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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 11:53 PM

3. You are one confused pup.

I don't know where you got the idea that the Lovins article you linked to supports those wild claims you've made, but you are as far off base on that as you are everything else related to nuclear, Lovins, and renewable energy. I highly recommend it as a resource on proliferation that is every bit as valid today as when it was written. Thank you for the reference.

Nuclear Power and Nuclear Bombs
By Amory B. Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins and Leonard Ross FROM OUR SUMMER 1980 ISSUE


Executive Summary and Conclusions

...The 2013 edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report also includes an update on nuclear economics as well as an overview of the status, on-site and off-site, of the challenges triggered by the Fukushima disaster. However, this report’s emphasis on recent post-Fukushima developments should not obscure an important fact: as previous editions (see www.WorldNuclearReport.org) detail, the world nuclear industry already faced daunting challenges long before Fukushima, just as the U.S. nuclear power industry had largely collapsed before the 1979 Three Mile Island accident3. The nuclear promoters’ invention that a global nuclear renaissance was flourishing until 3/114 is equally false: Fukushima only added to already grave problems, starting with poor economics.

The performance of the nuclear industry over the year from July 2012 to July 2013 can be summed up as follows:
Operation and Construction Data (1 July 2013)5
- Operation. There are 31 countries operating nuclear power plants in the world.6 A total of 427 reactors have a combined installed capacity of 364 GWe7. These figures assume the final shutdown of the ten reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi and -Daini. It should be noted that as of 1 July 2013 only two (Ohi-3 and -4) of the 44 remaining Japanese reactors are operating and their future is highly uncertain. In fact, even if four utilities are expected to submit restart requests in July 2013, many observers believe that a large share of the suspended Japanese units will likely never restart.

- The nuclear industry is in decline: The 427 operating reactors are 17 lower than the peak in in 2002, while, the total installed capacity peaked in 2010 at 375 GWe before declining to the current level, which was last seen a decade ago. Annual nuclear electricity generation reached a maximum in 2006 at 2,660 TWh, then dropped to 2,346 TWh in 2012 (down 7 percent compared to 2011, down 12 percent from 2006). About three-quarters of this decline is due to the situation in Japan8, but 16 other countries, including the top five nuclear generators, decreased their nuclear generation too.

- The nuclear share in the world’s power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17 percent in 1993 to about 10 percent in 2012. Nuclear power’s share of global commercial primary energy production plunged to 4.5 percent, a level last seen in 1984.9 Only one country, the Czech Republic, reached its record nuclear contribution to the electricity mix in 2012.

From The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013

As of the middle of 2013, a total of 31 countries were operating nuclear fission reactors for energy purposes. Nuclear power plants generated 2,346 terawatt-hours (TWh or billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2012 [21], less than in 1999 and a 172 TWh or 6.8 percent decrease compared to 2011 as well as 11.8 percent below the historic maximum nuclear generation in 2006. The maximum contribution of nuclear power to commercial electricity generation worldwide was reached in 1993 with 17 percent (see figure 1). It has dropped to 10.4 percent in 2012, a level last seen in the 1980s. According to BP, the nuclear share in commercial primary energy consumption dropped to 4.5 percent, “the lowest since 1984”. [22]

Figure 1: Nuclear Electricity Generation in the World

About three-quarters of the decrease is due to the continuing and substantial generation drop in Japan (–139 TWh or –50 percent over the previous year), which in three years fell back from the 3rd to the 18th position of nuclear generators. Production also decreased for differing reasons in all top five nuclear generating countries: United States (–20 TWh or –2.5 percent), France (–16 TWh/–4 percent), Germany (–8 TWh/–10 percent), South Korea (–7 TWh/5 percent) and Russia with an insignificant drop (–0.8 TWh/–0.5 percent).

Nuclear generation declined in a total of 17 countries, while in 14 countries it increased or remained stable [23]. Seven countries [24] generated their historic maximum in 2012.

Figure 2. Nuclear Power Generation by Country, 2012/2011 and Historic Maximum

The “big five” nuclear generating countries—by rank: the United States, France, Russia, South Korea and Germany—generated 67 percent of all nuclear electricity in the world. The three countries that have phased out nuclear power (Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania), and Armenia, generated their historic maximum of nuclear electricity in the 1980s. Several other countries’ nuclear power generation peaked in the 1990s, among them Belgium, Canada, Japan, and the U.K. A further six countries peaked their nuclear generation between 2001 and 2005: Bulgaria, France, Germany, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. Among the countries with a steady increase in nuclear generation are China, the Czech Republic and Russia. However, even where countries are increasing their nuclear electricity production this is in most cases not keeping pace with overall increases in electricity demand leading to a reduced and declining role for nuclear power.

