Cake
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    • Thank you for that explanation. Here in the United States, we see articles about Germany and France closing nuclear power plants and not opening new ones and it makes me wonder why. I assumed the old plants were no longer economic and new ones were too expensive. I didn’t realize you had the same fears of nuclear we have.

      The HBO show Chernobyl was very popular here and I think it is because the idea of a nuclear meltdown is so frightening.

    • Yes. Here in Germany, nuclear power generation has stagnated since the 1980s, due to public pressure. There has been some back and forth on the eventual date for complete phase-out, but it is now expected to happen by 2022.

      Currently there are only seven reactors still operating, and there have been less than 40 in operation at all. Compare that to the 400-ish that would be Germany's "fair share" of the 40,000 suggested to be built for carbon capture.

    • I see quite a few pro-nuclear articles like this one and they spend some time talking about Germany. Honestly, I don’t know what to think. If these innovative new plants from Russia work, then they seem great, but work means no huge accidents and how can you reliably predict those?

    • It not about predicting huge accidents, it's about designing reactors so they don't have catastrophic failure modes. Like, for example. pebble bed reactors (there are other designs as well). The main insight is the need for the reactors to be passively safe, which means that if the operation is interrupted at any time the reactor just shuts down by itself and remains contained.

      But, for various (political and other) reasons, we have lost precious decades we could have used to perfect those types of reactors, and here we are, at the time when they would really help in decarbonising our economies.

    • You and @Factotum might really like part 3 of the Netflix series, Inside Bill’s Brain, because it’s all about TerraPower, the company Gates has been funding for a long time. It sounds like they have framed the nuclear problem exactly right and they were ready to build a pilot in China until the U.S. stopped it because trade disputes. Bill has done a lot to cultivate a relationship with President Xi and his wife, China in general, and they seem very motivated.

      I’m in the camp of we need to give TerraPower a shot.