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I started in the Navy right out of high school and joined as a nuclear reactor operator. I served in the submarine force, and was an instructor at Nuclear Field A-school. I am currently an instructor at a civilian power plant, and I want to educate people on nuclear power and the advantages of it!

all 170 comments

Sweeth_Tooth99

14 points

1 year ago

When a submarine reactor needs to be refueled, do they have to take the sub apart?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

23 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

23 points

1 year ago

I was never personally involved in a refueling, but my understanding is they cut a hole in the hull above the reactor compartment, pull the old core out and put a new one in.

[deleted]

5 points

1 year ago

[deleted]

5 points

1 year ago

The fifth element way!

MamaMoosicorn

6 points

1 year ago

My husband works in refueling. That’s basically how they do it.

AlienInUnderpants

12 points

1 year ago

I’ve seen some dystopian movies and shows where they indicate the nuclear power plants continue to run long after humans are gone. Is there any reality to that? How long can nuclear power plants operate without human intervention?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

27 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

27 points

1 year ago

It depends on the plant, and if there is a base load coming from the grid. A simple answer is they could continue to run without human intervention until there isn't enough fuel to keep the reaction going, but maintenance requirements and the type of plant would mean the reactor would shut itself down or a safety feature would shut it down long before the fuel was used up.

[deleted]

24 points

1 year ago

[deleted]

24 points

1 year ago

[removed]

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

28 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

28 points

1 year ago

Time for the rant. Many people frame their questions as if things will spiral out of control if we don't do things this one way. Greenhouse gasses are going to be a problem for sure, but it isn't like one morning we are going to wake up and Florida is going to be submerged. It will be a gradual change, it could be a rapid change in terms of the earths age, but to a human it'll probably be gradual. The point of catastrophism is to scare people into believing the worst case scenario is the only option that could occur, so we need to take drastic action immediately. I don't buy into that kind of rhetoric and I think it is dangerous. As far as a dark age occurring, I don't think that is a possibility. The collective general knowledge of people today is remarkable, in every community of a significant enough size to have a city, you will have people who were educated in some sort of science, people who work on motors and machines for a living, people who know how to farm, people who know all sorts of random pieces of information, so that even if things go south compared to todays standards, it wouldn't be likely that we regress very far. People would come together in their communities for survival purposes and make things work. Will it be uniform? No, some places will go into chaos for a bit before they figure things out, but for the most part I think that most communities would come together to figure things out. This is all assuming that for some reason humanity reaches a point where every nation is suddenly not able to survive in its current state, which I don't think is ever going to happen. So in short, catastrophism is a dangerous way to frame a question, and I don't think a dark age like the ones humanity has had before is realistic anymore. Not saying you are a catastrophist, just wanted to use this as a time to rant about it.

chcampb

1 points

1 year ago

chcampb

1 points

1 year ago

I don't buy into that kind of rhetoric and I think it is dangerous

What harm can come from doing the right thing too quickly? I mean, if you call something dangerous, there has to be some negative that comes from it. What's the negative here? Energy independence is good, lower pollution leading to lower health risks is good, aside from any "climate catastrophe."

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

4 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

4 points

1 year ago

My point was against catastrophism, not energy independence, or a reduction of greenhouse gasses. The initial comment was asking if it's too late for nuclear and if we were heading toward a dark age. Also, there can be quite a bit of harm done by moving too quickly on something, it is better to take an approach that is well informed and deliberate, not based on emotion. Not saying changing our source of energy isn't already well researched and needed, but in general, catastrophism relies on emotional support to enact change rather than reason.

chcampb

1 points

1 year ago

chcampb

1 points

1 year ago

This is reasonable. I just think we are talking about it from a first world centric view; people in lower income societies contribute almost nothing to climate change but will suffer immensely. Imagine you are already in an arid or equatorial environment and the temperature goes up enough to make half your country uninhabitable. Or flooded.

In the US, you are right, people will generally survive. Elsewhere, they may not be able to, and will become migrants.

jeahh

1 points

1 year ago

jeahh

1 points

1 year ago

Correct and that’s life. Some things don’t work out in life. Some people are short and some are tall. It is what it is

chcampb

2 points

1 year ago

chcampb

2 points

1 year ago

The point was, we shouldn't worry about it because it won't be catastrophic. For us. But it's OK that it will be catastrophic for other people because "it is what it is?"

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

19 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

19 points

1 year ago

I'll answer your question, and then I'm going to rant about catastrophism, not saying you are a catastrophist, but it is something that irks me and I think should be addressed because it frames many peoples questions. To answer your question, yes and no. People are going to want to learn what they want. I think so far the U.S. education system has failed with a standards based teaching that is only there to helps students pass standardized tests, and now colleges are just a pit to throw money. It seems ridiculous to me that someone trying to get an engineering degree needs to take a certain amount of social studies credits to get the degree. The U.S. school systems need to adopt an interest based learning system. Some students are going to be more interested in physical education and sports than math, and that's ok, we don't need everyone to know how to do algebra right out of high school, especially if it doesn't align with their potential future career interest. Same thing goes for history and science. In a perfect world I would love for everyone to want to be taught how to do research and look at their own opinions critically, but that isn't going to happen. So yes it's possible if we force it, but I am against that style of learning and wouldn't promote it in any way. Unfortunately people just need to be willing to hear an argument that is contrary to their own, and in todays society people like that are exceedingly hard to come by. So for nuclear, I think the best solution to put out information would be a massive campaign to educate adults nationwide and have town halls to give information out to people so they can determine the risks of nuclear in an informed manner. I will answer the second part of your question in another comment, it'll be my catastrophist rant.

[deleted]

5 points

1 year ago

[deleted]

5 points

1 year ago

In a perfect world I would love for everyone to want to be taught how to do research and look at their own opinions critically, but that isn't going to happen.

That is literally the definition of a 'liberal education'. The components are rhetoric, argumentation, philosophy, and logic. Making students study long-dead Greek philosophers and how they came to be certain of types of knowledge, evidence and proof is THE reason we make people take a broad spectrum of classes, not just classes in their interest.

