Ontario Nuclear update - She's back!

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I think the point is, does all of this Mickey Mouse nonsense, chasing the lowest rate, which will shift depending on loads, weather...etc make sense when you have the ability to produce reliable electricity that doesn't require such contortions? Is the goal simply high penetration of renewables or actual low emissions? Because burning gas because you want to run wind turbines isn't achieving the latter, but it sure seems like one [censored] of a way to create all kinds of wild costs and technical problems that impact operating profiles while doing the former smirk Per your TOU posit, while that sounds quite novel in theory, nobody is going to pile wet laundry into their dryer at 7AM before they shove off to work expecting the dryer to kick on sometime during the day so that they can capitalize on some rate perversion wrought by overzealous installation of solar, that's pie in the sky fantasy that could only come out of California. When we run laundry, it is two or three loads, which means there is human intervention, that doesn't work when off-peak occurs when nobody is home. It isn't just the price spread that's the issue, it's the impact on the day-to-day things. Paying a premium to do laundry at the time we normally do now because the peak has shifted due to some moronic policy solely focused on its myopic agenda, is only going to get so much traction before people revolt, which is exactly what happened here in Ontario. You can only push people so far before they stop and toss you out on your ear. A solution peddled by charlatans is destined for failure, even if it is technically feasible. "Gas is the new green" is the current mantra, barring the oft cited "storage miracle" which is quite like fusion in that it is always just around the corner. Cold climates, like here, pose yet another problem, as most currently heat with gas and if we want to shift that to electric, you aren't doing that with solar and wind, the former doesn't align with the demand profile (morning and evening ramps) and the latter buggers off for days at a time, which means either perpetual reliance on methane or something else that can reliably fit the bill, unless of course emissions are non-issue, at which point then why aren't we just burning gas for everything?
You are paying for these wild cost one way or another already if you look at how they compare non TOU and TOU rate, they pad enough in the flat rate to guess how much you are running on average. As I said before, already happened for a few years, we were given a lower rate (around 2c/kwh year round) if we agree to 15 days of peak price at market rate (60c/kwh instead of 20c/kwh) a year so PG&E won't have to eat it. The market rate for those PG&E off the hook price? 60c/kwh instead of 20c/kwh, so you can decide to pay for 15 days peak at 60c/kwh so you avoid piling laundry at 7am or you pay 2c/kwh extra 247 365 the entire year and pile laundry as you please. Your 60c/kwh is there to pay for the shut down old dirty coal plant to stand by all year so you can do your laundry at 7am 3 load at a time during a heat storm with your AC on, when the outside temperature is 100F. The point I am trying to make is, a diverse generation, not just renewable vs non renewable, is good for stability and prevent gouging or incident. Just look at that 60c/kwh peak, you realize this is how generation make a huge percentage of the money from. If you can avoid this kind of gouging by shaving off the peak, you are already ahead of the game. Data center can shutdown their bargain basement load, household can wait till 10pm to start their load, offices can freeze some ice to help reduce the next day's peak AC load, etc, without involving batteries and electric car. I'm intentionally skipping solar here because they tends to follow the peak, my examples only involve our current usage profile, before we even add solar or wind. All it takes is another Enron scheme to mess up our grid without wind or solar even.
I think market structure here might be the disconnect. Most of our generators are paid a fixed rate and electricity is publicly operated, so it is not a for-profit exercise. We eliminated coal on the back of existing nuclear assets, as I already noted, so our only fossil source is gas, which is mostly used for peaking, as nuclear + hydro can handle most of our load. Regarding our generator compensation system: Bruce Power, our largest nuke, gets paid $0.077/kWh, OPG Nuclear is more at the moment, as they are funding their 4-unit refurb, so their average is ~$0.09/kWh, hydro averages around $0.065/kWh IIRC, our expensive ones are wind and solar, both of which were/are heavily subsidized. Consumer TOU rates were designed to load-shift from mid-day peaking to the evening/night to flatten the curve somewhat and take advantage of evening/night surplus but now that we tend to have a lot of SBL, the whole program has come under scrutiny. It was conjured up when demand was much higher (pre-recession) and we had fewer generating assets. Consumer rates here are currently flattened due to COVID, but would normally be: Off-peak: $0.101/kWh Mid-peak:$0.144/kWh On-peak: $0.208/kWh [Linked Image]
