New Ontario Power Record: 895 days of Reliable, Uninterrupted 24×7 Zero Carbon Nuclear Power

Ontario Power Candu Reactor
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Candu Reactor. Source CANDU Owners Group

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Crispin in Waterloo; As renewable operators make endless excuses for their failures, nuclear plant operators continue to set new records for producing utterly reliable, zero carbon energy.

Candu unit sets North American operating record

10 July 2020Share

Darlington unit 1 has set a new Canadian and North American nuclear record with 895 consecutive days of unbroken operation. Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Candu reactor has now been online since 26 January 2018 without needing to be taken out of service for maintenance or repair.

“Unit 1’s remarkable run is a reflection of the strong dedication and commitment of our employees to drive efficient and robust performance from our generating units for the benefit of all Ontarians,” OPG Chief Nuclear Officer Sean Granville said. “This success story is a testament to the reliability of the Darlington station, which produces clean electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Read more: https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Candu-unit-sets-North-American-operating-record

No terrestrial solar or wind network will ever approach this level of stability and predictability. Technological advances will not help. No wind technology improvement can fix an unexpected prolonged drop in wind, just as no solar technology improvement can fix unusually overcast weather.

154 thoughts on “New Ontario Power Record: 895 days of Reliable, Uninterrupted 24×7 Zero Carbon Nuclear Power

    • I seem to recall when tons of the stuff collapsed on the unfortunate Miners’ village in Wales, it actually killed a lot of people. 🙁

    • carbon based life forms are dangerous and they are filling the planet. The only way to stop the invasion is to reduce the carbon in the air and put it in space. At least in space the carbon 02 will be checked and not feed any more invaders, except for the ones that may be on asteroids or mars.

    • Let’s hear it for Canada now! YAY! The world needs more Canada and more Canadian atomic materials.

    • Perhaps non Canadian readers are unaware that Candu technology uses unenriched uranium, and deuterium as a moderator.It can use enriched U and it can even use thorium and mixed fuels including from decommissioned weapons. It is cheaper to operate because of non enrichment and the fact it can be refueled without shutting down. It is also the safest of operating technologies. The reason it hasnt taken over the world of nuclear energy is because of a chauvinism in the worlds leading producing countries. China, Korea, Pakistan, India, Argentina and a number of others have bought them.

      https://cna.ca/technology/energy/candu-technology/

    • All power plants heat water.
      Assuming this fish kill actually occurred, you can’t blame it on nuclear power.

    • Henry,

      When fish don’t like the temperature of the water they are in, they don’t just die but can swim away to a place with a more favorable temperature, especially when the region of the unfavorable temperature is small and adjacent to more favorable conditions, as it is in this case.

      Your concern sounds like the kind vacuous arguments made by an eco zealot who’s afraid of nuclear power because political bias broke their brain.

      • Very accurate! I used to go dive for Lobster off the Pilgrim Plant in Massachusetts before it was decommissioned. Lobsters and Crabs loved the warmer water. As did the seasonal Bunkers who eat small algae in the waters. The other fish just swam 1/3 mile further out to avoid the slightly warmer waters…

    • A veritable gauntlet for flying fauna and our smaller, but wholesome insect friends, and a low-density, large-scale blight on the ecology.

    • Did the fish come back? No? Why not
      I can assure you that those fish that died REMAIN a part of the food chain.

    • In general, fish and other sea (water) creatures thrive around nuclear power plants. Karachi, Pakistan was always a good fishing area, but has really thrived after a nuclear power plant was built in the early seventies. I expect the fish catch to improve now that they are adding two more nuclear units.

    • This station is located on Lake Ontario NOT the ocean and attracts many fish and fishermen. Thermal discharge is carefully monitored and regulated.

    • I used to live in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. There is an 800MW coal fired plant on an artificial reservoir South of town. The fishing at the warm water outlet was excellent, other than having too many catfish.
      Sadly, the station is to be shut down due to religious objections.

    • Ja, at Orlando (coal) power station in Johannesburg back in the 70’s, the cooling water dam had magnificent fish, kept nice and toastie in the Jhb winters. PS why is China building coal power stations if nuclear is cheaper than coal and if it isn’t why build nuclear?

  1. Add this to the list of backup power market options for VT, NH, MA, NY, and ME in their grid policy misadventures. Not in my backyard is often filled quietly by imports without introspection or review.

  2. Some are just past it!
    UK
    EDF Nuclear plant status

    In the last few years, EDF has invested over £200million in understanding the likely impacts on the graphite reactor under a range of worse case scenarios, including up to a 1 in 10,000 year seismic event, much larger than the UK has ever experienced. We remain confident that we would be able to shut down the reactor in all such scenarios.

    Hunterston offline for over a year!

    As you are aware, market rules require us to give our most likely view of return to service dates. To support time for the ONR’s assessment we have revised our latest expectation for its return to service to 20 Aug – previously we expected it to return on 13 July.
    Reactor 4 came offline in mid-December, following a four month run of safe and reliable generation. We now aim to return the unit to service on 17 September 2020 – previously we expected it to return on 27 July.

    Daily status report
    Number of units in service:9 of 16
    Number of reactors in service:8 of 15

    • Expensive and time-consuming regulatory compliance. Good, but excessive. Would that there were more green, not Green energy production.

  3. I don’t like nukleear power … does Ontario have a program where I can pay extra so’s I don’t have to have nuked electrons coming into my house?

    And how can I be sure that the free charging stations for my prius aren’t using nuked electrons?

      • I have one of these in whole-house size on my electric meter. The only problem is that when the electron filter fills up with nuclear- or coal-generated electrons, I spill some on the ground when shaking out the filter in my trash can. I am looking for an electron broom and dust pan so I can sweep up the spilled electrons before they contaminate the environment. I was considering adding a \sarc to this, but decided against it.

