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On Mining the Climate Data

The benchmark capital cost sanctioned by DAE for imported units was quoted at $1600 per kilowatt.

"The first generation of nuclear power plants proved so costly to build that half of them were abandoned during construction. Those that were completed saw huge cost overruns, which were passed on to utility customers in the form of rate increases. By 1985, Forbes had labeled U.S. nuclear power "the largest managerial disaster in business history.”

The industry has failed to prove that things will be different this time around: soaring, uncertain costs continue to plague nuclear power in the 21st century. Between 2002 and 2008, for example, cost estimates for new nuclear plant construction rose from between $2 billion and $4 billion per unit to $9 billion per unit, according to a 2009 UCS report, while experience with new construction in Europe has seen costs continue to soar." Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/nuclear-power/cost-nuclear-power#.VJwlbdAA

As a matter of interest my brother-in-law was the project engineer on Rajasthan 1.

December 25, 2014    View Comment    

On Mining the Climate Data

Thanks Bob. Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Hopefully it will be one in which we start to make progress on this front.

December 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Mining the Climate Data

Bob, Muralidharan cites as his source the U.E.I Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2009, with Projections to 2030, vol 383 no. April. Energy Information Administration, 2009. This data must be however based on projections since as you point out no OTEC plant of commercial size has ever been built although a Lockheed Martin effort and the DCNs plant Hops refered to below are works in progress. Much of the difference between today and Carter's time is experience gained from deep water drilling and the most productive regions you refer to are relative calm because cyclones do not form near the equator per the following.

As to my optimism it is based on the laws of physics. Trapped heat in tropical waters has to go somewhere. Currently it is going to the poles which will bring about the greatest problem associated with climate change; massive sea level rise. The deep ocean on the other hand is an even greater heat sink which has not been tapped. The same law of thermodynamics that says heat will move from hot to cold also says you can produce work through that movement. It is pretty hard to harness a cyclone as the heat moves to the poles but relatively easy to do this moving heat into the ocean abyss. Further this is an approach to OTEC that has never been tried even though it has the most environmental benefit. Cold water has always been brought to the surface and the amount of water entailed has been OTEC's greatest impediment and the main driver of cost. With the heat pipe you move the heat in about two orders of magnitude less fluid in an enclosed system about one order small than the cold water pipe and this systemt keeps dissolved CO2 in the depths and is not a threat to marine life.

Basicially I think the science is on my side and thus I have every reason to be optimistic because no other energy system will in effect cool the ocean (at least its surface) and this is what has to happen if we are to prevent runaway warming.

December 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Mining the Climate Data

Thanks Hops. With the relaxation of the embargo on Cuba, it too might be a good place to start building out this solution.

Thanks for your interest and Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Problems with $17 Trillion, Save-the-Planet Headlines

Roger, for $17 trillion I think you could effectivley neutralize the CO2 problem by moving the resultant surface ocean heat into the abyss with heat pipe OTEC. I hope to expand on this in the next few days.

 

December 19, 2014    View Comment    

On Are Negative Emissions a "Myth?"


"The only three options we would be left with"?

You ommitted one Noah, hopefully not by design? You can also move the surface ocean heat, which represents 93% of the impact of global warming, into the ocean abyss. In that process you can produce the equivalent amount of energy that is currently being derived from fossil fuels and address sea level rise and storm surge, which are the greatest risks of climate change. There are no land issues involved and these processes occur in no one's backyard.

As one colleague has suggested this is a lot of wins for one technology, which can also be mated with the production of "supergreen hydrogen", which is another CDR technique.

December 12, 2014    View Comment    

On Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles Starting to Hit the Market

Thanks Bob this article speaks of rotational speeds of between 100,000 and 230,000 rpm which always seemed to me to render electricity production pretty problematic.

December 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles Starting to Hit the Market

Thanks EP. Colleagues are considering CO2 as a working fluid for ocean thermal energy conversion system using a heat pipe to convey the vapor to deep water for condensation. The evaporator temperatures would be in the range of 27 to 30C. Although this is below the critical temperature I understand the vapor becomes more and more dense as it approaches 31C thus it acts increasingly like a liquid?

December 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles Starting to Hit the Market

Ed these turbines are pretty amazing. They turn however at incredibly high speeds. I have been unable to figure out how you mate these little turbines turning at enormous velocity to generators of a capacity that can produce useful power. If you could point me to any literature in this regard I would be greatful. Thanks.

December 4, 2014    View Comment    

On Nuclear and Renewables Shared Goal and Comparative Costs

Tracey you are to be commended for this thought provoking and extensively debated article.

November 30, 2014    View Comment    

On From Coast to Coast to Coast, Canada's Ocean Temperatures Approach 4 Degrees Celsius Above Normal

Futher to comments below, this chart shows the vagaries of various types of temperature measurements. Although it does not include 2014, some measurements indicate that the record of 1998 was already exceeded.

November 30, 2014    View Comment    

On From Coast to Coast to Coast, Canada's Ocean Temperatures Approach 4 Degrees Celsius Above Normal

Been there. At issue seems to be the accuracy of these measurements. I am in no position to judge.

November 30, 2014    View Comment