1. Assume it takes 20yrs to develop one. Then it will have to compete against about 5 times cheaper PV-solar + (flow)batteries and 2-3 times cheaper wind.
    So then PV-solar with efficiencies ~30% (double junction; 300W/m2) will even be utilized in area’s with extreme high latitude, such as at Antarctica.

    Considering that that solution requires:
    – hardly any staff; and
    – that staff needs very little education;
    – ground / surface is extremely cheap in those areas;
    I don’t see an application for those small reactors.

    But may be anybody here knows better???

    If in transport ships, such ship will meet same or more severe harbor bans as the NS Savannah.

    1. Bas — Wind and solar are a joke. Anyone can create more energy than 300W/m2 just by burning a few twigs and they can do so twenty four hours per day unlike your joke source which only produces energy a few hours per day.

      Anyone with a basic knowledge physics knows that it is many times cheaper to produce energy than it is to store it.

      1. Rick,
        Energy storage
        Wind+solar only (neglecting biomass, geothermal, etc), need storage. For short term we have (flow)batteries, pumped storage, etc.

        For long term storage (seasons) the Germans are developing Power-to-Gas with cheap storage in deep earth cavities. They expect to have >50 unmanned pilot plants in standard containers with total capacity of 2GW running in 2022. The plants utilize different technologies and produce for different purposes also different gasses. E.g. H2 PtG plants at car refill stations.
        Regular roll-out is planned to start in 2024. Note that they can afford a delay of a decade as the won’t need it until ~70% renewable.

        They operate already a storage capacity of >220TWh. We in NL do similar. No problem to expand. I feel similar is available in almost all other countries.

        Siemens is developing a special H2 gas turbine. But fuel cell assemblies (as in cars) may also be competing in many situations.

        1. @Bas

          How much H2 will leak out of cheap deep earth cavity storage sites over the course of a season? H2 is a far smaller molecule than CH4 and can leak through steel tubes. Most rock formations will not contain H2. Storage of any real quantity of energy in the form of H2 would require both massive volume and the ability to withstand high pressure.

          If storing gas were easy and cheap, why wouldn’t more countries already be storing more than a couple of months worth of demand to insulate them from both price volatility and political pressure from supplying countries.

          1. Very little, if any.
            Our gas cleaning and conditioning (creating right caloric value, etc) processing plant is seized on the av. year around consumption.
            So it produces too much in summer (=low demand as gas is used for heating buildings and all houses). The production surplus is stored to meet the increased winter demand.
            And of course extra is stored to meet demand in case of an explosion, etc. at the gas conditioning plant.

            We store ~600meter deep, in salt domes. The Germans do the same in the north. In the south they have underground storage in rocks. Don’t know the details of those.
            Present German storage capacity is at least 220TWh/a (German consumption is 600TWh/a). For them it’s important because of possible long interruption of Russian gas supply.
            Such storage is done already since the eighties?

            I talked about H2 leakage with an expert from Gasunie. Would be no problem according to him as the clay layers will also stop H2, though some H2 may be assimilated until saturation.
            Then he said that I talked about a virtual problem as there would be anyway no problem with H2 when it’s mixed with natural gas (CH4) until 5% H2. And 5% is many decades away.

            When I said that I heard about only 2-3% he responded by assuming that it probably concerned US pipeline infra which he apparently considered to be inferior,

            Of course methanization as done by e.g. the Audi PtG plant and a number of other PtG plants is also possible. Check at the project map.

            1. @Bas

              I suggest you do a little more research on H2 leakage. Asking one non-specialist (methane is a far larger molecule than H2) is a lazy method when you have the whole Internet available.

          2. @Rod,
            Thanks for your advice.
            I did. It was the reason to go to the gas study group meeting (thankful to a friend who took me with him, as I’m no member).

          3. @Rod,
            I forgot to explain that we can safe assume that the German scientists involved in the Energiewende, and for sure those involved in their PtG program are of course very aware of the H2 escape capabilities through steel, etc.

            1. @Bas

              I do not trust the judgement or honesty of any “scientist” or “engineer” who willingly supports the Energiewende and claims that it will work as advertised. I suspect that any who are involved are working for a paycheck and submerging their arithmetic skills.

          4. @Rod,
            Don’t know your reason to distrust the Energiewende.
            Until now they met nearly all targets:
            – All nuclear out in 2021.
            That will become 2022 due to the swing of Merkel in 2010.
            – 35% of electricity by renewable in 2020.
            They will reach that this year (are at 37% now).
            – Cost staying affordable, insignificant.
            Av. German household pays lower share of their income for electricity than US household.
            – Major cost decreases due to mass production
            Only biomass didn’t meet that target and is no longer expanded.

