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Nuclear - future for Ireland?

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,852 ✭✭✭ SeanW


    So much nonsense, deflection and evasion I don't even know where to start.

    Firstly, the link between TMI and the subsequent fall off in new nuclear wasn't made by me, it was made your fellow anti-nuke, and I responded to that. And yes, AFAIK some reactors were cancelled in the wake of TMI and Chernobyl. Secondly, the laws of physics haven't changed since the Cold War, wind and solar radiation are still low-density, unstable "fuels" so any attempt to harness them on a large scale will always be a massive undertaking with severe economic and ecological consequences.

    Thirdly, as to your source that showed a graph of German electric carbon intensity having gone down to 200g/kwh and change, I honestly have no idea where that comes from as the live data usually shows German electricity being much more carbon intense than that, i.e. 400g/kwh and over https://app.electricitymap.org/zone/DE see attached pic for this time today, which despite costs of at least €100bn (and counting) is still 4-10 worse on average than France. Even if I accepted that German intensity cuts were a big deal (which I don't) it would still be a pathetic reduction compared to what France achieved in the 20th century, in their case by accident as they started their nuclear buildup in the 1970s when no-one cared about carbon emissions. Yet their correct decision all those decades ago is still bearing fruit, as carbon intensity data demonstrates.

    As to your claim that sky high electricity costs in Germany are not related to the Energiewende, that too is at variance with reality, at least 1/5th of it is explicitly renewable-subsidy related and the rest indicates that the German grid is really, really inefficient for some reason. Taxes like VAT in Germany are not at variance with global norms, costs are. https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/what-german-households-pay-power BTW Denmark which has similar policies also has ridiculous energy costs.

    And your supposed response to my claims about large birds and bats (I was very specific) your response was both evasive of the point actually raised, misleading and just plain false:

    • I was very specifically referring to large birds (such as eagles) and bats. I could not have been clearer in that respect. For some reason, you responded by attacking an imaginary strawman argument about "birds" as a general, homogenous group.
    • Cats may kill more birds than windmills overall, but the former generally can only kill small birds whereas windmills kill a much wider variety of birds including large birds such as eagles. That's kind of a big deal for a variety of reasons.
    • Most of the birds killed by cats are killed by feral cats, not housecats.

    https://www.kcet.org/redefine/4-reasons-why-its-a-bad-argument-to-say-cats-kill-more-birds-than-wind-turbines




  • Registered Users Posts: 901 ✭✭✭ gjim


    Wow - you're really doubling down...

    "the link between TMI and the subsequent fall off in new nuclear wasn't made by me". Hmm.. you said "Well, your chart and associated comment shows that the failure to build more nuclear power plants since 1979 has more to do with erroneous public perception than reality." given the comment was about 3 mile island.

    "the laws of physics haven't changed since the Cold War, wind and solar radiation are still low-density, unstable "fuels" so any attempt to harness them on a large scale will always be a massive undertaking with severe economic and ecological consequences.". Strawman waffle - nobody claimed the laws of physics changed. The economics have changed - I even provided a link which shows the price per kWh of solar has dropped 90% in 10 years and wind turbines by 85% in the same period while nuclear (which has been uncompetitive since the mid 1980s) has risen 30% in the same period. At this stage for new build nuclear, a kWh costs between 5 and 8 times that of the same electricity generated by solar PV. It's over for nuclear and has been for decades, regardless of what nuclear fluff piece you've gullibly swallowed about nuclear being cheap, safe and good for the environment. It had nothing to do with hippies and everything to do with simple financial arithmetic.

    Not only has there been "attempts" to harness wind and solar but they are now the dominant new forms of generations globally with 80% of new capacity added last year being either wind or solar. And the rate of installation is increasing. And prices are continuing to drop. There's no way back.

    "I honestly have no idea where that comes from as the live data usually shows German electricity being much more carbon intense than that". Seems quite obvious to me - it says "European Environmental Agency" right there at the top of the page. In big letters. These are official EU stats and as the page explained, averaged over a year.

    "Taxes like VAT in Germany are not at variance with global norms, costs are." - I gave a direct link Eurostat link which gives a perfectly clear indication of how much electricity costs for consumers in various countries split by cost paid to the utility vs taxes added by government. 52% of a Germans' electricity bill is tax while in France it's 26%. So yes energy taxes in Germany are at variance with those in France. Ex-tax, there is little difference between French and German ex-tax costs which makes sense since they're part of the same grid and large amounts of electricity are traded between them every day.

