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Thread: Nuclear Power

  1. #201
    Movember 2011 RazoR's Avatar
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    Nuclear power is the best.

  2. #202
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkonis Trassler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by definatelynotKKassandra View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dpidcoe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorjak View Post
    No. Just no

    One reason among many is that the control and cooling systems need steady power. and if you decide to 'dunk it' .. no, can't take this seriously.
    The cooling system requires power to circulate cooling water around the core right? So why do you need power to circulate the water if it's submerged, as seawater boils away it'll circulate the rest of the water around the thing. The only thing that would screw you over is if the heat generated is greater than what the seawater can carry away (which it very well could be, I don't know enough about heat transfer and fluid analysis to even estimate the flow requirements.)
    Lets drop a nuclear reactor into the sea and allow the water to circulate right through the core then escape into the open ocean. What could possibly go wrong?
    I actually would like to know what could possibly go wrong, other then vague "common sense" rhetorical questions.
    As reply to both you and dpidcoe since I read a fair bit on the nuclear subject.
    1) Dpid you can't use normal boiling convection for cooling, it doesn't cool it fast enough. The water needs to pass through an active reactor faster than it would under normal temperature gradients in order to cool it effectively. If it's too slow (as it would be without cooling pumps) the water begins to boil, leaving air pockets that cause even further lack of cooling and also imbalance the neutron flux through the reactor core.

    2) Seawater makes for very poor coolant. It corrodes the shit out of everything it touches, and you don't want your reactor core rusting and flaking off into your coolant loop. Things rust INCREDIBLY fast in seawater, especially with the number of exotic metal alloys that go into reactor core construction. The salt also mucks with the boiling point of the water meaning some of your design assumptions about the limits of your coolant will depend on the salinity of the ocean that day.

    3) Seawater is full of all kinds of shit from sharks to plankton to microbes. Some of those can be filtered out, many of the smallest will pass through the reactor, becoming radioactive in the process, and the contaminate the food chain in that area. Remember that as you go up the food chain things accumulate 100 to 1000x in concentration, so radioactivity at the base of the food chain is the most damaging.

    4) Water itself under radioactivity becomes radioactive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritiated_water) and it is reportely toxic. Studies with rats have shown that replacing half of an animal's intake with heavy water (which is not radioactive) will kill them with similar symptoms to chemotherapy. Tritiated water would probably do the same plus the radiation poisoning. Heavily irradiated water will contain varying amounts of both.

    Combined, these are the reasons many reactors isolate their main coolant loop through the reactor, and actually use a secondary loop of water that doesnt go through the reactor to spin turbines. Yes it requires them to exchange heat from the primary and irradiated water but it has too many beneficial effects and lets them control the pressure of the primary coolant without needing it to boil and steam to spin turbines like the secondary coolant does.
    Thanks, that was enlightening.
    I'd argue against point 4. Water is pretty bad at absorbing neutrons and even worse at absorbing them again to make tritium. Not a massive health risk.
    Another big issue is 'environmentalism'. AFAIK a few French reactors have had to reduce their output over the summer because they're discharging 'hot' water from their secondary coolant loops which is killing fish in rivers or near to the shore.
    That last point on environmentalism is just a result of poor reactor location. Theres a reason most nuclear sites in the UK are on the coast, on headlands in remotish places and its not that that is where peak demand is. In the UK we also have stricter rules on seawater discharge temperature, for example existing and new reactors at Oldbury, which is on the severn estuary, cannot discharge much into the estuary because it would warm it up too much, so they use cooling towers instead. If French reactors have to decrease output in the summer this just implies the designers were too dumb to use cooling towers rather than constant sea-water recyling.

  3. #203
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacefalm View Post
    A lot of the downsides mentioned could be averted by using a two-loop setup (PWR rather than BWR design).

    Not that I think it is a good idea regardless...
    Doesn't help with the hot-waste-water issue mentioned.

  4. #204
    Donor Aea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lallante View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacefalm View Post
    A lot of the downsides mentioned could be averted by using a two-loop setup (PWR rather than BWR design).

    Not that I think it is a good idea regardless...
    Doesn't help with the hot-waste-water issue mentioned.
    Well when it's considered an emergency measure is this super significant?

  5. #205
    Super Baderator DonorGlobal Moderator cullnean's Avatar
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    I need more tritium for my susat

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    Cullneshi the god of shitposting.
    Quote Originally Posted by RazoR View Post
    anything soviet is of evil

  6. #206
    Movember 2011 Daco's Avatar
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    To quote a glorious Prime Minister of my beloved country.

    "Lean a bit closer I think that is Uranium I can smell on your breath"

    NUCLEAR FREE BABY

    Quote Originally Posted by EntroX View Post
    i love you fhc, never change

  7. #207
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lallante View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacefalm View Post
    A lot of the downsides mentioned could be averted by using a two-loop setup (PWR rather than BWR design).

    Not that I think it is a good idea regardless...
    Doesn't help with the hot-waste-water issue mentioned.
    Well when it's considered an emergency measure is this super significant?
    Its not emergency only, PWR (in optimal circumstances) still use water from adjacent sea for everyday (secondary) cooling, it just never goes inside the nuclear island.

    Its the single reason why Hinkley Point C is the most advanced project in the UK - Hinkley Point has incredible strong currents going past allowing significantly more hot water discharge without localised ambient warming - there is no better location for access to effective cooling.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    I need more tritium for my susat

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    I once had a SUSAT with a serial # of <1000 in around 2004. Hardly glowed at all .

    In other news, UK PLC. published a paper on Nuclear Industrial Strategy. Had a very brief glance but it implies moving to ~50% electrical capacity coming from nuclear by the 2030's, no new reprocessing until Gen IV reactor technology becomes mature enough to pursue and no mention of managing civil plutonium stockpiles.

  9. #209
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    haha 50% nuclear in 2030s.

    We will be extremely lucky if its more than 10%.

  10. #210
    NoirAvlaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lallante View Post
    haha 50% nuclear in 2030s.

    We will be extremely lucky if its more than 10%.
    Stop killing my hope

  11. #211
    Pacefalm's Avatar
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    It is already more than 10%...
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    I'm doing my best. Well. Not really.

  12. #212

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacefalm View Post
    It is already more than 10%...
    And that proportion is falling as old reactors are decommissioned due to already being decades past their designed lifetime

  13. #213
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacefalm View Post
    It is already more than 10%...
    Hey guys, did you know that once you build a nuclear reactor it lasts for ever?

    We haven't had a serious nuclear reactor building program since the 70s. All 70s-80s reactors are due to be decomissioned between now and the early 2030s.

    We could conceivably have only 1 reactor in service by 2035 (2 if Hinkley Point C goes ahead)

  14. #214
    Pacefalm's Avatar
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    I could prove you wrong but its gonna take about 20 years to do so
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    I'm doing my best. Well. Not really.

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