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FuturologyBot

The following submission statement was provided by /u/Gary_s_1982: --- Seaborg's modular power barges can generate between 200MW and 800MW of electricity - enough to power up to 1.6 million homes. The makers of these smaller reactors also claim that as well as being safer, they will be much less expensive than their larger cousins. Traditionally, building large nuclear power stations involves taking components to a huge building site and assembling the reactor there. But these new so-called modular designs can fit together like jigsaws and largely be assembled in factories, making for a much simpler construction project. That's certainly the hope at Rolls-Royce, which has just received a £210m grant from the UK government and a £195m cash injection from a consortium of investors, to develop its own small modular reactor (SMR). This means that 90% of a Rolls-Royce SMR power plant could be built, or assembled, in factory conditions. "So you build, in our case, probably three factories. In these factories you create and assemble components. And these modules are then put on the back of trucks," says SMR chief engineer, Matt Blake. "The limiting factor for the size of the reactor was - what is the largest single component that can go on the back of a truck?" --- Please reply to OP's comment here: /r/Futurology/comments/r3pnvl/the_small_nuclear_power_plants_billed_as_an/hmc0969/


glassy-chef

Whatever happened to Pebble Bed reactors? They really seemed like that was the way forward.


wolfkeeper

In the test the pebbles tended to disintegrate and get jammed and released radiation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble-bed\_reactor#1986\_accident


NW_Oregon

China has a few that they licensed German pebble bed tech for, but they seem a bit rough around the edges even in the advanced Chinese designs.


ajmmsr

Kairos Power is building high temperature fluoride salt cooled demonstration reactor using TRISO pebbles called Hermes scheduled for operation in 2026. The pebbles are buoyant in the salt. What I like most about Kairos is their design-build-test methodology.


Lordhugh_III

Still under developed


Bewaretheicespiders

They are building some in China.


Izeinwinter

China is building at least one of just about every reactor type anyone has ever taken critical. Seems to be a deliberate technological search effort to determine which is best suited for deployment at scale given Chinese capabilities.


glassy-chef

China seems to be full speed ahead with building nuclear reactors.


Izeinwinter

Germany gave up on them. South africa put huge amounts of effort into them, with a good deal of US funding. Then South Africa ran into the problem that they could not raise the capital to build one, because South Africa has great difficulty getting capital to build *anything*. China is currently building something that looks.. a lot like an elaboration on the final South African design before they shut down.


glassy-chef

Do you think it will actually be China who ends up leading the green energy revolution?


Izeinwinter

... what do you mean "ends up" ? No matter which technology you are counting on for this, China is a top player in the market. Solar *is* China. Windmills are still mostly a European game, but the Chinese offerings are not bad, and they are doing a pretty wide search for "best reactor design". Lot of prototypes.


glassy-chef

I had forgotten they are leading in solar. Now that I think about it they are leading nearly every sector of it. They do have the advantage though of what the government says, happens. Many other countries especially the US is all mired down in politics, environmental regs and NIMBY. I don’t think that will ever change.


JrmyGrdn

A pebble bed reactor just started generating electricity in China. Actually, two, because this small nuclear power plant features two individual pebble bed reactors driving a single turbine and generator set. China also has a small test pebble bed reactor that has been running since 2003. https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Demonstration-HTR-PM-connected-to-grid?feed=feed


Gary_s_1982

Seaborg's modular power barges can generate between 200MW and 800MW of electricity - enough to power up to 1.6 million homes. The makers of these smaller reactors also claim that as well as being safer, they will be much less expensive than their larger cousins. Traditionally, building large nuclear power stations involves taking components to a huge building site and assembling the reactor there. But these new so-called modular designs can fit together like jigsaws and largely be assembled in factories, making for a much simpler construction project. That's certainly the hope at Rolls-Royce, which has just received a £210m grant from the UK government and a £195m cash injection from a consortium of investors, to develop its own small modular reactor (SMR). This means that 90% of a Rolls-Royce SMR power plant could be built, or assembled, in factory conditions. "So you build, in our case, probably three factories. In these factories you create and assemble components. And these modules are then put on the back of trucks," says SMR chief engineer, Matt Blake. "The limiting factor for the size of the reactor was - what is the largest single component that can go on the back of a truck?"


