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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1500 on: January 04, 2021, 12:51:06 PM »
In a risk assessment where Risk =  Probability x Consequence, storing nuclear waste has two problems:

The Consequence of a leak will always be very high

The timescale is so long – decades or centuries - so the Probability is difficult to ascertain, it’s beyond the foreseeable future.

Hanford radioactive waste is in tanks the plan is vitrification (mixing with glass) and bury it in stable region with no water incursions or geology for a 100000 + years. The glass is a solid so it cant spill break it and you expose a new face along the fracture but no spill. This could have been done a decade or more ago. It is still radioactive but it would not be mobile. It stays were you put it even for 100000+ years. The anti nuclear lobby has fought mixing it with glass at every step. Yuca mountain was studied as a burial site. It was excavated. Yuca mountain is the most studied mountain in the world. It was determined that for something like 99% of the time they were confident that it would be geologically stable and no aquifer would come close to the site. For the very last bit the probability of something happening resulting in water permeating the tunnel barely exceeded the desired probability. At the tale end of the storage period the consequence of exposure is much lower because most of the radioactivity will have decayed by then.

The sight had all of its space allocated. The US has more waste than that. The Yuca mountain site was removed from the list of potential storage fights for political reasons. At the current pace of vitrification it will be 100 + years to clean up Hanford. All the while contamination in the region is increasing.

I get why the anti nuclear people are doing what they are doing I just don't agree with their tactics.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1501 on: January 04, 2021, 10:58:37 PM »
Re:  The anti nuclear lobby has fought mixing it with glass at every step

Cite ? I am familiar with the blockage of Yucca mountain, but i was unaware that anyone is opposing vitrification.

sidd

Iain

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1502 on: January 05, 2021, 08:23:26 AM »
The measures outlined in #1500 sound sound pretty thorough.

But we can’t rule out a political/religious/plain insane group or regime in 10, 100, 1000+ years hence deciding they are right to use “dirty” bombs – conventional explosive jacketed with the waste.

There are many recent examples of despots arising with ideology the RoW considered to be crackpot,

There have been civil wars in the UK, USA and many other countries.

That’s the thing about RAs – the one you never thought of comes back to bite you.


"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1503 on: January 05, 2021, 08:49:37 AM »
They are not specifically opposed to vitrification they just keep pushing for increased requirements. I don't think it has had much coverage. I heard it  from people who work their or have worked their. Some have speculated that the company doing the clean up Bechtell is encouraging this because they are on a cost plus contract. I do not have any idea if this is true.


US Plans to shut down 5.13 GW of nuclear plant capacity this year or about 8.4% of capacity. Exelon Nuclear is shutting down 4.1 GW of that  in Illinois.

Iain

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1504 on: January 05, 2021, 12:14:38 PM »
Can the shut down plant itself be used for storage of the vitrified blocks - stack them inside the containment dome until full and pour concrete in from the top to encase them.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1505 on: January 05, 2021, 06:52:20 PM »
I recall from 30 years ago one problem with vitrification is that it expands the waste volume considerably, and as glass has a limited effective life span, what do you do then?

I just did an internet search and found:
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New evaluations described in the preliminary report on supplemental treatment options show that high performance grout and steam reforming might keep radionuclides from escaping better than glass.
And from here:
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Vitrification allows the immobilization of the waste for thousands of years.
When they truthfully write "... genuine immobilization of the waste for over one hundred thousand years," I'll be comforted. 
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Sciguy

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1506 on: January 05, 2021, 08:36:40 PM »
Vitrification shares a similar characteristic with many nuclear technologies such as fusion, molten salt reactors, small modular reactors and thorium reactors.  All seem like magical solutions that will solve all of our problems.  None of them have been built and in practice are so expensive that they'll likely never be built.  (Although fusion is only two decades away 8))

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1508 on: January 06, 2021, 01:35:11 AM »
Only a small portion of France's nuclear waste can be vitrified.  The nastiest stuff has to be stored in stainless steel containers and locked away for thousands of years.

https://www.edf.fr/en/the-edf-group/producing-climate-friendly-energy/nuclear-energy/our-expertise/radioactive-waste

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The 90% of least radioactive waste is sealed in drums, metal boxes or concrete containers. Final storage is handled at three Andra centres located in the Manche and Aube departments.

