2020-07-16 Nuclear Power Plants, Flamanville NPP

From my comment and replies on JHAT

Thank you, Dave, for the balanced and informative view. But I must bring up the “externalities” that almost every nuclear power proponent fails to address.

One of the reasons why the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal, has to end is that the mining, processing and transportation of large amounts of fuels leaves a huge amount of mine waste and pollution with heavy metals. Nuclear fuels including thorium also share this same mining problem. The end product of natural nuclear decay is plumbum, AKA lead. This and other heavy metals contaminate the large amounts of mining waste that is left, typically at the mine site.

As the richer ores are mined and lower grade ores have to be processed the mine waste accumulates faster. The mining becomes less profitable and the companies have more reason the go out of business and walk away from what becomes a superfund toxic waste cleanup site. Then the taxpayers are stuck with the mess.

As for taxpayers here in the US it’s my understanding that they already subsidize the processing of enriched uranium fuel. So the utilities are getting a break on the cost of the fuel. And since it is not a renewable resource, it will only get more expensive as time goes on.

I haven’t brought up the issues of the shorter lifetimes and deaths caused by radiation added to the environment. Not necessarily from the power plants themselves, but from the mining wastes and fuel processing wastes left over. Take the Hanford site, where they joke about the radioactive rabbits that glow in the dark.

You mentioned other negatives and the Big Two are construction cost overruns and decades to bring a new NPP online. Along with the problems I stated, there are too many drawbacks for building new NPPs, in my opinion. Thank you for your informative videos.


From http://css.umich.edu/factsheets/nuclear-energy-factsheet

Lifecycle GHG Emissions Of Nuclear Power

GHG Emissions (g CO2-equivalent / kWh)

25.1 – Extract, enrich and deliver fuel

8.2 – Plant construction

11.6 – Plant operation

9.2 – Spent fuel conditioning and storage

12.0 – Deconstruct plant and reclaim land


@fact not fiction
Obviously you’re failing to tell the true, whole story. The building of a “terrawatt-hour”(sic) of renewables can have a lot of steel and concrete, as can a nuclear power plant. But you *have* to take into account *all* of the resources, which include building the NPP, mining, transporting and processing the fuels for the lifetime of the NPP, and then disposing of the spent fuel, including storing it for milleniums. And then there is the decommissioning of the NPP with disposing of a large amount of low level nuclear waste. And who is paying for what, including the taxpayers. The hidden costs or ‘externalities’ have to be accounted for.

@fact not fiction
You forgot the hidden “externalities”. That 590 meter cube doesn’t account for all of the other processing, such as what was left over at Hanford, Fernald, etc. Just don’t try to obfuscate with numbers that don’t tell the whole story.

Solar and wind have their own drawbacks, but at this time they are more competitive per kWh than nuclear power, and will get even cheaper. The world needs to build a lot of renewables along with hydrogen generation, storage and transmission. There will be a time in the future when hydrogen will be used for much of transportation — land, sea and air.

@fact not fiction
Coal will no longer be used, it is being replaced by natural gas which has half the CO2 emissions. We have to get rid of coal ASAP. The existing coal plants will have to clean up their emissions, but why would they want to spend so much on coal plants when they can get renewable electricity for much less? It doesn’t make economic sense.

@fact not fiction
Try reading some of the “fact not fiction” articles about what’s happening *right now*, not theoretically in the future. You will find that renewables are the cheapest way to go.


@Nathan DuPhene
Money talks. Doesn’t matter if there is more concrete in a wind farm than in a NPP. The NPPs take 12 years to bring online and cost *tens* of *Billions.* The wind farm can start producing power within a year or so and be totally finished in a few years for a *tenth* of the cost of a NPP.

@fact not fiction
Said, “which is going to leave more mining waste behind?”
It doesn’t matter. Right now the wind farms can be built and the cement mines can be filled in, the landscape reforested and it will still be cheaper than the equivalent NPP. Money talks! Utilities balk at building NPPs.

@fact not fiction
You have made some worthy arguments, some that I would dispute. You don’t have to convince me, you’re ‘preaching to the choir.’ I’m for nuclear power, just stating the impediments as I’ve known from reading a lot of docs. What you have to do is convince the utilities who have the money and the necessity to build NPPs. And as the costs of renewables keeps falling, nuclear power is looking less and less attractive to those who make the decisions. They’re the ones that count. I’d love to see the hands of time turned back to the days when the nuclear power mantra was that “the electricity will be too cheap to meter.” But that’s not going to happen. You can call my argument specious, but we have to deal with reality, and the reality is that they are building solar panel plants and putting out panels like cookies from Nabisco. The gigafactory is being enlarged and other battery plants are being built so the “renewable + storage problem” will be solved and nuclear power as base load will not be needed. The Saudis (and other countries) are building a huge solar hydrogen plant that will be supplying green hydrogen for use in the transportation sector, among others. The gas turbine makers are going to build them to run on hydrogen. Since hydrogen can be stored it can be used for power at any time. And there is already a large amount of H2 being made from fossil fuels and they will have to turn it into blue hydrogen by CO2 sequestration. The infrastructure for hydrogen transportation is the existing natural gas infrastructure.

Right now you can go to http://www.caiso.com/TodaysOutlook/Pages/supply.aspx and see the real time electricity use for California, look at the “ducks back” that is made by the large amount of renewables that are being fed into the grid — so much that California ISO has had to export excess power at a loss. The amount of renewables continues to grow and it’s going to be stored one way or the other for use at other peak times.

The renewables are not going to wait around for NPPs to be built. They are going to walk over NPPs like a door mat and wipe their feet as they go. The renewable problems that are so often claimed are being solved and the rest of the world must get on with the changeover before life on this earth goes extinct.

@fact not fiction
Someone said that NPPs don’t use a lot of water. According to this website they use 270 to 670 gallons per MWh. So if the 1000 MW Nuclear plant puts out full power, that’s say, 500 gallons times 1000 or 500,000 gallons. Don’t tell me that NPPs don’t use a lot of water! The 1000 MWe plant generates 3000 MW thermal energy and almost 2000 MW of that heat has to be dissipated somewhere! And the same applies to fossil fuel power plants.

Nuclear fission will become extinct once nuclear fusion becomes commercialized. But there is no need for either since we have up to a kilowatt per square meter of !!free!! thermonuclear energy over the surface of the earth every day.


France’s Flamanville NPP has had horrible delays and cost overruns


<< The change in direction comes amid the controversial construction of the Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor by state-utility EDF which is more than a decade over schedule and is expected to cost €12.4 billion compared to an initial budget of €3.5 billion. It is finally expected to start operation in 2023. >>


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