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Topic: Electricity Update Pt 5

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DunkingDan

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The New Brunswick government is committing $10 million to establish the province as a leader in the field of small, modular nuclear reactor technology.

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President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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 Scrap Its Wind Units

A study analyzing energy supply in the European Union shows that increasing the level of wind-generated electricity also increases the level of fossil fuel-generated electricity, the opposite outcome suggested by those who argue that renewable energy is necessary to “get off carbon-based fuels.” This is because, at times of insufficient wind, fossil-fuel plants generating plants are needed to provide back-up to the wind units. Further, the study found that increasing the number of power plants (whether wind or fossil-fuel) increased the power plant capacity that is idled, making the entire energy system less efficient and more costly. Wind turbines are idle when there is insufficient wind and fossil fuel plants are idled when the wind is blowing. Further adding to the issue is that, despite the increase in renewable energy in the European Union, carbon dioxide emissions increased, not decreased as was the intent. In 2017, the European Union increased its wind power by 25 percent and increased its solar power by six percent. Despite this massive investment in renewable energy, carbon dioxide emissions increased by 1.8 percent.
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President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Grid operator warns wind will not fill Sweden's nuclear gap in winter
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2018, 07:47:05 PM »
OSLO (Reuters) - Sweden will have to import more electricity during winter as the country, a net power exporter to the rest of Europe, shifts from nuclear to wind, its grid operator said. 
Last winter, the first since the closure of its Oskarshamn 1 reactor, stretched Sweden’s resources as peak consumption rose by 800 megawatt (MW), triggering start-up procedures in its reserve energy plants.

Sweden’s power balance will deteriorate further from next winter, the country will need imports and the situation will become worse with two more of its reactors closing by 2020, state-grid Svenska Kraftnat (SVK) said in a report on Monday.
“For next winter (if it’s a normal winter) we expect Sweden to (need to) import 400 MW more than it exports during the hour with the highest consumption,” SVK’s electricity system analyst Erik Hellstrom, and the author of the report, told Reuters.
Hellstrom said that if the coming winter is a “10-year winter” (colder than a normal winter), Sweden’s imports will rise by as much as 1,500 MW more than it exports in the hour with the highest consumption.
Of Sweden’s eight remaining nuclear reactors, two will close soon, Ringhals 2 in 2019 and Ringhals 1 the year after, cutting a combined production of 1,700 MW from its power system, 40 percent of which is nuclear output-dependent.
“Wind power cannot contribute to the power balance during winter peak hours with the same availability as the nuclear power it replaces,” SVK said.
The expansion of Sweden’s wind power capacity, with new farms coming into the system, may also be insufficient to cover the deficit the lost nuclear reactors leaves, said SVK, warning low profitability may even prohibit planned power projects.
“The margins for the Swedish power balance and the ability to be self-sufficient with enough electricity under high-load situations are shrinking,” said the report.
The highest electricity consumption Sweden recorded last winter was about 26,700 MW said the grid, nearly 40 percent of the whole Nordic region.
Sweden will need to add a further 2.6 gigawatt (GW) in power generation capacity by 2040 to avoid power shortages, SVK said last year, as the country will risk electricity shortfalls of 400 hours per year on average.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-power-nuclear/grid-operator-warns-wind-will-not-fill-swedens-nuclear-gap-in-winter-idUSKBN1JS1GL
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Nuclear build costs could fall by over 35% using global learnings
« Reply #45 on: July 25, 2018, 08:25:03 PM »
New nuclear plants could become competitive in Europe and North America if developers prioritize labor deployment, project governance and other drivers which have slashed costs in Asia, a new report shows

The U.K.'s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) recently published its report into cost drivers and cost reduction opportunities for nuclear new build projects.
Launched in October, the Nuclear Cost Drivers Project is the first evidence-based study of global nuclear construction costs. The six-month study aimed to identify why recent nuclear projects in North America and Europe have been plagued by schedule delays and cost increases. The researchers studied 33 nuclear plant units and focused on plants that were either operational or due for completion in 2018.
Led by CleanTech Catalyst (CTC) and Lucid Strategy, the study was independently-reviewed by Tim Stone, Non-executive Chairman of Nuclear Risk Insurers.
The researchers analyzed eight different cost drivers and concluded that the supply chain, labor, project governance and project development were drivers of “high importance” while construction execution, political and regulatory context, equipment and materials, and vendor plant design, were of “medium importance.”
For all eight cost drivers, European and North American projects had the lowest average performance rating and these projects could significantly learn from faster and lower cost projects in Asia, the study said. The average levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for large Gen III/III+ reactors in Europe and North America was $10,387/kW or $132/MWh, it said.
By improving their performance rating against the eight key cost drivers, European and North American projects could reduce costs by over 35%, the report said.
Even without new technology, nuclear plants can become “a cost-competitive part of the solution to global warming if best in class planning and construction practices are followed,” Kirsty Gogan, Director of CTC, told Nuclear Energy Insider.
            Capital costs for historical and ongoing nuclear projects in database
                                                            (Click image to enlarge)

