Conventional Nuclear (AKA Nuclear Fission) a thread for discussion of the pros / cons.

  • Hydroelectric is threatened worldwide, at present, capacity in some areas are down as much as 30% due to drought.

    It will be the same as wind. Floods and drought . We Swiss built storage lakes with the capacity of 4 nukes in total. Others just start to think about it.

  • Hydroelectric is threatened worldwide, at present, capacity in some areas are down as much as 30% due to drought.

    I read that too. It is awful. Until now, hydro has been the surest way to generate electricity. There have been cutbacks from time to time, such as in Washington State during droughts. They were not as drastic, and they did not last long. I do not think anyone anticipated a long lasting 30% cut.


    Droughts also affect coal and nukes. They have gigantic cooling towers to cool down the spent steam. These are heat exchangers. They take a lot of water from rivers in the U.S.: 400 gallons per megawatt-hour. (In Japan they use ocean water, which is available in unlimited amounts, of course.) See:


    Nuclear Power Plant Water Usage and Consumption


    Nuclear Power Plant Water Usage and Consumption


    I think most combined cycle gas turbines use "dry" cooling towers, meaning the heat exchange is with air, not with water from a river or the ocean. I suppose this is because they are much more efficient than coal or nukes. Which is to say, they produce less waste heat per megawatt-hour. So I guess they can work with less effective cooling towers.


    If you are wondering what a combined cycle gas generator is, here is nice little explanation:



    The cost of electricity is only rising for the foreseeable future.

    It has been falling rapidly for several years. Unless the climate crisis increases substantially -- which I cannot rule out -- there is no reason to think the cost of electricity will not continue to fall, as solar and wind become more common. Except in Georgia, where we will be paying outrageous sums for the two new Vogtle nukes for decades! Solar and wind cost the power company much less than any other source. They are replacing other sources as old plants wear out and are retired. Power companies are regulated and they have to pass on savings to the customers. So why will electricity become more expensive?


    There is still plenty of ways to improve solar and wind, making them even cheaper. They are not at the end of the development cycle, the way combined cycle gas or coal are. Also, solar and wind are not affected by the climate crisis.




    Conventional nukes are at the end of their development. But some radically new fission reactor might come along, such as the pebble bed one I mentioned above. I gather it would be cheaper.

  • It has been falling rapidly for several years. Unless the climate crisis increases substantially -- which I cannot rule out -- there is no reason to think the cost of electricity will not continue to fall, as solar and wind become more common. Except in Georgia, where we will be paying outrageous sums for the two new Vogtle nukes for decades! Solar and wind cost the power company much less than any other source. They are replacing other sources as old plants wear out and are retired. Power companies are regulated and they have to pass on savings to the customers. So why will electricity become more expensive

    You crack me up. You keep claiming the cost of generating electricity is falling and that may be so but and it's a big but, it's not being passed on to the consumer. Pretty obvious you don't pay the monthly electric bill. Now we pay more for the generation based on oil prices and for infustructure of your renewables. Anyway you look at it the consumer gets screwed

  • You keep claiming the cost of generating electricity is falling and that may be so but and it's a big but, it's not being passed on to the consumer.

    It has to be passed on to the consumer. Every power company in the U.S. is regulated, and all the regulators insist on this.


    Pretty obvious you don't pay the monthly electric bill.

    I do. I quote my annual cost in my latest paper and lecture. (Okay, okay, my wife pays it, but I keep a spreadsheet.) Quoting myself:


    ENERGY


    Average residential energy costs are:


    $115/month electricity, $1,380/year


    Natural gas costs ~$100/month gas, $1,200/year. Much of this is used for space heating.


    Electricity and gas total: $2,580/year. (Incidentally, this is close to what we pay at our house in Atlanta, Georgia. Electricity $1,164, natural gas $1,333.)



    Now we pay more for the generation based on oil prices and for infustructure of your renewables.

    Who is we? Where did you find this information? The data from the electric power industry, the EIA and all other sources I know of shows the cost of electricity has been falling steadily. Actually, it has been falling since the 1890s. I mean in constant dollars, counting inflation. From 1960 to 2011 it has fallen from 14.0 cents to 10.4 cents per kilowatt hour. It did reach lower points in 1979 and 1999, but the overall trend has been consistently down:


    U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis


    1979 and 1999 low prices were probably caused by economic downturns and high inflation. (These are inflation adjusted numbers.) It probably reached another low point in 2020, because the economic crisis.


