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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] "Pebble bed project met with outrage"
I disagree with your assessment of the PBMR. It will succeed in markets where no US or French designed 1000 MWe reactor can even dare to tread. There are more markets for nuclear plants that some people imagine and many of them are well suited for plants generating 165 MWe per module versus 1000 MWe.
(As an aside, AAE sees markets in the 5-50 MWe range that seem very interesting to us.)
Here is a copy of a letter I just wrote to the Cape Times:
From: Rod Adams <email@example.com>
Date: August 18, 2005 7:32:54 PM EDT
Subject: I would be eager to invest in PBMR Co LTD
I have been following the progress of the PBMR project for nearly a dozen years. In the past few days I have noticed several pieces in online editions of South African media - including yours - that have contained negative views on the project. I thought your readers might be interested in an outsider's perspective.
As a former nuclear submarine engineer officer, I have a pretty fair technical understanding of the technical advances represented by the PBMR. It is an innovative design, but one that carefully employs a number of lessons learned from the first generation of nuclear power reactors. The project's foreign partners are some of the most experienced power plant and machinery designers in the world and your own engineers understand how to apply good design principles.
Not everyone in the energy industry agrees with the project - it represents a formidable competitor to old ways of producing energy and may cause a number of established people to lose markets and power.
All manufactured products have a cost curve that starts with the first units being extremely expensive if no follow on units are produced. It takes a significant investment in engineering time, manufacturing equipment production, facilities, licensing, and initial learning in order to complete initial production. Many of those costs do not have to be repeated for follow on units, and each one gets cheaper as processes are smoothed out.
Stay the course. If PBMR Co LTD was selling stock, I would be a regular purchaser.
In a message dated 8/18/05 7:47:15 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Muckerheide, James wrote:
> Johannesburg - Earthlife Africa has expressed shock and outrage at the
I've had some interactions with Earthlife Africa, until they stopped
talking to me. They are totally militant, very badly informed,
extremely emotional, and energetic. They feel they are the victims of
a capitalist and imperialist plot. Anything that they submit will be
extreme, biased, and wrong. They are hopeless.
At the same time, the PBMR reactor seems like a gamble for South
Africa. The direction of the nuclear industry will be determined by
what the USA decides to do. I don't think that includes the PBMR.
And the rest of the world will follow along since that will be the
cheapest course to follow.
An interesting twist in all this is the fact that the US does not have
the heavy equipment nor the nuclear science capability to build its
new reactors. This is similar to the decline that has lost them their
ability to explore space. So they may end up contracting the work to
Russia or Europe or India. The General Atomics gamble may pay off in
All this as we watch the Arctic melt and huge volumes of methane drift
out of the softening muskeg.
We should be picking the cities that we want to save and building
nuclear powered cooling plants and heat shields around them. We can't
save all of them.
Randal Leavitt gnupg public key: bbbad04d
Registered User 267646 at http://counter.li.org/
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