Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

First New Nuclear Plant in US in 30 years

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the let-the-meltdown-begin dept.

United States 838

Hugh Pickens writes "With backing from the White House and congressional leaders, and subsidies like the $500 million in risk insurance from the Department of Energy, the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival in the US. Scientific American reports that this week NRG Energy filed an application for the first new nuclear power plant in the US in thirty years to build two advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) at its South Texas nuclear power plant site doubling the 2700 megawatts presently generated at the facility. The ABWR, based on technology already operating in Japan, works by using the heat generated by the controlled splitting of uranium atoms in fuel rods to directly boil water into steam to drive turbines producing electricity. Improvements over previous designs include removing water circulation pipes that could rupture and accidentally drain water from the reactor, exposing the fuel rods to a potential meltdown, and fewer pumps to move the water through the system. NRG projects it will spend $6 billion constructing the two new reactors and hopes to have the first unit online by 2014."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What, no comments? (4, Funny)

quigonn (80360) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765609)

Everybody busy reading TFA?

Re:What, no comments? (0, Offtopic)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765643)

Shouldn't you have been modded "Funny"?

Re:What, no comments? (-1)

gravos (912628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765841)

Our planet's uranium supplies won't last forever (possibly not even until the end of this century if we continue to ramp up production exponentially) but at least they'll last longer than the oil.

Hey!! (4, Funny)

madbawa (929673) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765611)

So this is what Ahmadinejad was called there to inaugurate! Cool.

And 30 years ago, STP 1 and 2 were started (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765949)

So it's only fitting that STP 3 and 4 are the next ones started.

What's funny is the cost overruns that plaqued the first two aren't mentioned. It was absurd how wrong THEY got it. It also had operational problems that kept one reactor down for a decade. Why not ask Mexico to site these things? As far south as is practical.

Re:And 30 years ago, STP 1 and 2 were started (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766127)

If I recall correctly from physics lessons (many years ago), there is a significant loss of power when transporting electricity over long distances. I think it was around 40% loss for 100km.
This would limit the distance from the generator plant to the point of consumption.
(This is from memory and I'm not a specialist, so add salt where appropriate. I may be completely wrong here.)

Slightly offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765613)

I've been applying to Rad Health Tech positions for a while now. Demand should be decent due to the demographics of the industry and various other factors, but I haven't had much success. Does anyone have any advice for entering the industry? I have a degree in Physics with a Biophysics/Nuclear specialization, but most of the openings require 2-5 years of experience, and, being fresh out of college, I have none. Does anyone have any ideas where one can get those vital first few years of experience?

apply for the Naval Civil Service (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765795)

They US Navy has lots of reactors in nuclear submaries and aircraft carriers. The submarine shipyards need civilian engineers to work on reactor maintenance. That was the last job my father [geometricvisions.com] had before he retired, at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Heh, thanks Mike (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765847)

I could have gotten this advice from you over on the old K5...

And your advice is appreciated, but joining the armed forces is not an option.

Equally off-topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765857)

US Army. Since you have a college degree you can go to OCS right after basic training (be sure that the recruiter has that part written into your contract, they will try to scam you into something else). From there, you should try to go into Chemical Corps or Medical corps given your long term goals, which shouldn't be that hard since it is not very glorious and everybody wants to do Military Intelligence. After your five year commitment is up you will leave the Army as a captain, unless you really fuck up and don't get promoted with your year group. That will open all kinds of doors for you in the civilian world, but to be quite honest the life of a soldier can be pretty fun and it is damn well paid for the officers.

Of course, this route probably also involves a couple tours in $ARMPIT_OF_THE_UNIVERSE.

Thanks (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765873)

Unfortunately, my general health is not suited to be sent to tours in $ARMPIT_OF_THE_UNIVERSE, and my general disposition is not suited to military discipline. The only upside I can see is that my little brother, a PFC in the Army, would have to salute me.

Finally... (0)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765615)

In other news: Martin Weisz [imdb.com] just announced the scheduled 2015 release of a reality tv version of The Hills Have Eyes [imdb.com] , broadcasting live from South Texas.

Hypocrisy (0, Offtopic)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765637)

So it's ok for the US to have nuclear power, but anyone else who tries to use it gets harassed and sanctions against them? The US has more WMD than anyone else and uses them more than anyone else. Why should they be trusted with nuclear materials?

Re:Hypocrisy (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765723)

And don't forget the chemical weapons used at the start of the 2nd Iraq war. (W/P and Napalm)

Re:Hypocrisy (4, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765797)

If you throw white phosphorous and napalm under the chemical weapon boogie-man umbrella then you have to include every weapon that explodes. Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and cyclonite (C-4) are as much chemicals as WP and Napalm. Sorry to rain on your US-bashing parade.

Re:Hypocrisy (2, Informative)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765745)

We used them TWICE over a half century ago in a war against another nation state, and only when we were in the most dire of need to find a solution that wouldn't have slaughtered countless millions of not just our own soldiers, but Japanese as well. I guess what the rest of the world hates is that we're able to do the math. 100,000 or 10 million? And we're not afraid to make those kinds of decisions when we have to. Frankly, I don't trust Iran not to develop and then export either the components themselves, or the scientists and materials needed to make them to other states or groups that could strike the United States or our interests overseas. The restraints we have in place (it begins with secular Democracy) don't exist in Iran. Excuse me for not trusting a mad religious crack-pot dictator with an apocalyptic world view not to use a nuclear program to leverage his position in the world, and intimidate or harm "the great Satan".

