Canada and China Make Progress to Advanced Nuclear Energy

The Canadian government is investing CAD20 million (USD15 million) of federal funds to accelerate the development of Terrestrial Energy’s Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) power plant. The IMSR power plant will generate 195 MWe, fueled using standard-assay low-enriched uranium.

The IMSR will produces 40% more electricity than a comparably sized water-cooled SMR. The result is around 40% more revenue from the same reactor size. It will be far safer than current nuclear reactors. They should be walkaway safe. Even if you walkaway it will not overheat because temperature increases will melt a plug and cause the molten material to spread out and cool.

Another walkaway safe reactor design are pebble bed nuclear reactors. China is very close to starting commercial power generation with the HTR-PM 210 MWe reactor.

Cold functional tests have been successfully completed at the first commercial high-temperature gas-cooled pebble bed reactor plant (HTR-PM) in Shandong province. Cold testing of the second unit at the plant has now begun. The twin HTR-PM reactors will drive a single 210 MWe turbine. Helium gas will be used as the primary circuit coolant. The steam generator transfers heat from helium coolant to a water/steam loop. The design temperature of the HTR-PM reaches 750 degrees Celsius.

China has plans for 18 more HTR-PM units at the same site.

China has proposed a larger that is three times bigger. The HTR-PM600 would generate 650 MWe using six HTR-PM reactor units. Feasibility studies on HTR-PM600 deployment have started at five other locations.

SOURCES- World Nuclear News
Written By Brian Wang,

79 thoughts on “Canada and China Make Progress to Advanced Nuclear Energy”

  1. I am sorry but it doesn't work like the way you imply. Capacity factor is also affected by transmission capacity and demand requirement. First, wind towers name plate list maximum MW based on the highest wind mph the tower can handle. Wind speed varies. At 40% capacity the towers are still cheaper that coal and that's the only thing that matters. The one thing that doesn't happen is that wind power is available for only 40% of every hour, that just doesn't happen. And as I said most fossil fuel power plant run at 30% capacity or less. There are fossil fuel power plants that only run during the summer.

    As for outages, there have been large area outages lasting a week or more across the US. Happens all of the time due to bad weather and defective equipment.

  2. Like I said, learn some arithmetic. The capacity factor means that you take the maximum possible output of your plant, in megawatts, and multiply it by 8760, the number of hours in a year. Then take the actual production in megawatt hours. Divide the second figure by the first, and you have the average capacity factor. Australia has about the same area as the US minus Alaska, but most of its wind farms are in the south-west states, with roughly the extent of the Confederacy. In 2019, Australia had 6,279 MW of wind capacity, which produced 19,500 GW hours of electricity. ( 1 Gigawatt = 1,000 Megawatts ). That would give a capacity factor of 35%, but since 837 MW worth were built during that year, the real figure is likely a little below 40%. As this article from a few years earlier explains, there were seven occasions during 2015 when the whole area went four days in a row with less than 20% of nameplate capacity.

  3. It doesn't work like that. Most power plants don't run 24/7 at 100% capacity. Because demand for power is not a constant. There are what we call baseload power plants, expensive to build, but cheap to run. They run 24/7 at almost 100%, they are often derated because of operational issues. Then there are peakers that filled in the gaps. Some only run for part of the day and some run for the day but at less than 100%. Then there are gas turbines unit which only run during emergency and during the peak hours in the summer. So most fossil fuel power plants don't run at 100% capacity. Power plants also can charge a capacity charge for guarantee output.

    Like I say before when someone says the capacity of a wind tower is only 40% ask them what they mean. Does it mean that the sum generation of my thousand wind towers are only available for 40% of each hour. Are does it mean the average generation of my thousand wind tower is only 40% of their max output. If it is this case then I don't need gap fillers.

  4. Level the playing field stop the subsidizing of fossil fuel. At least, charge them for what they extract. It isn't their land so it isn't their fossil fuel. Other countries charge and so should we. The other problem with fossil fuel is that it pollutes which sickens and kills people. People subsidizes the fossil fuel extraction industry by paying higher healthcare premiums.

    If the wind tower goes bankrupt then it is sold for a lot less money that is was finance for. And it continues to generate power. BTW, none of them are going bankrupt.

