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China is the Fastest growing Nuclear Power in the world

The CCP say that China has to stay with coal, but The West ought pay attention more to the rapid growth of nuclear power. Last September I noted that China was poised to be the largest global nuclear power by 2030, overtaking the USA in the next nine years. In the last twenty years, China has increased its fleet of nuclear power reactors from three to 49, with 17 more plants under construction. That means it will soon surpass France which has 57 reactors. At the rate the USA is closing plants, China may hit the No 1 spot faster than expected.

China has also opened an experimental fusion reactor called the Artificial Sun, while the ITER international consortium keeps delaying the opening of the French fusion experimental reactor.

Rise of Nuclear Power in China. Graph.

Rise of Nuclear Power in China.

It is sobering to know that despite the rapid growth of nuclear, it is still only 5% of the total energy supply in China.*

Electricity generation in 2019 increased by 5% compared with the previous year, to 7.3 PWh, according to figures published by the China Electricity Council. That from fossil fuels was 5045 TWh (69%), from hydro 1302 TWh (18%), nuclear 349 TWh (5%), wind 406 TWh (6%) and solar 224 TWh (3%).

World Nuclear Association

In 2012, China became the worlds largest power generator (from all forms of generation). Since then it’s nearly doubled.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that since 2012, China has been the country with the largest installed power capacity, and it has increased this by 85% since then to reach 2011 GWe in 2019, about a quarter of global capacity.

World Nuclear Association

The balance of power is shifting fast:

China has half the capacity of the USA in nuclear power, but it doubled capacity in the last five years while the USA closed 39 reactors:

China Will Lead The World In Nuclear Energy, Along With All Other Energy Sources, Sooner Than You Think

James Conca. Forbes, April 23, 2021

China now leads the world in total energy production and also produces almost twice the amount of electricity that the United States does, 4.4 trillion kWh versus 7.5 trillion kWh per year, respectively. As of this month, China has 49 nuclear reactors in operation with a capacity of 47.5 GW, third only to the United States and France. And 17 under construction with a capacity of 18.5 GW.

This is just about half of the nuclear capacity of the United States which has 94 nuclear reactors in operation with a capacity of 96.5 GW and 2 under construction with a capacity of 2.2 GW. But 39 reactors have been shutdown, many for no particularly good reason.

China lion statues, Taiwan.

The Chinese Lion advances.  | Image by AngMoKio

China is now largely self sufficient in building and operating nuclear plants.

China has most nuclear power plants in progress: industry report

by Gong Zhe, CGTN

China completed research and development on third-generation nuclear power technology called CAP1400 (Guohe One) in September 2020, according to an announcement by State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC). CAP1400 has broken overseas technology monopolies in many areas and owns independent intellectual property and export rights, said Lu Hongzao, assistant general manager of SPIC.

It will be a powerful provider of electricity. “For example, it can provide 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the grid. So basically it can provide nearly 13 billion kilowatts per hour annually.”

With a design life of 60 years, the CAP1400 nuclear reactor improves safety performance against natural disasters including earthquakes and floods by 100 times, compared with the second-generation version.

In December 2020, China turned on the Artificial Sun in Sichuan province

The group plan to collaborate with the  International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project — which is the worlds largest research project in fusion reactors, sited in France. The total cost of ITER was around $22b, half paid for by the EU and the rest by a consortium of Japan, China, South Korea, the USA and Russia. It was started in 2007 but after many delays and cost overruns, the French fusion reactor is not expected to start operating until 2027, 11 years late. Ain’t that the way?

The HL-2M Tokamak reactor i

The HL-2M Tokamak reactor

China turns on nuclear-powered ‘artificial sun’

China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time, state media reported Friday, marking a great advance in the country’s nuclear power research capabilities.

The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source. It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, according to the People’s Daily—approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun.

The future is surely fusion — one day, though there are many obstacles to overcome.

Australia could use that 300 year supply of coal now, while it’s still worth digging up.

China has a nuclear Belt and Road project too, Argentina, Iran, Pakistan:

Future projects are also being developed in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South America

Why China is eager to promote Nuclear Energy

Japan Times, 6 Dec 2020

In addition to the construction of plants within the country, China has also increased its presence as a major exporter of nuclear power. In 2013, Beijing set a policy of boosting exports of nuclear reactors as its national strategy, and has been promoting it along with its Belt and Road economic diplomacy initiative.

Since 2013, President Xi Jinping’s administration has been working on creating gigantic nuclear power firms through merging state-owned nuclear enterprises as a part of a national strategy to strengthen global competitiveness of the nation’s nuclear energy industry.

China has also been promoting the development of homegrown nuclear reactors. As well as pressurized water nuclear reactors such as Hualong One, the country is developing a multipurpose small modular reactor, known as ACP100, and a so-called fourth-generation high-temperature gas-cooled reactor and a fourth-generation fast breeder reactor.

Backed by such nuclear technology, China has been actively winning overseas contracts for nuclear power plant construction.

The contracts include China General Nuclear Power Corp. (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) signing an agreement in October 2015 to invest in a nuclear construction project at the Hinkley Point site in the United Kingdom, led by French energy group Electricite de France (EDF), followed by another deal between them to build a Hualong One reactor at the Bradwell nuclear site in the U.K.