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765859)

Excuse me for not trusting a mad religious crack-pot dictator with an apocalyptic world view not to use a nuclear program to leverage his position in the world, and intimidate or harm "the great Satan".
--
5 billion less people on Earth would solve nearly every socio-economic and environmental problem we currently face.


Where to begin...

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765897)

The part where I'm an atheist advocating a slow, peaceful, and voluntary stabilization and eventual reduction of the birthrate to bring population levels back under control. That's where I'd begin.

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765867)

So and because of that, you want to forbid Iran to have a nuclear programme?

If I went by the same reasoning we'd have to forbid the US from having one, too. The hard truth is that a sizeable part of the world's population doesn't trust you as far as they can throw you. A sizeable part of the world's population also is unsure of which leader of the two countries in question is the more evil dictator.

There's alsways a lot of emotion in such arguments. The real problem about it is the feeling that you have the RIGHT to forbid another country from having a nuclear programme.

Basically, if we hadn't fucked with them arabs for years I'd bet we wouldn't have to be scared of them now. It's like the school bully who torments those weaker than him for two years and hiding the third when the others are fed up with him and start working together to pay him back.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765957)

you want to forbid Iran to have a nuclear programme?
Precisely.

A sizeable part of the world's population also is unsure of which leader of the two countries in question is the more evil dictator.
That sizeable part is more like the lunatic fringe such as and including, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. There isn't anyone seriously questioning if the US is more credible than Iran. I'm sure you can find protest groups and fringe movements in nearly every country INCLUDING the US but no one is listening to these people or taking them seriously.

The real problem about it is the feeling that you have the RIGHT to forbid another country from having a nuclear programme.
We have a right to protect our people from harm. I draw a direct line from Iran developing a nuclear program and US citizens being put in danger. Therefore, yes we in fact do have a right to stop them.

Basically, if we hadn't fucked with them arabs for years I'd bet we wouldn't have to be scared of them now. It's like the school bully who torments those weaker than him for two years and hiding the third when the others are fed up with him and start working together to pay him back.
I completely agree. And for the record, I'm not a Republican, and don't support the President on anything, including the war in Iraq. The Bush administrations stance of not engaging Iran in diplomacy is backwards and counterproductive. That doesn't mean I don't take the threat Iran poses seriously though.

Re:Hypocrisy (0, Troll)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765951)

I guess what the rest of the world hates is that we're able to do the math. 100,000 or 10 million?
Yup. They must hate us because we are beautiful. Your logic is as staggering as our President's.

FYI, Japan had offered to surrender before we dropped the FIRST bomb. We had already defeated them. How do you know it would have been 10 million casualties? Can you magically predict the past's future?

-metric

Re:Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20766013)

Wouldn't the future of the past be our present?

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766083)

Japan had offered to surrender before we dropped the FIRST bomb.
False. The Japanese refused our demand of unconditional surrender.

Re:Hypocrisy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765991)

> Excuse me for not trusting a mad religious crack-pot dictator with an apocalyptic world view not to use a nuclear program to leverage his position in the world, and intimidate or harm

You just made me spit coffee everywhere

Funny part about that.... (0, Flamebait)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766145)

We dropped 1 bomb, and warned the Japaneses gov. The emperor chose to try and continue this. Basically, he told us to drop another. We had no real desire to do so. We can be "blamed" for the first one, but the Japaneses gov of the time deserves the blame for the second.

Re:Hypocrisy (4, Interesting)

hitchhacker (122525) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766169)

Excuse me for not trusting a mad religious crack-pot dictator with an apocalyptic world view not to use a nuclear program to leverage his position in the world, and intimidate or harm "the great Satan".

Iran? I thought you were referring to GWB there for a moment.
The Republic of Iran is a democratically elected theocratic republic [cia.gov] .

-metric

Here's why: (5, Insightful)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766087)

Because most of the UN is made up, not of noble scholars and thoughtful people...they're the kind of people who took control of a small nation in the middle of the night from their cousins, kill their own civilians for fun and bully the nation next door to get more resources, once they realize they've squandered their own. See also Chavez; taking the farms from the white owners left a lot of land to work, and at gunpoint it gets worked quite poorly, lowering the amount of food for the populace.

America after World War Two was magnanimous; we had freed a billion people, almost completely for free (the Brits had a lend-lease thing going on) then we started pumping in millions for all the cities we'd just blown up: we realize, at the state level, that we need the other nations...but we don't need to conquer the other nations.

America has never said it wants to attack, change the government and own another nation; we don't want more territory- we just want wars there to stop. It's maddening when we take part in a distant war (think Bosnia) where we bombed the Christians and worked for the Muslims, and then come home. But we're not about expansion-for-expansion's sake, many/most of the UN members cannot make such a claim.

The president of Iran for example has spoken many times of using a nuke to wipe Israel off the planet (in direct violation of UN law) so many times, we're pretty sure he means it. So...what do you think he'd do if he had one? And after that job was done, he'd bully the neighbors.

We used the atomics at a very, very early stage; we were in the largest war, ever, working against time with the Germans who were close to getting it first. But notice: in 60 years or so, we've never used it in anger. As a nation whose leaders are accountable to the people, it makes it very hard for a madman to rise to the ranks and do the deed. (And notice Regan didn't; he was trying to scare the Russians, and the best way to do that is to tell the Liberals something scary, since the friend-of-my-enemy is a Liberal. The Kremlin was behind the No Nukes Movement...I know what I'm talking about, here.)

