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Question on nuclear power

 
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Andy Hunt



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 6760
Location: Bury, Lancashire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Question on nuclear power Reply with quote

If a nuclear power station was run at half its generating capacity, would its operational lifetime be twice as long? Or would its operational capability degrade at the same rate over time, however it was used.

I am thinking that a few nukes would be useful for specific purposes, because their output is so controllable. These power stations could even be reserved for these specific purposes (mainly industrial manufacturing of essential items and commodities), and not for use by the general consumer, who would have to make do with renewables/microgeneration and intelligent demand control.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 18551
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a piece of steel corode more slowly if it lies unused?

Mothballing expensive plant is economic nonsense. You have to get the maximum return on investment as fast as possible.
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STG



Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
Does a piece of steel corode more slowly if it lies unused?


Seriously, this is idiotic. There are corrosion protection element present in the critical element.

But when you reduce power, you reduce neutron fluence on critical elements. The lifetime of these critical elements (at least 60yrs) is limited by the cumulated neutron fluence, and therefor power. So you could increase lifetime. But that would be ridiculous because you're concrete building has an estimated lifetime of about 100yrs...
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 7636

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Question on nuclear power Reply with quote

Andy Hunt wrote:
If a nuclear power station was run at half its generating capacity, would its operational lifetime be twice as long?

Yes, at least the nuclear components. The important aspect is full-power-hours not the actual age. Note the recent extensions to Hunterston B and Hinkley Point B are at 70% full power.
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