Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RP

Are Rolls Royce SMR's the future for nuclear power generation?

Recommended Posts

With nuclear power in decline around the globe has RR hit upon a leaner greener concept to traditional nuclear power generation?

https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-and-services/nuclear/small-modular-reactors.aspx#/

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Luxury-Carmaker-Looks-To-Disrupt-The-Nuclear-Industry.html

As @Jan van Eck stated in a different thread nuclear power is in many ways the future and is under utilised in many countries globally following the Fukushima disaster.

RR have been developing this technology for a few years now so I believe its great to see it getting the backing from the current UK prime minister.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I predict they will be very successful and make a potful of money, assuming that the recycled communists don't get in the way. 

  • Haha 3
  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Rob Plant said:

With nuclear power in decline around the globe has RR hit upon a leaner greener concept to traditional nuclear power generation?

https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-and-services/nuclear/small-modular-reactors.aspx#/

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Luxury-Carmaker-Looks-To-Disrupt-The-Nuclear-Industry.html

As @Jan van Eck stated in a different thread nuclear power is in many ways the future and is under utilised in many countries globally following the Fukushima disaster.

RR have been developing this technology for a few years now so I believe its great to see it getting the backing from the current UK prime minister.

Looks promising and I'd have more faith in a Nuke put together in a RR factory than something knocked together by construction labourers on site. RR have been building small nuclear reactors since the mid 1960's. 

The UK needs something like this for baseload if its going to phase out coal and doesn't want to be too reliant on the next LNG tanker turning up at Milford / Grain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NickW said:

Looks promising and I'd have more faith in a Nuke put together in a RR factory than something knocked together by construction labourers on site. RR have been building small nuclear reactors since the mid 1960's. 

The UK needs something like this for baseload if its going to phase out coal and doesn't want to be too reliant on the next LNG tanker turning up at Milford / Grain. 

Couldn’t agree more Nick!

coal will be phased out totally by 2025 in the UK there are only 5 left now. There are a number of gas stations that are easy to bring online again if needed, but renewables are making huge inroads into UK power generation. I still think we need plenty of nukes though 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Rob Plant said:

Couldn’t agree more Nick!

coal will be phased out totally by 2025 in the UK there are only 5 left now. There are a number of gas stations that are easy to bring online again if needed, but renewables are making huge inroads into UK power generation. I still think we need plenty of nukes though 

The situation worries me less now as the world is awash with gas but its still an import risk. The Uk has to import Uranium but the annual  fuel load for a large nuke is about the size of a double decker bus. You can't import years worth of gas in advance. 

Cold climate countries like the UK need baseload, with little Hydro its nuclear or a return to Coal / Gas. 

Offshore wind, especially the >10MW turbine farms on Dogger will in effect provide some baseload although I wouldn't risk going over 10% of capacity. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Rob Plant said:

Couldn’t agree more Nick!

coal will be phased out totally by 2025 in the UK there are only 5 left now. There are a number of gas stations that are easy to bring online again if needed, but renewables are making huge inroads into UK power generation. I still think we need plenty of nukes though 

Ok, I understand you like it, this rendering looks cool, very good artist.

I do not want to destroy your party, but please lets get down to cold facts now:

- What are the strong sides of 220/440 MWe reactors in comparison to their grown up friends 1000-1700 MWe ?

a) Even if it is some sort of RR science breakthrough ( I do not think so), it can be scalable for 1-1.7 GWe reactors. A lot of stuff, procedures you need in place 220/440 or 1700 nameplate capacity. Economies of scale are really positive here.

b) Anybody that can build normal reators 1+ GWe do not build small ones. No smaller than 0.5 GWe reactor in Europe put into use I do not know since when : 30 or 40 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At present, there are only 3 countries that are capable of nuclear power plants construction:

- South Korea, (10 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- China (44 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- Russia. (18 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

Of course a lot of Chinese reactors are foreign technology, but a lot of them had very high localization rate.

No other country grid connected 1 GWe nuclear reactor in 21st century and are still in the nuclear business. BIG FULL STOP.

 

  • Rolling Eye 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Marcin2 said:

Ok, I understand you like it, this rendering looks cool, very good artist.

