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+ - TVA's costly reactor illuminates nuclear challenge->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "One of the keys to the Tennessee Valley Authority's efforts to meet strict new rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions lies behind walls more than a foot thick and beneath more than a half-million pounds of metal.

The walls form a massive concrete containment building at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant where TVA officials say they are on pace to start operating the federal utility's latest reactor in December 2015.

That means Watts Bar could have the nation's first new commercial nuclear power unit to come online in the 21st century. As the second reactor at the plant, it will produce enough electricity to power 650,000 homes.

But the Watts Bar project also illustrates the challenges facing the U.S. nuclear industry. Nuclear plants are expensive, complicated and time-consuming to build. They require huge sums of upfront capital — the new Watts Bar reactor could cost as much as $4.5 billion, nearly double earlier estimates."

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Comment: Really? China on schedule? (Score 1) 116

by mdsolar (#47808675) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again
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 2011. Originally set to start by end-2013, the project in Sanmen in eastern Zhejiang province was already delayed until December 2014. It has now been pushed back at least another year, after design changes and problems with some components. http://uk.reuters.com/article/...

Comment: Re:Reprocessing? (Score 1) 244

by mdsolar (#47807461) Attached to: Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go
The basic answer on reprocessing is that it is a proliferation risk that should not be undertaken. Your issue about fissile content is a little mixed up since breeders have fertile blankets in some designs. Probably you'd want to reprocess to make those, but it isn't a fissile content issue.

Comment: Re:This actually makes sense (Score 1) 244

by mdsolar (#47807151) Attached to: Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go
I don't think a rail car design fixes a leaking cask so the effluent problem is a bit separate. Rail transport will lead to accidents that will probably lead to leaks unless the waste is really immobilized. So, I think we are still at the point "what" rather than "where." I'd just point out that on site transmutation is the most ethical approach to the waste issue. There may be cased where local hazards require transportation before that can be carried out, but short distances using very slow heavy hauling equipment might obviate the need for a train.

Comment: Breeder cost (Score 1) 116

by mdsolar (#47805417) Attached to: Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again
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.

+ - Finland's nuclear plant start delayed again->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "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."

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Comment: Re:Reprocessing? (Score 1) 244

by mdsolar (#47803563) Attached to: Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go
In a meltdown, "Recriticality also may be a concern if the control materials are left behind in the core and the relocated material breaks up in unborated water in the lower plenum." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... Neutrons were detected so perhaps you should revise your views. http://news.slashdot.org/story...

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