The 10% of most radioactive waste is currently conditioned in stainless steel containers and placed in intermediate storage at AREVA’s La Hague plant. Given its half life of up to several tens of thousands of years, the law provides for the containers’ transfer to a deep geological disposal facility (Cigéo). Being built at the boundary of the Meuse and Haute Marne departments, Cigéo is expected to open in 2025. Waste will be stored in cells excavated at a depth of 500 metres in a stable geological environment surrounded by impermeable argillaceous rock. Another repository is currently being designed to store power plant decommissioning waste.

EDF does vitrify nuclear waste produced by its British plants.  The vitrified waste must still be locked away for eons in geologically isolated storage facilities.

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In the UK, where legislation is different, EDF Energy works with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is responsible for waste storage. Low and intermediate level waste is retained in dedicated facilities within the power plants and ultimately compacted, incinerated or recycled.

High-level waste is currently vitrified and placed in intermediate storage at the Sellafield reprocessing plant. The British government took a decision in 2006 to ultimately store it in deep geological repositories.

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1509 on: January 06, 2021, 03:59:04 AM »
France reprocesses their spent fuel substantially reducing the volume of waste and reducing the time that waste is dangerous by an order of magnitude. This also reduces the need for new fuel.


New baseload power needs should be met with new deep well geothermal techniques not nuclear.

BeeKnees

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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1511 on: February 18, 2021, 05:56:39 PM »
On this day in 1955, the U.S. military wanted to know how soldiers would react “under the anticipated conditions of nuclear warfare” so it sent several thousand to the Nevada Test Site for a series of 14 detonations that ran through the middle of May. The first of those, designated nuclear shot “Wasp,” happened on this day 66 years ago. NBC News has more about the veterans who survived those tests

https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/hidden-history-americas-atomic-veterans/2230879/

... “They wanted to see how live soldiers would stand up to being exposed to radiation,” Bolden recalls. “Prior to using live soldiers they were using mannequins. But you don’t get real results from using mannequins as you would live bodies.”

... “They don’t tell you what you’re gonna be facing,” he said. “No one there knew what they were gonna be facing.”

... All races of military personnel participated in Operation Teapot. But upon arrival in Nevada, Bolden was stunned to realize all the other soldiers in his new unit specially selected for a mystery assignment were also black.

“There was this myth about black people being able to withstand, tolerate certain things more than any other race,” he says. “So it was a test on that also.”

On a February morning, Bolden’s unit was ordered into a trench in the desert. Unbeknownst to them, it was dug in the predicted path of the fallout, just 2.8 miles away from what would become ground zero for an atomic bomb drop.

... “They tell you to cover your eyes,” he says.

“With the radiation, when you put your arms across your eyes or your hands, you actually see the bones, you see the bones in your body from the exposure. You can see your skeleton.”

After the fallout came the warning.

“You are sworn an oath not to talk about it,” Bolden said. Soldiers were threatened with imprisonment and fines for violating the oath. [... unlike presidents, senators and congressmen]
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1512 on: February 19, 2021, 03:27:27 PM »
Water Leaks Indicate New Damage at Fukushima Nuclear Plant
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-02-leaks-fukushima-nuclear.html

Cooling water levels have fallen in two reactors at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant since a powerful earthquake hit the area last weekend, indicating possible additional damage, its operator said Friday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Keisuke Matsuo said the drop in water levels in the Unit 1 and 3 reactors indicates that the existing damage to their primary containment chambers was worsened by Saturday's magnitude 7.3 quake, allowing more water to leak.

Matsuo said the cooling water level fell as much as 70 centimeters (27 inches) in the primary containment chamber of the Unit 1 reactor and about 30 centimeters (11 inches) in Unit 3. TEPCO wasn't able to determine any decline in Unit 2 because indicators have been taken out to prepare for the removal of melted debris, it said.