Source: The ETI Nuclear Cost Drivers Project, Summary Report (April 2018).
The study comes as the UK looks to accelerate cost reductions and apply learnings from EDF’s ongoing Hinkley Point C project to other projects planned at Wylfa, Sizewell and other locations in the coming years.
Global learnings
ETI’s report compared plants on a like-for-like basis by assuming a capacity factor of 95% and applying a common interest rate of 7%, standardized fuel costs, a depreciation period of 60 years and the same interest rate during operations and construction phases.
Cost drivers were defined as:
• Increasing or decreasing the cost of the project.
 • Representing one of the processes critical to plant completion or “realization.”
 • Having factual and/or measurable indicators.
 • Associated with at least one of the principal actors in plant completion or “realization.”
 • Collectively explaining most of the cost variation among plants.

Recent construction challenges in Europe and North America are only partially attributed to local "context" factors, such as the impact of decades of industry activity on supply chain resources, the report said.
According to the report, developers in China, South Korea and Japan:
• Had more experience in delivering large, complex construction projects.
 • Benefitted from significantly less expensive and more productive labour.
 • Their regulators are paid by the government rather than the reactor vendor or project developer.
 • While the regulator is sufficiently independent, it is aligned on project completion.
 • China benefits from the ability of state-run enterprises to make large decisions quickly once the political direction has been set.
 • All three countries benefit from cultures where litigious responses to problems are extremely rare for on-site issues.

While these contextual factors played a role, none of them would prevent an effective cost reduction program from being implemented in new build markets such as the UK, the report found.
Case studies
Six reactor case studies included in the report highlight the wide range of learnings and cost reductions possible for future projects.
1) Sizewell B and Nuclear Electric’s proposal to build Sizewell C: the factors that make a project expensive (e.g. first of a kind build FOAK, new supply chain, inexperience labour, etc.) can all be improved for subsequent units. The Sizewell case study clearly demonstrates how multiples can cut costs by reusing the design primary contractors and building multiple units simultaneously.
              Cost reductions at Nuclear Electric's proposed Sizewell C plant
                                                          (Click image to enlarge)


Source: The ETI Nuclear Cost Drivers Project, Summary Report (April 2018).

2) UAE’s Barakah 1-4 (partially complete): multi-unit efficiencies included shared site infrastructure, one site mobilization effort, bulk purchasing, plus the same contracts and overheads.
3) U.S.’ Vogtle 3&4 (under construction): costs can quickly escalate when cost drivers are poorly managed or reflect contextual factors, such as the lack of a readied supply chain or expensive regulator billing rates.
4) Rolls-Royce SMR (design in commercial development): many of the risk and cost centres of conventional nuclear can be ‘designed out’ during the plant design phase.
5) Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor: shows the potential viability of a low-cost advanced nuclear concept.
6) Generic Molten Salt Reactor (advanced designs in commercial development): the inherent benefits of using molten salt as the primary coolant (or combination of fuel and coolant) enables several transformative cost reduction opportunities, including lower materials requirements and modular build savings.
UK targets
In December, the UK Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) pledged to reduce nuclear new build costs by 30% by 2030, as part of a Nuclear Sector Deal within the UK government's new Industrial Strategy.
To meet this aim, industry and government must work together to maximize economies of scale and series, adopt advanced construction technologies to increase productivity, streamline development and regulation, and lower the cost of capital, the NIC said in a report.
ETI's report stresses that fleet deployment by itself does not necessarily guarantee cost reduction unless developers implement “a well-designed and intentional program that incorporates multiple cost reduction opportunities by all principal actors."
In total, the report identified 35 cost reduction opportunities. The drivers considered the most important in the UK were:
• Complete plant design prior to starting construction.
 • Follow contracting best practices.
 • Project owner should develop multiple units at a single site.
 • Innovate new methods for developing alignment with labor around nuclear projects.
 • Government support should be contingent on systematic application of best practices and cost reduction measures.
 • Design a UK program to maximize and incentivize learning, potentially led by a newly-created entity.
 • Government must play a role in supporting financing process.
 • Transform regulatory interaction to focus on cost-effective safety.

