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#126 2019-12-02 20:50:28

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For SpaceNut re #125

There is an interesting line in the article:

The plant uses metal fuel to produce heat,

It seems possible (to me at least) that the word smiths are at work here.

There is NO mention of the kind of fuel chosen for the device.

My understanding is that the NASA device uses a small quantity of highly enriched Uranium.

(th)

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#127 2019-12-02 21:41:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table

https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/periodic-chart.htm

https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/u.htm

Uranium is a hard, dense, malleable, ductile, silver-white, radioactive metal. Uranium metal has very high density. When finely divided, it can react with cold water. In air it is coated by uranium oxide, tarnishing rapidly. It is attacked by steam and acids. Uranium can form solids solutions and intermetallic compounds with many of the metals.

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#128 2019-12-03 04:22:43

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,854

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Should be perfect for a terrorist attack - or were you planning on mounting a 24/7 military guard around it? smile

tahanson43206 wrote:

For the topic "Nuclear power is safe" the article at the link below should be a good fit.

It should also drive Louis bonkers << grin >>

The developers of the system described even include solar panels in their design, to show a positive attitude toward renewable energy.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/oklo … 00370.html

(th)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#129 2019-12-03 07:38:19

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For Louis re #128

The concern you have expressed deserves consideration.

In the case of the NASA power package, my impression is that nuclear material will be protected on Earth.

Once a reactor is on it's way to Mars, and after landing, my expectation is that vetting of human beings who might be able to access the equipment will be sufficient to reduce the risk considerably.  That said, because human beings are involved, there is (apparently) always a risk of an individual becoming subject to evil thoughts.  A strong mental health regime seems necessary for humanity to safely expand away from Earth, because there will necessarily be opportunities for individuals to attack the life support systems of whatever habitat is constructed.

Science Fiction is full of stories of risks to built environments, and authors have imagined all sorts of defenses.

The Chinese are experimenting with mind control on the scale of millions of people.  That may work.  The jury is still very much out.

The English/American experiment with freedom is incredibly risky.

(th)

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#130 2019-12-03 20:06:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

The reality is that even terrorist would not want to die from the radiation poisoning if they ever attempted to gain access to processed fuels let along concentrated levels of the raw ore.
The security at any facility are designed to keep the near honest person away and those that plan to be dishonest will get in to them no matter what you might do to stop them. You only hope that you can with your defenses that are setup to protect the fuel.
There are many more lethal things to make use of to kill with that have way less security and most can be made from off the shelf with little restrictions.

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#131 2019-12-12 18:59:55

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Nuclear power is safe

The article at the link below offers encouraging news for development of Small Modular Reactors in the United States.

Until now, I was resigned to the idea that the United States would remain forever behind the curve in development of the latest generation of fission reactors.

The 2023 target date seems cautious to me, but considering the history of the technology in the United States (and elsewhere) it makes sense.

https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/ne … dular.html

(th)

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#132 2019-12-12 21:08:32

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

So how small is small as what Nasa is working on in the 10Kwhr is small but can run at least 5 and up homes with power.
This does not really look all that small....
NuScale_Reactor_Building_SideA_Final%20HIGH%20RES.jpg?itok=To5DtkT2

https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files … ies%20.pdf

https://www.energy.gov/ne/downloads/pur … cy-options

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_modular_reactor

SMRs are relatively small and flexible: they have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) and their output can fluctuate in line with demand. Power plants based on these designs require less frequent refuelling, every 3 to 7 years, in comparison to between 1 and 2 years for conventional plants, and some are even designed to operate for up to 30 years without refuelling.

https://www.nei.org/advocacy/build-new- … r-reactors

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/sm … management

figure-smr%20comparison2.jpg

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#133 2019-12-13 05:21:38

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For SpaceNut re #32

Nice addition to the topic! 

225 MWe would serve many communities in the United States, and certainly in the world.

Recently, while investigating the potential of wind generator operation at sea, I ran across a reference to research on pulling Uranium from the ocean.

Here is a report from 2018 about progress using inexpensive reusable fiber:

https://newatlas.com/nuclear-uranium-se … ers/55033/

According to the article, the supply of Uranium dissolved in the world's oceans is inexhaustible from a practical point of view.

As Uranium is pulled from the ocean by humans, according to the article, the ocean will leach an equivalent amount out of rock, to maintain the current balance.

