Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Policy and solutions => Topic started by: Stephen on March 10, 2014, 11:27:00 PM

Title: Nuclear Power
Post by: Stephen on March 10, 2014, 11:27:00 PM
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140310_ChinaOpEd.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140310_ChinaOpEd.pdf)

And I agree with him.  The worst problems of nuclear power are tiny compared to the problems of carbon fuels.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on March 11, 2014, 12:41:30 AM
He is very dismissive of renewables. I think he is wrong about that. They have become cost efficient and people are much more in favor of renewables than nuclear. I don't think forcing nuclear will do any good.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Stephen on March 11, 2014, 03:53:40 AM
The opportunity for peaceful use of nuclear power was lost amid the anti-nuclear hysteria of the 80s.  The nuclear industry was its own worst enemy with lax safety standards.  Then there was the sovereign risk - the suspicion that military dictatorships (like North Korea and Iran right now) would use a peaceful power generation program to hide weapons development.

But, in spite of all the above, it's still our Earth's best chance.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on March 11, 2014, 08:00:27 AM
In my opinion only Gen IV makes sense, but there's a lot of uncertainty regarding its practical implementation, I believe.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 11, 2014, 12:09:06 PM
In my opinion only Gen IV makes sense.

Take your pick from the list at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen-IV_reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen-IV_reactor)

The trouble is Gen I was designed more for producing nuclear weapons rather than just electricity. For a variety of reasons there has been a singular lack of R&D on producing just electricity since then.

Current UK plans include a shiny new Gen III EPR over here in Soggy South West England: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinkley_Point_C_nuclear_power_station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinkley_Point_C_nuclear_power_station)

UK energy policy doesn't make much sense! (IMHO of course)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 11, 2014, 05:26:46 PM
I think Hansen is simply irrational on this subject. 

Not that we live in a world which has even a small tendency to evaluate decisions based upon a rigorous risk benefit analysis, but if there is even one technology that begs for such basic rational thought it is certainly expanding or even continuing operating nuclear power plants.

The risk far outweighs the possible gain. By orders of magnitude.  If we were really basing our decisions off of risk vs gain we would be well into the process of shutting down all nuclear plants in the world right now and we would certainly not be building any more.  Post collapse taking care of the all the non-depleted nuclear fuel rods and all of the nuclear waste is going to be onerous already.  Let's not add to that problem any further.  Not to mention our chances of nuclear accidents rises significantly as civilization continues it's slow crumble.  Review where we are at in regards to Fukishima for reference as it is expected to require another 30-40 years of effort to resolve that situation.     

Perhaps new generation or advanced designs could be developed and eventually deployed, but not for many years yet.  We simply do not have time left to consider that as an option and it would have to be an option which solved the AGW problem and it just does not even address it.  Time to avoid a severely disrupted climate is long past.  Carbon emissions are of such magnitude and human decision making such that it is virtually certain that the best we can hope for at this point in time is a CO2 level of 450ppm and quite possibly much higher.  This will result in AGW conditions well beyond the point where anything resembling current civilization can continue to function.   

We are already on the downward slope of rising energy costs (declining EROEI) and resource availability.   We will increasingly struggle to maintain the infrastructure we already have.  Resources and wealth are already in short enough supply that the idea of converting our entire power generation system to renewables is well beyond our capability, thus forcing us to continue fossil BAU power generation approaches for at least another generation and likely until we just collapse.  And do not forget that a world powered solely by industrial scale renewable power generation is not even close to being sustainable either. We are adding some 75 million people to the world population every year and doing our damnedest to raise the standards of living of everyone on Earth (thus adding to the vast emissions of carbon we are already emitting).  Everything we are doing is putting us even further beyond the earth's carrying capacity than we are now.  Food production is under constantly increasing stress and is virtually certain to reach population limiting points by 2050 and has a good chance of doing so much earlier.

We already lack the resources to properly manage the shutdown and mothballing of the current nuclear power plants and this shutdown requirement is virtually certain to happen and the resources to manage it 'must' be taken from all the other critical requirements which are constantly building.

BAU destroys civilization.  Green-BAU destroys civilization.  Industrial civilization is just not sustainable.  As much as Hansen deserves respect for his work warning us about AGW and is impacts he has failed to follow his own work to see what the rest of the story is going to be.  Like many of those fully into the technological world and having experienced over a long life the constant increase in complexity of civilization he opts for another level of complexity to address a problem.  This is the standard response that complex civilizations make (whether BAU or Green-BAU).  History and simple follow through to the end logic say it just will not work.  It is basing our rather slim chances of a future on a miracle and is just a form of magical thinking.  Going nuclear would make the crash worse (potentially catastrophically worse) and very likely make it come quicker.  It just makes no sense.     

There is no logical reason to assume we can avoid a dramatic reduction in civilizational complexity and, if we want to leave any kind of livable world to our descendants, we must do everything in our power to dramatically cut population (before the four horsemen step up and finish the job for us - which they are certainly going to do), resource consumption, our standards of living, carbon emissions, and 50 other things as soon as we can.  We need to head in the direction of the world's carrying capacity as fast as our little feet will carry us not the other direction. 

No new nuclear, shut down the current nuclear, shutdown the coal plants, do not build renewable unless there is a one to one shutdown of a coal plant for each new renewable plant.  No additions to power generation capacity at all.  Shut down globalization as fast as possible.  Cease any kind of exploration for new fossil fuel sources as we already have far more than we can afford to burn.

As is said, "Deal with reality or it will deal with you."         
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 11, 2014, 08:28:19 PM
JimD - 100% agreement to all your points.

But - ;-)
one point I would like to view from an other point (I think clearly in agreement with your words above): Complexity - that is a natural thing, since evolution just moves towards more complex things. And it is not a bad thing, if it is not reduced to complex (=hardly ever sustainable) technology only.

E.g.: Biological-dynamical agriculture (which is called permaculture at some places today) is about complex environment instead of simple industrial agriculture (roots in water with some minerals and poison).

E.g. Education - the more the better to get rid of population peacefully. The more the better for a nice living.

You may find a lot more - complexity is challenging and is needed by our brain. Let go all simple solutions. We need to look for complicated ways of life - everything is connected to everything else and understanding should be prior to any action possibly changing that complex environment somehow.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 11, 2014, 08:38:17 PM
With my devil's advocate hat on, Stewart Brand loves nuclear power too:

http://youtu.be/TUxwiVFgghE?t=9m (http://youtu.be/TUxwiVFgghE?t=9m)

PS. The timed start doesn't seem to work on here. Skip to 9 minutes for the "pro nuclear" bit.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 11, 2014, 09:22:39 PM
SATire

One of the lessons of history is that when complex civilizations collapse the surviving society drops back to a less complex structure.  It also shows that there has (to my knowledge anyway) never been a complex society which consciously, in the face of stress which eventually caused collapse, that chose to reduce complexity in the attempt to stave off collapse.  They have always tried to fix their problems by adding layers of complexity.  Doing that takes more resources and wealth when those very things are becoming more scarce.  A recipe for disaster.  We need to advocate for abandoning non-productive levels of complexity as that buys us more time (not that there is any real time left).

When extinction events have taken place in the past the level of diversity (a proxy for complexity) have also been reduced.  In a natural extinction event one could claim that one sees a reversal of evolutionary complexity down to a point of stability which the new natural world can support.  Once conditions improve then complexity starts growing again.  We need to consciously mimic what natures does with our civilizational structures. 

While I fully agree with your comment on there is no such thing as too much education I would point out that there is little global commitment to the permaculture (or any other sustainable agriculture concept).  I am sure that well above 90% of "organic" agriculture in the developed and developing worlds is more properly described as Industrial Organic and is in no way sustainable.  Row cropping, using all the typical agricultural machinery, irrigating with pumps and piping/tubing, and fleets of vehicles is by definition industrial whether artificial chemicals are used or not.  And certainly not sustainable.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 12, 2014, 12:48:12 AM
JimD, A man after my own heart.
I told a friend of mine about how we should stockpile rat traps and gopher traps at the springs (perennial  weeps)that the natives used to elude the mission system, a church run form of slavery. Reductionist nonpareil.
 He was visiting his mother and shared my survival minimalist ideas. She liked them . My wife
however doesn't, go figure.
 Try memorizing the stars for an education. Try memorizing very long poems( the bard). The mind is restless. An education is relative. And yes organic agriculture is mostly a sales pitch. Better for native wildlife no doubt but hardly sustainable.
  I am writing this in good humor but a good education shouldn't erase too much of the past. What is progress running backwards? 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 12, 2014, 01:54:48 AM
Russia loves nuclear power in the UK. The latest news on the UK's nonsensical energy policy:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/237059/mou_decc_rosatom.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/237059/mou_decc_rosatom.pdf)

Quote
The Department of Energy and Climate Change of the United Kingdom and State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” (hereinafter – Rosatom), recognising the significant ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector, and building on the long-standing agreement between the two countries on Co-operation in the Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy, wish to work together more closely to develop a mutually beneficial relationship in the commercial civil nuclear sphere.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 12, 2014, 09:48:15 AM
That mean they wish to dump their nuclear wastes (A part of it)  in Russia, just like EDF (french company) does...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: icefest on March 12, 2014, 11:55:07 AM
That mean they wish to dump their nuclear wastes (A part of it)  in Russia, just like EDF (french company) does...

To be honest, nuclear waste and meltdowns are only a local issue. GHG and ACC are global and more short term. I will support almost any nuclear plant over a FF plant.

(PV, Wind, & geothermal are preferred though.)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 12, 2014, 12:41:52 PM
Jonathon Porritt is an elder statesman of the Green movement here in the UK. Jonathon hates nuclear power:

http://www.jonathonporritt.com/Campaigns/nuclear (http://www.jonathonporritt.com/Campaigns/nuclear)

Quote
One year on from Fukushima, it staggers me how many people still think there's a role for nuclear power in the UK's future energy mix. Together with three other former Directors of Friends of the Earth (Tom Burke, Tony Juniper, Charles Secrett), we've been assessing the case against nuclear - exclusively from an economic perspective.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 12, 2014, 03:27:37 PM
To be honest, nuclear waste and meltdowns are only a local issue. GHG and ACC are global and more short term. I will support almost any nuclear plant over a FF plant.

(PV, Wind, & geothermal are preferred though.)

icefest

Surely you know that the bolded is completely untrue?  Chernobyl and Fukashima prove otherwise and we need to keep in mind that only extreme efforts kept them from being much worse accidents and we are not out of the woods with Fukashima yet either).  As we move forward in time such efforts will become increasingly hard to execute and accidents (of which there will always be some) will get progressively worse and more global.  Think of the situation we would be in if Fukashima had gone worst case.  Tokyo would be evacuated right now and large areas of Japan would be uninhabitable.  Do you have space at your place to put them up for a couple of decades?

As dangerous as nuclear is now that danger is only going to grow over time.  I say no nuclear or fossil plants makes a lot more sense. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 12, 2014, 03:36:09 PM
To be honest, nuclear waste and meltdowns are only a local issue. GHG and ACC are global and more short term. I will support almost any nuclear plant over a FF plant.
Nuclear waste is locally only in space (hopefully) but not in time. The nuclear waste will exist much longer than GHG (>100,000 years). If you want to remove the waste (e.g. transmutation by laser) you will need more energy than was produced during lifetime of the power plant (EROI<1). So you have to take care for that stuff >100,000 years regardless of the plenty of collapses usually happening in geological timeframes. Even economically it makes no sense if you think about any interest rate slightly larger than zero - after 100,000 years the costs are only slighly smaller than infinity. And we are still not talking about risks of accidents rising with increased number of plants and direct impacts...

So - please do not compare nuclear versus fossil generally. It comes down to personal feelings and rating space vs. time. Reasonably booth are similar bad: Very bad (on the long run and/or globaly).

Furthermore - take JimD's argument seriously that dangerous complex technical systems exhibit an enormous risk in times of collapse. It took quite some effort during the small collapse of Sowjet Union to prevent an accident. We will not be able to handle that in times of global problems - so within the next 15-50 years all nuclear power plants must be off and cool allready. There is no time left for new systems today.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 12, 2014, 03:52:58 PM
As dangerous as nuclear is now that danger is only going to grow over time.  I say no nuclear or fossil plants makes a lot more sense.

Did you follow my Wikipedia link earlier Jim? Here's one of the places it leads to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor)

By way of example, LFTRs are reputed to "fail safe".

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 12, 2014, 04:54:16 PM
Jim

As I tried to say earlier.  New designs may have promise but that promise has to be considered in light of where civilization is headed.  It is far too late to execute gradual changeovers in technology which take a couple of generations.  We simply do not have time to execute before we are overtaken by the collapse of the environment and the rolling impacts that will have on society.  Nuclear is a solution to a problem, but not to the problem of AGW.

Advocates of nuclear and renewables as solutions for AGW do not seem to be considering our problems in a systemic fashion.  They look at energy production in a laboratory sense in that they mentally isolate it from all other factors and then examine it in a sterile fashion.  This is where the constant analysis keeping coming from which indicate that in mathematical terms we could switch from fossil electrical production to all alternatives and maintain BAU.  But when looked at in a real world perspective (i.e. the difference between a laboratory model and a full up functioning industrial process) one can easily see that it will not work.  There are two primary and many secondary reasons for the why of not working.  First is time.  We ran out of time to execute a long time ago.  Industrial global energy system changeovers require vast amounts of resources and time.  We have neither in sufficient supply.  Second is that even if we managed to execute we do not achieve a solution to the AGW problem.  Why?  We are collapsing because we are far past the carrying capacity of the Earth and we are not living sustainably.  An all nuclear or all renewable energy production system does not move us towards the carrying capacity nor towards sustainability.  BAU and Green-BAU are not sustainable so they do not fix AGW.  The goal of  those who advocate for those types of responses to AGW is to maintain a close approximation to the lifestyle we have now.  Which is not sustainable and is no solution.  It is worth keeping in mind that if we all (and that all is going to be 9 billion eventually) lived like the average African we would still be adding significantly to rising CO2 levels and on a  path to catastrophe and collapse.   We are also in an declining EROEI situation and past the production peak of dozens of critical minerals. Going forward it will become harder each year to  maintain our current infrastructure, spare the resources to create new infrastructure, provide food and housing for the 75 million new citizens borne ach year, repair damage from AGW generated storms and conditions.  Industrial civilization is not sustainable in any sense.  Solutions designed to maintain BAU make things worse not better.  We can live a pretty nice (non-sustainable) lifestyle on this earth only if we have a small population. 

We badly need to accept our circumstances and to quit wasting energy on silver bullet fixes.  There is no easy solution.

To point out what I was trying to say earlier about needing to shut down existing nuclear facilities while we still have time and can mange to devote enough resources to do it (I think we might still be able to manage this - but maybe not).  And accepting that spending those resources to shut down means they will not be available for a host of other purposes which need them also is stuff like the below.

Quote
Three years after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami nearly triggered a nuclear cataclysm in central Japan, conditions at the shattered Dai-Ichi power plant in Fukushima don't inspire confidence. Radiation levels in the surrounding area will keep more than 150,000 residents from returning to their homes for years, if ever. Groundwater flowing under the rubbled reactors, where it is contaminated by radioactivity, is accumulating at the rate of 400 tons a day in more than 1,100 tanks, some of which are leaking the water into the nearby ocean. Dismantling the plant will call for an unprecedented removal of molten fuel from the three reactors that melted down; all told, the decommissioning process could take four decades and cost as much as 11 trillion yen ($106 billion). And that’s if things go well and, God forbid, another huge earthquake doesn’t hit.

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-11/on-fukushima-anniversary-remember-pearl-harbor (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-11/on-fukushima-anniversary-remember-pearl-harbor)

We quite possibly do not have the time left to execute the fix for Fukashima.  That should scare the shit out of people. We are still trying to clean up after Chernobyl and it will take some billions of dollars and at least another 5 years.  And Chernobyl occurred in 1986.

It is certain that there will be other nuclear accidents at other fission reactors over the next 40 years.  The next one will almost certainly be beyond our ability to manage it.  Post collapse how are the survivors going to deal with nuclear reactors which we did not shut down in time?  How are they going to deal with vast quantities of nuclear fuel rods (both used and not-depleted) that need to be stored, maintained and secured for generations?  They will not be able to do this.  This means more accidents and whole areas of the world irradiated and unusable.  We dare not take such chances.  It is a risk vs gain calculation that is totally one sided.
 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 14, 2014, 01:57:32 PM
New designs may have promise but that promise has to be considered in light of where civilization is headed.  It is far too late to execute gradual changeovers in technology which take a couple of generations.  We simply do not have time to execute before we are overtaken by the collapse of the environment and the rolling impacts that will have on society.  Nuclear is a solution to a problem, but not to the problem of AGW.

I hear where you're coming from Jim, but please bear with me as I try to cover all angles of a very contentious debate, and that's just within the "Green movement"!

The UK's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority state that they are seriously considering building a Gen IV PRISM reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28reactor%29) within one generation for the primary purpose of reprocessing our large pile of nuclear waste:

 http://www.nda.gov.uk/strategy/nuclearmaterials/plutonium/index.cfm (http://www.nda.gov.uk/strategy/nuclearmaterials/plutonium/index.cfm)

From Appendix 2 of the 2014 position paper:

Quote
The study highlighted a number of potential benefits of utilising the PRISM reactor solution to manage separated plutonium, notably a reduced time to disposition the UK stockpile, given the higher incorporation of plutonium in fuel, a simplified fuel manufacturing process and reactor construction, and the ability to utilise the full inventory of plutonium which should consequently reduce the overall costs of implementation of plutonium reuse.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 14, 2014, 04:33:50 PM
I  really don't care for nuclear power. I worry about stored waste that will remain highly  radioactive for thousands of years. Given the devastating impact of AGW is rapidly approaching, we might not be around to warn the next, hopefully more intelligent, species to inhabit the planet. Having said this, if we are going to avoid the worst effects of AGW, nuclear is the only effective transition technology because of its ability to generate large amounts of electricity.

I reluctantly put myself in the camp of building more nuclear power plants.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 14, 2014, 04:57:42 PM
Jim

Are you involved in trying to execute the UK strategy you link too?  I am sorry if I am making it difficult for you, but if little ole me can make it hard then what does that say about the subject?

I read some of the info you linked to and come away even 'more' concerned than I was before.  I don't hate technology (well not too much) and am a retired electrical engineer by education (though that is not what I did professionally), but I have not been able to find a logical path to continue to support nuclear power (yes I used too).  My reasons are just the basic risk vs gain calculations.

Working from the premise's I am taking as a given - which you may or may not accept - doing anything but figuring out how to shut it down as fast as possible does not make sense.  Even if one is not convinced that collapse is certain it is very difficult to come up with reasoning that arrives at any thing but the chance of collapse is very high.  The global resource base is severely degraded and getting worse, population is rising fast, AGW is getting worse fast, and so on.  All of the relevant factors which are pertinent to maintaining, building, developing, storing waste from nuclear technology are very likely to follow the trajectory of what is happening to the rest of the global civilization.  If we play the nuclear card and we are wrong about it saving civilization then we have materially made the prospects for the post collapse world much worse.  Is it a rational choice to make in light of the risk vs gain calculation?

I note in support of my position that even if you could avoid collapse before 2100 by deploying vast new quantities of nuclear and renewables that would not change in any way that we would be running a system that bears no resemblance to the word 'sustainable'.  So what is the point in taking the risk as we would still be pumping out vast quantities of carbon and we would somewhere post 2100 trigger the large methane emissions often mentioned.

Besides dealing with the existing nuclear problems, which will be very difficult going forward, and future accidents - there are always accidents, the time to develop, test, verify, and build large numbers of new technology nuclear power systems just does not appear to be there.  As this quote from your link seems to support..

Quote
The option of utilising fourth generation reactor types (GEN IV), such as fast reactors, has been screened out as not credible at this time. There are no GEN IV reactor systems commercially available and it is not considered that they will be commercially available for several decades. Even though the technology for fast reactors is well developed at the research reactor scale, the supply chain has yet to give indication of any substantive commercial development of these systems in the short to medium term. 

If we can barely pay for shutting the existing coal (and hopefully nuclear) down and we try and put vast resources into building out some 2000 GW of renewables where are the resources to then build out the new generation of nuclear going to come from?  All to get to just another unsustainable system?  How does that make sense?

One last thing and I will leave you alone. 

Quote
Troubled waters: Nuclear radiation found in B.C. may pose health concerns

Discovery of Fukushima radioactivity raises concerns for local marine life, and the effect it may have on humans
Cesium 134 has a half-life of two years, meaning its radioactivity is reduced by half during that time. Its presence in the environment is an indication of continuing contamination from Fukushima.

A more persistent danger to people and marine life is radioactive Cesium 137, which has a half-life of 30 years, and bioaccumulates in the food chain.

Researchers developed a model based on the diet of fish-eating killer whales along with the levels of Cesium 137 detected and predicted (less than 0.5 becquerels per cubic metre, a measurement of radioactivity) by other researchers in the Pacific waters offshore of Vancouver Island.

The models suggests that in 30 years, Cesium 137 levels in the whales will exceed the Canadian guideline of 1,000 becquerels per kilogram for consumption of seafood by humans — 10 times the Japanese guideline.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Toxic+waters+Nuclear+radiation+found+pose+health+concerns/9606269/story.html (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Toxic+waters+Nuclear+radiation+found+pose+health+concerns/9606269/story.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 14, 2014, 06:09:50 PM
JimD above wrote" It also shows that there has (to my knowledge anyway) never been a complex society which consciously, in the face of stress which eventually caused collapse, that chose to reduce complexity in the attempt to stave off collapse."

In one lecture by Tainter, in response to just this kind of question, he pointed to the late Byzantine Empire as one such counter example--they devolved some power back to provinces and tribes in order to stave off the threat from Islam. I believe Tokugawa era Japan is sometimes held up as another.

But such are far and away the minor exceptions to the overall rule you point out which generally holds, as far as I know.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 14, 2014, 10:21:37 PM
Jim

Are you involved in trying to execute the UK strategy you link too?

No Jim. My degree (many moons ago) was in Electronic Engineering. My business card says that I'm a "Smart Grid Consultant". In that capacity I sit on an international smart grid standards committee and I write firmware that helps keep peoples lights on in the 1st and 3rd worlds. I'm also a member of an organization called RegenSW (http://www.regensw.co.uk/), which says that it is:

Quote
A leading centre of sustainable energy expertise and pioneering project delivery.  We enable business, local authorities, community groups and other organisations to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency and build a prosperous low-carbon economy in the south west of England.

Green business as usual?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 14, 2014, 10:49:38 PM
I have to agree with JimD on the threat that all nuclear plants pose to present and future communities--in fact, I see now way to avoid essentially every nuclear plant eventually going Fukushima or worse, given even the normal vagaries of history, not to mention the certain climate and political chaos we are definitely heading into in short order at this point. Building more of the same would be the epitome of folly, or more like intentional genocide.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on March 15, 2014, 12:03:31 AM
wili
you are being silly.
there is no rational way to accept your comments, other than phobia.
we need nuclear desperately to manage the main electrical demand until we figure out how to use solar for this.  otherwise the CO2 burden will kill us all including you.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 15, 2014, 02:28:10 AM
Mati, Some of us believe it might be wise to consider managing the descent as opposed to maintaining
the growth paradigm. I too up until recently supported Nuclear ,and JimD has said the same ,but in a world where the head of the IPCC says we have until next year to stop and reverse the addition of Co2 into the atmosphere lest we pass the 2 degree C rise in worldwide temperatures maybe Nuclear is just another fantasy. A silver bullet that just didn't work. Until you can explain how to deactivate the existing nuclear infrastructure in declining economic conditions and store all that spent fuel for hundreds of years maybe you should think twice about doubling down. So I'll sign up in the silly department with Wili. No I don't really believe every plant will end like Fukushima or even a majority but with Solar EROEI at 2 to 3 I don't think that's such a sweet option either. There really isn't any option other than a fast contraction of our expectations, small is beautiful. That will buy some time.     
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on March 15, 2014, 01:30:46 PM
we need nuclear desperately

We need to desperately use a lot less energy, and use what we use much more efficiently. This can only be done in a different, more realistic economic system.

Further we need to find ways to not expand global population, and then shrink it. This will take generations.

I also tried to remain neutral on nuclear, until I translated a TV report concerning the decommissioning of one of the oldest nuclear plants in France, costing ten times more than anticipated, and still not done (they haven't figured out how to disassemble the reactor chamber yet). Then I watched a documentary called Into Eternity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_Eternity_%28film%29) about the Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository) in Finland. In between I translated a TV report on the consequences of Tchernobyl, mainly about children having lost their thyroid glands.

That's when I knew I couldn't remain neutral any longer. Nuclear (except perhaps for Gen IV) simply isn't an option. You can keep the cancer in check for a while longer, but you're not taking away the cause.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 15, 2014, 01:56:59 PM
I guess it was about Brennilis nuclear power station ? ...a very small one though...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennilis_Nuclear_Power_Plant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennilis_Nuclear_Power_Plant)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 15, 2014, 06:03:55 PM
"We need to desperately use a lot less energy, and use what we use much more efficiently. This can only be done in a different, more realistic economic system..."

Nicely put, as usual.

So you worked/work as a translator?

Mati, I do like how 'silly' rhymes with 'wili'! ;D

But really, have you read any history lately? The period since WWII has been surprisingly low in terms of major wars, with some obvious exceptions. But over any stretch of history, wrenching, violent political change is the norm, along with gross incompetence. You could do worse for introducing yourself to such history than reading, for example, Tuchman's The March of Folly.

Human nature includes many wonderful attributes. But among the less wonderful ones--that have expressed themselves over and over through history, and any one of which are likely to bring about a Fukushima-or-worse situation--are:

Incompetence
Malfeasance
War
General Societal Collapse
Financial Collapse
Failure to Educate Engineers capable of handling these plants and their decomissioning
Rebellion
Revolution
Riots
Greed
Group Think
Corruption
Distraction
Inability to weigh risk (especially underestimation of risk)
Hopium
Unwillingness to go against the crowd (apparently a major factor in the Fuku case)
Hubris
Willingness to put others at risk
Hate
Terrorism
Vengeance
Stupidity...

You can add your own to this already long list, I'm sure.

And that's just human propensities through history. Add to that the likely hood of such geological events to happen--individually or, as in the Fuku case, in tandem--just in the normal course of things:

Flooding
Earthquake
Tsunami
Drought
Famine
Hurricane/Typhoon
Tornado...

And many more, most of which are likely to exacerbate the above human propensity for folly on small and grand scales.

And now consider that all of the latter list, except perhaps earthquakes and tornadoes, are going to be intensified and/or made more frequent by AGW--which we know we are stuck with at increasing rates no matter what we do now, and all of which in turn will exacerbate and make more likely most of the above human propensities for violence, malfeasance, and general stupidity--and it becomes immediately clear to anyone not blinded by ideology that indeed:

Every single nuke plant that is not immediately and totally decommissioned and deconstructed will go FUKU or worse at some probably-not-too-distant point, making vast swaths of the earth uninhabitable by humans for decades to centuries or longer.

The whole project was a vast techno-fantasy naively and insanely assuming an eternally perfect world to assuage the consciences of the scientists who brought us nuclear weapons (which could still be the cause of the end of civilization at pretty much any moment), to assure the availability of fissionable material for those weapons, and to enrich a very few at the expense of the very many.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on March 19, 2014, 07:11:26 AM
Whether it is climate change, abrupt sea level rise or nuclear power Jim Hansen will always be proved right as his conclusions are supported by scientific data and evidence.

Currently fossil carbon fuels produce 82% of global energy.  see

www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/.../KeyWorld2013.pdf (http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/.../KeyWorld2013.pdf)‎

82% is generated by burning 14 billions tonnes of fossils fuels annually.  The waste, mainly CO2 is dumped into the atmosphere and is subsequently partly absorbed by the oceans.  This has raised CO2 levels from 280ppm in pre-industrial times to almost 400ppm today.

Urban outdoor air pollution is responsible for 1.3 million deaths annually.

 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/)

Paleoclimate history from the Pliocene 5 million years ago teaches us that 400ppm will ultimately result in a mean global temperature about 2 degrees higher than today and a sea level rise of at least 15 metres.  Human civilisation will find it difficult to adapt to a climate change of this magnitude.

Business as usual fossil fuel use will see CO2 levels of 900ppm by 2100.  Paleoclimate history from the Eocene 50 million years ago teaches us that 900ppm will ultimately result in a mean global temperature about 12 degrees higher than today and a sea level rise of 80 metres. The human species will find it difficult to survive a climate change of this magnitude.

Non fossil Carbon Fuels produce 18% of global energy.

Biofuels produce 10% of the world’s energy and provides household cooking energy for low income countries resulting in about 2 million deaths annually.  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/)

Expansion of the biofuel production is unlikely given the competition with food crops and the destruction of forests.

Nuclear produces 5% of the world’s energy and during the past 50 years has been directly responsible for about 50 deaths.  See UNSEAR Chernobyl and Fukushima reports. 
http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/index.html (http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/index.html)
The Chernobyl UNSEAR report goes on to say the biggest health risk has been the psychological fear of radiation due to misinformation.

See also Jim Hansen’s analysis.  http://climate.nasa.gov/news/903 (http://climate.nasa.gov/news/903)

Expansion of nuclear is our most viable option given its energy intensity.
Conventional reactors require just 1 tonne of uranium fuel to replace 20,000 tonnes of coal.  Fast breeder reactors are 100 times more efficient with 1 tonne of nuclear fuel replacing 2 million tonnes of coal.  Just 7000 tonnes of uranium or nuclear waste could replace 14 billion tonnes of fossil fuel use saving 35 billion tonnes of annual CO2 emissions.

The integral fast reactor (IFR) was developed by the US government at the Argonne National Laboratory.  Its proto type the EBR 11 ran for 30 years proving to be both passively safe and highly efficient but was dumped by the Clinton administration on ideological grounds.
The GE Hitachi S-PRISM is a commercial IFR developed from this program and has been offered to the UK Government to dispose of its plutonium stockpile and generate electricity.  The S-PRISM 311 MWe can be mass produced in a factory and bought to site in modular form.  24,000 S-PRISM reactors could potentially replace all fossil fuel generation world wide providing energy for 100 years just using the current global stockpile of nuclear waste.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor)

Integral Fast Reactor Introduction (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUdhHEtIsRw#)

http://bravenewclimate.com/integral-fast-reactor-ifr-nuclear-power/ (http://bravenewclimate.com/integral-fast-reactor-ifr-nuclear-power/)

Hydro electricity generates 2% of the world’s energy and responsible for about 200,000 deaths mainly due to the Banqaio Dam failure in China.  Expansion is limited due to the scarcity of suitable dam sites.

Renewable energy mainly wind and solar collects 1% of the world’s energy but only provides energy when the resource is available and thus has very low capacity factors requiring backup energy generation most of the time.  This is usually provided by fossil fuels.

David McKay shows how the laws of physics and mathematics, limits the expansion potential of renewable energy.

A reality check on renewables - David MacKay (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0W1ZZYIV8o#ws)
http://www.withouthotair.com/Contents.html (http://www.withouthotair.com/Contents.html)

All energy generation poises risk to human life.  However when assessing risk, climate change caused by fossil fuels, is by far the greatest risk to the human species.   To mitigate this risk every non fossil carbon fuel technology that is available, including nuclear power must be used.  Failure to reduce carbon emissions to nil by 2100 will mean a climate change event so severe, it will likely threaten the survival of the human species.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: icefest on March 19, 2014, 10:15:21 AM
Firstly, I mentioned that "I will support almost any nuclear plant over a FF plant"

JimD, you said that nuclear might make whole countries uninhabitable.
I agree.
My reply: Continuing to use FF will make much larger parts of the planet uninhabitable.

SATire, you said that nuclear's issues are confined in space but not time.
I agree.
My reply: If we have no space then time is worthless. The global effects of uninhibited FF use preclude any future solutions.
Assuming we can survive ACC, we can build breeder reactors to dispose waste.

Lastly, regarding the prediction of another Malthusian Catastrophe. There have been so many wrong predictions about this over the past 200 years that it's hard to believe it will happen this time.
The issue is that I doubt that humanity will lower their expectations and use less resources. In any case if they do there will be no need for any new power plants.


I will support almost any nuclear plant over a FF plant.
(PV, Wind, & geothermal are preferred though.)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 19, 2014, 04:36:41 PM
James Lovelock loves nuclear power too:

http://www.jameslovelock.org/page11.html (http://www.jameslovelock.org/page11.html)

Quote
What makes global warming so serious and so urgent is that the great Earth system, Gaia, is trapped in a vicious circle of positive feedback. Extra heat from any source, whether from greenhouse gases, the disappearance of Arctic ice or the Amazon forest, is amplified, and its effects are more than additive. It is almost as if we had lit a fire to keep warm, and failed to notice, as we piled on fuel, that the fire was out of control and the furniture had ignited. When that happens, little time is left to put out the fire before it consumes the house. Global warming, like a fire, is accelerating and almost no time is left to act.

Opposition to nuclear energy is based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style fiction, the Green lobbies and the media. These fears are unjustified, and nuclear energy from its start in 1952 has proved to be the safest of all energy sources. We must stop fretting over the minute statistical risks of cancer from chemicals or radiation. Nearly one third of us will die of cancer anyway, mainly because we breathe air laden with that all pervasive carcinogen, oxygen. If we fail to concentrate our minds on the real danger, which is global warming, we may die even sooner, as did more than 20,000 unfortunates from overheating in Europe last summer.

That was written in 2004.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 19, 2014, 04:52:12 PM
tombond

Quote
Whether it is climate change, abrupt sea level rise or nuclear power Jim Hansen will always be proved right as his conclusions are supported by scientific data and evidence.

Jim Hansen is not Jesus Christ.  He makes mistakes just like everyone else and his nuclear stance IMHO is one and his stance on carbon pricing is another.  When he talks climate physics and what he says is based upon his knowledge as a PhD physicist and data I give it great weight.  When he drifts into policy and human nature he is no more of an expert than I am and on some things I know a lot more than he does.  Personality cults get us in trouble all the time.

icefest

As is common when the nuclear fanatics get to going is that they want to ignore a lot of relevant facts.  The existing nuclear facilities are a clear and present danger to all of us.  History has proven that beyond a doubt.  The potential for catastrophe from those facilities going forward rises significantly.  This makes the risk benefit analysis of them fall on the side of getting rid of them as soon as possible. 

Anyone who advocates continuing the current nuclear power mix and advocates developing and deploying new technologies is making a full commitment to the increasingly unlikely possibility that we can maintain our current complex technology/civilizational structure.  You are assuming that it is virtually certain that there will be no collapse or even a very significant loss of  complexity due to AGW, overpopulation, overexploitation of resources, etc .  That is an assumption that is clearly and obviously unsound.  It is like you are making a  bet at the casino that Kurzewill and the singularity is something other than insanity.

Collapse is a very high percentage possibility, if it happens or partially happens the resources to deal with nuclear accidents, shutting down and mothballing existing plants and dealing with stored used and new nuclear fuel will be largely beyond what is available.  Thus dramatically raising the further possibility of serious damage to future human prospects.  In such circumstances continuing on our current path is foolish.

As to developing and deploying new generations of nuclear plants the unfortunate situation is that there is just not time nor wealth to spare to follow that technological path.  The decision to follow that path must also satisfy a risk benefit analysis and it just flat fails.  Once again it is a bet on a miracle and not a reasoned choice.  Even if, and it is an if, your new technologies proved viable (which they have not yet), and proved safe (which is not certain), and we had the resources/wealth to build and deploy (which we do not) you would still have to have enough time to do this (which we do not have).  On top of that the entire nuclear argument fully and completely "ignores" the fact that it in no way what-so-ever gets us to zero carbon emissions and a sustainable system.  Solutions which result in continuing carbon emissions are not solutions. 

That last point is the real kicker that those who are grasping at straws and praying for miracles cannot seem to understand.  They are like the man who can't understand the facts because his job depends on him not understanding them.  Those who cannot conceive of a future which is materially different from out current rich complex lifestyles here in the west will do anything and dream anything to try and maintain that lifestyle.  That is the trap that Hansen, for all of his intellect, has fallen into.  A lack of imagination or inability to face reality, at times, catches up with all of us. 

Jim Hunt

I was just getting ready to post and saw your post.  A few comments.  Lovelocks claim that nuclear has proven safe is patently false and Chernobyl and Fukashima are proof of that.  And the potential to get worse results going forward is very high.  And here is where Lovelock really misses the point as advocates often do

Quote
If we fail to concentrate our minds on the real danger, which is global warming,

Concentrating on nuclear is NOT focusing on global warming.  It is focusing on desperately figuring out a way to continue BAU.  Nothing more nothing less.  A largely nuclear power system does not result in zero carbon emissions so AGW will continue to get worse, it does not result in sustainability so conditions would worsen.  It is a solution to a different problem than the primary problem which is AGW.  And it can easily makes things worse.  It is not a reasoned choice.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 19, 2014, 06:52:54 PM
Something is going on in USA. They can't control their waste when everything is fine (nearly)...what will happened after a collapse...
http://www.currentargus.com/ci_25149321/possible (http://www.currentargus.com/ci_25149321/possible)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: icefest on March 20, 2014, 06:01:56 AM
It seems to me that there is nothing I can say to convince you that collapse is not imminent, and if I say that this is not the case, then I will be lumped in with the ones who are "grasping at straws and praying for miracles".

As this entire argument seems to rest on that fact I don't think we will get anywhere.

Maybe I should take Benjamin Disraeli's advice - "I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best."
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 20, 2014, 09:18:01 AM
We don't need a collapse for the worst to happen, it does happen and it is now...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 21, 2014, 07:09:14 PM
Quote
Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly

It wasn't just people, animals and trees that were affected by radiation exposure at Chernobyl, but also the decomposers: insects, microbes, and fungi

Nearly 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl plant exploded and caused an unprecedented nuclear disaster. The effects of that catastrophe, however, are still felt today. Although no people live in the extensive exclusion zones around the epicenter, animals and plants still show signs of radiation poisoning.

Birds around Chernobyl have significantly smaller brains that those living in non-radiation poisoned areas; trees there grow slower; and fewer spiders and insects—including bees, butterflies and grasshoppers—live there. Additionally, game animals such as wild boar caught outside of the exclusion zone—including some bagged as far away as Germany—continue to show abnormal and dangerous levels of radiation.

However, there are even more fundamental issues going on in the environment. According to a new study published in Oecologia, decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil. Issues with such a basic-level process, the authors of the study think, could have compounding effects for the entire ecosystem.



http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/forests-around-chernobyl-arent-decaying-properly-180950075/?no-ist (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/forests-around-chernobyl-arent-decaying-properly-180950075/?no-ist)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 21, 2014, 08:21:25 PM
This quote is interesting also :

Quote
Fires can potentially redistribute radioactive contaminants to places outside of the exclusion zone, Mousseau says. “There is growing concern that there could be a catastrophic fire in the coming years,” he says./quote]
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on March 23, 2014, 09:07:36 PM
Yet another indication of why nuclear isn't the future whether you are pro or not.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/03/23/1-graph-says-lot (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/03/23/1-graph-says-lot)

Never mind that the cost of running them is much higher than most will admit. They aren't getting built because of the capital costs.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 25, 2014, 04:32:41 AM
EROEI of nuclear is somewhere between 20 and 40

EROEI of Solar is between 6 and 8 and will be much higher in a few years time.

If one considers a carbon-weighted EROEI (say, carbon-free Energy Return on Energy Invested) then the value of the energy returned vs that expended in the emission goes up to 40-80 and 12-16 (normalizing to appropriate Social cost of Carbon values).

Therefore utilizing this technology is a no-brainer.  But, only if it is utilized in the proper fashion.  We have more than enough technology and resources if, under a scenario where a true social cost of carbon is implemented, that solar and wind resources are significantly cheaper than all fossil fuel resources. 

In this scenario then, we could provide all of our society's (even global, in time) energy needs using this resource.  However, to reduce the emissions at a rate that will prevent catastrophic warming, it is likely that nuclear will have to be utilized.

The reason that Hansen thinks that this is the only possible solution is because he is trapped within a free-market paradigm.  He recognizes that the invisible hand will not implement solar and wind on the scale necessary to reduce emissions.  But, what he doesn't realize is that there will be, cannot be, a free market response to the global transformation required to secure future generations from total societal collapse.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 25, 2014, 09:53:50 AM
Even George Monbiot loves nuclear, or PRISM at least:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/ (http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/)

Quote
Last week [this was in 2011!] GE Hitachi (GEH) told the British government that it could build a fast reactor within five years to use up the waste plutonium at Sellafield, and if it doesn’t work, the UK won’t have to pay.

Post collapse taking care of the all the non-depleted nuclear fuel rods and all of the nuclear waste is going to be onerous already.  Let's not add to that problem any further.

Why not reduce that problem whilst generating electricity at the same time? As Mr. Monbiot puts it:

Quote
So we environmentalists have a choice. We can’t wish the waste away. Either it is stored and then buried. Or it is turned into mox fuels. Or it is used to power IFRs. The decision is being made at the moment, and we should determine where we stand.

I suggest we take the radical step of using science, not superstition, as our guide.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 25, 2014, 03:46:55 PM

Quote
I suggest we take the radical step of using science, not superstition, as our guide.
Hi Jim. That is deniers language as we all love it. Please trust on science and buy my technology which is the solution of your problem. If you fear any consequences (like nuclear waste / AGW by CO2 in atmosphere / chemical poisons in the soil / crossing genes replicating themselfs / put in here the next effect of the latest solution) that is due to superstition and you should not be taken seriously...

I think it is quite safe just to ignore comments like this.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on March 25, 2014, 05:04:12 PM
Hi SATire

I think it is quite safe just to ignore comments like this.

My point is that is a quote from George Monbiot, who is at least moderately famous in green circles here in the UK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot)

If even "the Greens" are divided amongst themselves then the way forward is murky indeed.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 25, 2014, 05:44:16 PM
If even "the Greens" are divided amongst themselves then the way forward is murky indeed.
Jim, I knew it was not your opinion but a quote. And that some person belongs to "the Greens" does not guarantee fair communication nor that that person is right.

Instead I would be sure that the way forward is murky, if all greens would have the same brainwashed opinion. My main point is, that the language from "the enemy" is now used by poeple like us against other poeple like us. That may happen but it should be recogniced as what it is - some kind of propaganda.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 25, 2014, 05:44:49 PM
EROEI of nuclear and solar

Above we see a claim

Quote
EROEI of nuclear is somewhere between 20 and 40

EROEI of Solar is between 6 and 8 and will be much higher in a few years time.

If one considers a carbon-weighted EROEI (say, carbon-free Energy Return on Energy Invested) then the value of the energy returned vs that expended in the emission goes up to 40-80 and 12-16 (normalizing to appropriate Social cost of Carbon values).

If you wander over to the Renewables thread you can find the only large scale real world analysis ever performed for solar power plants (in Spain) done be Charles Hall one of the world's preeminent experts on calculating EROEI.  His numbers for actual performance are 2.45 yes 2.45.  In an ideal location.  He estimates that the German average is less than 2.00

What does he say about nuclear?

Quote
We have found the information about the EROI of nuclear power to be mostly as disparate, widespread, idiosyncratic, prejudiced and poorly documented as information about the nuclear power industry itself. Much, perhaps most, of the information that is available seems to have been prepared by someone who has made up his or her mind one-way or another (i.e. a large or trivial supplier of net energy) before the analysis is given. As is usually the case, the largest issue is often what the appropriate boundaries of analysis should be.


Quote
The seemingly most reliable information on EROI is quite old and is summarized in chapter 12 of Hall et al. (1986). Newer information tends to fall into the wildly optimistic camp (high EROI, e.g. 10:1 or more, sometimes wildly more) or the extremely pessimistic (low or even negative EROI) camp (Tyner et al. 1998, Tyner 2002, Fleay 2006 and Caldicamp 2006). One recent PhD analysis from Sweden undertook an emergy analysis (a kind of comprehensive energy analysis including all environmental inputs and quality corrections as per Howard Odum) and found an emergy return on emergy invested of 11:1 (with a high quality factor for electricity) but it was not possible to undertake an energy analysis from the data presented (Kindburg, 2007). Nevertheless that final number is similar to many of the older analyses when a quality correction is included.

Note the above quoted numbers obviously fall into the wildly optimistic camp.

Quote
Tyner was the author (or co-author) on the 1988 and 1997 reports which are examples of the lower EROI numbers -- less than 5:1. Tyner’s 1997 paper reported an “optimistic value” of 3.84 and a “less-optimistic” value of 1.86 and may be based on “pessimistic” cost estimates. For example capital monetary costs were 2.5 times higher than those reported for Generation III and III+ plants (Bruce Power 2007, see below). Fleay’s 2006 on line paper at least gives very detailed numerical analyses of costs and gains and hence probably can be checked explicitly. Different boundaries are used for these “low EROI” studies than most other recent studies that effect the results. For example Tyner takes interest (with a 4-5x larger energy cost magnitude than capital energy costs) into account in EROI (Tyner 1997). The two large EROI values reported here were for nuclear lifecycles which used centrifuge fuel enrichment as opposed to diffusion-based enrichment. Centrifuge enrichment uses much less electricity than other methods (Global Security 2007). We do not know how to interpret these analyses because centrifugal separation is an old technology. Newer rotor materials allow more rapid rotor spin which might influence results. At present much of the enriched uranium used for nuclear power is coming from dismantled nuclear warheads from the US-Russian agreement to decrease nuclear warheads but, apparently, that program will soon come to an end and we will have to contemplate again generating nuclear power from mined uranium. Much of the arguments about the great or small potential of future nuclear power comes from those who argue about the importance of technology vs. those who focus on depletion. As usual, however, technology is in a race with depletion and the winner can be determined only from empirical analysis, of which there seems to be far too little.


The most knowledgeable people looking at the  cradle to grave EROEI of existing nuclear put the EROEI numbers around 5.  Not 20 and certainly not 40-80. 

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3877 (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3877)

The above link contains about 20 additional links to back up the numbers.  It also leads to very extensive EROEI discussions which can be used to learn about this subject.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on March 25, 2014, 05:51:41 PM

Quote
I suggest we take the radical step of using science, not superstition, as our guide.
Hi Jim. That is deniers language as we all love it. Please trust on science and buy my technology which is the solution of your problem. If you fear any consequences (like nuclear waste / AGW by CO2 in atmosphere / chemical poisons in the soil / crossing genes replicating themselfs / put in here the next effect of the latest solution) that is due to superstition and you should not be taken seriously...

Surely the good points about science are:
- you have a scientific method for reaching conclusions
- the science must be repeatable
- it can always be challenged (scientifically)

And you don't, er, just need to blindly trust it? Science is merely a tool - it is the people who try to misuse (or misrepresent it) who are at fault, rather than the tool. We need science and I would go so far to say a significant portion of our problems are due to the failure of the general population to even slightly understand 1. science 2. mathematics
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 25, 2014, 05:55:49 PM
Hi SATire

I think it is quite safe just to ignore comments like this.

My point is that is a quote from George Monbiot, who is at least moderately famous in green circles here in the UK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Monbiot)

If even "the Greens" are divided amongst themselves then the way forward is murky indeed.

But Jim.  Monbiot is a journalist.  His number one job is to sell papers.  I have been reading his stuff for many years.  He has been demonstrably wrong on a number of issues over that time.  His analysis is often shallow and based upon assumptions which need to be examined and challenged.  He has to fit within the guidance of his employers and cannot operate as an objective independent actor.  If you have also followed him for years I am sure you can think of a number of times you thought he was just full of it too.

I fall back to the basics.

What is the problem?
What are the constraints to possible solutions?
What are the possible solutions?
Can we execute any of those possible solutions?
Of the ones we can execute which one(s) will accomplish the most?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 25, 2014, 05:56:40 PM
As much as I dislike nuclear, I think it is a serious mistake to rule any option out given the seriousness of the problem. We need to approach this issue in a methodical manner. A useful approach would be to construct a decision tree to explore various choices and likely outcomes. One useful result of such an approach is you get rid of this all or nothing notion. A decision  to use some form of electricity generation is then split into a variety of approaches and associated options.

Let's consider nuclear and our possible decisions.

1. Get rid of nuclear.

This choice is then split into various methods of doing this.

1A. Shut down all nuclear tomorrow
1B. Use existing nuclear as bridging strategy to renewables. Decommission as renewables come on line.
1C. Use existing nuclear to end of life.
1D. Shut down nuclear in all but the most technologically advanced nations to minimize risk.

You would then attach the most probable outcomes for each branch.

Other choices would have similar branches on the tree.

My basic point is we need to consider every option and their potential outcomes before ruling out any.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 25, 2014, 05:59:43 PM
ccg - you got the concept. Since nobody reasonable would argue against science (at least I would never do that) the cited words say, if you are against nuclear you are with superstition and against science. That is very bad propaganda and it should be named like that.

Now it even seems because I point at that wrong language you think I would be against science. That proves the efficiency of such language. Misunderstandings and endless discussions are guaranteed. So - the wrong words are what I blame.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 26, 2014, 04:43:07 AM
JimD

ah, yes, the Oil Drum. . .the quote and link from that forum of geologic and industrial engineers/scientists from the oil industry is very telling.   

WRT your quote, Dr. Hall says that the Tyner data is "extremely pessimistic" and, based on the simple economic return of 1960's era nuclear power industry performances, I would have to agree.

The simple dollar cost of the 1970's era boiling water reactors produced enough energy to provide a very high Return on Investment.  having an EROEI of less than 10 would have precluded that possibility. 

The studies you are citing are on old pressurized water reactors with very complex control and safety systems, using 3000lb water coolant and containment domes.  The type IV reactors use molten salts or (a new version) helium  as a coolant and do not need such expensive safety equipment.  So, yes, EROEI from the oil drum aside, using industry analysis documents, the older pressurized water versions, using high energy enrichment processes (diffusion) had an EROEI of 15-20, and modern versions using centrifugal enrichment could reach EROEI as high as 75.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Energy-and-Environment/Energy-Analysis-of-Power-Systems/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Energy-and-Environment/Energy-Analysis-of-Power-Systems/)

the simple fact is that these plants produce a hell of a lot of energy, refuel every 3 or 4 years and run 24/7 between cycles.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: icefest on March 26, 2014, 06:14:44 AM
Interesting link JimD.

Would you agree with the summary of the Oil Drum, especially what I have highlighted in bold?

Quote
There are great potential gains and great potential costs with nuclear power. Existing reactors seems to work well and mostly safely although waste disposal problems remain. If the uranium resource limitation people are correct then we cannot go much further without a new technology, perhaps based on thorium. Various issues related to terrorism are more important than they used to be. Earlier “new technologies” such as Breeders (Clinch River, Super Phoenix) have been abandoned as too expensive. Plumbing issues have plagued the Candu style reactors, although they appear intrinsically cheaper and safer and do not require energy-intensive enrichment. Fusion is still many decades away. So there is no free lunch with nuclear. Nevertheless it is possible that nuclear fission should be considered as a transition fuel on our way to solar or something else simply because the cycle emits far less CO2 than does any fossil fuel. In our opinion we need a very high level series of analyses to review all of these issues. Even if this is done it seems extremely likely that very strong opinions, both positive and negative, shall remain. There may be no resolution to the nuclear question that will be politically viable.

While I may not agree with everything they say, their summary seems to be reasonable enough to me.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 27, 2014, 06:12:08 PM
icefest

Quote
There are great potential gains and great potential costs with nuclear power....

Nevertheless it is possible that nuclear fission should be considered as a transition fuel

My bold.  I agree with the general statement in that there are clearly potential benefits as well as potential costs.  And that nuclear should be considered.  This is what I have stated many times.  As I pointed out a few days ago I "used to be" an advocate for nuclear.  Part of the reason that I am now adamantly opposed to nuclear is from the years I spent on TheOilDrum reading and participating in very high level technical discussions on energy technology and risk benefit issues.  While I do not claim to be highly technical in that I am not a PhD level physicist or engineer I was a practicing engineer for a long time and I do have a lot of experience in practical real world applied risk analysis (so I do have expert level credentials in that area).  I was a systems level type of professional who was expected to understand and take into account variables from a wide range of fields (not all scientific as we also needed to understand political issues and human nature).

So back to the fundamental reason I am opposed to nuclear.  It is NOT that I do not recognize that it has potential (more the advanced and yet undeployed generations vice the current versions) but I professionally cannot escape considering the risks as well.  Without going into excruciating detail I oppose nuclear because to me the risks far outweigh the possible gain.  Intense advocates of nuclear power almost never will even discuss the risks and this is one reason I fight with them so much.  They do not have a balanced approach and often seem to seek to hide from inconvieniant facts.

There is no question that the existing nuclear power structure is inherently dangerous.  Chernobyl, Fukashima, Three-Mile Island, nuclear waste storage as examples of this danger.  Accidents happen.  Cleaning up nuclear accidents is monstrously difficult.  Chernobyl, 25 years later, is still going to cost tens of millions more and will likely need work for the rest of this century.  New studies just out indicate significant adverse effects of the radiation on the ecosystem down to the microbe level.  Fukashima is still not under full control and we have no idea what it will eventually cost or what the total damage will be.  It could still get away from us and get worse.  Cleanup will take at least 40 years if nothing further bad goes wrong which is not certain.  In the next 40 years there will almost certainly be at least one and maybe two more accidents with this generation of technology to add to the above burden of costs.  Waste storage is a subject so well known to have huge controversy I don't feel a need to go into it other than to say it is a cost requirement which will last hundreds of years. 

When we look at the EROEI numbers for nuclear from cradle to grave and consider the above issues it points to a huge problem in determining the worth of nuclear power.  We actually are completely incapable of calculating an EROEI for the existing nuclear infrastructure because we still have no idea what the costs will be.  By the time you add in the costs of cleaning up Chernobly, Fukashima, the next accidents to come, and the storage issue - plus its potential problems out several hundred years, it is highly possible that the eventual EROEI for the type of deployed nuclear we have now will be below 1.  In other words we will have been better off never having built any of them in the first place.  And the future would be much safer.

There can be no disagreement that we are currently in a declining EROEI situation which constrains tightly our flexibility to use resources to deal with problems while at the same time adjusting to a rapidly growing population, degrading infrastructure, harder to get and scarcer mineral resources, rising carbon emissions, and so on.  The financial system is way out of balance and heading in a negative direction due to that declining EROEI and rising requirements of growth and population.  And then we have the big gorilla named AGW sticking his head up which will overwhelm any and all other factors.

It is almost impossible at this point to be able to allocate the funds and resources required to deal with the clean up and shut down of the current nuclear infrastructure - a hard requirement.  The buildout of a fully renewable power infrastructure for the world is also likely impossible due to our inability to find the wealth, resources and political will required.  We have almost no choice but to spend the wealth and resources required for the basic infrastructure needed by the 2+ billion people we are going to add to the worlds population by 2050.  We have to allocate significant wealth and resources to maintaining the infrastructure for the 7 billion people we have now.  Global politics and resource conflicts make the global system less efficient I think we all will agree and they are going to get much, much worse over the next few decades.  AGW is going to get much, much worse over the next few decades.  Water supplies, top soil, arable land, ocean acidification, deforesting.  The list goes on and on and does not stop and just gets worse over time.  This is what being way over the carrying capacity of the Earth means.  It is a pure example of being unsustainable. 

It is clear that we are out of time and huge bottlenecks are approaching.  How in the above environment are you going to be able to find the resources, wealth and political will to develop, build and install a new generation of nuclear power generation facilities?  Such a process would take at least the same number of decades as the proposed buildout of the renewable power infrastructure and much of the same wealth and resources.  It is highly unlikely that you can do both at the same time.

It is highly unlikely that the wealth, resources, and political will exist to manage this transition.  And the risk of attempting it is HUGE.  The reason I answer in the negative is that the risk far outweighs the gain so we dare not attempt to solve our problem that way.  It is off the table as an option.

The core problem to solve is raising the chances of human survival as high as possible.  If we do this then all the other things we love become more likely to also be possible in the future (like our love of the structure of civilization - I am not sure I share that love but I am trying to look out for you).  We can consciously choose to give up layers of civilizational complexity and reduce our resource consumption, carbon emissions, population and lots of other things and manage the downward transition still, but not for much longer if we keep delaying.  Remember the really valuable developments of human culture are not in ANY WAY delivered by industrial civilization and one could make a good argument that industrial civilization degrades those cultural accomplishments.  So the value of our very complex industrial civilization is way over rated.

I advocate for the path that reason indicates is the best path for our survival and the eventual achievement of our human potential. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on March 27, 2014, 08:19:20 PM
JimD


Is there a place for very small nuclear plants. The kind now in place on submarines, aircraft carriers or Russian icebreakers. For far northern cities that are otherwise burning diesel or coal it seems as though such installations might make sense.


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on March 27, 2014, 08:33:06 PM
Terry

I don't know any specifics about military scale nuclear power plants.  I would think it very likely that the EROEI of one of them is much less than a very large power plant.  Scale normally works that way.  But if something goes wrong who is responsible to pay for the expense of cleanup?  A community with one of those things would not have anywhere near the resources or expertise required if whole countries struggle to deal with such problems.  Not to mention having the expertise to run such a plant in the first place.

For very cold far north locations would not a geo-thermal installation be a better candidate?  And much safer and cheaper.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 27, 2014, 09:24:25 PM
Whether we like it or not, nuclear power will be a much bigger part of our future.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Stephen on March 30, 2014, 04:01:23 AM
Whether we like it or not, nuclear power will be a much bigger part of our future.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/)

That site says that
"Numerous power reactors in USA, Belgium, Sweden and Germany, for example, have had their generating capacity increased. "

I thought Germany was closing all it's nuclear plants?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 30, 2014, 11:56:11 AM
Whether we like it or not, nuclear power will be a much bigger part of our future.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide/)

That site says that
"Numerous power reactors in USA, Belgium, Sweden and Germany, for example, have had their generating capacity increased. "

I thought Germany was closing all it's nuclear plants?
You are right - Germany is on track closing all nuclear power plants until 2022. http://www.atom-aktuell.de/energiewirtschaft/atomkraftwerke-in-deutschland.html (http://www.atom-aktuell.de/energiewirtschaft/atomkraftwerke-in-deutschland.html)

The extension of life span in 2010 was cancelled after Fukushima in 2011. Since there is agreement of all parties in German parliament I see no reason to question the closing.

For me it looks like nuclear industry is feeling the crisis and trying hard to get any new nuclear power plant to be planned in Europe. So please take care that you are able to detect manipulative journalism - like that article from Monbiot above. That manipulative language is very easy to see, if you are aware: It is the same kind of manipulation you all know very well from denialists.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Stephen on March 30, 2014, 01:24:40 PM
Well, I really wish they would keeps their nukes plants open.  Its an infinitely better choice than mining more lignite.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 30, 2014, 02:06:28 PM
Well, I really wish they would keeps their nukes plants open.  Its an infinitely better choice than mining more lignite.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com.au/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/)
Stephen, I understand you. From a global perspective it would be better first to shut down lignite/tar sands/fracking and the like. But from a more lokal perspective it should be very easy to understand, that Germans are much easier to motivate to pay a hugh amount for "Energiewende", if the local nuclear risks are reduced first. There was a lot of effort undertaken to find a global strategy to reduce CO2 - but all attempts like e.g. Kyoto-treaty failed. So it is not possible today to ask Germans to pay for CO2 reduction. Lokal poeple still profit a bit from that big lignite burning - you can see the holes from sattelite and the machines are really big: https://maps.google.de/maps?q=maps&ll=51.060545,6.497807&spn=0.003102,0.006539&hq=maps&hnear=Aachen,+Nordrhein-Westfalen&t=h&z=18

But lignite burning is not on the rise due to nuclear exit - lignite is about stable and will be stable for near future, since new plants did replace older plants a few years ago and life-time is >30 years for a plant and the corresponding hole.

To conclude: I think your wish may become a reallity one day, when other nations also shut down their tar sands/ fracking / deep oil drilling/... That CO2 problem must be solved together. Since that is prooven not to be possible today getting out of nuclear first is the logical and practical way to go for Germany.

edit: Of course there is a simple way to reduce the usage of lignite in Germany: Larger costs for emission certificates would make electricty from coal more expensive again. That would hit lignite first and RWE would quit business sooner than they are planning.... Just like nuclear at least the old lignite fire plants are not compatible with renewables anyway (as explained in the tipping renewables thread last year) and both will have no future, therefore.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on March 30, 2014, 02:13:33 PM
Quote
Well, I really wish they would keeps their nukes plants open.  Its an infinitely better choice than mining more lignite.

Energy efficiency and the replacement of consumer culture are an even more infinitely better choice.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 31, 2014, 11:02:54 PM
full scale implementation of Gen IV nuclear in regional manufacturing districts, for the production of regional efficiency, transportation and renewable generation equipment must start immediately.  we only really have 15 years for full implementation before permafrost and carbon cycle (as well as food production and weather impacts) begin to make things much more difficult to address.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 01, 2014, 12:13:23 PM
The most important technology for CO2 emissions reduction, is the fast breeder reactor and in particular, the integral fast reactor, the GE Hitachi S-PRISM.  These reactors are not only safer than Gen 111 they are 100 times more efficient, one tonne of uranium or nuclear waste replaces 2 million tonnes of coal.   Just 7000 tonnes of uranium or nuclear waste could potentially replace the current annual global fossil carbon fuel use of 14 billion tonnes saving 35 billion tonnes of annual CO2 emissions.  The current global stockpile of nuclear waste could potentially power the planet for 100 years.

The S-PRISM 311 MWe can be mass produced in a factory and bought to site in modular form.  If mass produced on a WW11 type production program, IFRs could ultimately replace all fossil fuel energy generation and possibly enable human civilisation to meet the emissions reductions required by RCP 2.6.

The integral fast reactor (IFR) was developed by the US government at the Argonne National Laboratory and its proto type the EBR 11 ran for 30 years proving to be both passively safe and highly efficient.

See http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/dr-john-sackett/171-operating-and-test-experience-for-the-experimental-breeder-reactor-ii-ebr-ii.html (http://www.thesciencecouncil.com/dr-john-sackett/171-operating-and-test-experience-for-the-experimental-breeder-reactor-ii-ebr-ii.html)

However the Clinton/Gore administration terminated this program in 1994 on ideological grounds.  Unfortunately history consistently shows that when the human psyche is confronted with a conflict between beliefs and scientific evidence, beliefs invariably win. 

In this case, while Gore understood the full implications of global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions, his ideological, political belief about nuclear power blinded him to the benefits of this technology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor)

Since this decision by the Clinton Administration annual global fossil carbon emissions have increased by nearly 50% possibly dooming human civilisation to a RCP8.5 emissions scenario.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on April 01, 2014, 01:36:40 PM
However the Clinton/Gore administration terminated this program in 1994 on ideological grounds.  Unfortunately history consistently shows that when the human psyche is confronted with a conflict between beliefs and scientific evidence, beliefs invariably win. 

In this case, while Gore understood the full implications of global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions, his ideological, political belief about nuclear power blinded him to the benefits of this technology.
I would kindly ask you to be careful with such claims. Especially to claim a shut down was due to "ideological" means or that there may be a psychological problem "with a conflict between beliefs and scientific evidence".

E.g. as I am a physicist (with PhD) I may belief in the principle possibility to run a nuclear power plant in a safe mode for ever. However evidences are numerous, that incidences happen regardlessly. Even for a straight physical scientist it is hard to argue against the life-time of nuclear waste and to perform a proper risk analysis - because human psyche is involved significantly during running that power plant, too. If there is a risk of 1 major accident every 10,000 years that results in a major accident every 25 years in a world with 400 power plants. Do you want to scale that by a factor of 100 needed to reduce CO2 emission for some years? 

And human psyche is also involved significantly during rating technologies like e.g. fast breeding: A good test for yourself is to consider the technology you recommend for use in e.g. Iran - it may reduce CO2 emission there, too. If you consider that a bad idea it could be, that your recommendation was ideological motivated, too. (For non-expert: breeders need MOX - so you have to build a plutonium process chain. That stuff is dangerous and there are several possibilities for misuse).

To come to the point: Human psyche fears some possible misuse of dangerous stuff. Human psyche fears some risk>zero if scaled to >400 plants. Human psyche fears to be challenged a bit to much by the task to take care for the waste for >100,000 years. All those fears are not stupid and should be taken seriously. If those fears are taken seriously by a politican that should not be called ideoligical. That is exactly, what politicans should do: Take the principal (citizen) seriously.

Finaly: Please stay with good arguments pro and con and please do not try to manipulate the reader with suggestive language.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 01, 2014, 03:41:40 PM
Interesting comments from Jim Hansen on green opposition to nuclear power, he compares them to climate change deniers.

http://www.cleanbiz.asia/blogs/thoughts-ningbo-china-and-renewables-only-lobby?page=show (http://www.cleanbiz.asia/blogs/thoughts-ningbo-china-and-renewables-only-lobby?page=show)

Hansen understands better than anyone on the planet the danger of using carbon fossil fuels and also understands that using only non-nuclear renewables means increasing CO2.
 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on April 01, 2014, 05:40:30 PM
Quote
Is nuclear energy really low-emission?

Unfortunately, the notion that nuclear energy is a low-emission technology doesn’t really stack up when the whole nuclear fuel life cycle is considered. In reality, the only CO2-free link in the chain is the reactor’s operation. All of the other steps – mining, milling, fuel fabrication, enrichment, reactor construction, decommissioning and waste management – use fossil fuels and hence emit carbon dioxide.

Several analyses by researchers who are independent of the nuclear industry have found that total CO2 emissions depend sensitively on the grade of uranium ore mined and milled. The lower the grade, the more fossil fuels are used, and so the higher the resulting emissions.

In one such study, the nuclear physicist (and nuclear energy advocate) Manfred Lenzen found that CO2 emissions from the nuclear fuel cycle increase from 80 grams per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh) where uranium ore is high-grade at 0.15%, to 131 g/kWh where the ore grade declines to low-grade at 0.01%.

Other experts, such as nuclear energy critics Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith, using assumptions less favourable to nuclear energy, have reported an increase in emissions from 117 g/kWh for high-grade ore to 437 g/kWh for low-grade ore.

For comparison, the life-cycle emissions from wind power are 10–20 g/kWh, depending upon location, and from gas-fired power stations 500–600 g/kWh. So depending on your choice of analysis, nuclear power can be viewed as almost as emissions-intensive as gas.

http://theconversation.com/sure-lets-debate-nuclear-power-just-dont-call-it-low-emission-21566 (http://theconversation.com/sure-lets-debate-nuclear-power-just-dont-call-it-low-emission-21566)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on April 01, 2014, 05:46:46 PM
Hansen wrote:
Quote
The renewables-can-do-all greens are combining with the fossil industry to lock-in widespread expansion of fracking.
This is clearly not true. Greens are very oppposed to fracking.

I'm afraid Hansen is going too far with his support of nuclear and negative attitude towards renewables.

Hansen understands better than anyone on the planet the danger of using carbon fossil fuels and also understands that using only non-nuclear renewables means increasing CO2.
This was already demonstrated to be false. In 2013 wind power was largest electricity source in Spain and coal consumption dropped about 20%. The same happened in Portugal.

Therefore saying that renewables can't reduce emissions is just factually false.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on April 01, 2014, 10:01:26 PM
Interesting comments from Jim Hansen on green opposition to nuclear power, he compares them to climate change deniers.

http://www.cleanbiz.asia/blogs/thoughts-ningbo-china-and-renewables-only-lobby?page=show (http://www.cleanbiz.asia/blogs/thoughts-ningbo-china-and-renewables-only-lobby?page=show)

Hansen understands better than anyone on the planet the danger of using carbon fossil fuels and also understands that using only non-nuclear renewables means increasing CO2.
point 1: With very similar arguments and wording I could compare nuclear agents with fossil fuel agents. That makes no sense.

point 2: Is there any prove that using nuclear means reducing CO2? What is the reason for a word like "non-nuclear renewables"?

point 3: I concur with Hansen that green fundamentalism is similar to fossil fundamentalism or any other fundamentalism in wording/acting/ and maybe also way of thinking (not sure about the latter since that is a secret). Of course that does not justify any conclusions concerning non-fundamentalistic green positions...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 05, 2014, 06:17:24 AM
As a strict fuel-switch nuclear is has a lower global warming impact than coal and likely lower than natural gas.  The Caldeira paper is essential to this point, however, the paper only looks at CO2 and does not include fugitive methane leaks which are a significant warming impact for natural gas.

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019/pdf/1748-9326_7_1_014019.pdf (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019/pdf/1748-9326_7_1_014019.pdf)

Here is a writeup on it, note the curves for net CO2 reductions:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/01/428764/ddrop-in-warming-requires-rapid-massive-deployment039-of-zero-carbon-power-not-gas/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/01/428764/ddrop-in-warming-requires-rapid-massive-deployment039-of-zero-carbon-power-not-gas/)

I have considerable background in this field and had previously decided that it must wait for humanity to mature a little bit (i.e. no war) but now I understand that, to achieve the CO2 emission reductions necessary for us to maintain a modern vibrant society we must build many next gen nuclear plants immediately and use the energy to supply renewable equipment and energy conservation production, on a WWII mobilization scale.

That is the only technical solution that I am aware of so far.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 05, 2014, 07:41:45 AM
I've generally leaned in favour of nuclear power - but I just went away to do a little reading up (as someone asked the question on my new forum) and it looks to me as though there's rather a lot of nuclear reactors out there that wouldn't be "collapse safe" in the sense that they rely upon a continual flow of cooling water to keep them within safe parameters.

While nuclear power plants do have a key advantage over fossil plants in being kept running as conditions become harder (no need to continually extract and transport vast quantities of raw materials on a day to day basis), I'm not sure it would really be the right thing to do to embark on a rampant nuclear building programme if there was any chance at all of collapse forcing all (or even a portion) of them to be left to fail years or decades hence. That would be an extra complication people trying to make their way forwards really wouldn't need.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on April 06, 2014, 09:25:56 PM
As I have stated the logical reason to oppose nuclear power and expansion is risk benefit analysis.

It is just not worth the risk.

Quote
WASHINGTON — Owners of at least two dozen nuclear reactors across the United States, including the operator of Indian Point 2, in Buchanan, N.Y., have told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they cannot show that their reactors would withstand the most severe earthquake that revised estimates say they might face, according to industry experts.

As a result, the reactors’ owners will be required to undertake extensive analyses of their structures and components. Those are generally sturdier than assumed in licensing documents, but owners of some plants may be forced to make physical changes,......

There ARE going to be accidents.  Accidents are very hard to clean up and very expensive and dramatically reduce the EROEI of nuclear power.  As AGW progresses, population rises, EROEI declines, wealth shrinks, resources dwindle, etc it will become increasingly harder to cleanup and pay for nuclear accidents and the frequency of accidents should increase.  The point will be reached where cleanup is not possible - if we have not already reached that point.

Continuing current nuclear power and expanding it is highly perilous and extremely risky behavior.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/nyregion/dozens-of-nuclear-reactors-must-prove-safety-under-revised-quake-estimates.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/nyregion/dozens-of-nuclear-reactors-must-prove-safety-under-revised-quake-estimates.html?_r=0)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 07, 2014, 03:09:37 PM
The point will be reached where cleanup is not possible - if we have not already reached that point.

I seem to recall that you're also a reader of The Economist? The latest edition carries an article subtitled:

"Britain is paying dearly for neglecting its nuclear waste (http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21600135-britain-paying-dearly-neglecting-its-nuclear-waste-glowing-review)"

Quote
Sellafield is the trickiest of several challenges facing the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a government body that manages the contractors who swab out Britain’s defunct facilities. Their projects swallow up about two-thirds of the budget of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

For some strange reason The Economist seems to be unaware of GE Hitachi's offer to build a Gen IV reactor at Sellafield to process our "soupy, radioactive sludge" on a "no win, no fee" basis. What's your analysis of the potential risks and benefits to the UK (and the rest of the planet) of not taking up GEH on their generous offer?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on April 07, 2014, 04:44:55 PM
Hi Jim,

On a search the first link that pops up says this about Gen IV reactors.

Quote
Most of these designs are generally not expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030

I also would note that when a giant international corporation offers to 'help' that it is often cause for concern if not alarm.  We should have a pretty good idea who's interests they have in mind.

There is probably no technical subject so loaded with emotion as nuclear power.  Advocates ignore the problems, accidents, lies, costs and risks found in the history of the nuclear industry as well as the possible negative issues which could arise in the future.  Those utterly opposed ignore its potential to leap to another energy level where we could transition away from the suite of fossil fuels and the damage they cause to  a future envisioned in many science fiction novels.

