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« High Grain Prices Threaten Viability of Ethanol | Main | London to Cut Carbon Emissions by 60% Within 20 Years »

February 26, 2007

Comments

Bill Hannahan

Henrik wrote

[[Denmark has some of the highest household electricity prices in the world but the reason is solely due to the fact that Denmark likewise has some of the highest taxes on electricity in the world.]]

In 1979 the government of Denmark initiated a 30% subsidy for the cost of building windmills. In 1999 they guaranteed wind power producers 85% of retail, 9 cents per kWh, for all the power they could make. They imposed a tax on fossil fuel to provide an additional 3.8 cents per kWh to wind producers. Compare that with the cost to make electricity in the U.S. in 1999; hydroelectric 0.7 cents per kWh, coal 2 cents per kWh, natural gas turbine 3.9 cents per kWh, nuclear 1.9 cents per kWh.

Denmark has the, ideal combination of optimum factors for wind.

• A population committed to wind power
• A government committed to wind power
• High energy prices
• Low energy consumption
• Large price guarantees
• Large government subsidies
• A small country with short transmission distances, each person lives within 50 miles of a shoreline
• Surrounding water creates mild winters and summers
• Excellent wind conditions for land and sea based wind farms year-round
• Mature in country wind turbine industry


In 2005 wind accounted for 18.5 % of the 751 watts per person Denmark used, 139 watts of wind power per person.

The US completed about 5 reactors per year from 1970 to 1990 and they have been producing about 300 watts per person since then.

The primitive first generation nuclear power plants ramped up to 300 watts per person in 20 years, vs. Denmark’s 140 watts of wind in 30 years while being paid less than one fourth the rate per kWh that the windmills received, and the nuclear plants were not given price and purchase guarantees.

The nuclear plants do not need energy storage service or voltage and frequency conditioning provided to the windmills free of charge by conventional power plants resulting in the emission of CO2 usually not attributed to the windmills as it should be.

Windmill technology is highly advanced and they already operate near theoretical maximum efficiency. There is not a lot of room for improvement.

Wind power will never be abundant or inexpensive. Nuclear power can be both.

Michael

I think a large part of these arguments come down to your faith in industry's ability to responsibly police any dangerous byproducts that they may generate.

For myself, I have seen too many coverups by the chemical, manufacturing, and power generating industries. The fact is that if there is a conflict between making money and safety, industry is always tempted, and occasionally succumbs to that temptation. So, creating fewer dangerous temptations is worth a lot.

Another aspect that I have not seen mentioned is the fact that the govt exempts the nuke industry from paying the full consequences of nuclear accidents. Somehow that gives me the creeps, and I wonder how much that insurance subsidy is costing taxpayers.

Brian Wang

Problem sticking reactors far away from people. More power losses to transmit over longer distances.

Could stick more reactors beside the existing reactors.

People do not behave or think rationally or consistently in regards to nuclear reactors. Because they will vacation or move from places without nuclear reactors and move to places with nuclear reactors. France, Lithuania, Slovakia, belgium, Ukraine, S korea, Bulgaria or Toronto or california and eastern half of the US. Go from places where they live without nuclear reactors and then travel very close to nuclear reactors in all kinds of countries, provinces and states.

Most people do not live in Regina, Sask. It is very far from nuclear power reactors. But people move from there to Toronto all the time.
http://www.insc.anl.gov/pwrmaps/map/canada.php

The states without nuclear reactors have the fewest people. Again people move from the reactorless states to places with reactors all the time.
http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/map-power-reactors.html

Kit P.

From the link for the wind LCA,

Offshore:
capacity factor = 54.16
4.64 grams of CO2 per kWh

Onshore:
capacity factor of 30.02.
5.23 grams of CO2 per kWh

CO2 emission of 548 grams from European average electricity.

amazingdrx

Want the leak stats on Hanford buddy? Coming up. Threatening the whole columbia River basin.

BTW, how much did that "decommissioning" cost?

Henrik

It is time to sum up and see what we have found out during this debate on nuclear power versus other forms of energy. The cost estimates will chiefly be based on the EPRI journal 2006 summer issue (a goldmine of reliable information that reviews the cost of all of the important energy sources).