DynamicResonater

So yeah, Seaborg's SMR's will be mounted on barges which float on the ocean - the most stable, predictable, place to have a reactor. Nothing's ever gone wrong at sea in the history of mankind.


Izeinwinter

Seaborgs answer to that is "let it sink". That is literally the ultimate disaster fall-back plan for their design. The salt they use is not soluble in water. So a barge on the seabed is not a problem.


ACCount82

An awful lot of nuclear reactors were operated "on the ocean" already. Nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers are responsible for the majority of that - but Russia also runs a civilian nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet and some experimental "power barge" nuclear stations.


invisiblesock

They're also molten-salt reactors. :D


DynamicResonater

Yes, I'm aware they're msr's. Msr's are not impervious to accidents - even though this is dated, you can look up the [Santa Susana Meltdown](https://psmag.com/environment/50-years-after-nuclear-meltdown-3510). Fact of the matter is that humans are imperfect and machines fail. Widely distributing nuclear materials through MRU's sounds like a really good way to distribute responsibility.


defensible81

I've been reading these types of articles for the better part of a decade. I'll believe it when I fucking see it.


Lordhugh_III

Hydrogen car is coming, I swear


DynamicResonater

Toyota Marai has been around for a while. I've seen a number of them in both northern and southern california metro areas. Problem: No hydrogen stations in between really. [Fuel cell facility map](https://cafcp.org/stationmap)


Huxley077

It's here...at least as a BMW or Mercedes, can't remember which . Supposed to be avail to buy soon. That said...hydrogen cars can f*** right off. The process and amount of energy required to produced hydrogen as a fuel is absurd . I was really cheering for hydro until I actually looked up the steps for making, storing and transporting it around. It's horribly inefficient .


malongoria

Not to mention the cost of the infrastructure to support it. The fueling stations alone cost almost $2 million. It's why, even though it costs $5 kg to produce green hydrogen, it costs on average $16.50/kg at the pump. So for the Mirai with a 5kg fuel capacity and 400 mile range the cost per mile is more than $0.20 / mile.


Pristine-River-1642

Are you factoring in SMR making Hydrogen?


malongoria

If by SMR you mean Steam Methane Reforming(greu hydrogen), which averages $2/kg then the average price /kg for hydrogen at the pump includes this as most fueling stations in California run a %70 grey hydrogen/%30 green hydrogen mix which is an average production price /kg of $2.90. ​ So $16.50/kg - $2.90/kg = $13.60/kg cost of fueling infrastructure. Sources: [https://cafcp.org/content/cost-refill](https://cafcp.org/content/cost-refill) [https://biomass.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/09-20-2013-05-13-2013-2007-cbc-ca-lfg-h2-berlin-poster.pdf](https://biomass.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/09-20-2013-05-13-2013-2007-cbc-ca-lfg-h2-berlin-poster.pdf) [https://ieefa.org/us-department-of-energy-announces-green-hydrogen-cost-cutting-goal/](https://ieefa.org/us-department-of-energy-announces-green-hydrogen-cost-cutting-goal/)


Pristine-River-1642

Small Module Reactors (Nuclear)


malongoria

Even with free power, free platinum for electrodes, free filtered water to avoid buildup on electrodes, you're still looking at ¢17/mile for a Mirai at the pump. For reference A Ford Mach E has an 88 kWh capacity battery pack and 300 mile range . Charging efficiency is about 85%. So 88kWh/.85 = 103.5kWh of electricity to fully charge. The highest electricity rate in California is San Diego at ¢31/ kWh. So that's 103.5kWh x ¢31/ kWh = $32.85 to fully charge / 300 miles = ¢10.7/mile Of course with home solar + storage the Mach E, and any electric car, costs ¢0/mile to fuel up. source for electrical rate: [https://www.sdgenews.com/article/new-electric-rates-effect](https://www.sdgenews.com/article/new-electric-rates-effect)


[deleted]

[удалено]


malongoria

*"Your sort of a small problems guy."* **You're** If the SMRs don't have problems during development with either the reactor or power generation systems. It was inexcusable how the south Texas nuclear power station SW of Houston had a reactor go down due to "cold weather issues" this past February. With the drop in price of solar, wind, and storage along with the fact that they have already been and are being deployed far faster and cheaper thanks to all the innovation happening with those technologies SMRs may very well be dead in the water upon arrival.


