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THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Coal Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Zarquon » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 00:00:53

Sorry, maybe I misunderstood these:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/edf- ... -z3dgd6tb0

"The French state group building Britain’s new nuclear plant does not have enough cash to dismantle its domestic reactors, according to an official study. A French parliamentary committee said that EDF would need a public bailout to meet the cost of closing ageing power stations. The warning was issued after unions expressed fury about an announcement that EDF plans to cut 3,900 jobs in France over the next three years. Jean-Marc Sylvestre, an economics commentator, said that the group was on the “edge of a precipice” and faced a choice between privatisation and bankruptcy. He described EDF’s situation as a “catastrophe foretold”. EDF’ s critics say that the company, which has debts of more than 37 billion euros lacks the financial resources to meet its commitments in France, let alone embark upon the Hinkley Point scheme. Their concerns were fuelled with the publication of a report by the committee for sustainable development, which accused EDF of failing to plan for the dismantling of its plants. EDF has set aside has 36 billion euros to pay to clean up reactors at the end of their working lives."

https://nuclear-news.net/category/2-wor ... orld-area/

"A French Parliamentary report from the National Assembly’s Commission for Sustainable Development and Regional Development says the clean-up of French reactors will take longer, be more challenging and cost much more than French nuclear operator EDF anticipates. Whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, and the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority estimates that clean-up of UK’s 17 nuclear sites will cost between €109?250 billion over the next 120 years, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommissioning its 58 reactors. In other words France estimates it will cost €300 million per gigawatt (GW) of generating capacity to decommission a nuclear reactor, Germany estimates €1.4 billion per GW and the UK estimates €2.7 billion per GW.

EDF says it wants to set aside a €23 billion fund to cover decommissioning and waste storage for an estimated €54 billion final bill - and the difference between these two figures will be closed through the appreciating value of its equities, bonds and investments - in other words, ‘discounting’. Unfortunately, recent experience has taught us that markets can go up and down over time - especially the very long-time periods involved in radioactive waste management. But for a company that has huge borrowings and an enormous debt of €37 billion, €23 billion is a large sum of money to find. Any significant change in the cost of decommissioning would have an immediate and disastrous impact on EDFs credit rating - something that the debt-ridden corporation can simply not afford. EDF is already in financial trouble. Along with bailing out collapsing AREVA, EDF also has to bear the huge financial burden of the failing reactor newbuild at Flamanville. It will also have to pay for extending the life of France’s existing nuclear power stations (to 2025), at a cost of €55 billion.

On top of all this the French authority tasked with disposal of all the countries vast and increasing waste burden (Andra) has recently ramped up the estimated cost for the planned national nuclear waste repository at Cigéo, to €25 billion - and EDF must pay for most of Cigéo’s construction. Although €5 billion more than EDF anticipated, it still seems a gross underestimation, and the costs are likely to rise considerably."

This one puts the mess in a larger perspective:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_a ... epens.html

"Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis.
..."
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 03:42:05

dissident wrote:Thanks for the information about the absurd financing model. But I am quite sure about the calandria cracking excuses since I personally heard them. The financing model was never used as an excuse. But I doubt it accounts for all the costs since the refurbishment is being tagged initially as 14 billion dollars. This means the final bill will be much higher and even accounting for inflation vs. 1980 this figure is insane.

If the workers were making $100,000 per year then you would need 14,000 of them working for 10 years to cost this much. There will not be even 1,000 of them and they will not work for 10 years. They must be using platinum and palladium by the ton.


What an odd way of looking at things, as if all the money will be spent on labor and none on the specialized highly tested and certified materials used in the refurbishing.
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Re: THE Coal Thread pt 3 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 04:30:12

Nope, you understood the propaganda message of the anti-nukes and bought into the narrative picture they drew you hook line and sinker. Things like the long term cost of waste storage are directly influenced by political opportunists who delay projects for no reason other than political expediency. Propagandists also love to stretch out timelines to make things appear either much cheaper or much more expensive than they are. If you claim nuclear waste has to be guarded forever then even at a cost a 1 euro a day forever adds up to a LOT of money.

