Nuclear Plants WW Starting to Show Their Age
image credit: Bloomberg
- Dec 28, 2019 6:01 pm GMT
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The 2019 year-end news for nuclear WW has not been good.
Often mentioned as a nuclear success story Switzerland is shutting down a 47 year old nuclear plant.
The 47-year-old Mühleberg nuclear power plant, near Bern, was permanently switched off on Friday. This is the first of five Swiss nuclear power reactor to be decommissioned.
The plant will be completely decommissioned by 200 people over a 15-year period, starting on January 6, 2020. It is expected to cost CHF1.4 billion ($1.4 billion) to totally dismantle the plant and manage the radioactive waste.
Transport and Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga tweeted that the future belonged to local, clean energy from the water and the sun.
Switzerland’s government has said it would build no new nuclear reactors and decommission its existing plants at their end of their lifespan.
At the end of the year, Ringhals 2 will shut down operations and stop supplying electricity to the Swedish power grid. The two Ringhals reactors that will shutdown in 2019/2020 are 45 years old.
The final shutdown of Ringhals 2 began back in September, when the plant went into a phase called coast down. This means that the reactor output falls as the energy in the fuel decreases. In November the output fell to below 50 per cent and one of the turbines was taken out of operation. On 30 December the other turbine will also be shut down and electricity generation will cease.
The decision to close two reactors at Ringhals was taken in 2015. Reactor 2 is to close this year and reactor 1 next year, 2020, which means that the reactors will close five years earlier than originally planned.
S. Korea to permanently shut down 2nd nuclear reactor. THe Wolsong-1 reactor that is closing is 37 years old.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission approved an application to permanently close the Wolsong-1 reactor in Gyeongju, about 370 km southeast of the capital Seoul. It followed the shutdown of the Kori-1 reactor in 2017.
The Wolsong-1 reactor started commercial operation in 1983, and its 30-year operational license was extended for 10 more years through 2022.
The early closure decision was made amid the falling operational rate and the growing maintenance costs for the decrepit reactor.
Under a long-term energy plan to lower dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power while using more sustainable energy sources, the South Korean government planned to retire 11 out of 24 nuclear reactors in the country by the end of 2030.
Currently there are 94 reactors WW that are 40 or older. The number of reactors 40+ will explode over the next decade. With only 53 plants currently under construction - it is going to be tough for Nuclear generation WW to grow.