But this is not a black and white issue.  We have deep and profound problems that bring with them risks which will eventually turn into reality.  We can't make faith based decisions this time.  We have to be ruthlessly realistic and pragmatic. This is our last chance.

I am hardly the first person to make the arguments about risk-benefit I put forward.  No one that I am aware of has ever made a substantial rebuttle of them.  I will remain unconvinced that choosing to go all in with nuclear power is anything but an ill considered bet by a bunch of addicted gamblers desperate to recoup their losses until I am presented with arguments which demolish my concerns.

The risks we face could not be higher - WWII was child's play in comparison.
Time has largely run out - we do not have the 30-40 years to execute.
The technical overhaul required is very likely beyond our time/wealth capabilities.
The demand on resources is very high and going higher.
AGW is going to degrade everything substantially soon and will only get worse.
All meaningful metrics are on long term downward trends.
etc.

You know what I am talking about.  Maybe better than I do. 

There is a high probability that we cannot avoid collapse and going all in on technical solutions will only result in more severe problems and a deeper collapse and more catastrophic results.  There are other options which deserve full consideration as they carry much less total risk and excellent prospects for a long term future - people will just have to toughen up a bit and quit living like rich people.  Retreat in the face of annihilation is not a sign of cowardice but the acceptance of reality and presents the opportunity for eventual counterattack. 

Please directly address the risk/benefit analysis of nuclear power, or ask those you know to do so, as this is the crux of opposition to what you want to do.  As I stated before, I came to this opposition from a position of support for nuclear, but changed my mind the more I considered the long term risks and our likely inability to deal with them in the current circumstances.  On a global basis we are completely unable to make relatively simple decisions and stick to them.  This is a huge decision and we have to take into account our demonstrated inability to act in a collective sense.  If we cannot execute decisions when presented with irrefutable evidence how intelligent is it to proceed down a technical path almost devoid of rational discourse?   

   
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 10, 2014, 05:05:53 AM
Quote
Please directly address the risk/benefit analysis of nuclear power, or ask those you know to do so, as this is the crux of opposition to what you want to do.  As I stated before, I came to this opposition from a position of support for nuclear, but changed my mind the more I considered the long term risks and our likely inability to deal with them in the current circumstances.

I can simply state that hundreds of thousands of lives have already been saved in the United States by the air and water pollution abatement that nuclear power has provided by supplanting that same amount of coal-fired power.

With regard to future risk.  The U.S. now has over 60 years of nuclear power operations with no lives lost.   

The cost of water pollution from coal mining in the Appalachians, the release of coal ash into waterways, the spread of trace mercury from coal smokestacks and the ultimate destruction of the global food production environment from CO2 emissions indicates that nuclear power, though far from perfect, may provide an immediate "bridge" to allow the domestic mass production of solar and wind power systems, plug-in electric and public transportation systems, and decentralized food production equipment/systems.  At this time, supplanting fossil fuels is far more important than worrying about nebulous future risk associated with collapse.  If it all goes then it all goes, either we work to prevent it from going or we let it go.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 10, 2014, 01:47:38 PM
Hi Jim,

But this is not a black and white issue.  We have deep and profound problems that bring with them risks which will eventually turn into reality.  We can't make faith based decisions this time.  We have to be ruthlessly realistic and pragmatic. This is our last chance.

From a response to my comment at The Economist:

Quote
Working in the nuclear industry in the UK I can tell you several things on this proposition: PRISM is a prototype, there's not even one under construction in the world let alone one operational. Should it be built in the UK, it will still take a really really long time to "consume" these wastes, and they must be reprocessed beforehand (it's not like burning garbage to obtain thermal energy from the fire)

Finally it should be noted there is a considerable amount of waste cans in Sellafield that are not properly labelled so nobody knows what the hell is in these. And it's not like the NDA can simply open them to check what's inside.
I am not at all opposed to this project as I find it both interesting and ambitious, however it is not a picture as rosy as GE-Hitachi would have you believe.

Leaving faith aside, what are the realistic risks associated with all those improperly labelled cans of nuclear waste? What are the realistic risks associated with building some Gen-IV hardware that promises to properly sort out that mess? What are the realistic risks associated with the UK's current cunning plan (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Blackadder#Amy_and_Amiability), which seems to involve promising to pay the French, Chinese and Russians on demand vast numbers of Great British Pounds for building some more Gen-III kit?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on April 10, 2014, 05:35:53 PM
Hi Jim,

This quote from the comment above yours is the perfect example of why I am utterly opposed to expanding nuclear power and am in favor or shutting down all existing nuclear power.

Quote
If it all goes then it all goes, either we work to prevent it from going or we let it go.

This quote in a nutshell is a perfect representation of the magnitude of the resistance to consider risks in a proper context.  The whole point of risk analysis is to stop this kind of decision making and replace it with rational pragmatic thought.  The statement advocates doubling down on the assumption that we will get lucky and technical progress will save us.  And it completely ignores the consequences of a failure of that assumption.  This is not rational.

I am certain that you understand what I am talking about and what kind of risk analysis I am talking about.  So I will leave further discussion here for other info and news which comes up as this seems to be ending where all these discussions end.

I will point out once again that part of the problem with advocating BAU is the premise inherent in that position that what we think of as industrial civilization is what we need to save.  That premise, in my opinion, is utterly wrong as what is valuable about human existence is existence, love, morals, ethics, philosophy, culture and none of those things derive from or are dependent upon industrial civilization.  If industrial civilization is killing us then we get rid of it and try something else.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 10, 2014, 06:35:41 PM
Quote
The statement advocates doubling down on the assumption that we will get lucky and technical progress will save us.  And it completely ignores the consequences of a failure of that assumption.

Since you decided to respond to my statement with more assumptions and incorrect assertions I am sure to respond to you.

This statement is not a doubling down on us getting "lucky".  It is (one of) the only path(s) that will produce the decarbonization of the national economy (leading to global decarbonization), short of advocating a catastrophic global depopulation.

The consequences of failure with regard to climate change is a BAU strategy that does not lead to significant CO2 emissions reductions in the next 20 years.  This scenario produces several catastrophic feedback effects that will push the globally averaged temperature above 6'C (above pre-industrial) in the next 80 years and above 12'C over the following consecutive 120 years.

At this point, the earth will have experienced a global extinction greater than any in the geological record.

The reason that this is true is that in 20 years of BAU emissions we will have ensured a 10'C temperature increase by 2080 in the arctic that will produce massive boreal forest collapse, boreal peat GHG feedback response, albedo feedback and permafrost methane emissions.

your assertion that a few nuclear power plants, as a technical bridge to a decarbonization strategy that will prevent global collapse, produces significantly more risk than this environmental catastrophe is simply not correct.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on April 10, 2014, 08:04:39 PM
Fighting Our Fossil-Nuke Extinction

   
Quote
...in a world dominated by no-fault corporations, the fossil industry will pour ever-more lethal poisons into our air and water, land and crops, and all else on which we depend.

    The same is true of atomic energy. A new scientific report about Chernobyl warns that in at least some of the forests saturated with radiation leaked from that nuclear plant, the natural cycle of decay has all but ceased...

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fighting_our_fossil-nuke_extinction_20140408 (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fighting_our_fossil-nuke_extinction_20140408)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 10, 2014, 08:11:29 PM
The reason that this is true is that in 20 years of BAU emissions we will have ensured a 10'C temperature increase by 2080 in the arctic that will produce massive boreal forest collapse, boreal peat GHG feedback response, albedo feedback and permafrost methane emissions.

I don't see how you can be so sure these outcomes aren't already locked in. While the science doesn't necessarily say they are - it isn't necessarily correct either on that point (having tended to underestimate rate and severity of changes to date).

your assertion that a few nuclear power plants, as a technical bridge to a decarbonization strategy that will prevent global collapse, produces significantly more risk than this environmental catastrophe is simply not correct.

How many is a few? There are currently over 400 in operation and around 70 under construction. They are meeting only a fraction of total energy needs. Using the older fuel cycles there would only be enough nuclear fuel in the world for a couple of decades at current demand rates - using later fuel cycles (if I understand correctly) would produce harder to handle waste. Nuclear power is not cheap over the whole lifecycle. If collapse occurred, those plants could not be decommissioned - some fraction would likely fail catastrophically (like Fukushima, and the rest would fester for however long).

To build any major piece of infrastructure, including a nuclear power station, is going to entail a significant initial energy input (and resource cost). Can you tell me how many tons of carbon are emitted by all the activity required to get a plant up and running and how long it takes to get a plant operational from having started construction - and then still say it's a meaningful strategy?

Much better to divert the equivalent effort into reducing energy consumption.

We don't need heating (beyond perhaps that temperature keeping water unfrozen in pipes), air conditioning, tens of power hungry gadgets, etc. Compelling people to use less power would be a more effective strategy. In fact - beyond lighting - do we really need power in most households at all? Why the need to burn a lot of energy and resources on short term nuclear power - when we could simply drastically cut energy use?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 10, 2014, 09:11:07 PM
Quote
To build any major piece of infrastructure, including a nuclear power station, is going to entail a significant initial energy input (and resource cost). Can you tell me how many tons of carbon are emitted by all the activity required to get a plant up and running and how long it takes to get a plant operational from having started construction - and then still say it's a meaningful strategy?

I can't but Myhrvold and Caldiera (2012) can http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019)

A good summary can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O12gDZNKnoI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O12gDZNKnoI)

Here is the graphic display of CO2 equivalencies
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F03%2Falternative_energies.gif&hash=aa6b396bf46d4ea2ce451636bcc3cb71)

Even this comprehensive analysis shows that, using freemarket principles, the technological integration of decarbonization will be far too slow.  This is why I advocate a WWII style total resource allociation and societal mobilization as the only viable preventative strategy.

------

we cannot be assured that a 10C rise in polar amplification by 2080 is not already ensured.  But to go another 20 years of BAU emissions will definitely ensure it. 

I believe that the Holocene Neolithic land-use emissions prevented a return to ice age conditions as early as 2,000 years ago and certainly during the "little ice age".  Therefore, we will have to geoengineer a significant atmospheric decrease of Carbon Dioxide over the next 60 years, reducing atmospheric burdens to 350 ppmv.

To do this we must utilize all means available.

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

wili

for your information, Harvey wasserman is an anti-nuclear disinformation actor who benefits economically from producing fear and disinformation to his audience.  His analysis of the fukushima accident (he claims multiple core "china-syndrome" into the regional water table - this is a blatantly false statement)

when H.W. produces a statement like
Quote
A new scientific report about Chernobyl warns that in at least some of the forests saturated with radiation

but the new scientific report claims no such "saturation" (even the term has no absolute meaning!)  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-014-2908-8 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-014-2908-8)

The linked article is so full of disinformation, exaggeration and false assumptions that it is absolutely embarrassing that it is even on TruthDig.

----------

Chernobyl was a soviet cold-war era nuclear power plant with a positive temperature and void coefficient of reactivity, lack of adequate containment dome, an inherently weakened pressure vessel by design (for refueling while at power), and the series of compounding operator error, including but not limited to the complete deactivation of the pre-critical high delta reactivity shutdown safety.

This cannot be compared with modern reactors, western reactors and reactors designed within the last 10 years.  Especially post Fukushima.

-----------

To say that the inherent threat of nuclear power is too dangerous

does not consider

the absolutely catastrophic certainty of the emissions produced by relying on coal and natural gas for the overwhelming energy needed to produce renewable energy, electric energy efficiency, electric transportation and sustainable resource/food management in our current society
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on April 11, 2014, 02:40:28 AM
Hi jai.

You do not do your argument any good by resorting to (especially unsupported) character assassination and sneers.

We get it. You like nukes and see no problem with them. You are not likely to be persuaded otherwise, and we are not likely to be persuaded by your tantrums.

So rather than drag this otherwise mostly civil forum into the mud, let's all just give if a rest, shall we? I'm sure there are other subjects on which a clever bloke like you can illuminate the discussion without resorting to such acrimony? If so, please do.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2014, 03:55:04 AM
wili,

It isn't just a matter of "liking" nuclear or not.  My assertions regarding Harvey Wasserman are absolutely factual.

It isn't a smear to show that a person is making outrageous claims that are intended to drive fear into the hearts of good, though uninformed people. 

for instance, he asserts in his article that the Fukushima reactor is killing people.  He links a story that describes a lawsuit that has been brought by sailors of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and in the links to that article is shows what the maximum radiation dose was experienced by the ship.  This is a nuclear powered ship with nuclear detectors and power plant operators onboard.   Do you think that those personnel didn't know what their exposure risk was?  They have to wear radiation detectors on their persons at all times (I know I used to be one!).  Why is it that none of them are party to the lawsuit?

In the link the transcripts show that the maximum airborne contamination was "30 times" background" which, in the middle of the pacific is extremely low.  The amount that was discovered was "2.5 times 10 to the negative nine microcuries per milliliter"  This is below 1/24th the limit for occupational exposure to Cesium-137

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part020/appb/Cesium-137.html (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part020/appb/Cesium-137.html)

Similarly, the claims for the 15 tuna caught off of California having detectable fukushima radioactivity doesn't show that the amount of radiation from fukushima was significantly below the amounts of natural radiation that is in every fish on the planet. (about 1/20th the amount of radiation found in a normal banana!)  This is like saying that there is a problem with milk because we can detect fallout from nuclear tests (we can and do, though the amount is far below dangerous levels).

I am sorry if you think my personal attacks are unfair.  I am not kidding around here.  This technology is necessary if we are going to reduce our emissions below the levels we need so that we can ensure the survival of our children and grandchildren.





Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 11, 2014, 04:34:17 AM
I can't but Myhrvold and Caldiera (2012) can http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019)

A good summary can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O12gDZNKnoI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O12gDZNKnoI)

Here is the graphic display of CO2 equivalencies
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2012%2F03%2Falternative_energies.gif&hash=aa6b396bf46d4ea2ce451636bcc3cb71)

Thanks very much for that - good stuff (if you don't mind I might bring it over with attribution onto my forum, as it feeds into the transition stuff).

I do still have one observation though - the abstract for the linked paper indicates there is no scope to have any effects in the first half of this century, so one is necessarily targeting the later part of the century. That is still a future world that is incompatible with a globally organised community (if I might quote Kevin Andersons phrase).

So instead of building lots of anything - why don't we just stop using energy? Why not ration households for instance - let people use enough power to run a couple of energy efficient light bulbs and a small computer or television and nothing else?

We could do this virtually immediately and back it up (and many other ideas for dramatically cutting energy use) with the force of the state. I think we can both agree the object here is to avoid utter catastrophic in terms of the effects on the planet - so why isn't it a better suggestion than massively building any other source of power? (I might add I don't see that nuclear has a clear advantage over several of the other options above, and has one or two specific drawbacks that don't really apply to the otherS).

Even this comprehensive analysis shows that, using freemarket principles, the technological integration of decarbonization will be far too slow.  This is why I advocate a WWII style total resource allociation and societal mobilization as the only viable preventative strategy.

Or we can just cut our power usage dramatically? Why not?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2014, 04:55:11 AM
We cannot possibly cut our power enough if we are still relying on fossil fuels.  I have worked in energy efficiency program development for a decade now and understand the implementation pathways.  With manufacturers absorbing incentives and the free-market limits of the consumer willing to invest now to receive incremental savings in the future there are simply too many limitations,  combine that with the necessary electrification of the transportation sector and conservation (while absolutely vital and necessary to allow fuel switching!) is actually only an expedient means to the end, not the end itself.

In the end we will have to replace our transportation infrastructure with plug-in vehicles, place solar panels on most rooftops, provide distributed energy storage on residential/business and transform our global agricultural sector. 

There isn't much conservation in that equation, apart from demodernization and depopulation.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 11, 2014, 05:08:51 AM
We cannot possibly cut our power enough if we are still relying on fossil fuels.  I have worked in energy efficiency program development for a decade now and understand the implementation pathways.  With manufacturers absorbing incentives and the free-market limits of the consumer willing to invest now to receive incremental savings in the future there are simply too many limitations,  combine that with the necessary electrification of the transportation sector and conservation (while absolutely vital and necessary to allow fuel switching!) is actually only an expedient means to the end, not the end itself.

Why can't we cut it? There are houses in some nations that don't even have electricity for lighting.

Why do people need air conditioning? Heating? Refrigeration? etc

Why should the right of the affluent to those things today be more important than the survival of everyone tomorrow?

Likewise massive amounts of energy are squandered for driving consumption based processes - manufacturing for instance. Why should we waste massive amounts of energy extracting and processing things to consume as fast as possible? Why should it be legal and permitted to do so? Why can't we produce a much smaller volume of durable (and essential) products and cut the non essential crap out?

So what do you mean when you say we cannot possible cut our power enough? Surely you mean we will not do it - not that we cannot. The same problem applies to rebuilding all the infrastructure - who pays for it?

In the end we will have to replace our transportation infrastructure with plug-in vehicles, place solar panels on most rooftops, provide distributed energy storage on residential/business and transform our global agricultural sector. 

That doesn't work yet. We don't have the capability to build enough batteries for electric vehicles worldwide. Unless you fancy a world where the affluent live well and the masses live in poverty, that is - and I don't subscribe to such a world. In any event, build up social inequality within tribal groups and it tends to result in friction - and problems - even potentially ultimately collapse (as per the recent study NASA part-funded).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 11, 2014, 04:14:48 PM
wili,

It isn't just a matter of "liking" nuclear or not.  My assertions regarding Harvey Wasserman are absolutely factual.

It isn't a smear to show that a person is making outrageous claims that are intended to drive fear into the hearts of good, though uninformed people. 

for instance, he asserts in his article that the Fukushima reactor is killing people.

And you are arguing, based on this article, that the Fukushima accident is not killing people?

The Fukushima accident has already killed people. Most simply don't know they have been killed yet. And if you claim the opposite, then you don't know how exposure to elevated levels of radiation works.

If you live in the US, you will remember the accident at Three Mile Island. This accident was a disaster but the radiation released pales in comparison to Fukushima. In 1997 the National Institute of Health published the results of a rigorous study on the effects of this radiation release on the health of those exposed. This study concluded that elevated rates of cancer are occurring in those exposed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1469835/ (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1469835/)

They further concluded that due to problems in the study.....

"The analysis avoids medical detection bias, but suffers from inaccurate dose classification; therefore, results may underestimate the magnitude of the association between radiation and cancer incidence."
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 11, 2014, 05:01:24 PM
The World Heath Organization has released a report that estimates the health effects of the Fukushima accident.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/fukushima_report_20130228/en/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/fukushima_report_20130228/en/)

"In terms of specific cancers, for people in the most contaminated location, the estimated increased risks over what would normally be expected are:

1.) all solid cancers - around 4% in females exposed as infants;
2.) breast cancer - around 6% in females exposed as infants;
3.) leukaemia - around 7% in males exposed as infants;
4.) thyroid cancer - up to 70% in females exposed as infants (the normally expected  risk of thyroid cancer in females over lifetime is 0.75% and the additional lifetime risk assessed for females exposed as infants in the most affected location is 0.50%)."

It is important to note that, after the release of the WHO report, a large number of scientists criticized it. It would seem that WHO is underestimating the true health effects. Imagine that! Why would they do such a thing?

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/04/09/voices/rosy-fukushima-health-report-faulted-by-experts/#.U0gDF6ZOW00 (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/04/09/voices/rosy-fukushima-health-report-faulted-by-experts/#.U0gDF6ZOW00)



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2014, 05:49:46 PM
ccg

I am looking at the U.S. only.  This is where the consumption and efficiency changes are needed.

If you take an honest look at the foundations of society, you will see that the only way you can cut energy consumption at the levels you are talking about is through depopulation.  You cannot retrofit every home and office building into a passivehaus.  It would basically require an entire rebuild of every structure.  There are incremental things that can be done, (sealing, windows, insulation, high efficiency appliances)  however, those will take massive amounts of energy to produce, distribute and install.

However, they must be done. 

The question of who pays for it is identical to the question of who paid for the WWII mobilization in 1942-1944 in the U.S.

----------

Shared

If you are saying that Fukushima is bad, then I agree with you!  Horrible.  World ending kind of catastrophe.  Had they established multiple backup energy supplies (or put their diesel generator gear in a location not susceptible to tsunami) then this catastrophe would have been completely avoided.
Without reservation.  Fukushima must be cleaned up. 

However, looking at your data from the WHO report.  The number of people living in the most exposed areas is about 250,000 people (high estimate).  In japan in 2012 about 4.1% are ages 0-4 years http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/1431-02.htm (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/nenkan/1431-02.htm).  this means that  there were about 10,000 infants exposed.

if the increase in lifetime thyroid cancer is .5% (.005)  in this group then there will be 50 additional thyroid cancers in this group of people in their lifetime.   There will be other cancers at lower rates.

However, if we don't implement a global decarbonization strategy (starting with the U.S. - in my belief) then the long-range survival of the entire world goes to near zero in 150 years.  Currently there are 1.5 million deaths per year due to smokestack emissions.







Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 11, 2014, 07:24:18 PM
I am looking at the U.S. only.  This is where the consumption and efficiency changes are needed.

While it's arguably true the US leads the way in squandering resources, even if the US were to suddenly change tack (and so far I'm afraid to say it seems to also lead the way in the denial of science), you cannot neglect the rest of the world. Anyway I guess your arguments make more sense if looking at things through that filter - there isn't enough nuclear fuel in the world to run it for more than a couple of decades (using older fuel cycles at least) - but to run just America, and the rest be damned? Sure - you'd get somewhat longer... and have time for just that portion of the worlds population (assuming the rest of the world cooperated with that, which I somehow doubt).

If you take an honest look at the foundations of society, you will see that the only way you can cut energy consumption at the levels you are talking about is through depopulation.  You cannot retrofit every home and office building into a passivehaus.  It would basically require an entire rebuild of every structure.  There are incremental things that can be done, (sealing, windows, insulation, high efficiency appliances)  however, those will take massive amounts of energy to produce, distribute and install.

I'm not talking about retrofitting homes and offices into passively climate controlled structures though. I'm talking about just sucking it up when it's hot or cold and getting on with things, like people always used to do - and like very many people in the world still do. Why are the creature comforts so damn important? Why is there this dogmatic desire in the populations of the westernised nations to cling onto these things through any means necessary?

Again - affluent westerners have not got more right to creature comforts (especially if they are murdering everyone else in obtaining them) - than anyone else (and by your own argument for running carbon dioxide producing power plants while transiting to nuclear - or anything else - that participation in the slaughter is still being given priority above the wellbeing of the species as a whole).

But of course I don't think it's really acceptable to just sweep people outside any given nation or affluence group under the carpet (this is rather popular, unfortunately).

Depopulation is also necessary of course - but right now it would be most effective in the context of climate change were it to occur in the western nations.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 11, 2014, 08:52:19 PM
Re: depopulation

This is the only acceptable solution:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2012/10/16/warning-bell-for-developed-countries-declining-birth-rates/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2012/10/16/warning-bell-for-developed-countries-declining-birth-rates/)

Warning Bell for Developed Countries: Declining Birth Rates

Quote
In developed countries today many women receive educations and earn salaries that are on a par with those of men. The fact that women are no longer socially or economically dependent on men has radically altered young people’s lifestyles. A woman can now choose to remain single, marrying only when a man adds value to her life or when she desires to have children within such a framework.

This is creating big changes throughout the developed world. The replacement rate—the reproduction rate that keeps a population stable—for developed countries is 2.1, yet nearly half the world’s population has birth rates lower than that. The U.S. has a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0—nearly the replacement rate—with Hispanic immigrants leading in birth rates. The U.S. is aging but not as fast as many other countries. .
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 11, 2014, 09:41:08 PM
Re: depopulation

This is the only acceptable solution:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2012/10/16/warning-bell-for-developed-countries-declining-birth-rates/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/currentevents/2012/10/16/warning-bell-for-developed-countries-declining-birth-rates/)

Warning Bell for Developed Countries: Declining Birth Rates

Quote
In developed countries today many women receive educations and earn salaries that are on a par with those of men. The fact that women are no longer socially or economically dependent on men has radically altered young people’s lifestyles. A woman can now choose to remain single, marrying only when a man adds value to her life or when she desires to have children within such a framework.

This is creating big changes throughout the developed world. The replacement rate—the reproduction rate that keeps a population stable—for developed countries is 2.1, yet nearly half the world’s population has birth rates lower than that. The U.S. has a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0—nearly the replacement rate—with Hispanic immigrants leading in birth rates. The U.S. is aging but not as fast as many other countries. .

But how do you get the rest of the world to developed status to do that if the US preferentially consumes the nuclear fuel and lithium reserves? Most of the developing nations genuinely need the energy growth far more than the US - and one can hardly fault them if they take up the slack in the fossil fuel supply market even if the US were to transition along the lines you envision, can you? What alternative do they have? (to some extent of course they can leapfrog some of the old technology, but to do so while coping with the ravages of climate change is a tall order)

Or would one agree there is a case for significant compensation and assistance to developing nations from the affluent ones to provide them with alternatives and redress for the harms done to them? (still doesn't get you past finite supplies of nuclear fuel and lithium of course).

Thus I'm back to the bottom line - what right do the more affluent have to expect their creature comforts to be retained? If those people cannot lower their footprint to the levels required for sustainability, there is no moral case to lecture the rest of the planet not to aspire to live in the same way. No person chooses where and when to be born, and thus I cannot grant an affluent westerner any more entitlement to anything than someone born in the slums of a developing nation. The selfish competition of national interests is what will drive us to conflict over resources and drive the inequalities that destroy any scope for truly collective collaboration.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 12, 2014, 12:39:11 AM
I am only seeing the nuclear as a bridge to full deployment of solar, solar tower, wind, tidal and wave energy resource application. 

Without the full application of these sources, nuclear produces a significant amount of fuel in fast fission reactors.  Your assumptions do not include reprocessing.

I do not see this as necessary at the rate of energy efficiency and renewable source generation developments.  We have the technological capacity now to be fully off of fossil fuels within 20 years if the economics could be addressed.

good info about the long-term potential of nuclear fuel source here:  https://www.oecd-nea.org/pt/iempt10/presentation/SS03Carre.pdf (https://www.oecd-nea.org/pt/iempt10/presentation/SS03Carre.pdf)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: icefest on April 12, 2014, 07:46:13 AM
I understand that a nuclear meltdown has many effects, among them human deaths caused by radiation exposure.

What I wouldn't mind reading is an analysis of the deaths caused by the fukushima power plant over it's lifetime as opposed to if the energy was generated using coal or LNG (as is now replacing nuclear in JP).

I'm fairly sure that coal has the highest mortality per TWH generated worldwide, but I'd like to know if there would be more deaths had all the energy generated by Fukushima been generated by coal or gas.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 12, 2014, 07:11:43 PM
icefest:

we won't know how many deaths can be attributed to fukushima until fukushima is cleaned up.  It is still currently leaking radioactivity.

However, current release estimates show that the amount of additional cancers over the lifetimes of the exposed population is very low.  So much so that it is highly probable that subtle changes in consumption patterns (i.e. more red meat than fish consumed in the u.s.) and panic responses (i.e. iodine overdose) will more deaths than the actual accident.

The current cost to the U.S. economy of using coal is 240 billion dollars PER YEAR due to coal.

http://www.renewmo.org/uploads/3/6/4/0/3640039/__12.07.20lm_august.pdf (http://www.renewmo.org/uploads/3/6/4/0/3640039/__12.07.20lm_august.pdf)

this does not include the catastrophic effects of future climate change.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Jim Hunt on April 12, 2014, 10:31:54 PM
Another Economist nuclear article this weekend, this time on LFTRs etc. Rather more comments on this one, but still nobody addresses my economical question. In case it's of interest:


Thorium reactors - Asgard’s fire (http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21600656-thorium-element-named-after-norse-god-thunder-may-soon-contribute)

Quote
A clean slate is a wonderful thing. And that might soon be provided by two of the world’s rising industrial powers, India and China, whose demand for energy is leading them to look at the idea of building reactors that run on thorium.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 13, 2014, 03:19:40 PM
My previous post was not to argue for or against increasing the reliance on nuclear power electricity generation. While I am not a fan of nuclear I absolutely agree that nuclear is a viable and necessary transition technology but it comes with enormous risks and statements like this are patently false.

wili,

It isn't just a matter of "liking" nuclear or not.  My assertions regarding Harvey Wasserman are absolutely factual.

It isn't a smear to show that a person is making outrageous claims that are intended to drive fear into the hearts of good, though uninformed people. 

for instance, he asserts in his article that the Fukushima reactor is killing people.

If you had read the link that followed the WHO report you would have gotten a much better sense of the true health impact of Fukushima.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/04/09/voices/rosy-fukushima-health-report-faulted-by-experts/#.U0qH0aZOW01 (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/04/09/voices/rosy-fukushima-health-report-faulted-by-experts/#.U0qH0aZOW01)

First you must realize that the Fukushima WHO report was not research into the actual health effects as these impacts will not be found in the 2 years following the accident. This report is written by science bureaucrats and it follows prescribed rules for arriving at their results. A similar report by WHO was produced following Chernobyl.

We no longer need to rely on the WHO report with regards to Chernobyl. It has been 28 years since the accident and a far more reliable analysis can now be done. This analysis is based on the actual health impacts. What these actual impacts show is that the initial WHO report was wildly inaccurate.

On March 11-12, 2013 in New York,  Alexey Yablokov of the Russian Academy of Sciences who has been researching the actual health effects of Chernobyl addressed the symposium:

“Using criteria demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) resulted in marked underestimates of the number of fatalities and the extent and degree of sickness among those exposed to radioactive fallout from Chernobyl.”

Yablokov continued: “The Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout. The number of Chernobyl victims will continue to grow over many future generations.”


The deaths include a substantial number of stillborns and nonviable infants which is why he has stated that the deaths will continue "over future generations".

Even this does not capture the full extent of the tragedy. There continues to exist today a large exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl. Exclusion means exactly what it sounds like. The area has been designated as unfit for permanent human settlement or agriculture.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 13, 2014, 04:22:43 PM

I also would note that when a giant international corporation offers to 'help' that it is often cause for concern if not alarm.  We should have a pretty good idea who's interests they have in mind.

There is probably no technical subject so loaded with emotion as nuclear power.  Advocates ignore the problems, accidents, lies, costs and risks found in the history of the nuclear industry as well as the possible negative issues which could arise in the future.  Those utterly opposed ignore its potential to leap to another energy level where we could transition away from the suite of fossil fuels and the damage they cause to  a future envisioned in many science fiction novels.

But this is not a black and white issue.  We have deep and profound problems that bring with them risks which will eventually turn into reality.  We can't make faith based decisions this time.  We have to be ruthlessly realistic and pragmatic. This is our last chance.

I am hardly the first person to make the arguments about risk-benefit I put forward.  No one that I am aware of has ever made a substantial rebuttle of them.  I will remain unconvinced that choosing to go all in with nuclear power is anything but an ill considered bet by a bunch of addicted gamblers desperate to recoup their losses until I am presented with arguments which demolish my concerns.

Please directly address the risk/benefit analysis of nuclear power, or ask those you know to do so, as this is the crux of opposition to what you want to do.  As I stated before, I came to this opposition from a position of support for nuclear, but changed my mind the more I considered the long term risks and our likely inability to deal with them in the current circumstances.  On a global basis we are completely unable to make relatively simple decisions and stick to them.  This is a huge decision and we have to take into account our demonstrated inability to act in a collective sense.  If we cannot execute decisions when presented with irrefutable evidence how intelligent is it to proceed down a technical path almost devoid of rational discourse?

I would like to respond to your questions regarding risks and gambling on nuclear power. I would also like to respond to concerns others have made about operating nuclear plants in an economically stressed world economy out into the future. These concerns are very real and Chernobyl, Fukushima and TMI vividly demonstrate the nature of those risks.

With regards to Chernobyl, we must first recognize that the Russian response to the disaster was impressive, owing, in large measure, to the dictatorship nature of the government. They were able to design and complete the construction of a sarcophagus in 206 days, sealing the damaged reactor. The entire damaged core is surrounded by a concrete, steel structure (underground as well). The accident occurred on April 26, 1986 and "on October 11, 1986 the Soviet Governmental Commission accepted the formal report, "Conclusion on Reliability and Durability of a Covering Constructions and Radiation Safety of Chernobyl NPP Unit 4 Reactor Compartment"

Meanwhile, with Fukushima, the Japanese government and their nuclear industry is still dithering about what to do more than 3 years after the accident that occurred on March 11, 2011. Highly radioactive water continues to spill into the Pacific Ocean.

Well, of course, this simply means we need to develop the kind of disaster response required when an accident occurs. We simply need to be more like Russians. And make no mistake, if we increase our reliance on nuclear power generation, there will be accidents, infrequent but accidents none the less.

So how is that amazing sarcophagus around Chernobyl doing? It is decaying, rapidly. The decay is so rapid that "construction of a coated steel, climate-controlled sarcophagus was begun in 2010 to cover the site of the infamous 1986 meltdown."

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/04/09/chernobyl-cap-could-be-casualty-ukraine-crisis/ (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/04/09/chernobyl-cap-could-be-casualty-ukraine-crisis/)

They are, in effect, putting a sarcophagus inside another sarcophagus. How many times are we going to need to bury the damn thing! The attached link suggests an answer. The new sarcophagus has an estimated life of "at least 100 years". We will be burying that zombie apocalypse reactor over and over again into an indefinite and uncertain future.

Why is the future uncertain? This goes directly to the concerns of whether human society can control nuclear sites as we become increasingly stressed by global warming and the economic damage that occurs as a result. The attached link also suggests an answer to this. Due to the current crisis in the Ukraine, there are concerns that the 2nd sarcophagus will never be completed. The $2.1 billion dollar project which has a  projected life of 100 years is at risk.

Looking out 2 hundred years, can we be certain we will have the ability to protect ourselves from nuclear plants and waste? I worry we will not have that ability.

The new sarchophagus, by the way, is quite impressive. To get a sense of scale of this magnificent structure, you need to realize that the entire damaged reactor building is underneath the smaller of the two domes under construction.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 13, 2014, 09:30:06 PM
S.H.

Harvey Wasserman is making patently false and misleading statements regarding fukushima.  This is absolutely true.

Quote
Yablokov continued: “The Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout.

are you telling me that I am supposed to believe that Chernobyl induced mortality in the 100 million+ population surrounding Kiev (I assume this includes Moscow) is 1 in 1,000?

This is the kind of wild over exaggeration that I find commonplace in these discussion.  With Wasserman as a leader in deceptive discourse:

Quote
In fact, samplings of 15 tuna caught off the coast of California indicate all were contaminated with fallout from Fukushima.

Instant as always, the industry deems such levels harmless. The obligatory comparisons to living in Denver, flying cross country and eating bananas automatically follow.

http://prn.fm/the-nuclear-omnicide-harvey-wasserman/ (http://prn.fm/the-nuclear-omnicide-harvey-wasserman/)

where he acknowledges that the amount of actual radiation is extremely tiny. . .

Quote
But what’s that radiation doing to the tuna themselves? And to the krill, the phytoplankton, the algae, amoeba and all the other microorganisms on which the ocean ecology depends?

Cesium and its Fukushima siblings are already measurable in Alaska and northwestern Canada. They’ll hit California this summer. The corporate media will mock those parents who are certain to show up at the beaches with radiation detectors. Concerns about the effect on children will be jovially dismissed. The doses will be deemed, as always, “too small to have any impact on humans.”

But reports of a “dead zone” thousands of miles into the Pacific do persist, along with disappearances of salmon, sardines, anchovies and other ocean fauna.

but then goes on to conflate this amount (equivalent to 1/20th the amount of radioactivity in a normal banana) to "dead zones" in the pacific, bears with "blackened insides" (from an earlier wasserman piece), conspiracy theories of corporate media cover ups and implications that we are all going to die because of this radiation.

He does this without discussing the fact that, at the time that Chernobyl was constructed, cold-war Russia nuclear waste disposal was throwing material down an abandoned mine shaft.

These practices and designs cannot be equated with todays designs and practices.  Same goes for Fukushima, which was designed in the 1960's.

To bring this back to earth.  We are talking about using nuclear as a bridge fuel.  It has been proven that the current coal generation produces over 1 million deaths per year due to environmental contamination.  The use of natural gas is comparable to coal for global warming potential due to fugitive leakage.  Therefore, the long-range mortality from these fossil fuels is due to global warming and we know that the quantitative value of damages due to BAU is measured in billions of lives lost over the next 6 decades.

I think this is what James Hansen is stating in his support of using nuclear power.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 13, 2014, 09:47:48 PM
With regard to the Alexey V. Yablokov report:

http://atomicinsights.com/challenging-nyas-decision-to-keep-yablokovs-chernobyl-fiction-online/ (http://atomicinsights.com/challenging-nyas-decision-to-keep-yablokovs-chernobyl-fiction-online/)

Quote
The NYAS report recognizes this disparity and admits that the rules of science do not support the massive radiological health disaster they claim to be evident. So the authors conclude that the rules of science must be abandoned in favor of collecting virtually all reports of health problems and attributing them to radiation from the incident. The fact that the rest of the scientific community does not agree with them they attribute (without offering any evidence) to sell-out to the corrupt international nuclear community, including its regulators.

George Moinbot also asserted that these statements were outright deceptions:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world)

The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all
Quote
A devastating review in the journal Radiation Protection Dosimetry points out that the book achieves this figure by the remarkable method of assuming that all increased deaths from a wide range of diseases – including many which have no known association with radiation – were caused by the Chernobyl accident. There is no basis for this assumption, not least because screening in many countries improved dramatically after the disaster and, since 1986, there have been massive changes in the former eastern bloc. The study makes no attempt to correlate exposure to radiation with the incidence of disease.

I recommend that anyone who is staunch anti-nuclear read this guardian article.  I am not saying that nuclear is not dangerous nor am I saying that it hasn't caused deaths.  I am saying that the risks are often wildly overstated and the benefits (we know) are understated.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 13, 2014, 10:29:21 PM
S.H.

Harvey Wasserman is making patently false and misleading statements regarding fukushima.  This is absolutely true.

Quote
Yablokov continued: “The Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout.

Are you telling me that I am supposed to believe that Chernobyl induced mortality in the 100 million+ population surrounding Kiev (I assume this includes Moscow) is 1 in 1,000?

This is the kind of wild over exaggeration that I find commonplace in these discussion. 

To bring this back to earth.  We are talking about using nuclear as a bridge fuel. 

First, I have already said that nuclear, despite the risks, is a necessary bridging technology.

I really could care less what Wasserman has to say about tuna and phytoplankton. I was responding to your claim that Wasserman's assertion "that the Fukushima reactor is killing people" was, in your words, "outrageous. What is outrageous is your suggestion that the accident is not killing people.

With regards to the referenced report....

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment

Written by Alexey V. Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy, Moscow, Russia), Vassily B. Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko (Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus)

......the 327 page summary, translated into English, was drawn from 5000 pages of research, all published in Slavic languages. The research tracked and documented increases in cancer and a shortening of lifespan of the adult male population in the affected areas. The report has come under attack for a variety of reasons. For example, much of the basic research does not include confidence intervals for the pre-accident cancer rates. Another criticism is that there are no attempts to quantify radiation dose levels.

I would like to suggest that, when a documented pattern of earlier deaths and increased cancer rates are found across a population of a hundred million, the lack of confidence intervals in some of the basic research is not as critical. The statistics of large numbers begin to rule.

Yes, Chernobyl is shortening the lives of hundreds of thousands in the affected areas. We should expect to find similar effects in the next 30 years due to the Fukushima accident.




Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 13, 2014, 11:00:41 PM
Quote
I would like to suggest that, when a documented pattern of earlier deaths and increased cancer rates are found across a population of a hundred million

please see my second post.

One cannot attribute all stillborn births in a population of hundreds of millions entirely to a miniscule radiation dose - especially when this period covers the collapse of the soviet union.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 13, 2014, 11:01:41 PM
To bring this back to earth.  We are talking about using nuclear as a bridge fuel.  It has been proven that the current coal generation produces over 1 million deaths per year due to environmental contamination.  The use of natural gas is comparable to coal for global warming potential due to fugitive leakage.  Therefore, the long-range mortality from these fossil fuels is due to global warming and we know that the quantitative value of damages due to BAU is measured in billions of lives lost over the next 6 decades.

I'm not sure actually that it isn't possible to attribute 5-6 million years per year to the use of fossil fuels (particularly coal, not sure if those figures also include liquid fuels - they may do). That's both the climate change - and still more significantly (who knows for how long) the air pollution effects.

What I don't understand - not being rapidly anti-nuclear per se (I used to be more pro nuclear until I became convinced that collapse is a highly likely outcome and I have no faith in human ability to consider the future in high stress situations where the time horizon being focussed on keeps shrinking) - is why you can't just go straight to the new technologies.

I still maintain - and still have yet to see any convincing counter argument against - that there is no reason the affluent west can't give up their toys for the most part to accept a lifestyle using much less energy. People lived for thousands of years without things like heating and air conditioning in the way they are rampantly used today. So why is it being ignored as a strategic option - to simply take most of the energy supply away from people?

Some people will die to heat and cold stresses - yes. Still far fewer than will die as the effects of climate change unfold - and post collapse there won't be such technologies in any event. Once again, those of us left then will live and die as our ancestors did for thousands of years - but with a much worse resource and climatic situation courtesy of a few recent selfish modern generations.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 13, 2014, 11:20:33 PM
Agreed, there will need to be severe rationing.

The reason that the west won't give up its "toys" is due to many real world and human psyche reasons.  The reason that there is even a debate to the reality of global warming is due to these issues. 

There is the potential for a reasoned, progressive transition to decarbonization.  To enact a totalitarian, draconian regime that forces people to die from heat and cold stress is simply untenable under any circumstances.   Besides being unnecessary, it would eventually lead to a neo-feudal society. . .think of current soviet oligopoly and multiply it by 10,000.

we simply can't get there, short of a massive and catastrophic economic and population collapse.  That is (in my mind) not a feasible solution, (besides being totally unnecessary).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 13, 2014, 11:57:50 PM
Please see exclusion zone map. The fallout was not miniscule. It was enormous. Also see, fallout map.

"From 1986 to 2000, 350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine." It took 14 years because, as you would expect from a bureaucracy, they kept expanding the zone. Please keep in mind this exclusion zone is the area that was determined not fit for human habitation. It is still designated as such. It is only a small portion of the area that received very high levels of radiation. And I don't believe you or I would care to live in areas bordering this zone and yet millions do.

"Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been burdened with the continuing and substantial decontamination and health care costs of the Chernobyl accident. The UN agency, UNSCEAR, has estimated a global collective dose of radiation exposure from the accident "equivalent on average to 21 additional days of world exposure to natural background radiation"; individual doses were far higher than the global mean among those most exposed, including 530,000 local recovery workers who averaged an effective dose equivalent to an extra 50 years of typical natural background radiation exposure each."

Attached is a current picture of peaceful Pripyat, Ukraine (formerly a population of 53,000).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 14, 2014, 12:32:08 AM
Jai...

I suppose we could continue to discuss the definition of "miniscule" but we might struggle to reach agreement. I do have one question with regard to my post. It is estimated that about 5% of the Chernobyl core was blasted into the atmosphere. The remaining 95% lies buried in the rapidly decaying sarcophagus installed in 1986. The new sarcophagus with a life expectancy of 100 years is scheduled for completion in 2015. This is now in doubt because of the difficulties in the Ukraine. Since this hot core will be around for a while, do you see any problems with how we handle those very rare accidents that will occur in the future?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 14, 2014, 12:41:53 AM
SH.

What is your understanding of the average dose applied to the "hundreds of millions" of people in the falsified study that you cited?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 14, 2014, 05:32:06 AM
SH.

What is your understanding of the average dose applied to the "hundreds of millions" of people in the falsified study that you cited?

I am pretty sure I don't understand the question.

Are you still maintaining that Chernobyl and Fukushima has not resulted in the deaths of anyone?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 14, 2014, 07:21:59 PM
S.H.

For the record,

I did not say that there were no deaths associated with Fukushima and Chernobyl. 

I am saying that these anti-nuclear activists are lying and leading to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. 

I am saying that the study you cited associated every possible ailment and some impossible ailments to Chernobyl radiation, I asked you to look up the radiation levels that people actually received from the source that you linked.  I did the work for you below.  it is about 1/3 the radiation that we all get every year from natural sources. 

The study you cited said that 980,000 people died between 1986 and 2004 because of Chernobyl.  out of a population of "hundreds of millions" 

From receiving an additional annual radiation that is about 1/3 the additional radiation that EVERY airline steward and pilot receives every year!

reference:  https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html (https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html)

--if the study you cited was true, then modern air travel would be impossible due to early mortality.

work below
------------------------

I asked you, specifically, what you understood to be the average dose of radiation exposure given to those "hundreds of millions" of people cited in the study you cited as evidence for widescale human suffering due to the Chernobyl accident.

in other words.

how much extra radiation did they receive?

Here: I will use the reference you cited:

http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/1988annexd.pdf (http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/1988annexd.pdf)

Quote
In Europe, the highest effective dose equivalents in
the first year were 760 μSv in Bulgaria, 670 μSv in Austria,
590 μSv in Greece and 570 μSv in Romania
, followed by
other countries of northern, eastern and south-eastern
Europe (Table 18). For reference, the average annual
effective dose equivalent from natural sources is 2,400 μSv
.
The doses in countries farther to the west in Europe and in
the countries of Asia, Africa and North and South America
were much less, which is in accord with the deposition
pattern.

So, in these areas that received less than 1/3 of the typical annual dose that everyone on the planet receives from natural radiation each year the study suggested that 1/100 to 1/1000 died between 1986 and 2004 due to that radiation exposure.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 14, 2014, 09:32:39 PM
This came out 2 weeks ago,

The evacuation order has been lifted from the nearest downwind town of fukushima.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/world/asia/fukushima-miyakoji-return/ (http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/world/asia/fukushima-miyakoji-return/)

The amount of annual radiation exposure determined safe for re-population is 20,000 μSv (20 millisieverts) 

This is an annual dose that is almost 30 times greater than the first year exposure levels from the Chernobyl-affected population in the study that was cited above.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jdallen on April 14, 2014, 10:16:07 PM
Even George Monbiot loves nuclear, or PRISM at least:

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/ (http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/)

Quote
Last week [this was in 2011!] GE Hitachi (GEH) told the British government that it could build a fast reactor within five years to use up the waste plutonium at Sellafield, and if it doesn’t work, the UK won’t have to pay.

Post collapse taking care of the all the non-depleted nuclear fuel rods and all of the nuclear waste is going to be onerous already.  Let's not add to that problem any further.

Why not reduce that problem whilst generating electricity at the same time? As Mr. Monbiot puts it:

Quote
So we environmentalists have a choice. We can’t wish the waste away. Either it is stored and then buried. Or it is turned into mox fuels. Or it is used to power IFRs. The decision is being made at the moment, and we should determine where we stand.

I suggest we take the radical step of using science, not superstition, as our guide.

Monbiot and I are on much the same page. My preference is thorium/fluorine salt based systems that
1) are passively controlled
2) produce far shorter lived byproducts
3) burn up material that is produced as waste by current PWR's and BWR's
4) can destroy/utilize materials that either are or can be weaponized.
5) lack the problems of combustion and H2 production traditional uranium/plutonium reactors have.

I agree we need better sources, but we need transitional conventional generation until we get them.  We will *stiil* require high-density generation for industrial uses and transportation. We also need to make sure we neither exclude large segments of the worlds population from prosperity, or create situation where by denying them access to energy, we sign their death warrants.  Those populations will not tolerate that, and will fight for it, with predictable outcomes for everyone's welfare.

It is a conceit to think we can deny energy to developing nations. Our challenge is finding both technical and political solutions which do not destroy us.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 15, 2014, 03:37:31 AM
I agree we need better sources, but we need transitional conventional generation until we get them.  We will *stiil* require high-density generation for industrial uses and transportation. We also need to make sure we neither exclude large segments of the worlds population from prosperity, or create situation where by denying them access to energy, we sign their death warrants.  Those populations will not tolerate that, and will fight for it, with predictable outcomes for everyone's welfare.

We mostly don't need the industrial uses and transportation - not when it comes down to fundamentals. Such colossal amounts of energy are expended in pointlessness (and immense amounts of resources too) - and thus it is an unsustainable behaviour quite apart from how much energy you have, or the negative effects of climate change.

What is this strange obsession with prosperity? Do you suppose our descendants would prefer to be rich or alive - if they were to be given a choice?

It is a conceit to think we can deny energy to developing nations. Our challenge is finding both technical and political solutions which do not destroy us.

It is also a conceit in my view to hold the view that all we need to do to solve our problems is rework the energy apparatus. The problems with modern civilisation run much deeper and further than this. We need to demolish the dominant ideology - remove the idea of the economy being an important thing (it really isn't - it's imaginary and measured using nonsense metrics where you score points for both digging up finite resources from one hole and dumping them into another).

While I certainly agree we should not be denying the poorer energy - or anything else (and it is sickening the extent to which people believe wealth and accident of birth entitles them to life over other people) - we should (in my view) be denying energy to the affluent developed nations. We are squandering it - murdering the poor today and everyone tomorrow, simply to have stupid toys and nonsensical ideas of achievement (GDP growth).

I can see the arguments for nuclear power - and it seem to make logical sense to at least continue to operate the existing fleet and researching new reactor designs (particularly ones that can burn waste as we have to get rid of it somehow) - but I think it is hubris to claim nuclear power is a key component of solving the worlds problems. At best it could only be a little piece of a much larger and harder effort (which I am fairly certain will not happen or even be contemplate, for all it is in my view the last best chance to provide humanity with a mostly hospitable planet).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 15, 2014, 06:36:34 AM
Quote
The problems with modern civilisation run much deeper and further than this. We need to demolish the dominant ideology - remove the idea of the economy being an important thing

I absolutely agree and believe that this change will happen as we attempt to:

Quote
all we need to do to solve our problems is rework the energy apparatus

These two are intrinsically linked.  We cannot choose to live sustainably under our current economic world views.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 16, 2014, 07:01:05 AM
CCG

I saw this and realized that it needed a response:

Quote
why you can't just go straight to the new technologies.

The reason that we can't just go into it now is that there is a 20 year lag time between the extra cost (measured in PPM CO2) for renewable and conservation technology buildout.  Since the Nuclear is a large immediate boost, it can produce the significant energy needed in a relatively carbon-free process.  Otherwise we will be burning coal for the time that it takes to replace the entire energy generation system with renewable/energy storage.  We simply do not have that much time to waste.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 16, 2014, 08:55:10 AM
The reason that we can't just go into it now is that there is a 20 year lag time between the extra cost (measured in PPM CO2) for renewable and conservation technology buildout.  Since the Nuclear is a large immediate boost, it can produce the significant energy needed in a relatively carbon-free process.  Otherwise we will be burning coal for the time that it takes to replace the entire energy generation system with renewable/energy storage.  We simply do not have that much time to waste.

I guess I don't understand how much of an immediate boost nuclear can provide? Excepting any idle capacity that could be brought online - don't you need to spend considerable amounts of time and effort building new nuclear stations in order to get more power from nuclear? There's still a lot of extraction, manufacturing, engineering, etc required to create a new nuclear plant where there wasn't one before - and unless I'm mistaken the safety requirements also tend to slow down construction and increase cost.

Hence why I think simply cutting out energy use drastically the most expedient short term step. While I noted your point about not forcing people to suffer heat stress or cold as a palatable option - the bottom line is rather simple - this already happens to people right now, it's just inflicted upon them via poverty instead of equally divided necessity. Of course, the energy used by heating and air conditioning that should not be required isn't really a point I'm trying to get too hung up on as it's really just one of very many possible examples of energy usage that I'm far from certain we really need. One can look at the way modern civilisation operates and find massive amounts of energy being essentially squandered in multiple areas - the reason I'm choosing that particular point is that to me the lifestyle of the average moderately affluent westerner is massively destructive to their children and everyone else on the planet simply because they think their creature comforts are more important than all that (and this attitude is a problem in and off itself).

I've known fairly hot and cold climates without heating and air conditioning, and seem to have survived (to be sure, not real extremes - I haven't seen past either side of -8C to +45C). Most of human history has been lived without those - and countless other - things. I don't see why retaining them for the sake of a few decades of comfort should take priority over the future of our species. As I see it we need to beat a tactical retreat - cut out the damaging behaviour and pare back to basics, use the nuclear and renewable capacity available and gradually (sustainably to the extent possible) repurpose civilisation and reclaim the lost ground over however many decades or centuries it should require.

However, I don't think there is a realistic chance of that happening (not for that matter of any collectively driven solution).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 21, 2014, 04:44:23 PM
John Quiggen sees several nuclear projects biting the dust and opines, "Allowing for construction time, there’s no prospect of electricity generation on a significant scale before 2050, by which time we will need to have completely decarbonized the economy."

http://johnquiggin.com/2014/04/20/another-one-or-more-bites-the-dust/ (http://johnquiggin.com/2014/04/20/another-one-or-more-bites-the-dust/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 21, 2014, 05:09:48 PM
Besides the problem with access to cooling water in relation to sea level rise, seems at least some nuclear dumps have been constructed rather low down:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 21, 2014, 05:19:07 PM
Besides the problem with access to cooling water in relation to sea level rise, seems at least some nuclear dumps have been constructed rather low down:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/20/choice-cumbria-nuclear-dump-mistake-environment-agency)

Not to worry. Fukushima has made it clear that large amounts of nuclear radiation dumped into  the oceans is of little concern.   :o
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on April 21, 2014, 06:12:30 PM
A little concern ... ?
You should tell that to the us military people who did drunk treated sea water and get sick...They would sue who ever is concern soon enough...
What about the fishes, the living creatures that are living there and away...
I  hope that was a joke...it is easy to downplay things when you seem not be concern.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 21, 2014, 06:20:39 PM
U.S. Military did not drink treated seawater.  The lawsuit brought by the aircraft carrier people will be thrown out because their claims are false.

The environmental effect of Fukushima is horrible.  The water from the reactor can be safely drunk (is below natural radiation levels) only a few hundred meters offshore.  The myths that have been told about radiation exposure are outrageous lies, meant to scare people and make money.

And besides, Fukushima happened when a 10 meter tidal wave hit the power plant.  If the electric generators were higher up then they would not have had a problem.  I think that the fact that the other reactors are fine shows that this technology can be fixed to be completely safe.

The additional buildout of energy by nuclear can be done at the same time as renewables.  The additional carbon-free energy provided by nuclear (nearly carbon free. . .similar to solar in scale) will help reduce our emissions between now and 2035 tremendously! 

We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on April 21, 2014, 07:21:45 PM
We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
Right. We need to do
1) reduce electricity consumption
2) reduce consumption of things (= reduction of industrial production)
3) reduce house heating
4) reduce private transportation

and finaly you may want to build something which would fit into your system/strategy/super power needs...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 21, 2014, 07:27:04 PM
We need to do everything that we can if we are going to prevent societal collapse and still halt global warming.
Right. We need to do
1) reduce electricity consumption
2) reduce consumption of things (= reduction of industrial production)
3) reduce house heating
4) reduce private transportation

and finaly you may want to build something which would fit into your system/strategy/super power needs...

Yes.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on April 21, 2014, 07:31:07 PM
Satire, that won't be enough at all. First we need to change the financial system that is exponentially driven. It has to be redesigned completely. It has to be strained tighly, otherwise nothing will change.

Jai Michael : You very good at propaganda yourself, I applause, marvelous !
Would you be so kind to provide links about what you are writing,  especially this one :

"U.S. Military did not drink treated seawater.  The lawsuit brought by the aircraft carrier people will be thrown out because their claims are false."
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on April 21, 2014, 07:55:40 PM
First we need to change the financial system that is exponentially driven. It has to be redesigned completely. It has to be strained tighly, otherwise nothing will change.
Laurent - that sounds so 68-ish to me. The system is not "something" - it is just us. So, for a first step it would be sufficient to ignore the "financial system" and the idea to grow exponentially. All it needs is to buy less stuff. Then you need no loans and no financial systems and you do not depend on complicated transfers. If you have money left over, invest it in projects that make sense for you. That works allready on family-level for a lot of poeple. Later it is very easy to do that on governmental level, once we are 50%...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on April 21, 2014, 08:28:44 PM
There is nothing 68-ish at all, it is about reality. Many people are thinking like you, we just have to change and everything will be fine...Euh thought there is a part of it the reality is quite different. I won't argue with you on that, I am pretty sure the conference of Thomas Piketty will explain it more thorougly than I can do.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on April 21, 2014, 10:23:42 PM
Laurent

The amount of radiation detected by the ship was 30 times background radiation.  I don't know who told you that their water was irradiated but you should know that the ship we are talking about has 4 nuclear reactors on board.  So they are very capable in detecting and dealing with radioactive hazards.

Besides, the sea water intakes are about 12 meters below sea surface and they were kilometers offshore. 

it isn't propaganda.  It is common sense.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on April 25, 2014, 09:42:37 PM
Climate Change Advocate Goes Rogue!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-cusumano-phd/climate-change-advocate-goes-rogue_b_5210317.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-cusumano-phd/climate-change-advocate-goes-rogue_b_5210317.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TenneyNaumer on April 26, 2014, 04:18:47 AM
With my devil's advocate hat on, Stewart Brand loves nuclear power too:

http://youtu.be/TUxwiVFgghE?t=9m (http://youtu.be/TUxwiVFgghE?t=9m)

PS. The timed start doesn't seem to work on here. Skip to 9 minutes for the "pro nuclear" bit.

I lived in Brazil for 14 years and I can tell you that the only reason that the poor do not "care" about medical care is that they know they will never receive it!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 29, 2014, 03:35:40 PM
Chernobyl today (and an interesting historical retrospective):

"If all goes as planned, by 2017 the 32,000-ton arch will be delicately pushed on Teflon pads to cover the ramshackle shelter that was built to entomb the radioactive remains of the reactor that exploded and burned here in April 1986. When its ends are closed, it will be able to contain any radioactive dust should the aging shelter collapse."

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/27/science/chernobyl-capping-a-catastrophe.html?ref=science&_r=0&smid=tw-share (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/27/science/chernobyl-capping-a-catastrophe.html?ref=science&_r=0&smid=tw-share)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on June 22, 2014, 04:39:39 AM
Climate numbers
Every year human activity creates more than 30 billion tonnes of GHG waste and dumps it in the atmosphere.  The IPCC estimates that if BAU continues the atmospheric CO2 concentration will be 900ppm by the year 2100 with average global temperatures rising 4 degrees plus.
It will be difficult for human civilisation to survive a climate change of this magnitude.

Germany Renewable numbers
In the 15 years to the end of 2013 Germany installed 70 GW of wind and solar energy collection capacity for a capital cost of about €190 billion.
In 2013 renewable energy produced 24% of German electricity output.
70GW of wind and solar collected 13% with capacity factors of 18% and 10% respectively.
11GW of hydro and biomass produced 11% with capacity factors of 50% and 75% respectively.
Renewable subsidies in 2013 total €23 billion with German electricity charges the second highest in Europe, after Denmark.
To provide power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining, a new fleet of coal burning power stations have been commissioned that are able to ‘load follow’ solar and wind intermittency.
The IEA 2013 Energy Statistics show that for 2011 German CO2 emissions were 9 tonnes per capita.
Since closing 8GW of nuclear in 2011, German GHG annual emissions increased at a rate similar to the global average.
It is of interest that in 2013, the remaining 12GW of nuclear capacity produced more electricity (15%) than 70GW of solar and wind due to a capacity factor of 90%.

French nuclear numbers.
In the 20 years to 1995 France installed 58GW of nuclear generation which now produces 80% of their electrical energy.
French CO2 emissions in 2011 are 5 tonnes per capita, the lowest of any large developed nation. 

Energy Safety numbers
Three prominent nuclear accidents have occurred.  At Three Mile Island there were no deaths.  At Chernobyl, the United Nations UNSEAR Committee reported that after 25 years total deaths from radiation are 50 and their estimate for Fukushima is none are expected.
To put this in perspective, in 2011 about 50 people died eating contaminated organic bean sprouts in Germany.  Global road deaths are 1.2 million annually.
In 2014 the United Nations identified that the world’s biggest health risk is indoor and outdoor air pollution caused by biomass and fossil fuel energy production with 8 million deaths in 2011.
The European Commissions’ ExternE Report shows that deaths per TWh of energy production for wind, solar, hydro and nuclear is less than 1 and for biomass, coal and oil it is greater than 12. 

Nuclear waste numbers
After 60 years of commercial nuclear energy production, the globes stockpile of nuclear waste is 350,000 tonnes, which still contains 99% of its nuclear energy.   
Using this waste as fuel, 24,000 GE Hitachi PRISM fast breeder reactors could potentially provide all the world’s energy requirements for the next hundred years.  The volume of nuclear waste will be reduced 20 fold and only require safe storage for a few hundred years.
The prototype for the PRISM, the EBR11 operated for 30 years generating 2 billion kilowatts of electricity proving to be passively safe and very efficient until cancelled by the Clinton/Gore Administration as an unnecessary nuclear program in 1994.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_fast_reactor)

If 20 years ago, the Clinton/Gore Administration and the global community had recognised that climate change is the inconvenient truth and that nuclear is the inconvenient solution there would be no pending climate crisis today. 

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on June 22, 2014, 12:52:06 PM
I don't know why nuclear folks always like to bash renewables. As if they will achieve anything this way.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 22, 2014, 04:14:02 PM
Thanks for posting Hansen's paper. Statements like 'Nuclear folks... bash renewables' are as much part of the climate change communication problem as Heartland Institute lies. I'm starting to wonder if the momentum behind anti-nuclear WAR protests didn't get misdirected into anti-nuclear EVERYTHING. Hansen makes a great case in this paper. Choose between totally fried and maybe a tiny bit poisoned.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on June 22, 2014, 05:27:51 PM
Thanks for posting Hansen's paper. Statements like 'Nuclear folks... bash renewables' are as much part of the climate change communication problem and Heartland Institute lies.
It's the other way around: nuclear folks are as much of a problem as Heartland Institute because they constantly dismiss and bash renewables despite evidence from all over the world that renewables significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption at affordable cost.

Nuclear has priced itself out of the market and blocking renewables just means that more fossil fuel plants are built.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on June 22, 2014, 08:53:34 PM
Ontario gets more than half its electricity from nuclear and has huge inertia to continue using it. Even so the province discovered that new nuclear plants are priced astronomically high and canceled plans for new plants after tendered bids came in. There is no way that kind of money can be justified given the alternatives which are available.

If only the folks around rural Ontario weren't so ideologically opposed to wind power we'd probably have begun to see offshore wind by now instead of the ill advised moratorium. The government should have realized they weren't going to get the rural vote with or without wind power going forward.

I spit every time I look at the "debt repayment" charge on my electricity bill because that is a charge for cost overruns dealing with shutdown nuclear plants, all of the original Bruce debt, and the spent fuel waste that still hasn't been properly dealt with.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 22, 2014, 09:39:08 PM
I live in Ontario with a healthy man who spent six years living in Port Hope, a vibrant, thinking community known for having the largest volume of historic low-level radioactive wastes in Canada. It continues to produce uranium fuel for nuclear power plants, now under the ownership of Cameco.

I live in a rural area where there are huge solar installations everywhere. If I didn't live on such a shady piece of land, I'd probably be participating. I'm very glad I don't get my electricity from coal or fracked natural gas.

I've only recently changed my mind about nuclear. It's not that I'm missing the points about waste and accidents. Even when good old James Lovelock offered to store a block of nuclear waste in his own back yard I wasn't convinced. But the numbers don't lie. We're now approaching the second and less easy peak from Richard Sommerville's ski slope chart. It's a matter of the lesser of two evils. We can keep dumping deadly (long-term) waste in the form of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while diddling with wind turbines and Transition Town meetings or we can get real and do the expedient thing to turn that curve steeply down. (In case you're unfamiliar with it, the area of reduction contained below each curve would give us a 67% chance of staying below a 2 degree rise in global temperature by 2100.)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skepticalscience.com%2Fpics%2Fski-slopes1.jpg&hash=f9c8cc9661a3f0fceafb2e65b0d0bee0)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on June 22, 2014, 09:52:42 PM
Even if nukes were the answer, won't it take quite a while at this point to develop a significant amount of it within the time frame you lay out here? 2020 is your latest turn around date. How much of global electricity production could be turned over to nukes by then, realistically?

Short term (and that's all we've got), the demand side is the only thing that can conceivably turn on that kind of dime, as K. Anderson and others have made clear.

How to orchestrate that is the big problem.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on June 22, 2014, 11:09:27 PM
Nuclear is plagued with problems, waste being only one of them (although significant). Uranium supply is also questionable and only breeder reactors can get around this (Hansen knows this, that's why he always starts talking about breeders). But noone has any experience with breeders and they're not economical. Even usual PWR are not economical. How are you supposed to scale to global levels from this situation? This is light years away from 'nuclear renaissance'.

OTOH renewables are economical and scalable. The only real objection seems to be intermittency. Fair point.

So it boils down to what do you think is more realistic: scaling nuclear, which is plagued with problems like waste, uranium supply, construction time, cost, or scaling renewables, which requires storage, which we don't have yet (but we will need it for transportation anyway).

I'm gonna go with renewables. If you think that 'in the real world' renewables cannot reduce emissions, just look at some examples:
Wind power in Spain 2013. (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/wind-power-spain-electricity-2013) Helped to reduce coal consumption by 27% and emissions by 23% due to favourable conditions (for wind+hydro).
Similarly Portugal. (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/14/1858811/is-70-renewable-power-possible-portugal-just-did-it-for-3-months/)
Italy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Italy) had 24.5% renewable power in 2011, 38.5% in 2013 and more than 40% until end of April this year. Hydro+solar+wind are pushing coal and gas plants out of business.

These are real countries and these are real reductions. Unfortunately they are offset by China. But don't tell me that renewables don't reduce fossil fuel use, because that's just not true.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on June 23, 2014, 05:33:02 AM
Good points, domen. And intermittency can be addressed at least in part by demand management, as it is to some extent now (yes, conventional ff and nuke facilities have 'intermittency' problems of various types, too!).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 23, 2014, 02:29:14 PM
Given the dire situation with atmospheric CO2, I believe we should not rule out any form of energy generation that is not oil, gas, coal and, yes, biomass.

This argument between which should be used is counterproductive. We will need to use all of them. This is coming from someone who would prefer that we not use nuclear.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on June 23, 2014, 02:55:31 PM
Given the dire situation with atmospheric CO2, I believe we should not rule out any form of energy generation that is not oil, gas, coal and, yes, biomass.

This argument between which should be used is counterproductive. We will need to use all of them. This is coming from someone who would prefer that we not use nuclear.
Shared Humanity,

since we have to replace the fossils now (that means, that all new power plants must be CO2 neutral), we have to rule out all technologies, that does not exist now or at least in 10 years. In 10 years 50% of the needed renewables/nuclear/... will be installed and the scaling must be ready.

That is the reason why breeders can be ruled out now like fusion and other future things. They are not ready to build today. And there are some arguments against the set-up of breeders in countries which do not have nuclear weapons right now. You know - breeders are also fabs for plutonium which may have some issues not compatible with world-wide scaling...

In future new technologies may replace wind and solar. But for replacing CO2 emissions within the next 20 years they will play no role. They are to late, if not allready scaled within 10 years.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Lynn Shwadchuck on June 25, 2014, 06:09:05 PM
I've revisited this. My husband is taking a course in energy online at UC San Diego, where the campus' power system is a model of the possibilities for future smart grids where everyone shares in generating, storing and using power. I went to Fairewinds where I've been getting my updates on the Fukushima disaster for years. It's pretty hard to agree that nuclear power could be more than a bridge for a few years.

"In order to produce more nuclear electricity, the nuclear corporations and proponents need you to believe that nuclear power is safe, no one has ever died or become ill from nuclear power accidents, nuclear power will counteract global warming, and it is the cheapest form of power. Listen to Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen tell you the truth about these myths."

[urlhttp://www.fairewinds.org/4-myths-nuclear-industry-wants-believe/[/url]
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on June 26, 2014, 12:48:37 AM
Lynn thanks for the post/link. My lack of faith in nuclear has been related to how expensive it is and how long it really takes to build. The other information sobering. Time for me to share the link further!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 05, 2014, 10:56:27 PM
Interesting:  France plans to reduce nuclear’s place in the country’s energy mix, from 75% down to 50%, as it increases renewables and decreases emissions.

tcktcktck.org/2014/08/eyes-france-government-approves-national-climate-energy-targets/63870  (http://tcktcktck.org/2014/08/eyes-france-government-approves-national-climate-energy-targets/63870)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 06, 2014, 07:48:24 AM
Quote
So it boils down to what do you think is more realistic: scaling nuclear, which is plagued with problems like waste, uranium supply, construction time, cost, or scaling renewables, which requires storage, which we don't have yet (but we will need it for transportation anyway).

We know wind and solar can scale very rapidly.  We're witnessing exponential growth.  China, alone, installed 10 GW of solar in 2013 and is aiming for 14 GW in 2014.

There are no materials limitations and the technical skills for installers are easily and quickly taught (compared to training nuclear engineers and technicians).

We have at least one perfectly acceptable storage option.  We've been using it for 100 years.  Pump-up hydro.

We have some very interesting large scale storage technologies working their way from the lab to the grid, some may not make it, some may.  But if none do, we can build PuHS.  As much as we need on any continent, there are no site shortages.  And build it faster than building a reactor.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: notjonathon on August 06, 2014, 01:27:52 PM
1. TMI
2. Chernobyl
3. Fukushima (also Rokkasho, Monju)
4. WIPP (giving the lie early on regarding safe 100,000-year nuclear disposal and storage)

Add to that the forced decommissioning of San Onofre.



Can it be possible that Fukushima or Chernobyl can show a positive return on investment or  EROEI? Mustn't the cost of decommissioning be added to EROI as well as EROEI? Nuclear has survived only with massive subsidies from government. In Japan, those subsidies have included bribes to poorer towns to accept nuclear facilities. A fraction of those subsidies transferred to renewables will pay back more, faster.

I do agree with Neven that the long-term solution lies in a society making do with less. But as a septuagenerian, I often find it hard to reclaim that energy for a self-sustaining lifestyle that I felt forty years ago. I see the dizzying lights of Tokyo on TV (I hate to go there, and rarely do) and am constantly reminded of Robinson Jeffers' Shine, Vanishing Republic.

As a long-term cynic, I expect the most likely outcome of all this "growth" and "wealth" will be cataclysmic, with most of our last resources (including nuclear ones) spent in some orgy of planet-wide violence whose only positive outcome will be the new ice age of nuclear winter.

A. Hiroshima, Nagasaki
B. Bikini

Today is the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 18, 2014, 02:03:19 PM
"Reliability" is not just a factor with renewable energy sources nowdays.  Aging nuclear plants are spending more and more time off-line.

http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKKBN0GH05U20140817?i=1 (http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKKBN0GH05U20140817?i=1)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on August 18, 2014, 03:41:50 PM
We just don't know what to do with them...
About the subject :
in French : http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/046961-000/centrales-nucleaires-demantelement-impossible (http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/046961-000/centrales-nucleaires-demantelement-impossible)
in German : http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/046961-000/akw-rueckbau-zu-welchem-preis (http://www.arte.tv/guide/de/046961-000/akw-rueckbau-zu-welchem-preis)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 26, 2014, 04:30:00 PM
Senior nuclear expert urges regulators to shut down the California's last plant.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/25/nuclear-plant-diablo-canyon-california-shut-down (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/25/nuclear-plant-diablo-canyon-california-shut-down)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on October 18, 2014, 01:32:03 PM
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

During the period 1975 to 1995 the proportion of global consumption from non carbon sources increased from 6% to 13% as 400 nuclear power stations were constructed, saving 2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and slowing CO2 emissions annual growth to 1.5%.

A successful anti nuclear misinformation campaign from the political left, then convinced the global community that nuclear is more dangerous than climate change and a general phase out of nuclear began with a switch to renewable energy for emissions mitigation.  This mechanism is written into the Kyoto Protocol where parties are to refrain from using emission reductions generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments.  As a result CO2 annual emissions growth over the past 10 years has doubled to 3%.
http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html (http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html)

In the following paper Jim Hansen discusses the slow down in emissions growth due to the rapid nuclear build and the need for the general public to stop funding anti nuclear groups if CO2 emissions are to be reduced.
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on October 18, 2014, 04:11:51 PM
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

During the period 1975 to 1995 the proportion of global consumption from non carbon sources increased from 6% to 13% as 400 nuclear power stations were constructed, saving 2 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and slowing CO2 emissions annual growth to 1.5%.

