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THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: The Silent Lie

Unread postby bobcousins » Sat 14 May 2005, 15:55:11

Wildwell wrote:I think we can finally put a lot of this to rest.


Great!

Wildwell wrote:Here are the basic facts.


"This is rumour control : here are the facts".

Wildwell wrote:1. In 1983, uranium cost $40 per pound. The known uranium reserves at that price would suffice for light water reactors for a few tens of years. Since then more rich uranium deposits have been discovered including a very big one in Canada. At $40 per pound, uranium contributes about 0.2 cents per kwh to the cost of electricity. (Electricity retails between 5 cents and 10 cents per kwh in the U.S.)


Ok - lemme stop you there. As cost of uranium is such a negligible part, clearly availability is not the issue. If cost of uranium was the only factor, then we should be awash with nuclear reactors. Its the whole host of other reasons that make nuclear problematic, the capital cost, disposal, weapon proliferation.

By claiming to have "solved the problem", then addressing completely the wrong issue, then admitting that you have no answer for the real issue, you are just making yourself look foolish.

I have seen this type of articles so many times, its really quite boring. The author says there is plenty of X to last Y million years. Then says the only problem is exploiting it cheaply and in large scale. Well DUH!
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Re: The Silent Lie

Unread postby Wildwell » Sat 14 May 2005, 16:46:17

bobcousins wrote:
Wildwell wrote:I think we can finally put a lot of this to rest.


Great!

Wildwell wrote:Here are the basic facts.


"This is rumour control : here are the facts".

Wildwell wrote:1. In 1983, uranium cost $40 per pound. The known uranium reserves at that price would suffice for light water reactors for a few tens of years. Since then more rich uranium deposits have been discovered including a very big one in Canada. At $40 per pound, uranium contributes about 0.2 cents per kwh to the cost of electricity. (Electricity retails between 5 cents and 10 cents per kwh in the U.S.)


Ok - lemme stop you there. As cost of uranium is such a negligible part, clearly availability is not the issue. If cost of uranium was the only factor, then we should be awash with nuclear reactors. Its the whole host of other reasons that make nuclear problematic, the capital cost, disposal, weapon proliferation.

By claiming to have "solved the problem", then addressing completely the wrong issue, then admitting that you have no answer for the real issue, you are just making yourself look foolish.

I have seen this type of articles so many times, its really quite boring. The author says there is plenty of X to last Y million years. Then says the only problem is exploiting it cheaply and in large scale. Well DUH!


All that is just the way you've read into it! A lot of the 'trouble' is us. With nuclear, many costs are safety worries, fear of nuclear power so on, as you've explained. I've never claimed to have 'solved the problem', not one single person on this planet can ever can! Problems on this scale are solved by a collective effort, in fact, this one by virtually everyone on the planet in some way. I wonder if people are looking for the 'ultimate answers', I don't think you'll get any, sadly, just a series of options for everyone to chew over.

There will never be a post on this forum that solves all the problems, because someone will think of a reason why something cannot be done or read into it in another way it was intended.


One reason we are not awash with Nuclear reactors is public fear, a combination of the World War two Japanese city bombings,. The pacific Hydrogen bomb tests, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Ever since then many of the programs have been suspended. Nothing to do with price. Will the policy change? In Europe, Britain and America I’m willing to bit it will, when the need comes, because the other option is even worse.
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Unread postby Dezakin » Mon 16 May 2005, 21:30:14

Attacking breeder reactors as being uneconomical as a strategy to prove their unscalable doesnt hold up to close inspection.

Why would I invest in a breeder reactor today when uranium is so incredibly cheap?
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Re: What does work?

Unread postby nethawk » Thu 08 Jun 2006, 21:44:07

The IFR Works - The technology works. Whether or not the political or economic will does, I don't know. When we start to add the hidden costs of coal and petroleum to their already elevated prices, the IFR, PV, wind, geothermal, etc. look pretty enticing.

But the new reactors from Westinghouse are bing mass produced and the industry has incorporated lessons learned from these and other near misses. These problems indicate a need to move forward with newer safer next generation nuclear technologies like the Integral Fast Reactor and others.


Most of the nuclear waste issues, inefficiency issues, and many of the safety issues become irrelevant with the integral fast reactor. The IFR is a type of breeder reactor which converts non-fissile but abundant U-238 into fissile Pu-239 via neutron bombardment. The INTEGRAL fast reactor has a reprocessing plant built in, and nuclear fuels never need to leave the power plant.

