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Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-day dept.
mdsolar writes with news about further delays to Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor. "Areva-Siemens, the consortium building Finland's biggest nuclear reactor, said on Monday the start date of the much delayed project will be pushed back to late 2018 — almost a decade later than originally planned. Areva-Siemens blamed disagreements with its client Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) over the plant's automation system, the latest blow for a project that has been hit by repeated delays, soaring costs and disputes. "The delays are because the planning of the plant has taken needlessly long," Jouni Silvennoinen, TVO's project head, told Reuters on Monday. "We haven't examined the supplier's detailed schedules yet, but our preliminary view is that we could do better (than 2018)."
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Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again

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  • Oh dear (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @02:19AM (#47804657)

    It'll never be finnished.


    • *looks up at you*

      Everything that has a beginning, has an end.

      *Looks back down*
    • What he doesn't report is how the Chinese are manufacturing their AP1000s on schedule. The problems on Finland and France with EPR have been innumerable because of excessive bureaucracy and people who don't know how to manufacture nuclear reactors anymore getting the job. Not to mention continuous funding delays.

      • China's state-owned reactor builder said the start-up of the country's first advanced nuclear project based on designs by U.S.-based Westinghouse has been delayed further until at least end of 2015 due to tougher safety checks. In an interview to official news agency Xinhua on Thursday, Guo Hongbo, a spokesman at China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC), blamed the delayed start of the "third-generation" AP1000 reactor on stringent safety inspections after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in
  • Unless it is a fast breeder or similar that can "burn" plutonium, by the time they get around to getting the fuel, there won't be much uranium left on sale, or suppliers willing to sell it.

    • Re:Indeed... (Score:4, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @02:31AM (#47804699)
      While civilian nuclear has been in decline over the past few decades there's not likely to be any shortage of suppliers of uranium. In one large mine for example, Roxby Downs, it's really just a side product of copper, silver and gold which would be mined anyway if there wasn't uranium in that ore.
      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        The number of reactors peaked in 2002 http://www.worldnuclearreport.... [worldnuclearreport.org] but the power produced peaked in 2006 http://www.worldnuclearreport.... [worldnuclearreport.org] so a few decades may be too long to count for a decline. Market share has declined for a while now, but that does not influence the rate of uranium consumption.
      • by nojayuk (567177)

        The Olympic Dam copper, uranium and gold mine in south Australia is installing an experimental acid leach facility to process their spoil to extract residual uranium and copper.

        "Olympic Dam currently produces close to 4000 tU3O8 per year and around 180,000 tonnes of copper. The planned [acid leach] expansion could lift annual uranium production to around 19,000 tonnes U3O8 and boost annual copper production by up to 515,000 tonnes." (From World Nuclear News)

        The uranium market spot price has been depressed f

    • Re:Indeed... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:15AM (#47804803)

      Unless it is a fast breeder or similar that can "burn" plutonium, by the time they get around to getting the fuel, there won't be much uranium left on sale, or suppliers willing to sell it.

      There is a glut of uranium on the market, with prices for yellowcake falling by more than 50% since Fukushima.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        Yes. A glut of unranium putting uranium producers out of business, closing mines, etc. The glut today may well lead to a shortage a few years out from now.

        • Re:Indeed... (Score:5, Informative)

          by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @04:44AM (#47805049)

          Yes. A glut of unranium putting uranium producers out of business, closing mines, etc. The glut today may well lead to a shortage a few years out from now.

          No, because as soon as prices recover, the mines will reopen. There is enough uranium stockpiled to cover the transition. If prices ever go back to where they were in 2010, it will be cost effective to extract uranium from seawater [wikipedia.org], where the supply is almost limitless. At current consumption rates, we will not run out of relatively cheap uranium for thousands of years. There are plenty of reasonable arguments against nuclear energy, but "we are running out of fuel" is not one of them.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            .. and if we do we can run on thorium for .. longer.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Or we could run the world on the hot air of thorium enthusiasts, forever.

              • > Or we could run the world on the hot air of thorium enthusiasts, forever.

                Just collect them together and sit them down under a horizontal wind turbine.

          • by MrL0G1C (867445)

            be cost effective to extract uranium from seawater,

            Two things about that. #1 It is horribly expensive at over 15 to 30x the cost of current uranium. #2 The extraction process requires absurd amounts of oil based 'net' to extract the atoms of uranium.

