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TEQs & Nuclear Power
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

jo wrote:
You say :-
"Doubling our nuclear capacity would reduce the country?s emissions by 8%? That?s huge!"

The major question is here : How large are the Carbon Cuts provided for the amount of Cash spent on a particular technology ?

In other words, how much Carbon bang for your buck ?

To put it another way, if people/Government/companies now spend ?30billion on 20 new Nuclear Power stations, would that cause the same kind of Carbon Cuts as spending ?30billion on Renewables ?

Thank-you. This is my point, there are better ways than nuclear to solve the problem, you are moving away from your previous argument of nuclear not being safe, not being low-carbon, not being proven etc towards it being low value.

jo wrote:

Let's look at those Storm/Smith figures again, shall we (said very patronisingly) ?

Coal : 755 gCO2/kWh
Nuclear (Storm and Smith) : 84 - 122 gCO2/kWh
Wind : 11 - 37 gCO2/kWh

Now, I know you do not accept Storm/Smith figures, but there is something very enlightening about their approach.
You don't know that because it's not true. I just said their figures are towards the extreme end, there are (self-confessed) large uncertainties. It is not a case of me not accepting them. In fact I published an article on The Oil Drum very recently based largly on their work: New Nuclear Reactors For The UK: Is This Really A Good Idea?
I wouldn't have done that if I simply didn't accept their figures.

jo wrote:
They point out the very obvious fact that as you start your nu nuclear build you go into Carbon Debt for the first tranche of years until the plant is operational.

It cannot be known whether the plant will ever become operational, or at what efficiency, so the whole approach is Carbon Risky - it risks significantly more Carbon Emissions for the sake of possibly cutting some.
Sure there's a risk, same with every project - the lifetime carbon costs are the more important metric.

jo wrote:
Apart from your couple of technical points about Storm/Smith, can you please explain to me why other, lower estimates of Nuclear Carbon Emissions never seem to factor in decommissioning and disposal of waste ?
I wouldn't say they don't factor in decommissioning or disposal of waste (in fact Storm identifies several that do), just they don't allocate 25% of operational energy to the task. Whether it?s 2%, 10% or 25% is unknown, by me, by you or by Storm/Smith. We simply don't know exactly what needs to be done or how best to do it. Storm/Smith?s approach is (self-confessed) ?speculative? in character (they take the cost estimate of decommissioning and dismantling and multiply by the energy intensity of the industrial sector of New Construction, 12.34 MJ/$2000). Is that the right figure? Maybe nuclear decommissioning is a whole new type of sector, maybe it?s driven by expensive but low-energy bureaucracy, legalities and health and safety meaning the energy intensity is far lower than new construction? Storm/Smith?s work is a valuable contribution but it isn?t, and Storm doesn?t claim it to be, the final answer.

jo wrote:
It is from my point of view, a waste of time, energy, resources and Carbon to go Nu Nuclear. You get less kWh for your euro and probably much more CO2 than Wind Power.

Wind Power works economically, even at the small- to medium-scale end (as long as it's not on your house in an urban area, Mr David Cameron).

Community-scale schemes are able to fund themselves and make handsome profits too.

You can do Wind at any scale you like.

The same cannot be said of Nuclear Power. It's just not flexible.

All this talk of "baseload", that we need a "guaranteed baseload" and that only stalwart, worthy Nuclear can provide it. Well, when a nuclear reactor fails then the stepdown is significant - all that generating power lost in one hit. When a Wind Turbine fails, or the wind dies down in one area, another one will still be whirling somewhere else.

You really ought to read the work by Graham Sinden on the compensation for variability.

You really ought to read up on Zero Carbon Britain (dot com) and our Plan To Take Over The World With Green Electricity Generation.

We love TEQs.
Thank-you, now you're getting somewhere - this is a better line of attack. To show there are better alternatives to nuclear. To quote myself from above:

clv101 wrote:
Concentration on showing there are alternatives that can improve the supply demand balance in a sustainable way FASTER and CHEAPER than nuclear... and without being vulnerable to sea-level rise. That?s where the anti-nuclear argument will be won.

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jo



Joined: 20 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:41 am    Post subject: Into The Unknown Balance Sheet - Both Cost And Carbon Reply with quote

@clv101,

Chris,

I think we are beginning to sing from the same hymn sheet (apologies if you are not a person of faith).

