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Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #950 on: March 09, 2019, 01:48:11 AM »
Another article clearly illustrates why solar power is more important to going carbon-free than nuclear:

At scale yes. In total output yes. But location wise, specific needs wise, and site specific wise not necessarily so. There are genuine exceptions to both wind and solar PV/thermal. One is large scale heating in freezing conditions. Another is large scale desal plants. Another is large area cities of +5 million imo. There are many others too. Horses for courses? It's the same with Hydro electric. Wouldn't it be great if every one had access to Hydro power (and/or geothermal) power? Yes it would be terrific. We'd all be like New Zealand and Iceland. But every nation, city and region  doesn't have such natural luxuries because there are limits upon every good idea known to mankind humankind.

A few exceptions to the rule might be: are all wind turbines and solar arrays hurricane and tornado proof - in a warming world? Can enough solar farms be built to meet 100% renewable supply close enough to populations without building some of them on flood plains? If the answer is no that doesn't mean renewables should not be built - only that the more that get built the more restrictions and limitations arise.

If things like that arise then the built costs increase as well as limitations of ongoing 365 day supply of energy. Not the biggest factor but still a factor that has not yet arisen. eg I am unsure how well a multi-MW battery would handle a once in a 100 year flood which are becoming more prevalent it seems.  I imagine not as well as a hydro electric dam would.
"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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vox_mundi

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #951 on: March 11, 2019, 02:13:23 PM »
Fukushima Grapples with Toxic Soil that No One Wants   
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/11/fukushima-toxic-soil-disaster-radioactive

Eight years after the disaster, not a single location will take the millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil that remain 

... Minoru Ikeda, who took part in the decontamination effort, said workers cut corners to meet strict deadlines. “There were times when we were told to leave the contaminated topsoil and just remove the leaves so we could get everything done on schedule,” he said. “Sometimes we would look at each other as if to say: ‘What on earth are we doing here?’”
“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

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #952 on: March 11, 2019, 03:01:28 PM »
According to this article about Chernobyl >> "surrounding countries has estimated costs of roughly $700 billion over the past 30 years"
Link >> https://globalhealth.usc.edu/2016/05/24/the-financial-costs-of-the-chernobyl-nuclear-power-plant-disaster-a-review-of-the-literature/

According to this article about Fukushima >> "The latest estimate from the trade ministry put the expected cost at some 20 trillion yen ($180bn, £142bn)."
Link >> https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38131248

According to this article about Harrisburg >> "The cleanup of the damaged nuclear reactor system at TMI-2 took nearly 12 years and cost approximately US$973 million."
Link >> http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/three-mile-island-accident.aspx

This is material cost and does not take into account that thousands of people died.

None of these accidents is 'solved'. There will be cleaning up needed furthermore for thousands of years to come (if mankind is still around that is).

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #953 on: March 12, 2019, 03:09:01 PM »
China's demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant (HTR-PM) at Shidaowan (Shidao Bay NE China) )

DESIGN, SAFETY FEATURES & PROGRESS OF HTR-PM Yujie DONG INET, Tsinghua University, China January 24, 2018
https://www.gen-4.org/gif/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-02/gif_webinar_htr-pm_dong_201801v2_final.pdf

The Shandong Shidao Bay 200 MWe High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Pebble-Bed Module (HTR-PM) Demonstration Power Plant: An Engineering and Technological Innovation
Article (PDF Available) · March 2016
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301827952_The_Shandong_Shidao_Bay_200_MWe_High-Temperature_Gas-Cooled_Reactor_Pebble-Bed_Module_HTR-PM_Demonstration_Power_Plant_An_Engineering_and_Technological_Innovation

extract

4.  Safety and economics
Decay heat removal is the key issue in nuclear safety. Failure in
decay heat removal caused the reactor core to overheat and melt
down in both the Three Mile Island and Fukushima Daiichi nucle-
ar accidents. In the Chernobyl accident, after the initial explosion
that was caused by the fission power increment, the resulting
sequences were mostly related to the failure of the decay heat
removal system. For an LWR, it is essential to develop a highly
reliable emergency cooling system guaranteed by a reliable elec-
tricity and water supply.