A successful anti nuclear misinformation campaign from the political left, then convinced the global community that nuclear is more dangerous than climate change and a general phase out of nuclear began with a switch to renewable energy for emissions mitigation.  This mechanism is written into the Kyoto Protocol where parties are to refrain from using emission reductions generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments.  As a result CO2 annual emissions growth over the past 10 years has doubled to 3%.
http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html (http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/global-carbon-emissions.html)

In the following paper Jim Hansen discusses the slow down in emissions growth due to the rapid nuclear build and the need for the general public to stop funding anti nuclear groups if CO2 emissions are to be reduced.
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)

Hansen is wrong on several points. All the talk that anti-nuclear movement is causing global warming is nonsense. It's not the anti-nuclear movement that stopped build-out of nuclear plants, but economics. Fossil fuels are cheaper and make higher profits, that's why people built so many coal plants instead of nuclear.

It's the money that drives these things. China has cheap coal, so they build coal. India has cheap coal, so they build coal. Middle east has cheap oil and gas, so they build oil and gas. France doesn't have neither coal nor oil nor gas, that's why they build nuclear. That's how these things go.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 21, 2014, 12:03:25 AM
Quote
As a young man in the early 1970s I attended a talk by energy engineers where they stated that the only technology able to replace fossil carbon fuels is nuclear.  At this time (1960 to 1975) CO2 emissions were growing rapidly at 4% annually.

In the early 1970s wind and solar were not economically viable sources of electricity and we were still operating under the illusion that nuclear energy would become cheaper.

Over the following four decades the cost of wind electricity has dropped more than 10x and the price of solar panels as dropped 200x while the cost of nuclear energy has continued to increase.

Electricity from a new nuclear plant will cost 3x as much as electricity from a new wind farm and 2x as much as electricity from a new solar farm.

There was a time at which I thought we would have to accept the dangers of nuclear energy in order to avoid the greater risk of climate change, but the economics of renewable energy have made nuclear energy unnecessary.

It's not the early 1970s any longer.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 01, 2014, 02:43:23 AM
UK nuclear plant at ‘significant risk’ due to poor condition of storage ponds containing highly radioactive fuel rods. 
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/29/sellafield-nuclear-radioactive-risk-storage-ponds-fears (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/29/sellafield-nuclear-radioactive-risk-storage-ponds-fears)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: domen_ on November 06, 2014, 08:53:43 PM
Michael Mann short comment on nuclear:

Tackling Climate Change Nationally and Globally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4DeLBUwzQI#ws)

at 57:10

Not as enthusiastic about nuclear as Hansen.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 03, 2014, 10:00:34 PM
Ukrainian PM reports accident at nuclear power plant.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0JH0ZV20141203 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0JH0ZV20141203)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2014, 01:36:12 AM
False alarm?
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-03/ukraine-premier-roils-bonds-with-false-alarm-on-nuclear-accident.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-03/ukraine-premier-roils-bonds-with-false-alarm-on-nuclear-accident.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 06, 2015, 04:51:36 AM
Utilities are closing nuclear plants due to lower energy costs from other sources.
Quote
Exelon Corp. (EXC), the biggest U.S. owner of nuclear reactors, needs to almost double power prices to keep a New York plant running in a move that promises to show just how far regulators will go to keep uneconomic plants operating.
...
Exelon isn’t alone in its struggle with at-risk plants. Four U.S. nuclear reactors were shut in 2013 because they weren’t profitable or needed repairs that owners decided were too costly. Entergy’s Vermont Yankee was closed after it failed to find a buyer. The company blamed “artificially low” power prices for the shutdown.

‘Extraordinary Amount’

A single-unit reactor like Ginna needs as much as $71 a megawatt-hour to earn an 11 percent return and $56 to $64 to break even, based on 2016 forecasts, Exelon said.
...
“Ginna will likely request a contract approximately $80 million a year greater than the market cost of electricity,” said Jessica Azulay, program director of the Syracuse, New York-based Alliance, in a filing. “This is an extraordinary amount of money to be demanded of ratepayers to prop up a private company that has become uncompetitive in the market.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-05/new-york-reactor-s-survival-tests-pricey-nuclear.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-05/new-york-reactor-s-survival-tests-pricey-nuclear.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 30, 2015, 01:00:08 AM
Quote
Two days after a major New England blizzard contributed to the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., the facility remains closed.

Due to climate change, more of the most extreme precipitation events, such as this recent snowfall, are expected to slam the area in the coming decades. Nuclear power critics cite the Pilgrim shutdown as proof the industry isn't ready now—and won't be any time soon.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20150129/winter-storm-exposes-vulnerability-nuclear-power-plants (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20150129/winter-storm-exposes-vulnerability-nuclear-power-plants)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on February 09, 2015, 12:55:41 AM
James Hansen on nuclear power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZExWtXAZ7M (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZExWtXAZ7M)

With emissions increasing at 2.5% per year (average for the past 20 years) we really need to use every non carbon technology that is available if we are to avoid a catastrophic climate change event.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2015, 03:58:53 PM
Why Nuclear Power Is All but Dead in the U.S.
Where there's a will, there's a way. In the U.S.: Not much will.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/soon-it-may-be-easier-to-build-a-nuclear-plant-in-iran-than-in-the-u-s- (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/soon-it-may-be-easier-to-build-a-nuclear-plant-in-iran-than-in-the-u-s-)

Watts Bar Unit 2 was about 80% complete when its construction was stopped in 1988. It is currently being refurbished and tested, and expected to begin commercial operation in 2016, in historically coal-heavy Tennessee.  It will be the first "new" U.S. nuclear energy this century.
http://www.tva.gov/power/nuclear/wattsbar_unit2.htm (http://www.tva.gov/power/nuclear/wattsbar_unit2.htm)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Bar_Nuclear_Generating_Station#Unit_2_construction_project (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Bar_Nuclear_Generating_Station#Unit_2_construction_project)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 25, 2015, 01:56:32 PM
Quake Hits Tokyo Days After Japan OK's Third Nuclear Restart
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/quake-strikes-japan-days-after-nuclear-reactor-signed-n364071 (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/quake-strikes-japan-days-after-nuclear-reactor-signed-n364071)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on May 25, 2015, 05:52:08 PM
This is just dumb. Japan gets quakes of magnitude 5 extremely often - several a month. The quake that devastated Japan was roughly 10,000 times larger. I'm not saying there aren't issues for Japan nuclear but an article hyping a magnitude 5 because it is on an anniversary or on a day plants restart is just silly and not news worthy.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 30, 2015, 02:20:27 PM
How far along is Germany's nuclear phase-out?
Four years after Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power completely, the country's oldest remaining reactor has been shut down. But is Germany's nuclear phase-out on track - and what obstacles does it face?
http://www.dw.com/en/how-far-along-is-germanys-nuclear-phase-out/a-18547065 (http://www.dw.com/en/how-far-along-is-germanys-nuclear-phase-out/a-18547065)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: slow wing on July 01, 2015, 02:19:45 AM
This is just dumb. Japan gets quakes of magnitude 5 extremely often - several a month. The quake that devastated Japan was roughly 10,000 times larger. I'm not saying there aren't issues for Japan nuclear but an article hyping a magnitude 5 because it is on an anniversary or on a day plants restart is just silly and not news worthy.
A couple of points:

1) the Tōhoku earthquake, of magnitude 9.0, and tsunami causing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was actually more than 100,000 times larger in energy released than the recently reported magnitude 5.6 quake - see definition here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude_scale (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude_scale)
(note the "2/3" factor in the defining equation)
That would tend to support your argument, but...

2) prior to the Fukushima disaster, another power plant (Japan's biggest) had already been shut down in 2007 after a nearby earthquake of magnitude 6.6 - i.e. only 30 times the energy of the recent quake and only 1/4000th of the energy of the Tōhoku earthquake. The plant was completely shut down for 21 months and 3 of the 7 reactors were never restarted.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashiwazaki-Kariwa_Nuclear_Power_Plant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashiwazaki-Kariwa_Nuclear_Power_Plant)


  With Japan so active seismically, it's really just a question of when the next seismic nuclear disaster will be whenever nuclear power plants are in operation.

  More than 4 years after the Fukushima disaster, Japan still has all nuclear power plants shut down, though 24 of the 50+ reactors are in the process of restart.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/22/japan-moves-nearer-to-restarting-nuclear-reactors-after-court-gives-go-ahead (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/22/japan-moves-nearer-to-restarting-nuclear-reactors-after-court-gives-go-ahead)
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-G-N/Japan/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-G-N/Japan/)


  In my view, Japan should not restart nuclear power but should instead move aggressively towards 100% sustainable energy technologies.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 16, 2015, 04:00:50 PM
Quote
TOKYO (Reuters) - Solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy besides hydro-electric dams now supply more electricity than nuclear in Japan, China, India and five other major economies accounting for about half the world's population, an atomic industry report shows.

While nuclear stations on average produce about twice as much electricity as renewables annually for every kilowatt installed, the high growth of solar, wind and other renewables means atomic power is fast being eclipsed as nations turn away from the energy source after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0PP0AX20150715 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0PP0AX20150715)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: anotheramethyst on July 17, 2015, 11:16:44 AM
is nuclear energy really carbon neutral?

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2736691/false_solution_nuclear_power_is_not_low_carbon.html (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2736691/false_solution_nuclear_power_is_not_low_carbon.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 11, 2015, 08:14:41 PM
U.S.:  TVA Completes Comprehensive Testing of Watts Bar Unit 2 Systems, demonstrating readiness to prepare to load fuel.
Quote
Located near Spring City, [Tennessee], Watts Bar Unit 2 is approximately 99 percent complete and remains on target to become the first new nuclear generation of the 21st century. When online, it will produce 1,150 megawatts of carbon-free electricity. Combined with the output of the operational Unit 1, the Watts Bar plant will then meet the power needs of 1.3 million homes.
http://www.tva.com/news/releases/julsep15/wb2_comprehensive_testing_complete.html (http://www.tva.com/news/releases/julsep15/wb2_comprehensive_testing_complete.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on August 11, 2015, 11:34:40 PM
U.S.:  TVA Completes Comprehensive Testing of Watts Bar Unit 2 Systems, demonstrating readiness to prepare to load fuel.
Quote
Located near Spring City, [Tennessee], Watts Bar Unit 2 is approximately 99 percent complete and remains on target to become the first new nuclear generation of the 21st century. When online, it will produce 1,150 megawatts of carbon-free electricity. Combined with the output of the operational Unit 1, the Watts Bar plant will then meet the power needs of 1.3 million homes.
http://www.tva.com/news/releases/julsep15/wb2_comprehensive_testing_complete.html (http://www.tva.com/news/releases/julsep15/wb2_comprehensive_testing_complete.html)

about time the US worked on getting it's baseload off of coal and gas.... hopefully this transitional use of nuclear will allow for the proper integration of renewables into the electrical grid.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 04, 2015, 09:14:28 PM
New nuclear power in UK would be the world's most costly, says report
Quote
A total of 11 new nuclear units are planned in the UK, with a combined capacity of nearly 16GW. These are expected to play a key role in decarbonising the UK's power supplies, a step that is essential if the UK is to reach its longer-term economy-wide climate targets cost-effectively.

The first of these was expected to be the Hinkley C scheme, a consortium led by French firm EDF building two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) with a total capacity of 3.2GW. A UK white paper in 2008 said this much nuclear could be bought for £5.6bn.

Originally intended to start operating in 2017, the project was later pushed back to 2023, at a cost of £16bn. Today, EDF said it would be even later because of delays finalising the contract. China General Nuclear Group is due to back the scheme, leading to speculation a deal will be announced when Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the UK on 20 October.
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/09/new-nuclear-power-in-uk-would-be-the-worlds-most-costly-says-report/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/09/new-nuclear-power-in-uk-would-be-the-worlds-most-costly-says-report/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on September 04, 2015, 10:32:19 PM
what a beaurocratic nightmare.  building a standard model reactor should not cause such time and money overruns UNLESS someone is pocketing lots of money, or the design is stupid.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 13, 2015, 04:37:30 PM
Pilgrim Nuclear Plant in Massachusetts to Close by 2019, Owner Says
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/pilgrim-nuclear-plant-massachusetts-close-2019-owner-says-n443566 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/pilgrim-nuclear-plant-massachusetts-close-2019-owner-says-n443566)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 23, 2015, 11:29:35 PM
Say Hello to the First New U.S. Nuclear Plant in Almost 20 Years

The NRC has approved the Watts Bar 2 Reactor
Quote
Remember the last time a new nuclear power plant opened up in the U.S.? If not, that’s excusable. It wasn’t in this century. It was Watts Bar in Tennessee, which opened for business in May 1996.
...
Watts Bar Unit 2 is new because it just got permission to operate, but its design and technology are very much a thing of the past. Construction at Watts Bar actually began way back in 1973, and continued until 1985. That’s when major safety concerns delayed the opening of the first reactor until 1996 and TVA abandoned plans to finish the second, which they only decided to restart in 2007.

“It’s a 20th-century reactor—it’s not a 21st-century reactor,” says Dave Lochbaum, who worked for the TVA as a nuclear engineer in the 1980s and now directs the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It’s called ‘new build’ but there’s an asterisk on that.”

The TVA’s decision not to try something new and fancy was a practical one, Lochbaum explains: There was less risk in replicating a design they had already built and operated for years. That means, though, that Watts Bar 2 tells us less about the next generation of nuclear plants than the facilities under construction in South Carolina and Georgia, which will use a newer, more modular Westinghouse AP1000 reactor that is billed as being safer and more cost-effective.
http://www.citylab.com/politics/2015/10/say-hello-to-the-first-new-us-nuclear-plant-in-almost-20-years/411850/ (http://www.citylab.com/politics/2015/10/say-hello-to-the-first-new-us-nuclear-plant-in-almost-20-years/411850/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Theta on October 23, 2015, 11:48:02 PM
I always thought support for nuclear was reasonable, but since this forum is a Climate Change forum that focuses on possible disruption because of Climate Change, there is the issue of Spent Fuel Rods, so in essence, nuclear power has the capacity to change the face of planet earth in a fashion that probably outweighs climate change because from my understanding; spent fuel rod fire = nuclear wasteland.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on October 24, 2015, 07:11:49 AM
Quote
I always thought support for nuclear was reasonable, but since this forum is a Climate Change forum that focuses on possible disruption because of Climate Change, there is the issue of Spent Fuel Rods, so in essence, nuclear power has the capacity to change the face of planet earth in a fashion that probably outweighs climate change because from my understanding; spent fuel rod fire = nuclear wasteland.

Hansen is constantly warning that spreading anti science misinformation about nuclear energy is counterproductive to CO2 emissions reduction.   
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)

Chernobyl which had no containment dome was the worst nuclear accident in history yet the other reactors at the site continued to operate into the 1990’s with the last closing in 1999.
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html)

This NRC site also refers to the United Nations UNSCEAR and WHO reports on the health effects of this accident.
These are insignificant compared to the burning of fossil and biomass fuels for energy, where 8 million people die annually from indoor and outdoor carbon pollution.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/)

The Chernobyl exclusion zone has also seen the return of many wildlife species suggesting that the presence of humans is much more dangerous than radiation.
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)00988-4 (http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)00988-4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-SEQlTo0NM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-SEQlTo0NM)

The scientific evidence shows nuclear power generation is much safer than fossil fuel power generation even before the climate change consequences are considered.

History shows only one successful total transition to non fossil carbon electrical energy generation, France which built 63GW of nuclear between 1975 and 1995.  Today their emissions are just 77gms/kWh, 5 times less than Denmark and 6 times less than Germany.
See page 71, Table 1 of this paper.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03721426.2015.1035217 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03721426.2015.1035217)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Theta on October 24, 2015, 02:49:32 PM
Quote
I always thought support for nuclear was reasonable, but since this forum is a Climate Change forum that focuses on possible disruption because of Climate Change, there is the issue of Spent Fuel Rods, so in essence, nuclear power has the capacity to change the face of planet earth in a fashion that probably outweighs climate change because from my understanding; spent fuel rod fire = nuclear wasteland.

Hansen is constantly warning that spreading anti science misinformation about nuclear energy is counterproductive to CO2 emissions reduction.   
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)

Chernobyl which had no containment dome was the worst nuclear accident in history yet the other reactors at the site continued to operate into the 1990’s with the last closing in 1999.
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html)

This NRC site also refers to the United Nations UNSCEAR and WHO reports on the health effects of this accident.
These are insignificant compared to the burning of fossil and biomass fuels for energy, where 8 million people die annually from indoor and outdoor carbon pollution.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/ (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/)

The Chernobyl exclusion zone has also seen the return of many wildlife species suggesting that the presence of humans is much more dangerous than radiation.
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)00988-4 (http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(15)00988-4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-SEQlTo0NM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-SEQlTo0NM)

The scientific evidence shows nuclear power generation is much safer than fossil fuel power generation even before the climate change consequences are considered.

History shows only one successful total transition to non fossil carbon electrical energy generation, France which built 63GW of nuclear between 1975 and 1995.  Today their emissions are just 77gms/kWh, 5 times less than Denmark and 6 times less than Germany.
See page 71, Table 1 of this paper.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03721426.2015.1035217 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03721426.2015.1035217)

Yeah, but if we continue in the direction that we are going, nuclear power will mean nothing because people will abandon these sites, and the long term problems will lead to horrible consequences that could even be worse than Climate Change

Here's why:

Quote
A typical 1 GWe PWR core contains about 80 t fuels. Each year about one third of the core fuel is discharged into the pool. A pool with 15 year storage capacity will hold about 400 t spent fuel.

To estimate the Cs-137 inventory in the pool, for example, we assume the Cs137 inventory at shutdown is about 0.1 MCi/tU with a burn-up of 50,000 MWt-day/tU, thus the pool with 400 t of ten year old SNF would hold about 33 MCi Cs-137. [7]

Assuming a 50-100% Cs137 release during a spent fuel fire, [8] the consequence of the Cs-137 exceed those of the Chernobyl accident 8-17 times (2MCi release from Chernobyl). Based on the wedge model, the contaminated land areas can be estimated. [9] For example, for a scenario of a 50% Cs-137 release from a 400 t SNF pool, about 95,000 km² (as far as 1,350 km) would be contaminated above 15 Ci/km² (as compared to 10,000 km² contaminated area above 15 Ci/km² at Chernobyl).

Risk of Spent Fuel Pools at Reprocessing Plants

Another risk is from the spent fuel pools at reprocessing plants.

A reprocessing plant has even greater pool storage capacity than that of a reactor pool. Before reprocessing, the received spent fuels are stored in wet pools at the reprocessing plants.

The buildings that house the pools could be even weaker than those pools at reactor sites. In particular, the roof of the building could be more vulnerable. Most of the sabotage scenarios conceivable for reactor pools could be applied to these pools at reprocessing plants.

Even though this would not ignite a spent fuel fire, a significant fraction of Cs-137 in the rods could be released into the atmosphere. For example, a pool with 2,000 t ten-year-old SNF would hold about 170 MCi Cs-137. If 3% of this Cs-137 inventory were released, [17] about 5 MCi Cs-137 would be released, which is two times more than the 1986 Chernobyl accident. Furthermore, terrorists could pour fuel in the pool and start a fire that would cause ignition of the zircaloy cladding and lead to a greater release of the Cs-137 inventory.

Recent results from France indicate that heating at 1,500 °C of high-burnup spent fuel for one hour caused the release of 26% of the Cs inventory. [18]

Thus it would release about 44 MCi of Cs-137 into the environment, which would be twenty times more than the 1986 Chernobyl accident.

Some experts are already concerned about the possible consequence of a terrorist attack on the La Hague nuclear reprocessing facilities.

As a COGEMA-La Hague spokesman declared after September 11, as far as the design basis is concerned, the facilities are no more protected against an airliner crash than any other nuclear power station. [20]

The World Information Service on Energy, Wise-Paris, estimated the potential impact of a major accident in La Hague’s pools. [21] The calculation was made for the case of an explosion and/or fire in the spent fuel storage pool D (the smallest one), assuming that it is filled up to half of its normal capacity of 3,490 t, supposing a release of up to 100% of Cs-137.

Based solely on the stock of Cs-137 in pool D, it is shown that a major accident in this pool could have an impact up to 67 times that of the Chernobyl accident.

Moreover, the total Cs-137 inventory in the pools of La Hague reprocessing facilities is about 7,500 kg, 280 times as much as the Cs-137 amount released from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.


http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/publication/364/radiological_terrorism.html (http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/publication/364/radiological_terrorism.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on December 28, 2015, 10:37:59 AM

Is that including clean-up and storage of radioactive materials, because France is having problems with that (costing way much more money than anticipated, and money often is a proxy for energy use).

Neven
The nuclear waste total volumes are very small, just 2700 cubic metres of high-level waste (HLW) by 2010 and expected to be just 5,300 cubic metres by 2030.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-France_details_nuclear_waste_inventory-0608124.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-France_details_nuclear_waste_inventory-0608124.html)
Thanks for this. At the end of the article it says: "Assuming that France's current fleet of nuclear power reactors are granted 50-year operating lives and that all used fuel is processed, Andra forecasts that the national radioactive waste inventory will increase to 1.9 million m3 by 2020, with 45,000 m3 of ILW and 4000 m3 of HLW. By 2030, the inventory will reach 2.7 million m3, with 49,000 m3 of ILW and 5300 m3 of HLW."

I really know nothing of the subject, but do this numbers include the entire decommissioning of nuclear power plants? How much energy/CO2 does it take to tear down, transport and bury 2.7 million m3 of concrete and other materials? Is this included in the 40 g/kWh number?

I'm not so much interested in the high-level radiating stuff (although I think burying something for thousands of years is pretty crazy), but in the amount of CO2 it takes to dispose of the bulky, low-level stuff.

Quote
Note also the IPCC reports that “The life cycle GHG emissions per kWh from nuclear power plants are two orders of magnitude lower than those of fossil-fuelled electricity generation and comparable to most renewables.”
If it's comparable to most renewables, then it would make sense to go for renewables, because a) much easier to build out fast, starting now (nuclear takes ages) and b) decentralized power is much better for democracy.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on December 28, 2015, 12:13:07 PM
I really know nothing of the subject, but do this numbers include the entire decommissioning of nuclear power plants? How much energy/CO2 does it take to tear down, transport and bury 2.7 million m3 of concrete and other materials? Is this included in the 40 g/kWh number?
Neven, nobody can tell this for sure today. We do not have scientific data because the first    retreating working (? proper translation for "Rückbau", deconstruction?) is still in the work since 1995 (plant Greifswald). It is safe to say that the deconstruction takes longer and is more expensive than the construction http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/rueckbau-von-atomkraftwerken-der-teuerste-abriss-der-geschichte-1.2402674 (http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/rueckbau-von-atomkraftwerken-der-teuerste-abriss-der-geschichte-1.2402674) . For the larger power plants no experience exists.

Here in Germany the operators of the nuclear power plants were forced to accumulate reserves (money) for the deconstruction. It is not clear if the money will be enough (40 billions) and if the operators will survive, since the same operators loose money everyday by burning lignite.

The storage of the radioactive materials is of course the matter of the people and their children (by law, that promise was to convince the industry to get into the nuclear boat in former days). It is likely, that we will have to take care for that waste for ever. Just take a closer look at the "ultimate disposal place" for low/medium radioactive material "Asse II" which collapsed allready and everthing has to be removed from there https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schachtanlage_Asse (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schachtanlage_Asse) .

(Attached picture: nuclear waste "stored" 750 below surface, source: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/probleme-bei-bergung-atommuell-muss-womoeglich-in-der-asse-bleiben-13595392.html (http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/probleme-bei-bergung-atommuell-muss-womoeglich-in-der-asse-bleiben-13595392.html) )

No - we do not have any scientific data for the treatment of relicts of nuclear power plants. It is just trial and error. With a lot of errors...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on December 29, 2015, 03:24:33 AM
China’s Trillion Dollar Nuclear Plan

http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Chinas-1-Trillion-Nuclear-Plan.html (http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/Chinas-1-Trillion-Nuclear-Plan.html)

"China is big on Five Year Plans, and its latest one, which covers 2016-2020, has the government investing $78 billion to build seven new reactors a year from 2016 for the next five years. According to the plan, the country will reach 88 gigawatts of nuclear power by the end of 2020. By 2030 China is expected to have 110 reactors in operation and by 2050, the country will need around $1 trillion to expand its atomic capacity by up to 250 gigawatts, which would account for a quarter of the world's nuclear power, according to the International Energy Agency."

Chinese annual electricity CO2 emissions are currently 3.5 billion tonnes (700g/kWh).

If this nuclear plan reduces emissions to French levels (40g/kWh), then this will be a significant win for CO2 mitigation and the climate.

If China only uses weather dependent renewable energy and achieves German levels (512g/kWh) the CO2 mitigation savings will be less than required as they will still be dependent on coal to provide electricity when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 03, 2016, 07:31:56 PM
Paris Fails to Revive the Nuclear Dream
Quote
In Paris, in early December, the advocates of nuclear power made yet another appeal to world leaders to adopt their technology as central to saving the planet from dangerous climate change.

Yet analysis of the plans of 195 governments that signed up to the Paris agreement, each with their own individual schemes on how to reduce national carbon emissions, show that nearly all of them exclude nuclear power.
http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/31/paris-fails-nuclear-dream/ (http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/31/paris-fails-nuclear-dream/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 04, 2016, 01:50:51 AM
Paris Fails to Revive the Nuclear Dream
Quote
In Paris, in early December, the advocates of nuclear power made yet another appeal to world leaders to adopt their technology as central to saving the planet from dangerous climate change.

Yet analysis of the plans of 195 governments that signed up to the Paris agreement, each with their own individual schemes on how to reduce national carbon emissions, show that nearly all of them exclude nuclear power.
http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/31/paris-fails-nuclear-dream/ (http://ecowatch.com/2015/12/31/paris-fails-nuclear-dream/)


The bottom line as Hansen keeps pointing out is CO2 emissions from fossil fuel generation, particularly coal must be reduced to near zero by mid-century or just after if we are to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming.

History tells us that the most significant emissions reductions have been achieved using nuclear power as demonstrated by France which in just 20 years replaced nearly all its fossil fuel electricity generation.
http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

History also shows that no country has achieved the same scale of reductions using renewables, energy efficiency measures or fossil carbon capture and storage as indicated by most COP21 plans.

If we are serious about CO2 mitigation we must use every technology available to achieve the emission reductions required.

In my country, Australia both major political parties just use climate change and carbon mitigation issues for short term political gain while maintaining the status quo.  Until there is bipartisan agreement like the UK we will make no progress on emissions reduction.

The UK Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target.  It aims to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions/2010-to-2015-government-policy-greenhouse-gas-emissions.)

This Act and the subsequent Carbon Plan, based on science not ideology has the support of the three major political parties in the UK.

The Carbon Plan can be found at;
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47621/1358-the-carbon-plan.pdf (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47621/1358-the-carbon-plan.pdf)

A government video (unfortunately poor quality) detailing the Carbon Plan progress and future emission reduction goals can be found at;
http://www.iema.net/event-reports/uk-carbon-plan-decc (http://www.iema.net/event-reports/uk-carbon-plan-decc)

The Carbon Plan uses every CO2 mitigation strategy that is available and if every global major economy had a similar plan, there would be real hope that emissions could be reduced sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Note that Professor David McKay (I am not anti renewables, I am pro arithmetic, plans must add up!) had a big input into this Carbon Plan.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0W1ZZYIV8o (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0W1ZZYIV8o)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: silkman on January 04, 2016, 09:40:47 AM
Tom

I fervently wish that your faith in the previous UK Coalition Government's Carbon Plan was well placed.

Yes, it was both ground breaking and legally binding when driven through by the Conservative's Liberal Democrat partners as a price for their support but has it has any real impact? The simple answer is no.


Cameron moved rapidly from his commitment to be the "greenest government ever" to "getting rid of this green crap" and through obfuscation, neglect and budget cuts has quietly canned the Plan.

Here's just a few examples:

Electricity generation - reduction in renewable support through feed in tariffs,  continued subsidies for Carbon industries, a massive push for fracking and cancellation of CCS investment.

Housing - cancellation of the Green Deal and abandonment of plans to tighten Building Regulations

Transport - commitment to a new runway at Heathrow

The list goes on.

I don't think you can look to the current UK government for leadership right now, I'm afraid.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 04, 2016, 11:24:42 AM
Silkman
 
At least you have a realistic Carbon Plan with goals out to 2050, here in Oz we only have rhetoric and minimal goals which are supported by the voting public.

To date your plan is heading in the right direction and as the climate issue becomes more urgent in the eyes of the voters it will become more and more important for Governments to meet the Carbon Plan commitments or pay the price at the ballot box.

If the global and UK community generally does not give support to such plans then our descendants will bear the consequences.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: silkman on January 04, 2016, 01:02:14 PM
Tom

I totally agree that the Plan was visionary, pointed us very much in the right direction and had the potential to allow us to take a leadership role as the world (hopefully) starts to recognise the existential nature of the threat.

I'm sorry to say that, as ever, short term political expediency has pushed the long term agenda onto the back burner.

We'll miss our 2020 targets, let alone later ones. Sorry to be so negative!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 04, 2016, 02:44:27 PM
History tells us that the most significant emissions reductions have been achieved using nuclear power as demonstrated by France which in just 20 years replaced nearly all its fossil fuel electricity generation.
http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

History also shows that no country has achieved the same scale of reductions using renewables, energy efficiency measures or fossil carbon capture and storage as indicated by most COP21 plans.

If we are serious about CO2 mitigation we must use every technology available to achieve the emission reductions required.

Given the exponential decrease in the price of solar (it follows a nearly straight line on a log scale), and the exponential increase in solar installation, one cannot simply look at past efforts and say the success of future efforts will be similar.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-law-apply-to-solar-cells/ (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-law-apply-to-solar-cells/)

While I agree that many different strategies should be used to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions, we should think carefully about whether any particular solution might help now -- but kill us later.  Increased energy efficiency, for example, could offest the need for interim nuclear power, without attendant waste storage nightmares.  I would prefer to see efforts directed that way.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 05, 2016, 01:58:58 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svlU6p0gHgo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svlU6p0gHgo)

At 4:20 minutes Kevin Anderson and Hugh Hunt give the scale of the fossil CO2 mitigation task, 5 tonnes of CO2 waste every year is emitted for every person on the planet. 

At 5:20 minutes for the richest 1% it is 300 tonnes of CO2 and for the richest 10% it is 25 to 30 tonnes of CO2.

The richest 10% emit 50% of global CO2 emissions.

Hansen is right we need every low carbon technology that is available if we are to have any chance of success.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 06, 2016, 01:32:59 PM

At 5:20 minutes for the richest 1% it is 300 tonnes of CO2 and for the richest 10% it is 25 to 30 tonnes of CO2.

The richest 10% emit 50% of global CO2 emissions.

Hansen is right we need every low carbon technology that is available if we are to have any chance of success.

Or, we make it harder for the richest 1 or 10% to be such profligate wasters of energy -- by regulation, or by shaming, perhaps.  Both have had their successes.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: magnamentis on January 06, 2016, 06:25:05 PM
absolutely, those who can afford it should support and make use of all the expensive first generation technology to contribute. i always think about putting more panels on the roof, buying a better more efficient hybrid or electric car or how to find the space for one of those garage size heat exchangers that provides electricity for an entire condominium residential settlement. :-)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on January 07, 2016, 05:50:53 AM
garage size heat exchangers that provides electricity for an entire condominium residential settlement. :-)


I'd appreciate a link to this most interesting technology.
Thanks
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: magnamentis on January 07, 2016, 12:09:30 PM
check this:
i heard about this from one of my clients who is currently negotiating with the german government as to power refugee camps. of course there is more to it but i'm a mere retired business consultant and not in technology  ;)
http://www.avp-energy.com (http://www.avp-energy.com)
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46421818/W%C3%A4rmetauscher_ICPT/Technische%20Daten%20STRATEGE.pdf)(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46421818/W%C3%A4rmetauscher_ICPT/Technisches%20Datenblatt%20Wechselrichter.pdf)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on January 07, 2016, 02:52:34 PM
Current status of nuclear reactor construction in china:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china--nuclear-power/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china--nuclear-power/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2016, 08:00:01 PM
Current status of nuclear reactor construction in china:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china--nuclear-power/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china--nuclear-power/)

Quite an article.  This jumped out at me:
Quote
SCRO report on nuclear investment and safety

In January 2011 a report from the State Council Research Office (SCRO), which makes independent policy recommendations to the State Council on strategic matters, was published. While approving the enormous progress made on many fronts, it cautioned concerning provincial and corporate enthusiasm for new nuclear power plants and said that the 2020 target should be restricted to 70 GWe of new plant actually operating so as to avoid placing undue demand on quality control issues in the supply chain. Another 30 GWe could be under construction. It emphasised that the priority needed to be resolutely on Generation-III technology, notably the AP1000 and derivatives. However, ambitious targets to deploy AP1000s with reduced foreign input had proved difficult, and as a result, more of the Generation-II CPR-1000 units are under construction or on order. Only China is building Gen-II units today in such large numbers, with 57 (53.14 GWe) on the books.

SCRO said that reactors built today should operate for 50 or 60 years, meaning a large fleet of Gen-II units will still be in operation into the 2070s, when even Gen-III reactors would have given way to Generation-IV and perhaps even to commercial nuclear fusion. The country should be 'careful' concerning 'the volume of second generation units under construction... the scale should not be too large' to avoid any perception of being below international standards of safety in future, when most of the world's Gen-II reactors are retired. The SCRO noted the 100-fold increase in probabilistic safety brought by Gen-III, and that future generations would continue the trend.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 19, 2016, 12:19:04 AM
Some good news for the climate, French electricity CO2 emissions remain at very low levels for 2015 (44g/kWh) which are more than 10 times less than Germany (569g/kWh).

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

http://decrypterlenergie.org/en/la-sortie-du-nucleaire-en-allemagne-entraine-t-elle-une-hausse-des-emissions-de-co2 (http://decrypterlenergie.org/en/la-sortie-du-nucleaire-en-allemagne-entraine-t-elle-une-hausse-des-emissions-de-co2)

Unfortunately while Germany achieved record renewable electricity outputs for 2015, decarbonisation of the energy system is stagnating and unchanged since 2011 (see page 41 in the following report). 

http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf (http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2016, 04:41:24 AM
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:  "Yesterday I that learned radioactive tritium-contaminated water leaked into groundwater at Indian Point."
https://twitter.com/nygovcuomo/status/696073181820534785 (https://twitter.com/nygovcuomo/status/696073181820534785)

Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Regarding Indian Point Nuclear Facility
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/statement-governor-andrew-m-cuomo-regarding-indian-point-nuclear-facility (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/statement-governor-andrew-m-cuomo-regarding-indian-point-nuclear-facility)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on February 10, 2016, 02:02:10 PM
If the self luminescent exit sign reported lost in Steamboat Springs, Colorado was broken and the tritium was dissolved into water, it would contaminate 940,000 litres of water to the “alarming” level of 8,000,000 pCi/litre that has Governor Cuomo in a tizzy about the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.
http://atomicinsights.com/spills-are-not-leaks-tritium-should-never-alarm-anyone/ (http://atomicinsights.com/spills-are-not-leaks-tritium-should-never-alarm-anyone/)

This is an example of the anti science, anti nuclear political misinformation that Jim Hansen compares to climate denial as the biggest barriers to effective CO2 mitigation.

By installing 63GW of nuclear power France has reduced CO2 electricity emissions to just 44g/kWh.
http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

By comparison Germany since 2000 has installed 80GW of renewable energy for almost unchanged CO2 emissions which at 484g/kWh are currently more than ten times higher than France.  Electricity CO2 emissions in 2015 were 313M tonnes (see page 41) and electricity production was 647TWh (see page 13).
http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf (http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf)

My spreadsheet says that at the current CO2 emissions reduction rate Germany will fall to French CO2 emissions levels by 2164 providing they do not close any more nuclear reactors.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 6roucho on February 19, 2016, 05:15:38 PM
[snip]
By installing 63GW of nuclear power France has reduced CO2 electricity emissions to just 44g/kWh.
http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

By comparison Germany since 2000 has installed 80GW of renewable energy for almost unchanged CO2 emissions which at 484g/kWh are currently more than ten times higher than France.  Electricity CO2 emissions in 2015 were 313M tonnes (see page 41) and electricity production was 647TWh (see page 13).[/snip]

That's misleading, bordering on disinformation. It's facile to equate Germany's increased use of renewables to their higher C02 emissions than France. That's due to their relatively greater use of coal than France.

Renewables have helped buffer Germany's GHG inventory from increases inherent in greater coal use.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2016, 03:43:42 PM
If you don't read the manual, it's not a meltdown?   ::)

Fukushima Operator Admits It Didn't Reveal Meltdown for Months
Quote
TEPCO said that after reviewing their company manual its officials realized that if a reactor core was more than 5 percent damaged, the incident should be immediately declared a meltdown.

Two days after the earthquake and tsunami, the monitoring system at the plant indicated that Reactor Unit No. 1 was 55 percent damaged, while Reactor Unit No. 2 was 30 percent damaged. Reactor 2 was discovered to be 35 percent damaged on the March 15, said Satoshi Togawa, a spokesman for the company said on Thursday.
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fukushima-operator-admits-it-didn-t-reveal-meltdown-months-n525431 (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fukushima-operator-admits-it-didn-t-reveal-meltdown-months-n525431)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on March 24, 2016, 01:23:41 AM
The following quote is from Robertscribbler, for he like Hansen realizes that the climate change impacts will be far greater, than the perceived risks from nuclear power.  He says;

"At this point we need rapid draw downs in global carbon emissions starting now — not in 2020, not in 2030. Hansen recommends a 6 percent annual reduction in carbon emissions. We’re not going to get that with current global policy so we need an outside push to make that happen. In the 1970s, 150 nuclear power plants were blocked due to a movement that fed on environmental concerns surrounding nuclear power. Well the coal and gas and oil will lock in impacts far, far worse than 150 nuclear power plants if we allow them to keep adding extraction, production, and transport infrastructure for their dangerous products. What we’ll see this Century, if we don’t stop them, is the start of a new hothouse extinction that will likely be worse than all the others. We simply cannot allow that to happen."

http://robertscribbler.com/2016/03/22/ten-times-faster-than-a-hothouse-extinction-human-carbon-emission-is-worst-in-at-least-66-million-years/ (http://robertscribbler.com/2016/03/22/ten-times-faster-than-a-hothouse-extinction-human-carbon-emission-is-worst-in-at-least-66-million-years/)

The United Nations UNSCEAR reports show the actual impacts of nuclear accidents.  Basically the panic response at both Chernobyl and Fukushima, together with anti science misinformation caused more issues than the radiation.

http://www.unscear.org/ (http://www.unscear.org/)

France produces most of it electricity from nuclear and has very low CO2 emissions of just 44g/kWh.

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

This is significantly less than countries with renewable only policies like Denmark 385g, Germany 512g, Italy 527g, Spain 455g and Australia 885g.

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/Tables/t0305.pdf (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/Tables/t0305.pdf)



 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: folke_kelm on March 24, 2016, 02:17:08 AM
This whole discussion about nuclear ignores some important facts, just like deniers ignore facts about climate change.

There is not enough fuel for more reactors (see IEA studie of available uranium)
The whole fleet of reactors is of rather old age
a nuclear reactor is mechanical designed for a lifetime up to 40 years
Critical components of a nuclear reactor can not be replaced.
the design limit of component failure is defined with a gaussian distribution of failure, a very steep one. Once you exceed the design life time you are in big trouble.
New reactors can not compete with renewables

Why invest huge amounts of money in big reactors when you are able to get more from renewables? Why hang on "big is beautiful" for dear life?

Let us all invest in solar and batteries and forget fossil AND nuclear

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 24, 2016, 02:52:41 AM
Well put, folke_kelm.

On top of those excellent points, it must be pointed out that we are almost certainly headed for total or near total collapse of civilizations.

In such cases, nearly every part of the built infrastructure will be vulnerable to neglect at best and terrorism at worst.

Neglect a solar panel or windmill and nothing much happens, and even intentional harm won't bring about essentially any widespread damage or threat.

The same cannot be said about any nuclear plant.

The faster we close down and dismantle all nuclear plants, the better.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 24, 2016, 05:31:48 PM
 :-\ 

yeah, not really.  IAEA expects an expansion of nuclear in coming years, no indication of a 'global' shortage of uranium to be had.

Older plants are older and need to be replaced, not doing so would currently require about 400% more fossil fuel emissions for creation of renewable resources with approximately 1/3 of the annual generating capacity plus the (currently unavailable) grid-level storage technology that would have to store several week's worth of generation in the event of low-renewable production periods (cloudy days, no wind).

The LCOE of wind is projected to be slightly lower than advanced nuclear in 2020 and the LCOE of solar is projected to be much higher but is likely overstated by the EIA.  In any event, LCOE only looks at generation potential, not the costs associated with grid redesign, additional capacity buildouts needed to replace a nuclear power plant equivalent generation potential.

If we dismantle our nuclear power plants immediately we will significantly increase our GHG emissions, if we try to electrify our transportation and manufacturing sectors we will require a 40% increase in total domestic power generation. 

If we do this right now with the current mix of fossil fuel and nuclear it would push back the GHG emissions reductions by over 25 years.  Nuclear buildouts must be a critical part of the decarbonization plan. anything else is greenwashing and self-defeating.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SATire on March 24, 2016, 09:59:52 PM
hm - for me it makes no sens to discuss nuclear versus renewables. Renewables will be necessary in future anyway - with or without nuclear.

If one wants to follow Hansen (this is the subject here), then it is his opinion that fossils are faster to be reduced by using nuclear as much as possible today. Differences in opinion are obvious: Some rate the cost of nuclear waste storage and the risk of nuclear accidents higher than others. Why? I am sure it is not because of "anti science, anti nuclear political misinformation" such kind of "denial-like" propaganda wording. There must be real reasons for the differences in opinions.

I want to try to find them to clear the view here a bit:

1. The risk of an accident and its rating. The probability for accidents is low and the effect is large. Thus the "real" evaluation is difficult, also for science. So personal opinion may be valid here as basis for the rating and such ratings should be respected from both sides. It is a tie.

2. The costs of long-term storage. This is a fact everywhere in the world - the costs are very close to infinity on the long run, since the waste must be kept for geological time-frames and there is no safe permanent storage place existent. One must watch all day and take it from here to there every now and then. So why do we have different opinions about this point? Some neglect it and some take it very seriously. E.g. in France waste from nuclear power plants is considered a minor thing while in Germany it is considered a major cost effect and thread. Why?

Simple answer: Because in France nuclear waste from nuclear power plants is in fact a minor task - compared e.g. with waste from military nuclear use. Same in USA, Russia, North Korea... Nuclear waste from power plants is a small (single digit) percentage of total nuclear waste in case a nation developed the nuclear bomb.
This is obviously not the case in countries without nuclear weapons. E.g. in Germany most nuclear waste is from nuclear power plants (and a bit from medicine or research). Thus the nuclear waste problem can be reduced significantly in such countries by stepping out of nuclear. That is why the people want it so in such countries. And since a lot of countries are democracies it must be done so.

In democracies with nuclear weapons it makes not much of a difference for the local people to step out of nuclear - so they are also right in staying with nuclear. I would not call them politically misinformed (like I would say if someone in Germany says so), if they ask for more nuclear power. 

I hope that helps a bit to get over the "walls in the minds" here. In Germany nuclear just does not make sense anymore: Nuclear here was mainly usefull for "base load" (this word was invented because nuclear power plants came up). There was no real need for base load and in future there will be even less, since the "base" is energy consumption minus generation from renewables: Fluctuating extremely. All German nuclear power plants are not designed to follow load and thus they are useless - no matter how much electricity they produce. Btw - same is true (at least 50%, since it follow a bit between 50-100%) also for lignite burning and RWE is in deep trouble allready. This is the next thing to step out after nuclear, therefore.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on March 25, 2016, 12:36:19 AM
Ontario has closed all its coal burning power stations a big win for the climate and the environment!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJar8wQj5_k&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJar8wQj5_k&feature=youtu.be)

How did they do it. 

They use mainly hydro and nuclear to generate their power resulting in an electricity grid emitting less than 50g/kWh of CO2 emissions!

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html (http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html)

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.





Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 25, 2016, 05:08:26 AM
The cost of electricity from new nuclear reactors runs from 13 to 19 cents in western Europe and the US.  Those are subsidized costs, the actual cost is higher.

When the new Vogtle reactors come online their electricity will cost 13c/kWh if there are no more budget overruns.  It is highly unlikely future reactors can produce electricity at that price because the Vogtle reactor projects were begun during the Great Recession and they received extremely low rate financing. 

Hinkley Point is being contracted at 15c/kWh.  The low bid for new reactors at North Anna (Virginia) would have meant 19c/kWh electricity.

In 2014 the unsubsidized contract price of onshore wind in the US was just under 4c/kWh.  The unsubsidized contract price of PV solar was about 6c/kWh.

The price of wind and solar continue to fall.  Both will likely contract about 1c/kWh lower in 2016.  Both should be close to 3c/kWh before a new reactor could begin construction and come online.

For new nuclear to be economically competitive it would have to drop more than 2/3rds in cost.  Consider what it would take to reduce the cost of any construction project by 67% or more.

A few more reactors might be built.  Some people need to learn the hard way.  But barring an unforeseen very major breakthrough in nuclear energy it appears that the age of nuclear energy is drawing to a close.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 25, 2016, 01:02:13 PM
"the age of nuclear energy is drawing to a close"

Hurray!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 25, 2016, 01:36:06 PM
Fossil Fuel and nuclear have to be phased out quickly, not for the same reasons. The consequence is we have to restructure completely our societies that cannot live without the actual quantity of energy. Cities have to be diminished to fit ecological footprint fast, we have to enhance solar organic and tax more all other type of energies, that is to facilitate what can be done and recycled locally, etc...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Theta on March 25, 2016, 07:59:01 PM
Well put, folke_kelm.

On top of those excellent points, it must be pointed out that we are almost certainly headed for total or near total collapse of civilizations.

In such cases, nearly every part of the built infrastructure will be vulnerable to neglect at best and terrorism at worst.

Neglect a solar panel or windmill and nothing much happens, and even intentional harm won't bring about essentially any widespread damage or threat.

The same cannot be said about any nuclear plant.

The faster we close down and dismantle all nuclear plants, the better.

The collapse of civilisation is something that worries me a lot about the nuclear power plants because I subscribe to the idea that it'll happen overnight, and when it does happen, nobody will be monitoring them, so spent fuel rods are likely to go up in flames and spread radiation everywhere on the planet, thus doing damage that rivals that of Climate Change and an asteroid combined. At least, that's what I get from the OurFiniteWorld Comment Section.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Laurent on March 25, 2016, 08:46:55 PM
Do not worry too much, it is a fact, a possibility ! Just ask your politicians to phase out nuclear and on your side go away from big cities, try to regroup collectively and be as much autonomous (individually and collectively) as possible. I am still using the electric boiler everyday... My providers assert the electricity is produced with renewable.
French company, but may be you have the equivalent : http://www.enercoop.fr/ (http://www.enercoop.fr/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on March 26, 2016, 11:44:29 AM
Quote
Brussels attacks: Nuclear alert after security officer found dead with his pass missing (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/12204863/Brussels-terror-attacks-nuclear-isil-suspects-victims-latest.html)

 A security officer at a Belgian nuclear plant has been found dead with his work pass stolen. This disturbing development, revealed by the newspaper Derniere Heure on Saturday, follows concerns that the Brussels bombers wanted to build a radioactive dirty bomb — but apparently shelved the plan after security was stepped up at Belgium’s nuclear plants following intelligence warnings.

The security officer was murdered on Thursday evening as he walked his dog in the city of Charleroi, but news of the killing only emerged on Saturday. His pass was quickly cancelled, according to officials.

Investigators are exploring a theory that the man, who has not been named, was killed to steal his pass and gain access to a nuclear facility. Nuclear power plants are known to be targets for the terror network behind the Brussels bombings and the Paris attacks in November.

 Eleven nuclear workers in Belgium had their work passes revoked after intelligence warnings.

Ibrahim and Khalid El-Bakraoui, the two brothers believed to have blown themselves up at Brussels airport and a metro station, are also suspected of involvement in an Islamic State plot to make a bomb that could have contaminated a large populated area with radioactive material.

A senior nuclear industry official was secretly filmed by jihadists last year, Belgium’s nuclear authority said, apparently with the intention of abducting him and obtaining radioactive material.

The El-Bakraoui brothers were linked to the surveillance of the head of Belgium’s nuclear research and development programme.

 However, soldiers were not deployed to guard nuclear facilities until March 4 - two weeks after the filming was discovered. Despite the revelation of the surveillance on February 17, the interior minister, Jan Jambon, initially rejected the proposal, saying: “Nothing indicates a specific threat to nuclear power plants… This is why we are not planning any military support.”

But the government soon changed its mind and on March 4 approved the deployment of 140 soldiers to guard five nuclear facilities.

 In the hours following the Brussels bombings, two Belgian nuclear power plants were evacuated.

Security measures have been stepped up at France’s many nuclear power plants, a French intelligence source told the Telegraph on Saturday. Workers have been screened for Islamist sympathies and a number had their security passes revoked.

Are increased security measures included in the price and carbon footprint of nuclear?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 27, 2016, 08:21:05 AM
Fossil Fuel and nuclear have to be phased out quickly, ....

I'm not sure.  I don't think it makes sense to build any new reactors.  The money a reactor would cost would buy a much larger amount of renewable electricity and get it online years earlier.  We'd burn much less fossil fuel for both reasons.

Existing reactors (if they are reasonably safe) buy us some time to replace fossil fuels first.  We can see that in Germany the decision to close reactors early caused Germany to burn more fossil fuels for a few years and set them behind on their move off coal and gas.

I'm not suggesting Germany made a bad decision.  They were living with reactors in their midst and had experienced a major nuclear reactor disaster next door.

I'm just saying that to a large extent we've already messed up several hundred sites by building reactors on them.  I'm not sure we mess those sites up a lot more by running them for a few more years.

BTW, at the rate the US has moved off coal over the last 5 years we could be done with coal in 15 more years.  I suspect we'll move something faster than that.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: GeoffBeacon on March 27, 2016, 11:39:25 AM
In Plutonium Pie in the Sky: the Dangerous Delusion of New Nukes (http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/22/plutonium-pie-in-the-sky-the-dangerous-delusion-of-new-nukes/), James Heddle says

Quote
Never mind that – as Stanford scientist Mark Jacobson (http://thesolutionsproject.org/) and his associates, as well as others, have conclusively shown – the entire nuclear fuel chain from mine to waste dump is more carbon intensive than wind and solar put together. Their work shows a transition to renewables is totally possible…without nuclear energy.
How carbon intensive are the current and planned nuclear power stations when "the entire nuclear fuel chain from mine to waste dump" is considered?

I worry about most nuclear power stations being on the coast and vulnerable to sea level rise, storms and even climate induced tsunamis (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/note-on-nuclear-power-to-mike-weightman-2011/).

How would these power stations cope with one of Hansen's super storms?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 27, 2016, 04:36:19 PM
...
I'm just saying that to a large extent we've already messed up several hundred sites by building reactors on them.  I'm not sure we mess those sites up a lot more by running them for a few more years.

BTW, at the rate the US has moved off coal over the last 5 years we could be done with coal in 15 more years.  I suspect we'll move something faster than that.

My thoughts exactly.  It's great to see you posting again, Bob.  Welcome back!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 27, 2016, 05:54:24 PM
Also is the cost of relocating millions of people in the event of another Fukushima factored in to the cost of nuclear? And the lives lost from these displacements? And the endless cleanup/patch up necessary after such? Or, as Japanese officials now admit they think was a possibility, the need to totally (or almost) abandon a major industrialized country like Japan?

Bob wrote: "[nukes] buy us some time to replace fossil fuels first"

That seems reasonable, but we don't know when collapse might come. The faster we mover toward carefully and systematically shutting these things down, starting with the oldest and least secure, the more likely it is that we may be able to avoid multiple Fukushimas in the face of a society that has completely ceased to function.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Theta on March 27, 2016, 06:45:09 PM
Also is the cost of relocating millions of people in the event of another Fukushima factored in to the cost of nuclear? And the lives lost from these displacements? And the endless cleanup/patch up necessary after such? Or, as Japanese officials now admit they think was a possibility, the need to totally (or almost) abandon a major industrialized country like Japan?

Bob wrote: "[nukes] buy us some time to replace fossil fuels first"

That seems reasonable, but we don't know when collapse might come. The faster we mover toward carefully and systematically shutting these things down, starting with the oldest and least secure, the more likely it is that we may be able to avoid multiple Fukushimas in the face of a society that has completely ceased to function.

I agree. If it was possible for nuclear to become the next cheap and easy to access form of energy, then it would be quite beneficial as it would solve all of the present economic problems that can tip society over the edge. However, it is not cheap and is reliant on the power grid which is reliant on oil, so it must be taken down. The only problem I have with the idea of decommissioning Power Plants en masse, is the fact that it takes decades for to decommission plants safely (fuel rods are too hot to relocate), and in my opinion, society itself doesn't even have a year.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 01:20:28 AM
In Plutonium Pie in the Sky: the Dangerous Delusion of New Nukes (http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/22/plutonium-pie-in-the-sky-the-dangerous-delusion-of-new-nukes/), James Heddle says

How carbon intensive are the current and planned nuclear power stations when "the entire nuclear fuel chain from mine to waste dump" is considered?

I worry about most nuclear power stations being on the coast and vulnerable to sea level rise, storms and even climate induced tsunamis (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/note-on-nuclear-power-to-mike-weightman-2011/).

How would these power stations cope with one of Hansen's super storms?

The lifetime (cradle to grave) footprint of nuclear is higher than wind and solar but considerably lower than fossil fuels.  Cost, safety and radioactive waste are nuclear's problems.

We need to continually reevaluate the risk of each operating reactor.  Rising sea levels could be a problem for some, as could increased flooding due to the larger extreme rainfalls we're experiencing.  It might be necessary to build 'sea walls' around some reactors.  Perhaps close others.

It would be a lot cheaper and quicker to install enough wind, solar and storage to replace a risky reactor than to rebuild a city wiped out by a nuclear disaster.

As for extreme storms, most should be designed to handle fairly heavy weather but we do need to evaluate and monitor.  For example, the very major Joplin tornado struck not far from the Fort Calhoun reactor.  Had the reactor been in the tornado's path it would probably have been fine.  But the grid connection would have been wiped out and the backup generator system was in a simple metal building which would almost certainly been destroyed.  A potential US Fukushima.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 01:22:29 AM


It's great to see you posting again, Bob.  Welcome back!
[/quote]

I'm going to give it another try.  I was totally grossed out earlier by the people who were fine with the concept of intentionally murdering billions of humans in order to prevent extreme climate change.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 28, 2016, 07:00:23 PM

The lifetime (cradle to grave) footprint of nuclear is higher than wind and solar but considerably lower than fossil fuels.  Cost, safety and radioactive waste are nuclear's problems.


Only if you do not take into account capacity factors and storage requirements for a total renewable replacement as a baseload generator.  With this additional buildout (about 4X that of just a single utility-scale solar or wind generator) necessary for baseload equivalency, the emissions for production of the total system takes about 30 years renewable plant operations to break even (a nuclear plant is about 9 for the same baseload generation potential)

It would be a lot cheaper and quicker to install enough wind, solar and storage to replace a risky reactor than to rebuild a city wiped out by a nuclear disaster.

It would be a lot cheaper and quicker to install enough nuclear generation capacity for baseload manufacturing operations on a 24/7 cycle that would allow an aggressive national renewable-energy and Transportation/Manufacturing sector electrification retrofit. 

It would be infinitely cheaper to do so than dealing with the consequences of the +4C result that the above retrofit would CERTAINLY PRODUCE if it was attempted by fossil fuel driven manufacturing of renewables.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on March 28, 2016, 07:51:42 PM
Could I have a cite for this  ? I seem to have missed it if it was posted earlier.

"Only if you do not take into account capacity factors and storage requirements for a total renewable replacement as a baseload generator.  With this additional buildout (about 4X that of just a single utility-scale solar or wind generator) necessary for baseload equivalency, the emissions for production of the total system takes about 30 years renewable plant operations to break even (a nuclear plant is about 9 for the same baseload generation potential)"
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 08:16:14 PM
The NREL lifetime carbon footprint study which found nuclear carbon emissions higher than wind and solar (but only a small amount more) was based on kWh, not nameplate capacity.

http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html (http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/sustain_lca_results.html)

You can't run a nuclear energy grid without massive storage buildout. 

If you want to talk about a wind/solar grid then the correct comparison would be against a nuclear grid.  Not a partial nuclear grid.  A partial wind/solar grid requires no overbuilding or storage.

"It would be a lot cheaper and quicker to install enough nuclear generation capacity for baseload manufacturing operations on a 24/7 cycle..."

Sorry, that is incorrect. 

Wind + solar + storage for a "baseload" supply is cheaper than nuclear.  And, don't forget, to make nuclear 24/365 reliable it is necessary to construct some source of generation to fill in the time during which reactors are offline.

It takes less than two years to bring a very large solar farm or wind farm online.  Six to ten or more to construct a nuclear plant.

"It would be infinitely cheaper to do so than dealing with the consequences of the +4C result that the above retrofit would CERTAINLY PRODUCE if it was attempted by fossil fuel driven manufacturing of renewables."

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.  Perhaps you don't know that wind and solar online already produces more energy than is used each year manufacturing new PV solar and wind turbines?  Fossil fuels were used to bootstrap wind and solar but we moved into energy positive territory some time ago. 

If you are saying that it would be cheaper to install massive numbers of nuclear plants than to deal with extreme climate change, that is absolutely true.  But it's a misleading statement.  Our option is not nuclear or roast.  The option is nuclear or less expensive/dangerous renewables or roast.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 28, 2016, 08:58:16 PM
Nuclear power plant capacity factors are 3 times that of renewables the storage requirement to reach 90% capacity would at least add another 1/4 of total emissions associated with an equivalent 24/7 production cycle.  It would take about 14GW of ADDITIONAL buildout to facilitate a transformation of the Transportation/Manufacturing and Electric Power generation sectors to fossil-free (energy devoted solely to production, distribution and installation of infrastructure)

kWh to kWh comparisons do not include capacity factor comparisons, that is my point and the reason that an equivalent buildout would be 4X the embedded emissions.

A grid buildout for centralized Nuclear for the manufacturing hubs needed for this transformation would work on the current system without additional storage requirements.  Then using this energy the grid could be transformed for distributed generation associated with the renewable buildout (that is the ultimate goal)

LCOE for solar is 2.5 times as much as nuclear on a kWh basis, wind is slightly (20%) less but, again, the overbuildout needed for equivalent capacity factors quadruples this renewable cost (at least-storage is still much too expensive).

The costs associated with the climate induced destruction that is CERTAIN without using nuclear as the source for this 16 Trillion dollar mobilization for transformation of our entire nation's emission portfolio is well beyond the INSIGNIFICANT risk associated with a major nuclear accident from Gen 3 nuclear production during this transformation.

Using the current fuel mix to generate the renewable energy required for this transformation (14GW) would mean creating 42GW of renewable generation + additional storage (to allow a 24/7 manufacturing cycle).  Doing this with the current fuel mix would necessarily produce a 4C climate response.  Using only renewable energy for the transformation would mean starting out with 5 hours per day production and would extend the timeline of the transformation from 15 years to over 60.

our option is indeed nuclear (as a source for national transformation) or roast.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Theta on March 28, 2016, 09:04:38 PM
Nuclear power plant capacity factors are 3 times that of renewables the storage requirement to reach 90% capacity would at least add another 1/4 of total emissions associated with an equivalent 24/7 production cycle.  It would take about 14GW of ADDITIONAL buildout to facilitate a transformation of the Transportation/Manufacturing and Electric Power generation sectors to fossil-free (energy devoted solely to production, distribution and installation of infrastructure)

kWh to kWh comparisons do not include capacity factor comparisons, that is my point and the reason that an equivalent buildout would be 4X the embedded emissions.

A grid buildout for centralized Nuclear for the manufacturing hubs needed for this transformation would work on the current system without additional storage requirements.  Then using this energy the grid could be transformed for distributed generation associated with the renewable buildout (that is the ultimate goal)

LCOE for solar is 2.5 times as much as nuclear on a kWh basis, wind is slightly (20%) less but, again, the overbuildout needed for equivalent capacity factors quadruples this renewable cost (at least-storage is still much too expensive).

The costs associated with the climate induced destruction that is CERTAIN without using nuclear as the source for this 16 Trillion dollar mobilization for transformation of our entire nation's emission portfolio is well beyond the INSIGNIFICANT risk associated with a major nuclear accident from Gen 3 nuclear production during this transformation.

Using the current fuel mix to generate the renewable energy required for this transformation (14GW) would mean creating 42GW of renewable generation + additional storage (to allow a 24/7 manufacturing cycle).  Doing this with the current fuel mix would necessarily produce a 4C climate response.  Using only renewable energy for the transformation would mean starting out with 5 hours per day production and would extend the timeline of the transformation from 15 years to over 60.

our option is indeed nuclear (as a source for national transformation) or roast.

But nuclear requires energy that we no longer have, as the economy is buckling under serious pressure at this point. The only rational move is to either close down all nuclear plants and give up on the project, or risk every single human being having their skin peeling off or getting ripped apart by cannibals as the entire biosphere is destroyed by spent fuel rod fires after the imminent economic collapse.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 10:33:56 PM
Quote
Nuclear power plant capacity factors are 3 times that of renewables

About 3x times that of solar in the US.  US solar is now reaching 30%.  About half US onshore wind.  New wind farms are reporting CF numbers above 40% with some above 50%.

Quote
the storage requirement to reach 90% capacity would at least add another 1/4 of total emissions associated with an equivalent 24/7 production cycle.

That's an unknown.  There are some numbers that say that grids can reach 80% wind and solar with no storage.

Quote
kWh to kWh comparisons do not include capacity factor comparisons

Of course they do.  If one is reporting cost per kWh that includes fixed and variable costs along with capacity factors.

Quote
A grid buildout for centralized Nuclear for the manufacturing hubs needed for this transformation would work on the current system without additional storage requirements.

Yes, we could replace coal plants with nuclear reactors.  But we could replace them at a lower cost with wind, solar, and storage.

Quote
LCOE for solar is 2.5 times as much as nuclear on a kWh basis, wind is slightly (20%) less

That holds only if you compare the cost of electricity from an efficient nuclear plant which is paid off.  Some paid off nuclear plants have operating costs in excess of 5c/kWh.  The unsubsidized cost of new onshore wind in the US is under 4c/kWh.  The unsubsidized cost of new PV solar in the US is about 6c/kWh

The cost of new nuclear in western Europe (Hinkley Point) and the US (Vogtle and North Anna) run from 13c/kWh to 19c/kWh.  Subsidized.  And it will not be possible to build further 13c nuclear in the US.  That price is a 'one timer' due to very low "Great Recession" funding.

It makes no sense to use prices from reactors built decades ago and paid off.  We can't go back in time and build more of them.  If we're going to talk about what we will build going forward then we have to use current installed costs.

I'm going to skip the rest of your comment due to your using incorrect numbers to this point.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 10:36:30 PM
Quote
But nuclear requires energy that we no longer have, as the economy is buckling under serious pressure at this point. The only rational move is to either close down all nuclear plants and give up on the project, or risk every single human being having their skin peeling off or getting ripped apart by cannibals as the entire biosphere is destroyed by spent fuel rod fires after the imminent economic collapse.

That's some pretty heavy Henny Penny thinking.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 29, 2016, 06:54:17 AM
I don't think you quite get what LCOE means:

Quote
Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) is often cited as a convenient summary measure of the overall competiveness of different generating technologies. It represents the per-kilowatthour cost (in real dollars) of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle. Key inputs to calculating LCOE include capital costs, fuel costs, fixed and variable operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, financing costs, and an assumed utilization rate for each plant type.

https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm (https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm)

total system LCOE nuclear = 95.2
total system LCOE Wind (onshore) = 73.6
total system LCOE Wind (offshore) = 196.9
total system LCOE (solar) = 125.3

The main reason that you are wrong in your estimations is that you do not include support system (mostly distribution) associated costs and you don't consider that the reduced capacity factor of renewables means that it will take 3 times as much capacity to produce the same amount of energy on an annual basis.  This will triple the cost of buildout for the renewables ABOVE the costs show above if a 24-hour production cycle is needed, otherwise you are doing your work with coal.

We do not yet have the storage capacity at a reasonable cost - these projections are for 2020 with an assumption of much cheaper batteries than today.

In addition, for an infrastructure buildout in every major population hub of this country, you cannot simply place your wind turbines and manufacturing centers in Iowa.  The associated emissions of transportation would produce untenable additional emissions.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 07:24:31 AM
I suppose you aren't aware that EIA predictions are jokes.  The EIA is predicting that the US will get 34% of its electricity from coal in 2040 when we were already down to 33% for all of 2015 and in the process of closing over 100 coal plants over the next couple of years.  For the last three months of the year coal produced 31%, 29% and 28%.  We are building no new coal plants.

The EIA has been predicting higher costs for wind and solar a few years into the future than what current prices are.  Here are recent power purchase agreement (PPA) averages.  A PPA includes everything included in a LCOE plus real estate and owner profits. 

Wind = $0.0235/kWh average 2014 PPA (subsidized). 

DOE "2014 Wind Technologies Market Report"

http://energy.gov/eere/wind/downloads/2014-wind-technologies-market-report (http://energy.gov/eere/wind/downloads/2014-wind-technologies-market-report)

Solar = $0.05/kWh PPAs (subsidized) being signed in the US Southwest.  Working backwards through a LCOE calculation extrapolates a cost of about $0.02 higher for the less sunny Northeast.

 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory entitled “Utility-Scale Solar 2013: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States”

http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/utility-scale-solar-2013-report.pdf (http://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/utility-scale-solar-2013-report.pdf)

PPA prices for wind and solar are lowered about 1.5 cents by PTC (Production Tax Credits).  Both wind and solar are eligible for 2.3 cent/kWh tax credits for each kWh produced during their first ten years of operation.  Half of 2.3 is 1.15, but getting ones money early has value.  That means that the non-subsidized costs of wind are a bit under 4 cents and solar is running 6.5 to 8.5 cents/kWh.

http://energy.gov/savings/renewable-electricity-production-tax-credit-ptc (http://energy.gov/savings/renewable-electricity-production-tax-credit-ptc)

Wind less than 4c/kWh in the real world.  Solar a bit over 6c/kWh in the real world (up to 2c/kWh higher in less sunny places).  And the prices will be lower in 2016.  The EIA is claiming 7.4c/kWh for onshore wind and 12.5c/kWh four years from now.  That is simply silly.

Their 9.5c/kWh for nuclear is also without merit.  Vogtle, barring further cost overruns will cost 13c/kWh.  The low bid for new reactors at North Anna, Virginia came in at 19c/kWh.
---

Quote
The main reason that you are wrong in your estimations is that you do not include support system (mostly distribution) associated costs and you don't consider that the reduced capacity factor of renewables means that it will take 3 times as much capacity to produce the same amount of energy on an annual basis.

Nuclear does have a higher CF than wind and solar.  But CF is built into price, you need to master that concept.  The cost of electricity from any plant is total annual cost / total annual electricity produced.  You do understand that CF is a measure of electricity produced, do you not?


The PPA prices I gave you are the cost of electricity produced.  All three - wind, solar, and nuclear receive subsidies.  Nuclear receives a bit more per kWh than wind and solar. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on March 29, 2016, 07:39:36 AM
Agree that EIA is not to be trusted as to forecasts, "so wrong for so long" comes to mind. After refreshing my memory and talking to a couple civil/electrical engineers, i find that cost of new build nuclear is completely outclassed by new build solar/wind or even retrofit of unpowered dams. Until penetration of solar/wind hits 30%, storage does not seem to be an issue, and battery prices are following the solar cost curve down. I imagine that the banks see the same numbers i do, so they are financing renewable and ignoring nuclear. Getting financing for new build nuclear seems prohibitive, and that's whats killing nuclear. Nobody wants to tie up that much money for so long, when it could be producing in sixty days.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 07:43:34 AM
Quote
you do not include support system (mostly distribution) associated costs

Quote
This will triple the cost of buildout for the renewables ABOVE the costs show above if a 24-hour production cycle is needed, otherwise you are doing your work with coal.

Quote
We do not yet have the storage capacity at a reasonable cost - these projections are for 2020 with an assumption of much cheaper batteries than today.

I'm starting a new comment here because this is a different topic - the cost of powering a grid, reliability, 24/365.  The previous comment was about the cost of electricity as it comes from the plant/farm.

You are correct and incorrect about storage at a reasonable cost.  We are starting to install batteries for short term storage (daily cycle) and we have already built a lot of pump-up hydro storage (PuHS) which we needed in order to incorporate nuclear on our last-century grid.

PuHS is not cheap.  Estimates for new PuHS run from 9c/kWh to 23c/kWh.  The 9c number was given by DOE Secretary Chu.

But let's leave storage aside for the while.  What makes most sense to fill in for wind/solar and nuclear is natural gas.  The plants have a low installed cost and are highly dispatchable, meaning they can be turned on and off quickly unlike coal.

How about some installed cost comparisons?

Wind Onshore 
 $1.64 Installed Cost/Watt
 DOE 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report

PV Solar
$1.43 Installed Cost/Watt
Greentech Media 3rd Qtr 2015 Executive Summary

CCNG
$1.09 Installed Cost/Watt
Open EI DOE Database Median Overnight Cost

Nuclear
$8.33 Installed Cost/Watt
Vogtle LCOE adjusted for additional budget overruns.

Wind and solar tend to produce at different times of day.  A watt of wind plus a watt of solar is likely to produce, on average, 80% of the time with the rest filled in by a watt of NG.  Cost to install a watt of all three = $4.20

Nuclear plants, once dialed in, produce about 90% of the time but we'd still need a watt of NG to fill in the other 10%.  A watt of nuclear plus a watt of CCNG = $9.40.

The cost of supply the grid with a 'reliable' watt of renewables + NG is 40% the cost of supplying that watt with nuclear + NG.


Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 07:50:10 AM
Agree that EIA is not to be trusted as to forecasts, "so wrong for so long" comes to mind. After refreshing my memory and talking to a couple civil/electrical engineers, i find that cost of new build nuclear is completely outclassed by new build solar/wind or even retrofit of unpowered dams. Until penetration of solar/wind hits 30%, storage does not seem to be an issue, and battery prices are following the solar cost curve down. I imagine that the banks see the same numbers i do, so they are financing renewable and ignoring nuclear. Getting financing for new build nuclear seems prohibitive, and that's whats killing nuclear. Nobody wants to tie up that much money for so long, when it could be producing in sixty days.

I just posted 2014 prices for wind and 2015 prices for solar.  By the time a new reactor could be built and brought on line the price of wind and solar should be significantly less than the numbers I gave. 

In 2013 new wind farms were reporting CFs under 40%.  Recently GE reports that their new wind farms are producing at over 50%.  A 25% increase would drop the cost of unsubsidized wind close to 3c/kWh.  (Assuming no significant cost increases.)

Utility solar costs have been falling over 15% per year.  The price should be around $1.20/watt by the end of this year and close to $1/watt by the end of 2017.  That will take the unsubsidized price of utility solar below 5c/kWh.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 07:55:15 AM
Here's the link to a letter sent to the EIA which spells out the problems with their forecasts in more detail....

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/10/horrible-eia-forecasts-letter-cleantechnica-readers/ (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/10/horrible-eia-forecasts-letter-cleantechnica-readers/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on March 29, 2016, 02:30:21 PM
The problems I see for nuclear are two fold. If rivers are utilized either flooding or drought can disrupt operations, while seaside locations are vulnerable to SLR & storms.
The other difficulty is ongoing maintenance when governmental instability or lack of funding precludes safe operations.


http://russia-insider.com/en/science-tech/toxic-south-ukraine-n-power-station-shut-down/ri13579 (http://russia-insider.com/en/science-tech/toxic-south-ukraine-n-power-station-shut-down/ri13579)


The future is now.
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: GeoffBeacon on March 29, 2016, 02:48:53 PM
TerryM

Quote
The problems I see for nuclear are two fold. If rivers are utilized either flooding or drought can disrupt operations, while seaside locations are vulnerable to SLR & storms.