Arguments put forward for New Nuclear always fudge the cost issue, but then, so do people who bat against it.

We REALLY DON'T KNOW how much New Nuclear will cost.

All that we have so far in terms of financial evidence on the technology is a partially completed lifecycle - why - even the radioactive waste of the last 50 years has not been completely wiped up permanently yet and disposed of somewhere safe.

We STILL DON'T KNOW how much Nuclear has cost IN TOTAL for us so far. How can we confidently predict totals for future implementations ?

The PROJECTED cost of nuclear waste disposal is fudged, and so is the COST SO FAR - because of endless readjustments in State support and the so-called privatisation that couldn't even find one leg to stand on, let alone two.

But, even if we can negotiate some idea about the future cost of "new" technologies in nuclear generation (and they're not really new science in any way, as the designs have been proposed and tinkered with for decades), we still have NO IDEA OF THE EVENTUAL CARBON EMISSIONS TALLY for nuclear power.

By presenting a range of figures on the full lifecycle Carbon Emissions of Nuclear Power, nobody is claiming ABSOLUTE ACCURACY, not even Storm/Smith. How can they ? They are right though, in that they outline for us that there are good reasons to disbelieve what we have been told by our governments.

What Storm/Smith are putting forward is that the upper bounds could be higher than those FUDGED BY THE GOVERNMENTS. Much higher, in fact.

Basically, by proposing a new rack of Nuclear Power stations, of whichever technology, the governments are asking us to STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN both in terms of COST and CARBON.

Sure, every technology has its un-calculated Carbon impact and its cost, but really we shouldn't be running with something that has been so FUDGED ?

We have clear evidence from around the world that Wind Power can be properly calculated - the full lifecycle costs, both in terms of Carbon and Money - can be clearly demonstrated.

Plus - it's FAST TO GRID - my favourite quasi-American expression.

We have an Energy Crunch rushing up on us (the lights will go out in 2012 or something, so everyone in the UK Government is brainwashed to say), and we are also facing an Money Crunch from Peak Energy and Social Entropy.

It is nonsensical to launch expensive inflexible projects that cannot produce a return in less than 10 years (or 15, given the current appalling state of global civil engineering).

In my view, all it will take is for 5 of the world's top net worth individuals to pay for a comprehensive Renewables program in, say, the United States, for it to be clear that the easy route to the energy future is in Wind and Marine/Tidal.

Hang on. The world's top net worth nation is ALREADY following a Renewables program. Despite the state of oil play in Texas, it has a HUGE number of wind turbines.

I think they already know.

The real reason for New Nuclear decisions in the UK may be nothing more than croneyism - despotism - the lovely favoured nephew/cousin thing. Read this from my contact PR (and then read Private Eye) :-

=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=

What a surprise. The government has given in to the all powerful nuclear lobby. Thanks to a question from LD I've been doing a bit of digging. It seems this is very much a family affair.

Gordon Brown's chief Economic Advisor whilst he was Chancellor was Ed Balls. Ed Balls is married to Yvette Cooper, Housing and Planning Minister. Her father is Tony Cooper, until 2004 chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, and currently Director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The Treasury is of course very influential in any decisions taken by the government concerning nuclear power.

Gordon Brown's younger brother Andrew was Director of Media Strategy for Webber Shandwick, a world-wide political lobbying company. Among their key accounts are American giants General Electric and Westinghouse (both in the frame for nuclear contracts) and BNFL.

It was Webber Shandwick that was mainly responsible for the heavy push on promoting nuclear power in the media as 'safe, clean and climate friendly'.

On 13th Sept 2004 Andrew Brown was appointed as Director of Media Relations with EDF Energy, the British arm of Electricite de France, which operates in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium , Germany, Poland, North America, China, Thailand and Vietnam. It has interests in all forms of electricity generation, but is the main nuclear generator in France, owns 58 nuclear reactors worldwide, and has stated keen interests on developing nuclear in the UK.

It currently owns Cottam Power station near Retford, Notts (coal), West Burton, near Retford, Notts (coal), Sutton Bridge, South Yorkshire (gas), Barkantine Combined Heat & Power Station, Tower Hamlets, (gas), Kirkheaton Wind Farm, Northumberland, and Teeside Offshore Windfarm, Redcar (under development). Between all sources it claims to generate one quarter of all energy in England and Wales.

