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New Nukes for Duke

27 October 2005

Ap10001
Rendering of an AP1000 plant

Duke Power is preparing a combined construction and operating license (COL) application for new nuclear power generation in the US. The application is for two Westinghouse Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) reactors at a site to be named following the conclusion of its current site selection study.

Construction of the last new reactor in the United States was completed in 1996, and there have been no nuclear plants ordered since 1978.

The COL application should be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission within the next 24-30 months. From the first pouring of concrete to the first fuel loading takes about 36 months, according to Westinghouse.

The AP1000 is a 1,117 to 1,154 MWe pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant that is an extension of the older AP600 design. (It is considered a Generation III Advanced Light Water Reactor.)

The NRC granted a Final Design Approval (FDA) to the AP1000 in September 2004. Like the AP600, the AP1000 uses a modular and simplified design with passive safety systems intended to reduce construction costs while enhancing plant safety and operations.

Westinghouse PWR technology is currently in use at the Duke Power-operated McGuire and Catawba nuclear stations.

Ap10002
AP1000 safety systems are simpler than conventional PWR systems.

The AP1000 design uses passive safety systems to enhance the safety of the plant and to satisfy the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) safety criteria. These systems use only natural forces, such as gravity, natural circulation and compressed gas. No pumps, fans, diesels, chillers, or other rotating machinery are used in the passive safety sub-systems.

The passive safety systems include passive safety injection, passive residual heat removal and passive containment cooling. All these passive systems have been designed to meet the NRC single-failure criteria and its recent criteria, including TMI (Three Mile Island) lessons-learned and unresolved/generic safety issues. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) tools have also been used to quantify the safety of the design.

Simplification of plant systems, combined with increased plant operating margins, reduces the actions required by the operator. The AP1000 has 50% fewer valves, 83% less piping, 87% less control cable, 35% fewer pumps and 50% less seismic building volume than a similarly sized conventional plant. These reductions in equipment and bulk quantities lead to major savings in plant costs and construction schedules.

Westinghouse is partnering with The Shaw Group Inc., a global engineering, design, construction and operations firm, on engineering work for this project.

In preparing to meet future electricity demand, Duke Power is also continuing to evaluate potential new, state-of-the-art coal and combined-cycle plants, and is seeking bids from the wholesale power market.

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy,is one of the US’ largest electric utilities, serving more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts.

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October 27, 2005 in Nuclear | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack (0)

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Say NO to nukes!

So this reduced-complexity, cost-reduced PWR is the pinnacle of the type.  Perhaps also the last?  Pebble-bed HTGR's seem to be the coming thing, as they are both safer and more efficient.

Congratulations America on what will hopefully be the deserved resurgence of nuclear power in your country. Here in Australia we suffer from a non-nuclear "knee-jerk" propagated by "environmentalists". Luckily at least the climate change debate has reached a point in our country that we are finally talking about the potential of nuclear power here.

"Nuclear Power: Economics and Climate-Protection Potential"
http://www.rmi.org/images/other/Energy/E05-08_NukePwrEcon.pdf

---

"Amory Lovins documents a dramatic and little-known development: worldwide, efficient use of electricity plus decentralized low- or no-carbon electric generation are already at least twice as big as nuclear power and growing an order of magnitude faster, simply because they cost far less. New nuclear plants not only can't compete with central coal and gas plants, but also can't compete by hopelessly wide margins with these cheaper decentralized alternatives. Nuclear investments would only reduce and retard the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, because they'd save far less carbon per dollar and provide less new electricity per year. These differences, once hypothetical, are now richly confirmed by actual market behavior."

Well Amory Lovins is stupid. Go nukes!

More nukes are needed. This is only the two first of man y new US reactors. Another 250 would be good.

Over at NEI Nuclear Notes, we've been looking harder at Lovins numbers and have found them wanting in many ways.

See the following:

Rocky Mountain's Real World Data Blunders

Revisiting RMI and Amory Lovins

And late yesterday, Constellation announced plans for its own COL based on an AREVA design.

Is the idea of building the new reactor along side an old one could bring down costs? Siting issues were resolved long ago. New turbines and generators don't need to be built as well as other equipment.

Wow distantbody someone from an anti-nuclear think tank claims that nuclear power isn't economically viable. What a surprise. Thanks but I'll leave it to the free market to decide what is economically viable and what is not.

Another problem I had with that report is that it makes the all too common false assumption that wind energy can be utilized anywhere. Wind power advocates often neglect this and the fact that wind is an intermittent energy source and thus requires a backup system.

Given the profits Duke has made in the past, you can rest assured that they analyzed all options before going with nuclear.

"Thanks but I'll leave it to the free market to decide what is economically viable and what is not."

The free market has determined that a nuke plant hasn't been planned, then built, in over 30 years. That's why the Feds stepped in with massive subsidies in the new energy bill to help out the free market.

"Wind power advocates often neglect this and the fact that wind is an intermittent energy source and thus requires a backup system."

Wind's always blowing somewhere, so unless you are going to deconstruct the power grid, then that old argument doesn't hold.

Perhaps you should read those reports in more detail and you wouldn't make such basic mistakes.

"Thanks but I'll leave it to the free market to decide what is economically viable and what is not."

The free market has determined that a nuke plant hasn't been planned, then built, in over 30 years. That's why the Feds stepped in with massive subsidies in the new energy bill to help out the free market.