I may be a bit paranoid in worrying about tsunamis in Europe (https://t.co/WpNCcpZoF7) (as well as SLR & storms) but the BBC report some interesting research on historic tsunamis (https://t.co/HtT1ksfSGO).

Am I too paranoid?

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 29, 2016, 05:18:09 PM
Quote
I'm starting a new comment here because this is a different topic - the cost of powering a grid, reliability, 24/365.  The previous comment was about the cost of electricity as it comes from the plant/farm.

Actually, the additional costs associated with utilizing renewable energy on a 24/7 manufacturing cycle was the entire point of my discussion.  As I wrote earlier

Quote
Only if you do not take into account capacity factors and storage requirements for a total renewable replacement as a baseload generator.  With this additional buildout (about 4X that of just a single utility-scale solar or wind generator) necessary for baseload equivalency

Your cost per generated kwh (subsidized) does not consider the regional constraints, energy storage requirements and distribution system requirements needed to be in place to facilitate a series of 9 regionally distributed manufacturing hubs (the majority in the mid-atlantic region) necessary for the transformation of our society.

While a wind and solar manufacturing cycle could be possibly put into place in texas, the energy storage requirements (no pumped hydro potential available there) would be prohibitive if compared with new gen-3 modular reactor construction. 

that is the only location that fits the situational requirements for a renewable system generated manufacturing center.

It has:
1.  lots of wind and solar energy - though not enough for a continual 24/7 production cycle without significant battery storage
2.  a retrofitted energy distribution system that can transport this energy from ERCOT wind centers already in place (at a cost much reduced from the national average of $8-$10 dollars per MWh http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Report-Cost-For-ERCOT-and-Xcel-to-Integrate-Wind-and-Solar-is-Less-Than-Ex (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Report-Cost-For-ERCOT-and-Xcel-to-Integrate-Wind-and-Solar-is-Less-Than-Ex) )
3. Significant regional population and associated infrastructure for transformation

However, the costs of using wind and solar and their associated capacity factors and distribution system costs associated with using them for a 24/7 manufacturing cycle makes this completely untenable in all other major regions, with the possible exception of the dakota's as a norther -midwest manufacturing hub. 

Your cost estimates looking at contracted cost per kWh does not consider these additional costs, that was the whole point.  If you look at the additional buildouts needed you will find that the associated emissions for using renewables vs. nuclear will triple the project GHG footprint and make the initial buildout GHG warming neutral only after 28 years - which is far too late.



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 29, 2016, 05:33:44 PM
Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« Reply #224 on: Today at 07:55:15 AM »
Here's the link to a letter sent to the EIA which spells out the problems with their forecasts in more detail....

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/10/horrible-eia-forecasts-letter-cleantechnica-readers/ (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/01/10/horrible-eia-forecasts-letter-cleantechnica-readers/)

Bob, I see your name on the above letter and good on you for the thorough takedown on the EIA renewable forecast.
 As I recall however you support the EIA reporting on the worldwide ~ flatlining of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in their 2015 report. I tend to think the failures in the EIA renewable energy forecasts make other EIA reporting questionable also. So how do you pick through their information and  choose the parts you ( their CO2 emissions reporting ) like while so thoroughly debunking what you don't like?
 I tend to think the Mauna Loa CO2 trend line trumps EIA reporting and yes I realize there is a bit of a time lag between the two. Until I see the Mauna Loa flatlined however I will continue to believe the EIA are paid shills. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 08:11:07 PM
Quote
So how do you pick through their information and  choose the parts you ( their CO2 emissions reporting ) like while so thoroughly debunking what you don't like?

The EIA does two things.  (Perhaps more, but let's stick with these two.)

1) Reporting of historical data.  Things like amount of electricity generated and by what sources, price of electricity (by state, residential vs. industrial, etc.).  I've never seen an article criticising the accuracy of their data reporting.

2) Predicting future energy production and costs.  Personally I watched their predictions of the cost of solar while I was watching the rapidly dropping cost of solar panels and could not reconcile the two.  That led me to look more carefully at some of their other predictions and they also made no sense. 

I cannot explain why the EIA makes such unreasonable predictions.  I think being paid shills is unlikely.  I really doubt that office of the EIA is receiving payments to make the predictions they make.

Perhaps the person running the office is highly incompetent and doesn't check predictions against reality.  The EIA has been predicting rising wind and solar prices for a few years now while prices have been dropping.

Perhaps it's political pressure.  Perhaps the EIA is afraid of budget cuts from the fossil fuel industry friendly Republican Congress and they "report the news" that Republicans want to hear.

Perhaps the office is run by a Cheney plant. 

I simply don't know and can't understand.   All I know is that their predictions have turned out to be worthless.
--

BTW, the letter went to the DOE Secretary's office which sent it off to the EIA prediction office.  As one would expect they didn't answer the questions. 

I understand that the letter has been taken to the Administration by someone with White House access.  It will be interesting to see if predictions become a bit more grounded in reality in the future. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 08:23:41 PM
Quote
Your cost per generated kwh (subsidized) does not consider the regional constraints, energy storage requirements and distribution system requirements needed to be in place to facilitate a series of 9 regionally distributed manufacturing hubs (the majority in the mid-atlantic region) necessary for the transformation of our society.

First, I gave you the unsubsidized cost of wind and solar along with the subsidized cost of neuclear.  Do you not see that as overly fair for nuclear?

Now, are you questioning whether each region of the US has ample renewable resources to supply a renewable grid?  If that's your issue I'll give you two sources which you can check -

Here's a very interesting interactive graphic which allows one to look at an optimal mix of renewable resources for each state -

http://thesolutionsproject.org/infographic/ (http://thesolutionsproject.org/infographic/)

And here's a more regional graphic -

http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_renewable_energy_potential (http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-US_renewable_energy_potential)

I dealt with the storage issue.  Basically storage is too expensive right now so we are using natural gas as the primary fill-in for renewables and for nuclear.  Reread what I wrote and if that is not sufficiently clear to you tell me what you do not understand and I will give it another try.

Distribution costs for renewable and nuclear are the same.  There are some transmission costs for both but even the cost of moving wind from the Midwest to the East Coast (roughly 2.5c/kWh) does not come anywhere close to the cost difference between wind (<4c) and nuclear
(~15c). 

Solar farms are often built along existing transmission routes which are being freed up as coal plants are closed.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 08:32:35 PM
Quote
While a wind and solar manufacturing cycle could be possibly put into place in texas, the energy storage requirements (no pumped hydro potential available there) would be prohibitive if compared with new gen-3 modular reactor construction. 

The cost of Texas wind has dropped below 4c/kWh.  Without subsidies.

The cost of new nuclear is 15c/kWh or higher.  With subsidies.

The cost of PuHS runs 9 to 23 cents.

In general we would not run a grid with only one energy input.  In Texas a mix of onshore wind, offshore wind and PV solar would mean that little storage would be needed to smooth the supply. 

Here's a really simple model.... 

40% wind at 4c + 40% solar at 6c + 20% stored wind/solar with 16 cent storage = 8.3c/kWh.  About half the cost of nuclear before we add in the needed storage and backup for nuclear.

Texas is not flat from boarder to boarder.  Ever hear of the Texas Hill Country?  And there is no rule that storage has to be located in the same state as where the electricity is used.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 29, 2016, 08:36:49 PM
Quote
Your cost estimates looking at contracted cost per kWh does not consider these additional costs, that was the whole point.  If you look at the additional buildouts needed you will find that the associated emissions for using renewables vs. nuclear will triple the project GHG footprint and make the initial buildout GHG warming neutral only after 28 years - which is far too late.

I believe I have given you cost estimates with include storage/NG fill-in for both renewables and nuclear as well as renewable prices which include capacity factors.  It seems to me that you don't want to read those numbers.  So let's try this -

You give us your numbers for an all-nuclear grid and for an all-renewable energy grid.  And then I'll tell you if I think your numbers look reasonable. 

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 29, 2016, 11:29:16 PM
Bob, Thanks for the comeback and once again kudos on the letter debunking the EIA renewable forecasts. We should all make these sorts of attempts to address policy when it is so obviously misinformed. Maybe there is someone here on ASIB willing to copy your letter to elected offices they have access to. I still think your letter casts doubt on all EIA reports and that includes their CO2 emissions figures. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 30, 2016, 04:27:55 AM
Quote
casts doubt on all EIA reports and that includes their CO2 emissions figures

Is there any data that suggests the EIA CO2 emission figures are flawed?

Is there another agency or organization that measurers US CO2 emissions and, if so, how do those numbers compare?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 30, 2016, 04:33:58 AM
I've tried about a half dozen web searches using variation of 'EIA CO2 measurements wrong' and come up with nothing.  Not even some crackpot denier site making that claim.

Why do you think their CO2 measurements are incorrect?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 30, 2016, 07:00:26 AM

You give us your numbers for an all-nuclear grid and for an all-renewable energy grid.  And then I'll tell you if I think your numbers look reasonable.

right
so by your estimation of capacity factors, even with the most optimum placement and integrated operation of resources you would have to manufacture 2GW renewable (solar + Wind) generation capacity to cover about 75% of a 24 hour manufacturing cycle that required 1 GW of energy inputs. 

This is optimum and the reality will be much different with non-optimum generation occurring throughout much of the year.  To compensate for that you suggest using natural gas fired generation, lets say cogeneration to make it more efficient.

Current studies of natural gas fired generation state that it takes 25 years for a natural gas power plant with 4% fugitive methane gas emissions to become global warming equivalent to a coal power plant.  Since your 2 GW of renewables does not operate on a perfect schedule the natural gas power plant (absent of other storage potential) would need to cover 100% of total energy needs on those days when cloud and solar resources happen to both be absent.  That is another GW of generation potential, the gas fired power plant would have to operate somewhere between 35% and 60% capacity factor over the course of a year depending on optimum/non-optimum renewable generation.

If you wanted to pipe in electricity you would have to build a 1000 mile HVDC transmission conduit for this power which would have an appreciable line loss of about 6% total generation plus the normal losses from transformers and distribution (about 10%)

A nuclear power plant would be 1GW of power generation shared between 2 500W systems whose shutdown schedules are offset so that their impacts are minimized.  Their capacity factors would be about 90%.

To build out the transmission, distribution system, renewable power generation systems (including transport to site) it would take twice as long for the solar and wind generation systems to earn back their embedded emissions as nuclear (their embedded emissions are comparable) and when you include the 1GW gas-fired plant, burning fossil fuels and releasing methane, you won't reach neutral GHG emissions (compared to coal) until sometime around 45 years after you start.

nuclear power plants reach neutral GHG emission (compared to coal) after about 8 years of operation.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 30, 2016, 08:27:16 AM
Quote
so by your estimation of capacity factors, even with the most optimum placement and integrated operation of resources you would have to manufacture 2GW renewable (solar + Wind) generation capacity to cover about 75% of a 24 hour manufacturing cycle that required 1 GW of energy inputs.

US onshore wind (more recent installations) are reporting capacity factors from the mid-40% to over 50% level.  If you want to produce one GW then you'd need to install about 2.2 GW in nameplate.

PV solar with tracking is running about 30%, so to get a GW you'd need to install about 3.3 GW in nameplate.

But the installed cost for each is so low compared to nuclear that the produced electricity is well under 50% as much per GWh.

Quote
Current studies of natural gas fired generation state that it takes 25 years for a natural gas power plant with 4% fugitive methane gas emissions to become global warming equivalent to a coal power plant.  Since your 2 GW of renewables does not operate on a perfect schedule the natural gas power plant (absent of other storage potential) would need to cover 100% of total energy needs on those days when cloud and solar resources happen to both be absent.  That is another GW of generation potential, the gas fired power plant would have to operate somewhere between 35% and 60% capacity factor over the course of a year depending on optimum/non-optimum renewable generation.

The Sun shines (median area in US) about 19% of the time.  With tracking that's going to get closer to 23%.  The wind has a much higher number hours of production.  If wind farms over a moderate area are connected to the grid then they produce about 85% of the time.  I suspect your 35% to 60% estimate is very high.

Since we'd install a mix of wind and solar we wouldn't need 2.2 GW of wind and 3.3 of solar. One of each plus one of CCNG would like see us using gas 20% of the time.  That brings us up to $4.16 installed price.  It might make sense to overbuild wind and solar some in order to get gas down to 10% or less. 1.5 GW of each wind and solar plus CCNG would cost $5.70.

Compare that to $9.42 for a GW of nuclear and a GW of CCNG to back it up.

Getting gas down to 10% for the wind/solar solution would mean roughly the same in fuel cost for CCNG as with nuclear.

Quote
If you wanted to pipe in electricity you would have to build a 1000 mile HVDC transmission conduit for this power which would have an appreciable line loss of about 6% total generation plus the normal losses from transformers and distribution (about 10%)

Perhaps a 1,000 mile line if we were bringing wind from the Midwest to the NE.  But there probably  is no need to do that.  Your loss number is high for the US.  The EIA says 7% for transmission and distribution combined with most be distribution.  Remember, nuclear has some transmission costs and would suffer then same amount of distribution loss.  And distributed (rooftop) solar has no transmission costs or losses.

Quote
A nuclear power plant would be 1GW of power generation shared between 2 500W systems whose shutdown schedules are offset so that their impacts are minimized.  Their capacity factors would be about 90%.

Doesn't work that way.  If you've built two reactors then you need that power.  If one reactor goes down there has to be reserve capacity ready to step in and replace it.  Reactors go offline unexpectedly much more often than most people realize.  Sometimes two go off at the same time.

Quote
To build out the transmission, distribution system, renewable power generation systems (including transport to site) it would take twice as long for the solar and wind generation systems to earn back their embedded emissions as nuclear (their embedded emissions are comparable) and when you include the 1GW gas-fired plant, burning fossil fuels and releasing methane, you won't reach neutral GHG emissions (compared to coal) until sometime around 45 years after you start.

You're assuming a lot of transmission would need to be built.  Fact is, a lot of solar is installed close to point of use and large solar farms are often built close to existing transmission lines.  We're freeing up transmission capacity as we close coal plants.

Now that we've learned more about wind resources with higher hub heights it's likely we'll see wind farms installed in areas like the SE states where we believed onshore wind was not feasible.  No significant transmission needed.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 30, 2016, 08:29:44 AM
Jai, do you realize that you quoted my request to you...

Quote
You give us your numbers for an all-nuclear grid and for an all-renewable energy grid.  And then I'll tell you if I think your numbers look reasonable.

... and then ignored that request and went back to beat on issues already largely covered?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 30, 2016, 05:43:25 PM
And you do realize that it is the only issue that matters. right?

you simply do not have the daily wind resource available in the southeast states to perform the energy schedule that your model supports.  The transmission losses are Seimens' values for High-Voltage Direct Current transmission (2.6% per 500 miles) then you have distribution and additional transmission losses from additional transformer and inverter controls. (additional 11%)

from your own calculation you would need (at an optimum) 2.2GW of installed wind generation capacity, 3.3 GW of installed solar capacity and 1 GW of installed natural gas capacity plus either 1,000 miles of installed HVDC distribution (assuming it is going from IOWA to a manufacturing center in Athens GA) OR you would have to produce it off shore and provide it through HVDC from a shorter distance but with a much greater infrastructure buildout associated with an offshore 2.2 GW windfarm. 

Even using the most solar/wind favorable assessment of LCOE, this additional buildout necessary to duplicate a 24/7 production cycle makes the entire renewable system 3 times more expensive and 4 times larger from a GHG foot print perspective (compared to nuclear).

Quote
If Nuclear power is the source of this buildout then the GHG footprint is reduced by (at least) a factor of 4.  That is ALL that matters with regard to climate change.

Once this buildout is complete this energy system (renewable) can be utilized for the additional energy needs of an electrified transportation and manufacturing sector transformation of our national infrastructure.

Remember, this is only 1 of 9 manufacturing hubs that need to be built so that the societal decarbonization project can achieve its moonshot target of 85% emissions reductions in 15 years (after new generation comes online to power the manufacturing hub).

attempting to do a cost comparison from a simple kWh contracted values is not a valid methodology.  You must use the value for LCOE when comparing different generation sources.  If you want to throw out the EIA's LCOE values, then you can attempt to reproduce their values, using their methodology with different assumptions but you cannot pretend that a kWh to kWh comparison of existing sources is apples-to-apples when considering new generation.

Currently, utility scale solar (without subsidies) has a projected LCOE of 11 cents per kWh in 2019 (source brattle group:  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/brattle-group-study-residential-pv-will-be-double-the-cost-of-utility-scale (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/brattle-group-study-residential-pv-will-be-double-the-cost-of-utility-scale))

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdqbasmyouzti2.cloudfront.net%2Fassets%2Fcontent%2Fcache%2Fmade%2Fcontent%2Fimages%2Farticles%2Frattle_group_2015_utilty_solar_report_580_435.png&hash=137e7767779b4bc716ac806ca79d51d9)

but again, I must stress, the entire point of my original post was that the associated emissions by doing this renewable energy buildout to replicate a 24/7 manufacturing cycle was prohibitive to the goal of emissions reduction on a 20-year timeline. 

I have provided all of the information necessary to support this and your assertions of higher wind turbine placements in the U.S. southeast or 'cost effective' offshore wind farm arguments are not only incorrect, they border on deceitful.

(https://ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/files/state%20wind%20power%20potential.png)

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on March 30, 2016, 08:06:24 PM
I spoke to a professional utility engineer. His comment was : "I got more than a dozen banks calling me daily wanting to finance wind and solar, even natgas peakers to back them up  There are zero banks willing to finance new nukes, absent huge guarantees and incentives. So what do you think I am going to build ? It's no use for nuclear advocates to scream at me to build nukes, until they can persuade banks to finance them."


Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 30, 2016, 08:07:00 PM
Bob Wallace
ASIF Upper Class
Posts: 1108


Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2014, 05:29:30 AM »
Europe peaked in CO2 emission many years ago.  The US peaked in 2005.  China appears to be hitting peak coal and has started a major movement to put their drivers into EVs.

Even India appears to be backing off coal use.

Coal stocks have lost half their value in the last two years as the market seems to be collapsing.

The levelized cost of energy of leading PV technologies has fallen by nearly 20% in the past year, and nearly 80% in the last five years.

Onshore wind costs have fallen dramatically.  More than 15% in the past year and nearly 60% in the last year.

Renewables are rapidly becoming less expensive than fossil fuel generation.

It will take a little while for this to show up in annual CO2 emission numbers.  But it looks like we'll be on the down slope within five years.

Watch the leading indicators.  It takes a while to slow, stop, and reverse large systems."
 Logged

Bob, we have gone thru this before. I don't think we are going to " be on the down slope in five years"
Even the EIA shows an increase in "US Energy related CO2 " . With lower fuel prices transportation CO2 is also on the rise and the EIA doesn't include those numbers. There was a lot of press coverage when the EIA said we were decreasing CO2 in 2013 and not squat about the increases since. They are part of the machine IMO and as such they are apologists for  the energy business and infrastructure developers. I just do not believe their numbers !
 If you go check the trillionth ton.com site you will see we are about ready to cross the 600Gt carbon threshold. We would now need to be declining by ~ 2.7 % per year CO2 emissions worldwide and we are still increasing at an ever greater rate. See Mauna Loa.
 I miss Ccg and JimD. Neven is focusing on the sea ice so long as we can keep this civil. I miss topics like " The degrowth imperative " and I know I am way off topic and I will call it quits on this page .

 http://www.trillionthtonne.org/ (http://www.trillionthtonne.org/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on March 31, 2016, 01:05:10 AM
"I miss Ccg and JimD"

For what it's worth, me too, Bruce!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 31, 2016, 09:19:20 AM
Jai, take a look at the DOE wind resource maps for 140 meter hub height.  The Southeast has a lot of good wind resources.
--

Here's what Siemens says about HVDC losses -

Quote
HVDC transmission has typically 30-50% less transmission loss than comparable
alternating current overhead lines. (For comparison: given 2500 MW
transmitted power on 800 km of overhead line, the loss with a conventional
400-kv AC line is 9.4%; with HVDC transmission at 500 kV, it is only 6%, and at
800 kV it is just 2.6%.)

I'm pretty sure the 2.6% loss includes conversion losses.  Your 11% conversion loss is, I'm fairly sure, a number from older conversion equipment.  I'm trying to find a source but everything I've turned up so far is behind a paywall.  I've  got only this bit from a Google search  -

Quote
Typical converter station losses for CTL technology are below 1%....

My recollection is about 0.75% going up and going back down.

Quote
Even using the most solar/wind favorable assessment of LCOE, this additional buildout necessary to duplicate a 24/7 production cycle makes the entire renewable system 3 times more expensive and 4 times larger from a GHG foot print perspective (compared to nuclear)

There's no need to overbuild wind or solar by 3x.  And this is why -

Quote
Once this buildout is complete this energy system (renewable) can be utilized for the additional energy needs of an electrified transportation....

EVs will provide a very large dispatchable load.  Cars spend about 90% of their time parked.  Between plugging in while parking at home and at work there will be plenty of opportunities to sell production not needed by non-vehicle demand to drivers.

BTW, the EIA just published a paper today responding to the criticisms they've received.  I haven't had time to read it carefully but they admit to making significant cost mistakes.  I think it's time we put their LCOE guesses to bed.

The Battle LCOE you link is specific to Excel's Colorado service area.  It's not representative of the entire US. 

http://brattle.com/system/publications/pdfs/000/005/188/original/Comparative_Generation_Costs_of_Utility-Scale_and_Residential-Scale_PV_in_Xcel_Energy_Colorado%27s_Service_Area.pdf?1436797265 (http://brattle.com/system/publications/pdfs/000/005/188/original/Comparative_Generation_Costs_of_Utility-Scale_and_Residential-Scale_PV_in_Xcel_Energy_Colorado%27s_Service_Area.pdf?1436797265)

One would want to look at the insolation levels for that area and whether the solar industry is mature enough to minimize cost via efficiency.  In the sunny parts of the US unsubsidized utility solar is already around 6c/kWh and falling.  About three years ahead of Battle's lower end price.  The City of Palo Alto is in the process of completing a PPA for solar at 4c/kWh.  Adding back in the subsidy that makes the unsubsidized selling price about 5.25 c/kWh.  And, remember, selling prices are higher that LCOE costs as they contain extra components such as solar farm owner profits.

Quote
I have provided all of the information necessary to support this and your assertions of higher wind turbine placements in the U.S. southeast or 'cost effective' offshore wind farm arguments are not only incorrect, they border on deceitful.

Oh, please. Don't go all jerk on us.  I'll post the 140 meter hub heights for you to see tomorrow. 

Denmark now has the cost of offshore wind down as low as 68 euros per MWh.  They are installing in shallower water and closer to shore which lowers cost but they have not yet started using the very large and less expensive per MWh offshore turbines being developed.

Siemens is claiming that they can drive the cost of offshore wind below 10c/kWh by 2020.

Nuclear costs a lot more than 10c/kWh.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 31, 2016, 09:38:53 AM
Bruce. take a look at the EIA historical record for US energy-related CO2 emissions.

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/ (https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/)

Emissions peaked in 2007 and have fallen since then.  There was a 3.4% increase from 2012 to 2014 but the EIA estimates that emissions of carbon dioxide decreased by 2.4% in 2015 so we're on the way back down.  We're closing a lot of coal plants.  We're going to decrease energy-related CO2.

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/ (https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/)

By the end of 2015 wind and solar had taken almost 5% of market share away from fossil fuels used for electricity generation compared to a few years earlier. 

As I said in 2014 -

Quote
It will take a little while for this to show up in annual CO2 emission numbers.  But it looks like we'll be on the down slope within five years.

We've been on a gradual downslope for about nine years.  Not a smooth, straight line but that isn't to be expected, is it?  Does the Arctic sea ice melt a constant amount more each year?

We should see some decrease in personal vehicle CO2 emissions due to higher efficiency requirements.  It make take a few more years before EVs and PHEVs create an easily seen drop in personal vehicle emissions.

Quote
Humanity’s greenhouse-gas output increased by just 0.5% in 2014, despite significant global economic growth, according to figures released on 25 November.

Carbon emissions increased by 3–4% per year in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but that growth has slowed dramatically over the past 3 years, report the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

http://www.nature.com/news/global-carbon-emissions-nearly-stalled-in-2014-1.18897 (http://www.nature.com/news/global-carbon-emissions-nearly-stalled-in-2014-1.18897)

First we have to slow.  Then we have to stop.  And then we get to decrease.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bruce Steele on March 31, 2016, 09:52:20 AM
Thanks Bob, I know you are doing your best and I appreciate that. I just get very bummed sometimes. I have been a fisherman for a long time and with worldwide coral bleaching events and the conditions we are witnessing in our Calif. fisheries due to the effects of "the blob" and the follow-up El Nino I have been in a blue funk of late. Please see my posting on the  "Climate change , the ocean , agriculture and Food " page. The link has some graphics and pictures.
 Things are hitting hard in the oceans and we all know ocean heating will continue for a very long time after we do finally peak our CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on March 31, 2016, 09:58:14 PM
Quote
One would want to look at the insolation levels for that area

Colorado solar insolation is about 24% greater than in the southern states, site selections can increase this significantly.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hotspotenergy.com%2FDC-air-conditioner%2Fsolar-sun-hours-map-usa.jpg&hash=c4bbb82011db6b84362c83e5726e1465)

not that it really matters from a perspective of this endeavor (a correct societal cost of carbon being correctly applied would make such economic nuances meaningless) the LCOE differential of a 20% shift in capacity factor would produce an increase of about 12.5% in LCOE.

http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe.html (http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on April 01, 2016, 10:59:29 AM
First of all thanks for the interesting analyses and insights given here by both Bob (welcome back!).
I personally think both sides have merit, but that new nuclear should be avoided for additional reasons.
Planning horizons should be shortened due to expected increase in instability in the coming decades. In the US this may seem dubious but think of the rest of the world. In the 70s Saddam's Iraq built a nuclear reactor, supposedly for energy purposes, that Israel bombed just before it went online. Now imagine that nuclear reactor in the current unstable Iraq, or even in ISIS' hands. In the 80s the same Iraq built the Mosul Dam, in the current Iraq the dam has become a grave risk to the lives of millions, and its maintenance has almost ceased. Japan's Fukushima and Ukraine's Chernobyl will require unending mitigation efforts for decades to come. Ukraine is already on a path to collapse. Japan might go under its mountains of debt and currency printing. What happens then? Who will get left to continue the mitigation?
Bottom line, huge projects require a long planning horizon with the assumption of stability, which I think considering the current outlook for climate change and other monsters lurking on the sidelines is an assumption that should not be used.
In addition as we are in the middle of a revolution in wind and solar as well as storage, with costs decreasing annually. On the other hand nuclear is stable or even growing in costs. So it is risky to make the comparison on the economic front (though I don't think that's the main argument against nuclear).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 05, 2016, 06:26:01 AM
Quote
One would want to look at the insolation levels for that area

You chopped my statement.  the rest of the sentence was " and whether the solar industry is mature enough to minimize cost via efficiency."

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 05, 2016, 06:41:01 AM
I promised a wind at 140 meter hub height map a few days back.  And was then pulled away by the first showing of the Tesla Model 3.  Here's the map and I'm including an 80 meter hub height map for comparison.  By going higher the US finds a lot more harvestable wind.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2F80%2520Meters.gif&hash=ec9192d650ad776ff9be31655cbf91f2) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/80%20Meters.gif.html)

.
.
.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUS%2520Wind%2520140%2520meters.jpg&hash=862b4459490bab0969d1ac3b648085a3) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/US%20Wind%20140%20meters.jpg.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 05, 2016, 06:46:48 AM
Bruce, here's what's happening with fossil fuels and renewables in the US. 

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2F01%2520Market%2520Share%2520Change%2520thru%25202015.png&hash=49a625c8d83e1c06d4d3bd489423e532) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/01%20Market%20Share%20Change%20thru%202015.png.html)

We should expect to see a nice jump during 2016.  Apparently wind is on the way to having a very successful year and solar installations continue to accelerate.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 15, 2016, 08:47:50 AM
James Hansen Condemns Bernie Sanders' Fear-Mongering Against Indian Point Nuclear Plant

http://epillinois.org/news/2016/4/6/james-hansen-condemns-bernie-sanders-fear-mongering-against-indian-point (http://epillinois.org/news/2016/4/6/james-hansen-condemns-bernie-sanders-fear-mongering-against-indian-point)

"Now, Bernie Sanders says he wants to shut down the plant. If that happened, it would be replaced in substantial part by fracked natural gas that would create the equivalent carbon emissions of adding roughly 1.4 million new cars to the road."

This is exactly what happened to Vermont Yankee.

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/new-england-using-more-natural-gas-following-vermont-yankee-closure/?TB_iframe=true&width=921.6&height=921.6 (http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/new-england-using-more-natural-gas-following-vermont-yankee-closure/?TB_iframe=true&width=921.6&height=921.6)

Extreme anti science political ideology from both the political left and political right will continue to successfully slow any meaningful emissions mitigation. 

 




Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 15, 2016, 10:46:07 PM
With “friends” like Greenpeace, the climate does not need any enemies. 

Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed a lawsuit brought by groups led by Greenpeace Canada for the Darlington Nuclear plant refurbishment.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Court-dismisses-appeal-against-Darlington-refurbishment-1504168.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Court-dismisses-appeal-against-Darlington-refurbishment-1504168.html)

At less than 50gms/kWh Ontario has one of the lowest CO2 emissions for electricity generation in the world because nuclear and hydro produces near 90% of their electricity.

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html (http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html)

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on April 22, 2016, 07:40:32 PM
Bobby Llewellyn's take on Hinkley Point C...Oh deary me.

https://youtu.be/E5lg73SDYUw
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2016, 03:24:26 AM
Hanford workers detect contamination at another waste storage tank
Quote
“We are very concerned that there is an anomaly, and that these [tanks] aren’t a good long-term alternative for storing this waste,” she said. A ruling issued by a federal judge last month lays out a long-term plan for Hanford’s cleanup and leaves the door open for requiring new storage tanks if the plan isn’t met.

A Seattle-based environmental group called Hanford Challenge issued a statement today saying that the elevated levels suggest AY-101 is failing.

“The presence of these radioactive materials in the outer shell of the tank, known as the annulus, is a solid indicator that the primary shell of the tank has failed and is leaking high-level nuclear waste into the outer shell,” Mike Geffre, a former Hanford worker, was quoted as saying. “This is the same indicator that tipped off workers that AY-102 had failed.”

Hanford Challenge said AY-101’s problems could have serious implications for the site’s storage facilities.

“Simply put, Hanford is nearly out of double-shell tank space, especially after pumping out AY-102 and emptying some of the shakier single-shell tanks,” said Tom Carpenter, executive director for Hanford Challenge. “There is no other realistic option but to begin building new tanks immediately.”
http://www.geekwire.com/2016/hanford-workers-radiation-contamination-waste-storage-tank/ (http://www.geekwire.com/2016/hanford-workers-radiation-contamination-waste-storage-tank/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 05, 2016, 12:21:45 AM
U.S.:  Watts Bar Unit 2 Produces Electricity for the First Time
https://www.tva.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/Watts-Bar-Unit-2-Produces-Electricity-for-the-First-Time (https://www.tva.com/Newsroom/Press-Releases/Watts-Bar-Unit-2-Produces-Electricity-for-the-First-Time)

TVA’s Watts Bar has the distinction of having the last nuclear plant to come online in the 20th Century and will be the first to come online in the 21st Century.  Watts Bar Unit 1 began operation in 1996. 

Unit 2 was 80% complete when construction on both units was stopped in the 1980s due in part to a projected decrease in power demand.  In 2007, the TVA Board approved completion of Unit 2.  Unit 2 will be the first new nuclear reactor to come online in the USA in nearly two decades and likely the last Generation II reactor.
- Wikipedia

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 12Patrick on June 08, 2016, 09:11:47 PM
Fossil Fuel GHG's don't care what heat it traps including waste heat of nuclear power plants... It does not discriminate...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 18, 2016, 04:15:48 PM
Not quite ready for prime time:  Watts Bar Unit 2 shut itself down automatically shortly after a low-power connection to the grid.

Watts Bar Unit 2 Shut Down Sunday Due To Turbine Control Systems Glitch
https://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2016/06/07/watts-bar-unit-2-shut-down-sunday-due-to-turbine-control-systems-glitch-060702 (https://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2016/06/07/watts-bar-unit-2-shut-down-sunday-due-to-turbine-control-systems-glitch-060702)

Note that TVA's original testing plans included shutting down and restarting:
Power Ascension Testing
https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Watts-Bar-2-Project (https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Watts-Bar-2-Project)

And here's an anti-nuclear perspective:
Nuclear fail: New reactor took 43 years to build, shut down after 2 days
http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/nuclear-fail-new-reactor-took-43-years-to-build-shut-down-after-2-days-92176 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/nuclear-fail-new-reactor-took-43-years-to-build-shut-down-after-2-days-92176)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 20, 2016, 10:18:13 PM
Sweden decides it’s not so easy to give up nuclear power
Quote
Nuclear power has been falling out of favor in Europe ever since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Italy has closed all its reactors. Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland are in the midst of retiring their fleets. Even France, which gets 77 percent of its electricity from nuclear, has been discussing a partial phaseout.

Yet for a continent that prides itself on being a leader on global warming, shutting down a major source of reliable, carbon-free electricity isn’t always easy. And Sweden is a great case study here.

Until recently, Sweden's nuclear reactors — which provide 40 percent of the nation's electricity — were on track to close prematurely in the coming years, as government policies favored renewables. But last week, the country switched course. Under a new agreement, Sweden will get rid of a key tax that had been hurting nuclear, allowing existing reactors to keep running for longer. The country’s utilities will also now be permitted to build up to 10 new reactors to replace those scheduled to retire. (Though whether they actually do is an open question.)
http://www.vox.com/2016/6/17/11950440/sweden-nuclear-power (http://www.vox.com/2016/6/17/11950440/sweden-nuclear-power)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 22, 2016, 04:21:34 AM
California's Diablo Canyon twin-reactor facility

Last California plant to close as nuclear power struggles
Quote
California's largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal Tuesday to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state.

The move comes as the operators of the country's aging nuclear facilities confront rising repair bills at a time when sources of clean, safer energy cost less.
...
Environmentalists have pressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to close Diablo given its proximity to seismic faults in the earthquake-prone state. One fault runs 650 yards from the plant's twin reactors.
http://bigstory.ap.org/af6e8a82d6384163ab8d32bb655e1c7e (http://bigstory.ap.org/af6e8a82d6384163ab8d32bb655e1c7e)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 19, 2016, 10:05:39 PM
U.S.:  the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA):  nuclear, small modular nuclear reactors (SMR), and rooftop-solar-with-retail-rate paybacks.

TVA Way Ahead Of The Pack With Nuclear And Solar
Quote
Watts Bar 2 is the first new nuclear power plant in the U.S. to become operational in this century and will produce well over 700 billion kWhs of extremely low-carbon electricity over its life, at an actual cost of only 6¢/kWhr.
Quote
TVA understands that the correct energy mix is more than just lower carbon emissions. It’s about grid stability – making sure the power is there whenever it’s needed without costly back-up fossil plants. Wind has larger and more erratic intermittency than solar and is, therefore, more difficult and costly to integrate, usually requiring natural gas plants.

Enter SMRs. SMRs are ideally-suited to help integrate renewables onto the grid without increasing the carbon footprint. While TVA’s SMR siting application is not tied directly to a specific reactor, the leading SMR design is Oregon’s NuScale power module, which was designed to integrate completely with renewable energy....

One of the strengths of SMRs is that they are groupings of smaller reactor modules that run independently, allowing the total power output in one or more modules to be varied in response to renewables intermittency in three ways:

- taking one or more modules offline for extended periods of sustained solar or wind output,

- adjusting reactor power for one or more modules for intermediate periods to compensate for hourly changes in renewables, or

- bypassing the steam turbine in one or more modules for immediate responses to extremely rapid variations in renewables on the seconds to minutes scale.
Quote
But TVA also offers those with rooftop solar panels an opportunity to participate in the Green Power Provider program that offers the current retail rate for all electricity generated, which is an incentive over the wholesale rate of power TVA provides to local power companies throughout the Tennessee Valley. Almost as good a deal as solar in Washington State.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/06/07/tva-way-ahead-of-the-pack-with-nuclear-and-solar/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/06/07/tva-way-ahead-of-the-pack-with-nuclear-and-solar/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 12Patrick on July 19, 2016, 10:32:25 PM
The heat nuclear power creates still gets trapped by fossil fuel GHG's for the next 1000 years.... GHG's do not discriminate what heat gets trapped...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on August 04, 2016, 06:50:33 AM
James Hansen supports a win for the climate.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has formally approved a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that explicitly recognises the zero-carbon contribution of nuclear power plants and will help ensure their continued operation as it strives to reach ambitious clean energy goals.

Climate scientist James Hansen, of Columbia University, was among those who endorsed the PSC's decision, describing it as "an important victory" to protect New York's nuclear power plants. "Doing the right thing is sometimes controversial, and that was the case here," he said, adding that Cuomo and the PSC's commission was "an act of courage, putting the common good ahead of public expediency". "California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio and other states around the nation should take notice of what real climate action looks like," he said.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-New-York-approves-Clean-Energy-Standard-0208167.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-New-York-approves-Clean-Energy-Standard-0208167.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 12Patrick on August 04, 2016, 10:40:19 PM
Nuclear energy is to expensive. Green energy such as wind and solar have it beat now...
James Hansen supports a win for the climate.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has formally approved a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that explicitly recognises the zero-carbon contribution of nuclear power plants and will help ensure their continued operation as it strives to reach ambitious clean energy goals.

Climate scientist James Hansen, of Columbia University, was among those who endorsed the PSC's decision, describing it as "an important victory" to protect New York's nuclear power plants. "Doing the right thing is sometimes controversial, and that was the case here," he said, adding that Cuomo and the PSC's commission was "an act of courage, putting the common good ahead of public expediency". "California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio and other states around the nation should take notice of what real climate action looks like," he said.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-New-York-approves-Clean-Energy-Standard-0208167.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-New-York-approves-Clean-Energy-Standard-0208167.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on August 05, 2016, 01:43:38 AM
Prof Joe Romm considers subsidies to keep old nukes going.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/04/3803499/nuclear-power-bail-out/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/04/3803499/nuclear-power-bail-out/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on August 05, 2016, 12:27:28 PM
Nuclear energy is to expensive. Green energy such as wind and solar have it beat now..

The bottom line for James Hansen is reduction in CO2 emissions.

Real world data shows that four economies, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France have the lowest CO2 emissions for electricity generation (less than 50g/kWh) by using either hydro or nuclear or a combination of both. 

All have emissions at least 10 times less than Germany or Denmark which invested heavily in a DUPLICATE intermittent renewable system while retaining their fossil fuel capacity so that power can be generated when the sun and wind are unavailable.

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/Tables/t0305.pdf (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/special-reports/sroc/Tables/t0305.pdf)
http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

My post shows that Germany has installed 80GW of renewables in just 15 years, yet total CO2 emissions have fallen by just 13 million tonnes to 313 million tonnes annually. 

See page 41  http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf (http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf)

With subsidy payments for renewables near €23 billion annually this seems a poor investment, if reduction of CO2 emissions is the goal.

http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?tag=eeg-surcharge (http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?tag=eeg-surcharge)

It is also interesting to note that the State with the lowest CO2 emissions from electricity generation in North America is Ontario which uses nuclear and hydro and also has CO2 emissions less than 50g/kWh.

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html (http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 12Patrick on August 06, 2016, 01:47:38 AM
Yeah renewables are cheaper now so nukes are not needed anymore...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 06, 2016, 08:25:35 PM
Hinkley Pointless
Britain should cancel its nuclear white elephant and spend the billions on making renewables work
Quote
One of the few certainties is that Hinkley is not the sort of power station that any rich country will want for much longer. Nuclear energy has a future, but big, always-on projects like Hinkley, which would aim to satisfy 7% of Britain’s energy needs, do not fit the bill. As renewables generate a growing share of countries’ power, the demand will be for sources of energy that can cover intermittent shortfalls (for instance, when the wind stops blowing or the sun goes in).
http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21703367-britain-should-cancel-its-nuclear-white-elephant-and-spend-billions-making-renewables (http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21703367-britain-should-cancel-its-nuclear-white-elephant-and-spend-billions-making-renewables)


Only the cost of nuclear has increased:
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 07, 2016, 01:47:54 PM
Joe Romm on nuclear subsidies.

Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate
Quote
Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable. The New York Times and others have tried to blame renewable energy for this, but the admittedly astounding price drops of renewables aren’t the primary cause of the industry’s woes — cheap fracked gas is.

The point of blaming renewables, which currently receive significant government subsidies, is apparently to argue that existing nukes deserve some sort of additional subsidy to keep running — beyond the staggering $100+ billion in subsidies the nuclear industry has received over the decades. But a major reason solar and wind energy receive federal subsidies — which are being phased out over the next few years — is because they are emerging technologies whose prices are still rapidly coming down the learning curve, whereas nuclear is an incumbent technology with a negative learning curve.
The renewable red herring aside, existing nukes can make a reasonable case for a modest subsidy on the basis of climate change — though only because they are often replaced by carbon-spewing gas plants. That said, the “$7.6 billion bailout” New York state just decided to give its nuclear plants appears to be way too large....
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/04/3803499/nuclear-power-bail-out/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/04/3803499/nuclear-power-bail-out/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 09, 2016, 09:55:08 PM
U.S. Electricity Customers Could Pay $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Plants That Never Get Built
Quote
> Only two of 18 plants proposed since 2007 under construction
> At least seven states allow billing before building starts

Utilities including Duke Energy Corp., Dominion Resources Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc. are being allowed by regulators to charge $1.7 billion for reactors that exist only on paper, according to company disclosures and regulatory filings. Duke and Dominion could seek approval to have ratepayers pony up at least another $839 million, the filings show.

The practice comes as power-plant operators are increasingly turning to cheaper natural gas and carbon-free renewables as their fuels of choice. The growth of these alternatives is sparking a backlash from consumers and environmentalists who are challenging the need for more nuclear power in arguments that have spilled into courtrooms, regulatory proceedings and legislative agendas.

“Anything that hasn’t gotten off the ground yet isn’t getting built,” said Greg Gordon, a utility analyst at Evercore ISI, a New York-based investment advisory firm. “There is no economic rationale for it.”

Only two of 18 nuclear projects proposed since 2007 are under construction. Those units, being built by Southern Co. in Georgia and Scana Corp. in South Carolina, are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In the meantime, the price of natural gas has dropped 38 percent since 2010. It’s now used to generate more than a third of the nation’s power, up from 24 percent six years ago.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-08/customers-could-pay-2-5-billion-for-nukes-that-never-get-built (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-08/customers-could-pay-2-5-billion-for-nukes-that-never-get-built)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: 12Patrick on August 11, 2016, 01:12:48 AM
Wow how cost effective...
U.S. Electricity Customers Could Pay $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Plants That Never Get Built
Quote
> Only two of 18 plants proposed since 2007 under construction
> At least seven states allow billing before building starts

Utilities including Duke Energy Corp., Dominion Resources Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc. are being allowed by regulators to charge $1.7 billion for reactors that exist only on paper, according to company disclosures and regulatory filings. Duke and Dominion could seek approval to have ratepayers pony up at least another $839 million, the filings show.

The practice comes as power-plant operators are increasingly turning to cheaper natural gas and carbon-free renewables as their fuels of choice. The growth of these alternatives is sparking a backlash from consumers and environmentalists who are challenging the need for more nuclear power in arguments that have spilled into courtrooms, regulatory proceedings and legislative agendas.

“Anything that hasn’t gotten off the ground yet isn’t getting built,” said Greg Gordon, a utility analyst at Evercore ISI, a New York-based investment advisory firm. “There is no economic rationale for it.”

Only two of 18 nuclear projects proposed since 2007 are under construction. Those units, being built by Southern Co. in Georgia and Scana Corp. in South Carolina, are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. In the meantime, the price of natural gas has dropped 38 percent since 2010. It’s now used to generate more than a third of the nation’s power, up from 24 percent six years ago.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-08/customers-could-pay-2-5-billion-for-nukes-that-never-get-built (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-08/customers-could-pay-2-5-billion-for-nukes-that-never-get-built)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on August 11, 2016, 07:09:20 PM
THe american approach to building nuclear reactors is totally broken, and always has been.  The lack of standardizing on a design has led to "one off" reactors with expected cost over-runs.  Maybe the newer SMR designs will fix the problem, but their timeline is still pretty far out there...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 13, 2016, 01:05:46 PM
In a few years, even the parking lot will be outmoded.  ;)

Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in Alabama Is Put Up for Sale
Quote
HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation's largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has set a minimum bid of $36.4 million for its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant and the 1,600 surrounding acres of waterfront property on the Tennessee River. The buyer gets two unfinished nuclear reactors, transmission lines, office and warehouse buildings, eight miles of roads, a 1,000-space parking lot and more.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/bellefonte-nuclear-plant-alabama-put-sale-n647296 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/bellefonte-nuclear-plant-alabama-put-sale-n647296)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: JimD on September 16, 2016, 04:21:10 AM
The UK government has approved the building of a large nuclear power plant...the first in 20 years.  At a
cost of approximately US24 billion.  This is, of course, the projected cost.  Cost overruns on such items are the norm.

The power company will get a guaranteed $122 per megawatt-hour produced for 35 years ...yes 35 years.  This is a good
double the going rate today.  Hmm.  Pork barrel politics going on here???  There is no way this ends well.

http://arstechnica.co.uk/business/2016/09/hinkley-point-c-uk-nuclear-details/ (http://arstechnica.co.uk/business/2016/09/hinkley-point-c-uk-nuclear-details/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on September 16, 2016, 07:48:26 AM
Re: Hinkley nuke

CFO of EDF resigned over it 7 mar 2016
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35741772 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35741772)

Then Brexit happened
Teresa May found out about the clusterfuck, as usual, after she got there
She did a deal with China, they put out 6e9-8e9 UKpound, get to build another nuke in Essex
EDF gets to build the thing, and put out 12e9UK pound or so
They get a price of  0.0925UKpound/kwh for 35 yr which is about 3 times average price today
But it wont be built for a decade, and perilously close to shore
The nuke design can load follow, which is good for renewable balancing

have a feeling that EDF will choke and die and have to be rescued, probly by the Chinese

sidd
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on September 16, 2016, 03:18:29 PM
Time for an update on nuclear construction in china:


http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx)

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on October 05, 2016, 01:25:46 AM
Interesting report from the United Nations on radiation.

http://www.unscear.org/docs/GAreports/2016/A-71-46_e_V1604696.pdf (http://www.unscear.org/docs/GAreports/2016/A-71-46_e_V1604696.pdf)

On page 13 it states:

 "By far the largest collective (radiation) dose to workers per unit
of electricity generated was found in the solar power cycle, followed by the wind
power cycle. The reason for this is that these technologies require large amounts of
rare earth metals, and the mining of low-grade ore exposes workers to natural
radionuclides during mining."

and

"The total collective (radiation) dose per unit of electricity generated in the coal cycle
(i.e., the dose to the global public and all exposed workers combined) was larger
than that found in the nuclear fuel cycle."
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 21, 2016, 02:52:48 AM
First new US nuclear reactor in 20 years goes live
Quote
The Tennessee Valley Authority is celebrating an event 43 years in the making: the completion of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant.
...
The TVA, which today serves seven different southern states, relies on nuclear power to light up approximately 4.5 million homes.

Watts Bar 2, the company's seventh operating reactor, reaffirms its commitment to nukes for at least four more decades, Johnson said Wednesday.

In the end, TVA required more than five years to build the project. The final cost, far exceeding its initial budget, stood at $4.7 billion.
http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/us/tennessee-nuclear-power-plant/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/us/tennessee-nuclear-power-plant/index.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: SteveMDFP on October 21, 2016, 04:40:05 PM
It looks like Watts Bar 2 has a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts.  Cost of construction $4.7 billion.  I think thats $4 per watt, not including costs going forward of handling fuel and waste.  Seems like a potent argument for renewable alternatives.

My own sense is that nuclear *could* be a good addition to the energy mix if and when a rational waste program is operational and streamlined construction and permitting is routine.  But until Yucca Mountain (or equivalent) is actually in operation, committing to production of unmanageable  waste is just irresponsible.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on October 21, 2016, 11:56:09 PM
Nicely put, Steve.

More here: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/20/last-gasp-dying-industry-nuclear-experts-decry-first-new-us-reactor-20-years (http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/20/last-gasp-dying-industry-nuclear-experts-decry-first-new-us-reactor-20-years)

Quote
'Last Gasp of Dying Industry': Nuclear Experts Decry First New US Reactor in 20 Years

Watts Bar's launch is "a symbolic gesture. It's very sad that this is the last gasp of the industry because it looks like such an extraordinarily dumb one"

Quote
At $4.7 billion, the project is "arguably one of the most expensive, most over-budget, oldest reactors to be started in human history..."
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on October 22, 2016, 06:39:04 AM

Quote
'Last Gasp of Dying Industry': Nuclear Experts Decry First New US Reactor in 20 Years

Watts Bar's launch is "a symbolic gesture. It's very sad that this is the last gasp of the industry because it looks like such an extraordinarily dumb one"

As the late Professor David McKay said “Humanity really does needs to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics – we need a plan that adds up.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/03/idea-of-renewables-powering-uk-is-an-appalling-delusion-david-mackay)

Real world evidence shows that in 20 years Germany DUPLICATED 77GW of fossil fuel generation with 87GW of wind and solar at a cost of 200 billion euros.  In 2015 Germany produced just 19% of power from solar and wind and 55% from fossil fuels because most of the time sun and wind are unavailable giving CO2 emissions of 484g/kWh.

In fact total electricity CO2 emissions dropped from 326 million tonnes to 313 millon tonnes annually in 15 years a drop of just 13 million tonnes.  See page 41 below.

http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf (http://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2016/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung_2015_Slides_web_EN.pdf)
 
For 2015 divide 313million tonnes on p41 by 647TWh on p13 gives 484gms/kWh.

By comparison France REPLACED nearly all its fossil fuel generation with 63GW nuclear in 20 years and today has CO2 emissions of 44g/kWh or 10 times less than Germany.

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

Nuclear may seem dumb to anti science political ideologists but looks pretty smart to scientists like James Hansen who can crunch numbers and knows that climate change is a serious issue for humanity.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on October 22, 2016, 08:54:01 AM
It looks like Watts Bar 2 has a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts.  Cost of construction $4.7 billion.  I think thats $4 per watt, not including costs going forward of handling fuel and waste.  Seems like a potent argument for renewable alternatives.

To be objective, an installed watt of nuclear is not an installed watt of solar or wind, as nuclear produces a much higher percent of the time, and has a different intermittency pattern. But still, considering the very long planning time and building time, nuclear is a bad idea in an era of shortening time horizons due to growing uncertainties about the future (climate, civilization, prices of alternatives etc.).

Real world evidence shows that in 20 years Germany DUPLICATED 77GW of fossil fuel generation with 87GW of wind and solar at a cost of 200 billion euros.  In 2015 Germany produced just 19% of power from solar and wind and 55% from fossil fuels because most of the time sun and wind are unavailable giving CO2 emissions of 484g/kWh.

In fact total electricity CO2 emissions dropped from 326 million tonnes to 313 millon tonnes annually in 15 years a drop of just 13 million tonnes.  See page 41 below.

For 2015 divide 313million tonnes on p41 by 647TWh on p13 gives 484gms/kWh.

By comparison France REPLACED nearly all its fossil fuel generation with 63GW nuclear in 20 years and today has CO2 emissions of 44g/kWh or 10 times less than Germany.

Nuclear may seem dumb to anti science political ideologists but looks pretty smart to scientists like James Hansen who can crunch numbers and knows that climate change is a serious issue for humanity.

To be objective, 87GW of wind/solar is not comparable to 77GW of nuclear, again due to duty cycle issues. And in any case a solar/wind installation without proper storage can't take over the grid. Therefore real solar/wind cost is higher than usually quoted. On the other hand, prices are dropping steadily while nuclear costs seem to be rising (or more real costs of safety and waste management are exposed and internalized).
But the main thing is that beginning at present, a nuclear makeover of a country could take 30-40 years to be completed, with partial results at 20 years, and be highly dependent on the country maintaining high levels of governance and avoiding serious war and sabotage for the next 100 years. So even with very optimistic assumptions nuclear is only appropriate for a handful of stable developed countries. Germany and France are not your average country.
While solar/wind/storage could be much shorter (15-20 years?), give partial results faster (2-5 years), both planning and maintenance are far less complex, and vulnerability is quite limited. Solar has been successfully deployed (on a small scale) with the poor in Bangladesh and in remote places in Africa.

Both Iraq and Syria were building nuclear reactors at some point (both were attacked by Israel and abandoned). Imaging that they succeeded at building not one reactor for dubious purposes but twenty reactors for electricity generation. Fast forward to the present - both countries have civil wars, are undergoing partial or full collapse and are on the verge of being split apart. I shudder to think of a nuclear grid under such circumstances.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: wili on October 22, 2016, 08:29:42 PM
https://thinkprogress.org/nuclear-power-is-losing-money-at-an-astonishing-rate-e9473d62acc5#.6zsgawmn8

Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate

Quote
Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable...

... if existing nuclear power plants have become unprofitable, then new nuclear power plants make no economic sense whatsoever. Perhaps no surprise, then, that a Reuters headline blared last month, “New Nuclear Reactor Builds Fall To Zero In First Half Of 2016 — Report.”
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on October 23, 2016, 02:26:49 AM
so why is china building so many nuclear power plants?
could it be that economically it is not viable in western for profit situations, but in the grand scheme of things it makes sense in the short (100 year) time.

I was always amazed at why it cost so much to build the reactors in the US vs what it cost in France.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 23, 2016, 02:48:05 PM
so why is china building so many nuclear power plants?
could it be that economically it is not viable in western for profit situations, but in the grand scheme of things it makes sense in the short (100 year) time.

I was always amazed at why it cost so much to build the reactors in the US vs what it cost in France.

I wonder about the safety factors and quality of construction incorporated into the big Chinese plant buildout, compared to plants in other countries.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on October 23, 2016, 10:46:34 PM
so why is china building so many nuclear power plants?
could it be that economically it is not viable in western for profit situations, but in the grand scheme of things it makes sense in the short (100 year) time.

I was always amazed at why it cost so much to build the reactors in the US vs what it cost in France.

I wonder about the safety factors and quality of construction incorporated into the big Chinese plant buildout, compared to plants in other countries.

they are joint designs with Westinghouse... AP1000 ... will be interested in the quality of their implementation, however nothing can compare to the total ineptitude of the russians at chernoybl
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on October 24, 2016, 07:55:53 AM
I'm pretty sure the Chinese will be cutting corners in their implementation.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on October 25, 2016, 02:33:50 AM
I'm pretty sure the Chinese will be cutting corners in their implementation.

this is really important.
i hope this is just your opinion and not based on any evidence.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: budmantis on October 25, 2016, 06:56:27 AM
I'm pretty sure the Chinese will be cutting corners in their implementation.

this is really important.
i hope this is just your opinion and not based on any evidence.

That is my hope as well Mati, but based on their track record, they'll have a tendency to follow the path of least resistance.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 18, 2017, 09:22:46 AM

Is the objective of climate change policy the installation of renewables or CO2 emissions reduction?

Germany is seen as the world leader on climate action because it installed 95GW of renewables in just 16 years giving a total of 105GW.

Yet German renewables produce just 30% of their electricity, most is provided by fossil fuels when wind and solar is not available.

CO2 emissions have been reduced by just 20 million tonnes in 16 years to 306 million tonnes, giving a CO2 intensity of 473g/kWh, well short of the climate target of 100g/kWh or less.

https://www.agora-nergiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung-2016_WEB.pdf (https://www.agora-nergiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Agora_Jahresauswertung-2016_WEB.pdf)

(In German however from the graphs for 2016 dividing 306 million tonnes of CO2 by 648TWh gives 473g/kWh.)

Annual renewables subsidies are €25 billion giving German domestic electricity prices of €0.30/kWh.

By contrast France installed 63GW of nuclear capacity in just 20 years replacing most of their fossil fuel capacity.

French nuclear produces 75% of their electricity.

French electricity CO2 intensity is just 73g/kWh or 6 times less than Germany.

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)

French domestic electricity prices are €0.16/kWh or half those of Germany.

Yet another year of real world evidence continues to show that while renewables enjoy popular political support they do not significantly reduce CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: BenB on January 18, 2017, 12:34:27 PM
Tom,

You're conflating two separate issues - the expansion of renewables in Germany and the closure of nuclear power stations in Germany. One reduces CO2 emissions, the other increases them. However, they are not related - nuclear power stations are not being closed because renewables are being installed. Nuclear power station closures are the result of German public opinion being strongly against nuclear power and would have happened regardless.

Therefore, without the expansion of renewables, German CO2 emissions would have risen sharply due to nuclear being replaced by gas/coal. It follows that renewables are significantly reducing CO2 emission - and of course there is lots of real-world evidence that renewables reduce emissions by the amount you would expect based on their annual generation.

Of course, had nuclear power stations not been closed, CO2 emissions would be lower than they actually are. But let's not create a false dichotomy where only nuclear power reduces emissions - it's rubbish, and I suspect you know it is. Both nuclear power and renewables can and do achieve significant CO2 reductions.

On the question of subsidies and prices, Germany electricity prices for commercial and industrial customers are kept low, which means that retail customers bear the full burden of the subsidies. However, only citing the electricity price for retail customers doesn't give an accurate picture of the impact of subsidies on average Germany electricity prices. Moreoever, subsidies only run for a limited period (typically 10-20 years), and have been falling sharply for new installations, which means that within a few years the annual subsidy cost will fall, while overall renewable capacity will continue to increase.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on January 18, 2017, 02:17:07 PM
I'm going to take issue with the prices you quote, Tom. First of all, you can get electricity for 0.24 €/kWh in Germany, and that's Ökostrom. Secondly, one problem with electricity prices in Germany is that the large power companies have happily sucked up all the subsidies and the profits they engendered, which actually should have flowed back to the customers.

Third, prices in France are rising rapidly. Why? Partly because of nuclear. Read this article (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-27/french-shocked-power-prices-spike-8-year-highs-nuclear-reactor-probe-shutdown) from last October:

Quote
French 'Shocked' As Power Prices Spike To 8-Year Highs On Nuclear Reactor Probe Shutdown

The scale of forced closures in nuclear power-reliant France - 19 reactors offline and 12 more due to shut - is the biggest since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, after French nuclear safety watchdog ASN warned its sprawling probe into forged quality control reports on reactor parts would turn up more irregularities. These deepening setbacks have sent French power prices soaring to 8 year highs and are expected to spike more into the winter...

As Bloomberg reports, French power prices for next-month delivery, already at the highest in eight years, are set for a record increase in October amid expectations that prolonged maintenance at Electricite de France SA’s nuclear reactors will expose further anomalies after manufacturing problems in components came to light.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fimages%2Fuser3303%2Fimageroot%2F2016%2F10%2F26%2F20161027_power_0.jpg&hash=0315ff00b1d7b2ddce181be574e8f1c9)

Below are two stills from this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VBzorekCxk&t=17s) explaining why prices are set to rise even further into the future (55 billion euros for extending the life of nuclear reactors in a safe way, but this number is bound to be much higher because the clean-up of closed reactors is costing huge amounts of money).

But if you speak French, this lad explains it well:

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDu86bcrC94#)

Summary:
- Nuclear used to be cheap, not anymore
- 5% cost augmentation per year for nuclear
- 55 billion euros for 'Grand Carénage' project up to 2025 (see still below), French Court of Audit estimates it will be 100 billion
- Problems with building Gen III reactors (EPR), budget , for instance reactor in Flamanville (still not finished) was projected to cost 3 billion, has already cost 9 billion
- Storage of nuclear waste (in one site to be constructed) was supposed to cost between 13 and 17 billion euros, but estimation is now 35 billion euros
- EDF has reserved 23 billion euros for the dismantling of nuclear power plants, but studies show this will actually cost tens of billions of euros more (they still don't know how to dismantle the core)
- EDF is in bad shape financially, and so these hundreds of billions of euros will have to be paid, either directly by consumers, or indirectly, by the state (tax payers).

I've said it before, Tom, be careful not to rely on German coal lobby propaganda.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: charles_oil on January 18, 2017, 06:09:38 PM
to see the French power generation / consumption in real time see:

http://www.rte-france.com/fr/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique (http://www.rte-france.com/fr/eco2mix/eco2mix-mix-energetique)

There are 5 nuclear stations off line at the moment I think - so its a bit tight in the freezing weather across France....  Solar adds a bit - but not much!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 30, 2017, 07:56:36 AM
John Kerry who terminated the USA fast breeder reactor program which uses nuclear waste as nuclear fuel has also realised how wrong he was to oppose nuclear reactors and is now telling us all to "go for it".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f15rSTy7Spg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f15rSTy7Spg)


Unfortunately for the climate it is 33 years too late.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on January 30, 2017, 08:42:38 AM
Using nuclear to power large cargo ships could save significant CO2 emissions.

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/28/now-time-nuclear-cargo-shipping/

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 01, 2017, 03:23:48 AM
Toshiba to put a halt to nuclear power plant business ambitions
Quote
Toshiba will halt its nuclear construction ambitions after its Westinghouse unit incurred losses that could reach up to $6 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
...
Toshiba bought nuclear manufacturing company Westinghouse in 2006 for $5.4 billion. However, delays in the construction of power plant projects in the U.S. have led to high costs for the Japanese company, which was rattled by an accounting scandal in 2015. Toshiba also recently announced plans to sell a part of its memory chip business to cover for costs incurred by the nuclear construction projects.

Experts say that the Japanese conglomerate's decision to leave the nuclear construction business is likely to impact competition in the industry, the WSJ said.
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/31/toshiba-to-put-a-halt-to-nuclear-power-plant-business-ambitions.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/31/toshiba-to-put-a-halt-to-nuclear-power-plant-business-ambitions.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on February 05, 2017, 02:08:07 AM
If you close firm generation capacity nuclear you need to replace it with alternative firm generation capacity like coal, gas, oil or hydro.

Japan is turning to coal power to help it transition the country away from nuclear power.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/01/japan-infuriating-enviros-by-building-45-new-coal-power-plants/#ixzz4XYQMHPMQ (http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/01/japan-infuriating-enviros-by-building-45-new-coal-power-plants/#ixzz4XYQMHPMQ)

The only casualty will be the climate but for anti nuclear supporters this is a small price to pay.   

The facts are simple, just four large economies Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and France have near-zero-emission electricity, all use hydroelectricity and/or nuclear power.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2017, 09:13:49 PM
Toshiba Misses Deadline for Earnings Report, Rattling Investors
The company’s auditor disagrees over nuclear unit writedown
Quote
... The Tokyo-based company has been trying to get its hands around losses in the nuclear business stemming from cost overruns at U.S. reactors and diminishing prospects for its atomic-energy operations. The conglomerate has said it may take a writedown of as much as 700 billion yen ($6.1 billion) and has seen its market value slump by more than $7 billion. ...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-14/toshiba-drops-on-report-it-will-issue-going-concern-warning (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-14/toshiba-drops-on-report-it-will-issue-going-concern-warning)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: silkman on February 15, 2017, 09:26:51 AM
And as a result the UK's plans for a nuclear renaissance face another major threat to add to the problems at EDF's Hinkley Point.
Quote
  Unions are urging the government to take back control of its nuclear strategy after Toshiba’s deepening financial crisis cast fresh doubt about its involvement in the planned Moorside power station in Cumbria.

Justin Bowden, GMB’s national secretary for energy, described the situation as a “fiasco” after Japan’s Toshiba, the lead party behind Moorside, revealed a $6.3bn writedown in its US Westinghouse business and confirmed it was scaling back investment in new overseas nuclear projects.

Meanwhile the UK Government remains in nuclear La La Land:

Quote
.   Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary, sought to reassure that the UK project would go ahead. “I have spoken to Toshiba and NuGen today. I welcome the continued commitment of the NuGen consortium to the Moorside project,” he said.   

The chance of replacing the ageing coal fleet with new nuclear is zero and the investment in sensible alternatives such as the Smart grid, local generation and storage grossly sub-optimal. There seems to be little chance that post-Brexit UK will hit its Paris targets

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/14/toshiba-unions-uk-government-nuclear (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/14/toshiba-unions-uk-government-nuclear)

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on February 15, 2017, 02:09:57 PM
That is quite a blow. Nuclear energy should absolutely be part of the solution. If we need to cut FF too fast, there are no other means to large amounts of reliable always on energy without reengineering the electrical grid
 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 28, 2017, 02:48:09 AM
U.S.:  Record Nuclear Shutdowns Seen Boosting `Pummeled' Natural Gas
Quote
More U.S. nuclear reactors will close for refueling this spring than at any time in nearly two decades creating a power shortage that may lift beaten-down natural gas.

Operators plan to shut 34 reactors, or more than a third of nuclear generating capacity, to replace fuel rods from March through May, according to Michael Rennhack, president and chief executive officer of www.NukeWorker.com (http://www.NukeWorker.com), a website that advertises jobs in the sector. That would be the most for the time of year in data going back to 2000, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and projections from Rennhack.

The closures may be good news for gas, the worst performer in the Bloomberg Commodity Index as generators that burn the fossil fuel run harder to make up for the nuclear shortfall, according to Kyle Cooper, director of research with IAF Advisors in Houston. The power plant and heating fuel has tumbled about 28 percent this year as weak demand amid unseasonably warm weather has allowed a glut in supplies to persist.

"Natural gas has been pummeled by bad-weather forecast after bad-weather forecast, so this is the first glimmer of hope in a while," Cooper said by phone Friday. "This could provide some enthusiasm for the market." ...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-27/record-nuclear-shutdowns-seen-boosting-pummeled-natural-gas (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-27/record-nuclear-shutdowns-seen-boosting-pummeled-natural-gas)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on March 06, 2017, 01:24:18 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltfa8sSwZTA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltfa8sSwZTA)

A very interesting video where Paul Howarth, CEO of the National Nuclear Laboratory in the UK talks about the UK Government journey towards achieving 60% emissions reduction by 2050 and 80% by 2080.

Initially the Government’s (Labour) ideological position was this could be achieved with renewables until Government scientists developed an emissions reduction computer model.  When the model was run it showed that it is not possible to achieve the emissions reductions required until nuclear was included in the mix.

Based on science and not political ideology the UK Government with bipartisan agreement is now moving towards their emissions reduction goal by developing a nuclear energy industry that will also include a closed nuclear waste cycle by mid century. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on March 14, 2017, 07:20:17 PM
Small Nuclear Reactors coming closer to fruition:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170313005622/en/GE-Hitachi-Nuclear-Energy-ARC-Nuclear-Announce (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170313005622/en/GE-Hitachi-Nuclear-Energy-ARC-Nuclear-Announce)

http://www.arcnuclear.com/ (http://www.arcnuclear.com/)

(interesting 20 year refuling cycle)

Small Size
Small enough that its modularized components can be shipped and installed at the site using regular commercial equipment, such as barges, rail, trucks, and construction cranes.
 
Sodium as Coolant
The use of sodium instead of water as the heat transfer agent in the reactor allows the reactor to operate at ambient pressure.  Its containment vessel is a double walled stainless steel tank rather than a 12 inch thick forged steel containment vessel required for traditional light water reactors.
 
Passive Safety
Effectively "walk away" fail safe and protection of the reactor from a melt down does not depend on extra pumps, operator intervention or any external system in the event a disaster destroys all electric power to the plant site.
 
Re-use of Nuclear Waste
The ability of ARC-100 to recycle traditional nuclear waste and generate energy, burn or transform plutonium that could be used for weapons and eliminate the need to bury or store large quantities of nuclear waste.
 
Twenty Year Refueling Cycle
The proprietary reactor core of the ARC reactor is designed to operate for 20+ years without refueling.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: longwalks1 on March 14, 2017, 11:18:30 PM
And a different take on small and modular reactors at the end of the article and in the middle an analysis of the standard large reactors
http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/14/terminal-decline-fukushima-and-the-deepening-crisis-of-nuclear-energy/ (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/14/terminal-decline-fukushima-and-the-deepening-crisis-of-nuclear-energy/)

Quote
Small is beautiful?
The four Third Way / Breakthrough Institute authors argue that nuclear power must become substantially cheaper – thus ruling out large conventional reactors “operated at high atmospheric pressures, requiring enormous containment structures, multiply redundant back-up cooling systems, and water cooling towers and ponds, which account for much of the cost associated with building light-water reactors.”

following is a quote of a quote from Bull Atom Scient (the one that Sam Day used to edit decades ago)
Quote
“Without a clear-cut case for their advantages, it seems that small nuclear modular reactors are a solution looking for a problem. Of course in the world of digital innovation, this kind of upside-down relationship between solution and problem is pretty normal. Smart phones, Twitter, and high-definition television all began as solutions looking for problems.

Author is
Quote
Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter, where a longer version of this article was originally published.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Tor Bejnar on March 17, 2017, 04:39:23 PM
Japan court rules government liable for Fukushima disaster (http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Japan_court_rules_government_liable_for_Fukushima_disaster_999.html)
Terra Daily

Quote
A Japanese court on Friday ruled for the first time that the government bears [and shares]responsibility for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and ordered it and the plant operator to pay damages, officials and news reports said. ...

Plaintiffs received less than a quarter of what they sued for.


Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 29, 2017, 03:49:43 PM
Westinghouse Nuclear has gone bankrupt.

How an American Tech Icon Bet on Nuclear — and Lost its Way
Quote
Westinghouse Electric Co., once synonymous with America’s industrial might, wagered its future on nuclear power — and lost.

Now a unit of Japanese technology giant Toshiba Corp., Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy-court protection, citing as much as $10 billion in debt.
...

In the U.S., only four of 30 applications for nuclear reactors using Westinghouse technology have moved forward, and even those are now at risk. Westinghouse has fallen behind on projects for U.S. utility companies Southern Co. and Scana Corp.

Cost Overruns

Scana and Southern could end up dealing with billions of dollars in additional cost overruns from the power plants they hired Westinghouse to build, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Scana faces as much as $5.2 billion in higher costs while Southern’s extra bills could reach $3.3 billion, Morgan Stanley has said.
...
https://about.bnef.com/blog/how-an-american-tech-icon-bet-on-nuclear-and-lost-its-way/
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on March 30, 2017, 04:32:00 AM
Westinghouse Nuclear has gone bankrupt.

How an American Tech Icon Bet on Nuclear — and Lost its Way
Quote
Westinghouse Electric Co., once synonymous with America’s industrial might, wagered its future on nuclear power — and lost.

Now a unit of Japanese technology giant Toshiba Corp., Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy-court protection, citing as much as $10 billion in debt.
...

In the U.S., only four of 30 applications for nuclear reactors using Westinghouse technology have moved forward, and even those are now at risk. Westinghouse has fallen behind on projects for U.S. utility companies Southern Co. and Scana Corp.

Cost Overruns

Scana and Southern could end up dealing with billions of dollars in additional cost overruns from the power plants they hired Westinghouse to build, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Scana faces as much as $5.2 billion in higher costs while Southern’s extra bills could reach $3.3 billion, Morgan Stanley has said.
...
https://about.bnef.com/blog/how-an-american-tech-icon-bet-on-nuclear-and-lost-its-way/ (https://about.bnef.com/blog/how-an-american-tech-icon-bet-on-nuclear-and-lost-its-way/)
Westinghouse had a large investment in the Ukrainian nuclear industry. Wonder if they've been paying their bills, and who will pick up the refueling contract.
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on March 30, 2017, 10:48:30 AM
Westinghouse Nuclear has gone bankrupt.

How an American Tech Icon Bet on Nuclear — and Lost its Way
Quote
Westinghouse Electric Co., once synonymous with America’s industrial might, wagered its future on nuclear power — and lost.

Now a unit of Japanese technology giant Toshiba Corp., Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy-court protection, citing as much as $10 billion in debt.
...

In the U.S., only four of 30 applications for nuclear reactors using Westinghouse technology have moved forward, and even those are now at risk. Westinghouse has fallen behind on projects for U.S. utility companies Southern Co. and Scana Corp.

