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  1. Pondering out loud what it would take to make the nuclear renaissance a reality.

    The near-term decision is between AP1000 (which now has an operating example) and NuScale (which has not been tested with nuclear heat).  A big thing is regulatory burden (potentially much smaller with NuScale), experience curve (much faster run-down per GW with NuScale) and economy of scale (better with AP1000).  I suspect that the small core size of NuScale also requires slightly higher enrichment, but it is still below 4.95%.

    How much will the NRC relent on regulatory delays?  It should be possible to break ground within 2 years of filing the application for an established design.

    Major replacement of coal requires LOTS of NuScales.  Replacing the Monroe coal-fired complex on Lake Erie would take 5 12-packs (5×720 MW to replace 4×850 MW).  Just one project like that would fill NuScale’s order book by itself.  If done with AP1000’s it would only require a 3-plex.

    The real radical changes would have to come from innovations like district heating.  If the disaster planning boundary for a NuScale can be shrunk to the plant fence, sale of heat becomes a serious prospect.  Guesstimating ~120 MW of heat which can be delivered to customers for space heat and DHW (after losses) and a potential price of $5/mmBTU, that’s potential revenue of about $2000/hr per unit during the heating season.  60 MW(e) at $50/MWh is only $3000 per hour, so sale of heat would be a serious addition to the bottom line.  But to be effective, the 12-pack configuration would have to be replaced by scattered individual units sited where hot-water pipelines can be run to consumers.  I suspect that’s not going to go over well with regulators even if the public can be sold on the idea.

    </pondering out loud>

    1. Engineer-Poet — Regarding a hot water supply, the cost of the piping to distribute the hot water ends up being too high in these days of low cost natural gas in the USA. Such use of the reject heat does occur in at least Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland.

      1. @David

        District heating systems exist in many places in the US. I’ll agree that new systems are unlikely, but existing pipes can be used. NuScale might be competitive as a replacement heat source if a current furnace or boiler needs to be replaced.

      2. Regarding a hot water supply, the cost of the piping to distribute the hot water ends up being too high in these days of low cost natural gas in the USA.

        Natural gas is too expensive for things like routine de-icing of streets and sidewalks.  Perhaps we are just not thinking big enough.

    2. Maybe electric cars will increase the demand and price for electrical generation. I would buy an electric car if it could go 150 miles on a charge at 80 MPH and cost $25,000.

      1. Why do you need it to run 80 MPH?

        We’ve long known how to get electric power to a vehicle cruising at upwards of 150 MPH; the TGV and Shinkansen have been doing it for decades.  It should be no big deal to recharge an electric car in motion.  If you don’t have to stop for juice, there’s no reason you have to run so fast between stops.  Neither do you need such a big battery if you’re always grabbing sips of energy along the way.

        1. @E-P

          On many U.S. highways, traffic flows at close to 80 MPH. Speed limits may be a bit lower, but enforcement is generally lax if vehicle speed is within 10% of the limit.

      2. On many U.S. highways, traffic flows at close to 80 MPH.

        Well, fine.  Can we not also drive vehicles under automated control with fractional-inch precision?  And have we not also been using “third rails” for power provision for many decades?

        You can put a “charging lane” on the left shoulder every few tens of miles.  The guard rail would have a slot containing the powered third rail; the guard rail itself might provide the current return.  Let the car extend an arm to access the power conductors and recharge while driving under automatic control at speed.  You don’t need 150 miles of high-speed range if you’re topping off the battery every 30 miles, do you?  With this, your cheap electric car might be able to cruise freeways at speed all day, even more so than the gasoline car.

        It’s time to think outside the “filling station” box.

  2. Big hopes seem to be pinned on small reactors the past few years.

    “The paper notes that there is a lot of interest in smaller reactors as a way to overcome some of the cost and schedule hurdles faced by enormous projects.”

    Unless major rule changes are made, won’t this be working against economies of scale? For example, won’t a small plant still be required to have a large security force?

    It’s obvious to most of your readers that nuclear technology works, but the politics is the impediment. Your last posted article about the success of reactors in China, but with long delays elsewhere shows that with different political support success may be achieved.

    1. Re: Unless major rule changes are made, won’t this be working against economies of scale? For example, won’t a small plant still be required to have a large security force?

      Some rule changes have already been made (as regards insurance, IIRC). As for security, a cluster of small reactors (as anticipated in the NuScale deployment concept) will cost no more to secure than a single large reactor.

      In general, of course, you are absolutely correct that the development and deployment of NE is shaped by the regulatory environment. The intense LWR focus by the NRC may be part of why the NuScale path has been followed (instead of an Adams Engine or a LFTR, for example).

      1. The other thing I ponder is whether small reactors will end up cheaper. There will be a multiplicity of everything with multiple reactors.

        I do understand that there are up front manufacturing savings. However, you will have more parts with more reactors and so a greater chance of a breakdown. It is also understood that the new reactors are simpler and this should lead to greater reliability for each reactor.

        Costs may also go down due to that big outage being spread out over a greater time with smaller outages and the output of the plant will not be as reduced. Outages may be cheaper. Then again – more reactors with the work being repeated for each reactor so more manhours.

        I’d like to see these things built. Either big or small, they are better for the environment.

      2. Rick Armknecht — Nuscale is certainly trying to convince the NRC that a smaller staff suffices. To illustrate, a typical existing LWR requires about one full time person per megawatt. Nuscale is making the case for about 0.6 full time employees per megawatt. If they are successful this will significantly lower the LCOE for their 12paks.

      3. I hope NuScale is successful in making that case. Is that figure including all of the staff: operations, maintenance, engineering, rad health, back office, management, etc.? I assume it is.

        Lets turn the thought around:
        What do existing plants need to do to get a staff of something no larger than, say, 0.8 full time employee per megawatt (or whatever a good value is that is still significantly smaller than todays staff load)?
        Is anyone even making that type of argument? If not, why not?

  3. The climate change train has derailed. It’s true believers wouldn’t even listen to James Hansen. Nuclear advocates should push for energy diversity, security and reliability.

    If a plant design can be built and put in to service in 3 or 4 years, the other stuff will take care of itself.

    1. I believe you are exaggerating the demise of climate change as an issue that will shape future energy system decisions.

      Even if the skeptics are correct, there’s no downside to reminding customers, politicians and the interested public that nuclear energy produces abundant, reliable power without CO2 or any other atmospheric pollutant.

      1. Relying on climate change has probably done more harm than good for commercial nuclear power. While it may have saved some legacy plants in some states, those plants needed saving largely due to rules implemented to fight climate change. Appeals to climate change certainly has not helped nuclear power in Germany. It may not even be enough in South Korea.

        Climate change is all about making energy more scarce and expensive in order to control people. It is promoted by the same mindset that said we had to achieve zero population growth to protect the environment but now say we need unrestricted immigration to save our economy and pensions.

  4. Rod,
    You are not looking close enough at the AP-1000 to see its flaws. The design was “sold” as being faster to build because it is modular and safer because it is passive. Both of these attributes are proven to be false. Modularization did not expedite the construction schedule for units in the US or in China. Making a LWR design passive does not automatically result in a “safer” nuclear reactor. Current PWR’s have multiple back up systems that protect the operability of safety systems. If one fails, another is available to take its place. For example, most modern PWR designs have at least 4 electrical sources to provide power to safety related equipment. The same is true for safety injection sources with multiple high head and low head injection pumps not to mention each loops accumulators. However, if one of the AP-1000 water storage tanks fails or one of the squib valves fail to operate, the passive aspect of the design is negated and operator action is required. In this case, fuel failure and future operation of the plant are compromised.
    Of even greater concern, the units are profoundly uneconomical. No merchant electrical producer would ever consider building one. At current cost projections of $22 Billion for a 2 unit build, the capital portion of the total costs would exceed 14 cents per Kw-hr. When you add decommissioning, fuel, and O&M expenses the total costs will exceed 22 cents per Kw-hr. Then you must add financing costs and company profit, one can easily see that the units are economically obsolete.( and there will be problems with Steam Generator tube vibration and Canned Reactor Coolant Pumps which will reduce plant availability and economics) The AP-1000 is not even close to being viable. Also with a steam pressure at the turbine throttle valves of only 800 psig the units are thermally inefficient dumping 2/3 of the energy generated into heating up the environment. Just another non-viable aspect of the design.
    Nuclear Power is needed and I am profoundly pro-nuclear. However, we must look to designs other than light water reactors in order to achieve nuclear’s potential. PWR’s are very successful for the Military, but with national defense at risk, costs were not and issue. In the commercial arena, costs are everything.

    As a side note, just remembering the slogan, “You can be sure if it is Westinghouse!” Now we all know just what the slogan really means!

    1. Specifically about the AP1000:
      Having a few vendors that are also part of the AP1000 supply chain, I have heard interesting stories about the AP1000. The bottom line is that the AP1000 seems to have been poorly designed from a “constructability” standpoint, i.e., the ability to actually build what is designed. In one specific case, a vendor showed me parts that have sat in their shops for years (yes, years) because they were waiting on final approval of revised drawings. These were not complicated parts, but “simple” structural steel components. The best part of that specific situation, is that the “lead” Chinese plants must have encountered the same issue and got around it(they probably revised the design to make it work and moved on…as any non-nuclear construction project would do), but the vendor seemed to indicate that this issue was a total surprise to Westinghouse.

      Based on this admittedly small sample size, I cannot truly tell if this was a common issue or a coincidental collection of problematic parts. Based on my experience, I am betting it was a common issue for the “parts of lesser importance”, but those issues add up, fast. Poor engineering is hard to fix and still manage to hit schedule and budget. In all of the articles that I have read about the AP1000 and its problems, I have never seen this issue discussed (please let me know if it discussed somewhere as I am very interested in that discussion).