            Nuclear is already an expensive method of electricity production. Saying that this method of extraction is 'cost effective' is highly misleading. in 2010 Uranium prices spiked, the ocean extraction process would still have been over 7 times more expensive, not t

            • by careysub (976506)

              Your post would be considerably more persuasive if you showed the price of uranium at which it became "unsustainable", and if you didn't throw out a random "well over 100x current cost" figure when your linked source only documented a 10-20 times cost using older technologies now being superseded described in the article. (Your provide no analysis to show that the even the 2007 price spike made nuclear power "unsustainable" - proof by unsupported assertion does not work)

              At $130/kg the cost of uranium mining

              • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                All so wrong, the cost of solar panels has dropped 80% since 2008, the Wikipedia page is irrelevant due to the numbers being completely out of date and hence wrong.

                The cost of solar panels has been dropping by about 40% per annum, that is set to continue.

                Solar is cheaper than nuclear RIGHT NOW, any increase in the cost of uranium puts nuclear power further out of reach.

                Just the generating cost of nuclear is 4.4c per kWh, the construction and decommissioning costs are a huge amount on top of that. There is a

          • by vux984 (928602)

            No, because as soon as prices recover, the mines will reopen.

            Of course they will. But but there will be a lag time.

        • I'm sure that the mining companies dynamite the entrances to the mine just as soon as they decide it's no longer profitable, and only mine Uranium and nothing else.

          No, actually they just leave a hole in the ground that they can come back to any time they want to, or continue mining all the other ore in the same dirt, and just keep the Uranium around for when it's needed.

          • by vux984 (928602)

            No, actually they just leave a hole in the ground that they can come back to any time they want to

            And all the equipment parked next to it, fueled up, maintained and ready to go. And the miners, and management are just sitting there too on unemployment just waiting for the call to go back to work.

            No. Restarting a closed mine is less work than starting a new one, but its still a big project and it takes time.

            Consider the situation of mining REEs in the USA. There is no shortage of them here, but the mines wer

    • by brambus (3457531)
      This is quite not true. Resource availability is largely dictated by the price you're willing to pay for it - in typical scenarios a doubling of the price expands viable resources 10-fold. Moreover, even today's reactors are "breeders" in a sense, they just don't make 100% of their fuel (breeding ratio is typically somewhere around 0.3). There are some quite interesting businesses working towards "converter" or "burner" molten-salt reactors based on a combined thorium/uranium cycle which trades the breeding
      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        Nuclear generated electricity is expensive.
        Thorium nuclear generated electricity is even more expensive due to the reactor design needing to be more robust.

        Uranium recoverable at only $300-$400/kg.

        Citation needed, the articles I've read claimed $1000 to $2000 per kilo.
        http://www.technologyreview.co... [technologyreview.com]

        If these new designs are so great then why does the nuclear industry keep going with the old designs?

        • If these new designs are so great then why does the nuclear industry keep going with the old designs?

          Politics dude, politics.

          • by MrL0G1C (867445)

            Cost dude cost. Nuclear is very expensive these days, decommissioning costs are far far higher than initial estimates.

            • by BitZtream (692029)

              Not when coupled with inflation properly.

            • Cost dude cost. Nuclear is very expensive these days, decommissioning costs are far far higher than initial estimates.

              Why did the costs go up? I think it was political interference and artificial price inflation. Why did the costs for renewables (aka unreliables) go down? Subsidies. Political interference.

              From what I've seen and heard, the only obstacles to nuclear energy have been man made. Rather than any truly insurmountable physical challenges that couldn't be engineered around, it's always been blocked by those with a vested interest in ensuring the failure of nuclear fission.

              Just out of interest, why are you so

              • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                Costs for renewables went down because of scientific and industrial/technological advances and yes political foresight helped. As for the subsidies, those won't be needed any longer, both wind and solar and viable without subsidy now.

                As for "Why did the costs go up? I think it was political interference and artificial price inflation."

                I don't feel the need to debate baseless assertions / guesses.

                Why am I 'anti-nuke'? See 2nd half #47805367 [slashdot.org]

                • by bobbied (2522392)

                  Costs for renewables went down because of scientific and industrial/technological advances and yes political foresight helped. As for the subsidies, those won't be needed any longer, both wind and solar and viable without subsidy now.