    Things are different now a days. In the old days the utilities owned their own generating assets. Now a days, generating assets are own by others. To build a new power plant, a company needs to get a few long term contracts so that they can float a bond to finance the power plant. Everyone tries to figure out what the future holds before they build the new plant. A two years, a four years views down the road are usually good. The problem is the bonds are twenty year bonds. And everything will change 10 years down the road.

  5. You need to brush up on your arithmetic. If wind has a forty percent capacity factor at good sites, and you fill the gaps with open (or any cycle) gas, you're not going to get 99% emission reductions.

  6. Nuclear is inherently unsafe and very expensive compare to wind and solar. And then there is the issue of the nuclear waste, which has still not been solved in the US. Better to spin up the gas turbines for a few days a year than spend $10 billion a GW for nuclear. A few days a year is a 99% reduction in emissions which isn't that bad, probable less that the CO2 emissions from people exhaling. Nothing needs to be 100% especially since that last couple of percentage is a royal pain to eliminate.

  7. That only applies if the government continues to subsidise wind.
    Which they may well do. But it's a bit different from saying that wind is inherently cheaper.

    As for the marginal cost always outcompeting the fossil fuel power, that should only apply as long as
    1.. Your wind power doesn't go bankrupt because they can't afford to pay back their capital cost.
    2.. The fossil fuel plants don't negotiate sensible contracts that take into account long term reliability and real costs. It may well be the case that politics doesn't allow this in some locations, but that's a political issue, not technical. And eventually those areas will end up paying the full price. Whether in terms of paying for electrical storage, paying for backup generators, paying to import power from other locations, or paying the costs of less reliable power.

  8. It will all depend on whether or not the increasing cost per MW for small reactors can be overcome by mass production. And that the improvement in safety that mass production yields will overcome the increase in the possibility of failure due to the larger number of units.

    I will have to see results before I buy in.

  9. More like gearbox and generator. I could see where the cost of wind turbine per MW might reach that of a fossil power plant. But it is not that important. When dispatching power what is important is the replacement cost of the fuel burn and the average cost of maintenance. Financial cost don't come into it. So a wind tower can afford to sell power at no cost. And with government subsidies it can pay people to take the power. They can sell every MW they can produce and transport. Fossil Fuel plants can't. So for every MW of wind power that comes on line a MW of fossil must be retired.

  10. G'morning, Mark.

    For those of us who like a little quantitative perspective, there are the following:

    | θ = 1.2 λ / D

    | θ : divergence angle, radians
    | λ : wavelength of radiation, meters
    | D : diameter of reflector, meters

    That'd be the angular resolution (divergence) limit of a perfect parabolic reflector, in radians. using that:

    | d = θ B … where

    | B : baseline distance
    | d : focal 'spot' at baseline.

    For instance, with a 10 cm (3 GHz) wavelength, a B of 35,000 km (geostationary), a transmitting antenna aperture of 250 m, we get a theoretical:
    | λ = 0.1 m
    | B = 35,000 km
    | D = 250 m

    | θ = 1.2 × 0.1 ÷ 250
    | θ = 0.00048
    | d = θB
    | d = 0.00048 × 35,000 km
    | d = 16.8 km
    That would be for a PERFECT transmitting synthetic parabola. You will note that a smaller spot is achieved with the same other physical parameters either by reducing λ or increasing D, the transmitter's aperture. 

    Dirtside, a rectantenna's elements need to be spaced at ½λ or 5 cm. So, let's see … 

    | A = πr²
    | A = ( 16,800 m ÷ 2 )² × 3.1416
    | A = 221,700,000 m²

    And, with 5 cm spacing (100 cm ÷ 5 cm)² = 400 elements per m² or

    | elements = 221,700,000 × 400
    | elements = 89,000,000,000 lil' antennæ

    THAT is a lot of lil' antennæ!!!  Cheap (even 'dirt cheap') times almost 100 billion, is a much-less-than-cheap number.  

