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Tue Jul 28, 2015, 02:31 PM

Nuclear hype goes POOF - can't build modular on-time or on-budget either

Prefab Nuclear Plants Prove Just as Expensive
Modular method has run into costly delays and concerns about who will bear the brunt of the expense


By REBECCA SMITH
Updated July 27, 2015

Building nuclear reactors out of factory-produced modules was supposed to make their construction swifter and cheaper, leading to a new boom in nuclear energy.

But two U.S. sites where nuclear reactors are under construction have been hit with costly delays that have shaken faith in the new construction method and created problems concerning who will bear the added expense.

...

The new building technique calls for fabricating big sections of plants in factories and then hauling them by rail to power-plant sites for final assembly. The method was supposed to prevent a repeat of the notorious delays and cost overruns that marred the last nuclear construction cycle in the 1980s.

It hasn’t worked. Georgia Power Co., a unit of Southern Co. that is building one of the nuclear power plants, reports that construction is three years behind schedule, although it is making steady progress.

...

The Georgia plant’s delay will increase the project’s financing costs, potentially adding $319 annually to each residential bill, according to the public interest advocacy staff of the state utility commission. The utility is seeking to recover $778 million in total added financing costs from vendors. It hopes customer bills won’t rise more than 8% to pay for the plant....
http://www.wsj.com/articles/pre-fab-nuclear-plants-prove-just-as-expensive-1438040802

With the need to recoup all of that money, what do you think the attitude of the utility will be towards revenue lost to energy efficiency efforts and distributed renewable generation?

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 02:51 PM

1. They will want to kill or delay renewables and also put the taxpayers on the line to pay

 

for losses.
The usual shit - privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 11:50 AM

4. From their view that is absolutely essential.

For example, an investment group study showed what would happen if the UK pursued both the Conservative's nuclear ambitions and the renewable/energy efficiency targets that were already in place. The result was that the new nuclear plants would only be able to sell about 26% (IIRC) of the maximum amount of their generation. Since their cost is so high that paying for them is a strain even if they sell 95% of their max, it was obvious something had to go. The Conservative government first sabotaged their previously very effective energy efficiency program, then theist about dismantling their renewables programs.
That resulted in problems with the rest of the EU that has mired the nuclear build in legal red tape and now they are looking at potential energy shortfalls.

Typical conservative values and thinking on full display.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 03:19 PM

2. And while the renewable/nuclear steel-cage match to the death is going on

 

Fossil fuels just keep on quietly killing the planet, 1 ppmv at a time.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Tue Jul 28, 2015, 04:04 PM

3. Energy almost too cheap to meter, until it leaks or blows... Shut 'em all down! nt

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 02:12 PM

5. The AP1000 is not a modular design

The AP1000 is an evolutionary improvement on the AP600, and not a modular design:

http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/New-Plants/AP1000-PWR

Perhaps you are thinking of Westinghouse's SMR design:

http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/New-Plants/Small-Modular-Reactor

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Response to LouisvilleDem (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 02:31 PM

6. "Modular by Design" - Perhaps you should have clicked the 'construction' tab

CONSTRUCTION
Structural, piping and equipment modules provide:

Construction
Shortened construction schedule
Reduced field manpower
Increased factory-based manufacturing and assembly of modules
Improved quality - pre-testing and inspection of modules prior to shipment
Reduced site congestion

Modular by Design

The AP1000 plant has been designed to make use of modern, modular-construction techniques. The design incorporates vendor-designed skids and equipment packages, as well as large, multi-ton structural modules and special-equipment modules. Modularization allows construction tasks that were traditionally performed in sequence to be completed in parallel.
http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/New-Plants/AP1000-PWR/Construction

What ever you wish to call it and what ever 'new miracle' the nuclear industry is touting to let us know they "can do it right this time" it is still and will continue to be a clusterf*&k.

From day one the nuclear industry has lied its way into the public purse. It is a poor choice when evaluated honestly against the renewable alternatives.

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Response to kristopher (Original post)

Mon Aug 3, 2015, 10:39 PM

7. Pretty silly analysis

Modular doesn't save money (in fact, it ADDS expense) for the first few units. It's when you build the same thing over and over and over that you expect significant savings.

They probably won't try the same analysis on the units in China.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 11, 2015, 01:37 AM

8. Really? I didn't hear that sort of opinion when they were trying to sell the reactor project.

Vogtle: at $65 billion and counting, it’s a case study of nuclear power’s staggeringly awful economics

Georgia is one state that you would think would be wary of nuclear power economics. The first two reactors at Georgia Power’s Vogtle site, which came online in the late 1980s, were a record 800% over budget.

That is a number that is almost impossible to grasp. Nothing goes 800% over budget–in the real world, projects get cancelled well before reaching that point.

I’m thinking of making about $100,000 worth of improvements to my aging house desperately in need of them. 800% over budget would take that to $800,000. But I could buy a very nice house for that instead, even in the Washington DC area. Of course, I can’t afford an $800,000 house and can’t afford a project that is 800% over budget, either. Most people can’t. Neither can businesses. So if those improvements start to creep up from the budget–in my case if they go more than about 10% over budget–the whole project gets the kibosh.

Sane people do not let projects get 800% over budget. Unless, perhaps, if someone else is putting up the money. And that’s exactly what happened with the first two Vogtle reactors–the overruns were pushed on to ratepayers; Georgia Power had to eat some small portion of them, but basically ratepayers were forced to pick up the tab.

And in a case of history repeating itself as predicted–as farce–that’s exactly what is happening with the two Vogtle reactors under construction now....

http://safeenergy.org/2015/08/03/vogtle-at-65-billion-and-counting/

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