Skip to comments.Nuclear Energy Must Replace Natural Gas in Power Plants
Posted on 08/03/2008 10:54:53 AM PDT by kellynla
FLINT, Mich. -- If ever there were a question about the need for nuclear power, it has certainly been dispelled now with the rising cost of fossil fuels. The high price of oil, natural gas and coal should be a wake-up call to all regions of the country that the era of boundless use of cheap fossil fuels is over -- and that nuclear power will need to play a larger role in supplying electricity to homes, business and industry.
Although natural gas is now the fuel of choice in electricity generation, its price has quadrupled in recent years and supplies are extremely tight. Not too long ago, the expectation of rising imports of liquefied natural gas led many to conclude that more abundant gas supplies and greater use of alternative fuels would end the long run of soaring gas costs.
But the pause in increased gas costs proved temporary.
Natural gas prices are once again rising rapidly -- 93% since last August. Major industries that require large amounts of gas for space heating and as a feedstock in making consumer products are once again in crisis.
So now is the time to point out that one-quarter of the gas supply is wasted on electricity generation. Since 1990, virtually all of the new electric-power capacity in the country has used natural gas, and that has driven up the price of natural gas.
Natural gas is a finite and dwindling commodity. North American production has been at a plateau in recent years. Canada has told the United States not to expect additional shipments of natural gas, because it now requires a larger share of its gas reserves to meet its own domestic needs.
(Excerpt) Read more at fresnobee.com ...
“North American production has been at a plateau in recent years?”
Not according to the EIA,
Is U.S. natural gas production increasing?
“Natural gas production in the Lower 48 States has seen a large upward shift. After 9 years of no net growth through 2006, an upward trend began that generated 3% growth between first-quarter 2006 and first-quarter 2007, followed by an exceptionally large 9% increase between first-quarter 2007 and first-quarter 2008.”
Will Natural Gas Production Continue To Increase in the Lower 48 States?
“Most likely, production will continue to increase for the next few years if demand and prices stay high, though possibly not at the same rate as in 2007. There will be some ups and downs in monthly production. Fluctuations in monthly production are often known to come from hurricanes, winter storms, or new projects. The new Independence Hub project was offline all of May for some repairs which should cause a noticeable dip in production.
Total U.S. proved natural gas reserves resources that have been identified and tested and either have been or will be developed have increased for the last eight years, and in 10 of the last 11 years. Recent drilling trends indicate continued growth, with a stronger concentration on unconventional resources like shales. Shale formations in the lower 48 States are widely distributed, large, and contain huge resources of natural gas. They are just starting their full development. Already, the production from just one Barnett Shale field in Texas contributes more than 6% of production from the lower 48 States, which is more than from the large producing State of Louisiana.”
Nuculer is THE answer to our problems. Not only would it give us nearly unlimited power for our electric grid with ZERO emissions, it can also be used to free hydrogen from water to power our cars.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m all for nukes; it’s just that I thought the author, Perry was inaccurate about natural gas.
This LNG platform would have been 11 miles from any shoreline (about equidistant between CT and NY). 11 miles means it is barely visible from the shore.
Exactly. Not even mentioned was the recent approval of the new pipeline project for Alaskan natgas to Canada. The bill supporting this is on Gov. Palin’s desk right now.
Or we could go back to using coal.
I propose that anyone opposing the use of coal (or nuclear) to generate electricity be required to generate their own power.
The Alaska gas pipeline is a go from the AK legislature!
That is first piece of good energy news in years. From the North Slope to Fairbanks to Canada and into the existing gas grid.
Now we need to get busy and replace the gas fired EPG with nuclear. It should be national policy with streamlined licensing. Then the freed up gas could be used for vehicles,since we already have a gas grid to supply compressor stations almost everywhere.
Federal Judge Stops Drilling on 3.5 Acres in Michigan to Protect a Bird.
Nuke power may have a prayer when the price of gas-o-leen gets north of $12/gal. It will take incensed, possibly even armed citizens to overcome the hoards of nimby/greenies and their lawyers who will fight nukes tooth and nail.
Last I heard, we have enough coal reserve for 300-400 years...
Back then didn’t they had a lot anti nuke movies like the China Syndrome??
HAHAHA! These governors will no doubt also offer to store the waste in the basements of their state mansions. What a joke. They know nuke power is a nonstarter.
“They know nuke power is a nonstarter?”
says who? you?
FYI: Nuclear plants, offshore drilling gain support
“For the first time since the 1970s, half of Californians support building more nuclear plants in the state”
I'm all in favor of building all the nuke plants we can (including breeder reactors and spent fuel reprocessing), but nuclear is only part of the answer. The critical need NOW is for transportation fuel--not electricity. And neither electricity nor hydrogen is practical for that.
See my post #13. I am in favor of nukes too but do you really believe there’s a chance for nuke power before public outcry overcomes the current obstacles?
“but do you really believe theres a chance for nuke power before public outcry overcomes the current obstacles?”
Yes, I do. And so are more and more of my fellow Californians.
