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THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 23 Jan 2022, 19:11:19

Just how green is nuclear power? | MoneyWeek

Nuclear power is certainly very clean in terms of carbon emissions, but what about the radioactive waste produced as a byproduct? It’s not as much of a problem as you might think.
What has changed in the EU?

At the start of the month the European Commission presented the 27 EU member states with new draft rules classifying natural gas and nuclear power as “green” fuels for electricity generation. It reflects the growing acceptance that nuclear will be crucial to the process of decarbonisation.

Assuming the rules are approved (France is in favour; Germany is less keen but unlikely to block them), it means nuclear will take its place alongside renewables such as wind and solar on the EU’s list of technologies approved for financial support from next year onwards. That matters because the EU’s stamp of approval is likely to spur investment and help firms, investment funds and lenders hit environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets.
Is nuclear power really a green energy?

In terms of the production of carbon and other greenhouse gases – even taking into account the whole life cycle of a power plant – proponents say it’s a far greener energy than either fossils fuels or renewables.

One estimate, by a nuclear-engineering professor at MIT, calculates that, over the life of a power plant – including construction, mining, transport, operation, decommissioning and disposal of waste – the greenhouse-gas emissions for nuclear power are 1/700th those of coal, 1/400th of gas, and a quarter of solar. In addition to not producing carbon, nuclear power installations take up negligible land – and use smaller amounts of raw materials – compared with renewables such as wind and solar.

Critics say that the uncertainties about nuclear waste, and how much it will cost to store, make such calculations meaningless and make optimism misplaced.
Is dealing with nuclear waste costly?

In 2019, official estimates of the liabilities attached to cleaning up 17 of Britain’s oldest nuclear sites put the cost at £124bn over the next 120 years, of which £97bn applies to Sellafield alone. But there’s a good deal of uncertainty around decommissioning and waste figures. For example, estimates of the decommissioning costs for the UK’s non-Sellafield first-generation sites rose from £12bn in 2005 to £30bn by 2019.

However, Tim Stone, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, argues that when it comes to this issue the past is not a good guide to the future. Everything could all become much cheaper if we get better at it. New reactors are designed with dismantling in mind, argues Jonathan Ford in the Financial Times, and “their longer lives (they are built to last for 60-80 years) mean their decommissioning costs should easily be covered out of operating revenue”.

As for the new EU proposals, they require newly built reactors – and existing ones whose lives are being extended – to have detailed plans in place for disposing of high-level radioactive waste by 2050. The EU’s demands are a tall order though, says Mark Hibbs in Foreign Policy, because it implies that “all essential activities for a repository project – geological screening, site and technology selection, political approvals, licensing, and construction – be completed in less than three decades”.
What is “high-level” nuclear waste?

When a nuclear plant closes, there are three types of waste material. The safest category, including items such as old protective clothing, accounts for about 90% of all the waste by volume, says Ford. In this category the contamination is limited and the waste can be buried in sites with less elaborate safety procedures.

But much more difficult to handle is “intermediate” waste (7%), which includes items such as fuel cladding and old machinery, and the “high level” waste – essentially the highly irradiated spent fuel itself. Nuclear fuel rods, once spent, are moved into pools of water to cool, and then encased in 15-foot tall canisters known as “dry casks” that weigh 100 tons or more. This high-level category accounts for just 3% of waste by volume, but is responsible for 95% of the radioactivity.
Where does all the nuclear waste end up?

For now, all of the UK’s high-activity radioactive waste (from power generation, military, medical and civil uses) remains stored on the surface – between 70% and 75% of it at Sellafield. But eventually, given that plutonium and certain fission products remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years, Britain will need a “geological disposal facility” (GDF). It needs to be buried – in the case of intermediate and high-level waste several hundred metres underground.

