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Forum > Nuke Puke

How the Nuclear Power "Industry" Views Renewable Energy Technology

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An EXCELLENT example of how the originally claimed "TOO CHEAP TO METER" Nuclear Power Plant Electricity has ALWAYS been Prohibitively EXPENSIVE but PROVIDED by GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY born of behind the scenes nuclear advocate arm twisting (i.e. CORRUPTION)  >:(

Hinkley C Nuclear Power Plant To Get Twice The Rate As Solar PV  From UK Government ???

White Elephant

Radioactive Poisonous White Elephant

In a demonstration of how out of touch the UK government is with public opinion, it intends to pay approximately twice as much for electricity from the proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant near Bristol than is paid for electricity from solar power in Europe. With high public support for solar PV and low support for nuclear, that’s quite absurd. >:( It’s also very absurd from an economic standpoint. :P

Dr David Toke of the University of Aberdeen writes: “Looming large over the UK Government’s EU state aid application for Hinkley C is the charge that this deal will distort the EU’s internal market, in particular to undercut solar pv arrays in Germany over 10 MW in size. Such arrays are no longer eligible to receive premium prices under the German feed-in tariff system. Such plant will only receive the wholesale electricity price, which is less than half the rates to be paid to Hinkley C.”

Dr William Nuttall of the Open University writes: “Today’s news is that a two reactor power station is to be built at Hinkley Point near Bristol capable of supplying 3,340MW, or roughly 7% of British electricity in the 2020s. This has come at a price, called the ‘strike price’. French company EDF Energy, the lead firm of the construction consortium, has secured a long-term commitment from the government that the nuclear-powered electricity it generates will be bought at the hefty price of £92.50 per megawatt hour. That wholesale price is almost double today’s market price, and isn’t far off what the end consumer is paying today to keep their lights on. When wholesale prices meet retail prices things are unsustainable. Don’t forget that between power generation and use there are businesses that deal with transmission, distribution and supply, and they all need their cut.”

Furthermore, as a summary by Craig Morris of Renewables International indicates, the payments are supposed to be guaranteed even if electricity is not provided to the grid    :o >:( because of curtailment, and the guarantee is supposed to last for 35 years, which would be from 2023 (if the power plant is miraculously built on time) to 2058.  ???

With the guaranteed price already well above what solar and wind power cost (and their costs continuously declining), the taxpayer commitment for this power plant is so crazily high that it seems this story should be coming from The Onion rather than reality.

The UK’s move to subsidize nuclear power to such an insane degree is simply astonishing.

Dr Toke has more on how this commitment goes completely against EU rules:

The fact that the Hinkley C deal distorts the EU’s internal market to give a state aid to nuclear power that is not available to renewable energy directly flies in the face of the EU’s state aid regulations. Under these rules it is permissable to give premium price incentives to renewable energy, subject to clearance by the EU Commission that they have been applied according to the correct procedure. However, state aid for non-renewable energy, while not necessarily illegal under EU rules, has to be the subject of a special application. The issue that arises here is that the UK Government, in effect, is wanting to give priority state aid in the EU electricity market to a fuel which has no exemption over and above a fuel which does have an exemption.

The UK is going to be increasing trade in electricity along with the others, with increased electricity interconnector capacity helping this. But what is going to be happening now? British policy will be giving a state-aided competitive advantage to nuclear power in this cross border trade over and above renewable energy. This threatens to directly contradict EU competition and internal market policy and law.

This issue will be a prominent factor in the European Commission’s investigations in the UK Government’s application for state aid for Hinkley C (for which it has recently notified the Commission). Renewable generators across the EU will be pointing out how the UK policy may be contravening EU law. Analysts will remember that it took a case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to establish the right of the German state to give premium prices to renewable energy. What would the ECJ say about a case where nuclear power was being given priority premiums in the EU electricity market against renewable energy? I can see no basis in law for this, as discussed above.


Agelbert NOTE:the nuclear power industry, TERRIFIED of renewable Energy, is CHEATING to undercut Renewable Energy and RIDICULOUSLY PAD the rate for Nuclear Power plant Electricity BEFORE a plant is even BUILT AND guarantee it DECADES into the future!

Now consider what THOSE subsidies and incentives activity would mean if they were applied to renewable energy. ;) Exactly! nuclear power AND fossil fuels would be priced out of the market IN A HEART BEAT!

There is always some money in CORRUPTION.

On of the more polite Agelbert exchanges with a nuke puke (claimed to be a materials engineer with over 30 years experience in nuclear power plant siting, building, operating and maintenance costs) during March of 2011.


Atomsk's comments are spot on!

Droll Troll had the brass to claim everything was "all good" at Fukushima. I claimed from the start that the reactor vessels had been **** by the earthquake even BEFORE the tsunami. History has proven me right and Droll Troll a bald faced liar.

Also, Vermont Yankee will, thankfully, CLOSE by the end of 2014. Droll Troll Bill had been claiming that it was "cost effective" to keep Vermont Yankee running. He also expresssed dismay abut my "adversarial" dialogue.