China also signed a cooperation agreement with Argentina for the construction of a Hualong One reactor in that country and agreed with Iran to offer two nuclear reactors. Another Chinese-designed reactor is under construction in Pakistan.

China is also cooperating on ongoing projects in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America to construct Chinese-developed nuclear reactors and high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.

The growing influence of China as a nuclear exporter is the biggest factor in the structural changes to the international trade of nuclear power plants.

The West, asleep at the Wheel

*Many recent reports suggest nuclear power in China is still only generating 2 or 3% of the total. But the World Nuclear Association seemed to have the most detailed analysis.

9.6 out of 10 based on 55 ratings

115 comments to China is the Fastest growing Nuclear Power in the world

  • #
    el gordo

    This is a couple of years old and explains that the Belt and Road is designed to sell nuclear power stations.

    https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Nuclear-energy-is-a-key-part-of-China’s-Belt-and-R

    I see it as a new form of capitalism spearheaded by the State Owned Enterprises.

    52

    • #
      Klem

      Um, I see it more as an old form of Capitalism, spearheaded by a totalitarian state with the ultimate goal of global hegemony by 2050.

      111

      • #
        el gordo

        The SOE were pushed out of China when Beijing began to experiment with the free market.

        Would you prefer they stop the Belt and Road?

        19

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          El gordo,

          SOEs in China are a complex issue. Enterprises that may appear, superficially, to be part of the “private sector” by virtue of their listing on some stock exchange or other are still held closely and controlled by the CCP.

          The CCP tries to give the impression of winding back the numbers of SOEs. It’s propaganda.

          Many SOEs have been camouflaged by floating on the Shanghai, Shenzhen or Hong Kong stock exchange and so give the superficial impression that they’re “not really” SOEs. However, they are. They remain under the control of the CCP.

          In fact, if anything, the number has grown in the Xi Jingping era, and the control has tightened. Look no further than the report in the “South China Morning Post” of 8 January last year:

          According to the “provisional” regulation which took effect at the end of last week, a state-owned enterprise must include recognition of the Communist Party in its articles of association and a party organ must be created in any state firm that employs more than three Communist Party members.

          “All major business and management decisions must be discussed by the Communist Party organ before being presented to the board of directors or management for decision,” according to the regulation.

          Dozens of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong have altered their articles of association since 2016 to explicitly include the Communist Party in their corporate governance structure.

          And the other thing to remember about the CCP economic structure is that there is no such thing as “competitive neutrality” within the Chinese business environment. It’s not needed. Everything is controlled by the CCP. Internationally they like to give the impression that they are competing on a “level playing field”, however, a closer look will reveal that to be just another piece of CCP propaganda.

          https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3045053/china-cements-communist-partys-role-top-its-soes-should

          30

          • #
            el gordo

            The HSBC is typical of the genre, with its headquarters in Shanghai. The bank has a tremendous reach and can buy property and businesses everywhere, even in Australian country towns. This is a straight forward commercial proposition, but you can be sure if they move in to your town that Beijing has given the nod, its in their master plan.

            00

  • #
    el gordo

    Australia has turned its back on nuclear and is looking at green hydrogen with the assistance of natural gas.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-04/australia-first-net-zero-hybrid-power-station/100113910

    215

    • #

      El Gordo
      I have worked in industrial gases and the fact free posturing on hydrogen is totally and utterly ridiculous.

      Hydrogen is very difficult to store, its so light. If we use 200 bar tube packs then one can get up to a tonne of hydrogen into them, but you have to first separate the hydrogen from water by electrolysis. The economics are awful.

      Electrolysi (30% efficient – oops v inefficient), then compress it (theoretically one needs over 1000kW hr, probably at least 1600kWhr in practice) then, in this application, burn it in a turbine. And in this latter step if one has one of the combined cycle units its actually quite efficient at 65% but if, as often happens in backup situations, when one runs “open cycle” to be available immediately efficiency falls to 35%.

      So lets do the maths for Peter Fitz.

      1 unit of power drops to 0.3 units during electrolysis. lets assume the compression is “free”. Then we put the gas through on open cycle and we get around 0.1 units of power. ONLY 10% of the original power from the solar plant!!!! If we run more efficiently on combined cycle its 0.2 units of power. ONLY 20% of the original power.

      So if the renewable carpet bagger sells it to you for 5c per kwhr. Before making any money or covering plant costs you have to sell it at 50c per kWhr if on open cycle, at 25c per kWhr.

      My rate at home is 18c per kW hr and the business I work for gets it at 7c per kWhr.

      You can see this is a fast path to ruin and hopelessly uneconomic. But in usual style we will have some brain dead politician offer subsidies, from your pocket (not his/hers) to prop up this terrible scheme.

      570

      • #
        William Astley

        I agree and would add that wind and sun schemes need long term storage. As there are weeks and months in the summer when there is too much green energy and in the winter there are weeks and months when there is insufficient sun and wind.

        The questions to ask is not only efficiency. The amount of hydrogen that must be stored will kill the scheme and the length of time it must be stored to function as the magic battery.

        In the US, the Colorado hydrogen experiment, plans to the stored hydrogen in a cavern. There will be at least 10% loss to compress/transport the hydrogen from the cavern to power plant, loss of hydrogen into the cavern formation and leaks of hydrogen out of the piping/fittings.

