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It must be Atomic !


Bill Gates Debuts Mini-Reactor + Energy Storage To Balance Renewables

After long weeks of absence, I take up the pen again.  The vacations of this summer 2020 were an opportunity to discuss and meet brilliant people with whom I had the chance to exchange on what tomorrow could be like.  I have to write "could" because here, there are no exact sciences anymore, but relatively strong hypotheses. Remember the book  "The limit to growth" in 1972. The book was based on The World3 model, a system dynamics model for computer simulation of interactions between population, industrial growth, food production, and limits in the earth's ecosystems.

These hypotheses tell us that the energy mix road will be 35% renewable energy and 65% nuclear energy.

However, in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany), we turn away from nuclear power due to a lack of political courage or even the capacity to simply decide.  And yet we have developed all the technology.  What has become of it?

The only EPR reactors (European Pressurized Water Reactor) operating are ... in China. Taishan 1 and Taishan 2( 2 x 1750 megawatts) .  And within 15 years, Beijing will have built a hundred more.

The USA has also grasped the importance of nuclear power. They are testing the production of green hydrogen using nuclear power.  In a previous article (about Bill Gates), I wrote that his TerraPower project was dead, but now there are clear signs that this project is back on track. Great for the USA and great for the world. Hallelujah.  On August 27th (3 weeks ago!!!), TerraPower revealed a new prototype of a small sodium-cooled fast reactor. The reactor can continuously produce 345 megawatts of electrical energy. An attached storage system retains the heat in the form of molten salt that can discharge the calories when needed. This brings the total power of the reactor plant to 500 megawatts for more than 5.5 hours. In comparison, an average French nuclear reactor produces 1300 megawatts.

And meanwhile, Europe does nothing, tetanized by self-righteous people who prefer to go back to coal, hoping that things will get better with a little more CO2.  Ahhh, those cognitive biases that lead us towards the wrong decision...


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