CHOICE membership

Nuclear power


#61

Nah, government is focused on the bigger and better jumper cables. Not on battery technologies.
:expressionless:


#62

The problem with battery technologies is they provide only short term support and are a high cost for such support. I understand from my own readings that the $100M South Australian battery pack will provide sufficient electricity to 25,000 homes for about 30 minutes. If you look at the same support for the whole of SA, one would be potentially looking at $10s billions. If one want’s longer support to better prevent blackouts or network failure, it quickly runs into the $100s billions. For a small population (1.7 million), the cost per user would be astronomical (especially that the batteries have a relatively short life and need replacement after many cycles) and if one thinks SA power is expensive now, they haven’t seen anything yet.

Batteries will however work better for a single consumer with a known demand profile, where storage capacity can be designed to meet supply shortfalls. They are also good where consumers are willing to pay a premium to ‘feel good’ for the environment.

This is I suppose why the government is looking at hydro-storage. While it is not efficient and there are significant system losses, the duration or support supply and potential capacity per $ is a low cheaper than batteries. There are however other environmental issues associated with hydro storage such as loss of habitat and modifying downstream flow regimes to say the least.


#63

Hi John,

People will argue of the benefits and negatives or Nuclear Power. There is also one very important issue that would need to be resolved should it ever be decided to build a nuclear power plant. Nobody will want the nuclear power plant near where they live and they would be even more resistant to a nuclear waste storage facility being built anywhere near where they live. I think this option fits in the very difficult basket. It took the Federal and State Governments 30 odd years to decide to build a second airport at Badgerys Creek and I think this was not as big an issue as a nuclear power plant would be.


#64

Can you include a ink to the new thread, please.


#65

The original was Climate Change and Choice. This one is the ‘new thread’ @BrendanMays referenced.


#66

[quote=“john.fletcher, post:47, topic:14728”]
Heaven forbid that Australians could aquire new technology and skills.
[/quote]Nuclear power generation is a bit like buggy-whip making. Nice to learn, if you’re into that sort of thing.:wink:


#67

[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:62, topic:14728”]
The problem with battery technologies is they provide only short term support …
[/quote]That’s a bit like complaining that your car’s shock absorbers won’t power the vehicle to the shops. In grid services, batteries absorb short-term shocks. They also stabilise the grid on a microsecond scale.

[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:62, topic:14728”]
Batteries will however work better for a single consumer with a known demand profile, …
[/quote]Different application; different needs. For a single dwelling, batteries can provide support during blackouts. As grid services, they’re intended to prevent blackouts.

[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:62, topic:14728”]
This is I suppose why the government is looking at hydro-storage.
[/quote]It isn’t “either or”. Different forms of storage work together, just as different forms of generation work together. In a grid, batteries are for the short term and hydro for the longer term.[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:62, topic:14728”]
There are however other environmental issues associated with hydro storage such as loss of habitat and modifying downstream flow regimes …
[/quote]You’re confusing on-river generation with off-river storage. In a pumped hydro storage installation, water is drawn from the source (probably a river) to fill the upper reservoir once. From then on it’s only needed to replace losses, such as evaporation.

[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:62, topic:14728”]
While it is not efficient and there are significant system losses,
[/quote]Yes, there are losses, but that isn’t necessarily inefficient. What’s being stored would otherwise go to waste. Like the coal-fired generation that the pumped storage component of the original Snowy scheme saved. What comes out may be less than what went in, but what comes out is all savings. I’d call that efficient. Without storage, we’d need to build enough generation capacity to cover peak demand (plus enough to cover the inevitable failures) and run it 24/7, with sufficient spinning reserves, “just in case”. As I’ve said elsewhere, the LCoE of a grid without storage would be higher than that of one with it. That’s why even old-style centralised-generation grids incorporate storage.


#68

Hello

In most countries I would agree. But Australia is a special case. Not only do we have vast uninhabited places, but out uranium is close to those places.


#69

Statistics are great - Angela (Angela Pamela) potential mine is located in an area with less than two people per square mile (I thought we’d been using kilometres for a while now, but I’m fond of miles) but I guess that depends how many square miles you average that out at - Angela Pamela is about 20 km from a town of around 28k people … some of the others are somewhat more remote, but its surprising how even out here you are often not far away from someone who cares about not glowing in the dark :slight_smile:


#70

That’s the wrong reading material :wink: That quote has been used by certain pollies trying to ridicule the size of the battery, which as David4 has pointed out, is not for that purpose. It is designed mainly to provide support services, ie prevent a blackout by suppling power to the grid to maintain frequency and override short term events which may otherwise cause the grid to fail, such as a large gas generator suddenly failing in hot weather. It may also be used to smooth out the output of the Hornsdale wind farm.

