Deep Nuke Sea: Nuclear Power Plants Online & over the Horizon
Here’s an interesting idea: floating nuclear power plants, out in the ocean. You want your nuke plant far away from people? Out of sight, even? Check. You want the plant to be safe from earthquakes? Check. Even tsunamis are much less of an issue further away from shore, because it’s the shallower water near land that makes the wave action more violent. So “check” on that safety concern, too.
You want it to have a guaranteed huge cooling system to prevent Fukushima-type meltdowns? Check. “The ocean itself can be used as an infinite heat sink,” says MIT’s Jacopo Buongiorno, according to theverge.com. “The decay heat, which is generated by the nuclear fuel even after the reactor is shut down, can be removed indefinitely.”
Okay, so not everybody’s in favor of nuclear power. But everybody’s in favor of electrical power. So there’s the permanent question: Where that electricity should come from? The folks at MIT have a creative suggestion, which deserves to be taken seriously.
The best energy strategy is, indeed, “all of the above”--a diversified portfolio. And that means hydrocrarbons, renewables--including, maybe, solar power satellites--and yes, cool new nuclear technology. After all, there’s nothing cooler, and cooling, than the ocean.