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With a nod to Electric Mayhem, this came across my desk this morning.
A $4B nuclear power plant backed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett is set for construction in Wyoming

https://flip.it/TEs2CO

“The Natrium reactor is the future of nuclear energy in America. It makes perfect sense to have it in Wyoming, the energy capital of the United States. Wyoming’s economy will grow from having this groundbreaking technology in our state," U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Our abundant energy sources including coal, oil, natural gas, renewables, and now nuclear power will continue to provide good-paying jobs. Americans across the country will depend on Wyoming energy for decades and decades to come.”

So it looks like it's coming to fruition.
Fuckin Bill Gates…
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Fuckin Bill Gates…
Indeed, but despite his involvement, this seems like the start to a good thing. Get rid of all them damn windmills in the oceans that are fing up the fisheries..
 

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Caught one High Flow release, 2008? Was awesome for the ride and to see some new/old beaches. But gone very soon after. My impression is that the issue of beach erosion is due to the tidal nature of releases. If the daily fluctuations were replaced by seasonal fluctuations, a high flow release would have a much bigger impact.
I was down for the first HFE in the 90's. It was amazing and movement of the sand, the buildup of the beaches and creation of backwater habitat (originally the main purpose for the event) was immediate. Within a season or two all was back to the way it was because of the daily tidal flows.
 

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It would be interesting to experiment, rather then doing an HFE, to use that water to reduce or eliminate the tides and see if that does as much or more to restore the river. Rather then a big flow event...release water at night to match the daytime flows. I've definitely been at camps where you can watch the beach fall into the water as the water drops.
 

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The water released in a 3 day HFE would ameliorate tides for maybe a couple of weeks... then you're back to daily fluctuations. The bottom line problem is that the dam was built to deliver electricity (& control floods, but we can only hope!) and the "on demand" facility has gained importance/prominence as other (renewable) sources proliferate. WPA is a real interesting creature, pretty much not accountable to anyone although the power delivery companies (Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, the utility in Nevada and the BIG player: southern California) definitely control/influence.

Hydropower's utility (pun intended) will always be its ability to deliver power 24/7. Nuclear has that capability, but (note disclaimer) I remain unconvinced it is economically feasible. The "sodium" reactor touted in postings above is not new, has been known and researched for at least twenty years. Fundamental problems remain cooling (water) and reactor safety (Fukashima).

Tidal fluctuations were a lot more extreme back when WPA and BuRec were figuring out how to operate the dam(n) to meet fluctuating demand. The grid it serves is WAY antiquated, complicated, and compromised. Until the late 80's or early 90's, that didn't much matter. GCD could always release enought water to spin the turbines and satisfy demand. Eventually population - and air conditioning - became significant. The science was always pretty sound after the mid-80's. But the population growth everywhere in the lower basin exploded.

TBC... if anyone interested.
 

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The water released in a 3 day HFE would ameliorate tides for maybe a couple of weeks... then you're back to daily fluctuations. The bottom line problem is that the dam was built to deliver electricity (& control floods, but we can only hope!) and the "on demand" facility has gained importance/prominence as other (renewable) sources proliferate. WPA is a real interesting creature, pretty much not accountable to anyone although the power delivery companies (Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service, the utility in Nevada and the BIG player: southern California) definitely control/influence.

Hydropower's utility (pun intended) will always be its ability to deliver power 24/7. Nuclear has that capability, but (note disclaimer) I remain unconvinced it is economically feasible. The "sodium" reactor touted in postings above is not new, has been known and researched for at least twenty years. Fundamental problems remain cooling (water) and reactor safety (Fukashima).

Tidal fluctuations were a lot more extreme back when WPA and BuRec were figuring out how to operate the dam(n) to meet fluctuating demand. The grid it serves is WAY antiquated, complicated, and compromised. Until the late 80's or early 90's, that didn't much matter. GCD could always release enought water to spin the turbines and satisfy demand. Eventually population - and air conditioning - became significant. The science was always pretty sound after the mid-80's. But the population growth everywhere in the lower basin exploded.

TBC... if anyone interested.

Yeah...I know...that did occur to me as I was writing it. I just think it would be something to try. Might mean having to have lower overall water levels but keep them level. The river runner in me doesn't like it since I got to experience a flat 8k cfs for a week of my last GC trip and it tamed most of the rapids but it might be more ecologically sound. A few of us on the trip speculated whether that flat release was a test to see how it effected the river and that it might become the new normal.

