Friday, May 29, 2009

Eschew Chu: Building efficiency

His mind is so open - so open that ideas simply pass through it.
- F. H. Bradley

Energy Secretary Chu is a myth waiting to be told. Chu has jumped on board the energy efficiency bandwagon. According to the latest department of Energy PR/Green propaganda spin
Improving energy saving and energy efficiency is one of the quickest, greenest, and most cost-effective ways to address energy security and climate change, and ensure economic growth.
This line is out of the Amory Lovins book of stories. Where is the proof? Well there is none, but
Secretary Chu has challenged Department of Energy researchers to help develop building designs that are far more efficient than current designs – and wants to pursue further research partnerships through IPEEC. The International Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007 that the world could reduce projected greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector by 30 percent by 2030 while producing a net economic benefit.
So we have goals that involved the implementation of undeveloped and unproven technology on a massive scale at a vast cost by 2030. This is the same Energy Secretary Chu who recently told us how problems solved by ORNL scientists during the 1970's somehow still impede the development of the LFTR in 2009. This is the same Steven Chu who recently told Senator Alexander that we could not possibly develop the industrial infrastructure to build 100 reactors by 2030, or to train their operators by that date.
has so little confidence in American science and technology that he doubts our capacity to do anything but improve builfing efficiency.

3 comments:

donb said...

His mind is so open - so open that ideas simply pass through it.
- F. H. Bradley
My favorite variation of this quip is "His mind is so open that his brain fell out"

OK, so I have had my fun. Now down to business...

I certainly support energy conservation and efficiency. But let's say we could reduce electrical energy consumption by 25% immediatly. This would be huge, but this would not solve completely the problems caused by burning coal, as we would still need more than half of our coal-fired power plants to provide the electricity we need.

Charles Barton wrote:
This is the same Steven Chu who recently told Senator Alexander that we could not possibly develop the industrial infrastructure to build 100 reactors by 2030, or to train their operators by that date.Is this the vision that Mr. Chu has for America? A land of bankers and burger flippers, which makes almost nothing because making things is "too hard"? This is a man to fear. Not only does he have a defeatist vision for our country, he is also in a position of power where the can make that vision come true (to prove himself right!).

Someone in his position needs to have a vision of a path to clean, abundant energy supply from domestic sources, using hardware mostly made here.

I think Mr. Chu needs to look back to a time (within living memory!) when we did build over 100 reactors within a 20 year time span, and trained the people to operate them. Certainly mistakes were made, but we can now go forward with the benefit of the lessons learned from that time. If anything, things should be easier this time around.

David Walters said...

if the same... "verve" .... we had in industrially in the 1970s were applied over the next decade with standardized designs...and as we get moving...standardized construction techniques, we could triple, EASILY, that 1970s results, and this for just LWRs of the GEN III type, not even GEN IV:

1. Standardized designs (done).
2. Lower financing costs/low interest rates (done).
3. Modularity in construction (in the works).
4. Developing construction and applied engineering techniques bringing costs down (done).
5. Modern computer scheduling software (done).
6. A developing modern components infrastructure (slowly starting out but on it's way).

Etc etc. "SI SE PUEDE".

David

Jason Ribeiro said...

If we have the capacity to litter 100,000 wind turbines onto the American plains, then we certainly could have the capacity to build 100 nuclear plants. Where the money goes the means to do so will follow.
As for training operators, the soonest a plant might be online is 2017-2018. Since nuclear engineering enrollment at American universities has quadrupled in the last 1-2 years, we shouldn't have a problem having new recruits ready either.

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