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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1300 on: October 02, 2019, 11:06:10 PM »
An India-Pakistan Nuclear War Would Kill Millions, Threaten Global Starvation
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-india-pakistan-nuclear-war-millions-threaten.html
... Videos at link

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could, over the span of less than a week, kill 50-125 million people—more than the death toll during all six years of World War II, according to new research.



A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and Rutgers University examines how such a hypothetical future conflict would have consequences that could ripple across the globe. Today, India and Pakistan each have about 150 nuclear warheads at their disposal, and that number is expected to climb to more than 200 by 2025.

Quote
... "An India-Pakistan war could double the normal death rate in the world," ... "This is a war that would have no precedent in human experience."

Based on their analysis, the devastation would come in several stages. In the first week of the conflict, the group reports that India and Pakistan combined could successfully detonate about 250 nuclear warheads over each other's cities.

Most of those people wouldn't die from the blasts themselves, however, but from the out-of-control fires that would follow.

For the rest of the globe, the fires would just be the beginning.

The researchers calculated that an India-Pakistan war could inject as much as 80 billion pounds of thick, black smoke into Earth's atmosphere. That smoke would block sunlight from reaching the ground, driving temperatures around the world down by an average of between 3.5-9 degrees Fahrenheit for several years. Worldwide food shortages would likely come soon after.

"Our experiment, conducted with a state-of-the-art Earth system model, reveals large-scale reductions in the productivity of plants on land and of algae in the ocean, with dangerous consequences for organisms higher on the food chain, including humans" ...

Open Access: O.B. Toon el al., "Rapidly Expanding Nuclear Arsenals in Pakistan and India Portend Regional and Global Catastrophe," Science Advances (2019)






Smoke spreads globally and to high altitude in a few weeks after a nuclear war between India and Pakistan 


Temperatures drop rapidly as smoke from cities set on fire by a nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan blocks sunlight from reaching the surface. 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 12:44:36 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1301 on: October 04, 2019, 10:44:48 PM »
Falling Space Reactors: Assessing the Risk
https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/10/falling-space-reactors/

A new NASA report examines various scenarios in which nuclear reactors that are used to power spacecraft could accidentally reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.

“There are a number of types of reentry events that can potentially occur with missions containing fission reactors. Each type of reentry event can produce a variety of possible adverse environments for the fission reactor,” the report said.

The postulated scenarios include accidental reentry upon launch, reentry from orbit, and reentry during Earth flyby.

See Fission Reactor Inadvertent Reentry: A Report to the Nuclear Power & Propulsion Technical Discipline Team, by Allen Camp et al, NASA/CR−2019-220397, August 2019.

A conference on “Nuclear Energy in Space: Nonproliferation Risks and Solutions” will be held in Washington DC on October 17 that will focus on the anticipated use of highly enriched uranium in space nuclear reactors, and the feasibility of using low enriched uranium instead. The conference is sponsored by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project (NPPP) at the University of Texas at Austin.

Several previous technical analyses have concluded that use of low enriched uranium in space reactors is in fact feasible, but that it would probably require a reactor of significantly larger mass.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nuclear-energy-in-space-nonproliferation-risks-and-solutions-tickets-71315555747

See “White Paper – Use of LEU for a Space Reactor,” August 2017 and “Consideration of Low Enriched Uranium Space Reactors”, by David Lee Black, July 2018.

-----------------------------

http://anstd.ans.org/NETS-2019-Papers/Track-4--Space-Reactors/Track-4--Space-Reactors.html
http://anstd.ans.org/NETS-2019-Papers/Track-2--Mission-Concepts-and-Logistics/Track-2--Mission-Concepts-and-Logistics.html

Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) is capable of high specific impulse as well as high thrust and is the leading candidate propulsion technology for a crewed Mars mission.

... Human exploration of entire solar system can be enabled if the gas core nuclear rocket concept is made feasible. The Gas-Core Nuclear Rocket has the potential to greatly reduce the trip time for a given mission as compared to chemical or electric propulsion systems.

... The development of NTP systems presents unique fuel material challenges due to requirements for high operating temperatures, exceeding 2500 K, and chemical compatibility with a hydrogen propellant (coolant) during operation.

... Tested nuclear fuel samples were evaluated for mass loss and their microstructure was characterized. ... Intense damage was observed in the ceramic particles in specific regions for the 2000 K tests that had higher frequency under thermal cycling.

... The current NASA GCD NTP design requires insight into this issue. This heat flow is more complex than simple conduction.

... Decay heating occurs within an Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system after reactor shutdown due to fission products decaying and producing heat within the reactor. The decay heat is large enough during this period to cause the NTP system components to heat up past their temperature limits without sufficient cooling. If the temperature limits are surpassed, the NTP system could be damaged including the reactor core components.

... Hanford's role in space reactor development and testing ... for the Multi-MW reactor, and the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) reactor.

... Collaborations are being pursued with both NASA and external experts to ensure that the results of the qualification testing of radiation effects on materials and electronics are appropriate and relevant to nuclear fission power flight systems.

AN ARCHITECTURE FOR A NUCLEAR POWERED CRYOBOT TO ACCESS THE OCEANS OF ICY WORLDS
http://anstd.ans.org/NETS-2019-Papers/Track-2--Mission-Concepts-and-Logistics/abstract-122-0.pdf

--------------------

If one of these pops, expect the U.S.to be as forthcoming as the Russians.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 12:01:31 AM by vox_mundi »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1302 on: October 08, 2019, 05:57:03 PM »
US Official: Research Finds Uranium in Navajo Women, Babies
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-uranium-navajo-women-babies.html

About a quarter of Navajo women and some infants who were part of a federally funded study on uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems, decades after mining for Cold War weaponry ended on their reservation, a U.S. health official Monday.