I do not want to destroy your party, but please lets get down to cold facts now:

- What are the strong sides of 220/440 MWe reactors in comparison to their grown up friends 1000-1700 MWe ?

a) Even if it is some sort of RR science breakthrough ( I do not think so), it can be scalable for 1-1.7 GWe reactors. A lot of stuff, procedures you need in place 220/440 or 1700 nameplate capacity. Economies of scale are really positive here.

b) Anybody that can build normal reators 1+ GWe do not build small ones. No smaller than 0.5 GWe reactor in Europe put into use I do not know since when : 30 or 40 years.

The advantage of modular is:

It gets assembled in a controlled environment by RR Techies who have been building PWR's since the 1960's rather than a disperate bunch of clowns who half the time can't speak each others language. 

its smaller size means its easier to roll out. You haven't got to shell out £23bn (Hinkley C)  over a decade before any money comes rolling in. The price tag on these SMR's is around £2bn and likely to fall if large number of orders come in. 

To get the ball rolling RR are saying they will build and operate a number in the UK so they obviously have confidence in the product. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

32 minutes ago, NickW said:

The advantage of modular is:

It gets assembled in a controlled environment by RR Techies who have been building PWR's since the 1960's rather than a disperate bunch of clowns who half the time can't speak each others language. 

its smaller size means its easier to roll out. You haven't got to shell out £23bn (Hinkley C)  over a decade before any money comes rolling in. The price tag on these SMR's is around £2bn and likely to fall if large number of orders come in. 

To get the ball rolling RR are saying they will build and operate a number in the UK so they obviously have confidence in the product. 

- RR built only naval nuclear reactors, much smaller in size - company has NO EXPERIENCE in civilian nuclear power.

Actually this should end the discussion but lets go further.

- RR has no experience in civilian nuclear reactors. Anybody that has experience builds larger reactors.

Price tag of 2 bln pounds (very optimistic planning made by company with no experience in civilian nuclear reactors, they usually get, for the first unit recently outside China, South Korea and Russia it has to be multiplied by the factor of 2 or 3)

per 440 MW sound like a fantastic business. Plus operating costs at the level of 1 GWe reactors. Just fantastic

/sarcasm indicator on.

 

Edited by Marcin2
typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

1 hour ago, Marcin2 said:

Ok, I understand you like it, this rendering looks cool, very good artist.

I do not want to destroy your party, but please lets get down to cold facts now:

- What are the strong sides of 220/440 MWe reactors in comparison to their grown up friends 1000-1700 MWe ?

a) Even if it is some sort of RR science breakthrough ( I do not think so), it can be scalable for 1-1.7 GWe reactors. A lot of stuff, procedures you need in place 220/440 or 1700 nameplate capacity. Economies of scale are really positive here.

b) Anybody that can build normal reators 1+ GWe do not build small ones. No smaller than 0.5 GWe reactor in Europe put into use I do not know since when : 30 or 40 years.

Marcin, 

I generally like your analysis, but on this one I think you are wrong. The benefit of SMRs is that they are easier to integrate in reality; for example they can be installed in old coal fired power-plants sites using much old infrastructure. And likely there are some safety built into this that they are not giving away in the marketing material.. 

One of the reasons offshore wind got so popular in the UK was that it was realitively easy to implement partly due to lower financial entry barriers by smaller private entities. If RR can overcome the safety then this might actually be the first stepping stone to a revival of Nuclear.

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marcin2 said:

- RR built only naval nuclear reactors, much smaller in size - company has NO EXPERIENCE in civilian nuclear power.

Actually this should end the discussion but lets go further.

- RR has no experience in civilian nuclear reactors. Anybody that has experience builds larger reactors.

Price tag of 2 bln pounds (very optimistic planning made by company with no experience in civilian nuclear reactors, they usually get, for the first unit recently outside China, South Korea and Russia it has to be multiplied by the factor of 2 or 3)

per 440 MW sound like a fantastic business. Plus operating costs at the level of 1 GWe reactors. Just fantastic

/sarcasm indicator on.

 

I'd be surprised if any of those 3 would fully pass modern western safety standards.

Its apparent the 4 units being built in the UAE do not come with core catchers 

The UAE is getting 5.4GW for $24 bn (the list price) build with el cheapo slave labour. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Ideally we switch to a truly renewable energy source.

Nuclear emits no CO2 but of course it still suffers from the whole "but it takes so much material to build" argument that people use against wind. 

It's also still a non-renewable resource that has to be mined and extensively refined.

Once you add in waste disposal and security risks*** I don't see small-scale stuff working out.

