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Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears Reply with quote

This is from the Torygraph:
Quote:
The UK is relying on EDF to build the first nuclear power stations for a generation in Suffolk and Somerset by 2018.

However, suspicions are growing that EDF is preparing to delay Britain's new plants substantially, having said it will issue a "revised timetable" for the UK in the autumn.

It is understood that British officials are now working on the assumption that new nuclear will not arrive in the UK until after 2020.

Costs in France have already doubled and construction is severely delayed at EDF's flagship plant in Flamanville, which will be its first new plant in more than 15 years.

Article continues


Just softening us up as to why the new fleet of nukes won't be up and running when they're supposed to be...
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mr brightside



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are these the Westinghouse AP1000 units AIC was on about? If they're delaying them due to safety system reviews, it's a decision i applaud.
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mr brightside wrote:
Are these the Westinghouse AP1000 units AIC was on about?


No, they're Areva EPRs - the same model that's having construction problems in Finland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamanville_Nuclear_Power_Plant
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:

Just softening us up as to why the new fleet of nukes won't be up and running...
ever.

I really can't see a new nuke being built in the UK. The news from Japan will only get worse, costs will only go up, and finance will become increasingly scarce. If you are an investor would you prefer wind with a return on capital in a year, solar in three years or nuclear, possibly in ten years if a myriad of problems and potential liabilities can be sorted? No brainer.
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand . . .

Quote:
He said the British plants would be built more quickly than the one at Flamanville, because lessons would be learned, but could not give a new date for UK new nuclear.

"It is not a delay. It is taking stock," he told The Telegraph. "The likelihood of the UK nuclear project is greater and stronger and we're fully committed. It is robust economically and our determination is intact."

Mr de Rivaz also pointed out that Britain has recently cleared two big hurdles that smooth the path for new nuclear plants.


Nothing wrong with the AP1000 by the way. I'd say it was a better design that EdF's.

As for the relative chances of wind or nuclear build I'd say each were facing the same single constraint: how to get financial backing.

I'd be very worried about wind's chances. Soon, very soon, the public are going to see their bills hiked for wind subsidies and they might object.
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RGR
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears Reply with quote

[quote="biffvernon"]

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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raspberry-blower



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears Reply with quote

RGR wrote:


As usual, I will bet on the authorities, of whatever stripe, deciding to do what they need to do to keep the lights on ...


Hmm, currently in the UK , electricity is produced by the private sector. One company that is involved in a joint venture of nuclear new builds is Centrica - today we hear that the City urges Centrica to drop its nuclear power plant building plans.

This would have a serious knock-on effect if Centrica do decide to withdraw from the nuclear new build programme. They are partners with EdF. When EdF bought British Energy, a key point was EdF's "expertise" at building new nukes. A key factor that has been hidden amongst all the small print is the fact that there is no legal obligation for EdF to complete building any new nuclear plants:

National Audit Office wrote:

The Government’s primary objective for the sale was to ensure nuclear operators are able to build and operate new nuclear stations from the earliest date with no public subsidy. The Department of Energy and Climate Change did not seek, and EDF did not offer, any binding commitment to build new nuclear power stations as a condition of the sale. But EDF’s acquisition of British Energy has improved the prospect of investment in new nuclear power stations.

Full report can be accessed from here


If investor pressure tells, then there is a possibility that the whole UK new nukes programme may be shelved before it's even got started
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RGR
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Problems at EDF's French nuke site raise fears Reply with quote

[quote="raspberry-blower"]

Last edited by RGR on Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happens in the UK by 2015 should be interesting. At that stage, we're supposed to have decommisioned our coal plants if they don't have SO2 and CO2 capture, and we should have shutdown the last magnox station - Wylfa.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jun/17/coal-power-stations-face-shutdown

Drax alone is 8% of UK electricity production, and there's no chance of CCS there. Also in the mix will be Ironbridge, Ferrybridge, Didcot, Rugeley, etc all of which are miles from the sea so little chance of CCS.

