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If you're wondering why NYC wants to get a heat pump for every apartment, consider this.

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Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    edited February 2022
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    @PMJ
    My main beef with that is daily maintenance.

    No heat pump needs daily maintenance and hermetic systems can be very reliable.

    That said, if they can't maintain a steam or hot water boiler those heat pumps have no hope.  The filters need to be cleaned at a minimum and it seems like even that won't happen.





    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    Options
    ChrisJ said:

    @PMJ
    My main beef with that is daily maintenance.

    No heat pump needs daily maintenance and hermetic systems can be very reliable.

    That said, if they can't maintain a steam or hot water boiler those heat pumps have no hope.  The filters need to be cleaned at a minimum and it seems like even that won't happen.





    You are correct. Individual heat pumps don't need daily maintenance.

    But looking at this system as a whole they are talking many thousands of individual units with tens or is it hundreds of thousands more moving parts to get the same job done. There will be ongoing daily maintenance for a staff much larger than before simply because there are so many parts with much shorter life spans. As you point out - they couldn't do that.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    Options
    Completely agree with both of @PMJ 's comments above.

    On failure rates. Let's be really generous and suppose that a given widget (as it might be a heat pump) has a probable failure rate of 1 unit failing per thousand units in any given year (I'm being generous. Don't yell at me).

    Then let's suppose that we have 1,000 of them installed. What is the probability of a unit failing in any given year? turns out to be about 64%. If we go up to 10,000 such units, the probability of one not failing is close enough to zero as to not matter.

    But this won't be a problem. We all know that governments maintain their public infrastructure very well, don't we...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    wmgeorgedelcrossv
  • Jells
    Jells Member Posts: 566
    edited February 2022
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    On failure rates. Let's be really generous and suppose that a given widget (as it might be a heat pump) has a probable failure rate of 1 unit failing per thousand units in any given year (I'm being generous. Don't yell at me).

    Then let's suppose that we have 1,000 of them installed. What is the probability of a unit failing in any given year? turns out to be about 64%.

    Not that it really matters, but I'm curious why the observed failure rate of 1,000 units should be 64%. Wouldn't it be exactly in line with the 1:1000 statistical probability you quoted, as in 100% that one unit will fail. This kind of math is not my strong suit!

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    Statistics are hard. That's why I simplify: it'll either happen or it won't, 50:50.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    It'll happen and in 5-10 years the situation will be in worse shape than it is now.  Don't forget lowest bidders doing the work, improper flares, cheap equipment, cheap linesets and improper dehydrations adding to failures.


    How long does the typical minisplit work acceptably with a slow leak?  1 season?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • wmgeorge
    wmgeorge Member Posts: 222
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    Actually the failure rate of new Mini Splits - Made in Japan is less than 1 %.. The weak point is the flare fitting connections, I would of like to Sil Phos mine, but not an option. They can be made as I said before like hotels use a, PTAC configuration, slide in and slide out. Carrier and others will custom build to your configuration, anything you want, when you order by the 100's or more.

    Wiring not an issue, just imagine 3 - 5 inch metal conduit in the hallways J boxes with taps off the rooms, this also in metal conduit. You will need to build a few more Nuke plants, but what the 7ell Natural Gas is bad.... Right?
    Old retired Commercial HVAC/R guy in Iowa. Master electrician.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    Options
    wmgeorge said:
    Actually the failure rate of new Mini Splits - Made in Japan is less than 1 %.. The weak point is the flare fitting connections, I would of like to Sil Phos mine, but not an option. They can be made as I said before like hotels use a, PTAC configuration, slide in and slide out. Carrier and others will custom build to your configuration, anything you want, when you order by the 100's or more. Wiring not an issue, just imagine 3 - 5 inch metal conduit in the hallways J boxes with taps off the rooms, this also in metal conduit. You will need to build a few more Nuke plants, but what the 7ell Natural Gas is bad.... Right?
    1% per year?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
    Options

    delcrossv said:

    Jells said:

    delcrossv said:

    I've seen the Lazard reports (they're several) and they conveniently leave out a lot of end of life costs.
    Tread carefully, they're salesmen too.
    Note the actual costs of delivered electricity in countries with a high percentage of renewables. (E.G. Germany). That's the real cost.

