Thursday, April 02, 2009

Chart of the Day: Record Nuclear Output in 2008

Energy Information Administration -- It was anticipated that nuclear generation would decline in 2008. Preliminary data for much of the year seemed to confirm a decline, although the decline was not as great as initially projected. Cumulative monthly data released in the Electric Power Monthly shows nuclear generation for 2008 was actually a fraction of a percent higher than in the record year of 2007 (see chart above).


At 4/02/2009 9:16 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Gosh if only we could ever invent a viable source of low-carbon, high-yield energy. Oh wait...

At 4/02/2009 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now how could you have possibly missed this in your "markets for everything" postings?

At 4/02/2009 2:02 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Strange that we used less gasoline, but more energy. Impressive with no new plants built in several years.

At 4/05/2009 3:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This probably means that there have been improvements in speed of refueling. It may also mean that utilities are tryig to keep nuke downtime short because of cost or lack of other production.

Nuclear plants can't be run "halfway", you've got to keep them going at normal power levels or else low neutron flux allows various "poisons" to build up. Part of the Chernobyl problem was running the plant below rated power, which made its operation unstable. Nuclear plants are either all the way "on", or "off" (for a couple of days minimum)

At 4/05/2009 3:10 PM, Anonymous nukeman said...

Do ANY of you have any clue why this actually is? No, because no one here, including Mr.Perry (I drop the phd intentionally) truly understands the power industry.

Answer: natural gas prices falling below coal, coal prices work on a long-term procurement strategy, and northern app coals went right along with the oil and nat.gas prices last year. Therefore coal gen is down, and several nukes like Perry recovered from their problems and were re-rated by the NRC to produce more than 100% of their output. For example, Perry ran at 101%+ for a quite long period of time.

Will anyone build a new nuke plant? Hell phucking no considering how much it costs. Who insures the nukes? Guess what, and prepare to gasp Libertarians: its the government. Do you know why? Its because the private insurance market won't TOUCH the nuclear industry.

How do you get paid for building a nuke? You get it via the capacity markets in your ISO. Of course if you are in a ISO with market failure, like ERCOT in Texas, it will never work, because ERCOT doesn't believe in a capacity market. Thus poorly designed markets fail.

Go look at the history of how France got to 70% nuke base: its because the government backed a massive program. No private enterprise then, or now, can build nukes at a profit without a major push from the government.

Oh yeah, where do these guys get their fuel from? From the government! The gov't programs we pay for to decommission old Russian nukes take the fuel, downgrade it, and make it into fuel rods. Without that cooperation, the fuel would be much more expensive.

And yet you all think the government is the evil empire. I'm baffled.

Of course Mr.Perry will probably delete this comment, so those of you who do read it, please remember that (of course a core plank of the libertarian party is no online censorship...).

At 4/05/2009 3:14 PM, Anonymous nukeman said...

Oh BTW anon, your totally wrong about the nukes. How do you make nuclear power? You use the controlled reaction to heat up water, which is then turned to steam and shot into a turbine that turns a generator.

The nukes can ramp up and down, but they don't for a key reason: their cost of production is below that of all sources but wind and hydro, therefore the dispatch software commits then round-the-clock. Now their ramp rates are indeed slow, but you're not understanding that the physics outside the reactor are *exactly* the same as a coal unit.

And no, there's been no significant improvement in the refueling process. The downtimes are roughly the same, as are the fuel cycles (roughly 18 months).


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