*** You can't make a nuclear bomb from one, but blowing up a small reactor with conventional explosives is easy and makes a huge mess (dirty bomb). 

 

Edited by Enthalpic
  • Rolling Eye 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

At present, there are only 3 countries that are capable of nuclear power plants construction:

- South Korea, (10 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- China (44 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- Russia. (18 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

Of course a lot of Chinese reactors are foreign technology, but a lot of them had very high localization rate.

No other country grid connected 1 GWe nuclear reactor in 21st century and are still in the nuclear business. BIG FULL STOP.

 

Canada isn't making any at the moment but we have built a bunch of CANDU reactors.  44 are still in operation.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

At present, there are only 3 countries that are capable of nuclear power plants construction:

- South Korea, (10 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- China (44 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

- Russia. (18 reactors grid connected in 21st century)

Of course a lot of Chinese reactors are foreign technology, but a lot of them had very high localization rate.

No other country grid connected 1 GWe nuclear reactor in 21st century and are still in the nuclear business. BIG FULL STOP.

 

This is totally incorrect 

Marcin a brand new nuke station is currently being built in the UK (Hinckley point C) by EDF (French company) with some financial backing from China ( financial only).

you need to do your research properly before posting your BIG FULL STOP as Enthalpic points out Canada also have built nukes.

have you not thought the lack of nukes is down to the political push for green energy and not that countries don’t know how to build them?

your outright dismissal of RR SMR’s is based on your opinion and summation only.

knowing RR as I do as we work closely with them I suspect your opinion is very much flawed

regarding safety they help build many nuclear subs for BAE systems especially on the primary core work and have done so for 60-70 years so they know safety!

your very wrong on this one Marcin

usually your posts are informative or thought provoking, this one is neither

 

  • Great Response! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rob Plant said:

This is totally incorrect 

Marcin a brand new nuke station is currently being built in the UK (Hinckley point C) by EDF (French company) with some financial backing from China ( financial only).

you need to do your research properly before posting your BIG FULL STOP as Enthalpic points out Canada also have built nukes.

have you not thought the lack of nukes is down to the political push for green energy and not that countries don’t know how to build them?

your outright dismissal of RR SMR’s is based on your opinion and summation only.

knowing RR as I do as we work closely with them I suspect your opinion is very much flawed

regarding safety they help build many nuclear subs for BAE systems especially on the primary core work and have done so for 60-70 years so they know safety!

your very wrong on this one Marcin

usually your posts are informative or thought provoking, this one is neither

 

Lets talk about facts (we are here not to talk about distant past, bright CANDU of EdF/Areva history is just history, the engineering teams that were constructing/designing these reactors are all retired, for a long time, so the practical know-how was already lost):

- EdF was and is  building EPR 1700 MW at 3 sites: 1 at Olkiluouoto, Finland since 2005 (for 15 years), 1 at Flamanville, France since Dec 2007 (for 13 years), and 2 at Taishan, China since November 2009 (finished)

Reactors at Taishan were grid connected in June 2018 and June 2019.

Reactor in France will not be grid connected before 2022, and in Finland maybe in 2021, but the schedule was already delayed many times.

Simply EdF/Framatome/Areva lacks expertise in executing nuclear construction projects within budget and on time. I do not know what happened in China, what help was provided by Chinese to the French company that allowed the completion of 2 EPR reactors in China.

 

- For purely political reasons (EdF owns all British nuclear power plants and wants to deploy more EPR reactors) it was not possible to choose South Korean ( or Russian or Chinese) company to construct Hinckley Point C so EdF got the job.

I am happy that you believe in RR expertise but again they are still to built their first civilian reactor.

Please explain to me why company that has no experience in civilian nuclear power has such competitive advantage ?

Nuclear power plant is the large engineering project, and only South Korea, Russia and China have track record of executing them within budget and schedule in 21st century.

I respect historical track record of CANDU designs or EdF designs, but the same as with Egyptian Pyramids, the builders are all dead now.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Marcin2 said:

Lets talk about facts (we are here not to talk about distant past, bright CANDU of EdF/Areva history is just history, the engineering teams that were constructing/designing these reactors are all retired, for a long time, so the practical know-how was already lost):

- EdF was and is  building EPR 1700 MW at 3 sites: 1 at Olkiluouoto, Finland since 2005 (for 15 years), 1 at Flamanville, France since Dec 2007 (for 13 years), and 2 at Taishan, China since November 2009 (finished)

Reactors at Taishan were grid connected in June 2018 and June 2019.