    Nuclear is expensive because regulation has made it so (purposefully).

    Those end of life costs are frequently left out of pricing any energy source, whether it's coal mines, hydro or nuclear. Plus 'delivered cost' rarely include the many traditional subsidies and externalized costs like environmental damage, pollution and healthcare. No doubt, these comparisons are hard.
    End of life costs are never left out of nuclear. Including spent fuel storage costs (even though the facility isn't built yet).
    I think I have to disagree. Right now, I believe the newest nuclear station in the US is in Byron,IL. , built in 1978. The design life of the stations was about 30 years. I don't believe there is a single nuclear station in operation in the US that is not way, way beyond design life. That means all of the current stations should have already been closed decades ago, but haven't. The end of life costs haven't even been realized yet. If you know someone working in these stations, they will tell you that there are failures all over the plant and they are essentially being held together by duct tape. Cooling system leaks from piping buried in concrete etc. are the norm.
    I remember many years ago when I was in the Planning Dept program at IIT and this topic came up. France has long been nearly 100% nuclear. The estimated cost of decommissioning thier plants was something like 20 years of the country's GNP.

    This seems to go with the whole direction of the country since the early 80's virtually no investment in infrastructure.
    Newest in Illinois is Braidwood IIRC.

    License life is not the same as design life. Reactor pressure vessels etc can last 80- 100 years. Licenses are in blocks of 20-30 years with extensions.

    I know a number of people working at plants e.g. Braidwood. The NSSS is never held together with "duct tape". Primary loop cooling is always exposed- never in concrete. You do know there's an NRC regulator onsite, yes?

    I think the decommissioning cost the IIT boys came up with is wildly excessive. Depends how you do it. DECON is a lot more expensive than SAFSTOR. The NRC estimates costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant range from $280-$612 million which has to be funded by the utility in a nuclear decommissioning trust.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
    Options
    Going all electric will cause this problem.
    1. complete rewire of the grid
    2. rewire of he buildings and opening of all the walls to install newer and larger wiring.
    3. metal refineries pressed to provide new copper wire, conduits etc.(more polution in the air and buried in the ground}, where is the green in that.
    4. try to find enough electrian's to do do that.
    5. More garbage trucks running around to dispose of debris
    6. need more landfills.

    Can't go one because themore I think of it the more I shudder.

    Jake
    delcrossvwmgeorge
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,590
    Options
    Does anyone have a heat pump hot water heater?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    Options
    SlamDunk said:
    Does anyone have a heat pump hot water heater?
    Yes @ethicalpaul
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    Options
    I did. Past tense, Put the oil fired one back...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    Options
    I did. Past tense, Put the oil fired one back...
    Why?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
    edited February 2022
    Options
    delcrossv said:

    delcrossv said:

    Jells said:

    delcrossv said:

    I've seen the Lazard reports (they're several) and they conveniently leave out a lot of end of life costs.
    Tread carefully, they're salesmen too.
    Note the actual costs of delivered electricity in countries with a high percentage of renewables. (E.G. Germany). That's the real cost.

    Nuclear is expensive because regulation has made it so (purposefully).

    Those end of life costs are frequently left out of pricing any energy source, whether it's coal mines, hydro or nuclear. Plus 'delivered cost' rarely include the many traditional subsidies and externalized costs like environmental damage, pollution and healthcare. No doubt, these comparisons are hard.
    End of life costs are never left out of nuclear. Including spent fuel storage costs (even though the facility isn't built yet).
    I think I have to disagree. Right now, I believe the newest nuclear station in the US is in Byron,IL. , built in 1978. The design life of the stations was about 30 years. I don't believe there is a single nuclear station in operation in the US that is not way, way beyond design life. That means all of the current stations should have already been closed decades ago, but haven't. The end of life costs haven't even been realized yet. If you know someone working in these stations, they will tell you that there are failures all over the plant and they are essentially being held together by duct tape. Cooling system leaks from piping buried in concrete etc. are the norm.
    I remember many years ago when I was in the Planning Dept program at IIT and this topic came up. France has long been nearly 100% nuclear. The estimated cost of decommissioning thier plants was something like 20 years of the country's GNP.

