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Power Technology

Pickens Calls Off Massive Wind Farm In Texas 414

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-told-you-those-wind-seeds-were-a-scam dept.
schwit1 writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines. Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall — taller than most 30-story buildings. 'When I start receiving those turbines, I've got to ... like I said, my garage won't hold them,' the legendary Texas oilman said. 'They've got to go someplace.' Pickens' company Mesa Power ordered the turbines from General Electric Co. — a $2 billion investment — a little more than a year ago. Pickens said he has leases on about 200,000 acres in Texas that were planned for the project, and he might place some of the turbines there, but he's also looking for smaller wind projects to participate in."
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Pickens Calls Off Massive Wind Farm In Texas

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  • by oddRaisin (139439) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:40PM (#28624129)

    Yeah, I'm surprised the summary didn't include the reasons for the decision.

    From the article:

    In Texas, the problem lies in getting power from the proposed site in the Panhandle to a distribution system, Pickens said in an interview with The Associated Press in New York. He'd hoped to build his own transmission lines but he said there were technical problems.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Informative)

    by oodaloop (1229816) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:45PM (#28624213)

    These things are a great way to make a beautiful landscape hideous.

    As opposed to what, a coal plant?

    Never mind that they actually are better for the environment than anything else.

    Clean renewable energy is worse for the environment than radioactive waste? I understand that nuclear power is a viable alternative to coal and oil, and that it produces constant power and all that, but how is it better for the environment than wind?

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by selven (1556643) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:48PM (#28624271)
    Actually, wind is slightly better for the environment. ec.europa.eu/research/energy/pdf/externe_en.pdf [slashdot.org] no-download version [wordpress.com] But the point still stands, nuclear is as environmentally friendly as most conventional renewable energy and is the most economically practical of them all.
  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:50PM (#28624315)

    If it's radioactive, you can get energy from it.

    We just have these stupid laws because you COULD take that waste and turn it into a bomb. So rather than let someone potentially make a bomb, we decide to just take the highly radioactive stuff and bury it.

    If the laws were changed to take all that 'waste', reprocess it and shove it through the whole process again, and repeat until it's dead we could probably end up with 'waste' with half life in the decades instead of centuries.

  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:52PM (#28624351)
    The ones already ordered are still being built.
    If gas prices go back up giving cost parity for wind, he plans to continue the plan.
    As we modernize the infrastructure he plans to continue; just the current infrastructure can't handle the increased load, so it is a waist.
    If it wasn't for the government created recession [house.gov] he would still be pressing forward.
  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:54PM (#28624399) Homepage

    Most of Texas has its own grid, and is not very well connected with the neighboring grids. The cost of enabling that grid to distribute power to the rest of the country was far more than TBone expected. There are plenty of other places that are closer to the grid to locate his turbines.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie@NOSPAM.mac.com> on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @12:54PM (#28624405) Journal
    Have you seen the "landscape" of West Texas? I lived there for years, but I never heard it called beautiful. If anything, I'd say that these things are a great way to make a depressingly monotonous landscape just a little bit interesting. Before this, the nicest thing a rancher could hope to see on his land was a pumpjack. Personally, I find the larger turbines strikingly beautiful, and I hope to see them dotting landscapes across the US.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:00PM (#28624509)

    Wind power costs about 0.055 cents/kWh. Coal has been slowly rising and is about 0.03 cents/kWh right now. Wind power would be competitive with oil and gas plants -- if it were 1998. Today, it beats both answers. Here's the problem -- nuclear and coal are the only economical alternatives for base load plants, which handle 35-40% of the total electrical power generation in this country. Of the remainder, load-following and peak plants, wind power might be useful.

