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 Post subject: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Nov 19, 2016 10:29 am 
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EPA's big bet on nuclear put U.S. climate goals at risk

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That summer of 2014, members of the Nuclear Energy Institute descended on EPA's Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters — shortly after the draft Clean Power Plan was released — to sharpen the warning. They told McCarthy and her top aides that up to 18 carbon-free nuclear reactors, their profits squeezed by low electricity prices and equipment upgrades, were at risk of closing before their 60-year licenses expired. If EPA was betting financially struggling reactors would be in business long enough to see their 80th birthdays and be a bridge to deeper emissions cuts under the proposed climate rule, they said McCarthy's agency was sorely mistaken.


I doubt the Obama adminstration was very worried about whether or not 18 nuclear power plants would stay in operation or not.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Nov 19, 2016 5:42 pm 
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The climate hoax might find its way to the media archieves soon. New reactor concepts might need decades to become available on a commercial scale.

The question is how to the improve profitability of the existing nuclear power plants to keep them in operation...
...further increase of availability to divide the fixed costs by more operating hours?
...agressive power uprating to divide the fixed costs by more kWh?
...decrease the number of employees?
...bring the regulatory requirements in line with the low risk of nuclear?

From technical point of view all major components can be repaired or replaced or upgraded (I personally assume that even a RPV could be replaced which might mean a power uprating). Hence I do not see a reason not to run them >100years.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Jan 31, 2017 1:28 am 
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Largest coal-fired power plant in western US may close this year


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 01, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Carbon dioxide increases are real and measured so cannot be denied. However it is not as much of a problem as SPM or sulfur. Nature has managed higher carbon levels geologically and will do it again.
Coal, gasified underground and converted to alcohol/acetone/DME after cleaning could be the real clean coal technology.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2017 6:36 pm 
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So - The largest coal fired plant in the West may close soon. The Navaho plant and associated mine could cause 1,000 jobs to be lost in Page, Arizona population 7,247. Wall Street experts will proclaim that efficiencies have been gained by the market.

How about Palo Verde? Is it on shaky ground too?

Capitalism seems to move quite fast these days. People depend on the power industry. Closing so many nuclear and coal plants could have us overly dependent on natural gas for our fuel source. Then some executive from the gas industry will make the proclamation to his minions that that the time has come to squeeze the American public?

The executive and his cohorts will smile at each other across a cigar smoke filled room and the declaration will be made. "You want cold beer? It's gonna cost ya!"

Too bad there isn't some sort of guiding invisible hand to help make things right for the consumers.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2017 8:59 pm 
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Eino wrote:
So - The largest coal fired plant in the West may close soon. The Navaho plant and associated mine could cause 1,000 jobs to be lost in Page, Arizona population 7,247. Wall Street experts will proclaim that efficiencies have been gained by the market.


Solar and Wind already employ more people than fossil fuels. And such employment is only going up.
A substation in the LA basin already has 80MWh in lithium ion storage. In a few years there will be hundreds of 100MWh class battery storage in the USA grid alone.
I've been told on this forum all sort of reasons why this won't work and shouldn't be done. Its operational right now.
Please focus on making nuclear power cheaper. Attack the NRC on why the NRC makes nuclear expensive.
Coal shouldn't be saved and the only way it can be saved is by ending fracking which ain't gonna happen.
Be smart folks. MSR and Thorium. How to make that move forward.

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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2017 10:05 pm 
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macpacheco wrote:
I've been told on this forum all sort of reasons why this won't work and shouldn't be done. Its operational right now.


It's operational right now because of obscene subsidies. When those go away so will all this foolishness. I'm really surprised you can't seem to see this.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Operationally a battery is a poor choice for capacity guarantee.
When the battery is exhausted it is exhausted.

Whilst a diesel generator or gas engine can potentially run indefinitely, it is expensive but they won't drop out of the grid and cause a brownout after only a few hours.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 11, 2017 10:31 pm 
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"Solar and Wind already employ more people than fossil fuels. And such employment is only going up."

How long will this employment persist? Is this employment because of a massively subsidized construction activity which provides short term construction jobs?

I used to work in Hydro. This was largely automated. No operators had to be on site for a dispatcher to put units on line. The same should be true of solar and wind. There is some maintenance, but wind is a propeller turning a shaft. It is a somewhat simple machine that shouldn't require a great deal of maintenance. Likewise, cleaning solar panels should not be considered maintenance intensive.

There are no magic batteries and inverters. There is no magical cure for the intermittent nature of solar and wind. If such batteries were cost effective for the power system, they would be in use already to smooth out the difference in Megawatts between day and night load.

But,......flywheels, Super Conducting Magnetic Storage and compressed air are out there waiting to be perfected as energy storage devices.

I'd rather see you people build one of your new efficient safe reactors than wait for something that is further from being deployed.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 1:00 am 
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Used nuclear fuel has a lot of decay energy which is treated as a problem and managed with elaborate cooling arrangements.
We could just leach out high energy Sr and Cs out of it and use them in RTG's for back up energy. The source could be buried in nuclear concrete as the operation is static and spontaneous, requiring no air or outside action.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 2:03 pm 
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"
Quote:
We could just leach out high energy Sr and Cs out of it and use them in RTG's for back up energy.
"

From Wikepedia:

Quote:
RTGs use thermocouples to convert heat from the radioactive material into electricity. Thermocouples, though very reliable and long-lasting, are very inefficient; efficiencies above 10% have never been achieved and most RTGs have efficiencies between 3–7%.


