Nuclear Power

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Existing Nuclear Power Stations

In the UK, Électricité de France (EDF) operate seven Advanced Gas (cooled) Reactors (AGR):

  • Dungeness B
  • Hartlepool
  • Heysham 1
  • Heysham 2
  • Hinkley Point B
  • Hunterston B
  • Torness

plus one Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR)

  • Sizewell B

AGR is British technology, an (overly?) ambitious design to increase the operating temperature (compared to water-cooled types), by using a gas coolant (carbon dioxide, CO2). Higher temperature mean increased thermodynamic efficiency (i.e. more electricity output per unit of heat).

Constructed between the mid 1960's to the late 1980's they are now nearing the end of their design life and are all scheduled to be 'retired' during the next decade. For further information see the comprehensive Wikipedia article

Sizewell B, Britain's only Pressurised Water Reactor is a Westinghouse (US) design completed in 1995. It has a generating capacity of 1.2 GW (gigawatt). Sizewell B's accounting closure date is 2035, which EDF is seeking to extend to 2055. This would make it, along with Hinkley Point C (presently under construction) one of the last two nuclear power stations operating in the UK, post 2030

New-build Nuclear Power Stations

Hinkley Point C is the only new nuclear power station under construction in the UK. With a design capacity of 9 GW thermal, 3.2 GW electrical the plant has been criticised for cost and schedule overruns and the high 'strike price' offered by the UK government (£92.50 per MW-h)

Two other project proposals at Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire were cancelled by Hitachi in 2019

Nuclear energy with storage

Nuclear energy is normally regarded as base load, since it is not feasible to stop and start a nuclear reactor at short notice or even vary its output except within narrow limits. However, it is conceptually possible to close couple nuclear generation and compressed air energy storage as shown in this case study Nuclear + storage (original work by Fluke)

Mendeleev Program

The Mendeleev Program is novel proposal based on a desk study carried by Fluke. 17 million people in the UK live in large port cities and urban conurbations. These communities could be provided with low-carbon electricity and heat for space heating & domestic hot water by a fleet of permanently moored ship-based small modular nuclear reactors