    The issue is, wind power is needs a lot of space to operate. And for aesthetic reasons, they need to be placed in fairly remote locations away from urban centers, which reduces efficiency. There are other geographical restrictions as well -- namely that the wind source must be fairly reliable. Electricity generated on an industrial scale can't be stored (for the most part). The grid must be designed to meet peak power requirements -- which means if you deploy wind power, you need a backup as well (such as gas turbine) -- wind power isn't a replacement in the majority of cases; It's a cost-reducing add-on.

    A kWh of wind power is the cost of that infrastructure plus maintenance costs of the backup gas turbine infrastructure, when operating. The economic result here is that deploying wind power to provide a cheaper supplement to existing gas turbine and oil peak plants is viable in a few markets. But such deployment will happen slowly, over many years, as the cost of maintaining existing infrastructure exceeds the cost of building and operating new infrastructure.

  • by bitty (91794) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:03PM (#28624559) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickens_Plan#Pickens.27_motives [wikipedia.org]

    I think the "technical problems" may be that he couldn't get the okay to build his pipeline along the same corridor. I never trusted his motives, and I remember reading a pretty detailed article on this shortly after he announced his grandiose plan.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by j0se_p0inter0 (631566) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:05PM (#28624589)
    They look beautiful to me as well, because to me they look like money! I'm in the wind power industry in Texas, but not with GE. And I don't think Pickens is alone with the site woes. It seems everyone is having trouble picking a site in TX at the moment.
  • by random coward (527722) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:05PM (#28624591)
    This so reminds me of something Orrin Boyle would do in Atlas Shrugged. Spending all that money because it was the socially right thing to do, but with no real plan to make it productive; because he has never cared about profit.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:15PM (#28624779) Homepage

    I went to a talk by Pickens, and I think he's losing it. He didn't mention wind at all. He was talking about how natural gas is going to solve all our energy problems, and how we just have to convert heavy trucks to run on natural gas. He's far more optimistic about natural gas supplies than most people in the industry.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:26PM (#28624965) Homepage

    *One* freaking poorly placed, poorly designed wind farm (Altamont Pass) and wind turbines get forever scarred as bird killers. Ugh.

    Wind turbines almost everywhere *except* Altamont Pass (one of the first large-scale farms, placed in the middle of a flyway, using small turbines with fast-turning blades, with no study -- something nobody would dream of doing today) have very low bird death rates. The freaking Audubon Society supports wind power because it's impact on birds is much smaller than that of the other generation methods it displaces.

    If you actually want to make an impact on bird deaths, spay and neuter your cats, keep them indoors, and stop supporting the construction of glass-curtained buildings. Both kill far more birds than wind farms ever will.

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Informative)

    by noahisaac (956470) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:30PM (#28625031) Homepage

    they grind up birds like no tomorrow.

    From what (admittedly little) I know, the current turbines pose no significant threat to birds. Unlike older turbines, the new ones have large propellers that move relatively slowly, and tests have shown them to be easily detectable and avoidable by birds. I remember reading that many more birds die flying into glass windows on large buildings than by flying into wind turbines. If it's any indication, my brother is an ornithologist and changed his stance a few years back to support wind turbines.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:34PM (#28625117) Homepage

    Becuase wind doesn't meet the needs of today's energy grid (baseline power needs, peak power needs).

    Virtually every study done on the subject disagrees with you. Our current grid supports up to about 20% penetration. With peaking and transmission upgrades, but without large-scale storage, studies in Denmark suggest that 50% is economically realistic.

    they grind up birds like no tomorrow

    Ugh! Why won't this myth die? There was *one freaking wind farm* that had significant bird kill problems. One -- Altamont Pass. Built in the middle of a flyway. Built without a bird-risk placement study. With turbines that have far faster rotation than anything we use nowadays (the bigger the turbine, the lower the RPM). I mean, come on! The average wind turbine nowadays causes more bird deaths from the transmission wires that take the power to market than die from the turbine itself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:35PM (#28625139)
  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:47PM (#28625347) Homepage Journal

    Um no... this was always in the "Pickens Plan." [pickensplan.com] Wind is only one half of it. Moving vehicles over to natural gas (it's the only energy he thinks could displace oil in vehicles in a relatively short amount of time) is the second half.

