July 19, 2010

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 10

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1. Energy from Thorium has Energy cheaper than from coal

* nations with per capita electricity of 2,000 kWh/year (1/6 US use and an average power of 230 W) do achieve GDP of $7,500 per capita, which leads to sustainable birthrates.

* LFTR (Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors) capital cost targets of $2/watt are supported by simple fluid fuel handling, high thermal capacity heat exchange fluids, smaller components, low pressure core, high temperature Brayton gas turbine power conversion, simple intrinsic safety, factory production, the learning curve, and new technologies already under development. A levelized $2/watt capital cost contributes $0.02/kWh to the power cost. With plentiful, inexpensive thorium fuel, LFTR can generate electricity at <$0.03/kWh, underselling power generated by burning coal. Producing one LFTR of 100 MW size per day could phase out all coal burning power plants worldwide in 38 years, ending 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions from coal plants now supplying 1,400 GW of electric power. Low LFTR costs are vital to this coal replacement strategy, achievable if this goal is maintained during every design choice. Inexpensive electric power can also assist developing economies to improve prosperity, encouraging lifestyles with sustainable birthrates

2. Yes Vermont Yankee has an article with some inspiring testimony that people sent to the Public Service Board about a docket to shut down VY.

3. Rod Adams criticizes a pro-Natural gas article from the Wall Street Journal

My reading of the piece is that Deutch is part of the massive effort to persuade Americans that they should not look at the Deepwater Horizon natural gas explosion as a reason to increase the level of caution and oversight that we apply to oil and gas exploration and as a reason to look very carefully at our energy usage patterns.
4. Nuclear Green looks at climate science information from Joe Romm and Barry Brooks

5. Power Trends reviews the small modular nuclear reactor projects.

* Nuscale
* B&W mPower
* IRIS (International Reactor Innovative and Secure)
* ARC-100 Advanced Reactor Concepts
* Hyperion Power Module (HPM) or Mini Power Reactor (MPR)
* PRISM-GE-Hitachi
* SMART (System Integrated Modular Advanced ReacTor)-KINS
* Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR)
* Toshiba 4S (Super-Safe, Small, and simple)
* Terrapower
* Russia KLT-40S 35MWe PWR
* Russia VK-300 300MWe PWR
* Russia BREST 300MWe LMR
* Russia/General Atomics GT-MHR 285MWe HTR
* Argentina CAREM 27MWe PWR
* China HTR-PM 2x105MWe HTR
* Japan-Russia-USA FUJI 100MWe MSR

6. The OECD nations generated 731 TWH in the first four months of the year.

7. China is stockpiling uranium.

* Ukraine's nuclear electricity generation increased by 3.6% in January-April 2010, to 29.592 billion kW.

8. Multiple promising nuclear fusion projects

* Lawrenceville plasma physics is trying to develop dense plasma focus fusion
* EMC2 (Bussard/Inertial Electrostatic /polywell fusion).
* General fusion (in Canada, magnetized target fusion variant)
* Tri-alpha Energy Field Reversed Colliding beam fusion
* Helion Energy (need next level of funding but have built one third scale)
* Japan Muon fusion

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