Here is an example for you. What does 'clean up of a nuclear site' mean? In reality it means the spent nuclear fuel and easily portable waste are hauled off to facilities intended for those things. Then uncontaminated materials, steel scrap and machinery for the most part, is hauled away. Once all that is done which only requires a few months you have the reactor vessel and its containment structure plus the portions of the power production equipment that was 'contaminated'.

The next step is to put a padlock on the building and ignore it for 10-25 years depending on your planning and budget. Why? The remaining structures that are 'contaminated' are not going anywhere. It requires some pretty heavy duty work to do so and people notice when other people show up with heavy machinery and start tearing structures apart. By ignoring the 'contaminated' structures the residual radiation caused by neutron activation has time to decay away to nothing, and the longer you wait the less remaining radioactivity it has.

Finally 10-25 years after the 'contamination' has had time to decay away heavy machinery is brought in, the remaining structures are demolished and the very slightly radioactive steel and concrete is hauled away for permanent disposal. In 99 percent of cases you could move into the containment building a few months after they had hauled away all the portable materials and you would get a lower dose living inside their the rest of your natural lifespan than you would laying on the beach in Brazil for an hour a week during that same lifespan.

So what it costs to 'decontaminate' a nuclear site in the western way of doing things is a huge charge that is completely unnecessary for any location where normal practices were followed for the 60 year or less period the plant operated. Civilian radiation standards are insanely tight. For example a Nuclear worker is permitted to receive hundreds of times the civilian permitted dosage during a 40 year working career. With rare exception few workers ever receive those permitted levels of exposure. Yet the cancer rate for nuclear workers is much LESS than that of the general public who receive fractions of a percent of the permissible worker dose.

Politicians and anti-nuclear propagandists make all sorts of claims that are disproven by science constantly, and yet the anti-science left takes those claims at face value in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Then after accepting those disproven claims as truth the politicians use the propaganda to justify passing regulations and laws that reflect unfounded fear that place an enormous technological and financial burden on nuclear power suppliers. Meanwhile in countries where science is used instead of fear mongering the expense of nuclear power is much lower.

Take everyone's favorite anti-nuclear example of Chernobyl. A huge territory was marked off on maps by political fiat and declared unsuitable for human habitation 31 years ago. Since that time the governments of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have changed significantly. In Russia and Belarus actual scientists have tested the marked off territory and much of it has been found to be suitable for human habitation and put back into productive use. In the Ukraine on the other hand the political leadership from several different parties over that 31 years has used Chernobyl as a scapegoat. They use it to cry on the world stage about how poor they are and how badly they were treated under the former USSR regime and make tons of excuses about why they can't accomplish much of anything useful. Real world testing has shown that not only does a good slice of the 'exclusions zone' now meet reasonable exposure limits for human habitation, many locations that were never part of the zone have equal or stronger background dose rates. This is true for a few 'hot spots' inside the Ukraine but is especially true of places where tens of thousands of people live perfectly normal lives around the world. Iran, India and Brazil all have significant and populated areas with higher background radiation levels than most of the 'exclusion zone'. Propaganda says the 'exclusion zone' is unfit for human habitation forever, or at least a thousand years. Reality says most of it is as safe as anywhere else TODAY. What are you going to believe, the Propaganda, or the scientific reality?
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 10:00:00

Can I ask the nuclear advocates here, does the time and resources still exist for a wide scale transition to Nuclear especially the Fast breeder reactors? I ask because I have reluctantly concluded that nuclear seems now a necessary avenue to pursue to both power civilization and be more climate friendly in the process
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 11:49:04

Tanada wrote:
dissident wrote:Thanks for the information about the absurd financing model. But I am quite sure about the calandria cracking excuses since I personally heard them. The financing model was never used as an excuse. But I doubt it accounts for all the costs since the refurbishment is being tagged initially as 14 billion dollars. This means the final bill will be much higher and even accounting for inflation vs. 1980 this figure is insane.

If the workers were making $100,000 per year then you would need 14,000 of them working for 10 years to cost this much. There will not be even 1,000 of them and they will not work for 10 years. They must be using platinum and palladium by the ton.


