StoppingClimateChange .com                 Electricity from Nuclear to Electrify Everything Possible, Fire from Biosynfuels
(By using nuclear electricity and heat to capture CO2 feedstock directly from the air and also to process pyrolyzed biofuel feedstock, we maximize biosynfuels yield. Click image for more.)
MORE >  Nuclear Biosynfuels


"No Nukes" is the major reason we failed to stop Climate Change. 
everything possible using nuclear electricity would help.
Not using nukes to fight Climate Change means we might be forced into using nukes to fight each other for food when Climate Change causes the world's leading staple food crops to fail.
(Food staples are eaten regularly and supply a major proportion of a person's energy and nutritional needs. Cassava, corn, plantains, potatoes, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sweet potatoes, wheat, and yams are the world's leading food crops.)

The Climate Change Story

Environmentalists made Climate Change worse by persistently advocating coal electricity instead of switching to nuclear.
When it became obvious coal was very bad, they switched to feeble and unreliable windmills and solar cells.

Planet Earth's CO2 has been stable at about 270 ppm
(parts of CO2 per million parts of air) since the end of the last ice age about 13,000 years ago. 
This environmental stability produced an "optimal" environment that enabled humans to develop agriculture and civilizations for the first time.
Now, we've lost it and can't get it back.
  (Click on image, right, to see temperatures of Planet Earth for last 550 million years to see how precious our current climate is compared to the "Ice Ages".) 

  MORE Climate Change Story >   Bungling Climate Change                                    See also:  How bad can CO2 make it?

As Generation Investment Management put it in “The Transformation of Growth,” their 2017 white paper,
“The Sustainability Revolution appears to have the scale of the Industrial Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution — and the speed of the Information Revolution.
Compared to these three previous revolutions, the Sustainability Revolution is likely to be the most significant event in economic history.”


It is possible to switch quickly (less than 5 years) to over 60% much cleaner combined cycle natural gas electricity.
 Switching to over 60% clean nuclear electricity and biosynfuels could take 30 years.

Step 1: Switching from coal to much cleaner combined cycle natural gas electricity.
(Natural gas heat can be made almost perfectly clean with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology)

Why Natural Gas Matters

It could be 10 or more years before we have sufficient production of Canadian IMSR, Indonesian ThorCon, and Chinese HTR-PM reactors to make a significant dent in the CO2 emissions of the world's 1,200 existing and 2,000 more planned mega-coal power plants such as Taichung.  Where there is natural gas, the world has begun switching to it.
Detroit's DTE and other electric utilities have begun building showcase examples of this idea. 

Almost 1/3 of all the world's CO2 is being made by the largest 2% of the world's coal electricity power plants. The remainder are practically innocent bystanders.



            MORE >  Why Natural Gas Matters

      Quick chemistry question. Which fuels have the most and least CO2?




As a control systems engineer who has worked in and around utility and heavy industry electricity for nearly 40 years, it is my thinking that, for the near future, Obama's Climate Change reduction program made sense. It mandated old coal electricity power plants be shut down prematurely and their baseload capacity be replaced with natural gas powered combined cycle plants capable of load-following wind and solar to fill in for wind lulls and surges and the heavy clouds that bedevil solar electricity.  In addition to using a cleaner fuel to begin with, the higher efficiency of combined cycle plants enable production of electricity with less than half the CO2 emissions of coal.

Combined cycle plants have comparatively short lives and will be replaced beginning about 2030 with small typically modular nuclear reactors that can also compliment wind and solar. Unlike coal and old nuclear, combined cycle gas and small modular nuclear can be set up to load follow quite nicely.  This will end the need for utility size electricity batteries to make wind and solar viable. 

In fact, you can observe an old-time demonstration of load-following at the Ludington, Michigan pumped water storage facility which was built to act as storage for the somewhat clumsy early nuclear reactors. In just a few seconds, it could come up with enough energy to keep Detroit going very nicely for most of a hot summer day. 








About combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) electricity power plants. 
Also:  (12.404).


Step 2: Switching from natural gas to nuclear electricity.

