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TerryM

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #900 on: December 03, 2018, 06:17:46 AM »
Meanwhile in the East Siberian sea, Russia is moving ahead with the delivery of its floating nuke:https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic-industry-and-energy/2018/11/worlds-first-floating-nuclear-power-plant-making-pevek-arctic#.XAFxXD1UAWQ.twitter
Sebastion
Can I ask how Carson Dawson City is powered? edited - no idea how I moved Carson City so far north  :-[
Any thoughts on how a tiny nuclear plant would work in your environment?
Your thoughts on how powering northern communities could be improved, both to serve the community but also the environment in general?


Thanks
Terry
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 04:19:30 PM by TerryM »

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #901 on: December 03, 2018, 08:13:33 PM »

Sebastion
Can I ask how Carson Dawson City is powered? edited - no idea how I moved Carson City so far north  :-[
Any thoughts on how a tiny nuclear plant would work in your environment?
Your thoughts on how powering northern communities could be improved, both to serve the community but also the environment in general?


Thanks
Terry

Dawson City gets its electricity from the Yukon grid, which is 95% hydro. There is redundant diesel capacity in all communities for when the grid trips off. Yukon has the highest penetration of residential solar power in Canada, related to its forward thinking Micro-Gen program.
http://www.energy.gov.yk.ca/pdf/microgen_policy_summary.pdf
Most Yukon communities are connected to the grid, those few that are not are exploring options to reduce diesel consumption.
https://www.yukon-news.com/business/vuntut-gwitchin-first-nation-plugs-in-old-crow-solar-power-project/
Yukon's crown corporation owned utility is planning an 8MW lithium battery for grid stabilization and to facilitate additional renewables.
Yukon's Independent Power Producers policy is expected to roll out in the new year; several solar and wind projects are ready to go when the IPP sets out how IPPs will get compensated.
Yukon is fortunate in that it has lots of solar potential in summer, balanced by lots of wind potential in winter, and buffered by lots of hydro. Complicating factors include the periodic opening of large mines which can put a strain on the grid and have led to a steady increase in fossil fuel electricity over the past decade.
It is clear that remote northern communities will benefit from solar and storage projects, with wind where feasible.
Sitting as does on the Ring of Fire, Yukon has untapped and unexplored geothermal potential.
Key to addressing the power issues here, as elsewhere is community agency- and here with its self governing First Nations, Yukon has a real advantage.

TerryM

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #902 on: December 04, 2018, 01:38:48 AM »
Thanks Sebastian!


I had no idea that the Yukon had a grid, or that hydro would be available in sufficient quantity. It sounds as though the Yukon does have real advantages WRT power!


You mentioned FF, but not coal. I hope coal isn't part of the mix.


With a modicum of luck and lots of political willpower it seems just possible that Canada could ween herself from coal in the not too distant future. Might be a way to mitigate in some small way the damage we've done to the atmosphere with our dirty oil. :-[


I've long believed that if we could end coal generating plants worldwide it might represent a win that we could point at with pride.


We have to start somewhere with a winnable goal.
Terry

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #903 on: December 04, 2018, 08:20:29 PM »
Hi Terry,
I suppose Yukon's grid would be considered an isolated micro grid if placed in the global context. To some this is a problem because we cannot easily dump excess electricity or purchase if we are short. To that end, some wish to connect to the British Columbia grid. This, they argue, would enable us to industrialize the Yukon on clean electricity from a mega dam under construction in B.C. that is woefully over budget and desperately short of customers. Currently, any shortfall is made up with diesel and, increasingly, LNG generators.
Yes, Canada can easily stop using coal for electricity, and I'm confident we shall and soon(ish). Ontario has done it, Alberta is committed- and once it sent the signal, half the plants immediately closed- pretty well the only hold out is Saskatchewan which still thinks carbon capture and storage is viable.
Sorry, kinda got away from nukes here....
 

tombond

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #904 on: December 19, 2018, 02:03:11 PM »
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-There-is-no-Holy-Grail-of-energy

Germany will fail to achieve the CO2 emission reduction targets set for 2020, and the gap will be quite significant.  That’s why it is postponing the closure of coal-fired power plants and is building Nord Stream 2, writes Józef Sobolewski, director of the Nuclear Energy Department in Poland's Ministry of Energy.  He went on to say:

I compared the historical emissions data for Poland, Germany and France and found for the last 20 years, Poland has reduced its emissions by virtually the same amount as Germany, whose total renewable energy investment exceeded EUR250 billion.

In fact, Germany, while it leads the way in the development of renewable energy sources, has emissions ten times higher than France that relies on nuclear for power generation.

Energy systems cannot feed solely off renewables without supply from stable sources, and for Germany, these are provided by lignite power plants, the highest producers of emissions.

A German expert on wind energy, explained that the Holy Grail of renewable energy - an energy storage facility capable of filling the gap if wind stops for one day across the country - cannot be built, meaning it does not exist.  Remember that the ‘wind silence’ can last for weeks.

France that derives 75% of its energy from nuclear power plants and emits an average of ten times less CO2 per power unit than neighbouring Germany.  The French president abandoned plans to reduce the share of nuclear energy to 50%, stating that the reduction of emissions is the most important and not the way it is achieved.   Nevertheless, to appease the wind lobby, he approved the construction of offshore wind farms, with a guaranteed price five times more expensive than nuclear power.

A few years ago, I read an article by a consultancy that "a wind turbine is not a wind power plant; it is an excellent financial instrument”.

One may ask who gets the most profits from the development of renewable energy. It is obvious to me that it is not the climate.

Recently, a number of reports have been published on climate change, clearly indicating the need to develop nuclear energy as the only real measure that can prevent the bad from getting worse.

Maybe it’s time now to consider changes to EU policy and the replacement of “renewable energy” with “clean energy”?

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #905 on: December 19, 2018, 03:22:50 PM »
Hello everyone. Greetings from Germany. :)

Long time lurker here. Made an account to share this link to the thread >> http://omegataupodcast.net/299-gravity-storage/

It shows how energy storage can be done. It's about gravity storage.

@tombond i want to invite you to listen to it. The guest is talking about how much storage is needed and how a bigger grid (say a European/Asian combined) does not need energy storage at all and how it can be done without the need of nuclear power. Making the grid bigger or building energy storage as mentioned in the podcast or even do both would be cheaper and faster to deploy as new nuclear power plants.

oren

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #906 on: December 20, 2018, 02:35:08 AM »
Welcome B Lumenkraft. Thanks for sharing. The first post is the hardest...