                  Wind is close to viable, but still requires subsidies to get on par with Natural Gas (in the USA). Solar, hasn't a prayer of being viable in the near future. It generally runs 4 times the cost of Natural Gas (again in the USA).

                  You are wrong on both counts (in the USA), unless you define "viable" to mean something other than what most people think it means.. In other countries, Wind is at parity or better given the available options open to them (they lack the NG resources of the US), but this is not true

                  • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                    So I guess this never happened:
                    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/... [cleantechnica.com]

                    Why would I want to read information that is many years out of date when the cost of solar PV has been dropping by 40% per annum and has every reason to continue dropping. The EIA predictions are absurd to say the least. That page is pretty bad.

                    Even if all technological advances in solar panels stopped, the price of solar PV would drop further because most of the solar PV factories are being built right now, once the investment that put those f

                    • by bobbied (2522392)

                      So I guess this never happened: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/... [cleantechnica.com]

                      Yea, that website doesn't have a dog in this hunt now does it.. The US Department of Energy's numbers are flat wrong then? In the USA, I don't think so.

                      Look, you can believe what you want and come up with links to "prove" your view, but if you are choosing to ignore the data provided by the US Department of Energy, you are going to have to endure the scorn you richly deserve. I'm not saying the government data is correct in all cases, only that the department of Energy is about as close as you can get to

                    • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                      So I guess this never happened: http://cleantechnica.com/2014/ [cleantechnica.com]...

                      Yea, that website doesn't have a dog in this hunt now does it.. The US Department of Energy's numbers are flat wrong then? In the USA, I don't think so."

                      Don't like the message so moan about the messenger eh. That 5c / kWh is a signed 20 year deal. Does it matter who is reporting that deal?

                      Did I say the sun shines at night? A lot of energy is used for air conditioning in the US, what better way to supply the energy needed with solar PV.

                      Like

                  • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                    If you removed the ITC (a federal tax credit for solar), the cost would probably be about 8c/kWh. Still, that's not bad. Austin Energy's 30-year LCOE estimate for natural gas was 7c/kWh, while the estimate for coal clocked in at 10c/kWh and the estimate for nuclear at 13c/kWh.
                    Only wind - 2.8c/kWh to 3.8c/kWh - was lower.

              • Your parent was mot anti nuke, he stated a fact.
                Also your claim renewables would be unreliable is wrong, the correct term is 'undispatchable', which is also only limited true.

                (Yeah, now you will start yelling about mo wind and no sun, hint: we all know the sun is not shining at night, and all but you know: we don't need it at night as energy demand is less than half of the daytime demand. Now you shout 'but what about no wind' ... look on a weather map, or educate your self how 'wind is created' then you re

            • by sjames (1099)

              Decommissioning costs are driven up by politics. For example by treating things that are mildly radioactive for a few years post shutdown as if they are still nuclear waste years after the last decay.

        • by brambus (3457531)

          Nuclear generated electricity is expensive.

          Depends on type, project and installation. The utilities building them seem quite content to keep going, as they see them being competitive with current baseload sources.

          Thorium nuclear generated electricity is even more expensive due to the reactor design needing to be more robust.

          Actually, in most Thorium molten-salt designs, the reactor is a lot less robust (in terms of raw materials, at least), because molten-salt isn't pressurized, so there's no need for a big heavy pressure vessel and an enormous containment building around it. But it really depends on the exact design you are talking about - perhaps clarify and

          • by MrL0G1C (867445)

            operating costs for 61 nuclear sites in 2012. The average came to $44/MWh

            Add to that construction costs, decommissioning costs and nuclear fuel reprocessing / storage costs and you've got one very expensive method of producing electricity.

            http://www.world-nuclear.org/i... [world-nuclear.org]

            Why aren't there more nuclear fuel reprocessing plants? Because it's horrendously expensive.
            http://belfercenter.ksg.harvar... [harvard.edu]

            Cost of building maintaining, removing new Wind farms?
            Less than $36.5 per MWh
            Wind Technologies Market Report [energy.gov]

            With th

            • by brambus (3457531)

              Add to that construction costs decommissioning costs and nuclear fuel reprocessing / storage costs

              Oh my, reading comprehension fail: "The NEI presented figures from the Electric Utility Cost Group on generating costs comprising fuel, capital and operating costs for 61 nuclear sites in 2012.". Fuel costs typically include a fee that is set aside for decommissioning & storage (at least they do in the US - that's what paid for Yucca Mountain), and "construction costs" are a subset of capital costs. So $44/MWh is indeed the full figure.