        • Pour water on the spilled electrons, then dump some sodium on the mess. With any luck, it will convert and render the questionable electrons to Atomic Hydrogen which comprises a large % of all matter in the universe. You know, alchemy…

      • NO …

        They should come with the car, I mean if Toyota really cared they would be standard equipment.

        And Jordan, thanks for the tip (I don’t know why we have to do this type of thing on our own … All of society should understand why this is important and we should have neighborhood sized communal filters provided for us). Remember, we all have to do our part.

    • If you find a way to tell wich electron is “nuked” I think you will be on Nobel prize list very soon.

      • But you can tell which electron was Solar Photonic sourced…it ceases to travel after sundown

    • Not a single electron set in motion by nuclear power generation ,literally at a snails pace , will make it to your house . The electric field wave will carrying the energy you need but no electrons !

  4. And the nuclear waste generated? And a way to maintain that waste forever? What were the improvements and investments in waste treatment during the 900 days of ‘clean’ operation?

    • I saw on the internet Elon might use his rockets and send them to the Sun…the ultimate incinerator

      • I had a friend that worked on a NASA study in the 1960’s to do just that (rocket nuclear waste into the sun). The thought of a rocket malfunctioning and exploding over Central Florida, brought the study to pretty quick close.

        But remember nuclear waste doesn’t have to be stored forever, it can be recycled as they do in France.

        • “But remember nuclear waste doesn’t have to be stored forever, it can be recycled as they do in France.”

          It’s a delay, not a deny. Even the advocates who show process diagrams for various “recycle” processes, always show a tiny little “intermediate storage” container at the end. That’s why France has not commissioned a new facility for nearly 20 years and their best stab at “permanent” storage, will be for old waste. I wonder what language those French people will be speaking in a million years. They sure won’t have the same appreciation for “time capsules” as us, that’s for sure…

          • bigoilbob, you do know that they are simply burying renewables waste from wind and solar. Do you know how much of this future waste is being planned? Talk about time capsules, they will be wondering what we were thinking, you won’t be able to dig anywhere without stumbling across renewables waste. Not to mention it’s very toxic beginning.

            Explain to me how this is more clean and green than nuclear energy taking into account that nuclear power plants last three times as long as renewables and take up less space. Of course the fact that nuclear power is also ‘fit for purpose’, unlike renewables.

            I would think we should be asking for refunds, it is after all quite acceptable to return goods that don’t perform as promised.

          • “bigoilbob, you do know that they are simply burying renewables waste from wind and solar.”

            Are you REALLY trying to infer any significant degree of comparability?

            The biggest “burying” complaint I’ve heard is about turbine blades. They are made of metals and fiberglass. fiberglass = silica = sand. Not that worried about haz waste. I’m sure you can strawman some other leftovers from solar/wind. But there’s NO lifecycle comparison of solar and wind compared to to other non nuc sources that have them with environmental and/or AGW harm indices any more than an order of magnitude lower. Those comparisons include ALL of the space, durability, reliability “problems” you highlight. As for nuc, that pesky old million year stewardship responsibility seems to be one that no one actually wants to assume.

          • I mean…as Mr. Middleton is wont to say…next time do little research.

            For the isotopes remaining after full burn, the most active ones are short lived (relative timescales) and the long half-life ones are long half-life b/c they have low activity. In other words…the risks are minimal, and easily (again, relatively) managed.

            Also, glass vitrification is one of the primary methods for long term storage, so there is a level of irony in your silica comment. Just sayin’…

            The problem with waste is one largely created by individuals looking for a reason to justify their dislike of fission power.

            rip

          • “For the isotopes remaining after full burn, the most active ones are short lived (relative timescales) and the long half-life ones are long half-life b/c they have low activity. In other words…the risks are minimal, and easily (again, relatively) managed.”

            Apparently not. We have yet to come up with a method with minimal enough risk that stakeholders are willing to assume, essentially into perpetuity. If I were wrong, then there would be those BigFoot approved cite(s) right here in the CONUS. Got any polls in Nevada to prove me wrong?

            “Also, glass vitrification is one of the primary methods for long term storage, so there is a level of irony in your silica comment.”

            A link to any of this being done, and placed into “permanent” storage that has been approved by the actual stakeholders? Please…

          • You continue to conflate populist approval with technical feasibility. Maybe that’s your point though. The problem with this line of logic should be apparent. By this rationale, for example, oil and ng shouldn’t be burned and we should all switch to solar/wind, cause that’s what people think they want. My guess, based on reading your comments, though, is you’re not advocating for that…so one is left wondering why the misinformed and misled populace is right when it comes to nuclear, but not when it comes to oil?

            rip

          • “You continue to conflate populist approval with technical feasibility.”

            Uh, no. Just sayin’ that you can’t have a project if you have to draft those in the jackpot into perpetuity, to accept it. The state of Nevada has made both technical and process arguments against Yucca mountain storage. You might disagree with the tech arguments. I don’t. But the point is, it’s not up to you or I.

            This is classic, “We’ll work that problem when it bites us in the butt.”

            https://www.pinterest.com/pin/543246773794010116/

          • “By this rationale, for example, oil and ng shouldn’t be burned and we should all switch to solar/wind, cause that’s what people think they want.”

            Intentionally hyperbolic. You won’t even get a minority to agree to completely stop all oil and gas use. But you WILL get a large majority who, when presented with the many external costs the producers have communized on the rest of us (orders of magnitude higher than the green start up helps), want that to stop.

