Engineering

British nuclear power plant for 21 billion euros

United Kingdom again move for power plant for 21 billion euros: two blocks of the modern Europe reactor will be built at Hinkley Point on England’s Southwest, the Government has decided. The money comes from France and what is most controversial, from China.

British nuclear power plant for 21 billion euros
The ERP reactor building consists of a double containment: an inner shell made of prestressed concrete (2) and an outer steel concrete shell (1). It encloses the main coolant system with the reactor pressure vessels (3), the steam generators (4), (5) pressure bracket and the reactor coolant pumps (6) as key components. There’s a special spread area (7), where the melt would captured and cooled in an extremely unlikely core melt accident inside containment. Photo: Areva

Hinkley Point is installed, Britain has decided to continue its national nuclear program. The decision now rendered the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May. The areas off the British coast are excellent offshore wind sites. There are not only huge wind farms.

United Kingdom also experimented with wave and tidal power stations. Off the Scottish coast is in building the world’s largest tidal power station, an another power plant in the Bristol Channel. Nevertheless, wants to leave the country not only on this weather-dependent electricity generation.

Hinkley Point in 2011
Aerial view of Hinkley Point in 2011: the new reactors to replace the coal-fired power plants in the United Kingdom. Photo: EDF

The two powerful reactors on the southwest coast of England, which will deliver after completion of seven percent of the country’s electricity needs, to replace old coal-fired power plants. So, the British want to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

Nuclear power plant reactor type was co-developed by Siemens.

At the site were two smaller reactors in operation from 1965 to 2000. Together, they brought it to 530 MW capacity. That’s not even a third of what creates one of the two new reactors: 1,600 megawatts. European pressurized water reactor (EPR) is the name of the plant, the French power plant maker AREVA has developed together with Siemens. The Germans have now withdrawn from the business.

British nuclear power plant
Photo: EDF

The EPR has a so-called core catcher, a huge cooled pan which absorbs the liquid mixture of uranium, plutonium and nuclear waste in a serious accident at the reactor core melts, so that it can penetrate and contaminate ground water, for example, not in the underground.

China cover 30% of the 21 billion euro bill.

The building is controversial not only for environmentalists, mainly because of the cost. 21 billion euros are according to the current state. The French energy group, which is majority State-owned, carried away two-thirds. The Chinese State company CGN controls on what is politically highly controversial, the remaining one-third.

The British Government are secured against unwanted influences.

It established that Hinkley Point not wholly or in part may be sold without their consent. Electricity is twice as expensive. Also, it could be expensive for the British electricity consumers. EDF has made as an operator of Hinkley Point to guarantee high fixed prices for the loss of nuclear power from the British Government.

Hinkley Point C
21 billion euros should cost the two reactors of the British nuclear power plant in Hinkley Point C. Some of the money comes from China. Photo: EDF

Pro mega-wattage hour receives almost 110 euro, EDF. That’s about twice the current market price. On the other hand, is nuclear energy for reliability, helps so that the network when weather does not collapse.

So far, there are four EPR under construction. in 2003, the first sod for a reactor in the Finnish Olkiluoto took place. There were numerous delays, so that the plant, which should go into operation in 2011, should produce the first electricity now 2018 according to recent forecast.

It fared no better the second EPR, whose building began in 2007 in the French Flamanville on the English channel. Its completion was delayed also. Through the experiences that rallied the participating companies in Finland, it was but a bit faster. The current completion date is 2017.

The first EPR could generate electricity in China.

China might be even faster. In Taishan, 140 km away from Hong Kong, two EPR under construction have been 2010. The first reactor is largely completed and has already been tested in non-nuclear operations. In the first half of next year, he will generate power for the first time.

So far the construction costs at all EPR are been far exceeded. Olkiluoto as should cost three billion euros originally. Now there are eight billion, at least for now.

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