It's not too late to convert most of the world's largest coal-burning power plant boilers to low cost ThorCon reactors . . . . .   Coal to Nuclear
Coal boilers wear out every 20 years
over the 80 year life of a coal power plant. 3+ opportunities per plant unit are presenting themselves.

Coal power plants were not created equal. This creates an opportunity. About 2% of the world's coal power plants make about 90% of all coal power plant CO2. (Click)
(Left) Why coal fires make so much more CO2 compared to oil and natural gas.
Who they are and where they are: The World's 1,200 Largest Coal Power Plants - Countries and Locations.xls

Increasing Value Of Existing Infrastructure   Will China convert existing coal plants to nuclear using HTR-PM reactors?.pdf 

"In some cases, these nuclear boiler installations will be part of entirely new power stations. The more intriguing aspect of the concept, however, is the fact that the high temperature atomic boilers produce steam conditions that are identical to the design conditions for a large series of modern, 600 MWe steam plants that currently use coal as the heat source.

During the question and answer period, Prof. Zhang Zuoyi responded to my questions by confirming that some of the pebble-bed atomic boilers will be installed as replacement heat sources for existing steam plants. Those installations will be able to take advantage of the switchyards, the installed transmission networks, the cooling water systems, the sites and in some cases the entire steam plant including the steam turbine.

The priority for replacing coal boilers with nuclear boilers will be at power plants in areas with major pollution problems. Those plants are often located very close to population centers; that reality is one of the reasons that China has invested in developing reactors that can be tested and proven to be safe.

The HTR-PM modules can withstand complete loss of pressurization and helium flow without a forced shutdown and still not release enough radioactive materials to exceed the very conservative dose limits in place today." - Rod Adams, from Will China convert existing coal plants to nuclear using HTR-PM reactors?


ThorCon's nuclear reactor is an excellent place to start. In your author's opinion, this particular product appears best suited to end most coal burning in existing coal power plants.

Molten salt reactors appear to be the popular favorite to replace coal. A small prototype for this particular reactor was built and run successfully by Oak Ridge National Laboratories from 1965 to 1970.


      MORE >  ThorCon 1,300°F Molten Salt Reactor  Hotter and cheaper than coal or existing nuclear.

   Slide Show 18 Slide introduction to what ThorCon has in mind.   (Click)


ThorCon Executive_Summary.pdf 
Well-written 69 Page illustrated document with the basic numbers detailing this particular molten salt reactor technology proposal.  Plain talk about designing and building a serious commercial nuclear reactor by someone who designed a 250 megaWatt(e) molten salt reactor. Carefully explains the mechanisms to enable the thermal and neutron flux expansions and contractions of the reactor core's graphite moderator logs in an environment of radioactive fuelsalt. 


Also: The liquid fluoride thorium reactor: What fusion wanted to be. Dr. Joe Bonometti, November 18, 2008:

For a comprehensive listing of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), see: 

Nuclear power plants, the most complex power producers—and the ones with the highest safety and security risks—require the most workers, including about 9,000 armed guards at the country’s 62 nuclear facilities.

Running Exelon Corp.’s 2,300-megawatt Limerick Generating Station in Pottstown, Penn., requires 800 workers. A two-hour drive north, Invenergy LLC is building the Lackawanna Energy Center, a 1,480-megawatt natural-gas fired plant. Once running, it will employ 30 people. Both will compete to provide electricity to the same regional power grid. - from "Utility Jobs Shrink as New Power Plants Need Fewer Workers" - Wall Street Journal.  Jan. 15, 2018



Step 3: Switching from oil and natural gas to nuclear biosynfuels for our direct fire needs.




    MORE >  Nuclear BioSynFuels

    Biosynfuel production would most likely be by molten salt reactors.







The first of this type of reactor is currently in the early stages of construction in Idaho.

      MORE >  550°F Water Cooled  NuScale: The U.S. Bridge Reactor

Your grandfather's nuclear reactor re-designed to take advantage of
    70 years of practical experience.

    NuScale does a much better job describing their advanced reactor than this web site  can.
    Check out their web site:



These advanced fuel rods have passed preliminary testing in a reactor in Norway and are beginning pre-commercial testing in the United States.