1) The levelized cost of nuclear power is 4.7c/ kWh assuming $1700/kW of construction costs.
Note: The $1700/kW is a theoretical ideal. It most notably does not include the cost of people protesting at the construction site and lawyers paid by opponent / competitors of nuclear power litigating against it. They will prolong construction of these plants from minimum 5 years to more than 10 years. The more realistic price is therefore closer to the $6000 / kW it was last time such a plant was build in the US. It would be naive to expect less trouble today especially now that people are not only afraid of their operational safety (I am not), but also afraid of the likely safety issues related to terrorist attacks (that worries me), plus there is a competing resourceful industry (notably wind) that sensibly would do what is legal possible to get rid of its competitors (would you?). Note that the $6000 / kW is an estimate that does not even consider the possible cost of the liability exception that is enjoyed by the nuclear industry. This liability could add hundreds or thousands of USD to this price. It should be also be noted that Germany and Sweden has decided to close all of their nuclear plants long before they expire (that appears to be an overreaction, especially now that we need non-emitting power ASAP).

2) The levelized cost of wind energy is 7.5 c / kWh using the cost of the current fleet of the 11600MW of US wind turbines with an average capacity factor of 29%. The best US onshore locations do 5 c / kWh as a result of a 43% capacity factor. Interesting the newest offshore turbines from Vestas (V90) will do a 54% capacity factor at an average offshore location but offshore construction is costly.
Note: It should be noted that thanks to continued effort by California, Denmark, Germany and Spain the now global wind industry has managed to reduce the cost of wind power from approximately 25 c / kWh in 1986 to 5 c / kWh in 2006 at the best locations. For the more relevant average wind location this compares to a cost reduction from 37,5 c /kWh in 1986 to 7,5 c/ kWh in 2006. This trend is very likely to continue the next two decades so that the cost of wind power drops to c 1,5 / kWh in 2026 for the average wind location. This will be accomplished through further increases in turbine size and through mass production. Previously costs have foremost been cut by increasing turbine size but scales of economics to mass production will be the key to future efficiency gains since mass production has not really taken of in this industry.
These costs of wind power include a 100% insurance against price variably of its fuel since its fuel costs zero (a huge cost for natural gas power). It also includes 100% insurance against the liability of accidents and terrorist attracts (huge cost for nuclear). It also includes a 100% insurance against the liability of global warming since no CO2 is emitted (assuming that wind power is used to produce other wind turbines) (this insurance is a huge cost for gas and coal power). It also includes a 100% insurance from the liability of emissions that damage the environment and health of humans and other species (a huge cost for coal quantified at about 5 – 9 c / kwh).

If you consider the full spectrum of costs associated with the various power sources wind power is obviously very competitive today and it will be outstanding in the coming decade. This is the reason that wind turbine sell like is cream on a hot summer day. Last year was in my opinion a breakthrough year for that industry because sales have spread beyond the pioneering core of California, Denmark, Germany and Spain and now covers practically every developed country on the planet. Previously it was almost impossible for wind producers to plan how much they cold expect to sell the next year because of huge fluctuations in demand depending on whether a subsidy program was extended or not. This is no longer the case and the industry will therefore be more profitable and able to grow faster than seen in the past two decades.

amazingdrx

Great analysis Henrick. What would be the levelized kwh cost given the $6000/kw figure?

Also how much will decommisioning add to the cost per kw? I am thinking that it would go to at least $9000/kw assuming 3 billion for decommisioning a 1200 mw plant.

Extrapolating from the cost per kwh for the $1700/kw figure at 4.7 cents per kwh, that would come to 24.8 cents per kwh at $9000/kw.

A huge hidden cost increasse that taxpayers and electricty consumers would be liable for later on!

The 3 billion decommisioning cost is probably a very low estimate since the current concept of deciommisioning is to store the used fuel rods onsite in casks, bury the buildings onsite, and place the reactor components in leaking landfills.

Properly disposing of all this stuff will involve digging up these plant sites and landfills,transporting the waste, and re-entombing it in a location like Yucca mountian. And Yucca Mountain is fatally flawed!

Nuke-u-ler power a gift that keeps on giving, huge boondoggle contracts to politically connected mega-corrupt nuke-u-ler contractors,and never ending contamination and huge costs to we the taxpayers and ratepayers.