The early findings from the University of New Mexico study were shared during a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque. Dr. Loretta Christensen—the chief medical officer on the Navajo Nation for Indian Health Service, a partner in the research—said 781 women were screened during an initial phase of the study that ended last year.

Among them, 26% had concentrations of uranium that exceeded levels found in the highest 5% of the U.S. population, and newborns with equally high concentrations continued to be exposed to uranium during their first year, she said.

The hearing held in Albuquerque by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, Haaland and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, all Democrats from New Mexico, sought to underscore the atomic age's impact on Native American communities.

At Laguna Pueblo, home to Haaland's tribe, the Jackpile-Paguate Mine was once among the world's largest open-pit uranium mines. It closed several decades ago, but cleanup has yet to be completed.

In her testimony, Christensen described how Navajo residents in the past had used milling waste in home construction, resulting in contaminated walls and floors.

While no large-scale studies have connected cancer to radiation exposure from uranium waste, many have been blamed it for cancer and other illnesses.

By the late 1970s, when the mines began closing around the reservation, miners were dying of lung cancer, emphysema or other radiation-related ailments.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1303 on: October 08, 2019, 06:06:35 PM »
US Official: Research Finds Uranium in Navajo Women, Babies
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-uranium-navajo-women-babies.html

About a quarter of Navajo women and some infants who were part of a federally funded study on uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems, decades after mining for Cold War weaponry ended on their reservation, a U.S. health official Monday.

The early findings from the University of New Mexico study were shared during a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque. Dr. Loretta Christensen—the chief medical officer on the Navajo Nation for Indian Health Service, a partner in the research—said 781 women were screened during an initial phase of the study that ended last year.

Among them, 26% had concentrations of uranium that exceeded levels found in the highest 5% of the U.S. population, and newborns with equally high concentrations continued to be exposed to uranium during their first year, she said.

The hearing held in Albuquerque by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, Haaland and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, all Democrats from New Mexico, sought to underscore the atomic age's impact on Native American communities.

At Laguna Pueblo, home to Haaland's tribe, the Jackpile-Paguate Mine was once among the world's largest open-pit uranium mines. It closed several decades ago, but cleanup has yet to be completed.

In her testimony, Christensen described how Navajo residents in the past had used milling waste in home construction, resulting in contaminated walls and floors.

While no large-scale studies have connected cancer to radiation exposure from uranium waste, many have been blamed it for cancer and other illnesses.

By the late 1970s, when the mines began closing around the reservation, miners were dying of lung cancer, emphysema or other radiation-related ailments.

Thanks Vox.

Nuclear advocates often overlook the radiation exposure to surrounding communities from mining operations.  It's good to remind them of the dangers that nuclear power poses, even if the reactors are run safely (which they often aren't).

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1304 on: October 14, 2019, 10:50:06 PM »
U.S. Reviewing Options For Pulling Nuclear Bombs Out Of Turkey, Here's How They Might Do It
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30417/u-s-reviewing-options-for-pulling-nuclear-bombs-out-of-turkey-heres-how-they-might-do-it



The U.S. government is reportedly examining multiple plans for how it might remove approximately 50 B61 nuclear gravity bombs it keeps in ready storage at the American-operated portion of Turkey's Incirlik Air Base.

... The New York Times was the first to report that officials from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Energy, the latter of which oversees the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, were reviewing what to do about the B61s at Incirlik. These bombs have been a particularly serious security concern, as the War Zone has highlighted in the past, after U.S.-Turkish relations began to chill following an attempted coup against Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Since the civil war in Syria erupted in 2011, there have been limited movements of bombs in and out of Turkey in order to return them to the United States for maintenance and upgrades, according to our trust sources.

Concerns about the B61s are undoubtedly higher now given the current situation in neighboring Syria. On Oct. 11, 2019, Turkish artillery "bracketed" a U.S. military position in the Syrian city of Kobane, firing shells within just hundreds of feet of the outpost edges of the outpost. ...

Quote
... I think this is a first — a country with US nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ArmsControlWonk/status/1182846604245495808 

... While we don't know what courses of action might be under consideration, any option would be a major logistical undertaking, even under the best of circumstances. The most likely plan would be to fly the bombs out as part of what is known as a Prime Nuclear Airlift Force (PNAF) operation using specifically designated U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs and crews trained in the movement of nuclear weapons and who are vetted under the Nuclear Weapons Personnel Reliability Assurance Program, though properly configured and crewed C-130 Hercules and C-5 Galaxy airlifters are also options, if necessary.

... "Select the safest, most reliable aircraft available for PNAF missions," according to one Air Force manual titled Safety Rules for Nuclear Logistics Transport By The Prime Nuclear Airlift Force. "Fuel PNAF aircraft with the best low-volatility fuel available which is compatible with aircraft engine operation."

Quote
... "Those weapons, one senior official said, are now essentially Erdogan’s hostages, given the current geopolitical situation"

- The Times

... "To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance," the story explained. "To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago."

It might also prompt new calls within Turkey, which is presently a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to consider developing its own nuclear arsenal. "Some countries have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But [they tell us] we can’t have them," Ergodan had said at a gathering of his members from his Justice and Development Party, also known by the Turkish acronym AK, in September 2019.

"This, I cannot accept," the Turkish President continued. “There is no developed nation in the world that doesn’t have them,” he added. ...

------------------------

The B61 nuclear bomb is of the variable yield ("dial-a-yield" in informal military jargon) design with a yield of 0.3 to 340 kilotons in its various mods.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/B61_nuclear_bomb
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1305 on: October 15, 2019, 09:20:58 PM »
2,667 Bags of Radioactive Waste From Fukushima Nuke Disaster Washed Away by Typhoon Hagibis
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3795303

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Typhoon Hagibis hammered Japan on Saturday (Oct. 12), thousands of bags containing radioactive waste have reportedly been carried into a local Fukushima stream by floodwaters, potentially having a devastating environmental impact.