What an odd way of looking at things, as if all the money will be spent on labor and none on the specialized highly tested and certified materials used in the refurbishing.


Labour costs are always invoked as the main portion of the expense. So it is your way of looking at it that is odd. How can labour costs be less than 1/14th of the total expense? Certified materials like gold and plantinum? Enriched uranium does not cost that much. The refurbishment would consist of fuel assembly replacement and control systems upgrades. Unless they want to replace the freaking calandria again. Neither the control systems nor the fuel assemblies could possibly cost almost $14 billion without any labour costs.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 11:54:08

onlooker wrote:Can I ask the nuclear advocates here, does the time and resources still exist for a wide scale transition to Nuclear especially the Fast breeder reactors? I ask because I have reluctantly concluded that nuclear seems now a necessary avenue to pursue to both power civilization and be more climate friendly in the process


Only if the Russian and possibly Chinese model is followed. That means realistic project prices and not racketeering as is clearly involved in all the major nuclear power construction projects in NATO. I know there is a lot of cognitive dissonance in seeing corruption in NATO since it is drilled into NATO citizens' heads from birth that no corruption exists in NATO. If a rinky dink refurbishment costs $14 billion then any reasonable collection of reactor plants would cost tens of trillions of dollars. In spite of the nominal GDP of NATO, there is not enough money to pay for such an absurdly expensive program. NATO would have to transition to WWII command economics to build up nuclear infrastructure.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 12:00:14

BTW, Canada's public sector spending is clearly corrupt. The gun registry computer expenses were $2 billion. Stop and think about this figure. No freaking registry requires TOP10 supercomputer capacity. You can register every potential gun owner in Canada (15 million) including coarse digitized black and white photos of their faces on a simple PC with a multi-terabyte SATA RAID system. The only possible way to explain the $2 billion is through extortion level fees for contractors and consultants to write software and give advice. The cost was not even for workers who would process registration documentation.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 12:21:32

onlooker wrote:Can I ask the nuclear advocates here, does the time and resources still exist for a wide scale transition to Nuclear especially the Fast breeder reactors? I ask because I have reluctantly concluded that nuclear seems now a necessary avenue to pursue to both power civilization and be more climate friendly in the process


That all depends on exactly what model reactor is picked and how much the NIMBY crowd are allowed to interfere.

If you are building modular units in a fatory mass production set up, and you then delivery those unit sets to locations where nuclear plants are already located and considered acceptible you could in theory replace all the coal power stations within a few years.

To do this you would need full federal and state government support, not to mention the court system bouncing all the frivelous lawsuits from anti-nuclear nutcases who hate science. The biggest cost in nuclear projects today bare delays, many of which are caused by people who fight every step of every project in court and in news reports slanted anti-nuclear.

On a pound for pound basis fissionable material gives off about 2,500,000 times the energy you get from burning the same weight of fossil fuel. On a death per kWe energy produced coal kills thousands of people, natural gas and petroleum kill hundreds, hydroelectric and solar kill dozens. The safest are Nuclear and Wind, and if you take away the massive wind subsidies the government passed nuclear is about half the cost of wind.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 13:21:02

On a pound for pound basis fissionable material gives off about 2,500,000 times the energy you get from burning the same weight of fossil fuel. On a death per kWe energy produced coal kills thousands of people, natural gas and petroleum kill hundreds, hydroelectric and solar kill dozens. The safest are Nuclear and Wind, and if you take away the massive wind subsidies the government passed nuclear is about half the cost of wind.--- I have slowly but surely come to this view, in part from comments and links on this site . I have had a visceral discomfort with nuclear propelled by scary reinforcement by society. But we don't have the luxury of many options anymore. So reluctantly, I am pro Nuclear
Last edited by onlooker on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 15:02:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 13:27:09

onlooker, it seems our paths cross again :) I was pretty much anti-nuke, until the wolves of Chernobyl. Now I am an agnostic, leaning pro-nuke.

--Still have doubts as per world-uranium ore supply. An issue? Or is breeder technology real? Really proven? Can it size up?

--Still concerned re cost and security. Is this really an outmoded issue, or a consequence of hysterical fears by the hard greens and pandering Dems.

