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It affects the business case for investing capital for periodic upgrades that all reactors need.

Reactors that don't need new capital are fine because any income is better than no income.

So reactors aren't generating enough revenue to cover necessary operational costs?

Edited by Guest

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So reactors aren't generating enough revenue to cover necessary operational costs?

More of a situation where operators don't see the point of investing contingency funds to keep a reactor operating when it won't produce a decent ROI. They would rather take the money and do something else with it. That said, fear of future increases in regulation costs is likely a factor as well.

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More of a situation where operators don't see the point of investing contingency funds to keep a reactor operating when it won't produce a decent ROI. They would rather take the money and do something else with it. That said, fear of future increases in regulation costs is likely a factor as well.

So the cost of nuclear is way beyond what you think it costs. Aka, not very cost effective per KW produced. Plus the cost of managing the nuclear waste.

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So the cost of nuclear is way beyond what you think it costs. Aka, not very cost effective per KW produced. Plus the cost of managing the nuclear waste.

The main advantage of nuclear is the quantity of waste is tiny compared to fossil fuels. It is also the only CO2 free power source that can provide base load and is not limited by geography (e.g. hydro and geothermal).

The bottom line: if CO2 is an issue we need to build nukes. If CO2 is no big deal then gas or coal are reasonable alternatives. There is no reality where it makes sense to shut down fossil fuel baseload and replace it with solar or wind.

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The main advantage of nuclear is the quantity of waste is tiny compared to fossil fuels. It is also the only CO2 free power source that can provide base load and is not limited by geography (e.g. hydro and geothermal).

The bottom line: if CO2 is an issue we need to build nukes. If CO2 is no big deal then gas or coal are reasonable alternatives. There is no reality where it makes sense to shut down fossil fuel baseload and replace it with solar or wind.

Nuclear is not really CO2 free.

CO2 emission of electricity from nuclear power stations
How much CO2 is produced by atomic energy?

One of the few pros of nuclear power is the relatively low emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the major causes of global warming. For this reason, nuclear power has been proposed as "the" method to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Some of the nuclear lobbyists even claim that the production of electricity by atomic energy does not emit any CO2. But this is nonsense. Whenever a plant is built to produce electricity, CO2 is emitted. So even the production of electricity by renewable resources like solar power, water, wind, or biomass does release some CO2.

To calculate the amount of CO2 being released, the whole life cycle of a plant as well as the production of the raw energy has to be looked at. For a nuclear power plant, this includes construction, operation, maintenance and refurbishments, decommissioning and dismantling of the reactor. Of the same importance is the nuclear fuel: Recovery of uranium from the earth's crust, extraction of uranium from ores, enrichment and chemical treatment, transportation as well as disposing of used fuel.

A life cycle analyses (LCA) carried out by Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Smith came to the following result:

Electricity from atomic energy emits 90 to 140 g CO2 per kWh of electricity produced.

The relatively high range of uncertainty is due to the different grade of ores used. It depends on how rich the ores are that are used to obtain the Uranium. For poor ores, the higher value does apply and for rich ores, the lower value does apply.

This leads to an interesting issue: The world-wide reserves for Uranium are a very limited resource. It is estimated to last for about 50 to 70 years with the current demand. If additional nuclear reactors are built, the supply will last correspondingly shorter.

The higher the demand for Uranium, the more and more poor ores will have to be processed. This however will lead to a CO2 balance for atomic power, which gets worse and worse over time. Storm and Smith in the above mentioned life cycle analysis came to the conclusion, that between the years 2050 (if additional nuclear power stations are built) and 2075 (no additional nuclear reactors) the CO2 emissions of electricity from atomic energy will be higher as the same electricity produced by a gas burning plant! So nuclear energy can definitely not be the solution to mitigate the effects of global warming!

Let's compare the CO2 emissions to produce 1 kWh of electricity by different technologies:

Technology g CO2 per kWh

electricity Solar power, water power and wind power 10 - 40 Nuclear power plants 90 - 140 Combined heat and power in private houses 220 - 250 Gas buring plants 330 - 360 New coal burning plants 1'000 - 1'100

But that's just the start of it. The nuclear industry is so heavily subsidized (subsidies often approach the entire value of energy generated by a plant) that you have to look THERE for CO2 emissions as well. In order for the government to pay for much of the fuel cycle, and all the direct and indirect subsidies and accident liability caps, it has to tax other industries and people. These entities all produce CO2 in order by pay these bills.

