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Earth Power Technology

Expansion of Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Suspended 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
mdsolar writes in with news that plans to build two new reactors at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant have been put on hold. "On Friday, Luminant, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, suspended its application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two new reactors at the plant. Its partner on the project, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said it was focusing on getting its nuclear reactors in Japan back in operation. The majority of Japan's reactors were shut down because of safety concerns following a 2011 tsunami that caused a radiation leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex 150 miles north of Tokyo. Mitsubishi 'has informed us that they will materially slow the development of their design control document for their new reactor design by several years. In addition, both [Mitsubishi] and Luminant understand the current economic reality of low Texas power prices driven in large part by the boom in natural gas,' read a statement from Luminant."
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Expansion of Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Suspended

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  • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @12:04PM (#45384081)
    A slow economy and depressed energy prices due to shale gas have certainly delayed plans for new nuclear. As we shut down more coal plants and when the economy picks up, we will be faced with the choice of becoming heavily dependant on gas, or building more nuclear. Shale gas prices will rise as our dependency increases. some dream that solar and wind can fill the huge gap but as most if us know it simply can't. Meanwhile, the worldwide expansion of nuclear continues, and appears to be picking up steam.

    Side note: The reactors at Fukushima are GE design, not Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as some readers might conclude from the author's attempt to tie the two together.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by erroneus (253617)

      Gas is quicker responding and more short-term. Nuclear is a long-haul technology. You don't just decide one day "hey, let's make a nuclear reactor" and then have it start up the following year. The time for planning and building reactors is NOW because of the amount of time and planning required to make it happen when you need it in the future.

      As for shale gas, it's a matter of time before increased demand makes the price too high. Additionally, it's still burning stuff which puts more crap in the air.

    • "As we shut down more coal plants and when the economy picks up, we will be faced with the choice of becoming heavily dependant on gas, or building more nuclear."

      Or, more solar and wind plugged into decentralised local grids. See: Germany and Denmark who are doing just that without the benefit of Texas Sun.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dasunt (249686)

        Or, more solar and wind plugged into decentralised local grids. See: Germany and Denmark who are doing just that without the benefit of Texas Sun.

        Lets check on Germany and run the numbers.

        Germany peaked at 23.9 GW [cleantechnica.com]. At the peak, it was providing for 40% of Germany's electrical usage. Impressive.

        But that's the peak. How about overall?

        Wolfram Alpha gives 549.1 billion kwh/year for German's total electricity consumption. It also gives 19.1 billion kwh a year from solar, tide or waves [wolframalpha.com] and 46 billion [wolframalpha.com]

        • Let's check Germany and run the numbers again, this on photovolt alone:

          Year......Capacity......Yield
          2002......296......162
          2003......435......313
          2004......1,105......556
          2005......2,056......1,282
          2006......2,899......2,220
          2007......4,170......3,075
          2008......6,120......4,420
          2009......10,565......6,583
          2010......17,554......11,729
          2011......25,039......19,340
          2012......32,643......28,000

          So, conservatively, it's doubling every 2 years or so. It is presently at about 5% of total electrical production.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Your numbers are way off. Wolfram Alpha doesn't give me any sources, but Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] states that renewables were at 23% back in 2012. As you can see here [wikipedia.org] renewables overtook nuclear a few years ago, and are well on target for the goal of 35% by 2020.

    • Side note: The reactors at Fukushima are GE design, not Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as some readers might conclude from the author's attempt to tie the two together.

      Not only that but the Fuku reactors are an early BWR design that is no way like the current designs from GE, Westinghouse, CE et. al.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Not only that, but most operating US reactors are a far older design with less safety features as well. Do you see where this pointless game of misdirection leads?
        What is really depressing is that even South Africa has reactor technology that far exceeds all of the above. The US nuclear lobby is a dinosaur on welfare that ate it's own children (eg. lobbying against the thorium projects) and Japanese development was cut for economic reasons. Comparing one thing from the 1970s to another from the early 198
    • there is more Solar energy available every 'hour' than the entire planet uses from 'all' sources in an entire 'year'. It's not the availability that's the problem.