It's just so surreal, though; knowing the good we've done, the 40,000 men who died to clear France for example, the play-by-the-rules military that we have, and there's a world of bloggers trying to convince us *WE* are the enemy. George Soros is definately getting his money's worth. I just hope there are History books that can be written, to store the history of the greatest propoganda posed by man.

Re:Here's why: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20766143)

>we don't want more territory

The native Americans, French, Spanish, British, Mexicans, Canadians, Hawaiians, and Filipinos might have a little something to say about that. Do you know nothing about American history at all? We've been violently expansionistic for hundreds of years.

Re:Hypocrisy (0, Flamebait)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766125)

Exactly! I don't know why this comment is marked as flamebait, because it's a fair question (although it could probably be stated better). I can't help but wonder if this isn't a reaction to the ongoing anti-Iran campaign (specifically their nuclear plans). And indeed, why would we (the people) trust the ones who started the most wars based on bogus reasons?

Okay, i guess *this* post could qualify as flamebait :P

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766191)

I wasn't talking about Japan.

Why? (3, Interesting)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765655)

Given the vast alternative resources available to the US, why do this before building large scale solar and wind plants? Is it really going to be cheaper than (say) paving large areas of desert with ever-cheaper solar cells? Or building the really large wind-farm projects in the many available on/off shore locations? As technology advances, these alternatives have got cheaper and cheaper..

And the full cost of Nuclear Waste disposal is still not known, nor is it included in the quoted "price" of the electricity..

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765681)

It's not instead of. It's in addition to. "Pave Arizona with solar cells" vs "Build new nuclear plants" is a false dichotomy. All of these things are better than oil, especially given the foreign dependencies that entails. So we do several of them in parallel, while we figure out what the best answer is. My hunch is that we will continue to generate electricity from many sources for a long, long time to come. Just as the best approach to renewable energy is not solar, or wind, or hydro, or biofuels, but probably a mix of all of these, the best answer to reducing fossil fuel usage probably includes a mix of alternatives.

Re:Why? (1)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765791)

Well, not entirely - there is only so much money available to to these things - if one route is chosen, another may be ignored. I dont see why the really large-scale projects for these alternatives have not been built in the US - especially considering the large desert/unpopulated areas available to build them on.. I dont have a dogmatic bias against Nuclear - if it can be done economically and safely, fine - if not, and history so far is against it, why do it?

Given the vast alternative resources available to the US, why do this before building large scale solar and wind plants? Is it really going to be cheaper than (say) paving large areas of desert with ever-cheaper solar cells? Or building the really large wind-farm projects in the many available on/off shore locations? As technology advances, these alternatives have got cheaper and cheaper..

And the full cost of Nuclear Waste disposal is still not known, nor is it included in the quoted "price" of the electricity..


It's not instead of. It's in addition to. "Pave Arizona with solar cells" vs "Build new nuclear plants" is a false dichotomy. All of these things are better than oil, especially given the foreign dependencies that entails. So we do several of them in parallel, while we figure out what the best answer is. My hunch is that we will continue to generate electricity from many sources for a long, long time to come. Just as the best approach to renewable energy is not solar, or wind, or hydro, or biofuels, but probably a mix of all of these, the best answer to reducing fossil fuel usage probably includes a mix of alternatives.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765811)

I'll equate nuclear fission energy to other forms of energy when somebody finally releases the true figures of the cost per kW/h.

They must include the expenses for keeping nuclear waste in safety from leaks, terrorism and international crime, the expenses to cure people when depleted uranium is dumped into the environment during wars and so on.

Basically we are betting the safety of the planet on the assumption that future generations will find tech to render radiation harmless AND that this tech won't be used to enslave people (in a polluted world the ones with that tech decide who lives and who doesn't).

I think better try fusion, or even recreate what Nikola Tesla did. At least we know it's already been done once.

Re:Why? (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766033)

Basically we are betting the safety of the planet on the assumption that future generations will find tech to render radiation harmless AND that this tech won't be used to enslave people (in a polluted world the ones with that tech decide who lives and who doesn't).
I nominate this sentence for the hyperbole of the month award. It's a bit like the Nobel peace prize, only more prestigious.

kWh, not kW/h (1)

phaunt (1079975) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766057)

I'll equate nuclear fission energy to other forms of energy when somebody finally releases the true figures of the cost per kW/h.
Many people get it wrong, but the unit of energy you mean is actually the kWh [wikipedia.org] : kilowatt times hours. 1 kWh = 1000 J/s * 3600 s = 3.6 MJ.

Enhanced biofuels (2, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766027)

If you make biofuels the "traditional" way, you use microorganisms to break down molecules. These organisms use part of the energy stored in the fuel, and on top of that they are usually quite specific. What would be better would be to build a big nuclear reactor, and use its energy to heat up your (agricultural) waste to plasma temperatures. Inject coal, water or air to control your final product, and allow the plasma to condense, possibly in contact with the right catalysers. Voila: biofuel. And instead of having removed lots of joules from it, you will have injected some. At the same time, you got yourself an eco-friendly way to get rid of organic pollutants like insecticides. (You will have to find another way to treat heavy metals.)

MOD PARENT UP.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765707)

Flamebait? Rubbish! Perfectly good point..

Re:Why? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765753)

The nuclear plants are for base load. They work at night and in calm conditions. The others can and should provide part of the solution, but can't provide all of it.

You may wish to check the current economic viability of the alternate sources. When they become cheaper than burning expensive fuels, generators will start using them.

Re:Why? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765925)

> The nuclear plants are for base load. They work at night and in calm conditions.

