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Letter: Storage facility could be a big nuclear battery

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

When it comes to energy, density matters. The evolution of energy usage has progressed since the beginning of civilization.

First there were renewable fuels such as wind, sun, water and fire. They were the easiest to understand and leverage for the first thousands of years of controlled energy usage and provided limited growth of humanity.

Next there were chemical fuels such as coal, oil, gas and other carbons. They were developed as industrial fuel sources just a few hundred years ago. They provided an accelerated growth of humanity with a thousand times more energy density than renewable.

Now, there are nuclear fuels such as uranium and thorium. As the most recently controlled sources of energy usage, they have been utilized for only a few decades and set the stage for the next long term evolution of energy usage. Nuclear packs a million times more energy density than all other sources.

Electricity has become the base load format of most energy usage, both domestically and industrially. Electricity is no more than an electric charge that is moved around as a current. Electricity can be generated from all the common fuel sources listed above including electricity itself.

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Electricity is not a stored energy source. It is always on the move and has to be constantly replaced from a generating source. Appliances and other electronic devices in your house are examples of electricity transformed into work or heat where the energy dissipates. Unused electricity gets a boost through the circuit with the local transformer to maintain it energy availability.

HI-STORE CISF (a proposed storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in southeast New Mexico) in could be considered the world’s largest man-made nuclear battery. Its stored heat energy from the spent nuclear fuel rods could be locally transferred to purify used fracking waste water in the Permian Basin. The stored spent fuel rods in this huge battery can also be recycled and completely used up as new liquid nuclear fuel for centuries with molten chloride salt fast reactor technology.

Nuclear energy is truly the only long-term clean energy source that will not destroy our environment like all other interim energy sources.

Martin Kral

Roswell