        Use surplus wind/sun electricity to produce hydrogen: 30% efficiency
        Energy to store/transport hydrogen and hydrogen losses: 90% efficiency.
        Burn hydrogen with natural gas in a combined cycle power plant to produce electricity: 60% efficiency (not 65% efficiency)

        Total hydrogen scheme efficiency, assuming the hydrogen is burnt with natural gas in a combined cycle plant = 30% x 90% x 60% = 16.2%

        The hydrogen storage scheme is dead on arrival.

        330

      • #
        Ronin

        I agree with you 100% POB, I too have worked with H2 in an industrial setting and I just have to chuckle when these pelicans talk ‘ green hydrogen’, it is nasty stuff, leaks out of nearly everything, and I saw somewhere that it was touted that existing gas pipelines could be used for H2 service by merely installing a plastic liner, what the hell are they smoking.

        220

      • #
        PeterS

        Yes the problems of storing Hydrogen are well known and proven. However, they are coming up with at least one way to avoid storing Hydrogen in it’s natural from the first place. At the moment it’s using ammonia as the storage fuel and generating Hydrogen in real-time. I haven’t studied its drawbacks as I’m sure there are some to decided whether it’s a truly viable fuel generation approach. I’ll let the “experts” make that call. In any case, one still has to deal with the Hydrogen once generated to proceed to the point of ignition through pipes. That’s not a trivial issue. I rather have a leaking petrol line than a leaking Hydrogen line.

        30

      • #
        sophocles

        Prophet of Boom @ 2.1 says:

        The economics are awful.

        Hydrogen. Yeah right. What a bunch of fools!
        That’s why the Greenies have latched onto it.

        Economics? Que?
        That’s just an excuse. Tekker-nology will find a way of bulk splitting H2 off from whatever it’s attached to.
        They say ……the optimism of the ignorant.

        Dangerous? Nah nah nah! It’s Exciting!

        Did you know that hydrogen diffuses through glass?
        If you look that up, you may still be able to find the heaps and heaps of papers I found when answering a colleague’s question back in about 2006. Yes, there were even ones on laboratory pyrex and good lead crystalware.

        There is a good, no, an excellent/superb rule of thumb for storing hydrogen: don’t.
        Yes, it can be made, and stored, and transported, but sooner or later, it will go BANG. Humans seem to have an inbuilt need to make mistakes. Why else do we have the Darwin Awards?
        Sure: rockets have used it, but rockets still have majorly pyrotechnic accidents, and launching sites use rather large acreages..
        Anyone proposing a pure-hydrogen economy is a Darwin Award awaiting recognition.

        The safest method is to use (relatively) long chains of carbon atoms, like petrol, which is exactly what we do.

        How many times do we have to be dragged around this loop?

        00

        • #
          sophocles

          And thanks to China we have a Long March rocket dropping into the Tasman this afternoon … (maybe)

          -I’ve checked my house’s insurance policy and it hasn’t explicitly denied coverage for Chinese rockets …
          -I’ve dusted off my baseball bat (cheez: it took ages to find!)

          and armed with all these safety measures and my motorcycle’s protective helmet, I will be out there on the defensive~
          😀

          00

    • #
      Richard Owen No.3

      Weird logic; the station will use 5% hydrogen and ?** and that makes it “green” and carbon neutral.
      At least they will have another (gas fired) power station next door able to make the hydrogen.

      ** I assume they will use very hot air from the ABC.

      160

      • #
        el gordo

        Its a form of virtue signalling, natural gas is seen as a transition energy, all smoke and mirrors.

        42

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        I agree Richard ; 5% hydrogen ?! So what will that achieve . .
        My understanding is that fossil fuels are the dominant source for production of the hydrogen.
        Doesn’t sound very efficient to me . .
        And can someone explain the basis of the claims made for the new Tallawarra B gas powered Power Stn. What will be its capacity? Is it 300 MW or 1680 MW ?
        GeoffW

        20

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      Any Gas plant can burn up to 5% hydrogen, bit like ethanol in petrol.

      The point being missed here is that the energy released from burning hydrogen, and the energy used to collect and store hydrogen, make it a boutique fuel – good when you want to drive down to the artisanal, single origin, organic coffee shop, for your smashed avo on toast, with a soy double decaf cap

      41

      • #
        Richard Owen No.3

        We seem to have one too many Fitzroys here, and as your comment makes more sense I am assuming that you are the imposter.

        Intermittent Hydrolysis of water (with intermittent trenewables) to make hydrogen is only 38% efficient (theoretically). With compression, leaks etc. it means 3 units of electricity to generate one unit of energy in hydrogen, i.e. 3 times the price.
        There is also the problem that it takes 9 tons minimum of water to make a ton of hydrogen, so this proposed plant would use 1800 tons or 1,800,000 Litres of water.
        And you cannot use sea water as some optimistic but ignorant Greenies have sprouted.

        40

        • #
          Richard Owen No.3

          And one further thing, hydrogen is very light. Greenies like to say that hydrogen has almost 3 times the energy of the same weight of petrol, which is true.
          But take a semitrailor with a 200 litre tank of diesel or about 180 kg. The same VOLUME of liquid hydrogen would weigh 15 kg. so even with 3 times the energy wt/wt the range would only be a quarter of that with diesel.
          I hope your artisanal organic coffee is uphill from your return destination.

          11

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Surly this is good news, demonstrating the technical prowess which is now eclipsing that of the west.

