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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2013 5:12 am 
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jagdish wrote:
Breeders or fast reactors are worth it for spent fuel disposal alone.


Technically, it isn't, because passive dry storage works so well and is much cheaper too.

This is even more so for TRISO fuel that the LEADIR and gas cooled reactors are looking to use. Such fuel doesn't need spent fuel pool storage, it can be directly transfered to full passive dry storage (after a few days of cooling in the core after shutdown).


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PostPosted: Oct 31, 2013 5:19 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
Breeders or fast reactors are worth it for spent fuel disposal alone.
Russians have been using lead cooling for long. Rest will just have to learn from them.


Not really.

You can store fuel in a dry cask for a century for $80/kgHM (and that is based on actual facilities in service).
Three centuries of storage and your reprocessing cost drops like a stone thanks to the largest emitters left being Americium and Plutonium.


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PostPosted: Nov 04, 2013 12:23 pm 
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The fact remains that many West European countries are giving up nuclear power for want of clear disposal systems. So are some US states. Even the manufacturing giant China keeps on adding fossil fuels in its energy portfolio. Breeders can provide energy security while cutting/not adding to disposal space.


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PostPosted: Nov 04, 2013 7:10 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
The fact remains that many West European countries are giving up nuclear power for want of clear disposal systems. So are some US states. Even the manufacturing giant China keeps on adding fossil fuels in its energy portfolio. Breeders can provide energy security while cutting/not adding to disposal space.


Clear disposal systems are not the problem.
The problem is a deregulated energy market that hates generation systems with large capital costs and long lifetimes.

It will always be cheaper to rely on natural gas using gas turbines with capital costs below $1/W.
This is what energy privatisation and deregulation has wrought.


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PostPosted: Nov 04, 2013 10:58 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
The problem is a deregulated energy market that hates generation systems with large capital costs and long lifetimes.
The energy market is hardly "deregulated". It is at best mal-regulated and perhaps dis-regulated. Requiring a new auction every hour or so is massively absurd.

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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2013 6:42 am 
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KitemanSA wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
The problem is a deregulated energy market that hates generation systems with large capital costs and long lifetimes.
The energy market is hardly "deregulated". It is at best mal-regulated and perhaps dis-regulated. Requiring a new auction every hour or so is massively absurd.


That is the only way a free market in electricity can possibly function.

Electricity is even less storable than Natural Gas, this is hardly that world from an old British Gas advert where electricity comes in boxes. (And yes, I favour a public-owned single supplier utility model)


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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2013 1:02 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
That is the only way a free market in electricity can possibly function.
If I were a grid operator I would VASTLY prefer to have a few long-term contracts for baseload and a few long term contracts for day hump and a few long term contracts for evening hump and a bunch of short-term contracts for the differences. This nonsense of bidding out 100% on an hourly basis is destroying the stability of the grid.

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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2013 3:00 pm 
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I'm not sure if bidding destroys the stability of the grid, under certain bordering rules and conditions.

But it's certainly true that the bidding system brings more short term thinking which is exactly what we don't need more of. Natural gas bubble hysteria, no nuclear plants built, those sort of things.

There is also a practical problem that bidding optimizes pricing theoretically, but in practise just ends up increasing the cost of electricity by money grubbing traders, hedgers, etc. that have no real economic value, and, indeed, no justification for their entire pathetic existence.


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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Mandatory hourly bidding takes choices away from the purchaser that could minimize total costs. So this is indeed political regulation that drives up costs. It happens (by intent in my opinion) to favor suppliers that have irregular supply and transfers costs from them to the baseline suppliers. A free market solution would be to allow the purchasers to be free to choose and negotiate terms that are best for the buyer from the various choices on the market.

Politicians make choices for us that are not aimed at minimizing our costs but rather to favor their preferred solution (for whatever reason).


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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 9:18 am 
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KitemanSA wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
That is the only way a free market in electricity can possibly function.
If I were a grid operator I would VASTLY prefer to have a few long-term contracts for baseload and a few long term contracts for day hump and a few long term contracts for evening hump and a bunch of short-term contracts for the differences. This nonsense of bidding out 100% on an hourly basis is destroying the stability of the grid.


But that would require the Grid Operator to be the single supplier of electricity to retail and industrial customers.
The Grid operator is just paid to carry electricity around, they do not normally play any role in bidding for which electricity gets bought by which retailer.