    This seems to go with the whole direction of the country since the early 80's virtually no investment in infrastructure.
    Newest in Illinois is Braidwood IIRC.

    License life is not the same as design life. Reactor pressure vessels etc can last 80- 100 years. Licenses are in blocks of 20-30 years with extensions.

    I know a number of people working at plants e.g. Braidwood. The NSSS is never held together with "duct tape". Primary loop cooling is always exposed- never in concrete. You do know there's an NRC regulator onsite, yes?

    I think the decommissioning cost the IIT boys came up with is wildly excessive. Depends how you do it. DECON is a lot more expensive than SAFSTOR. The NRC estimates costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant range from $280-$612 million which has to be funded by the utility in a nuclear decommissioning trust.
    Apparently, I heard a very different side from one of the plant employees and concrete encased cooling piping was particularly brought up. I suspect that flow velocities through the piping are so high that the pipe wears out in 30 years of use and there is no cost effective method or replacement.

    Has any large scale nuclear plant ever been completely decommisioned, demolished and completely removed anywhere in the US? The very small reactor on IIT's campus was removed many years ago and the space was converted into a robotics lab. I have no idea what that cost was.
    Considering the cost to build the two reactor plant at Byron was supposedly 4.5 billion 2007 dollars, I find it hard to believe that each reactor would only cost $280 to $612 million to completely clear the site and deal with all the nuclear waste. Does this cost include removing the spent fuel and any other related radioacative materials from its decades of operation and making it completely harmless to the humans and the environment in general ( not just burying in containers)?
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    Options
    ChrisJ said:



    I did. Past tense, Put the oil fired one back...

    Why?

    Recovery was too slow, maintenance issues.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
    Options

    delcrossv said:

    delcrossv said:

    Jells said:

    delcrossv said:

    I've seen the Lazard reports (they're several) and they conveniently leave out a lot of end of life costs.
    Tread carefully, they're salesmen too.
    Note the actual costs of delivered electricity in countries with a high percentage of renewables. (E.G. Germany). That's the real cost.

    Nuclear is expensive because regulation has made it so (purposefully).

    Those end of life costs are frequently left out of pricing any energy source, whether it's coal mines, hydro or nuclear. Plus 'delivered cost' rarely include the many traditional subsidies and externalized costs like environmental damage, pollution and healthcare. No doubt, these comparisons are hard.
    End of life costs are never left out of nuclear. Including spent fuel storage costs (even though the facility isn't built yet).
    I think I have to disagree. Right now, I believe the newest nuclear station in the US is in Byron,IL. , built in 1978. The design life of the stations was about 30 years. I don't believe there is a single nuclear station in operation in the US that is not way, way beyond design life. That means all of the current stations should have already been closed decades ago, but haven't. The end of life costs haven't even been realized yet. If you know someone working in these stations, they will tell you that there are failures all over the plant and they are essentially being held together by duct tape. Cooling system leaks from piping buried in concrete etc. are the norm.
    I remember many years ago when I was in the Planning Dept program at IIT and this topic came up. France has long been nearly 100% nuclear. The estimated cost of decommissioning thier plants was something like 20 years of the country's GNP.

    This seems to go with the whole direction of the country since the early 80's virtually no investment in infrastructure.
    Newest in Illinois is Braidwood IIRC.

    License life is not the same as design life. Reactor pressure vessels etc can last 80- 100 years. Licenses are in blocks of 20-30 years with extensions.

    I know a number of people working at plants e.g. Braidwood. The NSSS is never held together with "duct tape". Primary loop cooling is always exposed- never in concrete. You do know there's an NRC regulator onsite, yes?

