small nuclear reactors (SMR)

Posted by: jgw

small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/16/20 07:42 PM

There are ongoing topics to do with the Green New Deal, Global Warming, Climate Change and Power. Here are some links to "small nuclear reactors". They are clean, they pose no threats, environmentally and just plain safe and cannot melt down, etc.

these things could replace the windmills (and save a lot of birds) and all coal, and petroleum fueled power plants.
can be delivered from factory to site by truck
need no human intervention
can actually use existing nuclear waste as fuel as well as other fuels
Some countries currently building or are considering them:
China
United States
Canada
France
Germany
Russia
India
Argentina

[url=ttps://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/international-smr-advanced-reactor/][url=ttps://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/international-smr-advanced-reactor/][url=ttps://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/international-smr-advanced-reactor/]ttps://www.nuclearenergyinsider.com/international-smr-advanced-reactor/[/url][/url][/url]
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/small-modular-nuclear-reactors-moment-of-reckoning
https://www.nuscalepower.com/
https://www.iaea.org/topics/small-modular-reactors
https://www.powermag.com/small-modular-reactors-gain-momentum-in-europe/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_modular_reactor
Posted by: CPWILL

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/21/20 02:11 AM

https://www.militarytimes.com/smr/nuclea...acts-this-week/


Quote:
WASHINGTON The Pentagon on Monday issued three contracts to start design work on mobile, small nuclear reactors, as part of a two-step plan towards achieving nuclear power for American forces at home and abroad.

The department awarded contracts to BWX Technologies, Inc. of Virginia, for $13.5 million; Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C. for $11.9 million; and X-energy, LLC of Maryland, for $14.3 million, to begin a two-year engineering design competition for a small nuclear microreactor designed to potentially be forward deployed with forces outside the continental United States...



That is fantastic.
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/22/20 08:13 PM

There are questions about this one. What fuel? What does 'micro' REALLY mean (we already have 'modular' and 'small') I ask that one because it would seem, to me, that the oil folk will have a genuine fit it 'micro' might be right and we are really talking about engines for trucks (for starters).

I can remember when gov was developing a nuclear airplane. If I remember correctly they actually had a working model before that one got shut down. Fossil fuel industries have a LOT of power! This was real and got shut down. It was even in the papers of the time. Oh, it happened at least 20 years ago! Google "nuclear airplanes" for a lot on this one.

This all started, several years ago, with a "modular reactor" about the size of an 8 seat hottub that could be buried in the earth to supply electric power for between 20 and 30 years and then dug up and replaced. The company with that design gave up on the United States and moved to China where they were welcomed with open arms (don't remember what happened to that one).

This reminds me of an old sci-fi story. Somebody invents a very small nuclear generator that can run a truck. Gov learns about it and tries to stop it. Trucks still get the engine which includes a way to generate truck motor sounds so nobody knows. Gov finally loses and heroes emerge. Etc, etc., etc.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/22/20 08:39 PM

Sounds like a Randian fantasy. The problem with nuclear trucks and planes is that those things tend to crash and would break open, creating a real mess. Much safer to make them stationary. Or just use the power from much larger, more efficient plants to make ethanol from crop waste to power those trucks and planes.

We already have all the infrastructure to distribute ethanol in this country.
Posted by: Greger

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 03:42 AM

Navy's been using little tiny reactors right along but they've got unlimited sea water to cool them. It's looking like a lot of research is being done into this right now. All of a sudden everybody is talking small reactors. Electric cars mean everybody's gonna get their transport energy from the grid. Power providers are gonna have to ramp up production and fossil fuels are gonna be the loser in this race.

Is anybody running any nuclear powered container ships? Perhaps they soon will be.
Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 11:45 AM

Originally Posted By: CPWILL
https://www.militarytimes.com/smr/nuclea...acts-this-week/


Quote:
WASHINGTON The Pentagon on Monday issued three contracts to start design work on mobile, small nuclear reactors, as part of a two-step plan towards achieving nuclear power for American forces at home and abroad.

The department awarded contracts to BWX Technologies, Inc. of Virginia, for $13.5 million; Westinghouse Government Services of Washington, D.C. for $11.9 million; and X-energy, LLC of Maryland, for $14.3 million, to begin a two-year engineering design competition for a small nuclear microreactor designed to potentially be forward deployed with forces outside the continental United States...



That is fantastic.


Yes, that is a serious look, a project to fill a clearly identified and defined need at this stage is a sure bet, if nothing interferes, to become reality.

