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default Wind farms outstrip nuclear power

Post by Chilli-head on 22nd October 2014, 10:59 am

Burried amongst the usual gloomy news on the BBC site, there was this one today:

Wind farms outstrip nuclear power


The situation is caused by windy conditions boosting the output from turbines at a time when eight out of the UK's 15 nuclear reactors are offline.

EDF Energy said current ageing reactors are down for a number of reasons:

   Sizewell B is in the middle of a planned "statutory outage" for maintenance and refuelling
   Hunterston B Reactor 4 is down for maintenance, expected back in early November
   At Dungeness B, one unit is being refuelled and the other is expected back online soon after being shut down after a fault on a boiler pump was discovered
   The four reactors at Heysham and Hartlepool were taken offline in August after a crack was found on a boiler spine.

So it did need the tail end of a hurricane blowing.

But wait a minute - I knew that wind power is a bit fickle. but one advantage of nuclear power is supposed to be that it is dependable, constant, always available - not 50% out of action at once ?

The other interesting point to me is this:


The government is offering more generous subsidies to nuclear than wind in the long term.

So it is not just wind farm building that is all about government subsidies.
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default Re: Wind farms outstrip nuclear power

Post by Dandelion on 22nd October 2014, 5:20 pm

When we went to visit the Centre for Altenative Technology a few years ago, one of the points which was made there about nuclear energy was that there was only enough uranium available in the world for the next 30 years or so. That's either wrong, or it's been conveniently forgotten by the powers that be.

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Wind farms outstrip nuclear power

Post by Chilli-head on 23rd October 2014, 10:49 am

These figures do have a tendency to be hoplessly wrong, as extraction techniques develop.

I remember seeing a chart in a textbook of the predicted availability of various commodities at the then current rate of useage. 30 years of natural gas, 200 years of coal and 30 years of aluminium stick in my mind. This was when I was studying for A-level chemistry, oh, about 30 years ago. Now I suppose the North sea is getting a bit depleted, but obviously they hadn't thought of fracking yet. And I'm not sure where they got the aluminium figure from - it is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust !
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