According to Asahi Shimbun, a temporary storage facility containing some 2,667 bags stuffed with radioactive contaminants from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was unexpectedly inundated by floodwaters brought by Typhoon Hagibis. Torrential rain flooded the storage facility and released the bags into a stream 100 meters away.

Officials from Tamara City in Fukushima Prefecture said that each bag is approximately one cubic meter in size. Authorities were only able to recover six of the bags by 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, and it is uncertain how many remain on the loose while the possible environmental impact is being assessed.

... In Hakone, in Kanagawa Prefecture, 37.1 inches of rain fell in 24 hours on Saturday, setting a record for that location, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. In addition, 27 inches fell in heavily forested Shizuoka Prefecture southwest of Tokyo. In higher elevations just west of downtown Tokyo, 23.6 inches of rain fell, which was also a record.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1306 on: October 30, 2019, 07:46:50 PM »
Indian Nuclear Power Plant’s Network Was Hacked, Officials Confirm
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/10/indian-nuclear-power-company-confirms-north-korean-malware-attack/

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has acknowledged today that malware attributed by others to North Korean state actors had been found on the administrative network of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The admission comes a day after the company issued a denial that any attack would affect the plant's control systems.

It's not clear if data was stolen from the KKNPP network. But the nuclear power plant was not the only facility Singh reported being compromised. When asked by Ars why he called the malware attack a "casus belli"—an act of war—Singh, a former analyst for India's National Technical Research Organization (NTRO), said, "It was because of the second target, which I can't disclose as of now."

While the attack may not have given direct access to nuclear power control networks, it could have been part of an effort to establish a persistent presence on the nuclear plant's networks. As a paper published in May by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the human cost of cyber operations pointed out, “the majority of the computer devices in the world are only one or two steps away from a trusted system that a determined attacker could compromise."
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1307 on: October 30, 2019, 09:08:28 PM »
I did not realise that the USA have currently 97 nuclear power plants in operation (100 in 2016) according to the EIA, currently operating at just under 75% of operating capacity and generating around 18% of total electricity production.

97 installations where everybody knows what they are doing?



"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1308 on: October 30, 2019, 09:53:22 PM »
I did not realise that the USA have currently 97 nuclear power plants in operation (100 in 2016) according to the EIA, currently operating at just under 75% of operating capacity and generating around 18% of total electricity production.

97 installations where everybody knows what they are doing?

A few years ago, it was 105.  However, nuclear is the most expensive way to generate electricity, so it's being phased out.  A few States have passed laws that subsidize existing nuclear power plants to prevent them from closing early and the expense of decommissioning them is so large that many continue to operate just to generate some revenues and put off those decommissioning costs for a few more years.

The last major incident in the US was at Three Mile Island more than 40 years ago but it seems like there are "minor" incidents or near misses every month.  This article about a "minor mishap" in South Carolina is typical.

https://www.thestate.com/news/local/environment/article236495448.html

Quote
Nuclear workers hospitalized; Columbia plant runs afoul of safety rules - again
By Sammy Fretwell
October 22, 2019 10:56 AM, Updated October 22, 2019 11:23 AM

A Columbia nuclear fuel factory with a history of leaks, spills and other mishaps has again run into trouble, this time after three workers went to the hospital and an inspection found the plant didn’t have proper safety equipment.

The Westinghouse nuclear plant discovered last week that it had a device in place that was not adequate to prevent uranium from leaking into chemical supply drums at the site, federal records show.

That’s potentially significant because the drums were in a “non-favorable’’ position, which under certain circumstances could increase chances of a radiation burst inside the 1,000-employee plant.

Nothing to see here, move along.

vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1309 on: November 06, 2019, 07:58:19 PM »
World’s Largest Nuclear Power Producer Confronts Serial Glitches
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-31/the-world-s-largest-nuclear-power-producer-is-melting-down

On the shores of the English channel in Normandy, engineers are struggling to fix eight faulty welds at a plant that’s supposed to showcase France’s savoir faire in nuclear power.

As they consider sending in robots to access hard-to-get-to areas between two containment walls, for Electricite de France it’s just the latest setback in a project that’s running a decade late and almost four times over budget.

The Flamanville plant is now slated to be completed in 2022 at a price tag of 12.4 billion euros ($13.8 billion), with the latest glitch costing a whopping 1.5 billion euros.

For the world’s largest nuclear power producer, Flamanville is just one of many challenges. Across the channel, delays at two U.K. reactors have upped the cost to as much as 22.5 billion pounds ($28.9 billion), 2.9 billion pounds more than previously estimated. EDF also faces mounting costs of maintaining 58 domestic nuclear plants that provide more than 70% of France’s power.

Under a system introduced almost a decade ago to boost competition, rival power suppliers can buy about a quarter of EDF’s nuclear output at 42 euros per megawatt-hour, about 10 euros below current wholesale prices.

... “Investors are staying away because of current uncertainties following the strongly negative news flow on the reputation of the nuclear industry,” said Auguste Deryckx, an analyst at AlphaValue. “The CEO’s stubbornness in pursuing nuclear, which is limiting potential growth in renewables that are better valued by the market, remains a black spot.

------------------------------

Belgium’s Police Call for Witnesses to Identify Man Suspected of Sabotaging Nuclear Reactor
https://www.brusselstimes.com/all-news/belgium-all-news/77396/police-call-for-witnesses-to-identify-man-suspected-of-sabotaging-nuclear-reactor/

Belgium’s Police are calling on the public to assist in the identification of the man suspected of sabotaging a reactor in the Doel nuclear power plant which caused a months-long shutdown, more than five years after the facts.