    241

    • #
      el gordo

      A totalitarian regime is outperforming democracies, this benevolent dictatorship is dodgy. SOE’s are buying up the UK and Australia, should we be concerned?

      241

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Of course we should. We are being challenged on those fields where we have lost interest – basic science, technology, engineering and maths. These subjects should be free, Research should be subsidised. To coin a phrase – this is rocket science

        326

        • #

          Yes Peter, this is “good news” if you are a CCP Party member. Are you?

          411

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Pointing out that we in the west have lost the plot, does not make me a member of the CCP. A healthy society is open to criticism, your comment therefore confirms that this society is unhealthy. China, and Russia have always prioritised education, and now they are reaping the rewards.

            914

            • #
              TedM

              “Pointing out that we in the west have lost the plot, ” It is my opinion PF that you are the best example of that among those that comment on this blog.

              That is of course as I have stated above, simply my opinion.

              51

            • #
              PeterS

              Agree PF, we have indeed lost the plot, and in so many ways. That doesn’t mean the alternative, say communism, is better. Any knowledgeable and sensible person knows it’s far worse. Still, unless we change, we will suffer the consequences of our own delusion, which is a complete collapse. In time China will suffer the same fate but most likely it will replace the West before doing so.

              50

              • #
                Peter Fitzroy

                I don’t think communism is the answer either. We should applaud their successes, and redouble our own efforts to overtake them. Competition, after all is what makes democracy so powerful

                11

              • #
                PeterS

                PF that’s the most sensible comment I can recall coming from you. Of course it’s debatable as to what their successes are. I agree they have a few but they are far outweighed by their failures. We in the West have to opposite situation. We have many successes but the few failures we do have are now eating away like a cancer. So both systems are doomed. To get the best of both and not have any of the failures is pretty much impossible when mankind is involved.

                00

        • #

          Peter,
          If you were paying attention, you would notice that the same political idiocracy pushing green nonsense opposes nuclear power and is also attempting to cancel math and science because anything with only one correct answer must be racist. Do you really wonder why China is making such advances while the West is languishing in a ‘woke’ pool of green diarrhea?

          480

          • #
            el gordo

            Nuclear power production in Australia is unilaterally banned, nothing to do with the Greens.

            12

            • #
              Serp

              “Unilaterally”? In the past you have mentioned the relevant federal legislation proscribing the technology. What are those unilateral Acts again?

              20

              • #
                el gordo

                After Chernobyl the Australian electorate thought it prudent to abandon the idea of nuclear power and the Feds obliged. Any political party that has nuclear power on its platform will not be elected.

                27

              • #
                Kalm Keith

                “After Chernobyl”

                Well if you lump Chernobyl, Three Mile island and the latest from Japan the danger becomes apparent; politics being inextricably mixed with greed, aka The Swamp.

                When politicians don’t enforce correct construction of nuclear power plants, or later “agree” to extend the life of a plant “just a few more years” beyond the designated shut down date; or authorise construction in a sub optimal location, there’s very obviously a problem.

                Politicians faced with the choice of enforcement of Engineering imperatives or receiving a Benefit from a grateful plant owner will choose the latter.

                So many nuclear power plants have functioned around the world for decades that it is definitely something that can be done with safety with honest government.

                Coal fired power is still cheaper but we need to get a handle on nuclear generation to be up on the technology.

                Why is Australia driven into the ground by politics.

                90

              • #
                PeterS

                el gordo, that proves my point that “we the people” are to blame for allowing our governments to neglect the most viable, sensible, cost effective solution to zero emissions; nuclear. Oh, of course the zero emissions saga is fake so “we the people” are doubly to blame for allowing our governments to continue with the scam and the hoax of CAGW. So, stop blaming governments that are duly elected by the people. The real buck stops with the people who keep voting them into power under our democratic system of elections thus supporting their fake policies. If there is a better way to elect governments please let us know.

                10

              • #
                el gordo

                ‘ .. the most viable, sensible, cost effective solution to zero emissions; nuclear.’

                Germany can build a nuclear power plant for $30 billion and the Chinese say they will do it for $10 billion, what should we do?

                Much wiser to stay with coal and forget global warming, its not happening.

                21

              • #
                PeterS

                el gordo yes forget about global warming and focus on coal but you are missing the reasons why we are not doing so. There are three delusions. Unless we fix all three there is no point continuing the pretence the West can avoid a crash and burn scenario.
                Delusion #1: The world is going to end catastrophically due to man-made global warming unless we do something about it.
                Delusion #2: The West and only the West need to do something about it.
                Delusion #3: The cost of nuclear is greater than that of renewables so we must focus on renewables.
                All three delusions are slingshotting the West to its economic and financial doom unless “we the people” wake up and vote with our feet.
                Fact #1: The world is not going to end due to man-made global warming.
                Fact #2: The West alone could cease to exist today and it will have virtually no impact on the climate.
                Fact #3: The real cost of nuclear is far less than the real cost of renewables due to a number of factors yet we are avoiding nuclear like the plague and embracing renewables as though it’s free.
                Conclusion: Stupid is as stupid does.

                61

              • #
                el gordo

                Just ignore the propaganda and focus on the end game, global warming has come to an end and by this time next year it will become obvious. So coal fired power stations will come back into vogue, the world is saved.