I am certainly more optimistic than your “nuke power is a nonstarter”
Hearings are starting this week to begin construction next year for another nuclear reactor in MD.
“Two weeks after winning state approval to build two nuclear reactors north of Crystal River in Levy County, Progress Energy Florida took its proposal to federal regulators on Friday and asked for their OK.
Progress Energy, Central Florida’s largest power provider, joins a growing number of utilities to ask for approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate a new nuclear facility, placing it at the center of a “nuclear renaissance” in the United States.”
“So far, the commission has received applications to build 17 nuclear reactors in nine states. Applications for 14 more reactors are expected by year’s end, the commission said.”
Hey, God bless ‘em. But it's gonna take a lot of time and money. And it doesn't solve the gowning price at the pump problem.
“And it doesn’t solve the gowning price at the pump problem.”
different problem, different solution...
but getting back to your original claim “non starter”...
I believe I proved your opinion inaccurate
I think we should be building nukes and coal burners in equal increments.
Never put your eggs in one basket is what I say. If we had all nukes, the anti-nuke people would have too much power to entirely disrupt the economy with one issue. And vice-versa for all coal plants.
>>”but getting back to your original claim non starter...
I believe I proved your opinion inaccurate”<<
Time will tell.
“time will tell?”
Well, I guess, like Obama, you have a problem admitting you made a mistake...I certainly documented that the CA public opinion is moving towards nukes and nuclear reactor applications are coming into the NRC by the dozens and MD is in the process of building a nuke NEXT YEAR!
The “time” is now and your nukes are a “nonstarter” claim is just plain wrong.
I want to hear you say you made a mistake when you said “nukes are a nonstarter” then I’ll consider your wager.
The Mallik hydrate production test was a total success the Japanese are moving forward with offshore hydrate production on a commercial level as well. Current production cost put onland hydrates are 4-7$/mmbtu natural gas is already over that level. High energy cost drive innovation to access non-conventional sources.
"Work at the Mallik site in the Canadian Arctic over the past seven years has definitively established that production of methane from hydrates can occur using existing well-based technologies. Furthermore, based on the results of the scientific production response tests conducted at Mallik in 2002, it is now believed that depressurization can result in significant and economically viable volumes and rates of methane production. Research reported at a major petroleum geology conference in September 2004 indicates that, by leveraging existing infrastructure, production can be economical at gas prices on the order of $4 to $6 per thousand cubic feet."
$9.32 mmbtu as of today.
I have to admit I'm partial to these processes being a Geologist it opens tremendous Career opportunities but I'm a post child for ProNuclear power too. Coal, Nuclear, Oil Shale and Gulf of Mexico Hydrates are the key to our energy futures.
A wise notion. Where I grew up back in Lousiana, the local REA and the local "public utility" joined forces to build a nuclear power plant (this was back in the early 1970's). The REA had already built a natural gas combined cycle power plant, and later--RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the natural gas plant, they built a coal-fire plant (both plants are right across the levee from the Mississippi River, so coal can be shipped to it in the cheapest way.
THAT area is, IMHO, well insulated from pretty much any threat to the availability of electricity.
“I’ll gladly admit I’m wrong when I see a new nuke plant up and running?”
First, it was “nukes are a non-starter” then when I documented that in fact nukes are a “starter” in not only CA where public opinion is moving towards favoring nukes; but throughout America (over 30 new reactor applications are being submitted at the NRC); you move the “goal line” to “I’ll admit I’m wrong when I see a new nuke plant up and running.”
“And don’t associate me with Obama, that’s a cheap shot.”
If the truth hurts, that’s your problem.
Both of you have a problem being a “man” and admitting when you have made a mistake.
Now do me a favor, quit bothering me with your blathering...
If I wanted to raise kids, I’d have my own.
We DO import LNG.
but the envirowackos don't want us to
They continue to protest anything most of us would consider progress.
I would prefer to see more local drilling rather than LNG import terminals, but we do need to keep adding to our energy sources.
In other words, nuclear power has been a NONSTARTER for the past 12 years, plus the 23 years to get it started. Furthermore the number of generating units has declined from 109 in 1994 to 104 in 1994. So, not only is nuke power a NONSTARTER, it is IN DECLINE. Same source as above.
If you want some real grim info, go to the following anti nuke source for more gory details on the 32 units that have been shut down over the past 40 odd years and the eight units that have been stopped during construction. Source: http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist1.htm#PR
In conclusion, public opinions and reactor applications do not generate one new kw of electricity. Start your 23 year countdown after those applications are approved, if ever. Go here for a definition of NONSTARTER: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonstarter
California is the absolute worst
New power plants are more or less mandated to be natural gas
Nukes, coal, more hydro are banned. Oil is banned. So only thing these kooks will allow is natural gas
It is a crime to squander this valuable resource to make electricity when we have other means
Are you aware that natural gas is a major chemical feedstock?
Used to make fertilizer and other products
Natural gas is a great fuel for fleets such as UPS and municipal and county busses and vehicles
Then, the environmentalist obstruction begins in earnest.
Correction: 104 in 2004