Nuclear Issues within UK

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  • Good morning! The option of Nuclear. Brief past Whats currently going on? What future holds?
  • Divided into 7 main groups. [Name them]
  • Magnox is a now obsolete type of nuclear power reactor which was designed and is still in use in the United Kingdom, and was exported to other countries, both as a power plant, and, when operated accordingly, as a producer of plutonium for nuclear weapons The name magnox comes from the alloy used to clad the fuel rods inside the reactor. Magnox reactors are pressurised, carbon dioxide cooled, graphite moderated reactors using natural uranium (i.e. unenriched) as fuel and magnox alloy as fuel cladding. Boron -steel control rods were used. The design was continuously refined, and very few units are identica
  • Rising costs Prior to the 2002 white paper Managing the Nuclear Legacy, the cost of decommissioning these facilities had been estimated at around £42 billion.[4] The white paper estimated the costs at £48 billion at March 2002 prices, an increase of £6bn, with the cost of decommissioning Sellafield accounting for over 65% of the total.[5] This figure included a rise in BNFL's estimated decommissioning liabilities from £35 billion to £40.5 billion,[6] with an estimate of £7.4 billion for UKAEA.[5] In June 2003 the Department of Trade and Industry estimated that decommissioning costs, including the cost of running the facilities still in operation for their remaining life, were approximately £56 billion at 2003 prices, although the figure was 'almost certainly' expected to rise.[7] This estimate was revised in subsequent years; to £57 billion in September 2004; £63 billion in September 2005; £65 billion in March 2006; and to £73 million in March 2007.[8][9] Around £46 billion of the £73 billion is for the decommissioning and clean-up of the Sellafield site.[10] In May 2008 a senior director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority indicated that the figure of £73 billion might increase by several billion pounds.[11] [edit] British Energy In addition to the The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's costs, British Energy's liabilities in relation to spent nuclear fuels have risen. In February 2006 it was reported that these had increased to £5.3 billion, an increase of almost £1 billion.[12] The costs of handling these is to be met by the Nuclear Liabilities Fund (NLF), the successor to the Nuclear Generation Decommissioning Fund. Although British Energy contributes to the NLF, the fund is underwritten by the Government. The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee noted in 2007 that British Energy may lack an incentive to reduce the eventual liabilities falling to the Nuclear Liabilities Fund.[13]
  • Quote HEREN Energy Report
  • Main Energy Reviews.
  • Vulnerability of plants to attack Nuclear power plants are generally (although not always) considered "hard" targets. In the US, plants are surrounded by a double row of tall fences which are electronically monitored. The plant grounds are patrolled by a sizeable force of armed guards.[5] The NRC's "Design Basis Threat" criteria for plants is a secret, and so what size attacking force the plants are able to protect against is unknown. However, to scram a plant takes less than 5 seconds while unimpeded restart takes hours, severely hampering a terrorist force in a goal to release radioactivity. Attack from the air is a more problematic concern. The most important barrier against the release of radioactivity in the event of an aircraft strike is the containment building and its missile shield. The NRC's Chairman has said "Nuclear power plants are inherently robust structures that our studies show provide adequate protection in a hypothetical attack by an airplane. The NRC has also taken actions that require nuclear power plant operators to be able to manage large fires or explosions—no matter what has caused them."[6] In addition, supporters point to large studies carried out by the US Electric Power Research Institute that tested the robustness of both reactor and waste fuel storage, and found that they should be able to sustain a terrorist attack comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the USA. Spent fuel is usually housed inside the plant's "protected zone"[7] or a spent nuclear fuel shipping cask; stealing it for use in a "dirty bomb" is extremely difficult. Exposure to the intense radiation would almost certainly quickly incapacitate or kill anyone who attempts to do so.[8] Complexity Nuclear power plants are one of the most complex energy systems ever designed, [11] and opponents of nuclear power have cricitized the sophistication and complexity of the technology. In their assessment, "nuclear power is a very dangerous, expensive way to boil water to generate energy.. Low-level radioactive waste The nuclear industry also produces a volume of low-level radioactive waste in the form of contaminated items like clothing, hand tools, water purifier resins, and (upon decommissioning) the materials of which the reactor itself is built High level radioactive waste Spent fuel is highly radioactive and needs to be handled with great care and forethought. However, spent nuclear fuel becomes less radioactive over time. After 40 years, the radiation flux is 99.9% lower than it was the moment the spent fuel was removed, although still dangerously radioactive
  • Kingsnorth Power Station! Offshore wind farms – London Array
  • Nuclear Issues within UK