Henrik

I would prefer not to calculate the true c/kWh price because there are too many unknowns. In particular, the $6000 is just a single case that could be misleading to generalize about. It assumes we build a nuclear power plant in a country were there are a lot of opposition to nuclear power plants and where the political system is democratic enough to allow such opposition. That fits USA and Germany but may not fit France and China. If I have to do an extrapolation on the $6000 number the quick and dirty approximation would be this: The 1.66 cents/kwh in 2006 for nuclear cost is most likely the operational cost of nuclear energy. That means kWh capital cost of nuclear power could be estimated as the EPIC total cost of 4,7 c – 1,66 = 3 c /kWh. So if capital cost is increased from $1700 to $6000 it would imply an increase in the kWh capital cost from 3 c to 3*(6000/1700) = 10,6 ckWh. Then add the operational cost and the quick and dirty estimate is (10,6+1,66)= 12,2 c kWh. This is more than enough for the financial planner to nix the project before it gets started. This logic is able to explain why nukes are build in some countries but not in others.

As for decommission cost I think they are part of the EPIC total cost of 4,7 c and I am not sure they are as high as you suggest. After all, you decommission a nuclear plant much like other power plants apart from the reactor core that needs to be cut up and stored as they would do it with used reactor fuel when it no longer can be reprocessed.

Udo Stenzel

amazingdrx: Want the leak stats on Hanford buddy?

There was a nuclear power plant at Hanford? That's news, please tell us more!

decommisioning cost is probably a very low estimate since the current concept of deciommisioning is to store the used fuel rods onsite in casks, bury the buildings onsite, and place the reactor components in leaking landfills

Reactor components are neither highly radioactive nor do they contain long lived isotopes. Dumping them into a landfill is exactly the right thing to do, it is exactly what is done with more radioactive parts from decommissioning oil and gas wells.

The only highly active and dangerous parts are the fuel itself. Nuclear utilities are already forced to pay the government for handling that. Solutions are known, your illiterate politicians just don't understand them.

amazingdrx

Landfills are good enough? No need for waste facilities like Yucca Mountain. That's good news!

Hanford is one of those landfills, and it's leaking into the Columbia River!


Your politicians are retiring nuclear power. Guess they don't buy into your sunny nuclear scenario either.

Must be a heart breaker for you. Hehey.

MCrab

Hanford, IIRC, was a military site involved in weapons grade plutonium and tritium production during the cold war.

Industrial processes were dirty in the early days of nuclear power? Yup, especially those done in a hurry for weapons manufacture.

What you have to explain, doctor, is why any of this applies to modern civilian nuclear power.

amazingdrx
After much preparation the Trojan reactor vessel was transported from the Trojan plant's location near Rainier, Oregon to its final disposal site at the US Ecology low level radioactive waste facility on the Hanford site near Richland, Washington.

From buddy's post.

Hanford is now being used as a repository for civilian reactor and fuel processing waste. This artificially lowers decomissioning ciosts, since that area will eventually need to be dug up and disposed of properly.

A huge cost plus, double plus contract for bechtel or some other contractor. They will subcontract to shell companies.

Huge waste, fraud, and abuse to the taxpayer's trust.

Engineer-Poet

A little checking show how you mislead:

  1. Trojan was decommissioned for about $430 million (1997 dollars).  That's downright cheap.
  2. Hanford's contamination problems have nothing to do with commercial nuclear power, especially not commercial reactor parts.  Putting them together is like blaming an ER patient with a broken arm for the drug-resistant staph problems in the ICU.
You're amazing, all right.  Amazingly brazen in your falsehoods.

amazingdrx

The Trojan waste is at Hanford, becoming part of the cleanup there. Will all the closed plants be put into leaking landfills?

Still didn't read your link?

And evidently decomissioning does not include proper safe disposal. The dollar figure is an artificially low one. Nukes ought to be designed to recycle and render waste harmless.

Ender

Henrick - great post - I wish I could have written that - perfect.

Minneh

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Udo Stenzel

amazingdrx: Landfills are good enough? No need for waste facilities like Yucca Mountain.

So apparently there's no difference between a reactor vessel and its contents, no difference between an abandoned military plutonium production site and a landfill, no difference between bomb-making and electricity-making, and facts such as that radioactive waste from gas waste is routinely buried in landfills or even recycled into steel simply pass you by.

"Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is already made up!"

I will refrain from calling you an idiot, but only because that would be an insult to real idiots.

amazingdrx

Hmm Udo that's two insults today. I would complain about it, but you are such a great spokes person against nuclear power.

