Quote by edpell As soon as synthetic fuels (say methanol) produced from hydrogen from high temperature nuclear reactors are cheap there are many countries in the world where this can be done. The product shipped to all nations with the money to buy.
There's a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in. How much do you suppose this hydrogen would cost? Where would you get the carbon from? Where do you put the nuclear waste?

 Quote by zapperzero There's a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interested in. How much do you suppose this hydrogen would cost? Where would you get the carbon from? Where do you put the nuclear waste?
Actually hydrogen isn't attractive as transport fuel due to its low combustion heat per volume density.

Methanol being a one of so called “base chemicals” is widely produced now (~40 millions tons per annum) via the following reaction CO+2H2=>CH3OH http://www.topsoe.com/business_areas...rod_paper.ashx
Process is very similar to Fischer-Tropsch process but uses another type of catalysts (e.g. Cu based instead of Fe or Co based).

Initial mix is made now via steam reforming natural gas (high temperature ~1000 deg Celsius):
CH4+H2O and may be O2 (if partial oxidation) => nCO+mH2+?Co2+?H2O (the quantity of last two depends on selectivity of catalyst)
If we need not methanol but need pure hydrogen for example for hydrocracking process or fertilizer (ammonia) manufacturing the second step of lower temperature process is carried out:
CO+H2O=>H2+CO2
And the second process produces very large quantity of carbon dioxide.
This is the most common for today’s level of technology and today’s parity of prices on electricity and hydrocarbons.
Today's annual production of ammonia exceeds 120 million tons http://www.greener-industry.org.uk/p...ammoniaapq.htm
And so, if even not considering hydrocracking process also consuming a big quantity of hydrogen, annual production of hydrogen is not less than 3/17*120=21 million tons.

Thinking strategically, crude oil and gas will end in 30-50 years.
In process of an exhaustion of stocks prices inevitably will grow having exceeded the certain threshold when it becomes more favourable to make hydrogen via water electrolyze. And power source here – only nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.
Carbon source in this case will be only the coal gasification in which target reaction is: 2C+O2=>2CO
Manufacturing of liquid hydrocarbons fromcoal is a so called Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) process.
In this process we can produce hydrogen without usage of electricity as well via mentioned above “low temperature” process. But carbon dioxide pollution in this case will be much higher than in case we would use natural gas as carbon source (Gas-to-Liquid).

Note#1: Fischer-Tropsch process has been developed since 1925 in Germany and was used by Nazi for producing of motor fuel from coal in WW2 when they have only not large oil deposits in Romania. Production scale exceeded 5million metric tons per year.
Note#2: One of leaders in CTL process is a South African company SASOL who developed that when South Africa was being embargoed by UN by the reason of apartheid.

PS#1: Nuclear wastes are significant challenge. So, let's develop fusion producing no or much less wastes.
PS#2: I have a book written in late 40s in which is described in details how German chemicists prepared FT and other catalysts and how they build reactors. Now such information as a rule is an industrial secret (know-how) of such companies such as SASOL, Akzo Nobel, etc.

 Quote by Joseph Chikva In process of an exhaustion of stocks prices inevitably will grow having exceeded the certain threshold when it becomes more favourable to make hydrogen via water electrolyze. And power source here – only nuclear fission or nuclear fusion.
This is economics, not physics, so strictly speaking out of the forum scope. However I think the mods will allow a reply:

It is not a given that fuel price will ramp upwards forever more, while maintaining or increasing transaction volume in the market.

IOW, at some very high price point, most people will trade in their cars for bycicles, or use mass transport, or do whatever else (including nothing!) because they simply cannot afford more fuel.

Now this price point may be above the profitability threshold for water electrolysis, or not.

