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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    27 Sep '13 11:20
    http://phys.org/news/2013-09-next-generation-nuclear-fuel-high-temperature-accident.html#nRlv

    The danger level of nuclear plants will go way down with developments like this 4th generation uranium fuel. It doesn't release uranium products even at 1800 degrees C, higher than the temperature inside a runaway reactor.
  2. 27 Sep '13 14:51
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2013-09-next-generation-nuclear-fuel-high-temperature-accident.html#nRlv

    The danger level of nuclear plants will go way down with developments like this 4th generation uranium fuel. It doesn't release uranium products even at 1800 degrees C, higher than the temperature inside a runaway reactor.
    The problem is that the US nuclear industry is so highly regulated that new developments are not incorporated into new reactors. Getting approval for new designs is just too expensive and time consuming. As a result, such new developments will first be used in China or India.
    Although I am not anti-nuclear, I have not seen a convincing argument for not sticking to renewables for all new energy developments. Its getting to the point where they are competitive with nuclear (for new developments) and they will get cheaper with investment whereas nuclear will not.
    I believe China and India are just so desperate for power they will go with every possible route simultaneously.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    29 Sep '13 21:00
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The problem is that the US nuclear industry is so highly regulated that new developments are not incorporated into new reactors. Getting approval for new designs is just too expensive and time consuming. As a result, such new developments will first be used in China or India.
    Although I am not anti-nuclear, I have not seen a convincing argument for not s ...[text shortened]... and India are just so desperate for power they will go with every possible route simultaneously.
    I think there will be another, perhaps deliberately hidden effect: I don't think this fuel can be further concentrated without a lot of extra technology, concentrated to nuclear bomb potential.

    As time goes on, there will be less and less need for nuclear power when renewable sources can compete.
  4. 30 Sep '13 06:37
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    As time goes on, there will be less and less need for nuclear power when renewable sources can compete.
    As I said, renewables can already compete in some cases. They are struggling to compete with natural gas, but I think they can compete with nuclear, especially in highly regulated countries. China and India may build nuclear on the basis that they can ignore the cost of cleanups/waste etc for later ie they don't yet have the regulation framework to put those costs into the picture. Even with the US, I believe government shoulders a significant proportion of those costs.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Oct '13 23:45 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    As I said, renewables can already compete in some cases. They are struggling to compete with natural gas, but I think they can compete with nuclear, especially in highly regulated countries. China and India may build nuclear on the basis that they can ignore the cost of cleanups/waste etc for later ie they don't yet have the regulation framework to put th ...[text shortened]... cture. Even with the US, I believe government shoulders a significant proportion of those costs.
    If we want to have a viable civilization in 200 years we have to get off fossil fuels or get carbon sequestration down to an art, able to suck up all the CO2 from an entire planet full of burning fuels. Even if we do that we will run out of fossil fuel eventually, fracking or no fracking and we have to wean off of nuclear fission too.

    So it has to be solar, wind, wave, fusion and so forth in the long run. Cold fusion might pan out if some of the experiments going on are not just scams.