Texas heat dome is too much for three nuclear power plants

If we just wrote 2000 unabridged encyclopedias on how to make nuclear energy cost efficient…oh you mean words wont change anything?

I know a lot of guys including at least one nuclear engineer who still believe in nuclear energy.

The bean counters might have it right. Imagine one of the best trained engineers Ph.D etc is not equal to a few MBAs when it comes to nuclear energy.

This is simple but it is worth saying. Perhaps someone here will actually face it.

Here goes, “nuclear energy costs too much”.

Please go back and read this ^^^ There you go!

Do not cry about it. We have heard alternative energy costs to much for decades. That is no longer true. Alternative energy no longer costs too much. Nuclear energy will always cost too much.

adding nuclear energy in parts of Canada might be cost efficient. The long hard cold winters demand a lot of energy to heat each home.

Fossil fuels cost too much. Fossil fuels in reality cost more than nuclear energy. Do not go by the pump price. That is the little up front cost. Go by how soon your children on average die or your grandchildren etc…etc…This of the diseases they have because of our society. Think of how supporting XOM makes their life more miserable.

You have no idea about the massive efforts that nuclear power plants require before construction start. The 5 years for China does not include all the work for site preparation, with large construction equipment for excavation, grading and building construction facilities, roads, utilities, concrete batch plant, rebar purchase and placement, and building non-nuclear portions of the nuclear power plant. In parallel long lead nuclear components and non-nuclear components need to be procured and manufactured. The start of construction is defined as the date when the first nuclear island concrete is poured on the rebar in the nuclear island excavation.

This same start date definition is used all over the world to measure construction times for nuclear power plants.

The pre-construction start phase can last any where from 1 to 2 years.

To say that US can build a nuclear power plants in 3 years is totally absurd.

(Retired Bechtel Manager of Engineering on several US nuclear power plants)


From 2021:

From last week:

Denmark approved the plan to build the world’s first energy island in early February 2021, which it said could produce and store enough green energy to cover the electricity needs of three million European households. The ministry of energy and the Danish energy authority have since developed the initial concept and now estimate that the government’s cost for the project would amount to more than 50 billion Danish crowns ($7.35 billion).



So they are trying to solve the problem. That is great to hear Syke, I expect many other ways to solve the problems in years to come. I know they have been talking smaller nuclear reactors but they will need to have something to shore up all the electrical power they will need in the years to come.


I hear they said the same thing about going to space. They said the same thing about building Hoover Dam. Good thing they didn’t have you leading the charge :wink:.

Once they have a blueprint for all plants and they implement that blue print for all sites most of the work will be done for planning. If they could build Hoover dam in 5 years in 1935, a nuclear site should be easy to do in 3 years in 2023. We just need to fire all the nay sayers and lazy workers.

How long did it take to build the dam, powerplant, and appurtenant works?

Five years. The contractors were allowed seven years from April 20, 1931, but concrete placement in the dam was completed May 29, 1935, and all features were completed by March 1, 1936.




LOL! Offshore wind is a special high cost renewable energy. It can not be lumped in with onshore wind and solar which are much less costly and easier to build.


Sophomoric comparison. Hoover dam is mostly civil works with no rebar and very little mechanical and electrical equipment. 4,360,000 cubic yards of concrete

A nuclear power plant is a complex machine with huge reactor vessel, steam generators, pressurizer, reactor coolant piping and pumps. The steam is sent to the huge turbine-generator machine, after leaving the turbine generator the steam is condensed in huge heat exchanger and then water is pumped back into the steam generators.

To support this complex machine requires huge containment building, a auxiliary building with safety systems, a turbine generator building, a diesel generator building for backup power, a spent fuel building and a complex control building.

To support this complex machine requires 500,000 linear feet of high grade piping, millions of linear feet of electrical/control wire and cable, 30 thousand of tons of rebar, thousands of tons of structural steel, and 300,000 cubic yards of concrete. Also tens of thousands of high grade instruments, valves, pumps, heat exchangers, pressure vessels, ion exchangers, and HVAC equipment.

You comparison is equivalent to comparing horse & wagon to Tesla.


Let’s just ignore the fact that it’s one of the country’s largest hydro electric power plants, shall we?

Two wings. Each 650 feet long, 300 feet high. 10 acres of floor space. 17 turbines. Nameplate capacity just over 2 gigawatts.

And it’s not like a dam is just a big plug in the river. There are penstocks and gates to control the water flow through the power plant. More massive gates to control the flow of water around the power plant for flood control and downstream river maintenance. Monitoring systems.