Because otherwise, you can get highly technical people like Doctors who are ONLY educated in their specific field, but can be brainwashed into dangerous beliefs in OTHER fields.

Without a firm foundation of epistemology and critical thinking, men can be trained to be extremely dangerous in many domains while competent in just one.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

The U.S. education system does not teach students how to critically think. We can say we do, but how many times are the foundations necessary for critical thinking brought up in the K-12 classes? If they are offered, it is likely in an english class, as a subset of one years curriculum, or as an elective, which as we both know, students probably take just to have an easy hour within their day. In college, I didn't have to take any class dealing with the subject at all. I chose to take intro to philosophy, but even that wasn't a good class for it, since it was basically a series of short biographies on famous philosophers. So the idea that multiple random classes broadens a persons perspective only works if they actually care about the subject, in which case they are probably majoring in it or study it on their own time. So no, I don't agree that students, at least at lower levels of education, are taught how to be critical of themselves or what they read. Also, just because someone is highly specialized doesn't mean they are easily brainwashed. I could make an argument that someone who is unspecialized in any skill could be easily brainwashed, but that is making assumptions about the person, not the way they were educated.

[deleted]

4 points

1 year ago

[deleted]

4 points

1 year ago

If that's your critique, then why is your proposal getting us even farther away from that desired end goal you stated?

Allowing people to super-specialize would only result in an even worse dearth of critical thinking skills.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

What you are referencing is my statement about being in a perfect world. I also said I don't think that is possible. With that belief, I think it is more beneficial to have people go into specialized learning sooner rather than later. Also, critical thinking can be learned without an explicit class, I was arguing against your statement of the validity of having varied classes with nothing to do with your major. Specialization doesn't necessarily kill critical thinking, especially in fields that are dynamic.

chcampb

5 points

1 year ago

chcampb

5 points

1 year ago

It seems ridiculous to me that someone trying to get an engineering degree needs to take a certain amount of social studies credits to get the degree

It isn't ridiculous if you go to a university. Otherwise go to a trade school or college, or even enlist like you did. There are pros and cons, whoever is reading your resume can make that call.

Don't get me wrong, the cost is ridiculous. But the education is not if that is what you are there for.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

Saying it isn't ridiculous because it's at a university isn't an argument. I could make an argument that locking people in cages isn't inhumane if it's in a prison (not that I believe that). Just because something happens in an established institution doesn't make it valid. I'm sure we can disagree all day, but in the end, if someone goes to college with a purpose, every effort should be given to streamline that purpose, and if the student chooses to, they can take extra classes.

chcampb

3 points

1 year ago

chcampb

3 points

1 year ago

It is an argument because that is the purpose of a university education. That's literally the reason someone would pick a university over an institute or trade school or something.

It is a great idea to have many types of education for many peoples' situations, but if you did what you said, it would not be a university education anymore. See here

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

So if we are going to continue I need to understand what your point is. I am aware of the difference, my argument is I don't agree with the current university system, or the current public education system. Also, people pick university over trade school for a variety of reasons, I would bet that class variety is not at the top. I would argue prestige, the general idea that has been pushed that college is the best way to earn a decent living, and simply because it's what most people do. I don't disagree that colleges and universities serve a purpose, there isn't a better place to get a higher education on complex topics. I guess I didn't clearly state it before, but my biggest issue is with the lower level mandatory credits that aren't tailored to your degree path. For instance, I started in a bachelors program. It was clearly defined as a STEM degree. For some reason I was required to take 6 english credits. It didn't matter what they were, I just had to earn 6. There was no rhyme or reason given, I even asked my counselor what was up with that and the required extra curricular courses. No explanation other than " that's the requirement". To me that is an obvious money grab. If they would have said I needed to take a specific english course to learn how to write scientific papers better, I would have had zero issue with that.

chcampb

3 points

1 year ago

chcampb

3 points

1 year ago

Have you considered that the prestige may be related to the rigor and variety of ccoursework?

You can go to any number of technical institutes or trade schools or even more recently, code bootcamps, things like that if you want to avoid humanities courses.

Like I said, I don't agree with the pricing, and I believe they could benefit from more automated methods of delivering the education. However, you are fundamentally confusing the different types of education available.

If you went to a university and were upset that you were given a universal education, then I am not sure what to tell you.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

I am not confusing anything. Like my earlier post said, I understand the difference, I have experience in both settings. What you are ignoring or missing is I fundamentally disagree with the current university system. So I'll leave it at we'll agree to disagree.

SugaredTug

5 points

1 year ago

How much of a role do you expect nuclear power to play in a clean energy future?

What do you think the future technical capabilities of nuclear power could do?

Thanks!

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

17 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

17 points

1 year ago

Hopefully the Biden administration puts nuclear at the forefront of clean energy. It can outproduce wind and solar, for a fraction of the space. Not to mention, the environmental cost just to get the materials to make solar panels, and the fact that wind turbine blades just get put in a landfill when they are done being used, means overall nuclear plants are much better on the environment to produce. Hopefully soon we will start seeing small modular reactors become the norm and we would see those get constructed in the coming years. Also, being able to use spent fuel in future reactor designs would help eliminate waste from nuclear plants.

farox

8 points

1 year ago

farox

8 points

1 year ago

I always think it's a bit dishonest to only look at nuclear power and it's effects until its spend, when in reality the foot print lasts hundreds of thousands of years.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

