May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The State of Nuclear Power and Reactors. US Stuck in Past, Rest of World Moves Ahead

Once again the Luddite "progressives" are keeping America from being first at something. That would be nuclear energy plants. Back in the mid 1970's we were scheduled to build 100 nuclear rectors in 20 years. Well, there were a couple accidents at a couple plants, Jane Fonda's "The China Syndrome" propaganda movie against nuclear energy development, and that's where we stopped. I bought into the whole anti nuke power thing back then. Unlike Leftists/Progressives/Socialist/Democrats, I don't stay stuck in the past, I change as things evolve, as do Conservatives. Those guys, Leftists, by the way, only believe in evolution when they want to bash uninformed Christians; those Christians that stay stuck in the past and don't change like "progressives" falsely claim to do.

They're against fracking, which does not pollute ground water as they claim, they just want to stop energy production, hurting the poor the most, the people they claim they care the most about. Federal Government finally comes out with study showing fracking does not contaminate ground water here. How fracking works here. Note that the most effective KwH per hour is nuclear production, after coal, which Obama is shutting down. All the other "green energy" stuff like wind and solar that the neo-Luddites proclaim are best, are far and anyway the most expensive. Drilling new oil wells, especially on Alaska's North Shore, they were\are against, claiming the pollution and potential for accidents for causing
spills and such were too great. The kind of drilling technology and problems they are talking about was dated when I worked on rigs in the 1970's. Again they just want to stop energy production. Same with the Keystone Pipeline. There are no emissions, no pollution issues, no safety issues. They just want to stop energy production. Just take a look too at Obama and his various energy and pollution departments just illegally closing down production; offshore and on Federal land. Of course there's been a huge boost in energy production from gas and oil, but it's all on private land; Obama of course takes credit for the increased production.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has moved ahead with nuclear reactors with great success and close to zero problems. Here's some examples of what's being done in the rest of the world. Westinghouse has a reactor, the AP-1000, and has built six of them in China; they are online. (The Chinese of course reverse engineered them and build their own now.)

Another reactor is the Areva 1,700 megawatt European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) which is a new (oh no! cry the Democrats, something new!) design, also coming online in China.

The Russians are building reactors in India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Turkey, Belarus and Iran. We could be building them there, making gazillions of dollars, employing Americans, saving the environment and stopping the bleeding the of poor of money they don't have to spend on energy.

There's even little reactors, Small Modular Reactors (SMR) that can be manufactured in plants and put together on site. It's 125 megawatts, about the size of a back porch; each one could provide energy to about 70,000 people. I'm reminded of a sci-fi series where even watches were nuclear powered. By the way, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuses to even recognize SMR's.

Nuclear waste...that canard. Uranium was used in the 1950's for awhile beyond. It's not needed, modern reactors mostly use thorium, which produces about one tenth of the waste, and is less dangerous, than uranium waste. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuses to recognize thorium just like they refuse to recognize SMR's. We have the multi $billion Yucca Mountain here in Nevada, which has way more capacity than necessary to safely store the thorium waste. The issue here is more the transportation. Government knuckleheads want it brought though Clark County, the most densely populated part of Nevada, by truck mostly and some by rail. Geeeze, here's a novel idea, build a road or rail to Yucca Mountain not passing though heavily populated areas. Of course the Nuclear bureaucrats have lame excuses why they can't, but they're knuckleheads, and it's another red herring to block the use of nuclear power.  

There's a breeder reactor called an Integral Fast Reactor. It doesn't have much waste, it mostly generates reusable fuel. There was one that had been running in Idaho for about thirty years until Bill Clinton shut it down. Russia has one, been building it and selling since the 1980's all over the world, Heard of any accident's?

Even Leftist Bill Gates recognizes the safe use of nuclear energy. There's a kind of design call Traveling Wave that runs on depleted uranium. Hey, we can use traditional waste and create energy. How 'bout that? Well, he and his group tried getting those started up here, and of course the Nuclear Energy Commission said no. The Chinese are building them now. They could be being built here, creating jobs and providing clean low cost energy, but noooooo.

Another canard is terrorists can get the uranium waste and make bombs. There are more efficient and cheaper ways to make nuclear bombs. That's how they did stuff a couple decades ago.

Using the right processing, waste is not a problem, and can be safely stored in small rooms really. But we've built Yucca Mountain so we may as well use it. All we need is a small room in it.

One of the things totalitarian governments have to do to get and maintain power is to create shortages of what citizens need. We have ObamaCare and Medicare to make health care limited and expensive, making citizens dependent on the State for it.  We have the stopping of energy production through putting the kibosh on pipelines, drilling, fracking, coal and nuclear energy.

Progressives, neo Luddites. Hate progress, hate clean air, hate poor people. 

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