 Quote by zapperzero This is economics, not physics, so strictly speaking out of the forum scope. However I think the mods will allow a reply: It is not a given that fuel price will ramp upwards forever more, while maintaining or increasing transaction volume in the market. IOW, at some very high price point, most people will trade in their cars for bycicles, or use mass transport, or do whatever else (including nothing!) because they simply cannot afford more fuel. Now this price point may be above the profitability threshold for water electrolysis, or not.
Your question what we should do with nuclear wastes also out of the forum scope.
And how you we can bycicles for moving cargo, excavation, flying, military? Armored bicycles? :)
Whether you want to refuse completely plastic?

Actually, economics adapts to any price. I am 47 and remember time when 1 barrel’s price was 7$and now that is above 100. And for example, according to SASOL company data threshold of expediency of "coal-to-liquid" technology usage is steady price above 80$/barrel (at present price for power coal).
And what technology to use for solving of various problems depends on parity of prices.
Hydrogen via electrolyze or steam reforming depends on prices parity on electricity and natural gas.
What base chemicals (olefins or acetylene) as precursors to use for manufacturing of various organic chemical products also depend on parity of electricity, natural gas and crude oil. As in case of cheap electricity acetylene is more attractive for producing the same chemical.
And cheap electricity when oil and gas prices will grow can be produced only by nuclear plants.

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 Quote by Joseph Chikva Your question what we should do with nuclear wastes also out of the forum scope.
No, nuclear waste discussion with some engineering context is not out of scope here ; I find it is encouraged in keeping with other forum rules.

 Quote by mheslep No, nuclear waste discussion with some engineering context is not out of scope here ; I find it is encouraged in keeping with other forum rules.
You are right in case if consider technical aspects.
But:
 How much do you suppose this hydrogen would cost? Where would you get the carbon from? Where do you put the nuclear waste?
And I do not see here the technical aspects.

 Quote by Joseph Chikva Actually, economics adapts to any price. I am 47 and remember time when 1 barrel’s price was 7\$ and now that is above 100.
You should also remember,then, passenger cars using 25 liters of gas /100km, then. And oil-fired plants as a mainstay of power generation. And houses heated with heavy oil. And the crisis in the '70s when oil could not be had at ANY price because suddenly the main producers decided they would be better off (economically) keeping it in the ground.

Adaptation exists, to be sure, but it most certainly involves demand destruction.

 Quote by zapperzero You should also remember,then, passenger cars using 25 liters of gas /100km, then. And oil-fired plants as a mainstay of power generation. And houses heated with heavy oil.
Passenger cars with gasoline consumption from 3 l/100km to 40l/100 km and may be more (such as Lamborghini, Mazeratti, Ferrari, etc.). But what? If quality of gasoline is acceptable and price is the same what a difference via which technology and from which feedstock that gasoline will be produced?

Who will run heavy oil power plants if we will have cheap and at the same time safe nuke?
Yes, for this we should increase standards of industrial safety on another – more higher level.
But in any case by increasing of oil prices nuke plants will become more competitive.

Shaw to sell Westinghouse stake back to Toshiba
http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp...ryCode=2060563
9/6/2011 5:07:00 PM
 Toshiba Corporation is to increase its stake in nuclear power plant vendor Westinghouse Electric Company to 87%, by acquiring all of the shares held by The Shaw Group's subsidiary Nuclear Energy Holdings. . . . . Both Shaw and Westinghouse confirmed that the sale would have no impact on any of the four AP1000 nuclear power plants currently under construction in China or the six under contract in the United States. Bernhard said that Shaw ‘fully expects’ to continue working on future AP1000 projects. . . . . Once the acquisition of Shaw’s stake in Westinghouse is complete, Toshiba’s stake in the company will increase from 67% to 87%. The remaining shareholders in Westinghouse are Kazakh state-owned company Kazatomprom owning a 10%, and Japan’s Ishikawajima-Hariwa Heavy Industries with the remaining 3%.
I'd expect that Shaw has a lot of NPP experience at this point, so they are a serious player in the NPP supplier market.