Your irrational exuberance makes people suspicious. Do people who work in and run the nuclear power industry believe that unlined landfills are suitable for decomissioned nuclear reactors too?

Yes they do. Check the South carolina site link if you doubt it.

http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2007/02/recordlow_produ.html#comment-61665344

"State records show Energy Solutions, under the name Chem-Nuclear, has hired 10 lobbyists, including former governor’s office aides Warren Tompkins and Will McCain and former state Rep. Mark Kelley of Myrtle Beach."

"In the past six months, Energy Solutions also bought television ads and hired Tim Dangerfield, a former top-ranking S.C. Commerce Department official."

MCrab

By highlighting the irrationality of some nuclear critics with his spittle-flecked denunciations, drx does great service to the cause of furthering the nuclear renaissance. Please don't dilute this with insults that allow him to claim the moral high ground.

Kit P.

McCrab is right. Good performance at nuke plants does not lessen improvements in the wind and solar industries and vice versa. All energy sources have pros and cons. Reducing the cons is a win for everyone.

The current disposal practices for low level radioactive waste include using properly designed landfills at DOE sites that were previously contaminated during cold war. I am not aware of any that are leaking. Furthermore, no one has been harmed by spent fuel from US commercial reactors and there is proven technology to recycle the fuel.

One point that EP did not make is that decommissioning Trojan was an economic and environmental mistake. Hindsight is wonderful.

Kit

GreyFlcn

However there is no proven technology to recycle the recycled fuel.

i.e. There has never been commercial recycling of MOX fuel.

_

And I'd hardly call it recycling.

All you're doing is saving 2% of the volume, in trade for making the low level waste 3x more radioactive.
So radioactive that it cannot be stored underground.

Hardly a fair tradeoff.

_

As for proper alternatives.

I'd look into:
1) Direct Carbon Fuel Cells
----Runs at 70-80% effeciency off of nearly any carbon energy source including Biomass. Requires no water, and intial claims of capital-per-KW peg it to be competative with all conventional sources of electricity. (Roughly $1000/KW)

2) Algae Biomass
----It can grow faster than any plant on earth, and doesn't need freshwater or farmland to do it.
The perfect source of renewable baseload fuel.

3) Redox Flow Batteries
----Basically a fuel cell which instead of air/hydrogen, uses 2 resivoirs of specialized electrolyte liquids.
Offers amazing abilities in storage capacity, reaction speed, and cycle life.

4) Ocean Current Energy
----More of a Europe/East coast thing.
However there's a hell of a lot of energy in ocean currents. Which runs 24/7.

5) Better batteries. I don't care if they are lithium polymer, or ultracapacitors. We need better batteries to mainstream renewables.
Technically we already have these batteries, but they are really expensive ;D

6) Better solar. Once they combine thinfilm solar panels with "quantum dots". You'll have cheap, easily produced, high effeciency solar panels. Nothing will be able to compete for inexpensive daytime power after this happens.

_


Even if Uranium based Nuclear is tolerable.
Plutonium based Nuclear is not.
(Fast Breeders are an expensive pipedream, and vast increases in plutonium waste isn't tolerable)

As a long term and short term investment, it makes no sence when compared to the alternatives.

That can be built cheaper, faster, and offer new innovation which promotes economic growth.

_

Put it this way, the money spent just on additional drycask storage for nuclear material is equivalent to the entire solar R&D budget.

The proposed budget for merely investigating the feasibility of fast breeders is twice that.

GreyFlcn

Guess my numbers for the solar subsidy were overly optimistic

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=47337
_

Only $1.2 billion for ALL renewables/effeciency programs combined.

With only $0.148 billion for ALL solar operations.

_

The cumulative $1.4 billion subsidy proposed for just two aspects of the nuclear waste storage still holds.

http://www.fissilematerials.org/ipfm/site_down/ipfmresearchreport03.pdf

Brian

>never been commercial recycling of fuel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing#List_of_nuclear_reprocessing_sites

Fuel type Reprocessing site Reprocessing
capacity
Light Water Reactor Fuel COGEMA La Hague site, France 1700 tonnes/year
Thorp nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Sellafield, United Kingdom 900 tonnes/year
Rokkasho nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, Japan 800 tonnes/year
Mayak, Russia 400 tonnes/year
Other Nuclear Fuels B205 at Sellafield, United Kingdom 1500 tonnes/year
Kalpakkam Atomic reprocessing plant, India 275 tonnes/year

See the details.
http://www.fepc.or.jp/english/nuclear/cycle/disposal.html
95% of the waste gets to reusable form.

