In the discussion thread: Vicious words mark the war between pro and anti-nuclear environmentalists [View all]
Response to kristopher (Original post)
Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:16 PM
kristopher (25,198 posts)
25. Comparison of different views of a specific point - learning curve of nuclear power
This is from a post I made on DU2 when my comment was that "i was struck by the radical qualitative difference between these two discussions - both dealing with learning curves for nuclear power."
Learning Curves – Why Costs Should Fall With Repetition – Even In Nuclear Energy?
by Rod Adams on January 3, 2011
After having sat out of the real estate market since 2003, I recently jumped back in by purchasing a home. I had a learning curves experience yesterday that might help me explain why I stubbornly believe that one of the best ways to lower the cost of manufacturing and constructing any product is to keep repeating the process with improving refinements as you learn more about the steps required.
Our new (to us) home included some windows that did not have any kind of blinds or curtains, so I was motivated yesterday morning to take corrective action. There were two windows at the top our our priority list. Fortunately, both windows were exactly the same size.
Some of the windows in the house had blinds that had been installed by the previous owner and we had decided that we liked the look and functionality of the 2 inch wide, faux wood blinds. Since we had recently looked through a lot of homes in the area of relatively recent vintage, we knew that these blinds were not custom or unique; they were fairly common.
We also figured that, since our home included 4-5 windows with common dimensions, we might be lucky enough to need a size that we could purchase off the shelf. (There are too many different sizes and shapes of windows to call any of them “standard.”) Because we wanted to mount the blinds inside the window frame, we needed to accurately match the dimensions with either off-the-shelf items or by taking advantage of the in store trimming services that some retailers offer.
I measured both windows carefully...
Does nuclear power have a negative learning curve?
‘Forgetting by doing’? Real escalation in reactor investment costs
By Joe Romm on Apr 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm
Drawing on largely unknown public records, the paper reveals for the first time both absolute as well as yearly and specific reactor costs and their evolution over time. Its most significant finding is that even this most successful nuclear scale-up was characterized by a substantial escalation of real-term construction costs.
Fig. 13. Average and min/max reactor construction costs per year of completion date for US and France versus cumulative capacity completed
We’ve known for a while that the cost of new nuclear power plants in this county have been soaring (see Nuclear power: The price is not right and Exclusive analysis: The staggering cost of new nuclear power).
Before 2007, price estimates of $4000/kw for new U.S. nukes were common, but by October 2007 Moody’s Investors Service report, “New Nuclear Generation in the United States,” concluded, “Moody’s believes the all-in cost of a nuclear generating facility could come in at between $5,000 – $6,000/kw.” That same month, Florida Power and Light, “a leader in nuclear power generation,” presented its detailed cost estimate for new nukes to the Florida Public Service Commission. It concluded that two units totaling 2,200 megawatts would cost from $5,500 to $8,100 per kilowatt “” $12 billion to $18 billion total! In 2008, Progress Energy informed state regulators that the twin 1,100-megawatt plants it intended to build in Florida would cost $14 billion, which “triples estimates the utility offered little more than a year ago.” That would be more than $6,400 a kilowatt. (And that didn’t even count the 200-mile $3 billion transmission system utility needs, which would bring the price up to a staggering $7,700 a kilowatt).
Historical data cost on the French nukes have not been as well publicized. But Arnulf Grubler of the International Institute for Applied Systems in Austria, using “largely unknown public records” was able to perform an analysis of French (and U.S.) nuclear plants for Energy Policy, “The costs of the French nuclear scale-up: A case of negative learning by doing” (subs. req’d).
Before discussing that paper...
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Comparison of different views of a specific point - learning curve of nuclear power
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