But not in hot summers (not enough water to cool them)

"Climate change puts nuclear energy into hot water"
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/20/africa/nuke.php?page=1 [iht.com]

Re:Why? (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766011)

Power generated by condition-dependent renewable sources can be used to pump water to the top of a hydroelectric system, which can be used when conditions are not favourable to your other sources. The problem, as mentioned, is economics. It's feasible to wait for prices of solar panels and wind turbines to go down (and for oil prices to go up), but the development of hydroelectric facilities has to be seen as a long-term investment.

Not a problem (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766039)

Go ahead and spend your billions where you like. This is private enterprise electing to spend it here.

BTW, if you search through my postings, you will find that I am a fan of alternatives. But the simple fact is, that altnertives are NOT going to be provide Gwatts of power 24x7. So, you are left with Coal, Natural Gas, or Nukes. Oh, and prior to this company being bought (it WAS run by texans; now it is run by NYers), they were counting on opening 100's of new coal plants. So, of the 3 listed, which do you want? Me? I will take nukes combined with Alternatives (which is exactly their long term plans).

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766051)

Is it really going to be cheaper than (say) paving large areas of desert with ever-cheaper solar cells? Or building the really large wind-farm projects in the many available on/off shore locations?
Yes, with a capital 'Y'. Much, much cheaper, much, much more scalable, and also more environmentally friendly.

As technology advances, these alternatives have got cheaper and cheaper..
But nowhere near cheap enough, and still not scalable enough. You might be able to run your car pretty cheap on biofuel, but if everyone wanted to use it it just wouldn't scale up.

And the full cost of Nuclear Waste disposal is still not known, nor is it included in the quoted "price" of the electricity..
Actually waste storage is included in the price, and so is the decommission of the nuclear plant. Contrast this with a coal plant, where the cost of dealing with climate change definitely isn't included in the price.

Facilities that store nuclear waste can store waste economically and securely. If we figure out how to destroy it (like using it in breeder reactors perhaps, when Uranium-235 runs out) then great, if we don't it's no big deal to keep it stored (and it's not like the world would explode even if it did leak).

Nuclear is really the only option, and it's great that your government is going with what's right rather than what the misinformed majority think about nuclear power.

Unfortunately here in Australia the government that's probably going to get into power is anti-nuclear, just because of public opinion.

Just to emphasize this: Australia is a geographically and politically stable country, with a large surplus, which is a major climate change contributor, and has thousands of square kilometers of dry, arid, unused, practically inaccessible land, with vast uranium reserves and little threat from terrorism. But the ALP, if voted in, will invest in "clean coal" that it says won't even be ready to supply more than a fraction of our energy for another 15 years, by which time they won't be in power any longer.

Labor will help industry build on that work. Labor's plan to secure the future of the coal industry includes:
  • A national clean coal initiative to put the coal industry and exports on a sure international footing;
  • A $500 million clean coal fund to generate investment in clean coal;
  • $25 million in funding for the CSIRO to research and develop new clean coal technologies and
  • A national objective of having clean coal generated electricity in the national electricity grid by 2020.
The ALP's method of fighting climate change; research a technology with the objective of having it in use to some degree by 2020, by which time we'll be out of power and the climate will be even worse. This is how desperate the situation is without your government opting for a viable, scalable power source like nuclear. So please write to your local congressmen and show your support!

Re:Why? (1)

PiMuNu (865592) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766101)

Given the vast alternative resources available to the US, why do this before building large scale solar and wind plants? Is it really going to be cheaper than (say) paving large areas of desert with ever-cheaper solar cells? Or building the really large wind-farm projects in the many available on/off shore locations? As technology advances, these alternatives have got cheaper and cheaper..

Renewables have a big problem - solar and wind are unreliable. It is simply inconceivable that electricity supplies can fail when it is cloudy and/or not windy. If you want to build renewables you need to also build gas-fired plants (usually, other possibilities exist) as a backup. That makes things look very expensive

The actual cost has been estimated a few times, although the renewables folks include the cost of nuclear decommissioning but not the cost of backup generators, and sometimes not the initial capital cost (building a windfarm); and the nuclear folks usually don't bother to include the cost of decommissioning. So in the end it is difficult to make a realistic comparison. But I think it usually comes out that renewables are more expensive by about a factor 2; and still have carbon emissions and security-of-supply issues caused by backup generators.

It would be interesting to see what the trend is in renewables... I saw an estimate that they will become economically viable about midway between 2010 and 2020, although I can't remember the source. Also it will be interesting to see what the UK government decides in its upcoming review on energy policy with particular attention to nuclear. It is quite likely we will be getting nuclear new build here also.

The Solution seems to be... (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765661)

The Solution to "Not In My Back Yard" [wikipedia.org] seems to be "We'll just expand existing facilities."

The STP site in Matagorda County, Texas is considered to be one of the best sites in America for nuclear expansion. The 12,220-acre site and 7,000-acre cooling reservoir were originally designed for four units.
Unfortunately, this isn't going to apply for nearly enough sites to allow for a significant boom in building.

There are many reactors which have problems operating right now because of local/regional water supply issues. Either water levels are too low or temperatures are too high... And it will only get worse in many states.

Worse as in 'even if the climate stops screwing around, most states have done a shitty job managing growth in relation to their water resources'.

Re:The Solution seems to be... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765677)

There are many reactors which have problems operating right now because of local/regional water supply issues. Either water levels are too low or temperatures are too high... And it will only get worse in many states.
So stop dumping the heat into the river/ocean. Sell it to people.
 