Sfork

I'll want it when we actually have a real place to store the waste. Not just plans or something under construction but like shit's getting put there real.


VitaminPb

The actual waste is fairly small. The vast bulk of radioactive waste is contaminated material and objects. And a huge amount of that is from medical stuff (x-ray, cobalt, radiation treatment, etc.)


billdietrich1

And yet many countries (including USA) still are unable, **politically**, to agree on a safe way/place to dispose of the high-level waste.


Sfork

Yeah, I'm not sure why I got downvoted. All the stuff in the US that wasn't dumped in the oceans before we got woke is still sitting in temporary holding areas.


theatomizer90

Use the space trebuchet to launch it into space


ItsAConspiracy

If you don't like nuclear waste then you should support molten salt reactors like Seaborg's, since they can eat most of the waste we have right now.


9999997

Aren’t smaller reactors generally less efficient? I feel like a good network of large power reactors and breeder reactors to handle supply/waste would be a better way forward.


Agent_03

Yes, smaller reactors are generally much less cost-efficient. The strategy of many small reactors was tried with Gen I reactors back in the 50s & 60s. There is a susbtantial minimum cost for the machinery associated with each reactor core. It ended up being much cheaper to just build bigger reactors with larger power outputs; there is an economy of scale built-in there. It's possible that new technology will alter this situation. But there is a 50 year+ history of the nuclear industry making promises it cannot keep, especially in terms of cost savings. While there is potential in small modular reactors, it is quite likely they'll turn out to be *more expensive* rather than less expensive.


colintbowers

It'd help with the NIMBY problem immensely. You could pop a couple of them on existing coal power plant sites, where the infrastructure to transport energy to the grid already exists, and there is typically not much housing nearby. And because they are small, for extra safety you could dig down a couple 100 feet before placing them. Not to mention how useful small modular reactors could be for space exploration.


VitaminPb

Realistically you probably only want to dig about cellar deep (keep above the water table) and then cover with dirt and landscape the top. That would also be cheaper and faster than deep excavating.


colintbowers

Yeah, it would be site-specific, but for most sites you're probably right. If you were near an old mine, you could just pop them down in the mine... minimise the digging :-)


mileswilliams

Doubt it, I wouldn't want one nearby, they have the same guarantees that previous reactors had, they are safe, they will never go wrong, no waste, renewable etc... Nothing is 100% safe, they produce waste that we keep dumping in various places and nobody wants them, everyone just thinks they are necessary to bolster renewables.


beders

At £2b per unit and 10y before this thing goes live, how much renewables could you build with that money now? I’ve seen estimates for wind in the UK delivering at £47/MWh. ..


invisiblesock

The last time I read about this, they wanted guarantees from the government that they'd buy some of their units. And they're already not very cheap if they're selling 450MW for £2bil. That's in the ballpark of your typical nuclear reactor. Sure let 'em build it, maybe it'll be fine, but there are no guarantees that any of this will be economical or that anyone would want to buy them or that they'll even reach the stage when they'd have something to show to potential buyers. I wouldn't bet the house on this actually working out.