      1. It’s fascinating to read your account of this in the light of Cohen’s Chapter 9 on the regulatory ratchet and the requirement for NRC approval of practically every change in nuts, bolts and washers in a plant.  When it becomes impossible to improvise, work grinds to a halt until the required approvals can be obtained.  Maybe China doesn’t have this problem.

        I hope that Westinghouse was watching the Chinese work carefully and getting the details which could allow American plants, including V.C. Summer, to go ahead much more smoothly if they should ever enjoy a restart of construction like Watts Bar 2.

    2. John:

      IMO, the AP1000 saga has been an expensive learning experience. It will have been a tragic waste of resources if only a superficial effort is made to evaluate the experience and incorporate the lessons.

      Without detailed understanding, it might seem that the most prudent path forward is to abandon the design and start all over. Though there is plenty of opportunity for organizations that have not been involved in the AP1000 design and initial construction to take completely different paths, those who have invested as many as 30 years into the advanced passive light water reactor might not want to quit when the finish line is in view.

      There’s no doubt that Westinghouse sold an incomplete design. There’s also no doubt that many in the industry had no idea how risky it would be to start building 8 units without any first of a kind experience BEFORE they were started.

      This is one of the reasons that I have been publicly preaching the value of smaller, simpler systems since I began publishing Atomic Insights.

      However, completed and operating units MAY offer a path to far less expensive and time consuming follow on units. One should not take the published project costs for Vogtle 3 & 4, add an inflation factor, and then try to add financing costs. (First of all, the published costs include a major portion of financing costs.)

      If the design changes made during construction to make the paper design buildable have been well documented and incorporated, there shouldn’t be a need to go through the painful and slow process of making a change and getting it approved. Stories about parts sitting around for years while waiting for approval shouldn’t be a part of the next project.

      Modularization was always oversold as a way to reduce construction costs beginning with the first unit. Doing modularization correctly involves a lot of additional infrastructure costs that are only repaid if amortized over a significant production run.

      That statement is even more true when a primary module producers turns out to be incompetent to the point where all the work needed to be redone by different suppliers. It’s not easy to find and qualify additional suppliers; rework is a terribly resource intensive activity.

      Organizations that can completely avoid most of the issues Westinghouse and its partners faced may have a chance to be ready in the market in time to beat out follow-on AP1000s. However, they’ll have to prove themselves before making sales.

    1. Good question. I’m afraid that I used a phrase that has a specific meaning in the context of advocacy or activism, but a somewhat different meaning in the context of being an active leader in an industry.

      What I was trying to say was that accurately identifying key barriers that slow nuclear energy development shouldn’t be a cause for negativity or despair. Instead, knowing the political, economic, public perception and competitive challenges should be the first step in tearing down the barriers.

      The actions required are varied. They will require patience, tenacity and an intense effort to learn how to get things done in various organizations.

      I know many of the right changes are underway and have been underway for many years. We’re getting closer to breakthroughs in areas like improving radiation protection models, addressing the regulatory policies needed for advanced and smaller reactors, winning Congressional and public support, etc.

      Sometimes papers like the one that’s the topic of this post can be a bit depressing, especially if people just read the headlines or the abstracts.

      1. The recent, seemingly serious, actions to (finally!!!) rethink our regulatory approach to radiation protection are a huge, yet under-discussed positive for our industry. Hats off to all of the folks involved with pushing back on the current state of affairs. There is a long road ahead on this front, but it does appear that there is finally some movement.

        Now, we need to start to push for other regulatory reforms, like the ones championed by the Nuclear Innovation Alliance and the Third Way (though I am concerned that their concepts do not go far enough). We need to be much more nimble and able to change when things are not going right and our current regulatory structure simply does not allow that to happen quick enough (and the lack of speed kills). Without a change in our regulatory model, I do not think we will go anywhere.

        To me, the call to action is to push long these type of regulatory reform ideas to our Legislators. Perhaps we can convince Environmental Progress to protest in front of the NRC (with the idea that our regulatory model is adding such a negative cost that it is actually harmful to the country and the environment due to the lack of clean nuclear power being deployed…or something along those lines).

  5. About the Doom and Gloom in the Industry:
    The Nuclear Innovation Alliance and the Third Way are two that are groups pushing for nuclear regulatory reform, though I am not sure their ideas go deep enough. Where is the discussion about reducing or eliminating requirements on nuclear plants (existing and in development) to help them get closer to being in the black? Has anybody actually proposed elimination of existing requirements? I have not heard it from the ANS or the U.S. NIC. Perhaps I just missed it since I don’t go to their various conferences, but it seems like that should be the topic that the industry is shouting from the mountain tops.

    While the pricing pressure from natural gas-fuelled power plants and subsidized unreliables is definitely a strong headwind (one which not all existing plants can cope with), many of the current problems seem to be of our own making. How many plants would be sustainable with smaller engineering and support staff (say, by 25%) and significantly reduced security staff? Does each plant really need all those people? Have we designed our processes, our nuclear culture, etc. in such a way that we need all of them? If we move to a more accident tolerant fuel, can we start to reduce requirements for parts of the plant (e.g., some parts of the plant can be de-rated from safety related to non-safety related)? (In a previous post, the answer was no, and for seemingly good reasons, but I would like to hear an “informed consensus opinion” on the matter.)

    Overall:
    If we do not want this industry to die, then how deep are we willing to go to save it? If we only save it by providing subsidies to prop it up or by calling it a national security issue for energy production security, then I believe we have lost because we will have not changed enough of the initial conditions that got us here. I want to see this industry thrive in the future and not need government life support.

    Here is my list (in no order), please feel free to add more:
    Revamp the NRC and the entire licensing structure
    Remove existing requirements of plants that to enable them to reduce their staff count
    Determine what, if any, requirements can be removed or reduced with the approval of accident tolerant fuel
    Allow people to pay more for the clean, nuclear energy option much like is done with wind (this will require an intensive PR campaign, which is needed anyway)

  6. Note from the earlier article the 11 year delay that China experienced in activating two nuclear plants. You will also note a 2015 youtube video declaring that China is “first to take the bite of the apple” in embarking on LFTR construction. So where has that gone? (looks like the Netherlands beat them, and we may wait 8 more years for China to make good on their typically inflated and belligerent claims).

    This incidentally is what the current trade war is about. Allow the US to build and export reactor components from familiar technology (China of course shamelessly copies or steals US technology, including the MIT design for a PBHTGR) to do things faster,with greater economies of scale, and cheaper per reactor (the idea behind South Korea’s program) — which China will of course not allow, except as a monopsony or actual owner of Western technology.

    Worth noting today that China is accused of serious and illegal CFC emissions — which matter is not junk science, and which has been covered for decades by international agreements, which China is a signatory to. We may talk of love of humanity and elimination of carbon emissions, but that is not what Beijing is about.

    Before I get started over the extensive case for protectionism, and why the scientifically slathered over Chinese will fail, suffice to say, nuclear is something this country has bought and paid for over decades, at a present day cost of one trillion dollars. That is reason enough for me, to go forward with a nuclear America.

  7. The paper is behind a paywall for me, but it is difficult to belive that the authors considered the Nuscale SMR. No, it doesn’t require multi-hundred billion dollar subsidies. The development cost is mostly being picked up by Fluor, a gigantic construction company, but with some DoE assistance. Yes, the NRC needs to agree that a much lower staffing ratio is adequate; without that the Nuscale 12paks will suffer from the same pricing problems as are being experienced by the legacy LWRs. No, a price on carbon dioxide is not required, although that would be helpful.

    Some number of Nuscale 12paks are necessary as coal burners retire. Grid stability, at all times of year, requires dispatchable generators. Just renewables won’t suffice and it is unwise to rely solely upon natural gas generators.

    Now for fast neutron reactors, yes, considable funding from the DoE is likely to be required. It would be a good plan to do so if for no other reason that to consume all the excess plutonium. But that requires something which seems lacking inside the Beltway just now.

    1. @David

      The paper mentions NuScale, but isn’t up to date on the system design and refinements that should lower the capital investments per unit of capacity. Here is how they describe why they are not optimistic about light water SMRs.

      Through a combination of engineering economic analysis and the use of structured procedures to elicit expert judgments, we have evaluated the likely cost and performance of deploying these light water SMRs for the provision of electric power (29). Our results reveal that while one light water SMR module would in- deed cost much less than a large LWR, it is highly likely that the cost per unit of power will be higher. In other words, light water SMRs do make nuclear power more affordable but not necessarily more economically competitive for electric power generation. That vision of the dramatic cost reduction that SMR proponents describe is unlikely to materialize with this first generation of light water SMRs, even at nth-of-a-kind deployment.

      Obviously, the people investing in the NuScale development, including Fluor, have done their own engineering economic analysis and obtained different expert judgements. Their conclusion is at odds with that of the paper’s authors.

    2. The uprate of the NuScale 12-pack to 720 MW goes a fair way to making it viable commercially. I reckon that could bring the LCOE down to the $70 per mwh range, comparable to the Barakah APR1400. (Provided the cost projections pan out, which is still a big question mark.)

      But even with a viable small reactor, it’s still important to seek plant-wide economies of scale. NuScale should be thinking in terms of many 12-packs per site, which is feasible since the footprint of a 12-pack is not much bigger than a GW-scale reactor. That would lower per-MW capital costs for site-wide EPC, and reduce plant-wide per-MW staffing ratios and per-MWh operating costs. With six 12-packs in a plant maybe they could get the LCOE down to $50 per MWh.

