Missing power

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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woodburner
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Missing power

Post by woodburner »

Something has happened with nuclear, there is about 1.5GW missing compared with a few weeks ago.

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/index.php
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

The present output is fairly average, a few weeks ago was unusually good.

Various outages at present, one reactor shut down for repairs to steam turbine overspeed protection, another planned outage extended for boiler tube leaks, and one shut down due to defective boiler feed pump.

One reactor reducing load prior to statutory shutdown for inspection of the core and another running at about one third capacity due to refueling.

Between 6 and 7GW is a fairly typical winter output, much more than that is a most useful bonus but should not be counted on.
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Post by mikepepler »

Mike

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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

UK nuclear output is down to about 6.5GW at present.

Three reactors are shut down on a planned basis for statutory inspections and should return to service before the peak demand season.
Two reactors are operating at significantly reduced load for refuelling, and again should return to full load operation before peak demand season.

Of slightly greater concern is the position at Heysham 1.
One reactor has been operating on 7 boilers out of 8 for a couple of years due to a fault.
I now observe that the other reactor is at significantly reduced load due to a boiler tube leak.
Makes one wonder if boiler leaks are going to be a regularly recurring cause of shutdowns or reduced output.
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RenewableCandy
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Post by RenewableCandy »

It's below 6 GW now.

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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Indeed, we can cope with nuclear output reduced to below 6GW, provided that everything else works OK, with good coal and CCGT availability we should be OK.
But a spate of coal or gas outages during calm weather could be interesting, in windy weather all would be fine due to 6GW or more from wind.
I don't think that we can count on imports from France as they are a bit short.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

I think that something has broken !
A few minutes ago, nuclear output was only just below 6GW, but now it is down to 5.5GW.

That suggests that we lost one reactor earlier today, and another one in the last few minutes.

Although the status of our nuclear reactors may be viewed on line, link a few posts back, this is NOT real time so wont reveal what has broken until tomorrow.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

adam2 wrote:UK nuclear output is down to about 6.5GW at present.

Of slightly greater concern is the position at Heysham 1.
One reactor has been operating on 7 boilers out of 8 for a couple of years due to a fault.
I now observe that the other reactor is at significantly reduced load due to a boiler tube leak.
Makes one wonder if boiler leaks are going to be a regularly recurring cause of shutdowns or reduced output.
Update re above at Heysham 1.
Reactor 1 remains at reduced load on 7 boilers out of 8
Reactor 2 that was at part load due to boiler leaks, was shut down to address the leaks, has been restarted, but is now at significantly reduced load, on 6 boilers out of 8.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

This winter has not been a good winter WRT to UK nuclear power.
For most of the winter output has been around 6 to 6.5 Gw, a significant drop from the 7.5 Gw routinely achieved in previous years.

Due to a mixture of planned outages and breakdowns.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Not doing very well at the moment.
Nuclear output down to below 4GW, the lowest that I recall ever seeing.

I think that something broke or tripped at about 13-30 today. Whilst output figures for each nuclear station are available, these are NOT real time and do not show anything that happened after the last update.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Nuclear output is down to about 3.5 GW, about the lowest that I recall.

One reactor shut down at request of national grid, and another at part load for the same reason.
Several planned outages for repairs and inspections, some of which may be prolonged.
Both reactors at Heysham 1 are out of use. one for refueling and repair of boiler leaks (again) and the other has tripped due to loss of condenser vacuum.
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Mark
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Post by Mark »

Powering Britain:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000lyff

Anybody see this BBC programme last night about Heysham ?
Or was it only available in the NW ?
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

I think that the TV programme was only broadcast in the NW.

Nuclear output now down to only 2.7Gw, unprecedented AFAIK.
should hopefully improve significantly before winter.
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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Right now nuclear is the biggest single source of power in the UK. A smidge over 6GW. Both wind and gas a smidge under. I don't expect that has happened very often.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

Very rare in daytime hours, but fairly regularly achieved overnight.

The large scale use of wind and solar power actually increases the chances of nuclear being the largest source, perhaps counter intuitively, but consider the following illustrative examples.

1) Nuclear=6 CCGT=14 Wind, solar, hydro, imports, and coal 8 in total, but each one less than 6. Nuclear clearly not the largest.

2) Nuclear=6 CCGT=5 wind=5 PV=4 coal, biomass, hydro, and imports 8 in total, but each one less than 6. Nuclear is clearly now the largest, despite actual nuclear production being unaltered at 6, and total demand also being similar.
All figures in GW.
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