            Also qualitatively different. Yucca Mountain risk is largely to Nevadans. They probably object to being in the jackpot for the failure of the nuc power industry to plan ahead…

          • bigoilbob,

            In spent fuel, about 95% still is uranium and new formed plutonium (during production). In France and the UK, the reprocess the fuel and separate the 5% real waste and use the 95% uranium and plutonium as mixed oxides (MOX) fuel.
            In the 5% most is short lived and after about 40 years completely harmless.
            The “difficult” ones are those with medium half lives of 20-30 years like some isotopes of cesium and strontium. You need to store them for about 600 years.
            If you don’t reprocess the fuel, as is the case in the US, the spent fuel also needs 600 years, as uranium and plutonium (except that it is a poison) are very weak radioactive and need little protection. The “millions of years” is just to scare people…
            So far, Finland is the first country to store their spent fuel in deep granite bedrock:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkalo_spent_nuclear_fuel_repository
            And here in Belgium, they are long-term testing deep clay for storage, which layer didn’t change in millions of years…
            https://www.euridice.be/en/content/hades-underground-research-laboratory
            Here it is only waiting for a political definitive yes to start with the final deposit.
            BTW, the price of deconstruction of the nuclear plants and the definitive storage here is included in the price of the power off-factory… We still have over 50% of all power from nuclear power plants, third after France and South-Korea…

          • Belgium hasn’t commissioned a new plant in nearly 35 years. Finland, nearly 50 years. All storage is for waste from current/old plants. I.e., they do not see waste stewardship- which is indeed dangerous for tens of thousands of generations – as either ethical or practical. FYI, who says “millions” of years? Not me. This waste will “only” be hazardous for a mere few hundreds of thousands of years.

            Go elsewhere for your magic bullet. That’s what virtually the whole world has wisely decided to do…

          • bigoilbob,

            Finland has nearly finished its newest nuclear reactor and a sixth is underway, doubling their capacity:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Finland
            That Belgium will end nuclear power in 2025 is a stupid political decision taken by the government years ago, because they needed the votes of the Green party to change the constitution, not for economical or ethical reasons, to the contrary.
            The VAE has (near) finished their first 4 nuclear reactors (built by South Korea) in a country full of oil and gas…
            Near all East Asian countries (China, India, South Korea) are building and planning new reactors, so your wish to see them all abandoned is postponed for at least 40 years…

          • And again you are wrong about the time schedule:
            The problematic ones are the ones with 20-30 years half life which need 600 years storage. After that all you need is a newspaper to protect you from radiation of the waste. Uranium is not the problem: it was even used for painting the hands of wrist watches, so that they could be seen in the dark. The only reason they stopped that (before the use of LEDs), was that the ladies that painted the hands used to wet the brush with their tongue and thus ingested a lot of uranium, and that was not so good for their health…

        • It very difficult to hit the Sun from Earth orbital distance, easier to to put something into solar escape trajectory. Instead you pick a small spot on the Moon and impacted it with the radioactive waste.
          And could design container that would survive, any rocket accident or even remaining intact after impacting the Moon.
          And serious about it, one probably determine how shoot nuclear waste into space with some kind cannon or other mass driver {and have it impact the moon.
          You could do this if was important to store nuclear waste. Or said we will paid x amount to dispose of nuclear waste certain types of nuclear waste and many tons of it to get rid of. Or if was market of deposing nuclear waste. But instead there is the constant need of pretending we should do something about. And Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is the example of such pretending going on for decades {a lot profit to do, this play acting which politicans assume the role of “really” wanted do something about it]. Other than the political corrupt dramas, there is not an actual need/demand to store nuclear waste.

          • You could pop the residual waste into a subduction zone. It won’t be seen on the surface again until many, many millennia have past. By then it will be completely spent.
            The reason why this isn’t done is that new uses for the residual waste are likely, so it may be useful in the future.
            Besides, there is so little waste produced that it is simple and safe to store it.

          • “Besides, there is so little waste produced that it is simple and safe to store it.

            No, not gettin’ it. NO ONe wants this in their county/province. Not now, not ever. And I’m sure there were agreements in place in the planning of these plants that promised it would be outa there.

            This channels the behavior of oil and gas producers to their asset retirement obligations. They assume them in the beginning, but try and eschew them when the time comes. In fact, the same tenor of excuses. “It’s really not that bad”. You’ve had these fields for decades”. “Rigs to reefs”. The difference is that, even if we don’t properly plug and abandon our wells, most of the waste hazards will dissipate in a few hundred to a few thousand years. Add some zero’s for nuc waste….

          • bigoilbob, you keep reiterating the danger of nuclear waste being unsafe for millions of years, it simply is not true. Can you please provide me with a link in regard to this.

            Chernobyl was the most serious event in relation to nuclear power, the official direct death toll from that event was thirty two. Even the people who died subsequently did not bring the total to a hundred. People have returned to and are living inside the exclusion zone, some never left. Wildlife have proliferated in the area. That was thirty four years ago and technology and safety issues are ongoing and the dangers in regard to technological failures have vastly reduced.

            The nuclear bombs that so devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki distributed radiation widely and the results were indisputably devastating. Since our discussion is around the amount of time that needs to pass before it’s safe to be around radiated areas the you are obviously aware that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are thriving cities and have been for quite some time now.

            People mining and processing rare earth materials are exposed to toxic materials on a daily basis. There has been serious environmental degradation in some countries that has affected the local population and their animals with illness and death as a direct result of these processing plants. One of the sites has a ten square kilometre black toxic lake which ironically, contains radiation. It is not possible to prevent this sludge from contaminating the soil and waterways. Acids are used to separate out the ‘rare earths’ and vast amounts of materials are processed to produce the materials necessary to make renewables.

            You have been conned, it’s renewables that will be the downfall of society. We are truly raping the planet and trampling on human rights and there aren’t even enough materials to power the entire globe once over at 100% renewables, let alone have to replace them in 15 to 20 years.

            I recommend you do some research on the lifecycle of renewable energy and how much in the way of materials goes into them. And if you’re concerned about CO2 levels, look into how much CO2 is created in their lifecycle. The mining, processing, manufacture and transport at each stage all use fossil fuels. They even need fossil fuels to prop them up, more CO2.

          • “bigoilbob, you keep reiterating the danger of nuclear waste being unsafe for millions of years, it simply is not true. Can you please provide me with a link in regard to this.”

