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Nuclear energy is a vital part of solving the climate crisis (archive.is)
419 points by ericdanielski 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 419 comments



I am utterly baffled by these old solar and wind advocates who suddenly NOW are becoming big advocates of nuclear power.

I have gone the complete opposite and for GOOD REASON! I was a big advocate for nuclear power some 10-15 years ago, because we were promised that thorium reactors, pebble reactors and a whole host of other innovations were around the corner. Not to mention wind and solar at the time seemed to not have made any dent in electricity production.

But to suddenly abandon renewables now in 2019 when wind and solar is seeing staggering success and really impressive price drops while every nuclear reactor is profoundly delayed and over budget is simply odd.

We have been talking about nuclear power for decades and invested massively in it, yet got little to show for.

Prices are not dropping. When you bring up the safety issue advocates are quick to point out todays reactors are much safer. When you point out today's reactors are extremely expensive and slow to build, they counter with that is just because of safety.... eh well yeah. You cannot have a cake and eat it too.

Nuclear power is NOT CHEAP! No private company is willing to insure them. Hence governments have to give insurance for free. That means the tax payer. Chernobyl cost tax payers 235 billion dollars to clean up. Fukushima cost tax payers 183 billion dollars to clean up. Nuclear power is getting a free ride because they are not pay for this. That is a massive subsidy to nuclear power.

Solar and wind meanwhile is beating coal on price even without subsidies. Yeah sure... it doesn't always shine or blow wind. But we have a multitude of storage solutions: thermal, pumped hydro, flow batteries, gas-to-power and there are many good solutions for adjusting power usage on demand to fit lower production.

It seems like these nuclear advocates have not even investigated all the storage solutions that exist before going crazy about nuclear power. These solutions will only become more viable as we get a bigger renewable mix, because it will cause the spot price of power to drop really low, making it profitable for companies to buy and store power.


>to suddenly abandon renewables now in 2019 when wind and solar is seeing staggering success and really impressive price drops while every nuclear reactor is profoundly delayed and over budget is simply odd.

No one's suggesting abandoning renewables, far from it. Renewable use will continue to increase. They're simply not enough, because of their nature as a variable power source.

>Nuclear power is NOT CHEAP!

The power itself is cheap. The amount of regulation around 40 year old reactor designs is high, so that's expensive. Implementation of a newer design would be much, much cheaper.

>Chernobyl cost tax payers 235 billion dollars to clean up. Fukushima cost tax payers 183 billion dollars to clean up.

Source? Neither of them are actually "cleaned up", you know. Also, both of these are very old reactor designs. You're complaining that a piece of 1950s technology which qualifies as an antique has problems 65-70 years later.

> But we have a multitude of storage solutions: thermal, pumped hydro, flow batteries, gas-to-power

..none of which are scalable enough to meet the demand. We'd have to have a dedicated energy storage system for each house, school, factory and store in the world. That's not only not possible due to physical space constraints, it's disastrous in terms of carbon load.

Our power systems work from a central source. There is no technology that can replace the multiple fossil fuel plants that run the grid except nuclear, period.

>It seems like these nuclear advocates have not even investigated all the storage solutions that exist before going crazy about nuclear power.

I can't speak for other people, but I have investigated and I continue to research. No storage solution exists that even comes close to meeting the demand for power when renewables aren't generating on the scale needed. The individual ideas are good, but they can't match decades of investment and expertise in generating electricity from giant central sources.

To take advantage of the distributed nature of renewables and corresponding energy storage, we'd have to completely rebuild the worldwide electrical grid AFTER we research and agree on standards for control and maintenance. That will take decades, and we don't have time. It'll happen eventually as renewables continue their growth, and maybe a century in the future we'll use all renewable sources with distributed power storage and a fully distributed, redundant power grid.

But if we want to survive climate change, we need nuclear, or else we need to force every person on earth to accept a lower standard of living that uses far less energy than we do now. The latter just won't happen, our species isn't that advanced.


>> Chernobyl cost tax payers 235 billion dollars to clean up. Fukushima cost tax payers 183 billion dollars to clean up.

> Source? Neither of them are actually "cleaned up", you know. Also, both of these are very old reactor designs. You're complaining that a piece of 1950s technology which qualifies as an antique has problems 65-70 years later.

For Fukushima, the 200 billion figure came from opposition politicians who used the plant failure as part of their election platform. Japan has spent nowhere near that amount of money.

And the irony is that this decision to close nuclear plants likely killed more people than the plant failure itself: https://www.economist.com/asia/2019/11/07/was-shutting-japan...


The power itself is cheap. The amount of regulation around 40 year old reactor designs is high, so that's expensive. Implementation of a newer design would be much, much cheaper.

You have of course to factor in the total cost for the power produced. That is building the reactor, running and maintaining it, disposal of the radioactive waste and dismantling of the radioactive reactor itself.

The costs for reactors currently built are ballooning, some have even been given up half finished. The dismantling is usually not calculated in and can approach the cost of building it in the first place - in most countries the cost of disposing the radioactive waste can't even be calculated as there are few permanent storage solutions and we only assume they are permanent.

And of course, the costs in case of a major incident are completely not covered.


>The costs for reactors currently built are ballooning

Yes. Current reactor designs are a non-starter, especially considering the regulatory mess around them. Years of them being an easy target for new "safety" laws because politicians want to look good have left them too expensive to build. We need a simpler, newer design that works around that by needing less regulation.

Radioactive waste from power generation is simple to handle, especially when newer reactor designs can for the most part re-use fuel. It's the waste from nuclear weapons production that's the issue.


Yes. Current reactor designs are a non-starter, especially considering the regulatory mess around them. Years of them being an easy target for new "safety" laws because politicians want to look good have left them too expensive to build. We need a simpler, newer design that works around that by needing less regulation.

Which "new design" provides safe reactors that are cheaper to build?

Radioactive waste from power generation is simple to handle, especially when newer reactor designs can for the most part re-use fuel. It's the waste from nuclear weapons production that's the issue.

No, it is all nuclear waste that is a problem. There are no reactors which can re-use spent fuel. Fast breeders could theoretical do it, there is no one operational in the west.


>Which "new design" provides safe reactors that are cheaper to build?