Advanced reactors
http://www.uic.com.au/nip16.htm

there is high burn reactors and there are different kinds of breeders
http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27

from that discussion list on nuclear reator design.

There are several different flavors to "breeding"--

There is the "near-breeder"--a reactor with a conversion ratio rather close to unity.

There is the "breakeven-breeder"--a reactor with a conversion ratio of unity or slightly greater.

And there is the "doubler"--a reactor that not only breeds enough fuel for itself, but sufficient to start other reactors in a certain timeframe.

For most of the time that the US was working on a "breeder", they were working on a "doubler", and only plutonium fuel in a fast spectrum could (theoretically) yield the kind of breeding ratios they desired--1.3 and greater.

The fluoride reactor, even going with fantastic processing, could probably only achieve a breeding ratio of 1.07. Could it double? Well, yes, if you waited long enough, but it wasn't happening quickly.

Well a funny thing happened on the way to the doubler--they found out that REAL plutonium breeders needed a softer neutron spectrum in order to be controlled, and when you softened the spectrum (through a little moderator) the breeding ratio plummeted. That is one of the many reasons that you never hear old LMFBR guys pushing plutonium breeding today--they talk about burning now.

But back to the fluoride reactor--is it a "doubler?" No, I wouldn't say so, but I think it is very practical to make it a "breakeven breeder" rather than just a high conversion ratio reactor. The big advantage to being a true "breakeven breeder" is that then it becomes truly a thorium "burner" rather than a thorium "smoulderer".

If the reactor could achieve the goal of being a thorium burner the main advantage would be that you would not need to ship any fissile material to the reactor. It gets its initial inventory, you burn the inventory and generate new fissile continuously. Enough to continue but not enough to export. That way the only thing that goes to the plant is new fertile material (thorium) and the only thing that leaves is fission products.

Brian

REgistration required to see this feature on the French reprocessing system
http://spectrum.ieee.org/feb07/4891

They get a 10 fold reduction in mass. 4-5 fold reduction in volume. They are working towards the ideal 100 fold reduction.

===
Nuclear power delivers 364GW of power
Solar is at 4GW.
So subsidies and R&D compared on a percentage basis ?

GreyFlcn

Ah I see,
So basically they are able to reuse the excess U238 after vitrification.

Guess you got that.

_

But then again,
As for that 10 fold decrease in mass, thats only a 5x decrease in volume.

With the added bonus, the concentrated material is so radioactive that it can't be stored underground for over 100 years.

You also seem to be under the false assumption that fast breeder reactors are a viable solution.
If thats your oppinion, we might as well hold out for Fusion reactors.

GreyFlcn

But atleast I now understand where that:
"Yucca mountain has 9x the needed storage"
comes from.

Thats just taking the original 2x legistlated volume,
and applying that 4.5x volume reduction via vitrification.

Even if I disagree with it.
Least I now understand the motivation behind this recent nuclear push.

JimHopf

All plant security, waste management and plant decommissioning costs are fully paid for by the plant operator, and are thus already included in the price of power. Even with all this, nuclear's operating costs are the lowest of all major sources (save hydro), at under 2 cents/kW-hr. Waste management/disposal costs and plant decommissioning costs add 0.1 cents and ~0.25 cents to the cost of power, respectively. None of these costs are subsidies, as they are fully paid for. If only fossil fuels did the same.

Taking the total decommissioning cost and simply adding it to the capital cost is completely flawed and disingenuous. As any financial/economic expert will tell you, an up-front cost and a cost that you will not face for 60 years are entirely different things, given the powerful effect of long term interest appreciation. One only has to set aside a small per kW/hr amount in order to build up the funds necessary to decommission the plant.

Suffice it to say that most of the economic "analyses" and nuclear cost/subsidy estimates I've heard above are patently absurd. An unsubsidized cost of ~5.0-5.5 cents/kW hour is the upper bound on what new nuclear will cost. This will be cheaper than gas, and about equal to wind. Of course, its delivering steady reliable power at the roughly same cost as random, intermittent power from wind. Wind can, and should play a significant role, but it will come down to coal or nuclear for most of the supply, and nuclear is a vastly better environmental choice.