I’m not saying a nuclear power plant isn’t complicated. It most certainly is. But let’s not forget that dams are not simple projects, either.




Right and that is why you wouldn’t be hired, I am starting to think you were a low level engineer trying to pad your Resume. You really have no clue of what you are talking about. Hoover Dam was one of the marvels of engineering of it’s time. In fact it is rated as one of the 7 modern civil engineering wonders. It has 17 main turbines and has 4 billion Kilo watt hours of power that gives power to 1.3 million people in 3 states. This all being done almost 100 years ago.



These microreactor technologies are moving forward, and have the potential to disrupt the bureaucratic processes currently bogging down nuclear power projects.

If nuke can be deployed on subs and aircraft carriers, it should be doable in shipping container sized reactors for local deployment?



That is amazing Ralph, technology just keeps moving forward. That seems very simple.


I am not ignoring the power generation portion of Hoover Dam which does have simple to construct water systems flowing through turbines that power electrical generators . Nothing complicated except for the size of the equipment. I have been inside the Hoover Dam and it is impressive mainly due to its size.

Here is a diagram of the power generation portion of a dam:

Now turning to nuclear power plants like Palo Verde we see that it generates almost twice as much electricity as Hoover Dam.


Comparing the complexity of dam to a nuclear power plant is obvious from these diagrams. But these diagrams do not show the supporting safety and non-safety systems and structures associated with a nuclear power plant.

The Palo Verde containment building consists of a base slab, a circular wall, a ring beam and a dome. It has the shape of a cylinder measuring 120 feet interior diameter, topped by a spherical dome. The total height is 175 feet measured from the basement floor to the top of the dome. The reinforced walls and dome are 4 feet thick.

The Palo Verde facility, at 6.5 square miles, is massive and, among other features, includes a warehouse that once was the largest in the state.

There are nine precast concrete cooling towers of similar construction at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. The towers are configured into three groups of three cooling towers each, with each group corresponding to Unit Nos. 1, 2, and 3, respectively. These towers are Marley Class 700 round cross-flow, mechanical-draft, with the foundation and basin constructed by Bechtel. Each tower is approximately 303 feet in diameter and 46 feet in height.

Some nuclear power plants use natural draft towers for cooling are typically about 400 feet high, depending on the differential pressure between the cold outside air and the hot humid air on the inside of the tower as the driving force. No fans are used.

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Nukes on submarines have failed in the past and sunk to bottom of the sea.

The other people on Motley Fool who have known me for years are laughing at your ignorance about nuclear and my expertise.

I do know what I am talking about as a registered professional nuclear and mechanical engineer with over 35 years of nuclear engineering at Westinghouse and Bechtel.

But I know its hard for a lumberjack to understand engineering and construction of large power generation projects.

Hoover Dam was rated as a marvel 70 years ago. It is no longer a marvel. China’s Three Gorges Dam and many other dams have surpassed Hoover Dam.

Twice as much power for what - maybe 10 times the complexity? 20 or 30 or 100 times the cost? And after 30 or 50 years, the nuke plant is done and needs another pile of money and decade or two to decommission.

40 or 50 years after the dam was constructed, it got a refresh of the generating equipment and its good for another 40 or 50 years. At a higher production rate than before.

Added complexity isn’t always better.


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You must be mistaking me for waterfell who is the pro-nuke guy - I am the pro-renewables guy.

Cost to build another Hoover Dam would be very high, and where to build it?

Hoover Dam may not be good for another 40 to 50 years. The water level keeps dropping every year.

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Aw c’mon Andy you have to give it up for that one.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


A horse’s brain is far more complex than a PC or a car. The horse’s movements are far more complex than four tires.

Other than that you were on the right track about what Andy said.

Not really, it’s only a nuclear power plant. After all they are putting them in a box now and shipping them all over. For someone who is supposed to be a registered professional nuclear engineer, it would seem you would have known that. But maybe you are just an engineer in title only. Where did you get your honorary degree?

Sure, after all it was built in 1935. But to say it is no longer a marvel, well that pretty much says it all about your credentials as an engineer.

Not really Leap because his analogy is completely wrong. Now if he would have said an Ice car to a Tesla, then maybe I would have given him props. :rofl: :rofl:


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You did not even watch a 2:40 video. Did you see the speaker in that video at 2:10? Ralph did you see the video at all? See 2:10

try again