Sub and diss, we may have our disagreements elsewhere but here I appreciated your facts and opinions. Are there still valid anti-nuke folks around this forum anymore? Or are they all knee-jerks?
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 17:16:00

dissident wrote:
Tanada wrote:
dissident wrote:Thanks for the information about the absurd financing model. But I am quite sure about the calandria cracking excuses since I personally heard them. The financing model was never used as an excuse. But I doubt it accounts for all the costs since the refurbishment is being tagged initially as 14 billion dollars. This means the final bill will be much higher and even accounting for inflation vs. 1980 this figure is insane.

If the workers were making $100,000 per year then you would need 14,000 of them working for 10 years to cost this much. There will not be even 1,000 of them and they will not work for 10 years. They must be using platinum and palladium by the ton.


What an odd way of looking at things, as if all the money will be spent on labor and none on the specialized highly tested and certified materials used in the refurbishing.


Labour costs are always invoked as the main portion of the expense. So it is your way of looking at it that is odd. How can labour costs be less than 1/14th of the total expense? Certified materials like gold and plantinum? Enriched uranium does not cost that much. The refurbishment would consist of fuel assembly replacement and control systems upgrades. Unless they want to replace the freaking calandria again. Neither the control systems nor the fuel assemblies could possibly cost almost $14 billion without any labour costs.


Where did I say labor costs would only be 1/14th of the cost of the upgrades/repairs in question?

Nuclear certified equipment is routinely marked up 4 or 5 times the price of the identical equipment for other applications, and specialized equipment just for nuclear power applications is comparably priced though there is no equivalent non-nuclear application to compare costs too.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby sparky » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 18:00:55

.
A large engineering project has a lot of design work done by people who are far from the site .
CAD studies and design are quite costly ,
some inspections are done at the manufacturer location ,prior to shipping the gizmos
for every on site worker there is probably another in the background working is some head office
if the gear is one off , made to comply to complex and demanding specifications, the cost can get quite astronomical
I've worked with gear whose price per weight was not far from solid gold, much to the anguish of the bean counters

Some standard instrumentation was much more expensive if it had to be certified to a higher degree
the stuff was exactly the same but had to be re-tested in an authorized lab with proper certificates issued
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 18:18:01

pstarr wrote:Sub and diss, we may have our disagreements elsewhere but here I appreciated your facts and opinions. Are there still valid anti-nuke folks around this forum anymore? Or are they all knee-jerks?


Seems how you ask there are some recent arguments on both the Nuclear thread and for some wierd reason on the Coal thread as well.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 23 Apr 2017, 18:34:36

Subjectivist wrote:
pstarr wrote:Sub and diss, we may have our disagreements elsewhere but here I appreciated your facts and opinions. Are there still valid anti-nuke folks around this forum anymore? Or are they all knee-jerks?


Seems how you ask there are some recent arguments on both the Nuclear thread and for some wierd reason on the Coal thread as well.

Did I do that on the coal thread? No idea.

But I really don't care much, so perhaps that explains our confusion. Nuclear will never replace oil, scale up to replace coal, or solve either the peak oil or supposed GW conundrum. I just thought I'd make some gentle conversation.

Oh, forget it.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 05 May 2017, 13:50:53

Here is a decent article from Reuters about the trouble Westinghouse is having financially. Early in the piece they mention the cause of the problems started with regulatory delays, basically the Obama Administration dragged its feet on giving approvals despite the fact that the law says they should have been given automatically. See back about 15 years ago the Combined Building and Operating license was created to avoid exactly this issue. The way it is supposed to work is, the NRC reviews and approves your reactor design, evacuation plan and everything else before you break ground. That way all regulatory delays take place before you invest a lot of time and effort in construction, and any spurious legal challenges in court are mostly nullified because the design and operation are pre-approved. Instead someone who disliked nuclear got inside the bureaucracy and gummed up the works after construction began and ended up costing Billions with unexpected delays that were never supposed to happen.

