Rossi's E-Cat. 1.0 MW cold fusion reactor is scheduled for public demonstration this Friday 28 Oct 2011.
If this technology proves out, it will make all other electric energy sources virtually obsolete.
David, you should realize that the innitial cost of any plant does not bear much weight on the actual resource, just its potential. Solar continues to overperform, even in California, and the plant you commented on has already been reevaluated since the output is far above the estimated name plate generation. In addition, you compare apples and oranges since you do not account for the cost of fuel, the costs of mainentance or any other component of the overall cost of nuclear. You do not even factor in the production of Kwh, but only the yield at load ratio to loan value. Your figures are thus not sensible or accurate. Just as you contend I am overstating, you also are overstating for your bias towards Nuclear technology. Some new technologies do show promise and I applaude it as it is verified as a better source, yet, none of those processes have come to fruition and their research costs have never been quantified as to the overall costs. You hide the research costs that were provided by the government and yet avoid using the same measures for solar or its allies. Estimated outputs are just that...estimated, and so they are as fickle and unreliable as nuclear energy has been for the past 10 years, from disaster after disaster world wide, including major troubles in France and in Japan. It simply isn't trustworthy as to the risk to the public, while solar has nearly zero risk of catastrophic losses. So you would put the public and all the world for that matter to a higher risk, of cesium poisoning which already affects vegetables and fruit in California and Oregon, thousands of miles away from Japan, to measurable impacts; all that, just to protect the investor dollars in Nuclear energy and research that has yet to produce any new energy since 2009. The negative level of nuclear is for good reason...it is currently unsafe as is shown by the flooding of the plants along the Missouri River and other places, the quake uncertainty of plants in NY state and Pennsylvania. Risk has a significant bearing on how far nuclear power will progress with excellent reason. There are not any such constraints on solar energy production that again and again over-perform, producing gains in all markets this past year. Measuring risk should be a primary concern for the Department of Energy and all citizens, that continue to shell out $Billions to mitigate the damage of Nuclear energy in the USA and elsewhere. When there is great ratio Returns on Investment for nuclear, then I will say bravo! But unlike the clear record of production from solar, production by nuclear has far too many risks and permanent damage potential than solar. Load cost ratios to loan value are unfair measurements of actual power produced and power potential for future outputs. They just exist on paper, easily manipulated by anyone trying to understate the value of solar power. Technology is being developed by solar people also, and the NREL, that does a lot of this research, and gets dollars for research in nuclear and well as solar power research. Yet, those developments are yet to reach market also, because it has to be patented, has to have testing and has to meet requirements, just like nuclear energy meets. But, expecting that energy to show up in 5 years is very unrealistic, and by that time solar will be well ahead in the growth element of energy production, with estimates of nearly 5 Gwh of load potential already either funded or is being built by solar companies. So when a fair comparison of all fuels is projected by DOE this year, it will show solar as the fastest growning industry, eliminating the need to pollute, irradiate, or endanger the USA as a whole, and certain communities who must take that risk, seriously before nuclear builds new plants. I just do not see it being a rational approach, since the risks are high, the payoff uncertain and the load still has to flow through distribution powerlines, where as solar PV can have impact in the local communities where it is installed, reducing the 5% loss of generation delivery that comes from nuclear plants, isolated and great distances away from the populations that depend on it. Apples to Apples, solar beats nuclear in cost comparison. If one could factor in the other costs, not included in really comparing one to another, the reality would be that solar is more versatile, does not depend on water resources, does not have to have cost developing environmental impact statements above that for construction of the array or distribution stations. So compare the prices as the solar industry does and suddenly nuclear production looks weak and unreliable.
But believing the nuclear industry, is to many, like believing in the tooth fairy...It might look good as a story, but seldom does it bring anything but small change, while obligating the public to fund suppliments far beyond the life of any one plant, making the growing problem one of greater nuclear liability and lesser to nuclear new production. And in addition, the government is on the hook for their liability, allowing investors to get first draw if the system fails, which has happened more in nuclear plants than in the solar industry. I believe the Department of Energy realizes this and tries to offset costs by frequently under-stating the debt nuclear weighs on the US public. It is done by diversifying how costs are reported, and not combined in comparisons.