    You could have a good argument over your comment about whether he is overly optimistic about our supplies of natural gas though.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sheafification (1205046) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:49PM (#28625377)

    You're totally right about reprocessing fuel: if it's still (radioactively) hot then there is useful energy in there. But it's not right to say that we'd have waste with a half-life of decades instead of centuries. Radioactivity and half-life are inversely proportional. Something that is very radioactive has a short half-life (it's so active because it's decaying quickly). The more we reprocess the longer the half-life of the leftovers gets because we are taking out all the short half-life materials to be used as fuel. So after lots of reprocessing we'd more likely end up with waste that has a half-life in the millions of years than decades.

    But that's really okay, because long half-life things aren't all that radioactive. Given a long enough half-life, you could carry radioactive waste around in your pocket and never receive any radiation from it in your lifetime, just because it takes so long for it to decay at all.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @01:55PM (#28625471) Homepage

    If you actually want to make an impact on bird deaths, spay and neuter your cats, keep them indoors, and stop supporting the construction of glass-curtained buildings. Both kill far more birds than wind farms ever will.

    Hell, even Altamont Pass killed less birds than a typical 3-story administration building that would be built to manage any power generation station.

    However, while as a bird watcher I'm not concerned about wind farms effects on birds, I've heard that things are much worse with respect to bats.

    I still find using this as an argument against wind farms to be grasping at straws, and rarely does it ring of sincerity as opposed to just finding any excuse for maintaining the status quo.

  • by aldeveron (829954) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:03PM (#28625633)
    Offtopic perhaps, but, in the interest of fair and balanced reporting >> http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/53802.html [mcclatchydc.com]. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played a role, but there is much more to the mortgage meltdown than what is spun out in the parents reference. In the absense of the other bad actors the actions of FM2 would not have precipitated the crisis. -M-
  • by guyfawkes-11-5 (1583613) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:04PM (#28625637) Homepage

    sports team owners seem to expect the taxpayers should pay for their little athletic club

    The "little athletic clubs" who bring in buckets and buckets of tax money, tourism, and municipal revenue?

    Those ones?

    buckets and buckets of tax money, tourism, and municipal revenue? Where?

    Certainly not from Yankee Stadium.

    This boondogle makes Boss Tweed look like a chump. If the Yanks can do this in NYC, you can bet other teams can win larger concessions in smaller markets

    preemptive answer to citation request:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2009/01/13/2009-01-13_yankees_stadium_a_money_pit.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Stadium#Financing

  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:08PM (#28625705)

    You may want to update the story summury:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/31802460 [cnbc.com]

    "I didn't cancel it," Pickens said after a press conference on Capitol Hill. "Financing is tough right now and so it's going to be delayed a year or two."

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tacvek (948259) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:13PM (#28625791) Journal

    Yes. The high points of the Integral Fast Reactor are that is will run on just about anything, including "spent" fuel from other reactors. It keeps processing fuel until there is nothing left to get from it. The result is a far smaller amount of radioactive waste than other plants. The radioactive waste produced will decay to the level of natural uranium radiation in only 200 years, which is worlds better than the thousands of years it takes for the "spent" fuel of current systems to decay.

    Fuel does not need to be precisely fabricated like in many other reactor designs. It can simply be cast into the correct shape.

    The reactor is not a serious proliferation concern, because once the fuel is started in the reactor it remains extremely radioactive until it is completely spent. The completely spent material is worthless is nuclear weapons, and militarily could only be useful for dirty bombs. However that risk exists with conventional reactor designs, and is even worse, because of the larger amount of waste produced by those designs.