On 5 August 2014, a valve in the reactor was deliberately opened, causing thousands of litres of oil to leak and the reactor to overheat.

The incident kept the reactor offline until the end of 2014, severely straining Belgium’s overall energy-production capacity and costing more than €100 million in repairs.

“The person who pulled the lever must be an employee or a subcontractor of Engie,” prosecutors said in an online statement, referring to Belgium’s leading energy producer. “It is, in any case, someone who had access to the technical zone.”

“It’s a white man who was wearing dark clothes and glasses, which could have been security googles,” the prosecutors’ statement read. (... that narrows it down to half the population)

------------------------------

BWX Technologies Developing Microreactors With Military Customers In Mind
https://news.usni.org/2019/11/05/bwx-technologies-developing-microreactors-with-military-customers-in-mind

BWX Technologies is developing tractor trailer-sized micro nuclear reactors that could illuminate a small U.S. city, run a forward operating military base, power directed energy weapons or fuel deep-space missions.


... Illuminate your city today

... The types of microreactors the military is interested in would generate between five and 10 megawatts of electricity and another 10 megawatts of thermal power, Lucian Niemeyer, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, said during a recent House Armed Services intelligence, emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee hearing.

“We do believe that there are vendors out there, there are technologies out there, that ultimately could be used on a military installation to island that installation off of commercial power, particularly where we have critical assets,” Niemeyer said

The U.S. Army released a report a year ago detailing the possible uses of mobile nuclear power. The ideal is a power plant system that can fit inside a standard 40-foot shipping container, can be loaded onto a military transport plane or Navy ship, and can generate up to 20 megawatts of power for 10 years or longer without resupply, according to the report.  (... and what will happen when that shipping container is targeted and explodes)

Navy officials are concerned with their ability to deploy directed energy weapons (lasers) on new destroyers because of the power required to run these weapons. Portable nuclear power would fill the bill - it would also form a lethal cloud if the ship was hit.

--------------------------------

New Army Laser Could Kill Cruise Missiles
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/08/newest-army-laser-could-kill-cruise-missiles/

Instead of building a 100-kilowatt weapon, the Army now plans to leap straight to 250 or even 300 kW -- which could shoot down much tougher targets.

-------------------------------------

As Dominion, Others Target 80-Year Nuclear Plants, Cybersecurity Concerns Complicate Digital Upgrades
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/as-nuclear-plants-look-to-digitize-controls-and-enhance-performance-cyber/566478/

Earlier this year, federal regulators granted Purdue University Reactor Number One, a research reactor that has been running since 1962, a license to go entirely digital, eschewing the analog wires and tubes that were state-of-the-art at the start of the atomic age and continue to dominate many of the nuclear power reactor fleet's most important safety systems.

While U.S. nuclear plants have been incorporating digital technology over time, many important systems designed to prevent the release of dangerous radiation are still typically analog. For cybersecurity reasons, the digital controls that do exist have to be "air gapped," meaning they are physically isolated from outside networks.

Now, at Purdue, researchers are using the safety of the laboratory to take the exact opposite approach. The digital controls will have wireless connections that the researchers assume can be hacked so they can test how a digital control room can maintain the safety of the reactor even in the face of a cyber threat. "Can we detect that there was an intrusion and how does that affect the rest of the facility?" Clive Townsend, the reactor's supervisor, explained to Utility Dive.

Quote
... "By narrowing [the cybersecurity guidance for nuclear plants], you are assuming you know exactly what the adversary is going to do, and that's a mistake."

Edwin Lyman

Acting Director of the Nuclear Safety Project, The Union of Concerned Scientists

-----------------------------------

Think Fossil Fuels are Bad? Nuclear Energy is Even Worse
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/think-fossil-fuels-are-bad-nuclear-energy-is-even-worse-2019-10-17

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have come up with an unsettling discovery. Using the most complete and up-to-date list of nuclear accidents to predict the likelihood of another nuclear cataclysm, they concluded that there is a 50% chance of a Chernobyl-like event (or larger) occurring in the next 27 years, and that we have only 10 years until an event similar to Three Mile Island, also with the same probability. (The Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor, near Middletown, Pa., partially melted down on March 28, 1979. This was the most serious commercial nuclear-plant accident in the U.S.)

And then there is 80,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel ...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 08:25:52 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1310 on: November 07, 2019, 06:51:22 PM »
So I clicked on this link from an energy news aggregator:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/02/nuclear-fission-and-fusion-could-be-integral-to-a-carbon-free-future.html

Quote
How nuclear power will drive our energy future

It's laugh out loud funny.  I'm not sure if it's a serious article or if the writer meant to post it to The Onion and got it mixed up with a story for CNBC.  Here's the opening sentence:

Quote
Think of nuclear power and you may imagine the worst — atomic bombs, reactors melting down and radioactive waste.

Not exactly a positive start for a story about driving our energy future.  The story goes on to state,

Quote
That’s because nuclear power plants are expensive to build, construction often takes longer than expected and public opposition is strong.


It's conclusion is pretty weak too.

Quote
For nuclear power to be effective in the future, one key lies in upgrading technology, designing safer and more efficient fission reactors with the support of philanthropists like Bill Gates.

Government labs, private investors, and intergovernmental organizations are also devoting vast resources to what many consider the holy grail of energy — nuclear fusion. Fusion is the process that powers our sun and every other star in the universe. And if we figure out how to harness that power here on earth, it would be a game changer.

And that's the argument for nuclear power these days.  Too expensive, too long to build, but hey, Bill Gates may come up with something that works and fusion is only a few decades away!

