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back to article Hitachi buys Horizon to save UK's nuclear future

Japanese tech giant Hitachi has swooped in to rescue the UK’s foundering Horizon nuclear energy project with a commitment to generating thousands of new jobs and knock-on benefits for the local supply chain. Horizon Nuclear Power was put up for sale by its German owners E.On and RWE in the spring without having built a single …

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Cautious Optimism?

Seems like some positive progress on stopping the lights going out? Not sure that 2025 is soon enough for the last prediction of brown outs that I read, but better than nothing.

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Re: Cautious Optimism?

ah, yes, here we are: "Don't panic, but UK faces BLACKOUTS BY 2015", http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/08/energy_shortages/

Hmm, not going to be soon enough then ...

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Finally!

A step forwards. Everything seems to have been going backwards recently into darkness and gloom, lit only by the optimistic glow of LCD backlights.

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FAIL

Re: Finally! @hplasm

A step forwards for E.ON and RWE, who sold a few fields to Hitachi for £700m, having paid less than half of that in the first place. Because the Horizon JV was not looking to use the Hitachi plant, nothing that the JV did in terms of planning or approvals will have any transferrability to Hitachi's proposals. By my reckoning this adds £0.4bn to the outturn price of any reactors eventually built, before anybody has even started to design or plan anything. Smooth..

To overpay by this amount suggests that Hitachi don't have a clue, which is a bit worrying for us plebs, since they're going to have to recover these costs through the electricity bill, and our equally clueless politicians and even more clueless civil servants are busy working to ensure that our power bills go up by whatever ti takes to buy DECC's toys.

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IFR NOW!!!

seriously how long till someone wakes up, smells the coffee, and order a slew of PRISM reactors to be built?

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Re: IFR NOW!!!

.. too long, I guess. We need Generation IV plants that can handle all of the old waste, and it seems this design can do that, as well as the latest CANDU designs.

Nuclear investment is of course the way to go, but I want to see the best designs being used.

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Re: IFR NOW!!!

Yes, I agree. Hitachi's PRISM reactors solve a lot of problems, including safety and waste issues. the UK is in a great position to take advantage of this technology.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/30/fast-breeder-reactors-nuclear-waste-nightmare

"Britain's huge plutonium stockpile makes it a vast energy resource. David MacKay, chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, recently said British plutonium contains enough energy to run the country's electricity grid for 500 years."

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FAIL

Re: IFR NOW!!!

really?!? Why the **** aren't we building them then, ffs, why can't clever people make all the decisions?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IFR NOW!!!

Because politicians are rarely clever people...

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Megaphone

Re: IFR NOW!!!

Send this to your politician!

"The Integral Fast Reactor – Summary for Policy Makers"

http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/16/ifr-spm/

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building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

So the japanese come over one day on the ferry from france and go into the UK Government building and the person behind the desk is all like "oh hi i didnt know you were coming this week" and the japanese say "yeah we thought we'd crack on with that nuclear plant we were discussing" and the UK government man says "well okay there's some land for it in Gloucestershire, do you want a lift?" and the japanese say "no we have our own cars" and the uk government man says "okay make sure you put the nuclear waste in a hole when you are done" and the Japanese agree. and then the japanese go to Gloucestershire and build a nuclear plant in 12 months and then turn it on and there is green electricity in Gloucestershire in 2013.

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Go

Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

While they've built on time/budget in Japan, I expect the Swampy's of this fine country shall unite in digging in under/around the prospective site, increasing costs.

Not forgetting the Gloucestershire Nimby's (caveat, I live there and I'm not in that set - but there are enough rich folk dotted around).

The years 2020-2025 will be interesting indeed...

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

government need to grow up a bit more like China and just imprison anyone who protests at national building projects

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

i got up voted? seriously?

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

I suspect people assumed it was sarcasm, otherwise I'm a little scared.....

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

No such thing as green electricity. Didn't you know, all electric is the devils spawn.

Blackouts is green.

Misery is green.

Wattle and daub huts in Gloucs ?

