Nuclear power thread


Biogas from biomass? That would help with the peak load? (Being storable).


Ah, a straw man! That’s not the way it’ll work as you well know; no-one is suggesting wind-only, at least not in the foreseeable future. The key is to make traditional generation more efficient by smoothing the demand curve using batteries. Wind and other renewables get added in and again can reduce the demand for traditional generation.

In terms of your specific example, your numbers are deceptive. At present we clearly don’t have sufficient wind power to make such an arrangement practical; the way to fix that is to build more, not less.


Not convinced at all about biomass as it highly inefficient.
Any no one realistically would ever go for 100% of one type of energy.
If europe with it huge deficit of carbon source energy really wants to go for renewables, then it needs a faster approval system and much less env regulation on developing renewable. How many off shore windfarms are in ireland?

There has been signigficant progress in the last 10 years … d-offshore

It seems ridiculous to go for nuclear given the rising costs instead of nuclear and the large drops in solar and wind costs
If you need base load, gas and hdyro is the way to go


Where is the straw man argument?

You said lots of battery storage will address the variability of wind generation without providing details.

I quotes from some actual recent wind generation and demand data to show the actual battery storage needed to accommodate this.

My example was not deceptive. I just took data from the last two weeks. With a small amount of effort I could have picked some far worse examples with prolonged periods of no wind.

You respond with no details, just an accusation that attempts to deflect from your lack of specifics and a vague statement about the need for more wind generation capacity. An infinite amount of wind generation infrastructure will not work if there is no wind. Similarly an infinite amount of PV will not work in the dark. In the example I provided of low wind, an additional 63 times the existing wind generation capacity would be needed to meet the peak demand.

The proponents of wind and other renewable sources of electricity generation make vague statements about the need for a mixture of other renewables, interconnectors, smart metering, batteries, pumped storage and other changes without the specifics and details required to validate the workability of any such solution and its cost.

All this costs a lot of money

Smart metering for Ireland would cost about €2 billion. This includes the cost of meters and their installation and the changes required by the system and process energy providers. Smart metering is a pre-requisite for TOU tariffs. This just makes electricity more expensive at periods of high demand and low renewable generation. This affects poorer consumers with less choice. This just passes the costs to consumers or attempts social engineering. Consumers will attempt to bypass these constraints by, for example, returning to oil or solid-fuel heating with the associated impact on air quality and decentralised production of greenhouses gases and other pollutants from low temperature combustion. These likely secondary consequences are always ignored.

AGL produced an analysis of the hollowing-out effect consumer PV generation had in Australia. PV generates electricity during the day when there is low demand. PV generators get subsidised when they supply this unwanted electricity to the grid. When consumers really want electricity - in the evening - there is no PV so the same PV generators resort to the grid and they and everyone else has to pay higher tariffs for that electricity. One generation infrastructure is replaced by two with all the associated costs.

The obsession with alternatives to electricity generation ignores consumer usage of gas and oil for heating. The average 3-bed semi-detached house uses around 3,800 kWh of electricity annually if they have gas and an average of 4,690 kWh if they do not. There’s a lot of greenhouse gases from the burning of gas and oi that the obsessive dogmatists pay no attention to.

The proponents of wind and other renewable sources of electricity generation are always happy to propose spending tens of billions of other people’s money and to direct other people’s lives to make a bad solution work. All this gets passed on to consumers, either directly by increased energy bills or indirectly through the costs businesses incur being passed on to customers.

The PSO levy that consumers pay directly is currently just over €70 a year. The indirect cost per consumer - PSO levy on businesses passed to customers, additional costs incurred by energy suppliers in having to build and operate backup generation, loss of taxes in the form of tax breaks given to wind generators, other subsidies given to these generators, payments to microgenerators - is more than twice that. So the cost per consumer for the affection of wind generation is over €200 every year. That is more than the water charge that had thousands protesting. These are the current costs. More wind generation will simply cost consumers more.


About €1300 per unit? Interesting. Maybe it might be worth getting the UK installers to supply and install them for £215. That would make good business sense, no?