Sigmetnow

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1311 on: November 10, 2019, 06:43:20 PM »
How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster
Quote
Five thousand miles west of Los Angeles and 500 miles north of the equator, on a far-flung spit of white coral sand in the central Pacific, a massive, aging and weathered concrete dome bobs up and down with the tide.

Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome.

Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise. ...
https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1312 on: December 03, 2019, 06:14:02 PM »
There is no silver bullet for stopping AGW, but there is silver buckshot.
One of those balls is gonna have to be nuclear reactors.
Maybe we could have done without them if we had held the world's population to one billion, but that ship sailed a couple centuries ago. Until a long term solution (renewables able to reliably and constantly supply ten or twelve billion people, or fusion, or something) comes about, we need nuclear power. If it is properly managed, it will do far less harm to the biosphere than AGW is capable of doing. The alternative is to condemn the world to a new Dark Age.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1313 on: December 03, 2019, 07:44:12 PM »
Tom,

Stop spreading myths about renewables.  There are numerous studies showing that wind and solar can power a high proportion of the US energy requirements with only a small amount of storage.  Here's one:

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2018/03/01/12-hours-energy-storage-80-percent-wind-solar/

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12 hours of energy storage enough for U.S. to run on 80% solar+wind
Scientists in California have modeled a solar-heavy/wind power electricity grid, without nationwide HVDC, that could reliably deliver 80% of U.S. electricity needs. 100% of needs would require 3 weeks of energy storage.

When you factor in hydro and geo-thermal, there's no need for nuclear.  It's too expensive, takes too long to build, and the waste effectively lasts forever on the scale of human lifetimes.  When you consider the radiation hazards of mining, refining and transporting the fuel and the risk of a catastrophic accident, there are good reasons no one wants one of them built near where they live.

While we shouldn't be rushing to replace currently operating nuclear power plants until we can replace all of the coal and natural gas plants first, there's no need to build more nukes.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1314 on: December 03, 2019, 11:39:56 PM »
If renewables can do it, hurray. But thy will have to grow something like two orders of magnitude to support a middle class lifestyle for the 21st Century’s population while solving the problems of intermittency.

EDIT: Not that we shouldn’t push renewables anyway... they may get one order of magnitude growth.
Like that TED talk said, there is no silver bullet, but there is silver buckshot.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 12:08:26 AM by Tom_Mazanec »
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1315 on: December 04, 2019, 07:03:31 PM »
Keep in mind that wind and solar cost more than fossil fuels until 2017 or 2018, depending on the local climate.  Wind and solar are now cheaper than operating coal and new natural gas in around 74% of the world, including in the US.  They are close to parity in China.

So up until 2017 at the earliest, it may more economic sense to build a new fossil fuel plant than install a wind or solar plant.

Now, it makes more economic sense to build a new solar or wind plant than it does a new fossil fuel plant, including natural gas.

In fact, it makes economic sense in the US to retire operating coal plants and replace them with renewables as soon as you can because that saves money.

It currently costs less to install a new solar farm with battery backup than it does to build a new natural gas peaker plant in the US.  This year in California, plans for two new natural gas peaker plants were cancelled and new solar farms with battery backup were started instead.

It is projected that by 2035, most of the natural gas infrastructure in the world, some of which is being built right now, will be stranded assets because wind and solar will be cheaper to build and operate than those natural gas power plants and pipelines.

Notice that the word "nuclear" was not used in this post until this sentence.  That's because the form of power generation once touted as "too cheap to meter" is too expensive to matter.


sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1316 on: January 03, 2020, 08:42:16 AM »
EDF in trouble: Flamanville delay cuts off Hinkley cheap money

"Flamanville, is in even deeper trouble. Work began in December 2007 on the 1650 megawatt unit, which was originally expected to start commercial operation in 2013, but that has now been put back to 2022."

" faulty welds inside the reactor’s containment vessel."

"was granted cheap loans to pay for the UK construction by the British Treasury ... conditional on Flamanville being up and running by the end of 2020"

"paying for the power station from their balance sheet rather than use much cheaper UK Treasury loans that were originally agreed with the UK Government."

https://climatenewsnetwork.net/flagship-reactor-launch-postponed-again/

Ouch. French taxpayer bearing the cost. And they're on the streets already.

sidd
 

rboyd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1317 on: January 12, 2020, 10:54:52 PM »
I am astonished by the sheer crappiness of so much of the western nuclear industry these days - especially the French (and the US!). So different to the earlier rapid and very cost effective buildout of France's nuclear capacity. The same is seen in US infrastructure projects - in the immediate post-war period the US was very good at infrastructure (e.g. the interstate highway system), now awful at it. In comparison the Chinese seem to be very efficient a building basic infrastructure.

Seems one issue is that the French picked a new design which may have inherent problems. Also, I wonder if industries just get out of the habit of dong a job well when they haven't had a big order book for a while. The best engineers may also not be much interested in less-loved and lower-growth industries.

French Nuclear Model Falters

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A big part of the problem, though, appears to be a bet the French nuclear establishment made more than a decade ago on a new generation of reactors. The French promised that those power plants — based on a technology called E.P.R., for European pressurized reactor — would be the safest and most powerful commercial reactors ever built.

But projects under construction at Olkiluoto, Finland, and Flamanville, France, in Normandy, have fallen years behind schedule. Assuming they are ever finally commissioned, they will have cost many more times their original budgets.

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The Finnish plant, for example, was initially estimated to cost about €3 billion and scheduled to open in 2009. It now is not expected to open until 2018 at the earliest, at perhaps three times the originally projected cost. Areva has already recognized €4.5 billion in losses from overruns on the project.

