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Alternative Nuclear Power: Pebble Bed Reactor

This article is part of a series on alternative possibilities in nuclear power.
Previously at EcoGeek: Alternative Possibilities in Nuclear Power

Pebble Bed Reactor
The pebble-bed reactor was supposed to be another intrinsically safe, and "melt-down proof" design. "Pebble bed reactors are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors in which the cheapest viagra prices fuel is levitra online pharmacy no prescription in the form of tennis ball-sized spherical "pebbles" encased in a graphite moderator. New fuel pebbles are continuously added at the top of a cylindrical reactor vessel and lowest priced viagra travel slowly down the column by gravity, until they reach the bottom and are removed." Cooling uses an inert gas such as helium, rather than a liquid, which simplifies many of the reactor systems.

"The use of helium and graphite allows the reactor to burn the daily viagra fuel efficiently and to operate at much higher temperatures than conventional light water reactors." Since the pebble bed reactor was already designed to operate at very high temperatures, and since its cooling medium was a gas, rather than a liquid, the control systems for a pebble bed reactor could be much simpler. The largest problems that need to be dealt with for a boiling water reactor - overheating and coolant boiling away - are not concerns for a pebble bed reactor. The pebble bed also produces less power as the temperature rises, so the design is effectively self-limiting.


Alternative Possibilities in Nuclear Power

Nuclear power is still a divisive issue among EcoGeeks. It's clean, at least from a fuel cycle carbon emissions standpoint. But it's a reasonable question whether it is truly cost-effective once all the issues of mining and processing the fuel, and treating and storing the spent material and get cialis in canada waste, along with the i want to buy cialis security and the public safety concerns (which carry their own not-insignificant costs).

There are many who claim that nuclear power is the greenest short-term alternative to coal to reduce carbon emissions from electrical power generation. And, on the other hand, we have seen some countries move to phase-out nuclear power in the aftermath of only best offers indian cialis generic the Fukushima disaster.

However, Fukushima-style boiling-water reactors are not the only way to use nuclear power to viagra online switzerland produce electricity. For that matter, uranium isn't the only nuclear fuel that could be used. There are other reactor designs and fueling methods have been explored and are under development.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to take a look at several alternative nuclear power technologies with an EcoGeek persepctive. We aren't going to draw any final conclusions with this one way or the other. We are advocating neither in favor of nor against any of these alternatives, nor are we for or against nuclear power, in general.

This article is part of a series on alternative possibilities in nuclear power.
Previously at EcoGeek:
Lesson of Fukushima: No-Nukes or Pro-Nukes?


Will The Green Jobs Come?

The green jobs debate rages on. Some argue that all the stimulus money being poured into green efforts - like renewable energy and building retrofitting – will create millions of new jobs, and will revitalize the generic cialis 50mg economy. Others are not so sure. The latest opinion to cheap levitra online prescription be voiced comes out of the Institute for Energy Research, which just published a study challenging the rosy predictions of buy levitra online canada people like the Center For American Progress (who predicted that $100 billion worth of green investment would create 2 million jobs).

One criticism is that the term “green job” is ill defined. This is certainly true, although the root of the problem is that “green” is pretty ill defined to begin with. There is tramadol overnight shipping no “green” sector – all sectors of our economic infrastructure are part of the problem, and fixing all of those parts will have to be part of the solution. And so, a construction worker weatherizing a house has a green job just as much as a solar energy technician.

And so it is difficult to make predictions in the first place, let alone specific numbers like 2 million. But the IER also points out that for all the new jobs that will be created when we start building wind turbines, we will lose jobs at coal power plants. In fact, the impact will go far beyond just the power sector. People talk about how the cheap fast cialis economy needs to be “restructured”; to be blunt, “restructuring” means that a lot of industries that people depend on to put food on their table will become discouraged, and eventually useless.


What The Stimulus Means For EcoGeeks

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Ameican Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. Of the $787 billion being doled out across the nation in some form or another, a bunch of it is going towards green-related things. But I’m sure you’re all wondering – Who? What? How much?

Since I’m guessing not that many of you want to read through all 1,000+ pages of how you get pfizer viagra the bill, we’re going to give you some of the highlights:

Money, Money, Free Money For Solar Power
If you start building a solar power system before December 31, 2010, you are eligible to get a grant from the Treasury worth up to 30% of what it cost you. This applies if you are a homeowner who wants to put some panels up on your roof, or if you are an entrepreneur who wants to build a vast, gigawatt-scale solar farm. But you have to start building before the deadline - which is kind of the point. Further details are still up in the air.


Why Are There No Cheap Electric Cars?

I see this question in my inbox or in comments several times per week. The asker generally proposes one of several possibilities. These range oil-company assassinations to esoteric problems with the car's transmissions.

Fortunately for everyone, it's neither as exciting as assassination or as mundane as fundamental mechanical flaws. It's a collection of problems, actually, that are slowly being overcome.

And though we can't do it today, five years down the road, the future of electric cars will look a lot brighter.

So here's a collection of problems and their upcomming solutions:

Problem #1: Car manufacturers have put many billions of dollars and cialis to order almost a hundred years into the development of only here viagra prescription label the internal combustion engine, and they don't want to (or can't even imagine how to) abandon that investment for new technology.

Solution: It only took a global crisis, a quadrupling of gas prices and the majority of consumers shifting to efficient cars to only here cialis by mail convince them that maybe gasoline wasn't the best idea. Now even the biggest, oldest and stodgiest of the car manufacturers are investigating electric cars.

Problem #2: Batteries do not store power as efficiently as fossil fuels. They are heavy, bulky and provide far less power per unit of weight than gasoline, ethanol or hydrogen.

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