Inherently safe nuclear technology can be innovatively found,
based on these physical ideas: When we employ three mea-
sures—① using the more heat-resistant and substantial silicon
carbide (SiC) as the fuel cladding; ② significantly lowering the
volumetric power density of the reactor core; and ③ “dividing 1
into N,” or dividing one large reactor into identical small reactor
modules—then the reactor core can be designed such that the
decay heat can never heat up the reactor core to the temperature
limit.

 Based on the law of energy conservation, the decay heat
in the reactor core can only be removed by heat conduction and
radiation, which depend on material properties; heat convection
is not necessary. After studying for more than 30 years in the in-
ternational nuclear community, we have constructed the world’s
first commercial-scale reactor of this kind.
Regarding the fuel
element of the HTR-PM, it can be proved that the maximum fuel
temperature limit is 1600–1800 °C for maintaining the coated
fuel particle integrity. The average power density in normal oper-
ations is 3.3 MW·m3, which is 1/30 of that in a PWR.
The thermal
power of one reactor module is chosen to be 250 MWth, which
provides a sufficient margin. Fig. 5 gives the reactor fuel peaking
temperature during a loss-of-coolant depressurized accident,
which does not depend on any engineering safety facility. The
above-mentioned safety characteristics can be proved by re-
peatable full-plant safety demonstration tests, without affecting
further operation.
 
The innovations for the inherent safety of the HTR-PM are
easy to understand according to physical laws. However, two
challenges still remain: ① How can we construct and operate the
HTR-PM? and ② what are the economics of the HTR-PM? The key
problem is how a small HTR-PM can compete with an LWR plant,
which is 10 times bigger.

We use the idea of “combining N into 1.” We have finished
a concept design of a 660 MWe multi-module HTR-PM nuclear
power plant, which includes 6 HTR-PM reactor modules connect-
ing to a steam turbine. Each reactor module has the same design
as the HTR-PM demonstration plant, with an independent safety
system and shared non-safety auxiliary systems. The footprint of
a multi-module HTR-PM plant is not significantly different from
that of a PWR plant generating the same power. Fig. 6 shows a
2 × 600 MWe  HTR-PM nuclear power plant for cogeneration.


To date, supply contracts have been signed for all the com-
ponents of the HTR-PM project. From the actual contract costs,
we can compare the detailed capital costs of a 2 × 600 MWe
 multi-module HTR-PM plant with those of a real 2 × 600 MWe
 PWR plant constructed at the same time in China. Using the
capital costs of the HTR-PM plant as evaluated by the govern-
ment in 2014, the total price of a 2 × 600 MWe multi-module
HTR-PM plant is about 110%–120% of the price of the PWR.


The electricity price to the grid thus increases from 0.4 CNY·(kW·h)
-1 to 0.48 CNY·(kW·h)-1, which is still much lower than the costs
of gas, wind power, and solar power in the Chinese market.


The costs of the RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessels) and reactor
internals are very small, about 2% of the total plant costs.

Therefore, assuming that the other costs of the plant are
unchanged, even if the costs of the RPV and reactor internals
increase to 10 times their original value, the increase of the total
plant costs can be limited to within 20%. This is the reason behind
the above economic evaluation results; details can be found in
Ref. [7].

To realize the dream of inherent safety, the philosophy of “dividing 1 into N” is adopted,
and to limit the cost increase, the philosophy of “combining N into 1” is preferred.

[7]  Zhang ZY, Sun YL. Economic potential of modular reactor nuclear power
plants based on the Chinese HTR-PM project. Nucl Eng Des 2007; 237(23):
2265–74. 
"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 #954 on: March 12, 2019, 03:12:55 PM »
Experts voice safety concerns about new pebble-bed nuclear reactors

Quote
"No reactor is immune to accidents. The absence of core meltdown accidents does not mean that a dangerous event is not possible," Moormann says. And while Moormann and his co-authors Scott Kemp and Ju Li of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology acknowledged the potential of HTGRs and support further research into them, "HTGR designs with what's known as a prismatic core seem to be less problematic than the pebble-bed one, so development work should concentrate on that," he says.

