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Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/14/2021 6:42 PM

"The world's hugely encouraging clean energy momentum is running up against the stubborn incumbency of fossil fuels in our energy systems.

That was a quote in today's (10-14-2021) newspaper article on the upcoming UN climate summit. In another part of the article, it says we need to rely more on "wind and solar energy." Most people frequently ignore the large contribution Generation IV (fast) nuclear can make. They usually are concerned about radioactive waste, but our society accepts other dangers and thinks nothing of it. Comments?

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#1

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/14/2021 9:11 PM

Emotions don't have to be logical.

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#2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/14/2021 10:08 PM

Wind and Solar are not really "zero-carbon" if they are manufactured and recycled using energy generated by coal. Manufacturing is mainly in China and depends on coal-fired power plants.

One problem with "wind and solar" is they are not available 24/7. This requires reserve fossil fuel plants to take up the slack when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. So depending completely on "wind and solar" requires retaining carbon-burning plants.

Nuclear plants are apparently cheaper as can be seen by comparing the cost of electricity in France (mostly nuclear) with the cost in Germany (mostly wind and solar).

Why I changed my mind about nuclear power | Michael Shellenberger | TEDxBerlin - YouTube

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/14/2021 10:32 PM

Not to mention when you have capital assets sitting by idly, you are losing money.

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#8
In reply to #2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/15/2021 11:38 AM

Your argument that wind and solar energy are not completely "zero-carbon" is a misleading chicken or egg argument. The energy produced by these technologies is zero-carbon energy regardless of fabrication energy methods. The maintenance of both of these technologies will not be "zero-carbon" but very little of that carbon will be released into the atmosphere. "Zero-carbon" is a useful catchphrase and not an engineering description. I think that is your real point.

The fact that wind and solar are not 24/7 at any specific location means further engineering is required for these technologies to work as needed. (Primarily logistic complications have made fossil fuel energy unavailable from time to time, too.) Energy storage systems and large energy sharing networks can mitigate predictable wind and solar energy production outages but clearly, further work needs to be done.

People ignore what I believe is the major advantage of nuclear power. We have already produced enormous amounts of weapons-grade fissile material during the paranoid madness of the cold war. That dangerous material will not disappear on its own for a very long time. Nuclear power generation can and has consumed some of the weapons-grade material without an explosion occurring. More should be consumed.

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/15/2021 11:29 PM

One of the main problems with nuclear is the perception by the public. Radiation!!! Bad!!! Some background why we are told that radiation is bad is in this article: The Troubled History of Cancer Risk Assessment The effects of radiation depend on the dose rate, not the total dose.

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#16
In reply to #2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/17/2021 6:19 AM

Interesting that just last week the EU spokesperson stated that Europe does not have enough electricity as they miscalculated wind power and solar and now urgently require 4 billion euro investment to cover the the deficit of power by adding more turbines across the landscape.

We learn nothing, so we now add more rubbish to the land to view and everyone wants power lines buried and pylons removed as they are unsightly to look at, running across the landscape. We replace the pylons with wind turbines. Where are the complainers and advocates for removing overhead lines now?

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#20
In reply to #2

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/17/2021 7:18 PM

There is an article that uses a very similar title: Why I Changed My Mind. It was written in Aug, 2021, by Ron Gester who is a retired geologist & physician. It is 10 pages of text and graphics documenting why he changed his mind about nuclear power. I first became aware of this in the Aug, 2021, issue of the SCGI News Bits. SCGI is Science Council for Global Initiatives.

Wade Allison has written at least 2 books that apply to this topic. Wade is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. The titles are: Radiation and Reason, The Impact of Science on a Culture of Fear. and Nuclear is for Life, A Cultural Revolution. Both address the now disproven LNT (Linear, No Threshold) theory. Radiation and Reason has a longer discussion and presents that low doses of radiation probably are beneficial--think chemotherapy for treatment of cancers where low doses attack the cancer, but high doses are poison.

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#4

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/15/2021 12:56 AM

How long does it take to build a nuclear power plant? With the political climate of today, it probably would never get built. In today's world, a permit and contracts doesn't mean anything. And by the time it gets thru the courts........it's 10 years later.

Look at the contracts and permits this administration has cancelled. We were getting ready to ship clean energy overseas and compete internationally. To become a fuel station. Extreme prosperity.

It's just too iffy to plan for and invest in. I doubt we'll see any more nuc plants.

I believe the energy crisis, climate crisis and pandemic crisis has is political/market financial narrative and motive. With the cooperation of the press.

The decisions that are being made, are not to solve problems, that's for sure.

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#5

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/15/2021 3:07 AM

Nuclear generation of hydrogen demonstrates the ability to store clean energy from a clean source and reduced nat gas use in Peaker plants and other uses...

......"Power-to-Power Hydrogen Demonstration Involving Largest U.S. Nuclear Plant Gets Federal Funding...

