Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Jan 18, 2018 1:01 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Aug 11, 2013 12:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 28, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 348
Yesterday I was referring to the costs of the nuclear power program in France in another post: the French government accountability office, the Cour des Comptes, published a report last year on the total cost of the French nuclear power program since 1957. The Cour des Comptes put out a figure of 121 billion euros (base level: 2010 euros), which also includes the cost of reprocessing facilities and research.

What is interesting is that the construction cost of the reactors at Civaux, the last of the program, which went on-line in 2002, "only" cost 3.7 billion euros. To put this in perspective: the new EPR which is being constructed in Flamanville is going to cost more than 10 billion euros - for less power (1650MWe). This makes me wonder why these costs have so spiralled out of control in only 10 years or so.

Still, I consider 121 billion euros a bargain over this length of time . Germany is spending more than 20 billion euros every single year on its Energiewende program (primarily subsidies for wind and solar).

For who's interested, the English language version of this lengthy document (432 pages):

http://www.ccomptes.fr/content/download ... 012012.pdf


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 11, 2013 12:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5057
Quote:
Still, I consider 121 billion euros a bargain over this length of time . Germany is spending more than 20 billion euros every single year on its Energiewende program (primarily subsidies for wind and solar).


Absolutely. And note that the German program doesn't work. They pay 20 billion euro's a year for something that doesn't work. They should be outraged. They can spend another 200 billion euros and still get nowhere. They don't seem to care. They're just crazy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 11, 2013 12:21 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am
Posts: 1493
EPR is a disaster of a design.

The primary reason for the costs is the fact that the industry has died recently and must now begin again from scratch.
Additionally the Civeaux reactors are the nth unit.
The EPR at Flamanville is a FOAK.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 11, 2013 1:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Feb 28, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 348
Yes, the energy policy in Germany is crazy. Renewables produced about 120 TWh of electricity in Germany in 2011. The market value of this is perhaps 4 - 5 billion euros. Nevertheless the subsidies for renewables amount to 20 - 25 billion euros per year. That's at least 15 billion euros going "down the drain" each year.

With regard to the EPR: the EPR is a FOAK and may be a bad design , but why is the construction of these EPRs in China being finished earlier than in Finland (first EPR) or France, when the construction of these reactors in China started much later ?

The current reactors in France are now receiving upgrades, so they can run for another 10 to 20 years. So there is still some life left in them, but I think it would be wise to hurry up the R&D for reactors such as DMSRs, so these old PWRs can be replaced within 10 to 20 years. Perhaps it is time for EDF to make a phone call to David LeBlanc :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 12, 2013 3:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5057
I took a little clue of what's amiss from an AP1000 construction picture in the USA. The picture was crawling with people. Not only that, what I saw was that typically there was one guy or gal doing rebar or other work, and 2 guys or gals just "inspecting" what he or she did.

With that kind of culture, you've got 3x the labor cost of what you really need. If the same level of quality control and inspection is true in other parts of the organisation, even the office I imagine, then I can finally understand why it costs so much to build nuclear plants in the West.

I've never agreed with this extreme focus on quality control and bureaucratic inspections. They are not a factor in any of the major nuclear disasters (Windscale, Chernobyl, Fukushima). It was all primarily bad design. So focus on the design phase and use standard industrial quality control for the construction and operation of the plant. I can understand from my own experience that managers like quality control, and managers are in charge, so it can be explained. But it is clearly not fruitful.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 12, 2013 4:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Sep 02, 2009 10:24 am
Posts: 507
Cyril R wrote:
I took a little clue of what's amiss from an AP1000 construction picture in the USA. The picture was crawling with people. Not only that, what I saw was that typically there was one guy or gal doing rebar or other work, and 2 guys or gals just "inspecting" what he or she did.

With that kind of culture, you've got 3x the labor cost of what you really need. If the same level of quality control and inspection is true in other parts of the organisation, even the office I imagine, then I can finally understand why it costs so much to build nuclear plants in the West.