Alexander555

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #907 on: December 20, 2018, 08:33:48 AM »
Tombond: One of the problems with a nuclear powerplant, is that you have to supply it with uranium. Or it goes down 100 % of the time. And the reserves that can be mined at todays price are just for a few years. Maybe 6 or 7 years. There is still a big pile left that can be mined at a much higher price. Bud than it depends how much reactors they build in the rest of the world. or that big pile is only good for a couple dozens of years. Until now it is mainly a few countries that use all the uranium, the USA, France.....But there are many left with a big need for energy. So nuclear will only be a short term solution, if you close your eyes for the thousands of years they will have to take care for that waste.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_uranium_reserves

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #908 on: December 20, 2018, 09:37:41 AM »
Uranium reserves are not the problem. Financing is.

Absent state backed guarantees, no generator or utility today will undertake nuclear construction. Even given state backed funding, too many nuke projects turn into fiasco.

Banks rather fund solar, wind, gas peaker and battery. At current levels of solar/wind penetration, they can play that game for a few doublings, until solar/wind hits several tens of percent of load. Which is quite far away, certainly too far away for bean counters who live and die on quarterly reports.

sidd

Alexander555

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #909 on: December 20, 2018, 10:47:37 AM »
Maybe the reserves are not a problem in the short term. But if you are born today, in a fossil fuel world. And they would make it to the average age of 80. Than they will not die in a fossil fuel world. Because all of that , coal, gas, oil, uranium, tree's....will be gone by the time they will be 80. And most of these hydro dams will be between the age of 80 and 200 years. So they will be cracking, or collapsed already.

mitch

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #910 on: December 20, 2018, 06:05:14 PM »
Uranium reserves will be a problem without breeder reactors. U-235 fission supplies the energy for most reactors (0.75% of total U). Breeder reactors are needed to convert U-238 to the more fissile plutonium species, or to convert Th-232 to U-233. 

There will be concern about these nuclear fuels going forward. 

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #911 on: December 20, 2018, 06:52:19 PM »
Here's a link to an article exploring why China has cut back on construction of nuclear reactors:

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Why-Is-China-Losing-Interest-In-Nuclear-Power.html

And here are some excerpts:

Quote
Why Is China Losing Interest In Nuclear Power?

By Leonard Hyman & William Tilles  - Dec 19, 2018, 2:00 PM CST

The future of the nuclear power industry lies in China. The Chinese are presently building more nuclear electric power generating stations than any other country. This year, the Chinese will add three more nuclear power stations to their fleet bringing their total up to 40, while eighteen nuclear plants are also under construction. According to MIT estimates, the Chinese can erect a nuclear plant for half the cost of a plant here in the U.S. If so, what’s the problem?

First, let’s put the numbers into perspective. Nuclear power accounts for about 4 percent of Chinese electric power production. (Nuclear accounts for about 20 percent of electric power generation the U.S.) Solar and wind generation accounts for 7 percent of production in China and the renewable component has been growing far faster than nuclear. Chinese industries spent $127 billion in 2017 on developing renewables

Quote
Now, let’s get to the disturbing item in the MIT analysis as far as the nuclear power industry is concerned. The money quote? “Officially China still sees nuclear power as a must have. But unofficially, the technology is on a death watch.” The Chinese appear committed to completing all of the eighteen or so nuclear projects presently under construction, but they have not announced a new commercial project since 2016.

Quote
But we would argue that there are other factors for this waning interest in nuclear power. First is that renewables may be cheaper. Also, projections for power demand show a substantial falling off. The rate of Chinese electric power demand growth was 11 percent per year in 2000-2015 but is projected to fall to 2 percent per year in 2015-2030. These shifts show the Chinese economy coming to resemble those of the U.S. and Europe with less growth in the most energy intensive industries. An 11 percent growth rate in demand means a situation of almost chronic undersupply and shortage. A 2 percent growth rate in power demand permits a far more leisurely approach to long term energy planning.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #912 on: December 20, 2018, 06:57:32 PM »
Nuclear power plants tend to be huge, so when they go offline, either for scheduled refueling every 18 months or for unexpected repairs, backup generation is still needed.

For example, the largest nuclear power plant in the US has been having issues since 2016:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jackson-mississippi-grand-gulf-nuclear-plant-outage-raises-concerns/

Quote
Jackson, Miss. — Another unplanned outage at Mississippi's Grand Gulf nuclear power plant is adding to regulators' concerns that reliability problems at the largest single-unit nuclear power plant in the United States may be affecting power markets.





Operators at the Entergy Corp. plant in southwest Mississippi took it offline Wednesday, citing problems with a turbine bypass valve. The outage came to light Tuesday when the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced a special inspection citing equipment issues "the agency wants to better understand."

"The two-member NRC team will spend about a week on site developing a chronology of the event, and evaluating the licensee's cause analysis and the adequacy of corrective actions," the company also said. "An inspection report documenting the team's findings will be publicly available within 45 days of the end of the inspection."

The plant has been running at reduced or zero power output for much of the time since 2016. That can stress power supplies and cause higher prices across Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and eastern Texas. Tuesday, the commission said Grand Gulf was running at 18 percent power.

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #913 on: December 21, 2018, 12:07:28 AM »
Nuclear power plants tend to be huge, so when they go offline, either for scheduled refueling every 18 months or for unexpected repairs, backup generation is still needed.

Hence why the British Advance Gas Reactor was originally designed to be fuelled in operation.  When they hit issues with fuelling the costs had already been growing astronomically so they decided to park the problem and treat them like standard reactors.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #914 on: December 21, 2018, 05:05:56 AM »
(sigh) The Oil Price article says: "Overall, we don’t know whether China’s nuclear construction costs are lower than say the US." and then also says: "Whatever the underlying cause ... We suspect the reason is ...." which in plain english means they do not have a damned clue. So "Oil Price dot Com" closes with a nice piece of manipulative Spin: "But ultimately why would people want to buy a product that the producer can no longer reliably sell in its home market?"

Nor do they reference a single data point or fact from China itself. It's innuendo, assumptions and guess work all the way down starting at the MIT report - which, imo, is not much better than this one by Mark Hibbs:

Quote
"During Mr. Hibbs’ presentation, he briefly discussed the evolution of the Chinese nuclear energy programme, identified five challenges to the continued development of nuclear energy in China and offered possible boundary scenarios for the future of nuclear energy in the Chinese energy market."
https://vcdnp.org/the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-china/

I can't wait to read an insightful article from a China University about "How the US Democratic Party Works in Practice." or the "Genius Energy Plans & Decision Making Processes of the US Congress."

