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back to article Another new Russian nuclear powerplant comes online

The newly-built Kalinin-4 nuclear power plant northwest of Moscow has achieved criticality, according to plant owner Rosenergoatom, some two weeks after completion of fuelling was achieved. The new power unit is expected to go into service shortly, and will become Russia's 33rd operational nuclear power plant and the fourth new …

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Boffin

Economy size ?

Uk Economy "half the size" ?

SUrely some mistake there? What yardstick is used for that comparison?

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Stop

@gautam - you chose the wrong icon

It says "half again", so UK economy is 150% of Russia's economy. It's almost certainly measured by GDP.

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FAIL

careful reading (and writing) pays

'though the UK economy is half again the size of Russia's' does not mean half the size, although it is a clumsy bit of writing.

Russian GDP 2011 USD 1,479,825million

UK GDP 2011 USD 2,250,209million

US GDP 2011 USD 14,526,550million

Figures from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook (WEO) Database, April 2011 Edition.

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Joke

It's measured in Reg Standard Units (please try to keep up).

UK economy = 1.5 Russias

USA economy = 10 Russias

Although both may be shrinking at a rate of a few elephant ferlongs per nuclear aircraft carrier

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Joke

>Uk Economy "half the size" ?

>SUrely some mistake there? What yardstick is used for that comparison?

I blame it on our education system. There's a woeful lack of reading comprehension and mathematics these days.

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Anonymous Coward

"half again the size..."

I understood what he meant, but it was a clumsy way of writing "one-and-a-half times the size...".

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Paris Hilton

Outsmarted

We are SO being outsmarted by Russia and Eastern Europe on energy. I predicted this years ago. We'll continue to fudge and stall on nuclear while fossil fuel availability dwindles and prices shoot up over and over.

We'll be buying electricity from them very soon, it's bound to happen. The population of UK are such Luddites and the politicians are cowards.

We needed to be building nuclear big-time over ten years ago, we're so far behind now. And the Severn Barrage, which could produce 5% of our electricity needs day-in, day-out was shelved yet again for the sake of a few birds (which migrate from f***ing Russia to stay here in the winter!).

Paris, because she's got no bloody clue on energy, just like our successive governments.

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Anonymous Coward

I must differ.

Nuclear is not the best, secure, safe option for a small nation on the edge of Europe surrounded by sea with diminishing international power.

IMHO wave and tidal represent much more suitable alternatives.

But you are right in so far as there has been far too little investment in Building local secure power. Power, like water & sewerage, is a Utility required perenially. To allow Utilities to be, effectively, outside the control of this country is bonkers. For the owners to demand short term returns that are not reflective of the role of the UTILITY is an unfortunate fact of market activities.

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If you want to differ, give some figures

I know of one successful wave power plant. It is sited where the coast line naturally focuses waves to a single point. The resulting tall but narrow wave fills a reservoir at the top of a cliff. If you have an example of a cost effective wave power plant that does not rely on a unique site, please post manufacturing, installation and running costs plus the average power generated per km of coast. If it is any good, I will invest and encourage others to do likewise.

Waves are created by the wind blowing over the ocean. As a result, there is even less power available from waves than there is from wind. The only reason waves are visible is because there are thousands of kilometers of ocean for them to build up strength. Waves suffer from other windmill problems: you must design tough enough for a storm, but you do not get the power of a storm every month. Also, peaks of power to not correlate well with peaks of demand.

By all means build some little wave power plants in the one or two sites where they are effective. Trying to build a fleet of wave power plants is even more stupid than the fleet of windmills that provide a piddling amount of power, but make are electricity bills here more than double what the French pay.

Tidal is much better. It is predictable, does not have the extreme fluctuations like wind and wave, and there are some big sites like the Bristol channel (you would need some big sites like that for tidal to provide a significant fraction of demand). Here is a working, cost effective example that supplies 0.012% of the power demand of France:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rance_Tidal_Power_Station

Solar voltaic is a complete waste of money in this country. It can be cost effective in the desert. (Solar thermal can pay for itself if you can get it installed at a good price.) The cost effective wind sites were populated years ago. The current craze of building them on second rate sites is the reason for our crippling energy bills, but still only provides a small fraction of demand.

Gas is cheap and nukes are long term. You can differ all you want it you pay the difference yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Its an opinion.

I don't have to support it with figures.

I'm sure they are out there in just the same way as they are for any other source of controversy.

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Thumb Down

Spoken like a fully paid up member of the anti-nuke brigade.

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FAIL

Russia and France...

...will be the only energy producers in 21st century.

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IT Angle

... In europe you mean

China & India are getting a move ahead with thorium reactors, so I suspect that some of the BRICS countries are planning ahead. Even South Africa can see a future in Nuclear (despite lots of capacity in coal now)

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Boffin

fission for fusion

Stack those nuclear reactors to the sky and lets get those fusion boffins some more funding. Everyone is so scared of nuclear it's ridiculous.