More bad news came recently. On April 7, the French nuclear regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, announced that imperfections had been discovered in the steel that Areva used to make the top and bottom caps of the main reactor vessel at the plant under construction in Flamanville.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/08/business/energy-environment/france-nuclear-energy-areva.html

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1318 on: January 13, 2020, 12:57:07 AM »
Olkiluoto

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Unit 3 is an EPR reactor and has been under construction since 2005. The start of commercial operation was originally planned for May 2009[2] but the project has been delayed and, as of December 2019, the latest estimate for start of regular production is March 2021

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkiluoto_Nuclear_Power_Plant

Flamanville

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A third reactor at the site, an EPR unit, began construction in 2007 with its commercial introduction scheduled for 2012. As of 2019 the project is three times over budget and years behind schedule. Various safety problems have been raised, including weakness in the steel used in the reactor.[1] In July 2019, further delays were announced, pushing back the commercial date to the end 2022.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamanville_Nuclear_Power_Plant

Hinckley Point C

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It’s a little over 3 years since we began full construction at Hinkley Point C and every milestone we set ourselves in 2016 has been met

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Our path to begin operating in 2025 is on plan and our schedule has not changed. But we have been open about the risks and in September this year we said the possibility of a 15-month delay for the first of the two nuclear reactors we are building had increased.

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In September, we also said that we spent more money than planned to deliver our milestones. Some of that was due to geology being more challenging than anticipated, meaning we had to do more work to stabilise the ground and to make working conditions safe. That is behind us now and earthworks are finished.

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All of that design in detail is going to be handed over to Sizewell C, the next nuclear power station which we hope to build in Suffolk. It will give them a very significant advantage and a clear idea of costs and schedule

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/energy/nuclear-power/opinion/edf-energy/108418/hinkley-point-c-achieving-its-milestones-and

It may be the most expensive Nuclear power station on the planet, but that is, in part, due to the fact that the UK government insisted EDF raise the funds at 9% instead of funding it themselves at 2.5%.

British standards rose significantly after Fukushima and Hinckley C can withstand a larger impact and run the pumps from auxiliary power for a significant period of time.

All of this will be used for the next reactor which will not have to go through a 4 year certification process. The build should be less than a decade for Sizewell and correspondingly cheaper.

EDF may be the lead contractor, but 60% of the work is being delivered by UK companies.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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rboyd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1319 on: January 15, 2020, 07:33:04 AM »
The big seawall that they will have to build to surround Hinkley Point (to become Hinkley Island) due to sea level rise will also increase the costs

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1320 on: January 17, 2020, 03:11:33 PM »
Apparently, with a little digging, HP-C is sitting 14m above sea level behind a sea wall that tops out at 13.5m.

It has a useful life of 60 years and barring catastrophic sea level rise (not guaranteed), will function for the entire life without being inundated.

Or at least that is the plan..
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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ArcticMelt2

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1321 on: January 17, 2020, 08:16:16 PM »
https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/preliminary-nuclear-power-facts-and-figures-for-2019

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Based on data reported to the IAEA by 31 December 2019, 450 nuclear power reactors were in operation worldwide, totalling 398.9 GW(e) in net installed capacity, an increase of 2.5 GW(e) since the end of 2018. Nuclear power generated around 10% of the world’s electricity in 2019, or almost one third of all low carbon electricity, and was set to remain the second largest source of low carbon electricity after hydro power.



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In 2019, 30 countries generated nuclear power and 28 were considering, planning, or actively working to include it in their energy mix. Four of these countries, Bangladesh, Belarus, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, were building their first nuclear plants, with the plants in Belarus and the UAE nearing completion.

The IAEA’s projections for global nuclear power capacity in the decades to come, depend in part on whether significant new capacity can offset potential reactor retirements.

In the low projections to 2030, net installed nuclear capacity gradually decreases and then rebounds to 371 GW(e) by 2050, a 6% decline from today’s level. In the high projections, capacity increases by 25% over current levels to 496 GW(e) by 2030, and by 80% to 715 GW(e) by 2050. The share of nuclear electricity generating capacity in the world total electrical capacity will be about 3% in the low case and about 5% in the high case by the middle of the century, compared with 5.5% today.



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New nuclear power reactor connections to the electricity grid in 2019

22 April            SHIN-KORI-4                   (1340 MW(e), PWR, South Korea)
1 May               NOVOVORONEZH 2-2   (1114 MW(e), PWR, Russia)
23 June             TAISHAN-2                      (1660 MW(e), PWR, China)
29 June             YANGJIANG-6                 (1000 MW(e), PWR, China)
19 December  AK. LOMONOSOV-2      (32 MW(e), PWR, Russia)



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Construction starts in 2019

15 April                  KURSK 2-2           (1115 MW(e), PWR, Russia)
27 September      BUSHEHR-2         (915 MW(e), PWR, Iran)
16 October           ZHANGZHOU-1   (1126 MW(e), PWR, China)



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Permanent shutdowns of nuclear power reactors in 2019

14 January          BILIBINO-1            (11 MW(e), LWGR, Russia)
9 April                 GENKAI-2               (529 MW(e), PWR, Japan)
31 May                PILGRIM-1             (677 MW(e), BWR, United States)
16 July                 CHINSHAN-2         (604 MW(e), BWR, Taiwan, China)
20 September    3 MILE ISLAND-1  (819 MW(e), PWR, United States)

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1322 on: January 17, 2020, 08:17:19 PM »
There is no silver bullet for stopping AGW, but there is silver buckshot.
One of those balls is gonna have to be nuclear reactors.
Maybe we could have done without them if we had held the world's population to one billion, but that ship sailed a couple centuries ago. Until a long term solution (renewables able to reliably and constantly supply ten or twelve billion people, or fusion, or something) comes about, we need nuclear power. If it is properly managed, it will do far less harm to the biosphere than AGW is capable of doing. The alternative is to condemn the world to a new Dark Age.

