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  • anothrer nuclear power station cancelled
  • Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    this is one of the issues to me. You guys look to the future and think nuclear is all good. I look to the past and see nothing but lies, deceit and accidents.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(07)61253-7/fulltext

    https://ourworldindata.org/safest-sources-of-energy

    Let’s again put this into the context of our town of 27,000 EU citizens, who would collectively consume around one terawatt-hour of energy a year. These are the impacts if they got all of their energy from a given source:

    Coal: 25 people would die prematurely every year;
    Oil: 18 people would die prematurely every year;
    Gas: 3 people would die prematurely every year;
    Nuclear: it would take between 14 and 100 years before someone died;
    Wind: 29 years before someone died;
    Hydropower or solar: 42 years before someone died;
    Solar: 53 years before someone died.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Reprocessing – another huge can of worms with a horrible history of “accidental” releases, a huge pile of plutonium with no use for it and half a tonne of it on the floor of the irish sea.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    2008 preparatory work started

    Did it bollocks, unless by preparatory work you mean the government site identification and EDF buying British Energy which was early 2009.

    is that amount of biomass orders of magnitude to small?

    You tell me, one uranium pellet is equivalent to about a ton of coal. Not sure what the conversion factor is for biomass or what that forestry would produce. Its certainly far less energy dense though.

    Yes the beaches near Nuclear stations have increased levels of detectable raditation, that could indeed given any person spending SIGNIFICANT amounts of time there potential heath problems.

    Actually I know the very boring and maths heavy answer is that no, it wouldn’t. (I did my monitor refresher yesterday) The action level for a C2 (contaminated) area is 10Bq/cm which is roughly equivalent to standing next to Caesium 137 for some ridiculous amount of time (it was maths heavy and just a nice to know) that amounted to an annual dose of 1mSv. The legal limit is 20mSv and the actual dangerous limit is 300mSv IIRC. Feel free to pull a copy of the Ionising Radiation Regulationsand bore yourselves to death with it.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    Also plutonium is plenty useful unless you want to pretend MOX fuel or a plutonium fuel cycle doesn’t exist.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    and where are the reactors that use these fuels? are we building any? There is tonnes of the stuff.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Did it bollocks, unless by preparatory work you mean the government site identification and EDF buying British Energy which was early 2009.

    Yes it did. they started moving earth to build car parks and access roads for the ground investigations.. ie the first part of the preparatory works. in 2008. thats the first part of the building works

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    this is one of the issues to me. You guys look to the future and think nuclear is all good. I look to the past and see nothing but lies, deceit and accidents.

    Dunno, the magnox fleet was relatively successful, given it was essentially a 1950s design (itteratively changed for every reactor) and did actually generate power for the grid for a bloody long time. Of course there were issues around waste management, they didn’t plan for it, understand it or have the same regulation there is today.

    The problem is people seem happy to conflate nuclear arms and nuclear power generation, winscale was nothing to do with the civil nuclear effort at the time, it was a badly designed pile made solely for the weapons lot…

    Like I said, what does a nation with a growing need for leccy and an abundant stockpile of fissile material that can be used to meet that need without emmiting more climate changing gasses do?
    Apparently we think we can rely on foreign gas and whily gigs…

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    the issue is they do not remain deadly for thousands of years.

    I may have this wrong, but doesn’t the fact that it have a hugely long half life mean that it is in fact quite stable Wouldn’t a half life of say: 50 years be much more  dangerous as it’s decaying (and thus releasing energy) so in reality you’d want nuclear waste to have a long half life…I mean obvs it’s a bit more complex than that, but (from school memory) plutonium is insoluble, so no danger to water etc etc. But U238 is so stable as to be relatively safe, no?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    an abundant stockpile of fissile material that can be used to meet that need without emmiting more climate changing gasses

    Do we actually build reactors using MOX or plutonium? I thought hinkley was uranium.

    Nuclear power generation does produce climate changing gasses. Not as much as fossil fuel of vcourse but plenty from all the concrete and plenty from all the decomissioning

    We have just about enough whirly gigs now. They cannot be too much of the mix until we develop some decent storage

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Yes it did. they started moving earth to build car parks and access roads for the ground investigations.. ie the first part of the preparatory works. in 2008. thats the first part of the building works

    And the next couple of sentences on wikipedia go onto say:

    Early enabling works started in July 2008 with the construction of a car park for a ground investigation programme. In 2012 EDF purchased the site of the Manor of Sydenham near Bridgwater which had previously been used as a factory site by British Cellophane,[58] including the Grade II listed 16th century building.[59]

    In 2014, 400 staff undertook initial preparation and construction work. This work included access roads and roundabouts for increased construction traffic, park and ride schemes for the site workers, and a new roundabout for the village of Cannington. Further plans include the construction of a sea wall and a jetty for ships to deliver sand, aggregate and cement for concrete production.[60]

    In 2015 the factory site was razed to the ground for construction of temporary accommodation for 1,000 workers.[61][62]

    In September 2016, the BBC reported that if construction were to start now, the plant could become operational by 2025.[63]

    In March 2017, EDF, after the Office for Nuclear Regulation gave approval to start building a network of tunnels to carry cabling and piping, started work also under way on a jetty, seawall and accommodation blocks.[64]

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    and where are the reactors that use these fuels?

