ESB Engineer: Ireland should go Nuclear

wombat

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In the 2030's Nuclear fusion reactors will be developed.
Unlikely, the technology has proven to be difficult verging on impossible, it's the holy grail of energy but may prove to be just as mythical. Fission is a well proven technology but still politically unacceptable aka madness
 


toughbutfair

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Ideally we would but we neither have the population numbers nor enough intelligence to run one. Imagine the people of Kerry (who vote Healey Rae) being in charge. Our desire for cheap education means our universities our of a low standard. So, unfortunately it’s a no from me.
 

Baron von Biffo

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Ideally we would but we neither have the population numbers nor enough intelligence to run one. Imagine the people of Kerry (who vote Healey Rae) being in charge. Our desire for cheap education means our universities our of a low standard. So, unfortunately it’s a no from me.
Or even worse, imagine if the people of Dublin who gave us - Haughey, Ahern, Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor, Mary Mitchell-O'Connor, Ivor Callely, Aodhan O'Riordain, the two Brian Lenihans, Maria Bailey, Eamon Ryan, Paul Murphy, Mary Lou McDonald, Josepha Madigan, Shane Ross, Brid Smith, and on and on - were in charge
 

wombat

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Ideally we would but we neither have the population numbers nor enough intelligence to run one. Imagine the people of Kerry (who vote Healey Rae) being in charge. Our desire for cheap education means our universities our of a low standard. So, unfortunately it’s a no from me.
Absolute rubbish if you know nothing about a subject-is binn beal ina thost
 

recedite

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The main issue with these seems to be that they don't comply with the rules and regulatory structures already in place, in countries with conventional nuclear plants.

But in our situation, that's not an issue as we would be creating brand new rules anyway, being nuclear virgins.
 
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riven

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The use of renewables in the form of wind and solar has not been successful in creating large reductions in CO2 in electricity grids. We can look to Germany and California to see this, who have spent large sums of money over the last twenty years to achieve quite little.

Thus we do have an issue in needing to apply another technology, if we consider that CO2 is worth addressing. That means nuclear given that tidal/wave is still early doors. Therefore those who will not consider it are intrinsically linked to a high CO2 emissions pathway. Sorry greens, but ye are only fake greens.

This of course only get electricity on the ball. Other issues come about for heating and transport.

Regarding the waste issue, waste from normal activities i.e. landfill has not been "fixed" either. Further the entire stockpile of nuclear waste from Europe is not large. Several countries have all of their waste in a single facility as opposed to super dumps.
 

Patslatt1

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It would seem the obvious way to go. Ireland already uses Nuclear energy generated in the UK anyway, via the interconnector.
Ireland lacks the specialised engineering skills for the job and it would be very expensive to attract foreign contractors with the requisite experience except for the Chinese. And Chinese aren't noted for environmental concerns going by the psychedelic colours of the rivers in China as seen from aeroplanes.
 

Patslatt1

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The use of renewables in the form of wind and solar has not been successful in creating large reductions in CO2 in electricity grids. We can look to Germany and California to see this, who have spent large sums of money over the last twenty years to achieve quite little.

Thus we do have an issue in needing to apply another technology, if we consider that CO2 is worth addressing. That means nuclear given that tidal/wave is still early doors. Therefore those who will not consider it are intrinsically linked to a high CO2 emissions pathway. Sorry greens, but ye are only fake greens.

This of course only get electricity on the ball. Other issues come about for heating and transport.

Regarding the waste issue, waste from normal activities i.e. landfill has not been "fixed" either. Further the entire stockpile of nuclear waste from Europe is not large. Several countries have all of their waste in a single facility as opposed to super dumps.
Google searches on wind turbine bids for energy projects in the USA show that wind energy has become competitive with fossil fuels,possibly because of the enormous height of the latest turbines. Interconnectors are essential to make wind energy competitive by reducing reliance on backup gas fired plants.
 

Patslatt1

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Pat Kenny regularly discusses this subject and seems to be very supportive of the new type of reactor referred to as 'molten salt'. Apparently they are efficient in even very small sizes and cannot melt down under any circumstances. Presumably they are capable of having less serious localised accidents though. The lifespan is twenty-five years at the end of which waste material which would fill the average sitting room has been produced. They sound like a game-changer and hydrogen-the only real answer to the renewable problems , is proving very difficult to improve
Those reactors likely lack economies of scale if orders aren't pouring in.
 