Increased leakage could require more cooling water to be pumped into the reactors, which would result in more contaminated water that is treated and stored in huge tanks at the plant. TEPCO says its storage capacity of 1.37 million tons will be full next summer.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

longwalks1

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1513 on: March 15, 2021, 08:16:38 PM »
My friend and fellow jail inmate (ex jail) posted his take on the 10th anniversary of Fukushima at Counterpunch.   John LaForge.  Nuckewatch

Here is a different take on it from Bellona

https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2021-03-10-years-after-fukushima-the-nuclear-industry-still-lacks-the-publics-trust

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Where does Japan’s nuclear go from here?

Despite the public opposition to nuclear power, Japan’s current leadership has not given up on it. Shinzo Abe, prime minister from 2012 to 2020, was a supporter, but during his tenure, most reactors remained mothballed while undergoing stricter safety inspections.

Twenty-one reactors of the country’s 54 were decommissioned after the disaster, and of the 33 that deemed operable by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the agency has only approved nine for restarts. Of those, only four have become operational again after going through an additional post-Fukushima rigor that requires local governments to sign off on all restarts.


And they post a link to a Nature comment piece

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00580-4

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Nuclear energy, ten years after Fukushima
Amid the urgent need to decarbonize, the industry that delivers one-tenth of global electricity must consult the public on reactor research, design, regulation, location and waste.
Aditi Verma, Ali Ahmad & Francesca Giovannini

Both articles both fairly nuanced.   
As always, I do like to check in on the Barnents Observer and also Bellona.   

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1514 on: March 15, 2021, 10:04:48 PM »
A cynic might infer that here is a reason why the UK remains committed to nuclear power.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/15/cap-on-trident-nuclear-warhead-stockpile-to-rise-by-more-than-40
Cap on Trident nuclear warhead stockpile to rise by more than 40%

Exclusive: Boris Johnson announcement on Tuesday will end 30 years of gradual disarmament[/size]
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Britain is lifting the cap on the number of Trident nuclear warheads it can stockpile by more than 40%, Boris Johnson will announce on Tuesday, ending 30 years of gradual disarmament since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The increased limit, from 180 to 260 warheads, is contained in a leaked copy of the integrated review of defence and foreign policy, seen by the Guardian. It paves the way for a controversial £10bn rearmament in response to perceived threats from Russia and China.
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BeeKnees

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1515 on: March 17, 2021, 12:47:58 AM »
This is pretty damning.  The section on why operators keep loss making reactors running rather than have to put the clean up costs on the books and the failure to plan for this is important information.

https://www.dw.com/en/nuclear-climate-mycle-schneider-renewables/a-56712368

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.Today we need to put the question of urgency first. It's about how much we can reduce greenhouse gases and how quickly for every euro ($1.21) spent. So, it's a combination between cost and feasibility, while doing it in the fastest possible way.

And if we're talking about the construction of new power plants, then nuclear power is simply excluded. Not just because it is the most expensive form of electricity generation today, but, above all, because it takes a long time to build reactors. In other words, every euro invested in new nuclear power plants makes the climate crisis worse because now this money cannot be used to invest in efficient climate protection options.

What about existing nuclear power plants?

The power plants exist, they provide electricity. However, many of the measures needed for energy efficiency are now cheaper than the basic operating costs of nuclear power plants. That is the first point, and unfortunately it is always forgotten.

The second point is that renewables today have become so cheap that in many cases they are below the basic operating costs of nuclear power plants.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1516 on: March 17, 2021, 01:32:35 AM »
Nice article:

Money quotes:

"The main reason is that an operating nuclear power plant generates income. As soon as a nuclear power plant is decommissioned, liabilities appear in the balance sheet and additional expenses appear."

"an example of this in Japan. If often took years to officially close nuclear power plants because companies could not afford to remove these plants from their assets. Some of these operators would have gone bankrupt overnight."

"How much does demolition cost?

In the order of €1 billion per reactor. In France, only a third of [the required funds] have been put aside. This means the problem starts once the reactors go offline."

"What about the costs of the storage of high-level radioactive waste?"