Solar energy units have extensive maintenance and operating costs as well. Maintaining mirror positioners, mirror polishing, rankine cycle steam plants, boilers, feedwater pumps, cooling water pumps, steam generators. The corrosive natural of the molten salts will assure that the plant will have corrosion and material replacement issues. Water treatment systems and chemicals will also be required to treat the makeup water for the steam systems. The blowdown from the boiler systems are toxic and must be disposed of. Your assumputions of no environmental impact are also incorrect. I have been to the solar thermal plant near Bakersfield (Coolwater). I have personally seen the fried birds lying on the ground. The collector mirrors also shade the earth and change the local habitat. An environmental impact assessment must be performed in accordance with NEPA just as any other power plant will require. I have also seen some of the bird kill on the wind farms in West Texas. There is considerable concern about endangered species such as the Whooping Crane. There is no free lunch even for wind and solar (i.e. especially for Solar).
On nuclear reactors, it is obvious that you do not know the difference between the inherenetly safe High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (HTGRs) using TRISO fuel and light water reactors (BWR's and PWR's) that must rely of electricty and water for cooling the core and fuel elements.
As I have stated elsewhere in this forum on different occassions there is role for all forms of energy in this country including base load power plants fueled by coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, geothermal and peaking units fueled by natural gas and supplemental power from solar and wind. I distinguish supplemental as power that may or may not be available depending on climatalogical conditions.
Peaking and base load plants can be called on to provide power even when the sun is not shining and wind is not blowing.
There is no point in debating the supplemental nature of wind and solar power anymore. Solar provides such an insignificant portion of the power to the USA and even if the current growth rate could be sustained will still be insignificant in a decade.
By the way, this forum is focused on Natural Gas (Read the name of the forum). If you want to promote your supplemental wind and solar power, create your own forum. As for me, I will continue working in the natural gas industry.
First of all, your analysis of me as a paid industry consultant or lobbiest for the gas industry is a flat out lie!. I am not paid to naysay solar or any of the other supplemental ("alternative" so called) energy sources. I am not sure what your credentials are, but I am a Nuclear Engineer by degree and I currently work as a Mechanical Engineer for an engineering firm in Houston developing gas processing and LNG projects.
I worked for several years with the same engineering firm in a study group on Environmental Solutions looking at the entire value chains for Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Hydro, Coal, Coal to Liquids, Gas to Liquids, Trash to gas, Nuclear, Gas, Process Heat Recovery, Fuel Cell, Battery and Tidal power systems. We did several studies and reports for clients evaluating the evironmental impact, life cycle costs, net present value, "well-to-wheel cost analysis", environmental and socio-economic impact of these sytems.
Needless to say, Hydrogen and Solar were the least cost effective solutions available for power or transporation industries. Oh, there are a few little special cases where a local resource and user happen to be within economic range to justify the CAPEX, but we found no economic benefit for large scale, base load, solar projects.
I sense that you think that your much over-optimitic projections and much bloviating will change the fact that solar systems are simply uneconomic. Solar needs mass infusions of tax payer dollars to support it and then still cannot turn a profit even when some state legislation mandates minimum usage and gives Solar 3-5 times the wholesale electric rates.
Politically motivated, federally backed. loan guarantees for companies like Solyndra ($535 million), First Solar ($4 billion), SunPower($1.2 billion), Prologis($1.4 billion), Solar Reserve ($737 million) are simply unacceptable. No telling how many other nonsense companies are sucking the U.S. treasury dry on such uneconomic projects.
After Solyndra, when the hot spotlight of truth was directed at First Solar's application for another $1.9 billion loan guarantee, it was rejected (stock price has fallen over $300/share in 2008 to $43 yesterday and continues to plummet based on the fundamentals of the underlying business).
If it it "can't stand on it's own two feet" economically then send it to the scrap heap of failed technologies. Don't spend my hard earned tax dollars on loan guarantees for more loser technologies or companies. We cannot afford it!.
If you want to put your own money at risk, more power to you.
I'm going to reply to David A. Franklin but his last post has no reply button. Your analysis about solar is correct, but exagerated. Concentrated solar occurs at lower temperature than coal fired plants and thus corrosion and toxicity are much reduced. Only a tiny percentage of the million solar sites operating use molton sodium, potassium nitrate or other molton salts. I can believe a few birds get fried (possibly more dead birds than at a typical coal fired plants) but the average light level is reduced by less than half almost everywhere in the Bakersfield and most other sites. There has been some technological improvement in the 30? years since he Bakersfield concentrator was designed.
