Germany: Nuclear power plants to close by 2022

Cobol74

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When you are in a hole you stop digging.

You can get the volume of power by using Gas, Tidal, Carbon Capture version of coal, Wave,

Wind: both on-shore and off-shore and low impact local power capture and sell back.

The only thing you do not do is spend 10 - 15 years, humgous amounts of money (well we are not short of that) and low public confidence (One serious accident per 15 years or so) doing Nuclear.

Famous accidents:
Windscale, Three Mile Island, Cherynobyl and Fukima are the most famous ones but there have been others. Why people dislike Nuclear is that the accident is likely to affect non employees and the land and water supply for many many years, unlike other types of accident where it will always eventually be cleaned up.

There is not likely to be any power generated much before 10 years has passed and probably more.

I will suspect that if anyone is getting anywhere with 'renewables' then the funding will be pulled - see our 70s wave technology (Michael Rodd and Tomorrows world - soon after the show the money went west suddenly - because it looked like that they were actually getting somewhere).
 
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MWF

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Well, then I guess we don't have much of a choice but wait 11 years and see what's what :)

Hope there will still be a FG forum then, though...

Of course there will. It's like cockroaches...... ;)
 

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Why people dislike Nuclear is that the accident is likely to affect non employees and the land and water supply for many many years, unlike other types of accident where it will always eventually be cleaned up.

Make that centuries.

There are regions in the woods of Bavaria, where game has to be incinerated after shooting it, because there is still so much radioactivity from Tchernobyl in the plants the animals eat, that the dead deers and boars are being categorized as toxic waste.

Experts say the contamination will be back to normal in about 300 years.

Fukushima is mostly out of the news now but everyone should consider, that we have only seen the start of the beginning of the Fukushima disaster.
 
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jmsprovan

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When you are in a hole you stop digging.

You can get the volume of power by using Gas, Tidal, Carbon Capture version of coal, Wave,

Wind: both on-shore and off-shore and low impact local power capture and sell back.

The only thing you do not do is spend 10 - 15 years, humgous amounts of money (well we are not short of that) and low public confidence (One serious accident per 15 years or so) doing Nuclear.

Famous accidents:
Windscale, Three Mile Island, Cherynobyl and Fukima are the most famous ones but there have been others. Why people dislike Nuclear is that the accident is likely to affect non employees and the land and water supply for many many years, unlike other types of accident where it will always eventually be cleaned up.

There is not likely to be any power generated much before 10 years has passed and probably more.

Most people dislike Nuclear because they are ill informed, the media exploits the basic human fear of Can't See = Danger in the form of radiation to make money and as a result we end up with lots of people who are set against Nuclear without knowing anything about it.

Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima all have something in common, 50s to 60s reactor technology. Such technology has been surpassed in every single variable by up to date reactor designs. On another note Windscale was caused because we were so damn dead set on catching up with the US and the Soviets that we cut corners in basically every way possible, Chernobyl was caused by Human failures and defective reactor designs, Three Mile Island was due to Human error and Fukushima was only caused by a freak combination of Earthquake knocking out main power then a tsunami drowning the backup diesel generators at a Plant that was due to be decommissioned that month. None of these things were caused by any inherent fault in Nuclear power, they were caused by Human error or an unthinkable freak of nature.
 

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This is another falsehood, there's no scientific reason to think that. The actual cost of transmitting power around the country is tiny so why exactly does it need to be produced locally? All you're doing is throwing away efficiencies of scale while driving up infrastructure costs. Over the past 50 years grids have moved to fewer larger generating components because it's a more effective way of running a grid.


There are huge losses in the transmission of electricity over great distances. Electrical resistance increases over distance, that is something we can not change. There are better transmission lines available, but they are expensive, and the industry has resisted the change over.


How about looking at taking out greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere too, anyone looking at that?

Nature has already solved that for us. Plants are great at removing the CO2 that we generate in mass quantities. The other human caused problem is we are cutting down forests at an alarming rate, much faster than they can regrow. Most of it is used for the lumber industry. The other solution is to leave the forests alone and use farmable plants and waste from food crops to make the wood products we use in home building and furniture, etc.. But it is not easy to convince the industry to change methods no matter what it is. They see forests as a resource to be exploited, why would they farm other products than trees to turn into lumber?

