Sweden changes goals

DB2

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The government plans to build at least ten large reactors in the next 20 years to meet the demand for low-carbon energy. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told reporters in January that the government is “changing the legislation”, which will increase nuclear investment in the country.

Swedish ministers decided to phase out nuclear generation in 1980 and have historically taken an anti-nuclear stance. However, this policy was repealed in June 2010. Pourmokhtari is a public advocate of nuclear generation and says it should form a part of Sweden’s future energy mix.

DB2

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If Sweden is anything like the USA, maybe the first reactor will go online in about 20 years. :laughing:

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Lifting the ban on uranium mining is good in terms of energy security, but uranium is plentiful throughout the world. If they don’t want to buy uranium from Kazakhstan, they could go to Australia or Canada. Supply of uranium is not a problem.

Sweden already has some of the cleanest low carbon electricity in the world. As of 2021, the electricity energy mix was 42% hydro, 31% nuclear, 16% wind and 9% other low carbon sources. This results in Sweden having the cleanest electricity in the EU, at 9 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. See link below, and looking at the numbers for 2021…

Sweden: 9 grams per kwh
compares with…
France: 58 grams
Spain: 165
Italy: 234
Germany: 348

Link here for Sweden’s electricity mix. Scroll down to Sweden data explorer, and choose Electricity generation by source on the right side menu.

Ten new large nuclear reactors will generate a significant amount of power. Since Sweden’s electricity is already so clean, I don’t know what they plan to do with all that power. The existing nuclear fleet is between 38 and 43 years old, which isn’t all that old, if the plants have been properly maintained over the years. Even if they shut down the old reactors, 10 new large plants will still provide a surplus. Since Germany is now a power importer, maybe the Swedes look to be a net exporter of electricity, with a lot of it going to Germany.

  • Pete
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The rest of Europe is one possible customer. Then Russia (after Putin) is another potential buyer.

Higher latitudes to heat homes takes far more energy. It is not comparable to Baltimore.

Just for information, I looked at the CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels for several European nations, as well as a few other industrialized nations. I then divided the CO2 for each country by their populations, to get an emissions per capita for each nation listed below. Data is from the Statistical Review of World Energy, for 2022. Latest population data was obtained from Wikipedia.

CO2 metric tonnes per person, 2022
Sweden:    3.9
Norway:    5.8
Finland:   6.1
Denmark:   4.7
Germany:   7.5
France:    4.0
Spain:     5.4
Italy:     5.4

Canada:   13.0
USA:      14.5
Japan:     8.5
Australia: 14.1

Fossil fuel emissions are for all purposes, including oil products used in the transportation sector, fossil fuels burned in the generation of electricity, home and business heating, and other energy purposes.

Sweden looks to have the lowest per capita emissions in Scandinavia. Sweden also compares well with more southerly European nations such as Spain and Italy. Germany, of course, with its green Energiewende renewable energy program is somewhat higher in per capita emissions, and will continue to rely on fossil fuels well into the future.

  • Pete
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Don’t get me wrong, I think that increasing nuclear energy product is generally a positive development. But the costs of nuclear are on the rise (see image below). Is there any indication that Sweden (or any other country for that matter) is doing anything to remove regulatory hurdles which add logistical costs?

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Regulations can be a problem, but it isn’t the whole story.

The best way to get the cost of nuclear down is to start building plants on a large scale. If Elon Musk only produced one Tesla automobile per year, that one car would have an astronomical price tag. But if Tesla can produce thousands of cars a year, the cost per car comes down. More importantly, lessons are learned from previous mistakes. That way, the product becomes better, and production becomes more efficient over time.

China has put into service almost 40 nuclear power plants in just the last 10 years. The experienced managers, engineers and craft workers can move from project to project. Costs are much lower in China for a variety of reasons, but they can build a nuclear plant in less time and more efficiently than those construction companies in the west, who don’t have those experienced workers.

  • Pete
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If they are building what is essentially the same nuclear reactor every time, then the experience as a team pays off. That does not work if every single build is a unique design requiring other (and/or more) specialties for each reactor.

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That is why the NRC started issuing Design Certifications for standard designs several years ago. See link below…

https://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/large-lwr/design-cert.html

On the other hand, many skills learned by construction teams can be applied to different designs. Just to give one small example, a nuclear quality weld joining two sections of 304L stainless steel pipe needs to be a nuclear quality weld, regardless of whether it is for an AP1000 Westinghouse plant, an ESBWR General Electric plant, or a NuScale small modular reactor. The nuclear industry has certain standards and procedural requirements that are not common in other industries. Once those standards and ways of doing things are learned, they can be applied to several different nuclear power projects.

  • Pete
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The example is instructive, but misleading. You are never going to build nuclear plants on that kind of scale for lots of reasons. There will never be that much demand, nor will even “standard” plants be able to be “standard” to such a degree. Siting and resources will always be an issue. As you note, the people building (remotely) will always be different. And so on.

I agree that “more” will help the industry reduce costs, but I suspect it will never be anything close to the kinds of scale we see in other industries (cars, microchips, frozen pizza). At best I envision some improvement, but not a wholesale reduction in costs, at least not for a very long time.

(And if we keep changing as a result of “previous mistakes”, well that’s good, but it sort of minimizes the savings opportunities as well, given that each iteration would need to go through another certification, testing, and operational phase.)

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Pete,

That is because we are subsidizing fossil fuels.

That is coming to an end soon. It is a very dumb behavior.

It is barely anything compared to the inflationary costs of one off projects which run at 6 to 7 percent per year.

Whereas solar panels and wind turbines can be produced like widgets at a much lower inflation rate and when new technologies and manufacturing techniques are introduced the techs become a deflationary force.

I could careless about nuclear and male hard on feelings about nuclear. It costs way too much. It is a relic stop gap measure for now.

I want a deflationary energy policy. That also seems to be very green. Oh no he used the green word? What to do with the hard on males?

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From earlier this month…
China’s State Council has approved the construction of six nuclear power units: units 5 and 6 of the Ningde plant in Fujian Province; units 1 and 2 of the Shidaowan plant in Shandong Province; and units 1 and 2 of the Xudabao plant in Liaoning Province.

Most of these new plants will be the indigenously designed and built Hualong One type plant. These plants are around 1000 MW each, and are the standard pressurized water reactor configuration.

Also from the link…
Construction of the six approved units represents an estimated total investment of CNY120 billion (USD16.8 billion), China Daily reported.

If that cost is accurate, that would be $2.8 billion per plant, which is quite reasonable and very low cost.

  • Pete
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Big deal? For China these 6 nuclear plants will not come on line until 2030 at the earliest and will will not increase the percentage of electricity generated by nuclear ( about 5%). China will build over 10 times more renewables generation capacity by 2030.

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Pete,

Do you consider China’s central planners to be rational decision makers?

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

First rule in a dictatorial system: tell the big dog what he wants to hear. Facts don’t matter. So, are Xi’s ambitions rational?

Steve

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