with nuclear, are taking advantage of those benefits, the (relatively) cheap solar panels now coming out of China being one example. Given the fact of competition, nuclear can not afford to not take advantage of those same benefits.

    I hate to say it, but one of the few scenarios I see where nuclear may have some chance at being economically competitive is one where assembly lines that produce large volumes of LWR SMRs (like mPower or NuScale) are set up in China, where technically qualified labor is relatively cheap. They would produce the modules at ~half the price and ship them over here (and elsewhere) to be put in place.

    The only challenge left will be to keep NQA-1, and NRC involvement in general, to an absolute minimum at the site, where the modules are installed and attached to balance of plant. Ideally, on-site requirements would be no more strict or involved than those that apply to setting up a natural gas plant (as the module itself provides sufficient safety on its own, given the reactor’s inherent safety characteristics, along with the tiny potential source term).

    • Rod Adams says:

      @JimHopf

      I like people who make things and believe that they provide far more value than they are given credit for producing. Cheap labor is a poor excuse for factory location. It often does not work out so well when there are high demands on quality.

      That said, there have been situations where organized labor run by power hungry leaders have imposed work practices that are in direct opposition to the goal of producing competitively priced, high quality products from a motivated, reasonably well compensated work force.

      My own manufacturing experience has been in small, employee owned enterprises. Many larger enterprises have applied a similar organizing model where employees have good opportunities to buy into their own business and help to make decisions at the right level.

  14. seth says:

    “Even the most ardent supporters acknowledge that their concepts need at least a decade’s worth of development before being truly ready to begin building in any significant numbers. After the design work is completed, it will take a decade or more to get the supply chain into place.”

    What a pack of horsepucky. He is what he is accusing others of being.

    The US’s advanced nuke budget is $250M annually on the HGTR for maybe 2030 service. This compares to $10B for the junk science based Carbon carbon capture – impossible by any scientific measure. Nothing compared to the $150B they’ve wasted on wind/solar. Meanwhile the Chinese have the production model of their HTGR going into service in 2017 with costs projected at a penny a kwh. Apparently the DOE folks can’t read. Given the Chinese most advanced in the world by decades civil engineering skills, a year in operation, a year or two building factories and these things will be coming off production lines like hotcakes.

    Keep in mind the French went from zero to 80 nukes in 10 years.

    David LeBlanc and Kurt Sorensen have stated that given a few billions in R&D their MSR’s would come close to meeting the Chinese HGTR date with even lower costs.

    Our politicians corrupt to the core with Big Oil payola are traitors to their country.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @seth

      I’m confused. Do you think that we need less than a decade of design and development before being ready to build something other than LWRs in significant numbers – significant enough to start making a dent in fossil fuel consumption? Product development, even if it is not a nuclear energy product, takes time and I do not believe that the process have even started yet.

      Technology development is another story, but even there, certain important experimental proofs require a duration that is difficult to take out of the schedule.

  15. Eino says:

    Jim Hopf wrote:

    “The only challenge left will be to keep NQA-1, and NRC involvement in general, to an absolute minimum at the site,”

    The staff requirements after these small reactors are built should also be a concern. Many of the older reactors in the US ran just fine after being built with small staffs. Staff was added over the years whenever new concerns came up such as Appendix R, EQ, PRA, enhanced security, additional licensing and so forth. What will prevent the small reactors from having to support a number of employees that makes them unsustainable? A large natural gas cogeneration plant may only have 30-40 people at the site.

    • JimHopf says:

      Yes, that is something that the industry will need to push back on. Staffing levels of decades past are what’s appropriate, especially for SMRs, with their relative simplicity, much higher level of inherent safety, and much smaller potential source term (even if a meltdown somehow occurred).

      My view is that since their fuel can not get anywhere near as hot, even in a worst-case core melt scenario, the release *fractions* for SMRs will be far smaller than those of a large reactor. As a result, the maximum possible release will be far smaller than what the ratio of power would suggest, i.e., a few percent of the release that is possible w/ a large reactor. Given that even Fukushima has no projected public health impact, and the MUCH smaller release and potentially affected land area that would apply for an SMR event, I struggle to see how it can be argued that hyper-strict regulations and security requirements are necessary to “protect public health and safety”.