This gadget will cost money. It requires processing of nuclear waste, building a custom thermocouple assembly to surround the resulting processed materials and is of somewhat low efficiency. Right now - natural gas is cheap to make up shortfalls in energy. If you were a utility manager, which would you choose?


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
macpacheco wrote:
I've been told on this forum all sort of reasons why this won't work and shouldn't be done. Its operational right now.


It's operational right now because of obscene subsidies. When those go away so will all this foolishness. I'm really surprised you can't seem to see this.


Excuse me Kirk, every year lithium economics improve on average by over 5%. Subsidies won't be needed any more in a few years.
Lithium cost, energy density improved by over two orders of magnitude since its introduction. Its like moore's law, just slower.
Solar panels show a 22% reduction in cost every time total GWh worth of panels produced doubles.
Solar+Lithium storage is already cheaper than diesel shipped to pacific islands without subsidies, by a good margin.
Its about to become economical for HECO (Hawaii grid/generation utility) to start replacing its fossil generation with rooftop solar + grid batteries.
Indian PM Moodi already declared solar panels are cheaper than coal (unlevelized) in India.
Please, do your work, get Thorium MSRs to market. Stop trying to defend filthy coal, coal is horrible even disregarding climate change.

Tesla just improved Lithium economics by 1/3 in a single step. Moving from 18650 form factor to 2170 increases cell energy by 100% with just a 50% cost increase.
Over the next decade, using this 2170 cell economics as a baseline, Lithium is likely to half cost/kWh, aka a 100% improvement in economics.

Eino wrote:
"Solar and Wind already employ more people than fossil fuels. And such employment is only going up."

How long will this employment persist? Is this employment because of a massively subsidized construction activity which provides short term construction jobs?

Solar panels last 30 years. Inverters 12 years. Wind turbines require lots of maintenance. Nuclear people whine that renewables are jobs programs, which is precisely the opposite of your argument. Make up your minds on what is your criticism. Makes you look silly.
The criticism that renewables are not energy dense sources actually answers your question.

E Ireland wrote:
Operationally a battery is a poor choice for capacity guarantee.
When the battery is exhausted it is exhausted.

Whilst a diesel generator or gas engine can potentially run indefinitely, it is expensive but they won't drop out of the grid and cause a brownout after only a few hours.

Meanwhile the baseload plants are operating at 100%. Peaking/load following resources are replaced with baseload.
Which reduces fuel consumption, and reduce how much battery power is required.

Please realize California had a filthy air in the 70s/80s. Today its wayyy cleaner. No contest there. Californians want clean air. End of discussion.
Yep, I disagree with shutting down california's nukes. But adding solar, wind, and batteries to the grid is a good idea considering santa anna isn't coming back online. I hope Diablo Cannyon can be saved until at least 60 years life, then replaced with MSRs.

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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 3:21 pm 
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macpacheco wrote:
Excuse me Kirk, every year lithium economics improve on average by over 5%. Subsidies won't be needed any more in a few years.

But lithium is only worthwhile because we have wind turbines and such all over the place.
It is far cheaper to buy baseload plant and run some open cycle gas turbines for the peaking load - indeed with the creation of recuperated open cycle turbines OCGTs are now over 40% net efficiency.
macpacheco wrote:
Solar panels show a 22% reduction in cost every time total GWh worth of panels produced doubles.

So from astronomically expensive to just very expensive?
macpacheco wrote:
Its about to become economical for HECO (Hawaii grid/generation utility) to start replacing its fossil generation with rooftop solar + grid batteries.

That is only because the specific geography of the Hawaiian Island chain militates against a unified Hawaiian grid - if they had one then CCGTs would be feasible in fuel supply terms and the batteries would never get a look in. And given there is currently a serious HVDC interconnector project under way I wouldn't hold my breath
macpacheco wrote:
Indian PM Moodi already declared solar panels are cheaper than coal (unlevelized) in India.

Coal is a dead technology - the only way coal reserves are going to get burned is going to be underground coal gassification to provide fuel gas to turbines. Steam cycles are on the way out.
macpacheco wrote:
Tesla just improved Lithium economics by 1/3 in a single step. Moving from 18650 form factor to 2170 increases cell energy by 100% with just a 50% cost increase.

Thats nice - how many more times can they do that? They are still nowhere near economic.

Eino wrote:
Meanwhile the baseload plants are operating at 100%. Peaking/load following resources are replaced with baseload.
Which reduces fuel consumption, and reduce how much battery power is required.

But they aren't - because I still have to keep gas turbine plant ready to hard-start on a couple of hours notice for when the cold snap lasts longer than the batteries can cope with.
There is no generating plant cost advantage - and with things like FIRES setting a minimum price on electricity (At the natural gas price) there is little fuel cost advantage. Better to simply overbuild nuclear plant and use the offpeak electricity to replace gas and other sources of industrial heat.