    MOX? All over the world.

    Pure PU? Breeders, all Gen IV so not in the light of day yet.

    they started moving earth to build car parks and access roads for the ground investigations.. ie the first part of the preparatory works. in 2008. thats the first part of the building works

    A ground survey is not building works. However the next paragraph is a bit more helpful;

    In 2014, 400 staff undertook initial preparation and construction work.

    Initial. Preparation. 2014.

    You’re havering and quite frankly making yourself look daft.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Really – I am not the one denying things – work started on the site in 2008. No doubt at all. What else do you call moving earth around in preparation? The decison to build it had already been made at that point hence the preparatory works.

    so where are the UKs MOX and plutonium reactors? no one wants the reprocessed fuel. How much has been sold? the japanese and the germans are actually paying us to keep it because it has no value at all – just a liability

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    We have just about enough whirly gigs now. They cannot be too much of the mix until we develop some decent storage

    Do we? That base load is sure to treble in the next couple of decades, more leccy cars and the already stated intent to make all UK households electrically heated, plus our growing love of data centres… We’re going to have to fill the North Sea with those whirly gigs and get a wriggle on with all these promised power storage and transport systems…

    Or there is nuclear, a better understood technology than it was 75 years ago, fueled by material that we will have to deal with anyway, why not do that by putting it in a reactor to generate electricity we know we’re going to need for many many decades to come…

    Do we actually build reactors using MOX or plutonium? I thought hinkley was uranium.

    The Japanese certainly have some MOX fueled reactors don’t they? What would stop the UK using MOX fuels?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    I do not know why the uk does not use MOX but it does not. Nor plutonium. so we have no use for the stuff and you do know that the japanese refused to take back the fuel we reprocessed for them instead paying us to store it for them

    None of the proposed reactors for the UK use any of the stockpile of plutonium.

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Really – I am not the one denying things – work started on the site in 2008. No doubt at all. What else do you call moving earth around in preparation? The decison to build it had already been made at that point hence the preparatory works.

    On 18 October 2010, the British government announced that Hinkley Point – already the site of the disused Hinkley Point A and the still operational Hinkley Point B power stations – was one of the eight sites it considered suitable for future nuclear power stations.[3][24] NNB Generation Company, a subsidiary of EDF, submitted an application for development consent to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on 31 October 2011.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Full Member

    A bit more googling and apparently CANDU can be run on a full load of MOX.

    And It’s not unheard of to mix MOX and LEU fuels in some reactors…

    What else are we going to do with it? Once it’s moved out of military stockpile it’s not allowed back under non proliferation rules I believe…

    MOX only has a small proportion of Pu in it anyway, but it’s not like we have any other use for it…

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    johhnystorm – yes after doing work to make sure the site was suitable. work that started in 2008
    “Early enabling works started in July 2008 with the construction of a car park for a ground investigation programme”

    Thats the start of the project.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    What else are we going to do with it?

    gawd alone knows – its just a huge dangerous liability. No one wants it. No proposal to use it for electricity generation has been put forward. As for taking other countries unwanted plutonium – utterly stupid

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Full Member

    “Early enabling works started in July 2008 with the construction of a car park for a ground investigation programme”

    Thats the start of the project.

    A moment ago that was when the decision to build it had already been made. Something that wasn’t even certain two years later.

    For someone supposedly so interested in safety you seem quite dismissive of due diligence and detailed planning.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    I am thinking of all those horrid conifer plantations all over scotland especially argyle. could a Bioimass plant be built somewhere in the clyde estuary and burn all that stuff over say 20 years ie 5% of it a year ( transported by boat to the plant) with obviously a replanting with native species.

    Depending on biomass to power the country would require intensive production which would result in far more of the conifer plantations you don’t want to see. This is the main problem with it.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Molgrips – it was idle wondering and the folks on here knew some numbers to put to it. I am not particularly in favour of biomass but if those confer plantations could make a decent amount of electricity it might have been a good idea – but its not enough to be worthwhile. a lot of it is pretty poor quality timber

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    For someone supposedly so interested in safety you seem quite dismissive of due diligence and detailed planning.

    Oh I am all for that. But surely thats a part of the project?

    Premier Icon gingerbllr
    Free Member

    Ground investigations are not the same as starting a construction project. It’s simply feasibility, due diligence and data gathering so you can tender more competitively/if at all.