Cost of financing is another key driver of plant costs. The UK nuclear industry has recommended the government evaluates a range of financing models to reduce the cost of capital, including sharing the early stage project risk between the government and the developer. For the Hinkley point C project, developer EDF and its Chinese partners are bearing all construction risks. As a result, the government-guaranteed contract for difference (CfD) power price for the project was 92.50 pounds per MWh (108.4 euros/MWh, $126.8/MWh), considered by many to be uncompetitive given falling renewable energy costs.
In its Nuclear Sector Deal report, the NIC said a 1% reduction in the cost of capital for a new nuclear project could lead to a 10% reduction in the CfD price.
                 
The evaluation of new financing models should “take into account the changing risk profile across the life time of a project and look at opportunities for lower cost financing of early stage risks and subsequent refinancing, within the current legislative framework," the NIC said.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Exelon applies for first 80-year boiling water reactor licence
Exelon Generation has submitted a license renewal application (LRA) for its Peach Bottom 2 and 3 reactors in Pennsylvania, becoming the first boiling water reactor operator to seek a license for 80 years of operation.
The Peach Bottom 2 and 3 reactors each have a capacity of 1.3 GW and are jointly-owned by Exelon and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). Exelon is plant operator and holds a licence to operate plants until 2033 (unit 1) and 2034 (unit 2).
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received the licence renewal application on July 10, according to NRC documents.
In January, Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) submitted the nuclear industry’s first-ever license application for 80 years of operations, for its 1.6 GW Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. The Turkey Point plant hosts two 800 MW Westinghouse pressurised water reactors (PWRs) and the NRC plans to issue a decision on the license application in 2020.
Dominion Energy also plans to apply for an 80-year operating licence for its Surry 1 and 2 reactors in 2019 and its North Anna 1 and 2 reactors in 2021, according to NRC.
NuScale, Holtec, GE Hitachi win DOE funding
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is to provide a further $20 million to U.S. SMR and advanced reactor developers including NuScale, Holtec and GE Hitachi, the DOE announced July 10.
The funding will be provided through a cost share program and follows a $60 million injection of DOE funds into SMR and advanced reactor projects, announced in April.
Under the latest $20 million pledge, NuScale will receive $7 million towards the development of its IPWR plant. Activities this year include independent verification and validation of the licensing report, completion of the reactor building design optimization and level sensor prototypic testing. NuScale aims to build the U.S.'s first commercial SMR by 2026.
Holtec will receive $6.3 million of DOE funding towards the advancement of hybrid laser arc welding for the fabrication of SMRs and other nuclear components.
GE Hitachi will receive $1.9 million for research into reducing construction and maintenance costs for its BWRX-300 design. Projects include elimination of loss of coolant accidents, the use of embedded design and construction, and pooled off-site resources that can be simultaneously used for multiple projects.
Other recipients in the latest round include the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Flibe Energy with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pittsburgh Technical and Columbia Basin Consulting Group.
ARC, Moltex join New Brunswick advanced reactor cluster
Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC) and Moltex Energy have joined New Brunswick's advanced reactor research cluster and have each pledged $5 million to operations and research in the Canadian province.
The aim of the research cluster is to build a commercial demonstration SMR by around 2030 at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, which hosts a 705 MW Candu reactor.
Last month, the New Brunswick government said it would provide $10 million to develop the research cluster. The program is being led by New Brunswick Energy Solutions Corporation, which was established in May 2017 to explore energy export opportunities.
U.S.-based ARC is developing a metallic fuel, sodium-cooled, fast reactor while UK-headquartered Moltex is developing molten-salt based reactor technology. Both companies will set up an office in Saint John in the Bay of Fundy.
“We are excited by the opportunity that this collaboration represents and applaud the Province of New Brunswick for their strategic decision," Don Wolf, CEO and chairman of ARC, said.
"We intend to demonstrate that the inherent safety features of our reactor enable a simple and cost-effective design which will be competitive with all other forms of electricity generation," Wolf said.
The Moltex design can use spent nuclear fuel and is able to store energy so that output can be doubled or tripled at peak times.
“The Moltex stable salt reactor technology is a perfect fit for New Brunswick’s power needs,” Stephen Haighton, Moltex CEO, said.
"Most importantly, the stable salt reactor technology produces very low-cost, clean energy and can reduce the cost of electricity to consumers while achieving low-carbon targets," Haighton said.
In 2017, CNL received 19 expressions of interest for a prototype or demonstration reactor at a CNL site and a further three developers propose to move straight to commercial deployment in Canada.
                                      SMR types proposed in Canada
                                                              (Click image to enlarge)