"There was already some controversy about pebble-bed HTGRs, but my impression was that many problems with 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."
Link >> https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180823113558.htm

To realize, inherent safety is just a dream.

Sorry, Lurk, for stepping on your toe all the time with this, but nukes and i just don't get together.

And of course, my question about what to do with the nuclear waste stays unanswered obviously, because there is none.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #955 on: March 12, 2019, 08:00:57 PM »
China's demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant (HTR-PM) at Shidaowan (Shidao Bay NE China) )

The innovations for the inherent safety of the HTR-PM are
easy to understand according to physical laws. However, two
challenges still remain: ① How can we construct and operate the
HTR-PM? and ② what are the economics of the HTR-PM? The key
problem is how a small HTR-PM can compete with an LWR plant,
which is 10 times bigger.

We use the idea of “combining N into 1.” We have finished
a concept design of a 660 MWe multi-module HTR-PM nuclear
power plant, which includes 6 HTR-PM reactor modules connect-
ing to a steam turbine. Each reactor module has the same design
as the HTR-PM demonstration plant, with an independent safety
system and shared non-safety auxiliary systems. The footprint of
a multi-module HTR-PM plant is not significantly different from
that of a PWR plant generating the same power. Fig. 6 shows a
2 × 600 MWe  HTR-PM nuclear power plant for cogeneration.


To date, supply contracts have been signed for all the com-
ponents of the HTR-PM project. From the actual contract costs,
we can compare the detailed capital costs of a 2 × 600 MWe
 multi-module HTR-PM plant with those of a real 2 × 600 MWe
 PWR plant constructed at the same time in China. Using the
capital costs of the HTR-PM plant as evaluated by the govern-
ment in 2014, the total price of a 2 × 600 MWe multi-module
HTR-PM plant is about 110%–120% of the price of the PWR.


The electricity price to the grid thus increases from 0.4 CNY·(kW·h)
-1 to 0.48 CNY·(kW·h)-1, which is still much lower than the costs
of gas, wind power, and solar power in the Chinese market.


The costs of the RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessels) and reactor
internals are very small, about 2% of the total plant costs.

Therefore, assuming that the other costs of the plant are
unchanged, even if the costs of the RPV and reactor internals
increase to 10 times their original value, the increase of the total
plant costs can be limited to within 20%. This is the reason behind
the above economic evaluation results; details can be found in
Ref. [7].

To realize the dream of inherent safety, the philosophy of “dividing 1 into N” is adopted,
and to limit the cost increase, the philosophy of “combining N into 1” is preferred.

[7]  Zhang ZY, Sun YL. Economic potential of modular reactor nuclear power
plants based on the Chinese HTR-PM project. Nucl Eng Des 2007; 237(23):
2265–74.

Of course with nuclear plants, there's the planned costs before construction begins and then the actual costs with all of the attendant delays.  As this article with an apparent pro-nuclear slant summarizes:

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

Quote
Pebble bed high temperature reactors

China is finishing a 210 MW pebble bed reactor (High temperature pebble bed HTR-PM) in 2018.
China’s HTR-PM project is squarely aimed at being a cost-effective solution that will virtually eliminate air pollution and CO2 production from selected units of China’s large installed base of modern 600 MWe supercritical coal plants.

China plans to construct two 600 MWe HTRs at Ruijin city in China’s Jiangxi province passed a preliminary feasibility review in early 2015. The design of the Ruijin HTRs is based on the smaller Shidaowan demonstration HTR-PM. Construction of the Ruijin reactors is expected to start next year, with grid connection in 2021.

The commercial operation date is six to nine months later than scheduled when construction began, but Prof. Zhang Zuoyi proudly explained that the HTR-PM first-of-a-kind delays were much shorter than the 3-4 year delays that have plagued the EPR and AP1000 construction projects in their country.

The high temperature atomic boilers produce steam conditions that are identical to the design conditions for a large series of modern, 600 MWe steam plants that currently use coal as the heat source.

