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I think the RR design is sort-of an update of a sub reactor with more bits and power and lots of changes. They're not 'small' -- the RR one is $2bln each plus 2 years to build. They're 'big'

Went for a job interview at Rolls Royce Nuclear in Derby some 20 years ago, complete un-organised fuck-up on their part, person who was interviewing for the position forgot I was coming so was intervi

The proposed RR reactors would produce up to 440MW. A Vanguard nuclear sub's PWR2 reactor produces about 145MW, and it is a very old design now. Mushroom clouds, not mushrooms.

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The two things that would worry me the most about this, is that firstly, outside of central London, the only part of our critical infrastructure other than military bases that is properly protected and not wide open are our nuclear facilities pretty much.

I don't much like the idea of them spread everywhere, especially considering if they do get built by the time they are Serco or their ilk will probably be in charge of security.

The second is that the project will be run by MBAs, as per discussions in other threads such as the 737 MAX.

Be interesting if anyone here has or does work in the industry as I'd be interested in their opinion.

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2 minutes ago, MrLibertyRedux said:

Be interesting if anyone here has or does work in the industry as I'd be interested in their opinion.

Went for a job interview at Rolls Royce Nuclear in Derby some 20 years ago, complete un-organised fuck-up on their part, person who was interviewing for the position forgot I was coming so was interviewed by a clueless grad who didn't know what the position was really for or what the job entailed.

Got a better job somewhere else by the time they got back to me.

The big reason Rolls Royce are interested in this stuff once more is the fact that their market for aero-engines and other fossil fuelled contractions is in a nose-dive.

If they sucker the government into it they will make a fortune out of feasability studies, prototypes and design work before even turning a sod.

As for security you are exactly right, lots of easy targets, just like in France which is why a certain place in the Lake District has a missile 'test range' as its next door neighbour.

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6 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Went for a job interview at Rolls Royce Nuclear in Derby some 20 years ago, complete un-organised fuck-up on their part, person who was interviewing for the position forgot I was coming so was interviewed by a clueless grad who didn't know what the position was really for or what the job entailed.

Got a better job somewhere else by the time they got back to me.

The big reason Rolls Royce are interested in this stuff once more is the fact that their market for aero-engines and other fossil fuelled contractions is in a nose-dive.

If they sucker the government into it they will make a fortune out of feasability studies, prototypes and design work before even turning a sod.

As for security you are exactly right, lots of easy targets, just like in France which is why a certain place in the Lake District has a missile 'test range' as its next door neighbour.

can't they just the nuclear engines used in subs & ships?

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I think the nuclear issue was delayed or fudged in the Blair years regarding energy supplies.

This last decade or so I have accepted the nuclear option.

I note France has had some issues with China. The French not willling to give tech over to China as it seems they would to a Rolls Royce in their areas of influence by copying the tech for small reactors. (No citation as jiggered if I can recall where I read this week)

Carry on with the green as we are....that build up should...build an energy and knowledge base. We need a backstop though.... security. My only concern...well given the current track record of this government...backhanders might mean shortcuts.

Not an area for shortcuts.

On the whole for. The tech though should remain in the UK. A potential national earner.

Edited by The Grey Man
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18 minutes ago, snaga said:

can't they just the nuclear engines used in subs & ships?

I’ve wondered that too. As I recall, those things are sealed units that are disposed of when done rather than refuelled. Maybe they just don’t generate enough power for long enough to be useful?

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5 minutes ago, Bandit Banzai said:

So what are we talking about - something a bit bigger than a nuclear sub reactor but not the full Fukushima?

Quite a lot bigger than a sub power plant.

The article says 440MW per unit, assuming that’s electrical output then each reactor compares similarly to the AGRs some of which are still running today. Most of the worlds PWRs, BWRs and the remaining RBMKs are around 1000MWe output.

16 plants would provide 7000MWe, to cross a thread, maybe Boris is serious about electric cars by 2030?

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3 minutes ago, TheBlueCat said:

I’ve wondered that too. As I recall, those things are sealed units that are disposed of when done rather than refuelled. Maybe they just don’t generate enough power for long enough to be useful?

just have lots of them :)

I think they run for 20+ years don't they? and they power the big US aircraft carriers, which are basically mobile towns.

 

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18 minutes ago, Bandit Banzai said:

So what are we talking about - something a bit bigger than a nuclear sub reactor but not the full Fukushima?

The proposed RR reactors would produce up to 440MW.

A Vanguard nuclear sub's PWR2 reactor produces about 145MW, and it is a very old design now.

10 minutes ago, TheBlueCat said:

Is that the one that includes raw fish along with the beans, eggs, bacon, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and fried bread?

Mushroom clouds, not mushrooms.

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34 minutes ago, snaga said:

can't they just the nuclear engines used in subs & ships?

I think the RR design is sort-of an update of a sub reactor with more bits and power and lots of changes.

They're not 'small' -- the RR one is $2bln each plus 2 years to build.

They're 'big' enough to have proper security etc per site.

The actual innovation is modularisation with off-site manufacture -- that leads to fast build and cheap -- but only 'relatively'.

I'm a bit suspicious of them, but they're about 1,000x better than having the Chinese build them for us.

[Every time I see news of one of these things I think 'oh, thorium reactor', but they never are.  I find this odd (conventional reactors are U because that's how you get easier access, on reprocessing, to weapons grade stuff.  Without the need for weapons you're better off with thorium (arguably)]

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16 minutes ago, snaga said:

just have lots of them :)

I think they run for 20+ years don't they? and they power the big US aircraft carriers, which are basically mobile towns.

 

Aside from the security issues, why not? Having loads of them spread all over the place seems like a good way build resilience into the power grid too. They can’t be that complex to operate either or they couldn’t put them into war ships where they, presumably, have to be mostly self-maintaining.

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1 minute ago, TheBlueCat said:

Aside from the security issues, why not? Having loads of them spread all over the place seems like a good way build resilience into the power grid too. They can’t be that complex to operate either or they couldn’t put them into war ships where they, presumably, have to be mostly self-maintaining.

You say being spread out is good but that seriously big power cut the other year was spread out in two bits of the grid and fucked up big.

Or was that just a peaceful incident or two ?

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Just now, sarahbell said:

You say being spread out is good but that seriously big power cut the other year was spread out in two bits of the grid and fucked up big.

Or was that just a peaceful incident or two ?

A grid designed with many more smaller power plants could definitely be more resilient than what we have now as a failure of either generation or transmission in one part could be more easily isolated from the rest but I’m assuming there would need to be a lot of changes to support that. Any power engineers on here who can comment?

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When the Japanese one (ok, much bigger) went bang it displaced 160,000 people and has a 20kM exclusion zone around it. That's the problem with nuclear on a small, densely populated island.

Now the Japanese are a proud and nationalistic bunch who will just get on with things as they are told to.

I really don't think our fellow Brit will display such levels of stoicism.

Edited by Bandit Banzai
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35 minutes ago, snaga said:

just have lots of them :)

I think they run for 20+ years don't they? and they power the big US aircraft carriers, which are basically mobile towns.

 

I thought it was 10 years but regardless, they are able to run for such long periods un-refueled because they use highly enriched fuel i.e. fuel you can make nuclear bombs out of. That means security for the fuel becomes an issue.

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31 minutes ago, Libspero said:

They’ve been talking about this on and off for several years..  never seems to quite happen.

I guess you could put them on military bases or at airports or something for security.  

It might be unlikely but just suppose we were to get into a proper war with the country a target. You don't want nuclear power plants on the site of a legitimate military target. That is my take anyway.

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