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View Diary: "Winter Deep Freeze Will Cause Breakdown of German Electric Grid" (245 comments)

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  •  From the Guardian (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    translatorpro, Lawrence, basquebob

    More good news:

    £1.2bn Walney scheme, off Cumbria, with more than 100 turbines generating enough power for 320,000 homes
    is now online.
    The new 367.2MW scheme, which will itself be dwarfed by the massive London Array off Kent
    Guess how much nuclear power you get for 1.2 billion pounds.
    Walney breaks a number of records: it has been built more cheaply and quickly than previous schemes
    Guess how long it takes to build a nuclear reactor.
    The company claims the second part of [Waley] was the quickest-built of its kind, with all turbines and cables installed in less than six months, and that it has achieved considerable cost reductions at a time when critics claim offshore wind is too expensive.

    "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." ~ Voltaire

    by Andhakari on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 03:03:50 AM PST

    •  Great Britain has some amazing offshore (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andhakari

      wind resources.... pretty much the best in the world.

      That combination of lots of shoreline with shallow water depths also makes it easy and comparatively cheap for them to develop those resources.

      And yes, those resources can be brought online so much faster than nuclear.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 04:44:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lessee (0+ / 0-)

      How much nuclear power for 1.2 billion pounds? That's about 2 billion dollars US, or about 40% of the cost of the EPR 1000 reactors being built in China (the others being built elsewhere are more expensive). The Chinese EPR 1000s will produce about 1.6GWe baseload at a predicted 90% duty cycle, so they will generate about 1.3GW averaged over a year.

       The Walney wind scheme has a nameplate power output of 367MW. That means only when the wind speeds are in a narrow band will it produce 25% of the rated baseload output of an EPR 1000. The rest of the time it will produce less power, or none at all if the wind is too strong. The best-sited land-based wind power systems have a 30% supply figure; assuming this offshore facility can match that 30% then it will produce about 120MW averaged over a year, intermittently. That's 10% (intermittent) of the baseload capability of an EPR 1000 reactor for 40% of the cost.

       I don't know what the breakdown and failure statistics are for sea-based wind turbines. Perhaps someone can point me at reliable resources that give numbers?

      •  The EPR 1000 features turbine generators (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence

        manufactured by MHI, maker of those at San Onofre that are self-destructing. We'll see what the cost turns out to be.
        And then, of course, the UK will be disposing of its waste in the deep geological repository which will take up to 25 years to site and build - la la la - more fantasies.
        Nobody is going to worry about the waste and pollution from a wind turbine, and when one fails you lose a megawatt. When a nuke plant goes down for maintenance, repair, or decommissioning it throws the whole system out of balance.

        "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." ~ Voltaire

        by Andhakari on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:15:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  UK repository for nuclear waste (0+ / 0-)

          The UK's waste repository will not be the size and scale of Yucca Mountain since Britain, unlike the US, reprocesses its nuclear fuel rods. The amount of actual waste is miniscule in comparison to the stacks of unprocessed fuel rods the US Government[0] has to deal with. The rest of the material in the spent fuel rods (about 90% plus) gets reconstituted as fresh fuel for the next generating cycle. Most of the actual waste material from fuel rods is short-lived isotopes which decay into harmlessness over a few days or weeks; that's what the long-term storage ponds and dry cask storage are for.

           The result of reprocessing means an individual reactor fuelling cycle produces only a few kilogrammes of actual waste that gets vitrified and jacketed ready for deep geological disposal in years or decades to come. There's no need to start work on the UK's disposal site, not for decades since the tiny quantities of waste created per gigawatt-year of electricity generated mean above-ground storage of such waste is perfectly acceptable right now.

           [0] The US Government levies a charge of 0.1 cents per kw-hr of nuclear-generated electricity on the generating companies to cover the cost of accepting and dealing with spent nuclear fuel rods from the nuclear power industry. It has been collecting this levy for the past thirty years or so but seems to be in no hurry to actually accept the spent fuel rods it has collected the levy on, to either process them (which would require a reversal of a long-standing political decision made by the Carter administration) or properly store them long-term.

          •  Last year was a decline in new approvals (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eigenlambda

            for wind power in the UK. everyone seems to hate wind as it's environmentally destructive in building them and ruins the ridge lines. The UK is the one Western European country where nuclear is more popular than wind, and the anti-nuclear movement reflects this weakness. Wind remains amazingly unpopular (amazingly to me, anyway) in the UK.

            The UK is on schedule to build 19 GWs of new nuclear.

            The UK is is going to decide to build 2 proposed fast reactors to eat the waste of the other online nuclear power plants so as to get rid of it.

            Dr. Isaac Asimov: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'"

            by davidwalters on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:45:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The UK and nuclear power (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andhakari

              The UK Government has, with some hemming and hawing, announced it is in favour of building out some new nuclear power. It's not yet had anyone step forward (Areva, I'm looking at you here) and say they will actually jump through all the hoops and break ground on construction. Possible sites have been mentioned and preliminary approval granted but no political or financial capital has been expended yet. It may be a case of waiting to see what happens with the EPR 1000 units being built in China, France and Finland before a design is chosen and construction actually begins.

               As for breeders we've had a couple and are currently in the process of decommissioning what's left of them. One of them will probably not be totally demolished as its outer containment is a landmark and icon.

               Most of the reported experience with power breeders around the world has not been particularly positive (Monju, Phenix and Superphenix etc.) and with the low cost of uranium metal on the world market I'd guess that they will continue to be a technology of the future for some time to come.

               Britain buys in 2 GW of spare French generating capacity much of the time via a HVDC link under the English Channel/La Manche and that could be expanded in the future if we start to run short -- an independent Scotland would probably shut down the Torness and Hunterston B stations and the Scottish Government has committed itself to no new-build nuclear despite those two stations providing about half of Scotland's native electricity supplies.

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