Climate change thread of despair


Windmills. :wink:


Lol I dunno if I could put faith in wind power to keep a reactor core from going all Chernobyl on the area.

What’s funny is that a similar situation was the catalyst for that disaster. They were attempting to see if the residual electricity generated by the steam turbines winding down after a shutdown could be used to power the coolant pumps long enough for the diesel generators to reach max power. Of course it didn’t work out.

That said the RBMK is a fundamentally flawed design in the first place. Early models (like the Chernobyl reactor station) had a downright dangerous control rod design. And a poorly designed coolant valve design. And a million other flaws that doomed that test before it ever started.


I don’t think any walk away safe reactors actually exist. Passive cooling systems in existence seem to be only able to function for 24-72 hours.


Newer reactors have water tanks above the reactor and gravity allows the coolant to flow over the core. But those tanks can run out which is why the only last 24-72 hours before needing to be refilled. Not bad, but not perfect either.


The first Small Modular Reactor company to file a license application to NRC, NuScale’s Power Module has just gotten approval of it’s walk-away-safe concept. The small size, with its large surface-area-to-volume ratio, prevents any kind of meltdown. If power goes out, the reactor cools over 90% of the heat in the first day by water convection, then 90% of the remaining heat by boiling off the water, then it’s cool enough to slowly bleed what little heat is left off to the surroundings for as long as needed.

The problem has been solved.


Except that reactor is 50 MW, meaning you are going to have to combine many of them to come anywhere near a traditional useful size.

Which means it’s going to be expensive.

If you want safety, it’ll be expensive. Don’t blame liberals for driving up the cost.


Doesn’t sound that expensive to me


These innovative designs bring the total life-cycle cost to produce electricity with this SMR to below that of most other energy sources, just slightly above hydro and natural gas.


It’s cute how you always believe the cost estimates of people in industry.

Nuclear reactors are famous for having their costs spiral out of control. That’s why nothing has been built in this country in decades.


Actually, there is a reason the cost spiral. And that problem can be solved.


They spiral because it’s expensive to make reactors safe.

The way to fix it is make them less safe.


No. that’s not it.


Then what is “it”?


Lawsuits from anti nuke advocates, injunctions to stop work are two. But the worst is regulations changing faster than a nuke plant can be built and changes to construction mid - build to accommodate regulatory changes that happened after construction started.


The beauty of these generators is that they can easily be dispersed across the grid making the grid less vulnerable to failure. In fact, they could greatly reduce the need for the large grids, particularly in the more rural parts of the country.


You know what regulations do?

Make reactors safer.

Fewer regulations, less safe reactors, cheaper products.


And more easily subject to terrorism.


No, less, they can’t melt down remember? And they can’t be hacked either.


No, the exact opposite is true. A terrorist could take out an entire grid by taking one mega-generator down. With numerous smaller generators, they would have to simultaneously take out a large number of them to accomplish that.


I’m far more worried about less sophisticated terrorism such as flying planes into them or detonating bombs.

And who said they can’t be hacked and can’t be melted down via malicious software?


Not worried about keeping people’s lights on. I’m far more worried about damaging the core of the reactor.