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1/30Natural Gas:•Composed primarily of methane•Natural gas in the US is domestically produced•Demand is highly seasonal, with industrial sector accounting for the largest proportion of demand•Primarily used for generating electricity, industrial applications, and residential applications in the US•GCCS is 50% more efficient than traditional gas power plants•Issues: located in remote areas, production and transportation infrastructure required, pricing needs to be high enough, unstable political regimes•Unconventional sources: coalbed methane, tight gas, methane hydrate•Relationship between urban density and petroleum consumptionNuclear Energy•Nuclear is the second-largest form of electricity after coal•Serve as a base load generator, like coal•There are currently 104 nuclear plants•The US generates more electricity from nuclear than any other country, however numerous countries get a percentage of their electricity from nuclear•Produces approximately 20% of our electricity needs•New development of nuclear plants halted after Three Mile Island accident•Cost is a big issue, estimates are $3000-$6000/kW vs. $1000/kW for wind or $750/kW for coal•Nuclear Power basics•Nuclear power plants create steam to turn a turbine and generate electricity •Thermal energy is created by splitting up atoms of radioactive elements in a process called a fission reaction•Nuclear Power Plants•A nuclear reactor has four components: the uranium fuel assemblies, the control rods, and coolant or moderator, and the pressure vessel•Reactors are designed and operated to maintain a constant rate of fission and produce a constant amount of heat•Nuclear Reactor designs•Generation 1 (1950s-1960s)•One-of-a-kind prototype designs•Generation 2 (late 1960s-1990s)•Commercial designs in large scale production•Generation 3 (1996-present)•Nuclear Fuel Cycle•Uranium is the basis for all commercial nuclear power plants•Top uranium mining countries are Canada, Australia, former USSR•There are no concerns about depleting the resource•1 kg Uranium = 3,000 tons coal = 14,000 barrels of oil•Solutions for waste•Salado salt formation in the NM desert: keeps waste from leaking out•Estimated to hold 10,000 years of human nuclear waste•No current long-term solution•Risk and radiation•Radiation risk from routine operations is not considered to be a problem•Concern is that non-routine operation and terrorist attacks may result in


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ASU SOS 324 - Natural Gas

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