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PostPosted: Dec 13, 2007 2:00 pm 
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Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program


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PostPosted: Dec 13, 2007 8:55 pm 
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I laughed when I read the critique of DOE program managers in Appendix A on pages A-4/A-5. The remarks about lack of technical knowledge, glossing over possible problems, etc made me realize that all program managers are the same. When a co-worker and I were discussing why DOE/NASA/DOD never finish projects, the consensus was that there was no incentive for the program managers to ever complete anything, as then they would be out of a job. Most of them have little technical skills to fall back on.

Contrast that to the Spallation Neutron Source built at ORNL. The project was managed by the scientests who were going to use it. They wanted it finished on time and on budget so they could start doing experiments. Essentially, a bunch of non-professional project managers can do a better job than the "career" project managers.

Most young military officers have more project management and people skills than the majority of people who have been project managers all of their careers. :lol:


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PostPosted: Dec 19, 2007 5:07 pm 
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Another interesting article from Dan Yurman:

Idaho Samizdat: Congress kicks GNEP to the curb

Quote:
Congress released today its joint House-Senate omnibus appropriations bill, the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act. GNEP took a significant hit. The bill funds the program at $179 million, $216 million below the President’s request, and roughly halfway between the House level ($120 million) and Senate level ($243 million). House and Senate Democrats, facing a losing battle with Republicans over funding for domestic programs, whacked GNEP in an effort to support funding for domestic programs. The House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, nevertheless, had some harsh words for “the controversial initiative.”


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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2008 7:55 am 
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I'm so not surprised about this:

World Nuclear News: Yucca funded, GNEP 'zeroed'

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The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has approved an energy and water bill that would see increased support for nuclear power initiatives and would fully fund the Yucca Mountain repository for the next financial year but would cut funding for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program to zero.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2008 8:19 pm 
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MSNBC: Cost for nuclear waste site jumps to $90 billion

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The estimate includes $9 billion already spent and covers about 100 years of operation until the dump, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is sealed up forever.


Policy-makers! Please listen to me! I swear I can do it for less than $90 billion dollars!

Building chloride reactors and fluorinating spent fuel and building LFTRs just won't cost that much!

Even if we did it poorly! (which we won't!)

NEI has a Yucca story too.

Here's an old 2002 MSNBC story on Yucca.

Article from the Deseret News.


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PostPosted: Jul 15, 2008 8:53 pm 
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Utah's Jim Matheson has a do-nothing plan for spent nuclear fuel...

Matheson pushes alternative Yucca Mountain nuke waste shipment plan

...leadership, you can just smell it!

Perhaps it's this kind of leadership that leads to this level of accomplishment:

Congressional Approval Falls to Single Digits for First Time Ever


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PostPosted: Jul 17, 2008 5:48 pm 
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Thanks Kirk,

I read this when I came to the office this morning. After I finished ROTFLMAO, I put my exploded head back together. Then I made a copy of the post to send to my son. He is always looking for good examples of the personal attack rebuttal type of argument.

In an attempt to get the thread back on track. The US government is providing very little in the way of financial support for practical energy development in the USA. Yucca Mountain is an example of a poorly thought out program that waste taxpayer dollars and does little to contribute to the solution. The government money going to the Yucca Mountain project would be better spent on Nuclear Research in areas related to improved reactor technology, materials and safety.

Public interest and sentiment is driving Washington to lift the ban on drilling and it is swinging to pro-nuclear development. Now is the time to get nuclear development back on track to provide more of America’s energy needs.

_________________
When a distinguished scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
--Arthur C. Clarke


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PostPosted: Jul 17, 2008 5:58 pm 
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Stan, agreed, Yucca Mountain as a political solution is falling apart. I have no doubt that the spent fuel can be safely stored there indefinitely, but that really isn't the point anymore. What is the point is that the government is going to be subjecting themselves to this kind of political agony for many more years unless they decide to actively get off the once-through uranium (not)cycle.

Problem is, with the exception of the IFR, there's not a single other reactor concept out there other than LFTR that fixes the YuccaMtn problem.

$90B is a lot of money to be wasting on a big hole in the ground, especially when you'll need another one before long. 1/100th of that money would do a lot to get chloride and fluoride reactors going and fixing this problem.


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PostPosted: Jul 17, 2008 6:59 pm 
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APS Forum - Editor call for a discussion of current nuclear policy especially with regard to three nagging issues in the publics mind.

safety
proliferation
waste

seems like an invitation for a LFTR paper. Can you experts out there somehow work together to get this written? Maybe a small paper that points back to this forum.

