Sellafield clean up costs reach £67.5 bn

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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raspberry-blower
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Post by raspberry-blower »

Blue Peter wrote:I must admit to being very confused on this. We had plans to build 10 PWRs, and if we had things might have been very different. On the other hand, even building one nuclear reactor seems very difficult at the moment (a Finnish one is well over-due and over-cost). According to Centrica, it's not even worth giving it a go.

This doesn't seem to add up.

Do we have a good figure for the EROEI for nuclear, or do we have two sets of figures which mirrors the above, very high and very low?


Peter.
Sizewell B was over budget and late although that pales into insignificance compared to Olkiluoto or Flamanville. The latter two are EPR - I believe - whereas Sizewell B is a PWR.

One of the major problems confronting nuclear is the fact that many of the experienced staff who knew how to build them have retired. Same mistakes will no doubt be made when they could have possibly been avoided...

WRT EROEI on nuclear this is an interesting article
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

It's clear that it's getting harder to build reactors.

In 12 years, between '76 and '88 we commissioned seven (8.9GW) AGR power stations. Between '71 and '84, the French built 54 reactors.

What's interesting is that during the French build history - to the present, reactors have gotten more and more expensive to build. This paper (http://www.komanoff.net/nuclear_power/C ... actors.pdf) reckons the real cost per kW increased some 60% during the period.

It's interesting how we can't recreate what we achieved 40 years ago - make a decision and throw up a dozen reactors inside a decade... why not? Aren't we meant to be richer, more technically able now than back then? Seems not...
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RenewableCandy
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Post by RenewableCandy »

It's because nowadays we want to build them to be safe!

Meanwhile, total estimated costs of decommissioning move on up into 12 (twelve) figures...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... missioning
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RenewableCandy
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Post by RenewableCandy »

Ireland weighs in!
British nuclear operators face being sued for billions of pounds by the Irish government and Irish victims of any radioactive damage they cause under legal changes to be introduced this year.

Politicians and campaigners in Dublin have long complained about the impact, both historical and potential, of the UK's civil nuclear programme close to its shores, with particular focus on the safety record of Sellafield. The Cumbria site is located less than 100 miles from Ireland's east coast.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 39178.html

Looks like a case of Walking Backwards for Christmas :D
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

One NEEDS to listen to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e61uC-5s9VU
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

And now it has been made clear that the magnox decommissioning programme will be uninsured, the private companies keeping the profits with the public purse liable for the risks.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... d-taxpayer

Another aspect of the externalised costs of nuclear generated electricity that is not accounted for in the price.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

Looks like the title to this thread has become out of date.
The cost of cleaning up Britain's toxic nuclear sites has shot up by £6bn, with the Government and regulators accused this weekend of "incompetence" in their efforts to manage the country's legacy of radioactive waste.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/po ... 16610.html

I was in Whitehaven recently and noticed an enormous rather swanky-looking office block being built in the town centre. I asked a local why such a thing was being built there. "Oh, it's offices for Sellafield" came the reply.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

But even this can't have cost a whole six billion!

Image
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

Nice to see that the cooling ponds for nuclear waste at least provide a home for a seagull, but as an exemplar of the UK's highest technology facility, I'd say that a bit of a tidy-up and lick of paint might not go amiss.

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_r ... omain.html
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

More silly numbers on the Sellafield clean up costs

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31725365
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

Here's a great diagram of DECC spending that really shows how the nuclear clean up dominates spending!

Image

How DECC spends its annual budget
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/05 ... al-budget/
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BritDownUnder
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Post by BritDownUnder »

biffvernon wrote:But even this can't have cost a whole six billion!

Image
Assuming these offices are "passiv" then at least one part of the nuclear decommissioning story is sustainable. Pity about all the rest of it.

I once read that there is a quarter of a tonne of plutonium on the sea bed of the Irish Sea derived from Sellafield discharges.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

So about 1% of government spending goes on the nuclear cleanup. That one hell of a lot for just one item.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

It's pretty mind-boggling, even for someone who has been pointing out the costs of nuclear power for over 40 years. It was the mid 70s when Tony Benn and Walter Marshall were repeating Lewis Strauss's too cheap to meter description from 1954.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

We were still building bombs then, Biff, so needed more nukes to supply the plutonium. If the MOD had been charged the true value to them of the plutonium the electricity might have been too cheap to meter!
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