Prof. Zhang Zuoyi confirmed that some of the pebble-bed atomic boilers will be installed as replacement heat sources for existing steam plants. Those installations will be able to take advantage of the switchyards, the installed transmission networks, the cooling water systems, the sites and in some cases the entire steam plant including the steam turbine.

The overall cost of this first of a kind nuclear plant will be in the neighborhood of $5000.00/kw of capacity. That number is based on signed and mostly executed contracts, not early estimates. It is about twice the initially expected cost. According to Zhang Zuoyi, 35% of the increased cost could be attributed to higher material and component costs that initially budgeted, 31% of the increase was due to increases in labor costs — which Zhang Zuoyi noted were rising rapidly in China — and the remainder due to the increased costs associated with the project delays.

So the good news is that the delays for building 200 MW pebble bed reactors may be half of what can be anticipated from building 1600 MW Gen 3+ PWR reactors!  We're saved!

Meanwhile, the costs of solar power have decreased in the three years since that article was published.  According to this article from a Chinese news agency in December 2018, new solar projects are now less expensive than the nuclear project touted above:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-12/29/c_137707579.htm

Quote
XINING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Two solar power bases in northwest China's Qinghai Province, with a total installed power generating capacity of 1 GW, were launched and connected to the grid Saturday.

Each of the two demonstration bases directly managed by the National Energy Administration in the cities Delingha and Golmud, the Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi, has a generating capacity of 500 MW.

The Golmud base sells its electricity at 0.316 yuan (5 U.S. cents) per kWh, lower than the 0.325 yuan benchmark price of electricity generated by coal-fired power plants.

This is unprecedented nationwide for solar power plants, offering hope that solar power could be price competitive.

The prices for renewables are decreasing so rapidly that an article from 3 years ago can't possibly be correct.  Onshore wind and solar became less expensive than nuclear in most countries several years ago.  And the costs have been decreasing for both as the technology has improved.  The same can't be said for nuclear power.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #956 on: March 12, 2019, 08:10:18 PM »
I've posted excerpts from this Carnegie Endowment report on the Chinese nuclear industry before, with emphasis on how much the Chinese government subsidizes the nuclear industry.  This time, I'll excerpt the references to the pebble bed reactors.

https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/05/14/electricity-policy-and-economics-pub-76315

Quote
What has happened in China’s HTGR program suggests that a decision by the government in favor of such technology-driven investments is not a foregone conclusion. Last decade, China launched a project to build ten twin-unit 105-MWe HTGR power plants, a total of twenty reactors, in series at the Shidaowan site in Shandong Province. Like the fast reactor, the HTGR was designated a strategic technology in 1986 by central planners. But the HTGR project in Shidaowan will be halted after the first pair of units is completed in 2018. According to officials from the project’s consortium, the generation cost (in part based on the project cost) for these units was found during project implementation to be 25 percent higher than for a Chinese PWR-based power station.240 Utility investors are now planning on building a large PWR on the site instead. The HTGR program will be redesigned for lower construction and procurement costs, and it is foreseen that the next HTGR project will be a 655-MWe station consisting of six modules linked to one turbine generator, intended to reap greater economies of scale.241 Even for a reactor model that the government had favored since 1986 for strategic reasons, comparative costs matter to state-owned investors.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #957 on: March 12, 2019, 11:32:33 PM »
As this article from 2011 notes, construction of the pebble bed reactors was scheduled to take 4 years.

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2011-03/17/content_22166536.htm

Quote
In an exclusive interview with the China Business News, Mu Zhanying, president of China Nuclear Engineering Group (CNEG) Co., said construction of the Rongcheng plant would begin by the end of March or early April.

China Nuclear Engineering Group Co. is China's sole nuclear power construction contractor.

The plant will use new technology researched and developed entirely in China. The whole project including scientific research will cost 5 billion yuan. Construction is scheduled to take four years.

After delays due to the meltdown of the four reactors at Fukishima, construction began in December 2012.  At that time, according to this article from January 2013, the reactors were supposed to be connected to the grid by the end of 2017.

https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2013/01/07/china-begins-construction-of-first-generation-iv-htr-pm-unit

Quote
Jan (NucNet): China has broken ground on a three billion-yuan (about 476 million US dollars, 364 million euro) demonstration high-temperature pebble bed modular nuclear reactor (HTR-PM) project, which will form part of what could become China’s largest nuclear facility, state media confirmed yesterday.