The way to sort through all this economic BS is to simply require that pollution, CO2 emissions, and/or foreign gas/oil imports be reduced, and then just let the market decide how to achieve those results. In general, it is nuclear supporters that advocate such a free and fair competition, whereas its the renewable (only) people who try to avoid this competition, and only support laws/policies that explicitly require renewables to be used as opposed to anything else. What does this tell you? If renewables are so economical, why do we need such laws requiring their use?

If any of the stuff said above were even remotely true, we wouldn't have to worry about new nukes being built, as all the utilities would be rushing to wind/renewables for all their future needs. Ain't happening for some reason. Instead, a lot of them are looking at nuclear. It's possible that the first few nukes may be as high as ~$2500/kW (vs. ~$1700) if things go badly. But figures like $6000 are simply outrageous. Follow on plants should be ~$1500.

GreyFlcn

And yet I doubt the $750M per year from the 0.1kWh actually covers the real costs.

Since they are spending about $500M per year just on dry cask storage.

GreyFlcn

If Nuclear is so economical, why does it need roughly the same ammount of yearly subsidies as all Renewables-and-Effeciency programs combined?

As is, Wind can already outcompete nuclear in raw cost. And it gets just a shoestring budget in comparison.

If any single renewable program had the kind of yearly funding as nuclear, we would have to pay people to take the energy off our hands.

_

As for why renewables aren't as highly adopted by the market.

Thats because theres no cost for carbon pollution.

Attach a reasonable dollar value to carbon, and renewables will just make the most business sense.

_

As is, there are quite a few renewable sources which are finally reaching critical mass in the market.

Wind has been doing swimmingly with the help of load-balancing flow batteries.

Thin-film solar panels will debut in 2008 with roughly 10x less capital and material costs.

And I'm definantly keeping my eye on Direct Carbon Fuel Cells, and Algae BioReactors.
Combined those could offer cheap effective renewable baseload/peaking power.

Ocean Current Energy, and Geothermal offer some vast potential, but they've had their subsidies removed completely by the US government. So we'll have to see what gets done elsewhere.
Guess they were too much of a threat to the nuclear lobby.

Lastly, Electric Effeciency programs have never been better, and they cut costs for everyone involved.

Kit P.

GreyFlcn, you may want to consider a different approach. Clearly, reprocessing nuclear fuel meets the same criteria of recycling such as for aluminum cans. It reduces the amount of mining for raw material, processing energy use, and reduction of waste. There will be the same amount fission products in the repository at Yucca Mountain just less long lived U235 and Pu239.

As far as your alternatives, that is a good debating tactic. However, I happen to like alternatives. It is good to know that we have many choices.

GreyFlcn

Ah yes, and while we're at it.

Remove the Price Anderson Act
Or raise the damage limit up to the full cost of a major accident as determined by the NRC. $560 Billion

Then lets see how fast the market jumps for nuclear then. :P

_

And if you're arguing low operating costs.

Any renewable energy source can trounce nuclear in operating costs.

So thats a false arguement.

Otherwise, I'll be happy to buy some solar panels on your dime, and pay you back for only the operating costs.

Kit P.

GreyFlcn, of course you know that the 103 operating nuke plants are not subsidized and pay lots of taxes. And of course you know that windmills get a $18/MWhr PTC. Construction of windmills will stop the day PTC are not renewed.

The PTC is good policy because encourages investment generation that reduces the demand for natural gas. It just makes sense to apply the PTC to the first six new nukes.

GreyFlcn

GreyFlcn, of course you know that the 103 operating nuke plants are not subsidized.
I do know they aren't getting an explicit per kWh subsidy.

So you are correct if you are refering that the price per kWh would be higher for Wind without that.

But those existing nuclear facilities certainly are subsidized.

GreyFlcn

In particular,

Wind obviously has lower capital and operating expenses over nuclear.

The difference is that nuclear is benefited by far more benefits in long-term tax and financing. Which gives it a strong advantage in raising capital.

For the same financing benefit a much much lower PTC or other finance mechanism would be needed if they would approve it over a longer period than just 1 at a time.

