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#307160 - 06/29/18 06:33 AM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8072
Loc: North San Diego County
IF we would do something reasonable with nuclear power plant spent fuel rods, then nuclear power would be pretty good in terms of low pollution. The system we have now is to store them at every reactor site, which is the height of idiocy. Almost every other country that has power reactors also has reprocessing facilities.

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#307162 - 06/29/18 03:07 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: pondering_it_all]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14416
Loc: Florida
Quote:
IF we would do something reasonable with...


Yeah, that's the problem. We never do anything reasonable with anything.
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#307165 - 06/29/18 06:15 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2195
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
A very long time ago I wanted to get some nuclear waste to supply heat. At the time I had a business that used a boiler and I could have used the waste to pre-heat the water. I could have also supplied heat to the entire block. Nuclear waste is physically hot. It is also possible to get the heat without the radiation. I had several universities interested as well as others. I would have, basically, stuck the waste in a lead block and transferred the heat out with, if I remember correctly, something called a heat pipe. Apparently it would have worked.

The feds stopped that one cold. its interesting. If you have a constant source of heat you can do all sorts of stuff like just using the heat of the waste for heat, using the heat to drive a generator (sterling cycle), etc. Instead the main plan seems to be to sink it into the earth one way or the other or just store it until the holding tanks start to leak and then put out big contracts to fix it (think Handford disaster).

My point is that I tried to do this years ago and got shot down. At the time, however, I had several experts that thought it might actually work. I was shut down not because it wouldn't work but because gov didn't like it - they never said why, incidentally.

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#307166 - 06/29/18 06:27 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8072
Loc: North San Diego County
It's because handing out nuclear waste to a bunch of people is a good way to get dirty bombs. They would have to spend more on security checks and monitoring than you would get in heat. It IS possible to build your own reactor: Just get a bunch of smoke detectors, take the Americium out, and combine all those pieces in a small space. Voila! It's been done by a High School student. Not much heat, but lots of radiation. The government had to send in guys in hazard suits to confiscate his shed.

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#307168 - 06/29/18 08:08 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14416
Loc: Florida
Quote:
A very long time ago I wanted to get some nuclear waste to supply heat.


I may be the first to point this out to you but up in the sky every day is a big shiny fusion reactor which is readily available to supply hot water. You may not believe this but there are actually companies that sell solar hot water heaters. No nuclear waste required, free hot water.

Shocking, I know...it can also supply free electricity. So why exactly do we need nuclear power?
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#307173 - 06/29/18 10:02 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2195
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
When its winter, and the sun doesn't shine, and its cold there is a little problem with sun power. This is particularly true in the northern reaches of the continental United States.

A central water/steam based heating solution is not unknown and there are some still operational in the big cities.

If you have the heat its pretty easy to circulate hot water and also very cheap to do. There are pumps, for instance, that run on a difference of temperature (so you don't even need electricity to circulate the hot water. They don't pump huge amounts but it doesn't take huge amounts of water to keep the water hot - as long as its circulating.

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#307174 - 06/29/18 10:40 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
Greger Online   content

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 14416
Loc: Florida
I'll grant you the fact that the sun doesn't shine all the time. But we already have ample natural gas facilities to take up the slack after dark. As battery technology improves more and more free solar electricity will be stored for the dark hours and we will use less and less gas. And let's don't forget wind and other resources that can be tapped for even more free energy.

If we treat Our Lady Gaia right and use a little common sense she will provide all we will ever need to live. Feck with her a little bit and she'll kill us all without remorse. Just ask the dinosaurs...
_________________________
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."— Oscar Wilde

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#307184 - 06/30/18 08:28 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8072
Loc: North San Diego County
We have a very long way to go to make batteries feasible for storing enough energy to supply the nation during the night and cloudy days. If you want to do it for your own home, the batteries will cost you much more than the solar panels!

We could give everybody solar thermal systems, which store a bunch of very hot water. But that is very bad at generating electricity! Good for hot water and house heating though.

Maybe the best idea is to do everything: Solar thermal for hot water and home heating. Photovoltaic panels for lighting and computers with smaller batteries so you run them at night. Enough PV panels to run AC, washers, and driers when the sun shines. You can even run a cooler that makes ice during the day, and then blow air over that ice to cool your house at night. Storing heat and cold is very cheap and easy.

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#307222 - 07/02/18 05:42 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: jgw]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13415
Loc: Whittier, California
It's a fact that literally everything in a modern home that doesn't use a heating filament, or a compressor or a motor, runs on either 5 or 12 volts DC.
I understand why we have high voltage transmission and distribution, and I understand why our last mile is 600/220/110 etc but I don't understand why we're not just supplying modern homes with site wide 5 and 12 volt via Class 2 wiring, and why manufacturers aren't offering the option to just provide that kind of switch on products that have their own internal power supplies. So much of what we use right now is also dependent upon even more wasteful "wall wart" outboard supplies which are "always on" even when the product isn't.
And much of that is due to the fact that it is cheaper to design products which are actually on "STANDBY" instead of "OFF".

A few modern homes have "USB" built into every outlet.
I think we need to take the next step and just supply 5 VDC and 12 VDC at every outlet, make the outlets "smart" and switchable and do away with the wall warts.
We would also be able to make lighting much simpler then as well, and solar could bypass a lot of the inverter stages.

Computer internals have this figured out already. High powered graphics cards demand two (4 pin, six pin and 8-pin) 12 volt supply plugs from the motherboard, so for high current 12 volt devices, just do the same thing externally and do USB for all the 5VDC products.

(Computer 12 volt connector)



(These are 4-pin but are also available in 6-pin and 8-pin)

We'll still need the 120 volt AC for all our power tools, vacuum cleaners, blenders, toaster ovens, microwaves and the like but so much of what we use simply isn't running off 120 volts AC and never even did in the old days. It's just that it had a transformer, rectifiers and filter capacitors internally.

In the early 80's I still had a great big 1974 Dodge Tradesman 300 van and I stuck a Pioneer SX-838 stereo receiver in the back along with a cassette deck and speakers.
I bypassed the internal power supply and ran it direct off 12 volts and that worked for almost five years. All I had to do was go directly to the great big red and black wires on the main board and voila.


_________________________
"The Left ones think I'm Right, the Right ones think I'm wrong."
Leon Russell - Magic Mirror"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-H1iQ5Y6Eg

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#307231 - 07/02/18 10:59 PM Re: small (SMR) and very small (VSMR) nuclear reactors [Re: pondering_it_all]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13415
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
We have a very long way to go to make batteries feasible for storing enough energy to supply the nation during the night and cloudy days. If you want to do it for your own home, the batteries will cost you much more than the solar panels!


The battery industry is not sitting still.

My good friend Robert Rapier is reporting on a new type of Li-Ion battery design that address the twin demons of energy density and fire danger.
_________________________
"The Left ones think I'm Right, the Right ones think I'm wrong."
Leon Russell - Magic Mirror"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-H1iQ5Y6Eg

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