There are many plants that can fill this need, hemp is my favorite(one of the strongest natural fibers). It can be turned into several building materials and uses lots of CO2 growing.
 

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None of these things were caused by any inherent fault in Nuclear power, they were caused by Human error or an unthinkable freak of nature.

Well, as I already said, you cannot blame nature for destroying the toys humans made.

But basically you have hit the nail on the head -- only you draw the wrong conclusions in my eyes ;) The "next time we will make it better" thinking is typical but in this case also very fatal, I think.

Don't forget that the latest generation nuclear reactors will also be 50 to 60 years old in, well... 50 to 60 years. And every machine, no matter how well-built it is, will always be prone to failure, human error and human stupidity.

Again: I believe, that nuclear power is too delicate to handle for the human race on the long run. Because in order to use it safely, you have to take for granted, that our civilization will survive the next few thousand years. Such a risky and delicate technology (and its radiating waste heritage) will have to be controlled and maintained for that long at least. I, however, see a lot that can go wrong in that time.

So do you take for granted, that we will still have the same world with the same kind of civilization in, say... 2000 years? Is that realistic? Is it responsible to act on that assumption? If you really think, that mankind is able to handle such a responsibility, check out the monthly fail compilation on YouTube.
 
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Cobol74

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Most people dislike Nuclear because they are ill informed, the media exploits the basic human fear of Can't See = Danger in the form of radiation to make money and as a result we end up with lots of people who are set against Nuclear without knowing anything about it.

Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima all have something in common, 50s to 60s reactor technology. Such technology has been surpassed in every single variable by up to date reactor designs. On another note Windscale was caused because we were so damn dead set on catching up with the US and the Soviets that we cut corners in basically every way possible, Chernobyl was caused by Human failures and defective reactor designs, Three Mile Island was due to Human error and Fukushima was only caused by a freak combination of Earthquake knocking out main power then a tsunami drowning the backup diesel generators at a Plant that was due to be decommissioned that month. None of these things were caused by any inherent fault in Nuclear power, they were caused by Human error or an unthinkable freak of nature.
On the human error issue - that will never go away. More modern technology (a la France) should be safer but even they have had lesser accidents - there should be none really. Still it's not my major objection - there is a risk and so long as they do not build one near me then I can live with it.

I really, really, doubt (Lord Marshal getting the sack for instance is an example) that the true costs, in Ukania anyway, have been reported. Funny how it comes out just about the cheapest form of power, its only real advantage is a very low fuel cost. Capital cost is high, decommissioning costs are very high and difficult to achieve.

So I think that there is 'dirty' money floating about.
 
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MWF

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Is there any link to that last paragraph and the second quote in your sig? :wicked:

Besides that means you buy into the whole man-made climate change idea in the first place. I don't.

However what I do firmly believe is that it is going to get exponentially more difficult to meet our energy needs and that everything that can be done needs to be done and as soon as possible. The trouble with every solution is the compromise.

Coal? Will run out and is filthy.
Oil and gas? Will also run out and getting increasingly expensive to find and get at.
Nuclear? Feared by too many plus all of the other arguments above?
Wind? Not reliable everywhere.
Solar? See wind.
Tidal? Devastating to wildlife, expensive and unproven.
Fusion? Who knows? Right now more science fact than fiction.

So maybe MacGuffin is right. Since transmission over great distances is wasteful maybe local is the way to go but even then it needs serious investment and needs to work for it's specific location.
 

WillDAQ

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I really, really, doubt (Lord Marshal getting the sack for instance is an example) that the true costs, in Ukania anyway, have been reported. Funny how it comes out just about the cheapest form of power, its only real advantage is a very low fuel cost. Capital cost is high, decommissioning costs are very high and difficult to achieve.

I would never describe nuclear power as cheap, but compared to the astronomical expense of most renewables it's a bargain. The only reason there are any wind farms in the UK is the regulatory framework (ROC certs) which makes them a license to print free money. Even in spite of this the sums aren't adding up as the assumptions made about the amount of wind were wrong.

