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Nuclear power


I did.

“On main point of the linked article that nuclear plants were shut down due to a heat wave which is a consequence of the design of the cooling systems expecting the input water to be below a certain temperature. Any heat engine plant (nuclear or not) in Oz would be designed to be cooled in our conditions not European. So drawing the conclusion that the climate of Oz is not suited for nuclear power is unwarranted.”


Repetition does not substantiation make. I’ll take that as a “No”.

I note your capitulation on the other point. Thanks for that.


How about you give some explanation for why view is wrong instead? If you want to discuss let’s continue, if you want to posture I’m out.


You’re the one making the assertion. The fact that you can’t substantiate your belief pretty much shows that it lacks substance. You’ve therefore answered your own question.


This is correct.

There are nuclear plants being installed in the Arabian Gulf which are designed for 50°C day temperatures and ambient inflow cooling water temperatures of 35°C. I suspect that the flow rates for the cooling water will be substantially higher than that in the plants designed for European conditions. See:

I suppose the other aspect is the impact of direct discharge of warmed cooling water to the environment causing impacts on marine life. In the Arabian Gulf, this may not be an issue or surface water cooling ponds prior to discharge could be installed to reduce water temperatures to that close of the air, thus minimising sea water/discharge environment heating effects. In the Arabian Gulf, like Australia, they would not be short of land which can be used for such purposes.


Which is more-or-less my point. In principle, anything is possible. We just need enough money.

Nuclear power is already priced out of the market. Adding rising costs of cooling in a warming world just makes matters worse.

Australia doesn’t have a lot of fresh water, so we can’t realistically use that. Salt water is a possibility, but that imposes other costs. Then, of course, there’s the issue of thermal pollution - pumping heat into an environment that’s already suffering from too much of it.


Total agreement?

Cooling water considerations for nuclear and the relative cost is not going to decide if nuclear is any more viable than coal fired power.

The costs of the containment, safety, and heat exchange systems for nuclear are going to be different to a PF coal boiler. Also the costs of the fuel and safe management of nuclear fuel differ from traditional coal or oil or gas fuels.

All these costs are greater for nuclear compared with coal or other fossil fuels used in a traditional steam turbine power plant. I’ll boldly suggest it is this short term economic reasoning, and no other that has genuinely prevented Australia from ever going down the path of nuclear power generation. Apologies to any one opposed to nuclear power for many many other critical reasons.

Sea water cooling is not that great an added expense compared with fresh water used in an open loop cooling solution. As already noted the main consideration is how much hotter the water returned to a river, or lake or ocean is after being used for cooling and the significant volume of this hot water.

Other than places like Sydney Harbour etc, which is salt any way Australia has few mighty fresh water rivers and lakes to heat up to bath temperature. Power stations such as those at Gladstone in Qld, and those on Lake Macquarie in NSW or Pyrmont in Sydney all used open loop cooling returning the waste power station heat to the sea or lake. All salt or saline water. Newer power stations such as Bayswater NSW or Tarong Qld in more inland areas rely on closed loop cooling and evaporative cooling using fresh water to loose the waste heat to the atmosphere. They have large cooling towers that blow clouds of water vapour skywood and draw large volumes of fresh water from the nearby environment.

A polite caution, noting I’ve avoided filling the space with selectively chosen data or sources. There are many sources all of which can be reliable, however these need a degree of detail to support the basis and relevance. The differences are irrelevant if you are to argue which outcome is best. Eg one teaspoon full of mercury with dinner each night is better than two spoons full. None is best!

Over time neither the continued reliance on fossil fuels or alternate use of the nuclear alternative can be good.


I did hear that their plants are getting to the stage when pipe work needs replacing. Problem is how to do that safely and cheaply.


One of the many reasons why nuclear costs keep going up and up:


This is only part of the cost basis for generation.

The costs to connect renewable is typically substantially greater than this due to its generally more remote and/or dispersed nature of the generation profile. One can’t just compare generation costs as one all needs to include network connection costs. Not doing so is comparing oranges with apples and is disingenuous to any cost argument.

Network costs include things such as HV transmission lines (AC for shorter connection or DC for longer connections), local HV collection lines, substations/switching/transformation as well as things like network frequency and voltage stability infrastructure etc.