Regardless of what type of heating a home has (it actually makes no real difference), the average electricity consumption for a 3-bed house is closer to 5,300kWh. A 4-bed house uses about 6,800kWh.


There is substantial variability in electricity usage for a given property type. The factors include:

Earnings of occupants
Number of occupants
Age of occupants
Age of property
Amount of insulation
Type of heating
Usage of gas for cooking

Age           Gas            Average kWh/Yr     Median kWh/Yr
Pre 1919      No                       5,500             4,500
1919-44       No                       4,700             4,100
1945-64       No                       4,700             4,000
1965-82       No                       4,000             3,700
1993-99       No                       4,100             3,900
Post 1999     No                       4,300             3,900
Pre 1919      Yes                      4,600             4,000
1919-44       Yes                      4,400             4,000
1945-64       Yes                      4,300             3,800
1965-82       Yes                      4,000             3,500
1983-92       Yes                      4,000             3,700
1993-99       Yes                      4,100             3,600
Post 1999     Yes                      3,900             3,400

#128 … nsumption/


I thought that if a house does have a gas supply and it’s a new supply arrangement that often times (at least in the past 20 to 10 years ago) that the convention would have been to fit a Gas Hob and Oven, as well as the Gas Boiler for Heating.

Then, in these cases which I understood were a large number (greater than 80% of the cases) that people would then save on the electricity of cooking costs (i.e. Hob and Oven and Grill type of cooking).

So it would be a notable difference, wouldn’t it be?


I’m not sure. There are a couple of different permutations but the average figures are all that’s needed here really.


Would it not be foolish to move to nuclear, because of its cost and waste, if we are on the cusp of a breakthrough in battery technology and or price?


As of Dec 2016, Irish Water had installed water meters in just over 800,000 domestic properties at a cost of €465 million. Most non-domestic water customers, because they were already being billed by local authorities before Irish Water came into existence, were already metered.

Irish Water also spent an unspecified portion of around €180 million on meter data collection, storage, processing and billing systems (in addition to other IT infrastructure such as asset management).

An electricity smart metering programme will require the installation of meters in 2.022 million domestic properties and at a further unspecified number of commercial properties.

The water meters that were installed by Irish Water do not include an IHD, HAN and have simple wireless data interface for remote data capture. The electricity meters will require a communications infrastructure.

The cost of the UK smart metering programme, using lower functionality meters than those being proposed in Ireland, started at STG5 billion and now stands at STG12.1 billion and rising. These costs exclude those costs that will be incurred by energy suppliers.

Note that the same organisation, the CER, that sanctioned the costs of water metering is the one coming up with the inconsistently and unrealistically low costs of electricity smart metering and an inaccurate cost benefit analysis based on unjustified and unsupported assumptions.

This is the same CER that has given Irish consumers some of the highest energy prices in Europe, in the context of worldwide falling energy costs.

So, scaling up the Irish Water metering experience and costs to the larger number of domestic properties and allowing for slightly greater meter complexity and communications infrastructure and the installation of meters at commercial premises, the estimated electricity smart meter installation cost comes to around €1.17 billion. The CER’s cost estimate for all domestic electricity smart metering installation is around the same as incurred by Irish Water for 40% of the number of domestic properties.

To that you have to add the required changes and their costs at the MRSO and RMDS network operation functions. For example, the Change of Supplier process may involve the new supplier receiving historical TOU data on the new customer, subject to customer approval, as part of the switch process with the associated changes required to the market messaging infrastructure, message types and data storage.

Then factor in the costs that the suppliers will incur to change their internal IT systems, processes and organisations and their programme management overheads.

Then factor in costs for the usual programme management and governance overhead from some expensive, pointless and non-value-adding consulting organisation.

Then factor in the costs of the operation of the entire infrastructure, including the communications network, and the associated organisational changes.

Then factor in the cost of disposal of over 2 million old meters.

Then factor in a this-is-Ireland overhead.

All of these costs will land with consumers.

