Too Bad Nuclear Energy has been so Mis-Handled

I posted this on the Claverton web site today

Too bad nuclear has been screwed up so badly. To me, it seems obvious that nuclear reactors should: 
  • be strictly sited in ships or preferably submarines. The entire plant, or at least the reactor should be movable. This would greatly facilitate decommissioning, and siting well away from cities. One could also move the reactor around where it is needed.
  • Move the cooling of nuclear power plants away from evaporative cooling and towards direct cooling with deep ocean water in such a way as to cause upwelling of nutrient rich water, increased precipitation in targeted areas (to increase available runoff or winter snow), and to increase thermodynamic efficiency of the power cycle.
  • We should have pursued the thorium 232 to uranium 233 break even breeder cycle. This obviates the need for enrichment plants to produce fuel. The total number of loose neutrons produced in U-233 fission is reduced compared to U-235 or Pu-239, meaning less total radioactivity.
  • The US Navy has a great safety record, and possesses great designs for modular nuclear reactors. Why does the whole debate on "modular nuclear reactors" ignore that? How is the idea novel? Why not use what we've got? 
  • I have not even seen a peep about what I consider the best option: building complete power reactors in submarine hulls that rest on the ocean floor in water just deep enough to be immune to surface storms. I'm pretty sure that the resultant upwelling can be managed so as to produce pockets of ocean fertility.
  • When I learned about LENR reactions of H + Ni I was struck by the fact that no thermodynamic laws were breached, so I think this may be real. That would certainly be a game changer...but if true, we would soon be confronting thermal pollution on a grand scale. We would still need a supergrid in that scenario, but for a different reason (to put the waste heat where it belongs).
Too bad the whole nuclear debate is so stale. Some new ideas could possibly break through the impasse.

No comments:

Post a Comment