Cost Overruns

Scana and Southern could end up dealing with billions of dollars in additional cost overruns from the power plants they hired Westinghouse to build, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. Scana faces as much as $5.2 billion in higher costs while Southern’s extra bills could reach $3.3 billion, Morgan Stanley has said.
...
https://about.bnef.com/blog/how-an-american-tech-icon-bet-on-nuclear-and-lost-its-way/ (https://about.bnef.com/blog/how-an-american-tech-icon-bet-on-nuclear-and-lost-its-way/)
Westinghouse had a large investment in the Ukrainian nuclear industry. Wonder if they've been paying their bills, and who will pick up the refueling contract.
Terry

The Russians ? Or the French ? Or the parent company?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on March 30, 2017, 02:38:33 PM

The Times attributes the construction issues to inexperience on the part of the contractors, especially given how little new nuclear power plant construction had been underway in the previous decades.

safety regulations passed to prevent terrorist attacks against targets like nuclear reactors forced redesign and relicensing of the two power plants, which “created additional, unanticipated engineering challenges that resulted in increased costs and delays on the US AP1000 Projects.”

https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/03/nuclear-giant-westinghouse-files-for-bankruptcy-after-costs-skyrocketed/ (https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/03/nuclear-giant-westinghouse-files-for-bankruptcy-after-costs-skyrocketed/)

It's a real smawzel..  The construction company hired by westinghouse to build the reactor was a failure and had to be bought by westinghouse and a lot of rework done

After Westinghouse hired Shaw to handle construction in 2008, it wasn’t long before the company’s work came under scrutiny. By early 2012, NRC inspectors found steel in the foundation of one reactor had been installed improperly. A 300-ton reactor vessel nearly fell off a rail car. The wrong welds were used on nuclear modules and had to be redone. Shaw “clearly lacked experience in the nuclear power industry and was not prepared for the rigor and attention to detail required,’’

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-13/toshiba-s-nuclear-reactor-mess-winds-back-to-a-louisiana-swamp (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-13/toshiba-s-nuclear-reactor-mess-winds-back-to-a-louisiana-swamp)

Similar problems in China:

All four Chinese AP1000s were scheduled to be operational by 2016,[39] but are reported to be running over two years late mainly due to key component delays and project management issues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000)



Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: silkman on March 30, 2017, 11:46:54 PM
   
Quote
Westinghouse Electric's AP1000 has been given the seal of approval by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales - the three bodies which carry out generic design assessments of designs.

They are satisfied that the reactor meets expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

It comes after Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the USA - where it is based - leading parent company Toshiba to say supplying the three required for the proposed new power plant at Moorside, near Sellafield, was "uncertain"   

But only in the UK could the Regulator choose the day after the reactor supplier is declared bankrupt to announce its approval of the design after years of analysis. You really couldn't make it up!

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/business/Moorside-reactor-given-Government-backing-9f4b2cc4-3887-47f6-acf0-85c13fc89532-ds (http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/business/Moorside-reactor-given-Government-backing-9f4b2cc4-3887-47f6-acf0-85c13fc89532-ds)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on March 31, 2017, 03:56:48 PM
It could be that China will take over building AP1000 like reactors from Westinghouse.....

Quote
Westinghouse has agreed to transfer technology to SNPTC over the first four AP1000 units so that SNPTC can build the following ones on its own. In 2014 SNPTC signed a further agreement with Westinghouse to deepen cooperation in relation to AP1000 and CAP1400 technology globally and “establish a mutually beneficial and complementary partnership”.

with a possible 36 more AP1000 units to be built

Quote
Six more at three sites are firmly planned after them, at Sanmen, Haiyang and Lufeng (for CGN), and at least 30 more were proposed to follow.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx)

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 03, 2017, 10:23:37 AM
Great visual map of CO2 emissions in Europe.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?page=country&countryCode=FR (https://www.electricitymap.org/?page=country&countryCode=FR)

Note that Norway (hydro), Sweden (nuclear and hydro) and France (nuclear) are "green clean " countries with emissions less than 100g/kWh.

By contrast countries like Germany that have invested heavily in intermittent renewable energy generation sources like solar and wind are classified as "brown" countries with emissions above 500g/kWh.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 04, 2017, 05:33:01 PM
Great site reference tombond!

Under current plans all the incremental new renewables capacity in Germany will be used to offset the removal of the remaining nuclear plants until 2022 - so no impact on CO2 emissions. Plans for retiring all the coal-fired electricity generating plants are looking at 2040-2050, while support for new renewables is being reduced. If they had replaced coal instead of nuclear they would be well on the way to a truly low-carbon electricity system. A massive missed opportunity.

Much of the historical reduction in German emissions since 1990 (the base year for current targets) can be pretty much accounted for by the deindustrialization of East Germany after reunification and the closure of very old an inefficient coal powered generating plants. East German emissions fell 43% between 1990 and 1995. Plus the impact of the 2008-10 recession and slow recovery (2% gdp growth since 2012).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 11, 2017, 03:13:45 PM
Toshiba warns it may not survive its financial crisis
Quote
...
Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing has raised questions about what will happen to the storied U.S. company.

Toshiba says it will have no influence over who buys its majority stake in Westinghouse. That will happen under the supervision of the bankruptcy court "and we will not be involved in that," Tsunakawa told reporters last month.

That sale process could fuel concerns in the U.S. government, which reportedly wants to ensure domestic nuclear capabilities don't end up being bought by a Chinese firm.

Westinghouse is already building reactors in China. Buying the struggling American company could provide China with technology it needs to become a leading player in nuclear power.
http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/11/investing/toshiba-earnings-delisting-westinghouse-crisis/index.html (http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/11/investing/toshiba-earnings-delisting-westinghouse-crisis/index.html)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 11, 2017, 07:24:39 PM
China plans to open 1st ‘meltdown-free’ nuclear power plant by 2017

"China says it is planning to bring a safe nuclear power plant that will not suffer from meltdowns online in November 2017. It would be the world’s first high-temperature, gas-cooled pebble-bed nuclear plant built on an industrial scale. China’s Nuclear Engineering Construction Corporation wants to introduce a high temperature, pebble-bed, gas-cooled nuclear reactor, in the Shandong Province, south of the capital, Beijing. The company is planning to bring twin 105-megawatt reactors online that would be immune to meltdown. It is hoped that the power station will start working by November 2017.

The Chinese are using a design developed in Germany, though the nuclear reactor which is being built in Shandong will be the first commercial-scale atomic power plant of its kind to be constructed.
“This technology is going to be on the world market within the next five years,” said Zhang Zuoyi, director of the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Technology Review reported. “We are developing these reactors to belong to the world.”

The irony of China using a German design for new nuclear reactors.... If they can pull it off, would be a great achievement.

https://www.rt.com/news/332254-china-meltdown-free-reactor/ (https://www.rt.com/news/332254-china-meltdown-free-reactor/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on April 11, 2017, 08:38:05 PM
Pebble bed reactors have failure modes, some of which are discussed in the Wikipedia article. My major concern is fire from loss of helium gas and oxygen intrusion. There are other problems also. I shall  await the results of the Chinese  project.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 11, 2017, 09:06:29 PM
Thanks sidd, seems that I need to do some more research on this ...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 11, 2017, 11:21:03 PM
Pebble bed reactors have failure modes, some of which are discussed in the Wikipedia article. My major concern is fire from loss of helium gas and oxygen intrusion. There are other problems also. I shall  await the results of the Chinese  project.
Engineering wise there many more ways to solve those problems, with dual loop systems etc etc. It is about fucking time somebody commercialized pebble reactors.  I got to chemical engineering by a desire to get involved with nuclear engineering. Never happened but oh well...development moved with a snail pace..
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 11, 2017, 11:22:58 PM
Pebble bed reactors have failure modes, some of which are discussed in the Wikipedia article. My major concern is fire from loss of helium gas and oxygen intrusion. There are other problems also. I shall  await the results of the Chinese  project.

There are passive themosiphon like systems that can keep flow even with loss of compressor/turbine...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on April 11, 2017, 11:33:03 PM
Re: passive safety

There are many backups, but maintaining hermetic sealing in a helium loop under extremes of radiactivity and temperature is quite difficult. And Windscale and Chernobyl have instilled deep caution with regard to graphite moderation. A radioactive graphite fire is very nasty.

sidd
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on April 12, 2017, 12:10:05 AM
1) Isn't helium notoriously prone to leakage?

2) Those are tiny for nuclear reactors aren't they? 100Mw is like 10% current normal scale for  nuclear.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 12, 2017, 01:24:28 AM
What I find is that similarly with renewables and the behavior of people ppposing them, people opposing nuclear power in general are much quicker to find problems and roadblocks rather than solutions. One can design them with just enough fuel that that even at full Helium flow stoppage the temperature does not exceed a certain limit. Alternatively similar to many rather exothermic fixed bed reactors , the design can be a moving bed tubular reactor. Further more one can segregate the moving graphite pebbles in separate tubes than the radioactive pebbles and so on and so forth.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2017, 04:26:29 AM
Re:" ... temperature does not exceed a certain limit ..."

Wait a minnit: from wiki and references:

" ... improper temperatures in the core (more than 200 °C above calculated values ..."

I am concerned about O2 intrusion and graphite fire. Until we have production data, i will stay upwind of the thing.

Re: opposition to nuclear compared to oppposition to renewables.

Well, i am less concerned about a sunshine spill, or a wind spill than a radioactive graphite fire. I would rather have a boiling water nuke in my backyard than a pebble bed one, because we have data on the first.

Actually i would rather have a nuke than can be ramped to fit renewable production, but large boilers dont like being ramped. And that is why i think anything except large batteries and natural gas peakers will be out of the running shortly as renewables win out.

Baseload generation is dying fast.

sidd
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2017, 05:02:20 AM
Re: helium confinement

In a past life, i dealt extensively with helium. It is a little noble gas molecule, say 3 Angstrom or so in size, doesnt like making bonds with anything, including itself.  There is a fascinating paper called "The Weakest Bond" about the tiny energy well of the bound state of the He dimer, two Helium-4 atoms in a mutual energy well,  which can be seen in diverging cross section for scattering states in He-He collisions at loooooow energy. I actually saw this effect in the lab and the observations were puzzling until the theory was developed some years later.

But to address the question: He is a slippery little bugger, the lightest gas other than hydrogen, and hydrogen is far more reactive than He, it makes H2 molecules, while helium doesn't make molecules at ll if it can help itself. So He is monoatomic. As far as "size" or crossection goes, He is actually harder to confine than H2. (However, if it gets out, you dont have to worry about explosion with He like you got to do with H.)

Confining He at high temperatures,pressures and radioactive levels is not for the faint hearted. The highest temperatures I ever had to deal with was around the same as in a pebble bed reactor, I used stainless steel knife edge into opposing copper gasket flanges, but i didnt have to deal with radioactivity, and if i lost confinement i didnt have to worry about a radioactive fire. Radioactivity degrates both stainless and copper, so you got to watch your duty cycles and replacement schedules much more carefully.

Gas cooling is tricky. They did something called AGR with CO2 in the UK  but not too many were built, too complicated.

sidd
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 12, 2017, 05:40:41 AM
Re:" ... temperature does not exceed a certain limit ..."

Wait a minnit: from wiki and references:

" ... improper temperatures in the core (more than 200 °C above calculated values ..."

I am concerned about O2 intrusion and graphite fire. Until we have production data, i will stay upwind of the thing.

Re: opposition to nuclear compared to oppposition to renewables.

Well, i am less concerned about a sunshine spill, or a wind spill than a radioactive graphite fire. I would rather have a boiling water nuke in my backyard than a pebble bed one, because we have data on the first.

Actually i would rather have a nuke than can be ramped to fit renewable production, but large boilers dont like being ramped. And that is why i think anything except large batteries and natural gas peakers will be out of the running shortly as renewables win out.

Baseload generation is dying fast.

sidd

Until that miracle or two happens....
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 12, 2017, 05:42:01 AM
Re: helium confinement

In a past life, i dealt extensively with helium. It is a little noble gas molecule, say 3 Angstrom or so in size, doesnt like making bonds with anything, including itself.  There is a fascinating paper called "The Weakest Bond" about the tiny energy well of the bound state of the He dimer, two Helium-4 atoms in a mutual energy well,  which can be seen in diverging cross section for scattering states in He-He collisions at loooooow energy. I actually saw this effect in the lab and the observations were puzzling until the theory was developed some years later.

But to address the question: He is a slippery little bugger, the lightest gas other than hydrogen, and hydrogen is far more reactive than He, it makes H2 molecules, while helium doesn't make molecules at ll if it can help itself. So He is monoatomic. As far as "size" or crossection goes, He is actually harder to confine than H2. (However, if it gets out, you dont have to worry about explosion with He like you got to do with H.)

Confining He at high temperatures,pressures and radioactive levels is not for the faint hearted. The highest temperatures I ever had to deal with was around the same as in a pebble bed reactor, I used stainless steel knife edge into opposing copper gasket flanges, but i didnt have to deal with radioactivity, and if i lost confinement i didnt have to worry about a radioactive fire. Radioactivity degrates both stainless and copper, so you got to watch your duty cycles and replacement schedules much more carefully.

Gas cooling is tricky. They did something called AGR with CO2 in the UK  but not too many were built, too complicated.

sidd

Isn't it true though that hydrogen can diffuse through solid metal walls and pop out the other side while He cannot , unless it diffuses through the defects?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2017, 08:30:55 AM
yes, hydrogen is mass 2, helium 4 so diffusion coefficients ( assuming equal reactivity, which is not the case) is sqrt(2) larger for H2

In my experience you can pick up on a mass spec the hydrogen signal on the outside of 1/8 inch red hot stainless wall confining H2 but not the case for He. Shortly after you pick up the H2 signal, you want to shut down everything becoz you have weakened the steel thru hydrogen embrittlement, it will break, and bad things will happen since H2 is explosive in air over a very large range of concentration.

Are you seriously proposing to cool a nuclear reactor using H2 ?

sidd
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on April 12, 2017, 11:39:52 AM
My main problem with nuclear reactors is not their risk profile under regular operation, but their risk profile under the beginning of civilizational collapse. Think of the Mosul Dam, or the Tabka Dam, both in countries under collapse. They weren't very risky to begin with, but both are now at highly increased risk averted through the intervention of foreign powers. All the fine engineering won't help much when maintenance stops or guerillas take over the plant.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 12, 2017, 01:12:12 PM
yes, hydrogen is mass 2, helium 4 so diffusion coefficients ( assuming equal reactivity, which is not the case) is sqrt(2) larger for H2

In my experience you can pick up on a mass spec the hydrogen signal on the outside of 1/8 inch red hot stainless wall confining H2 but not the case for He. Shortly after you pick up the H2 signal, you want to shut down everything becoz you have weakened the steel thru hydrogen embrittlement, it will break, and bad things will happen since H2 is explosive in air over a very large range of concentration.

Are you seriously proposing to cool a nuclear reactor using H2 ?

sidd

Not even close...just discussing diffusion. H2 splits into H in metals and diffuses ....

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 12, 2017, 03:03:01 PM
This is an example of what a successful low CO2 emissions electricity grid looks like and is a blueprint for the world to follow.

The State of Ontario in Canada regularly achieves less than 30g/kWh (today it was 7g/kWh) using low carbon nuclear to do the heavy lifting as base load generation, with some intermittent wind and solar plus hydro and gas to balance peak loads and renewable intermittency.

http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html (http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html)

Below is a commercial from Bruce Power highlighting the great job done by nuclear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXAftYLdVkc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXAftYLdVkc)

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power!

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on April 12, 2017, 03:46:36 PM
Candu heavy water reactors are a completely different beast.  China is planning on using Candu reactors to burn the fuel spent fuel from the light water reactors:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/snc-lavalin-strikes-deal-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-china/article32000350/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/snc-lavalin-strikes-deal-to-build-nuclear-reactors-in-china/article32000350/)

I also think the Candu reactors have a very good safety design.

https://cna.ca/technology/energy/candu-technology/ (https://cna.ca/technology/energy/candu-technology/)

In the back of my mind, i think the US went with the enriched fuel light water reactors in order to obtain the plutonium for their bombs....
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on April 12, 2017, 03:54:45 PM
mati


Didn't Harper do something to hobble CANDU as he was closing down our medical isotope reactor(s)?


The tar sands was the only energy source he approved of IIRC.


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: mati on April 12, 2017, 04:04:11 PM
Didn't Harper do something to hobble CANDU as he was closing down our medical isotope reactor(s)?
The medical isotope reactors in Chalk River were of a different beast, and the design of their replacements was flawed, and yes that project was shut down.

However the commercial CANDU technology is now owned by snc-lavalin.  They obtained  it from AECL in 2011, that's probably what you remember happening.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candu_Energy_Inc.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on April 12, 2017, 04:08:52 PM
Didn't Harper do something to hobble CANDU as he was closing down our medical isotope reactor(s)?
The medical isotope reactors in Chalk River were of a different beast, and the design of their replacements was flawed, and yes that project was shut down.

However the commercial CANDU technology is now owned by snc-lavalin.  They obtained  it from AECL in 2011, that's probably what you remember happening.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candu_Energy_Inc (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candu_Energy_Inc).


You're probably correct, though I can't make the link work.
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on April 12, 2017, 04:22:26 PM
SNC was paid to take over the CANDU cost problem. They are not particularly safe. The newer design had problems with runaway reactions that weren't predicted by the models used to design them.

Ontario's nuclear fleet is wonderfully low carbon but has been an extremely expensive burden.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 14, 2017, 01:48:57 AM
Ontario's nuclear fleet is wonderfully low carbon but has been an extremely expensive burden.

So you would prefer a intermittent renewable system like Germany, very expensive with CO2 emissions 10 times higher than France?

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/dossiers/eeg-20-new-legal-framework-german-energy-transition-0 (https://www.cleanenergywire.org/dossiers/eeg-20-new-legal-framework-german-energy-transition-0)

http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/2/11/german-electricity-was-nearly-10-times-dirtier-than-frances-in-2016 (http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/2/11/german-electricity-was-nearly-10-times-dirtier-than-frances-in-2016)

I thought the objective was to reduce CO2 emissions.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 14, 2017, 04:51:12 AM
The province of Ontario is faced with a very expensive proposition in refurbishing these nuclear power stations. An alternative would be to replace them with supply from Quebec, which has huge amounts of dispatchable hydro and a great wind resource. Ontario itself could also add more wind and solar, balanced by the dispatchable hydro in Quebec and Manitoba (its neighbours)

Unfortunately the mixture of inter-provincial politics and the strong Ontario nuclear lobby seems to have won the day with the liberal government. I have no issue with nuclear, but crazy to spend $10 billions on refurbing very old nuclear plants when a low-carbon alternative is readily available.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on April 14, 2017, 07:30:04 AM
Ontario's nuclear fleet is wonderfully low carbon but has been an extremely expensive burden.

So you would prefer a intermittent renewable system like Germany, very expensive with CO2 emissions 10 times higher than France?

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/dossiers/eeg-20-new-legal-framework-german-energy-transition-0 (https://www.cleanenergywire.org/dossiers/eeg-20-new-legal-framework-german-energy-transition-0)

http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/2/11/german-electricity-was-nearly-10-times-dirtier-than-frances-in-2016 (http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/2/11/german-electricity-was-nearly-10-times-dirtier-than-frances-in-2016)

I thought the objective was to reduce CO2 emissions.
tombond, sometimes you sound like an advertisement for nuclear, with the talking points stacked in one direction. Germany and France are in different positions, but the real question should be where to invest going forward. Yes the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions. Should a country trying to reduce its emissions build lots of new nuclear plants, or lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage? For many countries (if not all) I believe the answer is the latter, because of economic, risk-management and deployment-speed reasons.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 14, 2017, 10:24:15 PM
Good point Oren. Germany's shutting down of its low-carbon nuclear plants rather than its lignite-fuelled ones may be crazy, but it is a situation specific to Germany. Each country has a different set of in place facilities, in place possibilities, and in place politics.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 10:01:19 AM
Lazard (2016) sets the LCOE for new US nuclear at a range of $97 to $136 per MWh (10 to 14 cents per kWh).

Onshore US wind is now around 3 cents per kWh and PV solar about 5 cents per kWh.  Both unsubsidized.  Both are expected to drop below 2 cents per kWh over the next decade.

Do you see a route to cutting the cost of nuclear by 75% or more in order to make it competitive?

(Remember, nuclear like solar and wind needs backup.  Reactors go offline without prior notice.  And if the amount of nuclear online exceeds the annual minimum demand storage is needed to time shift output.)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 17, 2017, 10:50:03 AM
Yes the objective is to reduce CO2 emissions. Should a country trying to reduce its emissions build lots of new nuclear plants, or lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage? For many countries (if not all) I believe the answer is the latter, because of economic, risk-management and deployment-speed reasons.

Where is there a real world example of a reduction in emissions using lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage that has resulted in grid electricity emissions below 100g/kWh?

To effectively reduce CO2 emissions every country must decrease CO2 emissions to less that 100g/kWh and increase electricity capacity 4 fold to allow the electrification of transport and industrial heat.

Currently the only real world examples that have achieved emissions this low are hydro and nuclear.

I agree with James Hansen, the most important task is to  reduce CO2 emissions ASAP and will support any technology that achieves this aim.   

France constructed 63GW of nuclear replacing its fossil fuel capacity in just 20 years and today's has CO2 emissions of less than 100g/kWh so has a proven record.

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-co2-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/eco2mix-co2-en)

Today they are 29g/kWh.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on April 17, 2017, 11:23:46 AM
Solar, wind and storage have only come down in price recently, and continue to do so. Real world examples could follow in 10 years, should a country mobilize itself the way France did with nuclear.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 17, 2017, 04:39:58 PM
And although France currently derives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy, they are seeking to reduce this to 50% by 2025.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/france.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/france.aspx)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 07:41:43 PM
Quote
Where is there a real world example of a reduction in emissions using lots of solar and wind with overcapacity and storage that has resulted in grid electricity emissions below 100g/kWh?

To effectively reduce CO2 emissions every country must decrease CO2 emissions to less that 100g/kWh and increase electricity capacity 4 fold to allow the electrification of transport and industrial heat.

Currently the only real world examples that have achieved emissions this low are hydro and nuclear.

We've been generating electricity with hydro for 100 years or so.  With nuclear for 60.  Wind and solar have only recently become price competitively. 

Ask your question in another decade or so after we've had time to build significant amounts of renewable generation.

I hope you are capable of seeing where electricity generation is heading.  It's going to be cost driven.  Nuclear simply does not compete.  Even paid off reactors are not staying in business, operating expenses are too high. 

Fifteen, twenty years back I assumed we'd build hundreds of new reactors in order to move away from fossil fuels.  Wind and solar were simply too expensive to consider.  With nuclear our cost of electricity would go up but that would be a price we would have to pay to control global warming.

Ten years ago it was clear that wind and solar were going to be options as their prices were coming into line with new nuclear.  We'd have the option of avoiding the downsides of nuclear (waste disposal and plant disasters).

In the last ten years we've watch the price of wind and solar plummet.  A simple look at current costs and where costs are headed tells one that nuclear, unless there is some incredible breakthrough in cost, is off the table.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 08:21:37 PM
Quote
So you would prefer a intermittent renewable system like Germany, very expensive with CO2 emissions 10 times higher than France?

You're making an apples:oranges comparison.

France built their nuclear fleet years ago and their reactors are largely paid off.  Germany is just now installing renewables so they are having to pay off capex and finex costs.

That said, France has admitted that it's costing them about $0.09/kWh to produce electricity from their reactor fleet.  Obviously the government is eating some of that cost and subsidizing the cost of electricity.

If we look at the price of industrial electricity (sans taxes and fees) Germany has been enjoying dropping prices from 10 euro cents per kWh to under 5 euro cents currently.   During that same period France has seen a small increase from under 7 euro cents to over 7 euro cents.  Seven cents is lower than their generating costs. 

France is now seeing that it will be cheaper to close their most expensive reactors and replace them with renewables.  They plan on replacing about a third of their nuclear fleet over the next eight years.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 08:29:36 PM
Just a bit more data. 

Second half of 2015 retail electricity in France was 12.5 euro cents per kWh. 

Second half of 2016 retail electricity in Germany was 12.6 euro cents. 

For some reason the second half 2016 prices are not included on the EU database.  Prices are sans taxes and fees. 

The claim  that electricity is a lot more expensive in Germany is a combination of old data and the inclusion of taxes and fees, not the cost of generating electricity.  Germany adds on a lot of taxes, including 'general fund' VAT taxes.  Something like a sales tax.  The French government appears to be subsidizing the price of electricity with tax money.

Data source - http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database (http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 17, 2017, 09:39:19 PM
France is in a great place to drive renewables, given its massive base of low carbon nuclear. Overbuild the intermittents and curtail when required to keep the load factor up for nuclear. Its hydro-electric supply, at 12%, also provides for a good amount of dispatchable power.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 17, 2017, 10:15:17 PM
Nuclear plants have a limited lifespan.  Reactors are typically designed for a 40 year license with some expectation that they can be pushed out for another 20 years service.  Of course old stuff breaks more frequently so as reactors age the cost of keeping them operating increases.

The average age of France's reactor fleet is greater than 30 years.  France is already encountering operating costs of about 9 euro cents.  Add in major repairs and the cost climbs.  My guess is that it won't make sense to operate hardly any of France's reactors past 2030.  Perhaps sooner.

Germany is actually in a better position than France.  Germany has significant fossil fuel generation which is much more dispatchable than is France's nuclear.  Lowering output of a reactor saves almost no money, fuel is cheap.  Lowering output for a coal or gas plant results in much larger savings due to much higher fuel costs.  As Germany adds wind and solar their wholesale electricity price should drop faster than will France's as they add renewables.

Don't make too much of France's low carbon footprint.  It's real, but it's not intentional.  France rapidly built out a mostly nuclear grid when OPEC threatened their access to petroleum for their generators.  France did not have adequate coal resources which would have left them at the mercy of supply from other countries.  Nuclear was their choice out of "self defense".  Low carbon was simply something that came along with their preferred fuel source, not a decision driver.

Germany may miss the 2020 CO2 target they set several years ago due to their decision to speed up reactor closure.  But they won't miss it by much and they still expect to be fossil fuel free by 2050.  France will have to replace all of their reactors by 2050. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 07:32:38 AM
France already has plans to reduce the nuclear share from 78% to 50% by 2025, which should not provide too many technical problems given the current power mix which includes hydro and dispatchable fossil fuel plants (may be few policy and investment issues!). Germany will be dealing with a much higher share of intermittent renewables, so will be dealing with the pain of working out the kinks earlier.

The really stupid ones are the British, with guaranteed high prices for costly new nuclear and a political aversion to onshore wind.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 08:15:20 AM
Scotland seems on track to be the main British Isle producer of clean energy.

It's going to be interesting watching how nuclear develops in the UK.  It's fairly likely that no new reactors will be built.  If someone would toss another HVDC line in the water and hook into Portuguese/Spanish solar that could be the end of nuclear.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: DrTskoul on April 18, 2017, 12:50:39 PM
Scotland seems on track to be the main British Isle producer of clean energy.

It's going to be interesting watching how nuclear develops in the UK.  It's fairly likely that no new reactors will be built.  If someone would toss another HVDC line in the water and hook into Portuguese/Spanish solar that could be the end of nuclear.

The seek to connect to Iceland and Norway via high voltage interconnects. Based on their current path, there are going to be times that they import a lot of energy. They used to have 100% redundancy..
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 06:31:01 PM
Bob Wallace: "Germany may miss the 2020 CO2 target they set several years ago due to their decision to speed up reactor closure.  But they won't miss it by much and they still expect to be fossil fuel free by 2050"

German emissions look like they have flatlined from 2009 to 2017, looks like they will miss their 40% target - closer to 32% (currently at 27.6%). Very little of that improvement will have happened after 2009. With possibly no reduction in electricity emissions through 2022 (as the remaining nuclear is shut down) and government reluctance to close down coal, the onus will be on transport and buildings. A lot of challenges there:

https://energytransition.org/2017/03/germany-to-miss-2020-carbon-reduction-targets-by-a-mile/ (https://energytransition.org/2017/03/germany-to-miss-2020-carbon-reduction-targets-by-a-mile/)

https://www.ft.com/content/7f2f199a-0a5f-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b (https://www.ft.com/content/7f2f199a-0a5f-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 07:18:12 PM
Quote
With possibly no reduction in electricity emissions through 2022 (as the remaining nuclear is shut down)

Look at the Energy Industry portion of the graph you posted.  CO2 emissions moved up a small amount in the two years post the Fukushima disaster as Germany sped up reactor closing.  And then they fell following two years.  Electricity related CO2 was apparently up about 1% in 2016 due to increased demand.

It will take about five more years to close the remaining nuclear plants and we shouldn't be surprised if that keeps electricity related CO2 from significant falls.  Renewable installations will be used to offset reactor losses.

But post 2022 Germany should have no more reactors to close and further renewable installations can be used to eliminate fossil fuel use.  That's the story behind somewhat missing the 2020 target but still hitting the 2050 target.

Remember, Fukushima was a major disrupting even for Germany.  As a country that had lived through a nuclear disaster in their neighborhood they decided that they wanted to reduce the risk of experiencing another.

Look closely at the bars in your graph.  Electricity generation CO2 emissions have dropped slightly from 2009 to 2015.  You cherry-picked the lowest pre-Fukushima year out of the record.  Use change over a decade and you see a 13% decrease.  Not an extraordinary rate, but we're only short years into very affordable wind and solar.

Then look at the other sources of CO2.  Look at the non-electricity sectors which have increased.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 09:33:31 PM
Germany's emissions are down less than 10% since 2005 (12 years ago), the big reductions were in the 1990's due to the meltdown of the East German economy and the closure of their highly inefficient coal plants.

Germany's current plan calls for energy sector emissions to halve between 2020 and 2030; given the probable undershoot of reductions prior to then it will have to more than halve. With nuclear gone in 2022, that needs to be done in 8 years. At the same time Germany will certainly be pushing the envelope for wind+solar penetration.

Germany may have a vague plan, but that doesn't mean that it will happen - as shown by the failure to make the 2020 targets. Going to 12% wind and 6% solar in 2016 was the easiest part. Ramping that to replace the 13% nuclear in 5 years (31% wind + solar) will be a challenge. After that, we will truly start testing the viability of a highly-intermittent charged grid. I predict that things will slow down as the inevitable unforeseen (including political, economic and financial) consequences have to be dealt with.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts (https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumption-and-power-mix-charts)

I wish I shared your optimism Bob, but I think that the transition will be considerably harder and longer than you think.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 09:59:29 PM
Quote
Germany may have a vague plan, but that doesn't mean that it will happen - as shown by the failure to make the 2020 targets.

Again, lay the problem with Germany hitting its 2020 target at the feet of the idiots who built the Fukushima reactors where they did.

I'm getting really fed up with pro-nuke advocates who try to use Germany's CO2 emissions as an attack on renewables.  German citizens don't want potential nuclear disaster in their yards.  I lived downwind and not very far from one of the worst run nuclear reactors in the US.  I now live just downwind of a US reactor (now closed) that was built on an active faultline and in a tsunami zone.  I was only a few hundred miles away when Fukushima went sour.  I can appreciate their attitude.

Let it be.  Germans are very capable people.  They will solve their problems.

The transition to renewables gets easier and cheaper every year.  Turbines and solar panels become more efficient and less expensive.  We figure out better and cheaper ways to install.  For example, we've brought down the cost of single axis trackers so that the fixed mount panels that were giving us capacity factor numbers around 20% are now returning 30%.  A 50% increase in electricity produced for a modest increase in cost.  And a longer solar day which lowers the need for storage.

Over the next few years Germany will have to start deciding how much local storage to build and how much to rely on dispatchable hydro and pump-up hydro in the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland.  The price of batteries will continue to fall.  More battery "gigafactories" will be built.  Germany will be able to order up as many containers of 'plug and go' storage as they want and transmission lines can be beefed up to carry more power to and from Germany and the more mountainous European countries.

The thing that needs to happen right now in Germany is to break the back of the coal industry.  Get it's political strength reduced so that it can't screw with renewable installation rates via legislative shenanigans.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 10:42:26 PM
No lover of nukes, but Germany has placed itself in a difficult place by shutting them down instead of coal/lignite. Given my admiration for German engineering and regulations I have to assume that they were probably some of the best run nukes in the world, and not near any major natural hazards.

I am not such an techno-optimist, so I see a lot of difficulties in ramping up their wind+solar past the still relatively small penetration levels. Time will tell ...
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 18, 2017, 11:25:05 PM
Germany didn't place itself in a difficult position.  It just rearranged its priority list.

Worry about the countries that aren't really working on their fossil fuel problem.  Here's where Germany got its electricity in 2016.


(https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox_image/public/images/factsheet/fig3-share-energy-sources-gross-german-power-production-2016-1.png?itok=WQgTE6wq)

11.9% from wind.
 5.9% from solar.
29% total from renewables.

See how many countries you can find that get more of their electricity from wind and solar.  The US just cracked the 1% threshold for solar and is about 5% for wind.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 19, 2017, 01:27:34 AM
Going to keep any further comments on Germany on the Germany thread ....
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Seumas on April 20, 2017, 03:33:36 PM
The seek to connect to Iceland and Norway via high voltage interconnects. Based on their current path, there are going to be times that they import a lot of energy. They used to have 100% redundancy..

Will you please stop this ignorant crap about Scotland? We have gone from importing coal to run Longannet, to having the capability to import hydroelectric from Norway. I have no idea what bizarre mental contortions you're going through to make that sound like a bad thing.

When exactly are you predicting this doom and gloom for Scottish energy production will start? Because otherwise you're just spouting denier bollocks about how renewables can't *possibly* work, in direct contradiction to the reality of their use.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 26, 2017, 07:44:34 AM
Attached is a map of Europe with real time CO2 emissions and when ranked also includes other countries and states in the world.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&region=europe&page=highscore&countryCode=CH (https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&region=europe&page=highscore&countryCode=CH)

Note that consistently the greenest countries, the ones with the lowest CO2 emissions (less than 100g/kWh) are Norway,  Sweden, Ontario (Canada), New Zealand and France.

All use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both.  (New Zealand also has thermal power).
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 26, 2017, 07:50:38 AM
Quote
All use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both.

That's nice.  Now let's think a moment.  We've been using hydro to generate electricity since 1880.  And nuclear since 1957.

Wind and solar have become affordable enough to start making inroads for only a few years.  Wonder what things will look like in 20 years as the cost of renewables keep falling and our old reactors wear out?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on April 26, 2017, 04:55:36 PM
TomB
I couldn't find the North American breakdown by province or state. Did I simply miss something or is the data not there.


Thanks


One of the reasons for my curiosity is Trump's recent surprise tariff on Canadian softwood & his mutterings about the unfairness of Canadian energy sales to the US. While I doubt that Trump is concerned with CO2 density per KWh, the fact is that Quebec Hydro provides large amounts of clean electricity to New York State. Ontario also sells clean electricity to the south.
If high tariffs make these sales unprofitable Canada can run her grid east and west to help with her own carbon emissions and energy costs, but the States will be using dirtier, more expensive, power in the near future.


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on April 30, 2017, 03:03:02 AM
TomB
I couldn't find the North American breakdown by province or state. Did I simply miss something or is the data not there.

Thanks
Terry

Terry

There is an updated map now with just a few States from Canada and the USA as a whole, plus some States in Australia and New Zealand.

http://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map (http://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map)

This fantastic resource  shows which countries are successfully reducing emissions and exposes those which are just playing political games (like my country Australia).

The map is produced by Olivier Corradi who with the help of other contributors is adding more and more countries and States and says. "It is now used in class rooms, lectures and in many debates online. It is pushing Holland to open up its data, was mentioned by more than 50 news articles, and got attention from e.g. WWF, UNFCCC and Greenpeace".

https://blog.tmrow.co/a-world-map-to-understand-low-carbon-electricity-production-3f85f4684d39 (https://blog.tmrow.co/a-world-map-to-understand-low-carbon-electricity-production-3f85f4684d39)

I encourage all who are really concerned about climate change to publicize this map link widely as successful CO2 mitigation decision making must be made using scientific data and not political ideology.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on April 30, 2017, 08:01:20 PM
Canadian net electricity exports to the U.S. are growing rapidly.

(https://www.biv.com/media/filer_public/c1/24/c124df5d-a917-4e92-a5cf-6174ed7a3758/031816_chart.png)

B.C. has had a positive trade revenue balance since 2011 due to its additions of generation over the last few years and its ability to buy electricity when prices are lower (during the night or during spring) and sell when prices are higher (during peak hours)

https://www.biv.com/article/2016/3/british-columbia-leads-charge-electricity-exports-/ (https://www.biv.com/article/2016/3/british-columbia-leads-charge-electricity-exports-/)

Over the last decade, Ontario customers have paid $6.3 billion to cover the cost of selling high-priced electricity to customers outside of the province ... The province has turned the business of selling power into a money loser for Ontario electricity customers

https://ep.probeinternational.org/2016/09/20/ontario-electricity-customers-have-paid-more-than-6-billion-to-dump-surplus-high-priced-power-study/ (https://ep.probeinternational.org/2016/09/20/ontario-electricity-customers-have-paid-more-than-6-billion-to-dump-surplus-high-priced-power-study/)

Quebec's export price dropped from 6 cents to 4.8 cents, balanced by a record increase in export volume. Exports accounted for $803 million in profits. It built wind capacity expecting a growth in domestic electricity demand that did not happen

https://www.pressreader.com/canada/montreal-gazette/20170323/281689729637251 (https://www.pressreader.com/canada/montreal-gazette/20170323/281689729637251)

Ontario should be looking to Quebec for its power needs, rather than spending $10 billion's on refurbishing the aged and problematic Ontario nuclear plants. Then they probably would not have to spend $billions on subsidizing energy exports and pissing off Mr. Trump.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/ontario-set-to-unveil-12-8-billion-plan-to-refurbish-four-reactors-at-darlington-nuclear-plant (http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/ontario-set-to-unveil-12-8-billion-plan-to-refurbish-four-reactors-at-darlington-nuclear-plant)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/environmentalists-urge-ontario-to-abandon-13-billion-nuclear-rebuild/article27997773/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/environmentalists-urge-ontario-to-abandon-13-billion-nuclear-rebuild/article27997773/)

"[Wynne] needs to spend the $2 billion to upgrade transmission lines to Quebec that OPG says Ontario can’t afford,” said Gibbons, who believes the strategy would save the province billions.  “The solution to Premier Wynne’s expensive electricity problem is staring her in the face – and it’s saying ‘Bienvenue à Québec!"

http://globalnews.ca/news/3091882/ontario-hydro-rates-buying-quebec-power-cost/ (http://globalnews.ca/news/3091882/ontario-hydro-rates-buying-quebec-power-cost/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2017, 03:49:30 AM
rboyd
You'd think that Ontario could find some domestic use for the excess electricity. At one point in time IIRC their big expense was getting rid of short
spikes that were sold south at huge expense to Ontario, this was what I'd proposed a mega capacitor for.
The ongoing over generation that your link mentions is a tougher problem, especially if lines to Quebec are ruled out. Is there any manufacturing process that eats lots of energy, and that can be ramped up or shut down seasonally or diurnally?
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on May 01, 2017, 04:41:32 AM
David Suzuki has thought about this problem. The problem seems to be a combination of a 12% drop in electricity demand since 2005 and the inflexibility of the nuclear power stations (which provide 61% of the electricity, hydro is another 24%, wind 6%, gas/oil 9%). The result is selling electricity at a loss to the US and paying to curtail wind generated electricity.

2016 Ontario Fuel Mix

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ieso.ca%2F-%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2Fieso%2Fcharts-and-graphs%2Fenergy-output-by-fuel-type-2016-yearend-release.png%3Fh%3D320%26amp%3Bla%3Den%26amp%3Bw%3D590%26amp%3Bhash%3D0DCA5B9E548C3DCC12838539B780029A567B5418&hash=d4950d43c7bfa2a2af2aa90aa3a47d67)

http://www.ieso.ca/en/power-data/supply-overview/transmission-connected-generation (http://www.ieso.ca/en/power-data/supply-overview/transmission-connected-generation)

Better to give people in Ontario cheap electricity to heat their homes (as they do in Quebec, replacing natural gas) or power electric vehicles. Too little imagination in the government.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/climate-blog/2016/09/is-ontarios-surplus-electricity-a-problem/ (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/climate-blog/2016/09/is-ontarios-surplus-electricity-a-problem/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 01, 2017, 05:49:07 AM
24% is a lot of hydro.  Pile on the wind and solar.  Use hydro as fill-in.  Get that 9% oil/gas down close to zero.

Build a basis for replacing nuclear plants with cheaper renewables as they age out.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2017, 06:36:42 PM
I've seen homes and businesses in Ontario utilizing electrical heating systems that have been illegal in California, Nevada, & Arizona, for decades. By not banning resistance heating, Ontario may already be encouraging excessive winter electrical consumption in an effort to balance seasonal loads.


If this is the energy sector that Trump has been complaining about, would even well targeted tariffs make any difference at all? The American distributors and end users might pay more, but Ontario would still need to dump her excess electricity.


I assume that some portion of the 9% oil/gas is the sole source for remote locales where building out the grid may never prove to be economically viable. Micro-hydro or micro-nuke might help to some extent under some conditions, but realistically, small LNG generators may prove to be the cleanest we can hope for in many remote northern communities.


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on May 01, 2017, 08:08:20 PM
Terry,

A lot of the oil is used in Northern Ontario, there has been talks for years to connect them up to Manitoba's grid right next door - which is predominantly hydro. I am sure that the wind resource and run-of-the-river resources up there must be pretty good too.

Quebec uses electric baseboards and heat pumps. If they have the latter, it does the work until the temperature drops to about -10, then the baseboards kick in. There is also use of gas and oil as the supplementary heat source. The heat pump also provides cooling. Quebec homes tend to be well insulated, and electricity is cheap. Quebec Hydro does charge more after the temperature goes below a certain level, basic demand management.

Ontario is predominantly natural gas for heating.

http://montrealgazette.com/life/homes/had-enough-with-the-cold-pump-up-your-homes-heating (http://montrealgazette.com/life/homes/had-enough-with-the-cold-pump-up-your-homes-heating)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2017, 10:15:24 PM
rboyd


In the Southwest gas is required on the coldest nights. Heat pumps are more efficient, as long as the ambient is >-10c. Resistance heaters (baseboards or strip heaters) are illegal unless as a supplement during defrost cycles within a heat pump system.


Evaporative cooling, evaporative pre-coolers, and cooling towers are efficient and effective, but most counties require recirculating water supplies which can raise health concerns, and most,(all) new homes have A/C & or Heat pumps.


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on May 01, 2017, 10:22:09 PM
Cold nights in the Southwest, that is an oxymoron to us Canadians!
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2017, 10:28:22 PM
The problem I had was when fellow Ontarians were assuring me that we were in the midst of a drought. :)


Tery
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 01, 2017, 10:34:01 PM
rboyd


In the Southwest gas is required on the coldest nights. Heat pumps are more efficient, as long as the ambient is >-10c. Resistance heaters (baseboards or strip heaters) are illegal unless as a supplement during defrost cycles within a heat pump system.


Evaporative cooling, evaporative pre-coolers, and cooling towers are efficient and effective, but most counties require recirculating water supplies which can raise health concerns, and most,(all) new homes have A/C & or Heat pumps.


Terry

The new mini-split heat pumps see to be very efficient.  And can be fitted with resistance heating for those times the external air temp drops too low.

Companies are already installing tanks of water/salt solution which can be cooled down with cheap, off-peak electricity and then used to boost AC performance and save electricity during high demand hours.

I wonder when we'll start seeing those systems also used for storing heat using off-peak power.  And why not incorporate rooftop solar water heaters as a cheap way to grab some heat?  Use a passive drain down design.  If the temperature in the heater is high compared to the storage tank then pump up some water and let the Sun heat it up.  Cold places with sunny days might make out like bandits.

Also, capture heat from shower/washer drains.  If the draining water is hotter than the stored water then feed it through a heat exchanger loop.  If not, bypass.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: jai mitchell on May 01, 2017, 11:22:21 PM
rboyd


In the Southwest gas is required on the coldest nights. Heat pumps are more efficient, as long as the ambient is >-10c.

> - 26C

http://www.fujitsu-general.com/us/residential/technology/xlth-low-temp-heating.html (http://www.fujitsu-general.com/us/residential/technology/xlth-low-temp-heating.html)

Quote
Series features outdoor condensing units engineered to operate in temperatures down to -15ºF, lower than any other mini-split available today.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: ghoti on May 02, 2017, 12:51:18 AM
New cold climate heat pumps operate down to -15F but still with much much lower COP as the temperature drops. (I received quotes on heat pumps for my house and even the newest cold climate heat pumps required back up heat)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 02, 2017, 06:00:55 AM

The new mini-split heat pumps see to be very efficient.  And can be fitted with resistance heating for those times the external air temp drops too low.
All heat pumps require resistance heating to cover the defrost cycle. When the unit requires too much time, (or too many BTU's), to defrost it simply becomes so inefficient that resistance heating is simpler and more efficient. Bearing in mind the fact that resistance heating is so inefficient that it's illegal in many jurisdictions.
Quote

Companies are already installing tanks of water/salt solution which can be cooled down with cheap, off-peak electricity and then used to boost AC performance and save electricity during high demand hours.
[/size]

Most operate using the huge change of phase energy as water passes from liquid to gas. Precooling the water, even when electricity is cheap is far too expensive & unnecessarily complicated.
[/size]
Quote
I wonder when we'll start seeing those systems also used for storing heat using off-peak power.  And why not incorporate rooftop solar water heaters as a cheap way to grab some heat?  Use a passive drain down design.  If the temperature in the heater is high compared to the storage tank then pump up some water and let the Sun heat it up.  Cold places with sunny days might make out like bandits.
[/size]

The systems you describe, with minor modifications are in use in the southwest/
[/size]
Quote
Also, capture heat from shower/washer drains.  If the draining water is hotter than the stored water then feed it through a heat exchanger loop.  If not, bypass.
All modern laundromats use these techniques and more. My personal favorite is dumping heat, or pulling heat from a residential swimming pool. Toasty pool during the months you need cooling & a chilly pool with less evaporation when it's too cold outside to use it anyway.
A septic tank works almost as well to cut heating and cooling costs, but no bathing benefits :<}


Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 02, 2017, 06:45:08 AM
Quote
Precooling the water, even when electricity is cheap is far too expensive & unnecessarily complicated.


Ice Bear

www.ice-energy.com/ (http://www.ice-energy.com/)
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: TerryM on May 02, 2017, 08:32:54 AM

Ice Bear

www.ice-energy.com/ (http://www.ice-energy.com/)


using liquid/solid phase change - I've never seen one
liquid/gas is far more powerful - ubiquitous, proven tech.


Your choice
Terry
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: longwalks1 on May 02, 2017, 02:47:40 PM
It seems a bit of a stray lately in this topic.  Living next to Ontario (70 km), etc. I have liked the postings, but maybe elsewhere.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/02/hidden-radiation-secrets-of-the-world-health-organization/ (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/02/hidden-radiation-secrets-of-the-world-health-organization/)

Quote
The mission of Independent WHO is to expose WHO’s failings whilst calling for WHO independence away from influence by the worldwide nuclear syndicate: According to WHO Independence’s Web Site: “The World Health Organization (WHO) is failing in its duty to protect those populations who are victims of radioactive contamination.”

Ms Katz worked inside the WHO for 18 years. She insists that WHO, in cahoots with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), dangerously misrepresents the inherent dangers of ionizing radiation, an insinuation that smacks in the face with egregiousness galore.

Ms Katz’s April 2017 interview, which this article is based upon, can be heard in its entirety.

For the record, I have known John LaForge for years and read the Yaboklov book  where he resides in the woods off grid.  He is my friend.

 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 02, 2017, 03:51:34 PM
It seems to me that nuclear technology is proven and is safe and is reliable , BUT

Humans are not. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima,  the accidents at Sellafield, all from human error and sometimes utter stupidity.

As a species we are not reliable enough to prevent screw-ups. Complacency, greed, hubris, stupidity. We cannot be trusted with this stuff.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 02, 2017, 06:00:00 PM
It seems to me that nuclear technology is proven and is safe and is reliable , BUT

Humans are not. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima,  the accidents at Sellafield, all from human error and sometimes utter stupidity.

As a species we are not reliable enough to prevent screw-ups. Complacency, greed, hubris, stupidity. We cannot be trusted with this stuff.

Let me rewrite your last sentence.

"We are fallible humans. If we screw up, nuclear can be dangerous.  Since we have very much safer and much cheaper options why put ourselves in unnecessary danger?"
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 02, 2017, 06:08:33 PM
It seems to me that nuclear technology is proven and is safe and is reliable , BUT

Humans are not. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima,  the accidents at Sellafield, all from human error and sometimes utter stupidity.

As a species we are not reliable enough to prevent screw-ups. Complacency, greed, hubris, stupidity. We cannot be trusted with this stuff.

Let me rewrite your last sentence.

"We are fallible humans. If we screw up, nuclear can be dangerous.  Since we have very much safer and much cheaper options why put ourselves in unnecessary danger?"

Hullo Bob.
For many years I worked in places where Toujours Politesse was necessary. But now my guiding spirit is the poem "when I am old".  The politesse bit sort of got redundant.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 02, 2017, 06:26:05 PM
I'm old.  And politeness was never my strong suit.   ;)

My point is that we deflate the desire to build more nuclear and bring more danger into our lives by educating people that we have much cheaper options.  Electricity generation options which create essentially no dangers for us or the generations which follow.


Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: sidd on May 02, 2017, 06:36:51 PM
Re: Phase change and heat storage

I have used Glauber's salt solution in this application also.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 02, 2017, 07:17:44 PM
I'm old.  And politeness was never my strong suit.   ;)

My point is that we deflate the desire to build more nuclear and bring more danger into our lives by educating people that we have much cheaper options.  Electricity generation options which create essentially no dangers for us or the generations which follow.
Too right, Bob. And yet we have to watch the lunacy of Hinckley C  while the UK Govt  stuffs our renewables industry. How to be polite ?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 02, 2017, 07:32:42 PM
It appears to me, sitting on the outside looking in, as if the current UK government is planning on turning England into a backwaters island, sort of a living museum of the times when gentlemen rode to the hounds.

Cut the isle off from Europe and watch England's strong suit, financial services, migrate to Europe.  Crank up the cost of energy and make what England does manufacture more expensive.

I think that were I in Ireland, Northern Island, or Scotland government I'd be talking to Elon about a Hyperlink to Europe.  Bypass having to go through immigration twice in order to pass through England.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 10, 2017, 01:22:30 AM
I'm guessing no one saw this coming....

Hanford Nuclear Site Evacuated After Tunnel Collapses
Quote
Tunnel Collapse at Nuke Site Prompts Emergency

A tunnel collapsed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, with rail cars full of nuclear waste inside. ...

The tunnel was reportedly full of train carrying radio active waste material.

Officials said no release of radiation was detected and no workers were injured.

An emergency evacuation was ordered Tuesday at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state after a storage tunnel at the plutonium finishing plant collapsed.

According to an emergency report from Hanford, the alert was triggered after a routine inspection detected that soil had caved into a tunnel over an area of about 20 feet by 20 feet next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as the PUREX.

The cave-in occurred at the junction of two tunnels to the east of the facility. The tunnels were used beginning in the 1950s to store contaminated equipment.
...
https://weather.com/news/news/hanford-washington-nuclear-power-plant-evacuated
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 10, 2017, 12:39:50 PM
I'm guessing no one saw this coming....

Hanford Nuclear Site Evacuated After Tunnel Collapses
Quote
Tunnel Collapse at Nuke Site Prompts Emergency

A tunnel collapsed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, with rail cars full of nuclear waste inside. ...

The tunnel was reportedly full of train carrying radio active waste material.

Officials said no release of radiation was detected and no workers were injured.

An emergency evacuation was ordered Tuesday at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state after a storage tunnel at the plutonium finishing plant collapsed.

According to an emergency report from Hanford, the alert was triggered after a routine inspection detected that soil had caved into a tunnel over an area of about 20 feet by 20 feet next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as the PUREX.

The cave-in occurred at the junction of two tunnels to the east of the facility. The tunnels were used beginning in the 1950s to store contaminated equipment.
...
https://weather.com/news/news/hanford-washington-nuclear-power-plant-evacuated
An old tunnel more or less forgotten about?  Human error ? Lack of maintenance and inspections ?

Humans cannot be trusted with this stuff, especially given the immensely long time-frames involved.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 10, 2017, 06:38:34 PM
Hanford is a huge mess on which billions of dollars has been spent and many billions more will need to be spent.  It's not clear that the site can be cleaned up and radiation contained.  Right now an underground plume of radioactivity is slowly moving toward a major aquifer.

I don't think the train was in a tunnel, per se.  From the picture I saw the track had been covered with a structure and dirt piled over that.  Over the years the supporting structure probably weakened and some construction work nearby caused enough shaking to cause a piece of the roof to collapse.

It doesn't seem like this is a major issue.  Just more fun and games with our friend, the Atom, and messes he leave behind.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: tombond on May 12, 2017, 01:29:51 AM
This article from Energy Matters calculates the size of the task to reduce annual global carbon emissions from 10GtC to 6GtC by 2050.

http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/ (http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/)

A summary of the findings are.

Business as usual (BAU) will result in about 500 ppm CO2 by 2050.

A cut of 4GtC per annum by 2050 will reduce CO2 by about 30 ppm relative to BAU.

To achieve 4 GtC cuts by deploying wind turbines ,will require about 3 million 3 MW turbines deployed at a rate of 156,000 a year by 2050 compared with 21,000 in 2015 or a 7.5 fold increase in production.

To achieve 4 GtC cuts by deploying nuclear fission reactors will require a total fleet of about 2 thousand 1.4 GW reactors deployed at a rate of 60 new reactors per year, also a 7.5 fold increase in production. 
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2017, 08:57:52 AM
It is not wise to accept numbers from Means  without checking their accuracy. 

"2 thousand 1.4 GW reactors"  let's assume this is correct.  2,000 reactors * 1.4 GW nameplate * 0.85 (CF) = 2,380 GW.

3 MW turbines at 45% CF (that might be a bit low) = 1.35/MW/turbine. 

2,380 GW / 1.35 MW =  1,762,963 turbines.  My guess is that Means used a low CF number.  Probably did not use current performance numbers but averaged in much older technology, much lower hub heights.  That's something pro-nuclear advocates often do.

OK.  Now, so what?  Either way we have a lot of building to do in order to replace fossil fuel plants.  But we'd have to do that even if we were going to continue to use fossil fuels.  Stuff wears out when it get old.  The average lifespan for US coal and nuclear plants is about 40 years.  Replacement is an ongoing process.  The only question is what do we use as our replacement technology?

US onshore wind is on its way to under $0.02/kWh.  European offshore wind should hit $0.03/kWh by 2025.  (PV solar is on its way to $0.02/kWh, just in case you were wondering.)

The current nuclear plants being built in the US will produce electricity priced at $0.13/kWh or higher.  The turnkey bid for two new reactors at North Anna (Virginia) came in at $0.19/kWh. 

Do we want to pay under 5 cents or well over 10 cents for our electricity?  That seems an easy question to answer.

Then there are those other inconvenient facts about nuclear reactors.  They have been known to go lopsided and spill radiation.  Plus we have no acceptable solution for the radioactive waste we have today.  Just imagine what it would be like if we had two thousand reactors pooping on us.

There are some other little problems as well.  Where would we find acceptable sites for 2,000 reactors?  Many countries will not accept reactors inside their borders.  And remember, reactors need access to cooling water.  Can't put them where they would overheat streams.  Need to install them out of 500 yeaf, if not 1,000 year flood plains, above the rising seas and storm surges.

How would we train the thousands and thousands of nuclear engineers we'd need to build that many reactors a year and operate them?  It takes only a few months to train a high school graduate to be a functioning wind technician.

There's a reason that the CEOs of the US corporations that own and operate the largest numbers of reactors have stated that they don't see any more reactors built in the US barring some sort of incredible price breakthrough.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: BenB on May 12, 2017, 09:35:56 AM
See: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/facts-and-figures/world-nuclear-power-reactors-and-uranium-requireme.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/facts-and-figures/world-nuclear-power-reactors-and-uranium-requireme.aspx)

Particularly: 'New plants coming on line are largely balanced by old plants being retired. Over 1996-2013, 66 reactors were retired as 71 started operation. There are no firm projections for retirements over the period covered by this Table, but we estimate that at least 60 of those now operating will close by 2030, most being small plants.'

Really, net additions will have to rise far more than Mearns implies in the case of nuclear. It's not impossible, and net additions will probably increase, but I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2017, 07:08:31 PM
It's looking like closures over the next ~15 years will exceed new plants by about 20. 

That's assuming that no more old plants get bailed out via subsidies and all the under construction/expected plants are completed.

The next few months are going to be very interesting for nuclear in the US.  It's not clear that the two partially built reactors at Summer and the two at Vogtle will be completed.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on May 12, 2017, 07:28:49 PM
New plants built in China, India and Russia will be more than offset by those closing in North America and Europe puts things more accurately.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 12, 2017, 08:05:40 PM
In 2012 the World Nuclear Association listed 1 reactor closure in Russia by 2015, 23 by 2025 and 4 more by 2040.

And next door in the Ukraine 2 closures by 2015, 10 more by 2025 and 3 more by 2040.

Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Neven on May 12, 2017, 10:38:24 PM
This article from Energy Matters calculates the size of the task to reduce annual global carbon emissions from 10GtC to 6GtC by 2050.

http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/ (http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/)
Shouldn't a climate risk denier like Eaun Mearns be promoting fossil fuels? What does he care about 500 ppm of CO2?
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on May 13, 2017, 01:23:26 AM
This article from Energy Matters calculates the size of the task to reduce annual global carbon emissions from 10GtC to 6GtC by 2050.

http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/ (http://euanmearns.com/what-does-it-take-to-substitute-4-gtc-using-low-c-electricity/)
Shouldn't a climate risk denier like Eaun Mearns be promoting fossil fuels? What does he care about 500 ppm of CO2?
But he IS promoting fossil fuels while appearing to care for the climate. He makes the claim that an insurmountable number of wind turbines is needed, growth rates are unfeasible, while natural gas doing the same growth is easy and nice. So he assumes bad things about wind, totally ignores solar PV, and ignores expected acceleration thanks to dropping prices.
I might even agree with him that at current global rates of renewable installation vs. energy demand growth the world will not be saved, but his post is not proof for that. And building natural gas plants is definitely not a proper solution.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 13, 2017, 02:59:13 AM
I've not read much of what Means has written because what I have read shows him setting up flawed arguments designed to "prove" that renewables won't work.

I agree with you that at current global rates of renewable installation vs. energy demand growth the world will not be saved.  But then I look at how rapidly wind, solar and storage prices are falling and how rapidly installations are accelerating.

We're some distance from the bear that's coming at us.  We've only taken our first or second step and are not yet into a full run, but you know we'll pick up speed....
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: rboyd on May 14, 2017, 07:05:11 AM
Mearns is a climate denier who blocks anyone who calls him out on it on his blog. Shame, as he does have some good analysis of the current energy systems. Amazing how such intelligent people (in one area) can be out and out climate deniers.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 17, 2017, 02:06:24 PM
I am sure most people noticed the little incident a few days ago at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site in Washington State.

Eventually the penny dropped - and I remembered that I had done some research on the sorry history of that place after British Nuclear Fuels gave up their contract to fix the problems there and a contract manager for Halliburton said it wasn't fixable. I have lost all that research, but here is a 2015 article from Time magazine.

http://time.com/3672177/hanford-radioactive-waste-history/ (http://time.com/3672177/hanford-radioactive-waste-history/)

I wonder if anything has changed.  Nuclear is dangerous because humans are looking after it. I do not love nuclear power, Mr. Hansen.
Title: Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
Post by: oren on May 17, 2017, 07:01:54 PM
I'm not sure what Hansen's current opinion is, considering recent advances in wind and solar. But in any case maybe it would be best to change the subject to simply "Nuclear Power"?
Title: Re: Nuclear power
Post by: Neven on May 17, 2017, 08:00:25 PM
Good idea (even though I like those quirky titles). Thread title changed to 'Nuclear power' now.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 18, 2017, 07:05:43 AM
This is from 2011...

Quote
In a recent essay posted online, NASA scientist James Hansen explains what he calls the "Easter Bunny" fantasy that we can adequately address climate change by providing subsidies for renewable energy sources and by increasing energy efficiency. As Hansen details, given current projections, subsidies alone have little chance of expanding wind and solar, yet environmentalists and many liberal political leaders continue to spread this gospel.

"It will be a tragedy if environmentalists allow the illusion of 'soft' energies to postpone demand for real solution of the energy, climate and national security problems. Solar power is just a small part of the solution. Subsidies yielding even its present tiny contribution may be unsustainable."

"As long as fossil fuels are cheap, they will be burned."


In April 2015 he softened his position a bit and included hydro with nuclear and pretty much dismissed wind and solar.

My search finds nothing new from him on the topic since then.

So how is Hansen's prediction ability when it comes to renewable energy?

"subsidies alone have little chance of expanding wind and solar"

Subsides have kicked off massive drops in the price of both wind and solar.  And we're seeing very rapid increases in wind and solar installation around the globe.  In China wind expanded to the point at which China is producing more electricity with wind than with nuclear.  Even though nuclear had a 20 year head start.

We're starting to see wind and solar farms being built as merchant plants.  No subsidy.  Competing on the open market at the wholesale level.  Mexico has built one merchant solar farm and is preparing to build a second.  Germany has received bids for offshore wind farms which will be non-subsidized merchant producers.

""As long as fossil fuels are cheap, they will be burned."

We're seeing decreases in fossil fuel use in countries that have aggressive wind and solar installation.  Coal plants are going out of business in Germany because renewables have lowered the market value of electricity.  Cheap is relative.  We used to think of fossil fuels as cheap sources of electricity but they are being pushed into the category of "not as cheap as".

Great climate scientist, that James Hansen.  Might not be that good a plumber or quarterback.  And I wouldn't hire him as an energy expert.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 19, 2017, 01:38:29 AM
German energy capacity factors (CF) for non-carbon energy sources for 2016 are calculated from the data in the link below.
 
https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Die_Energiewende_im_Stromsektor_2016_EN.pdf (https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Die_Energiewende_im_Stromsektor_2016_EN.pdf)

40.3 GW of solar has a capacity factor of just 11%, producing 38.3 TWh of electricty (mean CF last 10 years is 10%) 

49.6 GW of wind has a capacity factor of just 18%,producing 79.8 TWh of electricity (mean CF for past 10 years is 18%)

5.6 GW of hydro produced 21.5 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 44%.

7.1 GW of biomass produced 51.7 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 83%.

10.8 GW of nuclear produced 84.9 TWh of electricity for a capacity factor of 90% (mean CF for past 10 years is 84%).

In 2016 total electricity CO2 emissions were 306 million tonnes, just 20 million tonnes less than 2000.   For total electricity generation of 648 TWh this gives CO2 emissions of 472g/kWh or 6 times higher than nuclear France.

Lessons learned

Nuclear is still the largest source of non carbon electricity.

Intermittent generation sources like wind and solar produce very little electricity, just 18% of total generation in 2016, requiring backup most of the time when the wind and sun are not, or only partially available.

Where this backup is fossil fuel, CO2 emissions are not significantly reduced.  This is the reason why the UK, with bipartisan agreement, is expanding its nuclear capacity.

No wonder James Hansen loves nuclear power!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 19, 2017, 06:00:21 AM
Lessons you are going to learn about Germany.

Nuclear will drop to zero by 2023.

Wind and solar will continue to increase.
---

Lessons you are going to learn about France.

France will close about 19 of its 58 reactors by 2025 and replace them with wind and solar.
---

Lessons you are going to learn about the UK.

If the government goes ahead with their nuclear plans the cost of electricity will rise in the UK. A lot. 

Hinkley Point's strike price is likely to be higher than their retail cost of electricity by the time it comes online.  UKers may get burned stronger than electricity consumers in South Carolina who have already seen their electricity price rise 30% just to pay for reactors that are only half built.  (And may not be finished.)
---

Tell Hansen to have  a nice day.  The energy world is going right along without his opinion.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 25, 2017, 08:38:33 AM
“Over the last decade, Germany has emerged as a clear leader in the fight against climate change” said Jungjohann, an advisor to the German Green Party, at a clean energy discussion in Ottawa, Ontario last week hosted by National Observer and the German embassy.

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/23/news/step-one-get-fossil-fuel-money-out-politics-german-analyst-tells-ottawa (http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/23/news/step-one-get-fossil-fuel-money-out-politics-german-analyst-tells-ottawa)

German electricity CO2 emissions in 2016 were 472g/kWh.
https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Die_Energiewende_im_Stromsektor_2016_EN.pdf (https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Die_Energiewende_im_Stromsektor_2016_EN.pdf)

Divide electricity CO2 emissions of 306 million tonnes on page 49 by electricity generation of 648TWh on page 14 to get 472g/kWh.

Ontario’s electricity CO2 emissions are consistently less than 20g/kWh or 20 times less.
http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html (http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html)

With anti-science, political beliefs like this dominating the CO2 emissions mitigation debate it is not surprising that CO2 atmospheric concentrations have risen from 350ppm 30 years ago, to over 400ppm today. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2017, 09:22:27 AM
Germany was one of a couple of countries that helped bring the price of solar panels from expensive to very affordable.  Germany and Denmark are leading countries in establishing offshore wind.  That pretty much makes them leaders.

Germany peaked at 1077 million tonnes of CO2 emitted in 1980 and dropped that to 754 in 2015.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FGermany%2FCO2%2520per%2520Capita%25201985%2520thru%25202015.png&hash=c1be0726f0d4c1a90e0bf557a465e07e) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Germany/CO2%20per%20Capita%201985%20thru%202015.png.html)

Germany really pisses off nuclear fans because Germany is closing their reactors.  I suspect it doubly pisses them off because Germany is widely regarded as one of world's most technologically advanced countries.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: BenB on May 25, 2017, 03:11:21 PM
Lessons we are going to learn today: how to calculate the average of two numbers. Example:

A: 44.6 GW (installed wind capacity in Germany at the end of 2015)
B: 49.6 GW (installed wind capacity in Germany at the end of 2016)
Average of A and B:
(A + B)/2 = (44.6+49.6)/2 = 47.1 GW

We can now use the average obtained (average installed wind capacity in 2016) to calculate the actual capacity factor of wind in 2016: 19.3%.

Same can of course be done for solar. In the case of nuclear, the installed capacity fell, I think (it's not specifically stated in the document that Tom linked to, but generation went down quite sharply). This means that your capacity factor is too high for nuclear.

Seriously Tom, there's nothing wrong with making the case for nuclear power, and there is a case to be made, but at least try to use accurate figures. Also, stop repeating lies like "Where this backup is fossil fuel, CO2 emissions are not significantly reduced." There are lots of real-life studies (some cited in this forum) showing that for every MWh of renewable electricity produced, almost exactly one MWh using some other fuel source (generally fossil) is not generated, and that CO2 emissions are reduced by an equivalent amount. A lot of modelling has also been done, see e.g.:

http://www.powermag.com/nrel-finds-greater-cycling-from-renewable-penetration-does-not-significantly-increase-emissions/ (http://www.powermag.com/nrel-finds-greater-cycling-from-renewable-penetration-does-not-significantly-increase-emissions/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on May 25, 2017, 04:58:16 PM
A significant amount of the increase in renewables in Germany has resulted in increased electricity exports, rather than shutting down fossil fuel generation. The reduction in emissions per unit of electricity has also tended to stall in the past decade (as reductions in nuclear offset increases in renewables), although seems to have picked up again in the past year or so (judging from Bob's chart).

(https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox_image/public/images/factsheet/fig2-gross-power-production-germany-1990-2016.png?itok=g2Jep3Vm)

(https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox_image/public/images/factsheet/fig1-installed-net-power-generation-capacity-germany-2002-2016.png?itok=CA958Qku)

(https://www.cleanenergywire.org/sites/default/files/styles/lightbox_image/public/images/factsheet/fig7-german-power-import-export-1990-2016.png?itok=xsKKwAoR)

With the shutdown of the remaining nuclear reactors, new additions of renewables will tend to be carbon neutral until all the reactors are closed in 2022 (one low carbon source replaced by another). If the focus is carbon emissions, Germany should be shutting down coal and lignite before nuclear.
I am agnostic with respect to nuclear, especially where there are in place, well run, nuclear generation facilities. Which seems to be the case in Germany. There needs to be a case by case analysis.

- The UK has dug itself into a ridiculously expensive hole with its nuclear plans.
- The Canadian province of Ontario is also committing a serious error in spending $10 billions refurbishing their old reactors, rather than buying renewable energy from Quebec.
- Will China build out nuclear at a much lower cost level? I don't know, but I am waiting to see. Hopefully, none of the reactors are too close to sea level.

The true leaders right now seem to be China, given their seeming ability to grow very rapidly while not increasing their emissions.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2017, 07:30:04 PM
Quote
A significant amount of the increase in renewables in Germany has resulted in increased electricity exports, rather than shutting down fossil fuel generation.

A probable attribution error in addition to a factual error.  Factually, German fossil fuel generation has dropped.  Germany has several coal plants lined up for closure.  And one brand new coal plant that has never been fired up and most likely never will be.

The increase in export is likely due to Germany's dropping wholesale cost of electricity.  Remember how the aluminum smelter in The Netherlands threatened to go into bankruptcy if it was not allowed to purchase less expensive electricity from Germany?

While the fossil fuel industry is claiming that renewables are causing Germany to dump electricity at a loss, Germany continues to show a healthy and increasing profit from its exports and imports of electricity.

Quote
Germany should be shutting down coal and lignite before nuclear.

That's a value judgement that is not shared by the German people.  They want to both lower carbon emissions and lower their exposure to nuclear disaster.

Quote
The true leaders right now seem to be China, given their seeming ability to grow very rapidly while not increasing their emissions.

Don't forget how dirty China became as it grew up until recently.  Now China's need for additional electricity is leveling off and they are able to close down some coal use.  From 2014 to 2015 China's electricity production rose only 0.3%.

(And don't forget that the economics for nuclear are not applicable in the West or any other region/country that does not have a source of very cheap labor.)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on May 25, 2017, 10:04:28 PM
Bob, my point is that the exports are rescuing the coal plants (as well as the reduced nuclear output). Instead of those coal plants getting replaced with the increase in renewables. There is still 85 terawatt-hours of nuclear output to replace by 2022, before any new renewable output can replace hard coal and lignite.

Hopefully exports will also fall, allowing for an actual reduction in fossil fuel use. The other possibility is that coal+gas plant utilization goes up as some plants are closed (capacity goes down but output stays up due to higher capacity utilization). Also wholesale prices may be higher a few years from now after the take out of so much capacity so some incentive to "tough it out" for the fossil fuel generators for now. A case of who blinks first it seems:

"By 2023, power prices in Germany should be much higher than today if so much fossil and nuclear capacity is removed—and if the government sticks to its plans to cut the growth of renewable power by two-thirds. The market would then reward whatever plant managed to stay open. It’s yet another example of a market incentive that is counterproductive in terms of the climate. That’s the bad news."

https://energytransition.org/2016/10/germanys-last-new-coal-plant/ (https://energytransition.org/2016/10/germanys-last-new-coal-plant/)

As per the chart below, the reduction in fossil fuel generation in Germany (nat. gas., hard coal and lignite) has been pretty minimal over the past few years. Hard coal + lignite is pretty much flat since 2010. The German's can decide what they want to, and I can have the opinion that they are bloody stupid not to do fossil fuels first given the relative safety of their nuclear industry.

The Germans are growing their economy at 1-2% a year and not reducing emissions significantly, the Chinese are growing at 6-7% per year and holding emissions steady (and at a much lower level of economic development).

(https://energytransition.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/img3-1024x717.png)


Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on May 25, 2017, 10:36:18 PM
Put a floating nuclear power plant just off one of the remotest parts of the Arctic coast, what could go wrong?

"Once in Pevek, even greater concerns bloom. Bellona has long maintained that the port’s far-flung location makes the floating plant a sitting duck for terrorists. Any accidents aboard the Akademik Lomonosov in such a remote location, where proper containment would be difficult, would be withering for the environment."

http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-04-russias-first-nuclear-power-plant-begins-tests-but-when-will-it-get-fueled (http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-04-russias-first-nuclear-power-plant-begins-tests-but-when-will-it-get-fueled)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2017, 10:43:45 PM
Oh, hell.  Russia has already sunk some reactors off their beaches.  What's a few more hunks of radioactive junk in the ocean?