A trivial Google search for "molten salt reactor cost" or "new reactor design cost" can find this. Here's an example:

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/05/seaborg-molten-salt-re...

By the way, this reactor can re-use spent fuel.


You do not need dedicated energy storage scattered around. It is far more useful to build large storage systems in one place then connect them to the HV grid like a normal power station. Then the energy can be exported to millions of homes and store energy from across the grid. And you get better economies of scale and lower installation costs.

Distributed storage can make sense when it is colocated with a generator (like a wind farm) as it helps increase utilisation of the expensive grid connection.


> The power itself is cheap.

You state that as if it's a fact.

> The amount of regulation around 40 year old reactor designs is high, so that's expensive. Implementation of a newer design would be much, much cheaper.

That regulation is the price paid for insurance by the government. It's the only control the public have with potentially disastrous plants.

Go to a private insurance company and try to get an insurance for your new plant design, if you succeed I'm sure a government somewhere will be willing to look at the regulation.


>You state that as if it's a fact.

Because it is. If you Google it, you can find plenty of sources that state exactly this. Even anti-nuclear activists generally agree that economically nuclear power is cheap per kilowatt hour simply because of the capacity of nuclear plants multiplied by their longevity. They just argue that the cheap power isn't worth it because of the "other down sides" surrounding nuclear.

>potentially disastrous plants.

False. No electrical generating nuclear plant in the US has had a "disaster" associated with it. The closest was three mile island, and that had no injuries or negative health effects other than psychological.

Only nuclear weapons manufacturing has had a significant environmental impact.

The regulation around nuclear reactors is insane, and much of it doesn't add in any way to their safety. That's what you get when big, scary reactors become an easy target for politicians who want to look like they're doing something for a change.


>Solar and wind meanwhile is beating coal on price even without subsidies. Yeah sure... it doesn't always shine or blow wind. But we have a multitude of storage solutions: thermal, pumped hydro, flow batteries, gas-to-power and there are many good solutions for adjusting power usage on demand to fit lower production.

None of which scale well. I'm kind of baffled by this approach, I would assume that posters here would be hyper sensitive to the ability of technologies to scale and as such would immediately point out the issues here. Solar and Wind prices have dropped substantially, that is true. However just like coal hides and exports it's true costs (carbon emissions and general air population), variable production renewable energy hide their true costs to an energy grid. If renewables are so cheap then why is German and Californian electricity costs so damn high considering their respective investments into them? It's because they're paying more on other parts of their grids to keep everything stable. And those costs only increase as percentage of renewable increases. Choosing a solar plant over a equivalent nuclear because construction costs are 1/5th only to get hit with 10x costs on keeping your grid stable is not a wise decision.

>It seems like these nuclear advocates have not even investigated all the storage solutions that exist before going crazy about nuclear power. These solutions will only become more viable as we get a bigger renewable mix, because it will cause the spot price of power to drop really low, making it profitable for companies to buy and store power.

And had you really investigated all those different storage solution's you'd see that there aren't panaceas. Quite the opposite. And to suggest that they will become more viable as you get a bigger renewable mix is ludicrous. A bigger renewable mix means that your production is becoming much more variable. Which means you need more and more over capacity storage in order to smooth out greater lows and highs. Worse of all the best and highest efficiency storage solutions, Lithium Ion batteries, are consumables and would need regular replacement.


> None of which scale well.

There is a startup that has developed a battery that was designed from the start to scale as much as possible for grid level storage.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/battery-molten-metals-0112 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiRrvxjrJ1U

So far I've seen no reason to think that we won't be able to solve the energy storage challenges over the next 10-20 years.

To be clear, I'm talking about smoothing out the power over hours and maybe days. If it's suddenly windless for a couple of weeks for some reason, there's no battery that will cover that. But we could just keep gas power plants around. They're great for that, and running them a few times a year is not gonna make a big dent in emissions. If they're used that rarely, we might even be able to use renewable gas.

The other challenge is seasonal variations. But Northern Europe has ways to deal with that. Norway has massive amounts of hydro power, and is building new power lines to help nearby countries. Sweden has built a lot of trash burning facilities that also supply heat to nearby areas. I think I read these run mostly in winter. Not sure what the solution for northern North America is.


> If renewables are so cheap then why is German and Californian electricity costs so damn high considering their respective investments into them? It's because they're paying more on other parts of their grids to keep everything stable.

I'm not sure that necessarily follows. It seems just as likely, at least in California's case, that high energy prices are due to our stringent emissions standards. If fossil-based power plants are required to invest more in exhaust scrubbing technology or cleaner-burning fuels or more efficient processes to keep the air clean, that raises prices.


> I am utterly baffled by these old solar and wind advocates who suddenly NOW are becoming big advocates of nuclear power

Possibly relevant that this fellow just took a new job as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Nuclear Association.


Something I haven't seen mentioned in this discussion yet is that you can reduce the variability of renewable energy by distributing production over wide areas and building relatively efficient long-distance high-voltage DC connections to link up different regions.

The wind may not blow all the time in New York, but it's blowing somewhere in North America. You can average down fluctuations in wind power by building wind turbines on the East Coast, in the Midwest, in the West Coast, etc., and linking everything together.

That reduces the need for storage. You can even further reduce the need for storage by working on adjusting demand dynamically, based on the price of energy. Big office buildings can go for an hour without A/C without people noticing much.


Here's an article on wind capacity factor across the US region-by-region [0]. The significant conclusion is that winds nationwide are stronger in winter and weaker in summer. California and the Northwest buck this trend with strongest winds in spring, early summer.

[0] https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=20112


That's interesting. You could imagine distributing wind farms in such a way as to try to minimize variance (while still trying to maximize overall output - there would be a trade-off).

It would be interesting as well to see what the overall variability of wind + solar + hydro generation would be for various distributions of wind + solar plants over North America.


Nuclear energy is often talked about as if it is in opposition to other clean energy sources, as if we need to choose between solar/wind and nuclear. Global warming is an existential threat to human civilization and we need to throw absolutely everything we have at the problem. Wind, nuclear, solar, even hydrogen (and whatever other esoteric energy generation methods you can think of) - these are not mutually exclusive. It doesn't have to be one or the other. It can't be.