            1. @Bas

              How is the Energiewende doing on the critical effort associated with its assumptions for overall energy use reduction?

              I don’t trust the judgement of any engineer who believes that ATTEMPTING to replace well-run, high quality German nuclear power plants with wind and solar makes any sense at all. I don’t trust people who buy the hydrogen hype that is a part of the plan to store seasonal quantities of fuel produced by weather-dependent power sources. I don’t trust people like you who ignore thousands of studies to pick the few that support your odd belief that the tiniest quantities of radiation harm human beings.

              I certainly do not trust people who twist statistics in an attempt to show that German electricity selling for 33 cents per kilowatt-hour is cheaper for customers than Appalachian Power System (my provider) electricity delivered to my house for an average price of < 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. I do not choose to live in a tiny urban apartment or to police electricity use as if it was a precious commodity that is hard to produce on demand without harming the environment or using up fuels that might be useful to distant generations. E=mx^2. Both c and m are enormous numbers compared to the E that humans need during the time available before the sun expires.

          5. @Rod,
            … ATTEMPTING to replace well-run, high quality German nuclear power plants with wind and solar …
            They did already for ~50%:
            In 2000: nuclear 170TWh, wind+sol. 9TWh, all 577TWh
            In 2016: nuclear 85TWh, wind+sol. 116TWh, all 648TWh
            (net export in 2016 8% of all. In 2000 -0.5% of all)
            While grid reliability increased.

            How is Energiewende … with … overall energy use reduction?
            Agree. Far less reductions than planned. Last year German cars emitted 3.2% more CO2 as their economy goes well.,,,

        2. Batteries, pumped storage, etc. have very limited use and are completely useless for large amounts of energy. The current price of Li-on batteries $227 / kwh or thousands of dollars to store the energy in just one gallon of a liquid fuel. Battery powered cars are a joke and need to be heavily subsidized.

          Converting unreliables to H2 sounds great to power homes and cars, my two favorite things. Now, compare the energy density of NP with WS (wind solar) and it is clear that NP can produce a lot more H2 than WS especially with fast reactors. Likewise, NP can produce liquid fuels which are even better than H2.

          Ten years ago, I read much about “break-through”, “game-changing” battery technology and was very interested even though I love the Internal Combustion engine. I also love electric motors. So, I am open minded regarding motorized, personal transportaion. There was a company called EESorage that claimed that they could build a device for $2,000 which could store 50 kwh, a capacitor which could be cycled a few hundred thousand times and only weigh a few hundred pounds. I thought, WOW!. That would be a real game-changer. I would gladly give up my much beloved IC car for one of those. I read about “flow batteries” ten years ago which also they came nothing.

          I read about compressed air engines to power automobiles and I thought, fantastic! because the vast, vast majority of my driving is a thirty mile round-trip. It turns out that they can’t cut the mustard. They can’t compete with liquid fuels. The truth is that energy density of liquid fuels is humongus.

          A few decades ago, I read about a future proposal to build solar collectors in space and beam the energy back down to earth. It sounded like a great idea. I do not have an anti-WindSolar bias like you clearly have an anti-NP bias.

          NP is here and now. Liquid-fueled, walk-away-safe reactors are here and now. Fast reactors are here and now. The problem is that they are not being built and allowed to develop because of all the anti-NP bias from yourself and many others. Unfortunately, You are using your considerable brain power to stop NP development, the cleanest, cheapest source of power.

      2. @Rick,
        Power density
        US most power dense NPP, Indian Point, has a power density of 15MWh/m² per year (90% CF). Correct that for:
        – part of the land used by the uranium mine, enrichment and fuel assembly plant.
        – the 10yrs land use during construction. Same during decommission.
        – the land use of the dry casks with waste for ~100yrs

        Assume a 50yrs life period (better than any NPP) than the real power density is ~5MWh/a.

        The 3.45MW wind turbine near my house occupies ~100m² of a parking lot.
        With a CF of 25% it’s power density is >60MWh/a. So 10times more.
        Offshore wind doesn’t occupy land at all.
        Rooftop solar neither. It’s enough to cover 50% of all roofs with good PV panels to produce all electricity USA needs at the moment.

        1. Roof-top solar produces only tiny amounts of energy. In my area, northeast USA, it produces less than tiny amounts. I saw a study that concluded that most solar farms and roof-tops produce zero energy because it takes them twenty years just to replace the energy that it took to create them.

          “Offshore wind doesn’t occupy land at all.”

          You are very funny. Floting NPP uses a lot less area.

          “… land used by the uranium mine, enrichment and fuel assembly plant.”

          What about all the raw materials that need to mined for wind and solar What about all the cement which that is needed?

