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Old August 18th, 2017, 08:52 PM   #301
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China pips US in race to start the world’s first meltdown-proof nuclear power plant
China has 20 nuclear power plants under construction, more than any other country on earth. With Sanmen, the industry is hoping to get the nod to build more reactors at home, and even export the AP1000 technology.

At least some aspects of the dimming prospects of US nuclear energy are self inflicted. President Donald Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order in March not only dismantled his predecessor’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, but also provide a disincentive to invest or develop any technology in clean energy, including nuclear power.
But America’s loss was China’s gain.
“The AP1000 technology has already been transferred to China and the Chinese projects are pretty close to commission, regardless of what the U.S project developers are going to do with their projects,” Borovas said.
China needs nuclear energy to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports, and to help the government meet its target of cutting emissions and pollution, he said.

If there’s any doubt that China is leading the field, S.C. Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper, two energy vendors that had co-funded and led the construction of two AP1000 reactors in South Carolina, scrapped their project on July 31.
S.C. Electric, which had already spent US$9 billion of tax dollars on the project, estimated that it needs another US$7 billion for completion, which their customer the state grid can’t afford.
Earlier this year, the CNNC struck a deal with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to build a travelling wave reactor, a next-generation nuclear power technology with much higher fuel efficiency and little radioactive waste compared to today’s reactors. Chinese nuclear scientists were not at all surprised that Gates chose China instead of the U.S for the next step in clean energy.
“The heyday of the U.S nuclear industry was in 1970s. They were our role model,” said professor Shan of Xi’an Jiatong University. “But all those talents are now retired or gone. The current generation is no longer be able to build a new plant due to the lacking of engineering experience and technical expertise. It is sad.”
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Old August 18th, 2017, 08:58 PM   #302
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Will China convert existing coal plants to nuclear using HTR-PM reactors?

It would be a huge benefit to the earth’s atmosphere if China, India, Brazil and the US could reduce direct coal burning while still making use of much of the capital that they have invested in building coal fired power plants. It would make an even larger difference in reducing air pollution in the areas downwind of the coal stations.

Converting coal-burning supercritical steam plants to nuclear power plants by replacing the furnaces and boilers with high temperature gas cooled reactors might become a routine power plant improvement in the relatively near future. The High Temperature Reactor – Power Module (HTR-PM) project is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of this evolutionary concept.

At the recent High Temperature Reactor 2016 (HTR2016), held in Las Vegas, NV, Prof. Zhang Zuoyi, Director of China’s Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technologies (INET), briefed his colleagues in the international community of high temperature gas reactor enthusiasts on the current status of the HTR-PM. That project is one of the more intriguing clean air projects underway in the world today.

The end of Zhang Zuoyi’s brief resulted in a sustained round of clapping; there were even a few hoots from the attending scientists and engineers that would have been more expected at a football match. (Most attendees at this talk were not from the US, the word “match” is intentional.)

Some of the audience members were able to trace their involvement and excitement about HTRs back more than 40 years to hands-on experience in the construction and operation of the Peach Bottom 1 nuclear plant, a project that was planned, constructed and operated in the US during the period from 1958 – 1978. The attendees were nearly unanimous in their appreciation of the fact that someone, somewhere was building commercial plants using the technology they had been working on for so long.

Target Market
China’s HTR-PM project is squarely aimed at being a cost-effective solution that will virtually eliminate air pollution and CO2 production from selected units of China’s large installed base of modern 600 MWe supercritical coal plants.

This is not a “pie-in-the-sky” long range plan to eventually replace those built facilities and leave idle capital rotting away. Instead, it is a deployment program with the first of a kind commercial demonstration approaching construction completion and commercial operation by mid to late 2018. Major parts of the machinery will be able to be merged into the existing infrastructure.

The commercial operation date is six to nine months later than scheduled when construction began, but Prof. Zhang Zuoyi proudly explained that the HTR-PM first-of-a-kind delays were much shorter than the 3-4 year delays that have plagued the EPR and AP1000 construction projects in their country.

The current critical path item is the completion of the steam generators — one for each of the two reactors. The shells and internals have been completed, but the final stages of attaching the piping to the thick-walled, large diameter pressure vessels will delay site delivery until sometime close to the middle of 2017.
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Old Today, 11:01 AM   #303
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NASA: July 2017 was the Hottest July on Record, Topping 2016's Record

Aug 16, 2017

The extreme weather comes as NASA reported Tuesday that last month was the hottest July ever measured—topping the previous record, set in July of 2016. A landmark government report published last week found the average temperature in the U.S. has risen dramatically since 1980 and that the impacts of climate change are already being felt across the country. Despite those findings, President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order ending a requirement that federally funded projects have strict building standards that consider future flooding from sea level rise due to climate change. [ ]

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