Back in the 80s they were talking about small, mobile reactors and thermo generators to power the tactical side of things. Cheaper and easier to ship a power generation setup than to have oil tankers (slow, big, and sure kill targets) sailing across the ocean. That is a logistics tail that every commander would want to get rid of.

The article keeps talking (implying) the use of uranium or other hazardous nuclear fuel... Where is the safe (relatively) stuff?
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 05:56 PM

I am REALLY against ethanol. We already pay 4 billion in subsidies every year for the privilege of wrecking our car engines and raising, internationally, the price of corn. On top of that its just not good for the environment.
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 06:02 PM

you are, absolutely, right on this one. The follil fuel folks are going to be demonizing 'nuclear'. Just watch, there will be tv shows and movies showing how 'nuclear' will destroy the world as well as other wonders to behold before its all over.

The fact remains, backed by any number of designs, that this stuff is seriously safe, environmentally friendly, cost effective, etc. There is no reason why this stuff couldn't be reduced by a lot and probably/virtually indestructible.

(I know, too far, its what enthusiasm gets yuh <g>)
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 06:11 PM

Originally Posted By: jgw
I am REALLY against ethanol. We already pay 4 billion in subsidies every year for the privilege of wrecking our car engines and raising, internationally, the price of corn. On top of that its just not good for the environment.


Ethanol really requires an engine retool, despite arguments to the contrary, but even if "Flex-Fuel" engines work, as they sometimes do, the ERoEI is a negative, such that even cellulosic ethanol is still a nonstarter even after twenty-plus years of effort to make it viable.
And yes, ethanol does wreck conventional engines.
It even wrecks racing engines to some extent, but the motorheads building racing engines don't really care about longevity beyond 1320 feet, do they?

We can do a lot better than ethanol..we do not have the vast sugarcane fields required to make it, although with the recent hand sanitizer shortage maybe some domestic sugarcane fields might be a good idea...but not for automobile fuel.

Nuke cars? Hell no, why not just improve battery tech some more?
The old arguments about battery tech are dissolving as new battery formulations come online.

The old arguments about range anxiety and recharging are dissolving, too.

Posted by: Greger

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 08:20 PM

Conventional engines will soon be a thing of the past. Ethanol might still find some use in the small engines industry but it's probably destined for extinction, we never needed it to begin with.

There's no need for atomic cars when everything just plugs in to charge. No need for fuel tankers either, no need for refineries.
No need to drill in arctic waters.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/23/20 08:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Conventional engines will soon be a thing of the past. Ethanol might still find some use in the small engines industry but it's probably destined for extinction, we never needed it to begin with.

There's no need for atomic cars when everything just plugs in to charge. No need for fuel tankers either, no need for refineries.
No need to drill in arctic waters.



It's still going to be a petroleum economy for a while yet, just gradually smaller. We aren't going to be able to shut down conventional ICE engines wholesale, and there will always be a small and fiercely loyal contingent of gasoline engine enthusiasts...MOTORHEADS...myself among them.

But as things do gradually phase out, being a motorhead will gradually become more of a hobby ONLY, and as hobby ONLY becomes more of a thing, the use of such hobby-oriented vehicles will be gradually restricted.
Hard to say what will become of the fuel used for such vehicles because once demand sinks enough, on some sunny day decades from now, will it become more expensive?

When only twenty percent of road vehicles use gas, what will happen to the true price of oil?

And will we even need to sink trillions into a global military to defend it?
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/24/20 04:35 AM

The reason for ethanol is it's something we can make easily, not necessarily from corn or even anything edible. We could even make it from atmospheric or waste CO2. And it way better than any battery is now or ever will likely be at storing energy. Here's a graph:
Energy Density

But if you prefer gasoline or diesel, we could make either of those without oil. Just a little harder. As long as you don't use fossil fuel to make them, they are carbon neutral. Just look at all the totally synthetic oil we make now.

For that matter liquid ammonia is about 10 times better than lithium ion batteries. And of course, this is just for vehicles where they have to carry their own fuel.
Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/24/20 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: jgw
I am REALLY against ethanol. ... On top of that its just not good for the environment.


The old arguments about battery tech are dissolving as new battery formulations come online.

The old arguments about range anxiety and recharging are dissolving, too.


Does not ethanol release carbon when you burn it? Ergo ethanol is a polluter. Thus no good.

