Atomic Power Generation for the 21st Century

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posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 03:59 AM
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I have no great links to provide nor did I know where to put these thoughts.

Looking at US naval reactors the A4W LINK


The only ships to use these nuclear reactors are the Nimitz class supercarriers, which have two reactors each rated at 550 MWth.


The new A1B reactor LINK


The new A1B reactor plant is a smaller, more efficient design that provides approximately three times the electrical power of the Nimitz-class A4W reactor plant.


Now then. Imagine a heavily armored ship, even with a few defensive weapon systems. Imagine the ship is well built but its primary purpose is as a power generation plant. It has emergency quick release system on the power cables that tether it to the land. It is positioned in a purpose built dock, like a sub pen with sea doors. It is always pointing out to sea and has electric motors that move it quickly through the seas.

Now imagine a fleet of these. Providing power along the coast of a country.

As they sit on the ocean, they are immune to earthquake damage. In the situation of an approaching tsunami or volcanic eruption, they release the power cables, open the sea doors of the dock and apply the electric energy directly to their engines heading straight out to sea where they can ride the tsunami wave as any large ship can or escape the destruction of the volcano as the case may be.

Hurricanes, no problem! Either ride it out in their special dock, or head out to open sea before the hurricane arrives. Remember there would be a fleet of these along the coast each feeding into the national power grid. If one leaves the others take up the load.

Imagine a dry dock in only one or two places on the planet where these ships are serviced every 10 or 20 years with spare ships to replace those being serviced.

Don't give the construction to private enterprise, give it to say the countries Military where corners will not be cut.

Lastly, I provided two reactors that have proven to be safe but Thorium or some other new even safer type can be used.

The general question I suppose is why would you build a reactor on land. You simply don't have to. In the long run, it is not cheaper as Japan has discovered.

P




posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 04:42 AM
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I'm usually the first to find a fault with some ridiculous ideas on here....but I can't. This is quite feasible, logical and cost effective.

Now, I'll sit back and see people point out what I have missed.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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Nuclear power is already complicated, expensive, and takes a long time to build as it is. And this adds another element to that: not only is the nuclear power station itself required, it also needs a special dock, propulsion, and a hull. And if sending the power station out to sea (away from the dock) is required from a safety perspective, then the propulsion would have to be designed to be extremely redundant and fault tolerant, further adding to the cost.

I better idea would just be underwater nuclear reactors. Ones that are in a sealed pressure vessel, and attached to the sea-floor. The ocean could cool the walls of the pressure vessel, for cooling in all situations. That should afford all of the protection your idea has, but without some of the disadvantages. France was investigating it:


The concept, called FlexBlue, involves a cylindrical vessel about 100 meters long and 15 meters in diameter that would encase a complete nuclear power plant with an electrical capacity of between 50 MW and 250 MW, Boissier said in an interview in his Paris office.

The cylinder with the power plant inside would be lowered to the seabed at a depth of 60 meters (196 feet) to 100 meters, at a site between five and 15 kilometers from the coast. Undersea cables would bring the electricity to customers on shore.

www.platts.com...


Other nuclear power stations are in development which are land-based, however they need little or no human intervention for safety, and are greatly simplified to prevent many kinds of failure modes. Typically these are designed to be placed underground, with an inventory of water placed over the reactor. In an incident the water will be released onto the reactor, and will slowly evaporate over a period of several days to a week, keeping the reactor cool, after which the tank merely needs to be refilled. Such a reactor is a B&W Mpower.
edit on 1/4/13 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:02 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Why not invest all that money in clean renewable energy?

No possibility of meltdown caused by human error. No large amounts of nuclear waste which you can't get rid of. Plus, once you have built your plants and earned back the initial costs there are only maintenance issue, you don't need to mine for expensive fuel. your power is effectively free. Much better idea.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:39 AM
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reply to post by nothingwrong
 


Please stay on topic. I would prefer if this did not end up renewable vs Atomic power please. There are many, many of those threads for you to read at your leisure.

P



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 05:44 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


Once designed the hulls can be mass produced as can the docks. Power stations on land cannot be mass produced due to terrain and each must be designed for the local fault lines and other risk factors.

It is the mass production that brings the costs down, dramatically in fact.

Japan could start this program today and quickly replace her aging and unsafe reactors as could the US on her West coast. All the US has to do is to print the money. The US also has a lot of experience in this area.

P



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by pheonix358
Japan could start this program today and quickly replace her aging and unsafe reactors as could the US on her West coast.
The US doesn't have much nuclear power on the west coast to begin with.

But it may be possible to make ship based reactors safer for Japan than their land based reactors....though they are more complicated and more costly to maintain. Japan really doesn't have a lot of stable land on which to build reactors. And if the Titanic taught us nothing else, it should have taught us there's no such thing as an unsinkable ship.

For places that do have stable land, it wouldn't make much sense to add all that cost.



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by pacifier2012
I'm usually the first to find a fault with some ridiculous ideas on here....but I can't. This is quite feasible, logical and cost effective.

Now, I'll sit back and see people point out what I have missed.


Military nuclear propulsion systems use highly enriched uranium, closer to weapons grade than conventional power plants. This is why they offer such high power in a compact size.

They are also manned by highly trained and motivated crew who are interested in safe operations and not cost-cutting profitability. A failure means that they and few hundred of their friends perish.

And they are extremely secure, being in the most secure part of a naval base.

I would favor this proposal, assuming that the plants are managed and run by ex nuclear navy people, without a manager with a spreadsheet whinging about all that maintenance and safety procedures getting in the way of shareholder return (CEO compensation).
edit on 1-4-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by pheonix358
reply to post by C0bzz
 


Once designed the hulls can be mass produced as can the docks. Power stations on land cannot be mass produced due to terrain and each must be designed for the local fault lines and other risk factors.

It is the mass production that brings the costs down, dramatically in fact.


There is already a Babcox & Wilcox reactor design which is intended to be manufactured in a factory and
shipped instead of being built on-site expensively.
edit on 1-4-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by mbkennel
 


Yes, there are many designs for modular, mass produced reactors that are cheaper to manufacture as they don't need to go through all the engineering approvals with each one, as they have to with one-off designs. There are units that fit easily inside a 40 ft. shipping container and will run for 30 years without attention, then they are hauled away for refuelling. Using these in a distributed fashion rather than big centralised ones reduces the amount of power the grid has to handle too, so cost savings there, and more reliability in case that BIG CME eventually wipes out the main backbones of the electricity distribution system.
The problem with "neighbourhood" reactors is the scare of nuclear energy that has been hammered into us by big oil, who obviously don't want competition from clean and safe nuclear power, that "Great Nuclear Scare Scam" thing.





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