Business News | Tue May 2, 2017 | 5:44am EDT

How two cutting edge U.S. nuclear projects bankrupted Westinghouse


By Tom Hals and Emily Flitter | WILMINGTON, Del./NEW YORK

In 2012, construction of a Georgia nuclear power plant stalled for eight months as engineers waited for the right signatures and paperwork needed to ship a section of the plant from a factory hundreds of miles away.

The delay, which a nuclear specialist monitoring the construction said was longer than the time required to make the section, was emblematic of the problems that plagued Westinghouse Electric Co as it tried an ambitious new approach to building nuclear power plants.

The approach - building pre-fabricated sections of the plants before sending them to the construction sites for assembly - was supposed to revolutionize the industry by making it cheaper and safer to build nuclear plants.

But Westinghouse miscalculated the time it would take, and the possible pitfalls involved, in rolling out its innovative AP1000 nuclear plants, according to a close examination by Reuters of the projects.

Those problems have led to an estimated $13 billion in cost overruns and left in doubt the future of the two plants, the one in Georgia and another in South Carolina.

Overwhelmed by the costs of construction, Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy on March 29, while its corporate parent, Japan's Toshiba Corp, is close to financial ruin [L3N1HI4SD]. It has said that controls at Westinghouse were "insufficient."

The miscalculations underscore the difficulties facing a global industry that aims to build about 160 reactors and is expected to generate around $740 billion in sales of equipment in services in the coming decade, according to nuclear industry trade groups.

The sector's problems extend well beyond Westinghouse. France's Areva is being restructured, in part due to delays and huge cost overruns at a nuclear plant the company is building in Finland.

Even though Westinghouse's approach of pre-fabricated plants was untested, the company offered aggressive estimates of the cost and time it would take to build its AP1000 plants in order to win future business from U.S. utility companies. It also misjudged regulatory hurdles and used a construction company that lacked experience with the rigor and demands of nuclear work, according to state and federal regulators' reports, bankruptcy filings and interviews with current and former employees.

"Fundamentally, it was an experimental project but they were under pressure to show it could be a commercially viable project, so they grossly underestimated the time and the cost and the difficulty," said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who has written and testified about the AP1000 design.

Westinghouse spokeswoman Sarah Cassella said the company is "committed to the AP1000 power plant technology", plans to continue construction of AP1000 plants in China and expects to bid for new plants in India and elsewhere. She declined to comment on a detailed list of questions from Reuters.

PROBLEMS FROM THE START

By early 2017, the Georgia and South Carolina plants were supposed to be producing enough energy to power more than a half a million homes and businesses. Instead, they stand half-finished. (For a graphic see tmsnrt.rs/2oQEKgE)

Southern Co, which owns nearly half the Georgia project, and SCANA Corp, which owns a majority of the South Carolina project, have said they are evaluating the plants and could abandon the reactors altogether.

"We will continue to take every action available to us to hold Westinghouse and Toshiba accountable for their financial responsibilities under the engineering, procurement and construction agreement and the parent guarantee," Southern said in a statement. A spokesman declined to elaborate.

The projects suffered setbacks from the start. In one instance, to prepare the Georgia plant for construction, Westinghouse and its construction partner in 2009 began digging out the foundation, removing 3.6 million cubic yards of dirt.

But half of the backfill – the material used to fill the excavated area - failed to meet regulatory approval, delaying the project by at least six months, according to William Jacobs, the nuclear specialist who monitored construction of the plant for Georgia's utility regulator.

He declined to be interviewed.

But the source of the biggest delays can be traced to the AP1000's innovative design and the challenges created by the untested approach to manufacturing and building reactors, according to more than a dozen interviews with former and current Westinghouse employees, nuclear experts and regulators.

Unlike previous nuclear reactors, the AP1000 would be built from prefabricated parts; specialized workers at a factory would churn out sections of the reactor that would be shipped to the construction site for assembly. Westinghouse said in marketing materials this method would standardize nuclear plant construction.

Westinghouse turned to Shaw Group Inc, which held a 20 percent stake in Westinghouse, to build sections for the reactors at its factory in Lake Charles, Louisiana. There, components for two reactors each in Georgia and South Carolina would be manufactured.

LAKE CHARLES

Seven months after work began in the May 2010, Shaw had already conducted an internal review at the behest of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to document problems it was having producing components.