    I think the decommissioning cost the IIT boys came up with is wildly excessive. Depends how you do it. DECON is a lot more expensive than SAFSTOR. The NRC estimates costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant range from $280-$612 million which has to be funded by the utility in a nuclear decommissioning trust.
    Apparently, I heard a very different side from one of the plant employees and concrete encased cooling piping was particularly brought up. I suspect that flow velocities through the piping are so high that the pipe wears out in 30 years of use and there is no cost effective method or replacement.

    Has any large scale nuclear plant ever been completely decommisioned, demolished and completely removed anywhere in the US? The very small reactor on IIT's campus was removed many years ago and the space was converted into a robotics lab. I have no idea what that cost was.
    Considering the cost to build the two reactor plant at Byron was supposedly 4.5 billion 2007 dollars, I find it hard to believe that each reactor would only cost $280 to $612 million to completely clear the site and deal with all the nuclear waste. Does this cost include removing the spent fuel and any other related radioacative materials from its decades of operation and making it completely harmless to the humans and the environment in general ( not just burying in containers)?
    Which piping? Primary loop? No, because the steam generators are usually there longer than 30 years and the primary loop has to be in containment. Secondary steam lines aren't radioactive, so can be routed anywhere.

    Regarding decommissioning, most utilities have gone the SAFSTOR route e.g. Dresden 1, Zion station. Fuel is removed from the cooling ponds and put in dry cask storage, the primary side of the NSSS is left dry and in place for the activated steel to "cool off". The dose is mainly from Co 60 (5.3 year half life, so at 10 half lives it's essentially gone)
    Secondary side and turbines etc can be removed immediately. The NUREGS provide the site must be retuned to "green field" status within 60 years (nothing left on site, free to visit).

    Shippingport has been completely decommissioned- in1985 dollars it cost $98 million inclusive of "first of a kind" costs. Subsequent to that Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Rowe stations have been returned to "green field" status. Yankee Atomic went the faster, but more expensive DECON route, but still within the ranges of their trust agreements with the NRC.

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,479
    Options
    The only viable way to handle nuclear waste is to build a high temperature gen 4 reactor (NO primary water cooling) on the site and burn up the high level waste. Any thoughts we can keep transuranic waste safe long enough is just a pipe dream, it's a lot more likely it will just get pushed down the road for a few generations and forgotten.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    delcrossv
  • wmgeorge
    wmgeorge Member Posts: 222
    Options
    Wonder how the French are doing it, they are 70% nuclear. Are they smarter than the US engineering folks?
    Old retired Commercial HVAC/R guy in Iowa. Master electrician.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
    Options
    wmgeorge said:

    Wonder how the French are doing it, they are 70% nuclear. Are they smarter than the US engineering folks?


    I don't know but their bread is better.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    bburd
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    Options
    wmgeorge said:

    Wonder how the French are doing it, they are 70% nuclear. Are they smarter than the US engineering folks?

    No, they aren't. What the difference is that they recognized the necessity of nuclear power to keep themselves independent of foreign entanglements, and they value that. Having done that, they then made sure that nuclear power was not entangled in endless impossible to meet regulations, and that the NIMBYs and their lawyer friends could not expend billions of dollars in public money lining their pockets objecting to the facilities. They also made sure that the chicken little types who expected every nuclear reactor to produce a mushroom cloud per week were properly educated as to the risks and benefits, at which point most of them were quite happy with nuclear power.

    The French engineers are no better -- nor worse -- than ours, but they are permitted to do their engineering and research in power generation freely, which ours are not (unless you work for the Navy).

    Just one example: someone up there mentioned the problem of high level waste (it's actually mostly fission products, not trans-uranic, but that's a detail). And it is a problem. 40 years ago now a good friend of mine, a truly brilliant geochemist and mineralogist and a professor at a major US university, was working on using artificial zeolites (a mineral) to stabilise -- over geologic time scales --these wastes, and had developed the processes needed to do this on an industrial scale, and had conducted the experiments to show that yes, indeed, these were stable on the million year time scale. Did he get promoted or an award? No, the university in question yielded to pressure from a couple of environmental legal organisations and fired him and tried to suppress his results. Fortunately for him, he was a Finn, and removed himself and his work to Finland, where he has continued his work together with the French on creating safe disposal.