There's no chance of building that much wind generation by then so it'll come down to (a) close them and put up with electricity power cuts (a sure election winner), (b) build more gas plants in a hurry, or (c) keep them open and stuff the EU.
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AiC
Its not quite that simple
The Large Combusting Plants Directive thats closing coal came with a timeline, 2015, but also a number of hours.
The last couple of winters have burnt through those hours at an astonishing pace, if 11 and 12 are cold winters, the plants will be closing in 2013.
Rolling blackouts in the cold winter of 2013 will kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions. I have a 2kw gas fire, everything else is electric, even my gas boiler.
If its minus 20 outside......

*****
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/04/blowing-our-minds.html
Quote:
The plants have run for a total of 97,218 hours between January 2008 and February 2011, equivalent to 51.17 percent of their quota. The programme still has nearly five years to run but LCPD forces eight UK coal-fired units to close after 20,000 hours and three oil-fired plants to close after 10,000 hours of operation, or by December 31, 2015, whichever comes first. At this rate, the entire estate could be closing down up to two years early.


There were 190,000hrs of run time, for 8 years. 25,000hrs per year
In the first three years, we used 97,218hrs.
At that burn rate, the plants will close in under 6 years, so, late 2013.

Would McMoron actualy shut the plants under EU command?
I'd say he cant possibly be that stupid, but I thought the same about Irish politicians, they ruined their nation on EU orders.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DominicJ wrote:
kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions.
You'll be too young to remember the 3-day week. Rolling blackouts were not genocidal; just a bit of grumbling about a favourite tv programme missed. Now we have the i-player.
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biff strikes again with another badly thought out comment that bears no relevence to anything thats been said.

30 years ago, people had far more heating that was not reliant on electricity, now, huge numbers of people have no heat without electricity. I have a 2kw gas fire, I know lots of people who dont even have that.

40 years ago, they were building houses with a gas fire in every room and solid fuel Agas were popular with everyone who could afford one.

Today, and in 2013, when the power might actualy go out, a large number of houses will have a single source of heat during a black out, many will not even have that.
1 in 3 days electricity will kill old people, by the truck load.
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mr brightside



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DominicJ wrote:
Today, and in 2013, when the power might actually go out, a large number of houses will have a single source of heat during a black out, many will not even have that.


How convinced are you that rolling blackouts might be a reality in the future? Surely it'll be stuff EU targets or go nuclear?
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DominicJ wrote:
Biff strikes again with another badly thought out comment


Please cut the personalised abuse Dom.

You were talking about 'rolling blackouts'. That implies power cuts on the time-scale of an our or two. This does not substantially affect the ability to heat one's home.

Rolling blackout are currently being used in parts of China where there is an electricity supply problem and energy efficiency targets have not been met.
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DominicJ



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Brightside
Quote:
How convinced are you that rolling blackouts might be a reality in the future? Surely it'll be stuff EU targets or go nuclear?


I'm entirely convinced there will not be rolling blackouts.
No government would possibly be that insane.
Although it is much too late to got nuclear to replace the coal plants, they will remain, and likely we will see an increasing number of coal plants, built quickly rather than efficiently.


I do sincerely hope global warming is a myth, because if its not, the green lobby has doomed us.

Biff
Dont make badly thought out comments, and I wont call you on them....

Now had you said "During the last set of black outs, it was customary to be cut off for one in three hours, not one in three days", your comment woukld have been well thought out and relevent.

That would of course be the ideal, and even the worst insulated house will be survivable, with even one in three hours heated.

However what happened in the UK in the 70's and what may happen in the future are not certain to be the same.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_blackout

In India, rural customers are cut off before urban customers, and almost half spend 12 hours a day without power.
It was quite possible to be cut off for 6 hours in RoI

Even if we are reduced to 1 in 3 rolling blackouts, the effects could be much bigger than they first appear.
For one, you'd need to overheat your house before your cut off hour, to carry you through. But heat conduction increases with the differencial, so it uses more gas to heat your house, then turn it off for an hour, than it does to keep your heating at the lowest level. Which could knock people off the fuel affordability cliff.
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