I doubt even David A Franklin understands the thousand different proposed nuclear plants, which is part of the problem: When the plant is completed scarely anyone will know that it isn't the safe plant that was sold to the people living nearby. Lieing has become the best policy in recent years. I like the liquid thorium flouride breeder nuclear reactor for several reasons that may be lies. Teach me some more, please so I can have an informed opinion. I agree that CNG = compressed natural gas should be fastracked and liquid natural gas can also fill a nitch and CNG should be the main topic of this tread. Let's keep in mind that one or two solutions likely won't power modern civilization long term, and thus we should be slow to dismiss any of the alternative energy ideas. Neil
If you are a certified nuclear engineer, then it isn't necessary to preach Nuclear, since you know all about the many accidents and incidents that have occurred in the USA the last few years. The floods in Missouri that forced emergency conditions there, the radiant Gas exhaust from the Eastern plant in New York or Pennsylvania. Yet, many of these plants are 30 years old! Of the 104 Reactors and somewhat less numerous plant systems nationwide, nearly half must either get major overhauls or face decommissioning in the next few years. That is a sobering thought, and it means lots of governmental fiscal costs just to get them back to safe renewable Licenses, since they do not even reach the level of those Japanese models that failed in Japan, being Boiler type reactors that show lots of dangers and few positive future options. GE built a lot of those plants, but now even GE realizes they have a reduced future value and increased future liabilities.
Germany as a nation has recognized the cost analyses of these issues and has decided to decommission almost all their nuclear reactors by 2020. Their response to this change has also been eye-opening and positive for renewable industries. Now wind and solar systems are very available and garner their government's firm approval, since they realize the return on investment is greater than future liability using other less reliable systems. However, in the short term, coal is a significant go-between, and so also is their use of specialized systems to reduce its pollution characteristics. Unlike the USA, the Germans are serious about their clean air and how it might impact climate and localized conditions via increased CO2 and hotter exhausts, changing winds aloft currents, ergo, the Jet stream.
While in the USA, Feed-in Tarrifs will make solar cost-effective, and far less expensive than coal, heating oil, nuclear and even natural gas. The difference isn't concentrated gas heating, solar super heating boilers, like at Bakersfield or in Arizona. The future for Utility Grade Solar will be using concentrated solar cells on arrays, that do not fry birds, that do not pollute, that do not require backups for plant failures and that do not require energy other than what it produces itself. Married with Hydrogen fuel cell systems, they can work in tandem to provide 24 hour a day energy, while offering zero pollution emmissions. That's the way for our nation to go, as it applies to electrical energy.
Natural gas isn't right for electrical generation, however. It is woefully unprepared to meet the increasing requirements of reduced CO2, on the scale necessary to reduce "so called" global warming. Instead, using it as a car or vehicle fuel makes sense for 10-20 years as long as cost effective processes also reduce their maintenance costs and development costs, while replacing gasoline engines and even diesel systems. Hybrid systems will make even those NG systems work more economically, with Prius and other car systems, finally getting closer to individual, solely Solar and electrical vehicles that are safe and reliable for in-city and nearby travel, with longer distance speed trains and electical, Non-Rail, cement traveling, MAG-LEV trains eventually coming on line, to ferry light transport and non-stop travel across the nation.
As for conservation and reductions of heating and cooling issues in buildings, Rocky Mountain Institute is on the forefront of offering cost effective ways to redesign buildings to cut costs by 50% and offer long term sustainability, since if the energy consumption is reduced by 50%, fewer energy demands will have to be met. So it would be crazy to over-build nuclear systems, if conservation and "supplimental" solar systems can reduce the demand so significantly, thus saving transmission lines and costs for maintenance of long distance power grid developments. Utilities lose 30% of their power to transmission dispersals, especially if the power trunks are over 50 miles long. So why not rethink grids into smaller, star formations controlled by combinations of solar and local plant deliveries, instead of shifting to long distance, ugly, costly, and maintenance needy, High voltage lines?
In summary, Nuclear is the least cost effective small population solution, and so nuclear is relegated to centers of large populations where an accident could cause greater harm. How is that sensible? And what about the water issues with PCB's and nuclear waste water and damage to clean fresh water sources? It just doesn't seem likely that nuclear is cost effective enough to address those issues reasonably, without governmental subsidies and the taxpayer footing the bill for paying investors instead of self-supporting private businesses. When injuries occur in nuclear plants, who do you think pays their bills? NOT the private companies running the plants! No, they are covered by the NRC, and the NRC via Congress pays for nuclear medicine benefits to nuclear employees. 4 years ago, that taxpayer paid bill was at least $1million yearly. Are we really going to let nuclear grow more after those costs? Not when Natural gas as a fuel and solar and wind as an electrical source are available instead!