    I will probably annoy somebody with this, but folks, when it comes to advanced engineering and science the US is one of the least free places around. If your work doesn't toe the current party line, don't even bother, and if the project you want to engineer and build doesn't conform to the current political enthusiasms, don't even think about it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossvwmgeorgeLarry Weingarten
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
    Options
    BobC said:

    The only viable way to handle nuclear waste is to build a high temperature gen 4 reactor (NO primary water cooling) on the site and burn up the high level waste. Any thoughts we can keep transuranic waste safe long enough is just a pipe dream, it's a lot more likely it will just get pushed down the road for a few generations and forgotten.

    Bob

    This. Present reactors "burn" 3-5% of the uranium in a fuel pin and make transuranics (Pu and others). That's your long lived, high level waste. Gen IV "fast" reactors "burn" the other 95-97% leaving only fission products.
    Fission products decay to background in around 200 years and that where vitrification or @Jamie Hall 's zeolites come in.

    The nuclear waste 'problem' was solved by the Integral Fast Reactor in the 80's. Wonder why the feds were so keen on killing it. (even though the Japanese were willing to pick up the tab) Curious. Guess their donors didn't like the prospect of unlimited , dispatchable, carbon free power.

    Where's the French high level waste? They reprocess it and burn it again in standard water cooled reactors.
    Better than nothing, but not as complete as fast reactors.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    CLamb
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
    Options
    Jamie, that last doesn’t annoy me; it’s the truth. 
    Retired and loving it.
    delcrossv
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
    Options
    One further -- and somewhat more general -- comment, and @Erin Holohan Haskell please feel free to remove this one! It's a little off the Wall...

    It is very important to distinguish clearly between the poles of good vs. bad and good vs. evil. In technology, such as our heating, we often see the same technology implemented so that it is good -- and bad (we've seen some pretty strange piping...). But we must distinguish that from the polarity of good and evil. Technology cannot be placed on a scale from good (in this sense) to evil. It just is, whether it's a steam boiler or a circulator, an airplane -- or atomic energy. Only the way man implements the technology can be good or evil. Trivial example: using an airplane to bomb somebody is evil. Using the airplane to bring aid to somebody is good. Now -- failing or refusing to use a technology when it could be of benefit to mankind or the earth is every bit as evil as using it -- or some other technology -- to harm mankind or the earth.

    Think about it.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossv
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
    Options
    Yep. As someone told me: Technology has no moral component. Only humans who use it do.
    Well said @Jamie Hall .👍
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
    Options
    I will probably annoy somebody with this, but folks, when it comes to advanced engineering and science the US is one of the least free places around. If your work doesn't toe the current party line, don't even bother, and if the project you want to engineer and build doesn't conform to the current political enthusiasms, don't even think about it.

    Thanks for this @Jamie Hall. The last two years exposed it in living color for all those who weren't too afraid to look.

    We were warned that really bad things happen when the business/government relationships get too cozy by Eisenhower and others. We are well down that road now. Anyone who doesn't see it isn't paying attention. This is the biggest threat to our collective well being, nothing else comes close.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    delcrossvBobC
  • wmgeorge
    wmgeorge Member Posts: 222
    Options
    The French can do it and the US Navy for how many years? Get the lawyers out of the picture and realist people take over. First natural gas makes sense lets use with care to make sure the CO2 is reduced. We are letting farm land in this country be turned into pavement and jungles in SA to be burned, those all use up CO2. Lets get some nukes built and now.
    Old retired Commercial HVAC/R guy in Iowa. Master electrician.
    delcrossv
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 287
    Options

    I'm really surprised a group has not stepped up and offered to help given the publicity.  If you had a team with a steam expert with a great track record at an institution, an engineer, a purchasing guy, a PR person there is a lot of good they could do and probably make a decent profit.  If they were really smart they would develop a process, give a sexy name like "Encore" and say it could fix any institution's steam system.

