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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 01:59 PM
Original message
South Africa pulls plug on modular nuclear reactor project
Source: Monsters and Critics/DPA

South Africa has pulled the plug on a decade-old project to build modular gas-cooled nuclear reactors that used up 9.2 billion rand (1.2 billion dollars) in investment but never produced a working model, local media reported Friday.

Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said she was winding up the pebble bed modular reactor (PMBR) programme after South Africa failed to find an anchor customer or investment partner for the technology.

...

But the developers kept missing deadlines to produce a demonstration model.

Hogan told parliament that the project might have required another 30 billion rand in funding to be viable but that government, which had covered 80 per cent of the costs to date, now had other spending priorities.

...

Read more: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/business/news/ar...



Another nuclear boondoggle bites the dust.
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Stumbler Donating Member (599 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. What? Why?!?
From what I've repeatedly heard, nuclear power is the safest, cheapest, and most reliable form of energy ever created by God and Man... Are you trying to tell me I've been misinformed??
:crazy:
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greenman3610 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. because
here in America the nuclear program has been held up my luddite environmentalists, while
it's a roaring success everywhere else in the world....what? oh...wait...
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yeah, France's power runs on PURE AWESOMENESS.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Good for France, but I fear a mistake.
We ought to be pouring money into fusion power research. We know that works; we don't know how to do it just yet. I say we reach for that.

Think of what an advance that would be.

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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. What happens when a fusion reactor goes out of control?
We don't know.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. In at least one design, the reaction simply stops.
And they know that from having more than one of their test devices explode.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Explode is such a friendly word, isn't it?
We thought our current reactor designs were safe, after all...
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. It was an electrical explosion, IIRC.
The thing arced and blew itself apart, but the design they were testing was flawed and prone to just such an event from the beginning. It still got them the data they wanted, though.

Note that there was no appreciable radiation released during the explosion. Also note their experiments continued, and as far as I'm aware the current design is testing as expected.

It's a very interesting device. Create a potential well inside a set of electromagnetic coils arranged as a truncated cube and toss in some boron-11. Ions lost through the cusps between the coils recirculate along the field lines and back into the core. As the core of the device becomes populated with more and yet more ions, the internal 'pressure' squeezes these cusps shut and, eventually, a fusion reaction results.

That's the idea, anyway. It's called a "Polywell" reactor (or "internal electrostatic containment" reactor). The coils cannot touch, though. It's a "crossing-the-streams" level of bad.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. At least they are smart enough to stop it.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. Terrible mistake.
South Africa needs development and independence! These reactors were of good design.
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Socal31 Donating Member (707 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yes, the more the merrier!
No.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 06:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. Not to worry! They have plenty of coal-fired capacity waiting in the wings
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/09/world-ba...

"The World Bank approved a controversial $3.75bn loan to build one of the world's largest coal-fired power plants in South Africa yesterday, defying international protests and sharp criticism from the Obama administration that the project would fuel climate change."

But thank goodness they won't be using nuclear power! Just good ole-fashioned, planet-killing coal, mmmmm.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. The anti-nuke nuts loves them some coal. nt
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-10 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. No, but the pro-nuke nuts love them some coal.
That's why they keep wasting time on these boondoggles, to slow the growth of renewables and keep burning coal.

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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-19-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Ah, conspiracy!
So coal promoters fund the promotion of nuclear power in the hope that the proposed nuclear plants will be denied, and that they can then swoop in and build their coal plants? Diabolical!

Do they plan this out while holding their pinkies to their mouths and petting their cats, in their secret volcano lairs?
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