Re:The Solution seems to be... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765793)

So stop dumping the heat into the river/ocean. Sell it to people.
Many (afaik non-nuclear) power plants do just that. They pipe the steam to nearby commercial operations which have a need for such things.

Even so, the heat still needs to get dumped somewhere, which takes you back to the original problem.

Re:The Solution seems to be... (1)

Bl4d3 (697638) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765955)

It depends on the distance between the plant and the users. Here in Denmark district heating is used a lot.

The issue with steampowered turbines is that the steam that comes out of the turbine is not very hot (under 45C). That makes it very hard to use the heat/energy that is bound in the steam.

Re:The Solution seems to be... (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766155)

The issue with steampowered turbines is that the steam that comes out of the turbine is not very hot (under 45C). That makes it very hard to use the heat/energy that is bound in the steam.
Steam. Under 45C. Are you sure?

Georgia Power wants to expand Vogtle (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766173)

however a local lib trash rag that is freely distributed set out to trash that idea saying that the power that the plant generates should not be created and that conservation should be enforced instead.

While conservation is indeed a nice idea the fact remains that with an ever increasing population our energy needs will go up. Combine expanded nuclear power plants, new energy sources; wind & solar; and conservation, and we should be much better off.

The long term keys also involve have governments pass laws, perhaps on the Federal level, that prevent localities and HOAs from blocking installation of solar panels. Right now I cannot do so because its not permitted - I am not in any mcmansion or such, just a standard subdivision. None of the neighboring ones I know of permit and the one city area clamped down on someone in town from doing so by beating them over the head with zoning and then historical protection crap when the zoning got whacked. This would need to be something similar for what was done for Satellite and also short wave.

We can still do a lot in our own homes to reduce our usage and encourage friends to do the same. From CFLs to better insulation and door and window seals. Plugging external wall sockets with child protection caps also conserves energy from wind leakage. Running your AC no lower tha 78 when home and keeping at 80+ when not. Loads of ways to reduce your needs, while your friends may laugh I figure they will change once you start telling them how little you spend on electricity :)

Wait, what was that? (2, Funny)

SohCahToa (1038480) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765679)

The goggles....they do NOTHING!

Sounds sensible (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765695)

The ABWR seems like a fairly standard design. Nothing too exciting, although the submitter might want to note that no reactor drives the turbines "directly": there is always a heat-exchanger between the primary & secondary coolant stages, otherwise you're circulating highly radioactive water through a complex series of pipes and turbines under very high pressure.

Re:Sounds sensible (1)

myth_of_sisyphus (818378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765751)

What about the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor? It uses compact spheres of radioactive material that self-regulate so there can never be a meltdown. And it heats helium gas that drives a turbine directly.

It seems to be the safest and best nuclear technology available.

Re:Sounds sensible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765821)

Sure, but the PBMR is an unproven design which would require a hell of a lot more regulatory oversight before it could be licensed in the US. The ABWR design is close enough to existing reactors that it doesn't need quite as much effort to build. There's also the question of fuel-supply for PBWRs: the only countries with any pebble bed reactors are China (Research only) and South Africa (Under construction). It's not going to be economical to produce fuel for a single PBWR reactor.

Germany ran one for 20 years without problems... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766097)

"the PBMR is an unproven design"

All reactors were once "unproven designs", but they got built. We know an awful lot more theory today than we did back in the 1950s.

Pebble Bed reactors are a lot simpler than other types of reactor. There's far less to go wrong than the type of reactor in the article.

Re:Sounds sensible (2, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766197)

What about the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor?


If you think that one sounds good, have a look at this paper on liquid metal cooled reactors:
http://nucleartimes.jrc.nl/Doc/ICONE13-50397.pdf [nucleartimes.jrc.nl]

Essentially the safest reactor by far is the lead cooled fast reactor. It uses molten lead as a coolant in a non-pressurised vessel that doesn't have any tubes entering or leaving bellow the lead surface, making a loss of coolant accident virtually impossible. Thermal expansion of the fuel will shut it down well before dangerous temperatures. Because lead has a high thermal conductivity and heat capacity it doesn't need any pumps to circulate the coolant, natural convection from the temperature difference is enough. Thus even a complete loss of power, loss of pressure in the pressure vessel, and failure of the control rod shut-down system, will not damage the core.

As an added bonus it can operate with a fast neutron spectrum, allowing it to destroy the long lived isotopes of nuclear waste, leaving only fission products that decay bellow uranium levels within 300 years. It could even be used to destroy existing waste from PWRs. And the cost? Well, because it doesn't need any cooling pumps or pressurisers for the primary loop, can operate at high temperatures with good thermal efficiency, and due to the modest size of its containment structure, it is expected to be one of the cheapest design of all reactors, putting it bellow many fossil fuel plants even before carbon quotas are taken into consideration.

Really, pebble beds are good and nice, but it is nothing compared to some of the designs in the pipeline...

Eeeeeeeexcellent... (4, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765715)

[Taps fingertips together.]

Burns says... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765721)

Excellent!

I'm torn... (5, Funny)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765749)

On the one hand, no matter how much time and effort is put into building a nuclear reactor, there's always a small chance that human error will cause a catastrophic meltdown leading to an almost incalculable loss of human life.

But, on the other hand, they're going to build it in Texas.

Re:I'm torn... (2, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765819)

And there's a small chance an asteroid may wipe us all out, and yet we persevere.

If we never did anyting until there was zero risk, we'd still be living in caves.

