|Albuquerque Halsey |
No no no no. Thorium is pablum for techno-utopians. Don't believe the hype.
Renewables are now cheaper than traditional nuclear power.
Just need to spend the money to build enough of it to make a dent.
Can worry about salt reactors when we run out of sun, wind, waves, tides and geothermal
No, I'm not a nuclear scientist. But if MSRs as safe as they seem to be, and hey, added bonus--you can get their fuel from LWRs waste...Seems like it's worth looking into.
-MAYBE- building a couple would be good as a way to get rid of existing waste.
But the research, development, and building costs of any nuclear reactor are so freaking high that you get a lot more return by using that same money to build a bunch of solar and wind farms.
(plus nuclear projects typically go billions over budget, and you're almost held hostage by the company that owns it, since you get zero return on investment unless the whole project is done, while a wind farm can still produce energy if you stop half way)
They mention this in the clip, but really you can't appreciate what a problem corrosion is unless you actually mess with melting salts. I imagine it's easier with lower temperature salts, but still... everything ends up in the salt after a while. Also, any moisture at all will trigger a steam explosion. For example, you've got a pot of salt melted, and you want to top it off. You can do this safely by taking a small chunk of the fused salt and heating it over the burner. Just enough to get the surface moisture off. Then you can drop it in with nothing but a bit of bubble. If you don't do that, the results are sudden, dramatic, and potentially fatal.
It seems like it would be a lot easier and cheaper to save watts here and there through energy efficiency than to generate watts through building a turbine. Nuclear is cool and all but it's not the best tool we have to reduce the amount of power we need, which I think is the ultimate goal?
Most power generation methods are shitty for the environment in some way, there are problems with the fuel, or the technology is expensive. Oil is the best for stuff like vehicles but there's a limited supply. Also every hydrocarbon you burn is a pollutant, or is mixed with pollutants. Plus all the CO2. We should probably use it so much less.
But like, every alternative sucks in some way. There's a lot of stuff we use a ton of energy for though, like heating and cooling, where there's like, passive geothermal and passive solar as alternatives that don't require nearly as much electricity to do the same damn thing. Better to invest in that over nuclear IMHO.
The only real problem with wind and solar is that we don't have a good way to store the power they generate or to distribute it when needed, particularly with solar. It's more a problem of energy storage and distribution than the inherent technology being an issue, but until we can figure those out, nuclear is as good as we can get without far more destructive sources like coal, hydro (really not good for the environment), etc.
Nuclear is really good at providing a steady level of electricity, but is pretty bad at adding more when its needed, like in a heat wave, or during the dead of winter, or any other times demand surges. So it's best supplemented with other forms of power that can top it off as needed.
In theory, improved nuclear plants to provide that baseline and wind/solar/tidal/geothermal to add the supplement would be a good arrangement, and way healthier for the planet than all the coal plants and other such shit we're using now. It's a shame nuclear has such a stigma attached to it, given that it's a very safe technology in its modern form. ...the biggest problem today is that most of the nuclear regulatory bodies in various nations are filled with incompetents and idiots, and that's something that needs to be resolved as well, via bureaucratic action.
I think the stigma is starting to fade now that this generation is more pro-science and technology than those screechy hippy shitstains. You would think that struggling Millenials making minimum wage would welcome cheap nuclear energy.
Ayy that first guy works in my town.
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