      Another possibility is to install groups of SMRs on existing (large) plant sites. That way, you wouldn’t have to duplicate many of the tasks/jobs (that are apparently necessary in the modern nuclear day). In other words, the job would still exist, but it would cover the whole set of modules. In some cases, some of the existing large plant staff could fill some of those roles. As for security, they could largely rely on the existing security that’s already in place for the large reactor site. That site (boundary, etc..) is guardrd already.

  16. GreenEntropy says:

    Sensible MSR advocates also recognize that the battle lines should be drawn along “fission versus fire”. However, there is no merit in waiting on the renewed success of the conventional nuclear industry, and several potential pitfalls. There are no technological dependencies, and given the urgency, they should be developed in parallel.

    Once the conventional nuclear industry is firmly reestablished, there is no indication that they would pursue development of MSRs, and may even move to impede such competition. The technology and business models are too different, and the MSR will threaten existing investments and lucrative fuel supply contracts.

    The LWR may be the best alternative today, but until nuclear is significantly less expensive than coal and widely available, there will be little impact on the sharply rising coal consumption throughout the world. An MSR has far greater potential for cost reduction based on a number of factors, and is expected to significantly undercut coal with little effort.

    Focusing on conventional nuclear alone also leaves the disposition of spent nuclear fuel unaddressed. While that is essentially a political problem, it would be advantageous to use the opportunity to promote MSRs when the question inevitably arises. It is frustrating to see MSRs relegated to an indefinite future whenever the topic comes up on Atomic Insights.

    At this point, it is questionable wether the supply chain for conventional nuclear has a significant advantage, at least in the US. The DMSR was well advanced, and a prototype could be operational in a few years. It isn’t a LFTR, but the DMSR is very simple and greatly improves on conventional technology, while still offering an evolutionary path toward the LFTR.

    Either way, the primary barriers are political in nature, and something must
    be done about them.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @GreenEntropy

      You wrote:
      The LWR may be the best alternative today, but until nuclear is significantly less expensive than coal and widely available, there will be little impact on the sharply rising coal consumption throughout the world. An MSR has far greater potential for cost reduction based on a number of factors, and is expected to significantly undercut coal with little effort.

      If projects can be completed in a reasonable time frame and we achieve a little bit of series production economy, LWRs can be less expensive than coal or natural gas. The fuel costs are less volatile, all plants can easily store 18-24 months worth of new fuel on site, and there are no emissions to worry about.

      You also wrote:
      Focusing on conventional nuclear alone also leaves the disposition of spent nuclear fuel unaddressed. While that is essentially a political problem, it would be advantageous to use the opportunity to promote MSRs when the question inevitably arises. It is frustrating to see MSRs relegated to an indefinite future whenever the topic comes up on Atomic Insights.

      That is not what I propose. Build LWRs now, store used fuel in anticipation of it being used in advanced reactors. I like to talk about used fuel as an opportunity and a resource for future generations, not as a problem for which we need a final solution right away. While building those LWRs reinvest profits in research and development that will mitigate the few remaining issues.

      Storing used fuel above ground is a solved problem. We need to take “the waste issue” out of the hands of those who purposefully use it to constipate the development of new nuclear energy facilities.

      • starvinglion says:

        “If projects can be completed in a reasonable time frame and we achieve a little bit of series production economy, LWRs can be less expensive than coal or natural gas.”

        The same banking system that says LWR’s at $5B a pop are too expensive (see below) is happily funding development of a *single* drug at $5B a pop.

        npolicy.org/article_file/New_Nuclear-The_Economics_Say_No.pdf

        Despite the fact the drug industry has a near perfect failure rate and that many of the drugs seniors (and otherwise) are being *forced* to take are highly detrimental (all tranquillizers and anti-psychotics), nevertheless, there is a huge number of biotechs being supported by the government. Somehow, its perfectly economical.

        LWR’s will never be economic compared to Big Oil because the banking system will keep externalizing the costs like they always do. Civilian nuclear already has the burden of the weapons programmes mess. And the 911 fiasco? Only nuclear has to put up 747 crash proof structures.

        The entire Big Oil military boondoggle is offloaded onto the public. No wonder Big Oil is so “cheap”. Its books are cooked.

