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Feb 10, 2016, 04:20 *
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1  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: VC Summer 3 & 4 on March 30th on: Mar 25, 2012, 02:42
The first article still raises the canard that TMI stopped nuclear development.  Somehow TMI retroactively stopped orders almost a year before it happened....
2  Facility & Company Information / San Onofre (SONGS) / Re: San Onofre (SONGS) on: Feb 18, 2012, 10:50
Same with Seismic specs.

You mean that putting thicker metal and/or more supports doesn't make it corrode through faster?
3  Facility & Company Information / San Onofre (SONGS) / Re: San Onofre (SONGS) on: Feb 17, 2012, 08:49
I was going to politely ask how the size would relate to erosion or corrosion.

Broadzilla was a bit more blunt....  but yeah, what he said.
4  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: New Nuclear Plants Status on: Feb 17, 2012, 05:16
The case for widespread U.S. nuclear plant construction has eroded due to abundant natural gas supplies, slow electricity demand growth in a weak U.S. economy, lack of financing and uncertainty following the Fukushima disaster.  A 1,000-megawatt natural gas plant takes a few years to permit and build and costs up to $1 billion for the most efficient, combined-cycle model. A similar-sized nuclear reactor however could take five to 10 years to develop and build and cost more than $7 billion.


These reactors lay the ground work for more when the price of natural gas gets out of control again.  These new nuclear plants are more of a way to send a message to the natural gas suppliers about keeping their prices in check, than a full resurgence of nuclear power.  Its still not cost effective to do it on a large scale, but building one lets the natural gas suppliers know that the utilities DO have other options.

Just some more numbers to ponder on top of your two about capital costs.

A nuke is around $125 mil a year to keep running.

At today's natural gas prices, that combustion turbine plant will cost $400 mil a year to run.  At 2005 natural gas prices, it would be over $1 bil a year.
5  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: New Nuclear Plants Status on: Feb 17, 2012, 05:14
The Nuclear energy Institute does a good job of tracking new plant licensing.  Their last update was January 2011.

The NRC has some good information too, they last updated their site on March 10, 2011.

Date of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: 11 March 2011.

I COULD rest my case, but here is more:

Correlation is not causation.

The standard template that media types throw out is that the last round of nuclear was stopped by TMI.  Every time there is an article on nuclear, they drudge up TMI and state that it is the cause.  That's WAY to simple of an explanation and I would argue that TMI was a minor cause of the last time nuclear ground to a halt.

Take a look back to 1946.  Every little town had their own little power plant.  Many were mechanized, but not automated.  Their small size led to a massive man power required and their efficiency was low.  At the same time, demand for electricity was a tiny fraction of what it was in the mid 70's.  There was the REA, but many households still didn't have power.  Those that did mainly used them for mainly lighting and not a lot else.  In the industrial side, many factories had their own power plant, and many had a central steam engine with line shafting running each machine.  Yes, a factory built even 10 or 15 years before would have used electric motors, but there were plenty of ones still in operation.

The next 30 years saw the rise of the massive central station.  At first it was only coal, but by the beginning of the 70's nuclear was coming into play.  Transmission lines were put in, and each of the little small town stations were dismantled, abandoned or relegated to emergency backup status.  Factories got rid of their own power plant and put electric motors on every machine.  At home we saw the widespread introduction of the television, universal refrigerator ownership, electric ranges and electric dryers going into many homes.  During this time the rate of central plant installation was incredible, with orders coming in monthly at many times.

Enter the mid to late 1970's:  A lot of forces came into play all at once.  The demand growth disappeared.  Credit became insanely tight.  The economy dropped, causing more of a reduction in demand.  In the early 70's, the order rate was high.  By 1977 it was a trickle.  Only a few in 1978, with none in late 1978.  TMI happened in March 1979.  If TMI was the cause, how did it retroactively stop them in 1978?  Not only that, did TMI cause a cessation in new coal plant orders?   

Back to your example:   Did Fukishima cause any cancellations?  So far, no.  There haven't been any announced post Fukishima.  The applications were announced in 2005 through 2008.  In 2009 and 2010 many were canceled.  This was for the reasons you state later in your post.  The cheap price of gas is a big factor.  Again a crappy economy killed demand, but at least this time credit isn't insanely expensive because of our changed monetary policy.  Had Fukishima never happened, there is little likelihood for any utility to take on a new nuclear plant.