Source: CNL's Request for Expressions of Interest, Summary report (October 2017).
Last month, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) said it had received submissions from four international and domestic small modular reactor (SMR) developers to build demonstration plants at a CNL-managed site.
CNL has designated SMR technology as a research priority and aims to build a demonstration plant on site by 2026.
The Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources (NRCan) has launched a national study into the potential for on-grid and off-grid applications for small modular reactor (SMR) technology in Canada. Stakeholder engagement will inform a roadmap for SMR development which is expected to be completed this fall.
Assystem starts Saudi Arabia nuclear siting analysis
French engineering group Assystem has won a contract to perform site characterisation and impact studies in Saudi Arabia to determine the site of the kingdom's first nuclear power plant, the company announced July 3.
The studies will be performed over a period of 18 months and will include geological and seismic analysis as well as environmental, demographic and grid impact studies. Saudi Arabia is expected to select the developer of its first nuclear plant in 2019.
"These characterisations and impact studies enable choice of the most suitable site on which to build the first Saudi Nuclear Power Plant," Assystem said in a statement.
"They will also provide important technical details for the purpose of designing the right nuclear power plant technology, based on site specifications," the company said.
Saudi Arabia is restructuring its power sector as part of its Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon resources. The kingdom hopes to attract up to $50 billion of investments in solar and wind projects and is considering building small modular reactors (SMRs) as well as conventional large nuclear reactors.
Nuclear power capacity in the Middle East is forecast to rise from 3.6 GW in 2018 to 14.1 GW by 2028 according to construction timetables and recent agreements between Middle East countries and nuclear vendors, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in March.
                      Forecast Middle East nuclear capacity
  


Nuclear power growth in the Middle East is mainly being driven by countries seeking to enhance energy security and diversify their economies to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels accounted for 97% of power generation in the Middle East in 2017, of which natural gas accounted for 66% and oil 31%. The remaining 3% of electricity generation came from nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable energy sources.
                   
Middle East countries also face increasing electricity demand due to growing populations and economies. Electricity demand in the region is forecast to rise by 30% by 2028, according to the EIA's latest International Energy Outlook. In comparison, the global average growth rate to 2028 is forecast at 18% while the average growth rate in non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries is forecast at 24%, EIA said.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Imagine villages in the Canadian wilderness powered by small nuclear reactors that also provide the fuel for home heating and transportation.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories hopes to prove the viability of small modular reactors by 2026 and use them not only to produce power, but to produce hydrogen that can decarbonize Canada’s transportation sector.
“The small modular reactors could be transformational in the way we approach energy generation, and (we could locate) small reactors within communities that are otherwise isolated from large electrical grids. So we really view the small reactors as an enabling element of a clean energy solution,” said Gina Strati, CNL’s Energy Program director for research and development.

“Our hydrogen research is focused ultimately on cogeneration of hydrogen with the small reactor. But more short term we’re looking at the transport sector. There is a lot of renewed interest in using hydrogen for transport, hydrogen for domestic vehicles, large vehicles, trains.”
Strati imagines deploying small reactors across the landscape where they can power remote communities or industrial sites that are far from the established grid. At the same time, they can produce hydrogen that serves as a clean fuel for transport, heating, and other uses that are currently carbon intensive.

Reactors are typically considered small if they generate less than 300 megawatts of power, sometimes as little as 25 MW, compared to conventional reactors which may produce more than 1,000 MW. They are considered modular because they can be constructed in factories, transported to sites and installed underground.
The U.S. has also shown governmental interest in small reactors but little economic interest.

In Canada, the small reactors would be integrated with renewables like solar and wind that, when producing electricity, would allow the reactors to produce hydrogen.
“When I think about integrated nuclear and renewable energy, I really view this as a very holistic problem, where all of these clean-energy technologies, nuclear technologies and renewable, work together synergistically to provide enough power for us to live the way we want to live and use the new technologies that enter the market on a regular basis.” Strati said during a July webinar hosted by the Clean Energy Solutions Center.
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a privately-held corporation that operates the government’s nuclear sites and laboratories.
In April, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories invited companies to propose small modular reactor demonstration projects for the Chalk River Laboratories site in Ontario. In June, it received four proposals. CNL also plans to build a Clean Energy Research Park at the same site, so it can study other clean-energy technologies alongside the small reactors.
A top focus, Strati pledged, will be safety.

“If ultimately we would like to couple a small modular reactor with hydrogen production in a remote community or an industrial off-grid site, it’s really important that we understand the safety aspects of that hydrogen production and that all of the regulations are in place and we have all of the safety questions answered before we look at that holistic solution.”