Palo Verde Generating Station, a 4-GW nuclear power plant in Arizona, is gearing up to produce hydrogen from a low-temperature electrolysis (LTE) system, and that hydrogen will then be used to fuel a natural gas–fired power plant owned by Arizona Public Service (APS). The innovative power-to-power demonstration led by PNW Hydrogen is set to receive $20 million in federal funding, including $12 million from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) and $8 million from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE).

The funding formally kicks off the demonstration, which will involve multiple stakeholders in research, academia, industry, and state-level government. On a federal level, that includes Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Idaho Falls-sited laboratory that is becoming a central hot spot for nuclear integration research and development, as well as the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Electric Power Research Institute, along with Arizona State University, and the University of California, Irvine will also collaborate on the project. These entities have been vocally supportive of the DOE’s June 7–launched Energy Earthshots Initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram (kg) over the next 10 years.

....

‘Pink’ Hydrogen Could Demonstrate Nuclear Versatility

Because the Arizona demonstration is part of a larger nuclear industry-led effort to explore hydrogen’s future role for nuclear in renewables-saturated power markets, it will also involve input from members of a utility consortium, which are already working with INL on nuclear-hydrogen integrated systems.

The consortium includes Energy Harbor, which in September 2019 kicked off a two-year project to demonstrate a 1- to 3-MWe LTE unit at its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Toledo, Ohio.

It also includes Xcel Energy, which in October 2020 got $10 million to explore hydrogen production using high-temperature steam electrolysis likely at its Prairie Island nuclear plant in Minnesota.

Though the consortium does not include Exelon, the company that owns the nation’s largest nuclear fleet is also exploring low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis at its Nine Mile Point nuclear plant in New York under a federal cost-shared agreement."...

https://www.powermag.com/power-to-power-hydrogen-demonstration-involving-largest-u-s-nuclear-plant-gets-federal-funding/?oly_enc_id=1249D9862912F8V

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#21
In reply to #5

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/17/2021 7:22 PM

What would happen if the hydrogen step were skipped? Instead, going directly the generation of electrical power? I suspect better efficiency and certainly less complication.

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#30
In reply to #21

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/19/2021 3:50 PM

You miss the point entirely, it's a storage method for storing energy, a battery of sorts...

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#6

Re: Zero carbon energy production

10/15/2021 3:34 AM

..."Terrestrial Energy Launches 390-MW Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Design...

Terrestrial Energy has unveiled an upgraded 390-MWe design of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) power plant to meet utility requirements and boost its cost-competitiveness as part of an effort to ramp up its candidacy for deployment at Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. This week, the Canadian firm also announced a series of developments that could further its bid to commercialize the Generation IV small modular reactor (SMR) technology and begin operating its first plant by 2028.

Simon Irish, CEO of the Oakville, Ontario–based technology developer, said Terrestrial’s upgraded IMSR power plant design, the IMSR400, pairs two 195-MWe IMSRs. It draws on technology “developed and demonstrated over many decades,” but it “has the efficiency, economics, and flexibility to play a major role in the clean energy transition including the production of clean hydrogen at industrial scale,” he said.".....

..."Originally rolled out as a 195-MWe plant, the IMSR garnered industry fascination because it is a Generation IV molten-salt reactor that operates at 700C. It supplies its steam turbines with superheated steam at 600C, which potentially raises the system’s fuel efficiency to up to 48%.

As Irish has explained to POWER: “A conventional reactor is stuck in the mid-30s, and if it’s a small conventional reactor, it may not achieve 30% at all,” said Irish. “If you operate at a much higher temperature, you can make power much more efficiently and you can do many more things with your nuclear reactor. You can provide high-quality industrial heat that can be used in industrial process applications that are very different compared to the steam generated electric power provision—which is pretty much the sole activity of nuclear energy today.” " ...

https://www.powermag.com/terrestrial-energy-launches-390-mw-molten-salt-nuclear-reactor-design/

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#7

Re: Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/15/2021 5:44 AM

All energy is nuclear. It is forged in furnaces called stars.

Everything else is just a kaleidoscope of transmission and storage systems.

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#10

Re: Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/15/2021 11:47 PM

Nothing needs to be exclusive. Big solar and wind farms (on or off-shore) can have adverse environmental and ecological effects of their own, We are yet to see a full product life cycle. We should revert to hydel and nuclear which are known devils. And CCS could be the dark horse, let us not jettison it yet.

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#11

Re: Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/16/2021 3:32 AM

Just about everything has some risk. There's lots of risks in transportation. However, those risks are not catastrophic like nuclear waste. Keep researching nuclear power until there are no spent rods to store or at least, only store them for only, say, 50 years.

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#31
In reply to #11

Re: Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/19/2021 3:52 PM

So you demand a perfect solution....meanwhile Rome is burning

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#12

Re: Zero Carbon Energy Production

10/16/2021 5:49 AM

What about hydroelectric. It has the huge advantage of being "demand driven".

I know that it has a bad reputation for damaging ecologies, but, if you started a project with the goal to create ecologies you could at least end up neutral on that front.

I must be missing something here: nearly all hydro projects look like this