Choosing an area with the right geology, the waste needs to be placed in containers with several engineered barriers and then surrounded by clay. In the UK, three sites are currently under consideration by the government – one in Cumbria, one near Hartlepool, and at Theddlethorpe, near the Lincolnshire coast. But all face strong local opposition. The first country to take the plunge and start building a GDF is Finland, where a geological repository for high-level spent nuclear fuel is under construction at Olkiluoto. A few other countries are considering similar schemes.
How can that be safe?

Industry scientists say that much opposition to nuclear rests on a fundamental misunderstanding of the risks. Plutonium might have a half-life of 24,000 years, for example, but it doesn’t emit much radiation. According to the US radiation expert Robert Gale, “for every terawatt hour of electricity produced, nuclear energy is 10-100 times safer than coal or gas”.

What it does emit are alpha particles, which do not even penetrate human skin. As part of the risk assessments ahead of the GDF at Olkiluoto, Finnish scientists predicted that the impact of waste leaking from it after 1,000 years on someone living directly above the site – with food and water coming from the most contaminated plot of land – would be likely to receive a radiation dose of 0.00018 millisieverts per year. That’s the equivalent to the radiation we get from eating two bananas.


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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Mon 24 Jan 2022, 10:12:38

These policy makers are stuck in the dinosaur era. They are still on the first generation nuclear power generation paradigm. The so-called waste is fuel for fast neutron breeder reactors. But Europe emasculated itself and lacks any breeder reactor program. The French were ahead of the curve in the 1970s but then let Green terrorists and zealots kill their program. Time to restart a breeder reactor development since it solves the waste problem and the limited uranium supply problem. Nuclear power has is a multi-century solution even of politicians don't care about anything beyond the next election.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby JuanP » Thu 03 Feb 2022, 20:17:00

"China inks $8 billion nuclear power plant deal in Argentina"
https://www.reuters.com/business/energy ... 022-02-02/

"State-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) has signed a contract in Argentina to build the $8 billion Atucha III nuclear power plant using China's Hualong One technology, reviving a deal that had been stalled for years."

Flashback to 2014? It only took Argentina's government 8 years more than necessary to make up their minds. I'd rather no more nuclear reactors were built in the world, particularly in southern South America, but I expect many more to come. We've procrastinated to a point where nuclear energy increasingly needs to be part of the energy package for the rest of our lives.

Argentina's president is in Beijing at this time to watch the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby The_Forbin_Project » Fri 04 Feb 2022, 06:17:02

interesting - a single 1.2GW Chinese made nuke for $ 8 bn

this works out to £4.92 bn per GW

As the UK proposed 33 GW fleet aill averaged 13.86 GW x 8760 hours per year = 121.41 TWh produced . For a cost of £82.5 bn .

£82.5 bn /£4.92 = 16.77 GW x 8760 = 146.91 TWh

about 14 reactors needed . currently we have 11 reactors , with that output we could replace those with 5 Chinese ones ( more likely we'll choose French and not our own AGR tech) at an additional cost of £25 bn .
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby JuanP » Thu 10 Feb 2022, 16:26:36

"France makes massive nuclear bet"
https://www.rt.com/news/548958-france-macron-nuclear-reactors/

"French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday that the government will back the construction of six new nuclear reactors across the country. The first will enter service by 2035, according to the French leader."

"The six new units will be EPRs – originally known as European Pressurized Water Reactors – which have been designed and developed by French company Framatome and its parent Électricité de France (EDF). The technology is also being used in the UK’s Hinkley Point power station and in Taishan, China.

The new EPR reactors will be supplemented by small modular reactors (SMR) with the aim of creating “25 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity by 2050,” Macron said."

I agree with Macron! I just posted the link to be able to say that; it sounds and feels so strange. I still think he is an obnoxious, arrogant prick, though! But, hey, I don't blame him; after all, so am I. :lol:
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby dissident » Thu 10 Feb 2022, 23:37:50

Good news. France did not succumb to nuclear power derangement syndrome. Unfortunately, Germany did.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 27 Feb 2022, 13:28:38

"Nuclear power in Ukraine"
https://www.world-nuclear.org/informati ... tems...%20

Ukraine has 15 reactors.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby theluckycountry » Mon 28 Feb 2022, 00:01:10

(Updated February 2022)

Ukraine is heavily dependent on nuclear energy – it has 15 reactors generating about half of its electricity.
Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from Russia, but is reducing this dependence by buying fuel from Westinghouse...
The government is looking to the West for both technology and investment in its nuclear plants. Westinghouse has an agreement to build four AP1000 reactors at established sites.