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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 20 Percent More Power 

PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NuScale Power announced its small modular reactor (SMR) can generate 20 percent more power than originally planned. Advanced testing and modeling tools helped NuScale identify optimization opportunities and increased power generation.
“The value engineering applied not only offers cost-savings and improved performance, it does so without affecting the unparalleled safety of our advanced nuclear reactor design,” said NuScale Power Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Hopkins. “It’s another example of how NuScale is one of the most influential and innovative energy disruptors the world has ever seen.”
Increasing the power generating capacity of a 12-module NuScale SMR plant by 20 percent, with very minimal change in capital costs, lowers the cost of the facility on a per kilowatt basis from an expected $5,000 to approximately $4,200. It also lowers NuScale’s levelized cost of electricity by up to 18 percent, making it even more competitive with other electricity generation sources. The new gross-output of a NuScale power plant to 720 MWe not only offers an impressive amount of carbon-free generation, it also measures up to significant savings when compared to today’s competing gigawatt-size plants.
NuScale’s first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), is planning the development of a 12-module NuScale plant. “This new development is yet another way NuScale is changing the SMR game and pioneering this technology in the United States,” said UAMPS Chief Executive Officer Doug Hunter. “This substantial reduction in cost per kilowatt is not only incredibly good news for the country’s first SMR plant, which we are thrilled to be deploying, but also because it will increase the value of our plant over time.”
The regulatory process of increasing the level of maximum reactor power at which a nuclear plant can operate is referred to as a power uprate. The 20 percent power increase will be reviewed separately and not impact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) current design review of NuScale’s SMR or the scheduled September 2020 approval date of its Design Certification Application (DCA). Since NuScale has made this determination before any plant construction or equipment manufacture, UAMPS will reap the benefit of this optimization without licensing or construction delays.
In January, NuScale announced the NRC agreed NuScale’s SMR design approach requires no safety-related power to safely shut down. No operating nuclear plant in the U.S. can make that claim. The NRC also recently completed its Phase 1 review of NuScale’s DCA. It’s the most rigorous of the remaining five phases combined and resulted in just one-third the average number of requests for additional information compared to other applicants, demonstrating the simplicity of NuScale’s SMR design and the quality of its application.
 
NuScale’s first plant will be operational in the mid-2020s. 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Nuclear fuel recycling could offer plentiful energy
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2018, 06:39:50 PM »
Imagine the mess if we mined one ton of coal, burned five percent of it for energy, and then threw away the rest.
That is what happens with uranium for nuclear fuel today. Currently, only about five percent of the uranium in a fuel rod gets fissioned for energy; after that, the rods are taken out of the reactor and put into permanent storage.
There is a way, however, to use almost all of the uranium in a fuel rod. Recycling used nuclear fuel could produce hundreds of years of energy from just the uranium we’ve already mined, all of it carbon-free. Problems with older technology put a halt to recycling used nuclear fuel in the United States, but new techniques developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory address many of those issues.
One of the reasons why so little uranium is used is that almost every commercial reactor today is a type called a light-water reactor, or LWR. (Why? See sidebar). While LWRs are good at many things, they aren’t designed to wring every last watt of energy out of fuel.
But LWRs aren’t the only type of reactor. Another class, called fast reactors, boasts the ability to “recycle” used fuel to get much more energy out of it.
The main difference between the types of reactors is what cools the core. LWRs use ordinary water. Fast reactors use a different coolant, such as sodium or lead. This coolant doesn’t slow the neutrons as much, and consequently, the reactor can fission a host of different isotopes. This means that fast reactors can get electricity out of many kinds of fuel, including all of that leftover used fuel from LWRs. (LWRs can burn recycled fuel too, with some modification, but they aren’t as good at it.)
If we built fast reactors, it would be entirely possible to take all of the used fuel we’ve generated over the past 60 years, currently stored at reactor sites, and feed it back into fast reactors. Some of it would still need to be permanently stored, but far less; recycling all of the uranium and other actinides would reduce the volume of waste we have to store permanently by 80 percent. To get used fuel ready to put back into a reactor, however, it needs some processing. This has been done for decades in other countries using a technique called PUREX, which has its roots in 1940s U.S. research to separate plutonium out of used fuel. The problem with PUREX is the risk that the process could be diverted to extract weapons-grade plutonium, a concern that prompted then-president Jimmy Carter to ban PUREX reprocessing in 1978.
This spurred scientists at Argonne to search for a different, more efficient way to reprocess used fuel. Their brainchild is a technique called “pyroprocessing”, which uses an electrical current to sift out the useful elements and does not separate pure plutonium.
How it works
When used fuel comes out of a light-water reactor, it’s in a hard ceramic form, and almost all of it is still just uranium – about 95 percent, along with one percent other long-lived radioactive elements, called actinides. Both of these can be recycled as fuel. The remaining four percent are fission products, which are truly unusable.
Pyroprocessing begins by chopping the ceramic fuel into little pieces and converting it into metal. Then it’s submerged in a vat of molten salts, and an electric current separates out uranium and other reusable elements, which can be shaped back into fuel rods.
The truly useless fission products stay behind to be removed from the electrorefiner and cast into stable glass discs. These leftovers do have to be put into permanent storage, but they revert back to the radioactivity of naturally occurring uranium in a few hundred years – far less than the thousands of years that untreated used fuel needs to be stored.
Why don’t we use pyroprocessing already?