Yes, if the world had infinite resources and manpower, attempting all solutions simultaneously would be the preferred method for dealing with climate change.

But dollars and the attention that produces them are finite. In that light, nuclear has to compete on its merits with the alternatives.


Because it largely is. If we have enough nuclear capacity to meet 100% of demand during the evening, then there's no reason not to keep running at 100% for the whole day. This would displace wind and solar power, which is why wind and solar investors are often hostile to nuclear power.


People who oppose investing in nuclear who, in the same breath, claim climate change is the greatest existential threat to humanity, reveal just how seriously they take the climate threat. If we had an inbound asteroid headed to hit us and there were technologies we could deploy to mitigate it that had potentially large negative downsides there would be no hesitation. In this case, hand wringing over the threat of nuclear implies the threat of climate change is not being taken as seriously as one might think.


I sometimes feel like the only people taking climate change as seriously as it deserves are actual climate scientists. Many of them do support nuclear. James Hansen, for example, advocates advanced nuclear in his book Storms of My Grandchildren.


What you're missing is nuclear is too slow to spin up! We simply don't have time. We need to cut emissions 50% in 10 years, and nuclear is not going to get us there. Look to other renewables.


France brought it's share of nuclear power generation from 10% to 80% in 15 years. I'm not sure where this "nuclear is too slow" meme comes from.


If we need to cut emissions worldwide by half in 10 years, there's no solution. Renewables can't expand fast enough.


You're assuming that we only need to replace all our energy sources with renewables but otherwise we can keep running as usual.

As you correctly point out, that's not going to cut it. However, there's an easy solution that has been suggested by various people for at least the past 50 years: Lower consumption, lower energy requirements, halt the desire for infinite growth.


Sure. Sounds easy. Go tell 2+billion Indians and Chinese to lower their consumption. Tell Africa to be happy with their current standard of living.

US/EU energy consumption has been relatively flat despite population growth. The increase in energy consumption is largely in Asia.

Expecting these societies to limit themselves with your "easy solution" shows a lack of realism.


The richest countries are the biggest polluters per capita, no competition. Accusing the "Indians and Chinese" for pollution which is in fact the direct consequence of "Western" consumption is misleading, hypocritical and redirects attention from the real, underlying problems.

See also [1] for a counterpoint to your claims of increasing efficiency.

1: https://www.pnas.org/content/112/20/6271


No argument at all about per capita energy consumption. My point isn't to blame developing countries at all. It's to illustrate that as over 2 billion people try to emulate Western lifestyles, their energy consumption is going to skyrocket. And Western expectations that they should just limit their growth/advancement is the hypocritical view.

When you view Western energy consumption, it's growth is largely correlated to population increases.


Of course they can. It doesn't take more than 2 years to setup a solar/wind farm, meanwhile a nuclear plant takes an average of 7 years to build and deploy.

Solar is especially good at this, because with the right incentives you can have people put it on their roofs - it's the sort of scaling that's impossible to achieve in megaprojects like nuclear power plants.


Rooftop solar isn't viable in a large portion of the world, and solar is much better served in mega deployments. Scale matters.

That said, if you look at the total amount of energy consumed worldwide, the grow rate of this energy consumption, the amount currently generated by renewables, and the growth rate of renewables, it's pretty obvious that there's no realistic way to cut emissions 50% in a decade. Absolutely none short of a global war that devastates both modern society and reduces world population by 25%.


If we had the will, there would be ample time. If you look at humanity's achievements, a full-court-press on this problem though multi-faceted technological investment is well within grasp.

However, that framing is de-emphasized in favor of politicizing the issue, imposing guilt on those who consume resources, and trying to alter the way billions of people live through coercion or decree.

We're screwed until the modern-day luddites yield that all of humanity wants, needs, deserves, and can sustain effectively endless economic growth and prosperity as long as the universe's limitless resources remain uncaptured. To think that at this junction we should consider the boundaries of human activity are now fixed is to just continue the endless tradition of doubters and cynics who have lacked imagination over the centuries, and held back all good things.


The best way, perhaps the only way, to achieve that goal is with bacteria. Highly pathogenic ones.


My dad worked in nuclear plants for over 20 years, and I use to tout the pro-nuclear line. Our reactors were safer than Chernobyl was even at the time it was built (Chernobyl was an uncontained reactor. US reactors are encased in a shell of concrete).

Safety is still a concern, and don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Simply look at Brownsferry Nuclear Plant. One of their three reactors was shut down for decades due to a fire, another reactor had a turbine blade break off and hit the reactor wall in the 2000s, and the reactors themselves are an old Boiling Water design where the radioactive water runs the turbine (newer Pressurized Water Reactors use transfer pipes for heat so the steam generator isn't radioactive). Newer reactors like Bellefonte were almost complete, but never went online after Three Mile Island brought the industry to a standstill. TVA also has bought up more land around Wattsbar nuclear to hide the fact that they couldn't find where a tritium leak was occurring.

The biggest problem with nuclear reactors is the waste. Most of it is still stored at nuclear sites. I use to think the protesters at Yucca Mountain were being overzealous and non-nonsensical, until I stayed a week with a friend of mine who was a newspaper editor out in Vegas. They had published several stories about existing facilities leaking radiation into the environment.

There are a lot of reasons to avoid nuclear. Honestly if we want to be serious about pollution in general, we have to consume less power. Each renewable takes metal, dirt, oil and various hydrocarbons to make. We can't consume out way out of, not only CO2, but all the other massive amounts of pollution that go into all our construction effort. We can't buy ourselves out of environmental disaster. We have to consume less; and that takes much bigger changes in the way we live our lives and look at the world.


>The biggest problem with nuclear reactors is the waste. Most of it is still stored at nuclear sites.

Compared to what though? Sending it up into the atmosphere - in far larger quantities - like we do today with the alternatives?

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4639510/user-clip-richard-rho...


How are long shutdown times factored into the costs of nuclear power? The nuclear power plant by me is shutting down early due to being too expensive compared to renewables. It's shutting down next year, but will be slowly cutting staff until 2025 and will require a maintenance contingent of about 50 people after that for the "indefinite future".

https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Cheaper-wind-gas-energy-le...


