19 September 2005

Conversion Booboo

I seem to have mucked something up on the conversion from the evil arhaic units used to quantify natural gas and the power outputs a nuclear plant would need to replace them. I blame the American engineers that came up with mcf to represent a thousand cubic feet of natural gas. I blame them for the British Thermal Unit too, just because.

The actual conversion numbers are:

1 mcf = 1.027 Mbtu = 1.083 GJ (thermal) = 301 kWh (thermal)

Since current tar sands production is around one million barrels a day, consuming according to the Syncrude corporate reports 1.35 mcf/bbl, then the actual energy consumption is equivalent to a 12,540 MW continious thermal output.

This isn't the danty little 100 MW reactor I was talking about. It's more like 4 mondo 900 MW CANDU reactors -- something on the scale of Pickering, Ontario. Since production is expected to increase to 5 million barrels a day by 2025, we would be able to build a significant number of full-size reactors in Fort McMurray, regardless of in-situ production versus mining and upgrading issues.


Engineer-Poet said...

So I'm not the only one who screws up and has to make corrections!  I feel better now. ;-)

Robert McLeod said...


I mean it's a blog right? No sense spending days agonizing over a post. Heck, I think the worse job I do in analysis the more comments I get.

Wilfredo Metzgar said...

It''s quite impressive.