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View Diary: How Radioactive Is the Ocean? (100 comments)

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  •  I don't think the efficiency loss is (1+ / 0-)
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    too terrible, probably only a few percent. Of course, building a lot of little turbines costs quite a bit more than building one or a few big ones too. However, there have been proposals by those who developed the Integral Fast Reactor design to use single, downrated modules in just such applications as smaller towns. They are downrated to allow decades of operation without refueling, in other words you take a core that could produce a few hundred megawatts of heat and run it at a lower power output so the fuel doesn't "wear out" so fast. By wear out I mean that its fuel ordinarily has to be taken out of service due to accumulated neutron damage long before it runs out of energy-production capability in that reactor type. The lower the power level per unit fuel, the longer it takes until the fuel needs to come out and be reprocessed or whatever you're going to do with it.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:17:50 AM PDT

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    •  makes sense (2+ / 0-)
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      bryfry, billmosby

      What if the single-module turbines were also to be produced in a standardized way? I wonder if the economies of production scale might equal the economies of turbine scale for larger units.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:31:06 AM PDT

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      •  I think (1+ / 0-)
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        that there are many people wondering this.

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 07:37:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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