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  11. ' As for intermittency, one wind tower might be intermittent, a thousand wind tower spread over a a thousand square miles in locations well know for steady wind aren't.'
    That's just wrong. In temperate zones, a high pressure area is likely to be a thousand miles in both directions, so about a million square miles, with most of the wind around the edges.
    You can see the results if you follow the history of generation in places where wind is a big part of production – emissions are down for a few days, then they ramp up again. Denmark, Germany, South Australia and Uruguay all show the same pattern. Since power customers are not as keen as you on brownouts or stopping business for a few days, the power companies do indeed fire up gas plants, CC or OC, and emissions ramp up accordingly. Places with mainly despatchable, non fossil power – hydro Cf or nuclear -have lower emissions all the time, and much lower emissions most of the time. Since low emissions are the main rationale for putting in wind, you might as well do a proper job of it and put in nuclear instead. Cf France, Ontario, Sweden, Switzerland – today France's emissions varied between 28 and 60 grams per kw/h, West Denmarks from 70 to 141. Denmark's would go a lot higher if they couldn't draw on Swedish hydro and nuclear when the wind flags.

  12. No power source is 100% reliable, generators trip, and because of that all distribution utilities have to ways of handle lost of power. A simple way is to drop the voltage, aka a brown out. Another way is to call large users and ask them to switch over to emergency generation. One other way is to ramp up current generation to their emergency limit. Yes, generators have a range of output. They can also call up power suppliers and buy additional power. And then there is fast start gas turbines, jet engines with generators attached. They can ramp them up quickly. Gigawatts of power instant on. They are expensive to run and expensive to maintain. And last and least Combined Cycle gas turbines, you can get 80% of rated output in 30 minutes or so. And most importantly, utilities get comprehensive weather reports which they use to determine how much power they need and how much power the renewable units will supply, then they figure how much power to buy, how much to generate, and how much to put on spin reserve.

    As for intermittency, one wind tower might be intermittent, a thousand wind tower spread over a a thousand square miles in locations well know for steady wind aren't.

  13. For power in the GW range the receiving antenna were about 10 km wide assuming geostationary orbit. So about 3W/m2. The great thing about rectennas is that they are mostly empty, cheap and very efficient. They could be a great way for moving solar power from desert regions to where the power is need. The relay satellites would be large but they wouldn't weight much.

  14. Given that any fission plant built today would have a 80 to 100 year life, we may well see them replaced by fusion reactors (possibly just the reactor replaced, seeing as the rest of it would be much the same).

  15. Most people find it very easy to put things off till later. Very easy indeed.

    I say, as I type on the internet instead of going to do my daily gym workout…

  16. The problem with solar and PV are that they are intermittent. Even if they were free their cost + cost of storage is more expensive than base load.

  17. Elysium has hardly any engineers after they collapsed a couple of years ago. The best bet now for an MCFR is TerraPower. They are building a scaled electrically heated test unit in Everett, WA. It might work if any materials will hold up to hot chloride salts for a reasonable amount of time. The chloride salts are much more corrosive than flibe, plus the design will have to handle more fast neutron damage too.

  18. The future of nuclear energy is in small modular nuclear reactors which practically every major industrial nation on Earth are currently developing. You could easily deploy small nuclear reactors at existing nuclear sites in the US to increase the capacity of each site up to 8 GWe (currently the largest capacity nuclear sites in the world). That alone could make the US electric grid completely carbon neutral in combination with– existing– renewable carbon neutral capacity.

    Remotely sited floating nuclear reactors could be mass produced to produce synthetic fuels from air or from seawater to supply carbon neutral fuels shipped by tankers for the production of electricity, transportation, fertilizers, and industrial chemicals. Uranium from seawater could also be extracted near such floating facilities since the world's oceans contain more than 4 billion tonnes of uranium, a renewable resource that is derived from the trillions of tonnes of uranium leached into the ocean from the continental crust.

    The biggest problem with photovoltaic power plants is that they occupy enormous amounts of land which makes them environmentally and politically difficult to deploy on a large scale. Solar also produces at least 300 times as much toxic waste per kilowatt produced as nuclear power– and up to 18,000 times as much toxic waste as nuclear if the spent fuel from nuclear power plants is recycled

  19. Generous subsidies haven't finished yet –
    ' The Italian government has raised the so-called eco-bonus for photovoltaic (PV) installations and storage systems from 50% to 110%, effectively enabling homeowners to install PV systems at no cost…PV projects that do not qualify for the 110% eco-bonus will still get the existing 50% tax break ' ( June 2, 2020 ),a%20report%20by%20pv%2Dmagazine.
    Despite having the highest percentage of PV, Italy also has the highest average emissions from power production of the five biggest countries in western Europe, challenged only by Germany, which has the second highest of both. Italy is also the only one with no domestic nuclear power ( though it does import about ten percent of its power on average from France.)