Only one country in the world, the Czech Republic, peaked its nuclear share in 2012 with 35 percent. In fact, all other countries—except Iran, which started up its first nuclear plant in 2011—reached their maximum share of nuclear power prior to 2010. While three countries peaked in 2008 (China) or 2009 (Romania, Russia), the other 26 countries saw their largest nuclear share by 2005. In total, nuclear power played its largest role in ten countries during the 1980s [25], in 12 countries each in the 1990s and in the 2000s.
Increases in nuclear generation are mostly a result of higher productivity and uprating [26] at existing plants rather than due to new reactors. According to the latest assessment by Nuclear Engineering International [27], the global annual load factor [28] of nuclear power plants decreased from 77 percent in 2011 [29] to 70 percent in 2012. Not surprisingly the biggest change was seen in Japan, where the load factor plunged from 69.5 percent in 2010 to 39.5 percent in 2011 to 3.7 percent in 2012. This is also due to the fact that officially 50 of the 54 pre-3/11 units in Japan are still counted as operational—even though some reactors have not generated electricity for years (see box hereunder).

Figure 3. Nuclear Share in Electricity Mix by Country, 2012/2011 and Historic Maximum

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Figure 4. Nuclear Power Reactor Grid Connections and Shutdowns, 1956–2013

Figure 5. World Nuclear Reactor Fleet, 1954–2013

Figure 6. Number of Nuclear Reactors under Construction

Figure 7. Age Distribution of Operating Nuclear Reactors, 2013

Figure 8. Age Distribution of Shutdown Nuclear Reactors, 2013

Figure 9. 40-Year Lifetime Projection

Figure 10. The PLEX Projection (Accommodates probable lifetime extensions)

Figure 11. Forty-Year Lifetime Projection versus PLEX Projection (in numbers of reactors)

Figure 12. Start-ups and Closures of National Nuclear Power Programs, 1950–2013

Figure 13: Average Annual Construction Times in the World 1954–2013

Note: The bubble size is equivalent to the number of units started up in the given year. Sources: MSC based on IAEA-PRIS 2013

And unlike your fevered visions of Lovins being a shill for the oil companies, the nuclear industry IS peddling those marvels of technology you're so keen on to the Koch Brothers for their Canadian tar sands operations. Maybe, just maybe, that will be their path to salvation - even if it does help kill the planet.

Canada Considering Nuclear Reactors in Alberta Tar Sands Fields

By John Daly | Mon, 21 January 2013 22:42

Like them or hate them, Alberta, Canada’s tar sands deposits of bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil, are the world’s largest. The province’s resources include the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake deposits in the McMurray Formation, which consist of a mixture of crude bitumen, a semi-solid form of crude oil, admixed with silica sand, clay minerals, and water.

According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, “Canada controls the third-largest amount of proven reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela… Canada's proven oil reserve levels have been stagnant or slightly declining since 2003, when they increased by an order of magnitude after oil sands resources were deemed to be technically and economically recoverable. The oil sands now account for approximately 170 billion barrels, or 98 percent, of Canada's oil reserves.”

Lying under 54,000 square miles of forest and bogs, the bitumen tar sands are estimated to be comparable in magnitude to the world's total proven reserves of conventional petroleum.

But exploiting the tar sands comes at a significant environmental cost.

Oil sands pollution is not a topic that Ottawa is keen to publicize...


Toshiba Nuclear Reactor For Oil Sands To Be Operational By 2020: Reports
The Huffington Post Canada | Posted: 01/18/2013 2:27 pm EST | Updated: 01/18/2013

Toshiba Corporation has developed a small nuclear reactor to power oilsands extraction in Alberta and hopes to have it operational by 2020, according to news reports from Japan.

The Daily Yomiuri reports Toshiba is building the reactor at the request of an unnamed oilsands company.

The reactor would generate between one per cent and 5 per cent as much energy as produced by a typical nuclear power plant, and would not need refueling for 30 years. It would be used to heat water in order to create the steam used to extract bitumen from the oil sands.

Toshiba has completed design work on the reactor and has filed for approval with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Nikkei.com reported. The company is expected to seek approval from Canadian authorities as well...


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