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Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:33 PM

Meltdown of Toshibas Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S.

[font face=Serif][font size=5]Meltdown of Toshiba’s Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S.[/font]

[font size=4]The collapse of the Tokyo company’s nuclear development arm puts a likely end to new U.S. plants.[/font]

by James Temple | February 17, 2017

[font size=3]Toshiba’s dramatic exit from the business of building nuclear power plants lands another blow to a beleaguered sector, undermining new development and research on advanced reactor designs.

After acquiring a majority stake in Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric in 2006 for $5.4 billion, the Tokyo technology conglomerate had high hopes for rolling out a new generation of safer, smaller, cheaper power plants, as well as a series of streamlined full-scale reactors. Four of the latter are under construction in the United States, representing the only new reactors currently being built in the country. But the company was bedeviled by cost overruns, technical problems, conflicts with contractors, and regulatory challenges that set those projects back by years.

On Tuesday, Toshiba projected a $6.3 billion write-down for its nuclear unit and said it was looking to unload its stake. “It looked like a big deal at the time, but it’s turned into a mess,” says Michael Golay, a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT. “And it’s likely to have a very chilling effect.”

Toshiba’s four massive nuclear plants now under construction in the southern United States are AP1000 pressurized-water reactors, which use a simplified design that was supposed to accelerate construction. But the Vogtle project in Georgia and the V.C. Summer project in South Carolina are both around three years behind schedule and, together, billions of dollars over budget.


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Reply Meltdown of Toshibas Nuclear Business Dooms New Construction in the U.S. (Original post)
OKIsItJustMe Feb 2017 OP
riversedge Feb 2017 #1
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2017 #2
FogerRox Feb 2017 #3
NNadir Feb 2017 #6
mountain grammy Feb 2017 #4
OKIsItJustMe Feb 2017 #5

Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 07:38 PM

1. Fine with me.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 08:02 PM

2. Their 'plan' for a British reactor seems completely meaningless

The UK government’s nuclear new build ambitions have been branded “pie in the sky” by an international energy expert, as Toshiba announced this week that it will not take a construction role on its proposed £106bn Moorside plant in Cumbria.
His comments follow Toshiba’s announcement on Tuesday that it has delayed the publication of its quarterly earnings report. Toshiba said it still plans to be involved in Moorside without “carrying out actual construction work”.

The company has admitted that it will have to write off losses of $6bn resulting from mammoth cost over-runs on two atomic plants in the US being built by its nuclear construction arm Westinghouse. The troubled plants use the same AP1000 model reactors that Toshiba plans to use at Moorside. It has a 60% stake in the scheme.


"Involved", but without carrying out the construction work, despite owning the majority stake in the scheme. WTF does that mean?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 17, 2017, 09:49 PM

3. nukes are costing 22-24+ billion these days

When estimates started at 14 billion, yeah you want to stay involved.

25 billion is a lot to pay for a 1200Mw plant.

400 GE 6mw offshore wind turbines would have been a much better deal.

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Response to FogerRox (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 03:19 AM

6. You are aware, aren't you, that the Danes keep a database of all their wind turbines...

Last edited Mon Feb 20, 2017, 08:41 AM - Edit history (1)

...ever built in their offshore oil and gas hell hole of a country online. Aren't you?

No, probably not.

There are two kinds of people who deign to discuss energy on websites like this one: There are those who repeat what they heard somewhere and those who actually find things out by looking deeply into available primary sources and drawing conclusions from them by thinking critically.

I believe that anyone and everyone who makes the claim that a huge array of wind turbines is equivalent to a nuclear plant is the former type and very clearly not the latter.

A rational person - as opposed to those who get their energy "facts," or um, perhaps "alternative facts" from journalist/"environmental editors" named Timmy and Markos who happen to lack a shred of scientific or engineering training - would bother to search out the Danish Energy Agency's website and database of every wind turbine they've ever built to see whether or not the failed, ridiculously expensive, and ineffective wind industry is "equivalent" to nuclear energy.

A person who wishes to simply repeat meaningless pablum, um, wouldn't.

The Danes do have such a database on their Energy Agency website:

Master Data Register of Wind Turbines

The most comprehensive description of the existence, the precise location, the date of commissioning and/or decommissioning, actual energy output and rated peak power is available as an Excel file on this webpage: Data on operating and decommisioned wind turbines (as at end of December 2016). Uploaded 26/01/17

The first tab gives "existing wind turbines." The second gives "decommissioned wind turbines."

In cell BP6152, the total energy produced in 2016 by all the wind turbines in the entire nation of Denmark is given in kwh, a unit of energy as opposed to a unit of peak power often cited by the liars in the so called "renewable energy" industry when they try to represent wind plants as being equivalent to nuclear plants, is given. It is 12,749,380,409 kwh.

The are 3,600,000 joules in a kwh, meaning that for the entire year in the entire off shore oil and gas drilling hellhole nation of Denmark, produced 4.58978 X 10[sup]16[/sup] Joules of energy, 4.59 PJ of energy. There are 86400 seconds in a calendar day, and 365.25 days in a year. It follows by simple division and multiplication that the average continuous power output of all of the wind turbines in Denmark in 2016 was 1454 MW. However, the data for 2016, but not earlier years, is given as monthly as well as annual data.

Using this, and the number of days (converted to seconds) for each month, we see that there was considerable variability from month to month. The most average continuous power for all the wind turbines in Denmark was highest in January, 2016, 1963 MW, and lowest in July of 2016, when their average continuous power was 930 MW. Thus the month to month variability in power output spanned a factor of 2.