Lars wrote:
Mandatory hourly bidding takes choices away from the purchaser that could minimize total costs. So this is indeed political regulation that drives up costs. It happens (by intent in my opinion) to favor suppliers that have irregular supply and transfers costs from them to the baseline suppliers. A free market solution would be to allow the purchasers to be free to choose and negotiate terms that are best for the buyer from the various choices on the market.

Politicians make choices for us that are not aimed at minimizing our costs but rather to favor their preferred solution (for whatever reason).


Except that electricity generation is a seller's market.
If they don't buy the electricity they get into serious trouble with the grid operator when the grid's stability collapses.

And the current system in Britain has existed since 1986, so it was hardly created as a response to demands to hand subsidies to wind turbine manufacturers.


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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 9:58 am 
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E Ireland wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
E Ireland wrote:
That is the only way a free market in electricity can possibly function.
If I were a grid operator I would VASTLY prefer to have a few long-term contracts for baseload and a few long term contracts for day hump and a few long term contracts for evening hump and a bunch of short-term contracts for the differences. This nonsense of bidding out 100% on an hourly basis is destroying the stability of the grid.


But that would require the Grid Operator to be the single supplier of electricity to retail and industrial customers.
The Grid operator is just paid to carry electricity around, they do not normally play any role in bidding for which electricity gets bought by which retailer.

Not true in California. Here the retail price of electricity is fixed. The supplier must buy on the open market under terms established by the politicians and then sell at a price fixed by a political commission. The supplier must supply no matter what price they have to pay to get the electricity. So perhaps the California system is different than yours. The supplier is forbidden from buying electricity in long term contracts.


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PostPosted: Nov 07, 2013 1:05 am 
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There are low power rates and no such problems in Russia or China. The Russians should put SVBR of 500MW on rafts and start a power supply business. The buyers may co-operate by not raising unreasonable regulatory barriers. Indonesia, Bangladesh and Turkey are better clients. Middle East may follow and even fund the business. China and India could build their own. UK may do it for later power additions to give financial competition to the French.


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PostPosted: Nov 07, 2013 10:50 am 
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I think the massive advances in Voltage Source Converter based HVDC technology has massively eaten away the market for 'modular' small power plants. Especially since it now allows power levels as low as tens of megawatts to be viable (see the Troll-A gas precompression project for an example)

Underwater HVDC links are now in service that are hundreds of kilometres long and drop to depths of 1200m or more, with far deeper depths (including onto the Abyssal Plain itself) in planning.

The list of places that cannot be easily connected to a larger grid shrinks every year.


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PostPosted: Nov 08, 2013 1:54 am 
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The Russians have already, in Kaliningrad, a grounded plant to supply power to European grid. The modular floating plants can, in theory, be asked to go away, reducing NIMBY resistance. If so, they can be re-deployed elsewhere. They could also be placed outside territorial waters.


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PostPosted: Nov 08, 2013 4:15 pm 
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E Ireland wrote:
Clear disposal systems are not the problem.
The problem is a deregulated energy market that hates generation systems with large capital costs and long lifetimes.

It will always be cheaper to rely on natural gas using gas turbines with capital costs below $1/W.
This is what energy privatisation and deregulation has wrought.
No and yes, mostly no. The biggest single problem with nuclear in western countries is it is just too expensive, AP1000 and EPR in China $2,500/kW in Western Europe or the US, similar plants are costing $6,500/kW, that's a big problem.

I want cheap electricity, I support nuclear power, but I only want it if it is cheap.

In the long term free markets will give you least cost if they are set up correctly and include appropriate regulation and policies that provide for the timely procurement of capacity, spinning reserve, voltage support, black start capability and other services.

In well structured electricity markets, businesses have choices about going long or short, buying their energy through long term contracts or on the spot market or some mixture of the two. In New Zealand I have been involved in two major electricity projects, the projects were underwritten via long term off-take contracts that operated within a deregulated electricity market. If you have power at the right price, securing long term projects should be not be a problem.

A fundamental challenge is that power stations and electricity infrastucture projects have life cycles of three to more decades, well beyond the time horizon of almost investors in western countries. The Chinese however and other Asian countries often take a much longer view of things.


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