    Could you start a separate thread for your concern about birds and wildlife? I'll be happy to provide feedback on the article you linked to there. I do find it curious that EVERY one of the posters on this thread who seem to believe that nuclear fission is great also happen to be very enthusiastic ornithologists. I mean one nuclear promoter I could overlook, but EVERY one who presents 10 year stale arguments has repeated the bird-murdering-turbines concerns. And strange, I've never noticed your contributions in the Nature & Bird Watching board?



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,434 ✭✭✭ mandrake04


    Ireland wont have Nuclear, they cant even be trusted to run a decent Health system and the European Neighbours wouldn't have a Nuclear risk like that on their door step. Ireland will have a bit of renewables and like the Germans who are already running down Nuclear and committing to go Green Hydrogen they will probably buy in the G Hydrogen from middle east or further afield and will pay through the nose for it. The Germans will give you a good pat on head like good boys for all your good work.



  • Registered Users Posts: 27,204 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    this is more or less nonsense.

    the reason ireland won't have nuclear is cost, nothing more nothing less.

    the government wouldn't be running the plant anyway, it will either be someone like EDF, or the ESB would be running it who are perfectly capable of running it in the unlikely event ireland did adopt nuclear.

    a nuclear ireland would be no more of a risk then any other nuclear nation, however quite rightly we won't be spending multiple irish children's hospitals worth of money on a plant.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,434 ✭✭✭ mandrake04


    Its not really nonsense at all, you are partly correct the cost and such a small population not feasible. The reason why Health system is basically a joke is because Ireland cant really afford it... some will say its because its mismanaged etc which is partly true but if they threw enough money at it it would definitely improve it. Its like Metro North etc its all for show makes the gaff sound more cosmopolitan, Ireland is the great pretender. The future is G Hydrogen lads.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Have to agree with the previous poster, nonsense



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 16,843 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Mod: The HSE is not on topic. Less nonsense.



  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,965 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    As well as cost, there are also practical technical issues that make it not suited to Ireland. The type of reactors that are built today, large EPR’s, are simply far too large and powerful for a grid as small and as disconnected as Irelands.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    Stop talking sense and facts

    The “environmentalists” (yes quotes) don’t care about reducing co2 but care for the Luddite notions of degrowth and controlling every aspect of peoples day to day lives.

    Thats much is clear of you read the comments on threads on boards from the posters on this thread.

    Roads are bad, nuclear is bad, prosperity and descent lives are bad, Buying from China who continue to crap on the same planet we share while using slave labour is good.



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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,714 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    At the start of the year you'd have expected the UK to have it's 16 units online in the middle of December.

    Only 8 today on full power and another one on reduced power because Nuclear is expensive AND unreliable.

    In addition to the 2 units closed ahead of schedule this year, there's 4 units closing down in 2021 and another 4 in 2024. "trust us, this time it will be different"


    Sizewell B Estimated decommissioning date: 2035

    Reactor 1 - In service

    Reactor 2 - In service


    Torness - Estimated end of generation: 2030

    Reactor 1 - In service

    Reactor 2 - In service - (Next statutory outage May 2022)


    Heysham 2 - Estimated end of generation: 2030

    Reactor 7 - Offline - Off-load refuelling - Expected return to service 22 December 2021

    Reactor 8 - In service

    Heysham 1 - Estimated end of generation: March 2024

    Reactor 1 - In service

    Reactor 2 - In service - At reduced load to manage fuel temperatures


    Hartlepool - Estimated end of generation: March 2024

    Reactor 1 - Offline - Expected return to service 15 January 2022

    Reactor 2 - Offline - Non planned Expected return to service 15 December


    Hinkley Point B - Estimated decommissioning date: July 2022

    Reactor 3 - In service

    Reactor 4 - Offline - Graphite inspection outage - Expected return to service 18 December 2021


    Hunterston B - Estimated decommissioning date: January 2022

    Reactor 3 - Offline - Moved to defuelling phase. Will not return to power generation.

    Reactor 4 - In service


    Dungeness B - was supposed to keep going till 2028 but too many repairs needed.

    2 reactors offline in extended outage since 2018




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,714 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    EDF share price has fallen 13% because of corrosion# in one power station in France meant shutting down another of the same type. It puts 13% of current availability in France offline and other reactors will likely need to be checked too.