Looking ahead
To date, nuclear energy remains the only stable, large-scale source of carbon-free electricity. Reactors are sprouting across Asia as its developing powers need more energy; China alone has quintupled its nuclear capacity in just the past decade.
Argonne scientists and engineers continue to work on ways to make fuel recycling safer, cheaper and more efficient. In the Engineering-Scale Electrorefiner, a large glovebox, Argonne scientists test pyroprocessing at a scale closer to what industry would use. They’ve also turned to computational modeling, which helps simulate the chemical processes down to molecules and up to whole facilities. Other Argonne research projects design and study small modular reactors and different types of fast reactors, including techniques to reduce the cost.
For more information, visit http://www.anl.gov/energy/nuclear-energy.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.
       
DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.  For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

HK_Vol

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Re: Electricity Update Pt 5
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2018, 11:59:27 PM »
https://www.heritage.org/environment/commentary/recycling-nuclear-fuel-the-french-do-it-why-cant-oui

Recycling Nuclear Fuel: The French Do It, Why Can't Oui?

SNIP:
Over the past four decades, America's reactors have produced about 56,000 tons of used fuel. That "waste" contains roughly enough energy to power every U.S. household for 12 years. And it's just sitting there, piling up at power plant storage facilities. Talk about waste!

The sad thing is, the United States developed the technology to recapture that energy decades ago, then barred its commercial use in 1977. We have practiced a virtual moratorium ever since.

Other countries have not taken such a backward approach to nuclear power. France, whose 59 reactors generate 80 percent of its electricity, has safely recycled nuclear fuel for decades. They turned to nuclear power in the 1970s to limit their dependence on foreign energy. And, from the beginning, they made recycling used fuel central to their program.

Upon its removal from French reactors, used fuel is packed in containers and safely shipped via train and road to a facility in La Hague. There, the energy producing uranium and plutonium are removed and separated from the other waste and made into new fuel that can be used again. The entire process adds about 6 percent in costs for the French.



DunkingDan

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Re: Electricity Update Pt 5
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2018, 01:30:08 PM »
https://www.heritage.org/environment/commentary/recycling-nuclear-fuel-the-french-do-it-why-cant-oui

Recycling Nuclear Fuel: The French Do It, Why Can't Oui?
Jimmy Carter, the Democratic Party and the Eco terrorists 
This is one reg. that needs changing. It will drive the cost of fuel down, eliminate waste to the point Yucca Mtn. would never be filled, etc. 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Commissioning milestones at Chinese AP1000s
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2018, 05:21:03 PM »
Unit 2 of the Sanmen nuclear power plant in China's Zhejiang province attained first criticality - a sustained chain reaction - at 12.07am today, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) announced.
After completing a series of low-power physics tests, the unit's turbines will be driven for the first time using nuclear-generated steam. The next stage in the commissioning of Sanmen 2 will be synchronisation to the electricity grid. This will be followed by gradual power ascension testing until all testing is safely and successfully completed at 100% power.

