Nuclear energy – The best option for South Africa?

klipdrifter

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Feb 14, 2012
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We can talk to all the experts and get the best advice but we need a competent government that will actually use this knowledge and start improving RSA in the long run.

ANC is not the right party for the job and never will be.

I think what we as a country should be getting advice on is how to get a competent government and start making RSA great again...
 

kab123

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Jul 14, 2007
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I think this has probably been said quite a few times. There is nothing wrong with nuclear. It’s just the way our government wants to implement it all under one corrupt inefficient SOE.

Then there is also the “SimCity” effect… When you start building your city you can immediately put up a nuclear plant if you want. But you’re bound to be bankrupt in a few years’ time.

Nuclear power stations work very well but they are expensive. Like a Mercedes is better than a Polo, a Mercedes is destined for a person who can afford it.

I still think the better long term plan is to decommission our 50-year inefficient old power stations and replace them with modern Kusile/Medupi’s. Same carbon footprint but 3x more nameplate capacity.

In other words we can probably reduce our carbon footprint while maintaining total capacity.

Ofc the best model is the one used in the USA. Power stations (of all different kinds) belongs to private companies and they are strictly regulated. This creates lots of competition with regards to emissions. The guy with the highest emissions becomes the next in line to be shut down during a time of oversupply.

Unfortunately to much white monopoly capital in this scenario.
 
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Cray

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The article talks about the costs of waste disposal, curious to know how you dispose of Nuclear waste...

https://mg.co.za/article/2014-10-02-nuclear-waste-is-going-nowhere-slowly

In 300 years, South Africa’s Vaalputs nuclear waste site – a 10 000ha reserve in the dusty Northern Cape – will be opened for unrestricted use. Until then, it needs to be guarded and monitored; no small feat considering that if the 1820 British settlers had buried nuclear waste on their arrival, we would still be guarding the site.
 

konfab

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Then there is also the “SimCity” effect… When you start building your city you can immediately put up a nuclear plant if you want. But you’re bound to be bankrupt in a few years’ time.
Not if you know what you are doing and actually do the budget properly.

I would love to make it constitutionally mandated that you have to be able to successfully run a city in SimCity in order to hold a government office.
 

Chris.Geerdts

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Nov 1, 2014
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I'm glad Chris is shifting towards solar. He swung a lot towards nuke after the Rosatom visit (and associated wining and dining) but his good sense has prevailed.

That's fortunate as his views (and Dr Anton Eberhard) are well regarded (if not in current govt circles).
 

saturnz

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogeneration

powered by sugar mills (we already have quite a bit, I think atleast 15 or so) and sugar plantations- coming back to my consistent point on agriculture

the problem is that Eksom views co-generation as a threat to its business model, so its never considered or discussed
 

BTTB

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Feb 6, 2004
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Good baseload power generation is needed for the foreseeable future, unfortunately mostly with coal.

Coal:
My view is that Medupi and Kusile are fine for the medium term with possibly one more site approved and awaiting the go ahead as the older plants are decommissioned or new capacity is needed. We don't want another 2008 and everyone scurrying to plan and implement a new Power Station, its ridiculous. Until we get there nobody can say if it will be needed, there is so much new technology coming to the market, a lot can happen between now and then.
Renewable:
Big thumbs up here. Its unfortunate to read "The growth of rooftop solar PV in domestic, commercial and industrial applications has not been considered in the Draft IRP 2016 at all" which is a downright shame and extremely foolish. As Eskom increases the price of electricity and solar battery technology plays catch up, the graph lines will cross in regards to going off the grid partially/completely vs cheaper to install solar panels. In my opinion in many aspects the graphs have crossed already. So Eskom needs to wake up, they cannot overextend themselves paying Billions to new Coal/Nuclear Power Stations when they may be sitting with an underutilised grid.
Nuclear:
I hope it doesn't happen but I do see the need for baseload power along the furthest reaches of the grid in other words far away from the current Coal Power Stations. The best position in my opinion is to simply upgrade Koeberg. Koeberg has only 2 x 900MW units with a limited lifespan. Would it not be easier to couple into this system with an updated modern plant that can produce 2 to 3 times what Koeberg produces already. At least it will keep all the eggs in one basket so to speak and prevent other sites from being developed and wasted to Nuclear.
 

saturnz

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Good baseload power generation is needed for the foreseeable future, unfortunately mostly with coal.