The SMR's that I am most intrigued by are still standard fission reactors with fuel rods and all that...but they claim to be self regulating and would lack sufficient reactive material to have a runaway situation happen like the Fukushima plant. Even the one in that article is bigger then what I personally would advocate for. I'm hardly an expert and just watch Youtube videos and ready general interest articles about that stuff...but it seems like the way forward. I think a combination of small distributed power sources(wind, solar, geothermal and small nuclear facilities) feeding their local community rather then "shipping" electricity all over the place seems more future proof to me.

I'm not gonna say how or where I saw it...but I got to witness some power company executives speak about the future of their company and what they are looking for. They definitely DID NOT support a more distributed approach even though they said with the advent of more and more things becoming electrified over using fossil fuels. They estimated that the grid capacity will likely need to be 10 times the size it is now to support things like electric steel mills (still in development) and other industry, more and more electric powered cars, and lots of other things that are moving to electric power. Crazily enough...they seemed to support Fusion power over the, at least to me, more realistic small form factor fission reactors. I've always heard that "fusion is always 30 years away" but in that room people were saying quoting it as "always 5 or 10 years away". I know there have been some pretty serious developments in magnet tech (one of the keys to fusion) that will purportedly help make a net power gain with the fusion process...but it is still a long long way from being a viable real world power source.
 

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I have often wondered why large scale solar electricity out in the southwest can't be used to set up massive electrolysis plants.

The resultant hydrogen and oxygen byproducts can be stored (a limiting factor for solar and wind) then combusted/recombined as needed to generate electricity at night and on cloudy days. This would produce water on combustion that could be re-electrolyzed in a nice tidy loop.

The hydrogen thus produced also could be piped or shipped to other locations for power generation, fuel cell usage, and even automotive power -- just the way petroleum products are now.

Yes, there would be massive front end costs, but it's a known, safe technology. And when we contemplate the cost of many, many nuclear plants, the expense of such a system might not be all that bad to consider.

Rich Phillips
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I have often wondered why large scale solar electricity out in the southwest can't be used to set up massive electrolysis plants.

The resultant hydrogen and oxygen byproducts can be stored (a limiting factor for solar and wind) then combusted/recombined as needed to generate electricity at night and on cloudy days. This would produce water on combustion that could be re-electrolyzed in a nice tidy loop.

The hydrogen thus produced also could be piped or shipped to other locations for power generation, fuel cell usage, and even automotive power -- just the way petroleum products are now.

Yes, there would be massive front end costs, but it's a known, safe technology. And when we contemplate the cost of many, many nuclear plants, the expense of such a system might not be all that bad to consider.

Rich Phillips
That's the underlying problem with a lot of today's emerging technology, and efforts to "save" the planet thru "green" stuff. It's expensive. massively so upfront, and so far, doesn't last all that long, like solar and wind. Gives us a nice "feel good" thing deep inside, but does little if nothing to either combat the problem, or create something that's sustainable

Huge upfront costs being spent on "temporary" solutions to the problem, that sorta work. As azpowell points out, their (wind / solar) output is of little consequence to the grid in the big scheme of things, as it's an intermittent output. Perhaps your solution might be something to consider, but likely too costly to ramp up. Nuclear is indeed an answer, and there are others, but most of them, Nuclear included take a massive investment initially, and would decomission the very things that bring the owners revenue, and of course, NIMBYisim plays a huge part as well. Just like the politicians that flew their individual private jets, sucking down huge amounts of fuel, and spewing forth massive contributions of hydrocarbons etc into the atmosphere in order to emphatically state that "The world has GOT to go "green"", they don't want any of this "dangerous" technology in their little corner of the world.

The fact that the private sector is building them despite the big corporations, knowing about it, and having the means to build them, and doing so is even more threatening. Then as b4otter states, the nations electrical distribution system is already overtaxed in terms of ability to handle the demand, inadequate for the users it serves, and in poor repair, well Houston, we have a problem. The solution so far has been to band aid it and hope it lasts, Ala Texas.

Backtracking a bit, the NIMBY thing is very real. Not to mention America is literally running out of space, and with all the immigration, some legal, most of it illegal, we have to have some place to put these people, along with the upwardly mobile who no longer want to live in the shithole cities and pursue the "American Dream" of 40 acres and a mule. These days, it's 40 acres, a chain link fence topped with razor wire and a McMansion.. I suppose that's one contributing reason we're in the situation we're in to some respect.

Folks building in the desert, expecting water and other nicety's in life that one wouldn't expect to actually be in the desert to be readily available. Now it's looking more and more like these resources, which were once viewed as infinite, hence the swimming pools, ornate landscaping, and water intensive golfin pastures we see today. So, what happens when it's realized as indeed finite? Well, we strip the water from those that grow our food of course. Makes perfect sense, to the McMansion and Golfin pasture owners.

