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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2013 2:48 am 
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Why so expensive in the EU & USA? I thought it was interest rates, but the EXIM interest rates for nuclear and hydropower are 1.67% http://www.exim.gov/tools/commercialinterestreferencerates/

Maybe the big guys are taking us all for a ride; what do you think?


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PostPosted: Jan 04, 2013 7:45 am 
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Look up two posts above yours.

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PostPosted: Jan 05, 2013 2:25 am 
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The question still remains-Will the British buy Russian or Asian (other than Japanese) reactors? They may have tied themselves up in regulatory knots.


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PostPosted: Jan 16, 2013 4:49 am 
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'The UK energy minister has asked nuclear regulators to begin discussions over Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for Hitachi-GE's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). The design has been proposed for new units at the Wylfa and Oldbury sites.'

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-AB ... 01134.html


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PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 12:09 am 
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If the British want lower priced power, they have to get their reactors built by the Russians or the Chinese. Price escalation by the Europeans, N Americans/Japanese is too much. I wish they had also assessed VVER or the Chinese designs.
Indians have not built overseas so far but have had lowest cost/escalation within India. Indian PHWR costs are the lowest/kW @ $1700. Fast reactors are also around $2000/kW as per revised estimates. I wish that the Indians and the UK could share RG plutonium stocks and fast reactor skills.


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PostPosted: Jan 17, 2013 8:01 am 
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DaveMart wrote:
'The UK energy minister has asked nuclear regulators to begin discussions over Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for Hitachi-GE's Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). The design has been proposed for new units at the Wylfa and Oldbury sites.'

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-AB ... 01134.html


I hope they aren't trying to re-invent the wheel. ABWR has already been licensed by the most critical regulatory agency in the world, the NRC. Including an amendment for aircraft crash resistance.

But perhaps the inclusion of EUR requirements is considered a necessity. But if national and utility requirements are important, then I still don't understand why they went for Hitachi. Toshiba has an EUR-ified ABWR already developed to detailed engineering stage.


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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 2:50 am 
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Capital costs are very important in these billion dollar/pound/euro investments. I am sure they could beat the 11.1 billion dollar EPR. Can they match the Russians or the Chinese?


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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2013 2:55 am 
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Hitachi chose themselves as they are the ones offering to invest the money to build them.
Life would have been simpler if Toshiba had put in a bid to build its already certified reactor.

As for enough paperwork already having been done, there is never enough for a bureaucracy.


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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2013 4:01 am 
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Hitachi have put in a bid for a new reactor in Finland:
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_Fi ... 02132.html

They are going for the ESBWR design for this, so I don't really understand why they are apparently going for the ABWR in the UK.

It is also notable that for all the noise made about cost overuns on the already being built Finnish reactors, they still see it as a viable option, however much 'greens' have sought to capitalise on the delays.


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PostPosted: Feb 02, 2013 7:48 am 
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Thanks Dave. This is really interesting, with so many bids in the tender. Toshiba's ABWR design - which is actually closer to ESBWR in many of the passive safety features - is also bidding in. PWRs are also included. It'd be interesting to see which one is deemed most competitive.

Hitachi may be going at it alone in their ESBWR bid, as GE is likely in the process of exiting - or just quietly hybernating - the nuclear new build business. The ESBWR does appear the simplest and most compact of all these designs, so should have an edge on costs. But you never know, what with the Koreans joining in. Industrious little fellows, them.


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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 2:47 am 
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There is an interesting comparison between Japan and Germany. The Japanese are still licking the wounds given by the earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese companies are venturing abroad to keep their nuclear skills sharp.
The Germans were scared out of their wits by natural disaster on the far side of globe. They shut down half their reactors and scheduled the closure of the remaining. The German companies got out of their plans to build in the UK. Their places have been taken by the Japanese.
The UK should open the doors to the Russian and the Chinese if they want power without paying through their nose. The Russians could help them set up fast reactors at reasonable rates to make good use of their plutonium assets.