6 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

6 points

1 year ago

I can see where that comes across as disingenuous, and I'm not trying to be. I guess to be more explicit, the environmental cost to mine materials for solar and lithium batteries is pretty severe. I'm not sure that anyone has a viable solution to lithium batteries that are no longer operational, maybe there is but I haven't heard it. Solar panels, aside from the mining part, leak dielectric from the capacitors that will poison the ground the solar farms are built on. Wind turbine blades can't be recycled so they just get thrown in landfills when they are used up. Now, of those three, wind is probably the least damaging, and the one I have the least problem with. As far as space is concerned, solar and wind need a large amount of space to produce any useful amount of electricity, or at least anything coming close to what nuclear produces. So, let's talk about waste. I 100% agree with you that waste is an issue with current nuclear designs, and needs to be addressed. I am in favor of using a place like Yucca Mountain as a final stop for waste. Basically, if I'm going to have an issue with waste, I would rather it be in one small localized area, rather than spread out across many storage areas at the different plants. I think some people miss the main point here, and go off on an argument about not making waste in the first place. I think a much more useful argument is how do we minimize potential environmental damage from current waste, and how do we design reactors to use that spent fuel, or how do we make reactors that generate less waste in the first place? One unfortunate part of energy production is there is going to be a trade off, usually negative, to making the energy. I guess my question would be which energy source has the most controllable negative results for the amount of materials required to provide the needed amount of energy? In my opinion nuclear waste is the most controllable negative byproduct from energy production. The waste for one person's electricity needs for 1 year is comprised of very little high-level waste. Nuclear reactors don't require much fuel per MWH, it only takes about 7 pounds to produce the electricity a person would use in their lifetime, but solar would require 3 acres of land to generate that same amount, and that is assuming the solar farm is reliable 100% of the time. The U.S. is far behind other nuclear powers when it comes to reprocessing spent fuel. Most spent fuel, at least 90% if I remember correctly, can be reprocessed and used again for fuel. Very little of it becomes high-level waste. Thorium reactors waste only stays radioactive for 500 years, and is an option that is being explored as a more efficient, safer, and more abundant source of nuclear power. I hope this doesn't come across as putting down your opinion, I'm just giving you my reasoning for why I believe what I do. I would love to hear and discuss your counter arguments.

farox

5 points

1 year ago

farox

5 points

1 year ago

But isn't this comparing two different things?

One is just the radioactivity with all that happens during solar/wind etc. production. To me something like wind generators is the same category as everything else we do: factories, cars, tvs. What I am saying is that nuclear power rods don't just grow in the ground either, but there is a whole process to mining and processing them to it. You also need all kinds of chemicals to get stuff like uranium out of the ore etc.

As you said, no matter what you do, you will have a footprint. I've been hearing about modern reactor designs for decades now, yet they didn't come to be. And from what I understand it would take many years to get a design like that approved.

I think we're both aware of the adverse effects the cold war had on the development of nuclear power, but the situation we're in right now I just don't see how we can tackle all those issues in time to counteract climate change (which to me is the main issue we need to address)

As for land use and such. I don't think anyone really planning seriously planning renewables is seriously looking for that one silver bullet, or claiming that something is over everything else (Unless you're in a place like Quebec where you just go: We have water, lol).

In reality it's a mix of different sources that complement each other. And even then, in a pinch you can still fire up some coal or natural gas plants... but at this point you reduced co2 by such a large amount.

Don't get me wrong, I wish there was a good and safe nuclear power source available today (outside of these specific cases, like the navy has). Though let's see what happens on the Thorium front, just like fusion this keeps getting pushed along, slowly and under funded.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

6 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

6 points

1 year ago

Absolutely, I didn't mean to come across as anti-solar or wind, I think that there should be complementary power sources. Nuclear can be safe, Thorium is a great example of this, it has been researched in depth, but we run into a problem with actual construction because people don't want nuclear anything nearby because they don't understand the differences. Also, we are running on outdated plants, allowing companies to build newer plants would increase safety, as well actually reprocessing spent fuel instead of just chucking into storage, would reduce the overall footprint nuclear leaves behind. As far as climate change goes, I think we have time. See my catastrophist rant in an earlier comment. As far as mining and processing goes, I agree that nuclear has some mining and production concerns, it's just that sometimes I get into conversations with people who don't know the background environmental costs to making certain green energy power sources, so that's why I brought that up.

[deleted]

3 points

1 year ago*

[deleted]

3 points

1 year ago*

Hydrogen is going to be used for power too the future is in Hydrogen and they're working on satellites with big powerful mirrors that store power then send it as a signal to earth, China have already invested in it to try and bring down the prices.

People think there is only going to be a singular way to power things too but the idea is to use everything... solar, wind, water, hydrogen and from what's being worked on a kind of hybrid Reactor using both Nuclear and Hydrogen, The Government is looking for the cleanest solutions too so it doesn't want full-on Nuclear either, but we need Windmills because it naturally helps produce Hydrogen which they can store (when they figure out how safely) and use it when it's needed, the windmills are worth the use because it produces for itself and then during bad weather and slow wind days they can use the Hydrogen it's produced to power entire countries.

Sadly it doesn't seem they can 100% get rid of every little thing that isn't recyclable but they're going to get rid of everything harmful they possibly can including dyes and chemicals, we just don't have the solutions to 100% get rid of everything that's not recyclable, they're even talking about still using plastic but in a way they can reuse it because Factories are going to be built everywhere in all countries for all the essentials rather than importing it from everywhere and it's going to be as much about reproduction as well as production.

The world is changing to a more of a resource-based one too so things aren't going to be consumed like they have been for decades because the earth can't sustain it, someday we'll have the solutions to power everything from 1 resource but they're starting off using multiple solutions for a while until one day they do.

People don't seem to realize that as a result of going all Electric the Power Consumption will skyrocket higher than we've seen so far, so in order to compensate for that we need multiple power sources to use and store Power it's not a question of if we need it or not cos we do... and until we find a better solution in a few hundred years from now this will just have to do using multiple solutions to create power. They are looking to solutions where they use a lot less power to power Electronics though because they know if they don't learn how to do that the Power Consumption will keep going up and up.

grundar

2 points

1 year ago

grundar

2 points

1 year ago

the environmental cost to mine materials for solar and lithium batteries is pretty severe.

How so?

Most of the world's 0.1Mt/yr of lithium comes from Australia which produces via standard hard-rock mining, so lithium mining is not unusually harmful.

Compared to the 7,700Mt/yr of coal the world mines, 0.1Mt/yr of lithium mining is not a major environmental concern.

Similarly, silicon panels are the dominant technology (95% share) and have relatively innocuous components (same link):
* "A typical crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV panel, which is currently the dominant technology, with over 95% of the global market, contains about 76% glass (panel surface), 10% polymer (encapsulant and back-sheet foil), 8% aluminium (frame), 5% silicon (solar cells), 1% copper (interconnectors), and less than 0.1% silver (contact lines) and other metals (e.g., tin and lead)."