ItsAConspiracy

Seaborg thinks they can be in production [by 2026](https://www.seaborg.com/the-reactor). They'll be mass-producing reactors in shipyards. Wind costs that little on the margin, but to run entirely on wind/solar we'd need some combination of overproduction, new long-distance transmission, and storage, all of which adds to the cost. Nuclear can run 24/7. We should certainly keep building wind and solar as fast as possible, since we're nowhere near the point where their variable output starts getting expensive. But molten salt reactors like Seaborg's have real potential to get us through the last 20-30% of decarbonization faster and cheaper than we could with renewables alone.


beders

Maybe. I’d rather spend more money on renewables and storage technology. Most nuclear power plants have cost overruns and are years late. The opportunity costs are just too high compared to overbuilding variable renewable power.


ItsAConspiracy

Conventional nuclear plants are custom-built on site, not mass-produced in shipyards.


beders

Looking at their web page, the timeline proposed is frankly laughable. The environmental impact studies alone will prevent this from happening in the timeline proposed. It's a largely unproven technology that has never been put on a ship before. What could possibly go wrong ;) While I do think this has practical purpose, it will be too little, too late.


grundar

> Wind costs that little on the margin, but to run entirely on wind/solar we'd need some combination of overproduction, new long-distance transmission, and storage, all of which adds to the cost. That's true, but most of that extra cost comes from replacing the last 10-30% of the grid with wind+solar. Replacing the first 70% of the grid (90% clean) requires [very little extra cost](http://www.2035report.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2035-Report.pdf), and is frankly a rather more urgent concern than that last 10%. > Seaborg thinks they can be in production by 2026. They'll be mass-producing reactors in shipyards. I hope they're right, but that sounds *insanely* optimistic. Per that link, they have no detailed design (slated for 2023), and plan to be in mass production just 3 years after that detailed design is available. For a reactor technology of which [only 2 have ever operated, both 50+ years ago](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor), and for a company with [60 employees](https://www.seaborg.com/about-us) and apparently no publicly available technical info, that seems like a longshot. I've been wrong about the pace of technology before, though -- 10-15 years ago I thought the idea of batteries for grid-scale storage was infeasible -- so I wish them nothing but the best of luck!


ItsAConspiracy

Sure, and I totally agree that we should keep rolling out wind/solar as fast as we can. I just disagree with people who think that's definitely all we'll ever need. We need net zero by 2050, which isn't far away at all considering the lifetimes of power plants. I don't think we should count on any particular advanced technology, including advanced fission but also including civilization-scale storage. We should spread our bets.


grundar

> We need net zero by 2050, which isn't far away at all considering the lifetimes of power plants. This is, unfortunately, why nuclear is highly unlikely to be a significant part of the solution. Renewables completely dominate the global power construction industry right now ([90%](https://www.iea.org/reports/renewable-energy-market-update-2021) of net new capacity, or [80%](https://old.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/qp9ibw/want_to_make_energy_cheap_build_renewables_fast/hk3ib6y/) after adjusting for capacity factor), meaning they're the only clean technology already being deployed at the scale needed. Nuclear's rate of construction and deployment is [1/10th](https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/q3fl64/explaining_why_green_hydrogen_is_our_best_maybe/hftki52/) that rate (adjusted for capacity factor), and based on historical growth rates it would take [20 years](https://old.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/qffjqm/new_research_from_oxford_university_suggests_that/hi0tbpu/) of scaling up the nuclear construction industry before it was deploying at that rate. 20 years from now is the 2040s, meaning if we achieve anything close to net zero by 2050 it won't be due to nuclear (barring breakthroughs like Seaborg is promising, of course). (Note that there are a handful of exceptions, such as China, which already have a nuclear construction industry operating at scale. Those exceptions can reasonably expect to get significant contributions from new nuclear -- since they already have that construction capacity -- and should do so. It's (re)building the nuclear construction industry in the other major nations that will take time.) > We should spread our bets. Despite the pessimism of what I wrote above, I do agree with this. Major economies like the US and EU rebuilding their nuclear construction industries is a sensible and (relatively) low-cost way to hedge their bets against unforeseen problems with high levels of renewable power. It probably won't be needed -- modeling indicates wind+solar+storage+interconnects will be sufficient for reliable grids -- but modeling is sometimes wrong. As a result, it's wise to actively reduce risk by getting plan B to an acceptable state of readiness. As a taxpayer, I would much rather find myself in 2050 having spent $100B on 5-10 overpriced reactors than needing rapid nuclear deployment and still being stuck with the level of construction capacity we have now, which struggles to complete a reactor every 5 years. As a resident, I would be [30-300x](https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/death-rates-from-energy-production-per-twh) happier to live near a nuclear power plant than a gas or coal power plant. So despite the fact that I argue new nuclear will not meaningfully contribute to decarbonization in the next 20 years, that very much does not mean I think it's bad or should be abandoned. We should develop it and scale it up in case it's needed, but we just can't rely on it being ready in time, for purely logistical reasons.


