Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hawaii to Repeal Nuclear Moratorium?

Details from the Hawaii Reporter.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it is hard to imagine a nuclear power plant on Hawaii. The total demand on the islands isn't that great and the islands aren't part of an inter-connected grid because of the depth of the water between them and the strength of the currents in the channels. Their units are generally less than 150 MWe, presumably because a larger one tripping off could destabilize the system.

The Toshiba 4S could be an option, but at 10 MWe might be too small on the other end. It would take a 4S "farm" to make a dent. At any rate it has just entered pre-licensing and will take awhile to gain certification. Maybe a long while, given its unique design.

Politically, Hawaii is a "Blue" state and has no prior experience with nuclear power plants. There was a lot of local opposition to the food irradiation facility built there and there has been a lot of fear mongering over DU on a weapons range there from the likes of Loren Moret to alarm a naive public.

Though obviously intelligent, I suspect the author's views are atypical.

Hawaii is basically screwed. They aren't fixed with reliable sunshine or abundant wind on land (though they have some). Off shore wind seems unlikely given how the best sites are located in deep water.

Rod Adams said...

I think anonymous might be a bit too pessimistic about the fit between Hawaii and nuclear power. There are a number of plant designs that would fit well on the island, including the CAREM and the PBMR. (Adams Engines(tm) current design has the same projected power output as the 4S, but the basic concept has the ability to be scaled considerably.)

It should also be noted that there have been nuclear power plants operating in Hawaii for decades - it is a significant port for the US Navy and is home to a number of submarines. Carriers visit regularly.

It is also worth noting that nothing encourages people to open their minds to new energy options like paying 30 or 40 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.

Anonymous said...

"There are a number of plant designs that would fit well on the island"

Any of these designs certified by NRC? If not, they're 10-15 years away at minimum.

Matthew66 said...

I would have thought that Oahu at least (with a population of 876,000) would be able to use a twin AP600 plant (NRC certified), perhaps even Hawai'i and Maui could use single unit AP600, with gas turbines as back up for refueling outages. Some of the small islands could possibly use Toshiba 4S. It does not necessarily follow that it will take 10-15 years to certify the 4S, or indeed a PBMR, as a utility and vendor can team up and submit a COL application with a DCD for the reactor, which once approved, can be referenced by other utilities wanting to build an identical reactor. Westinghouse is currently seeking approval for a revision to the AP1000 design certification which is being considered in conjunction with the TVA COL for Belefonte. Similarly, the Calvert Cliffs 3 COL and EPR design certification are being considered together as are the North Anna 3 COL and ESBWR design certification. None of these is anticipated to take 10-15 years.

Anonymous said...

I am a nuclear engineer who was blessed to visit Hawaii last June on my 25-th anniversary. I fell in love and I want to live there forever. But one islander told me it costs about $500/mo for power! Just do the math - scale oil at todays prices to $150-200 per barrel and power bills are $750 to $1000 per month. This will happen in the next 5 year.

Without Nuclear power Hawaii will be perfectly green - because everyone will be forced to go back to the mainland.

I would love nothing more than to be part of a real nuclear renaissance that will keep Hawaii and its environment green and safe; but that requires about a 90% base-load power that is nuclear. Contact companies like mine - we can transform Hawaii's transformation a reality!!


Dr. Cris S. Eberle
Critical Solutions Engineering

James S. Klich II said...

Oahu should have a nuclear power plant for most of its power needs. There is no reason coal and oil should be used for energy since it is very dirty. They could locate the nuclear plant on the edge of the naval base or put it on Molokai and run a line to the island if possible. I would think this would lower energy costs for the island and the people.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dude, Chill. Nuclear energy is safe and effective. much more so than geothermal. The all caps thing is a little bit over the top. and I won't wake up and smell the coffee cause I don't drink the junk. So THERE! :)

Anonymous said...

Are we all prepared to foot the bill to relocate the entire population of Hawaii WHEN there is a seismic event (not if) or am I the only one here who realise that Volcanos and nuclear power plants don't mix!