Eskom suspends Koeberg nuclear power station manager

Swa

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While 900MW is quite a lot, if you rely on that to keep load shedding at bay you have more serious issues than one manager.
 

The_Librarian

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If Koeberg becomes Chernobyl, I can see Cape Town being evacuated and that would be horrible
I'm sure there won't be a Fukushima or Chernobyl v2... But I may be wrong. At best, a 3 mile island incident.

Let us hope that it never come to pass.
 

Little Mac

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Can we set up an appointment between dev Ruyter and the SABC CFO. If she can turn that thing around...
 

Little Mac

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At least they'd be independent then as no one would be allowed in or out.
Grandpa Joe leaned forward and laid a long bony finger on Charlie's knee, and
he said softly, 'But most mysterious of all, Charlie, were the shadows in the windows of
the factory. The people standing on the street outside could see small dark shadows
moving about behind the frosted glass windows.'
'Shadows of whom?' said Charlie quickly.
'That's exactly what everybody else wanted to know.
'"The place is full of workers!" the people shouted. "But nobody's gone in! The
gates are locked! It's crazy! Nobody ever comes out, either!"
 

koeks525

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I'm sure there won't be a Fukushima or Chernobyl v2... But I may be wrong. At best, a 3 mile island incident.

Let us hope that it never come to pass.
I am hoping that day never comes to truth. The interesting thing I learnt about nuclear plants is how nuclear waste is hard to dispose. A few places keep the waste underground, or in a nuclear waste pool, or in cylinders. That, and the long decay rates of nuclear elements (Radium taking 1600 years). Really cool stuff.

Hopefully Koeburg takes safety and compliance very seriously, even with Eskom being deep in debt.
 

WollieVerstege

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While 900MW is quite a lot, if you rely on that to keep load shedding at bay you have more serious issues than one manager.
And I believe that Koeberg is also not run flat out due to the aging infrastructure. 900MW is the max but it actually only produces somewhere around 800MW.
 

krycor

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Just curious,,, has any African country except South Africa developed nuclear weapons??? too lazy to google

They all signed the NPT.. northern ones early in round one, the others mostly in 3rd decade since. SA developed these weapons outside of the agreement before signing on to it(I keep rofl at stupid patriotism displayed about it when it was fear driven due to apartheid state.. not something one should be proud of but usual people see this as some achievement).

I think South Sudan, newish state, hasn’t signed on to it.. but yah.. if you sign on to it you not allowed so duh. Also the AU & SA kinda pushing for global reduction which the usual few refuse to do albeit all agreed on but never implemented.
 

The_Librarian

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I am hoping that day never comes to truth. The interesting thing I learnt about nuclear plants is how nuclear waste is hard to dispose. A few places keep the waste underground, or in a nuclear waste pool, or in cylinders. That, and the long decay rates of nuclear elements (Radium taking 1600 years). Really cool stuff.

Hopefully Koeburg takes safety and compliance very seriously, even with Eskom being deep in debt.
And that is why I don't like nuclear power - the problem to dispose of waste is a huge problem, and is most often ignored by people advocating nuclear power.
 
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Johnatan56

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And that is why I don't like nuclear power - the problem to dispose of waste is a huge problem, and is most often ignored by people advocating nuclear power.
And then argument of higher capital costs than pretty much everything else, safety aspect if something goes wrong, etc.
 

Lupus

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And that is why I don't like nuclear power - the problem to dispose of waste is a huge problem, and is most often ignored by people advocating nuclear power.
A huge problem? Also it's not ignored it's actually less of a problem then coal currently. Like 96% is recycled back, the actual waste is low, in fact the storage facility for them are less the size of a, football pitch.

 

Iwojima

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And that is why I don't like nuclear power - the problem to dispose of waste is a huge problem, and is most often ignored by people advocating nuclear power.
Sure, the waste disposal issue is a complex one, but is it any less desirable than pumping smoke from coal fired stations into the atmosphere? It's filtered to some degree, but not nearly as much waste is isolated and collected as it would be with nuclear.

Either way we look there is going be an environmental impact with every solution out there. Want to go solar? Cool. Solar panels and batteries require rare minerals mined from the earth and cannot be easily recycled or disposed of easily without industrial level processing (which in of itself requires energy) once they cease to be efficient.
 
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Iwojima

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And then argument of higher capital costs than pretty much everything else, safety aspect if something goes wrong, etc.
Do you avoid flying in planes because the result of engine malfunction is more dire than if your car's engine fails?
 

Johnatan56

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Do you avoid flying in planes because the result of engine malfunction is more dire than if your car's engine fails?
If a plane crashes it will kill a few hundred people, clean up and life goes on.
Nuclear has an accident and you're talking about decades to centuries that the ground is no longer habitable.

And no, do not link Fukushima, multiple studies how lots are getting cancer there, and they're still mostly edge zones.
Sure, the waste disposal issue is a complex one, but is it any less desirable than pumping smoke from coal fired stations into the atmosphere? It's filtered to some degree, but not nearly as much waste is isolated and collected as it would be with nuclear.
No one said coal was the answer, and you're now arguing fumes + filter vs his argument of what to do with waste for thousands of years.
Either way we look there is going be an environmental impact with every solution out there. Want to go solar? Cool. Solar panels and batteries require rare minerals mined from the earth and cannot be easily recycled or disposed of easily without industrial level processing (which in of itself requires energy) once they cease to be efficient.
Not going to talk much about batteries, there it depends on the type, etc., and it's becoming better there (if it hasn't already).
Both solar and batteries don't really use rare materials: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/11/28/are-rare-earths-used-in-solar-panels/ with the exception of NiMH which is rarely used since it's way more expensive, you'd have more of an argument with wind and there it's still rare.