The 200-megawatt Generation-IV Shidaowan nuclear reactor, near the coastal city of Rongcheng in east China's Shandong Province, will be part of the Rongcheng Nuclear Power Industrial Park project, which could – if approved by regulators – eventually be the site of a further 18 units of the same type as well as four CPR-1000 pressurised water reactor units.

Construction of the Shidaowan HTR-PM started last month and first concrete has been poured for the nuclear island, according to Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Company Ltd. (HSNPC), the builder and operator of the unit.

The design has “broad prospects for commercial application” and can “meet the needs of different countries and regions”, the company said. Construction is scheduled to take 50 months, with 18 months for building, 18 months for installation and 14 months for pre‐commissioning.

The gas-cooled HTR-PM, which has twin reactor modules of 100 MW each driving a single 200-MW steam turbine, will start generating commercial electricity by the end of 2017, HSNPC said in a statement.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #958 on: March 12, 2019, 11:35:22 PM »
An independent review of nuclear energy around the world, published in 2018, had an interesting forward from the Chinese viewpoint.

https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2018-HTML.html

Quote
In China, due to the slowing growth in demand for electricity, in combination with the rapid development of wind and solar power as well as the ‘excessive’ installed capacity of coal power, the need for further development of nuclear power has already diminished considerably. The social context of nuclear power-plant construction is also facing big changes; voices opposing nuclear environmental and safety issues have become inevitable ‘warnings’ to which policy-makers must respond. The result is the cancellation of some nuclear programs in the preparation phase, and delay of those under construction. Of course, a nuclear program can be delayed or end up over-budget for a variety of reasons. But the ever higher demands for nuclear safety and the growing production costs of newer nuclear technology are impediments that policy- and decision-makers cannot overlook.

On the other hand, in recent years the development of China’s renewable energies, especially on-grid wind and solar, have been rapid and significant. Their rates of annual increase are continually among the highest in the world, and the cumulative installation capacity is still growing. The annual amount of electricity generated by wind and solar energies is now level with and even higher than that from nuclear energy. However, holistically, the amount of electricity generated by China’s non- hydropower renewable energy still makes up only a very small percentage of the entire amount, and the wind and solar power generation will not be able to form a stronger competitive advantage at the present stage. The cost of manufacturing and installing solar and wind power in China is indeed quickly decreasing; in some provinces, the price of planned solar power can be equal to the price of nuclear power, with no need for state subsidies. The WNISR’s discussion about the nuclear power vs renewable energy, and Dave Freeman’s view in his Foreword to WNISR2017 that “renewable energy is a lower cost and cleaner, safer alternative to fossil fuels than nuclear power,” is a window of thought for Chinese readers.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #959 on: March 12, 2019, 11:46:22 PM »
More from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report (2018):

https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/World-Nuclear-Industry-Status-Report-2018-HTML.html

Quote
It’s that time of year again when those who value unvarnished data, and analyses of global nuclear energy developments, free of industry spin, look forward to the latest annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR). The 2018 edition does not disappoint; it reveals fascinating new information and trends, and confirms that, as the world undergoes a fundamental and far-reaching energy transition, nuclear is being left behind.

I have worked in the energy sector for nearly 40 years and I have never seen as rapid innovation and change as in the last five. The relative prices of electricity generation sources have switched, and solar and wind energy are now, in most countries, the cheapest grid-connected sources of energy. And as storage prices plummet, off-grid power solutions are becoming more cost-competitive. The electricity system is becoming more decentralized, with a multitude of smaller, incremental investments by utilities, industries and households, which are becoming producers as well as consumers of power. Networks and mini-grids are increasingly radial, meshed and fractal, and as energy, transport and communications technologies converge, along with the internet of things, machine learning, demand-side management, and block-chain payment systems, energy services will be democratized and controlled to match optimally individual and community needs.

