by Russell D. Longcore
While the rest of the world dithers and wrings its hands over the Japanese nuclear electrical power generators, the Chinese have…once again…quietly planned for the future. While the pundits and politicians predict the death of nuclear power usage for electricity generation, China moves ahead toward energy independence.
All of the nuclear reactors generating electrical power around the world are built using old “light water reactor” technology. The design of the Three Mile Island plant and the Chernobyl plant are much the same, using fuel rods kept cool and safe by water encasement. And as we have seen in TMI, Chernobyl and now Japan, when the water escapes, radiation also escapes and harms the planet.
Did I say ALL the reactors are using old technology? Pardon me. China has build a 10 MW (megawatt) prototype “Pebble Bed” reactor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It holds the promise of safe nuclear-generated power going forward into tomorrow.
The Pebble Bed reactor was actually invented in 1947 by Dr. Farrington Daniels at Oak Ridge National Laboratory here in the USA. Then, German scientists took the concept and have been perfecting it since. America…to its shame…has not embraced this technology.
For a comprehensive understanding of the Pebble Bed reactor, CLICK HERE.
In all of the coverage on the Japanese reactor damages and the dangers of radiation poisoning, have you seen one mention of the Pebble Bed reactor? Have you seen one mention of its safety and superior design? Have you seen one report that offers a solution to the old reactor technology? No, you have not. That’s because the greenies, Malthusians (look it up) and the suppliers of power plant fuel don’t like nuclear power. And that means that their lapdog media doesn’t like it either.
China began construction on its first 250MW Pebble Bed reactor in 2009 and the commissioning is scheduled for 2013. China plans to build 30 such plants by 2020, and as many as 1,500 by 2050.
Yes…I said 1,500 nuclear electricity generating plants. That’s over 300 Gigawatts of electricity production from the newest, cleanest, safest nuclear reactors on the planet. Think that’s a lot of reactors? Japan has 55 nuclear plants serving a population of only 127 million, and those reactors only provide about 35% of Japan’s electrical demand. China has 1.2 billion people, and by 2050, may have close to 2 billion people.
This effort by China would clean up their air quality by reducing their number of coal-burning plants. And the safety of the Pebble Bed reactor is far superior to that of the light water reactor, and is proven over time.
Tsinghua University also has a program for New Energy technology to develop a system to use the high temperature gas of a Pebble bed reactor to crack steam to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen could serve as fuel for hydrogen vehicles, reducing China’s dependence on imported oil.
So, readers…when I point you to China as the next world leader and the source of the next world reserve currency, you understand that I base my predictions on what they do, not what they say. As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” America talks about its exceptionalism, backed by debt and bluster. China keeps its mouth shut and builds an economy that will not be rivaled anywhere else on the planet.
Are you taking Mandarin language courses yet? Hoi shwa po tong qua eedeear. (“I speak a little Mandarin,” shown phonetically.)
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© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.