WAPA manages their resource damaging infrastructure for nothing other than profit, unwilling to change from the methodology that's served them for many years, simply cause they don't want to mess with the revenue stream that supports their existence, and are unwilling to do anything else to change these problems as again, it'll interfere with their revenue stream.

Vicious cycle. Not likely to end in my lifetime. One can hope, but so far no real viable solutions. It's easy to identify problems, but it would seem much more difficult to engineer solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
It would be interesting to experiment, rather then doing an HFE, to use that water to reduce or eliminate the tides and see if that does as much or more to restore the river. Rather then a big flow event...release water at night to match the daytime flows. I've definitely been at camps where you can watch the beach fall into the water as the water drops.
Yep, obviously a steady flow, ramping up and down slowly would cause much less erosion. Problem is, WAPA is unlikely to stop the practice, as it's too convienient for them to achieve load balancing. Let's see what happens when the reservoir reaches dead pool, and they have no choice but to let what little water they have flow thru, else finish the job they started of wiping out an entire ecosystem in Grand Canyon in order to fill the damn dam. The load following aspect of a hydro (read cash register) dam would be moot then. I've thought that a prudent entity would already be looking at ways to mitigate this situation, and look to the future, but alas, that's not one of the qualities an entity such as BuWreck or WAPA has.. Totally reactive, no thought to being proactive will ever cross their collective minds IMHO
 

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Yeah, MNichols, but you are an engineer. Why not submit a grant proposal to Bill Gates' or some other foundation for a relatively self contained residential solar powered hydrogen generation/storage/combustion package, for off peak generation of electricity at the local level?

You get enough sun there in the Arkansas valley for something like that to save you big bucks on pellets or propane. And if refined into a tidy enough package for folks with enough square footage for panels, it could offload millions of homes from the grid.

In your dreams, you could patent it and become the next Elon Musk, old boy...

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Yeah, MNichols, but you are an engineer. Why not submit a grant proposal to Bill Gates' or some other foundation for a relatively self contained residential solar powered hydrogen generation/storage/combustion package, for off peak generation of electricity at the local level?

You get enough sun there in the Arkansas valley for something like that to save you big bucks on pellets or propane. And if refined into a tidy enough package for folks with enough square footage for panels, it could offload millions of homes from the grid.

In your dreams, you could patent it and become the next Elon Musk, old boy...

Rich
Damn... Ya thinks ? LOLOLOL

Gonna take smarter minds than mine to fix this mess we've gotten ourselves into.
 

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I've seen mutliple news reports in the last week talking about drought....probably spurred by the distinct lack of precipitation lately... here's one...


long form with interviews...

Seems inevitable that the less knowledgeable, after seeiing reports like this, would kinda freak out if a HFE would go forward this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Yep, well now possibly, but the HFE doesn't alter the total amount of water released from Powell Reservoir, Liberal news sources that have now picked up on it like CNN / PBS etc, would likely champion it now days, and select the tidbits of information, commonly known as cherry picking facts, simply to rile folks up, that's true. Had it happened when it was supposed to, nobody would likely have picked up on it, and BOR wouldn't advertise it was happening, as it would be business as usual.

Precip and snowpack reports are indeed dismal.. Seems they are worse than a month ago for anything south of the upper north USA as far as precip..
Ecoregion Map World Organism Slope

Map World Font Slope Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Just so we all know: only "...Liberal news sources..." cherry-pick their facts...
Yep, it's the formula to fake news..

EDIT.. The conservative and business websites don't need to do that nearly as much, specifically as to what's happening in the USA, as you simply can't make this shit up.
The other sources are trying to candy coat and cover up what's happening, so it "Doesn't seem that bad".. Newsflash, it IS that bad..

Product Organism Gesture Font Sharing

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming LOL
 

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Yep, it's the formula to fake news..

EDIT.. The conservative and business websites don't need to do that nearly as much, specifically as to what's happening in the USA, as you simply can't make this shit up.
The other sources are trying to candy coat and cover up what's happening, so it "Doesn't seem that bad".. Newsflash, it IS that bad..


Now back to the regularly scheduled programming LOL
JFC can we not turn every. single. thread. into a liberal vs. conservative argument? It's getting pretty obnoxious. I get it MNichols, you hate Biden, prefer using fossil fuels, deny climate change, and everything you don't agree with is the socialist agenda. You don't need to advertise your lack of nuance every time the words 'climate change' are uttered. And whether liberal news 'lies' or cherry-picks information, I'll just counter with Fox "News".
 
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