[ExI] Nukes was less expensive energy

Dennis May dennislmay at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 17 23:30:31 UTC 2011

I have been interested in various energy possibilities
for over 30 years and have seen two generations
of money being wasted on solar development with
virtually nothing to show for it.  Wind and solar
both have niche location applications but I see
no possibility either will ever move beyond that
scale.  Subsidizing either only means reducing
other economic opportunities to support a losing
Geothermal, tide, ocean currents, hydroelectric,
and most other alternatives suffer from the same
niche application problems of solar and wind.
Various carbon fuels will continue to be used 
for the foreseeable future because of energy
density, portability, cost and the ready existence
of technology.  
Biofuels are also a niche application - a losing
proposition in most applications done today.  
Though nuclear energy could be converted to 
more usable forms by cycling it through biofuels.
As much as possible input power for planting,
harvesting, and processing of biofuels coming 
from nuclear sources rather than carbon fuels 
and the biofuel itself.
The sheer energy density of nuclear power means
it dwarfs all other options.  Much of the time
delay for implementation of nuclear power
plants can be reduced by going to standardized
As far as big solar projects go - I see them as
being of interest in industrializing space
not moving space nuclear energy [sun] to
the Earth when there are plenty of Earth
based nuclear energy possibilities with much
less capital risk.
Dennis May

From: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 5:46 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Nukes was less expensive energy

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 8:06 PM,  Dennis May <dennislmay at yahoo.com> wrote:

> The projections of what will happen economically
> without massive nuclear energy development is
> not pretty.? Even if that effort began immediately
> it is not clear it could happen fast enough.

The length of time it takes to build nuclear plants is a big reason to
look at other approaches.  I am not at all sure even what is the best
approach or mix of approaches to get really inexpensive energy.  I can
state that it need to be down in the 1-2 cents per kWh.  That's $800
to $1600 per kW based on return of capital in ten years and it needs
to scale to 15-20 TW over 20 years.

That's building around a 1000 1 GW reactors per year.

I have not looked into this in detail.  I have looked into SBSP and
StratoSolar and they look possible.  Perhaps you know about reactors?

It seems better to me at this stage to state what is needed in broad
terms rather than being too specific about how to accomplish the task.

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