"No one knows how much this really costs, because there is no functioning permanent storage facility"

sidd

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1517 on: March 22, 2021, 11:45:18 PM »
Whether Cold Fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions, U.S. Navy Researchers Reopen Case
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/energy/nuclear/cold-fusion-or-low-energy-nuclear-reactions-us-navy-researchers-reopen-case

After more than three decades of simmering debate in specialized physics groups and fringe research circles, the controversy over cold fusion (sometimes called low-energy nuclear reactions or LENRs) refuses to go away. On one hand, ardent supporters have lacked the consistent, reproducible results and the theoretical underpinning needed to court mainstream acceptance. On the other, vehement detractors cannot fully ignore the anomalous results that have continued to crop up, like the evidence for so-called “lattice-confinement fusion” adduced last year by a group at NASA’s Glenn Research Center.

https://www1.grc.nasa.gov/space/science/lattice-confinement-fusion/
https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/nuclear/nuclear-fusiontokamak-not-included

Scientists at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division have pulled together a group of Navy, Army, and National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) labs to try and settle the debate. Together, the labs will conduct experiments in an effort to establish if there’s really something to the cold fusion idea, if it’s just odd chemical interactions, or if some other phenomenon entirely is taking place in these controversial experiments.

Aside from the recent promising findings from NASA, Google published a paper in Nature in 2019 revealing that the company had spent US $10 million to research cold fusion since 2015. The company teamed up with researchers at institutions including MIT, the University of British Columbia, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research group found no evidence of classic Pons-Fleischmann-style cold fusion, but it did find evidence of the larger umbrella category of LENRs—suggesting (as the NASA group also reported) that nuclear fusion may be possible in locally-hot sites in otherwise room temperature metals.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1256-6

“Quite frankly, [to] other folks who have tried this over the years, it was considered a career ender,” says Gotzmer. But the Indian Head team decided that, as a government lab, they had a little more freedom to pursue a controversial topic, so long as it also offered up the prospect of rewarding scientific results.

... Barham describes Indian Head’s role in the new project as that of an “honest broker.” “Our main task is to try and collect the data that’s going to come in from, for example, the US Naval Academy, the Army Research Laboratory, and [NIST],” Barham says. He explains that different laboratories—all together, five are participating in the investigation—can provide different detectors and other equipment suited to exploring particular research questions. Indian Head can then coordinate materials and research between labs. And when the data starts to come in, the researchers at Indian Head can not only assess the data’s quality themselves, but ensure the other labs have that data available to review as well.

The researchers say they hope to publish their initial results by the end of the year. “I think the most important thing is to reveal a mechanism by which the phenomenon works,” says Gotzmer. “Because if you understand the mechanism, then you can extrapolate into better experiments and make it more reproducible. There’s many mechanisms which have been proposed, but no one’s really nailed down completely what the nitty-gritty science is.”
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1518 on: March 23, 2021, 11:14:46 AM »
I figure there is some upper dimensional stuff going on with cold fusion. Either way cold fusion does not produce the heat needed to create steam so it is not useful for electricity.

kassy

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1519 on: March 24, 2021, 12:19:54 PM »
And of course it won´t be there on time which is a general theme:

Small nuclear power plants no use in climate crisis

Governments are investing in a new range of small nuclear power plants, with little chance they’ll ease the climate crisis.

LONDON, 24 March, 2021 − Claims that a new generation of so-called advanced, safe and easier-to-build nuclear reactors − small nuclear power plants − will be vital to combat climate change are an illusion, and the idea should be abandoned, says a group of scientists.

Their report, “Advanced” is not always better, published by the US Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), examines all the proposed new types of reactor under development in the US and fails to find any that could be developed in time to help deal with the urgent need to cut carbon emissions. The US government is spending $600 million on supporting these prototypes.

While the report goes into details only about the many designs of small and medium-sized reactors being developed by US companies, it is a serious blow to the worldwide nuclear industry because the technologies are all similar to those also being underwritten by taxpayers in Canada, the UK, Russia and China. This is a market the World Economic Forum claimed in January could be worth $300 billion by 2040.

Edwin Lyman, who wrote the report, and is the director of nuclear power safety in the UCS Climate and Energy Program, thinks the WEF estimate is extremely unlikely. He comments on nuclear power in general: “The technology has fundamental safety and security disadvantages compared with other low-carbon sources.