Quote
The cost of China’s smaller modular pebble bed nuclear reactors should only be $420 million for a 210 MW version and $1.2 billion for a threepack that could be a dropin replacement for the coal burner at China’s many coal plants.

The US has seen prices for US 1.2 GW AP1000 nuclear plants is far higher. Total costs for two 1.2 GW plants is heading to $25 billion. $12.5 billion for 1.2 GW with AP1000 in the USA versus $2.4 billion for 1.2 GW from six smaller pebble bed modules. Event looking at only capital and construction costs the US plants are at $5.4 billion.

Six Chinese-designed 1000 MW reactors at Yangjiang will be a huge nuclear power base for China General Nuclear, and will cost only US$11.5 billion for over 6000 MWe, a third of the cost in western countries.

In 2015, Fangchenggang Unit 1 achieved criticality five years after construction began in Guangxi province, close to the Vietnam border, the first nuclear reactor in that province. Six reactors are planned at this site at a total cost of about US$12 billion. 5 years and about $2 billion per reactor has become routine for China.
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/08/china-small-modular-pebble-beds-will-be-400-million-for-200-mw-and-1-2-billion-for-600-mw.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shidao_Bay_Nuclear_Power_Plant

Quote
Today, due partly to the high capital cost of large power reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle and partly to the need to service small electricity grids under about 4 GWe, there is a move to develop smaller units. These may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as required (see section below on Modular construction using small reactor units). Economies of scale are envisaged due to the numbers produced. There are also moves to develop independent small units for remote sites. Small units are seen as a much more manageable investment than big ones whose cost often rivals the capitalization of the utilities concerned.

An additional reason for interest in SMRs is that they can more readily slot into brownfield sites in place of decommissioned coal-fired plants, the units of which are seldom very large – more than 90% are under 500 MWe, and some are under 50 MWe. In the USA coal-fired units retired over 2010-12 averaged 97 MWe, and those expected to retire over 2015-25 average 145 MWe.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are defined as nuclear reactors generally 300MWe equivalent or less, designed with modular technology using module factory fabrication, pursuing economies of series production and short construction times. This definition, from the World Nuclear Association, is closely based on those from the IAEA and the US Nuclear Energy Institute.

Chinese support for SMRs

The most advanced small modular reactor project is in China, where Chinergy is starting to build the 210 MWe HTR-PM, which consists of twin 250 MWt high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTRs) which build on the experience of several innovative reactors in the 1960s to 1980s.

However, China is also developing small district heating reactors of 100 to 200 MWt capacity which may have a strong potential evaluated at around 400 units. The heat market is very large in northern China, now almost exclusively served by coal, causing serious pollution, particularly by dust, particulates, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides.

Overall SMR research and development in China is very active, with vigorous competition among companies encouraging innovation.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx

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In March 2014 the Premier said that the government was declaring “war on pollution” and would accelerate closing coal-fired power stations.

In November 2014 the Premier announced that China intended about 20% of its primary energy consumption to be from non-fossil fuels by 2030, at which time it intended its peak of CO2 emissions to occur. This 20% target is part of the 13th Five-Year Plan and was reiterated by the president at the Paris climate change conference in December 2015, along with reducing CO2 emissions by 60 to 65% from 2005 levels by 2030. This means that China’s energy growth has entered a ‘new normal’ phase including environmental protection, and to address this, vigorous development of nuclear power is required. By 2030 nuclear capacity will be 120 to 150 GWe, and nuclear will provide 8% to 10% of electricity.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx
Quote
China plans further high temperature reactor innovation

19 September 2017

China is moving rapidly towards using nuclear power as an industrial heat source and as a direct replacement for coal, Yulong Wu, CEO of Chinergy, told a side event at the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) General Conference today.

Five years into the HTR-PM program, technical tests of most innovative components and materials are complete, and on-site the reactor vessel and some non-fuel graphite spheres are loaded. The design sees two pebble-bed reactors cooled by helium produce 250 MWt MWt each and drive one steam turbine to produce 210 MWe net. It can be configured for varying ratios of electricity and heat.

Applications for HTR-PM include direct replacement of coal-fired power plants, while its heat could be used for desalination of seawater for human consumption, production of hydrogen, or a wide range of other high temperature heat applications in industry.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/China-plans-further-high-temperature-reactor-innov

Quote
The demonstration HTR-PM is expected to be connected to the grid and start electricity generation this year. A further 18 such HTR-PM units are proposed at Shidaowan.

Beyond HTR-PM, China proposes a scaled-up version called HTR-PM600, which sees one large turbine rated at 650 MWe driven by some six HTR-PM reactor units. Feasibility studies on HTR-PM600 deployment are under way for Sanmen, Zhejiang province; Ruijin, Jiangxi province; Xiapu and Wan'an, in Fujian province; and Bai'an, Guangdong province.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/HTR-PM-steam-generator-passes-pressure-tests


and so it goes on.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #915 on: December 21, 2018, 06:28:35 PM »
Lurk,

The article states that the Chinese haven't started any new nuclear power plants in China since 2016.  Do you have any data that contradicts that statement?

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #916 on: December 21, 2018, 10:56:53 PM »
Link,

Any news on the startup of the pebble bed reactor that began construction in April 2012, only 6 years ago (lightning fast for nuclear power plant construction)?  According to the articles you linked to above, it was supposed to start commercial operation this year.

The only articles I could find about it were from August 2018:

https://www.theengineer.co.uk/nuclear-safety-pebble-bed-reactors/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180823113558.htm

Quote
Experts voice safety concerns about new pebble-bed nuclear reactors
Date:August 23, 2018
Source:Cell Press
Summary:Researchers advise caution as a commercial-scale nuclear reactor known as HTR-PM prepares to become operational in China. The reactor is a pebble-bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), a design that is ostensibly safer but that researchers in the US and Germany warn does not eliminate the possibility of a serious accident.

Quote
In addition to generating electrical power more efficiently, pebble-bed HTGRs such as HTR-PM avoid some of the safety challenges that earlier reactor designs faced. They use graphite- and ceramic-coated grains of uranium fuel that can withstand the core's very high temperatures and passive cooling systems, which together should eliminate the possibility of a core meltdown. "Pebble-bed reactors have been described by their supporters as 'free from catastrophes' and 'walk away safe,'" he says.

