Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Nov 21, 2009 7:27 am 
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90% utilization was there for a short period which resulted in uranium paucity, in turn resulting in utilization going down to 50%. With import of uranium resumed and some of reactors being put under IAEA inspection and using imported uranium, it is again likely to go up.


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PostPosted: May 29, 2010 11:28 am 
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It's always good to put big numbers in perspective. 26 billion Canadian, sounds like a lot, but what do we get for that?

Let's do some reasonable numbers on the value of this electricity. Wholesale block of power (baseload) should be around 5 cent per kwh. 2x1200 MWe, this is 2,400,000 kWe, 80% capacity factor, 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year, 60 years of operation. This is not so hard!

0.05*2,400,000*0.8*24*365*60=50,045,760,000

That's 50 BILLION Canadian dollars ladies and gentlemen! AND a guarantee for cheap power for 60+ years.

Them economists can say all they want; it sounds like a real bargain to me.


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PostPosted: May 29, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Cyril,

If the money is borrowed at [url="http://www.treas.gov/offices/domestic-finance/debt-management/interest-rate/yield.shtml"]4.5% interest[/url], then $26B is $1.17B/year.

At 90% capacity, that's about 6.2 cents per kilowatt hour for the interest. Operations would be something around 2 cents per kilowatt hour. The result is 8 cents per kilowatt hour, which is too high at the generation side. 5 cents might squeak by, but we really want something more like 3-4 cents.

-Iain


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PostPosted: May 29, 2010 7:35 pm 
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They ways to cut costs are also quite obvious.
1. Stick to old tested designs of smaller capacity. Just have more of them.
2. Outsource fabrication to India or China wherever the costs are lower.
Advanced economies do that for all manufacture.


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PostPosted: May 29, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Iain, I thought the $26B already included the cost of financing (...and just about everything else imaginable, including upgrading local roads).


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PostPosted: May 29, 2010 9:49 pm 
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One should also know if the money has been time adjusted to the same time (are they all 2008 dollars or are they 2068 dollars or are they a mix). Without that information the $26B means very little. The most likely is that they are 2008 dollars in which case Cyril's simple analysis makes sense. I would also like to know the presumed interest rates during construction, once the reactor is on line, and the presumed inflation rate. Using 2008 dollars would be the most meaningful (especially if you compared it against alternatives using the same methodology).

If your real purpose is to sink nuclear under the moniker of too expensive then you would convert everything to 2068 dollars but not make that obvious and you would not compare it to any other choices.

Did they ever disclose how they came to $26B?


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PostPosted: May 30, 2010 3:31 am 
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I thought this was quite clear. The 26 billion number includes financing cost, yes. In fact that's the problem, because 'risk' translates into delays & increased equipment cost, which has a dramatic effect on financing cost, as discussed before on this forum. The 26 billion bid even includes a 60 year fuel supply, highly irregular financial arrangement if you ask me. In fact doing the same for natural gas easily exceeds 26 billion Canadian for the natural gas alone.

Curiously, the 'risk' analysis doesn't include the risk of natural gas prices rising. With a 60 year timeframe, much can happen. Pretty much all of the major energy associations assume gas prices will rise considerably over the next several decades.

Economists have this little problem with discounting. It works fine for a discrete replaceable investment, such as a car. The thing is damaged and at some point one would want to buy a new car. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for the planet. When we're done using up our planet, where will we buy a new one?

If we discount at 4.5 percent, then the planet is worth only 1 percent of today's value in a century. Why then, should we bother with greenhouse gasses or any pollution at all? The planet's depreciated anyway in a century, might as well ruin it.

Of course the economists have all sorts of arbitrary fixes to this little problem, like discounting becoming lower in the future... but the fact of the matter is, they're quite lost on the issue.


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PostPosted: May 30, 2010 5:30 pm 
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Thanks Cyril ! :lol:


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PostPosted: May 30, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Did they publish the expected costs of other means of producing the same amount of electricity?

