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Nuclear Power PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Nuclear Power Isar Plant - Germany Diablo Canyon - California Nuclear Power – The facts Nuclear power - like wind, hydro and solar energy - emits no carbon dioxide Proven technology with base-load electrical power production capacity >1,000MW/plant

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Nuclear Power

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Nuclear power l.jpg

Nuclear Power

Isar Plant - Germany

Diablo Canyon - California


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Nuclear Power – The facts

  • Nuclear power - like wind, hydro and solar energy - emits no carbon dioxide

  • Proven technology with base-load electrical power production capacity >1,000MW/plant

  • Used worldwide; good safety track record despite TMI and Chernobyl

    • Much safer than coal-fired power both from an industrial (mining) and public health perspective

  • There are significant issues:

    • Environmental impacts, costs, aging plants, waste disposal, nuclear proliferation, security, and public safety perceptions


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Nuclear Power Projections

  • More nuclear plants may be needed to meet growing electric power demand

    • International Energy Agency estimates renewable plants will only reach 6% of worldwide supply capacity by 2030

    • Population increase from ~6.5B to 9B by 2100

    • Standard of living rising across the globe with higher electrical demand – will double by 2050

    • Nuclear energy production likely to continue to grow globally – especially in light of controls being placed on carbon emissions


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Nuclear Worldwide

2007: 439 commercial reactors in 30 countries; 372,000 MW

  • Efficiency improving in both design & operation

  • Newer plants more efficient >1,000 MW capacity

  • Nuclear reactors currently supply 16% world’s power

  • 2,625 billion KWH in 2005; ~30% produced in the US

US 2005 total: 97,400MW cap. 782 billion KWH

As of 2001

Source: World Nuclear Association


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How does it compare?


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Nuclear Power - How it works


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McArthur River Mine Canada

Uranium Mining

  • Canada (25%), Australia (19%), Kazakhstan (16%) are world’s largest uranium ore producers (U.S. 4%)

  • Removal methods:

    • Underground 41%

    • Open pit 24%

    • In situ leach (ISL) 26%

    • By-product 9%

  • Environmental & Health Risks

    • Land use impacts

    • Waste impacts

    • Operational risks

    • Health risks

Highland ISL Mine, Wyoming

Source: World Nuclear Association


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Nuclear Fuel Cycle

  • Each fuel pellet = energy of 150 gallons of oil

    • Pellets encased in metal tubes bundled into a fuel assembly

  • Spent fuel is a hazardous radioactive waste

    • US: No pathway to disposal; spent fuel is stored in pools or casks at power plant sites

    • Proposed U.S. disposal site Yucca Mountain, Nevada dropped 2/09

    • Other countries reprocess fuel to remove Pu-238 to use as fuel (closed fuel cycle); more efficient, creates less waste, but increases nuclear proliferation risks


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U.S. Nuclear Power

ENW Columbia Generating Station 1250 MW

Hanford, WA

  • U.S. world’s largest supplier of nuclear power

  • Nuclear power accounts for 20% of the electrical power generated in the U.S.

  • Currently, there are 66 power plants consisting of 104 operating nuclear reactors

    • 787 Billion KWhs electricity produced in 2006

    • No new licenses since TMI accident (1979)

    • NRC has accepted applications for 11 new units and are expecting applications for up to 33 new units by 2010

  • Current plants avoids 700 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually vs. fossil fuel plants


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It’s Expensive - The Real Costs

  • Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides significant cost benefits to nuclear industry

    • Tax credits up to $125 million for 8 years

    • Loan guarantees up to 80% of plant costs – initially limited to $2 billion fund but industry lobbying to expand to $50+ billion

    • Federal insurance against regulatory delays

    • Other subsidies include local tax incentives and limits on liability for accidents

  • Costs of decommissioning contaminated plants and waste disposal are not reflected in cost projections for new plants

  • Long history of significant cost increases and overruns in nuclear power plant construction


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$1.4B

$9.9B

$1B

$5B

$4.6B

$2.8B

McNeil Biomass Plant Burlington, VT 50 MW, $67M

Zero Carbon Construction Costs*

South Korean Uldolmok Tidal Plant 1MW, ~$9.9M

1,000X

20X

BEST BUY

Nuclear Plant 1,000+ MWe$5B to 9B

5X

6.7X

Big Horn 200 MW 11,000 Acres, ~$130M Klicitat County, WA

Kramer Junction CA Solar Trough, 150 MW, 1000 acres, ~$750M

*Does not include waste disposal & decommissioning

100X

25X

Waldpolenz Germany 250 acres, 40MW, $185M

PS-10 Solar Tower Spain 10 MW, 150 acres, $28M

* New 1000 MW Coal Plant ~ $4B


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How do we meet growing energy demands and reduce CO2 emissions?

  • #1 - Increase efficiency and reduce use

    • we can’t continue increasing demand without consequences (the cheapest plant is the one we don’t build!)

  • Government needs to favor the most promising options to reduce carbon emissions

    • Revisit our current subsidy strategies

    • Increasing investment and deployment of renewable power plants will increase cost competitiveness

    • Europe is making major investments to transition to 20% renewable power by 2020

  • Many current nuclear plants are operating beyond their original design life

    • How long can they operate and how will we replace the 20% of our power they produce? Build more?

  • Wealthy nations must help developing nations build low (or zero) emissions power production


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What do you think?

Where do we go from here?

How do we keep our planet habitable?

Design the power infrastructure for your own city – make the decisions and compare the results online at:

www.willyoujoinus.comSponsored by The Economist Group and Chevron


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