“Nuclear reactors and their associated facilities for fuel production and waste handling are vulnerable to catastrophic accidents and sabotage, and they can be misused to produce materials for nuclear weapons. The nuclear industry, policymakers, and regulators must address these shortcomings fully if the global use of nuclear power is to increase without posing unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and international peace and security.”

Cheaper options

Lyman says none of the new reactors appears to solve any of these problems. Also, he says, the industry’s claims that their designs could cost less, be built quickly, reduce the production of nuclear waste, use uranium more efficiently and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation have yet to be proved. The developers have also yet to demonstrate that the new generation of reactors has improved safety features enabling them to shut down quickly in the event of attack or accident.

Lyman examines the idea that reactors can be placed near cities or industry so that the waste heat from their electricity generation can be used in district heating or for industrial processes.

He says there is no evidence that the public would be keen on the idea of having nuclear power stations planted in their neighbourhoods.

Another of the industry’s ideas for using the power of the new nuclear stations to produce “green hydrogen” for use in transport or back-up energy production is technically feasible, but it seems likely that renewable energies like wind and solar could produce the hydrogen far more cheaply, the report says.

....

Governments are investing in a new range of small nuclear power plants, with little chance they’ll ease the climate crisis.

LONDON, 24 March, 2021 − Claims that a new generation of so-called advanced, safe and easier-to-build nuclear reactors − small nuclear power plants − will be vital to combat climate change are an illusion, and the idea should be abandoned, says a group of scientists.

Their report, “Advanced” is not always better, published by the US Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), examines all the proposed new types of reactor under development in the US and fails to find any that could be developed in time to help deal with the urgent need to cut carbon emissions. The US government is spending $600 million on supporting these prototypes.

While the report goes into details only about the many designs of small and medium-sized reactors being developed by US companies, it is a serious blow to the worldwide nuclear industry because the technologies are all similar to those also being underwritten by taxpayers in Canada, the UK, Russia and China. This is a market the World Economic Forum claimed in January could be worth $300 billion by 2040.

Edwin Lyman, who wrote the report, and is the director of nuclear power safety in the UCS Climate and Energy Program, thinks the WEF estimate is extremely unlikely. He comments on nuclear power in general: “The technology has fundamental safety and security disadvantages compared with other low-carbon sources.

“Nuclear reactors and their associated facilities for fuel production and waste handling are vulnerable to catastrophic accidents and sabotage, and they can be misused to produce materials for nuclear weapons. The nuclear industry, policymakers, and regulators must address these shortcomings fully if the global use of nuclear power is to increase without posing unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and international peace and security.”

Cheaper options

Lyman says none of the new reactors appears to solve any of these problems. Also, he says, the industry’s claims that their designs could cost less, be built quickly, reduce the production of nuclear waste, use uranium more efficiently and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation have yet to be proved. The developers have also yet to demonstrate that the new generation of reactors has improved safety features enabling them to shut down quickly in the event of attack or accident.

Lyman examines the idea that reactors can be placed near cities or industry so that the waste heat from their electricity generation can be used in district heating or for industrial processes.

He says there is no evidence that the public would be keen on the idea of having nuclear power stations planted in their neighbourhoods.

Another of the industry’s ideas for using the power of the new nuclear stations to produce “green hydrogen” for use in transport or back-up energy production is technically feasible, but it seems likely that renewable energies like wind and solar could produce the hydrogen far more cheaply, the report says.

The report notes that it is not just the US that is having trouble with nuclear technology: Europe is also suffering severe delays and cost overruns with new plants at Olkiluoto in Finland, Flamanville in France and Hinkley Point C in the UK.

Lyman’s comments might be of interest to the British government, which has just published its integrated review of defence and foreign policy.

Military link declared

In it the government linked the future of the civil and defence nuclear capabilities of the country, showing that a healthy civil sector was important for propping up the military. This is controversial because of the government’s decision announced in the same review to increase the number of nuclear warheads from 180 to 260, threatening an escalation of the international arms race.

Although Lyman does not mention it, there is a clear crossover between civil and nuclear industries in the US, the UK, China, Russia and France. This is made more obvious because of the few countries that have renounced nuclear weapons − for example only Germany, Italy and Spain have shown no interest in building any kind of nuclear station. This is simply because renewables are cheaper and produce low carbon power far more quickly.

