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PostPosted: Dec 21, 2013 5:46 pm 
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The Finnish utility Fennovoima has signed an agreement with Rosatom to construct a new 1200MWe reactor, according to Reuters:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/ ... 5G20131221

This is quite extraordinary news, because Russian reactors normally don't stand a chance in Western countries. Finland has two Russian reactors, but they date back to the era before the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Soviet Union was Finland's main trading partner.


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PostPosted: Dec 21, 2013 8:19 pm 
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Russian reactors cost about half as much as western/Japanese ones. After the experience wih the costliest French reactors they are trying out the Russian ones.
India is also negotiating with the French and the Russians over the cost. Indian PHWR's cost about $1700/kW, Russians twice that and the French four times. Industrial capacity limitations and fuel import demand reactor imports.


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PostPosted: Dec 21, 2013 11:50 pm 
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A key factor in the Finnish decision is likely the fact that the latest VVER design features passive safety features, and is also being built in China,

http://www.dynabondpowertech.com/en/nuc ... ianwan-npp

Up until this point the U.S. has been the only country to successfully license and commercialize ALWRs with passive safety (the AP-1000).


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PostPosted: Dec 22, 2013 12:27 am 
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Russians are currently the biggest exporters of reactors. Passive safety could be just gilding the lily.


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PostPosted: Dec 22, 2013 7:29 am 
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The project is priced at 8.2 billion USD. That's $6800/kWe.

Not exactly cheap.

I still don't understand these prices. 1000 people working for 10 years @ 100k/person/year is $ 1 billion. Cost of the raw materials is much less than that.

So where's that $5+ billion dollars going to? Whose pockets are being lined with silver? Investors getting 20% interest rates?


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PostPosted: Dec 22, 2013 7:52 am 
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Here's the ARIS design description from the IAEA:

http://www.iaea.org/NuclearPower/Downlo ... 1200(V-491).pdf


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 4:04 am 
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Is this Okiluoto 4?
I was hoping that was going to be an ESBWR....


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 4:19 am 
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The 'E' in ESBWR is supposed to stand for economic, but wasn't it rejected in favour of the ABWR for the Texas proposal on price grounds? If the ESBWR is supposed to have got rid of a whole lot of pumps, piping, cables, valves, concrete and steel, why can't they sell it cheaper than other reactors?


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 5:28 am 
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The ESBWR is not yet a licenced design in the US.
The NRC is dragged its feet on some issues with the steam dryers. (It has been months with no word).

Also the North Anna unit in Virginia has switched back to ESBWR after abandoning it for Mitsubishi's PWR design, so its hardly hopeless.

ABWR is already licenced pretty much everywhere.


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 5:54 am 
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jon wrote:
The 'E' in ESBWR is supposed to stand for economic, but wasn't it rejected in favour of the ABWR for the Texas proposal on price grounds? If the ESBWR is supposed to have got rid of a whole lot of pumps, piping, cables, valves, concrete and steel, why can't they sell it cheaper than other reactors?


It wasn't price as such that was the issue, from what I've read. It was the fact that ESBWR wasn't fully licensed yet so there were some risks in that (delays, cost overruns). Probably there was no agreement on how this risk (potential costs and delays) would be shared.

The irony is that in going with the licensed ABWR, NRG later got involved with TEPCO as a stakeholder/investor. TEPCO had operating ABWRs, so was a "low risk partner". Lol. Not that GE is much better. They are complete cowards that do not have the guts to stand behind any reactor they offer when shovels need to hit the ground. A coward or a plutocracy. Pick your poison. With players such as those, the BWR doesn't need enemies.


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 8:13 am 
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Cyril R wrote:
The project is priced at 8.2 billion USD. That's $6800/kWe.

Not exactly cheap.

I still don't understand these prices. 1000 people working for 10 years @ 100k/person/year is $ 1 billion.
Right, but it takes about 3000 people about 5 years at 200$/hr including bennies to actually BUILD one and probably took as much to get the paperwork done before building could even start.

If I were pricing these things, I'd make the first guy pay most of the cost of all that paperwork under the obligation to repay some of his costs from the next units sold.

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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 9:01 am 
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I don't believe the paperwork amounts to that much. There aren't anywhere near 3000 people involved in the paperwork. Heck, the entire US NRC barely has that many people, and most aren't involved in new build, the ones that are are involved in a many GWe of projects.

But I agree that in the case of the US NRC, its current employment of 3500 is on the high side for only about 100 nuclear units. On the other hand 35 people is a tolerable cost, about 11 million/year/unit. We are not talking billions here.

If you look at R&D/testing facilities, you can easily spent 100 million on testing large new equipment. If you assume another 100 million in paperwork. It's 0.2 billion. A billion in wages. A billion in material/gear. This is all very generous, and you're only up to 2.2 billion. That leaves 6 billion out of 8.2 unclarified.


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 12:00 pm 
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Cyril R wrote:
I don't believe the paperwork amounts to that much. There aren't anywhere near 3000 people involved in the paperwork. Heck, the entire US NRC barely has that many people, and most aren't involved in new build, the ones that are are involved in a many GWe of projects.

But I agree that in the case of the US NRC, its current employment of 3500 is on the high side for only about 100 nuclear units. On the other hand 35 people is a tolerable cost, about 11 million/year/unit. We are not talking billions here.

If you look at R&D/testing facilities, you can easily spent 100 million on testing large new equipment. If you assume another 100 million in paperwork. It's 0.2 billion. A billion in wages. A billion in material/gear. This is all very generous, and you're only up to 2.2 billion. That leaves 6 billion out of 8.2 unclarified.
Remember, you are designing, building, testing, and CERTIFYING the unit, and you must pay for the certifying work at the NRC. And that takes what, 10 years?

I don't have my NRC staff chart handy but my recollection is that most of the personnel are on the cert/recert side and cost the companies about $400/hour. Assuming 2500 of the 3500 are cert/recert, the industry is paying about $2B/a. If half are doing one cert project for 10 years... well, it adds up FAST!

Cut it by 4 and it is STILL big bucks.

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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Also everything is being charged something like 10% interest.


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PostPosted: Dec 23, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Still doesn't add up. $2 billion/year with 18 reactor units under COL, gives $111 million/year. For 5 years it is half a billion. Even if 10 years it is only 1 billion. We need to explain 6-7 billion here folks.

Something just isn't right. I suspect a lot of people are making money like bandits on interest somewhere. There must be 5+ billion dollars per project going to interest rates, which is criminal. People should be put in jail for this. In stead it just escalates further every year.


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