   Conventional  550°F  Water Cooled

 MORE > Advanced Nuclear Fuels  For existing nuclear reactors to make them safer and more powerful.

Advanced nuclear fuel rods developed by LightBridge - - to make existing conventional water reactors both
   safer and more powerful.
   10% more power, 24 instead of 18 month fuel cycle
upgrade the existing reactor's power by 17% without lengthening the fuel cycle
increase the power of a same size new-build plant by 30% - i.e., build 3 and get the power of 4.
   The first use of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Rods in the United States is anticipated to be in 2021 - 2023.

    (Left) Old-fashioned nuclear reactor fuel rods designed by our grandfathers. Check out what LightBridge has come up with. (Click to enlarge.)




This particular design has been completed for years.


    Advanced Nuclear Fuels

    1,560°F Helium Cooled

    General Atomics EM2 TRISO Prismatic 265 megaWatt
    underground modular nuclear power plant.                        
 MORE >  TRISO Prismatic Reactor 







The Chinese have built and run a prototype of this design for over 10 years.  They are currently constructing two full size examples - 100 megaWatt(e) - with 20 more scheduled by 2020.


   Advanced Nuclear Fuels  For expanding nuclear energy's Climate Change fighting usefulness.


   1,800°F Helium Cooled

   Advanced TRISO pebble bed very high temperature nuclear reactor. 
 MORE >  TRISO Pebble Bed Reactor
   (Click to enlarge.)









    This reactor design was used by the Russians to propel the world's fastest submarines.

        932°F Lead-Bismuth Cooled 25 megaWatt(e) 10-year truck replaceable can.

         MORE >  Nuclear Combined Heat and Power (CHP) MicroGrids

    Like most other Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the underground G4 modular reactors come in exchangeable cans like batteries.
    CHPs are systems intended to heat and power multi-building complexes
    such as Hospital, Office, Military Bases, Airports, College Campuses, Large Government and Industrial Sites. 


     (Click to Enlarge.)











    Replacing Fossil Energy with Advanced Nuclear Energy








    MORE >  Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal







    MORE >  Coal to Nuclear Conversion Example

   Coal replacement would most likely be by molten salt reactors.













     MORE >  Nuclear Hydrogen

    Bulk hydrogen generators would most likely be powered by TRISO reactors.









          MORE >  SKYscrubber

       Skyscrubbers would most likely be powered by TRISO reactors.






     MORE >  Nuclear Medicine







      MORE >  SEAscrubbing Desalination 

     Flash desalinators can be used to extract CO2 from the water they are desalinating.













   The public needs to be fed comforting stories about wind and solar to keep them from becoming anxious
   about energy until the neutron flux embrittlement and molten salt corrosion long-term studies are complete.

   This time we're going to get nuclear reactors RIGHT
   . . . not RIGHT NOW like we did in WWII and the Cold War.







From the book "Aim High" by Robert Hargraves. Now on the board of directors at ThorCon.


     MORE >  Prosperity is the Best Way to Stabilize Population  

   A carbon-free, nuclear powered, prosperous, smaller population is what the world needs.
Nuclear energy - both electricity and thermal - is any country's quickest, cheapest pathway to prosperity.
With more cheap power per person, more people will find a way to use that ambient energy to travel a pathway to prosperity.
The United States is a 10,000 Watt-hour per day per person society; Mexico, 2,000 Wpd; Haiti, 500 Wpd.

"In energy-poor societies, the energy cost of pregnancy and of bringing up another child is negligible compared to its labor contribution, which can start at a very early age. According to Seavoy (1986, 20), “Having many children (an average of four to six) and transferring labor to them at the earliest possible age is highly rational behavior in peasant societies, where the good life is equated with minimal labor expenditures, not with the possession of abundant material goods.” Smil, Vaclav. Energy and Civilization: A History (MIT Press) (Kindle Locations 2455-2458). The MIT Press. Kindle Edition.




What's the Ideal Number of Humans on Earth?







Disclaimer: This web site is energy talk by an engineer exploring Climate Change's educational concepts, not professional engineering advice.


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