The light-water reactors that we use now are incredibly inefficient and waste most of their fuel, and what is left over is a mixture of active but relatively short-lived transuranics, and long-lived but less active plutonium and uranium. Only 1% of the available heat is ever extracted. With an IFR, almost all of the uranium/plutonium is consumed and the nuclear waste that remains has a half-life of only a few decades.

The IFR design is set up so that if the core overheats, the fuel rods move farther apart due to expansion and the fission regulates itself.
The coolant is liquid sodium, which from a nuclear reactor standpoint is much less corrosive than water, and won't flash to steam and create hydrogen bubbles, etc. (like what happened at Three Mile Island). The sodium is volatile chemically, though, if it contacts water or air. The use of inert atmospheres and other safeguards can reduce the problems with sodium volatility.

Instead of meeting the demands for energy with coal, the IFR along with renewable energy sources would allow us to:

- Produce electricity with almost no CO2 emissions

- Dispose of existing uranium/plutonium stockpiles

- Dispose of exisiting nuclear waste from the light-water plants, sending it into electric trains, computers, compact fluorescent lights, and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles instead of into Yucca Mountain.
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Re: What does work?

Unread postby SolarDave » Thu 08 Jun 2006, 23:46:34

nethawk wrote:The IFR Works - The technology works. Whether or not the political or economic will does, I don't know. When we start to add the hidden costs of coal and petroleum to their already elevated prices, the IFR, PV, wind, geothermal, etc. look pretty enticing. ...


The French are my barometer for new Nuclear technology. Their current reactors are reaching the end of their licenses (whether they are also reaching the end of their useful lives is a different issue). What are they doing? Not building new reactors. Not yet. Their SuperPhoenix was a disaster financially. Perhaps just a single wrong turn. But where next?

If these new technologies are so good, why don't they even have a pilot plant operating, a showcase, pointing the way to the future for their already mostly convinced populace? I find it odd that in many discussions on this board pro-new-technology Nuke folks can list many, many benefits of the potential new technology, few to NO drawbacks at all, and yet the French are not gradually upgrading their reactors. Why? Do they enjoy calling the fire department to hose them down during heat waves? Could their ancient reactors actually be more economical than the new technologies? Why aren't they moving?

Some part of the cost/benefit or cause/effect equation is not compelling for the new technologies. What? Anyone care to guess?
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Re: What does work?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Fri 09 Jun 2006, 05:35:31

SolarDave,
French may not, but Japanese do!
They are going to re-open soon their fast breeder facility in Moya.
It was shut down for few years but now it will work again.
You may note that Japanese are one of few nations willingful to use Pu-239 for energy generation.
I think that those, who complain less about irrational dangers and do more to implement useful technology will overally benefit most (having safe and realiable power generation sector).

All others (French included) will still build a lot of nukes in the future, but many of those will turn to be quicky & craply made facilities assembled in haste while last reserves of oil & coal are running out.

Renewables may well provide supplementary power source, but I really do not see how they could become a primary one.
Hydro may be an exception as it is also very realiable source.
Once FF are gone, fission will be the only way to provide realiable electricity supply for most of nations. Renevables may add 10-20% with a very great effort indeed.

It sounds pointless to talk about redesigning cities to reduce energy consumption.
We already have developed suburbs and other energy wasteful life arrangements. However "rebuilding" our cities to change it fast is unlikely to be possible as A LOT OF ENERGY (which we do not have!) is necessary to transform them.
Sustainable transition within 150-300 years is all, one can hope for.

Fusion is the energy of the future (and it may always stay this way) - I hope not. Fission we have now and it is ready to use.
It may not be long before running of civilization without fission power will not be possible.
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Re: What does work?

Unread postby Kez » Thu 15 Jun 2006, 13:33:12

Chicagoan wrote:What is achievable in the next twenty years (obviously assuming civilization is still here)?


Small cities and villages can maintain a nice lifestyle if better methods of collecting energy from the sun are discovered. The sun sends 6.3 billion watts per meter squared in one year where I live, but we don't take advantage of it. This is the equivalent of 48 gallons of gasoline, or 1,748 kWh per year. Technology so far has only been able to recover 10% of that or so using silicon, 20% and up using more expensive and hard to make chips. Hopefully in 20 years the efficiency will be closer to 30% using components that are not so hard to come by and that can be mass produced - only time will tell.