  17. James Greenidge says:

    Re:
    “plan to dominate the nuclear power market worldwide, just with present technology”

    I’m glad to see this happening. At least someone is getting their citizenry positively familiar with nuclear plant technology! While far too many nuclear advocates are sabotaging the public trust and comprehension in nuclear technology by hawking pet advanced technologies which utilities won’t be tapping for decades and leaving a public doubting the worth and safety of current plants, those as China are moving ahead with tried-and-true enough reactors who numbers can only help assuage their public qualms just by being familiar sights. This almost sounds like that old U.S. SST debacle long ago where “old fashioned aircraft tech” like the 747 won out over hyper-advanced supersonic passenger flight. Advanced tech’s time to come just wasn’t there. I hope China is so gung-ho that they’ll even take a stab at cracking the walls that’s held back mass nuclear plant construction here. So long as they’re up to specs, I’ve no qualms living near a Chinese-built/operated nuclear plant here. That’s the Darwin in me I guess.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  18. Dave says:

    I especially would like to see Chinese pebble bed reactors (like the HTR-10 prototype) get commercialized. Inherent safety will allow rational regulators to ratchet regulations down, not up, which could help with capital and operating cost.

    Apparently the Chinese are building a 210 MWe follow on facility using 2 pebble bed RPVs with first concrete being poured in 2012. Here’s an IAEA presentation on what specifically they’re doing:

    http://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Downloadable/Meetings/2013/2013-03-05-03-07-TWG-NPTD/Day_1/3.Sun.pdf

    They’re already planning to duplicate this type of plant if it is successful. I can imagine that it would be due to it’s inherent safety. I hate to say it, but if the Chinese can maintain quality control, I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Dave:

      I suspect that the eventual plan might include repowering relatively new coal plants by replacing the furnace with high temperature pebble beds. The multiple reactor for a single steam turbine seems ideal for maintaining passive safety, yet being able to match the required steam input for an existing machine.

      • Dave says:

        I agree. Given China’s air pollution problems, coal mine safety problems, and energy import/sovereignty problems (coal imports from around the world that impact China’s pride and sense of self-reliance), this might well be one way out – of several – that they could be developing. Wholesale replacement of coal power plant furnaces would allow them to own their future rather than being dependent on other nations’ coal deposits, enhance public health, and close or re-engineer unsafe coal mines.

  19. Alberto R. says:

    “nuclear advocates have been a major obstacle to any effort to make near term gains in market share ”

    No. If you stop innovating, you’re just asking cheap copycats like these chinese to eat your launch.
    If you stop innovating you’ll die. That is exactly what is happening to nuclear power in US (and Europe).
    Make those LFTRs or IFRs, and cheap copycats will have nothing to sell for a while.

    • Rod Adams says:

      @Alberto

      Constant innovation works well in some industries. I am not convinced that it works well in power generation where the life cycles are measured in decades. The unit volumes are low, the training costs are high, and the effort required to move though even the most sensible regulatory review discourages change.

    • starvinglion says:

      “Make those LFTRs or IFRs, and cheap copycats will have nothing to sell for a while.”

      Yeah it takes a few weeks for the traitors in the banking system to transfer technology like they always do.

      “….has been set up specifically to establish the. AP1000 in China, including
      technology transfer”

      http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/docs/ContractChina.pdf‎

      Keep innovating, suckers!

  20. Keith Pickering says:

    I would also draw your attention to the LBNL projections for China’s energy, which are substantially more bullish on Chinese nuclear than the EIA graph you show. You can find the study here:

    http://eaei.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/LBL_4472E_Energy_2050.April_.2011_1.pdf

    Check out figure 25 on page 25.

  21. Paul W Primavera says:

    I fully support the use of nuclear energy since it is safe, clean, and economical (where it is hamstrung by liberal progressive eco-over-regulation). However, the People’s Republic of China is a totalitarian Communist State that has only recently permitted independent corporations so long as they support and implement Government policies (sound familiar?). (PS, think about China’s one child only policy and all the murders its government commits.) Indeed, a friend of mine, when I posted a link to this post on my Facebook page, made the following observation with which I agree 100%:

    —–

    While the author is quick to jump on the global warming soapbox I think he’s missed the real issue here regarding the Chinese. I understand the idea of using current technology and making it better over time. As it should be. And if the west was doing it then great. But the very idea that the Chinese are going to get this heavily involved in nuclear power should send chills down the spine of any clear thinking person.