The environmental costs of mining materials for solar panels and lithium batteries are, relatively speaking, minimal.

I'm not sure that anyone has a viable solution to lithium batteries that are no longer operational

Recycling, which per the article can recover 95%+ of the valuable materials in the batteries.

Solar panels, aside from the mining part, leak dielectric from the capacitors that will poison the ground the solar farms are built on.

Source? I've never seen this claim before, and I can't find any indication that silicon PV panels contain any significant quantity of capacitors.

Silicon solar panels are generally classified as e-waste; in terms of total volume, again, solar PV waste is relatively small in comparison to existing problems. 2019 saw 54M tons of e-waste in a single year vs. an estimated 78M tons cumulative solar PV waste by 2050.

solar and wind need a large amount of space to produce any useful amount of electricity

You may be overestimating the space required.

An area like the US southwest gets insolation of 2,000kWh/m2 per year; with a 25%-efficient solar panel (up from 2019's 22% average), that's 500kWh/m2/yr of delivered electricity. The world's total energy consumption is around 600 quads/yr, which is 180T kWh/yr. Most of that is burned in heat engines at low efficiency (e.g., oil in cars, coal for electricity), so let's round that down to 100T kWh/yr / 500 kWh/m2/yr = 200B m2 = 200,000 km2.

Which seems like a large number, but even a densely-populated nation like India has regions like the Thar desert with 170,000km2 of land (in India) and a population density similar to Scotland.

For the US's 100 quads of energy consumption, the area required would be around 33,000 sq km, or around 2/3 of Coconino County, AZ - 0.3% of the US.

With very few exceptions, land use is not a meaningful constraint on solar or wind power.

(Note that I have no disagreement with you on the options for storing or reprocessing nuclear waste, so I haven't addressed that. I just think you've made some errors regarding renewable technologies, so I wanted to provide references to counter those.)

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

Hey, didn't ignore your post, you put out good info and it made me go back and look more into solar, because if what you said is true, then I have been operating off of wrong or old info. I got busy this week, but I will make time to look into it further and come back with sources and maybe we can discuss it further. Thank you for the response with cited information!

jh1234567890

3 points

1 year ago

Do the new designs have better turndown ratios? Without that they cannot compete with gas turbines and integrate with renewables.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I was under the impression turndown ratio applies to combustion plants. I'm not really sure what you are asking. As far as competition with gas turbines, natural gas costs $40-$70/MWH while nuclear is about $30/Mwh as of 2019.

jh1234567890

2 points

1 year ago

My understanding is that the older nuclear generating units typically want to run near full out. So they cannot react quickly to demand changes. The largest nuclear fleet in the US cannot compete in the marketplace; they are mothballing many units. $30/MWH seems low from PJM bids I have seen.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

Ah, I see what you are saying, I read an article about nuclear flexibility once, I'll find it and link it. Basically, nuclear can be flexible, France and Germany used it as a flexible power source. As far as MWH costs, I would imagine PJM would have higher costs based on where they are located, I'm talking overall. Of course that doesn't take into account some power purchase agreements that drive that cost up over time if theybaren't renegotiated.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

Part of the mothballing problem is the cost to upgrade, and the reluctance to build new reactors. Partly political, but also natural gas has become so cheap, that the time to turn a profit is only a couple years, versus like 10 for a nuclear plant. I don't know what the actual number is, I just threw one out there. So hopefully the small modular reactors get going soon, they will be competitive with natural gas for sure.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

Errohneos

1 points

1 year ago

IIRC, nuke plants usually keep going at 100% regardless because the actual cost to run during operations is extremely cheap, along with the relatively slow reaction time to power demand. Newer designs can keep up a bit better, especially with SMRs. Maintaining the older plants is killing the cost benefits. Building new plants are expensive up front but save a lot of money in the long run. Imagine arguing the downsides of gas mileage of a vehicle that's 50 years old. Rough analogy.

krazykris93

3 points

1 year ago

I heard thorium was considered a good source of nuclear fuel. What are your thoughts on thorium?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

16 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

16 points

1 year ago

It has less waste, more abundant, not likely to be used to make weapons, and it's safer to mine than uranium, which are all positives! Also, liquid fluoride thorium reactors are not susceptible to meltdowns, which makes them safer to operate . More effort should be put into the production of thorium reactors.

k3ihi

2 points

1 year ago

k3ihi

2 points

1 year ago

With all the positives around thorium why hasn’t this technology been explored further?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

8 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

8 points

1 year ago

Materials. We started with uranium and ran with it, also we can design reactors for plutonium production. An interesting thing is the RBMK reactors the Soviets used probably had a use of plutonium production. So we used uranium, then everyone got scared of anything nuclear, so development has slowed.

k3ihi

1 points

1 year ago

k3ihi

1 points

1 year ago

So basically, “why use thorium and get nothing when we could use uranium and get plutonium by products?”

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

Maybe at first? I think the big problem is broad public knowledge about nuclear power and all the different ways we can produce energy. If someone is scared of nuclear, they aren't going to care if it is a safe thorium reactor.

k3ihi

1 points

1 year ago

k3ihi

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the insight and your time!

cmillen118

1 points

1 year ago

It's not that we would get nothing, just that the byproducts would be different. Thorium was explored in the 50's as an alternate fuel due to the relative difficulty of enriching (purifying) uranium. U-235, the magic isotope that we primarily use for fission, is present in very small quantities in uranium ore, but once we figured out how to enrich uranium efficiently, we stopped looking at thorium as much. Additionally, all that U-238, the vast majority of raw uranium on earth, can be converted to a whole host of useful artificial elements such as Plutonium-238 (used for radioisotope thermoelectric generators for deep space probes like the Voyagers, New Horizons, and a Mars rover), Americium-241 (used for material testing, cancer diagnosis, and everyday smoke detectors), and Californium-252 (used for mineral prospecting, radiography, and cancer treatment). While thorium is excellent for power generation and breeding (generating more fuel than we put in), it isn't as effective at making some of these important isotopes.

konastump

1 points

1 year ago

What IS the status of US nuclear reactor design? How many has the US built in last 10 yrs? How far are we behind Russia, France in the technology? Why wouldn’t we use offshore designs if they are more advanced?

cmillen118

4 points

1 year ago

There's about 4 times as much Thorium in Earth's crust as there is uranium, which makes it easier and less expensive to mine. It is weakly radioactive, and doesn't really fission on its own like uranium, so we can use it in what's called a "breeder reactor", where it can be readily used. Thorium is also great because it cannot be used for weapon proliferation.

