Go ahead given for 2 new reactors at Hinkley Point

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Maggot, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    Nigel and agricola like this.
  2. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    And yet those idiots at UKIP - among others - argue that renewables are uneconomic and nuclear the solution.

    Right-wing logic: an oxymoron if ever there was one.
     
    Maggot and shagnasty like this.
  3. ferrelhadley

    ferrelhadley These violent delights have violent ends.

    I really want to be pro nuclear, but I always think the costs are too high and they are not honest about them.
     
    silverfish likes this.
  4. ChrisFilter

    ChrisFilter Like a boss.

    Yeah, this.
     
  5. Tankus

    Tankus living someone else's dream.

    Apparently I live in a nuclear free south Wales , yet I can see them from the bottom of my road (with a telephoto)

    Upwind most of the time ....Bristol would be twin towned with Pripyat ....if anything did happen.........

    Should have gone for the Barrier ....... Real cheap electricity ..once the costs are covered (La Rance)...with the added bonus of being able to walk to Butlins Minehead for our candy-floss now that Barry Island has closed .....
     
  6. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    If there is to be no replacement for the baseload coal plants that have started to be shutdown i.e. no new coal build in the UK clean or otherwise and gas plants are frankly too expensive with no reliable supply then for reliable baseload power supply nuclear is the only option at present.

    The grid needs upgrading drastically to be able to handle the variability of renewable power generation in any case - renewable power is not likely to be baseload power generation until a reliable, commercially viable energy storage solution is available.
     
  7. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie Casting his shadow weaving his spell

    Was that the proposed hydro thing across the Severn estuary?
     
  8. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Tidal ... rather than hydro. Seemed like a good idea to me, tides there are massive. What happenned?

    eta: though it could be the end of the Severn Bore.
     
  9. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie Casting his shadow weaving his spell

    Hopefully the idea was binned.
     
  10. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Why are you agin it Mr.Bishie?
     
  11. Mr.Bishie

    Mr.Bishie Casting his shadow weaving his spell

    Migratory fish would stand no chance when coming up against a huge mincing machine spanning the Severn estuary.
     
    Spymaster likes this.
  12. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Oh, ok ..
     
  13. Firky

    Firky The first of the gang Banned

    It's pretty standard liberal green schtick to go for renewable energy alternatives but the tech isn't really a viable alternative yet, maybe in another 25 / 30 years but for now nuclear is the best option (as much as I'd like to see green renewable energy it's not really a realistic option iyswim)
     
  14. Firky

    Firky The first of the gang Banned

    Word.
     
  15. Maggot

    Maggot The Cake of Liberty

    No it isn't.
     
  16. two sheds

    two sheds Least noticed poster 2007 (nom.)

    The wind blows from the west :cool:
     
  17. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    first figure out how to deal with the waste responsibly.

    then test it to prove it's truly safe and there are no unintended consequences. for a hundred years or so.

    then wonder about building some more
     
    muscovyduck, ChrisD, Mapped and 2 others like this.
  18. pseudonarcissus

    pseudonarcissus fluttering and dancing

    And you thought the Japanese, at least, would be able to do nuclear in a competent manner.
     
    Greebo likes this.
  19. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    So what do you think are the options then?
     
  20. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    They havent agreed that yet, but the expectation is that they will.

    Yes they are well behind. The couple being built in China seem to have been subject to less problems though, lets see if the first one of those goes online by the end of the year as planned.
     
  21. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    severn tidal barrage would generate far more per year than 2 nukes, is highly reliable, and can be used in pump storage mode as back up for high levels of other renewables... and needs the grid connection at Hinkley point in order to avoid having to build an link all the way to the south coast HV network.

    This is terrible news as it makes the Severn Barrage much less likely to happen for another 30 years or so, when they close the nukes down and build the sensible option instead.
     
  22. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    all the renewable technology that is likely to be invented now exists, and most of it could deliver long term electricity at cheaper prices than nuclear if it were directly state funded and owned, rather than needing to be built with private finance using money borrowed at higher interest rates than UK state borrowing, with maybe a 10% profit margin required on top of that.

    We'll have grid parity for solar, wind, tidal, tidal stream etc long before any new nuclear plants are up and running, and nukes actively restrict the eventual maximum level of renewables that can be deployed, as National Grid confirmed in Dec last year.

    Not that I've got a major problem with a couple of nukes, just not where the grid capacity is required for a much more important renewable energy grid connection as is the case at Hinkley Point.
     
    ymu likes this.
  23. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    they'd soon suss it out, just as they do with fish ladders around existing hydro systems etc.
     
    ymu likes this.
  24. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Steady on. Claims about reliability cannot be made until its actually been done, or done somewhere else on a smaller scale. And your claims about generation capacity are potentially misleading as well. Only the largest of the Severn barrage plans has a capacity that far exceeds a couple of nuclear reactors, many of the plans are comparable in capacity to one of these new reactors.
     