      Energy 'storage' is currently not capable of handling the variability of renewable sources at grid scale. But putting up solar panels/windmills such that during the day (or windy) time we only use as much energy as the night time is still the best and most economical answer to energy and environmental requirements.
      • Good luck getting the world to comply with your views on how we should use energy, even if it were feasible and affordable.
        • Since mine is based on facts and yours apparently is based on denying them, I'm not too worried about it.
    • by dj245 (732906)

      Side note: The reactors at Fukushima are GE design, not Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, as some readers might conclude from the author's attempt to tie the two together.

      Mitsubishi's reactor design probably originates from GE or Westinghouse. In the 1970's, the cool thing to do was for an American company to liscense their design to a Japanese company. Many foreign markets tough to break into, so foreign companies would make technology deals and get royalties. GE licensed their steam turbines to Toshiba, Hitachi, and later Doosan (Korea) and Ansaldo (Italy). Westinghouse licensed their steam turbines to Mitsubishi, and Westinghouse steam turbines have strong design tie

      • While you are right, a lot of reactor designs are based on previously built designs, in the case of Comanche Peak, MHI is offering the APWR which is Pressurized Water Reactor technology and not the Boiling Water Reactor technology which comprise the GE line, and of which the Fukushima reactors are an early model. Two completely different designs. The turbines are generally interchangeable, you could use any brand turbine on the APWR provided it is large enough.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      or building more nuclear

      That's a choice you need to make nearly twenty years before it is going to start delivering. If governments don't see a good reason for it then nobody else is going to bother since they don't want to see their money tied up without a return for so long.

      the worldwide expansion of nuclear continues

      It's a bit of a stretch to call business as usual in China and India as a "worldwide expansion". Why are you doing this? What exactly is your motivation to mislead the readers here?

      • 10 years can be a sufficient turnaround time for nuclear. Why are you trying to mislead and say it takes 20? What is your motivation? As for as worldwide expansion, just read the news. Great Britain, Jordan, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, are some of the other countries besides the US very actively pursing nuclear and in contracting phases, in addition to the increased building going on in China. France and Finland are building plants as well. Meanwhile, in South America, Angra is now contracted to be c
        • by dbIII (701233)

          10 years can be a sufficient turnaround time for nuclear.

          That plus a bit more is how long it takes before construction starts. However something that large requires a certain amount of planning which does not happen instantly, as should be obvious, so why are you pretending it is not obvious to you?
          It takes many years to plan and then build a major coal fired power station so why do you think something that has a large number of challenges to overcome, since there are so few or none exactly like it, is goi

          • by dbIII (701233)
            Should be "after construction starts".

            As an example consider the AP1000 which is close to completion and consider the date when China was considering what to get and where to site it. Most recent reactors have taken far longer still than that.
          • I can see your ears are closed. Resorting to insults is a typical tactic for those who do not want to have a true discussion. I'm done here, good day.
          • How dare you paint me as that strawman you disgusting weasel - I have never submitted an article on energy issue to this site let alone anti-nuclear or pro-solar.

            FWIW, I was not referring to you. I don't think you have an agenda or motivation. The point was, don't assign an agenda or motivation to me when you have no evidence and while you seem to accept it from others when its blatantly obvious......

            • The point was, don't assign an agenda or motivation to me

              Well Mr Lying weasel backing away from your strawman attack, here is what I actually wrote - which renders your "assign" bit yet another lie:

              It's a bit of a stretch to call business as usual in China and India as a "worldwide expansion". Why are you doing this? What exactly is your motivation to mislead the readers here?

              In other words a needlessly polite way of asking "why are you lying" instead of stating "Mr D is lying due to his motivation of ..."

              • Go back and read my exact quote

                If you want to inquire about motivation, how about questioning the motivation of a member who submits anti-nuclear articles, pro-solar articles on almost a daily basis.

                If you read it as it is worded, it simply suggests that you might be calling out what you perceive as shills only where you do not agree, and gladly accept what is clearly the behavior of a different member with a clear agenda.

                But you seem to have too much anger and emotion to see things as they really are, so I guess you'll just ignore the fact that I clearly did not call you a shill, just so you can play the victim card. Pathetic.

