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billdietrich1 t1_ja8nf8f wrote

One problem is that you're trying to compete in a market where costs of renewables and storage decrease every year. You can't just hold steady with cost and schedule, you have to be something amazing. And steam-based nuclear never will be that.


547610831 t1_ja8nzq6 wrote

Nuclear costs would drop significantly if we would let them. Renewable and batteries won't drop forever as well. Regardless, it's vitally important to have diversity of supply. The more sources of power you have the more resilient your grid will be.


billdietrich1 t1_ja8p28k wrote

Nuclear is costly even in countries that are very much in favor of it.

We can have diversity while only using renewables and storage; we have a wide range of types of them, with more being developed.

I wouldn't bet against another few decades of cost decreases in renewables and storage. Graphene, organics, new catalysts, bio-fuels (not corn ethanol), flow batteries, all show a lot of promise.


547610831 t1_ja8ql85 wrote

Not really. The UAE built their new reactors quickly and cheaply. Japan used go build reactor incredibly fast, but unfortunately has turned sour on nuclear.


billdietrich1 t1_ja8tvv7 wrote

From , it looks like the first reactor was scheduled to produce in 2017, but didn't start producing until mid-2020. That's 8 years after start of construction. Price tag for 4 reactors is somewhere from $20 to $30 billion. I wouldn't call that either quickly or cheaply.


547610831 t1_ja8u7ik wrote

For 4 reactors that's pretty darn good. If we could build a new reactor for 5 Billion there would be a dozen under construction right now.


billdietrich1 t1_ja8uqrf wrote

That time was for the first reactor, not four. And it's one plant, not four plants.

Sure, a non-democratic govt will be able to do things faster and thus cheaper. No lawsuits, no loss of focus or change of policy. But even they can't do nuclear quickly and cheaply.


bitfriend6 t1_ja8zuo5 wrote

We can't have diversity with just renewables and storage, because the large reservoirs and battery vats required for it won't be built or require so much material it invalidates whatever emissions savings went into it. Wind and solar are nice to have, but all of them exist with gas as baseload power and gas can only be replaced by nuclear or coal. Since we're theoretically banning coal, this leaves nuclear as a required element.

China has already discovered this with their new next-gen coal plant construction program. PV-onlyism won't work. And really, why should we constrain ourselves that way anyway?


billdietrich1 t1_ja9203c wrote

We have or will have N types of renewable generation (hydro, solar PV, solar-thermal, solar-hydrogen, wind, wave, tidal, geothermal, maybe biomass, maybe some kind of engineered plant things generating electricity, who knows) and M types of storage (pumped-hydro, thermal, P forms of chemical battery, hydrogen, gravity, flywheel, bio-fuel, compressed-air, who knows). Fairly soon they will give us costs lower than nuclear, and far less climate damage than fossil. We won't be "constraining" ourselves much by using a mix of the best choices, instead of trying to keep an also-ran tech such as nuclear on life-support.