The nuclear industry seems puzzled by these developments and is mostly in denial. As the competitiveness of solar and wind energy become undeniable – renewable energy auctions are transparent with published long-term contracted prices – the nuclear industry shifts the debate away from the costs of nuclear to issues of system reliability and to its role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. In so doing, they discount the huge construction time and cost overruns in generation III and III+ nuclear reactors and the difficulties of financing nuclear, especially in emerging economies.

Quote
As solar and wind grow exponentially, nuclear energy has remained stagnant. There are fewer nuclear reactors in operation today than there were 30 years ago. Nuclear reactors have increased in size, so they produce more electricity, but still less than in 2001. The share of global electricity production decreased from a peak of 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.3 percent in 2017. This is hardly a growth industry.

It is instructive to note that the construction of new nuclear power plants is mostly driven and backed by states, and not by the private sector. China accounts for a third of nuclear plants under construction. Nuclear is becoming an option for fewer countries, and only those that are prepared to offer significant government support, including sovereign guarantees. It is regrettable that often this support is facilitated by rent-seeking and corruption.

Quote
◦Five construction starts in the world in 2017, of which a demonstration fast reactor project in China.
◦No start of construction of any commercial reactors in China since December 2016.
◦The number of units under construction globally declined for the fifth year in a row, from 68 reactors at the end of 2013 to 50 by mid-2018, of which 16 are in China.
◦China spent a record US$126 billion on renewables in 2017.

Quote
◦As of mid-2018, 32 reactors—including 26 in Japan—are in Long-Term Outage (LTO).
◦At least 33 of the 50 units under construction are behind schedule, mostly by several years. China is no exception, at least half of 16 units under construction are delayed.
◦Of the 33 delayed construction projects, 15 have reported increased delays over the past year.
◦Only a quarter of the 16 units scheduled for startup in 2017 were actually connected to the grid.
◦New-build plans have been cancelled including in Jordan, Malaysia and the U.S. or postponed such as in Argentina, Indonesia, Kazakhstan.

Decommissioning Status Report
◦As of mid-2018, 115 units are undergoing decommissioning—70 percent of the 173 permanently shut-down reactors in the world.
◦Only 19 units have been fully decommissioned: 13 in the U.S., five in Germany, and one in Japan. Of these, only 10 have been returned to greenfield sites.

Quote
Renewables Accelerate Take-Over
◦Globally, wind power output grew by 17% in 2017, solar by 35%, nuclear by 1%. Non-hydro renewables generate over 3,000 TWh more power than a decade ago, while nuclear produces less.
◦Auctions resulted in record low prices for onshore wind (<US$20/MWh) offshore wind (<US$45/MWh) and solar (<US$25/MWh). This compares with the “strike price” for the Hinkley Point C Project in the U.K. (US$120/MWh).
◦Nine of the 31 nuclear countries—Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom (U.K.)—generated more electricity in 2017 from non-hydro renewables than from nuclear power.

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #960 on: March 16, 2019, 08:04:19 AM »
This belongs here as well. Thanks bbr for the link.


The Missouri is a few inches away from the Brownsville nuclear plant's emergency status level and is forecast to breach it by almost 2 feet in the coming days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_Nuclear_Station

Sigmetnow

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #961 on: March 16, 2019, 04:06:03 PM »

The Missouri is a few inches away from the Brownsville nuclear plant's emergency status level and is forecast to breach it by almost 2 feet in the coming days.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_Nuclear_Station

Nebraska preps nuclear plant for possible flooding, no public danger*
Quote
PPD said its procedures require it to declare an unusual event to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission when the Missouri River tops 899 feet above sea level. It reached 899.05 feet Friday morning, the company said.

Should the river rise to 900 feet above sea level, NPPD said plant workers will "barricade internal doorways as another layer of protection for facility equipment."

If the river reaches 901.5 feet above sea level, NPPD said it would take the station offline as a protective measure.
https://news.yahoo.com/nebraska-preps-nuclear-plant-possible-flooding-no-public-163210422.html

*Pretty sure there’s a “but” or “unless” appropriate in there somewhere. :o
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Archimid

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #962 on: March 17, 2019, 03:59:10 PM »
Quote
no public danger*

That's a good lie because the danger is likely so low that is worth risking the lives of everyone around to avoid panic and costly evacuation at a time of great distress.