Some people get so worked up over radiation that isn't in their backyard. I mean, if I've got mine why should I care about anyone else? 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 25, 2017, 11:07:17 PM
Put a floating nuclear power plant just off one of the remotest parts of the Arctic coast, what could go wrong?

"Once in Pevek, even greater concerns bloom. Bellona has long maintained that the port’s far-flung location makes the floating plant a sitting duck for terrorists. Any accidents aboard the Akademik Lomonosov in such a remote location, where proper containment would be difficult, would be withering for the environment."

http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-04-russias-first-nuclear-power-plant-begins-tests-but-when-will-it-get-fueled (http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-04-russias-first-nuclear-power-plant-begins-tests-but-when-will-it-get-fueled)


I believe these are similar/same reactors as used in the Russian icebreaker fleet. They seem to have proven themselves over a long period & it would take an exceptionally brave and well equipped terrorist organization to mount an attack so far North and so far into Russian territory.
The Ukrainian reactors that are/were being fueled with experimental Westinghouse fuel rods may be of much greater concern.
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 26, 2017, 05:19:58 PM
How are the tariffs on Chinese solar panels working out?


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026481720400193X)


Earlier tariffs of 250% couldn't keep Suniva alive, although it did double the costs for solar panels.


If the Eu and the US are hoping to keep solar viable by raising the costs of Chinese solar, won't this serve to slow the growth of the solar industry? The local jobs are in installation and maintenance, not building the components.


Solar World - Germany and the Eu's largest solar company just filed for insolvency.


http://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/solarworld-collapses-as-europes-solar-industry-eclipsed-by-china/58628608 (http://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/solarworld-collapses-as-europes-solar-industry-eclipsed-by-china/58628608)


Terry

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on May 26, 2017, 09:33:30 PM
A compendium of nuke links:

Westinghouse locks out union at reactor parts factory, borrows 800million as debtor in possesion bankruptcy:

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/westinghouse-locks-out-union-workers-at-nuclear-reactor-parts-factory/443397/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/westinghouse-locks-out-union-workers-at-nuclear-reactor-parts-factory/443397/)

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/westinghouse-reaches-deal-to-tap-800m-in-loans-during-bankruptcy/443400/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/westinghouse-reaches-deal-to-tap-800m-in-loans-during-bankruptcy/443400/)

Exelon nukes fail to clear auction:

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pjm-capacity-auction-2-exelon-nukes-fail-to-clear-as-dr-reels-from-new-per/443416/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pjm-capacity-auction-2-exelon-nukes-fail-to-clear-as-dr-reels-from-new-per/443416/)

detail at

https://www.rtoinsider.com/pjm-capacity-auction-capacity-performance-emaac-43440/ (https://www.rtoinsider.com/pjm-capacity-auction-capacity-performance-emaac-43440/)

That last link is full of juicy bits.

A new paper on NRC regulatory capture, and underestimation of fuelpond fire risk:

https://phys.org/news/2017-05-nuclear-greatly-underestimate-potential-disaster.html (https://phys.org/news/2017-05-nuclear-greatly-underestimate-potential-disaster.html)

paper at doi:10.1126/science.aal4890

" ... NRC cost-benefit analysis—unreasonably, in our view—excluded accident consequences beyond 50 miles and underestimated consequences in a number of other ways (4). In response to a petition by the state of New York, the NRC acknowledged that its assumption in such calculations, that virtually all the relocated population could return home within less than a year, was inconsistent with the experience in Japan, where some of the relocated population is just beginning to return after 6 years (8)."

"This is the well-known phenomenon of “regulatory capture.” Former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici described how he curbed the NRC’s regulatory reach by threatening to cut its budget by one-third."

"If a spent fuel–pool fire were to occur, however, under the Price-Anderson Act of 1957, the nuclear industry would be liable only for damages up to $13.6 billion, leaving the public to deal with damages exceeding that amount (15). A fire in a dense-packed fuel pool could cause trillions of dollars in damages (9)."

And Trump appoints people to the NRC just in time to keep quorum:

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/facing-quorum-shortfall-trump-taps-3-nominees-for-nuclear-regulatory-commi/443428/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/facing-quorum-shortfall-trump-taps-3-nominees-for-nuclear-regulatory-commi/443428/)

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 09:56:43 PM
Can you imagine what could happen to buildings in a city left unoccupied for six years?

Roofing leaks, broken windows, larger thermal shifts, flooded basements, rodent damage - stuff that requires expensive repairs.  It would not be 'wait six years and move back in'.

And I'm assuming guards could keep out the urban scavengers from ripping out wiring and copper pipe.  From stealing anything aluminum.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 27, 2017, 01:59:00 AM
I can't imagine why anyone would object to having a nuclear plant built by non union workers hired by an already bankrupt company in their back yard.
I wonder how many years it takes to train a certified boilermaker, and how many of them there are that haven't joined the union?


Terry
BTW That 6 year time period is when some of the people are beginning to return to some villages near Fukushima, even though radiation levels are still high.


http://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-evacuees-pressured-to-return-to-contaminated-homes-says-greenpeace/a-37639353 (http://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-evacuees-pressured-to-return-to-contaminated-homes-says-greenpeace/a-37639353)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 27, 2017, 02:51:06 AM
Westinghouse nuclear fuel assemblies were dumped by Finland and Czech after safety concerns and reported failure rates 1.5 times their competitors.


https://nuclear-news.net/2017/04/14/problems-in-europe-with-westinghouse-nuclear-fuel-assemblies/


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


An American judge denied Westinghouse's request to use some of the bail out moneys in their European operations, which limits Westinghouse's ability to resolve problems with their fuel rod assemblies.
Ukraine is now the only country still trying to fit Westinghouse fuel rods into Russian or Soviet built reactors. This may not end well.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on May 27, 2017, 08:41:13 AM
I shudder to think of Ukraine, a country in partial collapse (war, inflation) maintaining nuclear reactors.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on May 29, 2017, 01:15:35 AM
Even worse for the Ukraine if Russia gets one of the gas pipelines done that will allow it to bypass the Ukraine. No more transit fee revenue, nor the ability to steal the gas when they can't pay. The only expanding industries in the Ukraine will then be emigration, security and money laundering services.

The money required to keep those reactors properly safe may not be a priority.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 30, 2017, 07:00:56 PM
Even worse for the Ukraine if Russia gets one of the gas pipelines done that will allow it to bypass the Ukraine. No more transit fee revenue, nor the ability to steal the gas when they can't pay. The only expanding industries in the Ukraine will then be emigration, security and money laundering services.

The money required to keep those reactors properly safe may not be a priority.


When Pro-Nazi brigades suddenly shut off power to Crimea, they ignored or were unaware of the fact that their nuclear reactors were also taken off grid. This required emergency back up power for the reactor banks until power could be restored. The regiment that had snipped the lines battled with other troops trying to restore power to the reactors. Safety wasn't a concern to those goose stepping towards glory.


The Bandera deifying government in Kiev continues to prefer buying accident prone fuel rods from a bankrupt company that can no longer afford R&D, to the Russian made fuel rods that the reactors were designed to run on. If/when these blow it will make Chernobyl look like a firecracker.


The biggest problem that I can imagine is that Russia, seeing in immanent threat to her citizens from improperly run reactors, decides to take over the reactors for safety reasons & is then attacked by the West for her "expansionist" policies.


Seriously, what is Putin's path forward if nuclear plants on his borders ignore safety warnings and thereby threaten the life and health of millions of Russians? He can use diplomatic channels to warn Kiev of the problems her reactors are causing. He could offer free fuel and maintenance of the power plant, or he could attack, repair, and maintain the reactors to rid the region of the problem.
Kiev has already been warned. I don't believe Russia will offer free fuel and maintenance, nor do I believe Kiev would accept, which leaves Putin to either ignore the situation or to risk a war with the West while keeping Europe's largest reactor plant from blowing itself up.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 30, 2017, 07:14:56 PM
Closer to home, it seems as though Three Mile Island is claiming they need government funding to stay on line.


http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/exelon-says-it-will-shut-tmi-in-2-years-20170530.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/exelon-says-it-will-shut-tmi-in-2-years-20170530.html)


If the owner, Exelon, doesn't get a "bailout", who will pay the shut down costs?


It boggles my mind to think that an up and running nuclear plant can't make a profit in the modern electrical market. If a running plant is that costly, how can new facilities even be contemplated?


The time for large nuclear facilities seems to be past. The tiny Russian models may have a role in powering small, remote locations, but the nuclear future that many predicted simply won't come to pass.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on May 30, 2017, 09:22:02 PM
Three mile island. Who pays cleanup costs for the next 10,000 years ?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 31, 2017, 03:20:51 AM
Closer to home, it seems as though Three Mile Island is claiming they need government funding to stay on line.


http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/exelon-says-it-will-shut-tmi-in-2-years-20170530.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/exelon-says-it-will-shut-tmi-in-2-years-20170530.html)


If the owner, Exelon, doesn't get a "bailout", who will pay the shut down costs?


It boggles my mind to think that an up and running nuclear plant can't make a profit in the modern electrical market. If a running plant is that costly, how can new facilities even be contemplated?


The time for large nuclear facilities seems to be past. The tiny Russian models may have a role in powering small, remote locations, but the nuclear future that many predicted simply won't come to pass.


Terry

Fitzpatrick, Oyster Creek and Quad Cities reactors were all scheduled to close.  Then they got government subsidies to stay open. 

Some try to claim that the subsidies were given in order to keep low carbon electricity online.  I call BS to that.  What was happening is that there was a lot of local unhappiness about job losses.  At least one small town relied on the nuclear plant for almost all of it's non-governmental jobs.

I guess the environment benefits.  As long as one of these old dogs doesn't fall apart and start spewing nasty stuff.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 05, 2017, 12:05:06 AM
Ten new nuclear reactors went online in 2016, bringing capacity to highest level ever

"Ten new nuclear reactors began generating electricity in 2016, which brought net nuclear capacity to the highest level in history, according to the 2017 edition of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Nuclear Power Reactors in the World report.

As of December 31, 2016, 448 reactors were operating worldwide with a net capacity of 391 gigawatts (GW) of electricity.

This is the second year in a row that 10 reactors came online, which is the highest number since the 1980s, according to the report."

https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/5426-ten-new-nuclear-reactors-went-online-2016-bringing-capacity-highest-level-ever/ (https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/5426-ten-new-nuclear-reactors-went-online-2016-bringing-capacity-highest-level-ever/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on June 05, 2017, 12:11:03 AM
Ten new nuclear reactors went online in 2016, bringing capacity to highest level ever


I wonder where they were located and if they replaced coal?
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2017, 01:26:38 AM
Quote
As of December 31, 2016, 448 reactors were operating worldwide with a net capacity of 391 gigawatts (GW) of electricity.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FGlobal%2FNuclear%2F2016%2520World%2520Reactors%2520and%2520Output%2520by%2520Year.png&hash=5a02857940aaf92b392b9f652ba6ed8d) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Global/Nuclear/2016%20World%20Reactors%20and%20Output%20by%20Year.png.html)

Last July there were 402 reactors, globally.  How did we add ten and end up with 448?  And how did we get from 348 GW to 391 GW with ten additional reactors?  I really don't think there are any 4+ GW reactors.

Russia closed  one reactor in Dec 2016.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2017, 05:49:02 AM
Might have figured it out.   The International Atomic Energy Agency whose database was used for the  " 448 reactors were operating worldwide with a net capacity of 391 gigawatts (GW)" includes 42 reactors in Japan.

Only three of Japan's reactors are operating.  Two more have been approved for restart but are being blocked in court by public opposition to restarting.

Creative counting....
---

Scheduled to come online in 2017 = 3
Scheduled to come online in 2018 = 5
Scheduled to come online in 2019 = 1
Scheduled to come online in 2020 = 1
---

The linked article says "operating".

"As of December 31, 2016, 448 reactors were operating worldwide with a net capacity of 391 gigawatts (GW) of electricity."

The database they link as their supportive documentation says "operational".  The database claims that all Japan's reactors are operational.  It's pretty clear that several will not be restarted due to public opposition.




Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 05, 2017, 08:01:41 PM
Thanks for the detective work Bob, seems that they like to spin the information a bit to get the most positive view.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2017, 05:49:46 AM
I went a round or two with some anti-renewable folks on another site.  For the most part just the same old stuff.  Myths and misinformation.  But one new claim popped up, new to me at least.

When Germany closes its last reactor in 2022 the country will have to rely on coal produced electricity from Poland to keep their grid operating. 

Of course, no data.  So I dug some up.  I'm working from the 2016 BP Statistical Review of Global Energy so the data stops at the end of 2015. 

Anyway, in 2015 Germany consumed 91.5 TWh of nuclear produced electricity.  By the end of 2022 they will have to replace that or go begging.

In 2015 Germany generated 30.6 TWh more electricity than they did in 2014.  2015 wasn't a great year for solar in Germany but over the three previous years Germany added an average of 5.5 TWh of solar generation per year.

Looks like Germany has the potential to add at least 35 TWh of new generation per year with wind and solar. 

Germany has seven years from the end of 2015 to 2022 to replace 91.5 TWh.  They'd need to add only 17 TWh per year to replace the last of their reactors.  Looks like they can cover that and reduce fossil fuel use as well.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: DrTskoul on June 07, 2017, 12:55:18 PM
They will probably need to add more than that as the combined service factor of solar and wind is less than nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2017, 04:31:51 PM
They will probably need to add more than that as the combined service factor of solar and wind is less than nuclear.

What does "combined service factor" mean?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: DrTskoul on June 07, 2017, 04:42:05 PM
Peak Solar is around midday, peak wind is early in morning and evening. You need both on the grid to maximize output. As a system ( solar + wind ) they will have a system or combine service factor. Actual capacity = Nominal capacity x service factor.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2017, 04:54:03 PM
I've never heard "service factor" used in relation to the grid.  Only having to do with engine/motor use.

You're talking about time of delivery issues.  I don't see any value in computing an "Actual value" by simply multiplying CF by "service factor".  What the grid needs and when it needs it is much more complex.

We don't know, for example, how much dispatchable load Germany may have or be able to develop over the next half dozen years.  We also don't know how used their current storage systems are. We don't know when they need power, the current nuclear late night output may be either needed or unneeded.  We don't know how much dispatchable generation Germany has that they can bring into play.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: DrTskoul on June 07, 2017, 05:18:12 PM
The service factor is used with for the power sources. What percentage of the time it will be producing electricity and st what capacity. Usually one needs extra available generation capacity to account for variability outages etc. so replacing 100 MW nuclear with solar and wind + dispachabgle NG, will require >100 MW installed capacity to reliably replace nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2017, 07:33:08 PM
The service factor is used with for the power sources. What percentage of the time it will be producing electricity and st what capacity. Usually one needs extra available generation capacity to account for variability outages etc. so replacing 100 MW nuclear with solar and wind + dispachabgle NG, will require >100 MW installed capacity to reliably replace nuclear.

We all know that the CF for wind and solar is lower than for nuclear.  My comment included only electricity produced, not nameplate capacity.

Replacing 91.5 TWh (2015) nuclear production will take 91.5 TWh of increased wind and solar production.  I presented that math.

It may mean that more storage will need to be added, but shutting down nuclear should free up about 40 TWh of pump-up hydro storage.  It may mean using existing dispatchable fossil fuel generation at different times than now.  It may mean finding new ways to time-shift demand. 

There may be no need for additional NG or coal to be burned.  Very unlikely any additional NG capacity will need to be added, seeing how the use of existing NG plants is dropping.
---

Edited for big mistake.  Germany has about 40 GWh, not TWh of PuHS.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: BenB on June 19, 2017, 06:15:22 PM
South Korea's new president plans to phase out nuclear power over the next decade or so:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/19/new-south-korean-president-vows-to-end-use-of-nuclear-power (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/19/new-south-korean-president-vows-to-end-use-of-nuclear-power)

As South Korea is a big user of nuclear power, this will make it significantly more difficult for nuclear power to make a big net contribution to meeting the world's growing demand for electricity.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 19, 2017, 07:59:12 PM
Analysis Shows U.S. Nuclear Plants Losing $2.9 Billion Annually

"Nicholas Steckler, an analyst for BNEF, in a June 14 report said nuclear operators are losing about $2.9 billion a year. Steckler said nuclear plants are being paid $20/MWh to $30/MWh for their electricity, while their generation costs an average of $35/MWh.

The report says 34 of 61 U.S. nuclear plants are in the red. Steckler specifically cited merchant nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Corp., Entergy Corp., and Exelon."

"Five U.S. nuclear plants have closed since 2013 and another six have plans to close by 2025, according to Environmental Progress, a group that supports nuclear power as a zero-emissions source of energy."

http://www.powermag.com/analysis-shows-u-s-nuclear-plants-losing-2-9-billion-annually/ (http://www.powermag.com/analysis-shows-u-s-nuclear-plants-losing-2-9-billion-annually/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 19, 2017, 08:38:06 PM
34 out of 61 plants.  Anyone have a breakdown of those plants in terms of how many reactors per plant?

My understanding is that the single reactor plants are the ones most in trouble.  With a couple of reactors some fixed costs can be shared.  The more MWh you produce the thinner you can spread the cost of a guard at the gate per MWh.

As for the reactors to be closed, we're seeing some of them being bailed out via state/local subsidies.  The nuclear industry is talking about subsidies for low carbon electricity.  But my reading of local papers during the process leads me to think that it's mostly about saving jobs in the Rust Belt where unemployment is still a problem (and a political hot potato).
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on June 20, 2017, 07:25:43 PM
34 out of 61 plants.  Anyone have a breakdown of those plants in terms of how many reactors per plant?

My understanding is that the single reactor plants are the ones most in trouble.  With a couple of reactors some fixed costs can be shared.  The more MWh you produce the thinner you can spread the cost of a guard at the gate per MWh.

As for the reactors to be closed, we're seeing some of them being bailed out via state/local subsidies.  The nuclear industry is talking about subsidies for low carbon electricity.  But my reading of local papers during the process leads me to think that it's mostly about saving jobs in the Rust Belt where unemployment is still a problem (and a political hot potato).

There are some good stats about US nuclear power plants at this website: https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants (https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants)

The 61 power plants in the US have 99 reactors:

- 26 are single reactor plants
- 32 plants have two reactors
- 3 plants have three reactors

There are four new reactors under construction.  Vogtle in GA would go from two to four reactors if they are completed (Westinghouse's bankruptcy puts that in doubt).  Summer in SC would go from 1 to 3.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on June 20, 2017, 11:37:23 PM
Welcome, Ken Feldman. Your profile has been released, so you can post freely now.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 21, 2017, 01:17:26 AM
34 out of 61 plants.  Anyone have a breakdown of those plants in terms of how many reactors per plant?

My understanding is that the single reactor plants are the ones most in trouble.  With a couple of reactors some fixed costs can be shared.  The more MWh you produce the thinner you can spread the cost of a guard at the gate per MWh.

As for the reactors to be closed, we're seeing some of them being bailed out via state/local subsidies.  The nuclear industry is talking about subsidies for low carbon electricity.  But my reading of local papers during the process leads me to think that it's mostly about saving jobs in the Rust Belt where unemployment is still a problem (and a political hot potato).

There are some good stats about US nuclear power plants at this website: https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants (https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants)

The 61 power plants in the US have 99 reactors:

- 26 are single reactor plants
- 32 plants have two reactors
- 3 plants have three reactors

There are four new reactors under construction.  Vogtle in GA would go from two to four reactors if they are completed (Westinghouse's bankruptcy puts that in doubt).  Summer in SC would go from 1 to 3.

Thanks.  That suggests that most single reactor plants are either going to close or will need subsidies in order to stay in operation.  What I've read is "about 25%" of all US reactors are at risk of bankruptcy.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 21, 2017, 05:53:56 AM
Hinkley Point Likely to Be Only New UK Nuclear Plant-SSE CEO

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/19/business/19reuters-britain-nuclear.html?_r=0 (https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/06/19/business/19reuters-britain-nuclear.html?_r=0)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on June 24, 2017, 03:11:23 AM
The world map showing electricity emissions has been updated with some new countries and states including my own state of Western Australia.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map (https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map)

I regularly check emissions of the various countries and notice that economies with high penetration of firm low carbon capacity like hydro, nuclear and biomass are consistently green with CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh, and very often below 50g/kWh.
 
By comparison countries with high penetration of intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar backed by fossil fuel capacity are nearly always yellow or brown with CO2 emissions much higher, usually about 300g/kWh to 500g/kWh.

This is not surprising as the UK report below  shows that to achieve CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh using intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar requires the backing of firm low carbon capacity sources like hydro and nuclear.

http://erpuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ERP-Flex-Man-Full-Report.pdf (http://erpuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ERP-Flex-Man-Full-Report.pdf)

This is the reason why since 2005 the UK has a bipartisan agreement with the major political parties to include nuclear as part of their long term CO2 emissions reduction strategy.   
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on June 24, 2017, 05:44:19 AM
Soooo, if a you saw a two-month-old child and noticed he couldn't do what his teenage brother could, would you conclude that it the infant was always going to be useless to do anything.

That's pretty much the level of absurdity of your comparison.

How long have nukes and hydro been major players on the world energy stage (supplied over ~1% of global electricity)?

Now think about how recently wind has gained that status and that by some accounts has not even reached that level (making it more like a fetus than even a two month old in the above analogy!).

Also note how quickly wind and solar are growing and that most other sources, including nuclear, mostly aren't.

Things are changing very rapidly in the energy sector and pointing at the current status of any of these sources doesn't really tell you much about what the capabilities will be in ten or even five years. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 24, 2017, 06:32:19 AM
The world map showing electricity emissions has been updated with some new countries and states including my own state of Western Australia.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map (https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map)

I regularly check emissions of the various countries and notice that economies with high penetration of firm low carbon capacity like hydro, nuclear and biomass are consistently green with CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh, and very often below 50g/kWh.
 
By comparison countries with high penetration of intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar backed by fossil fuel capacity are nearly always yellow or brown with CO2 emissions much higher, usually about 300g/kWh to 500g/kWh.

This is not surprising as the UK report below  shows that to achieve CO2 emissions less than 100g/kWh using intermittent low carbon capacity like wind and solar requires the backing of firm low carbon capacity sources like hydro and nuclear.

http://erpuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ERP-Flex-Man-Full-Report.pdf (http://erpuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ERP-Flex-Man-Full-Report.pdf)

This is the reason why since 2005 the UK has a bipartisan agreement with the major political parties to include nuclear as part of their long term CO2 emissions reduction strategy.

I think you need to think it through a bit more, Tom.

Countries started installing hydro 130+ years ago.  Countries started installing nuclear 50+ years ago.  Both hydro and nuclear have a huge, huge head start on wind and solar. 

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FGlobal%2FGrowth%2520Wind%2520Solar%2520Nuclear%2520from%25201965.png&hash=bc10116c1f452ab69afb7a8e70a9a607) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Global/Growth%20Wind%20Solar%20Nuclear%20from%201965.png.html)

Now let's look at how rapidly each has grown after passing the 20 TWh threshold.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FGlobal%2FGrowth%2520Wind%2520Solar%2520Nuclear.png&hash=c719b4ede3ba87e7c190ba386dd64f19) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Global/Growth%20Wind%20Solar%20Nuclear.png.html)


Wind seems to be keeping its rapid growth pattern at the point nuclear began to slow.  Solar is leaving them both in the dust, off the starting line.

Those lines represent fossil fuels not burned. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 28, 2017, 04:39:08 PM
Does anyone have some insight about why there's been an apparent change of course in South Korea with nuclear energy?

 I had viewed SK as one of the countries which was likely to continue building reactors for the next few years.  There was a problem with faked safety certificates for some reactor parts but I have heard nothing about that causing an anti-nuclear movement.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 28, 2017, 08:57:40 PM
New South Korean president vows to end use of nuclear power

The new President is a major change from his predecessors, both relatively left-leaning and anti-nuclear. Talks about the Fukushima disaster and what it would mean if it happened in South Korea.His campaign pledges included reducing nuclear power and coal use (South Korea is a big importer of US coal).

"Moon Jae-in said he would lead country towards a ‘nuclear-free era’ following fears of a Fukushima-style meltdown

Moon added that he would not extend the operation of ageing reactors, many of which will come to the end of their lifespans between 2020 and 2030.

Weaning South Korea off nuclear power, however, could take decades, and there is expected to be opposition from construction companies, which have increased technology exports under Moon’s nuclear-friendly predecessors. The country was the fifth-largest producer of nuclear energy last year, according to the World Nuclear Association, with its 25 reactors generating about a third of its electricity.

The former president Lee Myung-bak saw nuclear as an important source of clean energy, while Park wanted to increase the number of reactors to 36 by 2029. Moon recognised the role of nuclear power in South Korea’s rapid economic development, but added that Japan’s Fukushima disaster – which prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of people – had convinced him that his country must look to new sources of energy.

The public’s support for nuclear power has weakened since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown and a 2013 corruption scandal over fake safety certificates for reactor parts.

He also plans to close at least 10 ageing coal-fired power plants before his term ends in 2022 and to boost renewables’ share of the energy mix to 20% by 2030"

Plans are for a big increase in hydro dams and the use of natural gas (more LNG imports in South East Asia). Even by 2030 though, coal and nuclear will provide 22% of the electricity supply each. So how much will this really reduce South Korea's carbon emissions, especially if we account for fugitive methane emissions from natural gas?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/19/new-south-korean-president-vows-to-end-use-of-nuclear-power (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/19/new-south-korean-president-vows-to-end-use-of-nuclear-power)

P.S. The South Korean "Train to Busan" is the best zombie movie I have seen.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on June 28, 2017, 09:12:34 PM
See you in court: how the South African public sued the nuclear sector and won

Very secret and corrupt process by which South Africa agreed to buy nuclear from Russia exposed and reversed by court judgement. Now the procurement process has to start again, may be the end of nuclear in South Africa.

https://energytransition.org/2017/06/nuclear-deal-sa/ (https://energytransition.org/2017/06/nuclear-deal-sa/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on July 04, 2017, 10:41:00 PM
New cost escalation for EDF's Hinkley Point C project (UK)

Cost escalation and delay in delivery, it just gets worse with this project.

"The costs of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in Somerset (United Kingdom) have jumped by £2.2bn (€2.5bn) and reach now a total of £20.3bn (€23.1bn), while the risk of a deferral in the delivery (COD) of the project is estimated at 15 months for Unit 1 and 9 months for Unit 2. The first reactor would then be commissioned in 2027 instead of late 2025. As a result, the project rate of return is expected to drop from 9% to 8.2%.

EDF has reported that £1.5bn (€1.7bn) of the cost escalation is due to a “better understanding” of the construction operations needed and of the British regulatory requirements, while the estimated delay on the reactors is expected to increase the costs by a further £0.7bn (€0.8bn). However, EDF is still targeting the end of 2025 as the initial commissioning date."

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/new-cost-escalation-edfs-hinkley-point-c-project-uk.html (https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/new-cost-escalation-edfs-hinkley-point-c-project-uk.html)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 04, 2017, 11:58:56 PM
Supposedly the extra cost will not be charged to UK electricity purchasers.  That means that the extra cost is going to be mostly eaten by the French government (and China?).  IIRC the French government owns about 85% of the French nuclear industry stock.

I wonder if they overpriced their bid anticipating something like this would happen or if they're going to be subsidizing nuclear in the UK.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on July 14, 2017, 03:47:34 AM
An open letter to French president Emmanuel Macron from environmentalists led by Jim Hansen warned that closing nuclear power plants would be a step backward for France.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/V-Environmentalists-appeal-to-Macron-for-nuclear-0406171.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/V-Environmentalists-appeal-to-Macron-for-nuclear-0406171.html)

Key points from the letter include.

Nobody has done more for advancing clean energy on the grid than France. In light of this knowledge, we are writing to express our alarm at your decision to move France away from clean nuclear power.

Any reduction in France's nuclear generation will increase fossil fuel generation and pollution given the low capacity factors and intermittency of solar and wind.

Whereas France has some of the cheapest and cleanest electricity in Europe, Germany has some of the most expensive and dirtiest.

The French nuclear program has historically been the envy of the world.  It demonstrated in the 1970s and 80s that the decarbonization of an industrialized country's electricity sector is in fact possible.

For France, the next necessary step to help combat climate change and improve air quality is to increase clean electricity from all non-fossil sources and massively reduce fossil fuels used in heating and the transportation sector.  Nuclear power must play a central role in this.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: etienne on July 14, 2017, 07:08:32 AM
I heard yesterday on the radio that Germany is able to close the nuclear reactors and to reduce coal use for electricity production.  I personnaly believe that nuclear brings more problems than solutions. Fossil fuels are also used when building the reactors, when storing the trash, when dismantling the reactor and when managing accidents, so it is not as clean as it looks like. Some of the people who signed work directly for the nuclear industry, the other ones, I don't know.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 14, 2017, 08:02:01 AM
Hansen needs to learn more and pontificate less.

France is replacing the 17 reactors they plan on closing with wind and solar.  France is already installing the RE in order to be ready for reactor closing.

France has higher wholesale electricity prices than Germany.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4327/35911679975_8dded2c87a_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/WHoKj8)

Aside from  that France did not build nuclear in order to lower their carbon footprint.  France built nuclear because they were using a lot of oil to generate electricity and OPEC started jerking the world around.  Now France's reactor fleet is wearing out and it doesn't make sense to replace them with more nuclear since the cost would be so very high. 

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on July 14, 2017, 04:39:48 PM
...Fossil fuels are also used when building the reactors, when storing the trash, when dismantling the reactor and when managing accidents, so it is not as clean as it looks like...

Last figures I saw in the IPCC were that wind and solar have the lowest carbon intensity per kWh; hydro and nuclear were around twice as bad. Then natural gas about 5x or 10x (I forget) compared to hydro or nuclear. That's looking at the whole supply chain, amortizing appropriately for the construction. There's huge variability in these figures: a dam made of concrete is a lot more carbon-intensive than one made of clay and rock, for instance; a solar panel made using coal-powered electricity is far worse than one made from cleaner sources; a solar panel installed in a rainy place does worse than one installed in a sunny spot, etc.

The overall picture: nuclear is more carbon-intensive than wind and solar. But it's a *lot* cleaner than any fossil fuel. A nuclear refurbish could well be about on par with new wind or solar, because you don't have to build new cooling towers and a reactor containment building and so on (but you do need to refine uranium etc).

However, it'd be far, far more expensive in dollar terms, and slow to build.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on July 14, 2017, 07:33:18 PM
I know nothing of the subject, but wonder what the carbon costs of closing down & cleaning up a nuclear plant are, in comparison to the carbon cost of refurbishing one?


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on July 14, 2017, 08:42:32 PM
You have to close them down at some point and therefore take the carbon cost
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 15, 2017, 12:10:24 AM
The carbon load of closing is (I imagine) fairly fixed.  If you can extend the life of a reactor that would mean more GWh of electricity produced and lower the per GWh average.

The problem for nuclear is that many of the paid off plants are financially struggling.  The wholesale price of electricity barely covers the cost of operating the plant.  If the plant spends a lot of money refurbishing then they may not be able to pay the bill.

This is a something that I think few, very few, people saw coming.  The unaffordability of new nuclear has been obvious for a few years as we watched the cost of NG and wind falling.  But it didn't occur to anyone that I've encountered that paid off reactors in good repair might be priced out of the market.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on July 15, 2017, 06:26:22 AM
The cost of refurbishment is astronomical! It is extremely complicated and can be risky. Ontario is spending half a billion to build a mock up of the plant they are refurbishing to make sure the workers are trained well enough to handle the actual refurbishment.

I suspect that extending the life of nuclear plants is far less fraught and expensive than decommissioning - especially when no safe permanent nuclear disposal site exists in the country.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: etienne on July 15, 2017, 07:50:52 AM
Furthermore, if you look at the costs of a nuclear accident, you can say that nuclear industry makes business without insurance regarding the risks. If this cost would be calculated as subsidies, I guess this would change the picture.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on July 15, 2017, 07:08:06 PM
I was thinking specifically of the costs to the environment. Monetary costs I believe can be adjusted when carbon taxes are applied. A coal, or even gas plant might be viable with no carbon tax, but extremely expensive to operate otherwise, nuclear might be expensive with no carbon tax. but very reasonable should carbon taxes be applied.


Building the facility released a lot of GHG, a certain amount will be released when decommissioning it, if refurbishing can be done while releasing less than a new build would, and this eliminates one of the decommissioning cycles, wouldn't this be the ecologically correct path?
I'm not advocating new nuclear, just exploring the possibility of keeping those already built on line.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: longwalks1 on July 16, 2017, 12:54:51 AM
in re life extension - Neutron embrittlement.  Also concrete does have a life span aside from radiation.  . 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 16, 2017, 06:32:02 PM
Quote
nuclear might be expensive with no carbon tax. but very reasonable should carbon taxes be applied.

If coal was required to pay its full cost paid off nuclear would be much cheaper than paid off coal.  New nuclear would probably be a little cheaper than new coal.

But, if you put a price on carbon, nuclear still has to compete with wind and solar, and nuclear can't.  Some paid off nuclear plants are cheap to operate but they won't last forever.  At refurbishing or replacement time it's over for those plants. 

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: zizek on July 16, 2017, 06:43:29 PM
Google keeps on pulling life cycle GHG numbers that put nuclear on par with wind and solar, of course, most of these numbers are from industry so who knows.

Windmill and solar have two big issues that shouldn't be set aside, and I don't think are taken into account when discussing life cycle costs.  First, and the most obvious, what will emissions look like when we move completely from fossil fuels and rely on energy storage?  Second, and an issue that should be taken more seriously, how will volatile and unpredictable weather from a warming world affect wind and solar.

Wind mills and solar panels are at the mercy of the climate change. Which, I feel, isn't the best thing to rely on considering our current state.  Extreme weathers can damage turbines and solar panels, either completely destroying them or increasing maintenance costs. Additionally, changing weather patterns could negatively (and positively) impact the efficiency of units.

It doesn't really matter at this point. Capital has pretty much completely shifted from nuclear into wind and solar. Hopefully we're making the right bet...
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 16, 2017, 07:24:42 PM
Quote
First, and the most obvious, what will emissions look like when we move completely from fossil fuels and rely on energy storage?

The lifetime carbon footprint for solar and wind will be much smaller than it is today.  And it's really small already.  Most of the carbon emissions from the wind and solar industry come from the grid use of fossil fuels and transportation's almost total use of FF.  As we move to electricity powered transportation and a 100% RE grid all that  carbon stays in the ground.

Quote
Second, and an issue that should be taken more seriously, how will volatile and unpredictable weather from a warming world affect wind and solar.

Studies have suggested that we should see little change in wind resources on a global level.  In some places winds may become weaker or stronger but that can be largely dealt with by changing turbine blade length/design. 

Solar panels will produce a little less electricity in hotter weather.  The amount of area needed for solar panels will likely be more than offset by increases in panel efficiency.

Something I'm observing here at the southern end of the PNW is that there seems to be less coastal fog in the summer.  I don't know if that is extending further north, but if so then solar is going to be more productive in this limited area. 

I stuck that in as an indication that things will vary, improve in some places, be degraded in others.  Overall things may not be heavily impacted.

BTW, offshore wind turbines are designed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane.  These things are not fragile.

Since this is the nuclear thread, we might want to think about impact to nuclear energy.  There's the obvious problem of raising sea levels and more frequent flooding.  That means we should expect increased outages from poorly sited reactors. 

And as temperatures rise cooling will become less efficient, lowering output.  Plus temperature required shutdowns will increase.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: zizek on July 16, 2017, 08:31:42 PM
Quote
First, and the most obvious, what will emissions look like when we move completely from fossil fuels and rely on energy storage?

The lifetime carbon footprint for solar and wind will be much smaller than it is today.  And it's really small already.  Most of the carbon emissions from the wind and solar industry come from the grid use of fossil fuels and transportation's almost total use of FF.  As we move to electricity powered transportation and a 100% RE grid all that  carbon stays in the ground.

Quote
Second, and an issue that should be taken more seriously, how will volatile and unpredictable weather from a warming world affect wind and solar.

Studies have suggested that we should see little change in wind resources on a global level.  In some places winds may become weaker or stronger but that can be largely dealt with by changing turbine blade length/design. 

Solar panels will produce a little less electricity in hotter weather.  The amount of area needed for solar panels will likely be more than offset by increases in panel efficiency.

Something I'm observing here at the southern end of the PNW is that there seems to be less coastal fog in the summer.  I don't know if that is extending further north, but if so then solar is going to be more productive in this limited area. 

I stuck that in as an indication that things will vary, improve in some places, be degraded in others.  Overall things may not be heavily impacted.

BTW, offshore wind turbines are designed to withstand a Category 3 hurricane.  These things are not fragile.

Since this is the nuclear thread, we might want to think about impact to nuclear energy.  There's the obvious problem of raising sea levels and more frequent flooding.  That means we should expect increased outages from poorly sited reactors. 

And as temperatures rise cooling will become less efficient, lowering output.  Plus temperature required shutdowns will increase.

Here is the IPCC report that discuss GHG emissions:
https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_annex-iii.pdf#page=5 (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg3/ipcc_wg3_ar5_annex-iii.pdf#page=5)
nuclear mean: 12
wind onshore: 11
wind offshore: 12
concentrated solar panel: 27
coal: 820

Really, I'm not sure if there's any worth comparing GHG emissions between nuclear and other green energy sources. The emissions are so similar for all of them that it becomes trivial. It's probably more important to deliberate the practical components of renewable (and nuclear) energy sources.

Nuclear is tried tested and true. That's what makes it appealing. Renewable have a long way to go before they can effectively meet the our current demands. And trust me when I say this, I would much rather have wind and solar over nuclear. But I feel like we're running out of time. Projections that incorporate wind and solar as our main source of power forecast technologies and efficiencies that don't yet exist. That is fine and all, and the model should contain that. But what these models don't consider is what happens if climate change disrupts the highly fragile globalized economic system our current society exists in.

I dunno, I may be wrong. But I just feel that an energy source that depends so much on weather, geography, and R&D might not be the best path for us.  It seems to rely so much on stability, and I fear the near future will be anything but. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on July 16, 2017, 09:18:54 PM
"Nuclear is tried tested and true"

Except some of those 'tests' went horribly wrong...

..and more are sure to follow  :-\
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 16, 2017, 09:23:23 PM
Compared to fossil fuels nuclear, wind and solar are all great when it comes to carbon footprint.  Wind and solar numbers decline as turbines and panels become more efficient.  And as the grid uses less FF. 

Nuclear is tried and tested.  But it's proven to be too expensive.  Were we to repower our grids with nuclear the additional cost of electricity would cripple economies.  Wind and solar make the cost of electricity cheaper.

"Projections that incorporate wind and solar as our main source of power forecast technologies and efficiencies that don't yet exist. "

No, I've read several 80% wind/solar to 100% wind/solar studies and none use "don't yet exist" technologies.  Most of the studies are out of date as soon as they are published because wind and solar efficiencies have already improved since the paper was written and costs have fallen.

I've never see a "mostly RE grid" study that uses technologies or efficiencies not already demonstrated.

" I just feel that an energy source that depends so much on weather, geography, and R&D might not be the best path for us."

Local weather patterns may change.  That could mean that in a few places we might have to change the blades on wind turbines or add more solar panels to the system.  In a few extreme conditions we might need to relocate the turbines or panels. 

Most likely we would never move turbines due to changes in wind speeds.  Those changes are not likely to be abrupt.  Worst case, we'd continue to use the current turbines but not replace them at that site when they reached the end of their useful life.  We'd install the replacements is a windier spot.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: zizek on July 17, 2017, 12:56:25 AM
I have a feeling that solar and wind, along with energy storage, are not economically feasible in many parts of the world. But maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on July 17, 2017, 01:05:54 AM
"I have a feeling..."

Based on???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-oHYYaw9jA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-oHYYaw9jA)
 :)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 17, 2017, 01:29:18 AM
I have a feeling that solar and wind, along with energy storage, are not economically feasible in many parts of the world. But maybe I'm wrong, and I hope I am.

Go to this page -

http://thesolutionsproject.org/why-clean-energy/ (http://thesolutionsproject.org/why-clean-energy/)

and explore the US and International maps.  That will show you the best (most economical) mix of renewables in each area at this point in time.  The mix will probably change as prices for technologies will drop at different rates.  But the maps show what could be done now.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on July 17, 2017, 01:45:40 AM
zizek: I agree that the CO2 impact of nuclear versus wind/solar is hard to distinguish.

Nuclear is tried and tested, I agree.

The CANDU reactor is mostly safe but extremely expensive (filling up with D2O is about a third of the lifetime cost, a cost no other reactor faces).

The PWR reactors are prone to catastrophic failure. They take 5-10 years to build once permitted.

Third-generation plants are under construction and hitting giant cost overruns at the moment. An industry insider tells me it's in large part for dumb reasons of ego wars between nuclear and civil engineers. Regardless of fault, it's a fact that they're late and going over their already expensive bids. We don't currently know how long they take to build, since none has successfully been built yet.

Fourth-generation plants are on paper perfect and wonderful but in reality they don't exist any more now than they did 10-15 years ago when I was adjacent to that industry (I was working on scientific computing; they needed better simulations of pebble-bed reactors).

A grid that's nearly 100% nuclear (aka France, or for a while New Brunswick) has serious problems with load-following. You have to rely on a neighbour to take the excess load at night, or on storage, or else you have to shut down one of these fantastically expensive plants for a little while, reducing its capacity factor and making it even more expensive per kWh it generates over its life.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on July 25, 2017, 05:52:54 AM
Nuclear Power Heats Up in Asia, Cools in the West

"Asia aggressively builds nuclear power plants as the West withdraws

Nuclear power is hot in China. The country is building 19 commercial reactors, including two of the largest ever assembled. Russia's state-owned engineering firm, Rosatom, is erecting 13 reactors in five countries. India is developing its own domestic supply chain. Meanwhile the U.S. is canceling reactors, leaving only four under construction. American maker Westinghouse, long the global front-runner, filed for bankruptcy in March. France, which for decades happily relied on atomic power, will turn to renewables to meet new electricity demand. Germany will shutter all its reactors by 2022."

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-power-heats-up-in-asia-cools-in-the-west/ (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nuclear-power-heats-up-in-asia-cools-in-the-west/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 25, 2017, 07:01:02 AM
There are ongoing discussions in both South Carolina and Georgia over whether to abandon the two Summer and two Vogtle reactors.  If finished both would have to sell their electricity at a price higher than current retail prices in those states.

Additionally, none of the new generation is needed.  Both states failed to recognize the oncoming efficiency movement.  The reactors were built assuming demand would continue to rise when, in fact, it has stabilized or even fallen.

South Carolina is probably in the worst shape.  Normally their grid would carry about 15% extra capacity to cover unscheduled plant outages.  If finished their reserve capacity would rise to about 45%. 

This leaves SC in a real dilemma.  Stop work and eat the loss.  Or finish the reactors which will cost several billion more dollars and then run them.  If run other, cheaper sources will have to be shut down.  This will drive the price of electricity even higher. 

Drive the price higher and expect more efficiency at the consumer level plus lots of consumer owned solar.  That would, of course, cause demand to fall which would require more of the less expensive generation to be shut and kick the cost of electricity up another notch.

This is the problem TVA ran into 20+ years ago when expected demand growth failed to materialize and they had to stop work on a new reactor when it was 80% completed.  (It may have been two reactors.)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 25, 2017, 07:07:23 AM
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with China's and India's nuclear programs over the next five or so years.  These programs were planned and gained momentum when wind and solar were expensive.  Now both countries have robust wind and solar programs.  Both are starting to work on offshore wind as the cost of offshore is rapidly dropping.

Will China and India continue to build reactors or will they invest their capital in wind and solar which will give them more affordable electricity?

Russia.  Who knows what "I want to be president for life" Putin will do.  If Russia loses its oil and natural gas income the Tzar may not have the capital to build much of anything.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: longwalks1 on July 25, 2017, 07:54:52 AM
Well, not nuclear power per se, but it might have some in common with security from outside groups for nuclear reactors.  In Germany,

http://www.nukeresister.org/2017/07/18/activists-cut-fences-occupy-nuclear-weapons-bunker-in-protest-of-u-s-nukes-in-germany/ (http://www.nukeresister.org/2017/07/18/activists-cut-fences-occupy-nuclear-weapons-bunker-in-protest-of-u-s-nukes-in-germany/)

Quote
and for the first time in a 21-year-long series of protests against the deployment of U.S. B61 thermonuclear bombs there, climbed on top of one large bunker used for nuclear weapons. After cutting through two exterior fences and two more fences surrounding the large earth-covered bunkers, the five spent more than one hour unnoticed sitting on the bunker. No notice of the group was taken until after two of them climbed down to write “DISARM” on the bunker’s metal front door, setting off an alarm. Surrounded by vehicles and guards searching on foot with flashlights, the five eventually alerted guards to their presence by singing, causing the guards to look up. The internationals were eventually taken into custody more than two hours after entering the base.

Good folk, over a century combined of nonviolence in living and in Khan-Ghandi-Kingian nonviolence usage and tactics. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on July 25, 2017, 02:40:46 PM
I was reading Bob Wallace's post on White Elephant nuclear projects in the USA. Not to be outdone, we in the UK have Hinkley C (add unproven reactor design to the shambles)

AN EXTRACT FROM THE UK's DAILY TELEGRAPH
18 JULY 2017 • 8:41PM
Households could end up paying £50bn to support the new Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, according to government figures, more than eight times the 2013 estimate.

The latest forecasts have revealed that EDF’s bid to build the first new nuclear plant in a generation could cost energy bill payers £50bn over the life of the project, well above the £6bn bill estimated in 2013.

Consumers are on the hook for a far greater share of the project costs because the wholesale market price for electricity is falling steadily while nuclear power construction remains expensive and high risk.

Under an agreement between the Government and EDF Energy, ironed out in 2013, Hinkley is guaranteed to earn £92.50 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of energy produced through a combination of wholesale market prices and a levy on consumer energy bills.

At the time Government said this would require top-up payments totaling £6bn via energy bills to meet the "strike price", but falling market prices have widened the forecast gap every year since then.

Two years ago the cost was estimated at £13bn before it spiralled to over £30bn under fresh analysis from the public spending watchdog last year.

etc etc etc

PS: Since that Article was written the UK Government announced that the National Grid would be moving to batteries to provide the necessary base load to back up solar , wind etc. And no-one has the balls to stop it happening.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 25, 2017, 06:22:19 PM
Quote
Households could end up paying £50bn to support the new Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, according to government figures, more than eight times the 2013 estimate.

How widely is this being discussed in the UK?  Is the general public aware and are they aware of the rapidly dropping costs of renewables?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 25, 2017, 06:53:03 PM
Turns out that in the US construction was started on 39 reactors and then they were later abandoned.  On average construction lasted for 7.4 years before someone threw in the towel.

Seeing how we have roughly 100 operating reactors that's a very high failure rate.  It was almost all due to costs soaring far higher than what the industry had claimed the reactors would cost.

Another 59 reactors were planned but construction was never started on them.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on July 25, 2017, 08:08:00 PM
Quote
Households could end up paying £50bn to support the new Hinkley Point C nuclear project in Somerset, according to government figures, more than eight times the 2013 estimate.

How widely is this being discussed in the UK?  Is the general public aware and are they aware of the rapidly dropping costs of renewables?
One word answer : BREXIT

The UK public are otherwise engaged (and perhaps still believe their government knows what it is doing?).
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on July 25, 2017, 08:48:16 PM
Bob, wonder, when they figure out the real cost of nuclear power per kwh, do they ever figure in the costs of these abandoned projects, or of evacuation costs and Fukushima and elsewhere?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 25, 2017, 08:58:33 PM
Bob, wonder, when they figure out the real cost of nuclear power per kwh, do they ever figure in the costs of these abandoned projects, or of evacuation costs and Fukushima and elsewhere?

Never.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 30, 2017, 11:25:10 PM
Perhaps this is a best fit here.  It's an extremely interesting/scary read about how the Trump administration is dealing with this country's energy.  And nuclear weapons. 

(Both reside in the DOE which Rick Perry wants to close.)

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/department-of-energy-risks-michael-lewis
 (http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/department-of-energy-risks-michael-lewis)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on July 31, 2017, 10:54:41 PM
Turns out that in the US construction was started on 39 reactors and then they were later abandoned.  On average construction lasted for 7.4 years before someone threw in the towel.

Seeing how we have roughly 100 operating reactors that's a very high failure rate.  It was almost all due to costs soaring far higher than what the industry had claimed the reactors would cost.

Another 59 reactors were planned but construction was never started on them.

Add two more to the list.  The new AP1000 reactors at the VC Summer plant wont be completed.  The full story is here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sc-utilities-halt-work-on-new-nuclear-reactors-dimming-the-prospects-for-a-nuclear-energy-revival/2017/07/31/5c8ec4a0-7614-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.25b244d95f44 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sc-utilities-halt-work-on-new-nuclear-reactors-dimming-the-prospects-for-a-nuclear-energy-revival/2017/07/31/5c8ec4a0-7614-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?utm_term=.25b244d95f44)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on July 31, 2017, 11:26:52 PM
Now we'll be waiting to see if the two Vogtle reactors under construction are also abandoned.

Georgia, like SC, doesn't need their output.  And the GA reactors are also way over budget.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: iamlsd on August 05, 2017, 03:07:11 PM
I was actually searching for the maximum water temperature for cooling a coal fired power plant and came across this article which I thought was interesting - http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/cooling-power-plants.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/cooling-power-plants.aspx)

As we warm up I've been wondering if we might hit limits on being able to cool fossil fuel (and nuclear) power plants but seems the steam cycle has a way to go yet. However efficiency goes down so economics (the mighty dollar always rules) comes into play plus environmental policies thankfully have some limits to stop everything in a local water source being boiled to death by the local power station.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on November 09, 2017, 05:37:37 AM
Emmanuel Macron the French President committed to a reduction of nuclear from 75% to 50% of electricity generation by 2025.

RTE, the EDF's electricity transmission system operator has advised that a too rapid decrease of the nuclear fleet would force it to keep the four French coal plants open and to build twenty new gas plants to balance intermittent renewables.

"I prefer realism and sincerity to the hoax, " Nicolas Hulot announced on Tuesday, November 7.  The reduction date to bring nuclear power to 50% has been deferred as it will be detriment to French climate goals.
 
Currently French electricity CO2 emissions at 25 million tonnes, are just 5% of total French emissions and the lowest of any G20 country and a demonstration model for the world to follow.

http://www.lemonde.fr/energies/article/2017/11/07/nicolas-hulot-reporte-l-objectif-de-baisse-du-nucleaire-de-50-d-ici-a-2025_5211451_1653054.html

Unfortunately for the climate Germany has not been sincere or realistic and has successfully maintained the hoax.  It has installed 100GW of intermittent renewables, closed half its nuclear capacity, installing 10GW of gas to balance renewables while maintaining its coal capacity at 49GW. 

https://www.energy-charts.de/power_inst.htm

As a result German CO2 emissions are unchanged at just over 300 million tonnes compared to French emissions of just 25 million tonnes.

See page 49 for German CO2 emissions.
https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2017/Jahresauswertung_2016/Die_Energiewende_im_Stromsektor_2016_EN.pdf
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 09, 2017, 12:15:36 PM
Germans are running some sort of hoax?

German citizens decided that they did not want to take the risk of a nuclear disaster so they sped up the closure of their remaining nuclear reactors.  That resulted in a 4% increase in CO2 emissions the following year.  After two more years emissions were back down lower than before the reactors were closed.

France is apparently subsidizing the cost of their reactors.  The French government has reported that operating expenses are higher than the wholesale cost of electricity so the only explanation I can think of is that the government is eating the difference.

That France is willing to continue to subsidize nuclear in order to close coal is good for climate change.

France, of course, sets no example of how to lower carbon levels.  France built their nuclear fleet when their energy supply was threatened by OPEC.  At the time the cost of wind and solar was very much higher, too high to consider.  Since then the price of renewables has plummeted and the price of nuclear has risen leaving nuclear the most expensive way to generate electricity.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 09, 2017, 06:44:30 PM
Here is table of electricity generation by state and the type of plant.

https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants/State-Electricity-Generation-Fuel-Shares

Only 2 states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, rely more on nuclear power generation than Illinois and Illinois consumer electricity rates are ridiculously high. Because of this, Illinois also has the dubious distinction of storing more high level radiation nuclear waste than any state in the U.S.

https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/07/27/how-much-nuclear-waste-does-your-state-hold.aspx

And its Morris Illinois facility is huge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Operation
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Mathiasdm on November 16, 2017, 07:42:41 AM
Belgium urgently has too choose between gas or nuclear power as transition fuels towards renewable energy.

Currently, the nuclear plants are all scheduled to close in 2025. We would have to build 9 gas plants (0 are planned right now) in the next 8 years. However, since the existing plants are cheap (to be more precise: the nuclear plants were paid by the government long ago and now simply need to be maintained), too little people are interested in investing in new power plants.

The three options our grid maintainer gives are:


I'm hoping for a scenario where we go for as much renewable power as possible. Unfortunately, choosing between gas or nuclear is like choosing between bubonic plague or cholera (Dutch proverb).

Links in Dutch (will probably work relatively well using Google Translate):


I will try to do my bit to improve the share of renewable energy. Our new house will have a heat pump next year. Solar panels and a battery to reduce our load on the grid will follow eventually :-)
Title: Re: Nuclear Powerful
Post by: DrTskoul on November 16, 2017, 08:26:31 AM
Or wait and import from the neighbours.....I wonder where they are going to find all the electricity needed for those electric cars....
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on November 16, 2017, 01:07:19 PM
This is the perfect time to get all your neighbors together to make local changes that reduce the need for all those new central plants. You put on solar panels, great! But then get your neighbors to do it too, and get the community to invest in community-scale systems that reduce your dependence as well.
Title: Re: Nuclear Powerful
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 16, 2017, 02:21:18 PM
Or wait and import from the neighbours.....I wonder where they are going to find all the electricity needed for those electric cars....

Some of it will come from the electricity that is no longer needed to refine gasoline. ;)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Mathiasdm on November 16, 2017, 04:45:20 PM
Just FYI, I found the actual study (in English) that was made by the grid maintainer, it's very interesting to read and really makes you think about how to solve the problems for the entire grid: http://www.elia.be/~/media/files/Elia/About-Elia/Studies/20171114_ELIA_4584_AdequacyScenario.pdf

It highlights things like:

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on December 13, 2017, 12:46:10 AM
This is quite shocking. The bankruptcy of Westinghouse and Toshiba reveals a sordid nuclear plant construction process:

They were warned in 2011:

" ... a confidential report that warned six years ago that Westinghouse Electric wasn't prepared to build four new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina. "

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/post-and-courier-releases-internal-westinghouse-report-detailing-early-faults/article_a2a49e1a-dc26-11e7-bb3c-8b253f205c42.html

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/internal-westinghouse-document-warned-south-carolina-nuclear-reactor-construction-was/article_9d9c08f4-a3a5-11e7-9b82-e749ee661e95.html

Then they didnt use professional engineers:

" ...  construction drawings for the unfinished reactors were used at V.C. Summer without having them vetted and approved by professional engineers."

They slithered through a loophole:

"The state Board of Registration for Professional Engineers doesn't have the legal authority to inspect engineering worksites, and the NRC does not get into that level of detail in its review."

Understatement of the year:

"But you can’t build something as complicated as a nuclear reactor without drawings in hand."

"Westinghouse’s deputy general counsel drafted a 13-page legal opinion on May 7, 2012, arguing the engineering laws in South Carolina, Georgia and any other state where an AP1000 reactor was built didn't apply. They reasoned their federal licenses superseded state requirements."

"The need for professional engineers to approve all of the reactor designs was a waste of time and money, Westinghouse's attorneys said. "

" ... nearly every drawing was revised on site."

"The drawings, the audit found, were "often not constructible."  "

"Delays, incorrect parts, thousands of engineering changes, and billions of dollars in wasted money can be traced back to faulty drawings produced by unlicensed people ... "

" “It was a race to the bottom," said one engineer. "

https://www.postandcourier.com/business/stamped-for-failure-westinghouse-and-scana-used-unlicensed-workers-to/article_3ea2046a-9d39-11e7-a186-cb396c86b8b9.html

sidd





Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on December 13, 2017, 01:37:26 AM
sidd


Not bothering to use professional drawings when building nuclear reactors is unbelievable. These are the same people that Ukraine is depending on to design and build fuel rods for the Soviet built reactors that power almost all of their country.


Don't be terribly surprised when Chernobyl II occurs.


BTW I don't think Toshiba has bit the dust just yet, but it may be quite a while before another Japanese consortium bids on an underpriced American household name.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on December 13, 2017, 03:07:42 AM
Westinghouse is not the same people that anyone anywhere is depending on, given they're bust. They've laid off just about everyone related to civilian reactors as far as I know.

A friend of mine got out a few months beforehand, after complaining to me for years about astounding incompetence and hinting at the things that are coming out now. It was an open secret.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Alexander555 on December 15, 2017, 07:20:37 AM
https://watchers.news/2017/12/14/ikata-nuclear-plant-shut-down-over-fears-of-fukushima-style-meltdown/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on December 18, 2017, 11:08:10 AM
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would not follow Germany's example by phasing out nuclear energy in France because his priority was to cut carbon emissions and shut down polluting coal-fired production.

"Nuclear is not bad for carbon emissions, it's even the most carbon-free way to produce electricity with renewables," Macron said.

http://econews.com.au/56306/macron-says-nuclear-renewables-to-help-french-co2-reduction-goals/

It gives me some hope for the future that some world leaders are starting to use scientific evidence and data to drive CO2 emission reduction decision making.   

France has had one of the lowest electricity grid emissions for 30 years thanks to nuclear power.   Norway, Sweden and France all use nuclear or hydro or both to head the low carbon emissions league table. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/15/carbon-tax-thrusts-britain-towards-top-low-carbon-energy-league/

Any time this electricity emissions map is accessed it consistently shows Norway, Sweden and France as green along with the State of Ontario in Canada showing low electricity emissions.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map

 http://live.gridwatch.ca/home-page.html



Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 18, 2017, 06:42:39 PM
If a country has nuclear and if those reactors are safe then it makes CO2 sense to leave them in operation until coal is eliminated  and renewables have placed natural gas levels into a minor role.

But don't underplay the safety issue.  A reactor melting down in a rural area of Japan and its radioactive cloud floating off over the ocean is different from a reactor melting down in a highly populated area. 

Coal provides less than 4% of France's electricity.  It shouldn't take France long to install that much wind and solar.  And then they can get on with closing reactors. 

France needs to close reactors for economic reasons.  Maintenance costs have risen on their reactors giving France a higher wholesale rate for electricity than Germany and Denmark.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on December 18, 2017, 09:49:08 PM
Nicely put, Bob.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on December 19, 2017, 02:55:07 AM
Any time this electricity emissions map is accessed it consistently shows Norway, Sweden and France as green along with the State of Ontario in Canada showing low electricity emissions.

https://www.electricitymap.org/?wind=false&solar=false&page=map

Odd that Quebec is not on the map. It's almost all hydro, plus a bit of wind. It hasn't had a thermal plant in years -- and that was a nuclear plant.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 19, 2017, 03:25:53 AM
Paraguay.   Makes, IIRC, 10x more electricity than it uses from hydro.  Exports 90%.

Idaho 90% hydro.  More than 90% renewable.

(Some people so much want to give France CO2-ups for their use of nuclear.  But low carbon  was accidental.  France moved to nuclear because the needed to get off oil and had no source for affordable coal.)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on December 19, 2017, 11:12:51 AM
Quote
Odd that Quebec is not on the map. It's almost all hydro, plus a bit of wind. It hasn't had a thermal plant in years -- and that was a nuclear plant.

My state Western Australia was not on the map either so I sent an email with the map link to the Western Australian Conservation Council who were delighted and advised me they would pass the map link onto an energy group they liaise with.  About a month later Western Australia was on the map so I assumed they successfully added our State data from the AEMO by clicking on the "adding a territory" link.

http://wa.aemo.com.au/Electricity/Wholesale-Electricity-Market-WEM/Data-dashboard#generation-fuelmix

It would be great if communities from all countries (and States) arranged to add their emissions data to this map to enable the global community to make better decisions with respect to successful emissions reduction. 

This will give us the best chance of success.   
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on December 22, 2017, 10:27:59 PM
What could go wrong: Georgia approves nuclear reactor go ahead. I really thought the screwups in construction would kill the project. I suppose there's too much payola on the line.

"Georgia Power estimates the reactors will cost $12.2 billion and won't be finished until 2021 and 2022 ...  The new reactors on the Savannah River near Waynesboro were initially expected to cost the company about $6 billion and be completed this year."

In light of  the revelations of inexcusable sloppiness i posted earlier, these two are a disaster waiting to happen.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/commission-voting-on-georgia-powers-plant-vogtles-future/667115708

sidd


Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 22, 2017, 10:42:23 PM
The people approving the go ahead for Vogtle will not have to pay for the cost.  That gets shoved off on consumers.

The State of Georgia screwed its own citizens by setting up the system the way they did.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on December 23, 2017, 07:05:14 AM
These are the same reactors that brought down Westinghouse, and now possibly Toshiba.


https://seekingalpha.com/article/4104267-ugly-disclosure-scana



Personally I'm more concerned with the Jerry rigged fuel rods Westinghouse is still selling to Ukraine for fueling their Soviet designed reactors. Chernobyl II and Chernobyl III may dwarf the original.


https://nuclear-news.net/2014/05/20/usas-westinghouse-taking-over-nuclear-fuel-supplies-to-ukraine-despite-problems-in-those-fuel-assemblies/


OT - but
It could be a cold winter in Ukraine as a Slovakian court has seized Ukrainian gas for non payments dating back ten years. Slovakia had recently been Ukraine's largest gas supplier as it purchased Russian gas, added their profit, then sold it on to Ukraine.


https://www.rt.com/business/413943-ukraine-gas-slovakia-russia/


Terry

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on January 05, 2018, 12:42:58 AM
Another good year for the climate from nuclear France just 77g/kWh electricity CO2 emissions.

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en

Before 1975 French electricity CO2 emissions were about 500g/kWh similar to Germany today.

Between 1975 and 1995 France installed 63GW of nuclear capacity REPLACING most of its fossil fuel capacity and since 1992 has consistently provided electricity with emissions of 100g/kWh or less.

No wonder the climate and James Hansen loves nuclear power!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 05, 2018, 01:30:22 AM
France did not build reactors as a way to combat climate change.  France built reactors because they badly needed to get out from under OPEC's thumb.  They had no reasonalbe access coal.  Wind and solar were too expensive at the time.

France would not do the same these days.  In fact, France intends to replace reactors with renewables going forward in order to cut their cost of electricity.

You know all this Tom.  You're just a nuclear pusher who puts nuclear ahead of personal integrity.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on January 05, 2018, 06:11:27 AM
"You're just a nuclear pusher who puts nuclear ahead of personal integrity."

I am not a big nuke fan, but i do not think this comment does any good on this forum.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 05, 2018, 03:47:36 PM
"You're just a nuclear pusher who puts nuclear ahead of personal integrity."

I am not a big nuke fan, but i do not think this comment does any good on this forum.

sidd

There is a small number of 'nuclear pushers' who wander around the web posting the same incorrect and misleading statements in support of the nuclear industry.

Numerous people post corrections but the pushers ignore the corrections and continue their efforts to spread misinformation.  I put them in the same category as climate change deniers.

Not pushing back hard against them gives them the ability to spread FUD and lower the reliability of a site. 

Tom posted a very common opening move - describe how France built a lot of reactors in a short period, which is true.  But Tom and his ilk do not go on to explain how France poured resources into that effort in order to eliminate OPEC's control over their electricity grid. 

By sneaking that rapid build into the discussion that opens the door for "we could do the same" without acknowledging how expensive that would be.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: BenB on January 05, 2018, 06:34:45 PM
I totally agree with Bob on this one. There are people who support nuclear power (and I'm far from anti, I just think we have better options now), who are willing to engage in discussion on the benefits and disadvantages of nukes vs other options. They should always be welcome. But there are also people who simply trot out the same soundbites time and time again, and then disappear when their misleading presentation of the facts is challenged. They don't add anything to the discussion.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on January 05, 2018, 07:23:00 PM
I'm enamoured of the Micro Nukes sometimes proposed for powering remote Arctic communities. Power plants similar to those used in nuclear submarines or modern icebreakers. An expensive proposition, but powering them now is expensive plus no greenhouse gases with the Micro-Nuke option.
The US had one in Greenland I believe, & I've read that the Russians are exploring the concept.


France did a wonderful thing when they drastically lowered their GHG, regardless of their motivation. It's too bad that the economics are not now working out.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sebastian Jones on January 05, 2018, 08:24:43 PM
I'm enamoured of the Micro Nukes sometimes proposed for powering remote Arctic communities. Power plants similar to those used in nuclear submarines or modern icebreakers. An expensive proposition, but powering them now is expensive plus no greenhouse gases with the Micro-Nuke option.
The US had one in Greenland I believe, & I've read that the Russians are exploring the concept.

Both Yukon and Alaska were approached a few years ago by nuclear boosters who wanted to sell us what they euphemistically called nuclear batteries. These were to be - 1-5 MW reactors containers that would be buried safely underground at our off grid communities where they would provide clean, silent, emission free electricity for 20 years, at the end of this period, they would be removed and replaced.
It turned out that they wanted to install them in the remote north because they were untested and so that if if anything bad happened, damage would be minuscule- that is if you did not live there.
I understand that the Americans have yet to clean up their Greenland nuclear mess.
Needless to say, we all turned down their kind offer.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Iceismylife on January 05, 2018, 09:20:32 PM
With rising sea level an almost forgone conclusion is anyone talking about scheduling the decommissioning of reactors at risk of inundation?  The longer in advance of scraping you shut them down the better the outcome.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on January 05, 2018, 09:28:25 PM
" ... pushing back hard against them ..."

Push back as hard as you please against their arguments. Attacking their integrity or other personal denigration is not constructive.

Mr. Bond, thanks for the link to French power generation on rte-france.com

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: morganism on January 05, 2018, 10:57:43 PM
Don't need to go to fission anymore, just need to work on thermo-electric conversion efficiencies. These are being tackled by single attachment point graphene ribbons or benzene chains, for direct DC conversion

Forum dedicated to fusion

http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1669&start=135

http://www.helionenergy.com/

https://arpa-e.energy.gov/sites/default/files/05_KIRTLEY.pdf

thermoelectrics, is a vid from U of AZ, but couldn't find

https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2014/0417/Scientists-find-an-ugly-duckling-to-convert-waste-heat-to-electricity

https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-06/new-alloy-can-convert-heat-directly-electricity

https://search.lib.virginia.edu/catalog/u4375905

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on January 05, 2018, 11:29:15 PM
There are 59 nukes (60 Gwatt electric capacity in total) under construction worldwide, with China (19), Russia (7) India(6) leading the pack.

https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/WorldStatistics/UnderConstructionReactorsByCountry.aspx

How many of the 59 under construction will actually complete is difficult to tell.  Countries beside the USA seem to have difficulties as well. I  see that Taishan in china seems to have overcome construction troubles and the first EPR there is scheduled to come on this year, (construction began 2009, originally scheduled to come online in 2013)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taishan_Nuclear_Power_Plant
http://world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Taishan-schedule-factors-in-commissioning-tests-0201181.html

It would be interesting to see who are the lenders and what are the financing terms. In the USA, very few lenders want to finance a new nuke. That, more than anything else, seems to be the killing argument against nuclear power expansion in the USA. Construction screwups do not help either.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 06, 2018, 12:26:03 AM
There are 59 nukes (60 Gwatt electric capacity in total) under construction worldwide, with China (19), Russia (7) India(6) leading the pack.

https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/WorldStatistics/UnderConstructionReactorsByCountry.aspx

How many of the 59 under construction will actually complete is difficult to tell.  Countries beside the USA seem to have difficulties as well. I  see that Taishan in china seems to have overcome construction troubles and the first EPR there is scheduled to come on this year, (construction began 2009, originally scheduled to come online in 2013)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taishan_Nuclear_Power_Plant
http://world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Taishan-schedule-factors-in-commissioning-tests-0201181.html

It would be interesting to see who are the lenders and what are the financing terms. In the USA, very few lenders want to finance a new nuke. That, more than anything else, seems to be the killing argument against nuclear power expansion in the USA. Construction screwups do not help either.

sidd

There are many more than 59 reactors scheduled to close by 2025.  (59 includes the now canceled South Carolina reactors, so 57.)

Additionally, the world's reactor fleet is aging out.  The average lifespan for a nuclear reactor is 40 years.  We have yet to see a reactor last 50 years. 

France has discovered significant corrosion problems in some of their reactors which are not yet 40 years old and the cost of maintaining their fleet has risen enough that they are planning on replacing at least one third of their reactors with wind and solar.

(https://vgy.me/lov4yJ.png)

We aren't building at replacement level, nothing close to replacement level.  Even China seems that they might have slowed.  They started construction  on only two reactors in 2016 and none in 2017.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: silkman on January 06, 2018, 10:29:39 AM
Quote
I  see that Taishan in china seems to have overcome construction troubles and the first EPR there is scheduled to come on this year, (construction began 2009, originally scheduled to come online in 2013)

They just announced yet another delay pushing things back to later this year for the first of the EPRs  and to 2019 for the second of the pair with a consequent hike in cost.

http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2126529/cgn-powers-latest-project-delay-deals-another-blow-chinas-nuclear

If the Chinese are struggling to get this over the line what chance is there of Hinkley Point coming on line before new battery technology makes it an overpriced dinosaur...........?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on January 06, 2018, 12:56:42 PM
It gives me some hope for the future that some world leaders are starting to use scientific evidence and data to drive CO2 emission reduction decision making.   
Quoting Sweden’s Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, Ibrahim Baylan:
"Energy should be sustainable, secure and affordable for all. Electricity in both the long- and short-term is something the Government of Sweden is making increasingly reliable and as such, we plan to move to 100% renewably generated electricity by 2040. There is an agreement from 80% of the Swedish Parliament to make this target the number 1 goal of the Swedish electricity system."
That would mean that Swedens old and remaining reactors are no longer needed.

At the beginning Sweden wanted to build a bomb, at the oil crisis in the 70's it was hard to say no, to what we then perceived as cheap energy. Then we got scared and had a referendum in the 80's where we voted to successively phase out nuclear and not build any new plants. Then we got stuck with our higher energy consumption thanks to those plants and also learned more about the costs and risks related to maintain them. Now we will try to keep them running towards 2040 thanks to climate change.

History is often forgotten, amazingly enough even recent history and all those years Vattenfall spent trying to produce clean coal. They failed and recently sold everything to Czech EPH, those emissions abroad were on the scale of our entire nation.

Quote
Norway, Sweden and France all use nuclear or hydro or both to head the low carbon emissions league table.
Norway is the world’s seventh largest exporter of emissions.
http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2017/08/The-Skys-Limit-Norway-1.pdf (http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2017/08/The-Skys-Limit-Norway-1.pdf)

Sweden should not be used to promote nuclear in the name of climate change mitigation, Norway is not a clean nation because of their hydro. Hydro has a thousand year old history here, thanks to our natural prerequisites in Scandinavia.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 12, 2018, 08:15:08 PM
Eric Holthaus’ article says we should take the nuclear option, because carbon emissions are still increasing:

It’s time to go nuclear in the fight against climate change
http://grist.org/article/its-time-to-go-nuclear-in-the-fight-against-climate-change/


And here are two brief Twitter threads presenting other views:

Dan Lashof:
My feed is blowing up with tweets about nuclear power stimulated by @EricHolthaus’s Grist post. I know better than to wade into these religious wars, but it makes me angry when otherwise smart people say dumb things about nuclear power, so here goes.
https://twitter.com/Dlashof/status/951860070035333120?s=17

Brendan Pierpont:
Eric's piece on nuclear power gets some things right, but relies on some nuclear industry talking points that don't pass muster in my view. Thoughts below. 1/
https://twitter.com/brendanpierpont/status/951885574813581312
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 12, 2018, 10:48:08 PM
Nuclear is simply too expensive. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on January 12, 2018, 11:59:35 PM
Nuclear is simply too expensive.
And IMHO too risky to assume a functioning government and infrastructure sufficient to maintain these plants and deal with the radioactive waste in the next 100 years in the face of climate change, SLR, and potential collapse.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 13, 2018, 12:08:41 AM
Nuclear is simply too expensive.
And IMHO too risky to assume a functioning government and infrastructure sufficient to maintain these plants and deal with the radioactive waste in the next 100 years in the face of climate change, SLR, and potential collapse.

