Rolls-Royce, in partnership with COMEX NUCLEAIRE, has been awarded a contract to supply boron measurement systems for the entire fleet of 900MW nuclear reactors in France owned and operated by EDF Group.
Rolls-Royce boron meter technology, known as Boronline, complies with the latest French safety regulations. It provides real-time data on boron concentration levels in the reactor coolant through continuous measurement and is essential to control the reactivity of the core and ensure safe operation.
Eric Blanc, President – I&C, Rolls-Royce said: “We are delighted to be awarded this contract. We have extensive experience in nuclear I&C and invest continuously in R&D to ensure that we are able to offer our customers the latest I&C technology that meets the most stringent safety regulations.”
“Our relationship with EDF spans over forty years and we are pleased that they have once again put their trust in our world-class technologies which help to ensure the safety and performance of their reactors.”
The contract, which includes equipment feasibility and supply, on-site activities and long-term support, is scheduled to run until 2022. COMEX NUCLEAIRE will oversee mechanical design, support for licensing with French Safety Authority (ASN) and installation.
Rolls-Royce provides I&C systems and solutions to more than 200 nuclear reactors worldwide including all 58 nuclear reactors in France, through its I&C centre of excellence based in Grenoble, France.
Source: Nuclear Matters
Nuclear power is one of the least damaging sources of energy for the environment, and the green movement must accept its expansion if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, some of the world’s leading conservation biologists have warned.
Rising demand for energy will place ever greater burdens on the natural world, threatening its rich biodiversity, unless societies accept nuclear power as a key part of the “energy mix”, they said. And so the environmental movement and pressure groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace should drop their opposition to the building of nuclear power stations.
In an open letter to be published next month in the journal Conservation Biology, more than 65 biologists, including a former UK government chief scientist, support the call to build more nuclear power plants as a central part of a global strategy to protect wildlife and the environment.
The full gamut of electricity-generation sources, including nuclear power, must be used to replace the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas if the world is to have any chance of mitigating severe climate change, their letter says.
The letter is signed by several leading British academics including Lord May of Oxford, a theoretical biologist at Oxford University and former chief scientific adviser; Professor Andrew Balmford, a conservation biologist at Cambridge; and Professor Tim Blackburn, an expert in biodiversity at University College London.
As well as reducing the sources of carbon dioxide, the chief man-made greenhouse gas implicated in climate change, the expansion of nuclear power will leave more land to support biodiversity and so curb the extinction of species, they say.
Recognising the “historical antagonism towards nuclear energy” among environmentalists, they write: “Much as leading climate scientists have recently advocated the development of safe, next-generation nuclear energy systems to combat climate change, we entreat the conservation and environmental community to weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is ‘green’.”
It is too risky to rely solely on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power for replacing fossil fuels because of problems to do with scalability, cost, materials and land use, they explain.
Nuclear power – being far the most compact and energy-dense of sources – could also make a major, and perhaps leading, contribution …. It is time that conservationists make their voices heard in this policy area,” they say.
A golf-ball-sized lump of uranium would supply the lifetime’s energy needs of a typical person, equivalent to 56 tanker trucks of natural gas, 800 elephant-sized bags of coal or a renewable battery as tall as 16 “super” skyscraper buildings placed one on top of the other, they said.
The letter was organised by Professor Barry Brook of the University of Tasmania and Professor Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide. The two co-authored a paper in the January issue of Conservation Biology outlining the scientific case of nuclear power in terms of environmental protection. Of seven major technologies for generating electricity, nuclear power and wind energy had the highest benefit-to-cost ratio, they concluded.
“Trade-offs and compromises are inevitable and require advocating energy mixes that minimise net environmental damage. Society cannot afford to risk wholesale failure to address energy-related biodiversity impacts because of preconceived notions and ideals,” they said.
Professor Corey told The Independent on Sunday: “Our main concern is that society isn’t doing enough to rein in emissions… Unless we embrace a full, global-scale assault on fossil fuels, we’ll be in increasingly worse shape over the coming decades – and decades is all we have to act ruthlessly.
“Many so-called green organisations and individuals, including scientists, have avoided or actively lobbied against proven zero-emissions technologies like nuclear because of the associated negative stigma,” he said.