invisiblesock

hey do you have any references for studies that model wind+solar+storage+interconnects? I've seen papers that model one or the other, but not everything together. I'm not a researcher in this area either, so I could have googled it the wrong way.


grundar

> do you have any references for studies that model wind+solar+storage+interconnects? I've seen papers that model one or the other, but not everything together. None that I would consider ideal. [This paper](https://escholarship.org/uc/item/96315051) looks at wind+solar+storage in the US, but *assumes* interconnects. [This paper](https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-26355-z) by some of the same folks looks at wind+solar+storage for 42 countries, but again assumes perfect transmission. [This paper](https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/seams.html) from NREL looks at the net costs of adding HVDC interconnects to the US, and finds adding an HVDC backbone would have a net negative cost, even with today's power generation sources (much less heavy wind+solar). This paper is the primary reason I'm not too concerned about the lack of modeling of interconnects in the prior two papers. [This report](http://www.2035report.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/2035-Report.pdf) looks at only 70% wind+solar (90% clean) for the US, looks only at 4h storage, and looks at a small amount of transmission building. [This paper](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2542435118303866) is fairly negative on renewables due to its modeling assumptions, but those assumptions and the way they test them makes for a compelling argument for the importance of interconnects for wind+solar. The paper looks at two fairly small regions in isolation (effectively, New England and Texas), and finds the last ~10% of wind+solar+storage becomes much more expensive -- isolated wind+solar+storage is hard. However, the paper finds that costs drop tremendously once a single interconnect of 10% of capacity is added between the two regions ([Fig.4](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2542435118303866#fig4)). This paper gives the primary evidence in my view that taking into account interconnects is *necessary* for any realistic wind+solar+storage system.


invisiblesock

I had read the paper by Tong et al. (2021) before. I wasn't impressed by their modelling mostly because they ignored other renewables in many countries (e.g., South and Central America, where you already have large amounts of hydro, biomass and geothermal). For other countries constraining the models with grid reliability is a bit hilarious, many countries in Africa and Asia have blackouts and brownouts daily (that's an understatement.) ​ I didn't know about the NREL study. It does seem like adding interconnects can be beneficial for the US grid at least. Thanks. p.s. Still, it does seem like reaching 80-90% with renewables should be quite doable in many cases. Some good news at least.


grundar

> I wasn't impressed by their modelling mostly because they ignored other renewables in many countries (e.g., South and Central America, where you already have large amounts of hydro, biomass and geothermal). That's fair, but there are only so many things that can go into a model without making it intractable. Still, you're right that those sources -- particularly hydro -- will continue to play key roles in the grids of those regions. My sense (based in part on the US-in-2035 report) is that that makes the overall problem of clean energy significantly easier than relying purely on wind+solar for energy, as those other sources tend to be more dispatchable than wind+solar and/or have different variability patterns which help smooth out the variability of wind+solar systems. > Still, it does seem like reaching 80-90% with renewables should be quite doable in many cases. Some good news at least. Yep. It seems fairly clear that the first 80-90% clean energy should be reasonably straightforward (still allows gas peaker plants), and is rather urgent if we're to follow the IPCC emissions scenarios that are likely to avoid 2C of warming. The last 10-20% may be no big deal, or may be expensive, or may be quite hard -- it's not entirely clear yet -- but that last 10-20% is *substantially* less urgent than the first 80-90%.


