Made-in-Ontario nuclear power


Andem
#1
Made-in-Ontario nuclear power
CANDU reactors best choice for province, says Alan Middleton

Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan mused in public earlier this month about the need to build new nuclear power plants in Ontario.

This spurred several newspapers, including the Toronto Star, to write editorials supporting the need for new nuclear plants. Given the energy situation this seems all well and good.

However, it now seems the debate is shifting from whether we need new nuclear generation, to what nuclear technology we should use, even implying that we could invite the French and Americans to build their brand of nuclear technology here in Ontario.

This is very odd. Made-in-Ontario nuclear technology CANDU is one of the top-performing reactors in the world.

We have a world-class nuclear industry here in Ontario. The CANDU 6 operates in five countries on four continents. In terms of average lifetime capacity factor, the single most important measure of reactor performance, the CANDU 6 fleet ranks well ahead of the French and U.S. reactor fleets. In 2002, the top three CANDU 6 units actually achieved an average 97.1 per cent capacity factor.

CANDU 6 is already licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is considered to be among the safest reactors in the world. CANDU 6 is a proven safe, clean, reliable and affordable solution that is ready to fill Ontario's looming electricity supply gap in the shortest possible timeframe.

Read the rest of the article.









More nuclear power? All I know is that the nuclear power plant in Pickering makes me very nervous. These plants are quite dangerous especially if there were to be a terrorist attack in the Toronto... that could put the whole city of Toronto into the city of rubble. (Sorry for my ignorance on the issue, I just know these plants aren't the safest thing in the world).

And what about those new plants they are building here in Europe? Couldn't we just wait until those are proven reliable and safer?
 
Reverend Blair
#2
The Candus are actually very safe, Andem. It's also highly unlikely that terrorists could launch an attack that successfully released radiation into the atmosphere, although they could likely knock out power generation.

The big problem is what to do with the waste. Until they solve that little dilemma, we need to think very hard about whether nuclear energy is a good way to go.
 
bevvyd
#3
Andem,

Alot of the reactors in Europe at the old type reactors. I don't believe the Atomic Energy body of the world allows for these types to be built anymore. The CANDU 6 is alot better, seemingly. I don't like the location of the Pickering Plant, I would like to see it far away from residential/business areas. However in Southern Ontario I don't think you have that much land around.
 
Vitamin C
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem

Made-in-Ontario nuclear power
CANDU 6 is already licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is considered to be among the safest reactors in the world. CANDU 6 is a proven safe, clean, reliable and affordable solution that is ready to fill Ontario's looming electricity supply gap in the shortest possible timeframe.

What, use something that is paid for, proven, reliable and safe? I think that makes a little too much sense for the McGuinty gov't.......
 
#juan
#5
There has never been anything even remotely like a Chernobyl type accident with CANDU reactors. CANDU reactors are in India, Pakistan, and we must have a dozen or so in Canada. The CANDU reactor is inherently safer than American or Russian reactors because it doesn't have radioactive materials under high pressure.
 
bevvyd
#6
Don't forget Darlington, Bruce, Gentilly and Point Lepreau, Romania and China too, although China has not got critical yet (site is at Quinshan, pronounced Chinchan). Korea got the CANDU 3 reactors. I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of the lead engineers at AECL for the Wolsong Project. She was explaining all the really cool stuff that they had to do to get the parts all fitted togeter. The motor for the Primary heat transport pump is 10,000 RPM stands 27' H x 10' W. Seems the door to get the motor in is 1/4" bigger all round. That was one tough project let me tell ya.
 
MMMike
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by bevvyd

Andem,

Alot of the reactors in Europe at the old type reactors. I don't believe the Atomic Energy body of the world allows for these types to be built anymore. The CANDU 6 is alot better, seemingly. I don't like the location of the Pickering Plant, I would like to see it far away from residential/business areas. However in Southern Ontario I don't think you have that much land around.

The Pickering plant is practically in my back yard.... I don't lay awake at night worrying about it. We do get interesting stuff from my daughters school about signing permission slips for some type of potassium (?) pill or injection in case of radiation leak... evacuation plans, sirens etc...
 
mrmom2
#8
Do you mean pottasium iodate MMMike? It keeps the thyroid from absorbing the radioactive iodine in case of a leak
 
MMMike
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

The Candus are actually very safe, Andem. It's also highly unlikely that terrorists could launch an attack that successfully released radiation into the atmosphere, although they could likely knock out power generation.

The big problem is what to do with the waste. Until they solve that little dilemma, we need to think very hard about whether nuclear energy is a good way to go.

First of all, the waste 'problem' is not a technical problem, its a political problem. It's a non issue, solved a long time ago.

Second, I agree that any discussion about the feasibility of nuclear power should include how to handle or deal with the waste. But this should also apply to the 'smokestack' methods of power generation.
 