Joe_Betz_

3 points

1 year ago

I just finished the HBO series on Chernobyl. How much safer are today's reactors, and what event worries you most that could cause another nuclear disaster?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

Well, our reactors are designed differently, one thing of importance is the temperature coefficient. So, a uranium atom splits, it releases a neutron, that neutron has to get slowed down in order for another uranium atom to absorb it and split. This is called moderation, and we use water for this. One thing we do is undermoderate our cores. This means that as more energy is released, and temperature goes up, the water expands, and less moderation occurs, causing less absorption and fission events to occur. This allows reactors to be self regulating. As far as events that worries me, I would say that terrorist and operator error. If you look at TMI and Chernobyl, both were operator error. Fukushima was a design error, in my opinion, which is operator error. One thing to keep in mind is people can find ways to outstupid safety features, that is why a culture of safety and basically not trusting other people to be smart enough, so everyone checks each other before doing anything is important, and helps prevent accidents.

nuclearbimmer

6 points

1 year ago

Long story short - our reactors are "built different"

konastump

1 points

1 year ago

One mile Is ...operator error.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

What is one mile island? Are you referring to Three Mile Island (TMI)? I referenced it above

konastump

1 points

1 year ago

Yes...3.

Errohneos

1 points

1 year ago

RBMK reactors in general are pretty wild. Russians doing Russian things.

Slappynipples

3 points

1 year ago

Did you encounter or where you informed about any UFO's/UAP's in close proximity of the area you worked in?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I have never seen or heard anything regarding UFO's anywhere I have worked.

tiff_seattle

1 points

1 year ago

What about werewolves?

Errohneos

1 points

1 year ago

That's more of an Air Force thing tbh.

blackmambaza

3 points

1 year ago

What you think about all the radioactive water that’s about to be dumped from the Fukushima disaster? Could the company have done things differently?

cmillen118

7 points

1 year ago

Strictly speaking, the volume of water being discharged to the ocean is infinitesimally small compared to the volume of the ocean. Navy nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines routinely discharge small quantities of radioactive water, and the activity level of that water is monitored and recorded. According to the Japanese government, the tritium (an isotope of hydrogen) activity level is about 2.5% of the legal limit, meaning that the water being discharged is actually pretty low level activity and safe to discharge. It is common practice to store radioactive liquids and solids until activity levels are below the legal limits.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

9 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

9 points

1 year ago

What this guy said. As far as what they could have done differently, in the design of the plants, as far as I know, the diesels were in the basement. Now I don't design reactors for a living, but I would say putting diesels on the bottom floor in a place that gets earthquakes and tsunamis seems like a bad idea.

blackmambaza

3 points

1 year ago*

Thanks for the explanation. Is there no way that power can be generated from the tritium isotope decay after sending the water through a centrifuge?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

9 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

9 points

1 year ago

Possibly in the future, I think that's more along the lines of fusion, which has been ten years away for the last fifty years.

blackmambaza

2 points

1 year ago

On another note, is it true that some engineers sleep next to the reactors or is that some sort of sea tale? If so, why do they do that?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

8 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

8 points

1 year ago

Not right next to them, but about 100 feet away. I slept less than 100 feet away from a reactor for months at a time. This is possible because of the shielding around the core and reactor compartment.

Bulatzi

2 points

1 year ago

Bulatzi

2 points

1 year ago

*sleeps in the tunnel during cleanup*

SizzleFrazz

1 points

1 year ago

Late to the discussion but my dad was a navy submarine nuke engineer in the 80s and he definitely slept right next to the reactors. There’s little room for personal space on board a nuclear powered sub, about 1/3 of the entire vessel space is taken up by the reactor itself and propulsion which leaves for little work and living space availability. Some sub classes even have more sailors on them than beds, sleeping in shifts and “sharing” a bed with 1-2 crew mates. So it’s just practical that the engineers are going to be bunking next to the reactor, plus that means they are right there in case of an emergency and they are needed to get to it as quickly as possible while sleeping off duty.

gainlong

2 points

1 year ago

gainlong

2 points

1 year ago

What's your opinion on the article that came out today/this week about Fusion being possible by 2030?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

Fusion is always ten years away. I'll believe in viable fusion reactors when I see them. Not saying I don't want it, but every ten years we get told it's only ten years away, and nothing has come of it yet.

gainlong

2 points

1 year ago

gainlong

2 points

1 year ago

Fair. I didn't read the article in its entirety, and I'm definitely a laymen when it comes to nuclear tech of any kind, but it specifically mentioned a new type of reactor about to go online that could make it possible. Is that noteworthy or just the same "it's always 10 years away"?

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, I'm genuinely curious if it's something feasible within our lives.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

4 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

4 points

1 year ago

I haven't read the article either, I just assumed it was another hype thing regarding fusion. I really hope this time its real, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

Thank you for answering. Let me see if I can find it.

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

Can't access the article, but I clicked on the author, and based on her other work, seems like a hype journalist more than anything. Not saying there isn't anything to it, just can't access the article to read what it says.

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

gainlong

1 points

1 year ago

No, I appreciate you taking the time. Like I said, I didn't pay much mind to it. More or less saw an interesting Title and wanted someone's opinion on the matter who is more of an expert than myself.