    It said the French utility could need to spend about 2 billion-3 billion euros ($2.3 billion-$3.4 billion) in 2022 to buy back some of its power to cover outages at the nuclear reactors.

    Again Nuclear is unreliable. And it's bloody expensive to subside. This will also affect EDF's profits which will affect it's future viability.


    # faults had been detected near the welds on the pipes of the safety injection system circuit of the second reactor in Civaux, western France. A similar problem had already been detected in the plant’s first reactor



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    yes being green is expensive


    by time you add on costs of grid updates and batteries and hydrogen to wind and solar it’s even more expensive

    it only appears cheap now as gas picks up the slack while polluting the planet and empowering authoritarian Russia

    France had lowest inflation in western world this year 1% vs 5% in Ireland and up to 10% in US precisely because of nuclear power and not relying on others

    aside: have you figured out where you gonna get the rarest metal on earth (iridium) to make hydrogen economy somewhat possible? https://www.boards.ie/discussion/2057979198/energy-infrastructure#latest



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    France had lowest inflation in western world this year 1% vs 5% in Ireland and up to 10% in US precisely because of nuclear power and not relying on others

    Not sure where you are getting your data, but its incorrect. Frances inflation is rocketing up, the same as every other country. Maybe not at the same rate, but its climbing, and climbing fast

    France 1 year inflation

    France 5 yr inflation

    Also, just to be clear, yes energy prices have an impact on inflation, but so do consumer goods, property etc. One element can push it up a bit, but it takes price increases across the board to raise it as much as we've seen globally

    Ireland 1 yr

    Ireland 5 yr

    US 1 yr rate

    US 5 yr rate

    100% agree with regarding gas. The sooner we fully transition away from fossil fuels, the better. Note I'm including nuclear as a fossil fuel



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    congratulations for further highlighting that France has the lowest inflation in western world this year due to nuclear power while remaining the greenest and not empowering authoritarians like Putin’s to invade European countries

    found any of that rare iridium yet?




  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    I'm not sure that qualifies as a "gotcha" when I freely stated "Frances inflation is rocketing up, the same as every other country. Maybe not at the same rate, but its climbing, and climbing fast"

    Iridium, huh?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    Yes it’s climbing because gas prices are one part of current world wide inflation rise and France is only 70% nuclear power generation the remainder gone up same rate as rest.

    However it’s the largest part, CSO pointed out that inflation in Ireland rising is primarily due to increased gas prices

    Here we have a country that not only continues to remain the greenest in Europe but also the cheapest energy wise

    It wasn’t me that tried to **** on nuclear with a ‘gotcha’ post “latching onto maintenance cost, the facts speak for themselves, people in France are not experiencing energy rises like us while remaining the Greenest in Europe

    neither was it me trying to trumpet a yet non existent hydrogen technology that relies on literally the rarest element in earths crust

    btw (Since I know you hate datacenters) France has a ton of them employing people directly and indirectly creating a startup culture with cheapest cloud server prices in Europe



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    CSO pointed out that inflation in Ireland rising is primarily due to increased gas prices

    Again, your information is incorrect, not sure where you are getting these things. You may want to double check your sources. The CSO, in their latest CPI data release stated increases due to "Transport (+2.07%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+1.92%), Restaurants & Hotels (+0.61%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.23%)" for the last year

    Under Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels they specifically state "Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels rose mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments and an increase in the cost of electricity, home heating oil and gas."

    Under Transport, they stated "Transport increased primarily due to higher prices for diesel, petrol and motor cars, an increase in airfares and a rise in the cost of services in respect of personal transport equipment."

    Here's is the CSO's latest press release on the topic

    Anyway, I'll let the CSO be the final word on the topic as this thread is focused on nuclear, so I'm happy to discuss that with you. If you wish to discuss inflation further, happy to meet you over on the Taxation forum.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    What’s this then

    “Energy prices remain the chief culprit for the inflation hike. Electricity, gas and other fuels are up 29% on an annual basis.”



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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,060 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy


    Germany was wrong and foolish to close the plants before other energy sources were in place.


    It was a political stunt and ill thought out. They have paid for the insane costs of nuclear, they might as well have spread it out as much as possible.


