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This Nuclear vs hydro power has been discussed many times in the past. Due to the recent nuclear Incident in Sweden. I thought maybe we can revisit the nuclear issue again. Your simple or elaborated comments are welcome.|
I have some background information listed below for references. If viewers are interested in full text, please Google relevant topics or visit the following sites. Thank you for your inputs.
Sweden now has 10 nuclear power reactors providing about half its electricity. It has some 9000 MWe of nuclear capacity, which produced 75 billion kWh in 2004, 51% of total electricity production.
Reactor type Net MWe start*
Oskarshamn 1 BWR 467 MWe 1972
Oskarshamn 2 BWR 602 MWe 1974
Oskarshamn 3 BWR 1160 MWe 1985
Ringhals 1 BWR 840 MWe 1976
Ringhals 2 PWR 870 MWe 1975
Ringhals 3 PWR 957 MWe 1981
Ringhals 4 PWR 915 MWe 1983
Forsmark 1 BWR 1015 MWe 1980
Forsmark 2 BWR 964 MWe 1981
Forsmark 3 BWR 1185 MWe 1985
Total (10) 8975 Mwe
August 2, 2006.
Sweden's nuclear regulator SKI will meet in emergency session tomorrow (3 August) to decide on a possible immediate shut-down of all but one of the country's nuclear power stations supplying up to 50% of Sweden's electricity.
The Forsmark incident was caused by the failure of back-up generators following a problem with the main power supply. If the backup system fails after a grid cut-off or a whole blackout, the operator loses instrumentation and control over the reactor leading to an inability to cool the core, which can lead to a meltdown (1
Swedish media reported yesterday that a former director of the Forsmark plant said "It was pure luck that there was not a meltdown. Since the electricity supply from the network didn't work as it should have, it could have been a catastrophe." Without power, the temperature would have been too high after 30 minutes and within two hours there could have been a meltdown.
Swedish nuclear reactor to remain shutdown due to new faults
Stockholm - Sweden's Forsmark nuclear reactor shutdown in July will remain silent due to new technical faults, a spokesman for the state Nuclear Power Inspectorate reported Saturday in Stockholm.
A reactivation approved on Thursday failed on Saturday afternoon due to a fault in the reactor's control system, the report said.
On July 25, two of four backup generators malfunctioned when a reactor at the Forsmark plant shutdown. The generators were supposed to start automatically.
Swedish nuclear authorities have required both Forsmark reactors and two reactors of similar type at the Oskarshamn plant to be shut down till the end of the year.
Ambivalent Energy Policy
Up to the late 1960s there was a focus on hydro electricity to power Sweden's industrial growth. In 1965 it was decided to supplement this with nuclear power, to avoid the uncertainties of oil prices and increase the security of supply. The policy was reinforced by the oil shocks of the early 1970s, at a time when Sweden depended on oil for about one fifth of its electricity and electricity demand was increasing 7% per year.
In the mid 1970s the nuclear push became a political issue, and 1977 legislation was passed to ensure proper waste management. This provided the basis for Sweden's world leadership in management of spent fuel (particularly for those countries not reprocessing it).
The Three Mile Island accident in the USA resulted in a decision to call a public referendum in Sweden, to remove the issue from the election campaign late in 1979. The 1980 referendum canvassed three options for phasing out nuclear energy. A clear majority of voters favoured running the existing plants and those under construction as long as they contributed economically, in effect to the end of their normal operating lives (assumed then to be 25 years). Parliament decided to embargo further expansion of nuclear power and aim for decommissioning the 12 plants by 2010 if new energy sources were available realistically to replace them.
The 1986 Chernobyl disaster (first recognised at a Swedish nuclear power station) created some pressure to progress the issue of nuclear decommissioning. In 1988 the government decided to begin the phase-out in 1995, but this decision was overturned in 1991 following pressure from the trade unions.
In 1994 the government appointed an Energy Commission consisting principally of backbench politicians, which reported at the end of 1995 that a complete phase-out of nuclear power by 2010 would be economically and environmentally impossible. However, it said that one unit might be shut down by 1998.
This gave rise to intense political manoeuvring among the main political parties, all of them minority, with varied attitudes to industrial, nuclear and environmental issues. The Social Democrats ruled a minority government but with any one of the other parties they were able to get a majority in parliament.
Early in 1997 an agreement was forged between the Social Democrats and two of the other parties which involved a decision to close one small reactor by mid 1998 and its twin by mid 2001, the second provided that alternatives are demonstrated. This was confirmed in June 1997 by parliamentary decision.
The reactors concerned were Barseback-1 and -2, both 600 MWe boiling water reactors constructed by ASEA-Atom and commissioned in 1975 and 1977. They are only 30 kilometres from the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and have been a source of contrived concern to the Danes on that account.
The positive aspect of this decision to close Barseback is that the other ten reactors gain a reprieve beyond 2010, and will be able to run for about 40 years (ie closing 2012-2025). A phase-out program was to be decided before 2002, but remains uncertain.
In the 1970s it was the Centre Party in Sweden which started the anti-nuclear debate culminating in the 1980 referendum canvassing three options for phasing out nuclear energy. Since then the Centre Party has lined up with the three socialist parties on nuclear power, but the three non-socialist parties on other issues. Early in 2005 the leadership of the Centre Party indicated a substantial reversal of this earlier anti-nuclear position, saying that climate change must be put ahead of nuclear decommissioning. This view was in line with the overwhelming majority of public opinion.
Against a background of increasing electricity prices, the Centre Party then abandoned its alignment with the socialist parties on energy policy and fully joined the three pro-nuclear parties, so as to allow nuclear power to continue supplying a major part of the country's electricity.
http://news.monstersandcritics.c ... n_due_to_new_faults