Friday, October 12, 2012

23. 10/11/12 One Day Late

So, yesterday was 10/11/12, October 11th 2012. "Why is that significant?", you ask. Just look at it - 10/11/12.

November 12th of next year will be similar, as will December 13th in 2014 (which will be a Saturday, not a Friday).

Unless I approach Guinness-level long-life status, 12/13/14 will be the last nerdily cool date like yesterday that I will see during my lifetime. Do you know what actually will still be alive and running when January 2nd, 2103 (01/02/03) rolls around?

1. Many of the Small Modular Reactor designs being designed today that will start up in the early 2020's could very possibly still be safely operating 80 years later.

2. The AP1000's to-be-built in Florida in Levy County and at Turkey Point to start up in the early-to-mid 2020's could quite possibly be safely operated for 80 years too, with proper operation and maintenance.

If I could have my way planning out the energy future of America, the primary threat to not having those plants operating the next time calendars read 01/02/03 will be nothing approaching safety issues, though. What I hope the main threat is, is that we have nuclear power plants that are simply miles better economically (making far more efficient use of our naturally occurring and already-produced fissile resources), and in terms of safety, that 80-100 year old technology simply won't be able to compete.

We have our work cut out for us, but the future can be bright, and it doesn't absolutely require energy austerity by any means.

Viva Abundant Energy


  1. For a nuclear plant built today, I doubt you can get noticeably more safe in the future. The ratio between 0.000001 and 0.00000001 may be one hundred but they're still both extremely close to zero, and the net value of the safety changes is small. The alternative argument is that unforeseeable outside events will dominate risk assessment, and there's little you can do to change that value.

    No argument on the likely improving economics, given the chance.

    (Incidentally, you get another chance at 10/11/12 - just travel outside North America next month).

  2. Great points, especially on safety and on the differing calendar structure in other parts of the world.
    Also, thanks for commenting. Feedback is probably the best ways I can make this thing better. Learning is a key tenant of a solid nuclear culture. It is sad that so many anti-nuclear folks seem to take such staunchly anti-learning positions and attempt to imply that their ignorance in many matters is somewhat superior to other people's legitimate expertise.