            Sure. There are dozens, but here’s just one from my son’s MS alma mater…

            “Dangers of Radioactive Waste
            Costs of nuclear energy include the continued risk of reactor accidents and the dangers of transporting nuclear fuel, but perhaps the biggest concern is how to deal with hazardous nuclear waste, which can survive for hundreds of thousands of years. [1] High-level waste is produced as part of the nuclear fuel process and needs to be considered in order to avoid permanent damage to living organisms and the environment. [2] These dangerous byproducts remain intensely radioactive for a long time. For example, Pu-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years, Tc-99 has a half-life of 220,000 years, and I-129 has a half-life of 15.7 million years. [3] As a result of the hazards that long-lived radioactive waste poses to society, disposal regulations require isolation of these wastes for tens of thousands of years. [3] How to keep this radioactive waste in storage is another issue that must be taken into account when considering nuclear energy use.”

            http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph240/sherman2/

          • BoB the link you sent me was a paper ‘submitted as coursework’. The paper was written by a student.

            All due respects to the student of 2015, they may be very bright. Sadly though the education system of the past two decades or so has been pushing a particular agenda, and and other research is vigorously discouraged. Ask your son if any of their studies looked at the negative aspects of wind and solar. Education today actively discourages students free thinking, students must follow the curriculum to the letter.

            Science and journalism has been politicised to such an extent that the truth is difficult to find.

            I’ve included one of Michael Shellenburger’s articles, I recommend his book Apocalypse Never. That is if you are at all interested in some facts.

          • bigoilbob, you are repeating talking points that have little actual relevance. Your comments don’t seem to reflect any understanding of radioactivity, half-lives, or storage requirements. You are literally just parroting back easily countered points raised by those with a vested interest, or religious fervor, for getting rid of nuclear power.

            rip

          • “Your comments don’t seem to reflect any understanding of radioactivity, half-lives, or storage requirements. ”

            The overriding “storage requirement” is a populace willing to assume the stewardship of it. Which local populace has done so.? Do you advocate doing so against their wishes?

          • That’s not an entirely unfair point. But…after a concerted propaganda campaign against nuclear, people believe the worst. The risks are mitigated and are not at all the hysterical catastrophe that people fear, and you seem to imagine. Especially when one removes the political hurdles in front of reprocessing, and allows the waste to be condensed even further.

            Yucca is an especially fine location. Seismically stable, remote, etc. The opposition to it is not based on technical reasons, or rational engineering problems.

            rip

          • “Yucca is an especially fine location. Seismically stable, remote, etc. The opposition to it is not based on technical reasons, or rational engineering problems.”

            The state of Nevada, and it’s people, beg to differ. They have made a comprehensive technical case against it.
            They also object to the 1987 politics that left them in the jackpot. Would you impose this on them in spite of that?

            ” Especially when one removes the political hurdles in front of reprocessing, and allows the waste to be condensed even further.”

            Please show me any one of the processing schematics (cartoon or otherwise) that doesn’t end up with a box (usually tiny to make us think it is) that is labeled “intermediate storage”. Reprocessing delays, not denies this requirement.

          • Once again, BoB celebrates the fact that ignorant people such as himself have used politics to block an effective and safe method of storing nuclear wastes.

    • Nuclear waste decays, it doesn’t last forever; which the waste from solar panels will.

        • In point of fact, it’s also fuel for current light water reactors. We just need to reprocess it.

          At some point in the next several decades, it’s reasonable to assume we’ll have advanced reactors coming online. For now, though, our LWRs (and apparently, Canada’s heavy water reactors) are humming along quite nicely.

          rip

          • If I recall correctly, probably back in the 80’s, the Darlington reactors suffered a problem with metal fatigue caused by neutron bombardment. I think it was in the tubing of the primary heat exchangers. The repair cost was a couple billion and there was consideration of permanent shut down. I’m not a big fan of nuclear since I read “We Almost Lost Detroit”. The accident record isn’t inspiring and the Macondo blowout and 2007 financial crisis taught us a lot about gov’t regulators.
            On top of all that the Japanese built a reactor on the coast in an earthquake and tsunami zone. If the Japanese can’t run nuclear safely, what happens when the Chinese have a hundred and start building them in Africa?

          • John:
            “On top of all that the Japanese built a reactor on the coast in an earthquake and tsunami zone.”

            The whole of Japan is an earthquake zone, there’s no escape from that. And many reactors are built on the coast for ease of access to cooling water, not just for fun. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station held up just fine against the earthquake.
            It was the combination of poor planning of the site, an exceptionally strong tsunami, extensive quake damage to the road network, human error and sheer bad luck that resulted in… well, a pretty manageable “disaster” after all.

            More people around Fukushima died because of the evacuation stress than of radiation poisoning (only 1, by the way), for example.

      • Another interesting fact . For any given population powered solely by nuclear power how much nuclear waste is generated per head per annum ?

        Answer : 1 cup (yes coffee cup)

        I have always said for years give me one of these stainless steel barrels of relatively high end nuclear waste (spent fuel ,no liquid) fused in glass and I will store it at my expense in a robustly built lead lined concrete bunker . Why ? Apparently the barrels external temperature will stay at approx 90 degrees Celsius for 100 years ! No radiation will escape , beta , alpha will be stopped easily by the container itself (and converted to heat) the only escape from the container will be Gamma which will easily be attenuated by the container then the bunker . If I wrap the barrel with copper pipe and pump water through I will have a free supply of heating for 100 years. I calculate a heat recovery of at least 8-10 kw continuously.

      • People don’t seem to realize that the fuel isn’t removed because it is out of Uranium 235, but that the fission byproducts start absorbing all the neutrons needed to keep the reaction going, thus making the rod useless for energy production. If it could be reprocessed to remove the daughter isotopes, there would be a very small amount of highly radioactive waste and new fuel rods to put in the reactor.

        President Carter killed that idea in the US because a extremely small amount of the Uranium 238 ( which is 80%+ of the rod) in the rod turns into Plutonium 239 and that is used to make bombs (it is also a really good reactor fuel) so he killed the reprocessing plan.