The UK's Royal Institution of International Affairs doesn't think nuclear can compete with renewables.

https://www.ecowatch.com/nuclear-power-cannot-rival-renewable-energy-2644813982.html

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Nuclear Power ‘Cannot Rival Renewable Energy’
Climate News Network
Jan. 14, 2020

By Paul Brown

Nuclear power is in terminal decline worldwide and will never make a serious contribution to tackling climate change, a group of energy experts argues.

Meeting recently in London at Chatham House, the UK's Royal Institution of International Affairs, they agreed that despite continued enthusiasm from the industry, and from some politicians, the number of nuclear power stations under construction worldwide would not be enough to replace those closing down.

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The group met to discuss the updated World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019, which concluded that money spent on building and running nuclear power stations was diverting cash away from much better ways of tackling climate change.

Money used to improve energy efficiency saved four times as much carbon as that spent on nuclear power; wind saved three times as much, and solar double.


Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, told the meeting: "The fact is that nuclear power is in slow motion commercial collapse around the world. The idea that a new generation of small modular reactors would be built to replace them is not going to happen; it is just a distraction away from a climate solution."

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There was considerable concern at the meeting about the possible danger to nuclear plants caused by climate change. Mycle Schneider, the report's lead author, said the reason why reactors were built near or on coasts or close to large rivers or estuaries was because they needed large quantities of water to operate. This made them very vulnerable to both sea and coastal flooding, and particularly to future sea level rise.

He was also concerned about the integrity of spent fuel storage ponds that needed a constant electricity supply to prevent the fuel overheating. For example, large wildfires posed a risk to electricity supplies to nuclear plants that were often in isolated locations.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1323 on: January 17, 2020, 08:23:24 PM »
In the US, 2020 will see 76% of new electricity generating capacity from wind and solar, 22% from natural gas and the rest from hydro and electrical storage (batteries).

That would be a whopping 0 from nuclear.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=42495#



Meanwhile, two more nukes will close, 14% of the planned retirements for next year.  Of course, it's hard to keep pace with coal when it comes to power plant retirements (although natural gas is starting to catch up to coal on retirements).


ArcticMelt2

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #1324 on: January 17, 2020, 08:25:57 PM »
https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx#ECSArticleLink0

Plans For New Reactors Worldwide(Updated January 2020)

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Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with about 50 reactors under construction.
Most reactors on order or planned are in the Asian region, though there are major plans for new units in Russia.
Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading.
Plant lifetime extension programmes are maintaining capacity, particularly in the USA.

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Today there are about 450 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of about 400 GWe. In 2018 these provided 2563 TWh, over 10% of the world's electricity.About 50 power reactors are currently being constructed in 15 countries (see Table below), notably China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.Each year, the OECD's International Energy Agency (IEA) sets out the present situation as well as reference and other – particularly carbon reduction – scenarios in its World Energy Outlook (WEO) report. In the 2019 edition (WEO 2019), the IEA's 'Stated Policies Scenario' sees installed nuclear capacity growth of over 15% from 2018 to 2040 (reaching about 482 GWe). The scenario envisages a total generating capacity of 13,109 GWe by 2040, with the increase concentrated heavily in Asia, and in particular China (34% of the total). In this scenario, nuclear's contribution to global power generation is about 8.5% in 2040.The IEA's Stated Policies Scenario (formerly named 'New Policies Scenario') is based on a review of policy announcements and plans, reflecting the way governments see their energy sectors evolving over the coming decades. The IEA estimates in WEO 2019 that the cumulative impact of the stated policies would result in growth in global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector through to 2040.The IEA has produced energy transition scenarios since 2009, beginning with the '450 Scenario', which was consistent with the narrow aim of keeping CO2 concentrations below 450 ppm (parts per million) – the level associated with a 50% likelihood of keeping the average global temperature rise below 2 °C. In 2017, the IEA introduced the 'Sustainable Development Scenario' (SDS), which "portrays an energy future which emphasises co-benefits of the measures needed to simultaneously deliver energy access, clean air and climate goals." In WEO 2019, the SDS projects nuclear capacity to increase to 601 GWe by 2040 .Nuclear plant constructionOver 100 power reactors with a total gross capacity of about 120,000 MWe are on order or planned, and over 300 more are proposed. Most reactors currently planned are in the Asian region, with fast-growing economies and rapidly-rising electricity demand.Many countries with existing nuclear power programmes either have plans to, or are building, new power reactors. Every country worldwide that has operating nuclear power plants, or plants under construction, has a dedicated country profile in the Information Library. About 30 countries are considering, planning or starting nuclear power programmes (see information paper on Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries).

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Power reactors under construction
Start †       Reactor   Model   Gross MWe
2020   Belarus, BNPP   Ostrovets 1   VVER-1200   1194
2020   Belarus, BNPP   Ostrovets 2   VVER-1200   1194
2020   China, CGN   Fangchenggang 3   Hualong One   1180
2020   China, CGN   Fangchenggang 4   Hualong One   1180
2020   China, China Huaneng   Shidaowan   HTR-PM   210
2020   China, CNNC   Fuqing 5   Hualong One   1150
2020   China, CNNC   Fuqing 6   Hualong One   1150
2020   China, CNNC   Tianwan 5   ACPR-1000   1118
2020   India, Bhavini   Kalpakkam PFBR   FBR   500
2020   Japan, Chugoku   Shimane 3   ABWR   1373
2020   Korea, KHNP   Shin Hanul 1   APR1400   1400
2020   Russia, Rosenergoatom   Leningrad II-2   VVER-1200   1170
2020   Slovakia, SE   Mochovce 3   VVER-440   471
2020   UAE, ENEC   Barakah 1   APR1400   1400