So nobody really knows if nuclear plants reduce CO2 emissions or not. Especially when there's so much potential to greatly reduce the CO2 emissions from new coal and gas plants. For example...

CES’s O-F cycle features high-pressure combustion of fuel with oxygen (O2 ) in the presence of recycled coolant (water, steam or CO2 ) to produce drive gases composed predominantly of steam and CO2 . This cycle provides the unique capability to capture nearly pure CO2 and trace by-products by simple condensation of the steam.
Edited by dre

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The main advantage of nuclear is the quantity of waste is tiny compared to fossil fuels. It is also the only CO2 free power source that can provide base load and is not limited by geography (e.g. hydro and geothermal).

The bottom line: if CO2 is an issue we need to build nukes. If CO2 is no big deal then gas or coal are reasonable alternatives. There is no reality where it makes sense to shut down fossil fuel baseload and replace it with solar or wind.

You won't mind if we store some of that waste in your backyard now, right? And if you think nuclear is CO2 free, you are not including the current fossile fueled construction equipment and building techniques. Not to mention the operators exhale CO2.

Then there is all the CO2 emitted from vehicles needing to transport and the manufacturing of secure storage sites to hold nuclear waste.

Zero CO2 emissions my ass.

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Nothing we manufacture is CO2 emissions free. Do you think solar farms or wind turbines manufacture and install themselves?

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http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/08/indian-government-abandoning-solar-power-because-it-is-too-expensive-causes-global-warming/#ixzz4Go8WeaKL

The Indian government is wasting huge amounts of solar power because the panels are too expensive to operate, according to a letter sent to the government Monday by the country’s green energy ministry.

The letter explains that the Indian government is shutting down solar panels because they are unreliable and conventional energy from coal plants is almost always cheaper.

Renewables cannot replace base-load. The most they can do is supplement the power provided by reliable sources. Edited by TimG

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http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/08/indian-government-abandoning-solar-power-because-it-is-too-expensive-causes-global-warming/#ixzz4Go8WeaKL

Renewables cannot replace base-load. The most they can do is supplement the power provided by reliable sources.

Ummmm... that's a propaganda site specifically created to spread misinformation about co2 reduction.

In 2014, the Daily Caller News Foundation — the non-profit arm of the Daily Caller website — accepted some $106,248 in two donations from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Donors Trust also handed the Daily Caller $60,000 in 2014.

The Daily Caller regularly publishes stories that denigrate climate science while promoting Republican outbursts against cutting fossil fuel emissions.

Climate science denier and Republican supporter Foster Freiss helped bankroll the Daily Caller with a $3 million donationbefore it was launched in January 2010.

Edited by dre

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Nothing we manufacture is CO2 emissions free. Do you think solar farms or wind turbines manufacture and install themselves?

Correct, NOTHING is Co2 free, so we need to drop that delusion, because we are simply lying to ourselves. Now if you can actually compare the Co2 emissions from front to between certain technologies THEN we can have a real discussion about it. Also taking into account the other toxic emissions from each technology.

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Ummmm... that's a propaganda site specifically created to spread misinformation about co2 reduction.

So what? They presented claims. If you have reason to believe the claims are wrong then point to evidence. The fact is the vast majority of pro-renewable propaganda comes from organizations that benefit from government subsidies so it is not clear why those sources should be considered more reliable that daily caller. Refusing to even address the arguments while spewing nonsense about funding is typical of CAGW zealots. You usually show more restraint than that. Edited by TimG

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So what? They presented claims.

Well first of all when someone posts a link to a blatant propaganda outlet, it informs you about how that poster gets his information and builds his/her opinions. But it also just makes most readers skim past your posts.

As for the claim itself, it seems a little suspect. The Indian government just announced that it was increasing solar deployments and committed 100 billion dollars in investment by 2022.

Also... even with the large expansion in solar deployments we have seen there in the last 5 years, the average price of electricity has not increased faster than the rate of inflation. And its only 8 cents US per kwh. In fact... India has the cheapest electricity in the entire world. Also I would EXPECT solar to cost more than the coal industry which has been in development for a century, and has all kinds of externalities.

CAGW zealots

I'm not one of those... I'm a proponent of energy R&D, and I think low emissions is a good goal since nobody is sure what will happen if we keep trying to power the worlds grids with conventional sources and plant designs and energy use quadruples. But I'm a proponent of low emissions coal and gas, nuclear research, solar, wind, storage research, etc. I dont really think or post about the CAGW stuff much.

