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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 » Sat 18 Jun 2022, 12:36:10

vtsnowedin wrote:Actually nine have been decommissioned and another in nineteen are in the process including Vermont Yankee.
https://nei.org/resources/fact-sheets/d ... r%20plants.


There you go again, using facts and reality to disrupt certain members penchant for fantasy based on Hollywood dramas.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 18 Jun 2022, 13:32:31

Tanada wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:Actually nine have been decommissioned and another in nineteen are in the process including Vermont Yankee.
https://nei.org/resources/fact-sheets/d ... r%20plants.


There you go again, using facts and reality to disrupt certain members penchant for fantasy based on Hollywood dramas.

It is a thankless job but somebody has to do it. 8)
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Re: General Fossil Fuels Production News AND discussion

Unread postby C8 » Sat 25 Jun 2022, 14:13:34

France Sees Nuclear Energy Output Plummet At The Worst Possible Moment

By Haley Zaremba - Jun 25, 2022, 12:00 PM CDT

France, the European Union’s leader in nuclear energy, is seeing a massive decline in output.
Though it has been relatively unfazed by the bloc’s ongoing energy crisis, declining nuclear production could pose a significant problem in the coming months.
The collapse of French nuclear power generation and Putin’s retaliatory cutback on energy exports to Europe could be disastrous for the continent.


France has long been one of the world’s greatest champions of nuclear energy. France leads the European Union in nuclear production, with the most productive reactors in the bloc, and relies on nuclear power for a larger share of its energy mix than any other country in the world. It makes sense that France should lead the charge for nuclear energy development as they have long been the global poster child for safe and reliable nuclear energy – until now.

A recent flurry of unexpected issues at the Électricité de France (EDF), the state nuclear power operator representing the largest nuclear fleet in Europe, has caused French nuclear energy output to tumble to its lowest levels in 30 years. Around half of the EDF’s massive nuclear fleet has been taken offline, delivering a massive blow to the EU’s energy independence and security in the midst of a worldwide energy crisis.

France has become increasingly reliant on nuclear power in recent years. French President Emmanuel Macron has given nuclear energy an even bigger boost in his time in office. Indeed, in February, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he announced a €52 billion plan to revitalize the country’s “nuclear adventure.” He has also fought for the inclusion of the emissions-free power source as a “green investment” in the nomenclature of the European Union as the continent moves toward establishing its green energy budget for the coming years.

The European Union had hoped that France’s considerable nuclear power capacity would be key in allowing the bloc to move away from Russian energy as the West tries to shore up its energy independence and increase sanctions on the Kremlin in response to the Russian war in Ukraine. As recently as March of this year, the Council on Foreign Relations posited that nuclear power could be the answer to ending the continent’s crippling reliance on Russian energy. But now it might be the very thing that makes such a divorce impossible.

Until now, France has been relatively sheltered from the energy crisis squeezing its neighbors. But now the nuclear-reliant nation suddenly finds itself in the same boat as other energy-strapped European nations thanks to a “series of maintenance issues including corrosion at some of France’s ageing reactors, troubles at state-controlled energy group EDF and a years-long absence of significant new nuclear investment,” according to reporting from the Financial Times. The issues of corrosion, which are currently to blame for 12 of France’s 56 offline reactors, could take years to fix. Meanwhile, inflation is soaring and French electric bills have hit record highs.

“Instead of pumping vast amounts of electricity to Britain, Italy and other European countries pivoting from Russian oil,” writes The New York Times, “France faces the unsettling prospect of initiating rolling blackouts this winter and having to import power.” The incredibly bad timing of the EDF’s crisis is compounded with Putin’s recent slashing of natural gas exports to the EU, which have pushed countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands to a “bitter and reluctant return to coal.”

The contemporaneous collapse of French nuclear power generation capacity and Putin’s retaliatory cutback on energy exports to Europe spell out disaster and tragedy for the continent’s – and the world’s – decarbonization efforts. And even if France can get its nuclear fleet back up and running relatively quickly (a highly unlikely feat), it’s unlikely that the EU will be able to continue its planned coal phase-out, as the International Energy Agency warns that Russia may soon be cutting off its flow of natural gas to Europe entirely. While other countries including Romania will be bulking up their own nuclear energy capacity in the coming months and years, it looks like we’re on track for a banner year for coal and a devastating step back for global emissions targets.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com


The big problem here is that the French nuclear plants are run by the govt. Govt. has no incentive to run operations well as there are no consequences if things fail- nobody will be fired and everyone will get raises. Incentives matter- no amount of technology can overcome self serving human nature that is not channeled productively through capitalism. The French govt. is screwing things up because it can.
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Re: General Fossil Fuels Production News AND discussion

Unread postby Doly » Sun 26 Jun 2022, 16:11:08

Incentives matter- no amount of technology can overcome self serving human nature that is not channeled productively through capitalism.


Exactly. Incentives matter.

And any engineer will tell you that money really, really sucks as an incentive to a machine. Machines absolutely do not care about money. If you want a machine to work well, money will not change a thing.

You may say that money matters to an engineer. To some extent, it does. But the problem is, an engineer by definition is not a person that spends most their time thinking about money. If they were, their job would be finance. An engineer, by definition, spends most of their time thinking about machines. That absolutely do not care about money.

