April 2012 - Michigan Energy Forum - Donald H. Williams


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Come join the Michigan Energy Forum on Thursday April 5 as we discuss the role of nuclear energy in Michigan and abroad in addressing global climate change. Panelists will include representatives from industry, academia, and the State who will share their views of the role that nuclear energy should play to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate economic development opportunities. While nuclear energy can be a very controversial topic, the purpose of this forum is to discuss the science, economics, and risks and rewards of nuclear energy and to learn more about what is going on in Michigan. Please join us on April 5 for this exciting forum.

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April 2012 - Michigan Energy Forum - Donald H. Williams

  1. 1. Remarks for Michigan Energy Forum April 5, 2012 Ann Arbor Dr. Donald H. Williams Chemistry Professor Emeriti Hope College(accustomed to 3 credit courses in 14 week semesters)
  2. 2. My Background & Approach• Chemist @ start up of Shippingport Atomic Power Station (Pittsburgh)• Six Years w US D.O.E.’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (SNL HLW)• Chair MI Committee to find a home for MI’s Low Level Radwaste (to maybe change state law)• Off & on spokesperson for Nuclear Energy Institute• Here to serve your needs and interests• Generally “pro” nuclear power but aware…. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  3. 3. Okay, my opinions show! Sorry. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  4. 4. E.I.A. 2010 E.I.A. 2010Wikipeida MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  5. 5. Top-10 annual energy-related CO2 emitters for the year 2009[81] % of global total Tonnes of GHG Country annual emissions per capitaPeoples Rep. of China 23.6 5.13United States 17.9 16.9India 5.5 1.37Russian Federation 5.3 10.8Japan 3.8 8.6Germany 2.6 9.2Islamic Rep. of Iran 1.8 7.3Canada 1.8 15.4Korea 1.8 10.6United Kingdom 1.6 7.5 I.E.A. 2011 for MEF AA 4/5/12
  6. 6. Comparison of Life-Cycle Emissions Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent per Gigawatt-1,041 Hour Source: "Life-Cycle Assessment of Electricity Generation Systems and Applications for Climate Change Policy Analysis," Paul J. Meier, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August 2002. 622 46 39 18 17 15 14Coal Natural Gas Biomass Solar PV Hydro Nuclear Geothermal Wind Added note: Concrete… MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  7. 7. Total Energy Consumption USA 2010 MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  8. 8. Worldwide Nuclear Perspective• About 13% of the world’s electricity is nuclear produced. (This is ~5% of total energy…..) (Presentation & vocabulary …)• There are 435 plants operating world wide 108 more under construction or planned• France: largest %-age nuclear USA: most plants (104, 5 under construction 5 ? planned)• ~ 80% of the plants are more than 25 years old• Science notes: fissile material one natural source U235 (dilute) and one man-made Pu MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  9. 9. Nuclear Worldwide 9/9/09 DHWms
  10. 10. Nuclear Power Plants in USA~20% of USelectricity isnuclear, (45% iscoal, 23% naturalgas = both GHGemitters)Nearest Fission Plant tous? … MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  11. 11. The Reactors around usMI: 25% nuclear60% coal, 11% gas HASP 9/9/09 DHWms
  12. 12. 1-Slide Summary of 50+ Old Presentations Pro nuclear• Not so bad once • But coal is much understood worse• Sadly introduced with • Save natural gas for an A-bomb residential heating….• Let me explain away • Renewables can’t be TMI, Chernobyl & economical and Fukushima baseline…• Radwaste is small in • Nuke represents volume diversity (good ecology?) MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  13. 13. Newer, shorter presentation • Coal is being regulated away, so much for damning it. • Natural Gas still => CO2 (It is a green house gas) Even in a combined cycle generation plant. (maybe halved from coal, but…) • Nat. Gas price is volatile (8 fold changes in last 5 years) • It’s in a global market (India,China) • Questions re: “fracking” will see expensive regulations. (earth tremors , groundwater) MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  14. 14. U.S. Energy Additions80,000 Capacity Brought Online by Fuel Type 1965-2007 (Nameplate Capacity, MWe)70,000 Water60,000 Renew Petro50,000 Other40,000 Nuclear Gas30,000 Coal20,00010,000 0 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Slide stolen from Excelon 9/9/09 DHWms
  15. 15. Nuclear Power Industrial Changes• Capacity up 45 2,700• Costs down 40 2,400• Consolidation 35 2,100 Total nuclear power generation in TWh Incremental nuclear power capacity 30 1,800• Steadily safer additions in GW e 25 1,500• DTE likely to 20 1,200 add a reactor 15 900• Waste issues 10 600 confused: 5 300 temp storage, 0 0 Yucca Mtn or -5 -300 1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 MRS or reprocss or.. 9/9/09 DHWms
  16. 16. Total Energy 2010 E.I.A.