          The 3.45MW wind turbine that occupies ~100m² of a parking lot uses a lot more land that that because no one could live within a 100m of it. I would say that it occupies at least 30,000m².

          It seems to me that you cannot see the forest by studying individual trees. Do you honestly believe that WS can smelt iron or do heavy manufacturing, Or produce the cement and transport it to WS farms, or mine the rare earth metals? It is clear to me that without fossil fuels and NP, W and S collectors could not be built.

        2. Bas — I have seen studies that claim that solar farms and roof-top solar produce zero energy over a 20 year lifetime because it takes twenty years for them to produce the energy that was required to create them.

          “The 3.45MW wind turbine near my house occupies ~100m² of a parking lot.”

          More like 30,000m² because no one can live within 100m of one.

          “Offshore wind doesn’t occupy land at all.”

          Very funny but they occupy 100 times more ocean than a floating NPP. I have no objection to offshore wind but have heard that they are much more expensive to build and maintain than onshore wind. And then there are hurricanes.

          “part of the land used by the uranium mine, enrichment and fuel assembly plant.”

          Wind and solar require mining for basic materials including rare earth metals and the manufacturing and transportation of huge amounts of concrete.

          I can’t see how WS energy can smelt iron or power heavy industrial operations which require a constant supply of huge amounts of energy. You talk about powering cars and homes but what about building cars, homes, ships, planes, bridges, dams, etc., and mining and transporting all the basic materials. Without fossil fuels and NE, wind and solar collectors could not be built, IMO.

    2. @Bas –

      @Bas – Consider: Installation of new asphalt based roofing shingle material costs $30 to $40 per square meter, and has cost that since, I dunno, the beginning of time, though I imagine when they were first introduced and scaled up to the market the price dropped initially. The material cost might be incidental at this point, but labor and expertise costs have a floor.

      What is magical about solar PV, that would cause its costs to drop 5X over twenty years?

      1. The long term (~40yrs) price decrease of 8%/a for PV delivers 5 times cheaper in 20yrs.

        Present PV panels are still very expensive and have the enough potential to continue their long term price decrease towards the level of your $40 per square meter while producing 300W/square meter (in standard sunlight).

        Why should two glass plates with thin (0.1mm) silicium slices (being sand without the O2) between it and a few wires cost more than your roofing shingle material?

        1. @Bas

          Why should two glass plates with thin (0.1mm) silicium slices (being sand without the O2) between it and a few wires cost more than your roofing shingle material?

          There are several answers to your question. Here are two.

          1. Solar energy-quality glass is fundamentally a more energy intensive and expensive material than the clays, concrete, or asphalt shingles used for the covering of most roofs in the US. It has to meet reasonably high standards for clarity and durability and has to be thick enough to be resilient in various weather conditions. It should not be so fragile that it can be destroyed in a hailstorm or if struck by falling seeds, acorns, and moderate sized branches that can be blown by the wind.

          2. The silicon slices that you expect to be cheap are not just sand without the O2, but highly purified Si without any of the minor elements that can destroy semiconductor performance.

          1. Agree.
            But increased mass production imply gradually more cost decreases for both the glass and the silicon.
            It becomes more economic to invest billions in more advanced production, automated machines, etc.

            Consider e.g. Gorilla glass from Corning. Now even car makers such as BMW consider to use it, just because it makes the car a little lighter.
            Or compare the cost of a complex TV with that of a simple PV panel…

            1. @Bas

              Do you really think there is much cost reduction left for mass production of glass? It’s not exactly a rare finished product.

          2. As you wrote solar panel glass is special glass, hence now far more expensive than standard glass.
            I estimate that solar panel glass will end costing only slightly more than standard glass.

            1. @Bas

              But standard glass in sheets is a more expensive raw material than asphalt, concrete or clay. A durable solar panel designed to last for decades in direct exposure to the weather is a more complex and expensive product than shingles because it has to be properly sealed and inspected.

              As a former financial analyst with fairly deep exposure and experience with cost accounting, I cannot see how the cost trajectory of solar energy collecting roofing material will ever approach the cost of standard roofing material.

          3. Agree. We may assume that it will always cost something more to construct a roof with solar panels.

            Yesterday evening on my cycle training, I passed along some new houses with roofs covered completely with solar panels. The first time here.

          4. @Rod,
            Assume you are right. So it will cost a little more.
            Anyway the main costs will become the labor costs to install.

            So US prices may not reach the $24/MWh for a 1GW solar farm, which Abu Dabhi recently got after a tender, soon. But I expect that similar rates will also reach USA at around 2030.
            Despite the ~45% import tariff on solar panels and the higher salaries.

  2. Wasn’t there a lot of fuss about Iran enriching uranium to 20% u235? I would agree that it was politics and not based on a real threat.

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