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The Indian government just announced that it was increasing solar deployments and committed 100 billion dollars in investment by 2022.

That is the point. Governments announce feel good measures to please the know-nothings and dump the job of dealing with the decisions on the people running the grid. The article correctly points out that India's grid simply cannot handle the amount of variable power sources and, as capacity expands, more and more of this power will simply be dumped because it cannot be used.

Once you include the cost of paying for solar power that is dumped the spot price of solar increases dramatically (assuming the contracts require purchase of all solar power). If it does not show up in the averages that is a function of the low volumes at this time. But if the Indian government continues on its course power rates will eventually spike as they have in every country with a unhealthy obsession with variable power sources.

Edited by TimG

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That is the point. Governments announce feel good measures to please the know-nothings and dump the job of dealing with the decisions on the people running the grid.

The title of the article the propaganda site was....

Indian Government Abandons Costly Solar Power

Its just flatly not true. And then they keep making references to some letter but they don't even link to it. And then they enter into the usual talking points about renewables and start linking to articles around the net on other topics. In some basic searches I made to find the content of that letter the only thing that comes up is that same article from the propaganda site.

I'm curious how much of your very strong anti renewable opinion comes from garbage like this? Do you regularly frequent these type of sites?

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Indian Government Abandons Costly Solar Power

Its just flatly not true. And then they keep making references to some letter but they don't even link to it.

Well I tend to look for the substance in articles and ignore the fluff.

Specifically, I look for quotes that can be verified from other sources:

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31816&articlexml=Discoms-Arbitrarily-Shutting-off-Solar-Power-Govt-Tells-08082016023021

I usually try to link back to original articles instead of content collectors.

In this case, their fact are not wrong.

I'm curious how much of your very strong anti renewable opinion

It comes from an understanding of how the power grid works gained by education and by working with people in the industry on renewable energy projects. FWIW, I am not against renewables as long as their use is limited to what the grid can currently manage. Edited by TimG

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Well I tend to look for the substance in articles and ignore the fluff.

Specifically, I look for quotes that can be verified from other sources:

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31816&articlexml=Discoms-Arbitrarily-Shutting-off-Solar-Power-Govt-Tells-08082016023021

I usually try to link back to original articles instead of content collectors.

In this case, their fact are not wrong.

It comes from an understanding of how the power grid works gained by education and by working with people in the industry on renewable energy projects. FWIW, I am not against renewables as long as their use is limited to what the grid can currently manage.

At least that's a better link... but did you read it? The reason Load Centers are shutting down solar plants instead of thermal plants is because thermal energy is cheaper due to subsidies. Thermal plants get paid for their power even if its not used... solar plants do not.

Thermal power producers are paid a two-part tariff -one part for fixed costs incurred and the other for variable fuel costs. Thus, even if discoms do not take their power, they continue to be paid for their fixed costs. Solar and wind developers do not have this benefit since their entire cost is primarily in installation. “When solar projects are asked to back down they do not even get the benefit of two-part tariff and are not paid anything for the loss of energy they suffer,“ said Kapoor's letter. “This can make solar power unattractive, particularly when projects are being awarded through competitive bidding and tariffs have come down drastically. Some solar power developers have now started asking for two-part tariff for solar also.“

And that letter? Remember the one that your propaganda site claimed was evidence that "India is abandoning solar energy!!" Well that is REALLY in that letter was a complaint from Kapoor that Load Centers should shut down thermal plants instead of save fuel, and that solar plants should get the same subsidies that coal plants get.

Kapoor's letter noted that the CERC ought to emphasize solar energy's `must run' status. “Solar developers must be paid full tariff if they are forced to back down in rare cases,“ the letter said. “It is requested that this issue is placed before the Forum of Regulators, so that some consensus can be reached on the issue.“

ROFLMAO... See how incredibly dishonest that propaganda site is? And how easily you were duped by the bogus headline and claims about the letter?

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The reason Load Centers are shutting down solar plants instead of thermal plants is because thermal energy is cheaper due to subsidies. Thermal plants get paid for their power even if its not used... solar plants do not.

It does not change the point. Solar produces too much power. Thermal plants cannot practically be 'backed down' because they designed to be as efficient as possible and that design limits how fast they can be adjusted. If anything, my second link is biased in the sense that it does not report the entire story and implies that the grid operators are doing this just to save money. I don't interpret it that way because I understand the costs associated with backing off thermal plants. These costs are one of the reasons why Germany has created a system where thermal operators are closing despite the fact that they are needed because Germany forces the grid operators to take renewable power. India system appears to be more rational in the sense that it recognizes that shutting down thermal comes with a cost which means they have protected their main source of power from the disruptions that are reaping havoc in Germany.