The CER published estimates for electricity smart metering are internally and externally inconsistent.

Because estimates of budget of programme such as this are always accurate: Eircode €18 initial estimate via €38 million actual spend, Children’s Hospital current budget of €1 billion (and counting with a likely final cost of €1.2 - €1.5 billion) rather than initial estimate of €650 million, Dublin Port Tunnel actual cost of €750 million rather than budgeted cost of €450 million. The list just goes on, and not just in Ireland.

In the UK, HS2 started with a budget of STG33 billion. This has now increased to just under STG56 billion and even that is a significant underestimate. So do you believe the UK’s stated smart meter budget?

This is called strategic misrepresentation. This is caused by some or all of over-optimism and/or concealment of likely actual costs and/or planned and systematic lying (possibly caused by faulty incentivisation) to underrepresent the probable or projected costs in order to get budget approval and a decision to proceed. It is all too common in the planning and budgeting process.

The alternative is reference or comparison class estimation and forecasting - looking at past similar projects and experiences and their actual outcomes in terms of success or failure, benefits realised, costs incurred, schedule and resources required. Taking this approach gives you a much higher and more realistic estimate.

Strategic misrepresentation works both ways. A good example is the National Roads Authority. After years of getting their estimates for the cost and schedule for road infrastructure substantially wrong, they now practice reverse strategic misrepresentation and routinely significantly overestimate both factors. So when the project is delivered way ahead of schedule and under budget they look like heroes. In reality they are just as bad. The purpose of estimation is to get it as right as possible.

So, do you really believe the CER on their estimates of electricity smart metering? Because if you do, you are more gullible than feeding hour at the seabird colony.

I will leave the business opportunity to bid for the work at €250 a unit to you.


There is more, because reliance on renewables hasnt gone away ya know…

“Welcome to your load-shedding future: rolling blackouts in 40C heat” … -40c-heat/


Yes, that’s exactly what it does. You did not actually provide any contradictory evidence – you pointed out that we don’t have enough wind generation to replace fossil fuels which is correct but really nothing to do with the variability of wind and how well batteries address it.

Edit: the point I was making is that I believe the batteries will live mainly in the grid, whereas Coles is suggesting we’ll also have them at the edge.


Wait, why would you do that? To start with, a smart metering system doesn’t need a communications network at all. It depends of course on what you mean by “smart metering” but I assume for the purposes of this discussion we mean that unit price varies by time of day and possibly based on aggregate demand. This can be accomplished using quarterly drive-bys like Irish Water had planned, without any communications network at all.

If in fact you needed a more “live” view of the meters (and please feel free to explain the case for this as I may have simply missed it) there are a number of possible solutions that do not require building a new network, depending on your view of the locations of Irish meters inside the home. It seems absolutely mad to propose building one.


Sorry, there’s actually no need to introduce a load of guff into this debate. The cost of the smart metering program in the UK has worked out at £215 per unit. That’s a fact. It’s not a CER projection or anything else. The retail price of a high quality smart meter is £100-120 and they take less than an hour to install. Wholesale prices are a lot less. If you want to pay me €1300 to have one installed I will certainly organise it for you, but are you sure one will suffice? Get two just in case. Or three. Yeah, I recommend three. It’s good to have some redundancy.


What to do with the 95,000 tonnes of left over radioactive graphite used as moderator rods in the UK’s nuclear power stations? Turn them into diamonds and use them as low power batteries lasting thousands of years: … ear-waste/

The only problem is there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for them. I reckon they need to get more creative, maybe a line of glow-in-the-dark engagement rings.


Bah … Diamonds.
Those ‘‘Scientists’’ have no imagination.
You need true lateral (or vertical) thinkers.


I’ll, er, take your suppositories and raise you: makeup, lipstick, condoms, baby clothes, sweets, etc. etc. etc.
If I recall correctly there was a popular homemade one not mentioned here – an alcoholic punch that made your lips glow in the dark at parties.


Let’s get some guidance from the most powerful man in the world: “You know what uranium is, right? It’s this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things. But nobody talks about that.”