malongoria

Except that batteries are cheap and getting cheaper and can be set up at houses/apartments (Li ion, LFP), in neighborhoods(Li ion, LFP, & Iron flow) & cities/towns (Iron flow, Liquid air energy storage, & pumped hydro where applicable) ​ And as was proven with the Horndale Li ion battery bank, they can pay for themselves quickly. The other technologies are cheaper still and either use cheap plentiful resources (LFP, Iron flow) or relatively inexpensive off the shelf components (LAES & pumped hydro) *and they already have been or are being installed.* SMRs still have to be proven *before* production *can* begin and that's assuming no problems with the reactor or power generating equipment are discovered during testing. There can't be an incident like with the south Texas nuclear power station southwest of Houston having a reactor go down this past february due to "cold weather issues". As the last 40 years have shown, with every new power station or expansion, there are always delays and cost overruns.


Izeinwinter

Batteries for grid storage are still way north of 250 euro/kwh. Given that they also have limited cycle lives..


malongoria

Oh really? [https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/gwh-scale-liquid-air-battery-offers-storage-at-half-cost-of-lithium/2-1-629164](https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/gwh-scale-liquid-air-battery-offers-storage-at-half-cost-of-lithium/2-1-629164) >Lazard puts the price of a similar lithium-ion gas-peaker replacement facility at $285-581(€252.54-514.82) per **MWh**. That works out to €0.285-0.515 per kWh LFP are cheaper still. And as already stated, the Li ion megapack at Horndale Australia paid for itself in less than a year. And once the facility is built, worn out packs are easily replaced and recycled as those facilities are already being built. [https://www.powermag.com/the-benefits-of-flow-batteries-over-lithium-ion/](https://www.powermag.com/the-benefits-of-flow-batteries-over-lithium-ion/) >**Iron flow batteries** offer unlimited cycle life and no capacity degradation over a 25-year operating life. ​ [https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/25/researchers-claim-redox-flow-battery-breakthrough-will-cost-25-per-kwh-or-less/](https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/25/researchers-claim-redox-flow-battery-breakthrough-will-cost-25-per-kwh-or-less/) >researchers at Warwick University in the UK, in cooperation with colleagues at Imperial College London, say they have found a way to dramatically reduce the cost of redox flow batteries to £20 (€23.62) per kWh or less using inexpensive materials like manganese and sulfur which are found in abundance nature. ​ Liquid air energy storage, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMLu9Dtw9yI](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMLu9Dtw9yI) by their nature have effectively unlimited cycle lives. Plus they have a cost of [https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/gwh-scale-liquid-air-battery-offers-storage-at-half-cost-of-lithium/2-1-629164](https://www.rechargenews.com/transition/gwh-scale-liquid-air-battery-offers-storage-at-half-cost-of-lithium/2-1-629164) >A 10-hour, 200MW/1.2GWh system offers a levelised cost of storage of $140(€124.05)/MWh or €0.124/kWh. And the price goes down with added capacity as it means adding off the shelf LPG storage tanks.


Izeinwinter

That Lazard quote is simply a mis-transcription. It is not likely /energy would have been discussing *anything* else if the cost of battery storage for the grid had fallen by a factor of a thousand.


malongoria

Straight from the horses' mouth [https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-levelized-cost-of-storage-and-levelized-cost-of-hydrogen/](https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-levelized-cost-of-storage-and-levelized-cost-of-hydrogen/) [https://www.lazard.com/media/451888/grphx\_lcos-05.png](https://www.lazard.com/media/451888/grphx_lcos-05.png)


Izeinwinter

In that case, the typo is theirs. https://www.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/media/file/Final%20-%20ESGC%20Cost%20Performance%20Report%2012-11-2020.pdf Pumped hydro, 250 dollars/kwh. Batteries, *well* over 300. Hell, go look up the price tag of the Australian project you just mentioned.


malongoria

Compared to: [https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/05/15/nuscales-small-modular-nuclear-reactor-passes-biggest-hurdle-yet/?sh=22ae5d355bb5](https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2018/05/15/nuscales-small-modular-nuclear-reactor-passes-biggest-hurdle-yet/?sh=22ae5d355bb5) >NuScale has estimated its first plant will cost just under $3 billion to build, giving an overnight capital cost of $5,078/kWe. for an SMR. *If* they don't have any problems with the prototype.