> The nuclear power plant by me is shutting down early due to being too expensive compared to renewables.

This seems inane. Keep the nuclear plant running, even if it's more expensive, and shut down a gas plant instead.


These decisions are made based on private profit motives. What's good for the environment or the country never even factor into it.


Not true. France built nuclear plants even though they weren't as cost effective as fossil fuels because they wanted to be energy independent from Germany. Sure, it was a nationalistic rather than altruistic motive but it has paid off in the long run.


All existing nuclear plants that are running or could easily be made to run should be nationalized and brought under control of the DoE.

We need them all for base load. But new ones should not be built, we simply don't have time and the resources should be better spent on a massive increase in solar and wind.

Batteries, hydro and pumped hydro can follow the demand curve, nuclear should be viewed as strategic.

Solar is so ridiculously cheap and easy to run, we should drop a trillion dollars and build as much as we can, as fast as we can.


> We have to consume less; and that takes much bigger changes in the way we live our lives and look at the world.

Asking an expanding population to "consume less" is a nonstarter.

This is a human problem that doesn't have a human solution. It has to be a tech one.

Edit- This comment is not meant to be pro or anti-nuclear.


Expecting developing/advancing countries like India/China to restrict their quality of life will never happen. Neither will countries in Africa decide that improving their citizen's lives should take a back seat to climate change.

We need more power, as carbon clean as possible. Any talk of reducing usage is naive at best.


I was "pro-nuclear" from like the 90's until 2017. Every year since then it has made less and less sense. The cost of wind, solar, and batteries has plummeted, and the curves continue to bend in the right direction. The cost of nuclear has "increased" in that the last several projects have been total failures and the companies that build them have gone bankrupt. The curve points in the wrong direction.

The kind of massive overhaul/re-de-regulation it would take to bring back a nuclear manufacturing capability and functioning market in america today would be much much harder than simply running HVDC between the grids and building twice as much wind.

It just doesn't pencil out anymore. It used to. But even optimistically going forward I don't see it. The curves have crossed.

edit: here's a source for all the downvoters https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-...

  Nuclear: $118 - $192
  Solar + 4hr: $102 - $139
  Wind:  $28 - $54
You can literally build 3x as much wind and have it cost about the same as nuclear.


Not to mention the capital costs of building a nuclear plant far excede renewable new-builds. Why spend 20 billion and deal with the costs/risk associated with 50-year financing when you could spend a few tens of millions and throw up a few smaller renewable builds where they're needed and start seeing returns on invetment in 2-3 years rather than 15.


The cost of building a plant with old technology is high. That's because it's been over-regulated and because it's old tech.

Newer plant designs will be cheaper to build and simpler. They will need to be regulated differently as a matter of course because they're fundamentally different designs.

What you're saying here is that building a 1960s nuclear power plant design with modern regulation is expensive, which is true, but that's like saying that driving a 1955 Ford Thunderbird is expensive when compared to a Tesla S. That's true, but you're comparing apples and rocks, here.


Which newer plants? I'm still paying for the cost over-runs at Vogtle here in Georgia which is a 'modern' plant. Granted, Westinghouse went bankrupt but Wind/Solar builds don't have the same risks concentrated in a single manufacturer.

Sure, we have some research reactors which use (the now meme'd by armchair scientists) thorium reactors but we need power today, not in 2035. Why pour billions into unproven technology when we have proven technology that gets cheaper every year. Additionally, Lazard just put out their LCOE report for 2019 and for the first time new-build unsubsidzed wind can be cheaper than the marginal costs of a fully paid-off nuclear plant.


There are designs that are new or newer that have only been implemented at small scale, or in a single test instance.

Molten salt reactors, traveling wave designs, even thorium energy amplifiers.

You're right, though, we need new reactors now, which is why we're looking toward the designs already tested.

It's true that no significant research has been done for decades and no new designs approved for commercial use, but that's something that can be changed, and changed quickly.

In any case, we don't have a choice... it's renewables+nuclear or renewables+a cut in standard of living for the world... or else climate change we can't survive.

Again... we're not substituting nuclear for renewables. That wouldn't work any more than substituting renewables for nuclear. Neither one is enough on its own.


It sounds like you need to do more research.

It's not a matter of what power is cheapest, it's a matter of what serves the needs of the population without generating fuel for climate change.

Renewables aren't enough, period, because of their variable nature, and "running HVDC between the grids" won't fix it. It's not that simple.


Says you. The professionals disagree:

https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/electricity/hvdctransmi...

  Studies of existing systems and projects under development
  demonstrate that HVDC can be effective in mitigating these
  impacts [intermittancy] on non‐dispatchable generation.


They can aid in mitigation of present limitations, IE they can move some power from areas with renewable energy available to areas without it. Even that paper states they're only part of the strategy, however.

There is a huge difference between mitigating the present uneven implementation of "non dispatchable" renewables and in providing sufficient capacity and stability to power literally everything in the world from renewables by shipping power from point A to point B using any technology at all.

The problem is that whether you take renewables in individual installations or in aggregate over a region they're still variable sources of power. The storage capacity to turn renewables into 24/7 power sources at a scale large enough to supply all needs doesn't exist.

Using small scale energy storage widely would require a completely different power grid structure that doesn't exist yet.

Given the needs of our civilization and the prerequisites that we don't have time to build out a power grid centered around distributed energy generation and storage before irreversible climate damage happens, our options are limited.

Renewables aren't enough on their own, simply because they aren't constant.


I'm coming around to a similar viewpoint. But I'd say it it's looking bad for building new nuclear power plants, we certainly want to try to keep running our existing nuclear plants until we get rid of all of our base load fossil fuel power plants.


What is the cost of storage for a week's worth of power for a city the size of New York?


lol a week


How much solar power do you get when a blizzard rolls through?

Or how about Miami when a slow moving tropical storm shuts down wind and blocks solar for a few days? You do know wind turbines get shut down when the wind is too high, right?


Yes a week. More even. Just look at the data on Germany's renewable production last month and you'll see are multiple multi day long periods of little production:

https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=solar-wind&yea...

Now consider seasonal differences and you're going to need even more to compensate.


I own Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, 2nd Edition by John Lamarsh. All the "new" "real soon now" nuclear approaches that people get excited over today are already in this textbook from 1983.