When an engineer thinks about money, it often is because some idiot that spends much more time thinking about money has said something to the effect that a machine cannot be maintained properly for what sounds to the engineer some stupid money-related reason. I have heard that sort of story so many times, it's not just that I've lost count, it's that I've got to the point that I know the quickest way of befriending an engineer is to say that anybody that spends much time thinking about money sucks really badly.

You are right, incentives matter. You want machines to stop working, keep not giving engineers what they want. And from what I've seen, your average capitalist believes with blind faith in not giving engineers what they want. Instead of giving engineers energy, materials and tools, a capitalist will give utterly useless money talk. Incentives matter.
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Re: General Fossil Fuels Production News AND discussion

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 26 Jun 2022, 16:50:24

from what I've seen, your average capitalist believes with blind faith in not giving engineers what they want. Instead of giving engineers energy, materials and tools, a capitalist will give utterly useless money talk. Incentives matter.


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Capitalism is a terrible system.....but communism is even worse

What a strange thing to say....of course "money talk" isn't useless.

Money plays an utterly vital role in modern society and its nonsensical to ignore that fact.

AND, businesses aren't in the business of pleasing engineers.

Businesses are in the business of pleasing their CUSTOMERS.

Businesses who are best able to meet their needs of their CUSTOMERS (not their engineers---their CUSTOMERS) will sell the most product, make the most profit, and earn the most money for their shareholders and their employees (including, of course, their engineers).

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Re: General Fossil Fuels Production News AND discussion

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 27 Jun 2022, 11:19:44

C8 wrote:
France Sees Nuclear Energy Output Plummet At The Worst Possible Moment

By Haley Zaremba - Jun 25, 2022, 12:00 PM CDT

France, the European Union’s leader in nuclear energy, is seeing a massive decline in output.
Though it has been relatively unfazed by the bloc’s ongoing energy crisis, declining nuclear production could pose a significant problem in the coming months.
The collapse of French nuclear power generation and Putin’s retaliatory cutback on energy exports to Europe could be disastrous for the continent.


France has long been one of the world’s greatest champions of nuclear energy. France leads the European Union in nuclear production, with the most productive reactors in the bloc, and relies on nuclear power for a larger share of its energy mix than any other country in the world. It makes sense that France should lead the charge for nuclear energy development as they have long been the global poster child for safe and reliable nuclear energy – until now.

A recent flurry of unexpected issues at the Électricité de France (EDF), the state nuclear power operator representing the largest nuclear fleet in Europe, has caused French nuclear energy output to tumble to its lowest levels in 30 years. Around half of the EDF’s massive nuclear fleet has been taken offline, delivering a massive blow to the EU’s energy independence and security in the midst of a worldwide energy crisis.

France has become increasingly reliant on nuclear power in recent years. French President Emmanuel Macron has given nuclear energy an even bigger boost in his time in office. Indeed, in February, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he announced a €52 billion plan to revitalize the country’s “nuclear adventure.” He has also fought for the inclusion of the emissions-free power source as a “green investment” in the nomenclature of the European Union as the continent moves toward establishing its green energy budget for the coming years.

The European Union had hoped that France’s considerable nuclear power capacity would be key in allowing the bloc to move away from Russian energy as the West tries to shore up its energy independence and increase sanctions on the Kremlin in response to the Russian war in Ukraine. As recently as March of this year, the Council on Foreign Relations posited that nuclear power could be the answer to ending the continent’s crippling reliance on Russian energy. But now it might be the very thing that makes such a divorce impossible.

Until now, France has been relatively sheltered from the energy crisis squeezing its neighbors. But now the nuclear-reliant nation suddenly finds itself in the same boat as other energy-strapped European nations thanks to a “series of maintenance issues including corrosion at some of France’s ageing reactors, troubles at state-controlled energy group EDF and a years-long absence of significant new nuclear investment,” according to reporting from the Financial Times. The issues of corrosion, which are currently to blame for 12 of France’s 56 offline reactors, could take years to fix. Meanwhile, inflation is soaring and French electric bills have hit record highs.

“Instead of pumping vast amounts of electricity to Britain, Italy and other European countries pivoting from Russian oil,” writes The New York Times, “France faces the unsettling prospect of initiating rolling blackouts this winter and having to import power.” The incredibly bad timing of the EDF’s crisis is compounded with Putin’s recent slashing of natural gas exports to the EU, which have pushed countries such as Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands to a “bitter and reluctant return to coal.”

The contemporaneous collapse of French nuclear power generation capacity and Putin’s retaliatory cutback on energy exports to Europe spell out disaster and tragedy for the continent’s – and the world’s – decarbonization efforts. And even if France can get its nuclear fleet back up and running relatively quickly (a highly unlikely feat), it’s unlikely that the EU will be able to continue its planned coal phase-out, as the International Energy Agency warns that Russia may soon be cutting off its flow of natural gas to Europe entirely. While other countries including Romania will be bulking up their own nuclear energy capacity in the coming months and years, it looks like we’re on track for a banner year for coal and a devastating step back for global emissions targets.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com


The big problem here is that the French nuclear plants are run by the govt. Govt. has no incentive to run operations well as there are no consequences if things fail- nobody will be fired and everyone will get raises. Incentives matter- no amount of technology can overcome self serving human nature that is not channeled productively through capitalism. The French govt. is screwing things up because it can.