              Why aren't there more nuclear fuel reprocessing plants? Because it's horrendously expensive.

              Of course it's expensive and everybody knows it's expensive, because

              • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                Such as what ways? Oh right, you mean like running fossil fuel plants and emitting CO2

                No, like Hydro, pumped hydro, wave power, tidal schemes, solar thermal, solar PV, compressed air storage, biowaste energy, battery storage etc.

                Cheap gas and oil won't be around for long, coal is the only real fossil fuel problem.

                There is currently enough Uranium reserve to continue to power the nuclear industry at it 10% of global energy rate for 200 years. So if every country were to go nuclear like France, how long would

                • by brambus (3457531)

                  No, like Hydro, pumped hydro, wave power, tidal schemes, solar thermal, solar PV, compressed air storage, biowaste energy, battery storage etc.

                  Hydro: already maxed out in the west. Pumped hydro: calculate the scale involved, it ain't pretty [imgur.com]. Wave power is so expensive it's not funny, as is solar thermal. Solar PV is intermittent - see linked graph again, it won't cut it. CAES has some potential, but is as yet much more expensive than pumped hydro. Biowaste accounts for a drop in the bucket - there's simply not enough of it. Batteries are horribly expensive at grid scale and environmentally very damaging (Ever seen a lithium mine? Or maybe you pref

                  • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                    Let me put it another way.

                    On one side you have the intermittant supplies:
                    Wind, solar, wave, tidal.

                    On the other side you have matching supplies which you ramp up as necessary:
                    Geothermal, Solar thermal, Hydro, Biogas.

                    And for short term peaking demand, you also use storage such as Pumped Hydro, battery, compressed air, flywheel, etc.

                    I think pumped hydro is a hugely underused resource, all you need is a (small) lake next to a hill, the rest is engineering, see:
                    Dinorwig Power Station - Wikipedia, the free encycl [wikipedia.org]

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      So if Uranium is 10% of TCO and reprocessed Uranium costs over 10x as much then nuclear would end up costing well over 20c per kWh would it not.

                      Not necessarily. Fuel costs consist of several components, for Uranium it's mining, refining (yellowcake production), enrichment and fuel fabrication. It depends on the breakdown and efficiency of use that dictates price contribution to operation, so it'd probably far less (I've heard estimates where a 5x price hike on raw uranium would only result in about a 2x bump on the fuel price). What you also neglected to consider is that at around 3-5x current mining price, we'd probably have tens of thousands of v

              • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                Nearly all nuclear reactors are over 20 years old and about half are over 30.

                Capital costs represent between 60 and 75 percent of the cost of a nuclear plant,

                Re Nuclear capital costs, the simple fact is US nuclear plants capital costs are already paid. In 25 years the energy from Wind and solar being installed today will likely be a lot cheaper than 44 per MWh. (Turbines are expected to last over 40 years, solar PV loses about 12-20% of it's efficiency over 25 years.)

                I should have known better than to q

                • by brambus (3457531)

                  Capital costs represent between 60 and 75 percent of the cost of a nuclear plant

                  You know that sounds about right. If we take the high estimate (75%) to be for a reactor operating for a relatively short 40 years at a cap factor of 0.8, a 1 GW unit with a levelized purchase price of $9 billion would cost $32/MWh, so adjusted to 100% this comes to roughly $42/MWh. The remaining 25% is fuel, O&M and decommissioning costs. Of course this significantly depends on what deal you get on the unit and unfortunately real reactor purchase prices are a closely guarded secret of the manufacturers

                  • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                    It boggles the mind that you can say "dick all would have happened (and that's mostly what did happen" regarding Fukushima. It's clear that the vast majority of the population of japan do not agree with you.

                    Nuclear can do no wrong in your eyes. Are you aware that Fukushima is leaking at least 400 tonnes of highly radioactive water every day and it could be over 1000 tonnes a day, the ice wall the tried failed.

                    If wind costs 3c per kWh and nuclear costs 10c per kwh, what is the cost difference for 1GW of gene

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      It boggles the mind that you can say "dick all would have happened (and that's mostly what did happen" regarding Fukushima. It's clear that the vast majority of the population of japan do not agree with you.