What this means in practice, however, is that the soon-to-be-operational HTR-PM has been built without the safeguards that nuclear reactors in operation today are usually equipped with: it does not have a high-pressure, leak-tight containment structure to serve as a backup in case of an accidental release of radioactive material. It also does not have a redundant active cooling system.

"No reactor is immune to accidents. The absence of core meltdown accidents does not mean that a dangerous event is not possible," Moormann says. He and his coauthors, Scott Kemp and Ju Li of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that with new technology, there is always a higher chance of user error. And prototype HTGRs have surprised their operators in the past by forming localized hot spots in the core and unexpectedly high levels of radioactive dust. The pebble-bed design also produces a larger volume of radioactive waste, which is challenging to store or treat.
Quote
"There was already some controversy about pebble-bed HTGRs, but my impression was that many problems of them were not sufficiently published and thus not known to some of my colleagues," says Moormann. "I hope that the pros and cons will be broadly discussed."

When the Chinese started up the first AP1000 reactors earlier this year, they made a big deal out of it and there were a lot of news releases.  I find it odd that they haven't made any announcements about the start up of this reactor.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #917 on: December 21, 2018, 11:37:48 PM »
Here'a another article, from a different author, that comes to similar conclusion about the Chinese nuclear industry:

https://www.compelo.com/energy/news/china-nuclear-expansion/

Quote
Many of the negative factors which have affected nuclear programmes elsewhere in the world are now also equally applicable in China. Despite many new reactors starting up, it is clear that the programme has continued to slow.

The most obvious sign of this is the lack of approvals for new construction starts. There have been no new approvals for approaching three years, so the number of reactors under construction has been falling sharply. Other indications of trouble are:
•uncertainties about the type of reactor to be utilised in the future
•the position of the power market
•the structure of the industry with its large state-owned enterprises (SOEs)
•the degree of support from state planners and the level of public opposition to nuclear plans.
•where China now stands with its planned transition to advanced reactors and a fuel reprocessing strategy.

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Another important reason for the slowdown relates to the size of nuclear programme China needs. Problems of power over-supply in particular regions are now pressing and connected to the continued construction of coal generating stations and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power. There are important questions to be resolved about how many reactors are needed to satisfy power demand and the price that can be paid for their electricity. Nevertheless, most of the Chinese nuclear companies want to build lots of new units and feel they are being held back by the authorities. The rapid expansion of wind and solar generating capacity has reminded the planners that there are alternative means of achieving environmental goals, while the Chinese hydroelectric programme is still enormous.

Quote
China’s nuclear programme is now much harder to assess. The picture up to 2020 is fairly certain, as units under construction come into operation). The 58GW capacity target by end-2020 will be missed by perhaps 5GW, but more serious is another goal – having 30GW under construction by then. This would imply a programme of six reactors a year up to 2025, a similar level to 2015-2020. Almost all will have to be approved before the end of 2020. On recent trends, this looks unlikely and so it may be prudent to assume a programme of only 3-4 units per year beyond 2020. This means nuclear generating capacity of only 90GW or so by 2030, well below previous expectations. Beyond then it is difficult to judge, but the chance of China having a huge nuclear programme by 2050, perhaps consisting of 200-400 reactors, is much less than a few years ago. Estimates that China may move ahead of the USA in nuclear generating capacity by the mid or late 2020s now look wide of the mark. Even if 10-20 US units do eventually shut down by 2030, it could happen after then.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #918 on: December 21, 2018, 11:51:21 PM »
"Experts" are always voicing their safety concerns. That's why the IAEA exists. They seem convinced all is ok and have approved the HTGR-PM. Who am I to argue? Given what "those experts" say and question, i think they need to do more research on this type of unit and why the IAEA have signed off on it being "meltdown proof; walk away safe" and what that actually means and why it is true. 

6 years? The Shidowan unit is the first of it's kind. It's the first full scale demonstration plant that has ever been built. Everything is new from digging the hole and pouring the cement. The project has relied on a supply system of components which were also one off first time they were ever made. This came after a major setback - all stop - after the Fukushima disaster causing many disruptions and delays in the supply system. I have assumed they were BEING REALLY CAREFUL and taking their time because it is such an important project they they must GET IT RIGHT and LEARN FROM THE PROCESS to make future builds run smoothly and safely.

The plans are for a time frame under 3 years as IF these are a go (remember it is a demo plant for proof of concept purposes) then Modular Mass production will be the norm in order to deliver international orders in the future.

Last I heard the demo plant was operational under testing regimes, and was close to being grid connected and producing electricity. I have no idea what their "PR press release" program is either. For all I know it's been a total failure, been shut down, and they're covering it up to "save face." Who knows? :)
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
Mahatma Gandhi - Non-Violent Resistance

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #919 on: December 27, 2018, 09:20:34 PM »
Japanes prosecutors want five years of jail time for Tepco officials:

 
"It was easy to safeguard the plant against tsunami, but they kept operating the plant heedlessly,"

"That led to the deaths of many people."

Officials are:

" ... former TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, as well as former vice presidents Sakae Muto, 68, and Ichiro Takekuro, 72."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/27/japanese-prosecutors-demand-5-years-prison-executives-facing-trial-fukushima-nuclear

sidd

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #920 on: December 27, 2018, 10:48:34 PM »
Gift that keeps on giving:

"Last fall the US Army Corps of Engineers announced it was finally ready to resume a $500 million toxic waste cleanup of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) dump."

It is in the little town of Apollo, Pennsylvania. That is one of the sacrifice zones of late stage capitalism. I go thru there on occasion, that sad place was blighted by the late seventies and gutted by the end of the Reagan years. The people there deserve better.

sidd

Sebastian Jones

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #921 on: January 11, 2019, 05:49:20 PM »
"The Japanese conglomerate Hitachi looks certain to cancel its plans for a £16bn nuclear power station in Wales, leaving Britain’s ambitions for a nuclear renaissance in tatters."
"It would also mark an end to Japan’s hopes of exporting its nuclear technology around the world."
But there is an upside, even for those who like nuclear power, the situation will: " heap pressure on ministers to consider other large-scale alternatives such as offshore wind farms.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/11/hitachi-cancel-plans-nuclear-power-station-angelsey-wales

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #922 on: January 16, 2019, 09:22:19 PM »
Former head regulator for US nukes turns apostate: " nuclear power is more hazardous than it is worth "

"Because the industry relies too much on controlling its own regulation, the continued use of nuclear power will lead to catastrophe"

Regulatory capture. It's the new black.

https://www.wtae.com/article/former-top-regulator-now-says-nuclear-power-hazardous/25888972

sidd

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #923 on: January 20, 2019, 07:18:48 AM »
Subsidizing upstate New York nuclear power plants more expensive than new wind: shutting down nuclear and replacement with onshore wind will save $ 7.9 Billion till 2050, while reducing CO2 by 20.1 to 27.4 Mt more than nuclear.