Here is the truth behind the conspiracy theory. France passed a law back about 40 years ago that they would have X number of nuclear power plants in the country. In 2006ish they had a long complicated debate over when and where to start deploying their new power stations and they picked the Flamanville site for two new EPR units. In order to keep the number of stations to the limit X they planned on closing the two oldest units there which have suffered a number of issues because they were some of the very first PWR design units built when France decided to go nuclear. The two new EPR units were supposed to be completed around 2015-16 respectively so they scheduled the closure of the two old plants for 2016-17. As delays and cost over runs accumulated the two new plants were rescheduled for 2018-19 then again 2018-2020 and have now ultimately been delayed to 2022-23. Meanwhile the two old and inefficient original units have been kept open 6 years past their planned closure dates to maintain the grid stability and keep selling electricity to neighboring Germany which pays very well. When the latest round of extension for the Flamanville plants were allowed in 2020 the government regulator said this was the very last time they were going to push through an extension because these to plants are the ones most subject to unscheduled shut down and maintenance of the entire feet of power stations and they are rather ticked off on the delays with construction.

So the government announced they are sticking to their word, the two shut downs scheduled are going to happen this year, period, no more extensions. What this means for France is the national grid will still be adequately powered for the short 12-18 month gap until the two new plants finally join the grid, but during that period they won't have as much surplus power to sell Germany at a hefty profit.

https://newsrnd.com/business/2022-06-13 ... 564F5.html
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 30 Jun 2022, 08:51:04

Anger rises over nuclear plants being off amid power shortage | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis

Calls for a stable power supply erupted at electric utilities shareholders’ meetings across Japan on June 28 at a time when consumers have been asked to cut energy usage amid the simmering heat.

“Just asking consumers to cut energy use to ride out the power crisis is not the way a utility is supposed to be run,” said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

Some shareholders angrily demanded nuclear plants be brought back online soon as they believe the facilities provide stable power and help the bottom lines of electric power companies.

In Tokyo, Koike proposed at the shareholders’ meeting of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. that it add in its statute an article ensuring a stable supply of power.

“Your company has issued a series of advisories warning about the tight electricity supply,” she said at the session in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, referring to the notice over the past several days.

The metropolitan government is a stockholder of TEPCO.

The proposal was voted down, but other shareholders voiced anxieties about a possible electricity cutoff during discussions of other issues.

TEPCO Holdings President Tomoaki Kobayakawa called for stockholders’ understanding of the challenge facing the company to achieve both decarbonization and a stable power supply.

“It is a formidable challenge to tackle,” he said.

The power crunch was partly caused by TEPCO’s decommissioning or suspending operations at its thermal power plants over the past years to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

That has rekindled calls for nuclear plants to be restarted to fill in the shortfall in power supply.

The central government is also pushing for nuclear plants to be restarted, saying they should be used to the maximum extent.

At the Chubu Electric Power Co.’s meeting, a shareholder expressed frustration that its Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture has remained idle for more than 10 years.

“If the plant had been brought back online, consumers' concerns about power shortages might have been eased,” the person said. “A spike in electricity rates as a result of a surge in fossil fuel prices could have been avoided as well.”

The central government asked Chubu Electric to shut down the plant following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster as the facility is in an area where an offshore megaquake is anticipated within decades.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has been examining the plant’s safeguard measures over the past years.

Although local governments hosting the Shimane nuclear plant in Shimane Prefecture gave consent to a restart, a shareholder of the operator, Chugoku Electric Power Co., raised concerns about the facility’s safety and economic efficiency at the shareholders’ meeting.

However, Chugoku Electric President Natsuhiko Takimoto vowed to do everything possible to make use of the plant.

A shareholder at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s shareholders meeting pointed out the potential danger of a nuclear facility, noting Russian forces attacked a Ukrainian nuclear plant in its invasion of the country.

But Kyushu Electric President Kazuhiro Ikebe defended the nation's reliance on nuclear power at a news conference after the shareholders’ meeting.

“Nuclear energy can play a big role when power supplies are tight,” he said.


LINK
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 14:34:24

Nuclear power is gaining support after years of decline. But old hurdles remain



The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down in 2019. Exelon Generation blamed the closure on a lack of state subsidies. Such subsidies are growing amid concerns that such closures abet climate change.

Matt Rourke/AP

At the Nuclear Energy Assembly in Washington, D.C., this June, speaker Maria Korsnick urged the audience of hundreds to picture a world in which nuclear energy is triumphant.

"In this clean energy future, hundreds of reactors — from the existing models that we have today to advanced reactors both large and small — dot the landscape," said Korsnick, who's president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade association.

Such a future would have been harder to even imagine a few years ago.

Over the past decade, nuclear power plants across the country have been shutting down early in favor of cheaper natural gas power.

Now, an influx of investment from the government and the private sector is changing the trajectory of the aging U.S. nuclear fleet and spurring development of new nuclear technology.

But many of the same old hurdles to scaling up nuclear power remain.
Nuclear is the largest source of zero-emissions power in the U.S.

One factor in the newfound appreciation for nuclear power is worsening climate change. Nuclear currently contributes nearly one-fifth of all electricity generated in the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and is the biggest single source of power that does not directly create carbon emissions, although wind power eclipsed it briefly for the first time ever earlier this year.

In an effort to stave off more closures, the federal government began subsidizing older nuclear plants, opening up a $6 billion fund authorized in 2021's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act this year. That law also set aside an additional $2.477 billion for research and development of advanced nuclear reactor technology.