      Gotta think big.

      1. Gotta think of huge staffing reductions.  If there is no safety-critical stuff outside the RPV itself, there should be huge reductions in the number and depth of inspections and associated NRC paperwork.  All that busywork disappears, and so should its payroll.

        Preventive maintenance should also be radically reduced.  If nothing outside the pit is safety-critical you can just run it until it breaks, then fix it.  If you only lose 60 MW in such a failure, you also have radically reduced spinning reserve requirements.  I don’t know what that costs, but it has to be significant.

        The NuScale unit itself is tiny, only 15 feet diameter.  If the emergency planning boundary shrinks to the reactor building wall, you could easily build structures which hold 2 units (one operating and one either being refueled or a hot spare) less than 100 feet square.  These could be located almost anywhere.  What I’m finding for the dimensions of generators is that a 25 MW-class unit has a “frame size” of less than 1.5 meters, so these things would easily fit in such a footprint.  Dunno about the steam turbine and condenser, which seem to be the pieces with the largest dimensions.

      2. A non-nuclear plant can be temporarily mothballed if economic conditions warrant. The regulations and unique skill sets of nuclear plant staff, particularly operators make this economically infeasible for current nuclear plants unless you are a government agency like TVA.

        NuScale would benefit from automating its plant operations as much as possible and offer some kind of maintenance/engineering contract where most of maintenance/engineering staff are NuScale employees that are distributed among all the NuScale plants. This takes the staffing and training load off of owners (expanding potential ownership to small municipal or corporate concerns). This would also give a steady income to NuScale. It would also discourage design modification by utility hacks.

        The viable nuclear power plant of the future will be a fairly boring place to work at. No staff of PhDs sweating over enrichment levels and core loading patterns.

      1. China’s AP1000’s are already the China-redesigned versions.  And they’ve licensed the tech for other plants which are sufficiently different.

    1. @Martin Burke

      It’s worth remembering that the CAP1000 does not have a design certification in the U.S. and that the owners of that design have not even begun the process of getting one. Though I remain critical of the Aircraft Impact Rule and believe it should be eliminated, it currently exists and limits the scope of the AP1000 design certification to the version that is being built in Georgia and has been partially constructed in South Carolina.

      If Southern Co. determines, after thoughtful analysis, that it might be a good investment for it to build on its hard-won expertise in constructing the AP1000 design, I suspect they will choose to build any subsequent plants as close to exact replicas of completed FOAK units as possible.

  8. Oyster Creek was built in less than five years. Cost to Jersey Central Power was in the neighborhood of $60 Million – Turnkey!
    Yes, safety features were added over the years to Oyster Creek and all other newer NPP, However, IMHO, none of these NRC mandated safety additions would have passed a tru Cost Benefit analysis, and definitely did not create an order of magnitude in increased safety. There are still ZERO deaths due principally to US Nuclear power.

  9. My take differs from convential ‘wisdom’; I think the politics of climate science denial has been especially problematic for nuclear – more intrinsically damaging than anti-nuclear activism because it effects those who otherwise would be nuclear’s strongest supporters. And it’s practitioners are not fringe radicals but high placed, well connected captains of commerce and industy.

    I watched support for nuclear rising amongst those who took climate seriously – and then captains of commerce and industry and business first political parties doubled down on denial; anyone who really wanted the climate problem addressed using nuclear was left dangling. Currently where I live, out of the top ten publicly visible names that express a preference for nuclear for emissions reductions nine are climate science deniers who have expressed undying support for the fossil fuel industry.

    It’s reasonable to want a Rethink on how we tackle the transition to zero emissions and make a place for nuclear in it but as long as doubt, deny, delay politicking keeps messing things up it won’t happen. Take the obstructors out of the ‘game’ and make it about fixing the climate problem it can – but going by my experience of nuclear advocates is that when push comes to shove they will put voting for the most egregious denier of climate science ahead of a pro-RE candidate as long as they say they prefer nuclear over renewables. Note, not over fossil fuels – over renewables. Taking the pro-RE side out of the ‘game’ hands the victory to fossil fuels, but taking the anti-climate action side out opens things up for nuclear; all that conservative-right liking for nuclear will be able to make real headway.

    Renewables may have begun as gesture politics, perhaps with a ‘give em enough rope’ element but they have to be taken seriously now.

    1. I watched support for nuclear rising amongst those who took climate seriously – and then captains of commerce and industry and business first political parties doubled down on denial; anyone who really wanted the climate problem addressed using nuclear was left dangling.

      The irony is the total hypocrisy of the “environmentalists”.  First they claimed that cheap energy was a danger to the planet, so they did a bunch of things to make it expensive (which didn’t really work for petroleum).  But after they drove up the cost of nuclear they had everything they claimed to want (clean energy that was costly enough to strongly discourage waste and unwanted growth)… but they tried to kill it instead with the claim that “renewables” were cheaper!

      Given the intimate involvement of fossil-fuel interests in Big Green from the outset, it’s obvious that these “errors” and flip-flops were anything but accidents.  The agenda was to kill nuclear as a competitor to fossil fuels, and has never changed; everyone involved has been lying the whole time.

      1. “everyone involved has been lying the whole time.”

        So, if they’ve been lying about this, doesn’t it raise the question as to what else they may have been lying about?

      2. This is par for the course for Leftists. ZPG to save the planet. Then unrestricted immigration to save economy. Stiflng regulations on the domestic economy. Then support for “free-trade”. Sympathize with Russia when it is a communist occupier of eastern europe. Demonize Russia when it casts off communism and disbands the Warsaw Pact. Support for free speech has become suppressing “hate speech”.

        It’s all so tiresome.

      3. Yet you demonstrate exactly my point rather than show it to be incorrect.

        As long as the largest body of support for nuclear is aligned conservative right and it’s an alliance that puts obstructing strong climate action ahead of advancing it that support cannot be mobilised in any effective way. It was a choice of the conservative right to abandon the climate issue to environmentalism – and emphasise that association in order to discredit the legitimate views and concerns.

        If nuclear advocates can’t see that the largest body of informed and concerned, alarmed and active people are not politically extremist or incapable of compromises they are doomed to fighting the wrong enemy. For a lot of us RE began as the compromise that climate science denial and mainstream political failure forced on us.

        Take the green-left out of this game and the climate responsibility and cost avoidance motivations for commerce and industry to oppose strong climate action remain unaddressed; it might get a few token nuclear projects on the table but would forever lack the essential commitment to displacing fossil fuels.

        It won’t be a change of heart by pro-RE climate concerned people (by attacking them, treating with them contemptuously and otherwise alienating them by siding with climate science deniers) that gives new life to the nuclear option – that horse has well and truly bolted and far from running short of breath, is clearly gathering pace; that body of support within conservative-right politics being turned to strong climate action is essential. The pro-nuclear climate concerned who support climate action by any and every means – who currently side with the pro-RE alarmed and active now because the Right keeps getting things so wrong will very likely welcome conservative-right leadership on the issue. Where is it?

        Climate science denial and obstructionism is insidious and destructive and in my view nothing has been as damaging to a nuclear led approach to the climate problem as it’s influence over conservative right politics.

      4. Eino:

        So, if they’ve been lying about this, doesn’t it raise the question as to what else they may have been lying about?

        Only since the time they let themselves be bribed to.  Does the phrase “Atoms Not Dams” ring a bell?  It was the original motto of the Sierra Club.  There was a fight a few years ago between the reps of the big donors and the membership, which wanted to return to the original vision (including ZPG, which means slashing immigration).  Big money won, the membership lost.

      5. FermiAged:

        This is par for the course for Leftists. ZPG to save the planet. Then unrestricted immigration to save economy. Stiflng regulations on the domestic economy. Then support for “free-trade”.

        You’ll find lots of “conservatives” behind mass immigration and “free trade” as well, which begs the question WHAT have they conserved?  The truth is that the whole thing is a massive looting scheme, and the reason they hate God-Emperor Trump is that he is ruining their game.  Let’s make sure he has until 1/20/2025 to finish the job properly!

      6. Ken Fabian:

        As long as the largest body of support for nuclear is aligned conservative right and it’s an alliance that puts obstructing strong climate action ahead of advancing it that support cannot be mobilised in any effective way.

        Note above that the Sierra Club started out as a strongly pro-nuclear organization.  Rod has documented this, and how Robert O. Anderson helped bankroll Friends of the Earth as an anti-nuclear competitor to the Sierra Club.

        I believe it was Lenin who noted that the easiest way to control one’s opposition was to lead it.  With the fossil-fuel interests bankrolling FoE, Sierra Club and the Rocky Mountain Institute, actual environmentalists had a non-choice between… FF interests and FF interests.  You thought they were ENEMIES?!  HAHAHAHAHA!  The more fool you.

        At least today we have groups like Environmental Progress, but they are fighting a half-century of propaganda which most of the public accepts as gospel.  This is a mighty large ship and it will take a lot of effort to turn it around.

        It was a choice of the conservative right to abandon the climate issue to environmentalism

        You mean, abandon the issue to Marxists.  All of the world-socialist claptrap that comes with their “climate” programs is specifically designed to be unacceptable to the US electorate.  They meant to fail, both politically and technically.  They meant to have no actual proposals on the table.  Remember that we were going to see the end of coal, until suddenly we weren’t?  The train that was coming to roll over them in the 1960’s has been quite successfully derailed, no?  This was not an accident.