    1. 2. <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Why the need? </li></ul><ul><li>How the change came about </li></ul><ul><li>Key Factors to consider </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>Risks </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatives </li></ul>
    2. 3. United Kingdom operates 24 nuclear reactors generating one-fifth of its electricity UK's first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1956 and, at its peak in 1997, 26% of the nation's electricity was generated from nuclear power Two remaining Magnox nuclear stations and four of the seven AGR nuclear stations are currently planned to be closed by 2015
    3. 4. VIRTUAL MONOPOLY: British Energy manages and runs ALL the plants in UK. British Energy, the private sector company that now operates the UK's more modern nuclear plants, came close to bankruptcy and in 2004 was restructured with UK government investment of over £3 billion DECOMMISSIONING: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), formed in April 2005 under the Energy Act 2004, oversees and manages the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK's older Magnox power plants and the reprocessing facilities at Sellafield.
    4. 5. The Sites: As you can see the current sites are closing soon The Cost: The cost of energy in the global market is constantly rising
    5. 6. Depleting North Sea reserves: The production is constantly dropping from the North Sea which leaves UK susceptible to the precarious global Energy Market. Emerging economies: Along with other countries to consider we have these two economies to consider. With their breakneck speed growth they wont stop at anything to get their hands on supply!
    6. 7. 2002 energy review The immediate priorities of energy policy are likely to be most cost-effectively served by promoting energy efficiency and expanding the role of renewable. However, the options of new investment in nuclear power and in clean coal (through carbon sequestration) need to be kept open, and practical measures taken to do this. 2003 Energy White Paper Nuclear power is currently an important source of carbon-free electricity. However, its current economics make it an unattractive option for new, carbon-free generating capacity and there are also important issues of nuclear waste to be resolved. These issues include our legacy waste and continued waste arising from other sources. This white paper does not contain specific proposals for building new nuclear power stations. However we do not rule out the possibility that at some point in the future new nuclear build might be necessary if we are to meet our carbon targets. 2006 energy review In April 2005, advisers to British Prime Minister Tony Blair were suggesting that constructing new nuclear power stations would be the best way to meet the country's targets on reducing emissions of gases responsible for global warming. The energy policy of the United Kingdom has a near-term target of cutting emissions below 1997 levels by 20%, and a more ambitious target of a 60% cut by 2050 2008 go-ahead given
    7. 8. MONEY: With each plant’s cost associated at about a billion or thereabouts it’s a huge commitment. RIVALS: With some of the other key players aiming to enter the market it pays to be a diversified supplier. <ul><li>Public Opinion : </li></ul><ul><li>81% are concerned about climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>79% think their Government should do more to tackle global warming. </li></ul><ul><li>73% think that the UK is too dependent on fossil fuels. </li></ul><ul><li>77% think that the UK is too reliant on foreign oil. </li></ul><ul><li>87% think that a minimum 25% of electricity should be generated from renewable energy sources. </li></ul><ul><li>24% think that the Government should do more to expand nuclear power. </li></ul><ul><li>56% are concerned about nuclear power. </li></ul><ul><li>76% are concerned about carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries. </li></ul><ul><li>61% think it appropriate for developed countries to demand restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries. </li></ul>
    8. 9. Carbon Reductions: “ To put the UK on a path to cut carbon dioxide emissions by some 60% by about 2050, with real progress by 2020” Is this a feasible target or just a government agenda to please public and rest of the world? Society / Planet: To become an ethical provider who is high on peoples list of the companies that think about the environment and not just profits?
    9. 10. 1998 Deputy prime minister John Prescott signs agreement to progressively reduce concentrations of radioactive substances in the marine environment as a result of emissions from Sellafield. 2000 In February, the British Nuclear Fuels chief executive, John Taylor, resigns over a scandal relating to faked safety records at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria. 2002 Bradwell power station is shut down after 40 years of operation. 2003 The government's 2003 energy white paper highlights the lack of planned new nuclear plants to replace decommissioned ones, but rejects the technology, saying &quot;its current economics make it an unattractive option for new, carbon-free generating capacity&quot;. September 2004 The European commission launches legal action against the government over &quot;unacceptable&quot; failings in dealing with nuclear waste at Sellafield. May 2005 A leak of highly radioactive nuclear fuel forces the closure of Sellafield's Thorp reprocessing plant.
    10. 11. October 2005 The government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, voices his support for a nuclear power revival, saying there are economic as well as environmental reasons for a new generation of reactors. November 2005 The then prime minister, Tony Blair, commissions a second white paper on energy policy and confirms that a new generation of nuclear power station's is to be considered. He says nuclear power is once again a serious option because &quot;the facts have changed over the last couple of years&quot;. March 2006 The Sustainable Development Commission warns Tony Blair that there is &quot;no justification&quot; for a new nuclear programme. April 2006 The government's environment audit committee warns that a new generation of nuclear power stations would not be able to avert a serious energy crisis. The government has become &quot;too focused&quot; on nuclear energy, it says. October 2006 Greenpeace launched a court action claiming that the government's consultation was &quot;legally flawed&quot;.
    11. 12. July 2006 The new white paper confirms that nuclear power is back on the agenda. It says a mix of energy supplies is essential and that new nuclear power stations could make a significant contribution. The review says it will be up to the private sector to cover the costs of investment, decommissioning and storage of nuclear waste. Major power generators such as E.ON and EDF welcome what they call an &quot;important milestone&quot;. February 2007 Greenpeace wins its case and government launches a new consultation, which includes plans to treble the amount of electricity from renewable sources and signals a return to the government's nuclear agenda. A Guardian/ICM poll shows opponents of nuclear energy narrowly outnumber supporters, by 49% to 44%. November 2007 New prime minister, Gordon Brown, calls for an acceleration of nuclear power in a speech to business leaders. January 2008 The government announces its nuclear plans . It backs a new generation of nuclear power stations.

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