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,023
Location
Ontario, Canada
Seems to me that solar, wind, and nuclear need to be combined with storage of some sort, and hydro pumped storage makes sense in Ontario I think, especially given at times where we pay to get rid of excess power generation. Around Collingwood we have nearly 300m of vertical and quite a large area at the top to build a good size reservoir.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by IndyIan
Seems to me that solar, wind, and nuclear need to be combined with storage of some sort, and hydro pumped storage makes sense in Ontario I think, especially given at times where we pay to get rid of excess power generation. Around Collingwood we have nearly 300m of vertical and quite a large area at the top to build a good size reservoir.
In theory, had we built Darlington B, we wouldn't need storage, as we'd just load follow with hydro. That's the simplest and probably most elegant solution. I know TCC is trying to build a pumped storage facility to use with Bruce so they can avoid using steam bypass however, so there's some rationale in that thought process. While with solar you could conceivably pair it with a moderate amount of storage to buffer for the morning and evening ramps (and thus this would constrain overall solar capacity, because you don't want to drive-out baseload) wind is a whole other problem. Its huge periods of non-generation simply don't work as a viable solution coupled to a storage medium, which is why it is paired with gas backup, which at 480gCO2/kWh, is less than ideal if you are trying to keep emissions low. Wind's biggest benefit is the displacement of gas, coal or oil in a predominantly fossil-fuelled grid, somewhat lowering the emissions profile. In grids that are already dominated by nuclear and hydro, the addition of wind and its requisite backup gas capacity can actually make the emissions profile worse.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,023
Location
Ontario, Canada
You just need a bigger reservoir to help with wind? It would be hard to completely cover wind inconsistencies with pumped storage alone but mixed into the grid it could help. There's a nice 300 acre platform above Georgian Peaks ski club and making a 20m deep reservoir out of that would be pretty cheap. No need for millions of yard of concrete on that site. That would be one of the largest pumped storage reservoirs in the world.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by IndyIan
You just need a bigger reservoir to help with wind? It would be hard to completely cover wind inconsistencies with pumped storage alone but mixed into the grid it could help. There's a nice 300 acre platform above Georgian Peaks ski club and making a 20m deep reservoir out of that would be pretty cheap. No need for millions of yard of concrete on that site. That would be one of the largest pumped storage reservoirs in the world.
No. I think the scale might be lost in this discussion. When wind output looks like this: [Linked Image] The amount of storage you need is mind boggling. I ran the numbers some time back and have a whole thread about it on twitter, but I'll give the cliff notes version here: Ontario wind turbines, during the summer months, which are the periods of highest demand, can experience an average output of less than 400MW for two weeks, so to avoid burning gas to cover the difference we'd require at minimum 1,600,000MWh of storage with 5,000MW of nameplate capacity. Realistically, given how summer looks, we'd actually need a lot more, but let's keep it to this for the sake of this analysis. Sir Adam Beck II at Niagara Falls has an installed capacity of ~1,500MW. So, a comparable pumped storage project would need an output of more than three times that to firm Ontario's wind, and would need to be able to produce nameplate for a minimum of two weeks. To produce nameplate, the SAB complex (I and II) receives ~1,800 cubic meters of water a second. This yields ~1,300 for SAB II. So, we'd need a storage reservoir large enough to be able to supply that volume of water for at minimum, 14 days. Rough calculations indicate that we'd need the ability to provide 1.6 billion cubic meters of water at a rate of 1,300 cubic meters per second to firm our 14 days just to match Beck II once. This means our reservoir would need to house significantly more than that volume to be able to maintain that rate. This yields a reservoir that is 