Seeing as we're back to the age old 'nuclear is really dangerous' argument... we're overlooking the average of 80 people a year who die maintaining wind farms. So in that '15 year nuclear accident interval' wind has killed 1200 people... that's not 'theoretically increased risk of cancer', that's stone cold dead. If wind usage is increased to the levels suggested, that 15 year interval could see 10,000 people killed so that we can have 'the safe option'.

To be honest this is a pretty pointless argument, those of us supporting nuclear are providing hard facts which are being rebuffed with options, expectations, Common Sense? and conspiracy.
 
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Cobol74

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Ok Nuclear is safe?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents

May not have had a major Bophal type accident (Yet) but I would not call this stuff safe. As said before if humans are involved then accidents are inevitible, even if only minor ones.

Nuclear vs Windfarms not the only options and I actually agree, not the best renewalables option - I'd do small local windmill and Solar (Possibly) with sell back; You have to also look at Tidal/Wave for Ukania I think myself. Six sites with predictible and large tides and lots of waves right around the whole country.
 

jmsprovan

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tidal, wave, wind ect will all require significant investment in new power lines, all of which will be vehemently blocked by NIMBYs. One significant upside of Nuclear is that it can be built near existing nuclear plant sites and plugged into the existing lines.
 

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Let me bring some more facts on topic to the discussion. Bloomberg has a good article today, the bottom line is Germany will need to invest heavily into electricity distribution infrastructure. Germany needs roughly 3,600 kilometers (2,235 miles) of power lines by 2020 to link renewable energy projects in the north with consumers and factories in the south and to guarantee stability on the grid. The cost is estimated at 9.7 billion euros, and during the phaseout Germany will likely import up to 10% of its electricity needs from France and the Czech Republic. Oh, and the capacity will be partially replaced by gas-fired power plants, because they can adjust their output the quickest to match wind and solar. This also means that the country will increase its energy dependance on gas suppliers, Russia and the Middle east.

(Bloomberg)Merkel Faces Achilles Heel in Grids to Unplug German Nuclear
By Nicholas Comfort - Jun 1, 2011 12:01 PM GMT+0200

Chancellor Angela Merkel must carry out a 10 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) expansion of Germany?s electricity-delivery network or her decision to exit nuclear power can stunt growth in Europe?s largest economy.

Cables are needed to connect new offshore wind farms in the north to the factory-rich south and high-volume lines to France are necessary for imports to cover a shortfall as Germany phases out reactors that provide 23 percent of demand. A grid upgrade is essential, and Germans must end their opposition to new power lines overhead, energy economics professor Christoph Weber said.

?The grids are the Achilles heel and greatest challenge of the energy policy,? University of Duisburg Essen?s Weber said in an interview. ?The government will have to overcome significant problems on the ground to get the lines built.?

Germany became the biggest economy to plan an atomic-power exit after a meltdown in Japan stoked safety concerns, costing Merkel?s Christian Democrats votes in state elections. Europe?s largest power market will be a test case for whether an industrialized nation can rely far more on clean energy without eroding corporate profit, according to Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen.

An improved power network to avoid potential blackouts would be paid for largely by business and residential power consumers and benefit carmakers in the south including Daimler AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, as well as equipment suppliers including Siemens AG (SIE) and Switzerland?s ABB Ltd. (ABBN)

Legal Challenges
Infrastructure projects often face resistance from local residents concerned that home prices and quality of life will decline. EON AG, the country?s largest utility, is fighting legal challenges to finish building a coal-fired power plant in the town of Datteln while Elia System Operator SA?s German unit is trying to convince local authorities to proceed with a plan to build power lines through a forest in the state of Thuringia.

To kick-start the work, the Economy Ministry plans to use fast-track powers last exercised in 1990, when united Germany replaced crumbling roads in the east to improve connections in the country. Control over approving power grids would be taken by Merkel?s government from states and local councils. Her cabinet is set to discuss the energy policy overhaul on June 6.

