20 Questions for nuclear power advocates
1) Imagine President Obama sings an executive order tomorrow to close all coal, fuel, and natural gas fired electrical generating facilities by 31 December 2019. In order to replace that capacity, how many new nuclear plants need to be built? To simplify the solution, you may assume that demand remains constant over time, and that each new plant generates 1 gigawatt of electricity.
2) Given the need for large quantities of available cooling water, locate on a map of the US the most optimal placements for the number of plants you derived as an answer to question 1. To simplify the solution, you may assume that population centers are non-existent, and that geographical features are your sole consideration.
3) Once you have identified the best geographical locations in question 2, indicate which of these sites are publicly owned, and which are privately owned. Calculate the approximate cost of acquiring this land. You may assume that land which is already owned by power companies is free.
4) How many companies currently do business in the US with the expertise needed to construct a new nuclear powered facility?
5) Which of those companies is capable of constructing multiple facilities simultaneously?
6) Subtract the number of currently operating nuclear plants from the number you came up with in question one.
7) In order to meet the goal of building the number of new plants you arrived it in answer to question 6, how many plants need to be built simultaneously to complete construction by 331 December 2019? To simplify the exercise, you may assume that each plant can be constructed, from ground breaking to generating electricity, in 4 years.
8) Since the first US nuclear plants were built back in the 1950s, how many took 4 years or less to construct?
We'll play more later this week.