Nuclear is too expensive just in terms of cost of electricity produced.  Add in the external costs of possible disasters and dealing with radioactive waste over tens of thousands of years and the cost becomes enormous.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on January 13, 2018, 02:49:46 AM
Armed raid on nuclear workers' housing raises fears over Brazil's two reactors

This kind of thing will occur more and more frequently with worse and worse outcome as we go further and further down the rabbit whole of societal collapse...

then all the wet dreams of 'clean, free, un-meterable nuke power' will rapidly turn into horrific living nightmares...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/12/brazil-nuclear-reactor-armed
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 13, 2018, 05:34:37 AM
Nuclear power plants feel like geoengineering to me:  a dangerous experiment, with the outcome not yet determined, likely unforeseen, and often ignored.  “Everything’s OK — so far!”

As compared to a ‘massive solar spill’ being a sunny day. :)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on January 13, 2018, 05:35:02 AM
Holthaus is apparently innumerate. He notes a 68% annual growth rate for solar, and that nuclear power currently generates 10x as much power as solar. So by his numbers we’re only about five years from solar producing as much as nuclear currently does.

Where’s the evidence that nuclear power can scale anywhere near that fast? If we started today, in five years we’d have added zero nuclear capacity given how projects currently go.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 13, 2018, 07:09:30 AM
Let's see how scaling is going in the US and China. 

In the US nuclear got off to a good start that lasted until utilities started to understand that costs were higher than what the nuclear industry said they would be and that prices rose over time.  Nuclear fizzled out.

The price of wind and solar has only recently become cheap so we should expect their curves to rise and move quickly above that of nuclear.


(https://vgy.me/Grg1x8.png)

In China both wind and solar are zooming up much faster than has nuclear.

(https://vgy.me/8tw4Up.png)

I don't see how anyone could argue that nuclear could scale faster than wind and solar.  Wind and solar don't require highly trained and experienced engineers and construction workers as does nuclear.  Wind and solar farms can be built by pretty much any commercial construction company.  We can start many more new wind and solar farms in a year than start reactor construction and bring them online in less than two years.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 14, 2018, 04:56:38 PM
”The effort to address climate change can no longer afford to focus exclusively on emissions.”

Thoughtful response to the Holthaus article.

Nuclear Is Not the Answer
Quote
Eric Holthaus has become one the best climate journalists in the country over the past few years, but his most recent article promoting nuclear power demonstrates why the effort to address climate change can no longer afford to focus exclusively on emissions. There are a lot of problems with Holthaus’ article, some of which likely stem from his use of Jesse Jenkins and Michael Shellenberger as sources. Jenkins and Shellenberger have spent their careers promoting techno-salvation and denigrating environmentalism. Their influence is particularly evident in the fact that Holthaus literally starts his article with a conclusion that nuclear power is necessary.

We can’t have a serious discussion about nuclear power without talking about democracy.  Nuclear proponents argue that nuclear power can be done safely and with minimal waste. Even if that is true, it is also certainly true that nuclear power can be done less safely by cutting corners in ways that increase the profits of the corporations who own the plants. And the consequences of cutting those corners can be catastrophic. That’s why it is so critical that if we are going to be embracing extremely high-risk technology, we need a government and regulatory agencies that are not willing to compromise public safety for corporate profits. We don’t have such a system. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Until we end corporate personhood, we don’t have a governing structure that can handle the responsibility of nuclear power.
...
As sea levels rise and predictions for future sea level rise keep increasing, it can’t make sense to be building nuclear power plants near shorelines. But if we build them inland, the increased water shortages caused by climate change will be an ever-increasing problem for nuclear power, which uses more water than any other power source. With a diversified energy system of renewables, we can afford a few mistakes in our planning, experimentation, and development. With nuclear power, we can’t afford a single mistake.
...
http://www.timdechristopher.org/nuclear_is_not_the_answer
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on January 14, 2018, 11:45:39 PM
Thanks for that, Sig. That was an extremely good summary of why nuclear simply isn't an option (unless it's Gen IV, maybe).

I especially liked this part, which is often overlooked, and one of the reasons I'm not a fan of huge wind parks and or MegaPV in the Sahara:

Quote
Discussions of nuclear power also should not be detached from the crisis of income inequality, a core destabilizing force in our society. Part of the reason that there are such well-funded efforts to promote nuclear power is that it maintains the same basic centralized economic model of the fossil fuel industry. As a limited fuel supply, whoever controls access to the fuel, technology, and capital investments gets to set all the terms. They set all the terms for their workers, for their communities, for the people downstream, and even for regulatory agencies, so they end up with a massive concentration of wealth and political power. That why fossil fuels have led to such extreme levels of wealth inequality. With renewables, because no one controls access to the sun or the wind, the wealth is more likely to flow to those who do the work of harnessing that energy. In contrast, a nuclear power plant is the very definition of “too big to fail.”

It's so great that 'power' has two meanings in the English language.  :)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Iceismylife on January 15, 2018, 12:01:09 AM
Nuclear is simply too expensive.
And IMHO too risky to assume a functioning government and infrastructure sufficient to maintain these plants and deal with the radioactive waste in the next 100 years in the face of climate change, SLR, and potential collapse.

Nuclear is too expensive just in terms of cost of electricity produced.  Add in the external costs of possible disasters and dealing with radioactive waste over tens of thousands of years and the cost becomes enormous.
Any one talking about shutting down reactors in advance of sea level rise?  If we melt all the ice on earth as it looks like we will that is 200 feet of slr.  How many reactors will be under water world wide?  The sooner we shut them down the smaller the problem.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 15, 2018, 02:02:58 AM
I'm not sure we're looking at enough sea level rise to take out many current reactors in the next 20 or so years.  And, I suspect, well over half of global reactors will be dead of old age 20 years from now.  Take a look at  how old the world's reactors are now....

(https://vgy.me/Fk2yxn.png)

Some in the nuclear fan club claim that we can use our current reactors for 60 years  but we've never managed to keep one alive for more than 50 years.  Twenty years from now perhaps 2/3rds of today's reactors will have been closed because repair costs have made them noncompetitive or they will  become unsafe to continue to use.

Wind and solar are going to keep falling in price and put more and more economic pressure on existing reactors.  Canada just got a bid for a new wind farm which  will produce electricity at $0.024/kWh.  No subsidies.  (edit $0.025/kWh)

One UK reactor did have to be shut down for a period of time while a seawall was built or raised to protect it from storm surges.  So I guess there may be some reactors which will be impacted by sea level rise over the next 20 years.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Alexander555 on January 15, 2018, 10:35:06 AM
Some of these windturbines are running now for a couple dozens of years. So they should know what they are up to. Are they good enough the replace the risk from having nuclear power. Even if you know there want be wind all the time. A nuclear installation can destroy a big region for 1000 of years. And not that far from my home they are stockpiling nuclear waste. And that construction probably don't last much longer than a 100 years. That means they will have to rebuild/replace that waste dozens of times in the future. Long after all the nuclear energy is gone. If they don't forget the rebuilt it. Or the people that live there will get a message to leaf their homes as fast as possible at some point.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on January 15, 2018, 12:51:54 PM
My guess is that a dead nuclear reactor is more of a worry than a well-managed live one (which to me  made Germany's decision to shut it's nuclear reactors and burn coal instead a dumb knee -jerk reaction to the Japanese tsunami).

Dead nuclear reactors are forgotten about over time - as is buried nuclear waste. Modern concrete has a life in ideal conditions of 150? years. In a hot, though dead, nuclear power station - how long before structural decay, and for how many thousands of years will these monuments to hubris be a potential danger?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Alexander555 on January 15, 2018, 01:32:25 PM
I remember whene i was young they dumbed that nuclear waste in the sea. In a little concrete box.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bernard on January 15, 2018, 05:26:33 PM
My guess is that a dead nuclear reactor is more of a worry than a well-managed live one (which to me  made Germany's decision to shut it's nuclear reactors and burn coal instead a dumb knee -jerk reaction to the Japanese tsunami).

Dead nuclear reactors are forgotten about over time - as is buried nuclear waste. Modern concrete has a life in ideal conditions of 150? years. In a hot, though dead, nuclear power station - how long before structural decay, and for how many thousands of years will these monuments to hubris be a potential danger?

Dead nuclear reactors are not old enough to be forgotten. But their "decommissioning" takes way longer than planned, not to say forever. In France, this has not yet been achieved for even small experimental reactors. An infamous example is Brennilis, a 70 MWe (only) plant which ran from 1967 to 1985, and of which decommissioning should have been a "model", according to powers-that-be. 32 years after and a succession of incidents, the operation is not yet finished and its cost has been so far about 20 times the initial assessment.

Other, bigger reactors approaching end of life have seen the decommissioning postponed, but we can expect similar delays and costs.

See in the French Wikipedia https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_nucl%C3%A9aire_de_Brennilis
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 16, 2018, 12:52:54 AM
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on January 16, 2018, 01:00:41 AM
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.


Intriguing, but where is China, how is India progressing?
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 16, 2018, 01:16:56 AM
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.


Intriguing, but where is China, how is India progressing?
Terry

Good question!  I wonder if that is missing due to lack of information — or an attempt to cook the data?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 16, 2018, 01:52:52 AM
Wind and solar are installing faster in China than has nuclear. 

As Sigmetnow points out, this is not a meaningful comparison.  Wind and solar have only recently become cheap which is fueling the acceleration of their growth.

The rate at which France installed nuclear is often held up as an example of how rapidly we could cut coal use.  But what isn't told is that France built a lot of nuclear very rapidly because it was regarded as a necessity for national security.  OPEC had formed and was messing with the world's oil supply.  France used oil for most of their electricity, they had not a lot of hydro and no reasonably accessible coal.  Wind and solar were very expensive back then.  Nuclear was pretty much France's only option and the French government spent whatever it took to build a lot of reactors quickly.

If any country decided that it wanted to quit fossil fuels ASAP the quickest and most affordable route today is now wind and solar.

The graph shows only (selected?) history.  With wind and solar now a small fraction of the cost of nuclear history will not repeat itself.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 16, 2018, 07:53:12 PM
”The land can’t be used for agriculture, and it’s been suggested people cannot return for 24,000 years.”

Solar power brings Chernobyl powerlines back to life with 1MW installed [Gallery]
Quote
Ukraine’s repurposing of 1GW of electricity transmission infrastructure, located in the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone, has passed a milestone of installing its first solar power plant – a 1MW plant.

It is a special plant because it is located a mere 100 meters away from the world’s largest movable structure – the Chernobyl Sarcophagus – that will seal in nuclear radiation from the still radioactive nuclear material. ...
https://electrek.co/2018/01/16/solar-power-chernobyl-powerlines-ukraine/

Similar to this nuclear wasteland — but with chemical, rather than radiation, hazards — some decommissioned coal power plant locations are being refitted with solar, to take advantage of the existing power transmission lines.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on January 16, 2018, 08:19:06 PM
This is an interesting pair of graphs, but I would argue that renewables are just now reaching the beginning of the vertical part of an exponential adoption curve, so we can’t presume their future rate of build-out by looking at the past.


Intriguing, but where is China, how is India progressing?
Terry

Good question!  I wonder if that is missing due to lack of information — or an attempt to cook the data?
One should use a bag of salt with numbers from analys.se. It's an "independent" group of specialists with support from the Swedish nuclear power industry. ;)

Edit; adding a small example from one of the papers presented at analys.se, in English:
http://analys.se/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/climate-impact-closed-reactors-report2016.pdf (http://analys.se/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/climate-impact-closed-reactors-report2016.pdf)
Quote
Climate impact of four closed reactors
The announced decisions by Vattenfall and Eon about premature closure of four reactors at
the Swedish nuclear power plants Ringhals and Oskarshamn will result in an increased use of
electricity generated from fossil fuels in neighbouring countries.
Sweden is a net exporter of electricity, adding the preliminary statistics for 2017 below produced by Energiföretagen, who also administers analys.se...

Now look at that graph Sigmetnow added above.
Can you guess which nation in that graph to the right (nuclear) that we are primarily exporting to?
Finland. ->No3 in the nuclear graph.
Now can you guess which nation we primarily import from?
Norway. ->95% Hydro.

See the picture? :)

Here's the final lines from the same paper:
Quote
The export of electricity pushes fossil fuels out of the market, primarily coal, in neighbouring countries. Premature closure of Swedish reactors will reduce the amount of low emission electricity exported to the neighbouring countries. That is bad business for the climate.
And oh, here's the link to the preliminary numbers for 2017 by Energiföretagen, in Swedish.
https://www.energiforetagen.se/pressrum/pressmeddelanden2/2017/december/elfakta-2017-vindkraftsrekord-och-stangd-reaktor/ (https://www.energiforetagen.se/pressrum/pressmeddelanden2/2017/december/elfakta-2017-vindkraftsrekord-och-stangd-reaktor/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 16, 2018, 08:58:07 PM
Quote
some decommissioned coal power plant locations are being refitted with solar, to take advantage of the existing power transmission lines.

Additionally, brownfields like those created by coal plants require less cleaning if used for something like solar farms than if brought up to residential standards.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bernard on January 16, 2018, 11:58:57 PM
The rate at which France installed nuclear is often held up as an example of how rapidly we could cut coal use.  But what isn't told is that France built a lot of nuclear very rapidly because it was regarded as a necessity for national security.  OPEC had formed and was messing with the world's oil supply.  France used oil for most of their electricity, they had not a lot of hydro and no reasonably accessible coal.  Wind and solar were very expensive back then.  Nuclear was pretty much France's only option and the French government spent whatever it took to build a lot of reactors quickly.

As a French citizen who has followed this story for near half a century, I beg to differ.  ;D
The nuclear lobby in France, an elite of technocrats graduated from the "Grandes Ecoles", namely Polytechnique, Centrale, Les Mines (the latter being the most important) has simply bypassed in the early 70's the democratic process and political decisions in order to impose the nuclear choice, opening for decades a juicy market to a handful of companies.

[edited] And now that the nuclear park of France is facing the huge challenge of the "decommissionning" we hear that the same companies are on the edge of bankrupcy. But the said bunch of technocrats, children and heirs of the above quoted, coming from the same schools, wil have jumped off the nuclear train, and will now in brand new green suits sell renewable energy, smart grid, homes and cars as the technology of tomorrow, with the same arrogance as their fathers and grandfathers selling the nuclear, and why not let Chinese companies the tedious and costly task of dismantling our nuclear installations?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 17, 2018, 06:48:35 AM
You might want to have a word with Wiki -

Quote
As a direct result of the 1973 oil crisis, on 6 March 1974 Prime Minister Pierre Messmer unexpectedly announced what became known as the 'Messmer Plan', a huge nuclear power program aimed at generating all of France's electricity from nuclear power.[13] At the time of the oil crisis most of France's electricity came from foreign oil. Nuclear power allowed France to compensate for its lack of indigenous energy resources by applying its strengths in heavy engineering.[14][15] The situation was summarized in a slogan: "In France, we do not have oil, but we have ideas."[16]

Whoever wrote the Wiki piece agrees that the democratic process was bypassed.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on January 17, 2018, 11:26:01 AM
Adding to my previous comment in #543. Decomissioning and costs.
Sweden shut down Oskarshamn 1 last year. O1 is scheduled to be fully decomissioned in 2026. That project started in 1965, first commercial production in 1972.
https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=534 (https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=534)
Energy Availability Factor: 62%.
Only a couple of years back OKG stated that they would run O1 until 2032. Now they say they will run the remaining O3 until 2045?

Estimated costs for decomissioning one reactor is 2 billion SEK.
Estimated total costs for Swedish nuclear decomissioning is 141 billion SEK, and counting.

We still do not have an approved waste solution.
Swedish Nuclear Fuel Management AB (SKB) has applied for constructing:
the existing final repository for short-lived low-level waste (SFR)
an encapsulation plant and a final repository for the spent nuclear fuel.

SKB intends to submit an application to build a final repository for long lasting low and intermediate waste by 2030. Applications are reviewed by the Radiation Safety Authority, which will submit its opinion to the government.

If the applications are approved by the government, SKB estimates that the final repository for spent nuclear fuel will be completed around 2030 and the final repository for long-lived low and intermediate waste around 2045. Until a regular final repository is completed, the nuclear fuel from the discontinued reactors will be stored in the central interim storage for spent nuclear fuel (Clab) in Oskarshamn.

That history is almost as long as O1's:
https://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/omraden/radioaktivt-avfall/slutforvar/slutforvar-for-anvant-karnbransle/slutforvarets-utveckling-under-40-ar/ (https://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/omraden/radioaktivt-avfall/slutforvar/slutforvar-for-anvant-karnbransle/slutforvarets-utveckling-under-40-ar/)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 17, 2018, 02:55:28 PM
“One should use a bag of salt with numbers from analys.se. It's an "independent" group of specialists with support from the Swedish nuclear power industry. ;) “

Thanks for the tip.  I thought their graphs looked a little sketchy (it came from a pro-nuke twitterer), but I couldn’t find anything definitive about the group.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 17, 2018, 03:05:30 PM
Germany’s transition to renewables includes “the first nuclear plant to shut down specifically because of damage caused by ramping.”

German power sector: coal and nuclear down, renewables up in 2017
Quote
Since the first nuclear reactor was shut down in 2003 as a part of Germany’s nuclear phaseout, electricity from renewables has increased almost twice as much as nuclear power has shrunk. Coal power – both from lignite and hard coal – has also dropped. The lights have stayed on.

Power exports also set a record for the fifth year in a row, reaching 53 TWh. Net power exports provide space for dispatchable conventional power generators (coal, gas, and nuclear). Renewable electricity has priority dispatch on the German grid, meaning that clean power is consumed before conventional power. Wind and solar in particular react to the weather, not to demand, so foreign demand cannot increase these sources.

Gas was once again slightly up in 2017 but has grown by more than a quarter since 2013. Hard coal has fallen by just over a quarter during the same time frame. The decrease in lignite is only 8% because renewables are not yet forcing those plants to ramp much.

Nuclear fell by nearly 11% in 2017. One reactor was shut down at the end of December, but that decrease was only slight. A bigger factor was the extended downtime at Brokdorf, a reactor that made history last year by being the first nuclear plant to shut down specifically because of damage caused by ramping. Other reactors, such as France’s Civaux, have also experienced difficulties possibly related to load-following, but ramping was never clearly reported as the cause for any other reactor.
...
https://energytransition.org/2018/01/german-power-sector-coal-and-nuclear-down-renewables-up-in-2017/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on January 17, 2018, 03:55:17 PM
The ramping problem was interesting.  I wish there was more information.  Was that reactor not designed for ramping?  Was it ramped frequently and deeply than is normally done?  Thermal stress problem?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on January 17, 2018, 06:12:20 PM
Or an excuse by nuclear operators, trying to blame evil renewables?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 17, 2018, 07:52:25 PM
Good discussion on nuclear ramping here:

http://www.vanadiumcorp.com/news/climate/972-solar-and-nukes
Quote
The nuclear industry admits that ramping results in additional wear on plant equipment, however there is disagreement between the nuclear industry and its critics regarding how much the control rods are affected by ramping nuclear power plants and the degree of the resulting effect on safe operation of these plants. EDF maintains that most of the effects are in the secondary circuits, or the non-nuclear part of the plant, such as pumps and valves, and describes the additional maintenance needed as being “marginal.”

“The pressure and temperature variations are much lower in the primary circuit (localized in the nuclear part), which avoids consequences on the materials,” EDF told pv magazine.

Meanwhile, a 2010 report by Austria’s Ökologie Institut describes a mechanism whereby frequent ramping deforms the plastic on control rods, with potential cracking if the power increase is too large. In the case of the Brokdorf plant, safety inspectors attributed accelerated oxidation of the plant’s rods to ramping.
http://www.vanadiumcorp.com/news/climate/972-solar-and-nukes

And a rather snarky article on the trials and tribulations of Gundremmingen plant here:
Germany shuts down next nuclear plant
https://energytransition.org/2017/12/germany-shuts-down-next-nuclear-plant/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on January 17, 2018, 09:56:53 PM
More detail on Tanshin reactor problems:

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/14/welding-defects-deaerator-chinese-nuclear-plant-long-known-manufacturer-documents-show/

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on January 22, 2018, 11:08:12 AM
The hidden costs of nuclear power.

The UK is still struggling to find a solution to store radioactive waste. NIMBY rules?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/21/search-area-willing-host-highly-radioactive-waste-uk-geology
Quote
Search restarts for area willing to host highly radioactive UK waste
Right geology and local consent are key in consultation due to be launched this week

The government is expected this week to begin a nationwide search for a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste dump to store highly radioactive material for thousands of years.

Britain has been trying for years to secure a site with the right geology and local communities which would volunteer to host a £12bn geological disposal facility (GDF), as a long-term solution for the most dangerous waste from nuclear power stations.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on January 30, 2018, 09:24:03 PM
Laxity in the japanese nuclear industry:

http://www.maritimeherald.com/2018/tepco-refused-safety-agencys-proposal-simulate-fukushima-tsunami-nine-years-meltdown-disaster/

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 31, 2018, 04:35:25 AM
Here is a article from David Roberts on the hard choices we all face. I don't call myself an environmentalist and sometimes that is a hard stand to make. A climate hawk yes, and willing to suffer and sacrifice because I believe hard choices are at hand. Nuclear sucks, big hydro sucks but BAU and the consequent extinctions it turns a blind eye to sucks worse. NIMBY and righteousness go hand in hand with much I have been forced to fight from the environmental movement. Locally they have shut down large wind farms, sustainable fisheries, and reasonable solutions ( or partial solutions) that fly in the face of their donor base.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/1/27/16935382/climate-change-ugly-tradeoffs

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: DrTskoul on January 31, 2018, 02:41:24 PM
+1
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: solartim27 on February 01, 2018, 05:36:05 PM
Nice article about a small scale (50 MW) air cooled modular design.  Still no idea on what to do with the spent fuel.
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=cf729256-b287-46eb-a59e-4d03cb0ac676
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on February 01, 2018, 05:46:07 PM
Nice article about a small scale (50 MW) air cooled modular design.  Still no idea on what to do with the spent fuel.
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=cf729256-b287-46eb-a59e-4d03cb0ac676


Quote
At 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, the plant would be cheaper to run than the utility’s wind farms in Idaho and Wyoming, and on par with its natural-gas-fired plant in Utah.

The cost to run a wind (or solar) operation is less than 1 cent per kilowatt-hour.  The full, unsubsidized, cost of new wind is now under 3 cents per kilowatt.

This article?  Garbage in, bullpoop out.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on February 01, 2018, 08:50:36 PM
Agree on the energy market.

On the capacity market, wind can't compete because it's intermittent.

However, nuclear power is no better at providing cheap capacity than it is at providing cheap energy. The recent set of Colorado bids had batteries at about $10/kW-mo (meaning every month, at any time the utility can call on you to provide 1 kW, and every month it'll pay you 10 bucks for that privilege). It was more expensive than the fossil fuel bids: gas at about $4 and gas+battery at about $6.

Assuming zero interest and zero operations cost, a nuclear plant at $5000/kW that lasts 40 years would break even at ... $10/kW-mo. Interest is non-zero and it's not zero-cost to maintain a nuclear plant. So even batteries are cheaper than nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on February 01, 2018, 08:57:07 PM
Don't assume wind intermittency is a large problem.  In the Southwest a combination of wind and solar is likely to produce more than 80% of electricity.  Add in some hydro and it gets better.  Add in offshore wind and it gets better yet.

In the NW and NE a combination of offshore wind and hydro along with some summer solar is likely to do a good job of covering demand as it happens.

In the SE wind, solar and hydro again.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on February 01, 2018, 09:28:24 PM
I didn't say it's a large problem. It's just a market segment that individual wind farms cannot bid on.

A company that has several wind farms and some solar farms and maybe some batteries or a hydro plant in their portfolio -- that company might be able manage a bid by drawing on all the plants together to guarantee it can fulfill its contract.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on February 02, 2018, 12:12:40 AM
I don't think that is how most future grids will work.  It's more likely that utilities will sign PPAs for large amounts of wind and solar and then figure out how to fill in the gaps.

The gaps are likely to be less than most people suspect.  And the fill-ins could be pump-up storage, CAES, flow batteries, hydrogen turbines/fuel cells or something yet to be invented.  Oh, throw in some load-avoidance as well.  On the few days a year when supply is critically low we could see some large consumers (aluminum smelters, pulp mills, desal plants, etc.) turn off until supply is back to normal.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on February 02, 2018, 01:53:12 AM
I think the most natural (partial) solution to intermittency is variable electricity pricing. Let consumers decide when to start the drier or dishwasher and when to charge their EVs, as well as adjusting AC thermostats and other measures. It requires smart meters and some app that will show current prices at any time and will push notifications of very high and very low prices so that consumers can react approproately. Moving forward, the appliances and charging dock can be made price-aware for easier management.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on February 02, 2018, 08:08:10 AM
Sweden shut down Oskarshamn 1 last year. O1 is scheduled to be fully decomissioned in 2026. That project started in 1965, first commercial production in 1972.
https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=534 (https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/CountryStatistics/ReactorDetails.aspx?current=534)
Energy Availability Factor: 62%.
Intermittent energy source?  :)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on February 02, 2018, 02:43:25 PM
I don't think that is how most future grids will work.  It's more likely that utilities will sign PPAs for large amounts of wind and solar and then figure out how to fill in the gaps.

You’re trying to win, not trying to understand.

Utilities pay for energy, and they pay for capacity, and they have demand-shedding schemes and so on. This happens today to “fill in the gaps” as you put it. The advent of intermittent renewables doesn’t change that. Sometimes it’s done via explicit markets, sometimes it’s a via a price signal, sometimes it’s done via central planning. But all utilities do this, now.

Individuals wind turbines can’t play in the capacity market, because you can’t rely on a wind tower having wind available when needed. They can’t play in the demand-reduction schemes because they don’t have (much) demand. They’re good at producing energy for cheap on average. I know you know this, because you said as much with your “filling in the gaps”. Wind turbines also make for terrible propellers, but we build them for what they’re good at, not what they’re bad at.

Nuclear plants can play in either the energy market or the capacity market (and I guess demand markets, since they can safely stop cooling idle reactors for a few minutes). You said their operations costs were far more expensive than new wind, and I agree. So nuclear is going to lose badly in the energy market.

The article also says it’s $5/W to build the plant. They’re dispatchable power which means you can build a peaker plant: sit around idle and just split atoms when there’s a gap to fill. I was going through the math to show that nuclear power also loses there, to this year’s batteries or to various others.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on February 02, 2018, 05:04:33 PM
Nuclear is going to badly lose in the capacity market as well.  Nuclear is losing in the capacity market.  Paid off nuclear plants in the US are closing because they cannot compete with wind, solar and natural gas. 

$5/watt, 90% CF nuclear would not be competitive when the installed price of 30% CF solar is at $1/watt and 50% CF wind is approaching $1/watt.  And $5/watt is not an installed watt.   

Plus it's the price put on a product which has not been produced and a price from the nuclear industry which has consistently underestimated the delivered price.

Wind and solar will almost certainly be our main sources of electricity along with hydro in some regions.  With an acceptable amount of overbuilding and smart EV charging wind and solar can provide a very large percentage of our electricity. 

We're moving from the old way of generating electricity where we mainly boiled water in order to power steam turbines.   We must leave fossil fuels behind.  We must move to low carbon energy sources.  Nuclear is a low carbon energy source but it's simply too expensive to be part of the future energy mix.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on February 12, 2018, 01:05:29 AM
60 years ago atmospheric CO2 levels were just over 300ppm and today are above 400ppm the fastest rise in the geological record.  https://www.co2.earth/co2-acceleration

Globally the last four years are the hottest in the meteorological record.  https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201713

The belief that we can continue to dump fossil fuel waste into the sky without consequence is based on hope.

30 years ago France made the transition to low carbon electricity by replacing fossil fuels with nuclear, reducing CO2 emissions by 80% from 500g/kWh in 1971 to just 100g/kWh in 1987.

For the last 30 years France has continuously generated low carbon electricity using 63GW of nuclear and in 2017 CO2 emissions were just 74g/kWh.  http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en

Germany increased renewable capacity to a massive 113GW, mainly intermittent wind and solar duplicating 80GW of fossil fuel capacity that has to be retained to provide backup power when the wind and sun are not available.
 
In 2017 German CO2 emissions were 500g/kWh or 6 times greater than France. 

Pages 16 and 26 in  https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2018/Jahresauswertung_2017/Agora_Jahresauswertung-2017.pdf

The belief that effective CO2 emission reductions can be achieved with intermittent renewables is also based on hope.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sebastian Jones on February 12, 2018, 06:04:42 AM

The belief that effective CO2 emission reductions can be achieved with intermittent renewables is also based on hope.

Sometimes I am driven to conclude that hope is all we have left to cling to.
In the short term, nukes can reduce direct carbon emissions, but in the long term they make as much sense as driving herds of mammoths over cliffs did 11,000 years ago.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on March 05, 2018, 06:45:12 PM
A ghost from the past is about to die?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/30/three-mile-island-nuclear-plant-shutdown-pennsylvania

Three Mile Island faces shutdown without financial rescue from Pennsylvania
Owner of plant – site of worst commercial nuclear power accident in US history – urges state to preserve ‘clean, reliable’ energy source


You must remember the flic? Hanoi Jane etc.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on March 05, 2018, 07:05:36 PM
I think PA will bail 3Mile out. For a few years anyway.

In other news, more lawsuits over botched nuke construction:

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/south-carolina-cooperatives-sue-santee-cooper-over-summer-nuke-charge/517897/

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on March 05, 2018, 07:17:36 PM
I think PA will bail 3Mile out. For a few years anyway.

In other news, more lawsuits over botched nuke construction:

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/south-carolina-cooperatives-sue-santee-cooper-over-summer-nuke-charge/517897/ (https://www.utilitydive.com/news/south-carolina-cooperatives-sue-santee-cooper-over-summer-nuke-charge/517897/)

sidd


This isn't the same Westinghouse that hammers round fuel rods into octagonal chambers in reactors throughout Ukraine is it?
That always seemed like a really bad idea, one that Hanoi Jane should be reporting on.


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on March 27, 2018, 03:49:31 AM
https://www.vox.com/world/2018/3/26/17144446/saud-arabia-nuclear-weapons-trump-iran-deal

Saudi wants nuclear power ... and enriched uranium.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on March 27, 2018, 01:21:26 PM
It would be crazy if the goal were power.

Saudi has extremely cheap solar, a quarter or a fifth of what nuclear seems to cost (that’s hard to tell given how few plants are even being built). It’s so cheap that on economic grounds you’d be tempted to mothball existing nuclear plants and build new solar instead, desalination during the day instead of at night.

But as cover for a nuclear weapons program it makes perfect sense.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: BenB on March 28, 2018, 11:51:31 AM
Tomas, it's true that Saudi Arabia's renewables programme will only cover a fraction of their needs, but the point is that they could very cheaply cover a far greater proportion of demand using renewables if they wanted to. Instead, they are using nuclear plants that are likely to be considerably more expensive. This may be diversification, it may be due to concerns about intermittency, it may be stupidity, it may reflect political pressure, or it may be because it ties in with a military nuclear programme. I honestly don't know.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on March 28, 2018, 01:57:59 PM
Clean safe cheap nuclear power will save the kingdom of Saud.

Happy now?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on March 29, 2018, 01:08:43 AM
Saudis plan 200GW of solar by 2030 - at 20% capacity factor that's the equivalent of 40 large nuclear plants. Don't see them needing nuclear for electricity...

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-softbank-ink-deal-on-200-billion-solar-project (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-28/saudi-arabia-softbank-ink-deal-on-200-billion-solar-project)

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on March 29, 2018, 03:58:50 AM
Assuming these reactors are planned for economic reasons and not related to some military program, there is another factor at play. Having such reactors puts the country at risk from attacks by other countries in the volatile Middle East region. It basically adds a very vulnerable sitting duck to your inventory. If I were the Saudis, I would much prefer my electric generation be done in solar plants, large or small and distributed, rather than tie myself to nuclear behemoths.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on March 30, 2018, 04:13:21 AM
The distinct advantage of renewables is price.

Saudi can get electricity under $30/MWh for solar PV; they hit that record a few years ago, and prices have continued to fall since. Nuclear is estimated at well over $100/MWh these days. Even solar thermal is cheaper. I'm not sure their price for wind but apparently there's a fair bit available too.

If you're going to spend $200 billion on power infrastructure, renewables will displace a lot more fossil fuels than nuclear. Unless magically nuclear power suddenly becomes cheap like it's been promising to do since its inception.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on March 30, 2018, 08:35:46 AM
The distinct advantage of renewables is price.
And coming online much faster than nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 01, 2018, 07:43:44 PM
U.S.

Utility Giant FirstEnergy Calls for Emergency Subsidy, Says It Can’t Compete
FirstEnergy echoed Rick Perry’s ‘grid reliability' argument, saying its coal and nuclear plants can’t be allowed to lose out to cheaper renewables and natural gas.
Quote
Deep in debt and undercut in the marketplace by renewable power, the big utility company FirstEnergy appealed to the Trump administration on Thursday to use emergency powers to let it charge more for standby power from its coal and nuclear plants.

The request, in a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, followed an announcement that the company plans to close three nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania unless they can get a break.

FirstEnergy said that if it has to shutter outmoded or uncompetitive plants, the nation's largest regional grid operator—PJM Interconnection—might lose the capacity to reliably serve its customers from the Atlantic Coast into the Midwest.
...
The American Petroleum Institute, a trade lobby whose members also produce natural gas, issued a sharp condemnation of the call for subsidies.

"FirstEnergy's latest attempt to spread a false narrative surrounding the reliability of the electric grid is nothing more than a ruse that will force Main Street consumers to pay higher prices," API Market Development Group Director Todd Snitchler said. "For FirstEnergy to cry wolf on the issue of grid reliability is irresponsible and is the company's latest attempt to force consumers to pay for a bailout. PJM is responsible for the reliability of the grid and if there is an emergency, PJM already has the tools to respond." ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29032018/firstenergy-coal-nuclear-power-plant-subsidy-electric-grid-reliability-emergency-order-rick-perry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 02, 2018, 11:59:07 PM
Botched nuke set to drive SCE&G into bankruptcy. Meanwhile, FirstEnergy avoids the rush, declares bankruptcy first, partly due to sunk nuke costs:

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/dominion-threatens-to-leave-sceg-deal-if-south-carolina-lawmakers-cut-rate/520296/

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/firstenergy-solutions-files-for-bankruptcy-after-pushing-for-doe-emergency/520371/

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 03, 2018, 12:47:15 AM
If there is one thing the Saudis have a lot of, it is sunlight.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on April 06, 2018, 08:23:48 AM
Sunniest Places and Countries in the World
https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/sunniest-places-countries-world.php (https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/sunniest-places-countries-world.php)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 10, 2018, 07:51:40 PM
Two new reactors for the Turkey Point site near Homestead, FL: https://weather.com/news/news/2018-04-09-turkey-point-nuclear-reactor-expansion-homestead (https://weather.com/news/news/2018-04-09-turkey-point-nuclear-reactor-expansion-homestead)

Quote
On Thursday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a pair of new reactors at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station, which is owned by Florida Power & Light, the Palm Beach Post reported. If the reactors are built, they could cost as much as $21.8 billion and wouldn't be ready until at least 2031, the report added.
 
In a 2014 investigation, weather.com and the Huffington Post identified the Turkey Point plant as one of the eight U.S. power plants most vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise by the end of the century. It showed that in worst-case projections, nearly all of the plant could be flooded by a tropical system in 2033, if current sea level rise projections materialize.

I'm surprised that anyone is even proposing to build new nukes in the US after the Westinghouse bankruptcy.  If the current estimated cost is $21.8 billion, the probably cost will be over $40 billion.  And with the rapid growth of renewables and battery storage, does anyone think that there will be a need for these plants in the 2030s?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 10, 2018, 09:22:30 PM
With enough battery storage, nuclear plants might become economical again.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: James Lovejoy on April 11, 2018, 03:32:37 AM
"With enough battery storage, nuclear plants might become economical again."

You need to show your work here.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 11, 2018, 03:42:34 AM
With enough battery storage, nuclear plants might become economical again.
I'm guessing you mean that with batteries being able to supply all demand spikes, nuclear plants can go back to be a stable undispatchable base-load.
This is possibly a small improvement in nuclear economics, but regardless there is no way with current technology that nuclear will become economical again, considering its long time to commissioning, high construction costs, problematic maintenance and end-of-life issues, contrasted with the dropping cost of wind, solar and batteries.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 11, 2018, 07:45:08 AM
The nuclear industry always has something better coming down the pipeline.

But once something new arrives it costs more than the expensive solutions they had already delivered.  That's what they have done for over half a century.

You want to believe in nuclear?  Fine.  But do  yourself a favor and believe nothing the nuclear industry says until they've produced the data needed.

Best to turn your belief for a future role for nuclear into hope while paying attention to what is actually producing low cost low carbon electricity.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 11, 2018, 09:10:08 AM
What does your question have to do with my comment?

I said nothing at all about nuclear safety, one way or another.  I simply pointed out that while the nuclear industry has promised cheaper electricity for decades they've only delivered more expensive.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 11, 2018, 10:36:59 AM
You're both right. Gen IV is the only nuclear one should consider, but it's not so easy to get there, and the nuclear industry can't be trusted on its word.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 11, 2018, 01:20:04 PM
"With enough battery storage, nuclear plants might become economical again."

You need to show your work here.

“Might” as in it’s their only hope at this point.

The last few percent of decarbonization will demand some solution that, like nuclear plants, can provide power in the few days that intermittent sources can’t provide. Unless batteries get cheap enough that you can build multi-day storage, or solar cheap enough you can build several times as what we normally need, we’ll need something that can generate regardless.

That’s the last hill that nuclear can stand on at this point. That and providing power on mars.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 11, 2018, 02:00:18 PM
The last few percent of decarbonization will demand some solution that, like nuclear plants, can provide power in the few days that intermittent sources can’t provide. Unless batteries get cheap enough that you can build multi-day storage, or solar cheap enough you can build several times as what we normally need, we’ll need something that can generate regardless.
[/quote]
I think the solution for this is hydro, which should be treated in the future more like a battery than a base-load. Including converting a lot of/some natural hydro to pumped-up.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: wili on April 11, 2018, 02:09:02 PM
"You're both right. Gen IV is the only nuclear one should consider, but it's not so easy to get there, and the nuclear industry can't be trusted on its word."

Word!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 11, 2018, 02:58:11 PM
Could backing a decommissioned nuclear sub or icebreaker up to the grid of a far northern town/city provide a reliable base load?
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 11, 2018, 04:21:23 PM
Only if you keep the sailors there to run the plant until they can teach their local replacements to be nuclear engineers.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 11, 2018, 05:35:00 PM
Quote
The last few percent of decarbonization will demand some solution that, like nuclear plants, can provide power in the few days that intermittent sources can’t provide.

That would be a terribly unaffordable solution. 

The cost of electricity = total annual costs / total electricity produced.


Nuclear is already expensive.  If Hinkley Point came online this year the starting price would be over $0.13/kWh.  And that assumes that the plant runs as much as possible, about 90% of the time.

If nuclear was used for the last 5% then those reactors would sit idle 95% of the time, decreasing electricity produced from 90% of nameplate to 5%.  That's a 18x difference and the electricity sold would cost $2.34/kWh (18 x $0.13).

Plus it takes far too long to start up a nuclear plant.  We don't know 3-4 days in advance that we'll need any of that "last 5%" generation.  That last bit of production needs to be available on relatively short notice.

The best options (for now) to provide the last bits are storage where large amounts of energy can be stored at low cost (pump-up hydro, CAES, hydrogen) or dispatchable generation (combined cycle plants run on biogas or thermal plants run on biomass).
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 11, 2018, 07:29:40 PM
Can we all stand in agreement that the recently bankrupt Westinghouse and all of her subsidiaries should be de-certified?
Others may or may not be capable of building safe and reasonably economical nuclear facilities, but Westinghouse most certainly can not.
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Tor Bejnar on April 11, 2018, 08:12:03 PM
Continuing OT: various ocean current and tidal power options are being (or have been) developed for some reliable base load.  I'm no expert, but I'm sure the developers look forward to the equivalent of barnacle and seaweed repellant Teflon!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 11, 2018, 09:30:49 PM
We need to cease using the term "baseload".  When we say baseload that drives our thinking toward previous century technologies.

Instead we need to be talking about the least expensive way to supply demand with low carbon energy.  Baseload is simply the lowest demand point of the year, nothing more.  Substitute "minimum demand".

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 11, 2018, 10:04:03 PM
We need to cease using the term "baseload".  When we say baseload that drives our thinking toward previous century technologies.

Instead we need to be talking about the least expensive way to supply demand with low carbon energy.  Baseload is simply the lowest demand point of the year, nothing more.  Substitute "minimum demand".

Or perhaps the new “baseload“ varies by day, and equals available stored energy + forecast solar and wind generation for the next 24 hours?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 11, 2018, 10:15:02 PM
That's the expect next day demand.

We need to be thinking along the lines of "How do we deliver supply to meet demand between 3am and 4 am  (or 3:0001 and 3:0002 am).

That leads us to look to find the least expensive supply, lock it in, and look for any additional demand to be covered.  It also will get us thinking about "Can we shift some demand out of these hours/time blocks that are more expensive to supply and to a less expensive time?".
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2018, 05:12:21 AM
"each minute for the next minute"

spot market blocks are by hour.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2018, 06:15:26 AM
"Maybe where you live they are"

I have heard of half hour blocks being proposed, but not yet implemented but i have never heard of a spot electric market in minute intervals anywhere in the world. A citation would be nice.

sidd

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 12, 2018, 07:00:19 AM
Quote
The real-time market system dispatches power plants every 15 and 5 minutes, although under certain grid conditions the ISO can dispatch for a single 1-minute interval.

http://www.caiso.com/market/Pages/MarketProcesses.aspx
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 12, 2018, 07:04:19 AM
Quote
I'm trying to politely point out you don't know what you're talking about today nor into the future.

1) The past does not automatically predetermine the future.
2) That a Ford Explorer 4WD (?) was designed dangerously with their tires and suspension does not mean all other 4WDs have the same issues.
3)  Your knowledge is clearly not up to date.
4) Your comments are surely based purtely on the US - a generally dysfunctional model not only in regard Nuclear - it does not follow all other nations are as incompetent nor as dishonest as the US and the way it's businesses operate are. Enron was a US Company following US Regualtions and monitored by US regulators.
5) Other nations are not like the US.
 

OK, Thomas, educate me.

Where in the Western Hemisphere is the cost of nuclear electricity dropped?  (Don't try to answer the question with Chinese overnight cost.) 

What makes you think that Gen-future nuclear will be able to close the very large price gap between nuclear and wind/solar enough to get nuclear back into the game?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on April 12, 2018, 07:10:38 AM
The United Arab Emiratis (UAE) invested A$26 billion to build 4 Korean nuclear reactors totalling 5.6GW by 2020.  With a capacity factor of 90% these reactors will generate 44TWh of low carbon electricity annually for 60 years.

 http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/united-arab-emirates.aspx

Australia spent A$57 billion installing 7GW of solar and 4GW of wind and with capacity factors of just 17% and 33% respectively will supply just 23TWh annually.
 
http://reneweconomy.com.au/australian-wind-solar-investment-hits-record-high-as-neg-threatens-to-push-it-off-a-cliff-39836/
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australia-has-potential-to-be-wind-world-leader-20171212-p4yxmj.html

http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/analyses

https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/how-much-energy-will-my-solar-cells-produce/

So in round terms Australia spent twice as much as the UAE, to generate half as much low carbon electricity.

As wind and sun is unreliable, most of our electricity is still supplied by coal giving CO2 emissions near 800g/kWh, one of the highest in the world.
 
France has just completed 30 years of continuous low carbon electricity generation after replacing fossil fuels with nuclear and reducing emissions by 80%, from 500g/kWh in 1971 to 100g/kWh in 1987. 
In 2017 French emissions were 74g/kWh, one of the lowest in the world.

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/16058-drax-cms-production/documents/Report_PDF---Q3-2017.pdf

http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 12, 2018, 07:16:00 AM
tombond, a couple of major bugs in your comment:
For UAE you are talking about future spending, while with Australia you are talking about past prices. Big difference, as solar and wind prices are plummeting as I'm sure you know.
For nuclear, maintenance cost is very high, compared to solar and wind. Somehow your calculation only takes the upfront cost into account.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 12, 2018, 07:23:17 AM
Thanks for the CAISO ref. I take it 5 minute market  is from the spinning reserve(these days thats batteries too!)  block ? PJM doesnt trust spinning reserve except on the hour i dont think. ERCOT might.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 12, 2018, 07:28:30 AM
The UAE uses extremely cheap labor from Bangladesh and Pakistan.  They use cheap engineers from other countries.  We can't match those labor costs in Europe and the US.

Capacity factor is only one part of the cost of generated electricity. 

         The cost of electricity = total cost / total electricity produced.

Nuclear does have a higher CF (90%) than wind (mid 40% and increasing and solar (30% for single-axis tracking) but the installed cost of nuclear is several times higher per watt.

The non-subsidized cost of onshore wind in the US is now under $0.03/kWh.  The non-subsidized cost of PV solar in sunny places is dropping to $0.04/kWh.  If Vogtle came online today the cost of electricity would be higher than $0.13/kWh. 

If Hinkley Point came online today the contracted price would be above $0.13/kWh and would rise over the next 35 years along with inflation.

Both Vogtle and Hinkley Point prices are subsidized.

France now spends about $0.08/kWh to maintain its paid off reactors.

We have yet to see a reactor last 50 years.  Keeping one online for 60 years is speculative but even if we could there would be a very expensive 30 year amortization period to finish before we reached the point where the cost of the electricity would be based on only operating costs.  And opex costs for paid off reactors are higher than paid off costs for wind and solar.

We should expect new wind farms to last at least 30 years (solar longer).  If we got only 30 years from a wind farm we'd be looking at 20 years at less than 3 cents and 10 years at less than 1 cent.  That averages to just over 2 cents per kWh.  At the end of 30 years replace the hardware and get another 30 years of cheap electricity.

30 years of 13 cents or more and 30 years of 1 cent = 7 cents per kWh.  At least twice the cost of wind.

I will deal with the intermediacy of wind and solar in a new post later this week.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 12, 2018, 07:34:08 AM
Thanks for the CAISO ref. I take it 5 minute market  is from the spinning reserve(these days thats batteries too!)  block ? PJM doesnt trust spinning reserve except on the hour i dont think. ERCOT might.

sidd

In the NREL study of providing 80% or 90% of US electricity with wind and solar they suggested that moving away from one hour sale blocks would greatly assist wind and solar penetration.  Hour blocks were established in the days of doing stuff manually.  We could sell in partial second blocks if desired due to today's information processing ability.

We're starting to see modest amounts of storage included in new wind and solar farms to allow those farms to sell blocks of electricity and have no problem delivering.  Without storage farms sometimes had to purchase expensive power from the grid in order to complete delivery.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 12, 2018, 08:57:46 AM
How old are you, Thomas?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 12, 2018, 10:03:32 AM
Thomas, I would like to ask you to change your tone, and reduce the kind of comments posted below, as they come across as arrogant and condescending, which is toxic for a forum. And that goes for the political threads as well. A bit of sarcasm or frustration is fine, a barrage of implications that other people are stupid/uninformed isn't.

There are thousands of experts in this field who are already doing the thinking based on their massively high degree of knowledge over above your own and everyone else here (?).

"We" don't need to think of anything.

(...)

I'm suggesting your ideas here are a decade behind the times. Highly qualified experts in this field are already on the job.

(...)

I'm trying to politely point out you don't know what you're talking about today nor into the future.

(...)

I suggested before - politely - that you need to go do some research Bob. That remains the case. Your choice. I am not going to argue nor spoon feed people who do not want to be helped.

(...)

Suddenly it appears I knew more than others did. No surprise to me. I had already done the work to educate myself better about the facts. Glad to be a motivating factor for others to do the same.   ;D

But it is not a 'competition' when everyone can come out a winner! There are no medals for being First when it comes to True Knowledge. OK?

(...)

Please stop exaggerating and providing incorrect information about this subject. Please do some up-to-date research on it instead.

(...)

I just did.

I suggest you run with that and see where it takes you.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 12, 2018, 01:29:26 PM
Thank you Neven.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 12, 2018, 02:24:19 PM
I'm just saying that even though you cannot have complete control over how people interpret your words, there are certain things you can do to prevent the worst interpretations. Your exchange with Bob Wallace had a bit of a condescending tone, that was both unnecessary and unproductive.

That's all, no big deal. I appreciate your presence very much, as diversity is good for everyone involved.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 12, 2018, 02:30:36 PM
To get back on-topic again: It's been a long time since I looked into GenIV nuclear, about 10 years or so, when I concluded that it was the only acceptable form of nuclear. I remembered that I really liked the aspect of scalability, ie that smaller, mobile modules could be built for residential areas, etc (I believe Toshiba was working on that). Can someone give me a brief update on how far has the technology progressed since then?

And likewise for Bob Wallace's question: How will Gen-future nuclear be able to close the very large price gap between nuclear and wind/solar enough to get nuclear back into the game?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 12, 2018, 02:50:41 PM
Thomas: google “Hinckley power price” and google helpfully quote for you:
Quote
EDF has negotiated a guaranteed fixed price – a "strike price"– for electricity from Hinkley Point C of £92.50/MWh (in 2012 prices),[24][72] which will be adjusted (linked to inflation) during the construction period and over the subsequent 35 years tariff period

And there you find the $0.13/kWh that Bob cited. Depends on exchange rates of course.

Hinkley and Vogtle are two gen-3 plants currently under construction. It’s surprising you wouldn’t recognize their names given your advanced nuclear power education. They’ve been in the news a lot over their massive cost overruns.

A few other places are building gen-3 reactors (China, Korea, likely others). They’re also facing overruns. US regulators are not to blame for this worldwide consilience of cost overruns; the US government just isn’t that powerful.

Refurbishing gen-2 reactors has been equally prone to cost overruns, and those are supposed to be well understood. There’s something hard about construction project management when it comes to nuclear versus gas, wind, and solar. The latest huge coal-fired plants have the same problem, and so do subways and hospitals and so on. I’m suspicious it’s just that humans generally suck at budgeting for large construction projects, where everything needs to work together. Solar and wind even when large are much more modular: one idiot can only screw up so much.

The designs for gen-4 were just around the corner 10-15 years ago (I was involved in a DOE funding proposal that was supposed to help, back in grad school) but it seems they remain there still. There’s a few prototypes operational. Mostly fast breeders, but China is lighting up a pebble bed this year or next as well.

Cost estimates for the designs once they’re in deployment (“nth of a kind” cost) start at on par with today’s solar+battery bids, and go up from there, depending on the design. Again, that’s if all goes perfectly well. So in a decade or more after building prototype plants and developing supply chains and learning from experience, we could start construction on plants that will cost about what solar and battery do today.
http://energyforhumanity.org/en/resources/reports-en/study-finds-advanced-reactors-will-have-competitive-costs/

Meanwhile, solar and battery both are getting cheaper fast, along with wind (which is cheaper than solar).

So, best of luck to those gen-4 designs.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 12, 2018, 03:22:20 PM
Back in the 50's and 60's when the UK nuclear energy programme really got going we were promised that the electricity from nuclear power would be so cheap that it would not be worthwhile to charge for it. Heavy sigh.

Back in July 2016 this was in the Financial Times:-
Subsidy for Hinkley nuclear power station quintuples to £30bn
Estimate of government support rises five times


Things have got worse since then.

All because EDF get a guaranteed price proofed against inflation.
The consumer gets stuffed because this guaranteed price means that EDF is protected against  the recent falling cost of wholesale electricity (which could be falling even faster if this crappy Government of ours hadn't stiffed the solar power and onshore wind industry). And of course no benefit to the consumer at all from all the technological improvements in solar, wind, and batteries over the next 40 years.

Add to that on a regular basis we are fed the shambolic shambles that is the EDF building Hinkley C design power stations in Finland and in their own back garden - France.

Nor have we forgotten Chernobyl and Fukushima.

And our Government is currently trying to bribe local communities to accept a place to dump all the nuclear crap accumulated over the last 60 years. Latest estimate £12 billion (USD 15 billion) to dig a big hole in the ground in a geologically safe (?) place.

So no wonder we are leery of it. No real need for it so why do it?

UPDATE FROM THE TIMES JUST ONE YEAR LATER
Hinkley Point cost could soar to £50bn
Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
July 19 2017, 12:01am,
The Times


Quote
Building work at the Hinkley Point C site in Somerset. The project may end up costing more than eight times higher than the original £6 billion estimate.

The storm surrounding the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant was set to break out anew today after it emerged last night that the cost to consumers could mushroom to £50 billion.

The new official estimate is more than eight times higher than the £6 billion that the National Audit Office estimated the plant would cost consumers when ministers first struck a subsidy deal to support it in 2013.

The spark that ignited the explosion in the estimate is a decline in electricity prices, which in turn have hugely inflated the subsidies that the project is expected to require.

20 billion quid (28 billion iron men) down the tubes in one year. And our Government tells us that they are the ones keeping our economy safe and strong.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 12, 2018, 06:51:16 PM
To get back on-topic again: It's been a long time since I looked into GenIV nuclear, about 10 years or so, when I concluded that it was the only acceptable form of nuclear. I remembered that I really liked the aspect of scalability, ie that smaller, mobile modules could be built for residential areas, etc (I believe Toshiba was working on that). Can someone give me a brief update on how far has the technology progressed since then?

And likewise for Bob Wallace's question: How will Gen-future nuclear be able to close the very large price gap between nuclear and wind/solar enough to get nuclear back into the game?

Gen IV nuclear is still in the developmental stage.  In the US, deployment is still 10 to 15 years away: 
Quote
Accordingly, the Department has provided substantial support to the development of light water-cooled SMRs, which are under licensing review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and will likely be deployed in the next 10-15 years.

ref: https://www.energy.gov/ne/nuclear-reactor-technologies/small-modular-nuclear-reactors (https://www.energy.gov/ne/nuclear-reactor-technologies/small-modular-nuclear-reactors)

There is also a Generation IV International Forum (GIF) looking at six different potential Gen IV reactor types.  In December 2017, the GIF stated:

Quote
At least four of the systems have significant operating experience already in most respects of their design, which provides a good basis for further R&D and is likely to mean that they can be in commercial operation before 2030.

More info here: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/generation-iv-nuclear-reactors.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/generation-iv-nuclear-reactors.aspx)

Given the rapid decrease in prices for solar, wind and batteries, I doubt that Gen IV reactors will be deployed before they become priced out of the market.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 12, 2018, 07:37:57 PM
Thomas, does any of these links discuss cost estimates? Upfront and maintenance.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 12, 2018, 08:18:45 PM
NuScale Power is hoping to have a set of 12 50 MW SMRs operational in Utah 2026.  They need additional investors though.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/first-small-scale-nuclear-reactor-may-be-just-eight-years-away (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/first-small-scale-nuclear-reactor-may-be-just-eight-years-away)

Quote
NuScale Power LLC, which is leading global efforts to build a so-called small modular reactor, is seeking as much as $120 million in equity investment to accelerate design of a matching power generator. The company has already spent more than $700 million, and has “hundreds of millions of dollars more to spend,” Chief Financial Officer Jay Surina said in an interview on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit in New York.

“We could use another investor or two,” he said. Backed by Fluor Corp., NuScale is casting a wide net that includes “deep-pocketed individual investors,” Surina said, noting it’s “too early yet for private equity.”
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 12, 2018, 08:23:55 PM
There are also people who think SMRs wont be commercially viable:

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/interest-in-small-modular-nuclear-grows#gs.6semL=g (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/interest-in-small-modular-nuclear-grows#gs.6semL=g)

Quote
In the December 2017 edition of the National University of Singapore’s Energy Studies Institute Bulletin, for example, Canadian academic Professor M.V. Ramana provided a detailed argument for why SMRs could never be a viable technology.

Nuclear plants in general require high levels of capital, he noted, and high construction costs mean the electricity they provide ends up being more expensive than coal, gas and, more recently, wind andsolar 

SMRs may be able to overcome the first problem, said Ramana, who is a professor at the University of British Columbia's School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

But SMRs could end up with even higher energy costs because the smaller reactors can't take advantage of economies of scale unless they're manufactured “by the thousands, even under very optimistic assumptions about rates of learning.”

Experience indicates such rates of learning may be rare in the nuclear industry. In France and the U.S., according to Ramana, reactor construction costs have historically risen rather than falling.

Also, mass production would need the industry to settle on a single SMR design. As of 2016 there were 48 listed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Finally, said Ramana, for all the interest in SMRs, no country has yet got behind the technology enough for it to be commercialized. This likely indicates demand for the reactors is not as solid as proponents imagine.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 12, 2018, 08:38:38 PM
In the article I linked to above, it linked to a more detailed report available here:  http://esi.nus.edu.sg/docs/default-source/esi-bulletins/esibulletinvol10-issue-6-(1).pdf?sfvrsn=2) (http://esi.nus.edu.sg/docs/default-source/esi-bulletins/esibulletinvol10-issue-6-(1).pdf?sfvrsn=2))

The report has about two pages on the recent past failures to commercialize SMRs.  Here are the relevant paragraphs:

Quote
There is a further hurdle to be overcome before these large numbers of SMRs can be built. For a company to invest in a factory to manufacture reactors, it would have to be confident that there is a market for them. This has not been the case and hence no company has invested large sums of its own money to commercialise SMRs. An example is the Westinghouse Electric Company, which worked on two SMR designs, and tried to get funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). When it failed in that effort, Westinghouse stopped working on SMRs and decided to focus its efforts on marketing the AP1000 reactor and the decommissioning business. Explaining this decision, Danny Roderick, then president and CEO of Westinghouse, announced: “The problem I have with SMRs is not the technology, it’s not the deployment -- it’s that there’s no customers... The worst thing to do is get ahead of the market”.4

Given this state of affairs, it should not be surprising that no SMR has been commercialised. Timelines have been routinely set back. In 2001, for example, a DOE report on prevalent SMR designs concluded that “the most technically mature small modular reactor (SMR) designs and concepts have the potential to be economical and could be made available for deployment before the end of the decade, provided that certain technical and licensing issues are addressed”. Nothing of that sort happened; there is no SMR design available for deployment in the United States so far.

Similar delays have been experienced in other countries too. In Russia, the first SMR that is expected to be deployed is the KLT-40S, which is based on the design of reactors used in the small fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers that Russia has operated for decades. This programme, too, has been delayed by more than a decade and the estimated costs have ballooned.5

South Korea even licensed an SMR for construction in 2012 but no utility has been interested in constructing one, most likely because of the realisation that the reactor is too expensive on a per-unit generating-capacity basis. Even the World Nuclear Association stated: “KAERI planned to build a 90 MWe demonstration plant to operate from 2017, but this is not practical or economic in South Korea” (my emphasis). Likewise, China’s plans for constructing a series of High Temperature Reactors (HTR-PM) appear to have been cancelled, in part because the cost of generating electricity at these is significantly higher than the generation cost at standard-sized light water reactors.

The final paragraph in that article states:

Quote
Meanwhile, other sources of electricity supply, in particular combinations of renewables and storage technologies such as batteries, are fast becoming cheaper. It is likely that they will become cheap enough to produce reliable and affordable electricity, even for these remote and small communities never mind larger, grid-connected areas, well before SMRs are deployable, let alone economically competitive.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 12, 2018, 10:00:18 PM
All of this is far above my pay grade.
A few thoughts with no links.  :-[


I believe Canada has a few reactors that have, or had been running for many decades, possibly in excess of 60 years?


I've heard of Ontario paying exorbitant prices for very short period electrical surpluses. It may have been by the minute, possibly by the second, but certainly not by the hour.


The reactors I drive by near Toronto don't have "pressure domes", yet they're close to millions of people. Is this because of safer technology being used, or an example of very careless regulatory bodies?


Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2018, 12:50:09 AM

...
The reactors I drive by near Toronto don't have "pressure domes", yet they're close to millions of people. Is this because of safer technology being used, or an example of very careless regulatory bodies?


Terry

Maybe the containment domes are hidden inside a nice square building, so everyone driving by isn’t thinking, “I wish I didn’t live so close to a nuclear reactor.”  ;)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on April 13, 2018, 01:19:14 AM
Quote
I believe Canada has a few reactors that have, or had been running for many decades, possibly in excess of 60 years?
Canadian reactors actually have had terribly short lives before having to be shutdown for refurbishment. Candu refurbishment seems to take tons of money and many years. I think the Bruce reactors took 18 years of refurbishment. Point Lepreau needed 4 years of refurbishment after running for about 10 years and needed refurbishment again in less than 10 years.

The newer reactors in Ontario have a better record - they require major refurbishment at closer to 30 years of age. The Darlington refurbishment is planned to run from 2016-2026.

Funny how capacity factors for nukes never count the many years of shutdown they need for maintenance.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 13, 2018, 02:15:32 AM
The final paragraph in that article states:
Quote
Meanwhile, other sources of electricity supply, in particular combinations of renewables and storage technologies such as batteries, are fast becoming cheaper. It is likely that they will become cheap enough to produce reliable and affordable electricity, even for these remote and small communities never mind larger, grid-connected areas, well before SMRs are deployable, let alone economically competitive.
Beyond technological hurdles, which I assume are eventually solvable, I think this is THE issue - by 2026 (assuming all goes according to plan), this is not going to be competitive in any way with renewables. That huge reactor 150 million km away has got the market cornered.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 13, 2018, 02:16:12 AM
Thanks
As I mentioned earlier, not a subject I have much familiarity with. I had thought that the reactor(s) that Harper shut down, the ones that were supplying radio isotopes, had been running for a very long time.
As a relatively new Canadian,despite my childhood here, I wasn't aware of the "refurbishment" issue at all.
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 06:56:23 AM
Quote
1) Nuclear does have a higher CF (90%) than wind (mid 40% and increasing and solar (30% for single-axis tracking) but the installed cost of nuclear is several times higher per watt.

Where? When? Got substantive refs?

2) If Vogtle came online today the cost of electricity would be higher than $0.13/kWh.  If Hinkley Point came online today the contracted price would be above $0.13/kWh and would rise over the next 35 years along with inflation.

Where and when do these IFs exist? Got substantive refs and proof these assertions are correct? No one is building Gen II reactors anymore. Superseded engineering and tech is not and cannot be relevant to any modern day discussion about Nuclear. It's a distraction from reality imho.

3) France now spends about $0.08/kWh to maintain its paid off reactors.

Got substantive refs?


4) We have yet to see a reactor last 50 years.

Fukushima reactors came online in 1971. @40 years the Tsunami destroyed them. If not for that they would have been running until ~2030 making it 59 years.

Beznau 1 is the first commercial nuclear power reactor in Switzerland. Operational since 1969 to today. That makes it 49 years in constant operation.

Modern Gen IV reactors will also operate for 50+ with no radioactive safety or meltdown issues or the need for extensive radioactive storage of waste. They also use a fraction of radioactive fuels than what existing Gen II+, Gen III or Gen III+ reactors do. That's another lifelong cost reduction. 

Gen IV reactors are in fact able to destroy (make totally safe) both weapons grade and old nuclear reactor grade radioactive fuel waste and related materials. 

Please stop exaggerating and providing incorrect information about this subject. Please do some up-to-date research on it instead.

1. CFs and installed cost

US onshore wind farms brought online post 2013 have CFs averaging in the low 40%.

(https://vgy.me/60uk4p.jpg)

The average CF for solar in 2016 was 27.2%.  The average includes fixed mount and single-axis tracking.  (EIA)

"LBNL finds that the addition of tracking systems boost capacity factors by 3-5% percentage points, which put the average capacity factor for projects in California using tracking coming in above 30%."

https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/09/20/trackers-dominate-u-s-utility-scale-solar-wcharts/

Wind Onshore 
 $1.53 Installed Cost/Watt
 DOE 2016 Wind Technologies Market Report

PV Solar
$1.00 Installed Cost/Watt
$1.07 With Tracking
U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q3 2017
https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/68925.pdf


CCNG
$0.97 Installed Cost/Watt
U.S. EIA
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26532


Nuclear
$6.94 Installed Cost/Watt based on Vogtle previous current cost estimate of $15.5 billion for 2,234 MW.  That price has now risen to about $9.31 billion in 2014 dollars due to further timeline overruns so now about $18.6 billion = $8.33 Installed Cost

2. Hinkley Point strike price - someone else has already answered that. 

If started today Hinkley would cost 13.3 cents per kWh.  If we average 3% inflation for the next 35 years the cost would rise to 36.3 per kWh.  An average cost of 23 cents per kWh.

US wind PPAs are being signed for a fixed price of under 2 cents per kWh for a 20 to 25 year span.  No inflation.


3. Operating cost for France's nuclear plants

“Production costs from the existing fleet are heading higher over the medium-term,” France’s Cour des Comptes said in a report to parliament published today.

The report, which updates findings in a January 2012 report, said that in 2012 the Court calculated the cost of production of the current fleet for 2010, which amounted to EUR 49.5 per megawatt-hour.

Using the same method for the year 2013 the cost was EUR 59.8/MWh, an increase of 20.6 percent over three years.

http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2014/05/27/france-s-state-auditor-says-edf-s-nuclear-costs-are-increasing


 EUR 59.8 = $81.37/MWh  $0.082/kWh  About $0.08/kWh

4.  Lifespan of nuclear reactors.

My statement was that no reactor has yet operated 50 years.  Beznau 1 and Oyster Creek will turn 49 this year.  Oyster Creek will close down at the end of this year prior to its 50th birthday.

Whether the Fukushima reactors would have made it to age 60 is speculation. 

Generation IV reactors are ideas.  There are no constructed and operational GenIV reactors.  Those of us who have lived longer than commercial nuclear have watched nuclear promise new designs which would solve nuclear's problem.  (Which is why I asked - you seemed to have the "enthusiasm" of youth but not the historical knowledge.)

The pebble bed reactor was suppose to eliminate the possibility of meltdowns but Germany came close to melting one. 

The AP1000 was the design breakthrough which would allow modular production in factories and onsite assembly.  The AP1000 has been a spectacular failure in South Carolina, Georgia and China.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 13, 2018, 07:01:09 AM
"Germany came close to melting one.  "

Didn't one catch fire ? that was my first thought aboute graphite, you have to be very sure that air dont get in.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 07:13:41 AM
Quote
I'll be waiting patiently for the multiple studies and academic research to keep coming out on the longer term maintenance costs and the maximum life-cycle of already installed wind and solar farms before assuming it's not an issue in the near future.

In the US we are now in the process (almost completed) of replacing our first wind farm, Altamont Pass, turbines with modern higher hub height turbines after 30 years of service.  It should be safe to assume that modern turbines will last a decade or two longer as engineers will have had 30 years to improve design.  Advances in sensor technology makes it possible to spot emerging problems before they create any serious damage which would drive up operating costs.  Lidar allows turbines to detect upcoming large shifts in wind speed and to adjust the blade angle before strong gusts can put strain on blades and mounts.

Currently opex for wind farms runs about $0.01/kWh.

Our oldest solar array is now about 40 years old.  At age 35 each of the panels was checked.  Average output was 96% of what the panels outputted when new.

That's probably high for panels in general.  The NREL states that panels manufactured after 2000 should lose between 0.1% and 0.5% per year with higher losses in areas with lots of wind/snow loading and/or high UV levels.

A panel losing 0.5% per year should still be outputting 75% at age 50. 

A panel losing 0.1% per year should still be outputting 95% at age 50.

Opex for solar farms is under $0.01/kWh.

Wind and solar are cheap to install.  They have significant lifespans.  And they have low operating costs.  That's the challenge for nuclear energy, to close that very large cost gap.  If nuclear cannot cut its cost by 75% or so then there is no rational future for nuclear energy.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 08:41:44 AM
Thomas, do you realize the enormous cost span between nuclear and renewables?  Do you really think there's a way to cut the cost of nuclear energy by 75%?

And we cannot build reactors in Europe and the US for what they can be built in China. 

Average wage for an engineer in China = $15,065 per year.
Average wage for an engineer in Korea = $43,009 per year.
Average wage for an engineer in the US = $88,699 per year,

Average wage for a construction worker in China = $7,944.
Average wage for a construction worker in Korea = $25,856.
Average wage for a construction worker in the US = $35,750

If China could build reactors inexpensively in the West then they would have bid for the Hinkley Point job.  China is partnering with France for those very expensive reactors.

And don't confuse overnight costs with installed costs.  The largest factor driving the cost of nuclear energy so high is the cost of capital financing during construction.

A reactor built 20 years ago is not a GenIV reactor.  It's a 10MW research project which seems to have been so unimpressive that no one else has built something similar during the ensuing 20 years.  (I made absolutely no claim about the AP1000 being a GenIV.  It is not.)




Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 09:22:04 AM
Thomas, if nuclear can cut its cost very significantly then it can get back in the game.  But based on today's costs of nuclear and renewables there's no economic reason to build any more reactors.

If you think there's some sort of a GenIV reactor coming that might close that gap, fine.  But we can not afford to wait to see if that is the case.  We must move now, and move faster, to replace fossil fuels with low carbon energy.

If a GenIV idea does pan out then nuclear could get back in the game but that's likely to be ten to twenty years from now.  The first producer of low cost electricity would have to be built and run some number of years to make sure that it was safe to build more.  First versions of pretty much anything take longer to complete.  It's that 'unknown unknown' thing....
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 13, 2018, 10:32:30 AM
Based on today's costs of nuclear and renewables there's no economic reason to build any more reactors.

Could there be reasons other than economic to keep developing and building them? I don't know, things like spaceships to Mars. What's Elon Musk's take, if he has any?

edit: All I could find from Musk, was some talk about being in favour of nuclear in general, but more about fusion than GenIV specifically. Nothing about how nuclear might be useful for space travel/colonisation, but I didn't watch everything.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 13, 2018, 11:16:08 AM
Except for the 10MW one in China been running for ~20 years.   

...the already approved building of multiple new GenIV HTR Nuclear Reactors from the IAEA down that are 100% safe meltdown proof reactors,  capable of electricity supply, of efficient low cost hydrogen production for transport etc, low cost sustainable power for desal plants 24/7, and nuclear waste processing of nuclear waste, and modular designed manufactured in China and put together like a Lego set anywhere in the world - including regions where PWR old school reactors are unsafe - eg Fukushima.

Within months the first full scale HTR-PM will be fired up and connected to the grid before the end of 2018 if all goes well. On time (except for Fukushima caused delays by the IAEA/China Govt Regulators), and on budget (pretty much).

Last I looked they're building 6 for under $16 billion - and that's with them being the first of their kind ever - which naturally incurs extra costs and careful slow paced planning - that will not apply to the ones they have already sold to the Saudis and other nations - and the next 40-50 planned to be operating by 2035ish (?).
As the Wikipedia page on Gen IV reactors does not list the 10MW one in China, nor those 6 that are under construction, nor the HTR-PM (is this Gen IV?) to be fired up in 2018, would you kindly post specific links describing these projects?
I should also note, that as the discussion around carbon-free energy generation is first and foremost economical (once safety issues are solved), your case will be much strengthened by cost estimates of installation and maintenance of Gen IV.

This is what wiki has to say:
Quote
Generation IV reactors (Gen IV) are a set of nuclear reactor designs currently being researched for commercial applications by the Generation IV International Forum, with Technology readiness levels varying between the level requiring a demonstration, to economical competitive implementation. They are motivated by a variety of goals including improved safety, sustainability, efficiency, and cost.

The most developed Gen IV reactor design, the sodium fast reactor, has received the greatest share of funding over the years, with the principle Gen IV aspect of the design, relating in largest part to the development of a sustainable closed fuel cycle for the reactor. Amongst nuclear engineers the molten-salt reactor, the least developed and funded technology, is considered as potentially having the greatest inherent safety of the six models. While the hydrogen economy, the use of hydrogen to produce Carbon-neutral fuels, is deemed as strengthening the economic case for the two most efficient models, the high temperature reactor designs.