        (continued)

      7. (continued from previous comment, currently held for moderation)

        Even lots of reasonably intelligent people can’t tell the difference between the Marxist demands of Greenpeace and the measured tones of James Hansen.  Their brains shut off.  They have been so propagandized that when they hear “climate science” they think Green Party communists taking everything they have and sending it to the turd world, with the commissars taking a fat cut.  I’ve seen it happen enough times to be certain of it.  It’s sad, but what can you do to overcome decades of dezinformatsiya?  It’s going to take time and work.

        Take the green-left out of this game and the climate responsibility and cost avoidance motivations for commerce and industry to oppose strong climate action remain unaddressed

        And the enormous regulatory costs heaped onto nuclear energy by its enemies will remain.  Did I say ANY of this was going to be easy?  The hardest parts to fix are going to be those which can literally be done with the stroke of a pen.  Engineering is comparatively simple.

    2. “I watched support for nuclear rising amongst those who took climate seriously – and then captains of commerce and industry and business first political parties doubled down on denial; anyone who really wanted the climate problem addressed using nuclear was left dangling. ”
      With Forty years work in Commercial Nuclear Power it was easy to observe the directions that management reacted to the Climate change propaganda. Utility leaders were gung-ho for the “carbon tax” as all it did was transfer generation from Coal to Nuclear with minor impact on the company profit. The CO2 Tax acted as an incentive. Then the “Establishment” came up with “Cap-n-Trade” which made the electric utilities and your local gas station the tax collectors. The “Revenue” the government would have generated would have enabled FREE medical care, Free Education and even a work free life, except not working would mean less driving and could cause problems. Then the Enviro Whacos got Nuclear power exempted from the list of CO2 free energy producers. Just what do you think the Utility leaders would do? The only ones that supported the Green Dream were those that had Big Tech electricity users demanding Green Power.
      It is now going on thirty years. Any person with enough intelligence to be reading this blog can easily determine the Total money that the US and State government has burnt on “renewable energy in the form of loan Guarantee discounts, Tax reduction, Subsidies and out-and-out gifts.
      Take that amount of money add to it the amount spent on 30% and less capacity factor “Unreliable energy” and calculate the number of Nuclear power Plants that could have been built. It should then be obvious that the US CO2 emissions would then be less now by at least 20 – 30 percent. So why are we burning money on Renewables? Why aren’t we putting out the Climate change fire? All we are doing is controlling the spread of the fire and accomplishing nothing.
      That fact alone is enough to make any respectable engineer “Skeptical” about the Climate Change propaganda. Add to that the “Global” temperature is still not increasing as fast as even the lowest prediction generated by the AGW Models.

      1. Re: Then the Enviro Whacos got Nuclear power exempted from the list of CO2 free energy producers.

        Yeah, a lot of self-affixed halos were lost there. You can’t assert to be “science-based” when you make a move like that.

    3. So far there is not one substantive response addressing the impact of climate science denial and lack of right leaning climate leadership on climate. No criticism of climate science denying political parties for abandoning the field to “marxists”? At least one climate science doubter who has bought the line that climate science has a left wing bias. A lot of focus on an unflattering (and false) caricature of what concerned people who support RE are like. Yet it isn’t extremists (that want to take us back to the stone age) that are leading a transition to a resource and industry intensive RE based energy transition, it is being done by informed and reasonable people who wouldn’t be caught dead in white overalls and gas masks and have probably never met a marxist. They aren’t supporting it because of anything extremists are saying or doing. Tilting at windmills guys? Sure, but not at coal plants.

      There are also a lot of people amongst us that have no intrinsic objection to – and often strongly support – the use of nuclear – but who understand that RE is not the true enemy, fossil fuels are. They aren’t going to support climate science denying obstructionists, no matter their liking of nuclear – because, like me, they understand that the end of that powerful pro-fossil fuels influence is essential to unlocking the conservative right support for nuclear. They would welcome conservative leadership on the climate problem. Where is it? Even those who want to push RE as far as possible would welcome the end of conservative right denial and obstructionism – because we know that getting to low emissions will be more achievable with conservative right leadership.

      Look at how the US Republicans treat James Hansen – a registered Republican who wants to use nuclear to fix the climate problem. Climate activists, even nuclear supporting ones, are not welcome. Until they are and they outnumber or outrank the deniers the utterances of support for nuclear-for-climate will be rhetorical and entirely commitment free.

      Despite the assumptions about me, I am pointing out what I think is an essential pre-condition for advancing nuclear based climate solutions.

      1. @Ken Fabian

        Are you claiming that fossil fuels (aka hydrocarbons) themselves are the enemy? They are just compounds with various physical properties, some useful, some harmful, some neutral up to a certain rate of consumption.

        In looking at what is causing the demise of existing nuclear plants, it’s pretty clear that it’s a result of insufficient income to cover expenses with a reasonable profit left over. It has little or nothing to do with outside pressure from opponents.

        The underlying culprit for the poor economic performance of existing nuclear plants in restructured electricity markets is the fact that supply is too frequently in excess of demand. That leads to periods of low or even negative pricing. That situation could not have occurred without the alliance between RE and natural gas. Without the tacit or overt support of powerful fossil fuel interests, RE would have grown far more slowly. Generous payments during the American Recovery act period would not have encouraged the industrial scale deployment that you mentioned. (I agree, it was a result of reasonable, informed, often conservative businesses recognizing a revenue opportunity enabled by huge federal expenditures.)

        My enemy is neither hydrocarbons nor wind turbines nor solar panels. It is the unfair level of support given to all of those competitors while also putting enormous, often subtle, burdens on nuclear energy.

        I’m no climate change denier. I simply want to follow a path with a chance of success. I know enough about RE to know they’re limited in their ability to do the job of supplying grid power without the continuous support of rapid response, fueled power plants. It’s possible to build responsive nuclear plants, but they will be far less profitable if used to support RE than if used to provide on-demend power whenever it is needed.

      2. So far there is not one substantive response addressing the impact of climate science denial and lack of right leaning climate leadership on climate.

        That’s because the well has been poisoned, starting with pre-Internet talk radio 30 years ago.  Anyone who supports action on GHGs is excommunicated from the right and won’t be published in any of their outlets.  They either go leftist or silent.

        No criticism of climate science denying political parties for abandoning the field to “marxists”?

        I have.  It got me nowhere.

        Far too much of the orthodoxies of both the left and right is outright false for it to be an accident.  The falsehoods are taken as gospel, to the point that if you exercise critical thinking and fact-checking to weed them out you arrive at a position which is considered anathema by BOTH sides.  This is certainly not by chance.  Once you realize this, all you have to do is ask “cui bono?” and you know who’s behind it.  Robert O. Anderson’s bankrolling of FoE shows just how this is done.

        A lot of focus on an unflattering (and false) caricature of what concerned people who support RE are like.

        Virtue-signalling ignoramuses who won’t check their facts and stand foursquare against the only energy sources which have actually accomplished what they claim to support?  I’m afraid that’s all too accurate.

        They would welcome conservative leadership on the climate problem.

        To come out for climate science is to be immediately rejected as a conservative leader.  The well, it is truly poisoned.

        I am pointing out what I think is an essential pre-condition for advancing nuclear based climate solutions.

        Try hitting back on points that the camps already agree with.  Push deregulation of nuclear power to conservatives, to preserve good-paying jobs that can’t be offshored.  Remember, nuclear started out cheaper than coal until the regulators piled on the paperwork burdens and consequent labor, legal and interest costs.  So far, nobody has pushed a “Make Nuclear Cheap Again” hat as a fashion accessory.  That’s just one way to subvert the current counterproductive narrative.

      3. Sure, Hydrocarbons are neutral but the consequences of their excess use are not – and I don’t think anyone really mistook my meaning. The supporters of their unconstrained use are not neutral – and those are who most nuclear supporters align politically with. If you see no problem with that or with their failure to confront the climate science denial within that political alliance or acknowledge that it prevents broad, mainstream commitment to low emissions (which hurts nuclear) then I think nuclear advocates are not doing a very good job. They need to lift their sights and start aiming their arguments at the targets closer to home. Real rather than targets out of their imaginations.

        You could try targeting the unfair support given to fossil fuels; a de-facto subsidy in the form of an enduring amnesty on the externalised costs is the biggest elephant in that room. Every energy choice involves some kind of government support and it looks to me that nuclear requires more government intervention, regulation and control in the energy market than any other option.

        I don’t think it’s feasible to take away the free market choice to use intermittent energy sources part of the time, in order to protect the financial viability of nuclear energy; the value of energy outside the RE rich periods is going to be the market new nuclear has to compete for. Yes there has been policy and subsidy support for renewables that makes it more attractive – as well as strong opposition to such support – but RE keeps winning the politics despite it. Having the pro-nuclear conservative right missing in action at best and hostile to climate action by any means helped them win it.

        Most recent investment decisions for RE are based on that support being withdrawn relatively soon. The endgame is anyone’s guess – RE and storage and demand management are all moving targets and past and present costs are a very poor guide – but nuclear will not have the luxury of fitting into energy systems that are made just for them.

        1. @Ken Fabian

          Most recent investment decisions for RE are based on that support being withdrawn relatively soon.

          You bet they are. There is generally a rush to ensure new projects qualify for expiring subsidies. It’s not terribly well known that wind and solar subsidies have been extended at the last minute (or even after the last minute and retroactively applied) about a half a dozen times since the initial programs were implemented.

          I don’t think it’s feasible to take away the free market choice to use intermittent energy sources part of the time, in order to protect the financial viability of nuclear energy; the value of energy outside the RE rich periods is going to be the market new nuclear has to compete for.

