November 20, 2010

Carnival of nuclear energy 28

1. Canadian Energy Issues - Nuclear subsidizes gas and renewables in Ontario: an inquiry into the price of political correctness

Natural gas has been cheap so far this year, and the wind and sun are "free." In spite of this, Ontario gas-fired and wind/solar generators still can't operate without enormous cost recovery payments from Ontario electricity rate-payers. In this post, Steve Aplin demonstrates that the province's three nuclear plants are generating most of the electricity and hence most of the revenue that covers the cost recovery payments to gas and renewables.

2. Idaho Samizdat - Patrick Moore ratchets up the rhetoric

When Patrick Moore first got started with his
Clean & Safe Energy Coalition to promote nuclear energy, his target was a nexus of green groups that opposed it. However, in an interview and in a recent speech to the nuclear industry in Cleveland, Moore came across as an astute analyst of financial and technology issues which are emerging as far much more formidable challenges to the nuclear renaissance

3. ANS Nuclear Cafe submission to the carnival: Dan Yurman interviews Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) Permanent Representative to the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA).

In December 2009, the UAE awarded a $20 billion contract to a consortium of South Korean firms to build four nuclear reactors on a remote desert location along the Persian Gulf. The Ambassador, who has been personally involved in key milestones of the UAE's nuclear energy assessment, discusses the background of the UAE nuclear deal, the use of nuclear for desalinization, why nuclear was chose for the energy path forward, why solar could not provide the necessary base load requirements, key factors in the contract award, and the 1-2-3 agreement with the United States.
The UAE new build is one of the fastest moving nuclear energy programs
on the planet after China. Other countries will be following the UAE’s
progress with interest to take home lessons learned from their

4. Yes Vermont Yankee provides a post by guest blogger Cavan Stone, " Where Does Our Energy Come From" He discusses the DOE Wind Integration Report and the lack of energy storage. After we get 20% of our electricity from intermittent renewables, where does the other 80% come from?

5. Nuclear Green has Solar Photovoltaics are not Competitive with Nuclear Power

An Energy from Thorium member, Cyril R, provided me with a link to a new web page that charts the performance of Germany's installed Photovoltaic capacity. This link provides some measures of how well German PV is performing on a real time and daily basis. For example, it is currently 2:28 PM on November 20, 2010. Germany's 15.17 GWs of installed PV capacity is currently producing 1.8 GWs of electricity, already well past its peak output for today. 1.8 GWs of electrical output, is 12% of installed capacity, and that already represents a substantial drop from the system maximum noon time power output. Another grafh on the same web page indicates that no power was generated before 7:30 AM German time this morning, and power output will be back to zero by 4:15 PM this afternoon. Thus electrical output German PV is anticipated for less than 1/3rd of today

6. Brave new climate looks at an energy scenario up to 2060

Table 2 shows a hypothetical 2060 demand scenario, which uses the forecast values from Trainer (2010) for energy efficiency/conservation, direct electricity, transport electricity (e.g., battery electric vehicles) and liquid fuels (see also this shorter, free-online piece); however, my estimate of the source of liquid fuels is different (see explanation below).

Note that in Table 2 there is a projected overall 3.8-fold increase in world electricity use between 2008 and 2060, compared to an approximate doubling of overall primary energy usage (today we use ~500 EJ from all sources). Both of these figures – for electricity and primary energy growth — are in agreement with the estimates of Starr (1993).

7. This site looks at reported nuclear power generation in 2010 Nuclear power generation for 2009 was 2558 TWH and 2601 TWH in 2008. Currently the nuclear generation is tracking 40-60 TWH ahead of 2009 levels.

8. The Husab mine in Namibia could become the second largest uranium mine in the world in 2014 at 5600 tons per year

9. Nuclear commercial shipping plans are taking shape.

Nuclear options

Cruise liner

A luxury liner has the power demand curve of a town, including peaks at morning and evening mealtimes. Conceivably a 100 MWe nuclear power system could take the baseload role with smaller diesels for peak load and back-up.

Bulk carrier

Transporters moving large cargoes like raw materials on point-to-point routes could run much faster with the extra power and low emissions from a nuclear reactor. A frequent service could be run by fewer vessels, mitigating the extra capital cost.


Existing conventionally powered vessels could attach to a nuclear-powered tug for emissions-free passage across oceans.

What about the ports?

Nuclear powered vessels could be the subject of controversy and this would seem to make a nuclear cruise liner concept difficult due to passenger and port acceptance. However, a point-to-point cargo service would need only agreement from two states and the supertug could remain in international water. Another idea is to create a large nuclear vessel with a conventionally powered detachable section to take cargo to port.

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