    The Chinese are adept at stealing and copying technology. What they can’t do is build it to any sort of acceptable standard. Has Mr. Adams ever used any Chinese heavy equipment? Has he ever seen the poor quality of materials that are present in every system? The weak steel, the brittle iron, the mis-wired circuits? And we think they can become the world leaders in nuclear technology?

    They’ll end up cranking out generators in the same fashion they’ve built all their ghost cities. The driving force will not be need or quality. It’ll be political expediency! Reactor construction directed by Party officials instead of engineers. Chernobyl writ large.

    • Joris van Dorp says:

      “Reactor construction directed by Party officials instead of engineers.”

      AFAIK, Chinese party officials tend to *be* engineers more often than not…

    • Mitch says:

      As long as the Chinese heed U.S. standards I don’t have a problem with what they build. Let’s not forget everything that “Made In Japan” used to mean…

  22. Marcel F. Williams says:

    China’s plan was simple.

    First allow practically every company in the world that’s building nuclear power plants to build them in China.

    Second, force these companies to turn over their plans if they want to build their reactors in China.

    Third, copy the way these foreign reactors are built so that China can build clones that they can manufacture for domestic use and for manufacturing for other countries around the world.

    Marcel

  23. Rich Lentz says:

    All should go back and read the “refined rant” in the article. I have worked in nuclear power for 50 years, and one recurring thing that has happened over the years that seems to be more or less ignored is that during those 50 years they have discovered at least five and it could be six new methods of failure of the steam generator tubes. It seemed like every ten years there was a new Primary and/or Secondary chemistry control program to address the newly discovered ” __fill in the name__” corrosion. Each of these programs has caused changes in the primary and/or secondary chemistry and with SONGS changes in the support and flow dynamics involved, and sometimes even heatup/cooldown and hold points. In total costing the industry almost as much as the industry has spent on the NSSS to begin with. Any new, innovative X generation reactor will need to take advantage of this gained knowledge or pay for that same learning curve over again. I believe that even coal fired boilers had the same learning curve, and we at least had that as a starting point.

  24. Eino says:

    ” I believe that even coal fired boilers had the same learning curve, and we at least had that as a starting point.”

    I worked at a small coal plant and it seemed like every time there was a forced outage, it was a tube failure in the boiler. This plant cycled a lot. There’s lots of talk about new nuke plants being able to follow load up and down as the sun shines and the wind blows. I just wonder if it is just talk and they will end up as base load plants just like the old beasts.

    Then I wonder about molten salt reactors. They will run at higher temperature and use exotic metals with which there is less experience with. How easy is it to clean up hardened molten salt?

    Back to the post’s subject. Will welds produced by the Chinese be of the expected quality? I believe the Chinese are a hard working people. I also think their industrial expansion has come very quickly. That quick time may not have developed the craftsmen who can only truly learn their trade from experience as you can’t learn it all from books.

    • jmdesp says:

      French nuclear is probably better at following load than the old coal plants, the fossil plants including the gas one are most of the units in the unexpected shutdown list while being a small part of the mix (anything where nominal power is below 880MW is fossil) :
      http://clients.rte-france.com/lang/fr/visiteurs/vie/prod/arrets_fortuits.jsp?type=archives

      And while the 2013 production rate apparently wasn’t so impressive, in truth the unexpected outage were just 2,6%, the production reductions were due to longer than expected planned maintenance, and to making room for renewables.

      And to the projet Chinese are actually building very little nuclear compared to the coal. At their scale, they’re doing this carefully and taking all the time needed to do it properly.

    • Rich Lentz says:

      I have electric and battery operated tools made in China, older ones made in Japan and even earlier ones made in Germany. Not a single tool that has a Made in China stamp on it has outlasted those from Germany or Japan. Same is also true for my set of wrenches. Still have a set of USA “Snap-On” tools that I purchased in 1973. have replaced one socket that my son broke while using a “breaker bar” with a length of pip making the breaker bar even longer. Five years ago he got me a new, expensive, set for my birthday. I have taken back the 3/8s and 1/2 inch ratchet about 6 times in total and the 3/8s is broken now. Guess where it was made. and you trust them to make a nuclear power plant? I would take a close look at how China is doing on Supercritical pressure and Ultra supercritical pressure power plants. If they have problems there I would definitely stay away from any NPP “Made in China”

      Talking about Ultra supercritical pressure coal fired power plants, why aren’t we building those instead of NG plants? It is my understanding that the emissions are less than an equivalent NG generator.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Rich Lentz

        The quality of materials and craftsmanship is an important issue that makes a big contribution to the reliability and safety of all power stations. Even if they are not nuclear, power stations experience high stresses, use high energy fluids, and have to run almost constantly.

