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  •  You can't honestly argue that (2+ / 0-)

    You are effectively saying that until you show me thousands of magical reactors - STFU.  You can't say "so where are these new reactors - oops, not there, ergo you're not reality based!"  This ignores any factual context as to WHY we don't have these reactors moving.  It has nothing to do with scientific validity or technical superiority.  It has everything to do with POLITICS.

    Federal regulation currently makes it IMPOSSIBLE to create a new reactor.  The NRC has a 5-year queue for approvals of standard-design reactors.  No one can even offer a guess as to how long it would take to certify a novel, non-standard reactor?  The fees cost beyond $100 million just to do the paperwork - and that doesn't take into account the size of the reactor.  Good luck trying to mass produce a small reactor - approval fees alone would make it economically impossible.  Now why would ANYONE invest to develop new nuclear under these circumstances?  

    The pro-nukes such as myself are trying to address the politics so these barriers to progress can be dropped.  First is to educate on the intrinsic benefits of new nuclear if we are to remove carbon from our economy in a serious way.  Second is to point out just how absurd our assessment of relative risks is.  We accept thousands killed by fossil fuels every year and slow destruction of our biosphere via CO2 and other poisons released by combusting billions of tons of carbon, yet find the miniscule risk of low level radioactivity so unacceptable that anything nuclear should be in its own special category despite the fact civilian nuclear power is statistically the safest form of energy generation bar none!  It is INSANITY.

    James Hansen, Barry Brook, Patrick Moore, James Lovelock, George Monbiot, Mark Lynas, Stewart Brand and many other well respected life-long environmentalists are saying the same thing: new nuclear needs serious consideration if humanity is to have energy security without carbon.

    The government has in past decades practically forbidden nuclear innovation and enterprise by driving costs and time-to-market too far.  So don't tell me that the lack of new reactors is proof that proponents aren't reality-based.  We are scientists and engineers using a great deal of science and engineering FACT.  We need to change political realities if our science is to bring the benefits we go on about so much.

    I was most heartened to learn that this dam is beginning to crack.  The Obama administration has recently approved funding for the first commercial small-modular-reactor by Babcock and Wilcox.  The B&W mPower reactor is an integrated LWR design.  The design was so chosen as to fit best with current NRC regulatory reality.  Its a start.  

    Turn public policy in the right direction, and you will see these promised reactors, and they will start to decarbonize the economy in a way that is truly scalable.

    The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

    by mojo workin on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:18:37 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Two points, besides noting that you read (0+ / 0-)

      the comment by Meteor Blades.

      1.  Are you truly telling me
      that the NRC
      is full of idiots?

      Totally clueless?

      They could have no scientific basis
      for any of their regulations?

      Are you certain of that?

      2.  You are simply wrong
      about the safety issue.

      You are simply wrong
      to make any statement,
      any comparison,
      between the safety
      of nuclear power generation,
      and the safety
      of, for example,
      a natural gas fired power plant.

      I don't have a great deal of knowledge,
      but I've seen a large boiler
      at a commercial laundry I worked at,
      and I've heard of boilers blowing up.

      If nuclear power plants
      have extremely thick barriers
      to prevent radiation from getting out,
      and to prevent damage from any explosion,
      including a boiler explosion,
      and everything is monitored very closely,
      because of the well founded fear
      of radioactive fuel,
      all that fear,
      causing all those thicker barriers,
      and all that extra careful monitoring,
      watching it like a hawk,
      all that will make nuclear
      seem safer,
      looking at numbers,
      numbers of boiler explosions,
      or any other accident,
      causing any kind of harm to humans.

      Since there are no such barriers,
      no such extra regulations
      on natural gas,
      of course there will be more accidents
      from plants that have less fear,
      and less caution.

      It's like comparing
      air travel
      to car travel.

      Car travel is safer,
      way safer.

      But folks use their phones,
      drive carelessly,
      drive drunk or stoned,
      and you get numbers that make it look bad.

      The incredibly dangerous aircraft
      are closely supervised,
      so the numbers look good,
      especially if you use false numbers,
      such as passenger miles.

      They load up fifty or more passengers,
      and fly them more than 1,000 miles,
      and one take-off and landing cycle
      gets them lots of passenger miles.

      That's lying to the public.

      I gotta quit rambling.

      Good night.

    •  It's not just the U.S. that doesn't have the... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      ..."inherently safe" thorium reactors that are so widely touted in pro-nuke circles. No country has a commercial-scale one in operation.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:38:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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