In a letter to the NRC, Shaw's then-executive vice president, Joseph Ernst, wrote: "The level and effectiveness of management oversight of daily activities was determined to be inadequate based on the quality of work."

He laid out a laundry list of deficiencies ranging from Shaw's inability to weed out incorrectly made parts to the way it stored construction materials.

Ernst did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.

Over the next four years, regulatory and internal inspections at Lake Charles would reveal a slew of problems associated with the effort to construct modular parts to fit the new Westinghouse design, NRC records show.

When a sub-module was dropped and damaged, Shaw managers ordered employees to cover up the incident; components were labeled improperly; required tests were neglected; and some parts' dimensions were wrong. The NRC detailed each one in public violation notices.

Then there was the missing and illegible paperwork.

The section that was delayed more than eight months by missing signatures would become one of 72 modules fused together to hold nuclear fuel. The 2.2 million pound unit was installed more than two years behind schedule.

It was not until June 2015 that the Lake Charles facility was building acceptable modules, according to a report by Jacobs. By then, Shaw had been bought by Chicago Bridge & Iron.

Gentry Brann, a CB&I spokeswoman, said the company put the Lake Charles plant under new management and installed new procedures after the 2013 acquisition. She said Westinghouse was to blame for subsequent delays, citing "several thousand" technical and design changes made after work had already started on various components.

Westinghouse declined to comment.

THE NRC

To some extent, Westinghouse also was hamstrung by the NRC, which imposed stringent requirements for the new reactors. To comply, Westinghouse made some design changes that were tiny tweaks; others were larger.

For instance, before the NRC would issue the utilities an operating license for the Georgia plant, it demanded changes to the design of the shield building, which protects against radiation leaks. The regulator said the shield needed to be strengthened to withstand a crash by a commercial jet, a safety measure arising from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The NRC issued the new standard in 2009, seven years after Westinghouse had applied for approval of its design. The company, in bankruptcy court filings, said the NRC's demand created unanticipated engineering challenges.

A spokesman for the NRC, Scott Burnell, said the changes should not have come as a surprise, since the agency had been talking about the stringent requirements for several years.

Westinghouse changed its design to protect against a jet crash, but at that point the NRC questioned whether the new design could withstand tornadoes and earthquakes.

Westinghouse finally met the requirements in 2011, according to a report by Jacobs.

By 2016 Westinghouse began to grasp the scope of its dilemma, according to a document filed in its bankruptcy: Finishing the two projects would require Westinghouse to spend billions of dollars on labor, abandoning them would mean billions in penalties.

Westinghouse determined it could not afford either option.

Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platform.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-toshi ... SKBN17Y0CQ
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 05 May 2017, 15:57:58

I heard a different version of the story. Westinghouse hired someone(Shaw Group) to build nuclear reactors and they had no idea how to do so. Supposedly buying up nuclear company Stone & Webster would get them the expertise they needed. Only problem: Stone & Webster had not built a nuclear power plant in over 3 decades. Any expertise they once had was long gone. Owner Bernhard saw the writing on the wall and sold out before everything hit the fan. Certainly the regulatory delays were a factor as well. But the bigger issue is if you are going to be building a nuclear plant make sure you hire someone who known what the hell they are doing.

The cause of this latest problem seems to have nothing to do with nuclear power and everything to do with incompetent business practices, particularly Toshiba’s construction contractor.

Westinghouse signed deals to build four new reactors for the utilities Southern Company and Scana Corporation in 2008. These were the first U.S. nuclear plants since the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island to be approved for construction by regulators.

Westinghouse selected the Shaw Group, led by James Bernhard Jr., to spearhead construction. Bernhard, a wheeler and dealer, had built Shaw up from a small Louisiana metal fabricator through a series of acquisitions into a Fortune 500 company. The company had never built a nuclear plant, but it had bought out of bankruptcy Stone & Webster, an old nuclear company that had built many of America’s nuclear plants between the 1950s and the 1970s. That helped lend Shaw the credibility to win the contract.