I've never agreed with this extreme focus on quality control and bureaucratic inspections. They are not a factor in any of the major nuclear disasters (Windscale, Chernobyl, Fukushima). It was all primarily bad design. So focus on the design phase and use standard industrial quality control for the construction and operation of the plant. I can understand from my own experience that managers like quality control, and managers are in charge, so it can be explained. But it is clearly not fruitful.

As I understand it, the concrete in Finland was not laid correctly - and this was probably picked up by the 2/3 of the guys who were doing the inspection.

Also, a sample of three incidents is not significant. If we look outside nuclear, the Deepwater Horizon accident had a same order of magnitude cost to Fukushima, and was probably caused by contractors who weren't being checked by the prime contractor. Maybe they needed 2 inspectors for one guy doing the survey?

But perhaps we're really guessing here.

What I do know is that if any nuclear engineer has been out to China, and spent some time seeing what's gone right and what's gone wrong, they would be a worth a fortune in the UK.

I also know that quality on a production line doesn't cost - it has immediate payback. This is not always the case on a construction site. The more modular the design, the easier and more cost effective QA will become.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 12, 2013 5:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5057
Quote:
As I understand it, the concrete in Finland was not laid correctly - and this was probably picked up by the 2/3 of the guys who were doing the inspection.


There was no safety problem. There was a problem of too stringent standards. It plagued the rest of the project too, even including heavy forgings documentation and quality control that could not be guaranteed, even though the pressure vessels were functionally safe.

If you apply overstringent standards in documentation and quality control and exactness of specifications, you will not be able to meet those standards, and there will be costly delays. Rebar that is a few inches off is not at all a safety problem, because there are safety margins in the various construction codes specifically designed with this type of error in mind. But do this with a nuclear plant and you've got a media circus, millions in cost overruns and months of delays. In a nuclear plant construction, they use codes with large safety margins, but then don't use those margins as any deviation is not allowed. That's silly. If your quality control is that stringent you don't need safety margins anymore (this is the approach taken today with modern aircraft - low safety margins, but lots of inspection and quality control).

This problem of overstringent regulations is what plagues nuclear power to death. It is even responsible for "scandals". If you make your regulations tighter, all of a sudden you have all sorts of violations of the standards causing public outcry. When in fact your physical/engineering situation is still exactly the same!

We need to stop this. It is counterproductive and strangling the nuclear industry to death. In stead, have a design oriented safety culture. If the design is good, you don't need quality control, as a good design tolerates all sorts of failure. It doesn't mean you can be sloppy. It means you can have standard industrial quality control with very reasonable margins and deviations and flexibility in it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Aug 18, 2013 4:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2230
The cost of new construction of French EPR reactors in France and UK is a scandalous 11.1 billion dollars apiece. it amounts to $6800/kW.
The Russian or Chinese costs are much lower. So are Korean. Indian reactors in India are of course lower. There is a situation where Indians have to buy costly reactors with uncertain time frame for the sake of uranium.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 29, 2013 7:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Feb 28, 2011 10:10 am
Posts: 348
EDF, the French utility, presented plans this week to extend the lifetime of its existing reactors from 40 to 60 years. Upgrading the 58 reactors will cost 50 billion Euros between now and 2025. Apparently this is a lower cost option than constructing new EPRs.

From the French business newspaper Les Echos:

http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-sect ... 607900.php


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 29, 2013 12:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: May 15, 2011 12:06 am
Posts: 225
A few days ago I read an article claiming that a French nuclear accident could cost $7.5 trillion. I can't seem to find the article now, but maybe I'll look again later. Did anyone see it? What do you think about it?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 29, 2013 7:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am
Posts: 1493
Considering those 58 reactors have a combined power out of 62.4GWe, I would say that €50bn (so $67bn) for 20 years of continued operation is a good thing.
That is only about ~$1000/kW for 20 years more power time.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group