It has:

- Gas cooled high temperature reactors

- Gas cooled breeder reactors

- Liquid metal fast breeder reactors

- Molten salt thorium breeder reactors

In the intervening 36 years, none of these have reached commercial/industrial operation in North America, France, Japan, India, South Korea, or China. Russia has one industrial scale liquid metal FBR [1], and it has indefinitely suspended plans to build successors [2].

Any new approach to nuclear power that promises to be "cheaper, faster, safer" than boring old light water reactors should be evaluated with extreme care. These aren't new ideas. Why didn't anyone build them up in the past 40 years? If your answer is "blame the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," keep in mind that most of the world is not under the thumb of the American NRC. But e.g. India didn't build out MSRs either, even though they have fully domestic nuclear technology and thorium resources plus a vast need for more electricity.

The chances of a revolutionary new reactor design actually powering a grid near you appear, empirically, to be about as poor as those of the Battery Breakthrough of the Week ending up in your next mobile phone.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-800_reactor

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-1200_reactor


We don't need revolutionary design, though. France uses pressurized water reactors to generate over 70% of it's electricity. And they pay half the cost for that electricity as Germany, which shut down its nuclear plants and tried to build solar and wind instead (and their emissions remained mostly flat because of all the gas plants they build to replace their nuclear plants).


France's newest PWR reactors, using the EPR design, are being built in France and Finland. They're both grotesquely late and over-budget. If Flamanville 3 could switch on today and incur no further construction costs, the electricity from it would still cost more to generate than German electricity costs to generate.

What will happen to the EPR in Europe after Flamanville 3 and Olkiluoto 3 are finally complete?

The faithful would say "build more EPRs. Future ones will be cheaper due to lessons learned on these original projects." And they might well be correct. Unfortunately, the Flamanville 3 and Olkiluoto 3 projects were also touted as affordable and predictable to build back when they were originally started. How do you convince buyers that the lies and/or irrational exuberance that lead to bad predictions in 2005 have been tamed, and that the next reactor project will be the real affordable, predictable reactor project?


Cherry picking one plant does not represent overall trends: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/02/05...

The reason why new plants are more expensive is that they're often not part of serial production runs. When France put big investment in nuclear and built 170 reactors mostly of 6 specific designs, the per unit cost was much lower. Newer reactors are usually unique or part of only a single digit production run.


The EPR was supposed to be the next standardized French design, produced in significant numbers and at low cost. The costs and delays have been so bad with the first few of them that I don't know if it will ever really take off.

So we're back to the question: do you keep pushing forward with more EPRs? How do you keep pushing forward with EPRs if there is a credibility gap on cost and schedule predictions? Or if you choose to standardize on a different reactor than the EPR, how do you estimate its cost and construction schedule?


If there is demand that needs to be met, then just use the existing reactor designs. There's no need to reinvent the wheel.


Nuclear does seem like it can be a cleaner technology than fossil fuels. And a greater investment in nuclear might have helped avert the climate crisis. There are other concerns about nuclear, yeah, and a lot of them are legitimate, but they're all at least theoretically solvable, and I certainly don't believe we can afford to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

That said, I just don't believe it can be part of a realistic solution to the climate crisis. Not anymore, at least. These things are very difficult to design, engineer, and build, and the costs of a screw-up can be so high that taking things slowly and methodically is imperative, much more so than with most other alternative energy options. Combine that with decades of divestment in nuclear, and it just doesn't seem realistic to think that this is a solution that can be brought to bear quickly enough to count as a serious option for diverting a climate crisis. The time for using nuclear to stave off climate change was a quarter century ago.


A french consultant/teacher who regularly make 1 hour or 2 hour presentation said that generally, renewables like solar and wind always benefit the coal/gaz industry because you can't have wind and sun on demand, and it's highly impractical to store electricity. so you always complement renewables with coal/gaz. So in the end, the coal/gaz industry benefits from renewables and they would obviously advocates for those renewables.

Not to mention you need a lot of metals (which emit co2), other resources (and energy) to build those renewables. Installing wind turbines is no easy task either.

It's crazy how the interests of coal/gaz would intersect the arguments of greenpeace, but it actually does.


My Take:

1. Keep existing reactors running as long as it's safe to do so. Nuclear that goes offline is generally replaced with fossil energy.

2. Don't invest too much in building new nuclear with current designs. They take a long time to come online and we have cheap and fast pathways available with renewables.

3. Invest much more in R&D for new designs. They will be important once the low hanging fruit of mitigation is already dealt with. They will also probably become more important as energy demands for things like manufacturing synfuels and DAC become important around mid-century.


The author's job is the President of the Canadian Nuclear Association.

https://cna.ca/team/john-gorman/

This is probably helpful to evaluating his arguments.

(My view, if it matters: we can put inexpensive solar and wind in the field today, the best nuclear plant comes on line in ten years, and we need action today, so: forget nuclear, it's too slow. But no, don't decommission nuclear plants as long as there are fossil fuel plants to decommission.)


98 nuclear reactors in the United States produce 20% of our electricity, and account for 60% of our "zero-emissions" power sources.


The author - John Gorman - is the President & CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association. Somehow the linked-to page neglects to mention this fact...

but let's not consider only his personal bias. Gorman bases some of his assessments on a report by the IEA - International Energy Association. Consulting the Wikipedia article about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Energy_Agency

we read that:

"In the past, the IEA has been criticized by environmental groups for underplaying the role of renewable energy technologies in favor of nuclear[23] and fossil fuels.[24] In 2009, Guy Pearse stated that the IEA has consistently underestimated the potential for renewable energy alternatives.[25]"

Indeed, it is quite possibly the case that renewables _can_ entirely replace fossil + nuclear - e.g. in the USA - soon. See here for example:

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1111183_scientists-deba...

I have not read the arguments on both sides, but the article we are commenting on simply makes the assumptions convenient for Gorman's support for nuclear technology.


It's not clear to me where we net out on nuclear.

On the one hand, you get much higher energy density. Earth has 2-3 billion people coming online with higher standards of living, greater needs for (desalinated) fresh water, etc. Do we have enough space for large-scale wind and solar to address this? And do we truly understand the local effects of wind farms, like less surface wind?

