1. Rod,

    I have an interest in portable nuclear power and towards a machine for use in a national security application. My idea is “outside the bun” and most laugh at me when revealing my intentions but I am never discouraged….easily.

    The brief background you’ve made available and your assumed skill set is the catalyst for reaching out to you. I would enjoy “brainstorming” with you at some point if interested,


    1. Michael,

      COL Paul Rogue, USA has been socializing the concept of deploying small reactors for the last few years.

    2. @Michael Sheak

      Have you ever visited Adams Atomic Engines, Inc. (http://atomicengines.com)

      I have been interested in “portable” nuclear power systems for many years and would be happy to engage in discussions as long as the science and engineering does not depend on assumptions unavailable in legitimate thermodynamics and nuclear engineering textbooks.

  2. The Chinese are coming !!!

    Remember Vogtle? Well, in order to smooth the learning curve, Shaw Power Group announced that Chinese employees will join the the project over the next four years.

    The first batch of six people is expected to include planners and electrical engineers, all experienced in building AP1000 projects, commonly known as third-generation reactors will arrive shortly.

    In the meantime, McFarlane argues that US nuclear innovations are on the verge.

    No matter what, things are indeed moving along. I am optimistic.

  3. On another note I have to disagree with Rod on securing long term electricity prices to have construction of nuclear plants emerge.

    For example on the financing issue. I maintain that loan guarantees up front is the proper way to finance nuclear plants. (England is starting to realize this) It also goes with the matching concept in finance. It will only be needed for the first 4 to 6 AP1000 as the industrial model and macro economic situation are very different than 40 years ago:

    1) Cost of money is cheap.
    2) Many parts are manufactured prior to being shipped to the construction site and economies of scale are possible. The US missed the boat 40 years ago with 110 designs for 110 nuclear plants. Somehow we still fail to today acknowledge that.

    Having electricity prices secured for the long term is OK but the operating costs of a nuke (fuel being an insignificant variable cost as opposed to other base load competitors like coal, gas) are totally different and electricity price guarantee plays a lesser role in this context.

    To conclude, after 4 or 5 AP1000 plants under out belts, we will have mastered the learning curve and all financing and costing issues will be predictable. This is when the nuclear revolution will begin. Plus every country except the US can build nuclear plants on time and on budget. Is the NRC of any help ? Not really.

    The last Candus to be built were success stories.

    1. “Plus every country except the US can build nuclear plants on time and on budget.”

      Areva hasn’t done all that well with their EPR in Finland. It is a First of a Kind plant, and one can expect delays. I believe they had some problems with management of subcontractors, something reminiscent of the WPPSS fiasco in Washington state. I don’t know if Flamanville-3 is any better. It has had its share of delays too.

      But the South Koreans and Chinese seem to have a knack for keeping on schedule and on budget. When the Japanese were building plants, it only took them three years to build an ABWR.

      I see that Southern Co, Shaw and the NRC have worked out their issues with the Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear islands basemat rebar and concrete. That is a positive development, but they still have a long way to go.

    2. @Daniel:

      Loan guarantees would be as risky for nuclear plants without an established strike price as student loan guarantees are for students in a lousy job market.

      In my world, loans have to be paid back; the only legitimate way to do that is with income. A nuclear plant selling into a depressed market will not have a sufficient income stream to pay back its financial backers and would end up defaulting. The last thing that nuclear technology needs right now is a Solyndra style default.

Comments are closed.

Recent Comments from our Readers

  1. Avatar
  2. Avatar
  3. Avatar
  4. Avatar
  5. Avatar

Similar Posts