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Old 08-17-2018, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Nuclear Power Output Steadily Climbing Worldwide

source: https://insights.globalspec.com/arti...ding-worldwide

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Old 08-17-2018, 04:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd read recently that nuclear power is increasingly more expensive than its alternatives. I appreciate that it's clean, mind you, and *can* be very safe.

While nuclear energy may be on the rise, the chart shows we are marginally lower than we were 18 years ago. I guess the big dip was related to Fukushima?
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Saying that solar is cheaper than nuclear is just creative lieing.
Solar costs about $1 per watt to install. Nuclear also costs about the same. Looking at capacity only is stupid since solar only produces near rated power for 4 or 5 hours a day, but if you double the budget, put the panels on trackers you might get 6 or 7 hours of good production.
The true cost is per watt hour, not installed capacity.
On a per kwh basis solar costs as little as double that of nuclear, but is typically 3 to 5 times the cost of nuclear.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The more important question isn't if nuclear is growing in absolute terms, but instead relative to overall demand. In other words, is nuclear comprising a larger percentage of overall power production?

To add to Oil Pan's point of cost of producing kWh, the other factor just as important is producing that energy when it's needed. Production must match demand at all times.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Shutting down the only nuclear plant early in Iowa because wind is cheaper. 2 or so years ago Mid-American announced the largest wind farm in Iowa at that point 3.2 billion, the CEO was on the radio the next day and said it was almost all tax dollars.
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Commercial nuclear power reactors use low enriched uranium, they like to be ran at 90% to 100% of rated power.
If operators try to throttle the nuclear reaction down the reactor can spontaneously shut down and not want to restart for hours.
So when a nuclear reactor is running you have to run it at full power non stop.
There are options that allow for throttled nuclear power but they either are not developed or really expenses, such as molten thorium salt or using reactor fuel with higher enriched uranium content. But "premium" nuclear fuel is really expensive.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
Commercial nuclear power reactors use low enriched

There are options that allow for throttled nuclear power but they either are not developed or really expenses, such as molten thorium salt or using reactor fuel with higher enriched uranium content. But "premium" nuclear fuel is really expensive.
MSR is 99 times more efficient than traditional fission, I would think that throwing a bit of fuel away to maintain baseline is cheaper than power cycling
Further fuel cost is usually a very small cost at a nuclear plant.

Something truly deplorable is that US power plants throw away 60% of their energy into rivers, water bodies or the air when hot water can be cheaply transported hundreds of miles to houses that need it. Over 90% of power plants are within 25 miles of population centers

The hot water generated by one small MW plant is enough to heat 300 homes or enough to provide potable hot water to 3000 homes and waste heat can be used to generate AC

Too bad the US lacks the will to do what Europe has done for years exporting hot water.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Traditional fission only uses 5 to 10% of the fissile fuel.
Since the waste builds up in the fuel pile.
With thorium salt it's possible to remove the waste isotopes, mainly iodine 131, that's the one that builds up and shuts down current commercial power reactors.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Any real cost analysis will take into account the costs of mining, transport, and waste/pollution mitigation. I hardly think nuclear is so cheap, when we consider the utter lack of solutions for storage of spent fuel. It will be deadly to humans millions of years from now wherever we put it. That should be solved better before new development of nuclear power takes place.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's not deadly for millions of years.
When recycled the actual waste isotopes are very dangerous for the first 40 years.
After as little as 100 years stable element isotopes like iridium, platinum, rhodium could be extracted from the waste and used commercially.

Plutonium has a half life of something like 88,000 it could be dangerous for millions of years but plutonium is fuel, not waste.

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