3.2Km long, 1Km wide and 500m deep filled to a volume of 490m. And you'd need three of them. Then you need to fill them, and you need sufficient pumping capacity to fill them in a timely manner, if you are going to need it for 14+ days of output when it is hot and the wind isn't blowing. If this sounds like a rather major issue, that's because it is. Then you have the issue of logistics with dealing with pulling and dumping that amount of water. Where from, where to? The cost of firming wind using a non-emitting source would make a new nuclear build look like peanuts, and the nuke has the added advantage of not having a footprint the size of Lake Joseph. Remember, the goal here is to eliminate fossil sources from power generation. In Ontario, the months where we use gas the most all fall within the summer period where it makes up the difference between nuclear, hydro, embedded solar, whatever wind output happens to be and demand. This is our generating mix: [Linked Image] This was a day from last summer: [Linked Image] As you can see, gas filled a sizeable gap between demand and available non-emitting generation, which would be the role of storage in the above analysis. Tying into that, what is also visible is wind output was not significant. Since hydro is pretty much tapped out in the province and wind produces out of phase with demand, unless we build more nuclear, we aren't going to be able to get rid of gas.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
10,023
Location
Ontario, Canada
You don't need to store all of the wind capacity, just enough to remove the peaks and fill some of the valleys. Also the plateau above Collingwood is about 320m (Adam Beck has 92m head) above Georgian bay and only 3km away from the water so the storage needed for the same output is quite a bit less. I think a significant pumped storage facility could help increase nuclear's overall contribution as well.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by IndyIan
You don't need to store all of the wind capacity, just enough to remove the peaks and fill some of the valleys. Also the plateau above Collingwood is about 320m (Adam Beck has 92m head) above Georgian bay and only 3km away from the water so the storage needed for the same output is quite a bit less. I think a significant pumped storage facility could help increase nuclear's overall contribution as well.
You need enough stored capacity to eliminate gas, if that's the goal, and that's what the analysis (and calculated storage requirements) covered. Look at the two-week non-output period graph and then consider the generation mix for that period looked like the last graph where gas is producing 3-5,000MW for the duration. Without increasing the huge yellow section (nuclear), trying to do it with wind is a non-starter. Realistically, you aren't building something 1/2 a kilometre tall on top of the plateau you've noted, you'd be excavating it (assuming that in doing so you could achieve the volume required) which at that point your head height is reduced because you are planning for emptying most of the reservoir at times, so your egress point will need to be low so I think the Beck II example still fits. Of course that then begs the question about moving that volume of water in and out of Georgian bay, there is going to be a significant impact on water levels trying to do that. A pumped storage facility for Bruce wouldn't need to be anywhere near as large, because its purpose would be to avoid steam bypass, not make up weeks of non-generation. That's a far more viable project. Wind is an extremely poor fit for Ontario's demand profile because its output is essentially the inverse of it. The IESO even recognizes that and values it accordingly: [Linked Image]
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
19,250
Location
Silicon Valley
You can't store electricity cost effectively, nor can you completely eliminate fossil fuel 100%. However, you can do cost effective storage to eliminate the 1% of the time when prices spike beyond gouging (i.e. 60c/kwh that PG&E smart day rate for 15 days a year from 1pm-7pm, that PG&E charges 2c/kwh for the rest of the year to pay for). Just having the storage in the arsenal would be enough to deter this kind of gouging and "flatten the curve". Having natural gas peaking plant around that can be fired up quickly will also do the same, it would flatten the volatile solar and wind generation capacity by quite a bit. If you try to build out hydro and nuclear only, you may end up stuck with a high cost model competing with natural gas and renewable. All it takes for nuclear to go bust is another Fukushima and the clean up cost afterward, it may not be footed by the utility bill but it will be footed by the population, one way or another. You have to factor that into your forecast as well when you say it is "cheap".
 