Obviously this type of power (solar, wind) won't be in liquid form, so transportation using gas will have to be the thing that drops to nearly nothing. This is fine for small cities because people can still get around, and the outskirts can all be used to soak up the sun and use wind power as well.

If oil is incredibly expensive or just impossible to get ahold of 20 years from now, then I don't see any way currently of supporting cities bigger than 50,000 people or so with electricity, running water, restaurants, lots of grocery stores full of food, etc. They just use up so much power, create so much waste and inefficiency, and provide nothing in terms of raw resources to keep it all going. Cities may pump out a lot of salesman, college graduates, computer professionals, teachers, doctors, etc., but they don't create any energy or food.

Nuclear plants are all meant for big cities, and to try and keep huge metroplexes going while all the infrastructure that relies on cheap oil is crashing down, will be a futile effort. The sun does work, and will continue to work, for millions if not billions of years.
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Re: Internet's days are numbered - Countering the gloom spin

Unread postby TheDude » Fri 10 Aug 2007, 00:36:39

Wind, feh. Give me (and my 20,000 neighbors) one of these puppies:

Image

SSTAR is an acronym for the "small, sealed, transportable, autonomous reactor" - being primarily researched and developed in the USA by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is intended as a fast breeder reactor that is passively safe, has a self-contained fuel source of Uranium-238 and an operative life of 30 years, which provides a constant power source between 10 and 100 megawatts.

The 100 megawatt version is expected to be 15 meters high by 3 meters wide, and weigh 500 tonnes. A 10 megawatt version is expected to weigh less than 200 tonnes. To obtain the desired 30 year life span, the design calls for a moveable neutron reflector to be placed over a column of fuel. The reflector's slow downward travel over the column would cause the fuel to be burned from the top of the column to the bottom. Because the unit will be sealed, it is expected that a breeder reaction will be used to further extend the life of the fuel.

Crucially, SSTAR is also meant to be tamper resistant, which would prevent the leasing country from using the reactor to use the generated plutonium for nuclear weapons. The tamper-resistant features will include radio monitoring and remote deactivation. The leasing country will therefore have to accept the capability for remote foreign intervention in the facility.

Currently, no prototypes for SSTAR exist - one is expected by 2015, and they are being researched as a possible replacement for today's light water reactors. and as a possible design for use in developing countries (which would use the reactor for several decades and then return the entire unit to the manufacturing country).


Might not work, I know. I'm looking for a place with 4,000 neighbors, tops. Give me more money while you're at it, Fates.

Any way to localize the Net? Seems like in a powerdown situation, on a State wide level it could still serve useful purposes, mitigating a widespread problem with livestock say. This could just as well be 56K BBS stuff though. We could still get together after an evening's canning veggies and play some MUDs...

Also agree that it's good the crap slinging sprouted a nice turd blossom.
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No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Pops » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 13:07:17

Seven more projects have been halted because good old deregulation has reaffirmed profit as the only motive or rationale for any public infrastructure. It's like I've been saying, nukes are great, we'll just not build them in time to change climate change and we won't be able to afford to build them once hydrocarbon depletion takes hold.

The government is hardly the only one to question the economics of nuclear power right now. The would-be builders of seven reactors around the country have deferred their projects in the last few months.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/busin ... odayspaper
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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 14:09:04

"nuclear reactors make no economic sense"

This final remark from your article tells it all.
Obviously it will change in the future and they will make an economic sense at some point again.

However at that point we will not have resources to build them.

Long live burnout!
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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Ludi » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 14:39:40

How can they not be economic when nuke power is too cheap to meter? 8O
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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Serial_Worrier » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 15:12:40

Believe me, once we get Obamanation out of there, we will start building nuclear reactors. Caribou Barbie Palin will make sure of it. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 15:13:57

I think Obama wants to return the USA to #1.

China has surpassed the USA in CO2emissions....the only way the USA can be #1 again is to shut down all the nuke power plants and projects, and start building "clean coal" and "clean gas" power plants until our glorious all-American CO2 production once again leads the world!!!

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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Ludi » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 15:41:58

I'm pretty sure Obama wanted nuke plants....

Well, I guess he sorta did....

“Nuclear power represents more than 70 percent of our non-carbon generated electricity,” Obama says in his energy plan. “It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option. However, before an expansion of nuclear power can be considered, key issues must be addressed including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation.”

http://environment.about.com/od/environ ... uclear.htm

Or not....