    It’s the equivalent of having a survey done before you buy a house.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    if you say so. to me once you start spending money on something that the project started. Its more like digging some test pits on a building plot to see what sort of foundations you need

    Premier Icon gingerbllr
    Free Member

    Its more like digging some test pits on a building plot to see what sort of foundations you need

    It is this too, don’t get me wrong. But before you get that far, you have to ask: “is this even possible?” If the answer is no, well you don’t have a project.

    The site is super important for power stations, you can’t just design around shit conditions like you can with a house. Loads of sites have had GI over the years, often multiple rounds over the years and decades, but never had a project associated with them.

    A good example would be the 4x(?) times proposed M4 extension at Newport in South Wales. It’s had 5 or 6 rounds of extensive GI over the decades, and still no project, but we know it’s an option and we have a rough idea of the cost if we want to pull the trigger.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Full Member

    This afternoon energy production consisted of:
    Solar – 14.3%
    Wind – 14.9%
    Hydro – 1.0%
    Gas – 45.6%
    Coal – 1.9%
    Biomass – 5.0%
    Nuclear- 12.3%
    Pump stations- 0%
    Import – 5.0%

    to me the answer is pretty obvious, you need to utilise every available source of low/no carbon energy available. the ultimate goal is is zero emissions init, and we’ve stll got a fair old chunk to go, currently burning gas and biomass alone is over 50% going on those numbers, take away nuclear and that’s hitting 60-65% going. (I’d guess those imports will be producing a fair whack of emissions too)

    If we want zero emissions or as close as we can get. We need a mix of every source that will help towards that goal. Cause tbh, even if we got tidal up and running on a mass scale, it’d probably only replace nuclear at best and it’ll take a fair few number of years to even get there.

    The goal is getting emissions as low as possible, ideologies shouldn’t be getting in the way of that.

    Premier Icon dpfr
    Full Member

    On plutonium-

    The (large) civil and (pretty small) military stockpiles are completely separate. The UK has not made military plutonium for more than 25 years and doesn’t really have the ability to make more- the Magnox reactors were used for the irradiations, and they are all gone, and the reprocessing plant will go soon as well. Civil plutonium (most of the stockpile) is not all that useful in a weapon anyway, because of its much lower isotopic purity.

    Once we built the Magnox reactor fleet, we had to reprocess the fuel because it was uranium metal, which is chemically too reactive to be just stored and eventually disposed. But that was what we wanted because the early Magnoxes were built for both military plutonium production and electricity generation, though you’d run them a bit differently for those two purposes.

    The Magnoxes would be pretty rubbish plutonium burners because they are designed for unenriched fuel, so they would have limited ability to burn plutonium, and they are metal fuelled which would mean you’d need to turn the stockpile into a plutonium-containing alloy with uranium and maybe other things, which has obvious proliferation risks. They did look at using Magnoxes to burn a mixed oxide about 15-20 years ago but it never went anywhere.

    You could burn MOX in an AGR but there has been no point in developing that fuel because the reactors are old. You can certainly burn it in PWRs like Sizewell B or Hinkley C- Japan, France, Switzerland all do that, and the reactors can run up to about 1/3 MOX without modification. The problem here is that, actually, we don’t have enough plutonium. If you have 200 tonnes of fuel in a core which is 1/3 MOX at 7% plutonium and you replace 1/3 each year, you are getting through 20-25 tonnes of MOX and maybe 2 tonnes of plutonium per year. With a 60 year working life, a single PWR would pretty much chew through the UK plutonium stockpile during its life.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    ^ Thank you, a far better answer than I could give. As far as I was aware AGR’s weren’t capable of burning MOX but that doesn’t seem to be the case. As you say though it’s not worth it especially at this stage.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Indeed – all info is good. the more we have the better. so thanks

    I have learned a few things from this thread

    Premier Icon mattvanders
    Free Member

    This afternoons current usage:

    Solar – 19.0%
    Wind – 21.4%
    Hydro – 0.9%
    Gas – 34.0%
    Coal – 0%
    Biomass – 5.5%
    Nuclear- 13.8%
    Pump stations- 0%
    Import – 5.5%

    Pump storage will go up at 4/5 when dinner time starts to happen and solar will go down a bit after that.

    Premier Icon hamishthecat
    Full Member

    If I may comment on the timing of commencement for Hinkley Point C:

    National Policy Statement EN6 Nuclear Power Generation was published in 2011 and named Hinkley Point as one of eight Potentially suitable sites for the deployment of new nuclear power stations in England and Wales before the end of 2025

    The sites were put forward by third parties with EDF putting forward Hinkley. EDF had previously done a fair amount of feasibility work and consultation (including the 2008 SI activity). Inclusion in the NPS indicated that location was acceptable in national planning policy terms but development consent would be needed which took into account acceptability in environmental terms.