No. Location is one of the factors taken into account in siting renewable energy projects. The project goes where there’s an existing connection.


No this is a myth and possibly only applies to non-renewable generators where the fuel source can be transported. One can’t transport wind to a better location, not move better climatic conditions either.

While some have been fortunate to be located next to existing main transmission grid, this is not a norm.

Having worked for a transmission entity, most renewable generation occurs at locations removed from the main transmission network in the Eastern states. One can’t tell the wind where to blow and solar is more cost effective generator west of the main divide where weather impacts are lower. Geothermal is more remote as the promising hot rocks are in central Australia.

While there may be local distributions networks available in more remote areas, their capacity is highly limited and would need to be upgraded to allow mass network flows to high demand areas (such as industrial areas or cities) at say 275kV or higher. Higher voltages are needs to allow longer transport distances. The main grid also runs as 275kV+ voltages.

The AEMO website has resources to identify the location of the transmission network in Australia:

Most of the costs also reported for renewable generation are for those sites in ideal locations and under ideal/optimum operating conditions, and often don’t represent true industry wise generation costs.


Can you substantiate those assertions?

Hmmm …


Refer figure A.1 has selective chosen the minimum in the range of generation costs identified in independent reviews such as that of the Alan Finkel report.

The wesbite appears to be down at the moment. It was working earlier today, Try using this link later or use the interactive link on this webpage as an alternative:


Again, can you substantiate that? Which figures do you assert were left out? What do you assert are the real costs?

Do you claim that, as externalised costs are brought to account, the price of nuclear power is not rising? I live in a region of coal mines and power stations. When externalised costs are brought to book, I expect fossil fuel power to prove similarly uneconomic.


I suggest you peruse the Finkel report. As outlined in the previous post, it provides the range of LCOEs for generation.

Even though the content of the report is a little dry as a subject, it is worth taking time to read this report as it has a lot of information worth digesting.

The CSIRO has publishes regularly Electricity generation technology cost projections, which is also a good reference for similar information.

I possibly have given you a lot to read and don’t plan to to provide any further LCOEs sources.

It is also worth checking validity or veracity of information presented in websites where the author has provided their own summary of available information. It is good research practice to do so rather than relying on others interpretation of someone elses data/information


I’ll take that as a “no”.

So you’ve tacitly conceded that nuclear is not an economic proposition. That’s back on topic, at least.


Renewables look likely to halve the wholesale price of energy despite the LNP Govt’s tacit dismissal of it over coal…

In light of the carbon pollution from coal, gas and other carbon energy sources and the risks and high cost of nuclear plant usage why are renewables such an anathema to some sections of the populace. They will argue for the considered riskier solutions rather than enlarge and develop a more friendly version of energy production.

Some of course will argue there aren’t high costs or risks to nuclear power but long term safe storage of the spent fuel is not certain or even proven for the time periods required, the risks from natural and man made disasters are usually under weighted in the assessments, the cost of actual construction, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the nuclear stations add a very substantial bill to what some call cheap power. It is only cheap if Govt subsidies are used constantly and the safety issues are blithely addressed as being “solved” or “over rated”. Added to this is that the carbon energy sector has also long fought the battle against the science of Climate Change & renewable energy, trying to discredit any move away from the “honey pot” of carbon based power production.

I think some of the fear about renewables is that it takes power (influence and money) from a select few and democratizes the production and sharing of energy by putting that ability in the hands of the many. This democracy of power production does not sit well with big industry and power companies (I include here the fossil fuel industry in all sectors eg oil production, gas and coal and those heavily invested in the nuclear path for the Govt money it supplies).


I think it has something to do with world-view and tribalism. “Then thar damned greenies like renewables, so renewables are the Devil’s work”. I’m still traumatised by the image of ScoMo, fondling his lump (of coal) in Parliament. The new energy minister is a smart bloke. With luck, he won’t be around long enough to do much (more) damage.


Your conclusion-drawing is so profound you could be a world-famous artist! :wink:

You have clearly not read the evidence provided, so don’t keep begging for more until you understand what has already been given to you.

This is a textbook case of confirmation bias: only giving credence to evidence that confirms your predisposition.