February 05, 2011

Carnival of nuclear energy 38

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 38 is up at Canadian Energy Issues

Idaho Samizday reports that US based efforts for building nuclear reactors are stuck



Plans for six 1,100 MW AP1000s have been delayed or are temporarily shelved include units planned by Duke and Progress in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.

The proposed merger of the two firms may revive one or more of these reactor projects due to the larger rate base of the combined firms. However, the actual closing of the merger is at least a year away. Any effort to combine nuclear projects will take even more time. You can't move reactor projects around like they were pieces on a checkers board.

Plans by Florida Power & Light for two more AP1000s near Miami have been pushed back by at least a decade. License applications for two AP1000s at TVA's Bellefonte plant have been mothballed in favor of completing one of the partially built units at the Scottsboro, AL, site.

Ambitious plans by Areva to build a U.S. fleet of 1,600 MW EPRs have suffered several setbacks. The most visible is the Calvert Cliffs III project which may yet be revived if new U.S. investors can be found for the project, However, a plan to build an EPR in upstate New York is in the deep freeze.

Similarly, a plan to build an EPR as a second reactor in Missouri for Ameren is just getting back on track having been derailed by the state legislature two years ago.

Detroit Edison looked at the auto industry in Michigan and began plans to build Fermi III using a GE-Hitachi ESBWR. The project was a poster child for John McCain's 2008 campaign plan on energy policy. At the time no one anticipated the great recession, which tanked the auto industry in the Midwest and took electricity demand with it,

In Texas NRG is struggling to find new investors for the expansion of the South Texas Project, The twin 1,350 MW ABWRs have the distinction of being the "first mover" in terms of filing a license application with the NRC in Fall 2007. The cities of Austin and San Antonio, who were to be the utility’s primary investors, will remain customers for the electricity from the new reactors, but they are no longer major investors.

Nuclear Green discusses why the chinese commitment to a liquid flouride thorium reactor (LFTR also callsed molten salt thorium reactor) matters.
The LFTR had revolutionary potential, that could change the lives of everyone on earth for the better. There is a huge amount of thorium in the earth, and the LFTR is up to 300 times more fuel efficient than conventional nuclear power plants. The LFTR could provide low cost energy at the level now enjoyed in the United States, to everyone on the planet, and provide it for millions of years.

China has a large thorium supply that comes from its rare earth mines, and so far has not found any use for thorium. The LFTR allows China to kill two birds with a single thorium stone. First it offers a potential source of vast amounts environmentally clean and safe energy at a low cost, and secondly it allows China to take advantage of an unused resource, which can easily replace coal. LFTR technology has the potential of providing China abundant energy at a very low cost, and might solidify Chinese economic, cultural and political dominance of the world for a long time to come.


This site provided:

Kazatomprom produced 17803 tons of uranium in 2010 and projects 19600 tons in 2011. Namibian Trekkoppje mine (3000 tons per year) will be delayed until 2013 from 2012.

The Namibian Etango mine should produce 1900-2700 tons of uranium per year. They are eyeing production in 2013. The Husab mine (what used to be Rossing South - also in Namibia) is targeting 2014 for about 5000 tons/year and then increasing to 7500 tons/year.

The three Namibian mines should be producing 5000 tons of uranium per year in 2013 and then 10,000 tons in 2014 and increasing to 12,500 tons a few years later. This would be added to an existing 5000 tons per year.

A summary of nuclear propulsion for space by a NASA presenter was also provided



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