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Sat Feb 6, 2021, 01:31 AM

China opens its 50th nuclear reactor.

Hualong One Reactor Now Operating in China (Darrell Proctor, Power, February 1, 2021.

The first of two new reactors at a nuclear power plant in China has entered commercial operation, becoming that country’s 50th operating reactor, according to the China Nuclear Energy Association (CNEA).

Hualong One is a third-generation pressurized water reactor, developed by China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) and China General Nuclear Power. It is the fifth reactor now operating at Fujian Province’s Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant. It began commercial operation on Jan. 30 after being connected to the grid on Nov. 27 of last year. Construction of the reactor began in 2015...

...“This marks that China has mastered independent third-generation nuclear power technology following the United States, France, Russia and others,” CNNC said in a statement on the company’s official WeChat account. The Hualong One units are designed with power generation capacity of 1,161 MW, with a 60-year lifecycle.

CNNC has touted Hualong One as a reactor in which about 90% of the equipment used, including all elements of the core, was made in China. “We must not only export our own nuclear power but also build it according to our own standards, so that we can’t be controlled by others,” chief designer Xing Ji said in a statement...

Coal-fired power accounts for about two-thirds of the country’s generation mix. China capped total coal-fired generation at 1,100 GW last year, though the country still has hundreds of coal plants in its development pipeline.

Net-Zero Carbon Goal

...President Xi in September 2020 announced the country had a goal to cut its net carbon footprint to zero by 2060, but analysts have said coal-fired power is important to the country’s economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

China has built most of its 50 reactors in the 21st century, after a "pause" for Fukushima for "safety." This is amusing: Pretty much every day in China, more people die from air pollution than have died in entirety of the 60 year history of nuclear power operations worldwide.

China's annual death toll from air pollution was reported in 2015 as being 1.6 million deaths per year:

The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale (Lelieveld, J., Evans, J., Fnais, M. et al., Nature 525, 367–371 (17 September 2015)

Figure 1: Mortality linked to outdoor air pollution in 2010.
From: The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale

The caption:

Units of mortality, deaths per area of 100 km × 100 km (colour coded). In the white areas, annual mean PM2.5 and O3 are below the concentration–response thresholds where no excess mortality is expected.

Despite much world wide attention, it is clear that the famous and much discussed bogeyman at the Fukushima reactors destroyed by a natural disaster did not account for 1/1,000,000th as many deaths as air pollution in China kills each year. Most of the deaths associated, in fact pretty much all of the 20,000 deaths from the earthquake that destroyed the reactors were attributable to drownings from seawater associated with the Tsunami as well as collapsing buildings, thus proving that coastal cities are "too dangerous" and need to be phased out.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 01:39 AM

1. I certainly wouldn't want to live near a Chinese nuclear plant


There are ways to safely generate electricity using nuclear power. I just wouldn't count on the Chinese to make it a priority. I think nuclear power will have to be part of the near-term future of electric generation, until enough renewable sources can be brought on line. With current technology and availability, there is simply no way to generate enough power. Renewables aren't meeting demand right now, as California has found out.

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Response to Rick Rolle (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 01:44 AM

2. You'd rather live next to a Chinese coal plant, I guess.

The Chinese know how to build nuclear plants.

We are the incompetents, not them.

We don't, although historically, we built about 100 in 20 years, between 1965-1985, using primitive technology, the overwhelming majority of which still operate, saving lives that would have otherwise been lost to air pollution.

We don't build nuclear plants because, um, we're stupid.

(It is true that two plants in the US, pushed hard by Obama's first Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, are nearing completion in the United States, but there is very little evidence that they will be quite as good as Chinese plants.)

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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 01:54 AM

3. I'd prefer not to live next any power plant


We are not incompetent. The U.S. has many educated, talented engineers who can design safe, efficient nuclear power plants. We also have talented, educated, hard-working men and women who can build the best nuclear power plants in the world. We just need the government to get behind a program to make it happen. The U.S. nuclear industry, with one very notable exception, has an excellent safety record. The U.S. Navy has safely operated dozens, if not hundreds, of nuclear reactors since 1954. Nuclear power has been done, it is being done today, and it can be done in the future, safely.

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Response to Rick Rolle (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:21 AM

5. I see. Would this reluctance extend to eliminating electricity, or is the case...

...that other people should live next to power plants to make electricity for you.

Why, exactly, are you special?