If by chance EDF happens to win a contract, and it's a fair bet that it will, it will raise some interesting questions. They claim that they can have the first plant up an running by 2017 - quite a tall order from a standing start (if indeed it is. I wonder just how much has already gone on behind the scenes)! They normally take at least 15 years to complete and commission. We shall see.

=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

Bandidoz wrote:
jo wrote:

Let me talk about the problems of Big, not just Big Energy.

I'd like to put it to you that our national capacity to successfully complete large engineering projects is severely compromised.

.........

You can do Wind at any scale you like.


I think much of the malaise with big projects is due to the accountancy and regulation, rather than the engineering itself. Many large projects (e.g. Channel Tunnel) just simply couldn't be done decades ago, so I wouldn't be inclined to say that "engineering has gone to the dogs".

If we built a second Forth bridge today, we'd probably use far less material than the original. However it would probably take a lot longer to build, since we do not allow people to walk around like Manhattan's Flatiron building workers any more...

...and sure enough, the project would over-run, because competitive tendering means that everyone involved has to promise unrealistic estimates of lead time and cost (and this effect propagates through their suppliers).

There is also the marketing paradigm of "people say they want x but won't necessarily buy it when it comes to stumping up the money". That paradigm hurt many companies in the 1980s. Now, suppliers take orders for subsystems that often don't even exist in R&D thus stretching the downstream project delivery times further.

If you think that large, complex systems have no chance of succeeding, then you might as well forget about large-scale penetration of renewable energy; the demand-control systems required to keep the grid stable will be very complex indeed, and it will be a gargantuan task.


These are all good points about large projects and I think we can deliver a large, complex project on time: the new Channel Tunnel rail link is a good example.

I would be curious to know why the Finnish reactor has gone so far over budget/time. The build of the third Flammenville reactor in Normandy, which is very similar (I understand) seems to be going according to plan.

There are many factors which delay projects, "scope creep" being a common one, however projects in certain fields can be thrown off by factors specific to that field. For instance, many IT projects get into trouble if they try to implement too much in one go. It's much better to chunk it up into small 'deliverables'. I don't know if there are any factors specific to nuclear build projects. Their level of complexity, low tolerances and size must be a lot bigger than the biggest renewables project: the Severn barrage scheme is not nearly as complex or risk prone as the Finnish nuclear build, is it?
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

Adam1 wrote:

I would be curious to know why the Finnish reactor has gone so far over budget/time. The build of the third Flammenville reactor in Normandy, which is very similar (I understand) seems to be going according to plan.


Adam, a quick search turned up this site: olkiluoto.info with information on the Olkiluoto reactor problems in Finland (I'm not sure who set up the site, but it's clearly not a fan of the project!).

This article from AFX news also notes that: "Analysts have estimated the cost of the overruns at 1.5bn eur, half the reported 3bn eur value of the project. The plant is not expected to open until 2011, compared with the initially scheduled date of 2009."

And as highlighted in the Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy, the carbon emissions associated with this project will also have increased due to the need to re-lay much of the concrete..

Let us know if you uncover any comparisons - positive or negative - with the Normandy project you mention.
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Adam1



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

Shaunus4 wrote:
Adam, a quick search turned up this site: olkiluoto.info with information on the Olkiluoto reactor problems in Finland (I'm not sure who set up the site, but it's clearly not a fan of the project!).

This article from AFX news also notes that: "Analysts have estimated the cost of the overruns at 1.5bn eur, half the reported 3bn eur value of the project. The plant is not expected to open until 2011, compared with the initially scheduled date of 2009."

And as highlighted in the Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy, the carbon emissions associated with this project will also have increased due to the need to re-lay much of the concrete..

Let us know if you uncover any comparisons - positive or negative - with the Normandy project you mention.


I've seen a news report referring to the 50% budget overrun and the two year delay to 2011.

I must admit I've given up on the thread on the Oil Drum which follows article on the new edition of the Guide to Nuclear Energy. I don't find the combative nature of the pro-nuclear contributions very helpful in learning more about nuclear.

The only sites I've found on the Normandy project are on Wikipedia. I was in France over Xmas and people do basically see nuclear as a key part of a climate change strategy. I guess, because there seems to be little political conflict within France, there is less internet traffic on the subject.