Since we are talking about "facts" and death and destruction in the nuclear bidniz, it IS a fact that IN these United States, more people have died in the back seat of Bobby Kennedy's Oldsmobile than in nuclear fission related accidents. Futher, what does aging nuclear plants have to do with anything? You get old, ya die. They bury you. End of story. With a nuclear plant you just buy another one. Our problems with the nuclear industry are NOT with the dangers they present during operation, rather our problems are political. Where to get the money (from future customers, bonds held by system operators, or from federal spending) where to dispose of the stuff (I say give it to Iran and send a PLC bug through the mails every 90 days to wreak havoc on their centrifuges -it'll take 'em years to get an ounce of weapons grade material at that rate. Then, nationalize the Nevada National Guard and secure the Yucca (Yuck what a name) Valley Underground Nuclear repository and start the trains running to fill it up. Problem solved.
THIS is why we need to elect a REAL leader this election. One, who like the people, are FED UP with the bureaucratic BS. IF, and it is doubtful he will, Harry Reid gives us any lip on the matter send HIM out to the desert too. After all, 90% of Nevada is owned by the Federal Government. Surely we can come to SOME understanding (Howitzers for Holes in the ground) with the obstinate people of Nevada.
Anyway, thems be'es the facts. Deal with it.
Double-Duece, Well, I know of 4 people that died from Three Mile Island the first day, as the New York State reactor went out of control during the late 60's early 70's, and then there were 372 families....repeat families, that died from radioactive fall-out related causes, due to Three Mile Island, and those facts do not jive with your "so-called" facts. As for what happened decades later, you do not have to go very far...Oh wait, the Internet! ... to find more evidence that points to radiation illness all across the USA due to small exposures to radiation, including my own cousin who died of juvenile Leukemia during the 1960's, so again your "So-called" facts are a bit distorted! True, since the early 1980's, the NRC and Nuclear activities of the USA have only had a few fatal accidents by means of "Errors" and other issues that have been squelched by governmental officials over the years, but basically, few have died from direct injuries or accidental exposures of radiation. Those that did were listed as deaths by other issues like Pneumonia, lung cancer, or other masking diseases, brought about by exposures during WW2 or by later exposures from being workers during an accident or emergency shutdown event. All this is to say, that Nuclear isn't likely to kill a lot of people, but it could. The potential is remarkable.
How many people died of radiation exposure in Japan, Double-Duece? You can't say, because the results are still being tabulated, and some will never be found, so your premise that nuclear is as hunky dorrey as Cotton-Candy, is misguided and down-right sophomoric. Check the Internet via Google and get an earful or eyeful of facts you do not want to admit.
And in contrast, you have 40 years of Solar that doesn't have large losses attributed to any published deaths due to direct solar accidents, and likely only a few will ever occur, caused mostly by foolish workers failing to adhere to safety issues related to Molten salts or near a direct source of enormous concentrated energy, thus not directly related to solar, but fairly close to it. Still, nuclear energy is getting guarantees of over $8 Billion for the New Plant being built in Georgia, and additional money for the one in South Carolina, which exceeds all the other Solar projects combined across the USA. So the disparity of fairness is contrasting and clearly unfair, since even Solyndra's $560some Million, loan failure has paid back or/will pay back a significant amount of governmental loan guarantee money as soon as their Bankruptcy proceedings have been completed.
You do not see Oil and Gas failures held to such a test, since Billions have been lost at Sea over the last decade in just one Hurricane season, when government guaranteed equipment was lost and sank in Gulf waters. Why is that subject never reported? Could it be the ones that control the media avoid those stories as it might impact Oil and gas Industries, the darlings of the USA Republican-led party and current beneficiaries of such benefits? I bet Utilities never talk about their failures of coal plants or Coal miners discuss their latest cave-ins? It is conveniently avoided by media outlets system wide. So just be fair about your facts, dude. We all have computers and can check your "So-called" facts.
"Three Mile Island, and those facts do not jive with your "so-called" facts. As for what happened decades later, you do not have to go very far...Oh wait, the Internet! ..."
Check the Internet via Google and get an earful or eyeful of facts you do not want to admit."
So WHICH is it Mr. Information, the internet for answers or NOT. Seems you are one of them people with an exceptional sense of your own image, showing BOTH sides of your face ...at the same time.
"Solyndra's $560some Million, loan failure has paid back or/will pay back a significant amount of governmental loan guarantee money as soon as their Bankruptcy proceedings have been completed."
Yeah, sure. Keep your hand out for THAT payoff. The only thing to like about the Solyndra debacle is the fact that a lot of other peoples money went down with it.
"I bet Utilities never talk about their failures of coal plants or Coal miners discuss their latest cave-ins?