Link >> https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652618326829

Abstract:
We compare the cost of maintaining a proposed subsidy for New York's three upstate nuclear power plants with the cost of replacing the plants with renewable technologies from 2016 to 2050. Keeping nuclear operating with subsidy until 2050 is the most expensive option, costing $32.4 billion (2014 USD) over that period in the base business as usual case. The least expensive option is to shut down nuclear today and replace it with onshore wind, saving $7.9 billion. All analyzed renewable scenarios lead to 20.1 to 27.4 Mt CO2 greater life-cycle emission reductions. In addition, re-investing the cost savings of the renewable scenarios into additional onshore wind increase CO2 savings up to 32.5 Mt.

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #924 on: February 09, 2019, 09:30:49 AM »

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #925 on: February 18, 2019, 11:43:07 PM »
Piketon is one of those little towns on the scioto river about 30 mile up from it meets the ohio, been thru there many times. The nuke there was closed out and the cleanup was botched, and is currently as they say, "A Work in Progress." Nevertheless i see a proposal to repoen the thing as a civilian-military mixed use fuel manufacturing facility.

That area is a sacrifice zone of late stage capitalism. Unemployment and drug overdose death skyrocketing. Sherrod Brown supports the proposal for the jobs, but i think he is wrong. The site has a long history of contamination and screwups, and  is far too close to the ohio river. I shudder to think of the prisoners at lucasville just down the scioto, who will be left to the tender mercies of their jailors in the event of disaster.

https://energynews.us/2019/02/13/midwest/nuclear-watchdogs-warn-against-blurring-energy-military-uses-at-ohio-fuel-plant/

sidd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #926 on: February 22, 2019, 09:34:07 PM »

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #927 on: February 23, 2019, 07:49:16 PM »
"Experts" are always voicing their safety concerns. That's why the IAEA exists. They seem convinced all is ok and have approved the HTGR-PM. Who am I to argue? Given what "those experts" say and question, i think they need to do more research on this type of unit and why the IAEA have signed off on it being "meltdown proof; walk away safe" and what that actually means and why it is true.

When I went back to college after the Army I wrote to the IAEA and got a report of the Chernobyl incident.

Reading that document I can understand exactly why they might want to keep on looking at safety concerns.

Reactors are built differently today.  Not only will reactors not work the same way, they are built of different materials and, also, it is not possible to disable the safety mechanisms so you can "play" with the reactor in the same way.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #928 on: February 23, 2019, 09:46:26 PM »
"Experts" are always voicing their safety concerns. That's why the IAEA exists. They seem convinced all is ok and have approved the HTGR-PM. Who am I to argue? Given what "those experts" say and question, i think they need to do more research on this type of unit and why the IAEA have signed off on it being "meltdown proof; walk away safe" and what that actually means and why it is true.

When I went back to college after the Army I wrote to the IAEA and got a report of the Chernobyl incident.

Reading that document I can understand exactly why they might want to keep on looking at safety concerns.

Reactors are built differently today.  Not only will reactors not work the same way, they are built of different materials and, also, it is not possible to disable the safety mechanisms so you can "play" with the reactor in the same way.
There is no such thing as absolute security. Any safety mechanism constructed by man can be deconstructed by man. The more complex a system is, the more "Judas Gates" that system has.

It just needs some people with sufficient motivation, resources and time to crack any system. Or, just like Windows, the system becomes so complex that errors and glitches remain hidden until such time a combination of circumstances....

But then perhaps the conversation may drift towards entropy and its association with complexity, leading to the inevitable destruction of homo sapiens and its "civilisation" built into the DNA thereof.
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"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #929 on: February 24, 2019, 02:46:19 AM »
"Experts" are always voicing their safety concerns. That's why the IAEA exists. They seem convinced all is ok and have approved the HTGR-PM. Who am I to argue? Given what "those experts" say and question, i think they need to do more research on this type of unit and why the IAEA have signed off on it being "meltdown proof; walk away safe" and what that actually means and why it is true.

When I went back to college after the Army I wrote to the IAEA and got a report of the Chernobyl incident.

Reading that document I can understand exactly why they might want to keep on looking at safety concerns.

Reactors are built differently today.  Not only will reactors not work the same way, they are built of different materials and, also, it is not possible to disable the safety mechanisms so you can "play" with the reactor in the same way.
There is no such thing as absolute security. Any safety mechanism constructed by man can be deconstructed by man. The more complex a system is, the more "Judas Gates" that system has.

It just needs some people with sufficient motivation, resources and time to crack any system. Or, just like Windows, the system becomes so complex that errors and glitches remain hidden until such time a combination of circumstances....

But then perhaps the conversation may drift towards entropy and its association with complexity, leading to the inevitable destruction of homo sapiens and its "civilisation" built into the DNA thereof.

If understand you correctly G. you do not know much about the design of the HTGR-PM GenIV nukes, you don't realise it doesn't really have "safety mechanisms" that can be "deconstructed/fail" of the type that existed in the water cooled reactors like Chernobyl and Fukushima had, or in the best GenIII+ today, and you're not really up to speed on the science and tech what  "meltdown proof; walk away safe" even means nor why it applies perfectly to GenIV HTRG-PM Nuclear Reactors.