Against nuclear, when we see statistics like "nuclear has fewer deaths" I sense that there's a snow job taking place. How do you measure the public health effects of radiation? Do these really account for that?

When there's an accident, clean up costs are socialized but when things are going well, profits are private. Maybe that's worth it for carbon-free energy, but if the costs of a single accident annihilate the entire economic value of the industry, I scratch my head.

The silver bullet would be if there were truly economically viable and safe reactor designs. How scalable are the former, and how confident we can be of the latter?


>How do you measure the public health effects of radiation?

However you do it, be sure to measure the public health effects of radiation emitted from coal plants, which is far higher than that of nuclear.


> How do you measure the public health effects of radiation?

How often does a typical nuclear plant emit nonzero levels of radiation? How does this compare with normal background levels?


France completed construction on 76% of its current 58 reactors at an inflation-adjusted cost of $330 billion (€290 billion). The complete buildout of the 58 reactors was less €400 billion. Germany has spent about €500 billion over the last 20 years to get to 35% renewables. 7% of this is burning biomass. France gets more than double the TWh from nuclear than Germany gets from renewables (solar, wind, biomass, hydro).

Germany would need 50% more nuclear energy than France to completely replace all other power generation. This would cost €600 billion if Germany could match France’s build from the 1980s. Costs and safety regulations have increased even though France’s nuclear power has operated without incident for over 30 years. 80 nuclear reactors would now cost €1600 billion euros for Germany. This would still be cheaper than the estimated costs for the solar and wind buildout that is underway.

Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually, and opposition to renewables is growing in the German countryside.

Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2019, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.

Between 2000 and 2019, Germany grew renewables from 7% to 35% of its electricity. And as much of Germany's renewable electricity comes from biomass, which scientists view as polluting and environmentally degrading, as from solar.

Germany gets 33% of its electricity from solar and wind.

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/09/frances-nuclear-clean-...


> Over the past five years alone, the Energiewende has cost Germany €32 billion ($36 billion) annually...

The reason why this is so expensive for Germany is the political decision to subsidise renewable energy generation by guaranteeing energy purchase prices for 20 years via the EEG law. This led to a lot of the non-competitive inefficient early-gen solar and wind being installed in Germany, which will continue to receive subsidies for another 5-10 years; for new generation being installed, the subsidies reduce every year.

One of the intended effects was that the solar and wind industries had income that they could invest in research to improving the cost and efficiency of solar and wind generation. IIRC an article that I'm sadly unable to find now claimed that this accelerated the development such that today's very competitive costs would only be achieved 6-7 years later if there had never been an EEG, which I find a remarkable achievement. Of course if you're installing solar or wind in your country today you'll benefit from these improvements.

> Der Spiegel cites a recent estimate that it would cost Germany “€3.4 trillion ($3.8 trillion),” or seven times more than it spent from 2000 to 2019, to increase solar and wind three to five-fold by 2050.

Assuming this is the article you mean:

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-failure-...

What the article actually says:

According to ESYS, [...] by 2050, the costs would add up to 2 to 3.4 trillion euros, depending on the scenario. Other forecasts fluctuate between 500 million and about 2 trillion euros.

I'm thinking 500 million has to be a typo and should be 500 billion; still that's quite a range of estimates.


The window of economic viability for nuclear energy has very likely closed for good at this point except for niche applications. This is because the costs of solar, wind and HVDC have been dropping so quickly.

This technologies have the killer attributes of almost no externalities, incremental investment and very short implementation horizons.

Sure, countries will still like to keep training physicists in nuclear fusion to maintain a skilled group for nuclear weapons which is fine.


I've been reading "Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming" edited by Paul Hawken

https://www.drawdown.org/the-book

My impression so far is that offshore wind, onshore wind, and solar are promising solutions for doing the bulk of the heavy lifting for energy production. Of course it isn't an all or nothing, but scaling up nuclear isn't 'vital'.


Has anyone done a comparison of capital costs of nuclear vs. renewables with pumped hydro storage? The comparisons I see are usually with li-ion battery storage.


How do you create new pumped hydro capacity?


Usually you need to find geography conducive to building a new structure.

One such location exists on the Columbia River and is being considered for development.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights...

It is also possible to modify existing damns to have pumped hydro capacity. One under consideration is the Hoover damn.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/los-angeles-considers-3b-pu...


You can't, not really.


Every existing dam can be used for pumped hydro.


Not really, for a dam to be usable for pumped hydro it needs both an upper reservoir and a lower reservoir, with enough height difference between them, while a dam for non-pumped hydro needs only an upper reservoir (it can discharge directly into a river, for instance). Some existing dams can be used as the upper reservoir or the lower reservoir of a pumped hydro plant, but for that there has to be a suitable location for the other reservoir nearby.


Regardless of how much one may believe in the myths of self-assured competence demonstrated so thoroughly here and in our comments, there really has yet to be an institution trustworthy enough to operate at such high stakes over the long term.

After the disaster the true-believers will have a million and one reasons why it shouldn’t have happened; but it will.

Not worth it.


> Regardless of how much one may believe in the myths of self-assured competence demonstrated so thoroughly here and in our comments, there really has yet to be an institution trustworthy enough to operate at such high stakes over the long term.

France has done so.


So far.


The problem is that emissions for regions beyond north america, europe/eurasia keep climbing. NA/EU haven't changed much since the 80s. EU has actually shrunk. All other regions keep growing their emissions. China is still fueling itself with coal and is only building more plants.


One point I think some people are overlooking are the military implications of launching nuclear facilities. These become prime targets in times of conflict that can cause a ton of damage if successfully attacked. Maybe that is part of the reason countries are hesitant to build them?


> military implications of launching nuclear facilities. These become prime targets in times of conflict that can cause a ton of damage if successfully attacked.

As opposed to a nuclear explosion delivered by an ICBM?


I think the issue is that a small country or simply a terrorist organization that doesn't have ICBM capabilities could still conceivable cause a nuclear disaster through a lower tech attack on a nuclear facility.


It will require huge government expenditure though.

The strike price of offshore wind in UK energy capacity auctions came in at less than half that of prospective nuclear plants.

Only one nuclear plant is going ahead, Hinkley C.

