Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Sep 15, 2017 3:52 am 
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Earlier this week, the Government announced that Hornsea 2 would be given a strike price of £57.50 for their 1.38GW offshore wind park, for 2022.
(One caveat never mentioned is that Dong is under no obligation to build - if component prices don't fall as they expect, they may not build - though would lose their current investment and some credibility).

This compares to the current strike price of about £100/MWh for Hinkley C, from 2025. Cue lots of articles saying that Hinkley should be scrapped and nuclear is no longer the solution. E.g.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... nd-greener

Of course, the Hornsea 2 price is for intermittent supply, and therefore has a variety of grid integration costs, which its proponents usually forget. Estimates of grid integration costs vary - but is generally about £10/MWh now, when wind penetration is lower, rising to £20 - £50 when penetration will be higher - and there should be less gas sitting around ready to help integrate.

Nevertheless, at this price, it will be very hard for the Government to justify new nuclear strike prices over £70 - £80/MWh. I think that will kill the pair of EPRs planned for Sizewell C. I think it will also kill the three AP1000s proposed for Moreside - given that the proposal is already at risk due to Westinghouse's troubles. Hinkley C already has it's strike price so will be secure.

The next reactors to be approved will be the ABWR - earmarked for Wyfla, and the Hualong One, earmarked for Bradwell. Will they be able to come in at affordable rates?

Rolls Royce are pushing their SMR - which they claim will come in at £60/MWh. However, the SMR program has been going much slower than expected, perhaps because the UK Government has other matters requiring attention. From a MSR perspective - Moltex and Terrestrial are also in the program.

Will Hornsea 2 persuade the Government to de-prioritise new large-PWR, and instead focus more on SMRs? We might get an indication when the ABWR exists the GDA process at the end of this year, and we see what is entering in 2018. Will it be Kepco's APR1400, or a SMR PWR (probably Rolls Royce), or something more daring like PRISM or even a MSR?


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PostPosted: Sep 15, 2017 6:21 am 
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I think it will provide political cover to kiill the programme, despite the fact that Hornsea 2 is not really a particularily good indicator of the cost of offshore wind costs for the overall system for the reasons you have stated.

I expect nuclear will fall out of favour until the carbon savings from increasing renewable share start to plateau once we reach the German situation of needing to curtail wind output to maintain grid stability on wind days.
And realise that we are just building more nad more OCGTs to provide quick response loading.

Either way, I was hoping that the ABWR slow would go to a PWR with a carbon dioxide cycle turbine plant so that we can leverage the efficiency and size advantages of such a plant, but I won't hold my breath.

Iw ill likely be another identikit PWR that has the same problems as all the other approved PWRs.
And I think we are going to regret approving the ABWR and not the ESBWR.


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PostPosted: Sep 16, 2017 12:29 am 
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The wind power enthusiast could get good sense to create, store and use energy as compressed air. This could turn out cheaper than current technology of intermittent production of electric power.


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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Storing as compressed air has adiabatic heating, then the heat leaks away causing losses.


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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2017 2:27 am 
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The interesting question who who steps in Moorside, and will they try and build the AP1000 or a different design. The Chinese builder of AP1000s (SNPTC?) is apparently interested in taking a stake, and they know how to build AP1000s. They could perhaps do it for £70/MWh.

Or, KEPCO come in with their APR1400. That however would need to go through GDA.

There should be a GDA slot available next year when the ABWR exits, and who that goes to will be very interesting. If it's KEPCO, then the UK gets another proven PWR concept. However, Rolls Royce have been upping the PR on their design recently, throwing around figures of £60/MWh. Could they be going for this slot, and will they be ready? That might set a path for SMRs to go through GDA, including at some point a MSR design,...


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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2017 7:01 am 
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If an SMR can actually make £60/MWh on the same financing basis as the EPR, I will eat my hat.

It simply won't happen.

It will likely be another cookie-cutter PWR.


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PostPosted: Sep 23, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 pm
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Location: Iowa, USA
jagdish wrote:
The wind power enthusiast could get good sense to create, store and use energy as compressed air. This could turn out cheaper than current technology of intermittent production of electric power.


I believe that wind power might be best "stored" in desalinated water. People need drinking water, this seems to happen especially along coasts where there is plenty of seawater and wind. Use the wind power to drive pumps and such and tank up the drinking water it produces. If there is elevated land then use the windmills to pump the water uphill. The water pressure produced can be used to produce and transport drinking water and/or produce electricity through turbines.

Using turbines to produce electricity that only needs to be stored in a chemical reaction, heat, or whatever sounds like a Rube Goldberg creation. The windmills produce mechanical power so store that as a mechanical action. Pumping water seems obvious as that's work we want done. Compressed air doesn't have near the demand as water, so it's going to need to be converted to something that people want and that conversion will have losses.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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