Nuclear Technology will forever be incrementally improved upon, and therein has been the problem. Each of the reactors are their own 'special snow flake'. Past and future problems with nuclear power will not be in in the design, but the national implementation.
The U.S. has 100 DIFFERENT reactors, each with their own P&ID, SOP creation, training and support, each requiring separate (but similar) considerations for personnel training, maintenance, calibration, forms, and different conceptual grasping by inspector after inspector, after inspector.... Each special snowflake of a power plant requires Special 'snow flake' validation treatment; that is where the costs become astronomical. Each system develops a hundred different opinions on criticality of each component and the incumbent education of (each new) federal, state and county inspector. The problems of the past haven't been 'technical design' problems, have all been ongoing 'technical support' problems.
These problems of the latter are only addressed in France, a countrywhere 78% of their power is nuclear from 60 reactors. They exported $3-billion worth of power last year (much of it to Germany), of which 18% was from recycled rods. The problem is addressed by having all their nuclear systems being identical. Any operation, inspection, up-date, SOP is essentially the SAME for all of their plants, not just one. A trained operator can walk into any plant, and read their operations board, and continue operation. Same with inspectors, and if revisions are called for, they are 'global.'
They also addressed the problem of high-salaries for Homer Simpson jobs: nuclear plant training and 'service' is offered as an alternative for (required) military service. An obvious positive spin-off is that their population has become highly educated regarding nuclear power in sharp contrast to the rest of the world. (When Chernobyl went critical, the French population said, 'yeah, and...?') . It is ignorance among the three 'P's here: Public, Press, and Politicians that is america's big gorilla, and ignorance of the French Solution will be fed by companies that make money supporting 'special snowflake' reactors.
I don't suffer francophilia, and I don't support old french reactor designs, but sometimes they get things right. I would look at the new one they have in the wings (Rev. III). I do support their national implementation of identical snowflakes, and recommend putting nuclear power under the aegis of a 'military' service, similar to the U.S. Coast Guard. If the '3 P's' don't grasp the situation, then the U.S. will continue to have a 'failed' nuclear policy; you can't expect your local pump or sensor manufacturer to wish for all their sales to go out to government bid.
by 1990 pretty much everyone stopped building these. China is adding some,
they will figure out that it's a mistake.
Solar PV makes a very good peak power source, it nicely matches the daytime demand.
Wind makes excellent baseload power. A little battery storage, which we are seeing in both Hybrid PV and GE Brilliant wind turbines and we will see some terrific penetration of renewables. Don't forget Hydro provides a nice baseload for keeping the grid synced.
Nuclear won't be part of the story, the economics have been bad for 3 decades and
Post Fukushima, nobody believes the nonsense from GE.
Do you realize the GE guys had the balls to actually say "Oh It's okay at Fukushima, the plants were designed to do this to relieve pressure".
Wind and Solar are way cheaper then Nuclear and hitting parity with new coal.
Give it some time and if they can figure out the model for Vehicle 2 Grid and in the 2020's
we will see Electric cars come in as good technology and a great way to stabilize the grid.
Dont forget that we only have 5 hours of reliable sunlight a day. Maybe 12 hours during the summer. That means that you need at least 4 times the capacity to cover your power grid and the storage was not included. Photovoltaic has very dim future for energy storage. Electric batteries are very inefficient loosing 10%-80% of the energy through heat during charging discharging or just idle storage. On a best case you can store energy at 80% efficiency at roughly 1$ per W ratting capital investment alone. Solar panels average 10% to 20% efficiency keep in mind cost is a big factor. What happens when you pile up charging efficiency, discharging efficiency of the batteries, inverter efficiency to that value? The reason nuclear outperforms solar is because of the compiling problems solar has. You turn nuclear reactor on and it's on for the remainder of its life. (Sun, no sun, rainy day, windy, cloudy, dust storm all these will not be a problem reactor still runs)
Your claims that nuclear is outperformed by solar are on a best case (no storage needed) best solar output and incidence angle. You add infrastructure for moving the panels, energy storage, the panels, inverters, chargers for the storage and maybe wire the same inverters to pull power from panels or batteries. The cost adds up. In Ten years I can see solar outperforming nuclear if china debacle does not ruin the market until then let's wait and see.
One More Thing... Nuclear does not need the same amount of land as solar. Solar requires land on nice sunny hot dry places that have not no dust. Sadly on planet earth the only places like that are deserts which have lots of dust. Also if you compare the land that Vogtle Electric Generating Plant used to solar would have needed roughly 1square meter per 100 W that translates to 24,000,000 square meters or 24 square kilometers. Yes that is a patch of land 5 kilometers by 5 kilometers the 6USD per watt of solar i mentioned below does not calculate the cost of the land. Try buying that land in California...
FYI The test term nukes is reserved for the weapon and over 2000 such tests have been performed sad to say they are cheaper than a reactor by orders of magnitude.
Solar is not the solution, solar poses a recycling nightmare. Currently most of our solar has heavy metals in reasonable quantities. And contrary to popular belief for the same power output solar is far more expensive.
The reason Germany and Japan are performing these decisions is the public lacking the knowledge.
Also if you took the time to read www.Nrel.gov site you would educate yourself some.
Average photovoltaic system without storage installation and life maintenance for 30 years costs 6 USD per year Watt minimum. if you compare them to the Georgia Vogtle Electric Generating Plant and based on what you told me 8 billion was needed for this project then let's do the math.
The two reactors are 2,400,000,000 Watts at 8,000,000,000 USD that puts it under 4 USD per W.
Note that it's cheaper than the 6USD per W of solar and keep in mind that reactors can work at night solar without storage does not work at night. What you talk about is uneducated and just a string of guesses. I have made a hobby of this subject. READ UP.
FYI initial quote was 700mill USD. The reason for the jump once again was "Paranoia" and public panic kicking the plant into a frenzy to test and improve everything spending needless amounts of money.
Germany, which depends heavily on solar energy, lies between 49 degrees north and 54 degrees north latitude, more or less. In North America, that's the equivalent of southern Canada. Latitude alone, i.e., how far north an area is, is not a precise enough measurement for determining how much solar energy there is to be collected. A common measurement is available daylight hours, which varies considerably within a single latitude due to variables such as weather. This measurement also depends heavily on the type of solar collectors used: passive or active. We're all conditioned to think active solar collectors = all solar collectors. Passive solar energy, the oldest form used by humans, depends on building type, materials, design, orientation and location, and does not require any other form of energy to collect solar energy. It's capable of collecting solar energy even on cloudy days, and was used in the northern plains in the US for thousands of years before Europeans got here, as well as in the mountainous southwest where it can get quite cold in winter. Depending on materials used, it's can also be stored fairly easily. It's ideal for heating and may also be sufficient for electrical needs, depending on levels needed.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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