Nuclear Energy
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US Nuclear Energy Foundation
“Evangelizing Nuclear Advocacy by Bringing Science to Citizens”
A Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Nevada Foundation
PO Box 2867, Sparks, NV 89432 (775) 224-2089
www.usnuclearenergy.org / Email: comments@usnuclearenergy.org

              

Nuclear Energy     Can We Talk?     Bringing Science To Citizens     Let's Re-Visit Nuclear Energy     Think About It!
 

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knowledgeable citizens about nuclear energy and waste repository issues.

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“Our freedoms can only
be maintained by the advancement of technologies that serve mankind—
not advancing technology puts Freedom at Risk and
our freedom is
threatened because we
don't take the time to
participate in it” GJD

Articles-Op-eds

 

THE FUTURE, SMALL NUCLEAR REACTORS
Gary J. Duarte, Director
US Nuclear Energy Foundation

 

If you think that mini, micro, and small computers phones and other “small” products are the only players on the block, WRONG! Small companies with big ideas can be astounding and few can argue that Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) will be at the top of the list. Nearly every device and product that mankind invents eventually strives to reduce its footprint size and increase its capacity. (This does not necessarily apply to cruise ships).

 

The nuclear industry worldwide is currently designing Small Modular Reactors to provide electrical energy to remote communities, remote mining locations, and certain large power usage installations. Our average nuclear plants worldwide generate from 800 to 1,200 megawatts. New generation units today are reaching up to 1,600 MW of output power. The new SMR nuclear units under development are classified from 25 to 300 megawatts. The micro concepts of a 25 MW unit could supply up to 25,000 homes, a power intense remote mining installation or power a large cargo ship saving millions in fossil fuel costs.

 

There are about 440 large scale nuclear plants worldwide in 30 countries. The development and market potential for this new SMR mini nuclear technology will be astronomical, not hundreds but thousands of potential installations. Not only will this become the future for cost competitive power but it may also change the dynamics of the industry. Private business today is beginning to investigate the possibilities of their own power generation.

 

In Reno, Nevada, the Peppermill Casino Resort is "The only resort in the United States whose heating source is totally provided from geothermal energy produced on the immediate property." The Resort has used geothermal energy to heat the domestic hot water for the Tuscany Tower, including the 43,000 square foot Spa Toscana and Fitness Center as well as the two outdoor swimming pools and spas, since the 2007 expansion project. With the culmination of a $9.7 million dollar investment, the entire Resort is now on-line to heat both space and domestic water with geothermal energy. The geothermal system 2.1 Million square foot facility runs 24/7, effectively replacing the natural gas boilers that formally heated the facility. This renewable energy will reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and save the company about 2.2 million of dollars annually in natural gas costs.

 

Yes the stars may have been lined up to strike the right 172 degree temperature and about a 4,000 foot depth but they did. The interesting fact is that they took the gamble that turned out to be a winner. This is somewhat indicative that when SMR reactors come into the marketplace there may well be an interest by large private company power consumers and maybe groups of cooperatives, e.g. 10 casinos in Las Vegas cooperatively developing their own power company investment. Mega 1,600 MW reactors may run about 8 billion a copy. The 25 to 300 MW power modules may run 80 to 275 million. Initial investment may require cooperative partnerships. Eventually, quantity sales and installations will reduce costs like all free market competition.

 

Steve Jobs was an awesome electronic visionary. Unfortunately, because of political and media misrepresentation about nuclear technology, nuclear powers visionaries have been minimized. The industry is discouraged it needs to be re-inspired by the grassroots public.


A Nuclear Economy
Gary J. Duarte, Director
US Nuclear Energy Foundation

U. S. Energy independence will become a campaign issue in 2012.

The US Nuclear Energy Foundation was established in December 2005 for the purpose of advocating new nuclear energy development in the U.S. For the past five years, its  mission is to mobilize citizens in Nevada and across the nation to drive government, media and the nation’s business community to design, build and construct new 3rd and 4th generation nuclear power reactors and implement spent fuel reprocessing technology throughout the U.S. www.usnuclearenergy.org

The following are reports of how nuclear energy has already been contributing to our country’s energy security and economic independence, whereas renewable sources, although applicable in certain parts of the U.S., are coming under increased scrutiny since they require large land areas, or provide equivalent generation capacities afforded by nuclear power.

Members of Congress are already taking action.  For example, U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander, (R) TN announced on  July 13th, 2009 his plan for 100 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years in support of GOP “Low-Cost Clean Energy Plan” to create jobs, lower utility bills and reduce global warming.

Technology Economy: Our country is facing its worst economic downturn in decades. A contributor to this factor has been our economic dependence on off-shore energy sources and costs which cannot be controlled by our own internal market processes. We believe that America needs to make a unified effort to revive and triple our extremely safe, proven, and  established nuclear energy industry.

94% Output Capacity: Nuclear energy is NOT subject to unreliable weather,  climate conditions or insufficient supplies of natural resources.  It is our nation’s largest expandable source of electricity that will meet clean air requirements by controlling emissions of suspect greenhouse gases.  

We Support Renewable Research, Not Handouts: We support advancing renewable energy research, but no matter how much wind and solar installations we build, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that optimum capacity output for wind is only 30.4% and solar, 19.8%.  Renewable “production and construction” costs remain high, thus requiring additional research to make renewable energy costs  competitive  with current energy sources. For example, 1,000 MW of wind energy = 3,000 turbines, and 40 to 70 sq. miles of land area. How much does 40 square miles of land cost?

In past years, the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had been moving towards a new nuclear energy renaissance with an effort of bringing U.S. energy production back to the U.S. The current administration has been reversing this direction based on its interest in renewable initiatives. A number of nuclear industry groups and associations have been encouraging the administration to put nuclear development into the national energy policy initiative, including  renewable sources. Over the past 40 years, our 104 nuclear plants that produce 20% of our electrical energy have proven their cost effectiveness and safe operation, and should be advocated as a major portion of our energy future.

Wind turbines: With respect to land mass and remote renewable energy transmission involving a case in West Virginia, a federal court in Maryland has blocked the completion of a partially built 119-turbine wind farm because it is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has also restricted use of the 40 turbines that are already operating. The judge said that the so-called Beech Ridge wind farm must now apply for an "incidental take permit" from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In dense eastern communities, these legal issues will continue to grow in respect to the opposition of the large footprint sizes of land area required for  renewable energy installations. In the west, remote areas are suitable, but will still face tremendous infrastructure costs with respect to the construction of transmission lines from these remote collection areas to the metropolitan customer.

A Renewable Energy State: Representatives in Washington  are claiming to be making Nevada a renewable energy state. For nearly the past 30 years, Nevada has been purchasing large amounts of its energy from out-of–state sources: natural gas-68%, coal-21%, hydro-6%, all renewable-4%. We may want to remind everyone  that natural gas as with oil are subject to volatile price fluctuations. Nevada has the  17th  highest energy costs in the country. With the sun shining for the past 30+ years, all renewable energy contributions in Nevada are still at only 4%. These are Nevada numbers but we believe that every state in the union should have an energy program where “your state” can provide up to 70% of “your own” energy.


 

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