Tuesday, September 25, 2007

That "N" word again

I last wrote on this topic in July of last year.

NRG today applied for the first US nuclear reactors to be built in several decades. It is expected that 6 more will be applied for in the coming months.

It appears that for the first time in decades, we may be seeing the first glimmer of sense in US energy and environmental policy. Considering the total lack of discussion on the topic in political forums, I doubt it though.

Now if they will just get away from those !@#$ Light water reactors.....


Leesa said...

I would think if the US was serious about energy, we would do something concerning both ends - manufacturing and consumption. Or is that production and consumption? That sounds better.

sage said...

Did you work in the nuclear industry? Do you think nuclear really cost effective, if it is done both safely and all cost are accounted for?

mal said...

leesa-there is NO question that there is significant opportunity for better efficiency how we use energy. One of the biggest is for Congress to get their collective act together and really update the CAFE requirements. Their last shot at it was a not so funny joke

Sage-On a KWH basis, Nuclear remains the most cost effective followed in order by coal at a factor of 1.33 and distantly trailed by Oil and Natural Gas with factors in excess of 3.
I spent 10 years doing field service in oil production fields. I do not think people really grasp how much 70 million bbls of oil per day is. Watching train after train of coal coming from the Powder River basin is just as mind boggling when you grasp the sheer immensity of it.
Are all the costs accounted for? I doubt it. I think that applies to Hydrocarbon fuels as well as Nuclear. I think nuclear has the potential of resolving some serious problems we have that have not been discussed. The unused breeder technology has the potential to eliminate all the weapons grade material currently in existence while reducing the volume and lethality of nuclear waste generated.
The molten metal reactor technology will certainly take the industry to new level of safety.
I do not think Hydroelectric, Wind and Solar will be able to make the needed impact on their own.
What ever we do, we must close the carbon loop again. That is becoming very clear.

jj mollo said...

Mal, I think that wind power would help, but there is just as big a problem with NIMBYs as there is with nuclear. Some of them are people who should know better, like Sen. Kennedy, hypocrite-in-chief. Nuclear has the smaller footprint, so it's less vulnerable to this type of foolishness.