It's fine to make a statement that we can do something, but if we don't do it, then it's called speculation.

I agree that nuclear energy saves lives and that it is idiotic and, in fact, dangerous to not build nuclear plants.

However, this is not the 1960's or even the 1980s, and we are dominated by NIMBY thinking, which I guess you endorse.

The United States built about 110 nuclear plants, but hasn't brought a brand new one on line since the 1980's. We lack infrastructure, and we lack the will to build a plant. If one looks around, one can see that the majority of people on this planet favor tearing the shit out pristine wilderness to put through roads to service wind turbines that will be landfill in 20 years.

The Chinese built 50 plants in the last 20 years, more or less. This means that in the last 20 years they have demonstrated experience at building and operating plants. They are training nuclear plant operators while ours (except for some guys leaving the Navy) are retiring, many are losing their jobs when plants shut. There is no rational reason to assume that they can't do it, because they are doing it, and doing it well. Given the use of coal in China, they are saving lives.

The United States is committed to dangerous natural gas. We are tearing up the bedrock directly beneath our continent to get to the last of it, this while muttering nonsense about the lipstick on the gas pig, solar and wind.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:33 AM

7. I don't get to tell other people where they may, or may not, live.


I merely said that I do not wish to live next to a power plant, Chinese or otherwise. I'm not sure why you have decided that I am hostile toward you, for I am not.

I am now exercising my right to no longer interact with you. Good day, Sir or Ma'am.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:33 AM

8. I share general sentiments here, but this part ...

"If one looks around, one can see that the majority of people on this planet favor tearing the shit out pristine wilderness to put through roads to service wind turbines that will be landfill in 20 years."

Who, exactly, have you talked to that favors tearing up pristine wilderness to put in wind turbines?

Pretty sure there's plenty of other land (and offshore) that can be leveraged before we go 'tearing' up, I dunno, ANWR ... to put them there.

Also, roads in pristine wilderness can be created without that much havoc being wreaked. We have fire roads all over our wilderness areas, and generally they're an overall 'good thing'. Just have to be judicious, and not use them THAT much. Having more electric vehicles will help lower the impact of using them as well.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:55 AM

10. Um, Vermont?

This may surprise you, but the continental shelf is wilderness, a very rich habitat.

So, for that matter are deserts.

As for roads, maybe you should call up one of the thousands of pictures on the internet of "green" steel wind turbine towers being hauled by diesel trucks. These roads aren't scenic Route 1 in Big Sur. They're roads to service an industrial park, which is what a fucking wind farm is, an industrial park, serviced by trucks.

I have calculated, using the Danish Energy Agency's comprehensive data base of every piece of Danish wind shit on shore and off it, the average life time of Danish wind turbines. It's about 18 years. Some last 30 years, some two years, but the average is roughly 18 years. That shit has to be either left to rot, or hauled away, by huge diesel trucks.. The former is the general habit.

I recently calculated how much land these wind monstrosities would require - using data from an excellent scientific paper it would take to replace the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant with rickety wind shit requiring back up with fracked gas plants.

Synthesizing Clean Transportation Fuels from CO2 Will at Least Quintuple the Demand for Electricity.

An excerpt:

Now things get interesting since the authors deign to discuss the land use requirements were we to reduce this carbon dioxide using the wind turbines we are continuously trained to believe will save the world even if they haven't saved the world, aren't saving the world and won't save the world. They do so while considering the continuously ignored issue of capacity utilization as opposed to peak power.

Pay attention and note that the amount of CO2 being reduced is only that from US ethanol plants, 0.125% of all carbon dioxide dumped each year.

To wit:

That energy could, in principle, be sourced from renewable electricity; however, the magnitude of the energy input would require a dedicated facility or at the minimum the equivalent construction. There are roughly 200 ethanol fermentation facilities in the U.S. The nameplate capacity of a modern wind turbine now exceeds 3.1 MW of power.(34,35) Therefore, the average fermentation plant would require input from about 350 wind turbines.

