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US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

ghack Re:Nuclear power is a battery (187 comments)

This comment is simply not true. Long-lived minor actinide/fission product waste transmutation can be accomplished in an energy-producing power reactor.

about 4 months ago

US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities

ghack Transmutation in SFRs or LWRs too (187 comments)

The link goes to information about proposed accelerator driven subcritical reactors, but you can transmute plutonium, minor actinides, and fission products in sodium fast reactors (SFRs) or light water reactors with inert matrix fuel (LWRs). SFRs have nearly the same spectrum neutron energy spectrum as most proposed ADS blankets, and the technology readiness level is much higher. Basically anything you can do in an ADS you can do in an SFR, but you don't have the added cost of an accelerator. Moderated targets would be required for fission product transmutation.

Passive decay heat removal is necessary whether you are talking about an ADS or an SFR. Other than the worst reactivity insertion accidents (which can be mitigated by negative reactivity coefficients) I do not see serious benefits to an ADS over an SFR.

about 4 months ago

GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

ghack 6750M/6770M (359 comments)

For the 2011 macbook pros, my guess is that this mostly impacts the AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M.

I would imagine the AMD Radeon HD 6490M doesn't get hot enough to be impacted :)

about 8 months ago

GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models

ghack 2011 Refurbs (359 comments)

Some early/late 2011 refurbs have been popping up on the Apple Refurb Store occasionally still (although there are none on there now there was some several weeks ago). My guess is these are machines Apple is replacing for folks with AppleCare and then they are replacing the logic board and battery and reselling them as refurbs.

I have a late 2011 (a work machine with applecare) and have never seen any issues.

about 8 months ago

How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

ghack Global vs. local effects (517 comments)

Global warming is exactly that- a global trend, not a local one. Locally, the effects have been most pronounced near the north pole, which is not exactly a place where many people live.

Global climate change seems to have resulted recently in a "warming" trend, but as we know from Al Gore's movie, if the North Atlantic current gets shut off we are in for a polar vortex on a much longer time scale.

I am not sure who coined the phrase "global warming"; is it a PR failure by the scientists involved or a reporting failure by the news media? To quote a well known meme: "why not both?"

about 8 months ago

Record Wind Power Levels Trigger Energy Price Fall Across Europe

ghack Re: Uh, that's a huge spread (226 comments)

He said 'short term' ... that means for me in hours or less.
Current reactors don't do that. If you power a reactor a bit down it gets difficult to power it up again, due to different characteristics of moderation (waste products).

The difficulty is due to xenon, which can limit the magnitude of the load follow. However, trust me there are reactors that can follow. History of load following reactors from the American Nuclear Society

about 8 months ago

Record Wind Power Levels Trigger Energy Price Fall Across Europe

ghack Re:bfd (226 comments)

Although wind power does not contribute to global warming through greenhouse gas emission, it does extract kinetic energy from the atmosphere and therefore may alter global climate even at continental scales

It may be the lesser of evils compared to some other supplemental energy options but it isn't perfect- and it isn't a good candidate for base load

about 8 months ago

Record Wind Power Levels Trigger Energy Price Fall Across Europe

ghack Re: Uh, that's a huge spread (226 comments)

Load following nuclear plants are possible and many designs (such as the PBMR) are intended to follow load. This is patently false

about 8 months ago

Record Wind Power Levels Trigger Energy Price Fall Across Europe

ghack Re:Uh, that's a huge spread (226 comments)

On a daily basis, December was a month of extremes for Germany, with day-ahead base prices closing on December 10 and 11 at less than €60/MWh – the highest over-the-counter levels seen all year – only to fall to its lowest level December 24 to €0.50/MWh.

I have seen a nice bumper sticker before: Solar and wind are allright, but nuke's do it all night.

I agree with this sentiment. Shame Germany is phasing out nuclear in favor of coal.

about 8 months ago

Is Earth Weighed Down By Dark Matter?

ghack Hypothesis vs. conclusion (247 comments)

The dark matter ring is merely a hypothesis. In my field (or science, engineering, or mathematics generally) we should follow the scientific method when reporting results at a meeting.