    I'm reminded of Harry Tuttle from the film Brazil. Here is one scene. https://youtu.be/VRfoIyx8KfU

  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
    edited February 2022
    Options
    delcrossv said:

    delcrossv said:

    delcrossv said:

    Jells said:

    delcrossv said:

    I've seen the Lazard reports (they're several) and they conveniently leave out a lot of end of life costs.
    Tread carefully, they're salesmen too.
    Note the actual costs of delivered electricity in countries with a high percentage of renewables. (E.G. Germany). That's the real cost.

    Nuclear is expensive because regulation has made it so (purposefully).

    Those end of life costs are frequently left out of pricing any energy source, whether it's coal mines, hydro or nuclear. Plus 'delivered cost' rarely include the many traditional subsidies and externalized costs like environmental damage, pollution and healthcare. No doubt, these comparisons are hard.
    End of life costs are never left out of nuclear. Including spent fuel storage costs (even though the facility isn't built yet).
    I think I have to disagree. Right now, I believe the newest nuclear station in the US is in Byron,IL. , built in 1978. The design life of the stations was about 30 years. I don't believe there is a single nuclear station in operation in the US that is not way, way beyond design life. That means all of the current stations should have already been closed decades ago, but haven't. The end of life costs haven't even been realized yet. If you know someone working in these stations, they will tell you that there are failures all over the plant and they are essentially being held together by duct tape. Cooling system leaks from piping buried in concrete etc. are the norm.
    I remember many years ago when I was in the Planning Dept program at IIT and this topic came up. France has long been nearly 100% nuclear. The estimated cost of decommissioning thier plants was something like 20 years of the country's GNP.

    This seems to go with the whole direction of the country since the early 80's virtually no investment in infrastructure.
    Newest in Illinois is Braidwood IIRC.

    License life is not the same as design life. Reactor pressure vessels etc can last 80- 100 years. Licenses are in blocks of 20-30 years with extensions.

    I know a number of people working at plants e.g. Braidwood. The NSSS is never held together with "duct tape". Primary loop cooling is always exposed- never in concrete. You do know there's an NRC regulator onsite, yes?

    I think the decommissioning cost the IIT boys came up with is wildly excessive. Depends how you do it. DECON is a lot more expensive than SAFSTOR. The NRC estimates costs for decommissioning a nuclear power plant range from $280-$612 million which has to be funded by the utility in a nuclear decommissioning trust.
    Apparently, I heard a very different side from one of the plant employees and concrete encased cooling piping was particularly brought up. I suspect that flow velocities through the piping are so high that the pipe wears out in 30 years of use and there is no cost effective method or replacement.

    Has any large scale nuclear plant ever been completely decommisioned, demolished and completely removed anywhere in the US? The very small reactor on IIT's campus was removed many years ago and the space was converted into a robotics lab. I have no idea what that cost was.
    Considering the cost to build the two reactor plant at Byron was supposedly 4.5 billion 2007 dollars, I find it hard to believe that each reactor would only cost $280 to $612 million to completely clear the site and deal with all the nuclear waste. Does this cost include removing the spent fuel and any other related radioacative materials from its decades of operation and making it completely harmless to the humans and the environment in general ( not just burying in containers)?
    Which piping? Primary loop? No, because the steam generators are usually there longer than 30 years and the primary loop has to be in containment. Secondary steam lines aren't radioactive, so can be routed anywhere.

    Regarding decommissioning, most utilities have gone the SAFSTOR route e.g. Dresden 1, Zion station. Fuel is removed from the cooling ponds and put in dry cask storage, the primary side of the NSSS is left dry and in place for the activated steel to "cool off". The dose is mainly from Co 60 (5.3 year half life, so at 10 half lives it's essentially gone)
    Secondary side and turbines etc can be removed immediately. The NUREGS provide the site must be retuned to "green field" status within 60 years (nothing left on site, free to visit).

    Shippingport has been completely decommissioned- in1985 dollars it cost $98 million inclusive of "first of a kind" costs. Subsequent to that Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Rowe stations have been returned to "green field" status. Yankee Atomic went the faster, but more expensive DECON route, but still within the ranges of their trust agreements with the NRC.