                As for 1970s technology, well I coul

                • Since I'm replying to obvious fanboy lies why should I keep all emotion out it and merely stand by and watch the manipulation? Your strawman daily submitter is obvious fiction that is yet another part of your manipulation.
                  You also don't seem to know enough about nuclear to understand what I was getting at about the 1970s tech, yet you call me pathetic? Learn about your topic before wasting space here screaming about mythical solar shills.
                  • Fiction? just check the submission page on a regular basis, look and see where 90% of anti nuclear, pro-wind, and solar article submissions come from .....a single member. And if you want to explain the details of your generalized "1970s" comment, please do so, as it sound more like a tired line from some anti-nuke list of catch phrases.

                    I have clearly stated, in my first post on Slashdot, who I am and where I work. I know nuclear and the power industry quite well, thank you. I actually believe solar ma
                    • by dbIII (701233)
                      Give the name then to prove it's not a lie - but then of course it's just a meaningless "why are you picking on me instead of that bigger liar over there". You sicken me with the meaningless noise you've added - civilian nuclear is dead until it can either be flexible enough to scale down or if it's done as large government projects but you just don't seem to have got the news from nearly thirty years ago. Since you are so out of touch why are you bothering?
                    • by dbIII (701233)

                      I know nuclear and the power industry quite well

                      So let's take a look at some of your earlier posts:

                      The largest replacement in a typical nuclear plant is steam generators, once or twice in 40 to 60 years, a couple hundred million dollars each time

                      Funny name for reactors. What do you REALLY do for a living? It's certainly nothing to do with power generation with that tripe about nuclear being the most reliable form of electricity generation. It was far too log and depressing a slog to get to that first po

  • This is an ideal time for Obama to support thorium plants and get them going. We have 2 companies minimum that with .5B each could have designs and perhaps small prototypes done within a relatively short time.
  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @02:47PM (#45385203) Homepage Journal
    Wind power sometimes puts the wholesale price of electricity down to zero in Texas. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/10/20/wholesale-price-of-electricity-drops-to-0-00-in-texas-due-to-wind-energy/ [cleantechnica.com] So natural gas may simply be acting a the medium through which wind discourages nuclear power. This has been the case in the Midwest. http://will.illinois.edu/nfs/RenaissanceinReverse7.18.2013.pdf [illinois.edu] Wind power has cut off the top of the gas generation price curve and forced a reactor to close down there through the subsequent lowering of the wholesale electricity price. Gas can still be expensive if the less efficient turbines are used. Wind lowers demand for those.
    • by gravis777 (123605)

      Wind power in Texas does generate quite a bit of electricity - 12,212 MW to be exact.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Texas [wikipedia.org]

      It looks like the Roscoe Wind Farm is the largest generating 781MW over 100,000 acres of land, several times the size of Manhatten

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Wind_Farm [wikipedia.org]

      Likewise, Comanche Peak generates around 2,100 MW of electricity between its current two reactors.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comanche_Peak_Nuclear_Power_Plant [wikipedia.org]

      The question comes to how much land you want

      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        It will be interesting to see if Texas will start bringing in solar power from New Mexico. It is hard to see nuclear power as much more than a blip with only about 70 years of uranium left. But once big solar gets established, patterns will be set for centuries.
        • by gravis777 (123605)

          The problem with Solar is that you really cannot do anything else with the land, and if you place them on top of buildings, you are lucky if you can generate enough power for the building underneath it. Solar pannels need to be much more effective before its a viable source of energy to replace something like nuclear. The largest array in the world covers 2400 acres and will generate only 397 MW of power. This may sound like its more efficiant than the wind farms I listed, but as wind turbines sit a conside

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Sunday November 10, 2013 @03:26PM (#45385473)

    CNN has started doing these long-form documentaries and the 2 I've seen have been mind altering. I went from being a total nuclear power skeptic to being 99% in favor. The documentary is done from the perspective of environmentalists who did their own research into nuclear power and were really surprised by their findings. The clincher for me was the milliSievert readings from all over the world; including Fukushima and Chernobyl.

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