[ExI] Two Japanese reactors on red alert

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Mar 13 09:34:35 UTC 2011

On Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 09:38:17PM -0800, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> > It is not an answer economically, ecologically, or sustainably,
> > or even in the ability to deliver (500 GW/year substitution rate
> > every year, for the next 40 years, or twice that for 20 years).
> I see no reason for such pessimism on all types of nuclear power, 

All types but breeders. Breeders have failed. Fuel reprocessing
has mostly failed, too.

> especially molten salt thorium designs.  

We need to build 100 new reactors per year, for the following
40 years. Starting this year (check how many have been built). 
Can I order one MSR from Areva?  No? Can I order one in 20 years? 
That's too late.

> I don't propose to run them for 40 years though.  

In order for reactors to ROI and EROEI at marginally economically
competitive prices you need to run them for half a century at least.
So when you build 100 new reactors, annually, for 40 years (yes,
that's 4000 reactors, each 5 GW) you need to operate them for
50, 60 and more years. Unfortunately, building nonbreeders at
that rate will make you run into peak uranium by 2040. So you'll
run out of fuel before you'll decomission them.

> Only run them until we have something better.  

We already have something better.

> Run them to get the world off of oil and coal without huge spikes in cost.    
> Or do you propose to simply wring our hands and give it up as hopeless?

You know full well what I propose. In fact, I'm increasingly feeling
like a broken record, playing in a home for the deaf. I should stop.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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