JimHopf

Even if you count the entire nuclear reasearch budget (of 800 million) as a direct subsidy (which is not valid), it only works out to 0.1 cents/kW-hr. The Price Anderson "subsidy" corresponds to ~0.04-0.4 cents/kW-hr at most, even under very conservative analyses (see my recent post on Gristmill for details). None of these so-called subsidies are very significant, if they exist at all, and would not change the competativeness of nuclear very much. They are also tiny (a few percent of) fossil fuels' unpaid external costs.

I don't believe that wind has lower capical costs than nuclear. Surely, you're multiplying the dollars per nameplate capacity capital cost by 3-4 to account for the ~25-33% capacity factor, right? In any event, with wind it's not the cost that is the issue, it's the fact that intermittentcy will limit its overall contribution to ~15-20% of annual generation, for the foreseeable future. What we're discussing here is how to generate the other 80%. Since it costs way too much (now) and will soon be mostly imported from the Middle East, gas is out as a contender for baseload power generation.

I have a feeling we're not going to make much progress in these arguments. So, as I said above, what we need to do is tax or place a limit on CO2 emissions, air pollution, and foreign energy imports, and then remove all subsidies. Then let the market decide and see what happens. I'm willing to engage in such a contest and abide by the results. Are you (i.e., renewables only advocates)?

BTW, I don't believe that wind has lower capical costs than nuclear. Surely, you're multiplying the dollars per nameplate capacity capital cost by 3-4 to account for the ~25-33% capacity factor, right? In any event, with wind it's not the cost that is the issue, it's the fact that intermittentcy will limit its overall contribution to ~15-20% of annual generation, for the foreseeable future.

What we're discussing here is how to generate the other 80%. Since it costs way too much (now) and will soon be mostly imported from the Middle East, gas is out as a contender for baseload power generation. Thus, it's basically between nuclear and coal, and nuclear is clearly the superior environmental choice. Under any system where CO2 emissions are limited, nuclear will win handily over coal, with no need for subsidies. Renewables will play a signifcant role, but nuclear will grow substantially as well.

Udo Stenzel

amazingdrx: Do people who work in and run the nuclear power industry believe that unlined landfills are suitable for decomissioned nuclear reactors too?

Of course they do. Dumping mildly radioactive steel into a landfill is no problem, the gas and oil industry is doing it all the time, and I don't hear you complaining (as long as the gas is burned in a SOFC, *lol*).

Care to explain what's your problem with activated steel in a landfill?

Udo Stenzel

GreyFlcn: Fast Breeders are an expensive pipedream, and vast increases in plutonium waste isn't tolerable

For a pipe dream, some of them (Phenix, EBR-II, BN-350, BN-600, the BREST series) ran impressively well, some still do. But more importantly, you seem to believe that the waste from breeders is inherently rich in plutonium. Not so! Thermal reactors always produce net plutonium, but fast breeders are capable of completely consuming it. They also don't need PUREX reprocessing, of which you also seem to have a very skewed image.

If Nuclear is so economical, why does it need roughly the same ammount of yearly subsidies as all Renewables-and-Effeciency programs combined?

Nuclear receives what?! Not a single Euro here in Germany, and it is still much cheaper that the wind tinkertoys. Hardly ever did, by the way. The R&D investment in nuclear power is roughly comparable to that in so called renewables, but produced two orders of magnitude more electricity. (In reality by far most of the subsidies go into dirty coal, which should tell you a bit about the intelligence of the politicians who decided on the Atomausstieg.)

Wind obviously has lower capital and operating expenses over nuclear.

No. Capital investment is at least three times higher, and that ignores the investments for a stronger electric grid, backup power and/or storage. Operating expenses? Have no numbers, but wouldn't you think maintaining 6.000 large turbines takes a few more people than maintaining a single nuclear reactor? (Oh, and in Germany, the number is closer to 8.000, but never mind the real world, we're being visionaries here, aren't we?)

amazingdrx

"Of course they do."

And that is what the public needs to know. In order to get the necessary political will to stop nuclear power. Thanks.

Please keep repeating this.

oz

I want infomation on the various cost of producing electrical energy with various means such as: Hydro, Gas, Steam, Nuclear, Wind, Solar et.c

Calamity

Here's an interesting study regarding NP. Several parts, in PDF

Quite radical.
Any thoughts on this?