"Have no doubt, President Biden is serious about doing everything possible to get the U.S. to be powered by clean energy," Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff told conference attendees. "Nuclear energy is really essential to this," she said.



"President Biden is serious about doing everything possible to get the U.S. to be powered by clean energy ... And nuclear energy is really essential to this," Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Kathryn Huff said.

Laura Benshoff/NPR

States across the country have also rolled out more nuclear-friendly stances.

More than half of all states include nuclear power in their plans to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation, according to an Associated Press survey.

Some, like New York, were already funding older plants to stay open. In light of California's grid stability issues, Gov. Gavin Newsom started exploring options to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open, which is otherwise set to close by 2025.

Even major fossil fuel producer West Virginia recently repealed its ban on nuclear power. Republican delegate Brandon Steele, who represents a district in the southern, coal-producing part of the state, said diversifying energy production is good for business and energy security.

"If West Virginia can be a major producer, that serves the energy needs of the entire country and contributes to our national security," he said.

His argument cuts against the climate case for nuclear power. Steele tells NPR that he hoped bringing more nuclear and renewable energy to his state would help increase demand for coal, by increasing the overall demand for energy.

"[Nuclear is] a good complement to our coal-fired power. It's not a replacement, it's a complement," he said.

West Virginia currently has zero nuclear reactors. But Steele said the hope is to get in on the ground floor of advanced nuclear technology that's currently under development.
When it comes to new nuclear technology, the industry has "a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver"

Despite this momentum, if nuclear energy is going to grow even its boosters admit some things need to change.

When it comes to new nuclear technology, the industry has "a tendency to overpromise and underdeliver," said John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale Power/NuScale Corp, a publicly traded company working on advanced nuclear technology. His company was the first to receive federal approval for a small modular reactor design, but the first plant is not expected to be up and running until 2029.

"I want to get one module in the ground and prove we're commercially viable and we're going to do it on schedule," Hopkins told attendees during a panel at the Nuclear Energy Assembly in June.

That means cutting costs. Nuclear power has grown more expensive over time, according to the 2021 World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

By contrast, solar and wind power cost less and continue to come down in price, and when combined with long-term energy storage, could make nuclear power even less viable long-term, said Elgie Holstein, senior director for strategic planning for the Environmental Defense Fund.

"This is tough competition for these aging nuclear power plants," he said.

Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said nuclear's "unique liabilities and risks, both with regards to safety and security" also must be a part of any discussion over its usefulness. He points to the 2011 meltdown at a plant in Fukushima, Japan, and Russia's shelling of Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, earlier this year as examples of what can go wrong. There is also still no model for disposing of nuclear waste long-term, although Finland has created the first permanent repository for its spent fuel.

In the race to figure out a way to transition off carbon, energy experts differ on how much nuclear power should play a part. Many models for lowering greenhouse gas emissions rely on keeping steady the amount of nuclear power that exists now, if not growing it. But alternative ones, such as a recent Stanford University study, show a path to zero carbon emissions without any nuclear power.

Jason Bordoff, director of the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, said skepticism is warranted regarding any new energy technology, "whether it's green hydrogen, long-duration storage, or advanced nuclear."

But with time running out to avert the worst effects of climate change, he said it's good to have options.

"We are so far away from coming anywhere close to meeting our climate goals that we're going to need all the tools in the toolbox," Bordoff said.


NPR.org
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 14:39:32

A few pictures worth seeing at link below quote for those who want to know what a CANDU power core looks like and how it differs from the more common LWR's.
Yes CANDU!

If I were to ask you to name a nuclear powerhouse country, Canada probably wouldn’t be the first to come to mind. But that’s exactly what the land of Maple was as World War II drew to a close. When the Nazis menaced Britain, a decision was made to transfer the British nuclear program, which by that point contained the cream of the crop of continental scientists as well, to Canada in 1942. At the Chalk River Laboratory, a unique lineage of heavy water (deuterium oxide) reactors came into being. They were used to study the production of plutonium from uranium. After the war, Canada desired to turn this technology to a peaceful purpose. In 1962, the world’s first CANDU reactor — standing for CANadian Deuterium Uranium — was born.

The name could not have been more appropriate as the CANDU reactor was born from a can-do attitude. Unlike its southern neighbor, Canada in the 50s was not particularly industrially advanced. It certainly did not have the ability to produce the heavy-forged reactor vessel that most reactors used. And while uranium was plentiful in Canadian mines, they didn’t have the capability to enrich uranium. Fortuitously, the experimental reactors developed at Chalk River used many vacuum tubes rather than a single reactor vessel, and the heavy water moderator allowed the fission chain reaction to be sustained while using natural uranium.

“Are there still CANDUs? I mean, I learned about them in school, but I haven’t heard anything about them since. Are they still running?” That’s what my Canadian friend said to me after I told him I was working on an article on the CANDU. Yes, yes indeed there are. In fact, they are the reason why the Ontario grid is so low in carbon intensity, and the refurbishment of the Bruce and Darlington plants will see them providing rock-solid baseload into the 2060s. I couldn’t help but be a little sad though, that a Canadian would speak so lightly of what is undoubtedly one of his country’s greatest engineering achievements.

CANDUs are more than a cool story. It is a unique technology that still has so much to give to the world. Less than 50 of the world’s current 440 reactors are of the CANDU type. Here are ten reasons why in the future, we can do with more CANDU.