But that almost zero probability of failure when multiplied by all the nuclear power stations in the world and the increasing climate chaos means that we are now on a countdown for the next nuclear disaster and the nuclear disaster frequency will increase.

Damn.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

longwalks1

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #963 on: March 17, 2019, 06:23:00 PM »
Cooper - Brownsville.    The Ft. Calhoun Nebraska  plant is  a separate bad piece of engineering engineering but less prone to flooding. 

For Cooper
Quite the slog to confirm my memory  - Elevated fuel pool  GE  Mark 4  Mark 1 type pool
https://www.nirs.org/wp-content/uploads/reactorwatch/security/bwrfuelpoolreactorlist08102004.pdf     ###excessive caution from browsers on nirs ssl

Old but good from Alvarez
https://ratical.org/radiation/NuclearExtinction/SpentNuclearFuelPoolsInUS.pdf

Quote
Over  the  past  30  years,  there  have  been  at 
least  66  incidents  at  U.S.  reactors  in  which  there  was 
a significant loss of spent fuel water.

UCS Lochbauhm (spelling?) had a post on fuel pools a bit ago also at AllThingsNuclear
https://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/nuclear-waiting-gain

I do not know if Cooper Nuclear power moved and improved their diesel generators and batteries since the last flood for electrical power and back up for fuel pools.   

We won't agree on all things, but I think we might have a consensus that  an aggressive lowering of the amounts of spent fuel to dry casking. 

This particular reactor is ancient, especially remembering neutron embrittlement, and has floods on an increasing frequency and possibly severity. And an overhead fuel pool.   I think many of us would prioritize this particular plant for an early retirement.   

Sadly, someday the wrong dam upstream somewhere in the world will collapse dramatically and and we will be able to experience the exact nature of a total failure of a fuel pool.  I keep remembering the anecdotes from Los
Alamos of chemists joking about physicists starting uranium fires  with metal shovels.  If ignited, perish the thought.   


Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #964 on: March 17, 2019, 08:16:50 PM »
Even worse than the neutron embrittlement of the core vessels, the gamma irradiation damage to the concrete of the spent fuel pools seriously challenges their integrity. There is a lot more radioactivity at risk from a spent fuel pool failure than from a core failure.

Worse, this is an entirely unaddressed risk that applies to virtually every spent fuel pool in the world. One pool already failed and had to be urgently emptied of fuel in Idaho at the US Navy's Expended Core Facility (ECF). Another will be urgently emptied in the coming years in Washington State at the Hanford Nuclear reservation Waste Encapsulation Storage Facility (WESF) which contains a vast inventory of radioactive cesium and strontium in capsules.

The concrete in the WESF pool has lost at least 85% of its structural integrity based on wetted concrete. The concrete there is protected from water by a stainless steel lining and is dry, as are most pools everywhere. The destruction of concrete by gamma exposure is vastly faster and more severe in dry concrete due to radiolytic destruction of the cement paste forming peroxides and freeing chemically contained waters.

This problem is in some ways similar to the US Department of Energy's problems with spent fuel storage in its reactor pools and facilities. In the 1990s, they conducted a complex wide analysis called the "Spent Fuel Working Group Report". It was a startling and terrifying report of the hazards and conditions in all of DOEs spent fuel pools. It resulted in a $2 billion dollar crash program to move rotting fuel from the K Basins at Hanford into dry cask storage by 2001. The sand, rust, and rotted fuel debris sludge in the Basins formed a layer 5-36 inches deep. It was loaded with chunks of uranium metal in sizes from micron scale to half inch across. The sludge is also loaded with fission products and plutonium. It is the subject of intense efforts in a half billion dollar program to package the sludge for long term storage until they figure out how to process it.

The danger at the K Basins was the single largest hazard in the report. The potential catastrophe averted at the Basins in the words of one DOE manager, Jim Mecca, in 1993 "... would make Chernobyl look like child's play". Other severe hazards at dozens of other sites were also made priorities for resolution. But what did not happen was any actual learning about the hazards posed by other Basins (including ECF and WESF, both under government control), nor real sharing of these lessons to industry.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 08:23:55 PM by Sam »

Sam

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #965 on: March 17, 2019, 08:54:26 PM »
I should also point out how NRC and DOE assess risks.