The site is very near Guernsey, where I visit a couple of times a year. There too, where they are part of the French grid, nuclear is seen as good for climate change.
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

Adam1 wrote:
...nuclear is seen as good for climate change.

Well it almost undoubtedly is good news for climate change - just not the best news. I mean nuclear's direct comparison is coal (similar economics of high up front capital costs, low running costs, similar macro structure etc...). So if the status quo is new coal then nuclear is good news. There is some truth in the saying "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good".

Another thought I had recently is what would have happened if civilian nuclear power never existed? Well it?s likely global electricity supply would be cheaper and therefore more would be generated. That replacement for nuclear and the additional electricity is likely to have come from coal ? historically the cheapest. From a climate change point of view, had Lizzy II not opened Calder Hall, the world?s first grid connected nuclear power station in 1956, we could today have significantly higher concentrations of CO2 than we actually have.

Just one scenario... an alternative is that ?renewables? would have been seen as the only low-CO2 and indigenous form of energy 30 years ago, would have received the hundreds of billions R&D that actually went to nuclear and we could be looking at 20%+ global energy from renewable today.
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Shaun Chamberlin



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Nuclear : Large Spend : Little Gain Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:


Another thought I had recently is what would have happened if civilian nuclear power never existed? Well it?s likely global electricity supply would be cheaper and therefore more would be generated. That replacement for nuclear and the additional electricity is likely to have come from coal ? historically the cheapest. From a climate change point of view, had Lizzy II not opened Calder Hall, the world?s first grid connected nuclear power station in 1956, we could today have significantly higher concentrations of CO2 than we actually have.

Just one scenario... an alternative is that ?renewables? would have been seen as the only low-CO2 and indigenous form of energy 30 years ago, would have received the hundreds of billions R&D that actually went to nuclear and we could be looking at 20%+ global energy from renewable today.


Hm, interesting thought experiment Chris. Makes me wonder how the world would have developed with other parameters changed - half as much sweet oil, twice as much, no bat guano(!), no fossil fuels at all...
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jo



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:51 am    Post subject: Nuclear-free Scenario Reply with quote

Looking at the future true Renewables scenario was something that was considered by Christopher Alty of Warwick University et alia and CAT back in 1977 :-

http://www.zerocarbonbritain.com/cat_energy_strategy_1977.pdf

The graphs are most illuminating, and show serious proposals for using what is still known as "alternative" energy - even though wind power is so well-established as to be "conventional" by now - surely ?
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't accept that nuclear stations will have a high carbon budget.

I have just read one of the Leeuwen's papers, the one analysing energy and CO2 budgets for nuclear power.

His analysis is extremely torturous, but I believe it is also very seriously flawed. There are several quite simple errors.

1)
He double counts the on-site, operational power consumption (or house load) for a nuclear plant when he is determining lifetime energy budget. The quoted load factors for existing and planned nuclear plants are based on NET energy production, never GROSS energy production. He bases his output energy budget calculation for a 1,000 MW plant on the assumption that the output figure is GROSS output, but this is never the case. All load factor reports are NET. The difference between the two calculations gives Leeuwen a result pessimised by nearly 25 %.
2)
He states a decommissioning cost of 100 billion euros for the 14 UK domestic nuclear plants. This is not the case. The sum quoted is for the decommissioning of ALL the UK's nuclear sites including all the nuclear research facilities back to pre-war days, the maintenance facilities for the UK's weapons programme , and other miscellaneous sites. The cost of decommissioning the magnox nuclear stations is in actuality about 1 billion euros each. Remember, these plants were not designed with any forethought given to decommissioning. And it should also be remembered that the huge cost figure quoted is that without any form of discounted cash flow applied. That is not how project costs are usually assessed or presented.
3)
He states an energy budget for decommissioning that is equivalent to running a conventional plant of 50 MW rated capacity for 100 years. This is ludicrous.
4)
He states a design life of 40 years. The French nuclear power stations, now approaching 40 years old, are undergoing refurbishment work to run them through another 20 years. The design life of the next generation of nuclear stations is 60 years.

That's just what I picked out in a brief reading. It does not give me much faith in Leeuwen's claims.

(And incidentally, Windscale was NOT a power plant, it was a facility simply to enrich uranium, produce plutonium, for bombs)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:28 am    Post subject: hgfvhm Reply with quote

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woodburner



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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