February 08, 2015

The Quadrillion dollar world would be a world with complete Infrastructure

China is leveraging its $4 trillion in reserves to provide low interest financing for high speed rail, export of Chinese nuclear reactors, factories and property development.

China is offering to fill the worlds infrastructure gap. This will enable all of the developing world to follow the China economic development plan. In a few decades, they will have no shortfall in transportation, industry, modern buildings, energy plants, energy grid and other infrastructure needs. China will also help them finance it.

Let us imagine about 2060-2080 where China has provided almost all countries in Africa and Asia with state of the art energy generation, energy distribution, global transportation and modern megacities with over 90% urbanization.

The world economy is at about $110 trillion in purchasing power parity (with 2011 Worldbank adjustments) in 2015 and is about $80 trillion in nominal exchange rate terms. The average per capita wealth is $15,200 on a PPP basis for each of 7.2 billion people.

Robert Fogel, nobel prize winning economist has projected China to have 123 trillion GDP in 2040 China's share of global GDP -- 40 percent -- will dwarf that of the United States (14 percent) and the European Union (5 percent) 30 years from now. So World economy Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Fogel is projecting a world economy of $307 trillion in 2040. This prediction is that the world economy will triple in 25 years. A further tripling afterwards would have a world economy of $900 trillion around 2065.

The average per capita wealth would be $100,000 on a PPP basis for each of about 10 billion people.

China is very likely to have a high speed rail network across Asia, Europe, Africa and a separate one in South America by 2040. They could have completed the connections across North America and between continents by 2065.

The world would be over 90% urbanized.

Nextbigfuture thinks the world will be even more urban than the UN projections.
* Vehicle to vehicle communication and self driving cars can eliminate traffic jams
* Factory mass produced skyscrapers can lower the cost of buildings.

Higher density cities would make it easier to achieve GDP productivity gains while increasing energy efficiency.

Today in the top 600 cities
* 1.5 billion people
* 30 trillion in GDP (half of the worlds GDP)
* 485 million households with average per capita GDP of $20,000

In 2025 in the top 600 cities
* 2 billion people
* 64 trillion in GDP (60% of the worlds GDP in 2025)
* 735 million households with average per capita GDP of $32,000

In 2070 in the top 600 cities
* 4 billion people
* 600 trillion in GDP (60% of the worlds GDP in 2070)
* Average per capita GDP of $150,000

5 billion would be in smaller cities with about 35% of the world's GDP.
1 billion would in rural areas or small town with less than 5% of the world's GDP.

This is actually a relatively optimistic projection of somewhat reduced global inequality. This would assume that the bottom can be lifted with more infrastructure and technology access from a massive buildout of infrastructure from China.

GDP is correlated to energy usage

Energy intensity is a measure of the energy efficiency of a nation's economy. It is calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP.

High energy intensities indicate a high price or cost of converting energy into GDP.
Low energy intensity indicates a lower price or cost of converting energy into GDP.

U.S. energy consumption from all sources in 2004 was estimated at 99.74 quad (105,210 PJ). Total GDP that year was $11.75 trillion, with per-capita GDP at $40,100. Using a population of 290,809,777, this would produce an Energy Intensity of 8,553 BTU (9,024 kJ) per dollar.

Doubling the energy efficiency of 2015 by 2040 and tripling the energy efficiency by 2065 seems like a reasonable scenario.

The USA cut energy intensity in half over 55 years (1949-2004) from 1.55 to 0.7.

This would mean about 3000 kilojoules per dollar for the quadrillion dollar world of 2070.

Kardashev level one is 100 Petawatts. Increased energy efficiency could keep the quadrillion dollar world below 1% of Kardashev level one. 60-80 Terawatts instead of around 200 Terawatts. 40,000 Gigawatts of high capacity factor nuclear energy would be needed. Double would be needed for lower capacity hydro. Four times as much would be needed for wind power. Six times as much would be needed for solar energy.

A little over three times the current energy usage would be needed to support an economy that is ten times bigger if there was a tripling of energy efficiency.

There are IEA (International Energy Agency) forecasts of world energy usage in 2035.

China will have nearly twice the energy usage of the United States because the IEA is forecasting that China will have nearly double the GDP of the United States

Beyond 2030, it will be possible for radical changes in the energy mix to gather effect. As noted China will be strongly pushing nuclear power. Initially it will generation 3 and 3.5 reactors. But in 20 years there will be stronger shift to factory mass produced generation 4 reactors. Reactors like more advanced versions of molten salt reactors.