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

"Wattle and daub huts in Gloucs ?"

They could make the outer layer of the new Nuke Powerhouse out of wattle and daub. With a nice thatch roof and painted wood beams as an alternative.

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Unhappy

Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

"government need to grow up a bit more like China and just imprison anyone who protests at national building projects"

Yeah that democracy thing's a PITA.

IIRC there was a bit of trouble when an Austrian proposed something similar a few decades ago.

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Meh

Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

More likely just taxpayers hacked off with seeing their hard-earned pissed up the wall by the usual mob of itinerant rebels without a clue.

They serve no purpose other than to make these large infrastructure projects take longer and cost more, due to the interminable and expensive processes involved in getting rid of them so construction can proceed.

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?

I've just been to my family home with wattle and daub walls that are 350 years old.

I bet in 350 years time there wont be any modern homes still standing.

But will still be paying for storage.

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Re: building projects in the UK. will it be this simple?@Tom 7

"I've just been to my family home with wattle and daub walls that are 350 years old. I bet in 350 years time there wont be any modern homes still standing."

Care to guess what proportion of the wattle & daub housing stock actually survived? The few we've still got were the tiny handful that were (by chance) competently built, and then maintained across the intervening few hundred years. The same durability plus some would apply to modern houses, in the unlikely event that they were properly maintained.

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@NomNomNom

Obvious troll is obvious.

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Aren't these advanced boiling water reactors a bit of a trouble? There were some incidents...

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Ru

I don't see any obvious 'incidents' in the sense of dangerous problems, but the 4 Japanese reactors of this type don't seem to have a particularly high uptime compared to other modern designs. Maybe they're hoping that the new builds will have dealt with some of the reliability issues experienced by the early ones.

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1,300MW

Dammit. Why can't these plants produce slightly less. Iuno say... !.21 Gigawatts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1,300MW

Good BTTF reference, fail typing.

Additionally the car parks at these new plants should have speed limits of 88mph.

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Re: 1,300MW

Hopefully there is a clock tower nearby if they ever need to jump start the reactor......

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Re: 1,300MW

>Additionally the car parks at these new plants should have speed limits of 88mph.

They have been around 15 MPH. The Head of Security at Berkeley Site took it upon himself to install a radar 'display your speed' which when approached at twenty miles an hour would show almost any number between 0 and 99.

Later, he installed a speed-bump but no warning sign, causing one driver's old neck injury to flare up again. The irony is that this speed bump was immediately in front of sharp 90º turn through some concrete barriers designed to stop terrorists ram-raiding the fence- you couldn't go fast if you wanted to.

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"While some will no doubt point to Fukushima...

"...as a sign the UK should be looking to scale down its reliance on nuclear"

Yes, because it's only been around 400 years since we had a Tsunami in this country...

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Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

It was certainly a sign, A sign of how safe nuclear power can be. Fukushima killed nobody. We'll be getting a more modern design, and aren't subject to major quakes.

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Trollface

Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

the mischief maker in me wants to caveat that with "until the fracking starts"

Just trolling - I for one welcome the chance to be a uranium powered mutant who can breath both water and fire simulateously. In Your Face Godzilla!

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Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

Take a look at the Fukushima Daichi 4 cooling pond sometime soon....over 400 tonnes of fuel rods, with over 6000 fuel rods in the common spent fuel pool 50 feet away...and sinking....since the earthquake the cooling "pond" has sunk nearly 2 metres, and unevenly.

If that collapses and the fuel is exposed nobody will be going near the place for many decades.

No joke, it is in a BAD way.

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Mushroom

Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

> Fukushima killed nobody.

2 bodies found in the wreckage (although probably drowned, considering the wording of the write up):

http://abcnews.go.com/International/bodies-found-fukushima-dai-ichi-nuclear-complex-japan/story?id=13286621

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Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

I agree. If it wasn't for the fact the backup diesel generators were located below the water line, my understanding is that there wouldn't have been a problem at all. The building survived and the reactors shut down as they should, but the cooling system failed. Seems a bit knee-jerk to do away with all nuclear power because some prat put the diesel generators in the basement.