    That is not to say that everything about this design is ideal. The cost per unit energy produced for this plant is somewhat higher than with conventional plants. That is because other plants are only retrieving the least expensive energy from the fuel, while this plant design wrings pretty much all the energy out of the fuel. This produces a problem for companies interesting in using such a design, since they need to be able to compete on cost per unit energy. If nuclear power plants had to pay for waste disposal in proportion to how long the fuel takes to decay, that would almost certainly offset this. Another small issue is that a few important components of the reactor have never been shown to be commercially viable at a large scale. There are also some safety concerns about the use of molten sodium in the reactor design.

    But all things considered it is a real shame the project was canceled just because it might appear at first to be a threat to anti-proliferation efforts, even though an explanation of the design would make it clear that constructing such a plant would reduce proliferation risk.

  • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by initdeep (1073290) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:28PM (#28626039)

    you're right.
    instead we should use coal and burn it.

    or we should use oil/natural gas and do the same.

    or we should dam up all the rivers and use those.

    or we should plug the geothermal vents and use those.

    in case you missed the sarcasm, i'm telling you it's there by the bucket load.

    Nuclear power is the BEST currently available alternative to coal.
    It's cleaner.

    it's just as safe, if not safer (even the french can run a nuclear reactor... :P)

    it's smaller in footprint than a comparable coal/oil/gas plant.

    it doesn't rely on the whims of mother nature like solar and hydroelectric do.

    The biggest problems with nuclear power are that we try to redesign the wheel every time we build one rather than standardizing on a single design for easier training maintenance and cost savings. (Think naval nuclear power)

    and the second biggest problem is that we simply stop with still useable fuel because we make idiotic laws that say just becuase you could take the fuel and turn it into a weapon, we will just stop before there and deal with the waste.

    simply stopping carbon steel production at the ingot stage since it can be used to make knives means we haven't gotten much use out of the carbon steel as other than a good weight, and we don't do that because it's moronic, yet we allow morons without a clue to tell us that we shouldn't use nuclear because it's "bad" and can "be used as weapons".

    I've worked in nuclear reactors in the navy, and they, when staffed by properly trained individuals, are a reliable, easy to operate, serious contender for replacement of coal power.

    but it doesn't matter.

    obama-san will just raise taxes to pay for more of this "eco-energy" by fleecing the american public.

  • Re:Good. (Score:2, Informative)

    by pwfffff (1517213) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:29PM (#28626071)

    I have pictures from driving in the panhandle of pretty much nothing but dirt. The horizon is ridiculously flat and there's nothing taller than a bush for miles. It's about as ugly as land can get. Even deserts have those cool sand dunes, or ominous looking cracks in the ground. We just have dirt. Driving through a forest of windmills would be a huge improvement. Hell, driving through a forest of 100ft high dog turds would at least be more interesting. Wouldn't smell any worse either thanks to the cow and pig farms.

  • by Fubari (196373) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:35PM (#28626171)

    Fool? No.

    Evil Genius?
    Maybe... check this out:

    --- begin ---
    Pickens Gives New Meaning to 'Self-Government'

    By Steven Milloy
    July 31, 2008

    The more you learn about T. Boone Pickens' plan to switch America to wind power, the more you realize that he seems willing to say and do just about anything to make another billion or two.

    This column previously discussed the plan's technical and economic shortcomings and marketing ruses. Today, we'll look into the diabolical machinations behind it.

    Simply put, Pickens' pitch is "embrace wind power to help break our 'addiction' to foreign oil." There is, however, another intriguing component to Pickens' plan that goes unmentioned in his TV commercials, media interviews and web site -- water rights, which he owns more of than any other American.

    Pickens hopes that his recent $100 million investment in 200,000 acres worth of groundwater rights in Roberts County, Texas, located over the Ogallala Aquifer, will earn him $1 billion. But there's more to earning such a profit than simply acquiring the water. Rights-of-way must be purchased to install pipelines, and opposition from anti-development environmental groups must be overcome. Here's where it gets interesting, according to information compiled by the Water Research Group, a small grassroots group focusing on local water issues in Texas.

