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Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1) 247

It would seem that it's a bad decision by the Chinese to fund/build this design since the first projects using this design are many years late and many billions of dollars over budget (and still not operating)... but, of course, it doesn't seem to be possible to build a nuclear reactor anywhere near on time or budget. The problems with the EDF reactors cover the gamut from structure (concrete and steel) to mechanical (valves, etc.). Of course, they are developing a new, enhanced, better, EPR design which promises to fix all of these problems... want to bet?
As for pebble bed... good luck with that. It's a new unproven design. Only one prototype has been built (Germany) and it closed due to many problems:
No possibility to place standard measurement equipment in the pebble-bed core, i.e. pebble bed = black box
Contamination of the cooling circuit with metallic fission products (Sr-90, Cs-137) due to the insufficient retention capabilities of fuel pebbles for metallic fission products. Even modern fuel elements do not sufficiently retain strontium and cesium.
improper temperatures in the core (more than 200 C above calculated values)
necessity of a pressure retaining containment
unresolved problems with dust formation by pebble friction (dust acts as a mobile fission product carrier, if fission products escape the fuel particles)

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 1, Troll) 247

Ah yes, the powerful anti-nuclear lobby which has resources of thousands of dollars has somehow managed to push aside the nuclear industry which has resources of billions of dollars.
"If only we didn't have all those pesky regulations and have to worry out nuclear waste for thousands of years and could have more subsidies and free insurance then we would be much cheaper."
Nuclear power has gone from too cheap to meter to too expensive to matter and it has nobody to blame but itself.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 2) 247

For some reason, China and France are building this reactor in the UK using a new, French EPR design:
The Chinese are also building this type of reactor in China so pebble bed may not be working out as well as hoped.
Of course, the EPR design has its problems. It has been built twice (France and China) and both of these have safety problems that may prevent them from getting approval to operate.

Comment Re:Wouldn't need subsidies (Score 5, Interesting) 247

It's failing on its own merits. Even with subsidies, it's too expensive and can't compete.
The UK just approved a new nuclear plant (Hinckley Point 3) which requires consumers to buy power at a price much higher than wind, solar, coal, or anything else.
It was approved in the best traditions of corrupt government... advisers to government had a financial stake in it's approval.
Also, the plant gives the Chinese access to French and UK nuclear technology and control over the plant... a win for everyone except the UK.

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