I guess that countries without plentiful renewable potential have no choice though, its nuclear or nothing.


That's in the US, China has plenty going online. I'm just waiting for them to blow past us on that technology and hopefully they'll be nice and sell us the technology and show us up and make obvious our ludditism in the USA.


Nuclear does get cheaper as you build more. France is a shining example.


The know-how seems to have been lost though. The latest nuclear power plant they've tried to build (the Flamanville EPR) is severely late, and the budget has ballooned to several times the initial estimation.


> The latest nuclear power plant they've tried to build (the Flamanville EPR) is severely late

it is only late because the managers insisted on marketing and building it on 5 years while the engineers knew that it would be 10 years from the beginning. Pretty sure most people here know this exact situation from their job :-)


Was the 3x cost increase also to be expected?


Flamanville EPR is one of the first EPR to be built. Of course it is expensive... It gets cheaper as you build more.


No it hasn't been lost. It's just become over regulated just like in the USA.


Specifically, the project has been plagued with poor welds and cracks in critical structural parts.

That being said all I know about the project comes from the news on the French radio... What new regulations are you talking about?



France does have the same problem with renewables though, they are way over schedule and much more expensive than planned.


And, ironically, Illinois, which gets a full 54 percent of its energy from nuclear.


I'm not sure that _any_ centralized power generation will survive the next 50 years


France produces much of its electricity from nuclear. It used to be 75%, but it is less now with renewable coming online. I guess France did a good job at educating/brainwashing its citizen because they do not worry much about their nuclear power plant. And the official track record has been good enough over the past ~60 years (first in 1962). There has been some green movement trying to shutdown some nuclear plants over the years, but lately it is more foreign green activists that complain about France recycling/vitrifying Japanese or German nuclear waste (arguably transporting waste around the world could be dangerous). The technology improved a lot in the last 60 years. But years of anti-nuclear propaganda still make it difficult to talk about nuclear in a rational way.


A even more vital part is less consumption and all the consequences that come with it.

More clean energies and products won’t save us. The usage of earths resources is now roughly double of what the planet could sustain long term and it is still growing and I am afraid more cheap energy won’t help to solve this very systemic issue.

Todays teenagers are consuming more than teenagers ever before, mostly due to availability and online shops. Three decades ago you had to go to the next city and find something, nowadays you just order the thing and it is in your doorstep next day.

Adding cheap and clean energy into this mix is like taking painkillers when you have a open fracture so you can keep going. Might soothe your short term pains, but is ultimately a counter productive thing if applied just on its own.


> The usage of earths resources is now roughly double of what the planet could sustain long term

Based on what data exactly? Mankind has only ever scratched the Earth's surface for resources, and still only on land. If you imagine the Earth is a perfect sphere, we have far from used much resources at all.


We have been using the resources we need. A bunch of rock and magma isn't really useful to us. It's things like soil which only exists on the surface, or oil, which has been getting harder and harder to extract.


The day we need more resources, you can be sure we will go and get them where they are. We have not have had the need to dig deep or explore the oceans so far (because other resources were readily available), but there is no telling we will never do so.

> or oil, which has been getting harder and harder to extract.

Harder to extract but still in much larger abundance than what was predicted by mostly everyone back in the 70-80s. I don't know if you were around then, but you may have heard of "peak oil". It never happened (as in, not yet, and that was already a long time ago).


I don't think the Earth is going to literally run out of anything, sure. We can always dig deeper, or prospect for more resources out in Siberia, or whatever. But there's something to be said for being concerned about being responsible with this golden age we find ourselves in, when resources are so extraordinarily cheap and abundant. It's not a given that it will be like this forever. Imagine lithium being as rare as gold, and think about whether something like the phenomenon of ubiquitous smartphones would even have been possible.


I guess better late than never?

The utter demonization of nuclear for the last 50 years is beyond criminal. Many in Germany probably regret their recent knee jerk reactions. Should be a fun winter for them (not!)


Nuclear energy is much too expensive. The costs for storing nuclear waste safely for hundreds or thousands of years are so high, that it is cheaper to use solar and wind energy.


Did you really think through your argument? If the waste in enclosed in some concrete shell, two hundred meters deep inside bed rock, there won't really be any on-going expenses after it has been deposited. Now one can argue about the method itself, if it's the right way to do it (I think it's a bit overkill), but what you are saying doesn't really make sense based on that argument. The plants themselves of course are expensive, storing the waste for long periods of time not so much.


It's a shame these stories only appeal to the choir :(


Germany spending will be three times higher on solar, wind and biomass will be more than three times higher than a nuclear build-out. Germany needs 1.5 times the power of France's nuclear. Estimates are that Germany will spend over 3 trillion euros through 2050. They will have to rebuild the solar and wind twice because they last 15-25 years vs nuclear lasting 40-80+ years. That is a lot of cost savings even if there were accidents or accident cleanups. There are lot of certain increased costs on the solar and wind side of the ledger.


The YC request for startups list, could contain nuclear energy. Everything from thorium to new ways of disposing nuclear waste.


http://genesis.re/book/ ️ specific tweet about nuclear ️ https://twitter.com/marsxrobertson/status/116783708668846899...

•••••

Germany phasing out nuclear and opening new coal.

Business as usual.


I'm surprised there's no mention of Kirk Sorensen. He's one of the most effective Nuclear Energy advocates of our generation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kybenSq0KPo


I get a security error clicking the link above. Does anyone have another link?



Same here, my corporate DNS is blocking the domain


Maybe they use Cloudflare DNS? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19828317


There is no way to solve the climate crisis. We should have listen to the Club of Rome in 1972. Now, it is much too late.


ah... no


the original link has paywall, putting archive.is to unblock and submitting into public domain ... is it legal ? just asking.


Oh, such techno-utopianism, cheer the tech!! Sweden still has increased death rates due to Chernobyl, this disaster is still killing by a statistical significance, if we make it to the future we could forget it and later remind ourselves by looking in the atmosphere, in the mud, in the food, in the oceans, in the animals, in the ice and we can find traces of the man made disaster in DNA, in the fingerprint of God, we are the Gods now...

