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Author Topic: Hinkley Point  (Read 271 times)
Bugtownboy
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« on: November 19, 2020, 09:22:56 PM »

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-55008752
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marshman
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 10:51:48 PM »

Don't think Dungeness B will be far behind. Still offline and restart date pushed back again to Feb 2021. Been off since Sept 2018!
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 09:34:51 AM »

By the time Hinkley C comes online will there actually be any other nuclear plants still operating?
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 11:03:33 AM »

It is a fact that several nuclear installations are very close to, or past, their normal operating life-span. 

Is this, I wonder, a case of EDF trying to influence the government towards a more hurried decision of employing EDF to build another PWR (possibly before any ‘mini’ nuclear offerings come to the market)?
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dan_b
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 12:04:14 PM »

I think if I was EDF, I'd be looking to play that game yes, and also at the same time try and manipulate the situation so that they get to build another pair of EPRs at Wylfa with a big chunk of Government cash.  That way they get to build 6x EPRs in the UK and have a complete monopoly on our nuclear supply. That would also give us back 9.6GW of nuclear capacity, so broadly similar to what we used to have when everything worked? 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 12:11:07 PM by dan_b » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 12:39:03 PM »

It is a fact that several nuclear installations are very close to, or past, their normal operating life-span. 

Is this, I wonder, a case of EDF trying to influence the government towards a more hurried decision of employing EDF to build another PWR (possibly before any ‘mini’ nuclear offerings come to the market)?

I'm going to be very negative now about SMR's, but I honestly believe that they won't happen, certainly not on any scale.

The target seems to be around 2030, and the first ones will be around 30% more expensive than conventional nuclear, so with HPC at £104/MWh we are looking towards £140/MWh, at a time (today) when RE costs are closer to £40/MWh. It's hoped (and that's the key word 'hoped') that with larger numbers produced SMR's could head towards £60/MWh, but who's gonna buy them? I'd guess that by 2030 RE + storage in the UK will be less than £50/MWh, and in sunny countries, it'll be half that again.

I'm totally fine with subsidising/supporting a new industry, and the losses that will incur at first. But with no realistic export industry for this product post 2030, I'm guessing that the market will be zero after the first few have been built, whether or not the 'hoped' for cost reductions can be realised.

This isn't an anti-nuclear post, I 'hope' it's a realistic position of nuclear v's economics, which seems to be all but over today, with less than a zero chance in a decade for even £60/MWh SMR's?
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 12:57:12 PM »

I just find the whole concept of SMRs completely backwards.  The whole point of nuclear power is that you get a huge amount of energy from just one site. You don't need to build and maintain 20 completely separate power stations, you just build 2 for the same capacity (or what ever the difference in output is).   Not to mention the problem of site safety - surely you're more likely to have a breakdown/accident/nuclear event if you've got 20 sites to operate and maintain vs two. And fissile material security is then also multiplied.

Ok I know the cost of the 1.6GW EPR design to build has gone all wonky as well, but that's as much to do with more and more redundant safety systems as it is with its actual thermal output. And you'd need lots of redundant safety systems in these SMRs too?

I keep coming back to the point though that the decision to build a nuclear facility is not ever going to be an economic one. It's a geopolitical one. And a technology one.  The UK is a "nuclear power" for better or worse.  I think we will continue to have nuclear plants for the foreseeable future.  But I would rather there were as few of them as is necessary to keep the low carbon lights on.
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Countrypaul
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 02:32:43 PM »

I can see that building a few identical SMRs is likely to be less risky than building one large nuclear reactor. There could be several SMRs on the same site, it doesn't require each one to be on a different site. Having multiple SMRs on one site should require only one set of security obviously somewhat larger than multiple setups. As to efficiency, I was under the impression that most of the large nuclear stations never actualy reached the efficiency they were intended to have - not sure if this is true and if true no idea why not.

Nuclear is unlikely to be as cheap as renewable, but would be very unlikely to require anything like the same amount of storage. In the case of nuclear storage would be required for less than 24 hours, but for wind it will be required to get us over the several days of autumn quietness. We need a mix, if we put all our resources into wind, there will be a calm longer than we expect, or a stronger storm that damages much more than has been planned for. As has been said on here many times, we need most power in winter and solar produces very little in the UK during winter. Similarly if we put all our resources into nuclear they will probably discover a fault requiring all the nuclear generators of one type to have to shut down at short notice for a prolonged period (which is almost boud to be when most needed over winter).  Having more interconnectors makes obvious sense in terms of distributing the risk of where generation becomes very limited, but there is no point in just having an interconector to the same type of generation that would be covered by the same weather problems.

The scale of storage needed and the length of time to tackle that issue makes building more wind turbines seem relatively simple and straightforward. Storing enough energy for 10 days (just current electrical output) would require about 10TWh. That is over 1000 Dinorwigs, or 50,00 Hornsdales.
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Alan D
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 03:57:23 PM »

We could ask France how to do it.

Today / Now

Nuke 88.28% ( 46.61 GW )

Wind 4.6% ( 2.36 GW )

Ref " https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1362163/france-electricity-shortage-blackout-RTE "

They have shut down problems not far away.

In February, 13 reactors - accounting for about 10 GW of availability - will be shut down for maintenance that has been postponed since the start of the health crisis.
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