    Solar costs on a pure free market basis, no subsidy etc are the cheapest source of energy. Cheaper than coal in India, which is very cheap.


    Efficiency has doubled every 18 months and costs halved every 28 months for the last decade.


    That's common in relatively new tech.


    The public will get over the risks of nuclear, they are very small, they will not get over the cost.

    Nuclear can't survive without incredible govt support, it's Why only dictatorships are building new plants.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    A high-level analysis of the potential of SMR's, their development, potential markets and risks




  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    It’s only cheap because variability is externalised onto grid which then needs gas etc as backup

    a 1000mw reactor will produce 1000mw like clockwork rain or shine, 1000mw of solar panels will make a fraction of this depending on time of day, time of year, cloud cover on that day, to make it produce consistently in 100% green way (not requiring equal amounts of co2 or producing plants) would require massive batteries which puts the cost well higher than nuclear

    its easy to greenwash when you ignore the how variable wind and solar is

    take a look at Germany, dirtiest and most expensive electricity in Europe compared to greenest and cheapest next door on France

    yet the Germans feel they doing great despite the facts as they believe in the greenwashing



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,060 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy


    It has and we should import electricity via a connector.

    There is an established free market here now for electricity and across Europe.


    That's staying, for right or wrong.


    If we had a nuclear plant here, you couldn't force consumers to cough up extra, they will go for the cheapest every time and talk about Bats or Putin, won't matter to them.


    Nuclear falls down on cost, everything else can be overcome.


    Nuclear plants should be kept running as long as possible though.


    They had immense potential once but it never really delivered on that potential.


    I think nuclear should be included in sustainable energy funds, that existing plants have a lot of use and if the French want to pony up then let them.


    There are strategic energy reasons, powerful unions, national pride etc as reasons for nuclear that override vulgar talk of the insane costs.


    It doesn't mean that nuclear will be more price efficient in the free market or the future.


    It was the future once.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    Take it up with RTE

    the fact remains the country with highest percentage of generation with nuclear had the lowest inflation this year to date

    you want to point out a country with lower inflation this year that doubled down on wind and solar?



  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,965 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    “It’s only cheap because variability is externalised onto grid which then needs gas etc as backup”

    Hold on there a second, you know if you build a 1000mw reactor, you would also have to build a 1000mw of gas power plants to back it up!

    Nuclear needs a backup, in case the reactor goes offline, either for regular maintenance (which often last for months, if not years) or if there was an accident. I can give you dozens of examples of offline reactors around the world.

    Other countries can get away with it, because they are part of a much larger grid, with many synchronous AC interconnecters to their neighbours.

    Ireland being a small, isolated grid doesn’t have that luxury. So any Nuclear reactors would need natural gas backups too.

    That is why Nuclear doesn’t make sense here. Either way, if we go wind or Nuclear, we would still need the same natural gas power plant backups (or hydrogen, etc. in the future). So that cost is a wash. But wind is much faster and cheaper to build and operate.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭ correct horse battery staple


    No it doesn’t you build multiple reactors and rotate some down for maintenance

    Moneypoint has 3x 333mw coal boilers, one of 3 is always kept down for maintenance, it’s not rocket/nuclear science

    The whole Ireland is small rhethoric is silly too, our usage is expected to go up 50% by 2030 according to Eirgrid (more if the million electric cars thing comes true) and double from there as population grows, people switch to electric transport and heating and high tech industries like chip fabs and datacenters are build.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ DaCor


    Canada is developing Sodium based SMR's which will consume nuclear waste as fuel (U238 instead of U235). It'll be interesting to see how these go when they come online in the 2030's if they don't suffer from the construction curse of regular nuclear plants




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 88,714 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    "Nuclear falls down on cost, everything else can be overcome."

    Nuclear is unreliable. That hasn't been overcome in 77 years.

    Nuclear is putting all your eggs in one basket and then counting your chickens. Far too many examples of reactors dropping offline to consider it reliable. Parts scandals, design flaws, predictable weather events and political decisions can put fleets of nuclear reactor out of service. Nuclear only provides base load power and only dependable when you have serious amounts of backup.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,060 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy


    1 reactor is insanely expensive to build, you want to build multiples and idle them periodically.


    That's a whole new level of thinking.

    Who will pay for it, the tooth fairy?


    Or does the money part not concern you?


    It will be the taxpayer, unless sine private investors can be forced at gun point.



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