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Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

Actually that should be: "..because some prat put the diesel generators in the basement, next to the sea and in a country that invented the ruddy word 'tsunami'.".

Nothing wrong with gennies in the basement, as long as you can be 100% certain that it isn't going to get filled with water.

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Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign@TeeCee

"Nothing wrong with gennies in the basement, as long as you can be 100% certain that it isn't going to get filled with water."

Basements always fill with water. Not that far from the nuke site at Oldbury is the Mythe Water Treatment Works. In the 2007 floods that was knocked out for weeks because the pumps were in a basement (well, a dry sump) that flooded, and as a result the electrical gear was kaput, the water mains lost pressure, and about a thousand kilometres of water main connected to that works then had to be resterilised.

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"the water mains lost pressure"

" the water mains lost pressure, and about a thousand kilometres of water main connected to that works then had to be resterilised."

Is this the same incident where the privatised water companies turned out to be unable to distribute anything like enough bottled water for drinking, and eventually the Army had to be called in to take over the deliveries?

Looks like it is:

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Gloucestershire-floods-years-pound-15m-water/story-16567118-detail/story.html

Five years later, the privatised water company is about to announce £15M plans to avoid a recurrence of the same problem.

Good job the Tories know better than to make significant cuts in the armed forces.

Pardon?

Oh.

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Re: Re While some will no doubt point to Fukushima as a sign

Actually, the generators were put something like 12m above the ground level, it's just that because of the drop in land the 12m (again, IIRC) wave flooded them. The plant worked to spec, it's just that the spec didn't quite meet the eventuality.

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you just need 216x6mw windturbines in old mines, as the perpetual design to cover 1300mw, or just build a few the size of houses

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Then you need:

1) Constant wind at the optimal value 24x7.

2) A massive amount of space to ensure that they don't disrupt each other. Either high ground (perhaps a nice national park will do...), or out at sea.

2) A fleet of landrovers/boats and diesel to keep them maintained.

3) Mucho quantities of concrete to mount them on - probably as much as you'd need for the nuke plant.

4) 216 turbines with those wonderfully environmentally friendly to mine Rare Earth metals.

5) Massive amounts of governemt subsidies to make it look economically viable.

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its all here, the same math for all size dynamo`s, with electro magnetic motors that have no shaft power and will only ever use 2% of generated power tops

http://community.discovery.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7501919888/m/24319443111

less power loss if you make motors specific to the dynamo`s maximum RPM and torque, with custom electro magnetic motor calibration, and not your everyday, high RPM and low torque/low RPM and high torque motor, dynamo`s are low RPM and low torque

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dynamo`s are all the same..... http://www.guinarnd.com/index.php/turbines/wind-turbine-generators

6mw generated from 20 RPM / 20 RPM = 300,000 watts from every full rotation when running at maximum output speed. a motor will not use 300,000 watts to run, at best a motor would be using 5-15kw with the right electro magnetic calibration, leaving 280,000 watts to goto the grid roughly

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and its the dynamo`s manfactuers fault if they fail, and need to much torque etc, and miss out on all ship conversions saving billions of gallons of diesel every hour

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M 6

Killed nobody? You should dig deeper. Also why are you only considering deaths? Think about the bigger picture, environment, etc.

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Angel

i wish you anti-nuclear folk would stop trying to poison the well. That's the nuclear industry's job.

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Re: Killed nobody?

I agree, we should attempt to put both economic and non-economic costs for *all* forms of power generation on the table, and then work out which is best (or least bad). This will be almost certainly some exceedingly boring and mutually-but-equally unsatisfying compromise between economics, the environment, and social factors; but I'm not at all sure it's going to exclude nuclear like you appear to want..

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Fuck the environment

We need lots of energy now!

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Re: Fuck the environment

I absolutely agree - without energy, how are we going to make and keep running all that life-support equipment and anti-pollution NBC-style suits to keep us alive after the environment's fucked? :-)

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