Killing two birds with one spent fuel core (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766151)

This suggests a solution to two problems. Build the wall along the border out of spent fuel cores. It'll provide a place for the waste and it'll make it easy to find illegal aliens, just use a Gieger Counter. Given the half life our border will be secure for thousands of years to come.

Congratulations! (4, Insightful)

Maimun (631984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765761)

Well done! Nuclear energy has little alternative at this moment and the near future. I hope more people will start realising that as the energy crisis becomes more severe.

Maybe one day we will have thermonuclear power plants, the nuclear reactors will be obsolete, and we will have abundant energy. I dunno. Right now, however, there is a shortage of energy. We rely too much on natural gas and petroleum. The exporters of those feel their power and twist the arms of the importers. The money made from gas and oil are insane and they are the foundation of too many of the world's tyrants and lunatics-in-power. Cut their revenue streams and they will suffocate.

It seems that making abundant electricity can alleviate that problem at least as far as natural gas is concerned, so we can get rid of the natural gas racketeers (mainly Russia). If we go to hydrogen economy we can liberate ourselves from the petroleum racketeers as well. To have hydrogen-based economy we need a lot of energy. People get excited by the progress in fuel cell technology but rarely ask themselves how hydrogen is to be produced in gigantic quantities.

True, there are risks in nuclear energy production that can't just vanish. But, dammit, nuclear energy has no alternative for the moment.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765963)

has no alternative for the moment
that's a load of bull. if the same amount of subsidies spent in nuclear is spent on solar and wind , there would be no economic contest from any other source, and that's only taking into account the raw offload-as-much-as-you-can-to-the-public economic cost: no safety costs, waste-storage costs and insurance costs.

Re:Congratulations! (4, Interesting)

Maimun (631984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766029)

if the same amount of subsidies spent in nuclear is spent on solar and wind , there would be no economic contest from any other source, This can be true for some very sparsely populated, very windy and very sunny country. For a normal European country, neither solar nor wind nor tidal energy will do. Do you have any idea how much energy you need to melt down a ton of steel or to make a ton of cement? Consider the fact that France which is fiercely independent produces more than 70% (for the correct numbers use google, I know it is more than 70%) of its electricity by nuclear power plants. Just in order to minimise their dependence on foreign countries. If they could do it with solar and wind and tidal, they would, believe me.

Re:Congratulations! (1)

Maimun (631984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766041)

sorry, I messed the blockquot tag, the first sentence is to be a quote from the parent

Re:Congratulations! (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766195)

very sunny country
I don't agree, I live in belgium and if you cover my roof with cells, it would be enough for my energy needs.

Re:Congratulations! (0, Troll)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766073)

But, dammit, nuclear energy has no alternative for the moment.

Not true..

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=46415 [renewablee...access.com]
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/08/worlds_largest_4.php [treehugger.com]
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/06/21/BUG9VJHBLB1.DTL [sfgate.com]
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1321857,00.html [dw-world.de]
http://www.pvresources.com/en/top50pv.php [pvresources.com]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/6031995.stm [bbc.co.uk]

All of Americas power needs could be supplied by (for example) covering 100x100 km of the Nevada Desert with PV cells. Why not just bite the bullet and do it?

there are risks in nuclear energy production

Hmm.. People dont realise just how close 3 mile island came to being as bad as Chernobyl - by sheer luck the vessel held the molten glob of reactor fuel. For a little exersize, extrapolate a Chernobyl scale incident to the 3 mile island area..

http://americanhistory.si.edu/tmi/tmi03.htm [si.edu]

Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (2, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765763)

The half-life of plutonium is about twenty-thousand years. Only a tiny speck of will start a fatal cancer if inhaled or ingested. By "half-life" I mean the time required for the plutonium to decay to half of its original amount; to decay to the point it is safe to be around will take millions of years.

How are we going to store the nuclear waste in such a way that no one is hurt by it? Who will guard this facility for a million years? How much will that cost?

I think that before any new nuclear facility is licensed, its operators should be required to pay in advance for the disposal of its spent fuel. I don't think it's right that the cost should be borne by the taxpayer.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765805)

You need to educate yourself, dumbshit. And, yes, we know what half-life means, genius.

I love people like you. You think you ae the only person on the Earth who has thought about the issue. There are solutions to all these issues, but thundercunts like just want to roll around in ideological calptrap that 40 years past it's expiration date.

Another fucking Luddite fartminge keeping us on a regular schedule of getting anally raped by arab oil interest. Thanks, fuckhead.

Look up nuclear waste recycling and learn that it's mainly a political issue caused by that sanctimonious asshat Carter.

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, just fucking DIE so the world can get on with things.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765831)

Well, while I basically agree with your sentiment I feel the need to point out that you wouldn't come across as such an idiot if you had actually mentioned exactly how his points are so glaringly invalid.

But I guess it's asking a little much of a troll, eyh?

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765839)

Who will guard this facility for a million years? How much will that cost?


The only real question about long term plutonium storage is how long it'll take us to cheaply throw it into the sun. That could indeed be a very long time but it's obviously going to be quite a bit faster than waiting for it to decay.

I don't think it's right that the cost should be borne by the taxpayer.

It's fine for taxpayers to bear the cost of cleaning up the environmental problems caused by coal burning plants though?

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1)

tommy_teardrop (228273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765891)

That's a fair point, but remember that the tax payer currently has to pay for the extended costs of using gas and coal power stations too. How can you calculate the cost that results from using an energy source that contributes significantly to global warming and relies on supplies that require a direct involvement with an 'unstable' political region?

