Nukes and Nuke Accessories

4 Likes
3 Likes
4 Likes

Gates-backed nuclear plant breaks ground without guarantee it’ll have fuel

Unwilling to let a little thing like reality stand in its way, Bill Gates’ TerraPower has broken ground on its Wyoming nuclear power plant without any guarantee it’ll have the fuel needed to run the thing once it’s finished.

The Microsoft tycoon made no mention of that supply issue in a memo he published on Monday announcing the ground breaking in the former coal town of Kemmerer in western Wyoming.

Instead of dwelling on the fact that the world’s large-scale producers of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) – needed for the plant’s liquid-sodium-cooled reactor – are right now located in Russia and China and that difficulties in getting that fuel into the United States have already delayed his project, Gates chose instead to wax philosophical about the future of nuclear energy.

[…]

We note that the reactor which so captivated the Windows billionaire prior to TerraPower’s founding is still just an idea in a lab, however. The original plan was for TerraPower to develop a traveling-wave reactor (TWR) that slowly burns columns of depleted uranium as a safe power source.

TerraPower planned to have an experimental TWR online in 2022, which never happened. Instead, the biz turned its focus away from TWR to the HALEU-fueled “Natrium” sodium fast reactor now under early construction in Wyoming, trading a development impediment for a fuel one.

[…]

The one business we’re aware of in the US producing HALEU fuel - American Centrifuge Operating (ACO) - only shifted its first HALEU in November 2023 - and a mere 20 kilograms of it at that. ACO parent Centrus reported it produced an additional 135kg in the first quarter of 2024, but that’s still not enough.

The US Dept of Energy reckons America needs more than 40 metric tons of the stuff by the end of the decade to “deploy a new fleet of advanced reactors,” and that amount is just for starters: Additional fuel will be needed each year. If ACO continued to produce 135kg of fuel each quarter for the rest of the decade, we’d still only be at around three metric tons by 2030.

[…]

In other words, as much as we’re fans of harnessing the atom, nuclear power goalposts have a history of being rather mobile, and so far TerraPower is readily embracing that.

1 Like

TL;DR: Australian opposition leader puts forth environmental policy: give up on even trying to reach all carbon emission targets, and build nuclear power stations anywhere there’s an existing coal mine.

The CSIRO (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: if the government wants something sciency done, this is where they go) costed the proposal and pointed out that it was seven kinds of nonsense in a trenchcoat.

So of course they’ve brought out the usual frothing nutcases to spruik nuclear and accuse the CSIRO of being no better than they ought to be and the next Coalition government should go through and do some sort of cleanup of it, ideologically speaking. How dare those eggheads and boffins keep pointing out that nuclear power is expensive and dangerous? What would they know, when a whole swag of not-very-bright right wing thugs are lining up to say anything that makes leftists cry? That’s the CSIRO getting involved in politics, that is.

6 Likes
2 Likes

Liberal and National party goons, thugs, and morons: “We need to go to nuclear power, it will be cheaper and more reliable.”

Every actual expert that has been asked about it:
Laugh Lol GIF

6 Likes
3 Likes
1 Like
2 Likes

Vandenberg Space Force Base launches test of unarmed reentry vehicle for next generation of ICBMs

2 Likes

Okay, now I know what I want for Christmas.

7 Likes

Is it you, Opa Hoppenstedt?

Here you go:
https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/1741704973/kernkrafte-werk-tschernobyl-mit

1 Like
3 Likes
4 Likes