The country needs to construct 3,600 kilometers (2,235 miles) of power lines by 2020 to link renewable energy projects with consumers and guarantee stability on the grid, the German Energy Agency said in November. That would cost 9.7 billion euros and include connecting offshore wind farms, according to the agency, a think tank owned by Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG, DZ Bank AG, KfW Group and the government.

Boost Capacity
?The north-to-south and border connections will need to be developed? as wind parks off the coast start and utilities sell more power from France and the Czech Republic to German consumers, according to Weber.

Utilities will need to ?strengthen the power grid, boosting north-south capacity and allowing for a growing percentage of intermittent renewable energy being fed in,? James Stettler, a London-based UniCredit SpA analyst, and colleague Alasdair Leslie wrote in a May 31 note to clients.

Siemens, Schneider Electric SA (SU), ABB and Alstom SA (ALO) may benefit from demand for transmission products, according to UniCredit. Siemens, a stock the analysts rate ?buy,? is ?particularly well-placed? given that it sells wind turbines, transmission and distribution equipment, gas-fired power plants and other energy products, according to the note.

Grid Ownership
Germany?s four high-voltage grids are owned by RWE AG (RWE), EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, TenneT Holding BV and Elia System. RWE, which also generates power, rose 0.5 percent to 40.74 euros in Frankfurt trading as of 11:05 a.m. local time today while Elia slumped 2.6 percent to 31.49 euros in Brussels. EnBW is more than 93 percent held by a southwestern German state and local authorities, while TenneT is owned by the Netherlands.

Gas-fired power plants are used to shadow renewable energy output because they can increase and reduce generation quicker than other reactors or coal-fired stations.

While Germany will add gas-fired plants, the country could have to source as much as 10 percent of its annual power use from abroad during the phase-out, said Weber.

Merkel said May 30 that Germany will raise renewable power output to 35 percent of the country?s supply in 2020 from 17 percent last year. The government already had a target of more than 30 percent and has said 35 percent would be achievable.

Germany is considering reducing the guaranteed, above- market rate paid for solar power by 6 percent on March 1, Environment Minister Roettgen said at a May 30 press conference in Berlin. That would come on top of cuts of as much as 24 percent between July and next January to adapt the subsidy to falling panel prices.

Subsidies Cuts
The government has cut subsidies further than it originally planned over the last two years after panel prices slumped with an increase in Chinese imports.

?It?s clearly possible to boost solar use in Germany: they have not yet managed to stop their market growing explosively despite increasing tariff cuts,? said Jenny Chase, Bloomberg New Energy Finance?s lead solar analyst. ?The challenge will be handling intermittency. Expect Germany to become very, very interested in a Europe-wide grid and power storage.?

That's all fine but reality is already on the way of overcoming the obstacles. Maybe you didn't read what I wrote, so here's a brief summary: What we don't need, is people coming up with reason why NOT to do something but people who spit in their hands, get to work and come up with solutions instead of saying "Wow that's a big problem, let's choose the easy way and leave everything, as it is."

Sure, I can see your point. What I wanted to point to was the original topic of shutting down all nuclear energy in 10 years in Germany, which doesn't seem possible with the current state of renewables. Nuclear fission might be the way forward, but that doesn't look to be an immediate solution and people are already scared of nuclear, so they won't like this one either.

That said I agree with your point that we need to revolutionize the way we think about electricity production. My idea would be to force shopping centers and businesses/factories to construct more energy neutral buildings. These buildings usually have huge roofs and huge cooling/heating requirements, which could be at least partially served by their own roof-mounted photovoltaic panels or some wind turbines.
 

MacGuffin

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That said I agree with your point that we need to revolutionize the way we think about electricity production. My idea would be to force shopping centers and businesses/factories to construct more energy neutral buildings. These buildings usually have huge roofs and huge cooling/heating requirements, which could be at least partially served by their own roof-mounted photovoltaic panels or some wind turbines.

Well, of course. I already said, that there is a huge potential to save energy (about 30 % is wasted right now) and that has to be the first step.

But I think the mistake many make in their thinking is, that we have a choice. In the future, however, with billions of more people becoming industrialized, we won't have the luxury of a choice about which kind of energy production we'd like to have. We will have to take anything we can get. And we have to work on a lots of frontiers simultaneously.