Meanwhile, unit 1 at the Haiyang plant in Shandong province was connected to the electricity grid at 9.50am today and began power generation.
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Commissioning-milestones-at-Chinese-AP1000s
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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NuGen confirms Moorside as potential UK plant site
« Reply #53 on: August 19, 2018, 07:30:23 PM »
NuGen - which was formed in 2010 as the UK joint venture between Japan's Toshiba and France's Engie - planned to build a nuclear power plant of up to 3.8 GWe gross capacity at the Moorside site in West Cumbria, using AP1000 nuclear reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. That reactor design completed the UK regulatory assessment process in March 2017. Toshiba owns Westinghouse, which filed for Chapter 11 protection with US courts that same month. In July last year, Toshiba became the sole owner of NuGen, after Engie exercised its right to require the Japanese conglomerate to purchase its stake. In December, Toshiba announced that Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) had been selected as the preferred bidder for NuGen.
In October 2009, NuGen secured an option to purchase land alongside the Sellafield fuel cycle site, from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for a total cash consideration of GBP70 million (USD89 million). The site was officially sanctioned by the UK government as suitable for new build in a national policy statement. The site was originally some 200 hectares in area, of which the company will select the most suitable 100 hectares for the nuclear power plant. NuGen said the site "has had its boundary aligned to reflect the boundary consulted on at the second stage of public consultation, in summer 2016".
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has requested all new nuclear developers to submit information to support their proposed plant sites. This is in order that those sites listed in the current National Policy Statement for Nuclear can be carried forward into a new national policy statement. This document will define government policy for development of new sources of energy from 2026 to 2035.
NuGen announced today that it has submitted details of the Moorside site to BEIS to support its inclusion as a potential new nuclear power plant site in the new national policy statement.
"The renewal of the national policy statements is a policy process that will enable an important part of the planning process, which is necessary for new nuclear developers such as NuGen to bring forward their plans," the company said.
NuGen CEO Tom Samson said, "NuGen remains committed to delivering a nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria." He added, "Support for the policy process to carry forward the Moorside site is another opportunity for the community of west Cumbria to re-state its desire to host this critical national infrastructure and bring a transformational stimulus to the local economy, including jobs and prosperity for thousands of people throughout the county."
The announcement follows the recent announcement that Kepco is no longer the preferred bidder to acquire 100% of NuGen from Toshiba. However, the Japanese company said it will continue to negotiate with Kepco, along with other companies, to acquire NuGen. NuGen said it is currently conducting a "review and restructure of its future size and shape".
   
Researched and written by World Nuclear News
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Cold testing completed at new Slovak reactor
« Reply #54 on: August 23, 2018, 04:47:06 PM »
Cold hydrostatic testing has been completed at unit 3 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant in Slovakia, utility Slovenské Elektrárne announced. The tests mark the first time that the reactor systems are operated together with the auxiliary systems.

Cold functional tests are carried out to confirm whether components and systems important to safety are properly installed and ready to operate in a cold condition. The main purpose of these tests is to verify the leak-tightness of the primary circuit and components - such as pressure vessels, pipelines and valves of both the nuclear and conventional islands - and to clean the main circulation pipes.
The test at Mochovce 3 began in mid-July and took 38 days to complete. During the test, the pressure in the primary circuit was raised to 13.7 MPa - more than 111% of the normal operating pressure - and heated to 120°C. The steam generators were also tested from the secondary circuit side, as well as feedwater and steam pipelines at pressures up to 7.65 MPa (166% of normal operating pressure).
Slovenské Elektrárne Director General Branislav Strýček welcomed the completion of cold testing, saying: "It is a key milestone that confirmed functioning of all tested components and took us closer to commissioning of the nuclear reactor."
Francisco Morejon, director of the Mochovce 3 and 4 project, said: "I'm glad we have met the schedule specified for the cold hydrostatic test. The testing has shown high professional approach and readiness of the team responsible for the commissioning process, as well as good cooperation with our contractors."
The next stage in the unit's commissioning will be hot tests. These will confirm the operability of the main and auxiliary equipment and systems of the reactor installation under normal operating temperatures and pressures.
The nuclear island suppliers include Inžinierske Stavby Košice for civil works; Škoda JS, Enseco and VUJE for the mechanical systems; PPA for the electrical systems and equipment; and Areva/Siemens for the control system. Other suppliers include ASE, Rolls-Royce and GSE. The conventional island suppliers are ZIPP for the civil works; Škoda Power and Modrany Power for the mechanical systems; and ČKD, PPA, Energo & Schneider, Brush SEM and Techimp for the electrical systems and equipment.
Construction began on Mochovce 3 and 4 in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after a 16-year hiatus. The units have an evolutionary design based on the VVER-440 V-213 pressurised water reactor with safety upgrades that make the units compliant with current national and international nuclear safety standards. The capacity of each unit is 471 MWe, but Slovenské Elektrárne said this could later be increased up to 535 MWe.
In line with Slovenske Elektrarne's strategic plan, approved by the company's shareholders in March 2017, the start of operations of Mochovce unit 3 is expected by the end of 2018 and unit 4 by the end of 2019. This is six years later than the original schedule. Once in operation, the units will be able to meet some 13% of Slovakia's electricity demand.
Slovenské Elektrárne is owned by the Slovak government, with a 34% stake, and a joint venture between Italian utility Enel and privately-held Czech energy group EPH. Enel, which sold half of its 66% stake in SE to Czech energy group EPH last summer, plans to sell its remaining 33% after completion of the two new units.
Enel acquired its stake in Slovenské Elektrárne in 2006 for EUR840 million, agreeing to complete construction of two additional Mochovce units as part of the transaction, but launched a program in July 2014 to sell its holdings in Romania and Slovakia, as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the Italian group's financial debt.
   