Update, late February 2022
Until further notice Ukraine will be getting all future fuel and technology from Russia.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Tue 01 Mar 2022, 22:30:09

During a war who tweaks the knobs
Obviously the kettle is boiling non stop it needs people are they the regular guys allowed to come and go or does Russia have to put in its own guys until its over ?
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 01 Mar 2022, 23:36:04

Shaved Monkey wrote:During a war who tweaks the knobs
Obviously the kettle is boiling non stop it needs people are they the regular guys allowed to come and go or does Russia have to put in its own guys until its over ?


Up to now the Russians have taken control of Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia; the Russian Army has teamed up with the Ukrainians already working at those locations to keep things safe.

Zaporizhzhia NPP is the largest in Europe. The Russians took control of it without any problems. In 2014, the year of the Euromaidan coup, armed members of the Right Sector were prevented from entering the plant by the Ukrainian police.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaporiz ... ower_Plant
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Doly » Wed 02 Mar 2022, 15:45:12

Until further notice Ukraine will be getting all future fuel and technology from Russia.


What I honestly never understood about Ukraine is, given how much of their trade is with Russia, that they are so keen to be in the EU and piss off Russia in the process. I first looked at the Ukraine situation in December 2012, when one of the Financial Times questions for the next year was whether Ukraine was going to turn towards the EU. I checked the trade situation and concluded that it made almost no sense for Ukraine to piss off their biggest trade partner. I was genuinely surprised about events in 2014, and assumed that afterwards they'd do a lot more trade with the EU. And they do, but even to this date they have an awful lot of trade with Russia.

I do understand that they don't like Russia and they like the EU, and that sounds natural enough, but to the extent of risking an invasion? I can't help but think that I'm missing something rather big.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 02 Mar 2022, 15:54:32

Doly wrote:I do understand that they don't like Russia and they like the EU, and that sounds natural enough, but to the extent of risking an invasion? I can't help but think that I'm missing something rather big.


If a sovereign state is going to allow itself to be so scared of a neighbor that it can't do what it feels it needs or wants to in terms of taking care of its people, its economy, its way of life, well...is it even really a sovereign country?

Myself, as someone subjected to bullies early in life, I learned that the one thing you can never do, is what they tell you to do. Fighting back and losing was a better option than caving in.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 02 Mar 2022, 16:50:51

Doly wrote:
I do understand that they don't like Russia and they like the EU, and that sounds natural enough, but to the extent of risking an invasion? I can't help but think that I'm missing something rather big.

Perhaps it was the corruption that funneled Ukrainian money into the hands of Putin and his buddies. And yes there were some Ukrainian middlemen helping the Russians.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Doly » Thu 03 Mar 2022, 17:03:49

Perhaps it was the corruption that funneled Ukrainian money into the hands of Putin and his buddies.


I think it's more likely that an ex-Soviet republic uses Russian-compatible industrial standards, rather than EU-compatible, so their main market would still be Russia. The kind of agricultural products that Ukraine has are dirt cheap so they don't make a lot of money on them.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 03 Mar 2022, 21:58:15

Even if you are only talking five or ten cents a bushel profit the total of Ukrainian exports amounts to a lot of money.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Doly » Fri 04 Mar 2022, 16:10:07

If a sovereign state is going to allow itself to be so scared of a neighbor that it can't do what it feels it needs or wants to in terms of taking care of its people, its economy, its way of life, well...is it even really a sovereign country?

Myself, as someone subjected to bullies early in life, I learned that the one thing you can never do, is what they tell you to do. Fighting back and losing was a better option than caving in.


