Hi Paul, thanks for commenting.
The question I'm asking though is can nuclear and renewables work well together? Not do we want them to?
I know that many folks here are perfectly happy choosing one of those potentially mutually exclusive paths I outlined at the start of the post: a nuclear dominanted system or a renewables dominated system. For some of you, there's no reason to consider any other options.
But I see both of those options as very challenging. Getting to very high penetrations of nuclear is clearly technically possible, but given the social opposition to new nuclear, by no means an easy feat. Very high penetrations of renewables face more technical challenges, and they also face NIMBY opposition to large-scale projects and the transmission needed to bring renewable power to load centers. So neither a high nuclear or high renewables future is fiat accompli.
That leads me to search for more options. Can we design a hybrid system of 30% nuclear, 60% renewables and 10% gas for peaking? What about 60% nuclear, 30% renewable, 10% gas? Something else?
The conventional wisdom is such hybrids are impossible. This post is about questions that. I'm curious what you think about those questions (not whether or not we'd want to go there, but could we go there if we did want to).