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Old 08-02-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,043,900 times
Reputation: 11043

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Here are some interesting links from Scientific American Magazine, WIKI and a few videos on the Nuclear Power Industry in The United States as it refurbishes current reactors, finishes work on stalled reactors and prepares to build at least 26 new power plants in the coming years, some of advanced design.

Currently the United States employs 103 Nuclear Reactors, supplying approximately 20 % of our electrical power needs to the national power grid. New designs include: Gas Cooled Reactors; Advanced Water Cooled and Pebble Bed Reactor Designs among others.

Safety Concerns Delay Approval of the First U.S. Nuclear Reactor in Decades: Scientific American

Reactivating Nuclear Reactors for the Fight against Climate Change: Scientific American

Nuclear Power Reborn: Scientific American

Next Generation Nuclear Power: Scientific American

The Nuclear Option: Scientific American

Nuclear reactor technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


YouTube - NRC Questions Westinghouse Reactor Design


YouTube - BBC Newsnight 25 November 2009 - New nuclear reactors


YouTube - Nuclear Power - How it Works


YouTube - Nuclear reactor


YouTube - Nuclear Power Generator .
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,451,419 times
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The trend as we move along with this will be for smaller, more localized nuclear. Technology and design (including safeguards) have come a long way since the '70s. Mitsubishi currently has the design that the rest of the world is looking to.

Just more info:
Westinghouse complete (http://viewer.zmags.co.uk/publication/e15ac1b9#/e15ac1b9/4 - broken link)
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
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They need to just approve a couple of these plants (Fed backed loans) so we can keep the economy moving with thousands of new jobs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,451,419 times
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Not to mention giving us much cleaner energy. Newer designs make much more efficient use of the fuel, so there is very little radioactive waste to deal with. Older designs (most of the ones here in the states) only use about 20-30% of the potential energy in the fuel. Modern designs use about 80% of the potential energy.
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,043,900 times
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Thankyou both for your posts and links......would be nice for the federal government to jumpstart a Nuclear Power resurgence and create jobs, while lessening our dependance on foreign oil sources.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,451,419 times
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In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I work in nuclear power. I am a Quality Assurance specialist and a Certified Welding Inspector. I work for a company that builds parts for nuclear power plants. I am familiar with the codes of construction for these plants as far back as 1971 (just happens to be the earliest version I have used). I can say that the code has gotten incrementally more restrictive as time has passed. The code doesn't address the technology, though, just the methods and quality of construction. I have to account for everything we do right down to melting down samples of our welding rod to verify the chemical composition.

There are something like 40 new nuclear plants under consideration for the next twenty years. The concern is that we don't have enough manufacturing capacity to make them all in that time period. The rules that a manufacturer has to follow are very strict, amongst the strictest standards in the world for anything. That's good, I want to know that my friendly neighborhood nuclear power plant was built with strict oversight.

The more modern designs have several layers of built in safeguards against failure, combining automatic and manual systems for redundancy. As I mentioned before, they also make much more efficient use of the potential energy in the fuel, so radioactive waste is greatly reduced. In fact, even now, more radioactivity is released from coal-fired plants every year than from nuclear plants.

Wind and solar are good, and I think we should be using them, but they are unlikely to ever be able to provide 100% of our power needs, or even 30%. Hydro is nearly maxed out in this country, unless we want to build more dams on our rivers, which I oppose. That leaves nuclear - I won't even discuss increasing coal-fired plants or the farce that is "clean-coal." Coal needs to go. Nuclear is clean and efficient, and leaves a much smaller footprint. I recently visited a plant in Tennessee, and you couldn't see the plant at all from the road until you were well onto the grounds. From the river, it looked no worse than any other industrial site, except that it is much more closely monitored.

Even if I didn't work in the industry, this is how I think we should go.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,451,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PITTSTON2SARASOTA View Post
Thankyou both for your posts and links......would be nice for the federal government to jumpstart a Nuclear Power resurgence and create jobs, while lessening our dependance on foreign oil sources.
Incidentally, this is how we got the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which operates several nuclear plants in that area. FDR was creating jobs, and the TVA was the overseeing agency for many public works projects, which created thousands and thousands of jobs.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
444 posts, read 1,037,614 times
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Stan.....Enjoyed your thoughts. I work on the engineering side and want to see some type of work shake loose whether it's coal, nuclear, or gas. There are MANY coal plants across the US that need Air Quality upgrades. This would help a great deal. There are gas plants that are much cheaper to build and operate that I think will be the future until the "new" nukes come online.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
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Actually, FDR wasn't the driving force of the TVA. He expedited and pushed an existing project that was headed by senator Norris (as in Norris Dam) from Nebraska. That senator got involved originally to settle disputes between the government and Henry Ford concerning the dam being built at Muscle Shoals in Alabama. It is even more complex than that, involving nitrates and cheap energy and a land grab, but that is the thrust of it.
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Old 08-07-2010, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,043,900 times
Reputation: 11043
Tennessee Valley Authority - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A new iniative along the lines of the initial TVA would be wise for a rebirth of the nuclear power industry in this country. Along with a Manhattan project type of effort to bring Fusion Power to commercial fruition; currently the entire planet spends a pitiful amount of money on Fusion Research and this technology offers advantages over any electrical generating scenario with nearly limitless fuel available. As mentioned Hydro power is pretty much maxed out and solar/wind/wave power, though clean and useful, can together only provide a small fraction of our electricity demands.
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