We love massive tasks right here at Hackaday, and one of many greatest underway is the decarbonization of the electrical grid. The US Division of Vitality (DOE) just lately published a report (PDF) on how putting nuclear reactors on coal plant websites within the US may assist us get nearer to the zero carbon grid of our desires.
After evaluating each working and just lately retired coal-fired vegetation within the US, the researchers decided that round 80% of medium and enormous coal vegetation could be good candidates for coal to nuclear (C2N). As much as 263 GWe might be put in at over 315 totally different websites across the nation which might be greater than the 145 GWe anticipated to go offline because the remaining coal vegetation within the nation shut down. Siting nuclear reactors at these current websites may cut back set up prices 15-35% whereas additionally offering jobs for employees within the space who would possibly in any other case be displaced when the coal vegetation shut down. Native greenhouse gasoline emissions (GHG) may drop as much as 86% together with a big drop in different air pollution which might be one other win for the fenceline communities residing and dealing round these coal vegetation.
Nuclear energy is actually not with out its drawbacks, however new reactor designs like TerraPower’s Natrium promise decrease prices than present gentle water reactor designs whereas additionally having the ability to reuse the spent gasoline from our present nuclear fleet. TerraPower is growing the primary C2N undertaking within the US on the Naughton Energy Plant in Kemmerer, Wyoming.