June 18, 2010

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 6 - the Real World and Arithmetic Confounds Nuclear Skeptics

The Sixth carnival of nuclear energy is up at NEI Nuclear Notes site

This site provided the article which used energy statistics for OECD countries over time which show that solar and wind have been built far slower than nuclear energy. This shows that Mark Jacobson is wrong in his misleading looking at pieces of a renewable energy installation.

Brave New Climate lays out the big picture of the nuclear renaissance.

... in the rapidly developing Asian countries that current real-world costs can be most reliably established. The two leading reactor designs now being built in China are the indigenous CPR-1000 and the Westinghouse AP-1000. Reported capital costs are in the range of $1,296 to $1,790/kW. Korea has focused attention on its APR-1400 design, with domestic overnight costs of $2,333/kW. A recent contract for $20.4 billion has been signed with Korean consortium KEPCO to build four APR-1400 reactors in the United Arab Emirates, at a turnkey cost of $3,643/kW. This price is notable considering that it is offered under near-FOAK (first of a kind) conditions, because these will be the UAE’s first nuclear plants.

Barry Brook of Bravenewclimate recently had a debate with Ian Lowe. Why vs Why: Nuclear Power

Prof Lowe argues (in the Why vs Why book) that my estimates of the economics of nuclear power are “unrealistic” and represent nothing more than “wishful thinking on a grand scale”. He says this is because I assume that a nuclear power station will last for 60 years and deliver power 90 per cent of the time. Let me allay his concerns with some examples from real-world experience.

For the period 2006 to 2008, the 104 reactors operating in the United States reported an energy availability factor of 91.4 per cent. In Korea, Finland and Switzerland, it was 91.9, 93.3 and 92.8 per cent, respectively. Even the Chinese, who are still accumulating experience in optimal operations, reached 86.6 per cent. Furthermore, while the reactors built in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s had a nominal design lifetime of 40 years, more than 60 of them have since been granted licence renewals, extending their operating lives out to 60 years. Others are expected to apply for similar extensions. This is actual performance data, not speculation.

Canadian Energy Issues looks at whether recycling nuclear fuel is a proliferation threat.

Check out the Sixth carnival of nuclear energy for more

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