                10

            • #
              TedM

              Unfortunately the “green slime” oozes into all political parties and forums.

              20

          • #

            did the greens form government?

            16

            • #

              mods – bolding accidental

              11

            • #
              ando

              Have greens (and like minded leftists) infiltrated the laboral party, govt organisations (BOM, CSIRO, fisheries, parks, etc, etc) and local councils?

              90

            • #
              DOC

              The greens don’t have to form government.

              Their power comes from the fact that either of the main political parties have traditionally won elections on the slimmest margins. The green vote can give government to either side. It then holds enormous power over such a government, well above the vote status of the individual.

              Politically there is now seen to be a moral power in declaring, pre-election, that a Party will not take government if it requires dealing with such individuals. This is a declaration by politicians recognising they don’t support most of the green movement, that most of the population don’t either and they won’t empower the greens extremes as the price of attaining government nor tolerate the internal Party division such a setup creates.

              10

    • #
      Len

      Also eclipsed the West in Voter fraud and controlling US Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Military

      170

      • #
        David Maddison

        Peter, surely you are strongly opposed to nuclear power as you are for coal.

        Why do you support the Chicomms using both?

        60

    • #
      Ronin

      Nothing the [the chinese] do is ‘good news’, bastard neighbours from hell, how about the 20 tonne Chinese rocket booster about to crash to earth a couple of days either side of 10th May, no on knows when or where it will hit Earth.

      80

      • #
        Yonniestone.

        I’d be more concerned with China’s nuclear weapons than power generation, but I’m sure the UN’s Hans Blix will keep them in check.

        Oh no just saw this tragic news! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TEvacFETvM

        30

        • #
          glen Michel

          The question should be asked:does China have nuclear warheads targeting Australian cities? If so, is anyone concerned? Just contemplating the possible or otherwise.

          20

    • #
      Gary Simpson

      I think the chicomms realised long ago that rather than wait for their vast population to get educated (as opposed to re-educated), it was far easier and faster to simply steal knowledge from more advanced western democracies.

      20

      • #
        RickWill

        China started sending their students out into western universities to gain an education decades ago. Those students were obliged to return home so they put their education to good use.

        China is rapidly outpacing the western world in technology. There is not much used in the western world that is not made in China.

        There is nothing like actually building stuff to gain expertise. China has enough well educated people to be the best at whatever they choose to do.

        About 15 years ago, I spent a week on a business trip to China. I was surprised by all the children already in school by 8am as I walked to the office. I was similarly surprised with many children still at school after 5pm when I was heading back to the hotel. The linked is a graphic showing how Chinese school days ratchet up as the children get older:
        http://hechingered.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/chinastudent.jpg

        Chinese work hard and smart.

        20

  • #
    John R Smith

    China Blindness.
    A very carefully engineered political contagion, clinically acute only among Western political elites, that results in looking the other way while the CCP steals our lunch.
    Net zero for us.
    Who knows for Hunter’s bank account.
    (Wonder what Dad expected him to hunt?)
    Just kidding.

    220

  • #

    Fusion, or some equivalent technology, is the future and every cent wasted on “renewables” and pathetic schemes to prop up these obviously inane “technologies” takes us backwards. For the foreseeable future, fossil fueled power generation is the only viable way to maintain our civilization.

    340

    • #
      Klem

      I read recently that fusion is only 20 years away. Hahaha!

      40

      • #

        Not much of a problem when we have hundreds of years worth of proven coal reserves.

        50

        • #
          Serp

          I suppose after we rebuild the education system the populace will recognize the utter falsity of the beliefs driving criminalization of coal; anybody’s guess how long a wait that will be.

          30

          • #
            Gary Simpson

            Agreed, Serp, the dumbing down of our society is almost complete, as reported to me by my wife who works in the government school system in Victoria. Of course, that is just the way it has been planned all along by those who have infiltrated our institutions with the express intent of dumbing them down. Only way they could win.

            20

        • #
          RickWill

          Who has hundreds of years worth of proven coal reserves? China’s proven reserves would last 30 years at their current rate of consumption.

          Hopefully China will get fusion sorted before the world runs out of fossil fuels.

          01

      • #
        Richard Owen No.3

        Klem:
        Was that the 1955 or the 1975 or the 1998 prediction?

        40

      • #
        czechlist

        Just like all the dire climate predictions.
        I was offered work at both LLivermore NL and Los Alamos NL in 1975. One of many reasons I didn’t accept was they were predicting breakeven within a few years and then I would have to seek other employment. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

        30

  • #
    Peter C

    The future is surely fusion — one day, though there are many obstacles to overcome.

    Why is Nuclear Fusion energy so wonderful and desirable?

    Nuclear Fission is here and now. It works. It has been proven and has widespread use. It is comparatively easy to do. There are many improvements that can be made with Fission such as nuclear waste reprocessing. Lest put our efforts there and get on with it.

    210

    • #
      Anton

      Why fusion? Because fission is not failsafe, there is a limited amount of suitable fuel and it is in politically unstable places, and the byproducts of fission are far more noxious.

      61

      • #
        Peter C

        Thanks Anton,

        Can you elaborate?

        Newer generation Fission reactors are designed with failsafe from the outset. Fuel seems to be plentiful, especially if Thorium is included. Uranium Ore in commercial grades found in Australia, Canada and Kazakstan among other places.