Turbinator

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Ireland lacks the specialised engineering skills for the job and it would be very expensive to attract foreign contractors with the requisite experience except for the Chinese. And Chinese aren't noted for environmental concerns going by the psychedelic colours of the rivers in China as seen from aeroplanes.
ro

Probably due to the mining of rare earth metals for wind turbines
 

Turbinator

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Google searches on wind turbine bids for energy projects in the USA show that wind energy has become competitive with fossil fuels,possibly because of the enormous height of the latest turbines. Interconnectors are essential to make wind energy competitive by reducing reliance on backup gas fired plants.
Wind and Solar still contribute very little to power demand in the US despite the vast subsidies thrown in their direction

 

riven

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Google searches on wind turbine bids for energy projects in the USA show that wind energy has become competitive with fossil fuels,possibly because of the enormous height of the latest turbines. Interconnectors are essential to make wind energy competitive by reducing reliance on backup gas fired plants.
Only competitive when you ignore the intermittent problem, which inter-connectors will not fix, due to the continent scale of wind patterns. Which means storage and given that PSH is considered too expensive in many cases, you are struggling.

And given that PSH is not suitable for Ireland on the scale required (weekly and inter seasonal storage), limited inter-connector capacity, there needs to be other technologies. Batteries BTW are extortionately more expensive than PSH...

Solar is not a likely candidate given its abject performance in Germany, where the entire capacity of solar on the grid was added in an era of stagnant emissions. Coast generators seen to be problematic and there are not many examples. so that least few options.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Can you imagine the boardroom opportunities for former Ministerial drivers...
 

riven

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Therefore those who will not consider it are intrinsically linked to a high CO2 emissions pathway. Sorry greens, but ye are only fake greens.
And some agree with me.
 

Marcella

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Without far greater integration into the European electricity grid, I don’t believe a tiny system like Ireland’s lends itself to nuclear.

System transients could not be catered for by a nuclear reactor which largely remain at base load.
 
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Turbinator

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Without far greater integration into the European electricity grid, I don’t believe a tiny system like Ireland’s lend’s itself to nuclear.

System transients could not be catered for by a nuclear reactor which largely remain at base load.
The Czech Rep which is a small enough country too, relies primarily on nuclear - been there a few ago and unlike Germany its wonderfull countryside is not destroyed by giant useless windfarms. Their energy prices are also just a fraction of Germany's(and here!!)
 

Marcella

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The Czech Rep which is a small enough country too, relies primarily on nuclear - been there a few ago and unlike Germany its wonderfull countryside is not destroyed by giant useless windfarms. Their energy prices are also just a fraction of Germany's(and here!!)
I would imagine the Czech Republic is well connected to the Europe grid.
 

riven

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Without far greater integration into the European electricity grid, I don’t believe a tiny system like Ireland’s lends itself to nuclear.

System transients could not be catered for by a nuclear reactor which largely remain at base load.
Why? And system transients are the issue but not how you imagine.

If we ignore the fact that Ireland will not be significantly integrated to the EU grid any time in the next 20 years, if it were, it would need a power source that is not correlated to EU generation. As weather patterns in EU are generally well correlated, this would leave little excess wind or solar to trade.

Not that Ireland would have much to trade given the small size of its grid.
 

Orbit v2

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EDF has found some significant welding faults in parts used in existing reactors. Could be very expensive to fix.
 

Marcella

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Why? And system transients are the issue but not how you imagine.

If we ignore the fact that Ireland will not be significantly integrated to the EU grid any time in the next 20 years, if it were, it would need a power source that is not correlated to EU generation. As weather patterns in EU are generally well correlated, this would leave little excess wind or solar to trade.

Not that Ireland would have much to trade given the small size of its grid.
Electricity trade is dependent on generating capability and the ability to transmit it.

If Ireland were well integrated to Europe and had a grid capable, it could, like France, build nuclear plants and export its surplus generation.

As it is, Ireland is largely an isolated grid, which means system transients are a big issue that must be accounted for to ensure reliability of supply.

If Ireland had a nuclear plant, I do not believe that plant could instantaneously lift load due to the need to control the rate of fission. As such, gas turbine plant are utilised because they can provide the instantaneous power increase to account for a sudden loss of generation elsewhere on the grid.

Put simply, if it made economic and engineering sense, Ireland would already have nuclear plants.
 
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