  20. PV + storage will kill off uneconomic nuclear plants in the US. Fusion will kill the remaining plants no matter how profitable they remain.

  21. A break through in storage will be the final nail.

    "Solar PV becomes the new king of electricity supply and looks set for massive expansion. From 2020 to 2030, solar PV grows by an average of 13% per year, meeting almost one-third of electricity demand growth over the period. Global solar PV deployment exceeds pre-crisis levels by 2021 and sets new records each year after 2022 thanks to widely available resources, declining costs and policy support in over 130 countries. Our analysis of solar PV financing costs indicates that, despite monetary policy measures, the weighted average cost of capital edged up in2020 after years of going down. Even so, policy support frameworks enable very low financing costs, making new solar PV more cost effective than coal- and gas-fired power in many countries today, including in the largest markets (United States, European Union, China and India). For projects with low cost financing that tap high quality resources, solar PV is now the cheapest source of electricity in history.

    World Energy Outlook 2020

  22. I'm leading towards Elsium's fast spectrum MSR, that after it's initial medium enrichment fuel load can use "spent" light water reactor fuel as makeup fuel/fertile input. It can be looked at as a transuranic elimination machine, and make used LWR "waste" a valuable asset.

  23. That's the same as saying there is 10 trillion $ worth of gold in an asteroid and it only costs $200 billion and a decade to go get it. No one will finance that, there are much easier ways to make money.

  24. These could be hung between buildings, part of aerial trams. Over urban spinach farms, that use the power for 24 hr grow lights. The rectennae elements do not have to be carefully held in place, just cover the area. Almost invisible for practical lighting purposes. There would be very many of them, to keep beam strength down, and distribute the power.

  25. It's true you didn't say any of Goat's strawmen. But you didn't say anything at all. You just dismissed a well established technology with a single sentence. That's just asking for people to start speculating as to what you mean.

  26. Yeah, not seeing Fission collapsing in the 2020s, but wind and solar are hardly going away either.

    What MIGHT happen, purely speculatively, is that world wide economic collapse (certainly on the cards) means that those countries who have been highly subsidising various energy projects (Northern European solar…) will just run out of enough money to play with such frivolities and revert back to cheap fossil fuels for a while.

  27. I haven't poured over the maps, but my impression is that the big population concentrations, in at least the industrialised countries, live in complexes of big cities clustered close together with multiple big towns between them in huge areas that just don't have spare, uninhabited areas, anywhere near them.

    Think the East coasts of China or the USA. Or most of Europe. They are effectively urbanised and suburbanised landscapes for several hundred km. The night time photos from space show this fairly clearly.

    You'll need big rectenna areas outside these areas that then have grids to distribute the power to the inhabited lands.

    OK, so I went and looked at some night time photos from space, and in many of these areas, the only uninhabited areas near the big urban conglomerations are either:
    — Horribly mountainous areas that are too difficult to build on, and this makes your rectenna super difficult to build too.
    — Designated wilderness parks. Unlikely to be able to build a huge power system there
    — Open water. Now there's a possibility?

  28. Why not? It's not like it costs as much as ITER every time you have to build one, especially when they're so, so much smaller in this case.

  29. I was not suggesting you throttle geothermal. You use as much base power as you can. And we are nowhere near that with nuclear and geothermal. In Southern California we lost a nuclear power plant because it was badly damaged by a Japanese steam generator. We can replace that base load power with geothermal.

  30. Fission can be economically viable. I'm not seeing a path to economic viability for Tokamak fusion any time soon.

  31. Earthquakes are a problem because of the added cost to make the reactors capable of withstanding them. Then there is the public doubt that it will be safe in an earthquake. Also land is very pricy near the ocean. Better to just use a manmade lake for cooling and have it near the eastern boarder of California where there are no earthquakes. Tying into power lines, or buildinng more is going to be much less of a headache than dealing with the NIMBYs, "environmentalists", and endless reviews of earthquake safty. And there is not much work in the eastern part of California. They likely would embrace the jobs.
    And anyway you look at it, we will need more wires to spread arround the electricity generated by renewables to reduce the need for storage. Hydro is the best load balancing tool. We need to get most power from base and wind/solar and balance this with the hydro. Nuclear and geothermal make good base power. Where hydro is not sufficient we will need some storage. I'd just like to build in a way that minimizes the need for it.