        • Plans can always be restarted, needed infrastructure built, bringers of nuisance lawsuits counter sued into bankruptcy. We have got to start fighting the left using THEIR tactics, aggressively.

        • I read somewhere that only about 3% of the uranium in a rod is consumed by the time the rod is removed from service.

    • It’s called the Canadian shield – drill deep and bury it. You can store centuries worth of waste in a relatively small space.

      • TON with the amount waste that will come from renewables it’s going to become tricky as to where they can bury it. I reckon it should be compulsory for investors to take on a certain amount of it in their backyards or storage space in their homes. Won’t do them any harm will it, it’s clean and green. Actually why stop at investors, everyone who supports wind and solar renewables should be mandated to be responsible for it’s disposal.

  5. Mr. Biden The Wise wishes to remove ALL carbon-powered power stations in the US and substitute windmills for them. I did not know that he was related to Don Quixote, but I am glad to have been informed.

    If he had said ‘nuclear power stations”, I might have been somewhat less sarcastic in my reaction to his pronouncement, but no, he had to say ‘wind’. An image of him with a jousting lance on the Demomcrat donkey is something I can’t get rid of just yet.

  6. So, is any of this waste being PERMANENTLY stored, anywhere, in Canada? Not rhetorical, is any?

    Maybe I missed it, but all I see are lots about gee whiz permanent storage solutions that are “almost, just about, nearly”, ready. And always will be…..

    • If the enviro-nut cases would permit it to be reprocessed, then the problem goes away.
      Which is why they don’t permit reprocessing.

      • “The nuclear waste disposal is a political problem, not a technical one.”

        The “political problem” is our failure to talk any stakeholders into buying into tens of thousands of generations of stewardship. It should have either been solved first, or the waste not produced.

          • “It has been solved. The politicians won’t permit the solution to be implemented.”

            Please link me to this “solution” that includes principal stakeholders agreeing. Not rhetorical, please.

            I guess that refusal to accept a million years of stewardship is just “politics”, eh?

          • Once again, BoB demonstrates that he knows the only problem is political.

            The problem is that too many people like BoB have been so totally brainwashed into believing that even tiny increases in radiation will result in them dying a horrible death.

        • “…buying into tens of thousands of generations of stewardship.”
          Doing that for anything is impossible.
          Earth is nuclear reactor.
          “Natural thorium is usually almost pure 232Th, which is the longest-lived and most stable isotope of thorium, having a half-life comparable to the age of the universe.Its radioactive decay is the largest single contributor to the Earth’s internal heat; the other major contributors are the shorter-lived primordial radionuclides, which are 238U, 40K, and 235U in descending order of their contribution. (At the time of the Earth’s formation, 40K and 235U contributed much more by virtue of their short half-lives, but they have decayed more quickly, leaving the contribution from 232Th and 238U predominant.)” -wiki
          So Earth radioactive heat generates more energy/heat than all human activity which makes heat/generates energy.
          And the star dust you are made of includes radioactive material.

          So stars have made trillions and trillion of tons radiactive waste and there natural lots of within 1 mile of where ever you happen to be, if humans concentrate it and make more of it, it’s some different when the universe makes it?
          Or let’s see how many deaths occur from radon gas:
          “Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.”
          US nuclear industry {which been making 20% of US electrical power for decades] some number close to zero per year.
          You have to have wacky nature religious beliefs to say such stuff or not even that as if grow bananas you making low grade nuclear waste. Unless Bananas are actually the evil part of nature, as is rock collection.

        • Needing tens of thousands of generations of stewardship is a nice strawman, isn’t it? No engineer would come up with such an idea. Unworkable from the start.

          • “Needing tens of thousands of generations of stewardship is a nice strawman, isn’t it?”

            Not at all. A perfectly factual statement.

            From another POV. if the project pushers had, from the beginning, truthed, here’s what they would have proposed:

            It’s a GREAT deal. And when the plant is finally retired, the waste/unspent fuel will be sent to a site unknown and not yet planned. But on the off chance that those silly NIMBY’s, who will have their spawn at risk for tens of thousands of generations, don’t want to accept that risk, we will put it all in sarcophagi on your back 40, and have it watched over by Barney Fifers. HEY, where ya’ goin…?

          • If you reprocess it, all the long lived isotopes are removed and used as fuel.
            What’s left will decay away to nothing in a few decades.

        • bigoilbob,

          I’ve worked in the industry and have insight that I’m sure you’ll just dismiss using anti nuclear logic.

          -A lot of the waste is low level waste that needs short term storage. This is mainly non fuel rod waste generated through maintenance type work.

          -Fuel waste can be processed if we were allowed to (laws need to be changed). Reprocessing spent rods will reduce waste while generating useable fuel and other useable material for industries. Once a rod is “spent” most of the fuel is still in there. Fission daughters “poison” absorb so many neutrons that there is no longer enough neutrons available to sustain power generation.

          -There’s waste from medical devices in storage, would you like to kill off medical use of nuclear material?

          -They use storage cask for safe transport that can survive the worst wreck you can imagine without leaking any material at all. All highly regulated and tested to meet exacting standards.

          -Yucca Mountain, heard of it? Politics have kept it closed not the inability to safely store nuclear material. There are also other areas where storage can be built but once again politics prevent it from happening.

          • Yeah, he’s just repeating talking points over and over. It’s almost as though he’s simply reading straight from the Union of Concerned Scientists website…sheesh!

            rip

          • “-Yucca Mountain, heard of it? Politics have kept it closed not the inability to safely store nuclear material”

            What you so blithely characterize as “politics” is the natural reaction of folks who will be stuck with this for perpetuity. You seem blocked on the facts that (1) you can’t guarantee against natural events, terrorism or accidents, for even the next few years, let alone tens of thousands of generations, and more importantly, (2) THEY DON’T NEED A REASON. You should brush up on entropy/Murphy’s Law….