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Megaphone

Everybody Was So Scared About Witchcraft

...that they burned women accused of the latter at the stake. Your argument is completely irrational and I will try to make you reconsider it.

Just think about how many people are killed by carbon-based energy production ? If you just look at the Iran-Iraq and Iraq-US wars it is millions killed just by oil. And that is just one conflict about oil - there are plenty more in Africa. WW2 was to a large degree about oil. Then there is cancer caused by the after-products of burning oil, which kills tens of thousands each year. And just the oil/gas rigs which tend to burn down from time to time have killed more people than nuclear energy ever did.

Tshernobyl probably killed less people than the Piper Alpha oil rig accident did. In Fukushima, where they have proper containment, nobody was killed of radiation yet.

So rationally, nuclear is amongst the safest and human-friendly sources of energy.

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Well not quite everyone

http://www.projectthinice.org/blog/view/3444/

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TRT
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Wow. When does red become green, eh?

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Nothing to do with going green

They realise they can make far more money by selling all the fossil fuels to us dumb western Europeans.

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"....selling all the fossil fuels to us dumb western Europeans."

...and the Chinese. Russia is currently building a gas pipeline to China.

I understand the Russians already use this in their price negotiations with Western countries.

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VVER safety

Any news on whether the safety systems of the reactor have been brought up to basic standards? Most of the VVERs exported to India and China have had completely different safety systems (often Western) from those installed for the Russian reactors; and AFAIK none of the existing VVERs allow for passive cooling.

Not exactly just a theoretical question if previous Soviet operating regimes are anything to go on.

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Alert

I get the impression that the western governments have been gambling on getting fusion working and plants online before the current batch expire. And LOST!

Given JET and ITER seem to be never ending black hole money pits, maybe they should have spread bet on different technologies and not relied solely on Tokamak to solve all their problems!

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Anonymous Coward

Bottling H2...

The future will be something like Nuclear power feeding Hydrogen plants, that produce fuel cells, by cracking water.

Everything that can't be plugged to a wall and uses oil today, will use hydrogen. Feeding these plants will be the real issue. Bring them in, solar, wind, waves, tides, whatever tickles your fancy, but all goes down to hydrogen...

... or still-polluting renewables, like biodiesel and Alcohol... that can fade away a lot later.

Just my 2c.

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Devil

Not that clean

I just want to know what they are doing with the spent fuel rods? They have to go somewhere and they will be radioactive.

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Anonymous Coward

I heard...

...some Nuclear plants will actually consume radioactive waste.

The ideas exist, but nobody wants to spend money on it, apparently.

Search peeble bed...

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Holmes

If they have any sense at all....

They'll reprocess the spent fuel rods. I'm a bit spotty on the details but IIRC around 99% by mass of the spent fuel rod can be reused. The other 1% are (admittedly rather nasty) fission products that need to go into storage in a nuclear waste facility where they can decay naturally into heavy metals like lead.

It's not ideal, but not as bad as the popular myth that there are vast qauntities of the stuff produced every year.

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Mushroom

reprocessing and other hidden costs

I remember reading articles putting larger costs on the Windscale reprocessing plant every few years when we were promised one budget at the start of this and timescale but delivered something totally different. Given the length of time the plant has had to be shut down due to technology problems and small leaks which haven't yet impacted much on the outside environment but which have greatly influenced operating costs, I wonder just how soon nuclear generators will be expected to pay this full reprocessing and long term waste management cost.

All very well to call nuclear power cheap when the taxpayer has picked up a large share of the entire fuel cycle cost. While I don't think we can afford to do without a contribution from this major source of low carbon electricity altogether, I don't think anyone proposing large/fast nuclear expansion has been honest with the numbers. And that's before you consider who insures the nuclear accident risk of radioactive materials getting outside the reprocessing or generating site. Japanese taxpayers are now much more aware of this issue than they were prior to the tsunami taking out a significant fraction of their generating capacity.

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Thorium..

Thorium thorium thorium, thorium Thorium? Thorium! Thorium, thorium thorium thorium, thorium - thorium thorium.

Thorium thorium, lol - thorium thorium thorium.

WHEN?

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Anonymous Coward

Why the Kremlin doesn't care

"However the Kremlin doesn't seem to share the hopes of some in the West regarding a new gas bonanza from shale"

They don't need to worry. Once the shale fanatics have persuaded everyone not to change the nation's infrastructure and have had the nation suck on the bar towel for a few years, everyone will be wondering whether that Vladimir bloke still has any gas to sell. Of course, the nation will actually be buying gas from existing producers all along, so there won't be any need to wonder anything.

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Thumb Up

Wait, what...

what the hell is a gigawatt?

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