Arguments about battery range and recharging are fading, but concerns about battery fires are increasing.

Why not just develop Solar and Hydrogen for vehicles. These two when used, do not produce any pollutants, just electrons and the other just water, for which we just have to figure a way to put back into the ground.
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/24/20 06:04 PM

You are probably right about battery tech and cars. I am sure that is going to be the way it goes as that tech just keeps on getting better and better.

Sometimes I get a bit carried away - apologies..........

I just had a thought about nuclear batteries. i thought I had remembered something about that so I google "nuclear battery" and there it was! There is something like that, they are expensive, lasts a very long time, and there is stuff going on there right now. (thought that might be interesting)
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/24/20 08:51 PM

Ethanol burns to yield carbon dioxide and water (mostly). If the carbon comes from something other than fossil fuel, and you don't use fossil fuel to make it, it is carbon neutral. For example, making it from crop waste using solar energy to run your process, all the carbon comes from the atmosphere. No net gain in atmospheric CO2.

Improving batteries to be 10 or 20 times better is a lovely but impossible dream. It's not a political or money problem. It's a physical chemistry problem. Vanadium flow batteries might be better than we have now, because you could keep the metallic battery parts in your car and just change your discharged electrolyte fluid for charged fluid at a filling station, but they are horribly expensive.

Hydrogen is horrible to work with. It leaks right through everything, and ignites with an explosion. It's also very hard to compress. You need a very large tank, too, because the joules per liter are so low. About 5 times as big as the ethanol tank. This is all in the chart I linked to above. Ammonia is seven times as good in terms of weight and twice as good in terms of volume.
Posted by: Greger

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/24/20 09:29 PM

I don't see any reason not to continue with fossil fuels as we gradually shift to nuclear, solar and wind. We certainly aren't worrying about anything else in the short term so I don't see much reason to fret over this either If ethanol is a marketable and profitable product they will continue to manufacture it, but IC engines in trucks and automobiles are basically a dead industry. It's 20 years out or so before the last of them is manufactured and I expect small engines will still be needed for tons of applications.

I don't imagine they'll ever do much about aviation, not much besides fossil fuels deliver the per ton punch required to get aircraft off the ground and from point A to point B. They're serious energy hogs and it's entirely possible that one day it won't be necessary for everyone to flit about the world like jetsetters visiting faraway places on a whim.
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/25/20 06:09 PM

They will continue to make ethanol as long as our 4 billion dollars a year subsidy continues to pay farmers to grow the corn.

the military actually developed an atomic airplane, years ago. We abandoned it after the oil folks got busy and reminded everybody that nuclear is very bad (even when its not)
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/26/20 08:44 PM

Like I said, you can actually make gasoline, diesel, or even jet fuel out of crop waste or atmospheric CO2. Then they are carbon neutral. It is just more expensive than starting with oil, because we externalize much of oil's costs. The key to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is not particular fuels: It is the energy source, and fossil fuels are actually the most expensive possible once you add in all the externalized costs.

Our government subsidy for ethanol is actually cheaper than our subsidy for oil.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/26/20 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Like I said, you can actually make gasoline, diesel, or even jet fuel out of crop waste or atmospheric CO2. Then they are carbon neutral. It is just more expensive than starting with oil, because we externalize much of oil's costs. The key to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is not particular fuels: It is the energy source, and fossil fuels are actually the most expensive possible once you add in all the externalized costs.

Our government subsidy for ethanol is actually cheaper than our subsidy for oil.


Reversing the externalization of those costs does not appear possible.
Imagine what it would take to tip that over on its ear.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/27/20 09:45 AM

We already did that in effect with solar panels and the federal tax credit. That (and dropping prices on panels) made solar cheaper than buying fossil-fueled electricity from the utility company.
Posted by: jgw

Re: small nuclear reactors (SMR) - 03/27/20 06:49 PM

All in all I remain convinced that SMR's are the answer to our energy problems. The problem is that our decisions, in that regard, have little to do with science or fact but "other things". I, however, have faith that eventually things may actually change. Unfortunately faith doesn't move mountains or humans determined to go with lies instead of facts.

I also believe that batteries are constantly getting better. Google "battery tech" so see what may be coming in the not so dim future in this regard. My personal suspicion is that, eventually, batteries will be available to run everything from running your house and virtually everything else. there will be some things that need more power, like large factories, etc. and that can be supplied with a modular reactor. We will need energy sources to keep batteries charged as well.