  32. "Where lambda is wavelength; lambda = (300E8 m/s) / 2.5 GHz ~ 12 m."
    If you have calculated the wavelength of 2.5 GHz photons to be 12 m, there may be a problem. Just guessing here.

  33. Rectennae are cheap individually, and many are needed to provide the 20-200 TWe needed. Other than that, what grid costs?

  34. Sorry, but Mr G himself has validated the Criswell diffraction numbers, long ago. But I will not speak for him! I will trust Criswell, for now, having also validated them, in my own amateur way. Redirectors, which will perhaps be there for Earth to Earth power beaming, will shrink storage if H is not used, which provides storage trivially. Yes indeed we will have rectennae all over the place, instead of transmission lines and storage. they are 50-80% of the overall system cost, and can be built by poor people, who then own most of their electric system at the start. Be sure to notify all Space Solar efforts that you have proven them "patently dumb", if you have.

  35. In 5-10 years wind and solar will be obsolete? With a tsunami of cheap high cycle life batteries available in 10 years? Am I missing something?

  36. I'll go you one further. Even in a lunar solar power plant was the literal size of the moon and was available for free, the grid costs on Earth would make it not worth receiving it.

  37. Sending 2.5 GHz radiowaves from the moon is a kneeslapper, and that's on the first page. That's patently dumb from LEO and gets way worse from the moon.

    The angle to the first minima on an airy disc distribution (diffraction limited) for small angles is theta ~ 1.22 * lambda/d.
    Where lambda is wavelength; lambda = (300E8 m/s) / 2.5 GHz ~ 12 m.
    d is the apperture size of the transmitter on the moon. You can choose this; let's really go for broke and say 100 km across (visible with the naked eye from Earth; 1/35th the diameter of the moon).
    Angle theta is in radians.

    How big has the reciever got to be to capture the central lobe of the airy disk pattern on Earth?

    for 100 km the angle is 0.15 milliradians. tan(theta) = radius/distance to moon => diameter = 2*distance to moon*tan(theta) = 115 km. That sized reciever disk is required to capture the first lobe, which is ~84% of power . The exclusion zone around this where people cannot be allowed to live is going to be multiples larger.

    Even if you go with the literal f-ing diameter of the moon as the size of your transmitter, receiver needs to be 3 km across with an exclusion zone on the order of 10 km.

    You have only one moon. And it is only visible from less than half of Earth at a time, so you still need some storage.

    The largest cost in electricity production is transmission and you're making the problem far worse. You're going to want recievers dotted every few hundred km on Earth.

  38. Strawman arguments, all over! I didn't say a single one of those things. The first one is, however, on the money (no matter the sarcasm intended). Fusion isn't that far away at all, JET had 2:3 power out-to-in in the 90s with sub-second confinement time. Tokamak Energy is currently on the order of hours of confinement time, uses high temperature superconductors with much higher field strengths, and just needs to scale up (which they're doing). This is where the low estimate of 5 years comes from, that particular project.

    Fusion reactors may not be so compact they fit in cars, but cars aren't nuclear either way, so fission is still obsolete in that regard.

  39. Yeah, the biggest project I've heard of that could actually start work today.

    Well not today, seeing as it's Friday evening and everyone has gone home. But Monday say.

  40. Also, geothermal is no good as a backup for wind and solar. It's baseload power – if you try to ramp it up and down, you're just likely to damage the bores, and shorten the lifespan of your plant. It's mostly low grade heat, as well, too cool to be diverted to thermal storage like molten salt. For that you need a heat source at around 600 C. Geothermal steam is usually below 350 C – similar to light water reactors, which are likewise baseload.

  41. Earthquakes aren't really a problem for nuclear. Japan wore a magnitude 9, far stronger than anything ever felt in the US outside Alaska in the last 300 years. Yet all their 1970s and 1980s era reactors survived, without containment breaches or loss of coolant. It was only the tsunami that wrecked Fukushima. New reactors are built with much better base isolation in quake prone areas, and with more robust shutdown cooling.

  42. The scale is far beyond any Space project otherwise contemplated

    GOing to have to disagree with this. Look up "space elevator". Or "Dyson sphere".