'The Malthusian quality of President Obama's ideological green "energy policy" is exposed in his drastically different Federal treatment of solar energy vs. nuclear power over the past two weeks.

A nuclear plant produces reliable, clean, continuous electrical power on a site 70-100 times smaller than the vast fields required for unreliable, intermittent solar or wind "farms." But Obama is now actively and heavily subsidizing the latter, while blocking the former.'

http://www.larouchepac.com/node/16055
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Re: No Nukes - burn every hydrocarbon first!

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 12 Oct 2010, 19:29:25

Ludi wrote:I'm pretty sure Obama wanted nuke plants....

Well, I guess he sorta did....


Exactly. Which is it?

Obama also wanted a new climate change treaty...right before he flew home from Copenhagen with none.

And once upon a time Obama said he wanted a cap and trade bill....but he never actually sent one to Congress.

And Obama was even against offshore drilling...before he was for expanding it along the entire east coast...before he shut it down...before he opened it up again.

Now Obama says nukes are OK, but they'll have to post almost a billion dollar bond before they can even begin to do anything else. Companies just can't afford to pay that, so that shuts down the US nuclear industry again. Coal-fired power plants which our destroying our planet's climate are A-OK with Obama---no bond needed. Want to do mountain removal and build a giant open pit coal mine? No bond needed. How about BP drilling an offshore well---no bond needed. But try to build a power plant that doesn't emit any carbon and so doesn't cause Greenhouse warming....now that MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!!

Obama's flip flops on nuclear power bring to mind Obama's many promises to create jobs.....the guy has lied so much there isn't much point in paying attention to what he says anymore because what he actually does will probably be quite different. :roll:
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 09 Feb 2017, 09:55:57

A mechanical fault in a non nuclear portion of the plant is news why? Its just an industrial accident like take place in hudreds of locations world wide every day.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 29 Mar 2017, 07:17:50

After Crippling Cost Overruns, Toshiba's Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy

Toshiba Corp's U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on Wednesday, just three months after huge cost overruns were flagged, as the Japanese parent seeks to limit losses that threaten its future.

Bankruptcy will allow Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse, once central to Toshiba's diversification push, to renegotiate or even break its construction contracts, though the utilities that own the projects could seek damages. It could even pave the way for a sale of all or part of the business.

For Toshiba, the aim is to fence off soaring liabilities and keep the group afloat. Toshiba said Westinghouse-related liabilities totaled $9.8 billion as of December, making it one of the industry's most costly collapses to date; it had earlier estimated writedowns would swell to $6.3 billion.

The filing will now trigger complex negotiations between the Japanese conglomerate, its unit and creditors, and could embroil the U.S. and Japanese governments, given the scale of the collapse and U.S. government loan guarantees for new reactors.

... Activity stalled by the end of 2011 when the United States failed to adopt legislation curbing carbon emissions
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Wed 29 Mar 2017, 08:27:02

Toshiba/Westinghouse is building the two new AP1000 units at Plant Vogtle in Georgia (US): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_El ... ting_Plant

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plant ... 81.7713527

Seems the Wikipedia page has shrunk a bit. IIRC the project is,,, wait for it ,,, over budget and behind schedule. If Toshiba sells off Westinghouse, who'll finish and maintain these new reactors?
Why Ga.’s Plant Vogtle Project Continues, Despite Money Woes

Feb 22, 2017 By Denis O'Hayer

On Feb. 21, the state Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, approved Georgia Power's request for an additional $141 million in expenses related to the construction of new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.
The project has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, but now there is the potential for even bigger worries. The reactors are being built by Westinghouse, which is a subsidiary of Toshiba. Recently, Toshiba reported giant losses, totaling some $6 billion – much of which was related to the construction at Plant Vogtle and another nuclear construction project in South Carolina.
On" Morning Edition," Denis O'Hayer got a look at how Toshiba's financial problems might affect the Plant Vogtle expansion – and the state's consumers – in a conversation with Kristi Swartz, an Atlanta-based reporter for EnergyWire, who covers the energy industry in the Southeast:

http://news.wabe.org/post/why-ga-s-plan ... money-woes


More: http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/29/investi ... index.html
U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse Electric is filing for bankruptcy, its Japanese owner Toshiba said Wednesday.