Never-the-less, even if India adopted a must buy renewable policies their system does seem to have a way to determine the true cost of renewable because the cost of idling thermal plants is counted as a 'cost of solar'. For this the Indians deserve some credit. If Canada had a similar system I would not be as opposed to renewables because their costs would be reported honestly.

Edited by TimG

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It does not change the point. Solar produces too much power. Thermal plants cannot practically be 'backed down'

They are "backed down" all the time in practice. In fact that's mostly whats done in India because solar plants are designated as "must run". The letter is a complaint that Load Centers are not following the rules in certain cases.

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They are "backed down" all the time in practice. In fact that's mostly whats done in India because solar plants are designated as "must run". The letter is a complaint that Load Centers are not following the rules in certain cases.

Right. And the reason: because the rules take into account that there is a cost associated with backing down thermal. Which means the true cost of solar is much higher than the rate paid to operators (which is what promoters keep using when they sell projects). It is worth noting that 'backing down' thermal does not always mean coal use stops. In some cases the plants have to keep running so coal is burned even if the generators are disengaged. It really depends on how long the back down is expected to last.

Aside: gas thermal plants can be designed to start and stop rapidly but at the cost of more fuel consumption. These plants are being built as 'batteries' to backup renewables which is a technically viable way to deal with the problem. The only issue is the cost of the thermal 'batteries' needs to be included in the cost of renewables. Not treated as a separate line item which hides the cost.

Edited by TimG

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Decentralize the grid with battery and renewable energy sources .... all too dependent on the centralized SUBSIDIZED power systems. We pay for these plants with taxes, and then pay for the power we use while still paying taxes for them because of subsidies.

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Decentralize the grid with battery and renewable energy sources.

The centralized system is they least expensive way to deliver 24x7 power today. Batteries are not cheap.

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The centralized system is they least expensive way to deliver 24x7 power today. Batteries are not cheap.

Batteries are reusable, we just need to re-visit how we think of power distribution..... however kind of getting out of the topic of using this for small scale things like small planes and other applications were you can't be connected to the grid and want to prove solar can work for other applications.

And the cost for nuclear plants go billions over budget all the damn time, and then you take into the government corruption ( Ontario and Wynne is a great example)....... so you are not even coming close to comparing real costs of each technology.

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Also compare the contingency plans for a nuclear plant having an issue and a solar power plant having an issue.

North America has had about 10 meltdowns over the decades ....

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The centralized system is they least expensive way to deliver 24x7 power today. Batteries are not cheap.

The electrical grid itself is the expensive part.

Lets say you had to build the US grid today... A single mile of 69kv overhead line costs 285 thousand to install. Theres 283 thousand miles of transmission lines in the US.

So to build the US grid (and we are ONLY including transition lines, not the rest of the infrastructure) would cost almost 300 TRILLION dollars.

And that's OVERHEAD. And thats ONLY the intermediate lines. The long-haul lines are 300-500kv and cost way way more.

Underground is even more expensive. Anywhere from 4-10 times as expensive as overhead lines for the same voltage and distance.

To build the grid with underground lines would cost QUADRILLIONS of dollars. And AGAIN... That's just the lines. Not the power stations and generators and terminals.

There's about 130 million building in the US with electricity.

So IF you were starting from scratch, and you wanted each building to power itself instead and have no grid at all, you would have about 50 thousand dollars in your budget to set up generation and storage per building. More than enough for low rise residential buildings and homes, but not enough for commercial and industrial buildings.

But there's another cost factor as well... And that is the huge costs of managing and maintaining a wide area grid after its been built, and funding grid authorities, load distribution centers etc. There's thousands and thousands of vans and trucks with man- lifts driving around all the time full of guys that make 80k or more per year, and thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

And then there's the real-estate taken up by all this. Most of which is provided by the public because IPP's could never afford to purchase enough roadside to get lines to all the homes.

Hanging copper wires from wooden polls to every single building on earth is an old, low tech idea that's not going to be around forever.

UBS, an investment bank did a study on Australia (its very sunny there) and the gap between offgrid homes and ongrid homes is closing quickly. If current trends continue those lines will intersect on the graph within the next few years.

UBS-offgrid-solar.png

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