          What “free market choice” are you talking about? Even with all of the construction subsidies, there are still mandates that result in putting RE at the top of the dispatch stack even if the RTO/ISO would be economically better off by continuing to purchase electricity from already running and synchronized generators instead of dialing them back to make room for RE. There are also rules in most jurisdictions that prohibit the use of long term power purchase agreements for reliable generators, even though there are long term PPA’s for RE that only assure power when it’s convenient for RE to supply it.

          Whenever someone talks about the subsidies provided to fossil fuel, I have an intense urge to ask about the total cash flow picture. Though there are some sweet deals on occasion, fossil fuels have always been a source of income to governments in the form of lease payments, royalties, fees and taxes.

          I’m not sure I know of anyone who supports “unconstrained use” of fossil fuels, least of all the fossil fuel companies. They do not give their products away, the constraint on use is always based on the demand from customers who are willing to pay the going rate to purchase the fuel.

          You’ll find plenty of supporters here for additional taxes on hydrocarbons that more accurately price their external cost of waste disposal.

          Every energy choice involves some kind of government support and it looks to me that nuclear requires more government intervention, regulation and control in the energy market than any other option.

          I’d like to hear more about the basis for this assertion. I’ll grant that nuclear has attracted more regulation and control, but I don’t agree that it is justified based on safety or public health outcomes.

      4. “You bet they are. There is generally a rush to ensure new projects qualify for expiring subsidies” – no, actually they are basing their investment decisions on the likelihood of minimal or no subsidy.

        Unconstrained freedom to sell as much fossil fuels as they like into markets where the externalities are passed on to the world at large is not the same as giving it away, but you knew that. Are all the arguments here of this quality? Pedantic semantics look like dodging. (Noting that not all the most egregious arguments have come from you.)

        I still don’t see any comment addressing the impacts of climate science denial capture of the conservative right on climate and energy – you realise they do oppose any kind of imposition of carbon pricing and that is disadvantageous to nuclear-for-climate? I see the loss of that Doubt, Deny, Delay influence as a prerequisite for opening up the latent support for nuclear both that within conservative political base and at smaller numbers within the broad church of people who haven’t swallowed the DDD line and are concerned about climate.

        We can argue about how the politics might have otherwise played out but there is no doubt in my mind that having a large part of mainstream politics going MIA, handing the pulpit to the green left, letting the enviros have some solar and wind and expecting to watch their ‘save the world from climate change’ agenda come crashing down (“give em enough rope…”) – and maybe take the credibility of climate scientists down with them… has backfired. I think that even if it had not backfired and renewable prices remained extreme there still would not be any prospect of commitment to nuclear displacing fossil fuels – on the contrary, the whole climate issue would have been set back significantly.

        The green-left don’t have any control over what they (and IMO perhaps an overly generous interpretation) seem to have started – they may have popularised it but the researchers and the engineers that took it from fringe to mainstream aren’t dreadlocked stoners. The entrepreneurial manufacturers are not. Nor are the policy makers who, in the face of those diminishing costs, are seeing fit to encourage it. All of what you complain most about – the subsidy and regulatory choices – has been enabled in large part by people holding positions of trust and responsibility washing their hands of that responsibility.

        1. @Ken Fabian

          “…actually they are basing their investment decisions on the likelihood of minimal or no subsidy”

          If you are talking about turbine and components factories or installers, perhaps. They are not investing capital to increase productivity.

          Project developers, on the other hand, are investing now to ensure they are able to benefit from all available subsidies before they expire.

          Feel free to present evidence that this entirely logical situation isn’t occurring. If the best you can do is make a contradictory statement, perhaps we should simply agree that we have a different opinion on what’s happening in the market.

      5. Engineer-Poet, we aren’t going to agree on much, except perhaps that climate science denial/climate obstructionist capture of conservative politics has been very unhelpful.

        Rod, we aren’t going to agree on much either. I’ve said why I think climate science denial has been especially toxic for nuclear – and why ending it’s influence over conservative energy politics would do more good for nuclear than anything advocates of RE could ever say or do. I’d rather agree to disagree on whether pushing RE as far as possible, giving it preferential policy treatment over fossil fuels is in fact a reasonable, rational thing to do; I don’t see anyone here changing their minds. Another day perhaps.

        But I do want to see the influence of climate science denial on mainstream politics ended – as I see it, it’s the single most significant impediment to effective climate action of every kind. It’s quite neutral in that.

      6. we aren’t going to agree on much, except perhaps that climate science denial/climate obstructionist capture of conservative politics has been very unhelpful.

        Of COURSE it’s been unhelpful (downright damaging IMO).  But it’s just one small piece of a much bigger picture.  To have any hope of changing that picture, you’re going to have to understand where the undefended points in the ideological structure are and apply pressure there.

        You’re not going to achieve much (if anything) with a head-on assault on climate denial.  Calling people names for not flipping their entire way of life puts you on the fast track to being ignored at best, and those who fight you will usually have the support of the people you attack.  What you have to do is appeal to people’s self-interest and also accomplish your desired end(s).  Even if fighting climate change is your chief purpose and main accomplishment, it may very well serve you best not to even mention it for quite some time, if you mention it at all.  If people are doing well and suddenly someone notices “hey, our CO2 levels are falling!” that’s great because you’ve defused the “watermelons are against fossil fuels because they want us all living like medieval peasants” notion.

        As for HOW to do this, let me direct you to the most recent update of the Billion-Ton Vision.  Calculate the amount of carbon in those billion-plus tons, and how much carbon there is in all of the fossil fuels we consume other than for electric power generation.  If you look at it long enough you’ll begin to see the shape of a solution.

      7. Engineer-Poet – “To come out for climate science is to be immediately rejected as a conservative leader. The well, it is truly poisoned.”

        Yet if this does not change then mainstream conservatives have no great and compelling reason to support displacing fossil fuels with nuclear. I suggest that as long as this situation persists nuclear will be unable to mobilise that latent support – but I’ve said that several times.

        “You’re not going to achieve much (if anything) with a head-on assault on climate denial.”

        How can it possibly be reasonable to NOT subject these science deniers to criticism – relentless criticism – for it? They aren’t disagreeing with Greenpeace, note, but disagreeing with the US National Academy of Sciences – the nation’s premier science institution – along with every agency and institution dedicated to climate related science.

        Seriously, why would you be tolerant of this? Don’t want to upset people who sometimes say nice (but wholly non-committal) things about nuclear? Lot’s of other advocates tolerate it because they subscribe to climate science denial themselves. You have a serious message differentiation problem; you end up sounding climate science denier friendly. Looks from here like the relentless criticism and zero tolerance… that is only for people who like RE.

        As for promoting nuclear as a superior emissions reduction solution – by NOT invoking climate change and treating climate change – and climate change denial – as irrelevant to energy policy development looks like one of the loopiest notions ever – but, hey, I’m a lefty, greenie, pro-RE ignoramus, right?

        1. @Ken Fabian

          Your other points may or may not be convincing, but this one is especially weak in my opinion.

          disagreeing with the US National Academy of Sciences – the nation’s premier science institution

          It is a prime example of the logical fallacy of appealing to authority.

          In addition, I have a long standing beef with the NAS. Despite all evidence to contrary, it remains stubbornly defensive about its 1956 assertion that all radiation, down to a single gamma ray carries a risk of negative earth effects.

      8. Yet if this does not change then mainstream conservatives have no great and compelling reason to support displacing fossil fuels with nuclear.

        Fuel availability and clean air aren’t good reasons that everyone can get behind… and completely non-controversial?  Protecting the good jobs?  You aren’t thinking about this very hard.

        You could make huge inroads by trying to persuade conservatives to include nuclear under zero-emission portfolio mandates.  There’s no reason to exclude nuclear, and putting it under the same umbrella as wind and PV would secure the place of existing plants and make it very attractive to build new ones (once the bugs are wrung out of new designs, that is).

        How can it possibly be reasonable to NOT subject these science deniers to criticism – relentless criticism – for it?

        How can it be reasonable to think that what hasn’t worked over the last 30 years will suddenly start working if we do it more?  Doing the same thing and expecting a different result… that’s insanity.

        (continued)

      9. Looks from here like the relentless criticism and zero tolerance… that is only for people who like RE.

        The people who push RE are almost 100% anti-nukes.  They push “renewables” as a REPLACEMENT for nuclear, which means locking in natural gas as the balancing fuel forever.  The exceptions are a few groups like Environmental Progress.

        “Renewables” (meaning not geothermal, not hydro) cause massive problems for the rest of the grid by e.g. requiring steep ramp rates and driving wholesale prices negative.  They are specifically being used to CAUSE such problems to drive nuclear off the grid.  They are trying to drive the US from a path toward French emissions levels (58 gCO2/kWh) to German ones (560 g).  I should ignore this?

        As things are, the battle to keep nuclear plants open is being lost to Greenie lawfare plus “conservative” emphasis on “free markets” (with predatorily-priced natural gas being used to kill its competition).

        As for promoting nuclear as a superior emissions reduction solution – by NOT invoking climate change and treating climate change – and climate change denial – as irrelevant to energy policy development looks like one of the loopiest notions ever

        What I’m saying is that if your primary plug is defeating climate change, half of the USA is going to close its ears and dig in its heels.  That’s just a matter of fact.

        Take the same thing and dress it up as “this is a way to make a s**t-ton of money and make your state energy independent” and everyone will be interested.  I’m working on just such an idea.  One of the possible spinoffs is a productive use for sewage sludge which turns it into non-leachable waste products which might be used for road beds or concrete aggregate.  Who could oppose that?  Nobody, that’s who.  Well, except maybe the landfill operators who make bank on the stuff now, but they don’t have the votes to do much.

