PowerGen pros and cons - an honest discussion

OVERKILL

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Here is a shot of Indian Point Nuclear facility. Unit #2 was shut down last year and Unit #3 is supposed to be shut down this April. Number one was shut down long ago.

View attachment 49641

Oh, I know. A lot of US pro nukes that I associate with on twitter have been trying to save Indian Point. It's sad, the plant isn't that old, all things considered.

Just glancing at the Wiki on the plant:

Unit 1 was commissioned in 1962, shutdown in 1974 (12 years old)
Unit 2 was commissioned in 1974, shutdown in 2020 (46 years old)
Unit 3 was commissioned in 1976, slated to be shutdown in 2021 (45 years old)

Pickering just celebrated 50 for the A units. Bruce A units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 1977 and the Bruce facility is slated to be run to 2064+.

Of note, Indian Point 1 was a 275MW design originally slated to run on Thorium, but that didn't go well and it spent most of its brief life on traditional uranium. I twas decom'd instead of having its safety systems updated. Units 2 and 3 were much higher output (1,032MW, 1,051MW).
 

OVERKILL

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In the long term it looks like Quebec Hydro may get linked up to New York City but it could years.

That's being opposed, IIRC. But Quebec doesn't have 2,000MW of firm hydro to export, they import from Ontario in the winter during periods of peak demand at present, so even if it does displace gas in NY during the warmer summer months, come winter, they will be burning gas.
 
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I think the federal government should send out to every pet owner a generator wheel to be attached to a grid. The pet runs in the wheel one hour a day to contribute power to the local grid.

****If you are incapable of behaving yourself and contributing to a productive conversation, please don't bother posting.****
 
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Oh, I know. A lot of US pro nukes that I associate with on twitter have been trying to save Indian Point. It's sad, the plant isn't that old, all things considered.

Just glancing at the Wiki on the plant:

Unit 1 was commissioned in 1962, shutdown in 1974 (12 years old)
Unit 2 was commissioned in 1974, shutdown in 2020 (46 years old)
Unit 3 was commissioned in 1976, slated to be shutdown in 2021 (45 years old)

Pickering just celebrated 50 for the A units. Bruce A units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 1977 and the Bruce facility is slated to be run to 2064+.

Of note, Indian Point 1 was a 275MW design originally slated to run on Thorium, but that didn't go well and it spent most of its brief life on traditional uranium. I twas decom'd instead of having its safety systems updated. Units 2 and 3 were much higher output (1,032MW, 1,051MW).
OKill, one of the reasons we heard that San Onofre was being **** down was neutron embrittlement.

Wouldnt that be a "thing" everywhere with every pressure water reactor if that was the case?
 

OVERKILL

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OKill, one of the reasons we heard that San Onofre was being **** down was neutron embrittlement.

Wouldnt that be a "thing" everywhere with every pressure water reactor if that was the case?

Embrittlement is definitely a thing, it's the reason we have to re-tube (refurbish) our CANDU's, as the tubes grow (elongation) and suffer from neutron flux embrittlement. However, predicted life has been WAY off, so while it is something to monitor you can't simply go by projections, inspections and measurements are absolutely required to determine the extent to which this has occurred.

If you look at the US reactor fleet, we've seen license extensions to 80 years for plants that were originally expected to last 30 or 40 based on projections for pressure vessel life.

Also, pressure vessels can be annealed to deal with this and extend life:

Which isn't the case for CANDU pressure tubes, which can simply be replaced (and this was designed into them).

I expect this was just an excuse to shutter SONGS, just like they are using the once-through cooling argument as the basis to shutter Diablo Canyon despite the gas plants being allowed to do it with impunity.
 

OVERKILL

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San Onofre has been a clown show since 77 when they installed the reactor backwards.

I see a few parallels between SONGS and Indian Point. Both are/were three unit sites with the first unit being much older and lower capacity than the subsequent two. Looking at SONGS, 2 and 3 came online in '83 and '84, the fact that plant is shuttered is insane. Pickering A broke ground in 1966...

The ~2,200MW the units provided was significant, even if the operating record for the plant was spotty at times. Sounds like the SG replacement was the big issue for the facility, as it appears it might have been botched. That should have been a vendor issue and the plant should have been returned to service, but I understand loud anti-nuke voices won out in the end.

Interesting note: Darlington is NOT getting its SG's replaced during its refurb (while Bruce is). This is likely why Bruce is slated to run at least a decade longer (2064+ vs mid 2050's).They were inspected and deemed to be suitable for continued use based on the expected operating life of the plant. Darlington 2 came online in 1990, only 6 years after SONGS 3.
 