    Purchasing rights-of-way is often expensive and time-consuming -- and what if landowners won't sell? While private entities may be frustrated, governments can exercise eminent domain to compel sales. This is Pickens' route of choice. But wait, you say, Pickens is not a government entity. How can he use eminent domain? Are you sitting down?

    At Pickens' behest, the Texas legislature changed state law to allow the two residents of an 8-acre parcel of land in Roberts County to vote to create a municipal water district, a government agency with eminent domain powers. Who were the voters? They were Pickens' wife and the manager of Pickens' nearby ranch. And who sits on the board of directors of this water district? They are the parcel's three other non-resident landowners, all Pickens' employees.
    --- end ---
    excerpt from http://www.junkscience.com/ByTheJunkman/20080731.html [junkscience.com]
    If this true, it is an impressive scheme.

    There was an AC post to this link below.
    If true, this explains the "technical problems" pretty well.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSync (5291) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:36PM (#28626187) Journal

    uranium is a limited resource

    Thorium [wikipedia.org] is very abundant, and can be the basis of a long-term viable nuclear fission fuel cycle.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Informative)

    by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @02:59PM (#28626623) Journal

    "The cost per unit energy produced for this plant is somewhat higher than with conventional plants."

    Why is that? Is it an inherent problem, or just something which could be resolved with further refinement of the design? Just how much more expensive? A little bit, or a lot? How does it compare with coal/oil/natural gas?

    "Another small issue is that a few important components of the reactor have never been shown to be commercially viable at a large scale."

    Weren't those remaining issues the ones they were about to work on when the project was cancelled? Seems to me we should at least re-start the DoE research on this, and get final answers to these questions. It may or may not be commercially viable at a large scale, so *why don't we try to find out*?

    "If nuclear power plants had to pay for waste disposal in proportion to how long the fuel takes to decay, that would almost certainly offset this."

    That, or once we have enough re-processing plants, just put a ban on refining any new enriched uranium, and shut down all the old reactors that required enriched uranium. (You would, of course, have to publish such a plan out with a timeframe so that investors in current plants and enrichment facilities would have 20 or 30 years [or however long is appropriate] to re-coup their investment, but refuse to license any new enrichment facilities or non-reprocessing nuclear plants. It's pretty easy to be cost competitive with power plants that aren't operating or were never built. It's pretty easy to justify investing in building newer, slightly more expensive power plants if you can't get a license to build the cheaper plants, and you know that all of the old style plants are going to be shutdown in 20 years. Even if you are more expensive, *right now*, if you are a power company, you will build the more expensive plants anyhow so that you are up and running before the old plant is shut down.

  • bullshit alert. (Score:4, Informative)

    by dotmax (642602) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @03:00PM (#28626643)
    FTA: "In Texas, the problem lies in getting power from the proposed site in the Panhandle to a distribution system, Pickens said in an interview with The Associated Press in New York. He'd hoped to build his own transmission lines but he said there were technical problems." If he could put together an order for 687 gigantor windmills, he goddamned-well knew _exactly_ where they were going to go and exactly, to the foot, how many feet/miles away the nearest 345kV line was. (substitute appropiate buzzaords). Or whatever. Engineering power distrubition is complicated and painstaking, but it's also fairly cut and dried. What "technical" issue could there possibly be here? was he planning to build a giant Tesla coil?? Sounds like bullshit to me, and i think bullshit like this does enormous damage to the credibility and viability of alt. energy. Political, environmental or financial problems i would accept at face value, but not technical power distribution problems.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @03:51PM (#28627425)

    Maybe that's why we want to secede...cause you guys are murderers!

    Seriously though, how are you going to stop us from seceding?