“Our main goal was to show – through careful, objective scientific analysis – that on the basis of cost, safety, emissions reduction, land use and pollution, nuclear power must be considered in the future energy mix,” he explained.
The letter aims to convince people of the potential benefits of nuclear power in a world where energy demand will increase as the climate begins to change because of rising levels of greenhouse gases, Professor Corey added.
“By convincing leading scientists in the areas of ecological sustainability that nuclear has a role to play, we hope that others opposed to nuclear energy on purely ‘environmental’ – or ideological – grounds might reconsider their positions,” he said.
Nuclear must be a part of the UK’s low carbon energy mix because renewable sources cannot provide power 24/7
The sun sets behind EDF’s Hinkley Point B (left), and Hinkley Point A (right) nuclear power stations beside the Bristol Channel Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
“Nuclear power remains, prospectively, one of the cheapest low-carbon technologies and can play an important role as part of a cost-effective portfolio of technologies to decarbonise the power sector.” As the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, this is something you’d expect me to say, but this is the viewpoint of the Committee on Climate Change in its progress report to Parliament earlier this month.
Recently, Tom Burke wrote on these pages of the “costly gamble” of investing in new nuclear because of rising renewable energy output. I’m afraid that the “costly gamble” will be not investing in new nuclear plants. I’m not arguing against renewables, but it isn’t the answer alone.
The UK needs a mix of low-carbon sources of energy. This must include nuclear. Renewables cannot provide power to the grid 24/7 even though the UK gets as much as 15% of its electricity from these sources. So, one versus the other isn’t the answer – it must be a combination of both. A cost-effective portfolio of technologies, to quote the committee again.
Nuclear can support power to the grid 24/7 and with an ambitious plan for building new nuclear plants, it could provide an even greater proportion of the electricity needed in the UK. It is a fallacy to try to compare renewables with nuclear as both will work in different situations. Nuclear can provide a continuous supply to the electricity grid, while renewables will be reliant on the elements.
The government estimates that by 2025 the UK will need 60GW of new electricity generating capacity and the infrastructure to run it. Of this, 35GW would come from renewables and 25GW would come from other sources, including nuclear power.
The first of the new nuclear plants will be Hinkley Point C in Somerset. However, Burke questioned the ‘strike price’ – the minimum price paid for the electricity generated agreed between EDF Energy who will build the plant and the government. To quote the committee’s report again, it stated specifically on Hinkley that “the agreed strike price therefore offers good value for money and the potential for significant cost savings from a new nuclear programme in the UK”.
All large infrastructure investment projects – be it new nuclear capacity, a new wind farm or solar farm – have a strike price. Burke argued that the Hinkley price of £92.50/MWh was too high, but compare that with the offshore wind farm price of £155/MWh and £120/MWh for a large solar farm.
Over its lifetime of at least 60 years, Hinkley Point C is expected to contribute £2bn to the economy – £100 million of that will directly benefit the local economy through each year of construction.
The UK hasn’t built a new nuclear power station for 20 years and all of the current stations will begin to retire in the next 15 years or so. If we don’t build new ones, that means we could potentially lose a fifth of electricity which is generated on home soil, meaning we’d have to import more. We’d lose a low-carbon source of energy generation which for each kilowatt hour only emits 5g of CO2, compared to 900g from coal-fired. We’d potentially lose a major component of the UK’s science and engineering base too.
But building this new nuclear capacity will mean thousands of jobs. Our own conservative estimates put this at a peak of 32,500 jobs annually, some have put it more towards 100,000 when retiring current plants and simultaneous build of new plants are taken into account.
Upwards of 5,000 apprenticeships will be created across new build, creating much needed jobs and training for young people.
Annual exports from the nuclear industry could increase from £700m a year to up to £1.6bn. We’re already seeing workers from Sellafield going to share their knowledge and experience with other countries, and research and innovation from our universities is also helping other countries in decommissioning and management.
Yes, building a new nuclear power plant takes time. By starting the process now, the UK can increase its secure low carbon electricity generation, in tandem with renewables, ensuring the country continues to decarbonise the UK’s energy supply and contributing to economic growth creating long term, high quality jobs.
Canadian Nuclear industry welcomes OPG-Westinghouse agreement
The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) today welcomed the announcement of a service agreement between Canadian Nuclear Partners and Westinghouse Electric Company.