        Byproducts of Fusion?

        90

        • #
          Anton

          As you say – designed with failsafe. Fusion reactors need no design to be failsafe. The hard part is to keep the plasma stable and if something goes wrong it just splats against the wall and that’s an end to it. With a chain reaction (as in nuclear fission) you need mechanisms that maintain it such that it neither fizzles out nor goes runaway. If that mechanism goes wrong, can you guarantee – absolutely guarantee in all circumstances – that it will revert to fizzling out rather than going runaway?

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            Peter C

            Ok. Fusion Failsafe; It fizzles out. So far that is all that happens when the input power is turned off.

            What about by products. So far the only successful fusion experiments are thermonuclear bombs. They seem to produce a lot of nasty byproducts.

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              Anton

              Bombs are fission-fusion-fission designs. Fusion reactors are pure fusion. Most of the nasty byproducts are from the fission.

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        Ronin

        The newer design SMRs are failsafe, if they lose connection to the grid, they do not need supplemental cooling, passive cooling is sufficient, made in modules of about 300 MWe.

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          RickWill

          What does a 300MWe SMR cost and where are most of them in service?

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            Peter C

            What does a 300MWe SMR cost

            Guesstimates only. They do not compete favorably with drown coal power stations on cost.

            where are most of them in service?

            Err now where so far.

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    Flok

    Oh dear, made in China… no thanks

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    This article should be a wake up call to the Western Democracies. Yet the leadership seems oblivious, mesmerised by the climate change issue. Unless we change course our offspring will have to learn Chinese.

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    Serge Wright

    I don’t really think the west is asleep at the wheel. The problem is that the wheel has been hijacked by a bunch of ideologically crazed green Marxists that seek to ban any technology that has a chance of providing cost effective 24/7 grid energy. The obvious solution is to round up every last Marxist and ship them to China or North Korea where they can be put to more useful work in a Labor camp of their choice, but alas …. 🙁

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    Australia coal will always keep it value. Even when all powergeneration is from nuclear, coal will be used to make synthetic fuels for aviation and shipping.

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    David Wojick

    I wonder what the numbers by country are for nuclear powered vessels?

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    […] This article should give us all cause to think. While we obsess over fears of global warming, the Chinese, while paying lip-service to GW, are continuing to rapidly develop on all fronts, including nuclear fusion where they seem to have developed a big lead over the West.  […]

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    Philip

    Two things win wars. One is supply, the other is energy.

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      czechlist

      One of the greatest assets the WWII allies had was East Texas oil.
      Still waiting for our reparations!

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    Anton

    The HL-2M tokamak is a very long way from the West’s best devices. It is tiny compared to ITER, and the new materials that remain superconducting while larger currents are passed through them, which allow miniaturisation of the toroidal field coils beyond what ITER’s designer’s foresaw, are not used; HL-2M merely has copper coils.

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      Thanks Anton. Any further insights into the Chinese Fusion reactor are welcome. Does it have much chance of success, or is it more of a training ground to gain expertise?

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        Lance

        The HL-2M Tokamak is more of a research project than an attempt at commercialization.

        https://hackaday.com/2020/01/23/nuclear-fusion-at-100-the-hidden-race-for-energy-supremacy/

        HL-2M is the current iteration of the HL-2A.

        https://www.iter.org/sci/tkmkresearch

        A competitor is the KSTAR tokamak. It ran for 20 sec and is also in development.

        https://phys.org/news/2020-12-korean-artificial-sun-world-sec-long.html

        It seems viable fusion is always 20 yrs from whenever a claim is made. Wait and see is probably best bet.

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        Lance

        The fusion reaction will proceed first with hydrogen, then deuterium, then with deuterium + tritium.

        https://www.iter.org/mach/FuelCycle

        Both the HL-2M and KSTAR projects are helping to understand how to do this successfully and in a controlled manner.

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          Anton

          Will HL-2M explore any regions of parameter space that other tokamaks have not yet covered, or will it explore parameter space when some of the bells and whistles needed to extract energy are also present?

          You say that viable fusion is always 20 years ahead, but that is because research to date has been government-controlled and governments are slowwwww. Until this century it was believed that scale-up to fusion would involve machines as large as ITER, a collaboration of big governments currently being built (slowly!) in the south of France. Happily, new materials have been invented/discovered which remain superconducting while passing high electric currents (and consequently tolerating large magnetic fields), allowing scaledown and privately funded projects with a much nimbler timescale. Tokamak Energy in Oxfordshire is one (its boss was in my year at university), but there are several others worldwide.

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    Kevin kilty

    Australia could use that 300 year supply of coal now, while it’s still worth digging up.

    This is a bit off topic, but is an interesting tale of why one should “strike while the iron is hot”, or put another way, why is is economic folly to forceably “conserve” a mineral resource under the assumption it will be worth more in the future.

    There was a silver mine at Lusk, Wyoming — a town on the high plains that is about the least likely place for a metals deposit on the planet. Why the ore occured there I can explain but is a tangential issue. The silver mine closed before WWI. About 1919 someone noticed the rock on the mine dump had a yellow colored dusty coating. He had it assayed, found it was carnotite, and then quietly leased the dump and began shipping what now had become radium ore. When the original owners found out that their lessee was earning nearly $20,000 per railcar load for the radium in the dump materials, they got an injunction to stop the reclaiming of the dump, and sued to regain title.

