Monday, February 13, 2012

The Dakotas Want to Include Nuclear Power in the Energy Boom

North Dakota leads the new US growth in oil & gas production. But oil & gas are not perfect all-around energy sources. Large amounts of electricity are also needed to power the creation of wealth and abundance. At least a few thinkers in the Dakotas are beginning to think about integrating nuclear power into the overall energy mix.
The Dakotas are on the front lines of energy independence today, including oil, coal, natural gas, wind, solar, biofuels, hydropower and geothermal. However, nuclear energy is missing. South Dakota and North Dakota would be excellent locations for small modular reactors as well as the manufacturing and knowledge base that they require.

The first small modular reactors will be similar to the well-proven water-cooled technologies used by the U.S. Navy to power nuclear submarines. Air-cooled designs will not need to be near a body of water, which means they can be placed away from any flooding or earthquake zones.

All of them will have fewer pumps and valves with advanced safety features. They can be mass-produced, shipped in sections by rail and assembled on-site. The uniformity of the construction methods will enhance safety, reduce construction costs and make the supply chain more efficient.

...Nuclear energy is best-suited to providing the base-load while other sources such as natural gas and energy stored from renewables deliver peak power. Working together will be the most cost-effective option for simultaneously producing more energy while reducing emissions.

...We can manufacture the mechanical and electrical parts and components that are needed. Certification laboratories and consulting expertise for construction, safety, operations and power distribution for nuclear energy located here would have value for energy storage, energy efficiency and the development of other energy sources.

Together, the Dakotas might be able to deliver an all-of-the-above energy portfolio. How nuclear energy will fit into that mix has yet to be determined. _ArgusLeader
Nuclear reactors can help Dakotans to develop more of their rich hydrocarbon resources. The high quality process heat of gas cooled reactors would facilitate the conversion of cheap gas to high value liquids, chemicals, and fertilisers. The same process heat would also help convert cheap dirty coal into valuable clean liquids. In addition, nuclear reactor process heat could assist in cheaper enhanced recovery of oil and gas from tight rock deposits.

A well balanced portfolio of energy and power sources is to be preferred to the unbalanced dependency upon one, two, or three sources. But most of your energy production assets should be devoted to the most reliable and economic -- in the long term -- sources.

At this time, when the US government is borrowing over $1 trillion a year just for routine expenditures, there is no money to be wasted on unreliable and exorbitant big wind and big solar.

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Blogger Whirlwind22 said...


Boy do they just like putting articles on there.

11:29 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

I understand your confusion, ww22. Most people are like you in that they don't understand how the different classifications of reserves are estimated.

It is easy to change an estimate of a resource by simply changing one's estimation criteria. Then stand back and watch the monkeys howl!


2:43 PM  

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