    1. 'Solar is increasing geometrically.' Not in those countries which have already subsidised solar to the point where it's making up towards ten percent of the total yearly generation. By that stage, it's crowding out more reliable power sources at midday on sunny days, but still contributing nothing at all more often than not. From that point, it's costs that climb exponentially, not solar installations. Italy, for example, has about the highest proportion of its power from solar, 7.9% in 2018. In that year new installations were about 400 MW, down from a subsidy-boosted high of 9,300 MW in 2011. Solar in China in 2019 produced 3% of the country's power, and new installations that year were down 40% on the peak year of 2017.
  43. You are making the same error Tesla did, so congratulations! Turns out you need big apertures and receiving areas to get any efficiency at all. Sending a decipherable signal as comm sat is much easier, BUT, otherwise the same idea.

  44. Energy companies. This is a huge energy project. The scale is far beyond any Space project otherwise contemplated. Start up of .5 TWe system ~.5 – 1 $T, then grows from profit w/o further outside investment. At $.01 KWh-e retail, dropping for owners from there. But this has to be re-figured, as launch cost is such a huge factor, not to mention 3D printing tech advances, etc, so $.01 KWh-e may easily be high. That includes the power itself, to be clear.

  45. Not positive, but a few points to consider: TRISO fuel is uneconomic. Been around since at least the 1960s. 1/10 the power density of just using UO2. You run an LWR at 1/10 the power level as a PWR, it will be walk away safe too. Also most of the plants rely on He. Heard there was a helium shortage a while back, but I've also been told that won't impact HTGRs for some reason. He is mined from natural gas for the most part, so its almost a fossil fuel derivative product.

  46. TRISO fuels are totally uneconomical. Low volumetric energy density, very expensive fabrication process. Often a need to be enriched. The only reason they are still being pursued is due to people in DOE spending their lives researching the them, and they are now in a position to pick where funding goes (I'm looking at you INL and DOE-INL). Molten salt anything are at such a low TRL that it would probably take a trillion dollars to get the first several commercial plants up and running to prove to private industry they are safe to invest in. Even LMFBRs are an answer in search of a problem at this point.

  47. The newest one of these to be not-coming-at-all is the brink of exhaustion and will run out. With seawater uranium extraction and the constant leaching of uranium into seawater and cycling of rock into the crust, Fission will last until the oceans dry up. Hundreds of millions of years. Good enuf to say it’s “sustainable”.

  48. Nuclear is 19.7% of US electrical production. Solar is 1.8% of US electrical production:
    Fossil is 62.7% most being natural gas 38.7% and coal being 23.5%. Hawaii is the last State still using petroleum for anything other than emergency peakers. So petroleum is down to 0.5% Hawaii should get their power from geothermal and rooftop solar. Terrific geothermal resources. Nuclear is plausible but with tsunamis and lava flows, it does not seem ideal. Floating or submerged reactors offshore is great, but these are not being built quite yet.
    California has similar issues with earthquakes, and can also expand geothermal. California gets about 5.5% of its power from in-State geothermal electrical generation. I think Southern California could get more than 50% of electrical generation from that and balance out solar and wind irregularities without requiring large storage solutions. Baja is being ripped away from the North American plate and that spreading center has thinned the crust making geothermal easy to develop there. But more nuclear could also be built near the eastern limit of the State or in Arizona. The seismic requirements would be much less expensive, and big plants could produce power cheaply.
    In my opinion, Hawaii, California, and States with lots of hydro have a clear path to non-fossil power. The others are going to need nuclear or more power lines to other States. Storage is just uneconomical.

  49. Not really … every spot bathed in a beam, missing the attendant pickup antennae … is just going to wast that power.  

    Say you've got 1,000 GW (which would be awesome), with at least some directionality to “cover the US”.  

    1,000,000,000,000 W ÷ 9,800,000 km² = 100,000 W/km² …
    which is 0.1 W/m²

    That's awfully low power.  About like moonlight… as I recall.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  50. If the cost of wind or solar gets below the cost of turbines and generators then no matter how you boil water you would be out of luck. What I am saying is that fission, fusion, and fossil fuel might all be obsolete.

  51. When extrapolating to the future you have to look at the trend. Nuclear isn't increasing, in fact, they are closing plants. Solar is increasing geometrically.