Reverend Blair
#10
Quote:

First of all, the waste 'problem' is not a technical problem, its a political problem. It's a non issue, solved a long time ago.

No, it is both a technical and a political problem. The political, social, and environmental implications call for a technical answer and we do not have a sufficient one at this point. We have no idea what will happen in 10,000 years, or even 25 years, yet we are storing waste that will still be radioactive at that time.

In addition to that, we export some of the waste to the US. The US makes depleted uranium munitions from nuclear waste, as well as useful products for peaceful uses. We have a treaty with the US stating that our nuclear waste won't be used for weapons, but the US does not differentiate between which material goes where. Without a technical solution that provides Canada with a way to track our material we cannot know that the US is not violating the treaty.

Quote:

Second, I agree that any discussion about the feasibility of nuclear power should include how to handle or deal with the waste. But this should also apply to the 'smokestack' methods of power generation.

Yes, it should. What to do with waste and the health and environmental costs should be factored into all forms of production.
 
EvanQW
#11
Candu Reactors are very very safe compared to the Russian Made RBMK style reactor that was in chernobyl, the chernobyl reactor used graphite which had a high neutron flux and the plant itself lacked many safety features including a containment building with a 12 foot thick wall to contain nuclear by-products. Candu reactors are much much safer and better than any other on the planet and the CANDU-6's are much safer because they are newer. And by the way there are 22 CANDU reactors in Canada, 4 are offline.
 
#juan
#12
CANDU reactors are very safe.

One of the reasons they are safe is that the heavy water they use is both a coolant and part of the reaction mechanism. If a CANDU reactor loses the coolant, it would also lose the critical mass so it has a kind of built in safety factor. Given the choice, I would sooner live near a CANDU reactor than a coal-fired generator plant.
 
Reverend Blair
#13
That's very true, Evan. I wouldn't be overly concerned about living next to a Candu reactor. I'd be nervous as hell about living next to where they store the waste, or the route the waste is shipped on.

You seem to know a fair bit about this. Maybe you can answer a question for me. Why is there waste? Presumably if the material is still radioactive it's still giving off energy. Why aren't we harnessing that energy and using it as well? Is anybody working on a way to do that?
 
MMMike
#14
THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION

Check out this link, Rev. I think you'll find it very informative - I did!
 
Reverend Blair
#15
I've seen that one before, Mike. I've also seen it refuted time and again. Until we find a solution to the waste problem, and there really isn't one so far, there is a major problem with nuclear energy.

I do think that problem can be solved, but those who support nuclear energy don't take the problem seriously and, instead of addressing the concerns raised, try to explain away the many issues surrounding it.
 
MMMike
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

I've seen that one before, Mike. I've also seen it refuted time and again. Until we find a solution to the waste problem, and there really isn't one so far, there is a major problem with nuclear energy.

I'd like to see those links Rev. Any handy?
 
Reverend Blair
#17
I don't have any handy actually. Most of my info has come discussion on the radio (Quirks and Quarks had a really good thing about a year ago), television (Discovery and PBS, I think, and in magazines and newspapers.

I believe the book you linked to was referenced on the Babble site and on CKA in similar discussions, but that was quite some time ago. The book is over a decade old though, and pretty commonly referred to.

I don't think it matters much anyway. I'm sure you are aware of the points raised by those who oppose this based on what to do with the waste.

The single biggest problem is the long time period it will take to decay. Just burying it assumes that nobody is going to dig it up. Placing safeguards assumes that somebody will always be there to look after the safeguards. You can't shoot it into space because rockets sometimes fail. You can't trust private industry to look after it properly because they suck at keeping up their long-term responsibilities.

Like I said, I'm sure that there are reasonable resolutions to the issues, but those in the nuclear industry seem unwilling to deal with them.
 
#juan
#18
Rev this is about as good an article as I've seen on the CANDU. The advantages are fairly clear; lower temperatures, natural uranium, the safety of the heavy water moderator, the ability to be refueled without shutting down, and the fact that the CANDU can use fuel that other reactors no longer get anything out of.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANDU_reactor

The waste is a problem with any nuclear reactor. I suppose the waste from a CANDU is less concentrated and less radioactive but you still wouldn't like to be around it. It came up a few years ago that we could store the concrete encased depleted fuel in dry mine shafts but you know, shit happens, and nothing is guaranteed but meanwhile CANDU reactors are not pumping out carbon and greenhouse gasses. If we don't do it right, we pass the problem along to our great, great grand children one way or another.
 
Reverend Blair
#19
I agree, Juan. If I saw an honest effort to address the problem, I could even be talked into the whole, "We'll solve it later," idea. So would a lot of other people. That honest effort isn't there though.