    In 2010 a planning application was made for site preparation works (not the power station itself), which was approved in 2012. There was an express requirement that the site be fully restored should the subsequent Development Consent Order application for the full power station not be approved, there was a clear commitment to the scheme.

    The DCO application was submitted in October 2011 and approved in March 2013 – so that’s when formal consent to build it happened (subject to various other regulatory and DCO requirements needing to be discharged).

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    @dpfr.

    So far as I’m aware, using MOX doesn’t actually reduce the plutonium that much as even though the MOX typically has 7% plutonium, the reactor itself actually makes around 5% during the fuel cycle so you only deplete the plutonium by around 25-30%.

    Another major issue is that the waste from MOX is significantly hotter and more radioactive.

    In essence France is now trapped in a cycle where they will have to build breeder/burner reactors in order to get rid of the MOX waste.

    If we as a country are going to do nuclear as part of the solution, it should really be in the form of a couple of breeders.

    It works for our own stockpile and would allow us to partner with France /buy from/ France pays us in the future.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    If we as a country are going to do nuclear as part of the solution, it should really be in the form of a couple of breeders.

    No one has successfully made a breeder reactor work for electricity production on a commercial scale have they? Superpheonix has been a huge white elephant

    so we are back in the realms of future tech will solve the issues

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    Dounreay had a fast breeder factor providing power to the grid in the 1960s. It was experimental but worked fine.

    GEH offered the PRISM reactor to the U.K. at around the same time Hinckley Point was given the green light.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    In small quantities IIRC. its main purpose was to make bomb grade plutonium was it not?

    As far as I am aware a fast breeder for power production at large scale has never been done. Superphenix was the main one I know of and an unmitigated disaster of a white elephant

    Premier Icon dpfr
    Full Member

    @Daffy

    True, but you shift the plutonium isotopics away from 239 (the main weapons-usable isotope) to others which don’t bring the same proliferation risks. Once irradiated, you can either dispose as waste or recycle. Multi-recycle of plutonium is tricky and of less value because of the reduced fissile content. Disposal of irradiated MOX as waste seems attractive to me. The plutonium is dispersed in the residual uranium and, as it decays, is diluted in the non-fissile uranium matrix so there is no prospect of chemically recovering fissile material from the material (ie your waste repository will never be a fissile material mine). If you just convert the plutonium to a wasteform and dispose, Pu-239 decays to fissile U-235 so the waste disposal facility will basically be a fissile materials mine forever.

    Cooling time is dictated by the bentonite buffer material in the disposal facility and is longer for MOX (maybe 150 years) than uranium oxide fuel (maybe 100 years) but it is actually silly long for both. Would be good to get rid of the bentonite.

    TLDR- Dispose as irradiated MOX = less attractive for weapons use, harder to recover fissile material; dispose as waste = remains fissile for (more or less) ever, can recover fissile material with some simple chemistry

    Premier Icon dpfr
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t use a breeder to make weapons material. For a start you need high fissile content driver fuel (so you essentially have weapons usable material anyway) and you can do it very simply using a simple thermal reactor (see North Korea).

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Full Member

    I read this thread backwards and it was like listening to drunk people in a pub.

    I believe the floating tidal device being referred to is still in prototype stage but is very interesting and was literally being started in someone’s garage when I lived in Orkney nearly 20 year ago. The people designing it are very clever and I’m sure will figure out how to attach it to the sea bed and survive the weather for those concerned about that. Humans are quite good at fastening floating things to the seabed now. Tidal in general provides many challenges but the beauty of that device is it avoids a lot of the problems of mounting a submerged device on the sea bed. Unfortunately tidal developers get very little support to develop the technology to a market ready state given the energy resource available.

    The fourth round of Scottish offshore wind leasing I believe ventures into deeper water so it will be interesting to see what comes from that, whether floating wind will venture beyond small projects like Hywind Scotland and how they’ll deal with cost of interconnection and transmission etc the further out from civilisation we go.

    Someone did touch on interconnectors and y’all should read more about them.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    In small quantities IIRC. its main purpose was to make bomb grade plutonium was it not?

    Dounreay or PRISM?

    Neither were for bomb generation, Chapelcross and Calder Hall were already doing that when Dounreay went live whilst PRISM is actually designed to run a weapons grade fuel cycle to either generate (power) or non-proliferate the material. Having sat through the PRISM sales pitch I’m glad we never went for it, pants pulling on a massive scale (build us a reactor then pay us to convert that weapons grade plutonium to non-proliferable stuff then we’ll sell the resultant material back to you).

    As far as I am aware a fast breeder for power production at large scale has never been done. Superphenix was the main one I know of and an unmitigated disaster of a white elephant

    True. Current designs for sodium loop breeders are of the small modular type so more of a development on the older prototype stuff than large scale.

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