--headline from "The Times", London, June 25, 2007
Well may they do so. Solar-derived energy resources on the official list of "renewables" are exactly as fickle as the weather. But it could be solved by adopting a nuclear power option which renews the supply of fissile nuclides.
|1.5-megawatt GE 1.5MW||212 ft||116 ft||328 ft.|
|1.8-megawatt Vestas V90||262 ft||148 ft||410 ft|
|2-megawatt Gamesa G87||256 ft||143 ft||399 ft.|
|Statue of Liberty||N.A.||N.A.||305 ft|
Bonnie Scotland! Ayrshire|
Note the size of the vehicle
Each of these six monster turbines, if the wind is 20 mph or more, produces about 2.1 MW. But in a strong gale, they'd have to shut down.
There are a couple of hundred more of them, maximum total output 539 MW. not enough to replace one base load (1000 MW) coal burner. At a wind speed of 5 metres/second, 10 mph, the output of 232 of these gigantic windmills will be one eighth of what 20 mph produces, i.e. about 60 MW.
Bonnie Scotland! Caithness|
Baillie wind farm, run by Stadtkraft of Norway
Windmill Madness in Germany|
"Windmühlen-Wahn Von umweltfreundlicher Energie"
From Earth Friendly Energy
"zur subventionierten Landschaftszerstörung"
to Subsidized Destructiom of the Land
Note that both of these are renewable, sustainable alternatives to every other energy resource.
They consume ALL of the fuel provided, and the waste products are short lived, — they do not include uranium or plutonium.
Electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles are only as "clean" as the source of their electricity or hydrogen. These nuclear reactors can supply either of these, especially if you have enough reactors to supply near-peak electrical demand — they can charge batteries, or fill hydrogen tanks, at off-peak.
One kilogram (about 2.2 lbs.) of fissile isotopes consumed in today's reactors provides ten million kWh of electrical energy. At the current average price in the USA of about $0.10 per kWh, that's about a million dollars. Subtract from that the cost of sequestering 1 kg. of fission products for a couple of centuries, not hundreds of millennia, a breeder reactor is a huge economic and environmental bargain compared with coal and fracking un-"natural gas"
In terms of availability-on-demand, wind and direct solar are almost useless, although photovoltaics do respond to the same sunshine that sends up the demand for air-conditioning. Even hydroelectric and biomass are dependent upon the previous year's weather.
Fast neutrons create 239U -> 239Np -> 239Pu from 238U, the common isotope of uranium.
The coolant is liquid metal, in this case sodium, which melts at the boiling point of water.
The prime example of this was the IFR program, which was canceled as "unnecessary" by the Clinton administration in 1994.
It had already proven itself effective, and proof against meltdown. The closed fuel cycle makes it resistant to anything less than terrorists who already have nuclear weapons.
See Advanced Reactor Concepts for one of its descendants.
In this case, the fuel itself is in solution, which has certain advantages.
Like the IFR, it can consume ALL of its nuclear fuel, so the only wastes are the short-lived fission products.
The fissile material will be 233U, but the two other fissile species can perhaps be used as starters.
In one of Sorensen's videos, he compares the neutron-capture behavior of U-233, U-235, U-238, and Pu-239.
It is quite possible that the LTFR will prove superior to the IFR, but I think we need the IFR right now
The "fertile" material is 232Th, the common isotope of thorium. By neutron capture, it is turned into 233Pa which decays to 233U, a uranium isotope which like 235U and 239Pu is fissile.
It should be noted in the above that the IFR generates and consumes fissile plutonium from a uranium feedstock, while the LTFR consumes fissile uranium from a thorium feedstock, but both will depend upon a startup fissile component, which at first means that BOTH depend upon 235U for startup or for the production of the startup load.
Any one of India, China, Russia, Japan, France, or the Czech republic may very well become the world leader in civilan nuclear energy. Let's hope it isn't Russia or China.
Maybe Iran is truly only hoping to develop civilian nuclear.
Civilian renewable nuclear energy could dominate the world the way oil does now, when the reserves are used up,
An element can exist with different numbers of neutrons in its nucleus. The masses differ, and these variations are called isotopes. Hydrogen has three isotopes, one of which is radioactive. Elements with massive atomic nuclei can include isotopes which easily capture neutrons and split, releasing energy in amounts that are huge compared with chemical reactions. For some reason, the fissile isotopes of uranium and thorium are shorter-lived, and therefore scarcer, than the non-fissile.
The tube in question did not “rupture.” It began leaking at a rate of less than 150 gallons per day which is about one tenth of a gallon, less than two cups, per minute.
Because the primary coolant the tubes contain has just passed through the reactor core, it contains a relatively high concentration of a highly radioactive isotope N-16, which has an 8 second half life. That isotope is both easily detected and completely decayed away just 2 minutes after the water has been out of the reactor. Detectors installed in the secondary system immediately registered the leak by sensing the N-16. The operators on shift took appropriate immediate actions and began a controlled shutdown so that the leak could be isolated.
But Senator Boxer, and the various ABC news reports spawned by the news, ignored the information from engineers who knew what they were talking about, and babbled on about the terrible dangers to Californians, aye, and to everybody in the USA living within three hours walk of some reactor, from nuclear radiation.
She is on record as talking about the dangers to people within 50 miles of the reactor.
Any person that knew what made the water radioactive, and especially understands the basic fact that the emission rate is an indicator of how fast it is disappearing, would know that after the time it would take the water to go fifty yards from the reactor the most sensitive instrument from Los Alamos wouldn't be able to detect the radiation.
Unfortunately for the people of California, the air pollution that went up in the first year that the reactors were shut down, will stay high, because the entire output of all the wind "turbines" and solar panels in California is a lot less than the over 2,200 MW output of SONGS, day or night, sun, wind, or rain.