But I do totally understand why that would be so. And that's OK and not even a problem because the IAEA Scientists do know and they act accordingly.
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
Mahatma Gandhi - Non-Violent Resistance

oren

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #930 on: February 24, 2019, 09:32:09 AM »
Here's a quick overview for those not in the know, such as myself.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-temperature_reactor

I do note that such reactors do not exist commercially, and that many problems in the life of a complex system come up during long-term operation, despite theoretical considerations. And that costs also tend to reveal themselves during construction and operation, despite the best design documents and expert estimates.
So it will take at least a decade to understand the economics of such reactors, and then another decade to deploy a significant number of them, even if all goes well.
It's certainly a good option to explore, and I am glad sombody is doing it, but you cannot bank on it at this point to solve clean energy issues - other options should be promoted in parallel, with a preference towards those that are already proven economically.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #931 on: February 24, 2019, 10:53:43 AM »
Here's a quick overview for those not in the know, such as myself.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-high-temperature_reactor

I do note that such reactors do not exist commercially, and that many problems in the life of a complex system come up during long-term operation, despite theoretical considerations. And that costs also tend to reveal themselves during construction and operation, despite the best design documents and expert estimates.
So it will take at least a decade to understand the economics of such reactors, and then another decade to deploy a significant number of them, even if all goes well.
It's certainly a good option to explore, and I am glad sombody is doing it, but you cannot bank on it at this point to solve clean energy issues - other options should be promoted in parallel, with a preference towards those that are already proven economically.

It's a  start to informing yourself better Oren. Good stuff. Many people do not bother to go looking.

I won't bore you so will make a little comment about this "belief" - with a preference towards those that are already proven economically.

If that really is a critical yardstick for you then solar and wind would never have gotten off the ground to many decades later becoming commercially viable. :)

Quote
Additionally, exposing helium to neutron radiation does not make it radioactive, unlike most other possible coolants.

It's a damned shame HTGR-PMs were not in place at Fukushima before the Tsunami. Economically proven or not there would have been no catastrophic failure and no one would have died from radioactivity.  In fact since 1947 not a single soul has suffered from radioactive poisoning from a HTGR-PM let alone died from it. (afaik and I have researched the issue in depth)
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
Mahatma Gandhi - Non-Violent Resistance

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #932 on: March 04, 2019, 08:46:52 PM »
Japan has been restarting nuclear power plants slowly, which is finally cutting into their consumption of fossil fuels.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=38533

Quote
In 2018, Japan restarted five nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima accident. As those reactors return to full operation, the resulting increase in nuclear generation is likely to displace generation from fossil sources, in particular natural gas. Because Japan imports all of its natural gas in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), increased nuclear power production is likely to reduce Japanese imports of LNG in the electric power sector by as much as 10% in 2019.

Japan now has nine operating nuclear units with a total electricity generation capacity of 8.7 gigawatts. Electricity generation produced by natural gas-fired plants in Japan has been declining annually from its peak in 2014 and is likely to decline further in 2019, while generation from nuclear units will likely increase.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #933 on: March 05, 2019, 05:48:15 AM »
Viewpoint: Why we need nuclear power

04 March 2019

Policymakers have unreasonably and unfairly overlooked the role of nuclear energy in the fight against climate change, writes Borislav Boev, a PhD student at D. A. Tsenov Academy of Economics in Bulgaria.

Turning away from nuclear power is counterproductive. If we really want to address the issue of rising CO2 emissions, then we need to consider nuclear energy. If we want the future energy mix to be sustainable, then nuclear energy is a necessity. It's clear that nuclear power is going to play a major role in energy-hungry regions like Asia.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Why-we-need-nuclear-power
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #934 on: March 05, 2019, 07:13:52 AM »
It takes 30 years to plan and deploy nuclear power plants. We are in deep shit in 30 years so we can't wait for that.

In 30 years there is so much renewables and storage in place we don't need that!

Fast deployment of renewables TODAY is necessary. We can't wait any longer.

BTW, this Borislav Boev is a nuclear shill, and he has no answer to what to do with nuclear waste either.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #935 on: March 05, 2019, 10:41:25 AM »
It takes 30 years to plan and deploy nuclear power plants. We are in deep shit in 30 years so we can't wait for that.

In 30 years there is so much renewables and storage in place we don't need that!

Fast deployment of renewables TODAY is necessary. We can't wait any longer.

BTW, this Borislav Boev is a nuclear shill, and he has no answer to what to do with nuclear waste either.

Yes he probably is a "nuclear shill". But there are many people out there who agree with his general thrust, for example Dr James Hansen (ex-Nasa)

While there are some really bad examples the 30 years is 'a little' overstated. :)

Putting aside continuing using nuclear for electricity/heating generation - it is my understanding for some time now that the only safe viable approach for treating all nuclear waste (weapons grade and old reactors) is using safe GenIV VHTG reactors to treat that waste under high temps which produces a waste product that is next to being inert -- where subsequent storage of ~100 years or so is then required to absolutely sure it's lost all it's radio activity.

It's still waste but it the safe way to do it. And never gets much press. Something for the future but those kinds of reactors and knowledge must be preserved for a post-Nuclear Reactor / post-WMD Nuke missiles world.
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
Mahatma Gandhi - Non-Violent Resistance

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #936 on: March 05, 2019, 11:54:26 AM »
While there are some really bad examples the 30 years is 'a little' overstated. :)

Well, in China perhaps. But when we talk Europe, only the risk assessment takes a very long time. Then you have to add the planning phase. And only then you can start building the thing which lasts a decade on average.

Quote
safe GenIV VHTG

They don't exist really, do they? Ok, there is a test reactor in China, but no one ever has build an actual power plant with this technology. Means you can add another period of risk assessment and research if you want to build such a thing in Europe.


Note, there is no sufficient answer to what to do with the waste. There is no country in the world that has solved this problem.

Germany has shown, that you can deploy a lot of renewable in a very short time frame with moderate effort. The tech is reliable, recyclable, cheap, easy to deploy (small and big scale), advances decentralisation while disadvantaging corporate influence. Going this way is just a no-brainer for me.

gerontocrat

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #937 on: March 08, 2019, 10:56:17 AM »
Whoops.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47485321
Hunterston B: Pictures show cracks in Ayrshire nuclear reactor
Quote
The first pictures have emerged of cracking in the graphite bricks which make up the core of nuclear reactors at Hunterston B Power Station in Ayrshire.

Reactor three has not produced electricity since cracks were found to be forming quicker than expected. About 370 hairline fractures have been discovered which equates to about one in every 10 bricks in the reactor core.

Owner EDF Energy says it does intend to seek permission from the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) to restart. It first has to prove it can still shut down the North Ayrshire reactor, which has not produced electricity for a year, in all circumstances.

The operational limit for the latest period of operation was 350 cracks but an inspection found that allowance had been exceeded. EDF plans to ask the regulator for permission to restart with a new operational limit of up to 700 cracks.