Heavy water is simply H20 where one of the hydrogen atoms contain an extra neutron. This means, if yet another neutron smashes into it, that neutron is less likely to be absorbed and more likely to hang around to split another atom. This excellent “neutron economy” is why the CANDU can eat unenriched uranium.

But that’s not all. What we currently call “high-level nuclear waste” is actually just “unused CANDU fuel”. Building CANDUs close to regular light water reactors can be synergystic, allowing the same fuel to be burnt again, once in the light water reactor, and again in the CANDU. “It will burn everything but the kitchen sink, and it will even burn the kitchen sink if it’s been glazed with thorium.”

Unlike lightwater reactors which can go for month before requiring fresh fuel, CANDU reactors are fed continuously with fuel rod bundles going in one end and out of the other without the reactor itself ever going offline. In fact, Darlington NPP’s Unit 1 achieved more than 962 days of continuous operation, a world record. Needless to say, this is a highly desirable characteristic for grid stability, even if it is a bother to keep this “hungry baby” fed on the daily.

The unique geometry of the CANDU, with the horizontal fuel channels, is in itself a passive safety feature. In the case of a runaway reaction, the temperature of the vacuum tubes will spike, causing the tubes to sag in the middle. Since natural uranium is not such a rich fuel, as soon as the geometry is distubed, the fission chain reaction will automatically cease.

Now, this is not the only safety feature by far. The CANDU reactor is equipped with control rods held in place by electromagnets. In the absence of a power signal, the rods drop, stopping the reaction. This is another passive safety feature, meaning the system “fails to safety” and no active measure is needed to trigger implementation.

The CANDU system also have two active safety systems: a supply of light water is on hand to flush away the heavy water, stopping the reaction and cooling the system. There is also a pressurized pump that can inject Gadolinium “neutron poison” into the system, which again will stop the chain reaction.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are all the rage these days. In fact, Canada itself is increasingly eyeing non-CANDU SMRs such as GE Hitachi’s BWRX-300 for new-builds. No shade on the BWRX-300, it’s fantastic with that Japanese ABWR championship DNA. I’m a huge fan of them for everywhere else. But why is Canada not championing their own CANDU technology, with a 96 percent indigenous supply chain?

The reason why SMRs are so hot is that the idea that we can speed up the nuclear buildouts by standardizing components and factory producing them. But due to its vacuum tube lattace structure, a large part of the CANDU is already modular, even though it doesn’t have to be small. Even in regular SMRs, not every part of the plant can be modularized, with 60 percent “modular” being considered pretty good.

And if a small plant is genuinely desired because the need for electricity is not that massive, well that’s where the CANDU SMR comes in. Same CANDU technology you know and love, smol size. Why not, Saskatchewan?

Since the 50s when the CANDU technology was developed in part because Canada couldn’t do heavy forging, the numbers of countries that actually can actually went down. Hard to imagine, but even the US just…kinda forgot. In fact, there are only 4 countries left with the heavy forging capabilities to make a nuclear reactor vessel: France, Japan, China and Russia. They might be joined by South Korea and Czechia soon, but the list is not long. If we are to have the nuclear renaissance we need, one can easily see heavy forging capacity becoming a bottleneck.

Luckily, since CANDU was built so Canada can have an indigenous nuclear industry in the 1950s, as long as your country is at least as industrially advanced as Canada in the 1950s, you can build CANDUs. This combined with the ability to take unenriched uranium as fuel can point to the way forward for many developing countries who have ambitions to be energy independent.

(But wait…wasn’t selling CANDU technology to India how the Indians got their bomb? Time to quickly set the record straight. Canada actually gave India a research reactor called CIRUS, “the ideal facility to develop a plutonium device” which they made the Indians promise not to use for weapons but…*surprise Pikachu face* that’s exactly what happened.)

The CANDU reactor could in the future prove to be an intriguing platform for advanced nuclear. I don’t quite understand it enough to write about it yet, but I’ve been told that very interesting things happen in our ‘hungry baby’ when we start feeding it spicey fuel such as Thorium. It’s that lovely neutron economy which makes the CANDU such an intriguing platform to investigate advanced fuel cycles. What happens when you feed it LWR spent fuel mixed with a little natural uranium? What happens if you just straight up feed it lightly-enriched uranium?

It’s also got a unique ability to produce medical isotopes, which I think can be an article in and of itself. Basically, short-lived isotopes such as Lutecium-177 cannot be made in conventional nuclear reactors because they are sealed up for months at a time. This is why they are usually made in research reactors, which unfortunatly are shutting down more they are being opened. By sending special fuel bundles with target material thorugh the CANDU, you can “cook” them just right to create massive amounts of medical isotopes and just collect on the other end.

It’s a crime that the Canadians, perhaps with their national propensity towards modesty, have not been shouting from the rooftops about their CANDU technology. It’s proven, stable tech that has stood the test of time, yet still has a lot of avenues of unexplored upsides.

It’s not too late. The last CANDU reactor to be commissioned appears to be China’s Qinshan phase 3, completed in 2003. But there’s still dormant projects in Romania and Argentina that can be restarted. Most importantly, with the refurbishment of the Bruce and Darlington units, why isn’t Canada trying to replicate its own successful ‘Ontario model’ throughout the nation? (Incredibly, almost all the CANDUs in Canada are in the state of Ontario with the exception of one in New Brunswick.) Canada can return to its historical place as a frontrunner in nuclear while truly making meaningful strides towards its ambitious decarbonization targets.