There is the Thorcon molten salt reactor design and Terrestrial Energy's molten salt reactor. china is also researching molten salt nuclear reactors.

Canadian company Terrestrial Energy is to collaborate with the USA's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop its molten salt reactor to the engineering blueprint stage.

Molten salt reactors (MSRs) use fuel dissolved in a molten fluoride or chloride salt. As an MSR fuel salt is a liquid, it functions as both the fuel (producing the heat) and the coolant (transporting the heat away and ultimately to the power plant).  This means that such a reactor could not suffer from a loss of coolant leading to a meltdown. The basic technology is not new - it was first demonstrated at ORNL in the 1960s, where a 7.4 Wt test reactor, the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), operated from 1965 to 1969.

Terrestrial's Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) builds on that early work and also on ORNL's later Denatured Molten Salt Reactor (DMSR) design. Indeed, several former ORNL scientists sit on Terrestrial Energy's advisory board, and Terrestrial Energy CEO Simon Irish explained to World Nuclear News that it makes "absolute sense" to work with ORNL which already has the expertise and experience with the design from which IMSR evolved.

The collaboration with ORNL is expected to enable the IMSR to complete the conceptual design stage - where all design parameters are fully specified to start preparing engineering blueprints - in late 2016.

Terrestrial Energy's standout feature over other MSR projects active today, Irish said, is that it already has a reactor design specified to a recognised industrial level, putting the company in a strong market position. All of Terrestrial Energy's decisions are to simplify and speed a commercial molten salt reactor to market. They will still have a reactor that will greatly lower the costs and have improved efficiency over todays pressure water and boiler water nuclear reactors.

The small modular design integrates primary reactor components in a sealed and replaceable core vessel that has a projected life of seven years. The IMSR will operate at approximately 700°C, which can support many industrial process heat applications, and Terrestrial intends to offer models ranging from 80 to 600 MWt, which it says would be ideally suited for remote communities and industrial operations.

Terrestrial Energy announces that it has entered into a Letter of Intent for services with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, based in Ontario, Canada. This arrangement includes research and development work that is required to bring the company's Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) to the engineering blueprint stage, expected in late 2016.

Terrestrial Energy Inc

Terrestrial Energy has the objective of beginning commercial deployment of its proprietary Molten Salt Reactor technology by early next decade. Molten Salt Reactor technology represents a revolution in nuclear safety, waste and proliferation resistance, and in energy cost-competitiveness. TEI's Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) is a small modular design, with models ranging from 80 MWth to 600 MWth - ideally suited for remote communities and industrial operations, including on- and off-grid power provision. Canada provides a favorable jurisdiction for the company's Molten Salt Reactor development, licensing and marketing. TEI's board consists of executives from the nuclear, natural resources and finance sectors.

In previous design discussions about a similar Denatured Molten Salt Reactor , David LeBlanc believed that capital costs could be 25% to 50% less for a simple DMSR converter design than for modern LWRs (light water reactors).

IMSR design
* No fuel fabrication cost or salt processing = extremely low fuel costs
* Under 0.1 cents/kwh
* Right size reactors, right pressure steam

Later units that include electricity generation can still send steam for cogeneration (use steam for desalination or the oilsand production. This provides another revenue stream for the IMSR nuclear plants.

Looking at the cost components of current nuclear reactors

                                 Old Nuclear    Coal  New LWR est  IMSR first IMSR later
1   Fuel                                         5.0          11.0    5.0   0.1  0.1
2   Operating, Maintenance - Labor and Materials 6.0           5.0    8.0   1.0  0.2
3   Pensions, Insurance, Taxes                   1.0           1.0    1.0   1.0  0.2
4   Regulatory Fees                              1.0           0.1    1.0   1.0  1.0
5   Property Taxes                               2.0           2.0    2.0   2.0  1.0
6   Capital                                      9.0           9.0   39.0  20.0  5.0
7   Decommissioning and DOE waste costs          5.0           0.0    5.0   0.5  0.1
8   Administrative / overheads                   1.0           1.0    1.0   1.0  1.0
Total                                           30.0          29.1   60.0  27.6  8.6   

Nextbigfuture thinks the IMSR can get down to 0.86 cents per Kwh.

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