Last edited:

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by PandaBear
You can't store electricity cost effectively, nor can you completely eliminate fossil fuel 100%.
You can definitely eliminate fossil fuel 100% from power generation, it just requires either a lot of nuclear, a lot of hydro, or both.
Originally Posted by PandaBear
However, you can do cost effective storage to eliminate the 1% of the time when prices spike beyond gouging (i.e. 60c/kwh that PG&E smart day rate for 15 days a year from 1pm-7pm, that PG&E charges 2c/kwh for the rest of the year to pay for). Just having the storage in the arsenal would be enough to deter this kind of gouging and "flatten the curve".
Again, we don't have that problem, the generating assets are all fixed-rate.
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Having natural gas peaking plant around that can be fired up quickly will also do the same, it would flatten the volatile solar and wind generation capacity by quite a bit.
But it also drives up emissions, which is what we are trying to eliminate.
Originally Posted by PandaBear
If you try to build out hydro and nuclear only, you may end up stuck with a high cost model competing with natural gas and renewable. All it takes for nuclear to go bust is another Fukushima and the clean up cost afterward, it may not be footed by the utility bill but it will be footed by the population, one way or another. You have to factor that into your forecast as well when you say it is "cheap".
Currently, the locations using nuclear and hydro have ratepayers paying far lower rates versus those that have been pushing the "cheap renewables" angle. I'd love to hear your expert opinion on how Ontario, which is very far inland, would get hit by a Tsunami. I know you are anti-nuclear, you made that clear years ago, so I find it interesting that you continue to wade into, and crap on, my threads on the subject, but never really provide anything of value. And no, I don't find hyperbolic "what ifs" about Ontario getting hit by a Tsunami valuable, it draws down the quality of the discourse as does ignoring, repeatedly, the different ways grids are run in places that aren't California.
 