I'm glad they included the cost of the fuel - that should help nuclear versus gas, oil, and coal. If they fairly include the cost of maintenance then we should also stand in good position relative to wind.


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PostPosted: May 31, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
I thought this was quite clear. The 26 billion number includes financing cost, yes.


What does that mean? Can someone point to the source here, so I can have a look? I have a bad feeling the $26B has money in different years added together.

Quote:
Economists have this little problem with discounting. It works fine for a discrete replaceable investment, such as a car. The thing is damaged and at some point one would want to buy a new car. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for the planet. When we're done using up our planet, where will we buy a new one?
....
Of course the economists have all sorts of arbitrary fixes to this little problem, like discounting becoming lower in the future... but the fact of the matter is, they're quite lost on the issue.


This is a really important point. Many long-term analyses founder on this issue. It's very difficult.

-Iain


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PostPosted: May 31, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Iain, much is explained here:

http://theenergycollective.com/TheEnerg ... tive/44781

Quote:
Observers of the political turmoil now underway in Ontario over the media reports that AECL bid $26 billion to build two new ACR1000 reactors (2,220 MW) are in good company trying to make sense of these figures.

The news media, notably the Toronto Star, had a field day with the numbers sticking provincial politicians like they were morsels on a shish-ka-bob skewer. The problem with all the fire, smoke, and spit from the grill is that the numbers are undoubtedly wrong and wrongly reported in the news media.

First, $26 billion is an aggregate number that includes two reactors, turbines, transmission and distribution infrastructure (power lines or T&D), plant infrastructure, and nuclear fuel for 60 years as well as decommissioning costs. The most important number in the whole controversy has gone largely without notice and that is the delivered cost of electricity from the plants is in the range of five cents per kilowatt hour.

...

Second, the widely reported figure of about $11,000/Kw for AECL’s reactor package is also wildly inaccurate because it wraps the entire cost of the package into a single bundle and then allocates all of them to a figure designed to inflate the cost of the electricity generated by the reactor alone.

The other bidder at Darlington agrees this kind of analysis is nuts. In a conference call with nuclear energy bloggers on July 17, a spokesman for Areva declined to provide exact numbers, but did not specifically dispute a report in the Toronto Star on July 14 which pegged the cost of two 1,650 EPR reactors at $7.8 billion. Doing the math, that comes out to just under $2,400/Kw which is a very competitive price.

For comparison purposes, AECL bid two of the new ACR1000, which is an 1,100 MW reactor, which comes to 2,200 MW. At a reported bid price of approximately $6.0 billion, the price per Kw/Hr of the reactors is $2,700/Kw or very close to the price reported in the news media for the Areva reactors.

The spokesman for Areva said in the conference call the bulk of the “all in” price includes “balance of plant,” including turbines, T&D, and local and regional transportation improvements to bring plant components and the construction workforce to the site. It also includes nuclear fuel for 60 years! According to the Toronto Star for July 17, Areva’s total “all in” cost was $23.6 billion compared to AECL’s of $26 billion.

Readers should therefore be very skeptical of alarms raised by Greenpeace that the price of the reactors is in the stratosphere. It’s not true. Lumping all the costs of the entire project, and then dividing them by the reactor power output at the turbine alone is not accurate or fair.


If the delivered cost is around 5 cents/kWh then my simple calculation isn't entirely correct (as it was based on full revenue) but still, it's not bad. I wonder what else had to be discounted (ie different dollar years) - or wasn't yet in the full cost figure (could be wages or something).

Compare it to 60 years of coal: 2.5 cent/kWh that's around 25 billion, plus 2.2 GWe coal plant plus infrastructure and post cleanup, this should be at least 6 billion, totalling 31 billion Canadian.

But who knew shis ka bab had something to do with it? :lol:


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PostPosted: May 31, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Hmm, I see that 2.2 GWe and 2.4 GWe got used interchangeably... sorry for that. The real figure appears 2220 MWe. It doesn't change the conclusion though.


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