Electricity from High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) for automotive transportation?

nwdiver

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Well.... the first proposed commercial reactor in the US to use that fuel began site assessments and permit applications a few months ago. From initial permitting to operations for a nuclear reactor takes about ~16 years if Vogtle units 3&4 are any indication. And they had the benefit of just expanding on a location that already had 2 operating reactors. And this will just be a demonstration ~345MW reactor requiring very little fuel. So optimistically it's going to be ~20 years before we need HALEU in any type of commercial quantity. Seems like we have a bit of time to figure that out. Good thing we have solar and wind now that's SUPER-cheap. :)
 

gulfcoastguy

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Super cheap as long as China is willing to sell the panels. Then there’s the little matter of battery storage.
 

turbobrick240

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Making and selling PV panels is a huge profit center for China. I don't think we need to worry about them withholding that anytime soon. If anything, we would sabotage their availability with tarrifs internally. I know the IRA has enormous provisions to encourage domestic battery production, probably something in there for domestic PV production as well.
 

nwdiver

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Then there’s the little matter of battery storage.
There's the little matter that battery storage provides no real benefit to generation until the supply of wind and solar exceeds demand. The Utility that serves my house currently has < 1GW of solar but demand is >30GW. 50GW in the summer. So they can increase the amount of solar by ~3,000% before there's surplus to store. THEN even with ~75GW of solar the amount of storage STILL won't be economically viable compared to just adding more solar and having a bit extra most days. Probably ~20 years and ~80% renewable generation before mass battery storage will make any sense.

Add renewables to reduce fuel consumption. Keep out existing gas generators and add more to increase reliability. Storage won't be a major player for decades.
 

2004LB7

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There's the little matter that battery storage provides no real benefit to generation until the supply of wind and solar exceeds demand. The Utility that serves my house currently has < 1GW of solar but demand is >30GW. 50GW in the summer. So they can increase the amount of solar by ~3,000% before there's surplus to store. THEN even with ~75GW of solar the amount of storage STILL won't be economically viable compared to just adding more solar and having a bit extra most days. Probably ~20 years and ~80% renewable generation before mass battery storage will make any sense.

Add renewables to reduce fuel consumption. Keep out existing gas generators and add more to increase reliability. Storage won't be a major player for decades.
I don't think you understand the issue. ever heard of the solar duck curve?
 

nwdiver

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I don't think you understand the issue. ever heard of the solar duck curve?
Yep; ever heard of demand response? That evening ramp is child’s play for gas turbines.

Point is to have batteries meet that ramp they need to be charged from SURPLUS solar or wind to make any sense over gas turbines. Only CA is barely just starting to get there.

Do you really not understand that you need surplus to store for storage to make sense????
 
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nwdiver

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They going to allow fracking for natural gas in California?
Absolutely not. Which is why Californians are so keen to reduce gas use as much as possible for as little investment as possible.

$1,000 investment buys...
  • 2kWh of battery storage INCREASING gas use by ~7kWh/yr unless charged from SURPLUS. Best case is ~700kWh/yr
  • 1kW of wind reducing gas use by ~2500kWh/yr
  • 1kW of solar reducing gas use by ~1800kWh/yr
  • 70w of nuclear reducing gas use by ~600kWh/yr
Why... why on Earth would anyone invest money to reduce fuel use by < 700kWh/yr when wind and solar can reduce it by ~3x more for the same price???
 
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gulfcoastguy

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So it's okay for Texas to frack for natural gas, pipe it across 3 states, and California to burn it? I also heard a story or two about piping water from the Mississippi River west to SoCal.
 

nwdiver

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So it's okay for Texas to frack for natural gas, pipe it across 3 states, and California to burn it? I also heard a story or two about piping water from the Mississippi River west to SoCal.
…..

Absolutely not. Which is why Californians are so keen to reduce gas use as much as possible for as little investment as possible.

$1,000 investment buys...
  • 2kWh of battery storage INCREASING gas use by ~7kWh/yr unless charged from SURPLUS. Best case is ~700kWh/yr
  • 1kW of wind reducing gas use by ~2500kWh/yr
  • 1kW of solar reducing gas use by ~1800kWh/yr
  • 70w of nuclear reducing gas use by ~600kWh/yr
Why... why on Earth would anyone invest money to reduce fuel use by < 700kWh/yr when wind and solar can reduce it by ~3x more for the same price???
 

tikal

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I believe most would agree that having different types of electrical energy production is a good idea. I would say at least triple redundancy: gas/oil/coal, solar/wind/hydro and then a third type in the horizon instead of the traditional long-term construction of nuclear power plants.

Right now we are seeing, in parts of Europe, start using coal again because the previous energy production redundancy was weaken or removed prematurely.

Maybe there are other options besides High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium but we need more options for plan B and C in my view.
 

nwdiver

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Maybe there are other options besides High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium but we need more options for plan B and C in my view.
Hydrogen. Hydrogen is the ultimate Swiss Army knife solution. We just need an abundance of clean energy to produce an abundance of H2. With Hydrogen we could even produce Diesel when there's an abundance of energy, store it and have a ready reserve when needed.

The priority has to be reducing fuel burn now. It's the height of insanity to invest $30B in a nuclear plant that might contribute ~16TWh/yr in additional energy in ~15 years when that same $30B invested in renewables can certainly contribute ~60TWh/yr in additional energy in 2 or 3 years.
 