Researched and written by World Nuclear News
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Researchers develop AI to cut staff costs for advanced reactors
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2018, 06:15:49 PM »
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded $3.4 million to a research team led by North Carolina State University to perform preliminary development of a Nearly Autonomous Management and Control (NAMAC) system for advanced nuclear reactors.
Developers of next generation reactors believe design efficiencies and modular construction will cut costs compared with conventional large-scale plants. The NAMAC project was one of 10 projects awarded funding under the DOE's $24 million Modelling-Enhanced Innovations Trailblazing Nuclear Energy Reinvigoration (MEITNER) program. Led by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), MEITNER aims to support the development of innovative technologies that improve the safety and reduce the cost of advanced reactors.
The NAMAC project aims to develop a "highly automated" management and control system, the research team said in a statement. The system will provide operational insights using artificial intelligence, continuous data monitoring and machine learning to predict future plant status.
"Ultimately, the team seeks to enable a significantly smaller operational staff to manage the plant, assisted by instrumentation, operator training, and smart procedures, reducing overall operational cost," the researchers said.
Falling wholesale prices have sliced nuclear margins, making operational efficiency critical. More than a quarter of U.S. operational reactors do not earn enough revenue to cover operating costs, according to a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) in May.
Forecast margins for conventional US reactors
                              (Click image to enlarge)

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), May 2018.
The target of reducing staff levels while maintaining high levels of safety was a key reason behind the NAMAC project's selection, Rachel Slaybaugh, ARPA-E Program Director, told Nuclear Energy Insider.
“If the next generation of reactors have features that enable them to run with less operating staff, they can be more cost competitive,” Slaybaugh said.
Safety drivers
The NAMAC research team includes members from Ohio State University, New Mexico State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, nuclear engineering firm Zachry Nuclear and advanced reactor developer TerraPower.
The project team will draw from a wide range of specialist expertise in areas such as modelling and simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, accident analysis and reactor codes and standards, Slaybaugh noted.
Analysis of safety-significant events and incorporation of existing safety guidelines will form a key part of the research.
"It is important that the new design appropriately integrates emerging sciences and technologies for all modes, including Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) and severe accident management,” the researchers said in a briefing document.
ARPA-E will work with the MEITNER research team to set project timetables and will review progress against milestones on a quarterly basis.
Automation trend
In the U.S. and Europe, conventional and advanced nuclear power operators are implementing analytics and increasing automation levels in a bid to cut costs.
SMR developer NuScale aims to use automation, component standardization and simpler design to reduce staff count to 0.7 per MW, lower than the industry average, Ross Snuggerud, NuScale’s Senior Operations Engineer, told Nuclear Energy Insider in April.
NuScale aims to be the first U.S. developer to build a commercial SMR plant, delivering a 12-module 600 MW plant to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) by the mid-2020s.
"We've put a lot of effort into developing high levels of automation and leveraging the simplicity of the design," Snuggerud said.
Since 2015, Exelon and GE Hitachi have been developing and implementing big data analytics at Exelon plants to enhance operational efficiency.
The analytics project has achieved powerful results, accurately predicting actionable fault events more than three months in advance, Mona Badie, Chief Digital Officer at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, told Nuclear Energy Insider in November.
Advances in wireless technology could be a "game changer" for conventional plant operators, Joe Donahue, Vice President of Nuclear Engineering at Duke Energy, said at the 2017 Nuclear Plant Digitalization Conference.
New wireless systems will help drive up operational efficiency by enabling operators to integrate advancing sensor technology into centralized analytics platforms, he said.
Nuclear digitalization projects are also tackling data quality and training challenges to pave the way for machine learning capabilities.
Commercial impact
The NAMAC team hope their systems can be used to develop and validate EOPs and Severe Accident Management Guideline (SAMGs) for advanced reactor designs.
“A comprehensive, knowledge-based control system for credible, consistent management of plant operations will improve safety and optimize emergency management,” the research team said in their briefing note.
The algorithms produced by the research are expected to be incorporated into commercial software packages that will be used in future nuclear reactors, Slaybaugh said.
               
In addition, NAMAC research findings can be used to inform the design of instrumentation and control systems for advanced reactors, "which could also have commercial impacts,” she said.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

 

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