Nuclear power thread


With regards Flamanville, I can’t see anything to suggest an issue, but as we have seen time after time we only find out long afterwards.


Do you have a source for that disinformation?

#103 … 50.93,2330


Temene! What an absolute genius u are! Thank you for the wind direction to Ireland. Nuclear power plants have to do a lot of Venting before they can shut down. The French have shut down their monitors nearby, do they know something that we Irish don’t!


This is just the mindless quoting of pseudo-scientific writings that deny reality from the reflecting pool of your own wishful thinking.

This charts shows the total amount of energy generated from wind and the total demand for the island of Ireland for the days of Feb 2017 in MW.

Wind does not come even close to matching with any degree of consistency and volume the actual demand. The variability of wind means that gas generation plans must be constructed and kept operational and burning fuel to meet the demand with all the associated cost that is passed to the consumer.

Wait until all those turbines that had projected lifespans of 25 years or more start to need replacement or have higher maintenance costs sooner and when their efficiency diminishes as they get older.

The Public Service Obligation to support wind energy generation costs every domestic electricity customer over €70 per year directly. There are also indirect costs as businesses also pay a larger PSO levy amount that gets passed to their customers.

This is in addition to the other further indirect costs from subsidies and tax breaks and the additional costs non-wind suppliers must incur and pass on the consumers to keep backup generation.

In the context of falling energy prices, the levy is increasing.

Onshore wind generation is, at best, the same cost as gas generation for wind speeds at 11 metres/second or greater. At higher speeds, turbines start to become less efficient and must be shut-down when the wind speeds start to exceed 25 metres/second. So there is a narrow band of wind speeds for optimum generation efficiency.

The long term maximum load factor of wind is just over 30% at best. Asuming that this is correct, this means that at least 20.3 GW of wind generation capacity would be needed to generate the maximum 6,093 MW needed just in Feb 2017 alone. Even this figure does not include the cost for backup generation when the wind simply does not blow as happened in early Feb 2017.

For example, for this sample data for Feb 2017, the average wind generation capacity required would be 8.3 times (an average load factor of 12.07%) its current amount to meet the demand needs. During intervals of low wind, 61.4 times the current win generation be required.

Assuming the long term average of 30%, that would require over 3,000 of the large 6MW or higher capacity wind turbines (which may not be able to be accommodated on land) and would have a capital cost of the order of €35 billion, excluding land acquisition costs. The maximum 6,093 MW capacity could be met by €7 billion of gas turbines.

That number of wind turbines might need over 130,000 acres of suitable land, depending on the size and number of sites, location and access road requirements. This does not take into account the visual, wildlife and noise impact.

Offshore wind generation is, at best, 50% higher than the same cost as gas generation for wind speeds at 11 metres/second or greater.


Do we have monitors?


China is reducing it’s baseload requirement because it’s improved it’s electricity distribution network. China covers a large chunk of the world. The period of time when it’s sunny or windy in some part of China is much wider than it is in the distribution networks that Ireland is connected to. Also China owns the whole show so it can distribute as it feels without having to take local interests into account. Also China has put a lot of investment in hydro which has a very high capital cost but can also satisfy other water needs (irrigation, urban water supply) - Well built hydro lasts for years with minimal maintenance costs.

We do need baseload in Ireland (and indeed most European countries) - there are lots of possibilities to use batteries e.g. car batteries, domestic batteries but we need something that can ramp up quick. Gas turbines are probably the best bang for the buck. The primary argument against nuclear is economic - if you amortise the costs over the years - build/decommission/secure waste storage etc then it doesn’t really cut it. Fusion definitely cuts the waste cost and possibly decommisioning. I’ve heard it argued that if as much money had been spent researching fusion as was spent on fission we would have functioning fusion reactors. Fission was favoured for it’s convenient weapons grade side product - in general nuclear power is more macho posturing than viable energy supply - which is probably why the French like it so much :laughing:


They like it because they have no oil or gas, I think thats the main reason

You can travel from the North of France to Marseille in less than four hours and not use a drop of oil, pretty impressive IMO


The explosion was in the turbine hall which is isolated from the reactor in the same way the traffos or control room are isolated. Unless there is something really weird going on there should be no release of any power source nuclear radiation. Unfortunately some people got injured today, many years ago five colleagues of mine were killed in a turbine hall explosion when a gearbox exploded and went on fire due to a material flaw.


Despite the interconnectors we live on a island grid and if you ever watched the grid bounce caused by TV events you would utterly ignore anyone who tells you baseload is unimportant. Maybe when Elon Musk finally perfects his powerwall and gets multiple installed in every house providing 1 weeks AC or heating then we can begin to ignore baseload supply requirements


Thx. Holy bajoley! I presume that green stuff is the nukular fallout? :open_mouth:




The solution is to have a varied range of different renewable sources, interconnectors to spill excess production to UK/EU and to import when necessary, price signalling controlling private storage systems and CHP systems, smart metering controlling domestic consumption/heating, and electric vehicle storage. Electricity consumption is completely predictable and Renewable electricity production is now predictable 2-3 days in advance. We can use the same data to control consumption through price signalling. We have the data to know what production or storage will be needed days in advance.

That’s where we’re heading. Smart Grid with a majority of distributed renewable generation is the future. No avoiding it.

I remember when people like you were saying that 5% renewables would make the Grid ‘unstable’ and now we regularly have 70%+. Technology and innovation solves problems.


The simpler solution in the medium term is probably just lots of battery storage in the grid (along with lots of renewable generation).


That’ll be part of it, but it won’t provide the full solution.


Interesting. Out of curiosity, I wonder how the French nuclear power programme synchronised with the loss of Algeria?


The Algerian desert was being used for the past 30 years as a deep nuclear waste dump by the French, a problem being solved in the sands of time. All nuclear in France is considered good,always good, nothing ever bad ever happens in France, they are brilliant teckies. Flamanvill was just a puff of smoke, only good things come to life with nuclear even burying a deep repository under the champagne region adds extra sparkle to champaigne.


Yep - that thought occurred to me as well. The thing is everybody’s nuclear power program started in the 50s since everybody had to have the bomb, otherwise the whole mutually assured destruction thing could never work, so it’s hard to separate out Algeria as a factor.


Especially when combined with lots of subsidies and tax breaks and distortion of the energy market and levies and high energy prices to consumers when energy costs are falling and massive oversupply of generation capacity to provide backup.

Unconnected simple water meters for 1.36 million Irish Water domestic customers cost around €550 million. How much for smart electricity meters for 2.2 million domestic and 300,000 business customers? And then for time of use tariffs and complex and costly tariff pricing and billing systems and data storage?

There comes a time when the so-called solution to the problem costs an awful lot more than the so-called problem itself.

The UK’s SMETS 1/2 smart meters were and are such a success.

In the sample example I gave above from 3 Feb 2017 at around 16:30 to 6 Feb 2016 at around 04:00 you would need over 250,000 MWh hours of battery capacity if there was no electricity generation other than wind just for that brief interval. That’s at least €50 billion or more in batteries alone, excluding building to accommodate, land, access, cabling to link to the grid, maintenance and operation. Is there enough vanadium being mined to produce that number of batteries? Producing that number of batteries would have the carbon footprint of Venus.


I don’t think anyone is advocating 100% wind. If you add tidal, solar, hydro, biomass, imported energy, battery storage, pumped storage, and whatever I’ve forgotten, where do we land?