Newsflash: Many of the smaller countries in the world aren't really sovereign. Actually, many of the medium-sized countries in the world wonder how sovereign they are. The British people jokingly call the country "Airstrip One", as they always have to go to war with the US, it looks like, regardless of genuine British interests.

As someone subjected to bullies early in life, I learned the one thing you can never do, is make a bad mistake on when you fight back, and when you grit your teeth and cave in. Maybe the bullies in your neighbourhood weren't all that bad.

I know what it's like to go to hospital to someone that was knifed and the guy that knifed him threw away his phone so he couldn't call for an ambulance, and then after he got out of hospital I had to visit him in prison because he got arrested for breaking someone else's door while being dead drunk. Not saying that it was right to break a door, but it was grating to find him in prison for a broken door and the guy that knifed him not arrested because apparently, just saying that you know exactly who knifed you isn't enough proof for the police, as if it was likely that you were going to accuse somebody else. And I doubt that if it's a rich person being attacked, they police say their word about who attacked them is not enough proof. I'm going on about the details not because you should care about my life, but just to make the point that I'm not making it up. Life isn't fair and sometimes not even the cops are on your side, even when they should be. Silly rules like "never cave in" are usually said by people who have no idea about how rough it can get. You've got to think by yourself.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 16 Apr 2022, 07:34:53

A possible game changer here.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your ... ung-bases/
Pentagon officials recently announced that the Defense Department will build a nuclear microreactor that can be flown to an austere site by a C-17 cargo plane and set up to power a military base.
A statement released Wednesday by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office announced the construction and testing decision that followed the office’s Environmental Impact Statement work for “Project Pele.”

.........
..........
The plans call for a 40-ton reactor that can fit in three-to-four 20-foot shipping containers and, once set up, provide 1 to 5 Mega Watts of power on full power operation for up to three years before refueling.

..........
...........
The idea was that they could reduce fuel consumption and the frequent attacks on supply lines that troops witnessed during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Current estimates show that a single Pele microreactor could save up to 1 million gallons of diesel fuel annually, Waksman said.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 17 Apr 2022, 19:46:58

vtsnowedin wrote:A possible game changer here.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your ... ung-bases/
Pentagon officials recently announced that the Defense Department will build a nuclear microreactor that can be flown to an austere site by a C-17 cargo plane and set up to power a military base.
A statement released Wednesday by the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office announced the construction and testing decision that followed the office’s Environmental Impact Statement work for “Project Pele.”

.........
..........
The plans call for a 40-ton reactor that can fit in three-to-four 20-foot shipping containers and, once set up, provide 1 to 5 Mega Watts of power on full power operation for up to three years before refueling.

..........
...........
The idea was that they could reduce fuel consumption and the frequent attacks on supply lines that troops witnessed during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Current estimates show that a single Pele microreactor could save up to 1 million gallons of diesel fuel annually, Waksman said.

We or rather the army already did this back fifty years ago. For about twelve years an army mini nuke sat at McMurdo base Antarctica supplying all the electricity and a pair of them on a barge were parked in Gatun Lake panana to supply power when lake levels were low in the dry season to conserve water by turning of the hydroelectic plant.
https://theconversation.com/remembering ... -poo-99934
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 17 Apr 2022, 20:47:49

I expect Nooky poo was a lot bigger then the current model and would not fit on a plane then or now. Also a half century newer design.
Odd coincidence, I had a neighbor back in the late 70's that spent winters working at that station in the Antarctic summer basically as a construction worker. He had to have any dental work all up to snuff before going each year as there was no dentist on the site.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 17 Apr 2022, 21:08:46

This small design has some possibilities if you are not constrained by it having to fit onto a plane. At just 5 megawatts it would be not much use domestically. Consider that My small one congressional district sized state needs 1250 megawatts of capacity for 640,000 population. But if you could design a unit just ten times bigger or 50 megawatts you could pair them up against wind and solar power installations to be the backup for nights and calm periods.
For comparison the closed Vermont Yankee plant was 630 MW.
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