        It would be useful to have reliability information for the current power stations in China to be able to better determine if quality issues are something to be concerned about. I’ve had similar experiences as you in the use of Chinese tools, small appliances, and other gear. Someone mentioned that their heavy equipment has significant quality issues. On the other hand, the quality of the electronic and computer equipment I purchase that has been assembled in China seems to be on a par with all other sources.

        If Chinese steel is as weak as some other commenters have pointed out, there are a lot of reasons to worry that have nothing to do with nuclear energy.

    • Keith Pickering says:

      It’s rather easy to clean up hardened molten salt. It’s soft and brittle, can be cleaned up with a shovel for bulk, or could be easily melted back to a fluid.

      But in fact that should never be an issue even in the worst accident, as the floor of any MSR should slope to a drain and divert any spilled molten salt into the safety tank, where it would be passively cooled.

      • Dave says:

        Yes, you can undoubtedly clean up a molten salt spill with a shovel. The issue is, who’s going to carry that shovel….

      • Rod Adams says:

        @Keith Pickering

        How easy it is to clean up a tank full of molten salt that contains a complex mixture of radioactive isotopes produced during several years worth of fission? Based on some brief hallway conversations with people involved in the effort to clean up after the MSRE at Oak Ridge, I think you have understated the challenge.

        • John Chatelle says:

          Part of the beauty as I see it, is that fission products may be removed on the fly.
          IIRC, the advocates say that only a couple of liters of the working fluid/fuel/coolant would need to be processed each day. A working MSR should have a minimal Fission product inventory in the reactor itself, nearly none at all.

          I think there are lots of other issues with MSRs; The biggest being highly electronegative halogen Ions yanking metals from one place and depositing them elsewhere in the reactor core or heat exchangers. How can one possibly stop that?

  25. Jose Ortiz says:

    If fast reactors are so hopeless, why is Rosatom building a gigantic one?

    • Dave says:

      They’re hardly hopeless…they just require quite a while to be ready for operation at 90+% capacity factor. What the LMFR community doesn’t need is another Fermi 1 or USS Seawolf. They need reactors ready to roll when construction is finished. Same goes for every other reactor type being built by a utility except those that are specifically designated for research, devilment, and demonstration.

    • starvinglion says:

      All Gen IV designs appear to be hopeless. As is the ITER experiment.

      But some real working system must be put in place to test materials and gain experience.

      No wonder Germany gave up on Nuclear. Its not as if there was any clear pathway. LWR’s won’t make their export industry any more competitive. They gave it a go with advanced nuclear fuel experiments such as the pebble bed.

      Advanced fission is not any better than fusion: materials problems galore.

  26. Eino says:

    “Talking about Ultra supercritical pressure coal fired power plants, why aren’t we building those instead of NG plants? It is my understanding that the emissions are less than an equivalent NG generator.”

    Combined cycle natural gas plants have efficiencies about 50%. Coal plants are about 40%. Natural gas is in an inexpensive period. Combined cycle plants have lower capital costs. It takes less people to run a combined cycle plant and they may be considered simpler. New EPA regs on Carbon Dioxide make it extremely difficult to impossible to build a new coal plant.

    “But in fact that should never be an issue even in the worst accident, as the floor of any MSR should slope to a drain and divert any spilled molten salt into the safety tank, where it would be passively cooled.”

    In my ideal world that would happen.. We ought to build a couple LFTRs and find out how good it would drain. Then we could work out all the bugs.

    • starvinglion says:

      “We ought to build a couple LFTRs and find out…”

      Whats the point? LWR’s are safe.

      Tweak LWR’s and quit opening new cans of worms.

      • johnc says:

        I hope someday there’d be Cities… on Ganymede. We’d need to gently push forward on new types of fissioning, Vasimir, Scramjets, and tunneling,excavating,reinforcing and pressurizing large structures in low G, zero atmospheric pressure environments.