The number of wind turbines required to produce this energy at highly variable power was 6,131. The total rated peak power for all of the turbines in Denmark listed on the "existing turbines" tab, made by summing column C on the spread sheet and dividing by 1000 to convert kW to MW, was 5,242 MW. Thus the capacity utilization of all the wind turbines in all of the offshore oil and gas hellhole country Denmark was 27.7%

The database of decommissioned wind turbines is illustrative too as to whether all of the wind turbines will turn into garbage heaps that future generations - near future generations - will need to clean up because we never gave a shit about their lives in our generation.

The calculations for the average lifetime of a Danish wind turbine are somewhat laborious, as I know having done them before. I'm not going to repeat it for the current spreadsheet and this comment, but I will refer to what I wrote in an earlier posting elsewhere on the internet for an earlier version of this same spreadsheet from the Danish Energy Agency website.

If one downloads the Excel file available in the link for reference 29 one can show that the Danes, as of the end of March 2015, have built and operated 8,002 wind turbines of all sizes. Of these, 2727, or 34.1% of them have been decommissioned. Of those that were decommissioned, the mean lifetime was 16.94 years (16 years and 310 days). Twenty-one of the decommissioned wind turbines operated less than two years, two never operated at all, and 103 operated for less than 10 years. Among decommissioned turbines, the one that lasted the longest did so for 34 years and 210 days. Among all 2727 decommissioned wind turbines, 6 lasted more than 30 years.

Of the 5,275 turbines still operating there are 13 that lasted longer than 34 years and 210 days, the longest, having operated (as of March 31, 2015) for 36 years and 303 days. The mean age of operating Danish wind turbines is 15.25 years, 15 years and 92 days.

Sustaining the wind, Part 1

Let's turn to nuclear.

By contrast with wind plants, nuclear power plants, are designed to have better than 90% capacity utilization; the majority of them in the United States do so regularly.

In China, according to the World Nuclear Association reactor database, between 2006 and today, China built 28 nuclear reactors: World Database of Nuclear Reactors, China, 2006-2017

Ten of them are rated at 1000 MWe, two are rated at 1012 MWe, three are rated at 1061 MWe, two are rated at 1007 MWe, and four are rated at 1018 MWe.

Any two of these reactors described in the previous paragraph can easily out produce all of the Wind turbines in Denmark, and do so without requiring any dangerous fossil fuel to back them up during any month when the wind doesn't blow much, like say July of 2016 in Denmark.

Of course, there is a fantasy land that claims that Wind energy's costs do not include the fact that they require redundant power plants to back them up, nor do they include the external costs in climate and health involved with the fact that many of these wind plants are backed up by plants utilizing dangerous fossil fuels.

You say:

"When estimates started at 14 billion, yeah you want to stay involved.
25 billion is a lot to pay for a 1200Mw plant."

Maybe you think China paid $25 billion for each of the 28 nuclear reactors they built and now operate in the last ten years?

Being a true example of a person who would never be banned at Daily Kos for telling the truth, you provide no reference for this claim about which you claim you want to be involved, although I don't know what credentials you have that should qualify or allow you to be involved.

If you were a critical thinker, you might ask yourself if China can build 28 reactors in ten years without paying 28 X $25 billion = $700 billion dollars, why should any reactor anywhere cost that much?

You might also wonder how it is that the United States built more than 100 reactors in a period of about 25 years ending about 30 years ago, using technology that is now about 50 years old, while saving hundreds of thousands of lives that otherwise would have been lost to air pollution, this while providing its citizens with some of the lowest price electricity in the world.

But you don't.

You simply blurt out a nonsense statement stating that wind plants are superior to nuclear plants.

The Hinkley C reactors if built should not cost what they are projected to cost, reported on the Wikipedia web page - which may or not be accurate - as 29.7 billion British pounds. Something is wrong if they do. The rated power is for this price is 3,200 MWe, meaning that they will produce easily, twice the power of all the wind turbines in Denmark in two relatively small buildings.

But if they are built at this cost, they are still designed to run 80 years. Like all nuclear plants they are gifts from one generation to several following generations. But we don't give a shit about future generations, apparently, and thus we claim that doing anything for the long term is "too expensive."

From where I sit, they're cheap, no matter how much they cost, because they reflect something call "ethics."

We're awful, awful, awful people who history should not and will not forgive. We have no ethics. Rather than care for future generations, we just blurt out very, very, very, very stupid "alternate facts" like 6000 wind turbines is the precise equivalent to a nuclear reactor in a single building.

Give my best regards to those assholes Timmy and Markos when you're over at their website gobbling up this depressing and frankly very dangerous horseshit about wind being the equivalent of nuclear.

As I said in our earlier interaction, when you reminded me of how many days I've been "bojoed" from my perspective, those guys aren't "better Democrats." In fact, their kind of Trumpian in their willingness to ignore reality, the reality being that we just spent in ten years two trillion dollars on wind and solar, and we just raced past 400 ppm at the fastest rate ever observed.

It's pretty amusing how people on the putative left morph into "free marketeers" whenever nuclear energy is discussed, but don't care if billions of dollars are spent, and 1,600 hectares of the beautiful desert are trashed to build crap like the Ivanpah solar thermal plant which has trouble producing even 100 MW of average continuous power.

Congratulations on demonstrating your qualifications for "getting involved." Reviewing them, I personally hope you don't but unfortunately I've discovered that ignorance, while it kills, is awfully good at "winning," even though all future generations will lose.

Have a nice President's day.

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Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 10:54 AM

4. Interesting. Thanks for posting.

I do wonder how much taxpayers are on the hook for any unfinished business.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 08:46 AM

5. You're welcome.

It may be a case of not spending “good money after bad.”

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