    The case dragged on for years. In 1923 the radium rich ores of the Belgian Congo were discovered. By the time the title to the dump in Lusk was returned to the original owners in 1926, the dump was worthless again. State geologist called it the most idiotic and destructive litigation of all time.

    By the way, the uranium concentrate from this ore probably ended up under the pavement on South Broadway St. in Denver, Colorado, which had to be cleaned up in the 1980s.

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    David Maddison

    Isn’t it odd that the “useful idiots” of the West are strongly opposed to both nuclear power and coal power and yet remain utterly silent in terms of criticism about China’s implementation of these technologies.

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      Ronin

      Makes it obvious whose team they are on, every time.

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      Serp

      Remember Biden’s dictum Truth Beats Facts, Facebook and Twitter suppressing facts –the fact has become an endangered species as I see it. Turnbull thinks one can legislate scientific laws, an idiot like that is likely to outlaw facts.

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    Graeme#4

    There are four new nuclear power plants being built in China for US$10.4bn total cost. However, they may not be using the latest nuclear technology. Still a cheap build though.

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    Flok

    Perhaps another perspective looking at the quick statistics

    China per capita produces 5,200kWh

    US per capita produces 12,100kWh

    Australia per capita produces 10,400kWh

    Is China doing more with less power or is US and Australia doing less with more power?

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      Furiously curious

      If it is just up to numbers, Chinese citizenry are just getting less with less power. I’ve friends who are enchanted with sitting around campfires, beating sticks. It’s a philosophical question, is our lifestyle wasteful? There are an awful lot of people still struggling.

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      Ronin

      Populated centers have power, rural areas burn dung, kero lights.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        Access to electricity (% of population) in China was reported at 100 % in 2018, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources.

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          Sceptical Sam

          So, given your belief in CCP officially recognized and sourced propaganda, what accounts for the difference, Peter?

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    Furiously curious

    Michael Shellenberger mentioned a visit to China, with I think might have been a Bill Gates delegation, and how they were assured by the Chinese, who were doing almost all the nuclear plant research on the planet at the time, that things were awfully difficult, and it would be at least 2035 before anything much could happen. A great way to discourage competition?
    But yeah Chinese quality is leaving a bit to be desired, isn’t it. It is cheap though?! I dont know about comparable size, but $10 bill for a Chinese reactor, compared to Korean and Russian builds in the Middle East at $30 bill. Must be size?

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      Ronin

      Cheap Chinese reactor, no thanks, stainless that rusts, welds that crack, why would you do it.

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      David

      I visited a Chinese NP plant at Daya Bay about 12 years ago. They had 2 plants operating and were building, I think, 4 more. Each about 1000 megawatts. Supplied Hong Kong and local China province.
      The plant was run exceptionally well. It was rated by its peers ( others in the NP industry including those in western countries) as in the top 90% for efficiency, safety etc. The cooling water was cooled by a very large channel of ocean water which had a difference of only 1degC between input and output. Teams of skilled personnel ran the control room, with one team always on training in a mock up training room identical to the real one.
      Generally came away impressed.

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    Furiously curious

    Isn’t it possible to refine all the same stuff out of coal that you can from hydrocarbons? If so it ain’t ever gonna be useless?

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      Flok

      Tough question

      that would be optimised use of all resources and by-products.

      If the business model is power generation and revenue is a charge per kWh, everything else is a waste at cost.

      Same with a gold mine, gold extraction is a priority and regardless of other metals they are disposed as tailing at cost.

      To optimise all resources and by-products would mean higher standard of environmental compliance or setting of new standards. Cost verses benefit.

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      Richard Owen No.3

      Furiously curious:

      Up until 1951 more chemicals (tonnage) was made from coal not petroleum. In fact brown coal is still used in Germany for things where oil or gas can’t compete. Production from natural gas came later when its cost dropped.

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    James

    “For example, it can provide 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the grid. So basically it can provide nearly 13 billion kilowatts per hour annually.”

    Someone struggling with the difference between kilowatt hours and kilowatts …… ?

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      Sceptical Sam

      Gong Zhe is correct.

      1.5 million kWh x 24 hours x 365 days = Gong Zhe’s annual figure.

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    David Maddison

    Australia is the world’s third largest producer and exporter of uranium and sells uranium to China.

    And yet Australia is too terrified to use nuclear power itself.

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    David Maddison

    The Chicomms are long range thinkers, unlike Westerners and especially Australians.

    Even if the West imposes future sanctions on China they have accumulated an inventory of at least 100,000 tonnes for nuclear power and weapons.

    https://www.neimagazine.com/opinion/opinionuranium-what-are-the-dynamics-between-china-and-kazakhstan-5924884/

    China therefore now has a strategic uranium inventory of at least 100,000t. Building this up has been a key element in China’s nuclear strategy. Relatively poor domestic uranium resources have long been the biggest fear within China about undertaking a large nuclear programme. Could it be excluded from the world uranium market by economic sanctions?

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    dinn, rob

    try this viewpoint: instead the people became lax https://balance10.blogspot.com/2021/05/instead-people-became-lax.html

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    When it comes to the technological aspect in all this, there was something I noticed very early on, when I found reliable Chinese sites, and used the correct translator facility.

    There is a point to this, relating directly to those ‘nukes’ being constructed in China.