But the link between civil and defence nuclear industries does explain why in the UK the government is spending £215m ($298m) on research and development into the civil use of the small medium reactors championed by a consortium headed by Rolls-Royce, which is also one of the country’s major defence contractors. Rolls-Royce wants to build 16 of these reactors in a factory and assemble them in various parts of the country. It is also looking to sell them into Europe to gain economies of scale.

Judging by the UCS analysis, this deployment of as yet unproven new nuclear technologies is unlikely to be in time to help the climate crisis – one of the claims that both the US and UK governments and Rolls-Royce itself are making. − Climate News Network

https://climatenewsnetwork.net/small-nuclear-power-plants-no-use-in-climate-crisis/
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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1520 on: March 28, 2021, 10:45:13 PM »
Portable Nuclear Reactor Project Moves Forward at Pentagon
https://www.defensenews.com/smr/energy-and-environment/2021/03/23/portable-nuclear-reactor-project-moves-forward-at-pentagon/



WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has selected two companies to move forward with developing small, portable nuclear reactors for military use in the field.

https://www.cto.mil/pele_eis/

BWXT Advanced Technologies and X-energy were chosen by the department’s Strategic Capabilities Office to continue on with Project Pele, which seeks to develop a reactor of 1- to 5-megawatt output that can last at least three years at full power. In addition, the reactors must be designed to operate within three days of delivery and be safely removed in as few as seven days if needed.

Overview: https://gain.inl.gov/GAINEPRINEI_MicroreactorProgramVirtualWorkshopPres/Day-2%2520Presentations/Day-2-am.02-Nichols_PeleProgOverviewPublicMarch2020,19Aug2020.pdf

... The Pentagon has long eyed nuclear power as a potential way to reduce both its energy cost and its vulnerability in its dependence on local energy grids. According to a news release, the Defense Department uses “approximately 30 Terawatt-hours of electricity per year and more than 10 million gallons of fuel per day.”

According to an October 2018 technical report by the Nuclear Energy Institute, 90 percent of military installations have “an average annual energy use that can be met by an installed capacity of nuclear power” of 40 MWe (megawatt electrical) or less.

Report: https://www.nei.org/CorporateSite/media/filefolder/resources/reports-and-briefs/Road-map-micro-reactors-department-defense-201810.pdf

The Biden administration is expected to pursue alternative energy options across the Pentagon, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pledging to lower the department’s carbon footprint and to consider climate impact in strategic decisions. Whether nuclear energy will prove a way forward or not may depend on whether the taboo around nuclear power can be assuaged for local defense communities and members of Congress.

Project Pele is not the only attempt at introducing small nuclear reactors to the Pentagon’s inventory; a second effort is being run through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. That effort, ordered in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, involves a pilot program aimed at demonstrating the efficacy of a small nuclear reactor in the 2- to 10-MWe range, with initial testing at a Department of Energy site around 2023.

While Project Pele is focused on the potential for deployable nuclear reactors, the acquisition and sustainment effort is focused on domestic military installations, with the goal of being operational by 2027.


American companies Westinghouse (0.2-5 MWe), NuScale (1-10 MWe), and UltraSafe Nuclear (5 MWe) are all developing reactors with less than 10 MWe output, while Sweden’s LeadCold (3-10 MW3) and a U.K. consortium led by Urenco (4 MWe) are also working on developing similar systems

However, Edwin Lyman, director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists, has concerns about the availability of fuel to power a proliferation of small nuclear reactors. He noted, "there are no clear plans for manufacturing the quantity of high-assay low enriched uranium, much less the production of high-quality TRISO [TRi-structural ISOtropic particle] fuel, that would be able to meet timelines this decade.”

Lyman believes that the department’s past efforts have “consistently underestimated”the “spectrum of mission risks posed by these microreactors," mostly around the technical challenges of keeping the radioactive fuel safe and operational in battlefield conditions.

“Fielding these reactors without commanders fully understanding the radiological consequences and developing robust response plans to cope with the aftermath could prove to be a disastrous miscalculation,” warned Lyman.