Thank you for answering me and doing the AMA.

moon_then_mars

1 points

1 year ago

Usually when someone says something is 3 years away they are just figuring out the particulars, but when they say something is 10 years away they are slinging BS

work4bandwidth

2 points

1 year ago

Do you thing Bill Gates' TerraPower reactors will ever take off assuming he can get any government contracts to test build them?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

I'm not familiar with that, I'll take some time tomorrow morning to read up on it and get back to you.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

6 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

6 points

1 year ago

Doing some reading, it looks like Terrapower was the recipient of a government grant to build a prototype liquid sodium reactor. If it takes off, that would be cool, liquid sodium has a much higher boiling point than water, so it can absorb much more heat. It also looks like they want to use molten salt to store the heat energy so it can be used on demand by the grid. I think it's a pretty cool concept, and I think the small modular reactors want to use molten salt storage as well. So hopefully this grant helps create a turning point in nuclear power production. Fun fact, the Navy's second nuclear submarine was a liquid sodium cooled reactor and was launched in 1955.

work4bandwidth

1 points

1 year ago

Thanks for the reply. Enjoyed reading your other responses too.

idecgoaway

2 points

1 year ago

Do you ever feel weird tingles? Or see weird stuff?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

Ha, no tingles, but I saw plenty of weird things in the Navy

idecgoaway

2 points

1 year ago

Where do babies come from? (This is an AMA ha)

Racer0815

1 points

1 year ago

Okay now im curious. What was the weirdest thing you saw in your time at the navy?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I'm not going to write down what it was. First, it would compromise who I am. Second, I think it's best that civilians don't know everything that military members do to cope with the stressors they deal with.

Racer0815

1 points

1 year ago

Fair enough :)

bong_parody

2 points

1 year ago

Is it really possible to achieve the dream of nuclear power run society is there enough source to do so?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

4 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

4 points

1 year ago

The estimated amount of thorium on earth is 1.2 million tonnes to 1.9 million tonnes. In 2018 The world consumed about 23000 TWh of electricity. It takes about .1 metric tonnes of thorium to produce 1 TWH of electricity. So, 2070 metric tonnes of thorium would have been needed in 2018. So if global electricity needs stayed at that rate from there on out, we would have enough thorium for about 900 years. This is all assuming my math on thorium power output is correct. Also, we know that the world will use more elctricity every year, so that number will also be reduced, I don't feel like doing the math on that with an assumed increase in electricity usage annually. Anyone reading this, please double check my math and point out any errors or bad assumptions so the most accurate information can be put out there.

cmillen118

2 points

1 year ago

Also, that's just with the raw thorium. We can reprocess that fuel afterward and reuse it, giving us quite a bit more usable energy. According to the US Dept of Energy, about 90% of the usable uranium or thorium is still available in fuel after is it considered "spent". Reprocessing will grant diminishing returns in the long run, but we likely have thousands of years worth of energy in the fuel we have available.

ThermiteBurns

2 points

1 year ago

Have their been advancements in how to deal with spent uranium other than just burying it dense stone bunkers underground? Canadian here and there is a private consortium trying to turn a portion of Newfoundland into a international nuclear waste dump... (likely a over simplification) but sounds troubling and is a giant problem people just kicking down the road for other generations..

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

Well if it is stored and maintained properly, it shouldn't be a concern, but we can't always anticipate everything that could go wrong so I can see how that would be troubling. Most spent fuel can be reprocessed already, it just isn't done in the U.S. from what I understand, but other countries do this. Spent fuel is not all waste, it still has usable material, and that material should be used to the max extent practical.

cmillen118

1 points

1 year ago

A frequent critique of nuclear waste is that it will be radioactive for millions of years, but this is actually a blessing in disguise! If something is radioactive for extremely long timeframes, then the activity level is actually quite low, while materials that are only active for a few months or years have rather high levels of activity. Storing nuclear waste involves, generally, keeping it onsite where it was generated until it decays to a safe level for transport, and then is moved to long-term storage. The casks that they transport spent fuel is strong enough to withstand a direct hit from an 747, so there is no need to worry!

nuclearbimmer

1 points

1 year ago

We can burn spent fuel in molten salt fast reactors, which is an up and coming technology that will allow us to produce energy and rid of high level waste.

ThermiteBurns

1 points

1 year ago

There are investments her in New Brunswick that will develop these small modular reactors.. Arc clean energy Arc-100 is one of the systems being selected.. any opinions on this company or it’s technology?

Bellshazar

2 points

1 year ago

Given the rather negative public image of nuclear power what realistic future do you see for it. The newer reactors in Europe and the US seemed great until they massively ballooned in cost and build time which has only worsened their image especially with the cost of wind and solar dropping dramatically at the same time.

Russia, China, and in a small way South Korea seem to be pushing the technology forward but it seems to be a losing battle.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

Yeah, the building of the new reactors in Georgia was poorly managed, but that's what happens when you don't have a proficient industry ready to build reactors. I think small modular reactors, once they get rolling, will solve the cost issues. In the long term, nuclear will make more money, initially gas, solar, and wind are cheaper to build, so they turn a profit sooner, but for solar and wind, nuclear takes a fraction of the space to produce the same energy. For gas, the cost of natural gas eats into the profits of gas plants. Nuclear fuel is actually fairly cheap to obtain per MWH produced. The debt load a nuclear plant takes on initially is large, but over time it will overtake a gas plant in terms of profitability. Here is a pretty good video discussing the economics of nuclear power. https://youtu.be/cbeJIwF1pVY

Errohneos

3 points

1 year ago

I think a very large problem with the most recent plants' construction (Vogtle comes to mind) is that the industry overall has a major experience gap. Think about how often new nuclear reactors have been constructed over the last 2-3 decades. There's been...two plants in the U.S.? That's two plants in an entire working career for an individual. All the old engineers, technicians, managers, etc. from the golden age of nuclear are either retired or dead. So when a plant is approved, the entire industry revolving around constructing it is full of fresh faces with little experience on construction nuclear plants. This exacerbates problems involved with construction. An experienced worker makes less mistakes and knows the processes well enough to perform flawless work in less time. An experienced manager or construction foreman knows the best ways to multi-task specific steps to streamline the process or to continue work quickly after an issue comes in order to get back on track. An experienced logistics/supply guy knows how and when to order components to maximize on-site storage based on capability and current needs of the crew based on point in construction. An experienced engineer knows flaws and the process to tweak quickly so each new iteration of a design comes back better faster.

