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New Nuclear Reactors For The UK: Is This Really A Good Idea?
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RenewableCandy



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 12469
Location: York

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

STG wrote:

The base load scenario is more an economic consequence then a technical one...


Well it's kind of both. Varying the output of any power station (by whatever means, presumably including grey rods) puts additional strain on some of the internal components, which then have to be serviced and/or replaced more often. This can lead to logistical (or even medical!) problems in a nuclear power station if the components are anywhere near the radioactive matter. It is for this reason, as well as the economics (Maggie gave them favourable conditions because she hates unionised (no pun intended!!) coal-miners, basically) that people associate nuclear power with baseload.
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STG



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only strain you introduce is at the fuel cladding. This is designed to take this strain. And is replaced together with the fuel, as the fuel is delivered in a bundle which consist of Zr-cladding and UO2 plus MOX ceramic. Furthermore, research is ongoing to decrease this strain on the cladding to go to a higher fuel utilisation.

So you aren't increasing the replacement or service frequency of any parts on primary side, for the secondary site of the nuclear power station...things are almost the same as for a coal station, and they can load follow without severe consequences...

And I see no health consequences in anything going wrong at a nuclear power station (If it is designed following the rules, so no Tsjernobyl RBMK reactors!). There is always an amount of time in which you can evacuate personel from the still small contaminated zone. This will not add an extra risk as far as I know because it are low doses. And at low level doses, we know that we are overestimating the risk...but the model is easy, and you must be careful with this matter.
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