We were TALKING about the nuclear industry. How did the ills and failures of the coal industry get into this? Are we now talking about "deaths in the energy manufacturing sector" as topic? How about we talk about "deaths in the energy consumption sectors", aka the automobile, some 42,000 last year. Deaths as a function of energy consumption OR energy production as simply a manipulators way of steering the conservation to their vested sacred cow. You yak on incessantly (LOOK at your ramblings the past several months) and NOTHING of importance of is discussed as it pertains to policy. What THIS country needs is leadership on energy. Not a desertation on scare tactics.
Energy, by its very definition, is action. Large amounts of energy by definition, is dangerous. We as a nation need LARGE amounts of energy. We as a species must learn how to keep the beast under control. That is what education and understanding of an issue is all about, now fear mongering.
Your pathetic insistance on solar power is only a distraction to this country. It is professed by a few idealistic idiots that have read too many Buck Rogers comic books when they were young and cannot differential fact from reality. We NEED energy carrying units with INTENSITY, we need it to be portable, and we need it to be cost effective and under our national control.
Now THAT is a subject for policy discussion. Once we get into this discussion intelligently, I do fear that getting into a Senators car at two in the morning will still be more dangerous than nuclear power. At least the operator of the plant facility will be more responsible.
Deflect all you like, Solar Energy is here to stay, and it is inexpensive over time, it is cost effective, it is safer than nuclear or Natural gas, and it is available in portable processes that can be bought for emergency power for earthquakes and for other energy uses both with generator backups and with direct sun capability. www.sunwize.com as well as others offer those solutions today.
But we do agree, oddly on a few things. We do need significant energy to help us move from oil based products and for the future of our nation. First, because oil products can be manipulated as they are doing with the Cushing Oklahoma Hub, that provides nearly 45 % of the oil for refineries in a 20 state area, and because XL pipeline proponents are actually arguing about a three state extension to the pipeline they already have from Alberta, Canada. The pipeline has already been constructed all the way to Steele Nebraska from the south. Oklahoma is currently running three lines of oil from Cushing to Houston, Louisiana, and for refineries in south Texas. The XL pipeline is already delivering sand oil products to Missouri refineries via the current pipeline in Nebraska that goes East of the capital. Their arguement is about surface water hazzards and where they propose to cross over lands in Wyoming and Montana to go to Nebraska, which is a huge watershed and aquafer that needs protection, since otherwise folks there will not have water. They do not have adequate lake systems and so their surface water and well available waters are essential resources they need to keep clean.
And I agree with the education idea you have. If we had more education, we would not be arguing about whether Solar is viable or not, since its factual components show it already is viable. Already the USA has 3 Gw of solar power from California to New Jersey. It will add 2 Gw more this year alone. The US military thought it was good enough for them and their facilities, and will be making arrays on many installations this year also. If the USPS was to be saved, they would use solar to mitigate their highest costs which are plant costs, not labor, despite what their management professes. Excluding management costs, the USPS could save $20 million on their 40% costs for energy each year, simply by switching to solar modified systems. I have also moved beyond Buck Rogers comic books and read real stories in real books. But the Internet is simply more convenient...go figure...Hope you find more new sources for energy Double-Duece. It is a worthy effort. Gregor S.
Remove all government subsidies, enhanced electric rates for renewables and tax relief from all forms of energy and let the marketplace determine the economic survivors. SUPPLEMENTAL ENERGY SOURCES like wind and solar are dead on arrival. Note that SOLAR and WIND are SUPPLEMENTAL ENERGY SOURCES, NOT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES as they only produce "economic power" when sun the shines and the wind blows (albeit wind power might be sustainable if your mouth was oreinted in the correct direction to the wind turbine with your bloviating about Solar). True alternative energy sources must be able to provide reliable power even when the weather doesn't cooperate. The cost on average $5,000-$40,000/kw installed. Put in the required profit for investors, operating and maintenance costs and taxes and the cost cannot even be recovered in projected life of the facility.
The only economic survivors are natural gas, coal and nuclear. Geothermal is also economic in the right location but will never provide sufficient capacity to make an appeciable dent in the electricity demands of the U.S.
Please also note the topic of this forum is the Natural Gas Act which primarily deals with economic transportation fuels, not, nuclear, coal, solar or wind. Let's get back on topic.
Coal may be able to provide transportation fuel with Fischer-Tropsch syngas conversion and subsequent refining but natural gas can provide economic transprotation fuels immediately in the form of CNG and LNG without major modifications to the vehicles or infrasturcture or force major changes in the way Americans currently drive. Solar and wind can never offer that kind of econimic transportation to the U.S. economy.
I suggest you go start your own forum on Solar. Also go invest your own money in the Solyndra's of this age NOT MY TAX DOLLARS!