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October 05, 2007

Pro-nuclear ruling in the USA

There has been an interpretation ruling on loan guarantees for 100% of the loan to a maximum of 80% of the total project for carbon dioxide reducing energy projects The loan guarantees make nuclear energy the cheapest option for energy. It pretty much guarantees that all 30 nuclear reactors that are in the planning stages in the USA will be built.

If a reasonable climate change bill is passed (likely in 2009) then the combination will cause a boom in nuclear power building in the United States. The amount of nuclear power would be projected to triple by 2030. 100-150 of the new larger reactors would be the primary source of any new power needs (along with more wind, solar and biomass and conservation and efficiency). The climate change bill will likely ratchet up the cost of coal plants and cause them to be shutdown and replaced over 20-30 year timeframe.

FURTHER READING
Thermoelectronics for more energy efficiency

Electric bikes and scooters in China and India key for clean global transportation.

Cars that are more fuel efficient than the Toyota Prius

Tracking increased orders for nuclear power around the world

EIA computational analysis of the projected impact of one of the climate bills

Increasing the power output of existing nuclear power plants

2 comments:

Lobo7922 said...

did you not talk about torium nuclear reactors the other day?
when you say 30 nuclear reactors, do you talk about normal reactors? not torium, right?

bw said...

I still support Thorium reactors and believe that Thorium molten salt reactors would be superior.

However, existing nuclear reactors (which these 30 and all of 343 and counting planned global reactor orders would be, other than a handful of special ones) are still 99.99% better than coal power plants and other fossil fuel plants.

If 85% of the stuff is 10,000 times more deadly and 75% of new orders are for the same deadly things then any of the current safer solutions is better.

The thorium molten salt reactors could burn 100% of the uranium, plutonium instead of 0.7-2.0% of current reactors and they could ultimately be a lot cheaper.

but other than primarily russian fatalities designing Chernobyl, mishandling waste causing significant fatalities and with some of their nuclear submarines, nuclear power and nuclear materials have been very safe. Russia had less than 300 deaths and 4000-9000 illnesses over 40 years. Nothing is perfectly safe and we have to get off the coal and fossil fuels causing 3 million deaths per year (World Health Organization figure), plus about 10,000 mining and direct transportation deaths.

So I still want better Thorium reactors but we can still make more of the regular reactors until those are ready. The Thorium molten salt and other reactors should be made over the next 20 years and after and they can be used to consume the uranium and plutonium in existing nuclear waste.