    I thoroughly researched the Huge Three Gorges Dam, and that’s where I found something somewhat enlightening.

    When I was an Electrical Trades Instructor with the RAAF at Wagga Wagga, we would occasionally take a ‘Course’ for a trip up to visit the Tumut Three Hydro Plant, and I was amazed at the size of it all, and how hydro worked. The head of water, The Francis Turbine, and the generator mounted directly above the Turbine. It was an eye opening thing to just tour through the Turbine Hall, where just the tops of those six generators poked out through the floor. Now, each of those turbines was 300MW, and I thought they were big.

    When I researched Three Gorges, well, those generators also mounted on top of Francis Turbines were 700MW each, and there are 32 of them.

    However, what intrigued me the most was that there was a deal done with the ‘big guys’.

    The first two were jointly constructed by a triple Joint venture with Alstom etc, and the second by VGS. (Voith, GE, and Siemens) That’s four of the biggest names in power generation manufacture on the Planet. However, with each of the two, a separate Chinese venture joined in the work, one Company with the first, and the second Company with that second group. A Contract for technology transfer was signed as part of both deals. From then on, the Chinese Companies did all the work, especially the manufacture of the equipment, foremost among that, the construction of those Generators, and if you see one of them, they are literally, monsters. (See the image at this link) As you look at that image, imagine the weight on the bearings. And here’s an image of the Francis Turbine.

    From there, China Hydro just powered on, literally.

    However, what the Chinese have done is to ‘get more’ out of those generators, first up to 770MW, then 850MW and now 1000MW.

    Okay, that’s where I found out about those technology transfers.

    The same has happened with those USC coal fired plants, and now, I might suggest that the Chinese lead the World in USC plant construction and operation.

    Exactly the same technology transfer thing has happened with their Nuclear plants as well, and that’s now why they are being constructed in their numbers.

    Those technology transfer deals are now part and parcel of all of these power plant engineering in China.

    It’s also why those other Countries, as part of ‘Belt and Road’, are going to China for the construction of new power plants, because the Chinese now have a much faster construction time, can do it cheaper, and are probably now the World Leaders in most aspects of power generation.

    Tony.

    Oh, incidentally, after last year’s high rainfall, Three Gorges delivered 120TWH of power into the Chinese grid, and that’s 59% of the power consumption/generation from every power source in Australia. You have (Macarthur) 140 X 3MW turbines for a Nameplate of 420MW, and Three Gorges with a Nameplate of 22,500MW. (just sayin’)

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    Colin Spencer

    Some very credible facts mentioned in the comments above. With regard to State Owned Enterprises, perhaps some people have not been privy to the rapid changes in the PRC during the past thirty years. During the 1980s and 1990s, foreign enterprises would be required to have a 51% or more Chinese joint partner, usually and SOE, until the list of Chinese billionaires grew sufficiently. In the latter half of the 1990s many of the corporations with 51% SOE ownership were offered to privately owned Chinese corporations, and to selected foreign investors. I can recall my olf friend in Singapore buying control of 17 large businesses in China, buying the state owned majority ownership. Those companies included a state of the art ship building enterprise, a modern steel works, Nike manufacturing company and so on. Only six or seven of the businesses were profitable, but the rest made the deal attractive. My old friend from Singapore ( he passed away at 96 years of age a few years ago ) was a Nationalist Chinese fighter pilot during WWII, fighting the Japanese. He was arrested and locked up for three years when Mao took over, then ejected from China, moving to Singapore. He founded an air freight business called the Flying Tigers, which later became Singapore Airlines. Strangely enough, he was welcomed in China in modern times and recognised for his fame and success.

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    Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Fission need not require Uranium. A few years ago, I read about a Hydrogen-Boron reaction cycle, which was being developed here in Australia! This produced helium and energy, but not gamma radiation! At the moment, it is all theory, but the future looks promising for nuclear energy.

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      sophocles

      Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray said:

      Fission need not require Uranium

      No, it doesn’t. Modern nuclear plants don’t need storage for used fuel rods nor fuel-rod reprocessing or disposal.

      But nuclear energy is going nowhere while the public is ignorant of the modern safe technologies. Just mention “nuclear” and you hear all the faiings of the 1950’s to 1960’s designs for the pressurised water cooled reactors — the “submarine reactors” — and nothing else.
      LFTR (Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactor) technology is particularly safe. Molten Salt Thorium reactors have been proposed for over a decade now.
      https://www.ted.com/talks/kirk_sorensen_thorium_an_alternative_nuclear_fuel

      Why do you think China has built and is building so many reactors?

      see Kirk Sorensen’s TED talk

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    […] Yes, the Big China Lie is, at root, a simple head fake no one in the know truly believes, but plenty who don’t know are thrilled to believe. Yes, Thomas L. Friedman and New York Times readers, I’m talking about you. You are dupes or worse. Communist China, when it’s not engaging in genocidal destruction of the Uighurs among its population, is building coal plants. But, it’s not just coal plants, according to the great JoNova: […]

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    CHRIS

    Australia has almost half of the world’s U deposits. Place a moratorium on any U and Fe ore exports to China, and turn back the coal ships lying off the China coast. Hit this mongrel regime where it hurts. But of course, we have Neville Chamberlains for politicians, so unfortunately it ain’t gonna happen.

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