If you haven't figured it out yet, if you still believe in the government's figures, I've got one thing to tell you: pull your head out of your ass. For one example, the leaders of the free world are now leaving the so called Paris Agreement, because they believe anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. Are they still telling you the truth?

Okay, back to nuclear now for a second round. We are likely to see a worldwide collapse due to many reasons, but lets blame a lot of it to the actions of the government's mentioned. Before you dismiss this premise I would like to inform that this is a major fear, and therefor a major field of research for the nuclear industry and is a major reason to why we even care about long term storage of the waste – if everything "went well", why would we care about a thousand years? if we can manage "it" now we for sure can in the future when our GDP is like risen by a gazillion percents. We must pause here, this is the thing: we are talking about waste that is extremely insanely dangerous if it would "leak" out, if this would happen our civilization would be finished, life could die out (not like we are not killing of 100-200 species a day already, but hey, gotta go faster!)

Where were we now, right: can you imagine this planet in five hundred years? and the nuclear waste has to be securely stored for hundreds of thousands of years. This is the reason they try to universal signs instead of writing the warning in plain language [1].

I am way off the article now, so Sweden and France has a decarbonized their economies? Where a the figures? I would guess without looking into any numbers, that both Sweden and France has in fact increased their carbon output since they started using nuclear power, I would go so far that I would argue that they have in fact increased their carbon output because they have added nuclear. By using nuclear power we grow our economy, the larger the economy the more carbon output.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-time_nuclear_waste_warnin...


You are ranting a bit too much. The reality isn't that excitingly gloom. If the waste would leak out, it would just contaminate the area around it (not that it wouldn't be bad). But it wouldn't cause the global armageddon as you describe it. I mean Chernobyl happened which was a far worse outcome (radioactive waste aerosolized due to the burning graphene), yet it didn't kill us off. Nuclear is scary, I understand your fear. But your thesis hangs a lot on the emotional side, so it's hard for me to emphasize with what you are saying.


I agree that we require nuclear energy but not based on plutonium. I am in favor of thorium with molten salt reactors. It is cleaner and safer. China is already researching it and invested a lot of money and people into it. A lot of countries are but it is on a very low scale because it is nuclear and has a bad reputation.


Despite nuclear being statistically the safest power source per electrical energy generated, people will always complain that it isn't perfect, and that we must wait for X speculatively perfect technology to be developed before we can stop melting Antarctica and choking on smog.


> plutonium

Modern nuclear reactors don't use plutonium or weapons grade uranium. The ratio of U-235/U-238 is only 3~5% unstable in a nuclear power plant (where weapons grade is over 95%).

Thorium rectors have been experimented with in the US, but they do have problems with corrosion.


Reactors primarily use uranium, but plutonium is routinely used in the form of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel (about thirty reactors in Europe, at least). One reason is to spend the plutonium from decommissioned nuclear weapons.

Using MOX in conjunction with thorium is also being tested to improve the void coefficient, making reactor operation more stable and safe.


I don't have any connection with these folks, but it seems a game changer on projected price, walk-away safety, thorium compatibility, and claimed use of existing materials: moltexenergy.com .

Molten salts in tubes. They claim "cheaper than coal" can be realistic again.


Does anyone know a good comparison of the cost of Nuclear with Solar + Batteries? I feel like just comparing against panels alone isn't really helpful.

I would imagine that if we really cared about climate change the best approach would be maximal effort on all fronts. So build renewables as fast as we can and build nuclear as fast as we can. That would be the quickest way to get carbon emissions to 0.

We could always spend the latter half of the century decommissioning the nuclear again.


Current battery technology is not up to what you are talking about. No one can come up with a price because we don't have the technology to store that much offline energy to handle the variability. Anyone who says we do -right now- is lying to you. We would need a factor of 100X energy storage density to what we have right now to even be close.


people who end up on opposite sides of this argument are usually talking about two different things:

1) Do we build exactly enough solar to meet our average power needs but have to build several-month-long battery storage capacity to bring summer sun into the winter,

2) Or do we build enough surplus solar so that we can run 100% load for 24 hours on a cloudy winter solstice, and just need big enough batteries to get through the longest night of the year, and under every other circumstance just be wildly over-provisioned

#1 is probably impossible with current technology. But our solar installations already produce surplus power during the summer that we don't use ("curtailment"), even at today's prices. It doesn't seem out of the question that we'd just build much more absurd extra solar to make up for our lack of storage. And then maybe we'd find a use for the excess summer electricity, like desalination or hydrogen production or bitcoin mining. It's technically possible, but it does increase costs - twice as expensive? three times? That might still be economically viable, if solar costs continue to fall or if the cost of natural gas spikes upward


Gen IV and V, as well as SMRs[0], are really the only way to replace the baseload power generation we currently get from oil, coal, and natural gas.

Solar and wind will be integral to the overall mix, but unless there's a wild breakthrough in battery technology we need to be building nuclear to replace fossil fuel power generation.

If people are uncomfortable with the word "nuclear", let's go with isotopic batteries.

[0]: https://smrroadmap.ca


unless there's a wild breakthrough in battery technology we need to be building nuclear to replace fossil fuel power generation

How about a 80% power-to-gas-to-power roundtrip efficiency?

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036054421...


Pumped storage works where available. Norway's dams are the secret behind the success of Denmark's wind.


This is very interesting! I've not heard about too much water storage despite how fondly it is talked about by some.

For those who want to know more: https://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/wind/norway-wants-to-be...


Keep in mind that with solar there externals that we’re not calculating right now as a group. The panels will die. They are full of terrible chemicals. We don’t have large scale decommissioning plans now. Depending on which country manufactured the panels, they will die sooner.


So many people on HN (perhaps more than other communities) think that they are subject experts on just about everything... well, sorry to burst your bubble, but we have aging nuclear plants we can't even take care of right now that are losing money, we have thousands of tons of nuclear waste that we still have no fking idea what to do with, nuclear is the past, the future is very cheap and efficient decentralized solar, paired with very cheap and efficient decentralized grid storage (batteries), the smart money already understands this.


I think your point would be much better communicated if you provided citations for your claims. As it stands now, your comment comes across as condescending.


Sorry just bitter


Are you giving your opinion as a legitimate “subject expert” or should we take it as a “non-expert” opinion?


Certainly non-expert




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