    Since the year 2000, the price of residential retail electricity has not changed:


    During 2021, U.S. retail electricity prices rose at fastest rate since 2008


    Oil is not used to generate electricity anywhere in the U.S. except Hawaii. It was phased out in the 1970s. Oil has no effect on the cost of electricity. It is not interchangeable with natural gas, which does affect electricity costs. See:


    Electricity in the U.S. - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)


    "Petroleum was the source of less than 1% of U.S. electricity generation in 2021."

  • You crack me up. You keep claiming the cost of generating electricity is falling and that may be so but and it's a big but, it's not being passed on to the consumer. Pretty obvious you don't pay the monthly electric bill. Now we pay more for the generation based on oil prices and for infustructure of your renewables. Anyway you look at it the consumer gets screwed

    I have heard recently, in a video published by Italo American Architect Robin Monotti through some of his social network platforms (the ones that had not banned him yet) that the price hikes has much less to do with Ukrain War or with lowering / rising production costs than with the much coveted Net Zero goals that are forcing many energy companies to buy Carbon offsets, the cost of which is being transfered to the end users. I tend to agree.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • the price hikes has much less to do with Ukrain War or with lowering / rising production costs than with the much coveted Net Zero goals that are forcing many energy companies to buy Carbon offsets, the cost of which is being transfered to the end users. I tend to agree.

    There are no carbon offsets in the U.S., so that cannot be affecting our costs.


    Carbon Offsets: The U.S. Voluntary Market Is Growing, but Quality Assurance Poses Challenges for Market Participants
    Carbon offsets--reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from an activity in one place to compensate for emissions elsewhere--are a way to address...
    www.gao.gov


    There are some voluntary offsets, not enforced by anyone. These are real, but I think their primary goal is public relations. Being carbon neutral increases sales and revenue, the way advertising does. For example, Google says "carbon neutral since 2007." That's true, and it is important, because they use a lot of energy, but they are not doing that out of the goodness of their hearts, and not because any government agency told them to. They are doing it because the public is more likely to buy their products knowing they are carbon neutral. I buy Palmolive dish soap partly because a label on the bottle says, "made with recycled plastic 100%." I am willing to pay a few extra pennies for that. I don't know if it actually costs them more, but anyway, I'll pay more for it. It might be that Google pays less for carbon-neutral electricity than carbonous electricity, but either way, I don't mind paying extra for their good deed.

  • You people need to do a little more fact checking. There are no carbon offsets in the U.S., so the prices that FM1 and I have been discussing are not affected by carbon offsets. Virtually no electricity in the U.S. is generated with oil. Less than 1% of electricity generated with oil, mostly oil waste products that cannot be used for gasoline, such as residual fuel oil and petroleum coke, but not enough to affect the overall cost of electricity significantly.


    Granted, if the cost of oil were to skyrocket to $20 per gallon, electric power company repair trucks and things like that would cost a lot more to operate. In that scenario, the cost of oil would affect the cost of electricity. But that has not happened. In fact, the cost of gasoline has not risen or fallen since 1978, in inflation adjusted dollars:


    Gasoline Prices Adjusted for Inflation | US Inflation Calculator
    Gasoline prices are often very volatile with sharp swings in what American pay at the pump. The average price of gasoline dropped nearly 17% in 2020.
    www.usinflationcalculator.com


    So it could not have caused inflation in the cost of electricity (above general inflation) even if we still used it. Which we stopped doing when the price rose in the 1970s, when OPEC raised the cost of oil.




    I admit there is a ton information about energy that I do not know, but I try not to pontificate about things I know nothing about. I try to avoid making huge mistakes, such as saying that electricity costs are rising and gasoline costs are rising when every industry and government source shows they are not rising. Google makes it easy to fact check stuff like that. It is even better to read a bunch of books about energy.


    Here is something I did not know. Bloomberg says they used to have carbon offsets in Europe but they stopped in 2021:


    "The EU, which used to allow United Nations carbon offsets for compliance in its Emissions Trading System, imposed restrictions in the 2013-2020 period on concerns about their environmental integrity and banned them as of 2021. That sent the price of the credits to close to zero."