"Wind power advocates often neglect this and the fact that wind is an intermittent energy source and thus requires a backup system."

Wind's always blowing somewhere, so unless you are going to deconstruct the power grid, then that old argument doesn't hold.

Perhaps you should read those reports in more detail and you wouldn't make such basic mistakes.

"Thanks but I'll leave it to the free market to decide what is economically viable and what is not."

The free market has determined that a nuke plant hasn't been planned, then built, in over 30 years. That's why the Feds stepped in with massive subsidies in the new energy bill to help out the free market.

"Wind power advocates often neglect this and the fact that wind is an intermittent energy source and thus requires a backup system."

Wind's always blowing somewhere, so unless you are going to deconstruct the power grid, then that old argument doesn't hold. Plus one can easily have redundancy with small natural gas and more distributed power generation.

Perhaps you should read those reports in more detail.

I have no idea why that just posted three times.

I prefer solar and wind power to nuclear. But I prefer nuclear to coal, oil or even gas fired plants. If they turn off any of the co2 producing plants or build one less new one the enviroment is better off.

From an economic standpoint most all of the $ that go into a nuke plant stay in the USA, where of course many oil and gas $ leave the usa. And we take a little more russian fuel off the market.

The other beenie froma nuke plant is of course if it ever blows up its instant wildlife park....

Viridian parks, if you want to use the correct definition.

"From an economic standpoint most all of the $ that go into a nuke plant stay in the USA, where of course many oil and gas $ leave the usa."

We produce 84% of the natural gas we consume.

And what we do import basically comes from Canada - and we actually export some gas to Canada, Mexico, and even Japan.

But, the bottom line on imports is that our imports from Canada exceed our net imports. So, we pretty much source almost all our natural gas from ourselves and the Canucks.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0603.html
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0601.html

Ok, if that is true, the main problem with natural gas is global warming. Can we live with that?

Or from another perspective natural gas production will peak soon and taper off as we increase consumption for growth.

Though our current natural gas supply largely comes from domestic sources, it is pretty obvious that there are many large companies that are salivating at the prospects of changing that situation through the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) ships.

With current US gas prices exceeding $15.00 per million BTU and world prices closer to $3.00 per million BTU, it is nearly impossible to order a new LNG tanker - the order books are full and have several year waiting lists.

One of the main reasons for this arbitrage opportunity is that people like Amory Lovins have been shilling for the methane industry for decades, successfully convincing electric utilities and independent power producers to keep opening up their veins by building electric power plants that are addicted to either gas, or with some expensive modification, oil. (BTW - choosing words the words used in a discussion is not the sole prerogative of the anti-nuclear, pro "natural" gas industry.)

They even managed to convince cities and towns to burn natural gas in municipal buses and to plaster the sides of those buses with advertisments like the ones I see every day in Washington, DC. "Powered by clean natural gas" my foot. Try sucking on a tailpipe!

"The free market has determined that a nuke plant hasn't been planned, then built, in over 30 years. That's why the Feds stepped in with massive subsidies in the new energy bill to help out the free market."

What exactly is your point? I said that the free market should decide, and nothing more. Re-read my statement please. The point was that I don't trust openly biased think tanks to decide what is economically viable. It has nothing to with the content of the report or the actual economic potential of nuclear power. It's quite possible that the actual cost of nuclear power is in fact artificially high due to cumbersome government policies. This is why their opinions should be balanced with those of a pro-nuclear group.

"Wind's always blowing somewhere, so unless you are going to deconstruct the power grid, then that old argument doesn't hold."

So is solar not actually an intermittent energy source because the sun is always shining somewhere? Wind is always blowing somewhere but not everywhere. That's a huge problem given the high costs of power lines, not to mention the inefficiency of long range power transmission. You're only wasting time by trying to deny obvious problems with wind power. No one is trying to keep wind out, some of us our simply skeptical. There's good reason as to why utility companies are not switching to wind en masse, why is it so hard for some people to accept this.

Christ J, have you actually read that document I linked to, or is your approach to sit here and just slander Amory Lovins and misrepresent his actual views?

I'm not going to debate this with you if you don't even make the effort to get your facts straight, and also to stop with the ad hominem against RMI and Amory Lovins. Discuss the topic, not the people.

Compared to Oil & Gas, Nuclear Power is cheap, but compared to Coal, its expensive.

Pretty soon the higher cost of Diesel which is used to transport Coal may make it more expensive than Nuclear.

Hey dont forget Katrina, Rita & Wilma the 3 sisters created by our 3 brothers Coal, Oil & Gas.

With Nuclear Power, we can prevent Global Warming.
More and more environmentalists are becoming Pro-Nuclear.

And in countries like China, Russia, Japan, India, Korea, lots of nuclear power is coming up.

Let USA GO NUCLEAR.

"Hey dont forget Katrina, Rita & Wilma the 3 sisters created by our 3 brothers Coal, Oil & Gas."

A wildly unscientific statement. Care to back it up?

I'm really concerned with the ever increasingly political and narrow-minded statements posted. Many seem convinced that their pet policy or technology is going to save the world and they seem to be hostile to anyone who thinks otherwise. As far as I can discern, the larger the variety of energy sources, the better (and yes, there is even a place for petroleum and coal in that list as well).

And as a side note...1.100 MW plant? Wow, how big is this thing?

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