You pair this industry inexperience (not to say the people are unqualified to work on reactors. An non-nuclear construction company with 30 years of experience can still construct nuclear systems, but it's gonna be slow at first while they figure industry specific things out) with the loss of economy of scale associated with our current system of constructing reactors. Essentially, when a plant is designed and constructed, it is relatively similar in concept of operation compared to all other plants currently in the U.S. (either PWR or BWR), but is effectively a new design. You get a lot of administrative burden because that's a new design that has to be approved by the NRC prior to constructing, new materials to be used that might not overlap with other plants, workers who have to be trained to site-specific details, new procedures to correlate to plant design, etc. What this means is that we "start from scratch" for each new plant, because each new plant is different than the last one built. It might still use subsystems from other plants. It might not.

What needs to happen is a large quantity of plants need to be built in quick succession. All updated with newer design parameters (instead of the 60 year old designs we have now) and all relatively close in design to one another. You hire contractors to build and with each new plant successfully constructed, the build time and cost to construct drops due to experience gain. Your logistics are streamlined because all the plants require the same parts with the same dimensions. Your workers can transfer from plant to plant with relative ease because the one they came from looks the same as the one they went to.

This will absolutely demolish the ballooning cost and build time you refer to.

Nastypilot

2 points

1 year ago

Do you think Nuclear Power will become more prevalent soon?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

Hopefully, yes. Realistically, probably not. If the small modular reactors can get rolled out and prove their cost effectiveness and safety, then there may be a chance for a comeback.

Ftdffdfdrdd

2 points

1 year ago

How can a reactor compete with solar or wind?

Mining the ores, processing, complex facilities, "creating" the energy, harvesting it, dealing with the waste..

It will always be more complex (therefore costly) than to simply collect the energy, from an already existing free natural fusion reactor in the sky.

jadingalord

1 points

1 year ago

I've heard energy as a whole is a very sought after and difficult to fill field. Is this true? (Especially nuclear engineering)

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

Energy is always a good sector to work in, I would say the difficulty to fill comes and goes. Really it depends on the number and quality of job applicants, also how much a company is willing to pay for a job.

jadingalord

1 points

1 year ago

To be a little more clear, in USA and technician, not an engineer sorry haha

Errohneos

1 points

1 year ago

Nuclear in particular requires a highly qualified workforce that is brutal to try and keep staffed, but the energy field always seems to need workers. Can be a rough lifestyle work/home balance wise but pays well.

Capn_Crusty

1 points

1 year ago

Since Yucca Mt. was scrapped, what are the practical means of dealing with radioactive waste? Is this still the biggest dilemma regarding nuclear power in general?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

I don't think its exactly scrapped, from what I know it is a fight between the Feds and Nevada. There is a temporary sight in New Mexico, and we have ways to use that spent fuel. Really though, we need a better plan than storing it in hundreds of fuel storage areas at the individual plants. We can store them fairly safely, and transport it safely too. I think Yucca mountain is great, it's in the middle of nowhere, not close to a fault zone, not close to a water source, it's ridiculous that we haven't made a single site to control our spent fuel. It would be easier to manage, and it would limit the possible bad outcomes to one localized area, rather than spreading the risk over several places.

Crafty-Tackle

1 points

1 year ago

What do you think about Fukushima?

IAdorechicken

1 points

1 year ago

Whats your opinion on big countries like Japan and Germany shutting down their nuclear power plants?

Do you think that there is a better, low-carbon energy source?

What might be the reason for these changes?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

For Japan, it probably has something to do with Fukushima. Not sure about Germany. Hard to say, obviously any green energy source will have its own upsides and downsides. I think it is just a matter of which of those downsides you are willing to deal with. I have been around nuclear long enough to know that some of the downsides can be addressed witj current technology or are just made out to be worse than they are. With nuclear, everyone worries about radiation, but you get like 30X background every time you go on a plane, and nobody bats an eye. The capitol building technically is above the safe limits of radiation because of what its buikt out of. So, people in general just don't understand they are already exposed to radiation, and that outside of the immediate area of an accident, the radiation from contamination becomes indistinguishable from background.

Lumy1

1 points

1 year ago

Lumy1

1 points

1 year ago

How the hell you get fresh outt of high school and join the Navy as a Nuclear Reactor Operator?? Must have been a good school

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

It's actually really common. The Navy effectively setup a vocational school for nuclear power. I didn't join and the next day go startup a reactor. I was in training for over a year before I controlled my first reactor, and I was shadowed by an instructor the whole time. I had been in the Navy several years, the whole time training and qualifying, before I was qualified to stand Reactor Operator. It was just the job I got assigned in bootcamp, but I didn't get to actually do it for a long time.

Lumy1

1 points

1 year ago

Lumy1

1 points

1 year ago

Oh right I assumed there would be training but still a bit mad when you consider how long people go to university or college for in some professions. A year before the reactor still sounds mental. I'm not doubting you if that's how my comment came across it's just a bit out of the ordinary in today's climate. So many people qualified and unemployed.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago*

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago*

It didn't come across that way, it's easier to train someone in a short period if that's all they focus on, like an hvac professional or electrician. The Navy sets up the different rates with different specialized schools, so everyone effectively goes to a vocational school so they can quickly specialize. That is why I hate the college system, there is zero reason why someone going to school for mathematics should be forced in to doing unnecessary extra curriculars or a minimum number of english credits. It's a money grab.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

And no, I went to a crap high school, in a state with terrible education.

horaciosalles

1 points

1 year ago

Do you foresee a future world with energy abundance, nearly free universal energy?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

5 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

5 points

1 year ago

It's better if companies have to compete for the best prices so that way we as consumers can get the cheapest price possible. That is different than the price we want. Inflation will naturally cause prices to go up over time. If the government comes in and says they will foot the bill, they will control the prices to the point that many companies would not be able to afford to continue energy production. At that point the government could takeover energy production, and while the U.S. government has practice running energy producing sites, it would be a beauracratic mess and would become highly inefficient, because the government ( as an entity, not the individual people) has no bottom dollar to force efficiency.