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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 14:53:33

Interesting, I did not know about CANDU.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 18:34:39

I heard an interesting bit about NUCLEAR and HYDROGEN this morning.

Everybody thinks about nukes as a way to make carbon-free electricity……but you could also use nukes to make carbon-free hydrogen fuels.

ANd you could use the hydrogen fuel to run cars, trucks, airplanes and everything else that currently use gasoline.

There are all kinds of problems in scaling up solar and wind power enough to power the world economy. But when you add in nuclear power as a way to make both ELECTRICITY and HYDROGEN FUELS, then suddenly the limits are gone…..and the world actually could successfully produce enough carbon-free energy to go totally carbon free in every aspect of the global economy.

Its enough to make me optimistic again……until I think about what a moron Joe Biden is and I realize there is zero choice he’ll make the right policy decisions now.

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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sat 02 Jul 2022, 20:28:01

Plantagenet wrote:I heard an interesting bit about NUCLEAR and HYDROGEN this morning.

Everybody thinks about nukes as a way to make carbon-free electricity……but you could also use nukes to make carbon-free hydrogen fuels.

ANd you could use the hydrogen fuel to run cars, trucks, airplanes and everything else that currently use gasoline.

There are all kinds of problems in scaling up solar and wind power enough to power the world economy. But when you add in nuclear power as a way to make both ELECTRICITY and HYDROGEN FUELS, then suddenly the limits are gone…..and the world actually could successfully produce enough carbon-free energy to go totally carbon free in every aspect of the global economy.

Its enough to make me optimistic again……until I think about what a moron Joe Biden is and I realize there is zero choice he’ll make the right policy decisions now.

Cheers!

Not knowing the specifics of that nuclear to hydrogen technology I don't know as it is viable or not. But if it is, after the Biden administration goes down in flames those taking up the reins of power can move it forward as much as it deserves to be.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 03 Jul 2022, 21:26:30

British Gas owner Centrica signals it will throw its financial might behind Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, bringing significant boost to project

British Gas owner Centrica signals it will throw its financial might behind Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, bringing significant boost to project

Published: 16:51 EDT, 2 July 2022 | Updated: 10:11 EDT, 3 July 2022
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British Gas owner Centrica has signalled it will throw its financial might behind the Sizewell C nuclear plant in Suffolk, bringing a significant boost to the project.

The utility giant will join French rival EDF as a significant backer of the plant alongside the British Government.

The Prime Minister wants Sizewell C to be one of up to eight new reactors built by 2030.

Planning ahead: Centrica will join French rival EDF as a significant backer of the Sizewell C plant alongside the British Government

It is a core part of his energy security strategy launched in April after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Centrica's commitment will help smooth a path towards a restructuring of the £20billion joint venture and the removal of Chinese state-backed CGN as an investor.

A new ownership structure is being drawn up by Ministers that will see EDF's stake reduced from 80 to 20 per cent. The Government will take a 20 per cent stake under the new plan.

Advisers at Barclays have been drafted in to find investors to cover the remainder. The Mail on Sunday understands Centrica – which has not yet put the decision before its company board – is prepared to take a stake.

But this will be lower than Centrica's existing 20 per cent shareholding of Britain's operational nuclear power stations, reflecting its reduced role in Britain's energy provision compared with the past.

It also shows the group's renewed commitment to nuclear energy after announcing it would sell off its interests just four years ago. It reversed that decision last year and now believes that nuclear will play a vital role in the country's future energy provision, sources said.

Its support will be welcomed by Ministers keen to strengthen Britain's domestic energy supplies as gas prices soar.

It will also be seen as a tacit approval of the Government's regulated asset base – or RAB – funding model, which has been used to fund other big infrastructure projects, such as gas networks and airports.

This works by charging bill payers early on, helping to pay for large initial costs without borrowing huge sums.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said last month the new model would give investors greater certainty in the early stages of a project and cut the lifetime cost of a new nuclear plant by £30billion, reducing consumer electricity bills.

National Infrastructure Commission chairman Sir John Armitt has called for more transparency on the upfront cost of nuclear plants in light of the rising bill for Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.

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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 04 Jul 2022, 09:29:23

Yes the war in Ukraine has been quite the wake up call for all of Europe's leaders and they are scrambling away from Russian fuel and green energy as fast as they can.
It was noted somewhere that imports of US sourced LNG now exceed imports of Russian gas to Europe.
Perhaps the Administration that comes in after Biden will start a nuclear building program along with fully utilizing our Natural gas resources for the next decade or so or until replacements are actually in place and producing.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 12 Jul 2022, 17:07:50

Soaring demand for electricity and coal shows why we need nuclear energy

Last week, BP released its annual Statistical Review of World Energy and the report shows, yet again, that electricity is the world’s most important and fastest-growing form of energy.

In 2021, global electricity generation grew by a record 1,577 terawatt-hours, an increase of 6.2 percent over 2020. For perspective, last year’s increase in electricity production was greater than the electricity output of France, Germany and Britain combined. The surge in electricity generation — nearly half of which happened in China — reflects the jump in demand for power as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers also show that, despite all the hype about renewable energy and the “energy transition,” when it comes to producing power, countries are still heavily dependent on King Coal. Indeed, coal-fired generation continued its dominance of the electricity sector in 2021, accounting for 51 percent of the increase in global electricity generation. Furthermore, coal’s share in the global generation mix increased slightly to 36 percent, while natural gas’s share of the generation mix fell to just under 23 percent.