Eino wrote:
Yep, I disagree with shutting down california's nukes. But adding solar, wind, and batteries to the grid is a good idea considering santa anna isn't coming back online. I hope Diablo Cannyon can be saved until at least 60 years life, then replaced with MSRs.

It consumes tens of billions of dollars that could have bought reliable baseload plant that would produce far more energy in the long run.
How many billions of dollars have been expended on renewable subsidies (or have been committed to ongoing programmes). Barakah demonstrates PWRs cost ~$3,500/kW with Western standards using expat labour.
How many gigawatts of PWRs could have been purchased. THe answer in the UK case is extremely depressing, where existing wind turbines will have consumed something like £100bn in real-terms by the end of their 25 year subsidy life.


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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Dear E Ireland,

I'll tell you just one thing. By end of 2017, end of 2018, end of 2019 you'll be saying the same things, and solar/wind deployments will continue to explode.
Tesla PowerPacks/PowerWalls will drop in cost by at least 50% from now to 2020.
Realize that Tesla isn't even making 1GWh/yr in stationary storage. There's room to grow production by several orders of magnitude, which will substantially reduce non lithium costs too.
Will gas plants ever achieve 75% efficiency ? I think not.
Will the cost of a gas plant reduce by 50% ? I think not. Will natural gas prices drop hugely in Europe or North America ?
Batteries can be deployed at substations. Right in front of large buildings. Peaking plants make a lot of noise. Its a freaking open cycle turbine. Batteries make no noise. They do reactive control, offset peaking resources, reduce need for load following resources. I doubt the Mira Loma project is meant to eliminate peaking plants fully. Just reduce them.
You insist on taking things as an all or nothing proposition. Its not.
Figure out how to build nuclear reactors in North America/Western Europe at Chinese costs. I'm cheering for you. But meanwhile solar and wind will continue to explode.
I see your entire attitude as an attempt to keep the market for conventional generation. This won't work.

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 Post subject: Re: EPA Clean Power Plan
PostPosted: Feb 12, 2017 6:19 pm 
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macpacheco wrote:
Dear E Ireland,

I'll tell you just one thing. By end of 2017, end of 2018, end of 2019 you'll be saying the same things, and solar/wind deployments will continue to explode.


New wind capacity in 2016 was 54GWe - which with a capacity factor of average ~25% is something like ~13.5GWe-average.

New net nuclear capacity is ~9GWe at ~90% capacity factor, which is something like 8GWe-average.
So despite the enormous quantities of public money bled on wind turbines globally they are not "thrashing" nuclear installations - and if it was not for nonsensical political shutdowns of useable reactors (or economic closures caused by stupid energy policies) nuclear generation installation would be keeping pace with wind.
With far less subsidy expended per average-kilowatt.
macpacheco wrote:
Tesla PowerPacks/PowerWalls will drop in cost by at least 50% from now to 2020.

From astronomically expensive to slightly less than astronomically expensive?
macpacheco wrote:
Realize that Tesla isn't even making 1GWh/yr in stationary storage. There's room to grow production by several orders of magnitude, which will substantially reduce non lithium costs too.

Reeallly? Too bad they are five or six times too expensive.
macpacheco wrote:
Will gas plants ever achieve 75% efficiency ? I think not.

Who cares if they achieve 75% efficiency?
Batteries use electricity as fuel, gas turbines do not.
Gas Plants achieve 61% efficiency now with combined cycle, and DoE has a programme to breach 65% in ten years or so.
macpacheco wrote:
Will the cost of a gas plant reduce by 50% ? I think not.

When a recuperated 40% efficient gas turbine costs about 50 cents a watt, who cares?
macpacheco wrote:
Batteries can be deployed at substations. Right in front of large buildings. Peaking plants make a lot of noise. Its a freaking open cycle turbine.


Then its a good thing that electricity transmission is very cheap and the power station can be positioned in the middle of the nowhere then?
macpacheco wrote:
Batteries make no noise. They do reactive control, offset peaking resources, reduce need for load following resources. I doubt the Mira Loma project is meant to eliminate peaking plants fully. Just reduce them.

And when the battery operator is caught with it depleted by an unexpected demand ramp? You still have to provide units to insure against that possibility, so I begin to question what the point of them is.
macpacheco wrote:
You insist on taking things as an all or nothing proposition. Its not.
Figure out how to build nuclear reactors in North America/Western Europe at Chinese costs. I'm cheering for you. But meanwhile solar and wind will continue to explode.


Which is why new wind capacity fell from 63GWe in 2015 to 54GWe in 2016?
macpacheco wrote:
I see your entire attitude as an attempt to keep the market for conventional generation. This won't work.

I don't want a 'market' for electricity generation - the market in electricity was created to make financiers rich at the expense of consumers. I want an old style publically-owned vertically-integrated model, where the technologies selected are selected on the smallest total system cost, with low costs of capital. Batteries do not really provide that capability since they are more expensive in capacity terms than gas engines and have to have gas engines backing them up anyway.


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