        Think outside the box.

        1. @Engineer-Poet

          Think outside the box.

          Sadly, I think that you are engaged with someone who builds weak boxes and gets a little huffy when some of us use logic and imagination to escape his fragile fabrication.

      10. I think that you are engaged with someone who builds weak boxes

        That’s why I own a few machetes.  They make very short work of flimsy boxes.

      11. Rod –

        Me – ” disagreeing with the US National Academy of Sciences – the nation’s premier science institution”

        You – “It is a prime example of the logical fallacy of appealing to authority.”

        I am not impressed by this argument – it’s a cop-out that allows people to reject expert advice but offers nothing to replace it other than turning to other “authorities” more to your liking. Arguments of this sort are the bread and butter of climate science denial.

        Do you really think that people without the necessary expertise should reject the NAS’s assessments and base their actions on a presumption the NAS is wrong? I suggest it is entirely correct to trust such sources – unless you are an expert yourself and are actually engages in a thorough review and critique – where it will be correct to withhold judgement, but NOT to presume the work of your professional peers is wrong. Ultimately even your own arguments about energy technologies involve and invoke appeals to authorities – and without trust in expertise and the systems that produce it we are all flailing in the dark.

        Politicians are not experts. They called on organisations like NAS to make sense of climate science for them – but some, not liking the expert advice the most trusted science organisations provided them, have campaigned to undermine public trust in such sources and sought out alternative ‘authorities’. It is not foolishness or a practical fallacy to look to experts and trust them. Or do you think NAS is wrong about climate?

        About me – “Sadly, I think that you are engaged with someone who builds weak boxes and gets a little huffy when some of us use logic and imagination to escape his fragile fabrication.”

        You have not addressed any point I have made about a significant issue effecting support for nuclear and then you double down on your assumptions about me and conclude with insults. Who are you trying to persuade or impress? I know you want to take the debate back to the well worn ‘RE is crap’ – but from outside that is indistinguishable from what climate science deniers say. I say that without the conservative right ditching the denial and campaigning for nuclear to replace fossil fuels – not replace RE – nuclear will struggle – and that makes me a purveyor of fragile fabrications?

      12. Engineer-Poet –

        “How can it be reasonable to think that what hasn’t worked over the last 30 years will suddenly start working if we do it more?”

        It seems I could ask that same rhetorical question of any advocate of nuclear energy.

        Why continue to criticise deniers? Because they are wrong? Because they are not just wrong, but dangerously wrong with irreversible real world consequences? Because it holds back the largest block of support for fixing the climate problem with nuclear?

        Your tolerance of that denial helps the people who are currently responsible for energy policy to sustain it. A political party that requires expressions of loyalty like that is not capable of rational energy policy – but you don’t want to criticise them for it?

        I think the climate ‘movement’ has a lot more latent support for nuclear solutions than you appear to believe – the very first thing I said here was that I saw opposition to nuclear diminishing in the face of climate concerns. Most of “us” are not the extremists you think. And a lot of the apparent opposition is not that deeply held – but calling us ignoramuses? Who are you trying to persuade with that rhetoric?

        I would note that, for the most part criticising climate science denial has not been prominent in nuclear advocacy – and by leaving that to the pro-renewables types you reinforce the impression that support for nuclear is not about fixing the climate problem.

      13. Why continue to criticise deniers?

        All of what you say is true.  What you’re ignoring is that it doesn’t matter to the people whose positions you need to change.  They deny your premises, no matter how well-founded.  More name-calling isn’t going to budge them.

        What do you want to do:  feel righteous or get something done?  Are you willing to shut up about the thing that gets your targets’ dander up, and go for subverting their world-view instead… or bypassing their objections completely?

        Your tolerance of that denial

        I’m not tolerating it.  I spend plenty of time calling it out.  I just don’t think that’s going to work except to freeze the status quo; to get motion, we’re going to have to knock some pillars out from under the opposing position.

        I think the climate ‘movement’ has a lot more latent support for nuclear solutions than you appear to believe

        I quit attending meetings of Citizens Climate Lobby when I was told not to talk about nuclear power.  If there’s any latent support, I wasn’t able to find it.  There are no chapters of Environmental Progress near me.

        I would note that, for the most part criticising climate science denial has not been prominent in nuclear advocacy

        As Rod has noted, there’s no real nuclear industry in the USA, or anywhere.  The technology companies which make nuclear plants, and the utilities which buy them, get most of their money from other businesses.  Do you think GE is willing to cannibalize its lucrative steam and gas turbine businesses to promote a nuclear business which is still a cost center and likely to be highly cyclic at best?  Do you think a utility which gets much of its power from fossil fuels is going to condemn its own business model, even if it has some nuclear capacity?  That’s assuming they’re not a regulated utility and unable to spend money on advocacy (aka wasting ratepayer fees).

        by leaving that to the pro-renewables types you reinforce the impression that support for nuclear is not about fixing the climate problem.

        By finding ways to support nuclear power without even mentioning the climate problem, I hope I can co-opt people who think the issue is nonsense and help fix the problem while appearing not to do anything about it.

  10. Yet another company wants to license a small fast reactor in Canada. The ARC-100 is a straightforward resizing of the EBR-II basic design, this version to 100 MWe. It appears that a company in New Brunswick is going to sponsor it.

    I gather that the regulatory climate in Canada is more responsive to fast reactor designs than the US NRC which currently appears to have no concept for how to license fast reactors.

  11. This is a comment that deviates a bit from the main topic, but not too much.

    The US has increased it’s oil production. It has been by a lot.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-07-10/eia-us-net-oil-imports-to-drop-to-lowest-levels-in-60-years

    Here’s where we buy oil:

    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm

    Seems to me if the amount of oil we are drilling and finding is increasing and there is oil available from peaceful countries that are not in the Middle east,……….

    Could a combination of buying non Middle eastern oil and nuclear power increases free up the US from the enormous costs of protecting the oil interests in the Middle East? Changes to electrical propulsion could free a lot of oil. It works for the Navy and is cleaner for the whole world.

    1. The reasonsfor the US military presence in the ME:

      1. Protect Israel.

      2. Protect ME nations against regime changes that might harm Israel.

      3. Stabilize the region so other nations dependent on ME oil can continue to provide us with wide screen TVs and other consumer junk.

      4. Stabilize the price of oil sufficiently low so as to negatively impact Russian oil sales. This is also why there is virtually no federal resistance to expanded US oil/NG production despite their supposed concern about climate change.

    2. Could a combination of buying non Middle eastern oil and nuclear power increases free up the US from the enormous costs of protecting the oil interests in the Middle East?

      While we should be putting the bulk of those costs on our OPEC-addicted allies and trading partners, nuclear power isn’t going to free us from oil dependency in the near or mid term because very little oil is used to generate electricity and very little transport energy (albeit a majority of my own) comes from electricity.  N. America is currently awash in cheap natural gas which could quickly substitute for a lot of diesel demand, but that won’t last forever.  IIUC the “associated gas” from the oil strikes in e.g. the Permean depletes faster than the oil.  None of that works beyond N. America, either.  To take on OPEC you have to take their entire customer base away from them.

      IMO the only murder weapon we have that can take out OPEC any time soon is a combination of a mass move to PHEVs (BEVs are not yet ready), heaps of emissions-free power (including nuclear) and an effort to convert electric power plus biomass into synfuels.  All but the last is off the shelf, and it looks like it doesn’t need any new chemistry, just engineering.  Current approaches to biofuels discard lots of feedstock carbon along the way, so the ultimate product stream falls far short of our needs.  If you can use excess electricity to retain most or all fixed carbon and turn it into product, a billion dry tons of woody biomass at 45% carbon by weight can become 1.2 billion tons (1.52 billion m³, 400 billion gallons) of methanol.  The USA only consumes about 150 billion gallons of gasoline per year.  If you cut out 100 billion by substitution with electricity and replace the rest with MeOH at 1.6:1 ratio, you’ve got about 320 billion gallons of MeOH left for other uses.  That pretty much eliminates petroleum, period.  The great thing is, you don’t have to be sitting on huge amounts of natural gas to do it.

  12. @Ken Fabian

    You’ve been posting some thoughtful observations and commentary. I’d like you to ponder some information that might allow you to see different actors and motivation by looking through a different lens.

    You wrote:

    If nuclear advocates can’t see that the largest body of informed and concerned, alarmed and active people are not politically extremist or incapable of compromises they are doomed to fighting the wrong enemy. For a lot of us RE began as the compromise that climate science denial and mainstream political failure forced on us.

    Take the green-left out of this game and the climate responsibility and cost avoidance motivations for commerce and industry to oppose strong climate action remain unaddressed; it might get a few token nuclear projects on the table but would forever lack the essential commitment to displacing fossil fuels.

    In the 1950s, when James Hansen was still in junior and senior high school (he earned his BA in 1963), there were people like Alvin Weinberg and Hyman Rickover who were concerned about the eventual effects of continuing to dump fossil fuel waste products into the atmosphere. They even realized that CO2 was one of the problematic waste products because of its greenhouse gas effect. Cleaner power was thus part of the motivation for developing nuclear fission power plants in the first place.

    People who were numerically inclined and chose to become educated in engineering, hard sciences and technology recognized from the beginning of wider public awareness of climate change that nuclear energy was an obvious tool that should be seized by anyone who was concerned about fossil fuel waste products, especially CO2. By then, the fossil fuel industry had made large investments and successfully found ways to clean up most of its most immediately harmful waste products.