Turbines have a land usage(36) of about 35 ha/MW nameplate. The average capacity factor of a modern turbine in the U.S. is 30–40%; (37) therefore, the 216 GW of power generation needed to revert carbon dioxide from all of the U.S. fermenters would require access to at least 19 million ha

which is nearly 50% more than the amount of land needed to grow the corn(38) (15 billion gallons per year at 462 gallons/acre = 13.1 million ha) and larger than the state of Iowa. The land comprising the wind park could be dual-use(39) (farming and power generation), and there are reports of wind turbines benefiting the growth of crops.(40−42) However, some of the wind park is needed for roads and other ground structures that could interfere with the mechanized farming associated with the high yield of corn. The nameplate capacity of the U.S. fleet of wind turbines(35,43) at the end of 2019 was 106 GW, but as noted above, the average capacity factor(37) (actual/maximum) is only about 33%; therefore, equipping all of the U.S. ethanol fermenters to convert their waste carbon dioxide back into fuel would require about 6 times the current total wind-generated electricity now produced in the U.S.

Therefore, making electrofuels from CO2 is challenging in the near term and includes, minimally, adding significant amounts of clean generating capacity along with energy storage and making the electrofuels energy-efficiently. We discuss the capital cost of this option below.

I have added the bold in the above excerpt.

It is popular to wax romantic about electric vehicles, a belief system that embraces the fantasy - but not the observed reality - that all of the electricity that comes out of the wall is generated by so called "renewable energy." It doesn't. The amount of electricity generated from the combustion of dangerous fossil fuels is rising, not falling.

Because of the fact that electric power still comes mostly from dangerous fossil fuels, converting liquid fuel vehicles to electric vehicles, ignoring the mining of vast amounts of copper, lithium, and cobalt (if it can be found) as shown in the following two graphics from the text, will be no better than raising the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Note that this assumes that we don't run out of fracked gas, although nobody really knows how long these gas fields will continue to produce.

The caption:

Figure 9. Electrifying the fleet using today’s technology would decrease the energy demand of the transportation sector much more than would doubling fuel economy, but given the current mix of technologies employed to generate electricity on the grid, electrifying the fleet will ameliorate only about the same amount of GHG emissions as will that doubling in fuel economy. Vehicle usage comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation.(18)

...It is instructive to consider the land use requirements of providing all of the electricity. For reference, let's consider the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the last plant in California, due to be shut, which has two reactors, each of which routinely provides, uninterrupted, 1140 MW of electricity, which is roughly 1/3 of the thermal output provided by the fission of uranium and plutonium. The plant is situated on 900 acres of land, but most of this land is beautiful undisturbed chaparral. The two reactors, with their parking lots, take up about 12 acres of land.

Above we see, in figure 6, that the electric power consumed in the United States amounts to 14.2 exajoules per year. From this, we can calculate that about 400 reactors would be required to completely eliminate all carbon dioxide output connected with electricity, about 4 times as many as we built between 1965 and 1985, using primitive technology. (If, using the techniques described above, we were to raise the thermodynamic efficiency of these plants to 60%, a little over 200 would be required.)

An acre of land is equal to approximately 0.405 hectares. Thus the Diablo Canyon plant itself takes up about 5 hectares, and the surrounding land belonging to the power plant takes up about 365 hectares. The 3.1 nameplate wind turbines, which, allowing for capacity utilization of 33% as suggested in the authors' text, produces about 1 MWe on 35 hectares of land, means that to provide the same electrical power that the Diablo Canyon reactors produce would require 2280 MW * 35 hectares/MW = 79,800 hectares.

Note that this land, unlike the Diablo Canyon site, whose 365 hectares are mostly pristine, the 79,800 hectares would need to be crisscrossed with asphalt or concrete service roads.

The 19 million hectares, described above for the reduction of ethanol's carbon dioxide side product, would also be reduced. The average continuous power produced by 216 GW of power from any source at 100% capacity utilization is about 6.8 exajoules, a huge portion of the current electricity production. This would require about 200 nuclear reactors to meet, although, as I spent considerable time describing above, it would be stupid for a nuclear plant to produce electricity to reduce carbon dioxide, since thermochemical means would be far superior via high thermodynamic efficiency. But if we used the 40-50 year old technology used to design Diablo Canyon, and only produced electricity, 216 GW/(2.28 GW/nuclear plant = 95 nuclear plants would be required. At 365 hectares, mostly unused per nuclear plant, this amounts to around 35,000 hectares, most of which would be undisturbed land, or about 0.2% as much land.

The wind industry is, um, filthy, and it is entirely dependent on access to dangerous natural gas, and since steel is made from coke, and coke from coal roasted with coal fires, on coal as well.

