Planned Somerset nuclear plant on hold ? or not ?

Is nuclear fission going to make a comeback and plug the gap in our energy needs? Will nuclear fusion ever become energetically viable?

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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... ip-hammond

New chancelllor ('raise speed limit to 80mph and dump speed cameras') Hammond digs in for Hinkley.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

"EDF have made the final announcement that Hinkley C is going ahead"

Source is BBC TV evening news.

That sounds clear enough, but of course we have had a lot of previous final announcements !
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Another director resigned rather than sign up to this. I am sure that the UK subsidies will be questioned in the EU - but we won't be in the EU ... I still do not expect this to ever generate power ever.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Indeed, and the "final announcement" made earlier this evening is ALREADY looking rather less certain than was implied a few hours ago.
Our new prime minister requires more time for consideration, and various meetings and press launches planned for Friday are now cancelled or postponed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36903904
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AutomaticEarth
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Post by AutomaticEarth »

So Hinkley C is going to cost 92 per MWh as opposed 45 for current generation? Apparently wind and solar is more expensive but will drop in time the new nuclear plant is ready. No wonder its being reviewed again by the new government.
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Post by adam2 »

I still suspect that it wont be built, but as said previously it seems a bit premature to state this as a certainty.

I did find it interesting that a government spokesperson stated that without it "the lights would go out in the 2020s"

Yet by the most optimistic assumptions no power would be produced until 2030. Seems a bit of a gap!
Even a modest time overrun pushes operation out to the mid 2030s
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woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Maybe they know something they are not telling us, and it won't matter that it is not built. Or is that just another conspiracy theory?
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AutomaticEarth
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Post by AutomaticEarth »

I'm surprised that so much fuss is being made about a plant that will only contribute 7% of the UKs total energy demand. Surely we could meet that with a mixture of gas / solar / wind with a bit of storage?

I like the BBC saying 'a 3rd option could be for us to become more efficient thereby doing away with the requirement for a new Hinkley' :lol:

Isn't that what we're advocating on here?
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Post by adam2 »

AutomaticEarth wrote:I'm surprised that so much fuss is being made about a plant that will only contribute 7% of the UKs total energy demand. Surely we could meet that with a mixture of gas / solar / wind with a bit of storage?

I like the BBC saying 'a 3rd option could be for us to become more efficient thereby doing away with the requirement for a new Hinkley' :lol:

Isn't that what we're advocating on here?
Wind, solar and gas all have significant drawbacks.
Gas is cheap and plentiful at present but may become scarce and costly as supplies deplete, we are already very reliant on gas imports.
Solar saves some gas since every GWH generated from solar saves a corresponding amount of gas. Solar is of no help whatsoever with meeting peak demand since it is dark during the peak hour.
Wind saves considerable gas, but is of very limited use regarding peak demand since the weather might not be windy during the peak.
Storage is a non starter, there is no remotely economical way of storing electricity on a utility scale, with the arguable exception of Dinorwic, which makes use of a uniquely favourable natural formation.

Becoming more efficient would certainly help a bit, but most of the "low hanging fruit" have already been picked.
I doubt that efficiency gains would save 20 to 30% of electricity consumption, which is what we need to offset planned power plant closures.

I suspect that we will muddle through with a mixture of gas, oil, conservation, and maybe a bit more wind, and a few power cuts, and a concerted drive to export manufacturing jobs to countries with a 24/7 electricity supply.
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woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Perhaps it won't matter not having a Hinckley when the gas runs out, as when the gas runs out that will be the end for most people as there will not be fertiliser available to grow the crops they rely on.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

AutomaticEarth wrote:I'm surprised that so much fuss is being made about a plant that will only contribute 7% of the UKs total energy demand. Surely we could meet that with a mixture of gas / solar / wind with a bit of storage?

I like the BBC saying 'a 3rd option could be for us to become more efficient thereby doing away with the requirement for a new Hinkley' :lol:

Isn't that what we're advocating on here?
How much fuss do you suppose there would be if a renewable energy source could be brought on line that supplied 7% of the UK's needs? That is after all the energy that a half million UK citizens/ tax payers consume.
I don't know which way you Brits should go with this but I'm sure that any answer that doesn't keep the lights on for that half million Brits is a non starter.
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Post by woodburner »

There are a lot of lights that could be turned off and save wasting the power. Then again there are lots of electrical gadgets used only for entertainment that could be turned off, but no user is likely to support that.
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Post by adam2 »

This report suggests that the concerns of the PM are primarily about the security implications of the Chinese owning or controlling critical infrastructure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36932027

I am inclined to agree, I do not like the idea that in the event of any disagreement with china that they can shut down UK generating capacity.
I also do not trust china to make a safe nuclear reactor, consider the number of fake or copied parts we could end up with.
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woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

I doubt shutting down generation would be possible by the Chinese as I understand they are funding it rather than running it. There would be a problem during the build (which will take a long time) if they were to withdraw funds.

A caller to Any Answers on Radio 4 said "the Chinese are honourable people....". Maybe there are honourable Chinese, but to think that everyone in the position of power in China is honourable is as naive as thinking the western system of politics is democratic and run by honourable people. An recent example was how honest the recent referundum positions were presented by the opposing sides.
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Post by adam2 »

Yes, the proposed Hinckley C is indeed to be largely financed by the Chinese and not to be Chinese run.
My concerns regarding safety and security refer to the proposed future "all Chinese" nukes.
Hinkley is said to be a bribe/bung/inducement that will precede the "all Chinese" the first of which is to be at Bradwell in Essex.

I have no faith in these being safe, or reliable, or under our control. If we allow china to finance Hinkley it will be very difficult to refuse permission for them to build new nukes as this is said to be "part of the deal"
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