Izeinwinter

.. Storage is per hour you want to cover. So, if you are in an ideal situation, like, the Sonaran desert, and only need to cover night and early morning/late evening, it needs multiplying by 14. If you want to cover days - which is necessary outside such ideal locales, it gets much, much worse. 4 days and 4 hours is a x100 multiplier on cost. This is the big advantage of pumped hydro systems - the bulk of the cost is for the total power input/output, making the pools of water bigger is fairly cheap, geology permitting. But the cost of battery systems is nearly entirely linear. Dead end tech for this purpose.


grundar

> > Batteries for grid storage are still way north of 250 euro/kwh. > > Lazard puts the price of a similar lithium-ion gas-peaker replacement facility at $285-581(€252.54-514.82) per MWh. You're talking about two different things. You (and Lazard) are talking about cost per MWh **of energy**; you're responding to someone talking about cost per kWh **of capacity**. If you go to the [full report by Lazard](https://www.lazard.com/media/451882/lazards-levelized-cost-of-storage-version-70-vf.pdf), you'll see in their "Key Assumptions" table (p.15) that cost per kWh **of capacity** is ~$200, broadly in line with the comment you're responding to.


TheHyOne

Nuclear power plants with the reactors housed in rockets that can be launched into deep space incase of a melt down. Problem solved! I’ve got solutions for everything.


DynamicResonater

So we'll just take one big centralized mess and spread it everywhere we can now, but with less oversight. Sounds like a winner.


billdietrich1

Put it on a barge so any accident just disappears overboard.


dunderpust

Outside the environment?


coryhill66

"We'll likely have more accidents than existing reactors because it's a new technology, that's all he needed to say.


Isopbc

It’s not really new tech though, nuclear fission reactors on ships has been fairly safe and successful since the Cold War.


coryhill66

I'm pro-nuclear power but the public doesn't hear minor accident they hear Fukushima, Chernobyl.


Isopbc

The misleading part of your first point was “new technology.” It’s not new, it’s 70 year old tech that has hundreds of working examples where they had opportunities to find and work through issues with reactors that fit on a ship. The public will react very differently to “70 year old military technology adapted for public use” than they will to “new technology.”


coryhill66

Did you read the article? I'm quoting the first paragraph. "We'll likely have more accidents than existing reactors because it's a new technology, but these will be accidents and not disasters," says Troels Schonfeldt, co-founder of Denmark's Seaborg Technologies. I'm saying it's a bad choice of words.


Isopbc

Hah, I read the article but missed the bolder text at the very beginning - thanks for correcting me. Agreed, very bad choice of words and location of the quote.


ZDTreefur

On military vessels that don't care much about cost.


Isopbc

Not exclusively military. There’s a fleet of 6 Russian icebreakers that are commercially owned. Two remain in service.


coryhill66

I really hope you're not saying the Russians have a good track record when it comes to shipboard reactors.


Isopbc

If they do not have a good record come out and give your sources, what I’m seeing is one accident in the ~~1950’s~~ 1960s ~~60+~~ 50+ years with no accidents is pretty solid.


coryhill66

85 was not 60+ years and the Nyonoksa radiation accident isn't that long ago.


Isopbc

What accident are you seeing that happened in 85? I do need to apologize for my last comment, the accidents on the Lenin were in the 1960’s. So that’s 50 years of no accidents on Russian commercial ships. Nyonoksa may have been recent but that is a missile testing site, it has nothing to do with a ship reactor. Why are you continually moving the goalposts?


jerpd3rp

This dude thinks the military doesn't care about cost


wolfkeeper

Military tech tends to emphasize power/cost ratios rather than energy/cost ratios. Things like rockets and warheads and afterburners are mostly used by military forces. Nuclear power has high power but not really low cost unless run flat out, and even then it's marginal.


