Saturday, November 21, 2015

Load Following with Nuclear Power

Andrew Dodson Presents a case study of the use of Thorium Molten Salt Reactors for Load following in support of renewable electrical generation systems.  Renewable systems are subject to sudden variations in electrical output.  These variations are unpredictable, and require generation capacity, that can quickly respond to fluctuations in both electrical demand and electrical output,  currently renewable generation systems use natural gas fired turbines, for fossil fuel support.  The use of Natural gas in this role means that carbon emitting technology will still be required for stable grid operations.  Critics of Nuclear power have argued that Light Water Reactor technology is poorly matched to the load following requirements of a post carbon grid.  However, Molten Salt Reactor technology, does posses the capacity to quickly respond to rapid changes in both grid electrical demand, and grid output.

Andrew Dodson, in this video, states the case for the use of Thorium fuel cycle Molten Salt Reactors, but acknowledges that Uranium fuel cycle MSRs can also do the job.  In particulat, Terrestrial Energy of Canada is developing a small highly safe Intriguel Molten Salt Reactor that can be brought to market within the next 10 years.  These eactors can be mated to open cycle air turbines, and perform the same load following role as performed by natural gas powered air turbines, with higher safety than offered by natural gas, and without carbon emissions..

The use of Molten Salt Reactor technology toprovide load following capacity for a post carbon grid, is not a new idea for Nuclear Green.  It is a reasonably obvious idea whose time is quickly coming.  I am not a big fan of Renewable energy, especially wind and solar.  Without a generous amount of low cost nuclear technology, energy poverty will be upon uys, creating massive energy related injustice.  We need to act quickly in order to bring post carbon energy costs under control.

Andrew Dodson tells the MSR load following story.

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