This technology should lead to income producing activity at some point.

However, I am looking at it as a reasonable addition to the functionality of a sea based wind power methane generator system.  The seawater has to be filtered to make hydrogen, so the useful dissolved chemicals might as well be collected.

(th)

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#134 2019-12-13 18:29:42

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Making themsafer for consumer sales would mean being able to cut the power cable to the home. Such a device would need to produce less than a 100kwhr a day even with the largest of power hogs....I would be happy with a 50kwhr device for sure and a sabetier reactor as well to make fuel with....

Its interesting about the uranium but thats were the heavy water first came from as well so not all that surprised to find that factoid....

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#135 2019-12-14 18:09:59

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

One day we could make mars look as good but its going to need a change
Small_Nuclear_Reactor_Third_Way_Xl_721_420_80_s_c1.jpg

How to Jump-Start a Micro Nuclear Reactor Industry in the US

Small and micro reactors could revitalize America’s nuclear sector—with some policy changes—argues a new paper from The Breakthrough Institute, the R Street Institute and Clearpath. Small and micro reactors, defined in the paper as reactors under 10 megawatts thermal, come with less risk than their larger counterparts. These units are two to three thousandth the size of a typical commercial reactor, with the ability to supply electricity to around 2,000 households. This is significantly smaller than the next generation of research reactors being tested around the country. NuScale Power, for instance, builds 60-megawatt units designed to operate in six or 12 packs.

I would not call that a small of micro reactor but when compared to the gigawatt units I guess is nano that we would want...

Several companies are currently working on micro nuclear reactor designs, such as Oklo, a startup in the Bay Area, and U-Battery, under development by mining company Urenco. Opening up pathways for small and micro reactor market testing will also enable companies with larger designs to build more prototypes before scaling up, said Lovering.

The advanced nuclear industry is a treacherous place. This week, nuclear reactor startup Transatomic Power shut down operations, after struggling to find a viable path for bringing its molten salt reactor designs to scale.

https://www.powermag.com/big-gains-for- … -reactors/

Possible deliverable units to military installation by 2027.

https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/big- … o-reactors

More than 50 U.S. companies are working on designs that are smaller, scalable, versatile and even mobile—providing far greater access to nuclear power than ever before.

Micro-reactors will likely be the first advanced reactors that we see enter the U.S. market.

American developers are currently working on gas and heat pipe-cooled designs that could debut by the mid-2020s, which will be absolute game-changers for the industry.

Heat pipes are in the kilowatt nasa design for mars.

single megawatt of electricity can power approximately 1,000 homes. That means these systems could provide up to 10,0000 homes with clean power—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—for 10 years without stopping!

only 10 years seems to be rather a short time frame of use.....

https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/what … croreactor

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#136 2019-12-14 19:41:27

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 485

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Small reactors tend to have a higher capital cost per MW.  They also have problems with neutron economy that push up enrichment requirements and have a negative effect on fuel utilisation.

One of the problems with nuclear power taking up a much greater share of world energy requirements is the shortage of resource available at low cost.  It may not be long before breeder reactors are needed in much greater numbers.  The problem here is that even with breeder reactors there is a doubling time issue.  It would realistically take at least a few decades for a sodium cooled fast reactor to breed enough surplus plutonium to expand generating capacity by a factor of two.  This makes the option of fusion-fission hybrid reactors far more attractive, especially if they can work using inertial confinement and high power density.  Deuterium tritium fusion produces very high energy neutrons.  These will fast-fission any nuclide heavier than lead.

Last edited by Calliban (2019-12-14 19:44:45)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#137 2019-12-15 09:21:02

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,295
Website

Re: Nuclear power is safe

I wonder how well polywells would function if designed to maximise neutron production, rather than trying for net energy production?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#138 2019-12-30 13:32:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Nuclear reactors do age and need to be limited to and when.
Sweden closes nuclear reactor after over 40 yrs of operation
one of the four nuclear reactors at its largest power station after over 40 years of operation, with operators citing a lack of profitability.