“In choosing to work together, these leaders in innovation will reinforce the nuclear industry’s contributions to Canada’s knowledge economy,” said Dr. John Barrett, CNA President and CEO.
“They clearly see that Canadian nuclear technology offers great potential to a world that seeks both energy security and low-carbon power generation.”
Canadian Nuclear Partners, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation Inc., and Westinghouse yesterday announced an agreement to work together on a wide range of global nuclear projects.
The companies indicated a shared interest in refurbishment, maintenance and outage services, decommissioning and remediation of existing nuclear power plants, and new nuclear power plants.
Nuclear-generated electricity offers significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nuclear energy closely matches wind-based and hydroelectric power generation as a low-carbon source of electricity.
Nuclear, hydro and wind all significantly outperform solar energy and the fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
Dr. Barrett added: “We are inevitably moving toward a much-reduced carbon economy. Through innovation, and through access to the global marketplace, the Canadian nuclear industry will help to mitigate the challenge of climate change while providing power that is safe, reliable and affordable.”
The CNA represents 30,000 Canadian men and women who mine uranium, design and service reactors, fabricate fuel, generate electricity, advance nuclear medicine, support next-generation manufacturing, and export Canadian scientific and technological expertise.
Source: Canadian Nuclear Association
Going nuclear — in a small way
New research has provided a comprehensive overview of new small-scale nuclear reactors, which could be suitable candidates to cope with the world’s ever growing demand for energy. According to official estimates world energy consumption in 2035 will be more than double that of 1995. A substantial challenge for engineers and scientists over the coming decades is to develop and deploy power plants with sufficient capacity and flexibility to meet this increasing need while simultaneously reducing emissions. The new article aims to show to what extent a new type of nuclear reactor, termed the ‘Small Modular Reactor’ (SMR), might provide a solution to fulfil these energy needs.
BP sees modest growth in nuclear energy
Global nuclear power use will grow 1.9% annually up to 2035, according to oil and gas giant BP. However, carbon dioxide emissions are seen to increase by almost 30% over that period.
Nuclear generation by region to 2035, thousand TWh (Image: BP)
In the fourth edition of its annual Energy Outlook, BP says that world energy consumption will grow by 41% between 2012 and 2035, from 12,500 million tonnes oil equivalent (toe) to 17,600 million toe. Some 95% of that growth in demand is expected to come from the emerging economies, particularly China and India. Energy use in the advanced economies of North America, Europe and Asia as a group is expected to grow only very slowly – and begin to decline in the later years of the forecast period.
The share of the major fossil fuels are converging with oil, natural gas and coal each expected to make up around 27% of the total mix by 2035 and the remaining 18% share coming from nuclear, hydroelectricity and renewables. Non-fossil fuels are projected to grow faster than total energy consumption in both the OECD (1.8% per year) and the non-OECD (4.3% per year). Between 2012 and 2035 the non-fossil share of primary energy increases from 18% to 25% in the OECD, and from 10% to 16% in the non-OECD.
The global use of nuclear energy is forecast to grow by 1.9% per year, from 560.4 million toe in 2012 to 859.9 million toe in 2035. In the OECD, nuclear generation is projected to decline by 0.2% annually as aging nuclear plants are gradually retired. Therefore, global growth is driven by the non-OECD (with an annual growth rate of 5.9%) and in particular by China, “where new capacity additions will match the growth seen in the US and EU in the 1970s and 1980s.”
In the latest World Energy Outlook published by the International Energy Agency in November 2013, nuclear capacity is projected to increase to 578 GWe (from 371 GWe today) and account for around 4300 TWh of generation out of a total of 37,100 TWh from all sources.
Over the same period, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 29%, or 1.1% annually, with all of the growth coming from the emerging economies. BP notes, “Emissions grow more slowly than energy consumption, as the energy mix gradually decarbonizes. By fuel, coal and gas each contribute 38% of the increase in emissions, with 24% coming from oil.”
“Policies to curb emissions continue to tighten, and the rate of growth of emissions declines, but emissions remain well above the path recommended by scientists,” the report says. “Global emissions in 2035 are nearly double the 1990 level.”
Source: World Nuclear News