No-one thinks nuclear power is perfectly safe - the real question is whether it is less dangerous than the only currently usable alternative.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (5, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765895)

You should look into how they handle the radioactive waste from coal plants. CO2 isn't the only bad thing they throw into the atmosphere.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (3, Interesting)

olman (127310) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765915)

I think that before any new nuclear facility is licensed, its operators should be required to pay in advance for the disposal of its spent fuel. I don't think it's right that the cost should be borne by the taxpayer.

I'm sure you can come up with some other demands that make it impossible to build nuclear power if you try a bit..

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (5, Interesting)

oPless (63249) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765947)

It's certainly better than burning oil/gas

In terms of carbon footprint, it's miniscule in comparison.

Sure there's toxic side by-products, but who's not to say that plutonium can't be used in something else?

Oh wait it can,

radioisotope thermoelectric generators (think long lived spaceprobes)

annnndd.....

fast breader reactors, which produce more Plutonium than they consume, which can then be used as fissile material for OTHER nuclear reactors...

Processing it is admittedly difficult, but a well known problem and established procedures.

So storing it is only one option. Take your scaremongering about nuclear energy back to the 80s where it belongs. It's by far the greenest option IMHO.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766085)

> How are we going to store the nuclear waste in such a way that no one is hurt by it? Who will guard this facility for a million years? How much will that cost?

Hi, my name is Simon, and I am the other Slashdot reader who is not pro-nuclear power !! I would like to that you for pointing out the Elephant in the Room !! (Unfortunately I have no mod-points so I can not reduce your current Score:-1, Troll.)

And I will wait with interest to see if anyone even tries to ball-park guess the answer to your question !!

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766123)

> Unfortunately I have no mod-points so I can not reduce your current Score:-1, Troll.

OK: in the time it took to write my original reply your comment jumped up to Score:3, Interesting

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (5, Insightful)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766089)

While I can't agree with the sibling post's tone, I can understand his/her frustration that the plutonium toxicity myth [russp.org] continues. I suppose once these things get started they never die, particularly if the alternative is cognitive dissonance.

The standard delusional fantasy is that a pound of Pu 239 can cause 8 billion cancer deaths, plus or minus. Which begs the question, what are we all doing here? What with the hundreds of pounds of plutonium atomized into the atmosphere in the 40's & 50's.

Another thing is, I wonder if you could concentrate the "badness" of CO2 into a small enough volume that would enable you to store it indefinitely instead of releasing it into the biosphere, how nasty would that substance be? Pretty nasty I would think. But if you could, would you? I bet you would. So in fact what the Munch-style disaster fantasists consider to be nuke's Achilles tendon is actually something you would like to do with other technologies, if only you could. Funny, huh?

And finally with regard to the BWR design...once again it's the American approach of using partially enriched uranium. Which goes way back to the original decision to use that fuel strategy because you can make smaller cheaper reactors and what the hey, the U.S. has all those enrichment facilities sitting around that were built for...other things. Too bad it would be impossible to buy Candus because, well a) no enrichment facilities needed, they take natural U (if Iran really just wants to generate power they could do it without all those scary centrifuge thingies) and b) its a clever reactor structure that consists, and I'm not kidding here, of a series of tubes instead of one gigantic bucket, which makes it structurally redundant and intrinsically failsafe (did you know Canada had their own TMI event where the main reactor structure cracked and the big result was, radioactive water on the floor?) and c) you can shove fuel in one side and take it out the other while it's running and you never have down time for refueling.

But that's a pipe dream. What the US will get is unfortunately, glorified aircraft-carrier power plants, because, you know, might as well monetize some military technology that's just sitting around. More profitable that way, don't you know.

Easy Answer (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766099)

You ask questions, but seek no real answers. Remember, Google is your friend. [google.com] Oh, short answer, is yes, it does make sense. We are simply doing nukes wrong. Read the first couple of articles. BTW, cool, that you do not want this bourne by the taxpayers. So, does that mean that we taxpayers stop funding of all alternatives? Keep in mind, that without it, we would be a 100% coal country, with results that would make us look like china.

Re:Does Nuclear Energy Really Make Economic Sense? (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766153)

Who will guard this in a million years?
I figure either robots will guard it or space trash export will become very cheap to throw it at the Sun or elsewhere.
That or I am hoping that sometime between now and than we will get our own Superman to do the job for us.

Where will we be in a million years?

Good (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765785)

It's about time we started building new nuclear reactors. Anyone who wants to seriously reduce our oil addiction must look at nuclear -- it's really the only cost effective alternative, and it's safe, all the FUD aside.

Ironically, the FUD comes from greens, that should be supporting the things. But then again they've protested hydroelectric (kills fish), wind (kills birds), geothermal (OMG, it is cooling our crusts), so /shrug.

What about them terrorists? (1, Flamebait)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765827)

One reason against nuclear power is that it is centralized. That is, it is farily easy to bomb a nuclear plant to take out electricity for a lot of people. Wind or solar power which is much more decentralized doesn't have the same problem because you have to strike hundreds of targets for the electricity to go down.

And what about the terrorists? How hard is it to imagine a few devoted terrorists infiltrating a plant to deliberately cause a melt-down?

Oh, SHUT UP (0, Troll)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765899)

Is that you Karl Rove?

Re:What about them terrorists? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765923)

You don't hit the plants. You hit distribution. Knocking down towers in the middle of nowhere is easier. We've had a whole city blacked out for a day because distribution lines were taken out by weather. I seem to remember Auckland had problems with their feed a few years back.

Re:What about them terrorists? (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765973)

no, you hit the plants because repairing them would take a long time. just like you said, if the distribution goes out, you lost power for a whole day. whooptie doo. it takes apparently at least 7 years to build a new reactor.

