Nuclear power thread


I believe it’s in Spain. There was another thread.


A ‘strategic’ stock of energy stored thousands of kilometres away is not really a strategic stock.

NORA - the body responsible - is I’m sure a fine bunch of people but they have a staff of four according to their website:


They upgraded their tanks in foynes a few years ago also



Serious (not smart) question.

Why (as you claim) is offshore suddenly more attractive in Ireland given:
-Poor historical hit rate
-Shenanigans, delay and overspend at Corrib
-Oil prices at their lowest in 10 years


You’re right, an Ireland awash in hydrocarbons can be a bit like nuclear fusion – always just round the next corner. However, things have undeniably hotted up. This article addresses many of your points, but dates from before the oil price crashed. Things haven’t stayed static since then. Exxon drilled the Dunquin prospect mentioned in the piece, but disappointingly found a top seal failure, i.e. proper petroleum source rocks but the oil has long since leaked away. But there are many more such prospects and 3D seismic analysis promises to make it easier to narrow in on the best ones. Compared to decades ago, technological advances in general make it easier to work within a province like Ireland offshore where the right sort of sediments exist but which are prone to faulting and inversion. There are also some shallow water prospects to investigate like Barryroe, which could be developed more cheaply. The oil price is likely to delay development for a while, on the other hand rig prices have more than halved so a company with an eye to the future could position itself nicely for the price rebound. Most tellingly, the uptake of licences from last September’s licencing round indicates interest like never before (Exxon, Statoil, BP, CNOOC, ENI to name a few of the biggies), as probably will the one currently ongoing.


Thanks, very interesting. Was aware the technology had come on a long way but not that there was so much interest in the licensing of late.

#47 … anguage=en

#48 … d-capacity


And that’s because baseload capacity is kind of necessary. You can have all the wind turbines you want, but when the wind dies down and generation drops practically to 0 (which does happen; ESB networks has some interesting stats on wind production, and bad days are very bad), you need something to fall back on.


Precisely. There was a day in early January a few years back when temperatures around the country were below freezing and no wind was blowing.

Maximum demand at time of minimum supply.


ok so if we cant depend on solar and wind and we cant release CO2 then Nuclear is the only other option?


No, it means energy storage is going to be increasingly significant.


Energy storage is looking to be possible and profitable.
None of the forums for any of the EV vehicles are complaining about the durability of batteries. There are practically no warranty issues with batteries. Even the oldest vehicles like the Prius used as Taxis aren’t suffering significant probelms with battery life.
Between the experience gained in automative and datacentre installations battery storage looks like it has a huge roles to play in the future.

A big bank of batteries can be placed in a business park close to where the demand actually is.
The batteries only need to deliver to the grid from about 08:00 to 20:00 and then charge at night fom whatever source of electriity generation which would otherwise be earthing to the ground.

Here is a new installation using battery/flywheel in Offaly of all places. … in-ireland


Not on any significantly large scale. Even the biggest storage plants, like Turlough Hill, are not big in the grand scheme of things, and terribly expensive to construct.

Most (all?) Priuses use NiMH batteries, which have low energy densities but long lifespans. Fully-electric cars generally use lithium ion batteries, which are the opposite. Lithium ions will generally degrade substantially within five years.

I mean, that’s all very well, but it’s only 160kW. That’s about 0.004% of peak grid usage. These type of installations are really intended for reactive grid support, not storage for the sake of it.


But batteries keep getting cheaper, how long before the number of EVs on the road in Ireland match Turlough Hill in storage capacity, using Nissan Leafs about 10K cars I think, or about 2K Model S, we will have far more than that soon enough

No, it depends on the exact chemistry but its possible to have Lithium ion cells that last far longer than five years with little or no loss of capacity, and a stationary system puts far less stress on batteries

Its a small system but it does have its uses, even a system a fraction of the size could be interesting depending on the battery costs


Leaf batteries which are Lion are holding up well and Leaf owners have the diagnostics to check their batteries’ health. The leaf was released on 2011.
I’m feeling optimistic about it anyhow.
I can see the buildings looking somewhat like datacentres being built with racks of batteries like the racks of batteries in a datacentre all working away with 8 or 10 year depreciation lives. I can see them reclaiming excess heat. I can see them being placed near to where they are needed with less losses from long lengths of electricity and wire and less losses from step up and step down to usable voltages. I can see solar on top of the centres as you are able to fill the batteries with all the solar power you can collect and sell it on when it is needed.

I do see these plants also popping up on the sites of old power plants like this one in Rhode, Offaly because the infrastructure is already there.
There is less NIMBYism associated with this than building nuclear, coal, gas, wind, hydro, pumped storage alternatives and that alone cuts a huge amount off the cost of developing the project.


How would people feel about a fast neutron reactor in Ireland to research nuclear transmutation. I.e researching using waste to create electricity with the remaining waste lasting in the region of 30-90 years.


Sounds great! However, there’s probably not a lot of call for a research reactor in a country with no track record in the area. More interested in how the Norwegians and Chinese get on with their thorium cycle experiments.


Don’t we already have a (retired) research reactor of some sort in UCC?


The reactor itself is gone, I think. The spent fuel is still there for the time being.