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Author Topic: Reactor 4 at Hunterston B cleared to restart.  (Read 1195 times)
stannn
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« on: August 20, 2019, 05:21:19 PM »

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/20/edf-nuclear-reactor-restarting-hunterston-b
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 05:34:57 PM »

Part of me does think seeing as we’ve already built them we should rinse these reactors for every kWh we can whilst we wean ourselves off coal and then gas, and then we can retire the nukes.  I guess we trust the regulators here.
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Philip R
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 07:04:56 PM »

Back in the mid nineties, major replanting of the main turbines, alternators and boiler feed pumps was carried out. The plant ran at higher output and thus curtailed the reactors fire life later, I.e now.
I recall discussing with my then Engineering manager, an idea to replant the reactors with new graphite and new boilers. To life extend than and debottleneck the boilers. I was told it was impossible. I responded that with a three to four year outage, life extension upto the 2050s could be attained as the physical structure of the plant is quite good.
Nuclear plant needs to be able to be replanted easily, this keeping the costs down, as new sites will not be required.
Philip R
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GarethC
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 07:10:48 PM »

Is it just me, or does the safety limit being set in terms of number of allowable cracks seem rudimentary, somewhat arbitrary and, well, just not very scientific? I'm sure the crack limit is the distilled, simplified output of rigorous analysis...
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MR GUS
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 07:15:05 PM »

Is it just me, or does the safety limit being set in terms of number of allowable cracks seem rudimentary, somewhat arbitrary and, well, just not very scientific? I'm sure the crack limit is the distilled, simplified output of rigorous analysis...


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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 07:26:13 PM »

Graphite core samples are taken from around the reactor core and analysed. It is not an arbitrary number, or rule of thumb.
Philip R
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2019, 03:43:36 PM »

There is also a quarter scale rig than can be loaded with cracked graphite bricks in the correct channel configuration for any station in the fleet, this rig can run multiple simulations as well as tilt and shake the core to simulate all kinds of seismic events. 
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dimengineer
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 12:29:25 PM »

Part of me does think seeing as we’ve already built them we should rinse these reactors for every kWh we can whilst we wean ourselves off coal and then gas, and then we can retire the nukes.  I guess we trust the regulators here.

Agreed. I suspect in Huntersons case, it will be only a couple of years, if that.
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dan_b
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 01:43:26 PM »

Looks like EDF is planning to have all of the reactor fleet back online by November of this year so back up to the 8 ish GW in time for winter?
https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 02:12:45 PM »

Looks like EDF is planning to have all of the reactor fleet back online by November of this year so back up to the 8 ish GW in time for winter?
https://www.edfenergy.com/energy/power-station/daily-statuses

Their reliability now is not that good - so I'd reckon that there will only be a few days when the full 8GW is availalbe.
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2019, 02:25:11 PM »

Is that reliability issues with the reactor and its cooling systems, or the actual steam turbines to generate electricity? or both?
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 11:05:37 AM »

Since Hinkley and Hunterston have been derated, they now run longer between unplanned shutdowns. Running the plant with all the pointers at the top of the scale reminds me of Aesops fable about the rabbit and the tortoise! (less haste more speed).
Unreliable plant is not the issue. Having a complex plant with many protection systems fitted makes it more likely to shutdown, hence running it away from top limits. A few of the shutdowns see attributed to human factors. Caused one myself, investigating an avr fault. Some due to component failure or something silly like a sea water salt spray contaminating the patina on the main set sliprings.
Philip R
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dimengineer
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2019, 01:11:32 PM »

Is that reliability issues with the reactor and its cooling systems, or the actual steam turbines to generate electricity? or both?

IMO - Everything. They are what - 50 years old almost? Highly complex, but old and tired. Their one saving grace is surely that they aren't as complex as they might be.
Any, thats just my thoughts.
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