          • Funny how it’s never politics when it agrees with your ignorant opinion.
            If it were reprocessed, there wouldn’t be any long term waste to be disposed of.

          • “If it were reprocessed, there wouldn’t be any long term waste to be disposed of.”

            Beyond a stretch. A flat out lie. AGAIN, show me any one of the several “reprocessing” schematics out there that don’t end up with that little box disingenuously marked “intermediate storage”. and define (accurately) “intermediate”, with documentation.

          • Are you really as stupid as you make yourself sound?
            Intermediate storage are the onsite storage ponds where they put the fuel rods for a year or two while the really short lived isotopes decay away.

          • “Intermediate storage are the onsite storage ponds where they put the fuel rods for a year or two while the really short lived isotopes decay away.”

            Apparently not, Mark W.:

            “Low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes are buried in geological repositories. These repositories must isolate the nuclear waste from the biosphere for as long as 100,000 years.”
            https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/intermediate-level-radioactive-waste

            But keep diggin’ for that pony….

          • Apparently BoB’s brain is so frozen due to fear of radiation, that he can’t tell the difference between long lived and short lived isotopes. He also believes that all forms of radiation are equally dangerous.
            Then again, he keeps celebrating the fact that people driven by paranoia have used politics to prevent perfectly safe solutions from being implemented.

    • The CANDU reactor technology uses low/unenriched Uranium and produces very little high level waste. From a proliferation point of view, this is probably the cleanest nuclear reactor design in widespread use.

      Not sure if Canada produces enough waste to need storage off site.

      • “The CANDU reactor technology uses low/unenriched Uranium and produces very little high level waste. From a proliferation point of view, this is probably the cleanest nuclear reactor design in widespread use.

        Not sure if Canada produces enough waste to need storage off site”

        Irresponsible apologia. How “very little high level waste” is very little enough to let tens of thousands of generations down the road off the hook for stewardship?

        This is THE so far insurmountable problem. I have no problem with new plant design, sighting, operations. Nor do I doubt that the ES&RC records would be comparable/superior to other forms of energy production. Nor do I doubt that it is a low to nearly no carbon source.

        Even the French, who have a form of – fingers crossed for a million years – “permanent” storage, are using it for their old waste. They haven’t commissioned a new plant in nearly 20 years. See figure 1.

        https://cnpp.iaea.org/countryprofiles/France/France.htm

          • Dilute the waste to the point where the radiation is less than the rocks the uranium originally came from.

        • The stuff that lasts for millions of years is fuel, not waste.
          The waste is the stuff with half lives of 100 years and less.

          • Yep, the daughters tend to be far outside the valley of stability and decay rather quickly to more manageable energy levels. Not only that but initially they are far outside the ground state so emit several gamma rays before arriving at the lowest energy configuration. Then they either kick out an electron as a beta to convert one neutron to a proton, or they kick out a helium nucleus as an alpha particle to reach a lower state.

            Alphas are easy, as a piece of paper can stop alpha particles. Betas are a little harder because stopping them emits an X-ray, but both can be easily handled. Gammas are a pain, because they tend not to interact until they do with catastrophic biological consequences, and the higher the energy level, the worse it gets. However, typically the half-life of these gamma reactions is pretty short, so it is bad, but not for long.

            Alpha and Beta decay isotopes are pretty easy to deal with: just keep them out of the aquifer. Gamma decay isotopes need distance and large amounts of shielding – like buried in miles of salt in a desert region. Of course if we don’t separate out the Uranium and Plutonium before disposal, the stuff will be low – level radioactive for a long time. From memory the natural decay path for both of them is alpha emission.

        • Within 100 years most nuclear waste is reduced in radioactivity to natural background levels.
          Nuclear facilities after that time can be inspected by personnel without any protective gear.

  7. Re: “[in] Koeberg [South Africa] all the fish died as the cooling water of the nuclear plant increased the temperature of the ocean surrounding the installation” — an obvious attempt at a ? Thermal stations around the world, including the fossil fueled ones, are bound to increase the temperature of the body of water they use for cooling — but this is sure to be essentially a very slight and localized effect, nothing Nature can’t adapt to easily. In a wilderness like an ocean, the organisms that don’t like the conditions just give way to those that like it better, that’s all. The exception here is the thermal stations that use cooling towers to warm the air instead of the ocean, but the same adaptation principle still generally applies.

    Now, talking about the Canadian reactor unit that’s been running for 2 1/2 years, I’d say that’s clearly impossible, since a little snow on the roof will obviously damp down the nuclear reaction. That’s my amazingly insightful contribution for today, don’t anyone try to talk me out of it ..

  8. Visiting Idaho Falls over the Independence Day weekend, I met a manager working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on a project to build modular nuclear reactors (~100 MW) that are being developed and tested at the Idaho National Laboratory, then at a site that the TVA already has approval for. We had a long, fascinating conversation about nuclear power research that has exploded in the last couple years thanks to funding by the Department of Energy (under a forward-thinking Republican administration). There is a small window of opportunity right now and he said that the competing developments from several different projects over the next couple years will likely determine the future of nuclear power and nuclear reactor design for the next few decades. Hopefully this will be the end of the massively expensive, custom-built reactors that have dominated since the 1950’s as a result of Admiral Rickover’s lobbying.

    • I think the Clinch River site will be highly dependent on power demand in the valley. It’d be cool to see, but I remain skeptically optimistic…

      I do think that moving away from light water reactors will be a net benefit to everyone. I understand the logic (and the lobbying) that went into choosing them way back when, but my opinion is they’re sub-optimal for power generation. Even the SMRs, some of which rely on lwr technology, suffer from these limitations.