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I see a few parallels between SONGS and Indian Point. Both are/were three unit sites with the first unit being much older and lower capacity than the subsequent two. Looking at SONGS, 2 and 3 came online in '83 and '84, the fact that plant is shuttered is insane. Pickering A broke ground in 1966...

The ~2,200MW the units provided was significant, even if the operating record for the plant was spotty at times. Sounds like the SG replacement was the big issue for the facility, as it appears it might have been botched. That should have been a vendor issue and the plant should have been returned to service, but I understand loud anti-nuke voices won out in the end.

So cal had a very hard time making up the base load it got from san onofre.
 

OVERKILL

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So cal had a very hard time making up the base load it got from san onofre.
Yep, and it will be even harder with Diablo Canyon. There is a lot of shooting in the foot taking place here, as both of these shutdowns increase emissions intensity.
 
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Yep, and it will be even harder with Diablo Canyon. There is a lot of shooting in the foot taking place here, as both of these shutdowns increase emissions intensity.
I wonder if the EV guys take any of this into account. As we electrify our nation and the demand for power increases, Natural Gas seems to be the energy source of choice. Add in a thousand or so peaker plants to cover solar/wind inconsistencies and natural gas use is trending up.

I guess the holy grail is battery storage and maybe that will be viable in the future. Lots of promise here, not all that much storage capacity in the real world though.

As always, we can perform simple math, using battery cost, capacity and lifespan to come up with a 'real-world' cost per KWH 'out' of the battery. At the moment, it's not very cost effective.

 

OVERKILL

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I wonder if the EV guys take any of this into account. As we electrify our nation and the demand for power increases, Natural Gas seems to be the energy source of choice. Add in a thousand or so peaker plants to cover solar/wind inconsistencies and natural gas use is trending up.

I guess the holy grail is battery storage and maybe that will be viable in the future. Lots of promise here, not all that much storage capacity in the real world though.

As always, we can perform simple math, using battery cost, capacity and lifespan to come up with a 'real-world' cost per KWH 'out' of the battery. At the moment, it's not very cost effective.

Exactly!

And yes, there's a group of EV proponents (or perhaps a clutch) that are mindful as to the origins of their power, but I'd say that most are not. There's a virtue signalling aspect for sure.

On the battery storage front, one need look only at Hornsdale to see how that doesn't scale cost effectively. You are hundreds of billions of dollars to try and store even just a moderate amount of power and its output is dwarfed by even the smallest nuclear units which don't only produce for the whopping 90 minutes it's capable of discharging for.
 
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On the battery storage front, one need look only at Hornsdale to see how that doesn't scale cost effectively. You are hundreds of billions of dollars to try and store even just a moderate amount of power and its output is dwarfed by even the smallest nuclear units which don't only produce for the whopping 90 minutes it's capable of discharging for.
I have to wonder why we've not implemented micro nukes. It seems they might be a possible solution to the issue. I thought NuScale had a fast ramp up (load following) mini unit in development that was about ready to go.
 
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OVERKILL

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I have to wonder why we've not implemented micro nukes. It seems they might be a possible solution to the issue. I thought NuScale had a fast ramp up (load following) mini unit in development that was about ready to go.
There are quite a few of them in various stages of development. The first step, after the licensing, is the EA, and then after the EA the FOAK builds happen, which will suss out issues not found during the VDR and licensing process.

One of the very small design, the GFP/USNC MMR, sponsored by OPG here in Ontario, is in the EA phase, so they are very close to building the first unit.
 
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Overkill,

Your knowledge and deductions are very impressive. I worked in the Power business for 45 years starting with submarine nuclear power and ending with retirement from the NRC. I was licensed to operate several commercial nuc plants and with the NRC I trained our folks and others from around the world in the safe operation of various nuclear designs. Use to work with the Canadian folks some on training and testing of Operators. Not much I can add to the discussion at this point.

Every country has different scenarios based on their degree of development. America is not going to be able to add much Hydro and will actually probably lose some of that capacity. “Green” energy can get very political so I probably won’t say much about those. If you look at the entire cycle of most green energy it is not so green.

I will say there are some misconceptions about most of the well know accidents like TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima. We actually had some of our folks over at Fukushima for over a year.

Anyway great discussion of a very complex scientific and political problem.
 
Indian Point #3 in New York is supposedly getting shut down this month. This article says everyone will be laid off May 20.

F3819583-ACC4-447B-908B-24F4ED538C70.png
 
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