                      And 78% of the US population believes in angels. Popular vote does not determine reality. Moreover, your reading comprehension needs work again, as had you not cut my sentence off there and torn it out of context, you'd see that I was comparing it to the tsunami that drowned nearly 20000 people.
                      It is estimated that, assuming linear dose response, ultimately ~200 excess cancer deaths will result from Fukushima over the coming years, most of them in Japan. Are those inconsequential? Of course not. But keep i

                    • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                      http://enenews.com/japan-times... [enenews.com]

                      Note that Tepco itself has admitted that 300 tons of highly radioactive water is leaking.

                      "so to provide 2-week long backup"
                      I don't see any need to do that, I never suggested that. Just make up some crazy math why don't you.

                      The point is 0.007km3 is absolutely miniscule compared with hundred of massively larger reservoirs around the world which rand from hundres to thousands of km3 which givens them huge pumped hydro potential.

                      "spend it on buying Westinghouse AP1000 reactors

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      I don't see any need to do that, I never suggested that. Just make up some crazy math why don't you.

                      Oh sure, there's no such thing as a month-long wind lull (by which of course I mean time of very low production). Oh wait, just ignore June [templar.co.uk].

                      Note that Tepco itself has admitted that 300 tons of highly radioactive water is leaking.

                      Your reading needs work again: "Hirose stressed that Tepco does not believe all 400 tons of the water entering the sea is contaminated."
                      Contrast with what you said: "Are you aware that Fukushima is leaking at least 400 tonnes of highly radioactive water every day." Your link doesn't say it's all contaminated, or that it's "highly radioactive" (which I asked you to subs

                    • by MrL0G1C (867445)

                      You seem to have reduced renewables to just wind and assumed that I think the country should be powered 100% by wind, That is incorrect.

                      Tepco lie habitually. Their own statements show they don't know what's going on. http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

                      Politicians smart? They are only smart about lining their own pockets.

                      Hinkley point will get tens of billions in subsidies at the guaranteed rate of £92.5/MWh - roughly double what will be paid for gas, coal, wind etc.

                      If renewables are so unobtainabl

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      You seem to have reduced renewables to just wind and assumed that I think the country should be powered 100% by wind, That is incorrect.

                      I'm not, but I'm looking at the cheapest renewable. There is some hard (dispatchable), but highly limited renewables, like hydro and biomass. These can make some contribution, but it's rather small. If you look at the fastest growing ones, it's wind & solar.

                      Tepco lie habitually. Their own statements show they don't know what's going on.

                      Them not knowing doesn't mean you can just make stuff up and fill in the gaps with whatever you like. The linked article is still over a year old and could indicate a temporary condition. Moreover, it's notably light on radioactivity figures for the

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        In 2013, investment advisers Morningstar, Inc. concluded that, in developed countries, "reactors are not a viable source of new power".[12] Even in developed nations where they make economic sense, they are not feasible because of nuclear's "enormous costs, political and popular opposition, and regulatory uncertainty".[12] This view echoes the statement of former Exelon CEO John Rowe, who said in 2012 that new nuclear plants in the US "don't make any sense right now" and won't be economically viable in the

        • by brambus (3457531)
          Ah, Wikipedia, that ever reliable source of unbiased and completely objective analysis on matters of significant nuance.
          • by MrL0G1C (867445)

            Ah, don't like the message, attack the messenger. (note the number of sources).

            I did the math on the amount of subsidies the UK govt idiots are offering EDF, it amounted to a stinking £36 billion just for the kWh price subsidy.

            Le prix fixe - billions of pounds in subsidies on UK consumer energy bills

            At £16bn and a decade to build, Hinkleyâ(TM)s up-front costs are too high to be viable without government support. The main subsidy is the 'contract for differenceâ(TM), guaran

    • Gen II Vermont Yankee is closing because it can't scare up a contract at $0.06/kWh. Gen III Hinkley C will charge $0.15/kWh, two and a half times as much. Going to Gen IV likely scales to $0.40/kWh. It is true that there is only about 85 years of uranium left at the current rate of use, but breeder reactors don't fix that.
  • Arevas failure (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What happend here is that Areva wanted the deal at any cost, so they agreed to build their prototype reactor cheap with Finnish safety standars (which are very high). the problems started in early stages when they could not produce complete plans to Finnish authorities as their plans were not even finished yet. When Areva got their plans ready they where already a few years late, it was thn discovered that the fail-safe/automation system were not separated well enough, many single-points of failure were dis

    • You'd think expectations for "the plant's automation system" would be pinned down before the contracts were signed, let alone before construction started.