  52. That's the great thing about beam power. Low intensity and high efficiency. You could just beam the power to the entire US. Pick it up thru antenna on your roof or car or parking lot.

    If you are worried about getting too much radiation then a tin foil hat is the answer.

  53. Canada isn't serious. 15 Million is chump change. I bet GE spend 100 times that to get 0.1% increase in efficiency for their turbines.

  54. Thanx! I consider Space Solar perhaps the single most important issue for our planet, that we can do something about, now. Space is a big part of that. So is global heating. The *range* of things to do are Earth to Earth power beaming, Moon to Moon PB small scale, LEO launched SPSs as per Pop Mech, GEO launched SPSs expanded by lunar/asteroidal ISM, L5(Lx actually) ISM SPS(station, big sat), and/or Criswell LSP.

    {3} I have always assumed 1 km dia rectenna size for Earth collectors (not the solar cells, the receiving antennae). Seems like an assumption that simplifies everything dramatically, yet can also be corrected if *numbers* indicate, w/o changing the concept. Thus, for Earth to Earth, build at least that big, and aim many small radars at them. This creates a market for energy produced anywhere.

    [2] Not sure what the *Moon up day* is called, but there are two options. Use Earth to Earth redirectors if they exist (or make them), support growing H economy, where intermittency is solved.

    [1] and /4/ are core issues, and I cannot improve on Criswell in a short comment! There are trades off, so it is not a simple decision. [1] has a LSP-L5 comparison, /4/ has both of them compared to GEO or even LEO. Criswell has died, so we cannot *blame* him anymore. We need to be discussing *which* Space Solar, not *whether* Space Solar is a joke!

  55. If it’s just for making electricity the current HTR-PM doesn’t make sense. The pressure vessel alone is enormous for such a small power output. They are not going to build anymore units, it’s for export only now.

    Another curious observation is that China is quick to build advance nuclear prototypes but glacial in operating them. Look into when the HTR10 and CEFR went critical and then how many hours of full power ops. It’s almost like they are scared to operate reactors where they have little experience to draw on.

  56. .. because? …

    Because FUSION will have a falling-off-the-chair crazy-cool breakthrough that'll allow Fusion reactors so compact and cheap we can put 'em in our cars? (goog for Mr. Fusion)

    Because FISSION fuels are on the brink of exhaustion, and will run out?

    Because NUCLEAR WASTE is building up to such criticality that the International Watchdog Community will sponsor a Left-Wing-Greenie revolt and Marxist totalitarian Green New Deal movement, which'll stop it in its tracks?

    Because the underlying costs of FISSION are growing so rapidly that the'll not be able to compete with NEARLY FREE solar and Wind?

    Because there's a STORAGE revolution coming that'll completely displace all 'burning' (including fission and fusion) energy sources, and pave the way to whole-desert solar cells?

    … wait …

    None of those are coming. 
    So, what exactly is the 'because…' part?

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  57. Yep… your first ⊕1 on this comment … from The Goat. Don't get me wrong. I rather like the idea of continuous Lunar Power, beamed to Terra. The only thing(s) that seem to be really substantial head-scratchers are … 

    [1] 28 day sol cycle (meaning 'polar' collectors, not a biggie…)
    [2] 24.8 hr day cycle. Bigger … where to aim power?
    {3} Size of collectors on Terra … could be largish. 
    /4/ Accuracy-of-aiming power, and safety issues

    There are probably 5 thru 8 too … but I'm not having enough horsepower to figure that part out, this morning. 

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  58. Nuclear produces about 8% of the total amount of energy consumed in the US.
    Solar produces less than 0.1% of the total amount of energy consumed in the US.

  59. I agree! There is no reason good news excludes other good news. Good nukes are good for many things, heat at least!, but base grid electricity is a matter of overall economic considerations. Because nobody likes Space, and everybody hates solar, Space Solar has no chance!

  60. Well the good news is that if you are right then the low cost access to LEO that SpaceX provides will guarantee that the market takes this path.

  61. Or maybe China knows that it isn't cost effective compared to other indigenous designs like the CAP-1400.

    Better question would be "why is China funding ten different reactor designs??!?"

  62. Boiling water for electricity and distributing the power is more expensive than Criswell Lunar Solar Power total. That is if the nuke is free.

  63. How come the HT-PRM is taking so long to develop? Why are things so slow given China has a air quality crisis?

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