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British nuclear industry needs overhaul before it can expand
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:52 am    Post subject: British nuclear industry needs overhaul before it can expand Reply with quote

Quote:
The Guardian - 29/03/11

Sir David King says industry is geared towards decommissioning and must be restructured if coalition's plans are to go ahead.

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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His report says rather more than the headline you give it. He points out that if Britain's uranium stockpiles were added to the fissile material extracted from reprocessing spent fuel it could supply the whole of Britain's electricity for 100 years. The fuel types, which would include plutonium, would have to be mixed before use. This way the plutonium waste is burnt rather than stored.

Of course, a suitable reactor would be the CANDU reactor, which has been rejected by biffie, Nuclear Advisor to Powerswitch (nappie). The CANDU reactor can also burn thorium.

King, interviewed on R4 this morning, questioned about this use of spent fuel and also about worries over the Japan fracas, expressed a viewpoint similar to Monbiot's that these events demonstrated the safety superiority of nuclear power over all other forms of power generation.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Japan's all wrapped up now and people are moving back into the exclusion zone with no problems, are they?
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Aurora



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Inspector will be positively orgasmic after reading this update:

Quote:
The Guardian - 29/03/11

Nuclear is the safest form of power, says top UK scientist

Sir David King says nuclear power is a 'massive economic opportunity' and should be pursued despite incidents in Japan.

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2 As and a B



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Gradiaun wrote:
Sir David King mounted a robust defence of nuclear power on Wednesday as renewed fears over its dangers buffeted the industry.

Amongst his many extraordinary powers is the ability to time-travel.

I heard him on Radio 4 this morning actually (but still, listen out for him again tomorrow) and he was saying a lot of "we think", so I wonder whether he has another unheralded power. Strong stuff this nuke radioactivity. Shocked
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
So Japan's all wrapped up now and people are moving back into the exclusion zone with no problems, are they?


No, but I doubt there'll be much escalation, if any, from now. I'll wait for the assessment rather than the present hysteria of these pages.



Aurora wrote:
The Inspector will be positively orgasmic after reading this update
Well the Guardian update is not the bit that lights my day, it was the point he made on R4, only hinted at here:
Quote:
Sir David was speaking at the launch of a new report from the Smith School of Enterprise, part of Oxford University, which showed that the UK should reform its nuclear industry in order to recycle spent fuel waste into new usable fuel for the new generation of reactors the coalition government is pressing for.


He said that with our present uranium stockpiles, and spent fuel inventory we have enough fissile material to produce the entire UK electricity needs for 100 years. He also said that this strategy would be very cost effective because it would save considerably on the cost of new fuels and, presumably, waste fuel storage. It was also get rid of our nuclear weapons stockpile. With a fleet of new type 3+ reactors that's very good news.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our new nukes will be safe because they're allowing for 585mm of sea level rise in the new designs. There's a good factor of safety there, isn't there.

We have a known problem (sea level rise) of unknown eventual magnitude so we are designing for the best estimate of the problem at the end of the reactors working life, in 2100 (585mm rise - how so accurate?), when the owners can expect the government to pick up the tab for decommissioning. The fact that it won't be removed for 100 years after that doesn't interest the designers and owners.

That sounds like the same design philosophy adopted by our Japanese friends.

There was a ticker on the BBC World News earlier this evening saying that Tepco are likely to be nationalised. How much does that make the cost of Japanese electricity once the bills start coming in?

BBC wrote:
The company has said it will need to raise about $25bn (£15.6bn) to shore up its finances.


Quote:
However, The Yomiuri Daily has reported that some members of the government proposed a plan for the state to take a majority stake in the company and help it pay for damages from the nuclear accident.


From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12889641
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Aurora



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Independent - 30/03/11

Top scientist backs £3bn Sellafield plant, despite £2bn failure on same site

British taxpayers should spend up to £3bn on a new facility for reprocessing nuclear waste at Sellafield, despite the site in Cumbria already having a similar plant which has cost nearly £2bn and is labelled one of the biggest industrial failures in British history.

This is the conclusion of a report by scientists which recommends a brand-new, plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) plant at Sellafield as part of Britain's nuclear "renaissance" to build a suite of nuclear power stations that could burn MOX fuel as well as conventional uranium.

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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
Our new nukes will be safe because they're allowing for 585mm of sea level rise in the new designs. There's a good factor of safety there, isn't there.

We have a known problem (sea level rise) of unknown eventual magnitude so we are designing for the best estimate of the problem at the end of the reactors working life, in 2100 (585mm rise - how so accurate?), when the owners can expect the government to pick up the tab for decommissioning. The fact that it won't be removed for 100 years after that doesn't interest the designers and owners.


All rubbish.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
unknown eventual magnitude


Yeah, that bit's rubbish. We know there's about 65 metres of sea level rise when the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets melt. It's the timing we're unsure about.

These guys seem to have it sussed:
Quote:
The nuclear industry is a snake-oil culture of habitual misrepresentation, pervasive wishful thinking, deep denial, and occasional outright deception.


http://www.alternet.org/story/150369/
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
kenneal wrote:
Our new nukes will be safe because they're allowing for 585mm of sea level rise in the new designs. There's a good factor of safety there, isn't there.

We have a known problem (sea level rise) of unknown eventual magnitude so we are designing for the best estimate of the problem at the end of the reactors working life, in 2100 (585mm rise - how so accurate?), when the owners can expect the government to pick up the tab for decommissioning. The fact that it won't be removed for 100 years after that doesn't interest the designers and owners.


All rubbish.


If I can find the reply I got from the Nuclear Consultation I'll scan it and put it up. If it's rubbish, it came from your favourite industry.
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not holding my breath.

Sometime little time ago I presented biffie with this link to a Greenpeace paper on sea level rise and the impact on nuclear:

An Inspector Calls wrote:

Even Greenpeace is struggling to create a case:
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/files/pdfs/nuclear/8176.pdf

I hardly think we need worry about Bradwell - it hasn't got any fuel!


Your post is rubbish for several reasons which you should be well aware of:
    It is highly unlikely that the impact of supposed climate change will have been neglected given that the ESI commissioned the MET Office to make an especial study of this issue,
    The use of one figure for sea level change is silly. Different figures will be used for the various safety cases as they are carried out. This has to be the case because the UK coast experiences various rates of sea level change; for Thorness it may well be that sea level is falling.
    No safety case for the new nuclear reactors has yet been submitted nor approved.
    Greenpeace postulated a 6,000 mm sea level rise and only managed to inundate Bradwell - which has no fuel and is not proposed as a new nuclear site.
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Bandidoz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[deleted all the posts that added nothing to this discussion - keep it clean, guys]
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Economist
http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2011/03/japans_nuclear_crisis&fsrc=nwl

Quote:
FRUSTRATION is mounting once again about the dangers emerging from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. This is partly due to new evidence: that there may have been a partial melting of nuclear fuel within the reactorsí protective structures and that radiation, including small doses of plutonium, has since leaked into the surrounding area. But fanning this anxiety is a grave new worry: that it may take months, rather than days or weeks, to bring this poisonous situation under control.

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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose it depends what they mean by "bring this poisonous situation under control", but this mess is not going to be cleared up in months. At present they don't actually have anywhere to put the radioactive waste, including water. I expect the water may end up in the sea on the basis that nobody will notice once it is diluted through the Pacific Ocean. If there's a puddle of once molten fuel spread over the concrete base there's not going to be much alternative to pouring concrete over it all and leaving well alone for a very long time. We can only hope that the first attempt at entombment is done more effectively that at Chernobyl.
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