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  1. I feel that every subsequent generation forgets the lessons learned by the previous generation. The economics of small/micro reactors CANNOT compete with ICE when all aspects (fuel costs, insurance, financing, staffing) are considered. It is not just about serial factory production driving down the component costs – at some point the specific fuel cost of small nuclear crosses the cost of shipping petroleum distillates to the farthest corners of the globe and at that point Nuclear loses its MAIN advantage (as I see it), which is that the fuel is cheap. The crossing-over happens somewhere below NuScale-scale and well above Oklo-scale, which requires $16M of feed/conversion/SWU to produce a 3 ton core of HALEU. We all appreciate the increased rate at which you are providing content during this period of martial law and suspension of certain unalienable rights, but these experts are not really experts in the field. No matter how many times you say uMR can be cheaper than ICE, it will never be true when fuel costs are increased from $8/MWh-e for large LWR to $100-$300/MWh-e for uMR. At some point, the only change will be that people stop offering counterbalance to fallacious claims on your website – when they get tired of fighting windmills. No harm either way – with fallacious claims or the lack of counterbalance – in the end, there may be a movement (a group of like-minded people agitating) but there is no real movement (action).

    1. “during this period of martial law and suspension of certain unalienable rights”

      I hope this is a joke, Michael. Otherwise all it does is show you have never experienced true martial law nor had your rights denied. It just makes me less likely to believe anything else you write.

      1. My position on the lockdown* is nuanced**** – I don’t take the virus lightly.** Who among us still fails to understand why nuclear power is expensive to build and operate in our litigious, schizophrenic world, where the mortally compromised individual’s life is priceless*** [sic] and our leaders RULE that we must all stay indoors, rather than the obvious alternative to ask the vulnerable to self-sequester, while the fit live ‘normally’ using PPE and distancing? To think that THIS modern society and THESE leaders will allow micro-reactors to be constructed and installed, largely unsupervised, largely unguarded, in the bush, to light the homes of people that choose to live ‘off the grid’, while Indaian Point 2 is shuttered, is absurd. Nuclear power, with large reactor’s economies of scale, and the support of a vocal minority of idealists with technical knowledge of the art, is gasping for air in THIS modern world – and we change tack in the direction of small and fundamentally inefficient configurations?!?

        *Members of my family lived under martial law (Philippines) – Marcos built a PWR; it was never used by the subsequent dysfunctional democracy.

        **Two family members have active ncov19 infections – one suffers greatly and was prescribed a CPAP and Trump’s pills, while spouse is essentially asymptomatic and the children slowed none.

        ***Ouside of the persistant wars.

        ****I am disgusted by the unprecedented lack of guts demonstrated by the human race in the face of this cold – it appears the public has no conceptual understanding of relative risk. This shouldn’t surprise us pro-nuclear folks, since the public’s fear of nuclear power obviously shares traits with this new germaphobia – as if the same region of the lower brain is saturated with liquid fear.

    2. Hi Michael,

      I don’t understand your claim that

      “No matter how many times you say uMR can be cheaper than ICE, it will never be true when fuel costs are increased from $8/MWh-e for large LWR to $100-$300/MWh-e for uMR.”

      Where are you getting these numbers? They are much higher than the fuel costs I normally see quoted. Do you have a reference?

      By the way, I lived in the Philippines for 12 years. Small reactors would fit quite well on most of the islands. It is really too bad that the PWR on Bataan was never turned on. I suffered through years of brownouts. It was in the PI that I learned about Nuclear.

  2. I think we also need to improve usefulness beyond generation of electricity and medium- to low-grade heat.  Heat well above 500°C will be necessary to drive the thermochemistry for the economic fuels production that your guests talked about.  We can use excess electric power for this, but it’s far more economic to use nuclear heat directly.

    I’m finding hints that Japan’s HTR achieved temperatures of 950°C.  This is sufficient to drive endothermic gasification of carbon char with either CO2 or H2O as the oxidant; the Boudouard reaction is almost fully driven to CO at that temperature.  A reactor running that hot would be able to eliminate our problems with petroleum coke (petcoke), turning petcoke+steam to syngas+ash.  It shouldn’t be difficult to fuse the ash to slag for disposal or even re-use.

    The solutions are SO close but nobody is looking!

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