Britain should leap-frog Hinkley and lead 21st Century nuclear revolution
True. The thing to remember is both Britain and Europe are cutting nukes in the thought that they will be able to rely on Unicorn Fart solar and wind. Good luck with that.
More after the break.
What It Would Really Take to Reverse Climate Change
Right, that dog don't hunt!
This one does, and should (I am not all in on molten salt as opposed to other modern nuke reactor types). "Molten salt reactors were built by the US physicist Alvin Weinberg at the Oak Ridge Laboratories in the 1960s, but were never pursued because the Pentagon wanted the plutonium residue from light water reactors to build nuclear warheads.
They dissolve the nuclear fuel in molten salts rather than using dry pellets of uranium. Advocates say a melt-down is impossible, and there can be no chain-reaction along the lines of Fukushima. If the reactor gets too hot, a freeze plug melts and the salts drain off. They cool down and turn solid. The fission process stops automatically.
"It is inherently stable. You could break every containment barrier and still not get a leak of cesium or iodine outside the reactor," said Dr Scott. The plants operate at atmospheric pressure so they are much smaller and safer."
Yes, but the cost!
"Moltex founder Ian Scott estimates that his molten salt design can cut costs to almost a quarter of the Hinkley tariff. "We think we can come in at a leveled £29 per megawatt hour," he said.
"That is radically cheaper than gas or coal in Europe. It could have a massive impact on the UK economy and it would be a terrible shame if we lose it," he said."
"The Moltex reactor can run off existing spent nuclear fuel, cleaning up the legacy headaches of old nuclear plants. "We can process nuclear waste very cheaply instead of burying it at enormous cost in steel tanks for 200,000 years underground," he said. The plan is switch to thorium as a "greener" source of fuel once Britain's stockpile of nuclear waste has been consumed."
That would be a good idea here if only to consume the dangerous crap we have laying around. And the Thorium idea is excellent. Why we did not require the Iran plant be Thorium is completely unknown. It is almost as if we are brain dead and cannot remember that we have something other than light water reactors, which can make electrical power out of the atom.
"Mr Irish said his 190 MW design is ideal for a new energy order dominated by renewables. "We can deploy extra power at peak times and pull it back into the troughs, and we can do it within minutes like a natural gas turbine. We tick all the boxes," he said. Old workhorse reactors cannot be switched on and off at will."
Greens need to get on board with this or alternative energy will ultimately fail to make headway in the market. The problem with alternate forms is that they are highly inconsistent, and require constant on, standby power, which commonly increases the carbon footprint, and costs loads of money. It would be like needing to have an auxiliary (reliable) car, because your primary car was so unreliable as to be virtually worthless. Why not just cut to the chase, get rid of the solar, and wind altogether, and go to molten salt nukes (pebble bed, or other modern type), and Thorium nukes? Both make sense, and are inherently safe. The Thorium could be small enough to be placed at a residence, and generate power for a small community.
But no, the greens are into high carbon wind, and other fluffy power generation.
Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists
Presumably, the goal is not carbon reduction, otherwise this is an utter disaster. When one adds in the carbon costs for siting, manufacturing the stock, for running high power lines, for replacements, repair, maintenance, and standby power, it is common for an alternative power farm to be a substantial net producer of carbon, not a reducer.
These small low footprint nukes have few of these problems, and they generate large amounts of power, making them a strong net reducer of carbon.
But then again, the greens don't actually care about carbon, or global warming, they care about power, and particularly, power over you, the hoi polloi. So, win/win!