2021   Argentina, CNEA   Carem25   Carem   29
2021   China, CGN   Hongyanhe 5   ACPR-1000   1080
2021   China, CNNC   Tianwan 6   ACPR-1000   1118
2021   Finland, TVO   Olkiluoto 3   EPR   1720
2021   Korea, KHNP   Shin Hanul 2   APR1400   1400
2021   Pakistan   Karachi/KANUPP 2   ACP1000   1100
2021   Slovakia, SE   Mochovce 4   VVER-440   471
2021   UAE, ENEC   Barakah 2   APR1400   1400
2021   USA, Southern   Vogtle 3   AP1000   1250

2022   China, CGN   Hongyanhe 6   ACPR-1000   1080
2022   India, NPCIL   Kakrapar 3   PHWR-700   700
2022   India, NPCIL   Kakrapar 4   PHWR-700   700
2022   India, NPCIL   Rajasthan 7   PHWR-700   700
2022   India, NPCIL   Rajasthan 8   PHWR-700   700
2022   Pakistan   Karachi/KANUPP 3   ACP1000   1100
2022   Russia, Rosenergoatom   Kursk II-1   VVER-TOI   1255
2022   UAE, ENEC   Barakah 3   APR1400   1400
2022   USA, Southern   Vogtle 4   AP1000   1250
                
2023   Bangladesh   Rooppur 1   VVER-1200   1200
2023   China, CNNC   Xiapu 1   CFR600   600
2023   France, EDF   Flamanville 3   EPR   1750
2023   Korea, KHNP   Shin Kori 5   APR1400   1400
2023   Russia, Rosenergoatom   Kursk II-2   VVER-TOI   1255
2023   Turkey   Akkuyu 1   VVER-1200   1200
2023   UAE, ENEC   Barakah 4   APR1400   1400
                
2024   Bangladesh   Rooppur 2   VVER-1200   1200
2024   China, Guodian & CNNC   Zhangzhou 1   Hualong One   1150
2024   Iran   Bushehr 2   VVER-1000   1057
2024   Korea, KHNP   Shin Kori 6   APR1400   1400
                
2025   India, NPCIL   Kudankulam 3   VVER-1000   1050
2025   UK, EDF   Hinkley Point C1   EPR   1720
                
2026   India, NPCIL   Kudankulam 4   VVER-1000   1050
2026   Japan, EPDC   Ohma 1   ABWR   1383
† Latest announced/estimated year of commercial operation
Note: units where construction is currently suspended are omitted from the above Table.

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Increased capacity


Increased nuclear capacity in some countries is resulting from the uprating of existing plants. This is a highly cost-effective way of bringing on new capacity. Numerous power reactors in the USA, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, and Sweden, for example, have had their generating capacity increased.In the USA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved more than 140 uprates totalling over 6500 MWe since 1977, a few of them 'extended uprates' of up to 20%.In Switzerland, all operating reactors have had uprates, increasing capacity by 13.4%.Spain has had a programme to add 810 MWe (11%) to its nuclear capacity through upgrading its nine reactors by up to 13%. Most of the increase is already in place. For instance, the Almarez nuclear plant was boosted by 7.4% at a cost of $50 million.Finland boosted the capacity of the original Olkiluoto plant by 29% to 1700 MWe. This plant started with two 660 MWe Swedish BWRs commissioned in 1978 and 1980. The Loviisa plant, with two VVER-440 reactors, has been uprated by 90 MWe (18%).Sweden's utilities have uprated three plants. The Ringhals plant was uprated by about 305 MWe over 2006-14. Oskarshamn 3 was uprated by 21% to 1450 MWe at a cost of €313 million. Forsmark 2 had a 120 MWe uprate (12%) to 2013.

Plant lifetime extensions and retirements

Most nuclear power plants originally had a nominal design operating lifetime of 25 to 40 years, but engineering assessments have established that many can operate longer. By the end of 2016, the NRC had granted licence renewals to over 85 reactors, extending their operating lifetimes from 40 to 60 years. Such licence extensions at about the 30-year mark justify significant capital expenditure needed for the replacement of worn equipment and outdated control systems.In France, there are rolling ten-year reviews of reactors. In 2009 the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) approved EDF's safety case for 40-year operation of its 900 MWe units, based on generic assessment of the 34 reactors. There are plans to take reactor lifetimes out to 60 years, involving substantial expenditure.The Russian government is extending the operating lifetimes of most of the country's reactors from their original 30 years, for 15 years, or for 30 years in the case of the newer VVER-1000 units, with significant upgrades.The technical and economic feasibility of replacing major reactor components, such as steam generators in PWRs, and pressure tubes in CANDU heavy water reactors, has been demonstrated. The possibility of component replacement and licence renewals extending the lifetimes of existing plants is very attractive to utilities, especially in view of the public acceptance difficulties involved in constructing replacement nuclear capacity.On the other hand, economic, regulatory and political considerations have led to the premature closure of some power reactors, particularly in the USA, where reactor numbers have fallen from a high of 110 to 97, as well as in parts of Europe and likely in Japan.It should not be assumed that a reactor will close when its existing licence is due to expire, since operating licence extension is now common. However, new units coming online have more or less been balanced by the retirement of old units in recent years. Over 1998-2018, 89 reactors were retired as 98 started operation. There are no firm projections for retirements over the next two decades, but the World Nuclear Association's 2019 edition of The Nuclear Fuel Report has 154 reactors closing by 2040 in its reference scenario, using conservative assumptions about licence renewal, and 289 coming online.Notes & referencesGeneral sourcesInternational Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2019
World Nuclear Association, World Nuclear Performance Report 2019e