The NRC voted 4-1 to allow Atlanta-based Southern Co to build and operate two new nuclear power reactors at its existing Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia. 

15 years ago many nuclear experts were saying that all of the new plants would be on existing sites.  It makes sense.  Locals have lived next to a nuclear power plant for as long as they can remember.  If it bugged them, they would have moved away.  This takes away much of the NIMBY argument, and many locals welcome more jobs.  On top of that, if the plant was well sited before, then it still remains a good site.  Power lines are there, heavy transport routes are there, water is there, and natural hazards are already well studied.

I expect few or no plants to ever be sited in a green field.

You might ask who the 1 guy is that opposed it.  None other than NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who has close ties to congressional Democrats. The NRC top dog just voted against the first new nuclear reactors in 30 years. That's not the way that confidence is inspired in the average American following TMI and Fukushima.

Jaczko was put in there to stop new nuclear.  He was the point guy on killing Yuka Mountain when he worked for Harry Ried.
6  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: New Nuclear Plants Status on: Feb 09, 2012, 09:11
Hopefully the floodgates will really open up. We need about 100 more. Just wishful thinking for all who need jobs.

We have technology today that can convert natural gas and coal to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.  It's even economically feasible if oil prices remain where they are.

I'd love to see our base load generation switch to nuclear and then we can use coal and natural gas to free us from imported oil.
7  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Bed, Bath & Beyond - oops! Radioactive TP holders. on: Jan 14, 2012, 07:13
I can't find anything on the NRC website, but newspapers are saying it was Co-60.


8  Career Path / Different Country / Re: Working in China on: Dec 17, 2011, 07:37
Similar to danimal1481, I have traveled to China and worked with people who worked there long term. 

(1) For an equivalent position in the US, how does the pay in China compare for an engineer?
I didn't pry for exact numbers, but they did indicate the pay was better than here to lure people to the jobs.  Couple that with a lower cost of living and they did pretty good.

(2) How do the taxes and everything work?  Do you pay income tax in the US or China?
You pay taxes to China and if you're out for more than a year you don't pay US taxes.  BUT make sure you talk to a tax lawyer because you do have to file special forms when working abroad.  Many people have gotten into trouble for not filing the forms.

(3) I've heard that there are some perks outside of the normal pay, are any of the perks written into your contract?
Just like danimal1481 said, there are expat communities you can live in where everyone speaks English.   The funny part was that I was working with Belgian and German engineers and they resented the fact that English was catered to and they had to use that as their common language.

(4) Any good or bad experiences?
Touring was really cool.  My brother was over there for 2 years and he went all over the country.

As for the bad: 
hygiene is a big concern, see below. 
Traffic is deadly, you're going to see people killed a lot more than here.
Work safety isn't up to the same standards, if you're around construction or heavy industry, again you're going to see more severe accidents.

(5) Any recommendations for someone that is at the very beginning of his research into this?
My employer brought in a consultant that taught a 4 hour class.  It was very valuable about teaching many hygiene rules.  It is worse than Mexico in many ways, but when you're careful you can avoid getting sick.  I managed to avoid it in 3 weeks over there.  I'd google looking for a class.

I'd also recommend expat forums, again google is your friend. 

(6) I've heard that some companies prefer that you don't drive anywhere.  Have you found this to be a real inconvenience?

Don't even consider driving.  It isn't an inconvenience at all.  Find out a car service where they have an English speaking dispatcher.  The drivers won't speak English, but you can communicate to the dispatcher and have them translate for you.
9  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Japan's Nukes Following Earthquake on: Dec 10, 2011, 08:02
Two of the handouts from the Nov 30 press conference have now been translated to English by TEPCO:


10  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: NRC Chairman Jaczko vs Yucca Mountain on: Dec 10, 2011, 06:32
I'd like to see a congressman pound on him for his testimony about Fukishima.  There were a whole lot of claims made before congress that turned out to be false.
11  News and Discussions / History & Trivia / Re: american nuclear power plants on: Dec 07, 2011, 09:14
How would/does the isolation condenser in bwr 2s & 3s work. Is it direct vent to outside?

Yep, they have a large vent to the roof of the reactor building. 
12  News and Discussions / History & Trivia / Re: american nuclear power plants on: Dec 06, 2011, 08:05

Fukashima 1 is a BWR 3 in a Mk 1 Rx Bldg.