See here for an explainer: http://reneweconomy.com.au/explainer-what-the-tesla-big-battery-can-and-cannot-do-42387/


#71

I like the uninhabited areas. Particularly the easternmost one. Distribution of electricity back to existing grid.


#72

This one is more fun to play with.


#73

It in part was a bit of tongue and cheek in response to the SA government spin,

I understand the function/limitations if the battery farm being constructed, however, the SA government has been spruking its benefits far greater than what is the limits of its functionality. If you take the spin from the government literally, the figures outlined are possibly correct.

If one, possibly like many of our South Australians cousins may have thought from the spin, thinks the batteries will not prevent blackouts like those which occurred in the past, then this won’t happen. Blackouts will continur to occur due to extreme weather events (such as damage to part of the network), when local generation capacity can’t meet demand or there is a interruption in the stability of the whole of the network like that occurred about 12 months ago (including some of the factors you have outlined).

The battery farm should however stabilise short term changes in wind farm generation and also provide some stability relief. Such may reduce the fluctuations inthe SA spot prices which is possibky the main driver of the farm.

The two gas turbines (276MW capacity), will also assist in meeting demand shortfalls, but is worth noting that this generation capacity is less than 10% of forecast peak demand. If there is any failure in the network or loss of generation capacity from other sources which exceed this additional gas turbine capacity, SA is again likely to be in a prediciment again with load shedding or general blackouts.

The risk to loss in SA may have reduced slightly, but there are still significant risks which could w asily be realised. Unfortunately the government spin provides a very optimistic view on the benefits of the gas turbines, mobile gensets and battery farm. I suppose the SA government performance will be judged at the ballot box in the not to distant future.

Getting back to topic, SA is potentially best placed in Australia to host a nuclear reactor if a decisikn is made to build another one. Maybe Sydney’s Lucas Heights reactor should have been relocated there instead of its recent rebuild (would have provided jobs to SA)…but again the reactor needs failsafe energy options which I beleive the main eastern grid is one.

SA also has low population densities and has an existing restricted radioactive area which could be connected to the transmission network (at some cost), has some of the most stable geomorphology in the world and massive rocks with out significant fissures for long term waste depositary.

While I am on the fence in relation to nuclear power generation, the waste depositary option has merits as I am a believe that if we produce a product (yellow cake), we should be ultimately responsible for its waste management. Australia may be one of the best options in the world for long term storage, especially since if the products originated here.


#74

[quote=“bripenny, post:63, topic:14728”]
Nobody will want the nuclear power plant near where they live and they would be even more resistant to a nuclear waste storage facility …
[/quote] It’s called Social Licence:
Social licence can never be self-awarded, it requires that an activity enjoys sufficient trust and legitimacy, and has the consent of those affected.

[quote=“john.fletcher, post:68, topic:14728”]
But Australia is a special case.
[/quote]Only perhaps in that nuclear power has less Social Licence in Australia than in (say) Europe or the US.

[quote=“john.fletcher, post:71, topic:14728”]
I like the uninhabited areas. … Distribution of electricity back to existing grid.
[/quote]If we’re going to build a modern low-loss energy reticulation network, then wouldn’t it be wiser to use it to transmit the natural energies from those remote locations?

Australia is sunny and windy. To our near north, a substantial volume of the Pacific ocean flows into the Indian, then back again, twice per day. Also within relatively easy reach is the Pacific ring of fire. If we can harness a tiny fraction of all that energy, then we could power the planet.


#75

That arrow points to one of hotter, drier regions of Australia. Nuclear power stations require vast quantities of water for cooling, and sometimes have to shut down when the water temperature becomes too high, as has happened in the USA.


#76

We’ve got lots of sun out here though !! you could call it “remote nuclear power” - but it’s less than 10 minutes away at the speed of light …


#78

Lots of water out there…


#79

Lots of water - it’s taken squillions of years for it all to filter down there, and we’ll either drink it all or screw it up with gas extraction before we know it … so potentially all it will be good for is cooling nukes :slight_smile: don’t suggest that to the frackers whatever you do!


#80

I can already hear the pollies touting all the jobs to be created in Birdsville (and Betoota)!


#81

I can see several committees at three levels of government and possibly a couple of new departments…