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The problem is on-demand. Renewable resources simply are too unpredictable and generate at other than desirable times. Until something viable comes along, coal/NG/nuclear are viable and proven technology for meeting that on-demand requirement. I don’t see that going away anytime soon. Same thing with RUG/diesel, the EV batteries just aren’t up to require to be viable…yet. I have no doubt they’ll get there but it won’t be anytime soon. Until then they’re just a gimmick for the elite who can afford their cost or the time to charge them. My wife has wanted one for years but she travels for work and can’t justify spending $80k+ on one that would work for her. So for now she drives her RUG SUV because it meets her needs.
 

nwdiver

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The problem is on-demand. Renewable resources simply are too unpredictable and generate at other than desirable times. Until something viable comes along, coal/NG/nuclear are viable and proven technology for meeting that on-demand requirement.
.....

Hydrogen. Hydrogen is the ultimate Swiss Army knife solution. We just need an abundance of clean energy to produce an abundance of H2. With Hydrogen we could even produce Diesel when there's an abundance of energy, store it and have a ready reserve when needed.
 

2004LB7

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also renewables tend to take up considerably more space then a comparably sized nuclear, natural gas, etc plant that could be used for crops, housing or other necessities that can justify the use of a smaller footprint plant

I personally like hydroelectric for renewable energy as it is more consistent, solves the no wind or sunlight problem. they keep working as long as there is enough rain throughout the year. and doubles as our water storage which as a Californian we also need so it can do both. plus instead of dead space reserved for solar and nothing else really, hydroelectric provides a lake that wildlife can take advantage of, recreational activities for us, etc
 
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nwdiver

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also renewables tend to take up considerably more space then a comparably sized nuclear, natural gas, etc plant that could be used for crops, housing or other necessities that can justify the use of a smaller footprint plant

I personally like hydroelectric for renewable energy as it is more consistent, solves the no wind or sunlight problem. they keep working as long as there is enough rain throughout the year. and doubles as our water storage which as a Californian we also need so it can do both. plus instead of dead space reserved for solar and nothing else really, hydroelectric provides a lake that wildlife can take advantage of, recreational activities for us, etc
The space required by renewables is a complete non-issue. There are plenty of places to put wind and solar that either have no effect or a positive effect. A 160MW wind farm was installed near where I lived a few years ago on range land. Since the limiting factor to the number of cattle that could graze there was water not land now there's 80 wind turbines and the same grazing capacity. Doesn't have to reduce housing either.... just put solar on the house. Or covered parking. Even crops. Turns out that if you put solar panels over crops many of them actually grow better. Now you get solar AND more crops. win-win.

Agrivoltaics

Hydro is great. But there really aren't any good places to add more hydro and as rain patterns become less consistent hydro is beginning to have significant issues.
 

tikal

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So perhaps we need to look at both hydrogen and alternative nuclear energy production.

I agree hydro is great but I think the growth of it is relatively small in the mid to long term.
 

nwdiver

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So perhaps we need to look at both hydrogen and alternative nuclear energy production.

I agree hydro is great but I think the growth of it is relatively small in the mid to long term.
Except cheap electrolysis and nuclear energy are diametrically opposed. The only thing keeping renewables from domination as opposed to mere superiority is intermittence. Cheap H2 would be an infinite battery allowing renewable energy to dominate 24/7/365. Why spend $120/MWh on expensive thermal energy like nuclear when you can just burn $80/MWh H2 that was produced from $30/MWh solar 5 months ago during the summer?

It's far more likely there will be negative growth in Hydro since more people are concerned about restoring fisheries than getting more energy from Hydro.
 

J_dude

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Random thought, isn’t China the worst polluter on the planet? (Not to mention all the other inhumane practices) And if so, why on earth would you suggest supporting them by buying their solar panels? (Post #5)
 

nwdiver

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Random thought, isn’t China the worst polluter on the planet? (Not to mention all the other inhumane practices) And if so, why on earth would you suggest supporting them by buying their solar panels? (Post #5)
No Idea. If you don't want Chinese panels then don't buy Chinese panels. The great thing about manufacturing abundant sand into products is buying more American panels means more American panels. Unlike burning American oil which just means there's less American oil to go around.

U.S. solar company GAF Energy to open Texas manufacturing plant

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Italy’s Enel Joining US Solar Push With Plans for New Plant

Seraphim division SEG Solar says it’s opening a 2-GW module manufacturing plant in Houston

Georgia gives US solar panel manufacturing a big boost with a new factory
 
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jmodge

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No Idea. If you don't want Chinese panels then don't buy Chinese panels. The great thing about manufacturing abundant sand into products is buying more American panels means more American panels. Unlike burning American oil which just means there's less American oil to go around.

That would make more relevant sense if you said "The great thing about manufacturing abundant American sand into panels is buying more American panels means less American sand.
Buy Chinese panels and let them have the pollution. We can pollute our own sand by driving our diesel trucks around on it. YEEHAH MF!!
 

nwdiver

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That would make more relevant sense if you said "The great thing about manufacturing abundant American sand into panels is buying more American panels means less American sand.
Silicon is the second most abundant element on Earth after Oxygen. We'll run out of ways to use electricity LONG before we run out of sand :)

We can pollute our own sand by driving our diesel trucks around on it. YEEHAH MF!!
Putin and MBS appreciate your support and enthusiasm :confused:
 
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