Agelbert snark added today along with emoticons
Bill (Droll Troll)

One of the questions you asked me the other day piqued my curiosity and I have done some pencil pushing. The following is based on the current GE ABWR, not the Mark 1 used at Fukushima-1. The new reactor is much bigger and more powerful but the per rod data should be pretty close to the reactors with the accident:

Total number of fuel rods: 54,064
Total uranium dioxide in reactor: 379,221 lbs
Uranium dioxide in each rod: 7 lbs
Uranium in each rod: 6.2 lbs
Natural uranium necessary for one rod (uranium going into enrichment): 48 lbs

Uranium cost (48 lbs): $4446  ( costs not included)
Chemical conversion: $ 283   ( costs not included)
Enrichment service: $2114 ( costs not included ) 
Rod fabrication: $1500 ( costs not included) 
Cost per rod: $8143  

Reactor electrical output (gross) 1,356 MW

Electrical output per rod: 25 kw (excluding all the energy required to mine, refine and maufacture it, of course!) 

Electricity generated over 4.5 years: 591,300 kwh per rod

Wholesale value of electricity: $35,478 per rod 

Federal fee for disposal: $ 591 per rod

The reactor design data is from NRC filings. SWU calculation (how much enrichment is necessary) from wise-uranium.org. Uranium, chemical conversion, and enrichment service prices from uxc.com. Rod fabrication is my guess. I assumed a 90% capacity factor. Wholesale price of electricity is contract price from Vermont Yankee to instate utilities.

Good question


Posted by agelbert

Mar 30 2011 - 10:32pm

Thanks for the info. It's a lot to chew on. That 591 bucks fee floored me though. It sounds like one of those externalized costs that we the people get stuck with.

For many decades scientists were flumuxed by the paradox of the required energy for a dolphin to swim and the actual energy it uses. There was no paradox. The problem was the math in fluid mechanics and hydrodynamics. But it is a testament to the sheer bull headedness of the scientific community to cling to their world view in the face of a reality that conflicts with the math they so love.

I bring this to your attention because my baseline for logical premises is reality, not necessarily scientific status quo. No, I don't question the law of gravity but I question a lot of stuff that many scientists do, like putting mice under hard radiation to see effects on a "mammalian biological model" similar to humans. I think it's wrong to torture animals for the "good" of humanity. But that's another subject.

I will continue to balance the costs of anything that generates energy against anything else by adding up the whole enchilada.

If I buy a car that will become toxic waste after 4.5 years, I would consider it prudent to find out what it was going to cost me to detoxify this car, not just offload the toxic waste at the cheapest possible price. I don't subscribe to Wall Street's greater fool theory although that seems to be the MO of corporate executives everywhere.

So thanks again for the info. I'll get back to you with a summary comparison of nuclear energy with, among other things,  pumping with wave action water with thousands of hydraulic rams several thousand feet up a mountain and using it in a pipe back to the ocean to generate electrical energy. That and other crude and simple energy production methods work but there aren't a lot of corporate profits to be had beyond initial fabrication. Inland alternatives exist as well.

Finally, as a materials engineer, you probably know a lot better than I do how much more expensive the pipes, valves, fittings, insulation, etc. are in a nuclear power plant as opposed to those in a dam or a wind generator. All these things need to be looked at afresh IF humanity recovers from the current level of insanity.

Posted by Atomsk

Mar 30 2011 - 10:47am

Budgeting for crimes is common practice in business, and if businesses are allowed to do that, the state certainly has that right too :-/

Afaics, responsibility and risk gets concentrated at the bottom, power and payoff at the top. I think that responsibility is how society handles feedback from reality, and if you decouple that from power, you get a positive feedback loop, which will lead to cancerous structures.
I know this sounds really vague and mystical and pseudo-scientific and stupid, but I don't have better words for this.

Source: Agelbert's files. I'm sure you can find this at the Common Dreams web site archive for March, 2011. Note: This was before they adopted Disqus so the handles are in-house.

Renewable Revolution

About those Nuclear Power Plants in Germany that many shills for dirty energy screamed (and still scream) that WE NEED NUKES and Germany is going to have to REPLACE THOSE NUKES WITH (gag!, screech!, moan) COAL!    ::)                    

SNIPPET from Amory Lovins article:

GERMANY's integrated policy network in action:

--- Quote ---This integrated policy framework and the solid analysis behind it meant that the output lost when those eight reactors closed in 2011 was entirely replaced in the same year
59% by the 2011 growth of renewables,
  6% by more-efficient use, and
36% by temporarily reduced electricity exports.   Through 2012, Germany’s loss of 2010 nuclear output was 94% offset by renewable growth; through 2013, 108%. At this rate, renewable growth would replace Germany’s entire pre-Fukushima nuclear output by 2016. 
--- End quote ---

Jul 8, 2014

Amory B. Lovins Chief Scientist

How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win For Germany 

Japan thinks of itself as famously poor in energy, but this national identity rests on a semantic confusion. Japan is indeed poor in fossil fuels        —but among all major industrial countries, it’s the richest in renewable energy like sun, wind, and geothermal. For example, Japan has nine times Germany’s renewable energy resources. Yet Japan makes about nine times less of its electricity from renewables (excluding hydropower) than Germany does. 