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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 3:36 am 
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Russian, Chinese etc builds are going to be impractical for this round of US reactors, as they have not even begun certification.
In any case, I don't think the problem lies with the companies as such.
When they are building in a conducive place, such as China or Korea, the same companies which have massive cost and time overuns in the West do fine.
The problem is not confined to nuclear build either.
For instance in the UK:
'The report identified a number of drivers for the higher cost of construction in the UK compared to other EU countries and supports the view that higher costs for UK infrastructure are mainly generated in the early project formulation and pre-construction phases.'

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/iuk_cost_review_index.htm

And the rest of Europe itself has way higher costs than elsewhere.
I don't know enough and have not involvement in the sector needed to comment precisely on the factors involved, but it is sure not simply cheap Chinese labour.
Infrastructure builds both in the US and Europe are way above competitive levels.


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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 7:30 am 
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jagdish wrote:
The UK should open the doors to the Russian and the Chinese if they want power without paying through their nose.
Given the Chinese habit of screwing over their foreign partners, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want them anywhere near a nuclear facility in my country.

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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 7:51 am 
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DaveMart wrote:
Russian, Chinese etc builds are going to be impractical for this round of US reactors, as they have not even begun certification.
In any case, I don't think the problem lies with the companies as such.
When they are building in a conducive place, such as China or Korea, the same companies which have massive cost and time overuns in the West do fine.
The problem is not confined to nuclear build either.
For instance in the UK:
'The report identified a number of drivers for the higher cost of construction in the UK compared to other EU countries and supports the view that higher costs for UK infrastructure are mainly generated in the early project formulation and pre-construction phases.'

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/iuk_cost_review_index.htm

And the rest of Europe itself has way higher costs than elsewhere.
I don't know enough and have not involvement in the sector needed to comment precisely on the factors involved, but it is sure not simply cheap Chinese labour.
Infrastructure builds both in the US and Europe are way above competitive levels.


This is something I'm very interested in, but can't find a comprehensive answer. The general answer seems to be the institutionalization and bureaucratization of nuclear power in the West, which has a debilitating effect on doing anything novel or better. It scares off new companies, new technologies and innovation. Unintentionally of course, which is the ironic part - in naively trying to avoid risk, we actually end up with more risk to us all (eg more fossil fuel usage, usage of older nuclear plant technologies with no passive safety features, etc.). But it's very difficult to unravel the onion completely; for example there is no publicised information about the exact breakdown of cost overruns on Olkiluoto EPR.

In recent discussions, the issue of quality control and quality assurance has been pointed out to me as a major factor in cost overruns. If a subcontractor has a single page in a single document not in order, the entire component or module is not allowed by the regulator and regulations to be delivered and installed, messing up the schedule, which then impacts further cost overruns in the rest of the project with delays...


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PostPosted: Feb 03, 2013 12:33 pm 
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In my view differences is wage rates are in the noise, a non-factor.
The increase in cost associated with limiting suppliers
to those that have jumped thru the hoops to get certificated
is far more important. But I suspect the real damage
associated with the NRC approach goes far deeped.

At the risk of repeating myself, here's what I wrote to a friend
who raised the paperwork issue.

BEGIN QUOTE

if amount of documentation and number of certificates were a measure of quality,
naval ships would be orders of magnitude more reliable
than commercial ships.
In fact, the reverse is true by a very large margin.
See http://www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub/two_ships.pdf

The fact that all the paperwork stifles competition
and gets in the way of improvements only partially
explains why this is the case.
I've worked for and with both naval ship yards and commercial ship yards.
They are on different planets.
In the top commerical yards,
good ideas are jumped on and the good engineers get promoted.
Eventually you end up with a top management made
of top aggressive engineers who eagerly seek out likeminded mentees.

In the naval yards, any thinking outside the box is either
immediately dismissed or dropped into a paperwork process
from which it rarely emerges.
I have a whole series of war stories.
The good kids get turned off and leave. The people who get
promoted are the ones who best know how to work
the system.

When I meet with a group of medium to top level
people at a Korean yard, I'm with a bunch of peers or betters.
In the US naval yards, the higher up you go,
the less impressive the people.
A naval/NRC style program ends up promoting the wrong people.
And then everything falls apart. See LPD.

END QUOTE

My guess is that the same system has wrought the same results at NRC.


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