Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ontario was a Nuclear Cheapie


Well, more stuff comes out. They did choose AECL from the beginning, and all they wanted to do was drive down the price. The price was 'billions' more than they wanted to pay. What does that mean? The cost is 'billions', they wanted it for free? They added billions to the cost by picking that site.

As the article says, aecl is finished, and will have to be rendered for sale. GE would buy the candu servicing portion, since those reactors are always falling apart, and aecl has done such a good job in NB (not!).

Meanwhile, we still got the deep geology thingie at Bruce. That too, will collapse under its own ridiculous weight, and I'll be left with nothing..... :(


Harbles said...

I imagine that means we will see more of this type of project.
Makes more sense than big plants but too bad about the Co2. If they spend a few billion of the nuc bucs on transmission line upgrades to HVdc so we can isolate ourselves from the rest of the grid like Quebec has done then we wont have anymore blackouts.

Harold Asmis said...

As I've written, DC is bad for high population densities. And the operations people are chewing up our nuclear plants fast.

Harbles said...

I keep coming back with the HVDC light which is a bi-polar buried system from ABB. The HVDC should only be used to tie in other parts of the grid (USA) to take advantage of the asynchronous operation features that allows restoring power to small sections of the system as soon as generation (smaller gas co-gen plants) can be fired up. Also HVDC is very good for long runs to minimize losses due to radiation and ohmic heating.
So not total replacement with HVDC but strategic enhancement to improve stability.

Harold Asmis said...

I see no mention of grounding mats. I guess it's all a matter of how much power you are pushing through.

Harbles said...

Each cable is shielded like a co-ax rf cable. The two cables (+ and -) are buried very close to each other to cancel magnetic fields.

Harold Asmis said...

Yeah, yeah, saw that. But if there is a sudden short, there is a lot of electron momentum. That's the downside of DC in general.

Harbles said...

Not sure what you mean by 'electron momentum' other than angular momentum. There is inductance and stored energy in a magnetic field. That's what did in the super conducting splice at the LHC when the energy stored in the magnetic field wound up being dissipated in the resistance of the bad splice instead of a resistor bank used for this purpose.
DC voltage does not cross through zero AC does so should a fault in the insulation allow an arc it will not extinguish during zero cross. I have heard of a zipper like effect where once a fault occurs and creates an arc it can 'zip' up the wire burning insulation on the way. Modern technology can remotely detect this by looking at the current wave form (normally flat and constant but gets spiky if an arc occurs) and shut down the system. They also have ground fault breakers that trip if the current in the two poles doesn't balance meaning the difference went somewhere else (bad).
They use grounding mats in the switch yard as normal for AC high voltage distribution.

Unknown said...

Harbles, the gas-fired plants aren't being built to replace nuclear. The way the baseload demand is going, we don't especially have to replace the nuclear. Gas is being built to replace the coal, the flexible dispatchable reliable supply that keeps the lights on when needed and sits patiently ("in the car") when it's not needed. (More like a case of beer than a GF, if you've ever heard that old joke.)

Replacing existing coal with new gas will be very expensive, but there's no increase of CO2 involved there. As Carbon-abatement schemes go, it should be lots more reliable than trying to displace coal with nuclear, and maybe almost as expensive.

Norm Rubin
Energy Probe

Harold Asmis said...


Harbles said...

Right on.

A network of gas co-gen peaker plants that can supply power during the 4-6 hrs of max usage tied together by a network of hvdc lines to provide alternate paths for power to flow in any direction as needed.