    How, then, did concerned people get put into the position of favoring RE while actively opposing nuclear energy?

    It’s because multinational oil and gas companies had been making well-publicized expenditures in solar and wind since the earliest days of the Atomic Age. They knew they needed some answer to pollution concerns that would not pose an existential threat to their lucrative and politically powerful enterprise. One, of many, bits of evidence I’ve found to support this assertion was the action by the Rockefeller Foundation to actively seek out Farrington Daniels to offer him grant money to develop a world class solar energy research program.

    Daniels had been one of the most qualified and connected Manhattan Project leaders and one of the most interested in the idea of industrializing power production reactors. His project to design and build an early prototype began almost as soon as the Japanese surrendered. He won a large following and created a capable team, but the civilian Atomic Energy Commission removed his funding and halted development as one of its first actions after taking over from General Groves and the Army Corps of Engineers.

    Daniels was morally committed to helping improve life for the powerless; he accepted the RF offer and focused his final professional years on solar instead of nuclear, even though he knew it was a far less capable option. He was, after all, an academic, not an entrepreneur or political leader.

    Even with the successful propaganda effort pointing to RE, skeptical engineers knew nuclear was a far better option. We were willing to help anyone who had honest questions understand why wind and solar could not do very much to address the problems. I personally started my own efforts to communicate this understanding widely in 1991, but I was certainly not the sole voice on the USENET trying to spread information about the capability of nuclear as a tool.

    Why didn’t climate concerned, educated and active people listen to nuclear energy experts for the first 15-30 years after climate change became a significant public concern?

    1. Rod,

      “Why didn’t climate concerned, educated and active people listen to nuclear energy experts for the first 15-30 years after climate change became a significant public concern?”

      They were. Not quickly and not with great enthusiasm, but attitudes were changing.

      I will repeat the very first thing I said here – I saw opposition to nuclear diminishing. Support for nuclear was growing amongst people who, in an abundance of low cost fossil fuel energy, previously saw little to value in it. Opposition to nuclear was real enough and widespread but mostly, for most people, it lacked deep conviction or commitment, and with sufficient cause – global warming – a lot of climate concerned, educated and active people were reconsidering their position. Then the Right doubled down on denial. The beginnings of change were there and the Right chose not to take advantage of it. Not because of anti-nuclear sentiment but because they did not really want to face and fix the climate problem.

      Captains of commerce and industry didn’t want climate responsibility – and conservative politicians listen to what commerce and industry want, and give it to them. This was 100% their own choice, and own responsibility – it was not forced on them. Greenies did not make them do it.

      Then came Fukushima – and, yes, I know what your take on that is. It doesn’t matter; in practical PR terms it was a disaster for efforts at convincing the climate concerned types that the nuclear industry was up to the task. Then came dramatic cost reductions for RE – and, no, I don’t care what your take on that is either; in practical PR terms it boosted and continues to boost popular support for RE.

      And, as a side benefit, the alarmist economic fear of a transition to low emissions – the core of the anti-RE focus you share with the deniers, upon which so much opposition to that transition is built – is diminishing. When climate science denial does become politically untenable, it won’t be because of people like you – obviously – but will be something the popularity of RE makes possible. Nuclear would still benefit, but only if the Right turns to supporting the transition instead of obstructing it.

      1. @Ken Fabian

        We inhabit different milieu. It’s not just captains of commerce and industry who resist believing that their hydrocarbon saturated lifestyles pose a long term threat to climate stability. It doesn’t take any kind of elevated position in society to recognize how often the wind isn’t blowing – especially in really hot and muggy places – and how regularly the sun’s energy is inadequately intense to even keep something warm at noon on a clear day.

        When calls for climate action start with “energy conservation” and living within the limits imposed by natural energy flows, people who live in modern comfort in ample housing with family-sized cars, campers, boats, swimming pools, etc. naturally tend to circle the wagons in defense against those telling them that they are harming the planet with effects that only scientists and models can see.

        You don’t need to be an alarmist or a member of the Right to recognize how often climate activists tether their calls for action to wholesale efforts to alter behavior. That messaging creates an openness for alternative scenarios and even for charlatans offering an unscientific diagnosis.

        When climate science denial does become politically untenable, it won’t be because of people like you – obviously – but will be something the popularity of RE makes possible. Nuclear would still benefit, but only if the Right turns to supporting the transition instead of obstructing it.

        You have your opinion. I have mine. I believe that denial will become politically unpopular when people like me succeed in making investments in nuclear energy safe and reliable ways to earn a solid return. When that happens, nuclear will be both economically competitive and cleaner. Additionally, when there are people making serious money from their nuclear investments – without that money coming from generous subsidy programs – there will be a constituency that will have the resources to overcome fossil fuel-funded PR efforts like the Fukushima Frenzy and the long-standing belief (not truth) in the myth that any exposure to radiation or radioactive materials carries a positive increased risk of negative health effects.

        In my technically and economically informed opinion, the “popularity of RE” has peaked and is likely to fall rather abruptly as incentive programs become increasingly unpopular and fade away.

      2. Then the Right doubled down on denial. The beginnings of change were there and the Right chose not to take advantage of it. Not because of anti-nuclear sentiment but because they did not really want to face and fix the climate problem.

        You’re talking about Conservatism Inc. which runs the propaganda machine.  Of COURSE it doubled down.  The big energy companies are a huge part of it and they won’t let their oxen be gored if they can help it.

        the core of the anti-RE focus you share with the deniers

        You aren’t listening.  Our objection to RE has nothing to do with it being “renewable”.  It’s because it is grossly oversold and cannot even come close to meeting the claims made for it.

        Then came dramatic cost reductions for RE – and, no, I don’t care what your take on that is either; in practical PR terms it boosted and continues to boost popular support for RE.

        That’s another one of the false claims.  The system-wide costs of “renewables”, in things like increased per-kWh capital expenditures in the balancing plants, are not billed to RE.  This is why “cheap” RE always comes along with rising electric bills except in a few places like diesel-dependent island grids.

        The truly sick part is that the avowed purpose, the climate benefits, are between illusory and negative.  Given the GWP of methane at 120 relative to CO2, even 1% leakage negates the improvement relative to coal.  But even if you can get leakage under control, the sheer unreliability of wind and PV more than offset any benefits they provide.

        (continued)

      3. All you have to do to see the problem is look at the actual power plants out there.  Let’s take the GE 7FA.05.  In 1×1 combined-cycle use its minimum output is 46% of rated output, and it has a heat rate of 5649 BTU/kWh.  However, tracking the rapid variations in wind and PV output doesn’t mesh with the large thermal time constants of steam turbines, so the balancing plants generally have to be simple-cycle GTs or hydro.  In simple cycle operation the 7FA.05 has a heat rate of 8570 BTU/kWh.  That is 52% more fuel for the same electric output.  You’d need 34% capacity factor from your RE just to break even on emissions.  California’s 2012 wind capacity factor was just 27%.  Switching to “renewables” for the climate was going backwards.

        The utilities made out well on it, though.  With the repeal of the PUHCA, they are allowed to create unregulated subsidiaries which sell gas to themselves and mark up the price.  The more gas they burn, the more money they make.  And that is why I’m dead-set against “renewables” as pushed today.  They are a scam.

  13. I had this response written and it somehow went into the bit bucket. Here’s another try.

    EP:
    “very little oil is used to generate electricity and very little transport energy (albeit a majority of my own) comes from electricity.”

    This is outside the box. I believe electric cars can operate on a third rail similar to what is used for the subways of large cities. The difference is that the third rail would be AC. the third rail would be buried beneath the center of the lane. Power could be inductively coupled to the vehicle. A data line would be buried with the third rail to keep track of power usage. This would enable electric cars to have smaller batteries. No gas tank or internal combustion engine would be needed.

    The power for the third rail could be generated by nuclear power plants. There would be coupling (power) losses. Today’s Otto cycle vehicles are maybe 10-15 percent efficient so of little consequence.

    Infrastructure conversion projects would develop domestic jobs and new technologies. The work would be capital intensive similar to power line projects.

    “Trump God Emperor” – reminds me of a book I read about a giant talking worm. Not too complimentary.

    1. I believe electric cars can operate on a third rail similar to what is used for the subways of large cities. The difference is that the third rail would be AC. the third rail would be buried beneath the center of the lane. Power could be inductively coupled to the vehicle.

      You are obviously not an electrical engineer.  I am.  Let me explain first why this is vanishingly unlikely to be implemented, and why we pretty much don’t need it:

      First, your infrastructure would cost a fortune.  The cheapest charging station from Plugless Power cost $567 a few years ago.  Now imagine having to pay for one of those every 2 feet of road… per lane.  It would cost you literally millions of dollars per mile (I found an estimate of $235,790/lane-km in this paper), and you’d also have to dig up the roadway to fix broken ones.

      The idea has a chicken/egg problem.  Until the charge-enabled roads were built you wouldn’t be able to use a charge-dependent vehicle to go very far on them, but nobody would want to roll out so much costly infrastructure without a user base.  You need both the infrastructure and the vehicles and right now you have neither.  If you roll out large-battery BEVs you don’t need the charge-all-the-time infrastructure either.

      It exacerbates problems like the “duck-belly curve”.  You’d have massive demand spikes during rush hours with very high ramp rates.  And since rush hour is morning and evening, you’re not going to be serving it with e.g. PV generation.

      Last, there’s inefficiency.  You have losses in conversion plus little gotchas like losses in every stray grain of magnetite and chunk of iron in the ground near the coils.