Re:What about them terrorists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765943)

Why all the drama? That point works equally well if you apply it to ordinary technical malfunctions that actually do happen now and then, instead of appealing to the fear of terrorism.

I'm just waiting for it. (0, Troll)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765881)

USA coming out with an announcement they threaten to attack themselves if they don't stop their own nuclear plans.

I mean, USA of all knows best, that building nuclear power plants is just a facade. They plan to nuke themselves!

I don't know which is worse... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765907)

1. The possibility that the documentation and design of this plant will be written in Imperial system units (Toshiba has won the contract, btw; last time I checked Japan is very much ISO).

2. That some overweight Texan family is going to drive over to their local city hall in an SUV the size of Rhode Island that gets 2.5kpl (about 6mpg numb-nuts) with their "not in my backyard" signs.

How long before the out of work hippies show up? (-1, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765909)

Once news of this leaks out I'm sure the usual bunch of unemployed and unemployable "greens" will show up in their beaten up VW camper vans to "protest" (ie sit around smoking dope with some juvenile placards and shouting insults at the construction workers) and generally cause trouble because they're still stuck in that All Nuclear Is Bad No Matter What 1960s mindset?

Advanced Boiling Water Reactor? (4, Funny)

Yeti.SSM (869826) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765911)

I just call... vaporware!

unfortunate (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20765985)

I had hoped that when new nuclear reactors showed up in the U.S., they would be of more sensible designs, like pebble-bed or thorium. *sigh*

Re:unfortunate (1, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766109)

Me too.

Re:unfortunate (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20766117)

Me too.

READ FIRST (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20765995)

Before blasting nuclear energy as *potential* radioactive hazard READ THIS FIRST: coal-fired power plants dump tons of mercury polluting water and fish and turning good source of omega3 into a poison:

http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fishadvice/advice.html [epa.gov]
http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/3370_MercuryPowerPlants.pdf [environmentaldefense.org]

thank you for your time

Simple question (1, Offtopic)

l0cust (992700) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766037)

Well, everyone knows that, actually anyone with an inkling of sense knows that Nuclear Power will play an important role in satisfying the energy demands of the future. Now, my question is this:

Why a country which has oil as the biggest(only?) source of income trying to develop alternative energy sources is evil only because it can be used by the radical elements to create a nuclear weapon somehow? Yeah I understand the situation with all the flashy rheoterics flying about but, from their point of view, they are taking a step in the right direction to safeguard the future when the oil runs out. Moreover, even all the oil in their land will not be able to do certain tasks (say power a space mission in some distant future) unless they have a better energy source. We like to point out their seemingly backwards looking policies and rules but when they do something like working on a nuclear reactor, its suddenly dangerous, too dangerous to let them handle it.

I am not trying to troll but can someone please point out the justification for it without getting into any religious tirade. (We can leave the whole issue of whether getting nukes does or does not give any country a sort of bargaining power or not, if that troubles anyone)

Disclaimer: No, I am not from Iran. (I am not even a muslim, not that it matters or should matter)

reprocessing (3, Insightful)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766105)

I'd be happier if the USA began doing nuclear fuel reprocessing, which I believe is currently banned. Uranium fuel production will peak in the next few decades, much like oil and gas, so reprocessing is a good way to guarantee a supply of fuel and allow the reuse of existing spent fuel.

US sources of energy (5, Informative)

Diakoneo (853127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766129)

For reference. I found these here. [wikipedia.org]

Coal-fired plants - 49.0 percent
Nuclear plants - 19.8 percent
Natural gas-fired plants - 19.2 percent
Petroleum-fired plants - 1.8 percent
Conventional hydroelectric power - 7.1 percent
Solar, wind, etc - 3.1 percent

What's the half-life of FUD? 30 years. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20766157)

This is good news. Thirty years of inaction thanks to a hysterical reaction to a bad Jane Fonda movie was more than enough.

Not ready for the responsibility (-1, Troll)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766163)

The USA (and maybe other countries) isn't ready to be responsible enough with the technology to keep it safe. Chernobyl is a good example, and here is another*. Like everything else, after while, people start getting complacent, lazy and apathetic and then things get begin going to hell. Everyone starts pointing fingers at everyone else and the "it's not my job" syndrome sets in. Critical issues do not get dealt with because everyone else thinks someone else should be taking care of it. It's just like your job, only there is a larger potential for claiming a lot of lives.

[*] - http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/22/scada-hackers-infrastructure-tech-security-cx_ag_0822hack.html [forbes.com]

What a waste of our tax dollars! (1)

voxelman (236068) | more than 7 years ago | (#20766165)

The obvious alternative is advanced deep geothermal. If we spent a fraction of the amount spent on the development of fission and fusion power on developing deep geothermal we would be largely energy self sufficient by now. Geothermal is available 24/7 right now! Geothermal offers a place to sequester CO2 while using it as a super-critical heat exchange medium. Geothermal is a huge untapped resource readily available in the western US. It is also better to invest in deep Geothermal technology. The long term payoff is huge. Go to www.mit.edu and search geothermal. The second search result is a 300 plus page study that shows a less than $1BN investment over 15 years would yield enough Geothermal power to replace 10% of US electricity requirements. This is a trivial investment. Private industry will invest over $1BN in the next 5 years using current technology to develop shallow resources. Going deep (6-10km) will make geothermal available anywhere in the world. The current administration has cut all funding for geothermal research (a paltry $27M) from the current budget.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?