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nuclear-arsenal/2020/03/09/pentagon-to-award-mobile-nuclear-reactor-contracts-this-week/

https://mobile.twitter.com/LosAlamosNatLab/status/1096547273704538112


... the keys are in the truck, and the engines running. What could go wrong?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 11:07:04 PM by vox_mundi »
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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1521 on: April 09, 2021, 11:15:49 PM »
U.S.Navy Labs To Reopen The Once Taboo Case On Nuclear Cold Fusion
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40105/navy-labs-to-reopen-the-case-on-once-taboo-cold-fusion

Researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division have reopened the case on low-energy nuclear reactions, or LENRs, largely unexplained phenomena that are at the core of theories about "cold fusion." Five different government-funded laboratories under the control of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and National Institutes of Standards and Technology will conduct experiments in an attempt to once and for all settle the debate over this little-understood and highly controversial topic. Despite the controversy and stigma associated with LENR, many experts across the U.S. military believe that the science behind them is sound, and if working technologies can someday be developed, it could transform military operations to an extent not seen in over a century.

... Enough researchers believe there is at least something to LENRs and that the topic is worth a serious second look. The 2016 Scientific American guest blog “It's Not Cold Fusion... But It's Something” claims that “Hidden in the confusion are many scientific reports, some of them published in respectable peer-reviewed journals, showing a wide variety of experimental evidence” for LENRs, “including transmutations of elements.”

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/its-not-cold-fusion-but-its-something/

The same article states that studies have also shown that LENRs “can produce local surface temperatures of 4,000-5,000 K and boil metals (palladium, nickel and tungsten) in small numbers of scattered microscopic sites on the surfaces of laboratory devices.” A more recent theory suggests that LENR reactions have nothing to do with fusion at all, and instead are produced by weak interaction and are perfectly consistent with known physics.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division seeks to get to the bottom of the LENR phenomenon with an honest look at the available data and by conducting new experiments. NSWC Indian Head specializes in energetics, a branch of research involving the development and testing of explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, fuels, and other reactive materials as they pertain to propulsion and weaponry.  ... the lab will serve as an “honest broker” that will reexamine decades’ worth of data collected by the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Department of Defense (DOD), as a whole, has been interested in LENR research for some time. Previously, the Navy’s LENR research was conducted at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center - Pacific. According to LENR subject matter expert and author Steven Krivit, SPAWAR “produced some of the most interesting experiments and observations in the field and published more LENR papers in mainstream journals than any U.S. LENR group.” SPAWAR’s LENR research was terminated in 2011.



Just two years prior, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) published a report on LENR research which stated that based on the available scientific data from around the world, "nuclear reactions may be occurring under conditions not previously believed possible." The report states that Italy and Japan lead international research on the topic, and that the stigma associated with the topic in the United States means that most of the information surrounding LENR is presented at international conferences, with U.S. data in the hands of foreign scientists.

... DIA ultimately concluded in 2009 that "if nuclear reactions in LENR experiments are real and controllable, whoever produces the first commercialized LENR power source could revolutionize energy production and storage for the future" and that "the potential applications of this phenomenon, if commercialized, are unlimited." The report goes on to state that LENR could lead to batteries that last for decades, revolutionizing power for sensors and military operations in remote areas and/or space, and that "the military potential of such high-energy-density power sources is enormous," potentially leading to "the greatest transformation of the battlefield for U.S. forces since the transition from horsepower to gasoline power." ...

... NSWC Indian Head plans to publish their initial results on their LENR experiments and reviews of data by the end of the year.

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Whether Cold Fusion or Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions, U.S. Navy Researchers Reopen Case
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/energy/nuclear/cold-fusion-or-low-energy-nuclear-reactions-us-navy-researchers-reopen-case

... Aside from the recent promising findings from NASA, Google published a paper in Nature in 2019 revealing that the company had spent US $10 million to research cold fusion since 2015. The company teamed up with researchers at institutions including MIT, the University of British Columbia, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The research group found no evidence of classic Pons-Fleischmann-style cold fusion, but it did find evidence of the larger umbrella category of LENRs—suggesting (as the NASA group also reported) that nuclear fusion may be possible in locally-hot sites in otherwise room temperature metals.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1256-6
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late