        I’d rather “we” were there in a century or two rather than a couple of millennia, or not at all.

        Lets do both: build LWRs and push forward on Gen 4.

        • starvinglion says:

          All so-called “advanced” fission reactors have the exact same problem:

          Long term effects like corrosion, creep, embrittlement are
          often not accessible to laboratory investigations. Finite element analysis of a
          component still leaves uncertainties concerning the behaviour of a structure in a
          plant.

  27. Eino says:

    “Whats the point? LWR’s are safe.”

    They certainly are.

    Why not use kerosene lamps? Why not stick with horses? Ships travel fine with sails!

    It’s called progress Mr. Starvington, progress.

    Sometimes, I think we’ve forgotten about it.

  28. starvinglion says:

    in ‘Old_Nuke’s bizarro world, ignorant uneducated people such as myself (speaking for myself) must apply “public pressure” to get our government policy makers to understand that they are abject failures at recognizing the strategic importance of ensuring the vitality of the nuclear industry. As if we could tell them anything they didn’t already know? Although they are the ones with legions of experts with college degrees and technical knowledge, we the unwashed masses are the ones who have to apply “public pressure” to get them to do the right thing and stop wasting a critical feedstock that is natural gas on electricity generation.

    Wow wow wow.

    The smart alecs at the NRC really know how the world works. Any more lessons?

  29. George C says:

    Ukraine has the option of borrowing $6 billion from Russian banks to help develop its atomic energy industry, according to a Ukrainian Energy Ministry statement reported by RIA-Novosti. This agreement was reached during the December meeting of the Ukraine-Russia Intergovernmental Commission which also agreed on a one-third cut in Ukraine’s prices for Russian natural gas, as well as a $15 billion Russian investment in Ukraine bonds.

    “Ukraine will use Russian technology because of its good technical features,” said Valery Muntiyana, the Ukrainian official responsible for cooperation with Russia. “It is fourth-generation technology, with a very high security threshold, and they are mutually compatible with the technologies used in Ukraine, because they have common origins — Soviet developments in atomic energy.”

  30. Daniel says:

    The European Commission, following a complaint from the UK, has agreed that a country can decide on how to cut its emissions.

    Bye bye wind ans solar … Hello nuclear.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article3972094.ece

  31. starvinglion says:

    If you want to save nuclear energy in the USA, you don’t fool around with MSR’s. You don’t waste time educating the public on radiation. You don’t complicate matters with dubious factory driven modular designs.

    You improve the economics of the industry by extending the life of the light water reactors already operating from 30-40 years to 60 years.

    There isn’t even a generally accepted procedure to determine the admissable lifetime of a large light water nuclear power plant. The current state of the art is pathetic economic reasoning and general engineering practice.

    Stuff like taking small biopsy samples from the reactor pressure vessel over time can form the basis of deriving more reliable information on determining toughness and embrittlement.

    Don’t invent new kinds of reactors with no reliable materials data, just keep the old light water ones running longer.

  32. Eino says:

    “Stuff like taking small biopsy samples from the reactor pressure vessel over time can form the basis of deriving more reliable information on determining toughness and embrittlement.”

    They do have coupon samples from the reactor at the plant I used to work at to test just what you are saying. I would guess they do this at all plants.

    They couldn’t really know the full life of some of the components when they built the places so they used artificial aging. Heat is the killer of lots of stuff. A Swede feller by the name of Svante Arrhenius developed equations about how materials would fail. If I remember correctly his equations coupled with putting the materials under elevated temperatures gave a good idea as to whether the materials would last for the original 40 year design life.

    Starvington, I just read about him on Wikepedia. Check it out yourself and you may be surprised what else this smart guy came up with.

    href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius”

    • John Tucker says:

      Check it out yourself and you may be surprised what else this smart guy came up with.

      And how long we’ve really known it could be an issue.

  33. Eino says:

    Starvington said:

    “If you want to save nuclear energy in the USA, you don’t fool around with MSR’s.”

    You are partly right. These things are still in the experimental phase and from what I can see are nowhere near to commercial deployment.

    However, I still think the DOE or somebody should be nudging the envelope and trying out new reactors such as MSRs. We’ve got to keep working on new things to solve problems identified long ago like global warming.

