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View Diary: Nuclear Power is our Friend (110 comments)

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  •  It doesn't look to me like the nuclear industry (1+ / 0-)
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    Cream Puff

    has successfully confronted the generic problem of corrosion of steam generators in pressurized water reactor nuclear power plants.    

    Replacing these steam generators has become an endemic multi-$100 billion problem (per reactor) in the nuclear industry over the years.

    Nuclear plants were not designed with the idea of treating steam generators like a throwaway toaster....steam generators are located inside the reactor containment dome, so replacing them is an astonishingly expensive enterprise.

    The steam generators transfer heat for steam generation purposes between the primary reactor pressurized reactor cooling circuit and the steam generation steam.   Leaks in these steam generators can allow radionuclides to enter turbine-condensor systems that lead to plant effluent discharges.

    This is all part of the reason why the costs for nuclear generated electricity is so high.    However, nuclear generation units are capable of base loading operation without greenhouse gas emissions and that fact alone from a utility engineering standpoint is an important reason why the nuclear electric generation option cannot simply be dismissed.

    •  San Onofre (0+ / 0-)

      did have an acoustical vibration problem in some SGs than caused excessive thinning and forced them eventually to shutter the plant (pretty sure low natural gas prices helped that decision along though).

      Yes, simply cleaning the steam generators is hugely expensive and time-consuming.  It's a shame we're still using the 200-year-old steam pressure technology to produce the electricity, but we've yet to find anything better.  Using nukes to co-generate heat for homes in the winter would be great, but the infrastructure isn't there yet.

      P.S. I think you mean multi $100-million.  Sure nukes are expensive, but still..

      First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

      by Cream Puff on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 01:00:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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