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Response to izquierdista (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:53 PM

8. We started to discuss this a while back and I never got back to you

Contrary to your assumption I did read the article before I said that the economics are almost certainly prohibitive. In that discussion you are going off of one *advocacy* article that is 40 years old and taking it as if it were offering a definitive analysis of the cost/benefit of the concept. That simply isn't true. It is one thing to make a claim and propose a novel solution to complex problems, but it is quite another to have that concept survive the process of rigorous technical, environmental and economic analysis. I think it is absolutely safe to assume that this is an idea which has been looked at by nuclear industry planners around the world who are looking for a better mousetrap - and it hasn't passed muster.

You post now contains a link to a more modern proposal, one we've heard a pretty fair amount about. The Forbes article links to this NewScientist article:
Several designs for such "mini reactors" have been proposed by companies like TerraPower and Hyperion Power. And while their proponents argue they could provide cheap, reliable, and safe sources of energy, they are still years away from being plugged into any electrical grid.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/03/nuclear-power-to-go-undergroun.html

Contrary to the claims of the proponents of this technology, it too faces some extremely tough challenges. Among other things, the claim that cost reductions can be achieve by harness economy of scale from mass production really don't stand close scrutiny for those cost reductions are only available at a substantial level after you have mass produced tens or hundreds of thousands of units. Each of the units on the way to an inexpensive unit has to be bought by someone willing to pay prices for the technology that are almost certain to be far above what the large-scale units can be built for (per KW) and thus also more than the competing renewable technologies.

Then there is the original point that is of interest to you - burying the units underground for safety. My understanding is that while that is talked about as a "neighborhood nuke" solution, in practice most people think the actual path to deployment, if it can happen at all will be above ground, on site at existing plants where they can be added in small increments to grow the capacity of the plant slowly and avoid the huge up-front capital outlay of a 1GW reactor.

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kristopher Apr 2012 OP
izquierdista Apr 2012 #1
freshwest Apr 2012 #3
LineLineReply We started to discuss this a while back and I never got back to you
kristopher Apr 2012 #8
izquierdista Apr 2012 #16
kristopher Apr 2012 #18
izquierdista Apr 2012 #21
kristopher Apr 2012 #22
izquierdista Apr 2012 #23
kristopher Apr 2012 #24
PamW Apr 2012 #28
kristopher Apr 2012 #29
izquierdista Apr 2012 #36
PamW Apr 2012 #44
freshwest Apr 2012 #2
bananas Apr 2012 #4
freshwest Apr 2012 #6
bananas Apr 2012 #10
cprise Apr 2012 #27
PamW Apr 2012 #30
kristopher Apr 2012 #31
bananas Apr 2012 #5
freshwest Apr 2012 #7
bananas Apr 2012 #11
bananas Apr 2012 #12
bananas Apr 2012 #13
freshwest Apr 2012 #14
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #32
kristopher Apr 2012 #35
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #41
kristopher Apr 2012 #42
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #43
Nederland Apr 2012 #37
kristopher Apr 2012 #38
freshwest Apr 2012 #40
Nederland Apr 2012 #45
freshwest Apr 2012 #39
GliderGuider Apr 2012 #9
freshwest Apr 2012 #15
XemaSab Apr 2012 #17
freshwest Apr 2012 #19
XemaSab Apr 2012 #20
kristopher Apr 2012 #25
kristopher Apr 2012 #26
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #33
kristopher Apr 2012 #34
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