Westinghouse, which was bought by Toshiba in 2006, has suffered billions of dollars in losses due to delays and cost overruns at nuclear plants under construction in Georgia and South Carolina.

The bankruptcy filing is the latest embarrassment for the two industrial giants. Huge losses at Westinghouse have thrown its survival into doubt and raised questions about the future of the two U.S. nuclear power projects.

The financial disaster has spread to the Japanese firm, which last month wrote down the value of Westinghouse by 712.5 billion yen ($6.4 billion).

Toshiba (TOSBF) said the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will limit its exposure to future losses at Westinghouse. The U.S. company will no longer be under Toshiba's control and will be stripped out of its financial results, the Japanese conglomerate said.

Toshiba warns net loss could hit 1 trillion [yen]

"The environment of nuclear power is so severe at this moment, it was not a sustainable business," said Kazunori Ito, an equity analyst at Morning Star.

Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing "is the only way for Toshiba to limit or determine the amount of loss at this point," he said.

That loss is going to be huge. .....

....Dumping Westinghouse could drag Toshiba to a net loss of about 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) for the financial year ending this month, the Japanese company said Wednesday, nearly three times the 390 billion yen ($3.5 billion) loss it had flagged last month. ......

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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 29 Mar 2017, 12:31:09

Trump admin is urged to help struggling nuclear giant

A former U.S. Navy commander is calling on the Trump administration to quickly intervene in the pending bankruptcy of nuclear giant Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC in the name of national security.

The crisis for Westinghouse and Toshiba coincides with President Trump’s effort to do away with former president Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and with a continuing lack of interest in Congress and the administration in adopting a carbon tax. Either of those measures would have improved nuclear power’s competitiveness with renewables or cheap natural gas

When solar manufacturer Solyndra went belly up in 2011, it led to a full-blown Washington scandal, with congressional hearings and accusations of White House wrongdoing. Solyndra became a one-word expletive that tagged the young solar industry as a boondoggle.

The Department of Energy gave it a $545 million loan guarantee to help build a manufacturing plant in California. But a solar manufacturing boom in China crushed the price of conventional crystalline photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Republicans pounced, grilling Obama administration officials for picking a losing technology -- and waging a broader offensive against the clean energy investments President Obama had supported since 2009.


Department of Energy guaranteed $6.5 Billion in loans to Georgia Power Company (GPC) and Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) for construction of the first new nuclear reactors at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia.

The Department will guaranteed $1.8 billion in loans to three subsidiaries of the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) for the Vogtle project.

The $8.3 billion in total loan guarantees for the Vogtle project represent the program’s first advanced nuclear energy deal.
U.S. taxpayers could be on the hook thanks to a $8.3 billion guaranteed credit facility from the U.S. government.

That could also mean higher rates for consumers in those areas. Both South Carolina and Georgia allow utilities to charge ratepayers for power-plant construction still in progress. In most states, ratepayers don’t pay until they’re receiving some of the benefits.

Westinghouse had claimed that its new AP1000 model reactor had passive technology and modular design that was safer, cheaper and faster to build.

Although the AP1000 was supposed to be a standard design, changes were made in South Carolina. Moreover, Westinghouse plans included modules built in Lake Charles, La., that were supposed to fit together “like pieces of Lego,” a former regulator said. But Nuclear Regulatory Commission files say that the Lake Charles plant was shipping faulty modules, forcing Westinghouse to re-weld them at the reactor sites. An entire extra building was erected to do the welding because there was so much of it, said one person familiar with the construction.
As well as building civilian nuclear reactors, Westinghouse has been the leading supplier of reactors for nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carriers, submarines and other warships.

India was negotiating to buy half a dozen AP1000s. In China, too, Westinghouse has struggled with alterations in its design, delays and cost overruns.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 8 (merged)

Unread postby GHung » Wed 29 Mar 2017, 15:36:17

From Vox's link:

"....called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a letter today to urge the Japanese government to prop up Toshiba Corp. and its Westinghouse subsidiary..."

Right. Japan is up to its ass in the forever costs of containing the Fukushima mess, and Trump has vowed to gut the Dept. of Energy. That said, Southern Company (parent of Georgia Power) is a powerful entity with plenty of pull. Hasn't seemed to affect their stock much.
Anyway, maybe Trump will have as much luck getting the Japanese to bail out Toshiba as he's had getting Mexico to pay for the wall.
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