Reactor in France will not be grid connected before 2022, and in Finland maybe in 2021, but the schedule was already delayed many times.

Simply EdF/Framatome/Areva lacks expertise in executing nuclear construction projects within budget and on time. I do not know what happened in China, what help was provided by Chinese to the French company that allowed the completion of 2 EPR reactors in China.

 

- For purely political reasons (EdF owns all British nuclear power plants and wants to deploy more EPR reactors) it was not possible to choose South Korean ( or Russian or Chinese) company to construct Hinckley Point C so EdF got the job.

I am happy that you believe in RR expertise but again they are still to built their first civilian reactor.

Please explain to me why company that has no experience in civilian nuclear power has such competitive advantage ?

Nuclear power plant is the large engineering project, and only South Korea, Russia and China have track record of executing them within budget and schedule in 21st century.

I respect historical track record of CANDU designs or EdF designs, but the same as with Egyptian Pyramids, the builders are all dead now.

 

 

 

You're a man on an island with this Marcin!

You talk about facts but then give misinformation about who is building what, or has the capability to do so.

What makes it such a leap from building reactors for a sub (small scale) to building small scale civil reactors?

I think you have alluded to large scale projects overrunning and going over budget and that's precisely why RR SMR's are attractive. They're small and powerful and easily scaleable (so can fit most budgets). They also aren't a blot on the landscape which wind power most definitely is.

You seem as anti nuclear as Germany. The UK is not just building Hinkley C it is planning for Wylfa and Moorside as well to promote a new modern fleet of nukes. The only thing that will stop it is money or political will, it is NOT technology.

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/united-kingdom.aspx

The RR design is utilising its knowledge of small scale nuclear and combining it with the need for smaller reactors that are scaleable  in the civil market. I don't think that's a bad idea and a market is certainly there for it. 

I think your total dismissal of EDF, Framatome, Areva and RR is unfounded. All of these companies have shown they are leaders in their fields (EDF own and operate 58 nuclear stations). All are well respected in the nuclear industry.

The large scale builds you mention are at such an astronomical cost that it puts off incumbent governments or gets shelved when a new government comes into power. Where is the return on investment for the incumbent government? That money could be spent on infrastructure, health, or even tax cuts, those are vote winners. Building a large scale nuclear power station isn't, again a plus for RR SMR's.

Regarding your point on cost, this is from RR website:-

"Plant Economics Detailed and comprehensive cost analysis of the UK SMR, complemented through market demand analysis, has determined that the first of a kind plant is capable of delivering a Levelised Cost of Electricity of around £75/MWh for the initial plant and levels of around £60-70/MWh for mature implementations of the design. This is in line with market expectations and confirms that the proposition is commercially viable"

However i think your missing the point on costs, its the initial cost of building and financing a 1GW station compared to an SMR that is so attractive. It costs approx 1/10 of the initial outlay for 44% of the power even if it operates at a more expensive MWh. Dont forget these nukes have a lifespan and you wont get your initial investment back, they also have a huge decommissioning cost which I think you have overlooked.

The last point is a political one, the UK (or whichever country) wouldn't be reliant on outside funding (China) or engineering. This gives less political sway to the likes of China in the country that deploys SMR's. You cant put a price on that.

We're probably not going to agree on this one, but never mind.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

Rob, I am very pro-nuclear, I think this is the only scaleable source of low CO2 emissions baseload power generation.

I just do not share your optimism in EdF or RR capacities. I would share your optimism when RR will grid connect their first modular reactor. We would know the budget then.

I put 1 important question, please answer it if you have such expertise:

Why nobody is building small reactors or plans to build them apart from RR ?

For me RR marketing materials or any marketing materials are not reliable sources, you need to show sth better to convince me (or any future investors).

 

And also 2 important question, but less important:

Without hidden agenda, what are the reasons of EPR construction delays in Finland and France, why they cannot finish these reactors ?. Why they finished Chinese one's ? EPR could be fantastic solution if it is proven that it could be built on time and within the budget.

 

"We're probably not going to agree on this one, but never mind. "

It is not about it, I do not have any bias against RR or EdF, I just ask relevant questions.

I have not found answers for them in the past, that is why I keep asking.

Edited by Marcin2
typo
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Marcin2 said:

I put 1 important question, please answer it if you have such expertise:

Why nobody is building small reactors or plans to build them apart from RR ?

I dont have the expertise to answer this. However I agree with the attached that states that historically nuclear reactors have almost totally been funded by government R&D projects and now there is a real move away from this into the private sector, especially with the 4 main designs that are being worked on.

https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/nuclear-power-reactors/small-nuclear-power-reactors.aspx

You ask why nobody is building them and yet they are, thats exactly what RR are doing. They have a head start on the rest IMO. It has taken RR years upon years to get to this stage. I agree that RR marketing info is the antithesis of an independent source but it is fairly compelling when you read what they are proposing. One thing is for sure there is a huge market for them and that will mean others will come into this marketplace soon to add competition.

The EPR delays were engineering issues as per the attached, China also had delays.

https://www.powermag.com/long-delayed-epr-nuclear-plants-face-further-holdups/

I agree when these are completed they will be excellent, safer and more efficient.

 

  • Great Response! 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 1/28/2020 at 9:34 AM, Rob Plant said:

With nuclear power in decline around the globe has RR hit upon a leaner greener concept to traditional nuclear power generation?

https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-and-services/nuclear/small-modular-reactors.aspx#/

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Luxury-Carmaker-Looks-To-Disrupt-The-Nuclear-Industry.html

As @Jan van Eck stated in a different thread nuclear power is in many ways the future and is under utilised in many countries globally following the Fukushima disaster.

RR have been developing this technology for a few years now so I believe its great to see it getting the backing from the current UK prime minister.

I have worked on small nuclear reactor proposals.... It is a cute concept, but highly inefficient, creates more toxic waste, does not solve the toxic waste problem, and does not solve the #1 problem, Idiots in Hollywood have twisted nuclear discussion so far into idiocy land no one can even have a logical discussion about traditional nuclear due to the decades of blatant lies spewed. You first have to wade through the lies before talking actual KWh, engineering etc. 

Only way to do nuclear in future is to go with a liquid fuel which gets rid of all the decades of lies surrounding traditional nuclear BS.  Liquid fuel cannot, as far as I know, be done in a modular small way(probably can it is a liquid and should be easier to handle chemically) but does resolve nearly all the problems while at the same time makes thermal runaway impossible. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Enthalpic said:

It's also still a non-renewable resource that has to be mined and extensively refined.

Once you add in waste disposal and security risks*** I don't see small-scale stuff working out.

 

22 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

 If RR can overcome the safety then this might actually be the first stepping stone to a revival of Nuclear.

Legend has it that all starter ingredients for nuclear reactor would end up being plumbum or lead, heat waste and mild remnant radiation..... :o:D

What do we do with so much heat being produced at a time?? Is there a electricity sharing program among countries or heat delivery system during winter??

Fukoshima incidence reminds us that elder generations are the only competent ones. Tonnes of radioactive compounds contaminated cooling water was released into the sea per hour for months........ Could not recall if stopper mechanism was deployed (stopping the chain reaction first to stop new heat from being produced). Shall this revival is planned, how long could we secure the expertise of seniors before their knowledge is faded with them??

 

narrow escape.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, specinho said:

narrow escape.jpg

Man, that has GOT to be at least a 4-inch heel!   I'll bet that foot is attached to a lovely leg, also!  I look forward to gallantly rescuing her!😁

  • Haha 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Man, that has GOT to be at least a 4-inch heel!   I'll bet that foot is attached to a lovely leg, also!  I look forward to gallantly rescuing her!😁

Fossil human doesn't care that this is horrible for women's feet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Really disappointing behavior in this thread. All recent insulting comments have been deleted due to use of a appalling vocabulary.

Lets stick to the title of this thread for a change. 

  • Great Response! 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am worried that US-China hegemony conflict has narrowed options for nuclear power development.

- Westinghouse APR-1000 is off limits for China, even that the only 4 commissioned reactors of this type are working in China. The remainder 2 at Vogtle Plant are still under construction.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On potential benefit of SMR's is that they are more appropriate to apply in situations where the waste heat can be used in district heating, desalination or glass house agriculture. 

The hot water output from a SMR will be about 800MW as opposed to about 3000MW from an EPR. Two SMR's with their refuelling cycle staggered can provide year round heat even if one reactor down. Also 3GW of heat is a huge of heat to utilise and most, in the absence of a huge desal scheme will go to waste. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0