However, the remnant of Stone & Webster had no real nuclear assets left, and no staff with sufficient experience to pull off a successful first new nuclear build in 30 years.

Together with the U.S. government’s package of tax credits, cost-overrun backstops, and federal loan guarantees, Shaw made Toshiba an offer it couldn’t refuse.

But Shaw wasn't up to the task, with regulators calling it out for shoddy work; amid significant cost overruns and and serious delays, the projects fell way behind schedule. In 2012, Bernhard decided to cut and run, selling Shaw Group to Chicago Bridge & Iron Company for an overpriced $3.3 billion, and unloading all liabilities.

CB&I is a much larger engineering firm that was eager to get in on what seemed at the time like a nuclear renaissance. However, CB&I quickly thought better of it after discovering the true depths of the problems on the projects, and sold Shaw to Toshiba for only $229 million, including relieving CB&I from liability on the plants. Toshiba later accused CB&I of inflating the value of Shaw’s assets by $2.2 billion. Renegotiation of the deal is stuck in court, something that is likely to drag this out even further.

It's not likely that Westinghouse’s bankruptcy will stop new nuclear builds in America, but it will muddy the waters. Reactors are being built around the world, particularly by China, South Korea and Britain, so it can be done. But once again, bad management, financing problems and incompetent business practices, not the nuclear technology itself, has painted nuclear power with the same brush that taints many other industries. We need to put experienced people, and the experienced companies, on these projects and listen to the nuclear engineers. We do not need to listen to wheelers and dealers.
Westinghouse Bankruptcy Shakes The Nuclear World - Forbes

Experts said the delays and cost problems were due to America’s lack of recent experience in building atomic power plants.

“I don’t think it is necessarily because of an inherent issue of US skills but rather the lack of practice,” said Richard Nephew, a professor at the Centre on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University. “There simply have not been as many new reactor builds in the US and this has reduced the overall pool of skilled labor, no question.”
Toshiba's US nuclear problems provide cautionary tale for UK
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Fri 05 May 2017, 16:59:36

kublikhan wrote:
Experts said the delays and cost problems were due to America’s lack of recent experience in building atomic power plants.

“I don’t think it is necessarily because of an inherent issue of US skills but rather the lack of practice,” said Richard Nephew,


An epically retarded statement if there ever was one. Humans hold skills and after they depart that skill capacity has to be replaced by other humans. A company is not a human that just needs some "practice" to apply its skill better. Clearly Shaw couldn't handle engineering plans. So the issue is, in fact, the inherent lack of skilled US nuclear industry workers. Some garage "entrepreneurs" and Wall Street share flipping will not fix this gap.

When it comes to "waste" reprocessing, the USA has no skills.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 11 May 2017, 12:12:37

Perry Advocates for Nuclear Power

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Wednesday vowed to advocate for nuclear power as the nation looks for ways to fuel its economy and limit the effects of electricity generation on the environment.

Perry made the comments during a visit to Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, current work at the lab centers on nuclear deterrence, nonproliferation and the modernization of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

"If you really care about this environment that we live in — and I think the vast majority of the people in the country and the world do — then you need to be a supporter of this amazingly clean, resilient, safe, reliable source of energy," Perry said during a news conference.

Perry also acknowledged the tons of radioactive waste that have piled up at Los Alamos and other federal facilities around the country after decades of research and bomb-making.

Los Alamos has had its own problems related to legacy waste.

It was a container inappropriately packed at the lab that caused a 2014 radiation release and the costly shutdown of the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico.

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Oops! Rick Perry Forgets Agency He Wants to Abolish


Nuclear subsidies distort markets, hurt business, say FirstEnergy opponents

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Business and consumer groups joined forces Tuesday to oppose FirstEnergy's plan to change Ohio law to create new subsidies for the power company's nuclear power plants.

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association, the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, the Lordstown Energy Center, Dynegy, now the state's largest owner of coal-fired power plants, the American Petroleum Institute and the Electric Power Supply Association were among more than a dozen groups testifying against enabling legislation before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee.