This guy was unfortunately presenting a hypothesis. He should have waited and tried to find more compelling evidence before presenting. New Scientist should be familiar enough with the scientific method to avoid publicizing a radical and unproven hypothesis.

about 8 months ago

US Customs Destroys Virtuoso's Flutes Because They Were "Agricultural Items"

ghack Should've carried them on (894 comments)

I don't really agree with most of this comment- but I do agree he should have kept them with him.

Wife and I learned the hard way when we had a bunched of stuff stolen out of our luggage flying from ORD to IST- if something has monetary and/or sentimental value, always keep it with you.

Turkish airlines sent us $100 check for the $500+ stuff that was stolen.

about 9 months ago

Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy

ghack Maybe profit is one motivation... (579 comments)

Excess energy on the grid is a real issue, especially if there has been a significant wave of people adopting these systems. If there isn't demand for all the electricity being pumped onto the grid, there has to be a place to dump the energy. This is an even bigger issue with wind and other intermittent sources.

If the grid is overwhelmed and there is no demand, should folks expect to get paid for that energy, which could actually cost the utility money to dump somewhere?

Something else to bear in mind- the utility has to operate base load plants no matter what.

Recent literature indicates that these issues can be overcome (one example from Utilities Policy ), but that the process will take time. Utilities are a very conservative industry and are often slow to adapt new systems because they have stringent boundary conditions.

Just playing the devils advocate here- I'm sure profit is a part of it.

about 9 months ago

Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts To Divert Discussion From NSA

ghack Re:Only big busniess is allowed to steal my info (312 comments)

I know this is a joke- but at least in those cases you can choose whether to use the companies products or make informed decisions that will protect your privacy. Facebook is optional- making phone calls is not.

about 9 months ago

Tech Leaders Push Back Against Obama's Efforts To Divert Discussion From NSA

ghack Pragmatism intersects with idealism (312 comments)

Sometimes it seems rare that personal rights and business interests intersect- but that is happening here.

The NSA activities are really harming the credibility of the federal government and that will hurt everybody where it matters- the pocketbook.

about 9 months ago

Oregon Signs Up Just 44 People For Obamacare Despite Spending $300 Million

ghack $300 million- insurance for how many? (586 comments)

They could have bought insurance for a lot more than 44 people with $300 million.

about 9 months ago

Nobody Builds Reactors For Fun Anymore

ghack MSR: a great paper reactor (326 comments)

MSRs look great on the drawing board.

The salts are corrosive and solid at room temperature.

On site chemical processing of the salt stream with fuel and FPs is required.

Huge proliferation risk.

Chemical plants are much more accident prone than nuclear reactors.

Interesting and elegant concept. There is a reason that the technology has been pursued only half-heartedly since the demo facilities the 1960s.

about 9 months ago

What You Need To Know About Phone Unlocking

ghack This only applies to newly purchased phones (321 comments)

My understanding is that this only applies to newly purchased phones, starting today, 1/27.

Any phone purchased on 1/26 or before can still be legally unlocked.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

about a year and a half ago

New Plan Lets Top HS Students Graduate 2 Years Early

ghack It's all about individual cases (425 comments)

I went to the University of New Mexico at 14. Graduated at 19, Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in engineering. Masters from Purdue at 21. I'm now 23 and a semester away from my Ph.D.

Believe it or not, I am extremely social!

My girlfriend, who is a foreign national, started her University studies at 16.

It is all about individual cases. Great to see more flexibility in the educational system.

more than 4 years ago

RIAA Recommends Students Drop out of College

ghack Bankruptcy (869 comments)

Its called bankruptcy, and if you truly cannot afford to pay the RIAA you can file for it

more than 8 years ago



NuScale Power awarded $226 million to deploy small nuclear reactor design

ghack ghack writes  |  about 9 months ago

ghack (454608) writes "NuScale power, a small nuclear power company in Corvallis Oregon, has won a Department of Energy grant of up to $226 million dollars to enable deployment of their small modular reactor. The units would be factory built in the United States, and their small size enables a number of potential niche applications. NuScale argues that their design includes a number of unique passive safety features.

This was the second of two DOE small modular reactor grants; the first was awarded to Babcock and Wilcox, a stalwart in the nuclear industry."

Link to Original Source


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