  17. 17. Total Nat.Gas 2010 E.I.A. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  18. 18. Fuel as a Percentage of Electric Power Production Costs 2006 Fuel Conversion Fabrication 26% Waste FundFuel Enrichment77% Fuel 92% O&M 74% UraniumO&M23% O&M, 8%Coal Gas Nuclear Nuclear Fuel CostSource: Global Energy DecisionsUpdated: 6/07 Components 9/9/09 DHWms
  19. 19. Penultimate Take Home Slide• Pick your poison, your energy source, all have a downside: construction, real cost availability, waste, aesthetics, ..• Should natural gas be saved for residential heating? Can you name a better way?• Will “fracking” be done cleanly?• What sources are most available to MI?• Which fuel can be “stored”, has infrastructure?• Which has “contained” wastes?• Which is least “interruptable”? MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  20. 20. Final Thoughts Utility Executive Nightmares • It’s going to be expensive! • Spent a lot on a little Mercury • Squeezed by requirements on renewables & opening up the retail market • Short term answer: Gas, but • Long term answer: Nuclear belongs in the mix but how to capitalize the construction?! • Conservation won’t make $$$ • I pick: “all of the above” MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  21. 21. Have trouble falling asleep? More Info? More “lectures”?• Am Nuclear Society• Nuclear Energy Institute• Energy Information Agency• Williams@hope.edu History of the A-bomb The Nuclear Waste Policy Act Basic Nuclear Energy The Lisa Meitner Story Ohio State Football Greats MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  22. 22. A 1-slide course on Nuclear Power:• Find uranium ore & “win” the metal from the ore (NYTimes Sunday 4/1. p A-16)• Separate isotopes (forms), 235U from 238U with gaseous diffusion or centrifuges via UF6 (NM & OH)• The 235U fissions via chain reaction. It’s 0.7% in ore, 3 -5 % in reactors, 90+% in bombs• Power plant fuel pellets in fuel assemblies separated by control rods held up magnetically• Fission products: “new” & “unstable” elements and ENERGY! ( It’s efficient but radioactive! )• SNF or HLW ? Spent nuke fuel, high level waste?• The “issue” for most anti-nukes…. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  23. 23. A short model of a fuel assembly• Usually 12-14 feet tall• Each tough zirconium alloy tube contains stacks of fuel pellets• In between them: control rods that stop the chain reaction• Around them: water getting heated (& slowing the neutrons) MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  24. 24. Another representation of a Fuel Assembly at the Big Rock Point Plant in Charlevoix Historical Society was there for a presentation when it was decommissioned and made into a park. (Orphaned SNF) MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  25. 25. HLW in a storage pool, this one in the U.K. The blue glow is called Cerenkov Radiation. At the old U of M research reactor it was called M glow Blue. Now decommissioned MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  26. 26. After a decade of cooling in pool next to reactorspent fuel is loaded into harden steel casks, dried, filled w helium & put into concrete casks MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  27. 27. Oldest spent fuel, sealed in steel casks, placed in 105 ton concrete casks, stored at plant site. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  28. 28. HLW at Palisades Temporary (?) Storage• New cask being placed on the 4 ft thick concrete pad, behind the barricade• See the 2 guys working on it ?• How much radiation are they exposed to?• Very little! MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  29. 29. Teaching Nuclear gets Political Where’s waste go?• Several year’s HLW from the Palisades Plant at plant site, 400 yds from Lake MI, be- hind the plant, be- tween dunes.• Each container weights 135 tons, holding (30 tons of HLW) MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  30. 30. Waste Containers as Terrorist Target I don’t think so! MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  31. 31. Low Level Radioactive Waste, a stateresponsibility, arrives at a commercial site Each state or group of states must handle their own. Most have found one of three commercial sites for it’s isolation. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  32. 32. Low Level Radwaste, handled in Barnwell SC To be isolated for 400 years LLW is from hospitals, labs, power plants. In MI most comes from nuke plants-ion exchange resins that clean the water. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  33. 33. Low Level Waste Facility, Barnwell SC. In the red clay of the southeastern US. This site is being closed, pending some law suits. MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms
  34. 34. A few words on …..Radiation• HLW will decay & be as radioactive as rock in about 7000 years. Fed Law: 10,000 yr. isolation• Rocks, air, food, you & I are radioactive…• Radiation is less dangerous as you age……• Through the middle of a dosage/damage curve, the more radiation means more danger• Controversy exists about very low radiation…..• (At high end of curve, direct illness and death)• Evidence: Power plant workers & neighbors are ok, most w above average health! MEF AA 4/5/12 DHWms