It, along with the electronic waste generating solar industry has soaked up trillions of dollars in the 21st century with the result that climate change is accelerating faster than ever. As of 2020, we have now reached 2.4 ppm per year of annual increases in carbon dioxide concentrations, after having had increases of 1.8 at the end of the 20th century,

So much for so called "renewable energy," the cute little dogmatic chant we all embrace even as we destroy the future.

I don't do rote, OK?

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 03:19 AM

11. We've had these discussions many times NNadir and I was only taking issue with one point ...

Which is that I don't know of people clamoring to tear up 'pristine wilderness' to build wind farms.

I know I wouldn't, not by my definition of 'pristine wilderness', which I consider to be largely gone already in this country.

If you want to say you mean the continental shelf and desert areas, okay ... not what I had in mind, but I see the argument.

Keep fighting the good fight brother

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 09:39 AM

14. They are tearing up pristine wildernesses. The land intensity of so called "renewable energy..."

is criminal.

People are clamoring to destroy the offshore continental shelf with these grease and metal machines where I live, in New Jersey.

The dickhead who heads our local Sierra Club here in New Jersey is drooling all over his fat ass about it with enthusiasm. He seems not to realize, being uninformed and rather ignorant, that the Sierra Club was founded by John Muir to oppose a great big renewable energy project that destroyed the Hetch Hetchy valley, eliminating access to it for all future generations.

It's going to happen here in fact, there's going to be big diesel barges with huge cranes assembling this crap off the coast of New Jersey, where it will produce intermittent power, backed up by redundant dangerous natural gas plants powered by PA fracked gas, for 20 years and then rot off the coast for eternity. It disgusts me.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:12 AM

4. 1 in 50 chance that there might be a problem.

But, that's impactful on, what, 40-50MM people? Hope that it works out in our (the world's) favor.

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Response to OAITW r.2.0 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:22 AM

6. Really? 1 in 50? How so? There is a 100% chance that the coal plants in China will kill people.

Coal plants kill people when they operate normally. Might this be a "problem?"

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Response to NNadir (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 02:37 AM

9. Right, Nuke is better than coal....

except if a fuck up happens. C'mon, NNadir, I known you are a proponent of Nuclear power, but if Japan fucked up with Fukishima, do you really think China is going to have a better record over the next 30 years? One earthquake or internal fuckup and we could witness a humanitarian loss that will make us forget about what happened in Japan. I've been to China a dozen times since the 90's and I know what they are capable of...but there is a downside to Chinese nuclear power.

Actually, I am surprised that they are still pushing nuclear power when they are #1 in the world on solar/wind power. Decentralized, labor intensive energy production seems to be more in line with their long term energy strategy and employment goals..

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Response to OAITW r.2.0 (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 09:34 AM

13. Really, "if a fuck up happens?"

Last year between 6 and 7 million people died worldwide from air pollution, about half from dangerous fossil fuels, and about half from "renewable" biofuels.

That's 19,000 per day.

Here is the most recent full report from the Global Burden of Disease Report, a survey of all causes of death and disability from environmental and lifestyle risks: Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 (Lancet 2016; 388: 1659–724) One can easily locate in this open sourced document compiled by an international consortium of medical and scientific professionals how many people die from causes related to air pollution, particulates, ozone, etc.

In 1986, a nuclear reactor with a graphite core, burned for weeks, open to the atmosphere. It is clearly considered the worst nuclear fuck up of all time. I was a stupid assed anti-nuke who routinely listened to other stupid assed anti-nukes. I expected at least one million deaths. Any idea of how many people who actually died from radiation at Chernobyl? How about the big boogey man at Fukushima?

I mean, more than 20,000 people drowned at Fukushima from the effects of seawater, but how many died from radiation? Is the death toll massive, 19,000 people per day?

Let me see if I understand this: If air pollution kills people at a daily rate higher than Covid-19 has killed worldwide on its worst day, it's still not as bad as a so called nuclear "fuck up."

Is this an ethical position, that if anyone might die from a radiation connected with a "nuclear fuck up" it's OK to let all other forms of energy kill at will and continuously?

Exactly what is the ethical ratio of acceptable deaths from air pollution as compared to radiation deaths. It seems that the world has agreed that radiation deaths are at 10 million times, at least, worse than on going continuous air pollution deaths. Agreed?

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sat Feb 6, 2021, 09:05 AM

12. On the lighter side, there has to be a joke about working at the

Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant.

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