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#139 2019-12-30 16:10:03

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,588

Re: Nuclear power is safe

SpaceNut,

Inevitably, we're going to start burning more coal and gas as the Europeans are already doing as they shut down their nuclear reactors.  In other words, they're going to pay all the lip service in the world to climate change and then "reverse" our global warming problem by burning more fossil fuels.  Why?  Gas is cheaper now, so why not burn more gas?  Makes perfect sense to me.  This is why I can't take these "green energy" religious heretics seriously.  They say one thing in public and then do things that amount to the exact opposite of what they claim they're trying to achieve.  When the people who live there finally wake up and realize that what they're doing isn't having the desired effect, they start blaming everyone but themselves.  I guess it's impossible to admit to your own failures and move forward.  One thing's quite certain though, the money to create practical and meaningful change is still gone at the end of the day.

Does this mean we can stop using climate change as a cultural / political / economic weapon to beat other people over the head with?

Our actions continually indicate that we're all but outright admitting that we're not serious about doing anything meaningful about it.  We only seem to engage in crazy talk in both directions.  I've yet to see any practical proposals.  I'm not holding my breath on that changing any time soon.

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#140 2019-12-30 16:15:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

Re: Nuclear power is safe

And yet for most oil wells drilled they are burning off without it being used after selling it. If they were smart they would be buying the gas up cheap to make it available to the unfortunate people of low income in there nation. When you lift up the bottom the nation thrives as they now have income that they can spent.

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#141 2019-12-30 17:34:52

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,588

Re: Nuclear power is safe

SpaceNut,

Unfortunately, the drilling company typically doesn't own any of the product that comes from those wells and there are, if you can believe it, environmental regulations that dictate whether or not the drilling company can burn it in a combustion engine or react it in SOFC's to produce some of the power required to drill the well, thereby lowering the energy and therefore economic costs of drilling wells.  That's pretty funny when you consider that it's being flared off anyway, which is permitted by environmental regulations, yet actually using it would reduce the shipments of diesel to a rig for drilling operations.

This is the kind of thing that happens when governments are allowed to dictate every aspect of how something operates.  Apart from that, I'd generally agree that even somewhat dirty gas (it can and will be contaminated with some undesirable products like Sulfur or heavy metals or Radon) is preferable to simply burning it off in situ without ever allowing anyone to obtain any useful work from it.  In general, bottling it up and selling it cheap to people who would otherwise burn even dirtier coal or poop is a much better use for it.  Some filtration of things like heavy metals or Radon should still be mandatory.  I'd wager many basements in the UK are greater Radon threats, but I may as well be honest about what it could potentially contain.  No form of energy is without its downsides.

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#142 2019-12-31 16:10:31

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,235

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#143 2020-01-18 19:14:55

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 3,101

Re: Nuclear power is safe

This is for Calliban and Louis, although the two of you will (most likely) have very different reactions.

The report at the link below originated in the UK ... apparently it shows that nuclear fission cannot compete.

The report does not consider nuclear fusion of course, because while that technology is promising and enticing, it does not exist.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/deat … 00585.html

(th)

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#144 2020-01-19 15:47:36

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 485

Re: Nuclear power is safe

tahanson43206 wrote:

This is for Calliban and Louis, although the two of you will (most likely) have very different reactions.

The report at the link below originated in the UK ... apparently it shows that nuclear fission cannot compete.

The report does not consider nuclear fusion of course, because while that technology is promising and enticing, it does not exist.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/deat … 00585.html

(th)

Chatham House.  An organisation dedicated to forwarding political and economic 'liberalism' within the UK and beyond.  I wouldn't trust them to tell me the colour of an orange.


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

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#145 2020-01-19 18:00:12

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,854

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Chatham House touched a nerve!!

The phrase "Nest of vipers and spies" comes to mind. For a British institution it's amazing how about 90% of their spokespeople come from anywhere but the UK. 

It is also interesting to note that the phrase "Chatham House rules" means "You can say what you like here, no one will tell" - quite sinister I would say! smile

Calliban wrote:
tahanson43206 wrote:

This is for Calliban and Louis, although the two of you will (most likely) have very different reactions.

The report at the link below originated in the UK ... apparently it shows that nuclear fission cannot compete.

The report does not consider nuclear fusion of course, because while that technology is promising and enticing, it does not exist.

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/deat … 00585.html

(th)

Chatham House.  An organisation dedicated to forwarding political and economic 'liberalism' within the UK and beyond.  I wouldn't trust them to tell me the colour of an orange.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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