    • starvinglion says:

      Sorensen wants funds from private sources to build yet another electricity generator because he believes LWR’s are unsafe and uneconomic.

      What the hell is the point of that when the thing will need a containment dome like every other reactor. That alone will doom its economics and perceived safety.

  34. mjd says:

    Rod Adams
    January 12, 2014 at 4:30 AM

    @EL

    Are you implying that regulations as enforced by the NRC are responsible for the improvement in US nuclear power plant capacity factors? That discounts the well motivated efforts by the industry to refine and improve, the self monitoring provided by INPO, and the whole culture of safety and performance.

    It is hard for me to follow the comments thread at this point, i.e. who is responding to whom. But the actual fact of plant capacity factor improvement from ’80s to today’s levels is due to one organization, INPO, not the NRC. Quite specifically INPO did two things that accomplished this. First they convinced the nuke plants to properly start doing Preventative Maintenance (PMs) and Corrective Maintenance with true Root Cause programs, using the tried and true US Navy way. So the machine just now simply runs better. Second, and more subtle, primarily at the Executive Level of management (including CEOs), through a system of using peer pressure by the nuke industry corporate executive pool that we all better get the same message on a true corporate safety culture, and you better “get involved.” Their message was one bad apple will spoil the bunch, so you better all damn well better get on board with the program; if somebody makes you nervous you better be speaking up. This second part was so effective it actually resulted in removal of two plants corporate executive organizations who didn’t get the message.
    Bottom line, it was not the NRC. A fact, boots on the ground fear an INPO inspection, but not an NRC inspection.
    My question, is if everybody really got the message, why do we still need INPO? They are just overhead. mjd.

    • EL says:

      @mjd

      On what basis do you understand the INPO acting on it’s own and without the guidance, accreditation standards, and Memoranda “whereby the NRC monitors, but does not participate in, implementation of the accrediting process,” training of nuclear workers, and compliance with federal regulatory requirements (here).

      Agreed … we have seen a lot of improvement in operational safety and reliability in the post TMI era (as you report, and as is reflected in high CFs) with industry administered reforms and guidance from INPO. I don’t see where NRC hasn’t had a role here, or is not executing their oversight authority via NWPA as referenced above.

      • mjd says:

        el, you asked “On what basis do you understand…..”. i actually do have a basis for understanding, but it’s a long story starting in ’65 when i started my journey as a nuke plant operator and continues even today as i keep abreast of operational events. and i’m gladly willing to share it with you too. lets make a deal, you tell me your real name and we will correspond privately, and i’d like you to explain to the group just how you had such instant access to a copyrighted INPO DRAFT report from 2002 marked “Not for sale or commercial use.” OK? mjd.

        • EL says:

          “On what basis do you understand…..”

          @mjd

          You misunderstand my statement. I’m simply asking for your understanding (not the basis) on how NRC is not involved in oversight of INPO training and accreditation programs, and compliance with federal regulatory requirements. When clearly NRC has an important role to play here (even though many programs are administered by the industry).

          Why not just follow the URL. Info is published on NRC site, as well as other numerous documents describing relationship, oversight, and shared authorities between NRC and INPO. Document is marked for “General Distribution.” And it goes without saying, please don’t sell it (if this is what you intend to do) or use it for commercial use.

      • Rod Adams says:

        @EL

        I know the question was not directed at me, but I was just rereading an article titled Memories of the Kemeny Commission that provides some background on the formation of INPO following the Three Mile Island accident. It clearly describes how Bill Lee of Duke Energy was leading the effort to form INPO while the Kemeny Commission investigations were still underway and the report recommending its formation had not even been started.

        By the time that the government got around to implementing the recommendations of the investigative commission, the industry was already well on its way and the government simply adopted most of what the industry had already figured out on its own.

        http://www2.ans.org/pubs/magazines/nn/docs/2004-3-3.pdf

        The NRC did not lead; it followed and got in the way.