The company accepts that the cracking is 'life-limiting' for the reactor but will not say what it believes to be a limit beyond which it would be unsafe to operate.

When operational, the two reactors at Hunterston B provide a base-load of electricity which is enough to power 1.8 million homes.

It has advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGC) similar to those at Heysham 1 and 2, Torness, Hartlepool, Hinkley Point B and Dungeness B.

The industry expects all 14 reactors to eventually be decommissioned because of the cracking.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #938 on: March 08, 2019, 11:08:49 AM »
Nuclear history is a history of unintended consequences...

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #939 on: March 08, 2019, 11:32:49 AM »
I found an old ref I have been looking for:

HTR-PM (Kugelbett-Reaktor)in Shidaowan
Ursprung –Hintergrund –Entscheidung –Fortschritt –Erfolge –Vermarktung –Zukunft -Verantwortung Stand  9. August 2017
http://www.no-meltdown.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Shidaowan-Ablauf.pdf
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #940 on: March 08, 2019, 01:22:56 PM »
Re: Kugelbett-Reaktor

Quote
Der Bau des modularen Demo-Hochtemperatur-Kugelbett Reaktors (HTR-PM) ist mit drei Milliarden-Yuan (ca. 476 Mio. US-USD, 364 Mio Euro) laut staatlichen Medien ein Teil des voraussichtlich größten nuklearen Komplexes in China.

The 200 MW reactor is $476 million...

For comparison, 1 MW solar farm costs roughly $1 million to install.

Do i miss something here or is this insanely expensive?

rboyd

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #941 on: March 08, 2019, 04:48:22 PM »
Re: Kugelbett-Reaktor

Quote
Der Bau des modularen Demo-Hochtemperatur-Kugelbett Reaktors (HTR-PM) ist mit drei Milliarden-Yuan (ca. 476 Mio. US-USD, 364 Mio Euro) laut staatlichen Medien ein Teil des voraussichtlich größten nuklearen Komplexes in China.

The 200 MW reactor is $476 million...

For comparison, 1 MW solar farm costs roughly $1 million to install.

Do i miss something here or is this insanely expensive?

The 1 MW solar farm will have a utilization rate of 20-25%, versus 80-90% for the nuclear reactor. Plus the nuclear reactor output is not dependent upon the sun and weather.

A 200 MW solar farm would cost $200M and produce one third less output, of an intermittent nature - so the nuclear option seems to be reasonable on a comparable basis.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #942 on: March 08, 2019, 07:16:55 PM »
Quote
… the nuclear reactor output is not dependent upon … weather.
Frequently true; sometimes not true.  At least one reactor (someplace) reduced production when river water (used for cooling) was too warm.  [That's a mixture of weather (chaos) and climate (warming) and/or just bad engineering (misunderstanding of reality can make formulas 'give the answers the paymaster wanted before construction started').]
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #943 on: March 08, 2019, 07:30:44 PM »
A 200 MW solar farm would cost $200M and produce one third less output, of an intermittent nature - so the nuclear option seems to be reasonable on a comparable basis.

Yes, but only because we ignored the externalities. Handling/storage/neutralization (if possible) of nuclear waste will totally destroy this calculation long term.

Also worth mentioning in this context, these externalities are mostly paid for by the taxpayer while the earnings are privatised. Not so much of a fair system IHMO.

NeilT

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #944 on: March 08, 2019, 07:37:31 PM »
Germany has shown, that you can deploy a lot of renewable in a very short time frame with moderate effort. The tech is reliable, recyclable, cheap, easy to deploy (small and big scale), advances decentralisation while disadvantaging corporate influence. Going this way is just a no-brainer for me.

Germany has the most expensive Electricity in the EU.  France, 70% Nuclear, has the cheapest.  The UK stats show that the MTBF and replacement of a wind turbine is 12-15  years.  The Netherlands offshore Wind farm stats show that the cost of maintaining an offshore wind farm exceed the original cost of purchase and deployment after 5 years.

Nuclear may be expensive to set up and have unknown final decommissioning costs.  But, in operation, it is cheap, effective and virtually always on.

Reality is that we need a blend of energy production.  The UK approach was in thirds.  1/3 Nuclear, 1/3 renewable, 1/3 Carbon Capture CCGT.  Right now, today, not one of those things is going to plan.  Yet the UK is going to hit the Paris accord target.  Notably Germany is NOT.
Being right too soon is socially unacceptable.

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b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #945 on: March 08, 2019, 07:58:31 PM »
Germany has the most expensive Electricity in the EU.  France, 70% Nuclear, has the cheapest.

Well, that's not really so. The production side is very efficient (see pic). We pay a little more as customers due to higher taxes (which are financing the energy transition in part with which i'm totally fine).

Link >> https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/quarterly_report_on_european_electricity_markets_q3_2018.pdf

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #946 on: March 08, 2019, 11:22:58 PM »
China was building a lot of nuclear power plants earlier this decade, but has slowed construction considerably.  A big factor is the cost as this article from December 2018 explains.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612564/chinas-losing-its-taste-for-nuclear-power-thats-bad-news/

Quote
For years, as other countries have shied away from nuclear power, China has been its strongest advocate. Of the four reactors that started up worldwide in 2017, three were in China and the fourth was built by Beijing-based China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) in Pakistan. China’s domestic nuclear generation capacity grew by 24% in the first 10 months of 2018.

The country has the capacity to build 10 to 12 nuclear reactors a year. But though reactors begun several years ago are still coming online, the industry has not broken ground on a new plant in China since late 2016, according to a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

Officially China still sees nuclear power as a must-have. But unofficially, the technology is on a death watch. Experts, including some with links to the government, see China’s nuclear sector succumbing to the same problems affecting the West: the technology is too expensive, and the public doesn’t want it.

Quote
The bigger problem is financial. Reactors built with extra safety features and more robust cooling systems to avoid a Fukushima-like disaster are expensive, while the costs of wind and solar power continue to plummet: they are now 20% cheaper than electricity from new nuclear plants in China, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Moreover, high construction costs make nuclear a risky investment.

And gone are the days when nuclear power was desperately needed to meet China’s soaring demand for electricity. In the early 2000s, power consumption was growing at more than 10% annually as the economy boomed and manufacturing, a heavy user of electricity, expanded rapidly. Over the past few years, as growth has slowed and the economy has diversified, power demand has been growing, on average, at less than 4%.