In other news: A new probe, the materials analysis particle probe, or MAPP, sees materials interactions in fusion reactors
http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp...ryCode=2060554

 Quote by Joseph Chikva But in any case by increasing of oil prices nuke plants will become more competitive.
Yes. That is true, if the oil prices keep increasing - which is by no means a given. Economic contraction may decrease demand to the point where prices (in real, inflation-adjusted terms) stagnate or even drop.

At which point, no-one would be able/willing to bear the opportunity cost of new NPPs.
 After briefly reading through this thread, it seems we are focusing strictly on nuclear fission. What about nuclear fusion? Does everyone think it will be beneficial to implement such a volatile source of power? With more smaller labs researching cheaper ways to obtain a reaction, how viable will it be as a power source?

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 Quote by unassailable After briefly reading through this thread, it seems we are focusing strictly on nuclear fission. What about nuclear fusion? Does everyone think it will be beneficial to implement such a volatile source of power? With more smaller labs researching cheaper ways to obtain a reaction, how viable will it be as a power source?
There are numerous good fusion threads in the forum. You might search in the Nuclear Engineering forum at large for them.

 Quote by zapperzero Yes. That is true, if the oil prices keep increasing - which is by no means a given. Economic contraction may decrease demand to the point where prices (in real, inflation-adjusted terms) stagnate or even drop. At which point, no-one would be able/willing to bear the opportunity cost of new NPPs.
I am afraid that curling of economic activities about which you write so easily means for example that your computer won't have power supply and you will not can for example posting in the Internet.
Workplaces’ number will sharply be reduced, etc.
Nobody including you will agree with that.
Oil deposits run low. That is fact. Through 40-50-60 years oil will end at all. So, the rise of prices is inevitable.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Prices are determined not just by supply, but also demand. I think you find yourself hard pressed to find the real price of any commodity increasing over ~100 years or so of its use. c.f. Figure 1 here on historical price of coal http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/...001.0605v2.pdf Or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simon-Ehrlich.png Oil here: http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1869.gif

 Quote by Joseph Chikva I am afraid that curling of economic activities about which you write so easily means for example that your computer won't have power supply and you will not can for example posting in the Internet. Workplaces’ number will sharply be reduced, etc. Nobody including you will agree with that. Oil deposits run low. That is fact. Through 40-50-60 years oil will end at all. So, the rise of prices is inevitable.
It matters not one whit if I agree.
Employment IS at a historical low in most developed countries.
The oil IS running out. So prices rise, until some buyers are driven to bankruptcy or otherwise forced to stop buying. Then, demand falls and prices go down again. When that happens, those who invested in new production capacity that is only profitable because of high prices go bankrupt too. This will happen to the fancy new NPPs that make process heat for Fischer-Tropsch, if they are ever built.

So overall, production plateaus or declines slowly, while more and more buyers are driven out of the market. Eventually, only plastics manufacturers will be left, they will be the last to switch to natural gas.

My computer does not have a fuel cell. If juice from the wall socket somehow runs out, I will not go "hmm, time to invest in new NPPs". I will set up a few wind turbines or solar panels on the roof of my condo so that my neighbors and I have some juice to charge up mobile phones and laptops, run a couple iceboxes in the basement maybe...

 Quote by mheslep Prices are determined not just by supply, but also demand. I think you find yourself hard pressed to find the real price of any commodity increasing over ~100 years or so of its use. c.f. Figure 1 here on historical price of coal http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/...001.0605v2.pdf Or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simon-Ehrlich.png Oil here: http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1869.gif
Thanks for my education.
But you are a little late.
Yes price forms on base of ratio on supply and demand.
And oil supply will fall down with permanently growing demand.
Do not drive car, do not grow bread, consequently do not eat, etc.
 Most often fossil based power generation relies on coal or natural gas. I do not see what is the significance of oil prices, whatever their future course could be, on the economic prospects of NPPs.