That’s not because Japan has inferior engineers or weaker industries, but only because Japan’s government allows its powerful allies—regional utility monopolies—to protect their profits by blocking competitors.  >:(  Since there’s no mandatory wholesale power market, only about 1% of power is traded, and utilities own almost all the wires and power plants and hence can decide whom they will allow to compete against their own assets, the vibrant independent power sector has only a 2.3% market share; under real competition it would take most of the rest. These conditions have caused an extraordinary divergence between Japan’s and Germany’s electricity outcomes.

Full article at link below: 


Expect pro-nukers and fossil fuelers to claim that the U.S. is not Germany or Japan so, uh, that PROVES we DO NEED NUKES and anybody that says different does not understand "supply and demand" and is stupid, math challenged, ignorant and most of all NOT thinking "profitably"! 

Renewables Help Push Nuclear Giants to Brink of Collapse   ;D

Paul Brown, Climate News Network | November 24, 2014 9:10 am

Plans to build two giant nuclear reactors in south-west England are being reviewed as French energy companies now seek financial backing from China and Saudi Arabia—while the British government considers whether it has offered vast subsidies for a white elephant.


Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012. Photo credit: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons

A long-delayed final decision on whether the French electricity utility company EDF will build two 1.6 gigawatt European Pressurised water Reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset—in what would be the biggest construction project in Europe—was due in the new year, but is likely to drift again.

Construction estimates have already escalated to £25 billion, which is £9 billion more than a year ago, and four times the cost of putting on the London Olympics last year.

Costs Escalate

Two prototypes being built in Olikuoto, Finland and Flamanville, France, were long ago expected to be finished and operational, but are years late and costs continue to escalate. Until at least one of these is shown to work as designed, it would seem a gamble to start building more, but neither of them is expected to produce power until 2017.

With Germany phasing nuclear power out altogether and France reducing its dependence on the technology, all the industry’s European hopes are on Britain’s plans to build 10 new reactors. But British experts, politicians and businessmen have begun to doubt that the new nuclear stations are a viable proposition.

Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, London, said: “The project is at very serious risk of collapse at the moment. Only four of those reactors have ever been ordered. Two of them are in Europe, and both of those are about three times over budget. One is about five or six years late and the other is nine years late. Two more are in China and are doing a bit better, but are also running late.”

Tom Greatrex, the British Labour party opposition’s energy spokesman, called on the National Audit Office to investigate whether the nuclear reactors were value for money for British consumers.

Peter Atherton, of financial experts Liberum Capital, believes the enormous cost and appalling track record in the nuclear industry of doing things on time mean that ministers should scrap the Hinkley plans.

Billionaire businessman Jim Ratcliffe, who wants to invest £640 million in shale gas extraction in the UK, said that the subsidy that the British government would pay for nuclear electricity is “outrageous.”

Finding the vast sums of capital needed to finance the project is proving a problem. Both EDF and its French partner company, Areva, which designed the European Pressurised water Reactor (EPR), have money troubles. Last week, Areva suspended future profit predictions and shares fell by 20 percent.

Chinese power companies have offered to back the project, but want many of the jobs to go to supply companies back home—something the French are alarmed about because they need to support their own ailing nuclear industry. Saudi Arabia is offering to help too, but this may not go down well in Britain.

On the surface, all is well. Preparation of the site is already under way on the south-west coast of England, with millions being spent on earthworks and new roads. The new reactors would be built next to two existing much smaller nuclear stations—one already closed and the second nearing the end of its life. The new ones would produce 7 percent of Britain’s electricity.

But leaks from civil servants in Whitehall suggest that the government may be getting cold feet about its open-ended guarantees. The industry has a long history of cost overruns and cancellations of projects when millions have already been spent—including an ill-fated plan to build a new nuclear station on the same site 20 years ago.

The Treasury is having a review because of fears that, once this project begins, so much money will have been invested that the government will have to bail it out with billions more of taxpayers’ money to finish it—or write off huge sums.

The whole project is based on British concern about its aging nuclear reactors, which produce close on 20 percent of the country’s electricity. The government wanted a new generation of plants to replace them and eventually produce most of the country’s power.

Guaranteed Prices   

In order to induce EDF to build them, it offered subsidies of £37 billion in guaranteed electricity prices over the 60-year life of the reactors. This would double the existing cost of electricity in the UK.

The European Commission gave permission for this to happen, despite the distortion to the competitive electricity market. But this decision is set to be challenged in the European Court by the Austrian government and renewable energy companies, which will further delay the project.

Since the decision was made to build nuclear power stations, renewable energy has expanded dramatically across Europe and costs have dropped. Nuclear is now more costly than wind and solar power. In Britain alone, small-scale solar output has increased by 26 percent in the last year.

In theory, there are a number of other nuclear companies—from the U.S., China, Japan and Russia—keen to build stations of their own design in Britain, but they would want the same price guarantees as EDF for Hinkley Point.

With a general election in the UK looming in May next year, no decisions will be reached on any of these projects any time soon. And a new government might think renewables are a better bet. 



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