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Michael Dittmar article on nuclear power's prospects

 
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:43 pm    Post subject: Michael Dittmar article on nuclear power's prospects Reply with quote

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/dittmar1/English

Michael Dittmar spoke on this at the ASPO conference in Cork a few years ago...

Michael Dittmar on 16 Aug 2010 wrote:
ZURICH – Repeatedly in recent years there have been calls for a revival of civilian nuclear power. Yet that renaissance never seems to come.

Indeed, of the more than 200 countries in the world, only 30 use nuclear power. In July 2010, a total of 439 nuclear power plants with a net installed capacity of 373.038 GW(e) were connected to various national electricity grids, about 1.2 GW(e) more than at the beginning of 2006.

Roughly 16% of total energy needs (up to 25% in the highly industrialized countries) are now met by electric energy. Nuclear fission’s contribution to total electric energy has decreased from about 18% more than ten years ago to about 14% in 2008. On a worldwide scale, nuclear energy is thus only a small component of the global energy mix, and its share, contrary to widespread belief, is not on the rise.

During 2009, for example, nuclear power plants provided 2,560 TWh(e) (2,560 billion kWh) of electric energy, about 1.6% lower than during 2008 and almost 4% lower than during the record year of 2006, when 2,658 TWh(e) were produced. Early results for the first four months of 2010 for the OECD countries, collected by the International Energy Agency indicate that so far the 2010 results are as low or lower than during the last year.

During the next five years, on average, roughly 10 new nuclear reactors are expected to become operational every year. But this assumes that all of them are constructed according to schedule, and the nuclear industry has rarely met its promised construction deadlines. According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), 17 new reactors should have become operational between 2007 and 2009. But only five came onstream during this period – three in 2007 and two in 2009.

Moreover, four reactors were de-commissioned during 2009, and a larger number of reactors in Japan and Germany are not in use, owing to various technical stoppages. At least one hundred older and smaller reactors will most likely be closed over the next 10-15 years.

Furthermore, during the past 10 years, only about two-thirds of worldwide demand for nuclear fuel – about 68,000 tons of natural uranium equivalent are needed for 2010 – was met from resources obtained from mining. The remaining 20,000 tons came from so-called secondary uranium sources – mainly inventories held by utilities and governments, re-processed nuclear fuel, and stockpiles of depleted uranium. The supply from these sources will drop by roughly 10,000 tons at the end of 2013, when the Megatons to Megawatt Program between Russia and the United States – which recycles highly-enriched uranium from Russian nuclear warheads into low-enriched uranium for nuclear power plants – comes to an end.

Current projections indicate that uranium shortages in the coming years can be avoided only if existing and new uranium mines operate according to plan. Indeed, extrapolations of global supply that foresee an increase in uranium mining are based on claims about the ability to expand output in Kazakhstan. So far, uranium mining in Kazakhstan has increased roughly as expected, from 4,357 tons in 2005 to 8,521 tons in 2008 to 14,000 tons in 2009.

But it remains to be seen if the uranium mining in this country can indeed increase further to 18,000 tons in 2010 and to 30,000 tons by 2018. According to the WNA’s latest estimates, from July 2010, the expected uranium extraction figure for 2010 has actually been decreased to 15,000 tons.


Article conclusion and counter argument comments
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RGR
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: Re: Michael Dittmar article on nuclear power's prospects Reply with quote

[quote="Adam1"

Last edited by RGR on Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If the energy cost increases in inverse proportion to the Ore concentration, shales and phosphates, with a Uranium abundance of 10 - 20 ppm, could be mined with an energy gain of 16 - 32


But could we afford it? It will be peak affordable production again because an alternative cheaper energy source will be used. But a Peak's a Peak!
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hittin' the buffers
Quote:
Stephen Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, says that when the ‘nuclear renaissance’ was first talked about six years ago, the capital costs quoted were about $1,000 per kilowatt. Now they have risen to about $6,000 per kilowatt.

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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest Professor Stephen Thomas needs to get his figures right.

Six years ago, nuclear proposals were swilling around at about £1.5m/MW installed. Now ( Nov 2010) we see proposals at £2.1m/MW (e.g Wylfa B - £5b for 2.3 GW sent out - and 60 years life. And escalation of factor of 1.4 (anyone know why?)

Six years ago they built the offshore wind farms of North Hoyle and Burbo bank (both less than 100 MW) for £1.35m/MW. But hooray! the economies of scale at work: we can now have Gwynt y Mawr's 576 MW for £1.7b - £2.95m/MW - a snip, and all of 20 years life! An escalation factor of 2.2.
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sources for figures?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The windfarm data is all from the DTI/DECC/n.power/NW Daily Post web sites.
The nuclear figures are from IET and E.On promotion literature and The Future of Nuclear Power (DTI, 2007).
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