"House Bill 178 or the Zero Emission Nuclear credit bill would provide an enormous subsidy to one nuclear operator for units that they contend are no longer economic to operate," said Robert Flexon, CEO of Houston-based Dynegy Inc. He told lawmakers:
"Our economy will not grow and prosper by artificially keeping alive business that can no longer compete in the marketplace without expensive subsidies,"

"That has been the case throughout American history. Were that not so, we'd still have buggy whip and icebox manufacturers and teletype and elevators operators."

Flexon said the zero emissions argument, meaning the plants deserve higher rates because they don't produce carbon dioxide, is a "red herring."

He said FirstEnergy received $9.8 Billion in subsidies between 2001 and 2010 to help it transition from the old regulated markets to competitive deregulated markets. And as of Jan. 1, the company has been permitted to collect an additional $204 million a year for up to five years in additional subsidies.


Nuclear plant executives face skeptical crowd at Columbia session

COLUMBIA, SC Apologizing for a breach of safety standards at a Columbia nuclear fuel plant, Westinghouse Electric Co. leaders said Tuesday they’ve instituted new procedures and installed equipment they believe will prevent any more hazardous accumulations of uranium on the site.

During a public meeting in Columbia, company officials conceded that Westinghouse needed to improve the safety culture at the 48-year-old facility on Bluff Road.
The plant, just up the road from Congaree National Park, has had a string of safety violations during the past two decades, most recently the uranium buildup last year.

The Westinghouse factory is one of a handful in the U.S. that make fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.

The 2016 accumulation was not significant enough to send uranium into the air or to threaten the general public, but it could have led to a burst of radiation and exposed workers to potentially lethal doses, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant employs about 1,000 people.

Company executive Michele DeWitt said Westinghouse fell down on the job when it let uranium accumulate in the air pollution device, known as a scrubber. The problems were discovered last May and elevated uranium levels were confirmed in July 2016, forcing part of the plant to temporarily shut down.

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Oops!

Some in the crowd of about 50 questioned why Westinghouse and the NRC had not told the public about the uranium buildup at the plant sooner. The uranium buildup became known last summer when The State newspaper wrote about it.

Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy in March, casting doubt on the future of the company’s nuclear operations, primarily whether twin nuclear plants will be completed for SCE&G in Fairfield County.


America's first '21st century nuclear plant' already has been shut down for repairs

The 21st century is shaping up as not a good one for nuclear power, and Watts Bar Unit 2 may show why. The U.S. nuclear industry is running in neutral, except when it runs in reverse.

When the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 nuclear power plant was finally approaching completion the big public utility hailed it as “the nation’s first new nuclear generation of the 21st century.”

That was in October 2015, and the plant was thought to be only a few months away from going online. But it wasn’t until October 2016 that Watts Bar 2 began operating commercially. In March, just over five months later, the plant went offline — and it’s expected to remain offline at least into this summer, the TVA region’s peak period for electrical demand.

The immediate cause of the Watts Bar shutdown is the failure of components of the unit’s condenser, which cools steam used to drive the generating turbines back into water. TVA took the plant off-line on March 23 and is still trying to pinpoint the cause of the condenser failure.

“Nuclear technology is very unforgiving,”
says David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. That’s true even of components other than the nuclear reactor itself.

A failing condenser at a fossil-fueled power plant, Lochbaum observes, could be kept online for months, with a fix deferred until a low-peal period after the summer. “With nuclear technology, you don’t really have that luxury.”

The nuclear industry is very optimistic about its projections of performance,” Lochbaum says. “This is more evidence that they need to temper that optimism.”
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 11 May 2017, 14:12:10

Newsflash, steam condensors are not nuclear technology, they are used in every thermal steam plant, even those vaunted combined cycle natural gas burners and the solar thermal plants they build out in the deserts.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 11 May 2017, 16:16:04

Newsflash, nuclear energy has nothing whatsoever to do with nuclear weapons manufacturing. Nuclear weapons are manufacured by the US Government and they do in fact have an atrocious safety record compared to commercial nuclear power plants.

Did any of you ever notice that the nuclear critics have to delve deeply and at length to uncover anything even remotely questionable about nuclear energy, they not infrequently uncover government incompetence in the management of nuclear weapons materials? Then they rant and rave about nuclear energy.
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