      The Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] leaves the impression that the actual problem has been shoddy workmanship and poor project management.

      FWIW, In my experience with small-time contractors in the petrochemical industry (back in the day), common practice was bid an untenable price and make the profit by finding or "finding" problems that had to be fixed at great expense,

      • by polar red (215081)

        the actual problem has been shoddy workmanship and poor project management.

        This should be the main focus of distrust in nuclear power; an din my humble opinion the reason why we we shouldn't ever build nuclear power plants ever again.

        • by brambus (3457531)
          Honestly, this is the worst defeatist attitude I can imagine. "We are bad at building stuff, so we shouldn't build stuff." How come the Chinese are building these very same reactors on-time and on-budget [world-nuclear-news.org]? We in the west need to get off our collective lazy asses and start making stuff with our hands again.
          • by polar red (215081)

            I take it you haven't had much experience with building contractors yet ? or managers ?

          • by polar red (215081)

            and it isn't the building part which we are bad at, it's the managing, planning, ... part we are bad at. I truly wonder if those chines reactors are up to specs, are all millions of parts completely on spec (or are there sub-par components ?)

          • ISTM that Homo economicus is almost incapable of resisting the urge to cut corners in the design, construction, operation, and inspection of nuclear power plants. (And in non-nuclear projects as well, though few have the destructive potential of Cherynobyl.)

            I wish the whole world was on nuclear powar, but our species simply isn't mature enough to "drink responsibly" when it comes to such things. And with the past few decades' huge increase in pressure to cut corners in order to maximize short-term profit,

            • by brambus (3457531)

              ISTM that Homo economicus is almost incapable of resisting the urge to cut corners in the design, construction, operation, and inspection of nuclear power plants. (And in non-nuclear projects as well, though few have the destructive potential of Cherynobyl.)

              Which is why we need a strong state-sponsored regulatory body which keeps the industry in check. There is of course a balance to be struck between overregulation and letting the industry run wild, where we encourage societal progress while keeping whacky ideas at bay. Most of all, we need a good open and transparent process. And finally we should help the population maintain a level-headed approach to danger assessment. Radiation is nothing to mess with for sure, but the actual destructive impact of even ex

            • The Chinese are practicing the raw form of capitalism. You are mixing up political system with economic system.
              Also the Chernobyl accident was not due to corner cutting but man made by stupid 'scientists' running a bad planned experiment. They had a reactor in a deep Xenon/Boron poisoning state and believed by going 'full throttle' they could go back into a normal state. However for minutes nothing happened, except the burning away of the excess Boron and Xenon. Then in seconds the reactor went from nearly

          • by siddesu (698447)
            Chinese aren't building the very same reactors on-time and on-budget. The Taishan NPP your article is talking about is already two years behind the original schedule -- it was supposed to go online in 2013, but it won't at least until 2015. If that's the last word.
            • by brambus (3457531)
              Fukushima put quite a kink in any new construction in China, as there was a construction approval halt [marketwatch.com] for near-sea reactors from April to at least October in 2011 (and Taishan is what you might call close to the sea [goo.gl]) - half a year delay can easily get you some delay in onlining. You also need to keep in mind that 46 months was the planned construction time, not when it enters commercial service. With first concrete being poured in October 2009, construction should have been complete in about autumn 2013, b
              • by siddesu (698447)

                You also need to keep in mind that 46 months was the planned construction time, not when it enters commercial service.

                Original Taishan NPP plan schedule called for entering commercial service in 2013, full stop.

                So if you consider the ripple that Fukushima sent into the world of nuclear reactor construction projects, Taishan is indeed roughly on schedule.

                Yes, if you don't consider the delays, any project will be 'roughly on schedule'.

                • by brambus (3457531)

                  Original Taishan NPP plan schedule called for entering commercial service in 2013, full stop.

                  Then that estimate was quite simply wrong. There's no way in hell that October 2009 + 4 years means you start commercial service in 2013. My guess is it was a neat little fairy tale told to reporters to keep up a nice face, while the project managers knew well that 2014 was more probable.

                  Yes, if you don't consider the delays, any project will be 'roughly on schedule'.