      As for custom built, this is the price you pay for living in republic of states, all of whom can impose their own siting requirements, as well as the fact that we have dozens of utilities, all with their own business plans and projected needs. So this customization issue isn’t necessarily related to the size of the plant. (e.g. France was able to limit the “one off” construction issues we have here because they have one government and one utility). Additionally, look at the Boiling Water Reactors built by GE. They are much more consistent in design and construction, with basically 3 different series in active use currently.

      I continue to contend that SMRs will be an intermediate nuclear solution that bridges the gap til we have advance reactors ready to be commercialized.

      rip

  9. Eric, If you know any interesting facts about the health of the nuclear workers, I mean the ones that wear radiation badges, let us know.

  10. David

    You did not get the point I was making. Nuclear energy uses so much more cooling water than gas powered stations. That eventually causes more H2O (gas)?

    Tbe CO2 does not do anything. Else we are carbon NEGATIVE?

    click on my name

    LOL

    Gas is what got the USA economy going again.

    I tried to visit the site where they bury the waste between CT and Kimberley. Could not get even close to it. So many fences and warning signs of imminent danger if I got any closer.

    I got worried then. Maybe you try to make such a visit and tell me about your experience?

    • The amount of water used is based on how much energy is being generated.
      Nuclear doesn’t use any more water than does any other form of power generation.

      Cooling water is used to cool the steam back into water so that it can be heated back into steam again.
      The amount of cooling water needed is based on one thing, and one thing only. The difference in temperature between the steam that you need to cool and the temperature of the cooling water.

        • Drop the control rods. Really, I had to point that out? The tough part is the restart, depending on what kind of reactor you have.

          • Actually the truly though part is managing the radioactive decay heath of fission products in the first 12 hours or so after reactor shutdown.

            Three Mile Island and Fukushima happened because of that. Not Chernobyl, that happened because the RBMK-1000 reactor was a a scourge of bad, unsafe, design.

        • Why don’t you actually learn something about nuclear power. Then criticize it.

          BTW, I notice you didn’t even attempt to defend your claim that nuclear power uses more cooling water than other types of power generation. Instead you attempt to change the subject.
          Typical.

  11. I worked @ OPG for GE Security, back in 2003/4. We installed and maintained explosive trace detector walk-through portals. I was @ the Pickering plant when the major power outage happened back in 2003. Pickering and Darlington were my responsibility.

  12. One advantage that Candu has over US light water reactor designs is that it can be refueled “on the fly”. The fuel rods and the pressurized heavy water coolant/moderator lines are arranged horizontally (iirc) and as long as the steel tubes and the fuel rods don’t degrade too much (rods jamming, coolant leaks, etc.) you can keep it going while you put in some new fuel. There’s no big pressurized “kettle” to open.

    • Yeah, the online refueling is a pretty cool capability. The reactor vault is so very different than our US light water reactors.

  13. How to build a reliable wind turbine…

    First – build a nuclear power plant to run a giant wind fan pointed at the wind turbine. Now you have some reliable wind to generate reliable electricity from.

    Second – forget building the wind fan and wind turbine, now you have a cost efficient reliable power source. Call it a virtual wind farm to make the idiot activists happy.

  14. Since the pictured OPG power station has no cooling towers, environmentalists should really go for this particular installation of nuclear power. You see, environmentalists apparently object to cooling towers, not the source of power. Just think back over the years of all those photos and video clips, from the left, presumably showing carbon coming out of cooling towers, when we all know it is actually water vapor – the stuff of clouds, and kitchen food preparation. I-n-n-o-c-u-o-u-s. Extrapolating out from those leftist images, we deduce that environmentalists actually must object to seeing water vapor towers; the same way intelligent people object to seeing 850′ tall spinning turbines. This nuclear power plant has no towers, and certainly no bird killers. Ergo, everyone happy with the OPG power plant, eh? I am. Now let’s run out and build 13,000 more of them in the free world.

    • Maybe we could just run the coal plants at night, when the solar doesn’t work and we can’t see the stacks or cooling towers. Or we could pipe the condenser water 50 miles away to “cloud generators” that “fight” global warming. We’re battling the imagings of fools, so what the heck?

  15. I am waiting for the day when all of these Renewable Energy” generators with their output power sine-wave generated by an “Inverter” are the predominant source of electrical power. your electronic equipment is going to be subject to a slow agonizing death. You will start repairing and eventually replacing refrigerators, Air conditioners, Televisions, Radios, Computers, anything with a motor in it, that frequently runs, using AC Power. In addition to Horrendously expensive storage systems, hey will need to add Volt Amp Reactive (VAR) reducing capacitors that will be almost as expensive.
    My utility now gets approximately 30% of the power sold from Wind Turbines. I live on the north side of town and the wind turbines are also on the north side of town. At least once a week I experience a momentary power outage. An outage that is so short in duration that the TV does not even lose its picture. BUT the Set Top Box goes off and the repowers. The Desktop is on a UPS and I have had no problems with it. I have had to place my WiFi router on a UPS. That keeps it up, but still only solves half of the problems associated with the WiFi. Cellphones and laptops with auto connection connect back up. However the rest of the “Internet of things” need manual re-connection, a HUGE PITA. I buy the longest repair service for my TV as one failed three times, twice the service fixed it, the third time was a few weeks after the anniversary. And I got to buy a new one. The replacement has already failed once. I am considering buying a UPS for it. Before the RE on the grid my TV’s lasted over ten years with out failure. I have learned that 90% of the time the problem with the AC or refrigerator/freezer is the Starting Capacitor and keep a spare for each. Saves me about $200 by replacing it my self. But also requires attention and awareness of the strange noise each makes when the capacitor gets zapped by these power excursions. With a very short power outage the voltage placed on the starting capacitor can exceed the voltage rating an it goers dead.

    • Correct. That is why I gave up 20 years ago. Whatever DC generating system you installed, 6, 12 or 24v DC, you had to match the appliances to that. No inverter! They are better now, but they still create a “dirty” sinusoidal output that, will, kill your AC appliances.

    • I think most wind turbines use synchronous generators rather than inverters. If all of the turbines are turning at the same speed, I’d wager they’re not inverter based.