  • by gethoht (757871) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @04:44PM (#28628073)
    A great read on team owners and how they get cities to publicly subsidize their investments via stadiums is "Field of Schemes: How the great stadium swindle turns public money into private profit" [fieldofschemes.com] If I remember correctly one of the big problems is that there is federal legislation that prevents muni's from profiting in certain ways off of such deals, which makes the team owners the defacto profiteers in the whole shebang. This is the biggest problem that I have with modern sports. I'd be refreshing to see more muni's that actually own the teams, such as the Green Bay Packers. I'm not against subsidizing sports, but I am against it when it becomes just another mass of public money going into private pockets.
  • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @04:59PM (#28628269)

    Being a New Jerseyan, I know the term NIMBY well. But for the uninformed, it stands for "Not In My Back Yard". NIMBYs are the kind of assholes who have fought for many years to keep windmills out of the coastal waters (so far out that it's hard to see them) because they don't want to ruin the skyline on their precious beachfront property.

  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Thursday July 09, 2009 @10:35AM (#28636459) Journal

    The radioactive waste produced will decay to the level of natural uranium radiation in only 200 years, which is worlds better than the thousands of years it takes for the "spent" fuel of current systems to decay.

    Since it will be much more radioactive than the spent fuel products of PWR then it is likely to be 'shorter' half life than those. Though from other information I've read the 'fissile ash' of an IFR would take around 600 years to decay through all the daughter products. Now if only we could design an IFR reactor with an operational lifespan to match the decay characteristics of the spent fuel.

    Fuel does not need to be precisely fabricated like in many other reactor designs. It can simply be cast into the correct shape.

    The process is called "Pyroprocessing" and was a stage of the project that was not completed. It meant dissolving the spent fuel 'cartridge' of an IFR in an acid bath and using an electrolytic process to recover fissionable fuel. It was a significant component of the 'IFR' facility design which was meant to be contained completely underground. A 'Pyro-process' (a new type of fuel reprocessing facility) was planned to be sited with the reactor and fuel to and from the reactor facility went by underground tunnels. The fuel cartridges were to be made in a remote environment in an atmosphere of an inert gas (argon - I think). The idea, fissile material went into the facility and nothing comes out.

    The reactor is not a serious proliferation concern, because once the fuel is started in the reactor it remains extremely radioactive until it is completely spent...

    and decays through it's daughter products. The 'fissile ash' is very radioactive.

    However that risk exists with conventional reactor designs, and is even worse, because of the larger amount of waste produced by those designs....even though an explanation of the design would make it clear that constructing such a plant would reduce proliferation risk.

    IFR has three characteristics which make it a design worth developing

    Weapons grade Plutonium can be used as fuel
    Spent fuel from PWR can be used as fuel
    U-238, or depleted uranium can be used as fuel

    apart from the first two, being able to use up U-238 is a positive for this design. Unfortunately the IFR design is let down by current day materials technology - and the fact that a reactor of commercial scale would be cooled by roughly 60-100,000 tons of sodium. You want to make sure there is no chance of a leak *into* the system. Unless you could use a different type of metal the sodium is necessary to achieve the fuel burn-up rates of an IFR which are around 19% as opposed to the 0.3% of a PWR.

    If nuclear power plants had to pay for waste disposal in proportion to how long the fuel takes to decay, that would almost certainly offset this.

    If the containment facility was built in a mountain made of granite as opposed to a mountain made of pumice (as is the case of Yucca) there would be the basis of a responsible logistics and infrastructure plan to centralise the storage fuel for a potential IFR facility contained in the same mountain. Make no mistake though, despite the advances IFR offer, it would still be a dangerous beast to operate. The failure modes are undefined, the basis design issues are unknown as are the accident sequence precursors - all of which would require *significant* research and development to acquire data for. Breeder reactors are known to be fickle beasts with much shorter times to react to problems than PWR.

    That said though, it could be a viable long term plan rather than taking the 'Not in My Generation' (NIMG) attitude and just consuming electricity. Allowing 50 years to implement it is not and unreasonable way to address the issue of transuranic fuel containment

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