The only US plants of this design are Quad Cities 1&2, Dresden 1&2, Pilgrim and Monticello.

Don't BWR 3's have a mix of isolation condensers and RCIC?

Had the IC stayed in use, unit 1 likely would have been the least damaged unit.  It would have been quite easy for a fire truck to keep up with the evaporation rate.
13  News and Discussions / History & Trivia / Re: american nuclear power plants on: Dec 02, 2011, 09:56
What is between the sub pile room floor and the metal bottom of the drywell in a Mk 1 BWR?

In the case of Fukishima there is 7.6m of concrete:

In Japanese:


Bablefish translated

14  Facility & Company Information / Vogtle / Re: Vogtle (Alvin W Vogtle) on: Nov 30, 2011, 09:20
You better do a grammar check before Broadzilla comes along.
15  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Japan's Nukes Following Earthquake on: Nov 23, 2011, 07:06
It was mixed reviews in my household.  I found it quite interesting and thorough.  Wifey looked over my shoulder and proclaimed "Dear God, why would anyone read something so incredibly boring."

I'd like to see more on what's happened since the end of the report narrative. 
16  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Japan's Nukes Following Earthquake on: Nov 23, 2011, 05:55
Is there enough activated stuff up there to cause widespread contamination? Otherwise, are we looking at contamination from gaseous fission products that escaped with the hydrogen that built up in the RB?


At the levels they were talking about, it has to be the fission products going out with the vented steam and hydrogen as you're speculating.
17  News and Discussions / History & Trivia / Re: "Trench 94" on: Nov 19, 2011, 07:12
Where did the compartments from the cruisers & destroyers end up?
18  Career Path / Nuclear Operator / Re: Job Security on: Nov 05, 2011, 08:33
I'd have to disagree with this as some with Aspergers do well at test taking, not all but some.  I don't know that we'd need to "weed out" anyone with Aspergers.  We'd probably be surprised (maybe not) at the actual numbers in the plants, though I think they're higher in the engineering department due to characteristics of the syndrome.

I'm an engineer and yep, lots of engineers are on the spectrum.  But when you're talking about operation folks, I don't think they'd fit in.  There's just too much importance on personal interaction and teamwork.
19  Career Path / Nuclear Operator / Re: Job Security on: Nov 04, 2011, 05:28
I'm quite certain that any position at a nuclear plant that requires testing should weed out someone with Asperger's.
20  News and Discussions / History & Trivia / Re: Fukushima Dose Rates on: Oct 26, 2011, 08:47
Thanks storm13!  I figured I didn't need Japanese since I couldn't understand it.  I didn't consider that they might be Japanese Arabic numbers instead of English Arabic numbers  Tongue

Now I wonder what SGTS stands for ?  Second grate torus ??

Standby Gas Treatment System.

It is the filter and stack system for treating the vented gas from containment.
21  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Stuxnet Clone 'Duqu', Power Plant Attacks on: Oct 20, 2011, 05:50
"Only the original authors have it. So, this new backdoor was created by the same party that created Stuxnet."

Maybe someone hacked the Stuxnet authors' computers so they have the source code too.
22  News and Discussions / Nuke News / Re: Japan's Nukes Following Earthquake on: Sep 20, 2011, 09:18
I've never set foot in a BWR, but I'd love to see pictures of what the heck the state of things are in there.
23  Career Path / Getting in / Re: union electrician.......question about my past. on: Sep 18, 2011, 08:28
Do you have a record of negative tests over that period (i.e. pre-hire, post accident tests)?
24  Career Path / Navy Nuke / Re: Big E Decommissioning... job opportunities? on: Sep 13, 2011, 04:53
Sad to hear, one heck of a ship. Anyone know the plans for her?

Much of the upper decks will have to be torn up to get all 8 reactor compartments out.  The Navy doesn't consider it worthwhile to rebuild the ship to turn it into a museum.

Figure either scrapping or a target.
25  Career Path / Radiation Safety / Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs on: Aug 10, 2011, 05:55
Unless some of the gammas involved passed through the earth or bounced off the atmosphere a few times, none of the radiation released reached the US. Or maybe there were some Bremsstrahlung X-Rays the managed to make it...


Most neutrinos would make it through.

But then stopping the reactor reduced the rate greatly.
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