Quote
Last June two of the world’s most advanced reactors began operating in China: a US-designed AP1000 and a French-German EPR. In theory, these reactors are at greatly reduced risk of a Fukushima-style accident. At the Japanese plant, tsunami waves swamped the backup generators needed to keep coolant pumps running, and the catastrophic loss of coolant caused three of the plant’s six reactors to melt down. The AP1000 design stores water above the reactor that can be gravity-fed to keep it cool if the pumps fail. The EPR reactors employ multiple redundant generators and cooling systems to lower meltdown risk.

But adding safety adds cost. At 52.5 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) for an AP1000 plant with the typical configuration of two reactors, the construction cost is nearly double that of the conventional technology commonly used in China. Wenke Han, a former head of the Energy Research Institute, an arm of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission that plans China’s economy, calls nuclear power “very expensive.” He adds, “Nuclear power in China has begun to face price competition, and will certainly face more competition in the future.”

Coal remains the cheapest source of power in China, but grid operators face demands from the government to use more renewable energy to limit air pollution. With pressure from both directions, even the nuclear plants now operating are underutilized. On average they used 81% of their generating capacity in 2017, 10% less than five years earlier, making the electricity they produce even more expensive.

China even built a couple of Gen IV prototypes.

Quote
If the Hualong One proves too expensive, China’s lingering nuclear hopes will be pinned to its advanced-reactor program—an effort to develop a new generation of technologies that include high-­temperature gas-cooled reactors, designs cooled with sodium metal or salt, and smaller versions of pressurized-­water reactors. These various designs are meant to be cheaper to build and operate—and much safer—than conventional reactors.

But so far there is little evidence that any of them will solve nuclear’s problems. A sodium-cooled reactor completed near Beijing in 2011 has had familiar technical glitches such as problems in its coolant systems. And the rising cost of a pair of high-­temperature gas-cooled reactors nearing completion at Shandong Province’s Shidao Bay ended plans for a further 18 such reactors at the site.

Even Chinese nuclear power plant investors are diversifying into renewables.

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There’s always the possibility of a breakthrough that would make nuclear safe and cheap enough to compete with renewables and coal. But even China’s nuclear giants are hedging their bets. Both CGN and the state-owned firm funding China’s AP1000 investments rank among the world’s top 10 renewable-power operators.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #947 on: March 09, 2019, 12:37:29 AM »
Here are some interesting statistics about nuclear power from the 2018 World Nuclear Performance Report published in August 2018 by the World Nuclear Association.  Link to the full report here:

https://www.world-nuclear.org/getmedia/b392d1cd-f7d2-4d54-9355-9a65f71a3419/performance-report.pdf.aspx

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At the end of 2017 the global nuclear capacity of the 448 operable reactors
stood at 392 GWe, up 2 GWe on the end of 2016 total. Four new reactors were
connected to the grid, with a combined capacity of 3373 MWe. Five reactors
were shut down, with a combined capacity of 3025 MWe.

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The capacity factor for the global fleet stood at 81%, maintaining the high
availability of around 80% that has been maintained since 2000, up from the
60% average capacity factor at the start of the 1980s.
 

(Note that according to the US EIA, nuclear capacity factors in the US over the past few years have varied between 89% to 93%).

With a net addition to capacity of 348 MW (3373 - 3025) and an average operating capacity of 80%, that's 278 MW.  According to Wikipedia, in 2017 95 GW of Solar PV capacity was installed and the average worldwide capacity of solar is 11% (according to EIA averages from 208 to 2012.  The US capacity factor has grown from 15% in that time period to 25% now, so the worldwide average may be in the 20 to 25% range now)).  That's 10.45 GW of generation (assuming the probably low capacity factor of 11%), or 37.5 times the amount of new nuclear generation added to the grid.

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The number of reactors under construction at the end of 2017 was 59. The
median average construction time for the four reactors grid connected last
year was 58 months. In addition to the four grid connections, there were four
construction starts and two construction projects halted.

Four is a small sample size, but 5 years to go from start of construction to grid connection is pretty fast for nuclear.  The projects underway in the US and Europe are taking much longer, often because quality inspectors reject key components.  Hopefully the other countries aren't cutting corners on quality.

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With construction on more than 25 reactors scheduled to be completed in
2018 and 2019 strong progress is being made. New reactor projects are
needed to maintain and accelerate global nuclear build so that nuclear
generation can meet the Harmony goal of supplying 25% of the world’s
global electricity by 2050.

Given that nuclear is about 9% of current global electricity production and that most of the current fleet of reactors is between 30 and 60 years old, this would seem to be a very unlikely goal.  Nuclear is more expensive than coal and natural gas, while renewables are even cheaper than those sources.  I would expect to see more nuclear projects that are currently being proposed (and even some under construction) be cancelled than new projects being announced.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #948 on: March 09, 2019, 12:59:24 AM »
December 12, 2018 --  And the rising cost of a pair of high-­temperature gas-cooled reactors nearing completion at Shandong Province’s Shidao Bay ended plans for a further 18 such reactors at the site.

I would love to know what this authors sources are. I wish they would provide proper references for all their assertions - bane of my life. Because a) despite monitoring news /info of the Shidoawan HTR-PM build b) I have seen no such info about "rising costs" the entire time of it;s build c) no news of plans scuttled for the next phases on the site  d) and no news since of being grid connected which was supposed to happen within weeks of the last news I saw several months ago now.

I even asked a Chinese speaking friend to check the Chinese news in China to find out last week and they could not find anything. So where does this chap get his info from last December? I guess I'll have to email and ask, and hope I get a reply.
"You assist an unjust administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. [...] A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty."
Mahatma Gandhi - Non-Violent Resistance

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #949 on: March 09, 2019, 01:08:54 AM »
Another article clearly illustrates why solar power is more important to going carbon-free than nuclear:

https://www.constructionglobal.com/infrastructure/year-review-trends-nuclear-construction

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The sector is experiencing profound structural change. The introduction of renewable energy at scale, thanks to declining costs driven by technological advances, has increased renewable power output at the expense of conventional technologies such as coal and nuclear. Though an operating NPP can provide up to nine times more electricity per installed kilowatt than a photovoltaic plant, the challenge to the industry from renewables is tangible. China’s massive rates of solar capacity deliver over 50GW to its grid. Even when taking into account lower productivity per installed GW from solar, research shows new solar plants in China alone in 2017 will generate significantly more power than all nuclear reactors started up (four) in the same year in the entire world.