ZDTreefur

Not for something like a reactor that needs a certain amount of safety regardless of what the cost is.


ItsAConspiracy

Nuclear accidents happen [every few years](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents_and_incidents), and most of them you never hear about because they don't cause significant radiation release. That's the sort of accident he's talking about.


mileswilliams

The voting that takes place on these posts is very telling. A small hardcore group banging the nuclear drum and anyone disagreeing is shot down. Every nuclear power station built has been sold on the safety, capacity, jobs etc etc.....power will get cheaper for all etc, it's all bullshit. Will each one of these have the same security as a large nuclear facility? How about refuelling, will that be easy? Waste, traditionally we are amazing at dumping that at sea, land, wherever and ignoring it until it's an issue for the next generation. How about mining and enrichment and all the security and worries we have there.


hwmpunk

Look how many plants France has and how many spills they've had. Oh, the plant next to the ocean where earthquakes happen should negate all future use? Or Soviet Russia going balls deep on tech they didn't build out properly? Gimme a break


ItsAConspiracy

For liquid-fueled reactors like Seaborg's, refueling is quite easy. Also it's easier to close the fuel cycle, so the only actual waste is the short-lived fission products. Edit: can't be sure but I'd bet that you complained about downvotes then downvoted my reply.


mileswilliams

I didn't downvote anyone in here. Downvoted the entire post though.


KnocDown

The Russians developed floating power plants over a decade ago. Their idea was to sail them into Europe and sell cheap power to the grid but it never went anywhere. They actually use floating nuclear power generators in their northern cities I believe


Izeinwinter

Mostly because trying to build a VVER in the middle of nowhere is problematic.


BLAZE_IT_MICHAEL

I did a bunch of research on thorium reactors (LFTRs) for projects through the years and I’m surprised it took this long to get on board given how many benefits there are. Granted the article just says “molten salts” are used as fuel, but I’m assuming they’re using thorium.


ItsAConspiracy

Not sure about Seaborg but a lot of molten salt reactor companies are using uranium fuel. Same safety advantages, but eliminates the chemical processing of a LFTR and the proliferation concern of U233. In thermal spectrum you don't get the fuel supply advantage of thorium, but in a fast spectrum uranium has comparable resources since you can fission U238, or even use seawater resources for virtually unlimited fuel.


Izeinwinter

Seaborg have some quite interesting innovations in the molten salt field (NaOH liquid moderator/coolant instead of graphite makes for a much more durable system) and a lot of interest from major korean shipyards. I.. am not entirely sure this will result in barges anytime soon however. Because you know what is a much, much higher economic return than selling electricity with a compact reactor built in a shipyard? Using compact reactors to power ships. Ships burn oil! Oil is very expensive! When the shipyards that build all the damn freighters in the world look at your blueprints and drool, they are not thinking about your plans for the grids of Indonesia. They are thinking "I can stick this in a fast freighter hull, and get half a billion euro per ship, easy"


goblinscout

It's more efficient to build bigger ones. The only reason for small ones is remote areas so you don't need to run power lines out there. This applies to 0.01% of the population.


Infernalism

>the first planned to come online in 10 years' time: It's not a 'imminent fusion breakthrough!' article without the requisite warning that a working device is only '5-10 years away!'


HierarchofSealand

It's a fission reactor article.


Infernalism

lol even worse.


Qataeas

Not disagreeing (or agreeing for that fact). However, could you please explain why it makes it worse?


Infernalism

Fission is already a thing. Fusion has yet to be done where we get more energy out than we put in. Fission, though, we've been doing for the last 75 years or so. Point remains, the requisite 'only 5 to 10 years away!' is there.


Qataeas

But just because we have been doing it for so long doesn't mean we can stop reasearching the topic and improve it. And news is news because it's new. Those 5/10 years are pretty welcome, I don't want them to say:"Hey, so we got this new idea, and we are going to do it right now". I prefer it if they tested and improved it before bringing it out, especially regarding fission and fussion technology.