    Anyone who follows energy news in the U.S. will know we don't have carbon offsets.

  • But the department of agriculture is talking about carbon credits, isn't this the same thing. Looks more like a scam to me

  • Now we pay more for the generation based on oil prices and for infustructure of your renewables.

    Just fix the FM/R/JF mafia problem. In Germany 1 kwh from lime coal costs 2 cents in production. But the price for you "baby" is derived from the most expensive producer (no joke) that currently is gas - a tiny contribution in DE.


    They suck you out!

  • The levelized cost of electricity, disregarding subsidies, is: nukes $204/MWh, solar $41, wind $50.


    Building a nuclear power plant is economic insanity. Nobody wants to pay 5 times more for electricity than they would from the cheapest, cleanest source, which is solar. The power companies are installing far more solar than any other source because it is the cheapest source. Nuclear power is obsolete. It costs far too much. It is dangerous. The Fukushima accident bankrupted TEPCO, the largest power company in the world. There is no chance nuclear fission will catch up. I doubt that tokamak plasma fusion will ever become practical either.

    Just a point.


    Nuclear power works as base load. Solar/wind do not.


    So you need to add to the cost of them, enough energy storage to make them work when there is no sun/wind.


    That is possible - but:


    (a) It adds to the effective cost a lot

    (b) it has just not been done enough yet.


    We will get to all-renewable - no doubt - because battery (and other mains storage) tech is progressing but at the moment nuclear looks cheaper for base load than batteries. So we need it.


    As always you need to look better than just single figures of cost.

  • But the department of agriculture is talking about carbon credits, isn't this the same thing.

    I do not think the Department of Agriculture has any role in setting energy policy. The DoE would object. Anyway, carbon credits are controversial and would have to be approved by Congress. I doubt Congress would do this.

    Well JedRothwell , the mother of all fact checkers says the Carbon Offset market is thriving, specially in Europe.

    I don't know what to make of that. Bloomberg says European carbon offsets are dead.

    Nuclear power works as base load. Solar/wind do not.


    So you need to add to the cost of them, enough energy storage to make them work when there is no sun/wind.

    You don't need them when there is no sun. That's at night, when demand falls by half or 2/3rds. Actually, you don't need storage at all; you can use peak generators, with natural gas or Diesel. You must have that peak generation capacity for times when base load sources such as nuclear go offline. Nukes go offline for maintenance, and in SCRAM events. The cost of storage is falling rapidly, and more storage is being built. It is now 11% of new capacity:



    If storage becomes cheaper than peak generators, some of them can be retired. Or used at even less than 10% of their capacity, which is how much they are used now.


    You can't back up a nuke with today's storage. That has to be done with natural gas peak generators, because storage cannot produce 1 GW and you never know how long the nuke will be down. Wind and solar are more predictable than a nuke, with modern weather forecasting. So, even though wind and solar are down more often than a nuke, with a 40% duty cycle compared to 88% to 95% for a nuke (Lazard), if the cost of storage continues to fall it will soon be cheaper to back up wind and solar with batteries than it is to back up a nuke with peak generators.

  • Who are you going to believe, Bloomberg or the mother of all fact checkers?

    I don't know what to make of it, as I said. Meaning I don't know. If it was important for me to find out, I would look for original sources, or contact people in government agencies that are supposed to be regulating carbon offsets.

  • As for carbon credits congress approved a bill in June by a 92-8 vote paving the way for the department of Aggie to give carbon credits to farmers


    In rare bipartisan move, Senate approves bill to help farmers profit on climate action

    Farmers and foresters can generate the credits by changing their operations to cut emissions or pull more carbon dioxide from the air into soil or trees.

    In rare bipartisan move, Senate approves bill to help farmers profit on climate action
    Farmers and foresters can generate the credits by changing their operations to cut emissions or pull more carbon dioxide from the air into soil or trees.
    www.politico.com


    The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill on Thursday to help shore up private agriculture and forestry carbon markets. The vote was 92-8.


    The bill — a rare example of bipartisan action on climate — asks the Agriculture Department to create a certification program to help farmers, ranchers and foresters navigate a growing array of private-sector programs and make money by selling carbon credits. Such landowners can generate the credits by changing their operations to cut emissions or pull more carbon dioxide from the air into soil or trees.