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Payday Loan Advocate

Back in 2006, both Presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, gave their support to the bill that took away a select group’s access to no fax payday loans. The bill, which went into effect in October 2007, capped interest rates that payday loan stores could charge military personnel at 36 percent. This action was based off the increasing number of American soldiers in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, National Guard, and other branches, who had loans taken out under their names without their knowledge, which sometimes led to becoming victims to identity theft. Other times, their spouses take out loans under their names without their consent. Despite the well-beings of the greater number of American citizens who are occasionally in need of financial help, they passed this bill in hopes to prevent further financial mishaps based on this reasoning. Now, Barack Obama has made another declaration to broaden this bill to affect every single one of us. With our financial freedom at stake, think about this before casting your vote.
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Payday Loan Advocate

Ted Strickland, the Governor of Ohio, is in the process of trying to convince people in his state to vote in favor of House Bill 545. Enacted unethically, without the voice of the people earlier this year, support of the bill would put a cap on the annual interest rates that no fax payday loan companies can charge to 36 percent. This would mean that for every $100 that a lender issues to a customer, they can only make a measly dollar and change. Considering that no business can survive by making just over a dollar per transaction, House Bill 545 would drive this entire industry out of the state. What’s worse, is that democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama now is trying to do Strickland one better, as per his campaign promises. Should he win the White House, Obama has gone on record stating that he wishes to impose Strickland’s interest rate cap nationally. What this will definitely mean is that people will be much more hard-pressed to make ends meet in tough times. Therefore, if their job pays them a lot less than they’re used to, or life throws them one of its little surprises, hitting rock bottom is almost inevitable. Such measures illustrate the importance of voting and having your voice heard.
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Payday LOan Advocate

In the classic novel, Brave New World, author Aldous Huxley issues a “warning” of what would happen if the government took complete control of our daily lives. First published in 1932, Huxley wrote the piece in speculation of how his hometown of London may look in the year 2540, pending the continuation of programs to end war, conflict, suffering, and antagonistic (aka: “free”) thought. In other words, it is what the world would look like if nobody could utilize their voice, or live how people today want to, free of the iron fist of the various levels of government. Many people criticized Huxley for this, his fifth and most well-known novel, upon its release and still do to this day. Controversy or not, several seeds have been planted in America, which have made for some frightening similarities to this classic piece of literature. Yes, the socialist and communist movements have been around for several generations in America, though it hasn’t taken such prevalence until this one. This is thanks, in no small part, to politicians who are trying to put so many things under the exclusive control of the government. In parts of Los Angeles, for example, crooked elected officials have passed restrictions on where fast food restaurants can set up new shops. Yes, that’s correct; the “man” is telling you that you can’t go get a hamburger in South Los Angeles, and you’re going to like it. But, what are worse are state and national politicians, who are trying to take away your access to fast and easy payday loans. This is because the politicians are just trying to muster up enough votes for office, so that they can further their own self-interests. Surely, action is needed to fight the government’s ever-tightening stranglehold on all of us. Post Courtesy of Personal Money StoreProfessional Blogging TeamFeed Back: 1-866-641-3406Home: http://personalmoneystore.com/NoFaxPaydayLoans.htmlBlog: http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/

Payday Loan Advocate

On Wednesday, October 14, 2008, the third and final U.S. Presidential Debate took place in Hempstead, New York. According to an average of national polls collected by CNN, Senator Barack Obama went into the debate as the majority’s favorite with an eight-point lead. Sen. John McCain of Arizona attempted to shred the young Illinois Senator’s policies, judgment and character. When Sen. Obama responded with a more critical stance regarding the economic policies of the past eight years, McCain was quick to point out that he was “not President Bush” and intends to enact an “across the board spending freeze,” take a hatchet to unnecessary programs and use a scalpel on the remaining once the dust settled. On the other hand, Obama offered a more conservative sound to the American people, stating he would “go through the federal budget page by page, line by line” in order to close programs that aren’t working as they should. Both presidential candidates proclaim to bring a better change to a broken America and a solution to our economy. However, would they leave or take consumers’ ability to access payday loans where and when it’s necessary? The answer is still uncovered. Although we believe to be living in “the land of the free,” interest groups, such as banks and credit unions, have a different opinion on our freedom to choose. Post Courtesy of Personal Money StoreProfessional Blogging TeamFeed Back: 1-866-641-3406Home: http://personalmoneystore.com/NoFaxPaydayLoans.htmlBlog: http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/

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It takes a different view of the world to build a plant that won't start paying for itself for ten years.

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