4WD

Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
18,474
Location
Texas
O/K: Very impressive … but what have you done about those dull tires of yours ?
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by 4WD
O/K: Very impressive … but what have you done about those dull tires of yours ?
LOL!!! grin They are still extremely dull my friend, EXTREMELY! Back on topic, they got DNGS Unit 2 up to 845MW yesterday, which it stayed at until 8AM today at which point they took it offline. I expect there is still some significant "test and tune" going on with it which is why it hasn't gotten up to full power yet. Today is a very low demand day in Ontario; the lowest demand since 1994. We dropped below 10,000MW. Astute readers will note that we had more than 10,000MW of nuclear online. Both Bruce 2 and 3 leaned on full steam bypass this AM, shedding 600MW of output while Darlington 2 went down (which I expect was wholly unrelated but inadvertently helped by preventing more steam being dumped at Bruce). We are exporting about 4,000MW at the moment, hydro is at 3,000MW, wind is at 1,400MW, but demand is back up to over 10,000MW now. This is of course why we schedule maintenance for this time of year. Demand is low. Bruce 4 and 5 as well as Pickering 1 are all down for maintenance, but will be back online before summer demand is in force. Bruce 6 is off for refurbishment, like Darlington 2 was for the last ~2 years. [Linked Image]
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
19,250
Location
Silicon Valley
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I know you are anti-nuclear, you made that clear years ago, so I find it interesting that you continue to wade into, and crap on, my threads on the subject, but never really provide anything of value. And no, I don't find hyperbolic "what ifs" about Ontario getting hit by a Tsunami valuable, it draws down the quality of the discourse as does ignoring, repeatedly, the different ways grids are run in places that aren't California.
Sorry if this offend you. I do agree with you that Ontario (with plenty of hydro, supportive government, low risk CANDU) is a good case for this kind of power. I just don't believe it is what is good for the rest of the world, I just also don't believe that nuclear is the future due to the political climate of a "what if there's an accident" will be any better in the future. I am just not seeing anyone financing a nuclear plant at the moment when the fixed cost is so high. I do love to find a "permanent nuclear waste solution" but the politics behind it is just not there. I'll stop now, I think the math is different enough what works in Ontario is not going to work in California, and no, it has nothing to do with renewable or CO2 credit.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I know you are anti-nuclear, you made that clear years ago, so I find it interesting that you continue to wade into, and crap on, my threads on the subject, but never really provide anything of value. And no, I don't find hyperbolic "what ifs" about Ontario getting hit by a Tsunami valuable, it draws down the quality of the discourse as does ignoring, repeatedly, the different ways grids are run in places that aren't California.
Sorry if this offend you. I do agree with you that Ontario (with plenty of hydro, supportive government, low risk CANDU) is a good case for this kind of power. I just don't believe it is what is good for the rest of the world, I just also don't believe that nuclear is the future due to the political climate of a "what if there's an accident" will be any better in the future. I am just not seeing anyone financing a nuclear plant at the moment when the fixed cost is so high. I do love to find a "permanent nuclear waste solution" but the politics behind it is just not there. I'll stop now, I think the math is different enough what works in Ontario is not going to work in California, and no, it has nothing to do with renewable or CO2 credit.
I'm not offended, I just find it tiring, because we've hashed this over a few times over the last few years. Regarding nuclear elsewhere (that isn't Ontario), since Canada is investing in our SMR roadmap, we'll see if that goes anywhere beyond Ontario and New Brunswick, which are the two locations current slated to receive SMR's. These designs also "deal with the waste" by using it as fuel, but we are a ways away from working examples at this point, so I'm not holding my breath, despite being quite optimistic. You can expect that I'll post about it if/when progress is made smile
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
4,362
Location
Great Lakes
So I got curious and looked up where my energy comes from... ~2% from Ontario! And a SURPRISING amount of wind shocked2 but still pretty carbon heavy I do know all the power plants I can reasonable drive to are coal or gas however. [Linked Image]
 
Last edited:

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by Skippy722
So I got curious and looked up where my energy comes from... ~2% from Ontario! And a SURPRISING amount of wind shocked2 but still pretty carbon heavy I do know all the power plants I can reasonable drive to are coal or gas however. [Linked Image]
The installed capacity figures for the US states appear to be broken at the moment. If you look at the Ontario graphs for example, it shows production versus actual capacity, same for places in Europe. And yes, the early and late parts of the year are the windiest, and that's typically when demand is the lowest, at least here in Ontario. Spring and fall mean almost no A/C load. It's a good time to schedule maintenance of generation assets since you know you won't need all of your capacity smile Here's Nova Scotia as an example of what I was talking about: [Linked Image]
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
Messages
19,250
Location
Silicon Valley
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I'm not offended, I just find it tiring, because we've hashed this over a few times over the last few years. Regarding nuclear elsewhere (that isn't Ontario), since Canada is investing in our SMR roadmap, we'll see if that goes anywhere beyond Ontario and New Brunswick, which are the two locations current slated to receive SMR's. These designs also "deal with the waste" by using it as fuel, but we are a ways away from working examples at this point, so I'm not holding my breath, despite being quite optimistic. You can expect that I'll post about it if/when progress is made smile
I truly hope SMR would take off.. One thing I always wonder, is whether it is cheaper to build power generation near the demand (large cities, industrial consumers) or is it cheaper to relocate industrial consumers (aluminum smelters, data centers) near power generations. Bitcoin miners seems to know what they are doing, but they are likely just an indicator instead of what real long term demand looks like.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
4,362
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I'm not offended, I just find it tiring, because we've hashed this over a few times over the last few years. Regarding nuclear elsewhere (that isn't Ontario), since Canada is investing in our SMR roadmap, we'll see if that goes anywhere beyond Ontario and New Brunswick, which are the two locations current slated to receive SMR's. These designs also "deal with the waste" by using it as fuel, but we are a ways away from working examples at this point, so I'm not holding my breath, despite being quite optimistic. You can expect that I'll post about it if/when progress is made smile
I truly hope SMR would take off.. One thing I always wonder, is whether it is cheaper to build power generation near the demand (large cities, industrial consumers) or is it cheaper to relocate industrial consumers (aluminum smelters, data centers) near power generations. Bitcoin miners seems to know what they are doing, but they are likely just an indicator instead of what real long term demand looks like.
I know ArcelorMittal in Indiana had an on-site power plant, and there are 2 more within an hour. It was surprisingly clean with lots of trees there, except over by the BOF (or as I call it, [censored] on earth)... I digress. Haven't been inside US Steel, so cant comment on them. The hospital my mom worked at had its own gas turbine power plant as well.
 