                  You can't honestly say that externally imposed unscheduled delays are to be blamed on the project's management. For example, blaming bad weather for not making your offshore wind farm construction schedules [wordpress.com]. Large projects

                  • by siddesu (698447)

                    Then that estimate was quite simply wrong.

                    Yep. As I said above, you're wrong to think Chinese don't do things on-time and on-budget. As a matter of fact, you're even wronger, as they can't even make proper estimates. I don't want to contemplate how safe their plants will end up being. Of course, in the environmental mess that is China, a Chernobyl or two should not make much difference.

                    • by siddesu (698447)

                      Chinese don't do

                      I mean to write "can do", obviously.

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      As I said above, you're wrong to think Chinese don't do things on-time and on-budget.

                      No, all it says is that the articles you linked had the wrong estimate in them. I think it was more of a fluff info piece to make them look good in the media.

                      as they can't even make proper estimates

                      You try to make it seem like they were pumping these reactors out by the dozens and got all of it wrong. The reactor was completely new with not a single unit completed at the time construction started, so it was a rough estimate at best. Areva themselves were still learning on the construction side of the EPR design. Once they have a few units built,

                    • by siddesu (698447)

                      all it says is that the articles you linked had the wrong estimate in them

                      Like I said already, I do not refer to articles, but to the original plans of the Chinese operator and the contractors at the time of the start of the construction. For some reason, you keep denying the fact that Tianshan was supposed to enter service in 2013 and believe that it is still 'on schedule' although it isn't. Normally, this mental state is referred to as 'delusion'.

                      Once they have a few units built, you'll see the estimates stabilize.

                      In other words, they won't be able to do it "on-time" and "on-budget" until "estimates stabilize". Like I said, if you accept that de

                    • by brambus (3457531)

                      Like I said already, I do not refer to articles, but to the original plans of the Chinese operator and the contractors at the time of the start of the construction.

                      I assume you've got access to some internal planning documents then? If not, then you've only got news articles and press releases, same as everybody else.

                      For some reason, you keep denying the fact that Tianshan was supposed to enter service in 2013 and believe that it is still 'on schedule' although it isn't.

                      Construction schedules cannot account for unplanned construction halts due to unforeseen government interference, simple as that. When that happens, you have to adjust your original estimate. They have been delayed due to government action for about a year. They're starting up about a year later. Period.

                      In other words, they won't be able to do it "on-time" and "on-budget" until "estimates stabilize". Like I said, if you accept that delays are a part of the schedule, you'll always be on schedule. This is not how schedules work, though.

                      Construction schedule is not a train schedule. There

          • > How come the Chinese are building these very same reactors on-time and on-budget

            Do you actually believe that? Really? When *every* other reactor out there is over-budget and over-time, you really think that China has magically figured all of this out? Either you believe the Chinese are smarter than all of us put together, or there's something fishy going on.

            Let me illustrate what really goes on here, with an example I am most familiar with (and even then, only in passing), Qinshan Phase III's CANDU6's.

            • by brambus (3457531)

              Except that for one thing, "on budget" required the Canadian taxpayer to provide China with over $1.5 billion in interest-free loans.

              This is actually pretty common practice on large-scale projects that are going to benefit the local economy. The US, for example, gives out billions of dollars yearly in low-interest loans so that foreign entities purchase US-made goods (see http://www.exim.gov/ [exim.gov]). Canada might have considered its sale to China to be of such strategic importance that it even went for an interest-free loan. So don't try and portray it as "the Canadian taxpayer" not getting their money's worth - overall, the Canadian economy m

              • > This is actually pretty common practice on large-scale projects that are going to benefit the local economy

                The local economy in this case was on the far side of the planet. The economy that paid for it had already dumped about $50 billion into the company by this point, so they could have the privilege of paying more so other people could get it for free.

                > come to a completely bogus conclusion ("they took it off our hands")

                Oh no, I didn't come to that conclusion from the other premise. I came to tha

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        look man they had NOT DESIGNED the damn automation system by the time it was originally supposed to go online! they had plenty of time to design it but for some reason fucked up or didn't do it. plenty of time before 2008 that is.

        that they fucked up many parts of the construction was another delay, possibly why they didn't finish the automation because they knew the construction was going slower than expected and maybe they didn't finish the construction on time because they knew the automation wasn't finis

    • by anorlunda (311253)

      I worked on a competing bid for this plant from a Swedish supplier that had a track record of completing nuclear plants ahead of schedule and under budget. After loosing thst bid, the nuclear department of that company was shut down.