Wind energy alone is no solution. Solar energy alone is no solution. Same goes for any other way to produce electricity. Only a combined effort of everything possible will lead to success.

I also believe we have to live with raising energy costs for the time of transition. Consider it the price for the luxury we have been living in the past and an investment into the future. But it will be compensated partly, if not completely, by the potential of energy we can actually save.

And most of all, the so-called experts, who are only thinking in the present and lack the ability to look beyond their own noses, have to stop throwing anvils into the water to prove, that a ship of iron cannot float.
 
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WillDAQ

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Ok Nuclear is safe?
Nuclear is about as safe as any other technology, it's just that it's held to a far higher standard (rightly or wrongly so) and while accidents are less frequent they are potentially more dangerous when they do occur.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_nuclear_accidents
You have to also look at Tidal/Wave for Ukania I think myself. Six sites with predictible and large tides and lots of waves right around the whole country.
True, but if we're assessing our options based on environmental impact then tidal is out, whatever shoreline you attach it to will be radically changed.

The Severn Estuary is the most promising site in the UK, potentially generating 5% of the UK's needs... but we'd still need 5% storage elsewhere for slack tide (going to have to re-purpose a few lakes for that). Not to mention the various wild life reserve mud flats it will destroy.
 

Cobol74

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No I am not - sod 'em, do not like it then turn your lights etc. off or perhaps you'd like a Nuclear Power station next door - and pay for it and we will not need the tidal barrier - your choice.

How come the French have gotten away with it (Their todal barrier I refer to) - they do not stand for this NIMBY rubbish.

As I have posted there are ways of using the low demand electricity but it will be an issue - still they have a active life of 200 years and you can put a motorway across the top - how useful.
 
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MacGuffin

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France is different.

It's a centralized country. What Paris says, is done. The government has a lot more power to push projects through, than in Britain or Germany.

Also the French consider every technology they think they have a leading edge in, a matter of national pride and of national interest. So they will give up nuclear power as last of all countries in the world.
 
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jmsprovan

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No I am not - sod 'em, do not like it then turn your lights etc. off or perhaps you'd like a Nuclear Power station next door - and pay for it and we will not need the tidal barrier - your choice.

How come the French have gotten away with it (Their todal barrier I refer to) - they do not stand for this NIMBY rubbish.

As I have posted there are ways of using the low demand electricity but it will be an issue - still they have a active life of 200 years and you can put a motorway across the top - how useful.

the french can afford to experiment with renewables because 3/4 of their power comes from Nuclear and they are still building new plants, they aren't panicking to find alternatives within the next decade to replace a shortfall in energy production.
 

Cobol74

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Experiment? The French barrage is 45 years old and still going. How much CO2 has that saved the world?

Opened on the 26th November 1966

"Assessments
In spite of the high development cost of the project, the costs have now been recovered, and electricity production costs are lower than that of nuclear power generation (1.8c per kWh, versus 2.5c per kWh for nuclear)."

Obviously the longer it runs the cheaper the electricity is. It only has another 140 years before needing a complete refurb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

No one has lied about the costs and I think you will find that the environment is not too buggered up either.
 
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MWF

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Experiment? The French barrage is 45 years old and still going. How much CO2 has that saved the world?

Opened on the 26th November 1966

"Assessments
In spite of the high development cost of the project, the costs have now been recovered, and electricity production costs are lower than that of nuclear power generation (1.8c per kWh, versus 2.5c per kWh for nuclear)."

Obviously the longer it runs the cheaper the electricity is. It only has another 140 years before needing a complete refurb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

No one has lied about the costs and I think you will find that the environment is not too buggered up either.

OK so the proposed Severn Barrage would generate 8640MW compared to Rance's 240, which is 0.012% of France's energy needs. Assuming the UK and France with similarly sized populations then that would be roughly 0.5% of our electricity requirements at an estimate cost of between ?10 billion and ?34 billion for which investment we could build between 8 and 26 up to date nuclear facilities with a combined capacity of 12800-41600MW. Reliably.

Meanwhile nobody can actually agree on what should be done at the Severn Estuary and the whole thing seems to be bogged down.
 
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