    I find all of this information informative, but the basic question still remains about total cost? What is the total cost of dealing with all the impact of a nuclear station once it is taken off line? This would include the cost of the land that remains unusable and occupied by nuclear facilities, associated costs in keeping this land secure both from accidental entry or use in a terrorist attack, the costs of protecting the unsafe materials (I understand the taxpayers pay for this), the cost of making those materials safe, among many other costs? I strongly suspect that most of these costs are not added into the figures you provided.

    If we take government interference out of the nuclear equation ( politics, funding, storage facilities, security,insurance, etc), I suspect not a single nuclear facility would be built as there are no insurance companies that are willing to take that risk. I could very well be wrong, but I don't believe there are any nuclear generation facilities in the world that are not government insured.

    Also, just leaving materials to "cool off" I suspect means that the radiation is allowed to gradually dissipate into the environment. This sounds an awful lot like pouring pollution into the air and just allowing the environment to dissipate it. This doesn't look like it works too well. At some point the environment will no longer be able to process this radiation and we end up right back where we are now with air pollution.
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  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
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    Also, just leaving materials to "cool off" I suspect means that the radiation is allowed to gradually dissipate into the environment. This sounds an awful lot like pouring pollution into the air and just allowing the environment to dissipate it. This doesn't look like it works too well. At some point the environment will no longer be able to process this radiation and we end up right back where we are now with air pollution.

    ??? It really doesn't work like that. Radiation doesn't "collect" or "spread" so there's no environmental impact to letting things sit. As materials go though their decay chains they finally wind up stable. It's all internal to the material, no 'dissipation into the environment" involved. For example for Co60: every 5 years or so half of it turns into Ni60 (stable). The transition emits light (gammas) and electrons. Gammas down convert to heat and electrons are absorbed. Note there are no "new" electrons.
    Seeing how the sun pelts the earth with gammas and electrons and has for billions of years, it's not like it's been "building up".

    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    ChrisJWMno57wmgeorge
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
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    <

    I find all of this information informative, but the basic question still remains about total cost? What is the total cost of dealing with all the impact of a nuclear station once it is taken off line? This would include the cost of the land that remains unusable and occupied by nuclear facilities, associated costs in keeping this land secure both from accidental entry or use in a terrorist attack, the costs of protecting the unsafe materials (I understand the taxpayers pay for this), the cost of making those materials safe, among many other costs? I strongly suspect that most of these costs are not added into the figures you provided.

    If we take government interference out of the nuclear equation ( politics, funding, storage facilities, security,insurance, etc), I suspect not a single nuclear facility would be built as there are no insurance companies that are willing to take that risk. I could very well be wrong, but I don't believe there are any nuclear generation facilities in the world that are not government insured.

    American nuclear plants are privately insured through ANI .

    "ANI is a joint underwriting association of approximately 21 member companies. Membership is open to any domestic property/casualty insurance company licensed to do business in one of the states or territories of the United States."

    And yes, decommissioning costs, including security etc. are included in the decommissioning trust. The land is already owned by the utility, so I don't understand how that is a sunk cost. Once everything is gone, it's just land.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    "Also, just leaving materials to "cool off" I suspect means that the radiation is allowed to gradually dissipate into the environment. This sounds an awful lot like pouring pollution into the air and just allowing the environment to dissipate it. This doesn't look like it works too well. At some point the environment will no longer be able to process this radiation and we end up right back where we are now with air pollution."

    Oh boy. A complete lack of understanding of radiation and radioactive decay -- and you are one of our most intelligent folks, @The Steam Whisperer . In fact, with intelligent engineering, the heat which is produced (see @delcrossv 's comment can be captured as more electricity if wanted. Many deep space spacecraft are powered this way (for instance the two Voyagers -- 40 plus years on and still going strong, way out there somewhere).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossv
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,777
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    @Jamie Hall
    I didn't really know what was going on until I started reading more about Radon and Radon Daughters, now I think called Radon Progeny.