The risk assessment process is iterative. They assess risks in so far as they know them. They then assign probabilities and consequences from those risks. If the likelihood of a risk is less than set thresholds (e.g. 1 in 10,000), they truncate the analysis and minimize expenditure on the risk.

The worst consequence events almost all end up assigned as being so unlikely as to not warrant expenditure of monies to preclude their possibility or minimization of their consequences.

This is of course backwards from a sensical approach. A sensical approach would start by assessing risks and potential consequences, and result in design changes to preclude the possibility of occurrence of any risk with consequences exceeding some threshold measured in lives potentially lost, extent and severity of contamination, cost ...  E.g. More than 10, 100, 1,000 lives lost, or more than 10, 100, 1,000 hectares contaminated, etc... 

As NRC and DOEs analyses develope, there is a strong tendency and bias toward doing as little as possible, and to shift higher likelihood events into assigned lower likelihood categories that are not then addressed. This is a cost minimization driven imperative. In many cases this does not involve actual Facility design changes, but instead involves "sharpening the pencils" on the analysis and using more "realistic parameters" to get the risks under the assigned limits. All the while many other risks go entirely unanalzyed and assigned no value in the analysis at all. As before, this is a cost minimization effort. Analazying more and new risks raises costs and is therefor avoided.

This whole process stems from work by NASA and the Air Force on missile and other complex projects. The whole philosophy was based on a gung ho, we can solve technical problems paradigm. That same basic approach brought us the Space Shuttle and then the Columbia and Challenger disasters.

As we look to trying to avoid catastrophic climate change and societally see the costs and impacts, we tend to balk and likewise look to this same process and evaluation method to consider huge engineering projects to claim to "mitigate" climate change so that we need not change our evil ways.

Nature of course does not care about such deceptions. She counts everything and responds to the actual reality.

Today at Mauna Loa, CO2 levels are about 410 ppm headed to 415 this summer. A lot of world focus is on those numbers and how we must avoid 450 or 500 ppm, and return to 350 ppm. Global efforts in the IPCC exclude data and lessons from the last decade. That in turn results in plans that are laughably insufficient. Worse, leaders here in the US as well as globally march in the opposite direction valuing profits and growth over everything and utterly thumbing their noses at reality.

But the truth is we are already effectively at 540 ppm CO2 when you include the other warming gases, which largely did not exist in the preindustrial era. We have already used all of our buffer. Even with massive all hands to the wheel efforts, we will entirely melt the Arctic ice. As a result, the global atmospheric and oceanic systems will undergo massive reorganizational changes.

We need to deal with reality. It is what is. Reality controls what happens next, not our human wishes and desires. We are in the equivalent of a high speed train wreck. We overloaded the train and drove it at reckless speeds out onto a flimsily design bridge over a canyon. The bridge has failed and the first cars are already beginning their plunge into the abyss. Our challenge now is what we will choose to do. More than that, our first challenge is to rapidly assess what we can do that will make any difference at all.

Lurk

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Re: Nuclear Power
« Reply #966 on: March 18, 2019, 04:12:47 AM »
Today at Mauna Loa, CO2 levels are about 410 ppm headed to 415 this summer.

Actually it's really ~412.20 ppm headed to 415.30 ppm during May peak. If the El Nino kicks in some effects it may then go higher through Summer instead of falling June-Sept as usual.

Feb readings were already above May 2018. That's somewhat unprecedented in itself, because that usually doesn't happen until April the following year.

That being said Nuclear power and waste is the least of humanities problem. WMD nukes and missiles definitely are and then comes climate crisis impacts.

"More than that, our first challenge is to rapidly assess what we can do that will make any difference at all."


The sooner people get to assessing the right answer "Nothing" the better. Until then they are not looking reality in the eye. Only then will rational response actions appear in their mind.

atm everyone is playing pretend games and living in denial of the true cause of the crisis - why there is a crisis to begin with given what was already known in 1990.
"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