Hell, if we'd quit selling waste to the US to make DU out of, it'd go a long way towards convincing me. Instead we point to a treaty with unverifiable guidelines and say that everything is fine.
 
#juan
#20
Rev

A fair amount of Canadian nuclear waste is stored in American sites and there is American nuclear waste in Canadian sites. The thing is, that a site could be safe for ten or twenty thousand years but the half life of this stuff is forty odd thousand years. Hell, in a thousand years, we could forget where we buried it and be living amongst it along with our two headed, fourteen toed, neighbors.
 
Reverend Blair
#21
They still make DU munitions though, Juan. We shouldn't be shipping any waste down there until we can verify that it isn't used for that purpose. It is an illegal weapon, we've signed on to treaties making it illegal, and yet we provide the raw materials to a country that we know makes and uses the illegal weapon.

Until we can deal with the long-term possibility of contamination, we shouldn't be using nuclear energy...at least not so much of it. We have a responsibility to not create those two headed, fourteen toed, neighbors.
 
bevvyd
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

CANDU reactors are very safe.

One of the reasons they are safe is that the heavy water they use is both a coolant and part of the reaction mechanism. If a CANDU reactor loses the coolant, it would also lose the critical mass so it has a kind of built in safety factor. Given the choice, I would sooner live near a CANDU reactor than a coal-fired generator plant.

While BC was building the pumps for the CANDU's I got to watch via closed circuit TV the LOCA test (Loss of Coolant Accident), man it was wild to see all the steel shaking like shyte, but it held together and even after dismantling the pump we found NO cracks or breakage, so you can rest a little easier now.
 
bevvyd
#23
More made in Ontario nuclear power coming:

http://www.mytelus.com/news/article....canada_archive
 
snoproblem
#24
For me, the issue isn't so much with safety as it is COST.

The nuclear program in Ontario is outrageously expensive, and the consumer pays through the nose.

For the umpteen billions spent on the nukes, we could have blanketed rooftops everywhere with solar panels - like those new Spheral panels that are flexible, cheaper and more durable than the old kind. We could have built wind farms wherever wind conditions make it feasable. We could have accelerated the cellulose methanol and biodiesel programs, and have had both widely available yesterday.

And no radioactive waste in sight.

But nooo. Politics as usual strikes again, and practical solutions take a backseat to pork-barrel, lobby-group bullshit.
 
#juan
#25
Hi Bev

It's interesting that we are shutting down the coal fired plants and the Americans are building another thirty of them.

Sounds like you had an interesting job. I'm not a physicist but I did do a bit of consulting work on some heat exchangers that were used on CANDU reactors.
 
bevvyd
#26
It was an interesting project, but when another one came alone I chose not to work it. We had a saying in the pump business "When the paperwork out weighs the pump, ship the pump", but that doesn't apply to ASME Section III pumps. My paperwork used to get offloaded by forklift some days.
 
MMMike
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by snoproblem

For me, the issue isn't so much with safety as it is COST.

The nuclear program in Ontario is outrageously expensive, and the consumer pays through the nose.

For the umpteen billions spent on the nukes, we could have blanketed rooftops everywhere with solar panels - like those new Spheral panels that are flexible, cheaper and more durable than the old kind. We could have built wind farms wherever wind conditions make it feasable. We could have accelerated the cellulose methanol and biodiesel programs, and have had both widely available yesterday.

And no radioactive waste in sight.

But nooo. Politics as usual strikes again, and practical solutions take a backseat to pork-barrel, lobby-group bullshit.

I'm with you there! They never seem to have a good handle on the cost to build, maintain, or retrofit these things. I'm not sure the economics work in the end.
 
#juan
#28
snoproblem wrote:

Quote:

For the umpteen billions spent on the nukes, we could have blanketed rooftops everywhere with solar panels - like those new Spheral panels that are flexible, cheaper and more durable than the old kind. We could have built wind farms wherever wind conditions make it feasable. We could have accelerated the cellulose methanol and biodiesel programs, and have had both widely available yesterday

We could cover every building in Ontario with solar panels and they would provide only a small part of the energy required to heat them and solar panels are not cheap. Methanol, while cleaner than gasoline, is only a partial answer. All the things you mentioned are partial answers. When you consider that we would still need the nuclear plants or some other form of generating system, the costs would probably be higher. Hey, I don't say these are things not worth doing, but the reality is that our energy needs are still there.
 
#juan
#29
Rev

The Americans already have enough DU to last for the next hundred years. I think the use of DU weapons is one of the things that I hope will bite them in the ass sometime soon. The sooner, the better.
 
#juan
#30
Bev, I always thought "shop drawings" would bury us. Shop drawings and addenda would generate paper by the ton. When computers came in it was thought that it would reduce the paper. Did it hell. We probably have more because everybody wants a print out that will eventually find the shredder. Gee it's nice to be retired...
 

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