http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletter ... editor.cfm

"Whether or not human produced carbon dioxide is a major cause of impending climate change (as is being debated in the two articles of this issue), the issue of energy “production” by our Earth-bound societies must be faced. Fossil fuel supplies may become unavailable in this century – or the next – but in a finite system, obeying the laws of thermodynamics, non-fossil energy sources will have to become available to mankind, sooner or later (within the foreseeable lifetime of our planet). One major energy resource, being much touted again, is that of the fissioning nucleus. Nuclear power faces three major drawbacks in the public eye: the possibilities of devastating accidents; the possibility of ”proliferation” – the diversion of energy resources and technology into weaponry; the problem of protecting present and future generations from “nuclear ashes”- the long-lived radioactive byproducts of power generation by nuclear fission. For the most part, our society has “stuck its head in the sand” regarding these issues, but we have spent a great deal of money exploring one possible means of dealing with the third problem – burying nuclear wastes deep underground (out of site, ergo out of mind). As the News item in this issue summarizes, the Federal government, after the expenditure of billions of dollars, seems to be ready to start sending long-lived wastes to be buried in Nevada. Many people there object – “not in my backyard”! As physicists interested in the impact of physics on society (and the converse), we are obligated to participate intensely in the public debate on this problem of waste disposal as well as the other two. The final resolutions will have to be political but hopefully they will be well informed by knowledge of the physical possibilities as well as constraints. For example, I am unaware of any public discussion about the practical possibilities of decreasing the amount of long-lived nuclear ashes via the use of fast neutron fission reactors for power generation. I hope to see much more discussion of these issues in the future “pages” of this journal. (I put quotation marks about the word “pages” since it now appears that we may no longer be communicating with you via the customary paper pages; what word(s) should we use?) We know that many of our readers are well informed on these topics and hope that they will share their physical insights with the rest of us – please submit articles, commentaries, letters, and enjoy the summer – whether its warmth is in line with past trends or represents a new climate. (AMS)"


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PostPosted: Jul 20, 2008 5:22 pm 
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Stan/Tx wrote:
.

The government money going to the Yucca Mountain project would be better spent on Nuclear Research in areas related to improved reactor technology, materials and safety.

.


What government money? Every dime (and more) spent on Yucca is paid for by the nuclear utilities as a extra tax on their customers. The nuclear waste fund has spent less than half of the money collected from the utilities. No one dime of federal tax money is being used for Yucca. This is one of the most common misunderstandings about the Yucca Mtn project.

I agree it is inefficient and costly, but if it is canceled the utilities can sue the government and make them repay all the money taken from the fund, since the government signed a contract with the utilities to take the fuel.

I think we should be like Europe, and let the utilities be responsible for the spent fuel. The government can not do any major project that is going to take more than one or two administrations due to the constant change in ruling parties.


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PostPosted: Oct 04, 2008 5:07 pm 
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Yucca is capable of safely storing nuclear wastes for tens of thousands of years.

The reason that I don't think it should go forward is that I think it is an inherently bad idea to be throwing away spent nuclear fuel, in its current form. Whether or not Yucca can do it doesn't matter if the basic principle itself is a bad idea.

If you process the spent nuclear fuel, setting aside the uranium, partitioning the fission products, and destroying the transuranics, then you're at a point where the original mission for Yucca has gone away.


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2009 5:41 pm 
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Dan Yurman's got a piece up about the cancellation of GNEP...

Idaho Samizdat: GNEP drifts off into limbo

Quote:
At the US Department of Energy a spokeswoman confirmed that Global Nuclear Energy Partnership has been canceled.

Bye GNEP. I certainly won't miss your dystopia of aqueous reprocessing facilities, liquid-metal fast burner reactors, and MOX-fed LWRs...

Quote:
In the meantime, the once visually attractive GNEP web site, at least for government work, has apparently disappeared perhaps to be stored in the same GSA warehouse in Dayton, OH, as the Ark, as found by Indiana Jones, and the Roswell flying saucer wreckage.

Don't worry! I rescued GNEP documents months ago, suspecting this would happen:

Energy Solutions, LLC

* Report (pdf 973 KB)
* Presentation (pdf 810 KB)

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Americas, LLC

* Report (pdf 1.19 MB)
* Presentation (pdf 700 KB)

General Atomics

* Report (pdf 550 KB)
* Presentation (pdf 4.95 MB)

International Nuclear Recycling Alliance
(AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries)

* Report (pdf 1.23 MB)
* Presentation (pdf 4.41 MB)


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2009 5:58 pm 
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More articles on the end of GNEP:

Nuclear reuse initiative scrapped

Sorry if this sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, but I saw this coming from day one of GNEP. GNEP was nothing but the newest recycled version of a 50-year old plan to use PUREX, sodium fast-breeders, and MOX to pretend to close the fuel cycle. It's never worked in the past 50 years (because the LWR fuel not-cycle can't be closed cost-effectively) and it never will.


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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2009 6:09 pm 
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OK, I can see where this is heading.... The US will be sending its SNF to France & Japan for reprocessing -- paying at least 100% mark-up, of course! :lol:

...and this is playing wonderfully into the hands of antinukes, who can keep right on saying that there's no way to deal with SNF (no Yucca, no GNEP, etc.), or that its too dangerous to ship the stuff overseas for processing, or that its too expensive.
Beautiful :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Apr 19, 2009 3:59 am 
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Quote:
Sorry if this sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, but I saw this coming from day one of GNEP. GNEP was nothing but the newest recycled version of a 50-year old plan to use PUREX, sodium fast-breeders, and MOX to pretend to close the fuel cycle.

Kirk, why do you think anybody is even interested in closing the nuclear fuel cycle, irrespective of which technology is under consideration ? It is only scientists and technological futurists who are interested in doing so. There are no financial interests that will be served by this. In fact, there are several financial interests that will be harmed by this.


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