Like so many before you, you have also ignored co-generation, its almost as if this technology does not exist.
 

BTTB

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Like so many before you, you have also ignored co-generation, its almost as if this technology does not exist.
Thanks for pointing that out.

Heard the Chinese place a power station next to old rubbish dumps and use the methane to create energy.

I am not an energy boff, but if I look at my current electricity bill, I could pay off some solar panels and battery backups in a few years. Any further 50% jumps in pricing from Eskom and I'll be there sooner than later.

Planning on taking my retirement home off the grid in regards to electricity and water. Stuff the State, all they do is look for ways to milk us for more money.
 

Temujin

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I don't understand why we are not the worlds foremost experts, developers and suppliers of solar and renewables... ****, if the uk can generate 25% of their supply through their grey blanket sky, why are we unable to power the entire continent with our available sunny skies
 

Compton_effect

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Coal is dead.
Between Renewable, co-generation and Nuclear - we could be more than covered.
Heck - according to one gent I chatted to once from our Pebble Bed Modular Reactor company - those reactors have such a high thermal output - they are perfect for desalination or hydrogen production.
It might not be very popular, but running a few nuclear desalination plants and using them to ensure strategic dams are full - would be very beneficial in the coming century.
 

c3n0byt3

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Sep 2, 2009
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Not if you know what you are doing and actually do the budget properly.

I would love to make it constitutionally mandated that you have to be able to successfully run a city in SimCity in order to hold a government office.
Well this is something that not many can get right, much less a country like SA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_nuclear_power_plants#Cost_overruns
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/29/huge...sh-toshibas-westinghouse-into-bankruptcy.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...et-reactor-renaissance-keeping-nuclear-at-bay
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516301690

I think there is general consensus that the technology (granted difficulties with the waste) is solid.
The real fear for us is our fragile economy.
 

spiff

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Oct 17, 2007
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5,169
Coal is dead.
Between Renewable, co-generation and Nuclear - we could be more than covered.
Heck - according to one gent I chatted to once from our Pebble Bed Modular Reactor company - those reactors have such a high thermal output - they are perfect for desalination or hydrogen production.
It might not be very popular, but running a few nuclear desalination plants and using them to ensure strategic dams are full - would be very beneficial in the coming century.
+100%
 

kab123

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
238
Coal is dead.
Between Renewable, co-generation and Nuclear - we could be more than covered.
Heck - according to one gent I chatted to once from our Pebble Bed Modular Reactor company - those reactors have such a high thermal output - they are perfect for desalination or hydrogen production.
It might not be very popular, but running a few nuclear desalination plants and using them to ensure strategic dams are full - would be very beneficial in the coming century.
All very good and well.

But judging by what is currently transpiring in the media, we first need a new government.

Under the Zuma presidency, the PBMR was canned. The day it was canned, the total investment was about 9 billion. Which is really peanuts when you consider that we sat with a 1000 man strong high tech local nuclear company. Real peanuts when you consider the numbers being thrown around the this Gupta Leaks....f***'ol.

But alas, there is no money for the Zuptas make when you have a local large scale nuclear company as this will only grow our local economy and create high tech jobs. Who what's that??? Absurd!!

I was an engineer at PBMR. The day we were told that every single one will be retrenched, we made recommendations to put PBMR "on ice" but rather down size the company to 100-200 personal with the highest skill sets. We argued that these people with technical, procurement and commissioning experience could act as a local authority in the governments new nuclear build plan.

Again, no money for the Gupta’s if you try to grow local industry.

So, everyone with years of knowledge and experience were unceremoniously fired.
 
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