        • EL says:

          In some areas, yes, but it is a coordinated effort with both agencies playing a role. TMI 25 Years Later (Osif, et. al.) describes it this way:

          [NRC develops action plan] … Quite a few of the proposals were eventually implemented by the NRC and can be seen in many aspects of industry and NRC operations. More emphasis is now placed on human factors in the design of control rooms and instruments, and operator training and staffing requirements are more stringent. Inspectors are permanently assigned to each nuclear plant to monitor daily operations and compliance. Probabilistic risk assessments are performed on each nuclear plant to identify potential vulnerabilities to severe accidents … [emergency planing, drills, emergency office staffed 24 hours, dedicated communication lines to NRC and other agencies, improved safety systems and instrumentation, and more] … Finally, the NRC has increased its enforcement activites, with tighter inspections and less tolerance for utility rule violations (p. 88, 89)

          According to authors, these changes have had the following effect:

          … higher efficiency and an improved safety record, as measured by several statistical indicators … ‘capacity factor has moved from the 50-60% range in the 1970s and 1980s to 89% in 2001, demonstrating greatly increased reliability and generating efficiency … Since 1980, the median number of scraps per nuclear plant per generating year has decreased from 7.3 to 0 in 2001 … These figures seem to indicate that the industry is making progress towards safer and more cost-effective operations (p. 90 … edited to minimize size of quote)

          • Rod Adams says:

            @EL

            Your quote does not touch on the topic I introduced – the fact that the NRC did not invent those improvements. They were suggested by knowledgeable, well-motivated people with deep industry experience. They were not developed by government regulators. Portions of the industry were already working on implementing many of the ideas before the Kemeny report was issued.

    • Rich Lentz says:

      @mjd – you have hit the nail on the head.
      I was on the GPU Nuclear startup group at TMI-I & II. The SU manager had left Norfolk Naval Shipyard as a manager there. He instituted a test program at TMI that was equivalent to that used on the Navy Submarines. For example, regardless of the testing performed by the manufacture certifying that the equipment was 100% as specified, the startup group tested it again in place after construction, after the QA certification and before it was turned over to operations. For the ICS (Integrated Control System or Reactor/feedwater control system) I had to verify every wire on the backplane of the modules in that system. Same for the RPS (reactor protection system). This was not a wasted effort in that I found several significant miss-wirings that were made by Bailey Instruments. TMI had extensive operating, testing and maintenance procedures in place for both NSSS and BOP systems. And this was well before the incident. The Startup Superintendent got a promotion to manager of a large coal plant, he was amazed by their lack of procedures and instituted a similar program at that plant. The program increased capacity factor from 60% to well over 85% and he was promoted to station manager for the three plant site.
      After the second mishap at Rancho Seco, I was volunteered to help. Upon reviewing the problems, It utterly amazed me that 10 years after TMI-II, SMUD was still treating the ICS in the exact same method that they did the Bailey control systems at a coal fired plant. That is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” By that I mean they had NEVER performed maintenance of any type, PM or otherwise, except to replace broken modules. And most other BOP systems were treated the same. SMUD did not even have an idea of the proper proportional, gain, integral, or derivative settings of the ICS, AND it did not bother them that they treated it that way! INPO has helped the nuclear industry significantly. One of the early VP’s at INPO was ex Navy, ex MetEd (TMI-I) and indoctrinated at TMI on this high level of procedural control. I often think, where would the nuclear industry be if the incident that happened at TMI-II had instead happened at Rancho Seco with their lack of procedures, testing and preventive maintenance. What would the NRC have done to the nuclear industry? After the incident at TMI, when the NRC asked did you test this, verify that, measure that. We would pull out a copy of the procedure w/data sheet and satisfy them. I have no idea how SMUD could have withstood that type of an inspection, and probably speaks as to why it is now shut down.

  35. starvinglion says:

    Notion: Fission > Combustion

    The working man doesn’t see a fission device under the hood and never will. Promotion of fission = good, combustion = bad just enhances the renewables case because batteries are the exclusive domain of renewables research and development.

    The only way the common man will support fission is if it generates liquid fuels. The working man doesn’t care about emissions and climate control.

    Adams (LWR’s) and Sorensen (LFTR’s) both limit nuclear systems to the transformative mass electrification of the current fossil fuel infrastructure. The problem is the people see windmills and solar panels driving the whole process despite the fact that gas is doing the job. To them, fission = radiation which is bad.

    The rich people like renewables because of opportunities for financial arbitrage. They don’t care what it costs. They don’t want industrial processes in their back yard. The banking system no longer is functional in any way. It is completely parasitic.

    Limiting nuclear systems to electricity generation is actually a vote for renewables. A vote for the financial elite. The death of industrialism.

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