      The same company and the Finns were also set to sign the contract for a downtown district heating nuke for Helsinki. It would have been a major success for nuclear technology. The day before the signing press conference, Chernobyl happened.

      My point is that the process of bid

      • > My point is that the process of bidding and bid evaluation on high priced projects is so burdened by politics,
        > marketing hype, and luck that we might as well just flip a coin

        One of the problems for nuclear, the other being the cost of concrete these days, is the long time lines. The longer the time line, the more chances you have for "shit happens" that kills the project.

        In Germany you can go from paperwork to PV panels spinning the meter in two weeks. This greatly increases the chance that it actu

    • There are more problems that just the constructor at play. Finnish requirements have changed during the process, and local sourcing that was required by Fins has had a series of issues as well as the issues you mentioned.

      It been quite some time since a green field nuclear build has started, particularly with a new design. They are large and complex projects, and the ability to build them efficiently has to be re-established. There are a several units being constructed around the globe and we will see a v
  • But the good news is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @03:47AM (#47804889)

    It's not just software projects that that can't be completed in a timely, cost-effective manner.

    • by SimonInOz (579741)

      I put a software system into a nuclear plant in, oh, 1978. It was a pair of PDP-11 machines, had graphic colour monitors, multiple terminals, and a host of monitoring software, mostly written in FORTRAN, if I remember correctly.
      It went in more or less on time, and seemingly behaved well.
      This was in Holland - and the plant was the cleanest place I have ever seen (a lot cleaner than the hot strip steel mill I worked in some years later).
      The project lasted about 6 months.

      Why are they taking so long? The reacto

  • by felixrising (1135205) on Tuesday September 02, 2014 @04:11AM (#47804961)
    As everyone knows, when it comes to planning, you need someone to manage those plans, you need more project managers.. the more you hire the more planning will happen.. almost in direct proportion. You probably don't need experienced engineers as much as you need project managers... in fact, you might want to add a program manager to manage the managers who manage the projects.. this way many plans will be made, planning projects will be finished and the projects will happen because of gant charts. no real self respecting project can be accomplished unless you have gant charts.. and recently there have been some amazing developments in gant charts, for instance, they don't need to be waterfall.. they can in fact be other shapes too.. we're not sure what shapes they really can be, but to be safe, lets make it a waterfall so project coordinators can follow them without too much management overhead. Oh, I forgot to mention we need project coordinators under the project managers, and program managers on top of the project managers.. you know, like a waterfall.. like a gant chart that looks like a waterfall. I can feel the synergy from here.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Yes pretty much. Also because it is nuclear, all managers need to get paid 10x as much. Any large project like this is political also, and likely involves quite a few greased palms all over the place. It also probably gets a lot of government funding. Pretty much everyone has a stake it is taking a long as possible to squeeze as much money out it it. So just about everyone involved has a vested interest in delaying and keeping the "construction" going for as long as possible. The only downside is that someo

  • All of these delays are teaching us how Gen III reactors work. At this point, a reactor can be built slowly if the buyer is willing to pay $0.15/kWh. http://www.westernmorningnews.... [westernmorningnews.co.uk]
    • From your article I see the current CAPEX is £16 billion, or about $26 billion USD. That's for a 3.2 GWe plant. That means the CAPEX is 26 billion / 3.2 billion = $8.125/W. These numbers are typical. Darlington B was quoted at exactly the same price, although there are rumours it was actually higher. Because of the high cost, Darlington B was cancelled. Same with Levy County and lots of others.

      For comparison, click here and turn to page 8:

      http://gallery.mailchimp.com/ce17780900c3d223633ecfa59/files/La

      • by mdsolar (1045926)
        And, every effort put into nuclear power soaks up funds that could cut carbon emissions faster and deeper by other means. http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-C... [rmi.org]
  • ...disagreements with its client Teollisuuden Voima over the plant's automation system.

    Could also be that technology changed or "improved" over the years that the plant has been in engineering. At one point in some of these type of projects you can get to where the client ends up very involved in the design process and that can blur lines of responsibility ("who does what", not accountability).

    With 3D CAD plant modelling [spedweb.com] many more people can be involved in design review meetings, and sometimes that c
  • Because, yeah, planning for things like nuclear plants is obviously a needless extravagance.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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