        • “Extremely difficult, if not impossible, to synchronize multi-megawatt wind turbines.”

          I haven’t kept up on this tech at all, but tend to agree. In the oilfield, we used to capacitance bank to do this. for beam pumping unit loads I’m GUESSING that a more modern, automatically controlled version is used now. Yes, they are 3 phase sources and not single phase sinks, but the same electrical laws apply.

          I’m gonna learn more, but does anyone want to teach me now?

    • After moving to Vermont in the mid 70’s, by the late 80’s I had all my electronics on UPS. Especially in the rural areas, the quality of the electrical service to the end user can be downright abysmal. At the time the most expensive UPS I bought had Sine Wave output for the TV and stereo system. Nowadays most have it available in the product line if you look closely at the specs. I still have one server running which was built in 1994… Except for things with moving parts, like fans or hard disks, I only need to replace equipment when it cannot provide the required functionality.

    • “The Ford led Ontario government needs to deal with the fact that IWT fail to perform when needed and deliver excess power when it’s not needed which IESO then sell for pennies of their cost.
      Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines should work to cancel those lucrative contracts and/or penalize them for their failure to perform during those “high five” hours and for the many times they produce unneeded power.”

      https://parkergallantenergyperspectivesblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/12/no-high-fives-for-industrial-wind-turbines/
      “Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines should work to cancel those lucrative contracts.”
      The largest wind project in Ontario has another fifteen years to go, if the contract is not cancelled. In the summer of 2019, after four years of residents reporting audible noise and the Ministry of Environment agents bungling the testing for noise, more than half of the turbines were declared non-compliant for tonal noise and were scheduled to be derated. This still hasn’t happened.
      These turbines were sited too close to peoples’ homes.

  16. Ahh, did anyone not know this is how nuclear works? Really? What a bunch of dumb f**ks. And they are “educating” childrens and working in government? I believes I done be dicoverin’ the problem.

    • Shortly after the TMI accident my son in grade school brought home a handout about Nuclear power. It had the usual mouse trap and ping pong ball graphic, However the last picture was a “Cut away view” of a nuclear reactor with fifty to 100 urinate atomic bombs exploding with the usual Mushroom clouds.
      Excellent brainwashing.

  17. Congrats to the management and workers on an impressive run of safe work conditions! Instead of worrying about the nuclear waste from Gen 2 and 3 reactors we should be hoarding it for use in Gen 4 reactors, problem solved!
    It’s almost like worrying that about rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Until someone from Extinction Rebellion or the IPCC can persuade the foraminifera and coccolithophores of our oceans to stop building carbonate armor for protection we are much more likely to experience CO2 starvation than the reverse. Maybe the SJWs can persuade them that personal protective armor, like walls and guns, is racist. I will not hold my breath in anticipation.

    • Have you noticed the lose correlational of the level CO2 and the decrease in coccolithophores through the Paleozoic and Mesozoic periods? Including the massive growth right at the end of the Paleozoic with the rapid increase in CO2. Appears the Extra 1000 ppm definitely helped the quantity. They definitely like the CO2. Yet the AGW Group makes up reasons on how we are destroying the ecosystem of the ocean.

    • I see griff is still trying to push this old lie.

      Isolate UK from the European grid, and you would see those coal plants fired up faster than griff can think up a new lie.

    • Griff
      Without coal, but with more and more gas to babysit those intermittent inverse-supply-to-demand renewables.

      Renewables which are not reducing carbon emission to the atmosphere by a single atom – but are there only for virtue signalling and to kill birds and bats.

      O but I forgot – carbon is the element with the atomic number of THE BEAST AND SATAN!!!!

      • In many cases, because of this need for hot backup, renewables can actually increase the amount of fossil fuels being burned.

    • They also have seniors who live in cold homes because they can’t afford power. The fire at the Grenfeff Tower was a result of a botched energy refit by a Labour council. More sacrifices to the Cult of AGW. Your hypocrisy , wilful blindness and virtue signalling is disgusting.

      • Oh! You don’t know griffie?!?!? Stick around, it will elucidate at length given the least chance.

  18. In future the only countries possessing nuclear power will be those whose societies possess the rationality and honesty to deserve it.

  19. Re: “…No terrestrial solar or wind network will ever approach this level of stability and predictability…”

    As I type…
    The new Chernobyl sarcophagus is beginning it’s years, long descent into a potential crumbling, (Vs. ‘meltdown’), as it’s eaten, alive by radiation, like it’s predecessor…
    As a retired urban paramedic I always had civilian / military N-apps in my response area, and dreaded the possibility I might have to order others / be ordered, myself to enter ionizing radiation-environments like the Chernobyl firefighters…
    Chernobyl, TMI, Fukashima, U.S.S. Thresher / Scorpion, Russia’s K129*, and other nation’s nuclear armed / powered sub-wrecks…remain in an uncontrolled state!
    Additionally…has anyone figured out what to do with used fuel canisters, other than lettin’, ’em pile, up in N-facilities? I ask, because NO politician will ever commit career-suicide by voting for any ”Yucca Mtn.’ N-Waste dump!
    While lost N-rectors, and N.-W.M.D.’s WON’T have N-detonations when the seawater floods, in…here’s a pic of the 108 year old R.M.S. Titanic wreck: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Titanic_wreck_bow.jpg;
    Any ideas for the future when these lost ship’s reactors / N.-W.M.D.’s rust, out, or…will we merely allow these pollutants, like the mercury on a lost-U-boat, (U.864), sunk, off Norway… in ’44?

    *{https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-129_(1960)#Recovery:_Project_Azorian}

    • I take it you have not read this thread, nor bothered to read any of the voluminous amount of information on the subject in general. And depending on wikicrap for information is like depending on Jeffery Dahmer for nutritional guidance or Joseph Mengele for pediatric care tips. Wow. Spare the hysteria a bit and people may take you seriously.

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