Last edited:

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by PandaBear
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
I'm not offended, I just find it tiring, because we've hashed this over a few times over the last few years. Regarding nuclear elsewhere (that isn't Ontario), since Canada is investing in our SMR roadmap, we'll see if that goes anywhere beyond Ontario and New Brunswick, which are the two locations current slated to receive SMR's. These designs also "deal with the waste" by using it as fuel, but we are a ways away from working examples at this point, so I'm not holding my breath, despite being quite optimistic. You can expect that I'll post about it if/when progress is made smile
I truly hope SMR would take off.. One thing I always wonder, is whether it is cheaper to build power generation near the demand (large cities, industrial consumers) or is it cheaper to relocate industrial consumers (aluminum smelters, data centers) near power generations. Bitcoin miners seems to know what they are doing, but they are likely just an indicator instead of what real long term demand looks like.
I'm quite excited about the idea of using spent fuel stores to operate the SMR's, so I also hope they will take off. They would have a tremendous impact on plans for long-term fuel storage. On siting, that's a very good question. I think in terms of transmission requirements, closer is better. Most large generating assets in Ontario, save Bruce, are all located near the GTA, our largest consumer, which includes two nuke plants: Pickering and Darlington as well as the Beck hydro complex at Niagara Falls, which is reasonably close. The transmission infrastructure to tie-in Bruce for example, which provides 30% of our electricity, is massive, given it produces 6,430MW and it's about 4 hours from the GTA. Where you run into issues is with large-scale hydro projects, which due to their space requirements are often sited quite remotely and thus require massive amounts of extremely long distance transmission infrastructure. The James Bay Project that Quebec constructed is an example of that: [Linked Image]
 

4WD

Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
18,474
Location
Texas
To see the magnitude of construction on these? … it's just hard to compare to anything. The two domes I drive by often? I watched them putting in the reinforcement steel for a year and at that point you couldn't see light through them from the road. Then they added steel for another year. Finally concrete work started … and that cement was specialized of course …
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,060
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by 4WD
To see the magnitude of construction on these? … it's just hard to compare to anything. The two domes I drive by often? I watched them putting in the reinforcement steel for a year and at that point you couldn't see light through them from the road. Then they added steel for another year. Finally concrete work started … and that cement was specialized of course …
Pickering, our oldest nuke, it was built almost a decade before Chernobyl. Its containment buildings (it has double containment, which Chernobyl didn't) have 2 meter thick highly reinforced concrete and steel lined walls. The design was intentioned to shrug off a direct strike from a fully laden aircraft. The amount of work that goes into reinforcing nuke containment buildings is incredible (unless you are the Soviets, lol) I believe it was Irv that posted about the continuous pour for the vacuum building at Darlington (this is a unique CANDU feature) and how the amount of concrete was utterly staggering. A neat thing here in Ontario, since we have common turbine halls, is that at say Darlington, you can look across 3,512MW of generation on a single floor. Enough power to run the entire country of Denmark. [Linked Image]
 
Top