Recycling in solar/wind is going start jumping up soon, it's more a case of the materials are generally so common that it might not be economical to recycle, that's going to change due to e.g. EU adding a tariff on them to help cover the cost, and the fact that a lot of research on that is only supposed to start having solutions in the next 5 years, as that's when the majority of solar/wind starts actually entering EoL, it hasn't been 20 years since the first "modern" solar and wind farms. So the cost to recycle that will come down substantially probably.

Still a fair bit better than nuclear, you can bury the solar/wind waste pretty much anywhere and it shouldn't lead to mass ground water contamination if not taken care of for the next tens of thousands of years.

Issue is thin-film solar, if that's what you're talking about, and again, the field is advancing quickly, e.g. https://www.technology.org/2020/06/...nels-that-do-not-require-rare-earth-elements/
 

Iwojima

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If a plane crashes it will kill a few hundred people, clean up and life goes on.
Nuclear has an accident and you're talking about decades to centuries that the ground is no longer habitable.

And no, do not link Fukushima, multiple studies how lots are getting cancer there, and they're still mostly edge zones.
Yet hundreds of thousands fly every day, planes have problems that don't result in them falling out of the sky and catastrophic failure is statistically insignificant. Just like nuclear power stations when see the likes of Fukushima, 3-mile Island and Chernobyl as the exceptions they are.

No one said coal was the answer, and you're now arguing fumes + filter vs his argument of what to do with waste for thousands of years.
Nor did I say that anyone was arguing that it was. I simply contextualized nuclear vs where we get most of our power in terms of percentage of waste byproduct captured.

Not going to talk much about batteries, there it depends on the type, etc., and it's becoming better there (if it hasn't already).
Both solar and batteries don't really use rare materials: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/11/28/are-rare-earths-used-in-solar-panels/ with the exception of NiMH which is rarely used since it's way more expensive, you'd have more of an argument with wind and there it's still rare.

Recycling in solar/wind is going start jumping up soon, it's more a case of the materials are generally so common that it might not be economical to recycle, that's going to change due to e.g. EU adding a tariff on them to help cover the cost, and the fact that a lot of research on that is only supposed to start having solutions in the next 5 years, as that's when the majority of solar/wind starts actually entering EoL, it hasn't been 20 years since the first "modern" solar and wind farms. So the cost to recycle that will come down substantially probably.

Still a fair bit better than nuclear, you can bury the solar/wind waste pretty much anywhere and it shouldn't lead to mass ground water contamination if not taken care of for the next tens of thousands of years.

Issue is thin-film solar, if that's what you're talking about, and again, the field is advancing quickly, e.g. https://www.technology.org/2020/06/...nels-that-do-not-require-rare-earth-elements/
I could just as easily talk about the other safer and untested nuclear reactor designs, of which there are multitudes. However we are talking about what is available in the here and now. Renewable of course have their place, there's no denying it, but its clear that people treat nuclear like "reefer madness" in the 1950's.
 

Johnatan56

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Yet hundreds of thousands fly every day, planes have problems that don't result in them falling out of the sky and catastrophic failure is statistically insignificant. Just like nuclear power stations when see the likes of Fukushima, 3-mile Island and Chernobyl as the exceptions they are.
And yet the land around them is no longer inhabitable and will/has cost those governments huge amounts of money, with e.g. Japan being a question of what shortcuts they will take to save money.
Meanwhile a plane crash after being cleaned up no longer has an impact.

It's a red herring you're throwing out there.
How many accidents where the entire area has been rendered uninhabitable for solar/wind have there been?
Nor did I say that anyone was arguing that it was. I simply contextualized nuclear vs where we get most of our power in terms of percentage of waste byproduct captured.
You missed the point again.
I could just as easily talk about the other safer and untested nuclear reactor designs, of which there are multitudes. However we are talking about what is available in the here and now. Renewable of course have their place, there's no denying it, but its clear that people treat nuclear like "reefer madness" in the 1950's.
So you ignored the entire bit of how it is currently? And also that those renewable (and battery) changes have a high likelihood of working out fine while the nuclear side has stagnated for decades?
 
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Swa

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A huge problem? Also it's not ignored it's actually less of a problem then coal currently. Like 96% is recycled back, the actual waste is low, in fact the storage facility for them are less the size of a, football pitch.

It entirely depends on whether you believe coal is a greenhouse gas or not. Nuclear the effects are quite certain. The biggest problem is that those storage facilities are now starting to leak as there's simply no way to guarantee safe storage of something for decades on end. But even if we ignore the safety aspect of which nuclear has proven not to have a good record of at all it's simply unaffordable. Disposal costs are always deferred to later and never worked into the real cost.
 

Swa

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It's worth just under one stage of load-shedding so nothing to sniff at.
Of which Eskom has about 15GW of capacity in constant breakdown or maintenance, so not something that should make a difference. A working utility would have it as a surplus.
 
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