  25. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    I only support the larger plan (anything smaller would be a massive waste of the UK's single biggest low carbon energy resource), so I'm misleading nobody.

    and as for reliability... it's got something like 50 turbines, so while the odd one may go down for maintenance occasionally, it'll virtually never entirely shut down, and it's mostly using well proven turbine technology and fairly standard civil engineering, so barring some dredging work periodically, there's really very little that's going to go wrong on it. About the only potential issue is the grid connection, which gets much less problematic if Hinkley ain't there, and even if one sides grid connection does go down, it's very unlikely that both sides will drop at once (as it would need connecting to both the welsh and English sides).

    So yes it will be reliable, and yes it will produce a lot more electricity per year than 2 nukes.

    And I say it will, because at some point it will be built, no question about it, as we'll definitely need that energy source, the question is whether it's built now instead of those nukes or in 30-40 years when those nukes close down.
     
    muscovyduck, ymu and ferrelhadley like this.
  26. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Depends what timescale you are talking about. Despite the hefty capacity loss from closures of coal plant that opted out of the EU legislation and will run out of permitted operating hours in the next couple of years, coal will still be providing more than nuclear for ages. And gas makes up way too much of our capacity for it to disappear from the scene in the next decade or so. The new nuclear stuff isnt going to come online quickly enough to avoid another round of building of gas power stations, not unless something amazingly radical happens on the demand side.

    The nuclear options on the table are not supposed to represent a suitable replacement for all that capacity, and so presenting the not too distant future as involving a mix of nuclear backing up renewables is misleading unless there is a complete disaster on the fossil fuel availability front. Thats always possible, in which case we can see why they want to keep all options open and stick with some nuclear, but its still wrong to paint nuclear as being an alternative at this point.

    Personally as I am not optimistic about the prospects for fossil fuel price & availability somewhere between now and 2050, I do expect that one day we may be looking at getting by on a fraction of our current energy needs. With a mix dominated by a range of renewables, nuclear (if they can make the financials add up) and a few other bits and bobs. I do not rule out coal making a comeback despite the environmental woes, assuming the shit hits the fan with other fossil fuels and we have not totally changed our patterns of consumption.

    At this point we certainly cannot write gas off as 'too expensive', since stuff like fracking is complicating previous assumptions about how quickly we (and the rest of the world) would start to be severely constrained by supply. The whole fracking thing may end up being a very brief 'hope', or it may last long enough to power anotehr generation or two of classic gas power station.

    I do not like nuclear power. But I can see why they arent giving up on it yet. I like renewables, but I dont have very much respect for those who try and tell me with a straight face that we can get it to scale up to levels we have become accustomed to from traditional power sources within a reasonable period of time. It can certainly scale well beyond what we managed with nuclear in the past, but those who want it to be our only source of power have to accept that this is only doable if we utterly change the scale of our consumption, and thus our entire way of life and economic order.
     
  27. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    Perhaps, but thats not good engineering and science if you ask me. The good stuff is not based only on assumption and theory, but on practical experience. Claims about reliability should therefore be moderated until such scemes are actually running, though of course I do not use this as an argument against every trying or we would never find out!

    Given that it will be 10+ years till the new generation of nuclear stations are up and running, it could be 60 years before they start shutting down. I think you will get the barrage well before then or not at all, although Im not convinced the largest scheme is the one that will actually happen.
     
  28. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    The solar subsidy changes a year or so ago have meant that commercial solar installations have ground to a halt. Residential solar has taken off in a big way, even here in Scotland.

    Wave and tidal are rapidly approaching the technology valley of death - where there is not enough funding to get to the next stage, commercial deployment and viewed as too risky for investment - plus there are still issues with power take-off (getting the power to shore) due to a lack of suitable grid connections.

    Onshore wind is up and running but output is tied to wind conditions and has a defined operating envelope that can be restrictive. Offshore wind is likely to be more predictable but is still at the early stages of commercial development with high subsidies and power take-off points are becoming a bottle-neck.

    Gas plants may produce less CO2 than unabated coal but it's still a fair whack going into the atmosphere. The UK has no secure gas supply as the North Sea fields have been depleted and building up to 20 gas plants based on a) the shale gas pipedream becoming reality and b) supply from a foreign power is simply foolish in my opinion. It is not the way towards a secure energy future for the UK.

    It's not just nuclear that restricts the amount of renewable energy that can go into the grid, the grid infrastructure itself is simply incapable of handling more than a certain amount because it was not designed to cope with the highly fluctuating amount of power produced. Base load power is reliable, stable and predictable and that is what the grid was designed to handle. Everyone knows the grid needs a massive overhaul/upgrade but the costs involved are immense and way too much for the utilities to fund without government support.

    The grid has also suffered from decades of poor planning since the privatisation of the power generation industry and we all know who to thank for that.

    At the end of the day, if we want to have reliable power at the touch of a button AND avoid a return to the blackouts of the 1970s, it's nuclear or coal.
     
  29. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    In hindsight Im not surprised they failed. They may be good at certain kinds of tech, but their culture also has problems with deference, corruption, rigid hierarchical structures, poor communication, and a strange relationship with the USA who provided the plant design & some of the technical expertise.
     
  30. elbows

    elbows WoeTimer

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I consider that this is not the choice that is being made at all right now. They are not choosing nuclear instead of gas or instead of coal. Rather the nuclear decision covers a slightly different timescale and we are going to get more gas plant in the meantime or face shortages long before the new nuclear plants are ready.
     

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