    I believe the same thing applies.
    The radioactive elements decay into other elements until they finally become something stable?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    delcrossv
  • cross_skier
    cross_skier Member Posts: 201
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    CLamb said:
    I'm really surprised a group has not stepped up and offered to help given the publicity.  If you had a team with a steam expert with a great track record at an institution, an engineer, a purchasing guy, a PR person there is a lot of good they could do and probably make a decent profit.  If they were really smart they would develop a process, give a sexy name like "Encore" and say it could fix any institution's steam system.
    I'm reminded of Harry Tuttle from the film Brazil. Here is one scene. https://youtu.be/VRfoIyx8KfU
    Steam heat can be really bad or really good.  It shouldn't be dependent on the personalities involved but rather adherence to a proven defined process.  Leaders often are not technical and hate grimble and war stories.  Give them a proven process that is working well with an easy to remember name that rolls off their lips like "Encore" and you've got a fighting chance.
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 748
    edited February 2022
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    ChrisJ said:

    @Jamie Hall
    I didn't really know what was going on until I started reading more about Radon and Radon Daughters, now I think called Radon Progeny.

    I believe the same thing applies.
    The radioactive elements decay into other elements until they finally become something stable?

    Don't want to cut in on @Jamie Hall but,

    @ChrisJ Yep. Exactly. Radon222 winds up as Pb206 (stable). All radioactive elements go through their decay chains and wind up as something stable. The slower the transition, the less radiation per unit time produced.
    So "hot" things decay fast (short half life) and reach stability quicker.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,430
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    ChrisJ said:

    @Jamie Hall
    I didn't really know what was going on until I started reading more about Radon and Radon Daughters, now I think called Radon Progeny.

    I believe the same thing applies.
    The radioactive elements decay into other elements until they finally become something stable?

    Exactly. Interestingly, though, Radon itself -- which is a gas at atmospheric conditions, unhappily -- and it's daughters, most of which are not gasses -- is not in the decay chain either from the trans-uranic atoms or the fission product atoms involved in a nuclear reactor or nuclear waste. It is naturally occurring, and is the product of the natural radioactive decay of Uranium (238) or Thorium (223). Operation of a nuclear reactor neither increases -- nor decreases the amount of Radon present.

    The hazard from Radon is that it is a gas, and so it is inhaled if it is present. The radiation from Radon is alpha, which has very little penetrating power (a sheet of paper is a good shield!) so it is not a hazard all by itself (your skin is an excellent shield) -- but inside the lung it can damage lung cells, which may lead to cancer. Why we don't want it in our indoor air... which is one of the reasons I tend to be bit of a bug on indoor air quality and adequate air changes per hour!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    delcrossvwmgeorge
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,287
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    BobC said:

    The only viable way to handle nuclear waste is to build a high temperature gen 4 reactor (NO primary water cooling) on the site and burn up the high level waste. Any thoughts we can keep transuranic waste safe long enough is just a pipe dream, it's a lot more likely it will just get pushed down the road for a few generations and forgotten.

    Bob


    What's wrong with that? If it was my money I'd just fence off the facility. That transuranic waste will be valuable down the road.

    delcrossv
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,218
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    I believe the parrallel to air pollution still remains....We send CO2 into the air and it is converted to Carbon and oxygen by chemical process in plants. If we produce too much COx, we overwhelm the process and it starts to accumulate. If we continue to add more and more radioactivity into the environment, the natural decay processes would be overwhelmed and background radioactivity levels should go up. I need to go back and study the processes again and have a number of Nuclear Phycicists at IIT and University of Chicago I can converse with. Decay takes time, just like the cycle of air pollutants. IIRC the time for decay of of the rods is measured in hundreds of years before they meet safe levels. We, as a country have only been around about 250 years, so to guarantee the safety for hundreds of years of these materials is just not realistic. It's unlikely our government will be around that long, let alone private companies.

    I understand that the background radiation levels are being tracked and have been steadily going up for decades. The accident in Japan sent a spike all the way to the west coast and beyond.
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  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,544
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    Perhaps we should be considering fusion at this point.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-60312633
    Retired and loving it.
This discussion has been closed.