The majority of the 6 designs are generally not expected to be available for commercial construction until 2020–30. Presently the majority of reactors in operation around the world are considered second generation reactor systems, as the vast majority of the first generation systems were retired some time ago, and there are only a dozen or so Generation III reactors in operation as of 2014. Generation V reactors refer to reactors that are purely theoretical and are therefore not yet considered feasible in the short term, resulting in limited R&D funding.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 13, 2018, 03:10:14 PM
oren: the HTR-PM is indeed a gen-4 design. I posted some recent cost estimates upthread for the various designs.

Terry: the Canadian electricity-generating reactors are a different design than in the US. The CANDU design is a supposedly safer design, but it’s also more expensive than the already expensive PWR design that’s more common around the world.

Chalk River was not an electric power plant, its purpose was medical isotopes and research (other reactors at the site were power plants, but not this one). Harper didn’t shut it down — quite the opposite! He fired the head of the nuclear regulatory agency because she refused to let it restart, over safety concerns. He also didn’t allocate money to fix it either, or build a replacement (nor did his predecessors or successor). It apparently shut down for good only a few days ago.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on April 13, 2018, 03:45:13 PM
The NRU at Chalk River was supposed to be replaced with newly designed Maple 1 and Maple 2 reactors. They were built by around 2000 but turned out to be unsafe to run - the design apparently didn't run in real life they way it had been modeled to in theory.

To me that's a reminder that next gen theoretically cheap and safe designs might not turn out either cheap nor safe once they are built.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 05:31:43 PM
Based on today's costs of nuclear and renewables there's no economic reason to build any more reactors.

Could there be reasons other than economic to keep developing and building them? I don't know, things like spaceships to Mars. What's Elon Musk's take, if he has any?

edit: All I could find from Musk, was some talk about being in favour of nuclear in general, but more about fusion than GenIV specifically. Nothing about how nuclear might be useful for space travel/colonisation, but I didn't watch everything.

There might be a need for one reactor designed to create isotopes for medical use.  I'm really not up to speed on this need but seem to understand that the reactor currently in use for that purpose may be reaching the end of its life.  Someone who knows something might step in here.

There might be some place in the world where renewables won't be the affordable solution but I've seen no one suggest where that might be.  The Solutions Project has found adequate renewable resources for the countries they've surveyed, which is most of the world's countries.

Colonies on another planet, perhaps.  One would have to compare lift costs for solar and storage vs. the weight of a small reactor.

For most of the world I don't think an economic case can be made for nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 05:41:13 PM
When the Chalk River reactor went had a partial meltdown President Jimmy Carter was one of the "jumpers" who was lowered into the reactor to work on stabilizing the reaction. 

At the time he was a US Navy officer working on the nuclear propulsion design for the Sea Wolf.  He, and members of his crew were sent down to the reactor "for seconds", each tasked to remove one or a few bolts before they were extracted.  He peed a radioactive stream for six months.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on April 13, 2018, 06:54:18 PM
Quote
I believe Canada has a few reactors that have, or had been running for many decades, possibly in excess of 60 years?
Canadian reactors actually have had terribly short lives before having to be shutdown for refurbishment. Candu refurbishment seems to take tons of money and many years. I think the Bruce reactors took 18 years of refurbishment. Point Lepreau needed 4 years of refurbishment after running for about 10 years and needed refurbishment again in less than 10 years.

The newer reactors in Ontario have a better record - they require major refurbishment at closer to 30 years of age. The Darlington refurbishment is planned to run from 2016-2026.

Funny how capacity factors for nukes never count the many years of shutdown they need for maintenance.

I don't know about the Candu reactors, but US reactors average 90% capacity factors because they only refuel once every two years and schedule the major maintenance during the refueling shutdown.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/05/11/when-should-a-nuclear-power-plant-be-refueled/#161525c93d95 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/05/11/when-should-a-nuclear-power-plant-be-refueled/#161525c93d95)

Quote

An outage usually takes only 40 days, so once every two years means the plant operates just under 100% of the time – 98% in the case of this nuclear plant. When Columbia Generating Station starts up again at the end of June it will produce even more electricity, more efficiently and more reliably.

...

There are many other reasons to shut down a power plant - for maintenance, repair and replacing components - but if everything is running perfectly, you can do all of those things during the occasional refueling outage.

During the outage, more accurate ultrasonic instruments will be installed for measuring the water flow through the reactor core, producing more electricity and saving water. A new Power Range Neutron Monitoring system will be installed for better fuel use, replacing analog circuit controls with more reliable and redundant digital controls. In addition, three new 175-ton power transformers will be installed.

The benefits of these improvements will allow for a more efficient use of nuclear fuel, an increase in the overall efficiency of reactor operations, and increased equipment reliability.

A refueling outage is also very good for all the other businesses in the area. For this refueling, 1,500 new out-of-town workers will descend upon the plant to supplement the 1,100 permanent Energy Northwest employees, something that local businesses look forward to with every outage (NEI).

The outage will replace 248 of the plant’s 764 nuclear fuel assemblies (see figure). Fuel is replaced after being in the core for six years, so every two years a third of the fuel is replaced and the other two thirds are moved around to make for even burning.

Many smaller maintenance projects will occur at the same time - 13,000 separate tasks in only six weeks. Sawatzke says, “The team has worked hard and we are well prepared and ready to execute.”

If the past is any clue to the future, this outage will go smoothly and on schedule, returning this super-efficient power plant to operation in time for the Fourth of July.


Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 07:10:10 PM
Capacity factor is not impacted by when the reactor shuts down for maintenance and refueling.  Routine maintenance and refueling is scheduled during low demand seasons because that is when the grid can easiestly go without that reactor's input.  Between scheduled shutdowns and breakdowns US reactors are offline about 10% of the time.

Nuclear has a high CF in the US because nuclear takes so long to turn off and back on.  And because most US reactors are not designed to load follow.

Hydro is very quick to cycle on/off.  If there's too much generation the hydro is the first source likely to be curtailed.  Next is natural gas.  A CCNG plant can shut down very rapidly and the turbine portion can be running full speed from a cold start in less than 15 minutes.  Coal plants can cycle off and back on in a few hours.  Nuclear reactors take days to cycle.

The availability factor for nuclear, coal, and natural gas plants is roughly the same.  But rather than having a CF between 50% and 60% like coal and CCNG, nuclear has a CF of about 90% simply because it isn't asked to leave an oversupplied grid.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 13, 2018, 08:17:48 PM
Big steam equipment really hates cycling. Maintenance budget and lifetime get blown to hell.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 08:18:26 PM
Big steam equipment really hates cycling. Maintenance budget and lifetime get blown to hell.

sidd

Thermal stresses.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 13, 2018, 08:55:11 PM
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/whats-next-for-south-carolinas-embattled-utilities/520838/

The sorry story of the two utilities that were building VC Summer, the nuclear plant in SC that was canceled. Now, various stakeholders are trying to not be the stuckee. Seems likely — almost inevitable — there’ll be large corporate bankruptcies. The alternative is lots of personal bankruptcies from people paying electric rates that cover the cost of power plants built but never started.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 13, 2018, 09:05:26 PM
A utility exec i know made a telling point: You would think that with these inherently failsafe next generation reactor design, we can get rid of Price-Anderson type protections for them, right ? He went on to point out that, oddly enuf, that's a non-starter with the nuke evangelistas.

looks like the bean counters don't believe their own glossy powerpoint presentations.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 13, 2018, 09:17:43 PM
Price-Anderson protects nuclear plant owners from economic disasters.  It lets them provide very modest amounts of insurance coverage and put the most of the cost of a major disaster on taxpayers.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2018, 03:13:26 AM
Based on today's costs of nuclear and renewables there's no economic reason to build any more reactors.

Could there be reasons other than economic to keep developing and building them? I don't know, things like spaceships to Mars. What's Elon Musk's take, if he has any?

edit: All I could find from Musk, was some talk about being in favour of nuclear in general, but more about fusion than GenIV specifically. Nothing about how nuclear might be useful for space travel/colonisation, but I didn't watch everything.

There may be a need for nuclear to supply power in space.  However...

In this brief video clip, Musk says that he’s not against earthbound nuclear power, in general... but, in the same amount of land as a nuclear plant requires, you often can generate more power with solar.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c-n6xJOFbvA

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 03:25:53 AM
It is imperative that we cease using fossil fuels and move to low carbon energy sources.  For electricity that means all nuclear energy, all renewable energy, or a combination of the two.  I have carried out a little study to see, at least at a basic level, what it might cost to create an all nuclear grid for CAISO (California Independent System Operator) members.  The combined four electricity grids in California.

I used 2017 California demand data that is available on the web.   I have similar demand data for ERCOT and will do a similar analysis on that data at a later date.  Obviously one year of data for one set of grids does not fit all.  But it should offer some insight into what would be required on a larger level.  For every grid there is a daily variation in demand and all grids operate with seasonal differences throughout the year.

This is ‘stage one’ of a 100% nuclear grid for California based on 2017 hourly loads and all current cars and light trucks becoming battery powered. 

Some basics about the model...

      1) “Reactors” are 1135 MW reactors such as the AP1000.  It is assumed the reactors would be able to load follow to some extent

      2)  Nuclear cost used is Lazard’s 2017 unsubsidized LCOE for new nuclear which ranges from $0.095 to $0.135/kWh.

      3) Cost of detailed load matching (integration costs) are not included.  Something such as batteries would be needed to match supply and demand on a finer grain level than reactors are capable of doing.

      4) The cost of backup for unscheduled reactor failure is not included.

Upon running the model it was found that it would take somewhere between 30 and 35 1135 MW reactors to produce enough electricity to supply hourly load without storage or other sources of electricity. 

That is 100% penetration and would mean that roughly 25% to 35% of the electricity produced would be unneeded (curtailed).  The cost of generating would be $0.18 to $0.20/kWh (plus backup and integration costs).

(https://vgy.me/i6xHzq.jpg)

If all CA cars and light trucks were battery powered increasing the number of reactors to somewhere in the 40 to 45 count range all light vehicles could be charged each day, replacing the electricity used for that day’s driving. 

(https://vgy.me/wNmxB1.png)

 The cost of electricity would be in the $0.16/kWh to $0.18/kWh range.  But that would be the cost of generation which is even less than the wholesale cost of electricity as it includes no cost for transmission or owner profit..  California’s retail rate for electricity is $0.15/kWh (Jan 2018).

It’s possible that adding some storage could decrease the number of reactors.  I’ll model that in later.  But with the Lazard median cost for PuHS being $0.175/kWh I can’t see storage helping.  It would take much less expensive storage. 

It’s also possible that selling some of the curtailed electricity for other uses such as desalinization would lower the cost but that would probably be more than offset by the costs not included.

Not included in the model is the cost of integrating large amount of nuclear onto the grid.  We can assume newly built reactors would be able to load follow to some extent but some amount of more flexible supply (probably batteries) would be needed for the second to second flexibility needed to maintain frequency and voltage control.

Plus there is the issue of reactors unexpectedly dropping off the grid.  I don’t have enough data to make a definitive  statement on the number of backup reactors which would be needed but some data on which to base a guess. 

Over a six month span beginning in September 2017, 17 of 98 or 17% of all US reactors dropped offline for reasons other than scheduled refueling and maintenance.  A greater than 30% failure rate on an annual basis.  The number of shutdowns may have been higher.  Sometimes it’s been months after the shutdown that I stumble over the news.

Some number of extra reactors would need to be running at reduced loads, ready to take up if one of the fleet dropped out.  And the reserve would need to be generous because sometimes one or more reactors can go offline for extended periods.  If a reactor is lost like, for example, Three Mile Island there needs to be a reserve reactor for permanent replacement.  We wouldn’t be able to wait five to ten years for a replacement to be constructed.

If we decided that we needed 40 reactors and 8 more for backup that would mean an increase of 20% in the cost of electricity.

In January 2018 the retail cost of electricity in California was $0.15/kWh.   Even at $0.16 for nuclear adding in $0.05 for distribution would drive the retail cost well over $0.20/kWh and have a significant impact on the economy.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 03:46:28 AM
I've had no one look at the work behind the study posted above.  If anyone would like to look through the spreadsheets I set up I'll be glad to share the links.

Errors could have been made.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 04:45:14 AM
Nuclear has a high CF in the US because nuclear takes so long to turn off and back on.

That is not an issue for GenIV reactors. Which makes all your Numbers based on the past experiences and economics of Gen I, II and III Nuclear plants Moot, Unfounded and in every way Wrong.

Of course it doesn't apply to GenIV reactors.  GenIV reactors have CFs of 273%, use bubble gum for fuel and produce totally harmless lemon meringue waste.

Since there are no GenIV reactors we can make up any set of claims we like about them.

(My comment was based on the reactor we now have and are now building.  Not about unproven ideas.)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 04:46:39 AM
Big steam equipment really hates cycling. Maintenance budget and lifetime get blown to hell.

sidd

Thermal stresses.

That's why 'god' created Engineers, Physicists and Chemists Bob.

Dog created the laws of physics.  Engineers, physicists and chemists can't override them. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 06:10:58 AM
"And if / when they don't use steam, what then sidd? "

Is there a nuke that doesn't use steam ?

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 06:21:03 AM
I mean : is there a nuke generator on the grid or planned to be on the grid that does not use steam.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 06:27:41 AM
To answer the first bit: there are no nukegenerators supplying the grid that don't use steam. For the second, i find none in planning that don't use steam.

So call me when a nuke generator supplies the grid without steam. Until then, i will continue to go with the engineers who have convincing figures and tables that show the problems with thermal cycling big steam.
 

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: silkman on April 14, 2018, 08:46:05 AM

That's an opinion. Likely based on personal beliefs and cherry-picked data that supports said beliefs.

Well, we all seem have a right to your opinion, Thomas, on this and many other subjects!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 09:05:44 AM
Mmm. No references posted contradict my assertion that no present or planned nukes supply the grid electric absent steam.

That said, the big problem is not putative non steam cycles, rather the pronounced lack of interest in financing nukes, given eroding market share for anything but wind/PV and fast reacting gas load followers. Lets see if the nuke evangelistas can muster enuf cash to be locked up in the looong return times for nukes.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Thomas on April 14, 2018, 10:07:03 AM
Mmm. No references posted contradict my assertion that no present or planned nukes supply the grid electric absent steam.

That said, the big problem is not putative non steam cycles, rather the pronounced lack of interest in financing nukes, given eroding market share for anything but wind/PV and fast reacting gas load followers. Lets see if the nuke evangelistas can muster enuf cash to be locked up in the looong return times for nukes.

sidd

Great. So what?  No references posted contradict my comments to date.

Not sure what all the dramatic responses are all about. Such a waste of good pixels.  ;D 

Hint sidd: ASIF is not the entire world. But if you wish to act as if it is then fine by me. And feel free not to dig into the NET Power, Toshiba Corporation, Exelon Corporation, and the Shaw Power Group non-steam turbine. It's either running or it isn't. Apparently being right / seen to be right here is far more important to you (and many others) than actually knowing the truth - let alone expanding your knowledge base about reality.

That's weird. Really weird given all the negative comments thrown at me already about this being a science based forum that relies on evidence and not opinions or belief or flaky refs. So what do I get for all my trouble in pointing out a few instances of errors in fact and a distinct lack of true knowledge here? Smarmy abuse and passive aggressive insults from the residents. Gosh, thanks for that. How mature. How grown up. How scientific.

A hairs breadth difference to being on WUWT. Now that's not only weird, that's really sad.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: silkman on April 14, 2018, 12:19:12 PM

That's an opinion. Likely based on personal beliefs and cherry-picked data that supports said beliefs.

Well, we all seem have a right to your opinion, Thomas, on this and many other subjects!

That happens on a discussion forum. I'm no Robinson Caruso and you're no Friday. Not sure why you even bothered to comment. What I have shared here can't be boiled down to a 16 word quote. Try as you may. Who are you anyway and why are saying what you said.

Should I leave now? Sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

No need to do that Thomas. I was just making the point that "likely based on personal beliefs and cherry picked data that supports said beliefs" is what we all do in these discussions, including you. Your arguments are undoubtedly well researched but there are few if any absolutes.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 14, 2018, 01:18:19 PM

That's an opinion. Likely based on personal beliefs and cherry-picked data that supports said beliefs.

Well, we all seem have a right to your opinion, Thomas, on this and many other subjects!

That happens on a discussion forum. I'm no Robinson Caruso and you're no Friday. Not sure why you even bothered to comment. What I have shared here can't be boiled down to a 16 word quote. Try as you may. Who are you anyway and why are saying what you said.

Should I leave now? Sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
Hullo Thomas,

It helps to regard doubting and critical comments as those from the Devil's Advocate(**). You are advocating a major push to power generation using Gen IV nuclear reactors - your advocacy is faced by doubt and opposition from a group of people who will attempt to test your case (and that of the GEN IV industry in general) to destruction.

The doubt and on occasion even outright hostility to nuclear power in this forum (including me) reflects well that of society at large. That is why Germany shut down its nuclear reactors partly as a dumb knee-jerk reaction to the Fukushima tragedy, and as a result has belched out a few more GigaTonnes of CO2 from its mucky old coal fired generators.

If the GEN IV industry cannot prove its case to a doubting public then GEN IV nuclear energy will only happen where the opinion of the public is not relevant (e.g. in the Command and Control economies of China and Russia).

** Devil’s advocate, Latin Advocatus Diaboli, in the Roman Catholic church, the promoter of the faith (promotor fidei), who critically examines the life of and miracles attributed to an individual proposed for beatification or canonization. He is popularly called the devil’s advocate because his presentation of facts includes everything unfavourable to the candidate. Pope Leo X, in the early 15th century, seems to have introduced the term, but Sixtus V formally established the office in 1587.

I think the closest modern equivalent is the oral examination of the thesis of a Ph D candidate who has the temerity in that thesis to question the conventional wisdom of the day. The panel of examiners then resemble closely the Advocatus Diaboli
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 14, 2018, 01:50:11 PM
Thomas, I thought you said you were leaving. Whether right or wrong, what you just did, is a complete waste of your time, my time and everybody else's time.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Thomas on April 14, 2018, 01:52:24 PM
Thomas, I thought you said you were leaving. Whether right or wrong, what you just did, is a complete waste of your time, my time and everybody else's time.

I'm cleaning up Neven. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 14, 2018, 02:05:23 PM
Well, clean up in a cleaner way! And don't slam the door.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 14, 2018, 03:41:17 PM
Hullo Thomas.

An "interesting, very interesting" response.  ( from rowan and martin's laugh-in)
"Listen very carefully, I will say this only once". from the BBC's 'allo 'allo

Quote
I said:-
1)  You are advocating a major push to power generation using Gen IV nuclear reactors

You said:-
1) that is just flat out wrong. It's bullshit. You are making that up out of thin air. I have said nothing of the kind - not even close to it.
What is wrong with you people - why can you not read what people write without filling it in with complete crap that was never said?

My understanding was that you were bringing to the attention of the Forum the GEN IV nuclear reactors including that they avoid most, if not all, of the problems and pitfalls of earlier generations of reactors. Also that due to scalability they can be built and deployed on shorter timescales. If not, what are you trying to tell us?

In my mind that has an element of advocacy.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/advocacy
advocacy:- Public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
Example:-
‘his outspoken advocacy of the agreement has won no friends’

Quote
I said:-
3) If the GEN IV industry cannot prove its case to a doubting public then GEN IV nuclear energy will only happen where the opinion of the public is not relevant (e.g. in the Command and Control economies of China and Russia).
You said:-
3) IF IF IF IF bloody IF in world of fantasy. Can't even read what people write but you still imagine you know it all about "public opinion" - give it up.

No comment.

Quote
I said:-
2) The doubt and on occasion even outright hostility to nuclear power in this forum (including me) reflects well that of society at large.

You said:-
2) Then if all you have is outright hostility you're insane and should go join ISIS or something that gets off on that shit.

Insanity - At my age always a possibility. In the pub I recently said (half-joking) "I keep on meaning to take the on-line Alzheimer's test, but I keep on forgetting to do it".

Joining ISIS - No. In my travels and travails I have met to many devotees of death and destruction of which the followers of ISIS are but one tribe.

The violent language of your posts do not permit any further response from me. I said it only once.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Thomas on April 14, 2018, 06:52:27 PM
<I said: Don't slam the door, so this was the last from Thomas; N.>
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 07:12:51 PM
Question answered.

13

 ;D
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on April 14, 2018, 07:57:23 PM
I think that does it. Enough.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 14, 2018, 08:02:08 PM
Golly Gosh
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 08:12:48 PM
The whole episode is like a faster and more extreme version of recent drama on realclimate ...

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on April 14, 2018, 08:17:15 PM
What recent drama on RealClimate?
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 08:30:46 PM
Another poster rejoicing in the name of Thomas got banned ...

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 08:38:32 PM
A meltdown on the nuclear thread.

Whodathunk....

Any feedback on my nuclear cost study?  I've got a more involved one about ready that deals with maximum wind and solar penetration.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on April 14, 2018, 08:59:35 PM
The experience with nuclear load following at EDF in France is at:

https://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Downloadable/Meetings/2013/2013-09-04-09-06-TM-NPE/8.feutry_france.pdf

Complicated, requires good training. They find the secondary loops are much more stressed than the primary.

"No doubt, it is easier to stay at full power !
If you can, keep on !"

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 14, 2018, 09:49:59 PM
A meltdown on the nuclear thread.

Whodathunk....

Any feedback on my nuclear cost study?  I've got a more involved one about ready that deals with maximum wind and solar penetration.

Hullo Bob,

Always interested in looking at how people using the dreaded Excel. So, given the recent Thomas kerfuffle, if you are willing to risk your data being looked at by a gerontocrat I will send you a message with the email address.

If nothing else I can steal your data.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 14, 2018, 10:23:42 PM
A meltdown on the nuclear thread.

Whodathunk....

Any feedback on my nuclear cost study?  I've got a more involved one about ready that deals with maximum wind and solar penetration.

Hullo Bob,

Always interested in looking at how people using the dreaded Excel. So, given the recent Thomas kerfuffle, if you are willing to risk your data being looked at by a gerontocrat I will send you a message with the email address.

If nothing else I can steal your data.

You can steal the whole thing.  I'm just interested in answers and getting stuff right.  It's in Google Sheets so send me your email address and I'll link you in.

If anyone wants the raw data it's on the CAISO site.  Under Managing Oversupply.

http://www.caiso.com/informed/Pages/ManagingOversupply.aspx

IMO they make far too much of oversupply and curtailment at this point in time.  Curtailment levels for wind and solar are miniscule.  They just look big on the graph.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: gerontocrat on April 15, 2018, 12:20:28 PM

Any feedback on my nuclear cost study?  I've got a more involved one about ready that deals with maximum wind and solar penetration.

Hullo Bob,

Just started to think about expansion of nuclear power- firstly about a simple question. What can stop it happening ?

Shortage of nuclear engineers:-

https://www.aps.org/policy/reports/popa-reports/readiness.cfm
American Physical Society

Readiness of the U.S. Nuclear Workforce for 21st Century Challenges JUNE 2008 !!
Executive Summary

Quote
It is time to reexamine the adequacy of the U.S. nuclear workforce and its ability to deal with many old and new challenges our nation faces. This report draws attention to critical shortages in the U.S. nuclear workforce and to problems in maintaining relevant educational modalities and facilities for training new people. This workforce comprises nuclear engineers, nuclear chemists, radiochemists, health physicists, nuclear physicists, nuclear technicians, and those from related disciplines. As a group they play critical roles in the nation’s nuclear power industry, in its nuclear weapons complex, in its defense against nuclear and other forms of terrorism, and in several aspects of healthcare, industrial processing, and occupational health and safety.

It does not seem to have got better. from  https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43061.pdf

Nuclear Engineers Employed:-
2012: 19,930    2016: 17,680  Change -2,250 -3.0%

https://www.power-technology.com/projects/alvin-w-vogtle-nuclear-power-plant-expansion-georgia/
Quote
lvin W Vogtle nuclear power plant (NPP) located in Waynesboro, Georgia, US, is undergoing an expansion, which will add two new units designated three and four.

The two new units will be the first advanced Generation III+ reactors to be installed in the US and also the first new nuclear units to be built in 30 years in the country.
2022.

If you don't build nuclear power plants the specialised skills base  must decline ?

(The UK has a similar problem.)

Next is to look at capital and then at timing and your other study about wind and solar (and EV?) penetration - especially as these can be deployed and are being deployed in such a shorter time frame.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 15, 2018, 09:47:30 PM
I recall reading something about existing US nuclear plants facing a staffing problem because so many of the specialists working in the plants are baby boomers and are now retiring.

We'd have a problem initiating a large scale build out of nuclear as we have few trained and experienced engineers and construction specialists.  Skills have been lost.  We could train a new generation but that would take several years.

Wind and solar have a huge advantage in that building wind and solar farms require normal construction skills.  Wind does need technicians but that's a six month (or less) junior college training course.

Training workers to install solar panels and racks at a solar farm takes a couple of hours.   Pouring foundations and standing steel towers for wind turbines is everyday stuff for construction companies.

If we were really smart we would invest a few tens of billions of dollars to get wind and solar installations increased by 3x or more.  We'd  more than save that investment just in avoided health care costs as we eliminate coal.  Even with the large drop in coal use we've already achieved we're (the US) is probably still spending over $100 billion per year dealing with coal health damage.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: SteveMDFP on April 16, 2018, 07:52:24 PM
With an occasional dissenter, there seems to be a developing consensus on this Forum that nuclear power has a dim future, primarily because of high costs.

When a CEO who makes his living through the nuclear power industry agrees with our rough consensus, I'm certainly more convinced:

Exelon Official: No New Nuclear Plants To Be Built in the U.S.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-16/exelon-official-no-new-nuclear-plants-to-be-built-in-the-us (https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-16/exelon-official-no-new-nuclear-plants-to-be-built-in-the-us)

"William Von Hoene, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Exelon, said last week that he doesn't foresee any new nuclear plants being built in the United States due to their high operating costs.

"The fact is - and I don't want my message to be misconstrued in this part - I don't think we're building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don't think it's ever going to happen," S&P Global quoted Van Hoene as saying at the annual U.S. Energy Association's meeting in Washington, D.C. "I'm not arguing for the construction of new nuclear plants. They are too expensive to construct, relative to the world in which we now live."

May all the retired nuclear plants rest in peace.  I hope.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 16, 2018, 08:18:10 PM
The companies that own most of the nuclear plants in the US were saying this back in 2012.

Quote
Nuclear power is no longer an economically viable source of new energy in the United States, the freshly-retired CEO of Exelon, America’s largest producer of nuclear power, said in Chicago Thursday.
And it won’t become economically viable, he said, for the forseeable
future.

“Let me state unequivocably that I’ve never met a nuclear plant I didn’t like,” said John Rowe, who retired 17 days ago as chairman and CEO ofExelon Corporation, which operates 22 nuclear power plants, more than any other utility in the United States.

“Having said that, let me also state unequivocably that new ones don’t make any sense right now.

Speaking to about 5o people at the University of Chicago‘s Harris School of Public Policy, Rowe presented a series of slides comparing the economic viability of various energy portfolios, including the “King Coal” scenario favored by Republicans, the “Big Wind” scenario favored by Democrats, and a “Playing Favorites” scenario that shuffles and selects from various energy sources.

All were trumped by a portfolio that relies heavily on America’s sudden abundance of natural gas, which has flooded the market since the boom inhydraulic fracturing of shale gas. Natural gas futures dropped to a 10-year low today—$2.15 for 1,000 cubic feet—on abundant supply, the Associated Press reported.

“I’m the nuclear guy,” Rowe said. “And you won’t get better results with nuclear. It just isn’t economic, and it’s not economic within a foreseeable time frame.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/

And from GE...

Quote
On July 30th, the Financial Times published an interview with GE’s  CEOJeffrey Immelt on the future of various energy alternatives.   For decades, GE has played a significant role in  many sectors of the energy business. It makes huge electric generators for electric utilities.  It sell wind turbines.  It sells solar installations and it recently added oil patch activities to its  roster of companies.  It has also been a leading supplier of nuclear power generation equipment. So for one of the leaders in that last space to suggest that nuclear isn’t a competitive solution now or going forward is a significant statement.

Mr. Immelt expressed his view that it is almost impossible on a cost basis to justify investing in nuclear power plants for the future.   ”So I think some combination of gas, and either wind or solar … that’s where we see most countries around the world going.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joanlappin/2012/07/31/ges-immelt-natural-gas-now-much-cheaper-than-nuclear/

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 23, 2018, 12:29:17 AM
Belgium to double offshore wind energy capacity as it exits nuclear power
Quote
BRUSSELS, April 20 (Reuters) - Belgium will double the area of its North Sea waters made available to offshore wind parks after 2020, the government announced on Friday, as part of its exit strategy from nuclear power.
...
Belgium's two nuclear power plants, at Doel and Tihange with a total capacity of 6 gigawatts, have experienced a series of technical problems at reactors and are earmarked for closure by 2025.

With the costs of building and running offshore wind farms coming down in other European countries, De Backer said he believed future wind projects would not require any state subsidies.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180420102612-i1at1/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 30, 2018, 06:16:19 PM
A floating nuclear plant capable of powering and heating an Arctic city of 100,000 has just been launched.

This is larger than the units I'd envisioned, but a great way to keep the lights on and warm the populace in the far north where particulate matter must be kept to a minimum.

No GHGs emitted either!

https://www.rt.com/news/425491-floating-chernobyl-lomonosov-nuclear/


Wish they weren't powering an oil drilling platform with it as well as the city.

Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on April 30, 2018, 10:02:05 PM
Without the oil platform there wouldn't be enough demand to have a nuclear plant. It's a 70 MW plant for a town of only a few thousand.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on April 30, 2018, 11:55:28 PM
Without the oil platform there wouldn't be enough demand to have a nuclear plant. It's a 70 MW plant for a town of only a few thousand.


Yea
As I mentioned it's much larger than anything I'd envisioned.


Something smaller, but still capable of powering, heating and providing desalinated water for a large Arctic community.


The technology is apparently the same as they've been using for years on their icebreakers, and is related to the plants in nuclear subs.


Tow one into place, then 40 or 50 years later haul it off to somewhere warmer to break it down. I suppose it isn't economically viable unless it's powering an oil platform, but there must be other ways to use energy profitably in the Arctic?


Bitcoin mining, heated greenhouses with grow lamps? ;D
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 01, 2018, 12:07:32 AM
Russia just scuttles their used up reactors at sea, don't they?

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2018, 02:02:31 AM
Russia just scuttles their used up reactors at sea, don't they?
I know the Soviets used to.
Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Adam Ash on May 01, 2018, 03:54:10 AM
70 MW of 'new' heat provides 100 watts per square metre of forcing over an area of 700 square kilometres.

Another damn nail in our coffin.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on May 01, 2018, 04:14:09 AM
70 MW of 'new' heat provides 100 watts per square metre of forcing over an area of 700 square kilometres.

Another damn nail in our coffin.
I think there's an error here of 3 order of magnitude.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2018, 06:02:34 AM
Apparently it's replacing an old shore based reactor as well as a 70 year old heating plant. Sarah Palin should be able to see it from her back porch.  ;)

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/russia-launched-a-floating-nuclear-power-plant-this-weekend/

China has one set to launch in 2020 and 4 or 5 countries have expressed interest in the "mass produced", portable power plants.

Terry
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 01, 2018, 03:29:06 PM
If you have a district heating system already built, I could see this being economically worthwhile. If you don't, it'll likely be cheaper to build wind turbines, solar panels, a day or two of batteries, and a small diesel generator for backup for the occasional winter week when the wind isn't blowing much. Then start charging market rates for heating oil.

Desalination isn't something I've heard be important anywhere in the arctic; maybe on some small island somewhere. There's no shortage of water. The shortage is largely in HR to operate and maintain the treatment and distribution systems.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 01, 2018, 07:50:52 PM
I believe the heating system is already in place, but very old.


Since it's supposed to be a mass produced unit the desalination possibilities might be aimed at different markets? IIRC most of those who had expressed an interest were small, tropical countries.
I also recall one of the articles saying it required a crew of 68 for operations and maintenance, so possibly 4 shifts of 22 men? Perhaps fewer per shift to account for holidays, vacations, etc.


The port it's headed to is Russia's most northern town and the eastern terminal for the North East Passage. They may be looking at growth in the coming decades.
The power plant it's replacing was/is the world's most northern nuclear facility so they're used to the convenience/inconvenience that nuclear provides.
Terry

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 01, 2018, 10:18:13 PM
Small tropical islands should do solar + battery. Far cheaper.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 01, 2018, 10:50:05 PM
Small tropical islands should do solar + battery. Far cheaper.

And wind.  Wind resources on islands can be immense.  Because there's little terraine to get in the way winds can be strong and directional.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 04, 2018, 10:46:53 AM
While nukes for the grid seem unworkable going forward, there are interesting niche applications.

NASA successfully tests new Kilopower reactor for space missions
Read more at
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spaceflightinsider.com%2Forganizations%2Fnasa%2Fnasa-successfully-tests-new-kilopower-reactor-for-space-missions%2F%23DpVyyDBaZ8YujRd2.99&hash=f90eb5ce7e74d6a48416b025b23725aa)

“One of the things we find very interesting about the fission side is that we can start the reactor at any time during the mission. So if we’ve got a fifteen-year mission to a Kuiper Belt object or something and it takes a long time to arrive, you don’t actually have to start the reactor up until we get there. So we don’t start the life of the power system until we want it.  We’re also able to turn down the power and turn up the power. We can go from 1,000 watts all the way down to 50 or 40 watts, depending on the demands of the spacecraft, and that lowers how much fuel we use.”



A single cylinder of U235 with a boron carbide control rod.  Sodium heat pipes that convey heat to power a Stirling engine.

A sterling achievement.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 04, 2018, 12:56:52 PM
Quote
While nukes for the grid seem unworkable going forward, there are interesting niche applications.

I found this comment very surprising.

In 1971 French electricity emissions were 500g/kWh.  Over the next 25 years France replaced its fossil fuel capacity with 63GW of nuclear. 

By 1987 French emissions had been reduced by 80% to 100g/kWh.

For the past 30 years French electricity has continuously produced electricity with CO2 emissions less than than 100g/kWh and remains the only ever successful transition from fossil fuels to non carbon fuels.

So if real world data proves nuclear can replace fossil fuel generation reducing CO2 emissions the only barrier to make nuclear unworkable going forward must be political.

With the political right in climate change denial and the political left in nuclear energy denial the future for human civilization is bleak indeed.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sebastian Jones on May 04, 2018, 02:47:02 PM

So if real world data proves nuclear can replace fossil fuel generation reducing CO2 emissions the only barrier to make nuclear unworkable going forward must be political.

How about economic and environmental barriers too? While the environmental barrier can be argued (reduced carbon vs nuclear waste storage), the economic case for nukes is really bad, which is the underlying reason we do not see any real world enthusiasm for them.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 04, 2018, 04:07:39 PM
Quote
So if real world data proves nuclear can replace fossil fuel generation reducing CO2 emissions the only barrier to make nuclear unworkable going forward must be political.

Let's try to figure out what "political" means in this case.

At the base it means that there is no will on the part of our political leaders to transform our electrical grids to nuclear power like France did in the previous century. 

And why?  Because more citizens don't want that to happen than want it to happen. 

Where are reactors being built?  Mostly in countries (China and Russia) where there are very strong central governments and citizens have little control over their governments.

Now why might the majority of people not want nuclear powered grids?

1)  Cost.  Doing what France did would wreck most economies.

2)  Reasonable safety concerns.  Nuclear disasters do happen.  While nuclear advocates claim that there are new designs which are totally safe, that has not been proven.  The nuclear industry has very low credibility.  Over 50-60 years the industry has made promises and failed to fulfill their promises.  There is no acceptable solution for permanent, totally safe disposal of nuclear waste.

3) The world has a much less expensive way to create low carbon grid.  One that has zero risk of a nuclear reactor meltdown type disaster.  And one that leaves no massive amounts of lethal waste for those who follow us over the next 100,000 years.

A politician who advocates for spending several times more than necessary and creating additional risk for citizens and for thousands of generations to come would be risking their office.  And that's why there is no political will.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: solartim27 on May 04, 2018, 05:40:33 PM
An update on the Nuscale project, cost estimate is $2,500/kW, but I could have swore I saw an article saying over $5,000 last week.  Could do a whole lot of distributed renewable with that sort of money.
Quote
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed the first phase in the design certification application (DCA) process for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR).

There are another five phases in the design certification process, but NuScale says the first phase is the most rigorous and now expects the NRC to complete the certification process by September 2020.

NuScale also said the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy has awarded the company $40 million in cost-sharing financial assistance under a federal grant program that supports early stage research and development to promote U.S. energy independence, grid resiliency, national security and clean baseload power.

Quote
​For now, NuScale appears to be leading the SMR field. The company is working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) for its first SMR project, a 12-module plant in Idaho slated for operation by the mid-2020s. NuScale and its partners would need to secure a combined operating and construction license from the NRC for the project.

The timeline for approval of that 600 MW project is June of 2023, Jackie Coombs, a spokesperson for UAMPS told Utility Dive via email. The SMR plant is expected to cost $4.2 billion to build and will be financed with low-cost, short-term bank loans that can be refinanced with long-term tax-exempt municipal bonds at the completion of the development and the commencement of construction, Coombs said.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nuscale-receives-first-phase-design-approval-for-small-modular-reactor/522488/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 04, 2018, 06:30:47 PM
Before they build a factory they're going to have to build at least one prototype and test it for a few years.  Last news I read stated they hope to have one working reactory by 2025. 

In nuclear time that would make it close to 2030 before they would likely be able to start building a factory.  And before obtaining financing for a factory it seems like they would need to prove a market for their reactors.

Who's going to agree to purchase their first reactors which are likely to be very expensive?  Wind and solar are likely to be $0.02/kWh or less by then.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: rboyd on May 04, 2018, 09:39:05 PM
Agreed, nuclear's time has passed but that fact takes some time to get through the political bureaucracy that protects the Nuclear Industrial Complex. Ontario, Canada is a great example - planning to spend about $30 billion refurbishing nuclear plants rather than buy cheap renewable energy from neighbouring Quebec.

I feel that China is just trying to build anything that doesn't produce air pollution to fuel their continued exponential growth - they are all in on solar, wind, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on May 04, 2018, 11:51:45 PM
Agreed, nuclear's time has passed but that fact takes some time to get through the political bureaucracy that protects the Nuclear Industrial Complex. Ontario, Canada is a great example - planning to spend about $30 billion refurbishing nuclear plants rather than buy cheap renewable energy from neighbouring Quebec.
But we should note that after a request for tenders on new nuclear plants for Ontario they decided they would not waste money building new. Refurbishing is an expensive attempt to avoid the frighteningly expensive exercise of shutting down and cleaning up the old nuclear plants while hoping renewables gradually get built in time to replace ancient nuclear plants.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 05, 2018, 07:09:33 PM
U.S.:  Nevada

Vote likely next week on bill to resume Yucca Mountain licensing process
Quote
PAHRUMP — Legislation that would allow the Department of Energy to resume its license application process to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain could see a House vote this week — a prospect that was met Thursday with mixed reaction in Nevada.

A bill approved last year by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to jump-start the licensing process is being reviewed by the Rules Committee, and the legislation will move to the floor next week when Congress returns from a weeklong recess.

The legislation would streamline the process to open Yucca Mountain to store nuclear waste and address the stockpile of spent fuel being stored at power plants across the country.

“We owe it to the 121 communities across 39 states, as well as to every American taxpayer forced to shoulder the daily $2.2 million burden of inaction, to get this done,” said Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and John Shimkus, R-Ill., in a joint statement. ...
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/vote-likely-next-week-on-bill-to-resume-yucca-mountain-licensing-process/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: TerryM on May 05, 2018, 09:50:49 PM
If a Republican House passes that bill, Nevada will vote in Democrats by about the same percentage as California.
Being against the Nuclear Depository is the first requirement for winning an election in Nevada.
Terry

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 06, 2018, 12:36:18 AM
Quote
There are hundreds of examples of where the IAEA confirms the inherent proven safety features of operating and planned GenIV nuclear reactors.

There are words on paper.  There are opinions.  Not until some GenIV ideas are built and tested will we know if those claims are true.

The nuclear industry has a terrible record of promising and not delivering.  For 50+ years they have promised affordable electricity only to see the cost increase.  The pebble bed reactor was supposed to be passively safe but Germany almost melted theirs down.  The AP1000 was supposed to solve the cost problem but it failed.

The nuclear industry has no credibility.

There is no credible explanation as to how GenIV might make "cheap" electricity.  The global mean unsubsidized price for nuclear in 2017 was $0.14/kWh.  Wind and solar are on their way to $0.02/kWh.  That means that a GenIV would have to cost at least 5x less per MW than a GenIII reactor.  Cut a mature technology cost by 80%?  Tell me another....

Quote
Dr James Hansen (ex-NASA-GISS) has a well balanced evidence based view about Nuclear energy combined with renewable energy growth being useful and likely essential to curtail ongoing global warming.

Jim Hansen is a climate expert but an energy idiot.  He's finally had to give up his claim that RE can't power the world without nuclear.  A stand he took when he waded into the energy field without even a cursory read of the literature.  There were multiple papers supporting a non-nuclear RE grid at the time.

There is nothing unique and beneficial that nuclear brings to the grid.  Nuclear brings its own integration problems along with very high cost and unique dangers.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 06, 2018, 01:36:47 AM
Powering desalination plants 24/7 isn't a requirement. We can store water cheaply, and indeed storage is often integral to our distribution systems.

Desalination is a load that pairs well with demand response systems -- even better than oil refining or glassmaking or aluminium smelting. Desalinate when power is cheap, stop when the price goes up. And that means it's a great load to match with inflexible systems like wind, solar, or nuclear.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 06, 2018, 02:17:05 AM
What happens after Japan abandons nukes?  Coal not renewables take over and CO2 emissions rise!

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/bucking-global-trends-japan-again-embraces-coal-power

Most of the world is turning its back on burning coal to produce electricity, but not Japan. The nation has fired up at least eight new coal power plants in the past 2 years and has plans for an additional 36 over the next decade—the biggest planned coal power expansion in any developed nation (not including China and India). And last month, the government took a key step toward locking in a national energy plan that would have coal provide 26% of Japan's electricity in 2030 and abandons a previous goal of slashing coal's share to 10%.

A yet-to-be-published Greenpeace study concludes that if the plants operate for 40 years, they would also emit pollutants that would cause more than 60,000 premature deaths.


40 years ago I went to a presentation by State Energy Engineers who stated that nuclear was the only replacement for fossil fuel electricity generation if hydro is not available.

Just 10 years later France proved the engineers correct when completing the transition from fossil fuels to nuclear.

30 years later this French demonstration model remains the only ever successful transition to low carbon fuels that has resulted in low CO2 emissions.

For the past 30 years just three countries, Norway, Sweden and France have consistently generated low emissions electricity.  All use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both.

https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/16058-drax-cms-production/documents/Report_PDF---Q3-2017.pdf

Facts not political beliefs must drive CO2 emission reduction decision making if we are to be successful.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 06, 2018, 02:46:06 AM
Quote
What happens after Japan abandons nukes?  Coal not renewables take over and CO2 emissions rise!

Japan could easily power itself with offshore wind.  A French company, Ideol, is teaming up with Acacia Renewables to develop Japan's first commercial-scale floating wind farm.

Japan hasn't yet started residential rooftop solar. 

Coal was a short term solution but Japan does not want to be a contributor to climate change.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 06, 2018, 03:04:01 AM
Quote
30 years later this French demonstration model remains the only ever successful transition to low carbon fuels that has resulted in low CO2 emissions.

For the past 30 years just three countries, Norway, Sweden and France have consistently generated low emissions electricity.  All use nuclear or hydro or a combination of both.

Portugal is now having lots of fossil fuel days.  44% of Portugal's electricity in 2017 came from renewables.

n 1972, 92% of Denmark's energy consumption came from imported oil.  Denmark developed its own NG and built its first wind farm.  Denmark generated 43.6% of its electricity consumption with wind in 2017.

Be honest, Tom.  France did not install nuclear in order to have a low carbon footprint.  France, like Denmark was caught up in the OPEC oil crunch and turned to what was the most affordable for them at the time.  For France is was nuclear.  For Denmark it was NG. 

France solved their last century, pre-climate change problem with nuclear but now that approach no longer makes sense.  France is looking to replace at least a third of their nuclear fleet with renewables because the cost of maintaining those reactors is causing their wholesale cost of electricity to be expensive.

Norway is 95% hydro. 

In 2017 Sweden generated 57% of its electricity with hydro and wind.  And Sweden has set a goal of 100% RE by 2040.  They're dumping their nuclear.  Four of the country’s 10 nuclear reactors are currently being phased out due to high operating costs.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: ghoti on May 06, 2018, 03:13:35 AM
Let's not forget that new small reactors which were thought to be safe turned out to not act like the models predicted. Theory doesn't always work out in practice. Read the story about Canada's MAPLE reactors which were designed to replace the aging NRU in Chalk River.

This isn't a write up by some anti-nuke cranks:

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-AECL_halts_development_of_MAPLE_project-1905082.html
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on May 08, 2018, 06:26:11 AM
First Energy outta luck: PJM sez three of their nukes unneeded for reliability.

"undercuts a key argument from FirstEnergy and its allies — that allowing at-risk coal and nuclear plants to retire in wholesale power markets would undercut the reliability and resilience of the grid. "

"If they do not win emergency support from the DOE, the Davis Besse plant will retire at the end of May 2020, while the Perry plant and one unit of Beaver Island would come offline at the end of May 2021. The final unit at Beaver is scheduled to close in October 2021. "

Lot of jobs gone.

Davis Besse is a disaster, get rid of it quick, problems for a long time. Decommission will b horrible.

sidd
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 08, 2018, 08:55:57 AM
Quote

Be honest, Tom.  France did not install nuclear in order to have a low carbon footprint.  France, like Denmark was caught up in the OPEC oil crunch and turned to what was the most affordable for them at the time.  For France is was nuclear.  For Denmark it was NG.

I thought the objective was to reduce CO2 emissions.  It does not matter why a country has moved to a successful low carbon technology. 

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 08, 2018, 10:46:02 AM
Tom, had France built their nukes with the goal of lowering their carbon footprint then we should applaud them.

But France did not build their reactors for that reason.  They did it for "national security".  They built reactors in order to escape OPEC's control.  And they chose nuclear because they had no affordable coal supply leaving nuclear their least expensive option.

France gave themselves a low carbon footprint by accident.  That has been beneficial for the planet in that it has cause a lesser amount of coal to be burned.  But France nas not earned a place on a pedestal because what they did was an unexpected consequence.

Paraguay produces 10x as much electricity as the country consumes using hydro.  Paraguay has a low carbon footprint but it is also accidental. 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Neven on May 08, 2018, 11:07:32 AM
And let's not forget that France has a huge decommissioning problem, that will be very costly, once they figure out how to do it (they still don't know after 30 years).

Of course, when they built the reactors, AGW wasn't on the radar yet. Like Bob says, it was to reduce dependence on oil.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bernard on May 08, 2018, 11:35:26 AM
And let's not forget that France has a huge decommissioning problem, that will be very costly, once they figure out how to do it (they still don't know after 30 years).

Indeed! Just to figure, look at the history of the still unfinished decommissioning of Brennilis site.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Site_nucléaire_de_Brennilis 
(the English WP article is very sketchy).
It was a "small" experimental nuclear plant (70 MWe) which was in production from 1967 to 1985. It was the first one to enter a "full decommissionning" process started in 1985, and far from over 33 years later. The process has been facing a endless list of technical and legal issues. That's giving an idea of the time frame and cost of decommissioning of the remaining 60 or so reactors. So far six of them have started the process (including Brennilis).
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 08, 2018, 01:19:09 PM
As with tombond, I don’t get why we care about France’s motivation for building nuclear plants.

Clearly nuclear power has reduced CO2 emissions compared to coal, oil, or gas. At the same time as nuclear was getting built out in France, other countries built hydro with long-distance transmission — far cheaper but not available everywhere. Those were the two clean options at the time. Now there’s new options with solar and wind.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: oren on May 08, 2018, 01:35:14 PM
The issue is simple - if it's not affordable, nobody's gonna do it just for saving the planet. It's sad but it's reality. So if France's motivation was saving money, everyone would have followed them a long time ago. But their motivation was different, and their achievement - decarbonizing an entire country's electricity system using nuclear - remained unique.
Edit reason: clarification following numerobis' comment.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 08, 2018, 04:28:40 PM
Their achievement was replicated in many places: utilities around the world (outside OPEC) switched from oil to other things. Hydro where it could be built; coal and nuclear elsewhere, plus R&D projects in wind, tidal, geothermal, etc.

Coal and nuclear share a lot of attributes, such as that the plant is quite expensive and ramping power up and down is hard on it; the fuel is pretty cheap (nuclear is cheaper than coal, but both are far cheaper than oil and gas were at the time); and they need lots of cooling water but otherwise can be built almost anywhere.

Modern coal plants also have a tendency of going over budget, for largely the same reasons as modern nuclear plants: they are big, complicated construction projects. The bigger you build these plants, the more efficient they are, but also the more likely you'll hit problems in construction.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on May 10, 2018, 02:30:51 AM
Notice the reoccurring theme.

Germany is missing its emissions targets
Thanks to a panicked decision to shut its nuclear plants, Germany is a carbon laggard
https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21731171-thanks-panicked-decision-shut-its-nuclear-plants-germany-carbon-laggard-germany

Japan's coal plant construction plans, which could add a possible 17 GW of coal power, remain a concern and pose a serious risk to the government's future mitigation efforts. We project that the coal share could further increase to 34% by 2030 from 32% in 2015 if the nuclear reintroduction fails without a further push for renewables. Coal could add about 100 MtCO2e a year to Japan's emissions.
https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/japan/

USA Renewable energy won’t be able to make up for the loss of carbon-free electricity resulting from a wave of nuclear-power plant closures in the coming decades, according to a new report released today by environmental group Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
https://www.axios.com/environmental-group-nuclear-power-key-to-cutting-carbon-emissions-1525807826-19e34d74-1475-468e-a327-a525b522d5c8.html

Nuclear, renewables to help French CO2 reduction goals, Macron says

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he would not follow Germany’s example by phasing out nuclear energy in France because his priority was to cut carbon emissions and shut down polluting coal-fired production.

“What did the Germans do when they shut all their nuclear in one go?,” Macron said.
“They developed a lot of renewables but they also massively reopened thermal and coal. They worsened their CO2 footprint, it wasn’t good for the planet. So I won’t do that.”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-macron-nuclear/nuclear-renewables-to-help-french-co2-reduction-goals-macron-says-idUSKBN1EB0TZ

French electricity CO2 emissions are one of the lowest in the world on the Drax low cabon league table.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/15/carbon-tax-thrusts-britain-towards-top-low-carbon-energy-league/
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 10, 2018, 03:02:47 AM
Notice the recurring theme.

Nuclear is getting more expensive.

(https://vgy.me/98p5Vy.png)

Nuclear is dying out.

(https://vgy.me/lov4yJ.png)

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on May 10, 2018, 03:09:23 AM
German emissions from the electrical sector have not increased, they’ve decreased!
https://www.energy-charts.de/emissions.htm?source=lignite&view=absolute&emission=co2&year=all

Renewables grew faster than nuclear fell over the past decade. The year a nuclear plant closes, coal picks up some of the slack, but coal capacity factors are falling overall.

Where Germany is missing targets is the transport sector — mainly cars. That’s still trending up.

I agree prematurely shutting down nuclear plants is foolish.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Ken Feldman on May 10, 2018, 06:28:04 PM
The big problem for nuclear is that there's no price on carbon emissions.  So nuclear's big advantage (carbon free power) is negated.

Due to cost, utilities are building wind, solar and natural gas power plants in free market economies.  A few nukes have been started in Europe and the US, but the cost has skyrocketed after construction started and the inevitable construction delays have occurred.  With the cost of renewables and natural gas plants coming down, it remains to be seen if those plants will be completed.

In a few countries with State controlled economies (China and the mid-east), new nukes are being ordered.  With cheap labor they can be somewhat competitive, but even in semi-free market economies like India, nukes are being priced out.

In the US, when a nuke needs major repairs, more often than not the utility will shut it down as other options have become cheaper.

Gen IV plants may come online before nuclear fusion plants are commercially viable.  Place your bets!

TLDR:  Too cheap to meter has become too expensive too matter.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: sidd on May 29, 2018, 01:48:37 AM
Nuclear capacity takes a hit in PJM auction:


"The 2021/2022 Base Residual Auction cleared about 20,000 MW of nuclear power, PJM Vice President Stu Bressler told reporters Wednesday, while last year’s auction cleared about 27,400 MW.

Analysts had expected cleared nuclear capacity to decrease, Bressler noted, saying the 7,400 MW drop was “less than some of the expectations I saw as far as nuclear risk.”  "

"It is the fourth year running that TMI did not clear ..."

The surviving reactor at Three Mile Islandis not long for this world.

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/pjm-loses-a-quarter-of-its-nuke-capacity-in-latest-power-auction/524247/

www.pjm.com/-/media/markets-ops/rpm/rpm-auction-info/2021-2022/2021-2022-base-residual-auction-report.ashx?la=en

sidd

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 29, 2018, 08:31:08 PM
Here’s a piece on how the PJM Capacity Auction works:

How a Capacity Market Works
Quote
Pretend that the grid operator had to meet 550 megawatts of demand. This is absurdly low of course, it’s closer to 170,000 in PJM, but the process is much easier to imagine with smaller numbers. The grid operator will hold then hold an auction to try to get the 550 megawatts of demand met at the lowest cost to consumers.

So then every resource bids into the auction in at its total cost of operation. In our hypothetical auction below, I’ve arranged the stack from lowest to highest cost bids, and drawn a line at the point where enough capacity has been acquired to meet demand.

As you can see [below], the cheapest resource is one wind turbine bidding in 50 MW of capacity at $30 per MW. But wait! Just because they bid in $30 per MW, that does not mean that the turbine receives 30 per MW. All it means is that the wind turbine is now committed to have 50 MW of power available in 3 years from now. Looking further up the stack, another turbine bids in 50 MW at $50 per MW. Even higher up the stack, you can see efficiency bid into the auction at $130 per MW, and a coal plant bid in at  $150 per MW.

So what compensation do they receive? In this example, all of the resources, including the wind turbine at the bottom, receive $150 per MW. This is called the “clearing price,” and it is set by the most expensive unit needed to meet demand. In this case, that is the coal plant (shown in orange).

This is important to understanding the dynamics between different resources in the market.

In this example, efficiency actually displaced a coal plant (shown in purple) whose total cost of operation was $160 per MW. Think about it this way; if efficiency had not bid into the market, then demand would have been 100 MW higher and that coal plant would have to be called on to meet demand. Then the clearing price would have been $160 per MW.

...

The other story here is that in capacity markets, lower cost resources can have the effect of suppressing prices for all of the resources since they ensure that demand can be met at a lower cost. For utilities who own lots of expensive generation, this is bad for business. For a company who owns lower cost resources, it is good. Consumers always benefit from lower prices. ...
http://www.theenergycollective.com/adamjames/237496/energy-nerd-lunch-break-how-capacity-market-works-and-why-it-matters
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: tombond on June 04, 2018, 03:17:31 AM
It seems unbelievable but Germany is now working to increase CO2 emissions beyond its borders. 

Not content with its own failure to significantly decrease emissions it is now coming after its neighbors’ nuclear reactors.

https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-nuclear-energy-belgium-doel-tihange-targets-the-atom/amp/

The facts are simple, stark and uncompromising.

70 years ago CO2 levels were just over 300ppm, today they are just over 400ppm a rise of 100ppm, the fastest rise in the geological record.

The last time CO2 levels were 400ppm, was 3 million years ago when global temperatures were 2C to 3C higher and sea levels were 15 metres to 25 metres higher than today so by any measure this is a serious issue.

The highest priority for human civilisation has to be reducing CO2 emissions to near zero ASAP.

After almost 20 years installing 100GW of intermittent renewables that incur annual subsidies of 24 billion euros, German electricity CO2 emissions are still 500g/kWh.

https://www.reuters.com/article/germany-power-explainer/explainer-german-electricity-costliest-in-europe-en-route-to-decarbonisation-idUSL8N1PE3TG

Page 26 in  https://www.agora-energiewende.de/fileadmin/Projekte/2018/Jahresauswertung_2017/Agora_Jahresauswertung-2017.pdf

Germany continues to prove that a large build out of intermittent renewables does not mean lower CO2 emissions.

There has only ever been one successful transition from fossil fuels to non-carbon fuels that resulted in low CO2 emissions.

France reduced electricity emissions by 80%, from 500g/kWh in 1971 to just 100g/kWh in 1987 by replacing their fossil fuel generating capacity with nuclear. 

For the past 30 years France has consistently emitted the 3rd lowest electricity emissions in the world and consistently less than 100g/kWh.  Only Norway (hydro) and Sweden (nuclear and hydro) are lower.

No other country has reduced overall emissions to less than 100g/kWh for electricity generation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/11/15/carbon-tax-thrusts-britain-towards-top-low-carbon-energy-league/

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 04, 2018, 06:27:18 AM
Solid proof that Germany has not decreased its CO2 emissions....

(https://vgy.me/9GEyjK.png)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on June 04, 2018, 11:48:08 AM
Maybe start mitigating instead of pushing nuclear or growth as solutions? Hopefully viewable elsewhere as well:
https://urplay.se/program/205843-ur-samtiden-baltic-sea-future-stabilitet-eller-kaos-vagval-for-klimatet (https://urplay.se/program/205843-ur-samtiden-baltic-sea-future-stabilitet-eller-kaos-vagval-for-klimatet)
Also adding four screenshots.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=101743;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=101744;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=101745;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=101746;image)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: numerobis on June 04, 2018, 02:21:53 PM
You do realize that:
Quote
There has only ever been one successful transition from fossil fuels to non-carbon fuels that resulted in low CO2 emissions.

And:
Quote
Only Norway (hydro) and Sweden (nuclear and hydro) are lower.

Are direct contradictions of each other, right?

This map shows that there are in fact many places with clean electric grids, not just France. Most of them are on hydro plus a smidgen of wind and solar.
https://www.electricitymap.org

Of course wind, solar and batteries haven’t yet displaced entire grids’ worth of fossil fuels like hydro and nuclear have — they’re much newer technologies to have at scale. Wind has been growing at about the speed that nuclear started up, solar is growing rather faster. Installation of intermittent renewables has dramatically reduced diesel use on various islands, and it’s reduced coal in China relative to if there were no renewables to use.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on June 04, 2018, 02:39:10 PM
I would rather express it like this:
Quote
There has never been one successful transition from fossil fuels to non-carbon fuels that resulted in required CO2 emissions.

Edit; crossposting here as well.
Renewables 2018 Global Status Report
http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/ (http://www.ren21.net/status-of-renewables/global-status-report/)

https://twitter.com/Oliver_Geden/status/1003565372258377728 (https://twitter.com/Oliver_Geden/status/1003565372258377728)
Quote
Result is obvious but not known by most policymakers, journalists & public: #Renewables volume has drastically increased, but share in overall energy consumption hasn't. See @REN21 numbers for 2006 (note that accounting methods have changed since) http://www.ren21.net/renewables-2007-global-status-report/ … #GSR2018

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101757;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101759;image)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=256.0;attach=101760;image)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 04, 2018, 06:33:28 PM
Sometime during the previous century I became aware of and concerned about climate change.  At that point I began to wonder how we might be able to stop using fossil fuels and move to clean electricity and transportation.

At the time wind was incredibly expensive ($0.39/kWh) as were solar panels ($12/watt).  Nuclear, was the least expensive low carbon way to generate electricity.  Hydro and geothermal might have been less expensive but too resource limited. 

With low carbon electricity from nuclear we might be able to perfect fuel cells enough to allow driving with hydrogen.

But moving to nuclear generated electricity and FCEVs would have meant higher electricity rates and transportation costs.  Which led me to trying to figure out how to get people to accept paying more when concern over climate change was very limited.

Having been involved in trying to get people to adopt less wasteful, organic lifestyles since the 1960s I couldn't generate much hope.  Most people won't spend money or effort on things that don't benefit them immediately.  People, in general, were not likely to spend money on something to benefit their yet unborn grandchildren.

Then the cost of renewables began to drop.  It became clear that renewables were going to become less expensive than nuclear.  So my thinking shifted from how do we get people to pay more for nuclear to how do we get people to pay more, but not as much more, to switch to renewable energy.  At that point I left nuclear behind.

Now we've reached the point at which wind and solar have become our two least expensive ways to generate.  As we add renewables to grids we should see the cost of electricity drop (or at least not rise as fast as the inflation rate). 

(https://vgy.me/DY6oGe.png)

We are now (post 2015) in a new reality.  One in which renewables are replacing fossil fuels based on cost alone.  The external costs of health damage and climate change don't even need to be factored in. 

Renewables have dropped in cost while the cost of nuclear has risen.  It makes no sense to consider nuclear based on cost alone.  We don't even need to consider the possibility of a nuclear disaster or the unsolved problem of safe storage of nuclear waste.

Nuclear is dying.  Globally a large majority of reactors are aging out and new reactors are not being built in adequate numbers to replace them.

(https://vgy.me/Fk2yxn.png)

It's unlikely we'll ever see another reactor built in North America or western Europe.  South Korea is unlikely to build more.  Only China and Russia are likely to build more than one or two reactors going forward.  Some countries will probably need to build a reactor in order to prove to themselves that nuclear simply is a bad economic decision as has just happened in the US (South Carolina and Georgia).

This development seems to bring a lot of grief to a handful of individuals who, for some reason I can't fathom, have placed their faith in the future of energy firmly in nuclear.  For some reason they can't look at numbers that clearly show nuclear to be doomed and adjust their opinion.

Wind and solar are expected to continue to drop in price to the point at which electricity from wind and solar farms will cost only a bit more than the cost of fuel for a nuclear reactor.  There is simply no physical way to lower the cost of a nuclear plant to allow nuclear to become competitive.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 04, 2018, 07:44:36 PM
The decommissioning cost for the Oyster Point reactor which is shutting down has just been announced.  $1.4 billion.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/06/03/oyster-creek-shutdown-will-cost-1-4-billion-take-60-years/

It is anticipated to take 60 years to complete so make what you will of the $1.4 billion estimate.

For $1.4 billion we could install 1,296 MW of single-axis solar ($1.08/watt).

At 30% CF those panels would be the equivalent of 389 MW of "always on" generation.

Oyster Point is a 636 MW reactor.  At 90% CF that would be the "always on" equivalent of 572 MW generation.

$1.4 billion invested in solar would buy us 68% as much generation as the cost of shutting down Oyster Point.  Just the cost of decommissioning.

 
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: jacksmith4tx on June 04, 2018, 08:01:01 PM
For some reason there has been a big reset on energy policy WRT US and China.
In the last 3 days there has been a massive shift to increase emissions. Trump's move was predictable but the Chinese surprised me.
Trump commands utilities to use more coal (at a market premium!).
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/how-trumps-soviet-style-coal-directive-would-upend-power-markets/524906/
China just slashed wholesale solar power prices and cut future building by up to 30%.
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/06/04/china-2018-installations-could-drop-by-more-than-a-third/

Looks like we can toss those low end emission forecasts.
I predict there will be a big price drop in PV modules followed by a huge plunge in inventory that will take years to rebuild. The US will loose 50% of it's domestic manufacturing capacity when this cycle bottoms out.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: silkman on June 04, 2018, 11:08:18 PM
It's unlikely we'll ever see another reactor built in North America or western Europe.

Unfortunately Bob, you're incorrect. The UK government is committed to Hinkley Point C and EDF has started construction of a pair of EPR reactors despite the fact that no one has yet managed to get one of these complex 20th century dinosaurs to generate a single kW of power anywhere in the world. Worse, should they succeed in solving the technical challenges UK consumers will have to pay an indexed massive premium on the 2013 wholesale price which is already way above the cost of solar and off-shore wind power for 35 years.

At the same time, management of the legacy our Magnox reactors at Calder Hall continues to cost billions.

Finally, the May government has today agreed Heads of Terms with Hitachi for a further project at Wylfa with more in the pipeline:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/04/uk-takes-5bn-stake-in-welsh-nuclear-power-station-in-policy-u-turn

Smart grid, V2G, insulate our ageing housing stock? Forget it - build baby build!
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2018, 12:50:28 AM
I thought of that after I posted.  But then I decided that since the UK is removing itself from Europe the UK should be considered a group of islands off the coast of Europe.   :D

Hinkley construction has already started.  I'll give it a 50:50 chance of being completed.  And I'll set the odds of further nuclear builds a lot closer to zero as UK citizens change governments.

Will the London government be able to shove some of the Hinkley costs onto Scotland?  If not, imagine living in England, watching your electricity costs go up, and looking across the boarder to see electricity costs declining.

We're in the transition.  Some people and governments are more fact sensitive than others.  Some are moving  rapidly to cheaper renewables, some may have to build one more reactor in order to get a clue, and some are trying to run back to the previous century.  (I'm looking at us, US.)
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: jacksmith4tx on June 05, 2018, 01:16:44 AM
Hi Bob,
I noticed Toshiba withdrew from the South Texas Nuclear Expansion last week after they had already dumped all their Westinghouse assets. I wonder how this affects plans for new nuclear plants?
I posted something about a significant shift in energy policy but it got stuck in moderation.
In a nutshell, The US is considering forcing utilities to buy coal and nuclear power and China slashed their PV pipeline and cut their FIT rates (is this an effect of the tariffs?
Unless something changes it looks like we are going over 1.5c.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on June 05, 2018, 05:43:00 AM
Unfortunately, there's a whole planet out there.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx (http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx)

Countries with existing nuclear power programs

Argentina has three operating reactors and nascent plans for two units to be constructed by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).

In Armenia construction is planned to start on a new reactor in 2018 following government approval in May 2014.

Bulgaria is planning to build a large new reactor at Kozloduy.

In Brazil construction of the country's third unit is ongoing following the signing of an agreement with CNNC in September 2017.

In China, now with 38 operating reactors on the mainland, the country is well into the growth phase of its nuclear power program. There were eight new grid connections in 2015, and five in 2016. 20 more reactors are under construction, including the world's first Westinghouse AP1000 units, and a demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant. Many more units are planned, including two largely indigenous designs – the Hualong One and CAP1400. China aims to have more nuclear capacity than any country except the USA and France by 2020.

In the Czech Republic the government remains strongly committed to new nuclear capacity. Talks were held in early 2017 with parties interested in constructing new units in the country.

In Finland, construction is under way on a fifth, very large reactor which is expected to come online in 2019, and plans are progressing for another large one to follow it.

France is building a similar 1600 MWe unit at Flamanville, for operation from 2019.

India has 22 reactors in operation, and six under construction. This includes two large Russian reactors and a large prototype fast breeder reactor as part of its strategy to develop a fuel cycle which can utilise thorium. Nineteen further units are planned, and proposals for more – including western and Russian designs – are taking shape following the lifting of nuclear trade restrictions.

In Iran a 1000 MWe PWR at Bushehr began commercial operation in September 2013, and further units are planned.

Japan has two reactors under construction.

Pakistan has two Chinese ACP1000 reactors under construction.

Romania's second power reactor started up in 2007, and plans are being implemented for two further units to be built there.

In Russia, several reactors and two small ones are under construction, and one recently put into operation is a large fast neutron reactor. About 25 further reactors are then planned, some to replace existing plants. This will increase the country's present nuclear power capacity significantly by 2030. In addition about 5 GW of nuclear thermal capacity is planned. A small floating power plant is expected to be commissioned by 2019 and others are expected to follow.

Slovakia is completing two 440 MWe units at Mochovce, to operate from 2018.

South Korea plans to bring a further three reactors into operation by 2019. All of these are advanced PWRs of 1400 MWe. These APR1400 designs have evolved from a US design which has US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) design certification, and four have been sold to the UAE (see below).

In the UK, 11 units are planned, including four 1670 MWe EPR units, four 1380 MWe ABWR units and three 1135 MWe AP1000 units.

In the USA, there are plans for two new reactors, beyond the two under construction now.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2018, 06:14:29 AM
Some of those reactors your list probably will not be constructed.  Plans don't count.  Many are planned but never built. 

Unless something has happened recently China has not approved a new reactor in the last couple of years.  China may or may not break ground on a few reactors this year.  It's kind of coming down to China, Russia and India.  Both China and India are putting a lot more resources into renewables than nuclear so we might see them slow, or even stop, new reactor builds within the next few years. 

Finland and France.  Boondoggles.  Olkiluoto 3 is more than a decade past target date and at least 5 billion euros over budget.  Flamaville's cost initially set at €3.3 billion is now expected to be more than €10 billion.  The reactor was supposed to be online in 2012.  Very recently more problems were detected extending the start date to sometime in the future.

But even if most of the reactors on your list were built there are more reactors scheduled to close than are listed.  The global nuclear fleet is shrinking.

And the bulk of aging out reactors is stumbling toward the grave.  We're looking out only seven years to 2025 right now.  By 2025 things may be looking very bleak for nuclear.

Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Sleepy on June 05, 2018, 06:24:15 AM
Your words count even less, Bob.
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2018, 06:32:38 AM
You don't have to take my word for it.  Here's what the nuclear industry has said about upcoming closures (modified some from the original publication and changes were announced).

Global Nuclear Reactors Scheduled to be Closed by the End of 2025

September 23, 2017

Country Totals and Cumulative Count in Parentheses

( 7) Belgium
Doel 1  2025
Doel 2  2025
Doel 3  2022
Doel 4  2025
Tihange 1   2025
Tihange 2   2023
Tihange 3   2025

 (+10 = 17) Canada
Pickering A1  2022
Pickering A4  2022
Pickering B5  2024
Pickering B6  2024
Pickering B7  2024
Pickering B8  2024
Darlington 1  2025
Darlington 2  2025
Darlington 3  2025
Darlington 4  2025


(+3 = 20) Czech Republic
Dukovany 1   indefinite
Dukovany 2     2017
Temelin 1     2020
Temelin 2      2022

(+17 = 37) France
Expected to close one-third of their reactors by 2025.

(+9 = 43) Germany
Germany has scheduled all remaining reactors to close by 2022

(+7 = 50) Japan
Fukushima II-2  2024
Ikata 2  2022
Onagawa 1   2024
Sendai 1  2024
Sendai 2  2025
Takahama 3  2025
Takahama 4  2025

(+1 = 51) Pakistan
Karachi 1   2019

(+10 = 61) Russia
Beloyarsk 3     2025
Bilibino 1-4  2021
Kursk 1 2022
Kursk 2  2024
Leningrad 1  2019
Leningrad 2     2021
Leningrad 3  2025


(+2 = 63) Slovakia
Bohunice V2-1  2024
Bohunice V2-2  2025

(+2 = 65) South Africa
Koeberg 1  2024
Koeberg 2  2025

(+4 = 69) South Korea
Kori 2  2023
Wolsong 1  2022
Kori 3     2024
Kori 4  2025

(+6 = 63)Spain  (Licenses Expire)
Almaraz 2  2020
Asco  2021
Asco 2  2021
Cofrentes  2021
Trillo  2024
Vandellòs 2  2020

(+2 = 65) Sweden
Ringhals 1   2020
Ringhals 2   2019

(+3 = 68) Switzerland
Beznau 1  2019 (or 2030)
Beznau 2  2021 (or 2031)
Mühleberg 2019   

(+9 = 73)  Ukraine
Khmelnitski 1  2018
Rivne/Rovno 3  2017
South Ukraine 1 2023   
South Ukraine 2   2025
South Ukraine 3   2019
Zaporozhe 1  2025
Zaporozhe 3 2017
Zaporozhe 4  2018
Zaporozhe 5 2019


(+8 = 81) UK
Hartlepool 1&2  2024
Heysham I 1&2  2024
Hinkley Point B 1&2  2023
Hunterston B 1&2   2023


The World Nuclear Association does not total US reactors scheduled to close.

(+11 = 92)  US
Oyster Creek  2018
Palisades  2018
Pilgrim  2019
Three Mile Island I  2019
Davis-Besse  2020
Perry  2021
Beaver Valley  2021
Indian Point  2021
Palisades  2022
Diablo Canyon I  2024
Diablo Canyon II  2025

France has changed their plans since the WNA list was created in September 2017.  France is apparently going to first replace their coal plants with renewables and then close reactors so the total at the moment is more likely 77. 

Expect more to be added over the next six years. 

Data Source
http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles.aspx
Title: Re: Nuclear Power
P