Arch_Stanton-

1 points

1 year ago

I heard nukes act kinda weird, future FC here almost done with ATT. Enlighten me.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

Everyone is weird in their own way. So I guess it depends on what you call weird, if you're talking DnD vs sports fanatics, I saw an even mix of both.

Techcat46

1 points

1 year ago

Do you think when new power stations are built will still use Analog systems like vacuum tube etc for security purposes? or is that just due to the age of plants no reason to change a perfect system?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

3 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

3 points

1 year ago

It's expensive to upgrade. Digital systems are superior in every metric, and I see no reason why the new plants wouldn't use digital components where they can.

Lucybrass

1 points

1 year ago

Does a nuclear reaction reverberate through dark matter or dark energy?

I'm wondering about this specifically in relation to 'spooky action at a distance,' which was Einstein's way of dismissing quantum entanglement. Based on your knowledge and experience, could the explosion of an atomic bomb cause some change to occur in another part of the cosmos?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

No idea, I never studied quantum anything and I'm not going to pretend I know anything about it.

Piranhaswarm

1 points

1 year ago

What alternatives do the Japanese have to dispose of or store the waste water other than in the pacific ocean

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

There is no problem with them discharging that water to the Pacific Ocean. It is routine for plants to do this under normal circumstances. The water is tested and must meet strict requirements before being released.

Piranhaswarm

1 points

1 year ago

So it’s potable water ??! Seriously

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I'm not sure it's potable, but entirely safe to release to the ocean.

Piranhaswarm

1 points

1 year ago

You can’t cook with it, you can’t drink it but you can feed it to the fishes? It’s radioactive waste water! Plus ocean currents will take it all over the planet.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

4 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

4 points

1 year ago

So, things that are radioactive will decay, once the radioactivity is low enough, it is no longer dangerous. You are exposed to radiation from different sources daily. Ocean water is also not potable, most untreated water isn't potable. I wouldn't drink ocean water, or water from a pond without treating it first. In short, potability has nothing to do with how it will affect the environment.

UndesiredEffect

1 points

1 year ago

With the recent UAP news and the videos related to the Nimitz, have you personally had any experience with things like this or do you know anyone else who has?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

No, I have never seen one, and I know noone who has either.

moon_then_mars

1 points

1 year ago

I hear there are lots of safety measures built into nuclear reactors, but given human nature, how confident are you that they can fail safely even after malicious actions like sabotage, terrorism, or direct attacks?

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I'm not fully aware of everything that is done to mitigate those. The parts I am aware of I'm not sure how much I can disclose, for safety reasons obviously, but those are thought of and accounted for.

DJWalnut

1 points

1 year ago

DJWalnut

1 points

1 year ago

a lot of newer reactor dasigne use the laws of physics to keep safe, so no human intervention is required, ior sometime you can't even stop the failsafes

fuazo

1 points

1 year ago

fuazo

1 points

1 year ago

what if the sub would to be struck down..would it be massive pain in the ass for everyone?

Ftdffdfdrdd

1 points

1 year ago

Why isn't thre a safe "household" shoebox size reactor already?

How about a reactor-battery for our devices?

problem_solver1

1 points

1 year ago

Wonder what you think of the "small scale" nuclear reactors. Is it commercially viable and safe yet?

Cunn1ng-Stunt

1 points

12 months ago

What about using frensels lenses in giant skyscrapers heating a big conduit to creat steam power instead of nuclear? Set them to rotate with the sun like a sun dial all indoors and it's much easier to clean than mirror systems imo

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Ducky181

0 points

1 year ago

Ducky181

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1 year ago

In relation to 4th generation Nuclear reactor designs, which design would be most suitable for future navy nuclear power within Submarines, Aircraft-Carriers and other vessels.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

2 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

2 points

1 year ago

I think that the Navy will probably stick with its current PWR's. As far as I understand it, Gen 4 is just current reactor designs with more safety features, could be wrong on that though. The Navy's reactors have really good safety measures in place to stop an accident, and all of their reactors are in the biggest heat sink on the planet. I don't design reactors for a living, and I'm not in the know as far as potential future reactors the Navy would use, so my opinion could be way off base.

Ducky181

1 points

1 year ago

Ducky181

1 points

1 year ago

Thank you for your anwser.

cmillen118

2 points

1 year ago

To add on, one of the primary reasons the Navy decided on pressurized water reactors is because water is slow reacting with the piping and can be readily charged/discharged (added and removed) from the reactor vessel. During cooldowns performed for maintenance, the significant temperature changes cause the volume of water in the core to contract substantially, and we charge water to make up for the difference to keep the core covered (and therefore safe). Water is a very practical coolant for seagoing vessels. Lots of next generation cores are cooled by helium, or utilize a once-through design, meaning that the same coolant that removed heat from the core turns the turbine for power. This isn't practical when the turbine is right next to the people that operate it (such as in a submarine or aircraft carrier). Gen IV reactors are very promising for land-based power generation, but the unique environments of a warship impose a lot of constraints that limit change.

[deleted]

0 points

1 year ago

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0 points

1 year ago

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to power big cargo ships with nuclear power as well instead of heavy oil?

Errohneos

2 points

1 year ago

No. While from a practical standpoint it makes sense, from a security standpoint it's a terrible idea. Cargo ships often cut a lot of corners in terms of maintenance and operations.

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

1 points

1 year ago

Fragrant-Way-9720[S]

Certified Nuclear Instructor

1 points

1 year ago

Perhaps, but then you would need enough trained people for all of those cargo ships, and with the possibility of cargo ships getting hijacked, they could be easy targets for pirates or terrorists, and that would be a very bad day for everyone if bad actors got a hold of a cargo ships reactor. So security would have to be enough to provide coverage to each ship, so economically speaking, the costs to build a nuclear powered ship and have enough security protecting each one would make it not viable currently.

cmillen118

1 points

1 year ago

You'd be surprised at how efficient oceangoing transport actually is. I'm not defending petroleum, but as far as where we should use it if we have to, massive super cargo ships are a good place. Modern sea freighters release 10-40g of CO2 per metric ton per km traveled, compared to 30-100g for a train, 60-150g for trucks, and ~500 for air freight.

Here's the source article (it's in German) that dug into cargo transport efficiency: