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lajoswinkler

First European pressurized reactors (EPR) close to completion, but not in EU

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http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Fuel-loading-under-way-at-Chinese-EPR-1104184.html

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China General Nuclear (CGN) has begun loading fuel into the core of unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province following the issuance of a permit from the regulator. The unit is later this year scheduled to become the first EPR reactor to enter operation.

What do you think of this? Specifically, the fact that something envisioned and developed in EU has been made faster in China. Any benefits (to either side) or downsides to it?

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1 hour ago, lajoswinkler said:

Specifically, the fact that something envisioned and developed in EU has been made faster in China.

Siemens' Transrapid Maglev is made in China only, despite tested and developed (and marketed) in Europe.

I don't see much problem, if they got plutoniums so be it.

Edited by YNM

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8 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

Lesser problems with environmentalists?

Could be. Sadly, a lot of that branch is just outright contaminated with people who are anything but people who actually understand and care about the environment.

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lets hope china builds nuclear reactors better than they do office chairs or can openers that cant even last a year before going kaput. 

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1 hour ago, Nuke said:

better than they do office chairs or can openers that cant even last a year before going kaput. 

TBH they have their own good brands now.

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20 hours ago, lajoswinkler said:

Sadly, a lot of that branch is just outright contaminated with people who are anything but people who actually understand and care about the environment.

Ahh, so you have those too. While I do care about the environment, I tend to start rolling my eyes when someone self-describes as an "environmentalist". Too many are pushing a thinly veiled alternate agenda or simply woefully uninformed. 80% of those I hear protesting <insert controversial technology> have little concept of how it works or what its environmental impact really is. 80% of those are simply NIMBYs with no useful input at all, beyond "I don't like it" or "I don't trust them".

 

2 hours ago, Nuke said:

lets hope china builds nuclear reactors better than they do office chairs or can openers. 

The thing about low quality Chinese made goods is that they are intentionally low quality.
The factories that make those budget office chairs will make office chairs to any quality standard you like, and as the (bulk) customer you get to specify how much they are to cost per-unit. If you select the cheap option, you get cheap rubbish.

Personally, I've seen both ends of the spectrum with industrial equipment (not reactors, but related technologies). There's cheap Chinese gear, and then there's not-cheap Chinese gear. The quality varies proportional to the price, and the good stuff is actually rather good.

Edited by steve_v

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4 hours ago, Nuke said:

lets hope china builds nuclear reactors better than they do office chairs or can openers that cant even last a year before going kaput. 

I'm pretty sure China will do this properly because when China wants to do something high quality, it does high quality. Besides, it's EPR. Very little to go wrong with that, and if it does go wrong, it doesn't poop the place up.

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As an engineer in the UK nuclear sector, I'm pretty happy that the EPR is working out over there, but it's still going to be a disaster over here. 

The plant design at Hinkley C is different enough that it's still effectively a first of type. You'd be amazed how different the station around an identical reactor core can change - UK's AGRs 6/7 have identical cores, but even the fuel and control rods are grossly different between station pairs and even those pairs have difference between them.

Anyway. Hinkley C is a first of type, in the UK if not worldwide. It's going to be hideously expensive as a result. First of type in a country always are.

The other two reactors we're looking at building are different designs. They'll also be first of type. Also hideously expensive. This is because no private entity has the resources to fund more than one reactor, and every private entity wants to build their own design. Nuclear power in the UK is going to get written off as too expensive just when we need it to cover non-carbon baseload to meet environment targets. It doesn't have to be, we're just funding them stupidly. This is a disaster.

The UK gov needs to pick one design, and then build a run of ten identical reactors to ammortise the cost of sorting out the issues with the design in the first one.

But it won't for two reasons: 

UKGov flatly refuses to spend on the infrastructure this country needs, insisting the private sector do it. That simply doesn't work when what you need is reactors.

Secondly, the NIMBYs have too much right of veto. It's almost impossible to get a new nuclear site approved here.

Edited by RCgothic

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21 minutes ago, RCgothic said:

The UK gov needs to pick one design, and then build a run of ten identical reactors to ammortise the cost sorting out the issues with the design in the first one.

Amen to that.

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7 hours ago, RCgothic said:

The UK gov needs to pick one design, and then build a run of ten identical reactors to ammortise the cost of sorting out the issues with the design in the first one.

Yup, mass production FTW! It always takes longer doing something for the first time. Then you can apply lessons learned to the next unit, and by the time you get to number ten, the builders know what they're doing and have figured out the best way to do it (hopefully).

7 hours ago, RCgothic said:

UKGov flatly refuses to spend on the infrastructure this country needs,

(This is getting dangerously close to politics, and probably the wrong thread for this, but...) This is the problem every gov't faces; they just can't win. Everyone complains taxes are too high / shouldn't be raised / need to be lowered, and then complains that the gov't won't fund necessary programs enough / pay gov't workers enough, and/or that the gov't is in deficit / under crippling debt. To top it all off when they finally want to do something they get NIMBY'd or BANANA'd.

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7 hours ago, RCgothic said:

Hinkley C is a first of type, in the UK if not worldwide.

Wait, isn't the reactor designer for the four under comission (UK, France, Finland, China) are all the same ?

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6 hours ago, YNM said:

Wait, isn't the reactor designer for the four under comission (UK, France, Finland, China) are all the same ?

You would have thought. But nope. 

My company is preferred bidder for the balance of nuclear island, so HinkleyC has no finalised design yet. Basically we know the reactor and the civil structure, but the populating the mechanical systems around the reactor is what we're bidding for.

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18 hours ago, RCgothic said:

You would have thought. But nope. 

Information publicly available from everyone's favourite unreliable source of knowledge gives that all main reactors are made by arreva (oreno); obviously it could just "change" right under everyone's noses.

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The reactors themselves may all be designed the same company, but they won't be built in the same country by the same people, and there'll end up being substantial local variances. 

Then there's a very large majority of the station that is not reactor - fuel handling systems, gas supplies, turbines etc that may share no commonality at all.

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