While renewable generation increased by double-digit percentages, the increase in coal-fired generation — up 805 terawatt-hours — was greater than the jump in wind and solar production combined. Not surprisingly, China had the biggest share of the increase in coal use, accounting for more than half of the global increase of 418 terawatt-hours. By itself, China accounts for 54 percent of all global coal use.

But China is only part of the story. Coal-fired generation also increased in the United States last year, up 122 terawatt-hours, and in India, up 152 terawatt-hours. The surge in coal consumption shows that what I call the “Iron Law of Electricity” remains in effect — that countries, businesses and individuals will do what they have to do to get the electricity they need. China and India usually get the headlines, but European countries also are ramping up coal use. Russia’s restrictions on westward flows of natural gas have spurred Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland to increase their coal use.

All of these numbers matter because the electricity sector produces more greenhouse gasses than any other sector of the global economy. And because the global electricity business is so dependent on coal, there is simply no way to cut emissions without making a big dent in coal consumption.

Again, the BP numbers tell the tale. In 2021, the jump in coal use — which surged by 6.3 percent — was greater than the growth in global oil use (up 6.1 percent), natural gas consumption (up 5.3 percent), nuclear (up 3.8 percent), or hydro (down 1.8 percent). The surge in hydrocarbon consumption also explains why global greenhouse gas emissions continue climbing. Last year, global CO2 emissions increased by 5.9 percent. Here in the U.S., emissions increased even more than that, climbing by 6.6 percent.

Despite these facts, academics, policymakers and climate activists routinely claim that we don’t need hydrocarbons and that we can meet the world’s energy needs solely with renewables — wind, solar and a dash of hydropower — an idea debunked in a 2017 report published by the National Academy of Sciences.

Don’t buy the hype. The reality is that all around the world, land-use conflicts are slowing or stopping large-scale wind and solar projects. As can be seen in the Renewable Rejection Database, some 344 communities across the U.S. have rejected or restricted wind projects since 2013. To cite just one recent example: Last month, Butler County, Ohio, banned large wind and solar projects in a dozen townships in the county. The rural backlash against the energy sprawl that comes with big renewable projects also has occurred in Europe. In 2010, the European Platform Against Windfarms had about 400 member organizations. Today, it has more than 1,600 members in 31 countries.

There are many reasons why renewables cannot — will not — be able to meet soaring global energy demand. They include intermittency, land constraints, lack of sufficient high-voltage transmission capacity, and the staggering quantity of commodities such as concrete, copper, steel and rare earth elements that would be needed.

So, if renewables cannot meet our needs, and we are concerned about climate change, what is the way forward? The answer is nuclear energy. Indeed, the other big energy news from last week was a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said that “building sustainable and clean energy systems will be harder, riskier and more expensive without nuclear,” and that global nuclear capacity must double between now and 2050 if the world is to have any hope of slashing emissions.

The IEA also underscored the lack of progress being made in the U.S. and Europe on building new reactors. It said that “advanced economies have lost market leadership” in nuclear development and deployment and that “27 out of 31 reactors that started construction since 2017 are Russian or Chinese designs.”

This must change. For decades, the U.S. led the world in the development of nuclear energy. But we have ceded that leadership to Russia and China. Furthermore, the U.S. has foolishly allowed too many of our existing nuclear plants to be prematurely shuttered, including two in the past 15 months: Indian Point in New York and Palisades in Michigan.

The energy crisis in Europe and the latest BP numbers show that if we are to have any hope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we have to embrace the atom. The U.S. doesn’t lack investment dollars or good reactor designs. Last year alone, some $3.4 billion in venture capital was invested in nuclear-focused startups. What’s needed is committed and sustained leadership from President Biden and Congress.

Today’s crises are a prime opportunity for President Biden to use the bully pulpit to promote nuclear energy. And the time for him to do so is right now.

Robert Bryce is the host of the “Power Hungry Podcast,” executive producer of the documentary, “Juice: How Electricity Explains the World,” and the author of six books


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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 14 Jul 2022, 16:42:33

It sounds more and more as if the future of nuclear fission will be completely in the hands of Asia much the way European Russia and the USA were the leaders in the later 20th century.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 14 Jul 2022, 18:05:50

Subjectivist wrote:It sounds more and more as if the future of nuclear fission will be completely in the hands of Asia much the way European Russia and the USA were the leaders in the later 20th century.

I don't know about that. It does not matter how much another country or region goes for nuclear power. When our leaders come to the conclusion we need more of it we can and will build as many power plants as we have decided we need. The price of Uranium ore might get high at some point but a high price will spur more exploration and mining so that problem will solve itself.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 14 Jul 2022, 21:23:03

Switzerland gets green light to restart oldest nuclear power plant

On 1 July 2022, the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (FNSI) gave a green light for the restart of Beznau 1, Switzerland’s oldest nuclear reactor.

The reactor, which entered operation in 1969, was shut down on 29 April 2022 for planned annual maintenance. During the work the fuel assembly was replaced, said FNSI. The work was done by more than 400 people including local and international nuclear experts.