      We just don’t need it.  PHEVs can be built with even smaller batteries than the road-charging BEV.  This replaces the fuel consumption of the first 15-30 miles of every post-charge trip with electricity.  Most trips are short trips, so if charging is widely available this gets a lot further than you’d suspect.  If this displaces 2/3 of fuel consumption, biofuels can get the rest.  Despite lack of charging lots of places I go, I’m achieving 80%.  This is obviously the fast track.

      1. You may be right, however, I think you may still be surprised. As you drive down most major roads look up. You will see power lines above you. This is the most capital intensive investment in the US.

        The transformer is the most efficient machine known to man despite copper and core losses. Losses in ferrous material can be detected. Eddy current losses are nothing new. As noted, the internal combustion engine is not nearly as efficient. This would eliminate the problem of charging batteries as you would be charging your smaller batteries as you drive.

        “nobody would want to roll out so much costly infrastructure without a user base.” True of all new innovations. Who would have use for a personal computer?

        Railroads didn’t work until the vast rail network was constructed around the world. You certainly couldn’t whiz by at 70 miles an hour without the wonders of modern roads, certainly an expensive endeavor. Today’s communications could not be possible without the major investments in cellular towers and a fiber optic backbone. Airports make travel by jet possible. All are major capital investments. All were built and make your life better. All evolved from smaller installations.

        ” “duck-belly curve”. We have massive power demand changes now. It has allowed the construction of facilities like the pumped storage facility at Ludington. These changes in daily power demand may not be as intense as you imagine. Many roads are busy all day with only traffic tapering off in the wee hours of the morning.

        I will close this brief conversation with the admission that you are correct. We don’t need it. Most short trips can be taken by walking and bicycling. Bike paths are another issue. Time to return to the topic at hand.

      2. As you drive down most major roads look up. You will see power lines above you.

        You didn’t bother to ask yourself, “Why are the power lines above me, instead of elsewhere?”

        It’s because running power undergroud costs multiples of lines using the air for free insulation and cooling (not to mention vastly lower capacitance).  Building huge underground high-frequency transformers is going to have costs that mere lines don’t.

        The transformer is the most efficient machine known to man despite copper and core losses.

        Conversion to 19.5 kHz and the various losses at the higher frequency are going to weigh a lot heavier than staying at 60 Hz.

        As noted, the internal combustion engine is not nearly as efficient.

        Your most likely source of mid- and peak-load electricity these days is… an internal combustion engine (gas turbine).

        Railroads didn’t work until the vast rail network was constructed around the world.

        Do you believe your own words?  Railroads were used before even steam engines.  Mining trams made moving heavy loads much easier.  Once metallurgy got to the point of practical rolled steel rails and steam engines, they took off.

        We have massive power demand changes now. It has allowed the construction of facilities like the pumped storage facility at Ludington.

        Ludington is puny compared to what you’re talking about.  After the refurbishment now in progress, it will be rated at 2172 MW.  5 million commuters drawing a mere 5 kW apiece will pull 25000 MW.

        (continued)

      3. (continuation)

        Many roads are busy all day with only traffic tapering off in the wee hours of the morning.

        Which would make an even bigger demand slump into the wee hours.  What are you trying to do, kill all our nuclear base load plants?

        Instead of causing problems, PHEVs can solve them.  Solve the wee-hours demand slump by delayed charging; 5 million vehicles taking 5 kWh apiece overnight could boost demand by an average of 3125 MW between 11 PM and 7 AM.  Solve the “duck-belly curve” by lopping the top off the PV peak and maybe delaying some charging until late afternoon when the balancing plants need to start in order to be ready, then taper off as the PV generation ebbs.  And they can do this with less than 10 kWh of battery capacity per vehicle, in addition to easily replacing 2/3 of liquid fuel with electric power.

  14. With all the comments above, I’d think the legislators and publications editors and authors and local newspapers, and environmental orgs, and… would be getting deluged with “calls to action”.

    Here’s a call to action: contribute a few $ here and to: http://www.cgnp.org

    And maybe study the sworn testimony CGNP is using in legal proceedings to protect Diablo Canyon nuclear plant…
    http://www.cgnp.org/CGNP-OpeningBrief-A1608006_05-26-17.pdf
    http://cgnp.org/CGNP-Reply-Brief-A1608006.pdf
    http://www.cgnp.org/CGNP_Direct_Testimony_01-27-17.pdf
    http://www.cgnp.org/CGNP_Rebuttal_Testimony_03-17-17.pdf

    And to correct/oppose Calif. bills like AB813, SB1090, SB100…

    And maybe study why global warming is just a piece of a much larger threat…
    http://tinyurl.com/zprh78l
    http://tinyurl.com/hhlrd4o
    https://tinyurl.com/yafgmlmd

    And why only nuclear power can hope to deal with both. Remember, we were supposed to be deploying 1GWe every week by 1980: http://tinyurl.com/6xgpkfa

    Our descendants are watching from the future, hoping not to have to spit on our graves.

  15. I seriously wish that the proponents of renewable energy would look into the real reason that they are selling for such a low price. It is NOT because the fuel – the wind and sun are FREE. The local electric utility, which i retired from a few years ago, has close to a dozen wind farms selling them electricity. The utility does not own the wind farms, turbines or the property they are on. All they have is a contract to buy a fixed amount of electricity for a fixed price for a fixed number of years. This price is less than the utilities net cost of operating a coal plant, Nuclear power plant, etc. The point is it is that low because the corporations that built these facilities make money off of the subsidies given for building them. They do not make money from the electricity. However, to get these subsidies they need to be selling electricity. If they do not sell electricity they do not get the government subsidies.
    When the utility buys this electricity they know that they will need to have a power plant ready to deliver electricity at a moments notice. That means operating at low power. To do this they may have to start up peaking turbines or use the “smart Meters or Load Shedding Switches to reduce the grid load to prevent brownouts or even blackouts on loss of the RE when the wind stops blowing. [Think of the incident in South Australia last year.] Because of that fact the customers, ME and the other paying the bill, are paying for that Faux Cheap RE and the operating power plant that is not making any power. We are paying for the smart meters and the Load shedding switch and the control infrastructure to operate them. That means my electric bill is 20-25 percent more than it was before the utility signed these contracts and shutdown the NPP.
    And how much CO2 has been saved. In my case NONE as they shut down a ZERO CO2 Nuclear power plant. But, wonder of wonders, they got PayPal, FB and Google to set up facilities in our territory.

    1. The other factor is that hardware for wind turbines and solar panels produced by China has been heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. That in addition to the highly fragmented number of producers, cheap labor and lax environmental standards have kept prices low. The Chinese government has announced the end of the subsidies which has already resulted in a decline in projected RE projects.

  16. For consideration on a global basis, desalination and pumping of potable water is an energy demand that nuclear is well suited to provide. Discussions of waste heat for district heating may be applicable to colder climates. Much of the world has inadequate drinking water supplies.
    Large base load plants in the Middle East could divert stem during off peak periods to power flash evaporators and reverse osmosis plants to provide water in the region without stack emissions of current processes. Most large nuclear plants use cross over steam (HP Turbine Exhaust) to power Reactor Feed Pumps and steam auxillaries such as Steam Seals and Steam Jet Air Ejectors. This same header is ideally suited for a Vacuum Flash Evaporator steam supply. This would reduce steam supply to the LP Turbines and lower generator load to follow grid demand. Power for pipeline pumping stations could also be economically operated during low load conditions.
    Think water in the developing world. It’s the oil of the next century.

    1. Rob, if my understanding of the temperature limits imposed by scaling is correct, you need heat something under 80°C for a flash-evaporator system using seawater.  That would mean pulling your steam from the LP turbine, no?

      Condensing might be a big problem too.  A quick search finds that water temperatures in the Persian gulf can hit 108°F in August.

      1. Water temperature drops rapidly with depth.

        I don’t see why you couldn’t run a pipe down and siphon up nice chilly water if that’s what your distillation system needs.

      2. Engineer-Poet, Dry desert air makes cooling towers an effective way of providing heat removal for a condenser. They’re planning on operating 4 rather large units cooled by the Persian Gulf, this suggests those condensers will be large by our standards. The obstacle that impeded water production on Persian Gulf deployed Aircraft Carriers was not injection temperature, it was oil in the water. The Tanker War created such oily conditions that operation fouled evaporators with something resembling tar and asphalt. We’d do a week of Flight Ops, go out to the Indian Ocean and make water, and return for Flight Ops – on water restrictions the whole time. Persian Gulf distillation has been done for decades.

      3. I didn’t say oil fouling, I said scaling.  Mineral deposits.  Completely different thing.

  17. Hot Persian Gulf Water did not scale US Navy evaporators to the point of impairment. It changed the operating temperature range a few degrees.
    We maintained evaporators while in port to address scale. Generally Citric Acid / EDTA soaks and flushes. There were two descaling compounds we used to keep the brine moving during underway operation. Ameroyl and Hagevap. We used a small proportioning pump to slowly inject the additive to the evaporator.
    Scaled evaporators due to elevated seawater temperature are something I have not seen.

    1. How warm did you run your evaporators?

      High condenser temperatures limit how many multiple-effect stages you can run, and thus the efficiency of your distillation system.

      Now I’m wondering if anyone has used forward osmosis as a first stage before flash distillation in order to exclude calcium.  Sodium carbonate has excellent solubility at higher temperatures so wouldn’t produce scale.

      1. 40 year historical data neurons seem to remember a minimum temperature of 160F based on killing microbes and bacteria. I don’t remember the maximum. Maybe one of my Navy friends here will back me up.