Beznau 1, Switzerland first operation nuclear reactor, started operating in 1969. According to owner Axpo, the reactor produces around 3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which is enough to power 650,000 four-person households.

Adding back in 3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year to the Swiss grid will help with looming electricity shortages driven by constrained supplies of the fossil fuels used to produce much of the electricity consumed in Switzerland.


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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 14 Jul 2022, 21:46:53

I do expect more news items about plant restarts and new construction ground breakings. The reality of our energy situation is beginning to take hold.
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Re: THE Nuclear Power Thread pt 9 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 14 Jul 2022, 22:57:15

vtsnowedin wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:It sounds more and more as if the future of nuclear fission will be completely in the hands of Asia much the way European Russia and the USA were the leaders in the later 20th century.

I don't know about that. It does not matter how much another country or region goes for nuclear power. When our leaders come to the conclusion we need more of it we can and will build as many power plants as we have decided we need. The price of Uranium ore might get high at some point but a high price will spur more exploration and mining so that problem will solve itself.


Uranium price is a very small fraction of the cost of nuclear electricity. That being said while I hope your confidence is correct I am rather doubtful. It has been a long time since the USA was good at rapidly building much of anything. Look at the new "Freedom Tower" as an example. People were demanding a replacement for the Twin Towers the day of the attack. It took four and a half years before construction was even begun which is longer than it took to build the Chrysler Building or the Empire State building. Construction of the Freedom Tower took eight and a half years which is a completely ridiculously slow construction rate. The Chrysler Building broke ground September 19, 1928 and was fully opened for business in May 1, 1932 and was declared complete by the city of New York in February 1932, some 3.5 years after ground was broken. The taller Empire State Building broke ground was broken on January 22, 1930 and officially opened for business May 1, 1931 just 18 months after ground was broken. In 1933 the building became world famous when King Kong premiered including the scene where the worlds giant ape climbed the building to get Fay Wray before being machine gunned by army air force biplanes and falling to his death. In power construction Hoover Dame was built from 1931 to 1936 a period of five years and generates 2.08 GWe while Glen Canyon Dam was built from 1956 to 1966 and generates 1.32 GWe and nobody whines about their construction taking so long to produce clean power. In comparison the Palo Alto nuclear plant that powers Phoenix, AZ has three units, all of which were started in 1976 two opening in 1986 and the third in 1988 for an average time of just over 10.5 years and together they produce 3.94 GWe power in the most advance Generation II reactors built in the USA. The Donald C Cook plant that powers Chicago and which I toured before 9/11/01 has two units both of which began construction in 1969 and were completed in 1975 and 1978 or in six years and nine years respectively. The two units produce 1.045 GWe and 1.168 GWe respectively All five of the named reactors are on the order of the Glen Canyon Dam in power production and took about the same or less time to build and produce reliable power at capacity far more often than the river flow dependent dam does. Yet despite their tiny ecological footprint and low carbon emissions they are repeatedly criticized as a terrible idea despite generating a huge profit for their buildings over their 60 year current operating license's with some possibility of being extended out to 80 years depending on regulations in the 2030's when they are due for renewal or decommissioning.

In China the Taishan Power plants are twin EPR reactors broke ground in August 2008 and generated first power in June 2018 and began full grid supply December 13, 2018 with Unit 2 following in September 2019. These are the first two Generation III reactors completed and each produces 1.66GWe. The Three Gorges Dam began construction in December 1994 and reached full height in 2003 however it took from 2003 to 2012 for all of the generation and distribution equipment to be completely installed for a period of 18 years from start to completion. The dam has a massive capacity of 22.5 GWe however the river flow rate is such that it only achieves that output 45% of the time. That gives an average net generation of 10.125 GWe or the same as 6 EPR reactors like those built in Taishan 1 & 2.

Now for the sad part, while the Taishan units required 10 and 11 years for construction respectively the very first EPR that began construction was in Finland. Olkiluoto unit 3 began construction in August 2005 and projected to complete in 2009. Unfortunately it has had delay after delay and produced its first power in May 2022. It is now projected to deliver full grid power starting December 10, 2022 a full 13 years after plan. Some of the delay was because this was the very first EPR that was started building and there were some early problems with substandard materials being used by the contractor that failed testing and had to be torn out and rebuilt from scratch. Taishan which began three years later had Chinese engineers closely following the Finish project and were able to evade several costly mistakes which turned up in the prototype, however none of those repairs should have delayed the project this long. Labor slowdowns and agitation from Green Peace and other anti nuclear organizations including frivolous and fanciful scare stories greatly slowed construction.

France was the developer of the EPR design and started construction of Flamanville unit 3 in December 2007 with a planned commercial operation date of 2013, also before the twin Taishan plants in China. Unfortunately as on 2022 the plant has not yet completed construction and fuel loading in now planned for late 2022 with commercial operation in mid 2023. France has also announced that lessons learned from the Finnish and French EPR construction delays has been used to simplify the EPR design as the new EPR-2 design which will be the six new reactors planned to start in 2028 with completion in 2035 and later.

In comparison France built Flamanville 1 & 2 in exactly 7 years and 6 years 9 months respectively. Each of those units produces 1.33 GWe. France and the USA were the pioneers of nuclear power but we have both fallen apart so badly that what once took under ten years now frequently takes closer to twenty. China on the other hand has built a dozen reactors this century and their pace of construction completion is going down as they gain experience, not going up from bureaucratic and cultural delay tactics.
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