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May 28, 2008

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rwendland

NB Flagging the largest "source of intermittence" could help the green agenda a bit. Much is made of the unpredictability of wind-power, but that is overstated and gradual in effect. The largest nuclear power station is in fact the largest source of intermittence largely defining the amount of (expensive) spinning reserve the Grid needs. I wonder if this extra spinning reserve cost is properly factored into the nuclear cost case.

rwendland

The topicality of the week's power outage must be tempting for an EDM. There is something fishy about the whole episode, the Grid should have coped with it quite easily but didn't:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4021079.ece

and more interesting comments from a blogger inside the financial side of the energy industry:

http://cityunslicker.blogspot.com/2008/05/power-cuts-its-bad.html

I wonder if it is something MPs should look into. I suspect there are strange financial interests involved - wholesale prices reached their highest ever levels apparently following the outage, so I suspect some might have done well from the episode.

How about an EDM pointing out that the Grid couldn't cope with 1188 MWatt Sizewell B dropping out without some outage, so what assurance do we have that the Grid could cope from new larger 1600 MWatt EPRs "source of intermittence" when they drop out, as they will do on occasion?

Large new PWRs bring something new for the Grid to cope with. Our AGR nuclear power plants may be clapped out and expensive, but they did have two reactors per unit so the "source of intermittence" was under half half the MW of the new proposed PWRs.

Pau Flynn

Thanks rwendland again. Nuclear bad news is rarely reported. I'm thinking of putting down a few EDMS next week on the deceptions of the nuclear industry from ZETA, 'too cheap to meter' reprocessing and £73Billion plus clean-up costs, Finland delays. Any ideas?

Pau Flynn

Thanks dotcommentator. The NUT 's press release repeated a tabloid lie. MPs are in enough trouble anyway, without people accusuing us of new outrages that we have not committed. If any scheme like this is approved, it will not be inflationary. It will get through is the total sum is less that what MPs now get.

I have now seen Private Eye. Thanks for letting me. It balances out the embarrassment because I was praised by the Daily Mail for my questioning of Richard Caborn

rwendland

On the blackout topic, rather predictably the press didn't pick up the point that nuclear power caused that outage. Sizewell B is the UKs largest generation "source of intermittence" (1188 MWatts), largely defining the UK grids spinning reserve reqt. Other power plants are larger overall, but configured so they don't all drop out from a single point of failure (having multiple boilers etc).

If we didn't have Sizewell B, quite possibly the grid would have coped with any other double failure without an outage.

With an EPR the spinning reserve etc will have to be enlarged to cope with 1600 MW generation dropout.

BTW on EPR this week, the French regulator ordered concrete pouring to stop at Flamanville because of cracks and "lack of rigour in the execution of the works":

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSL2762459720080527

dotcommentator

It is very worrying that those charged with teaching our youngsters take the Daily (Hate) Mail's shriekings as gospel truth.

Incidentally, if you were not already aware, there's an honourable mention of you in the latest Private Eye about your questions to Richard Caborn and his involvement with Amec.

Paul Flynn

Thank you Derek. It is baffling. Gordon is highly intelligent and perceptive. how can he be blind to the perpetual failures of nuclear power that dwarf any possible losses from Northern Rock? After all, this is money lost on an oceanic scale.

Derek Wall

Scary I seem to have stumbled on labour MPS I agree with (other than John McDonnell who I think I always agree with!)...cost is one issue and I think a resurgent non violent direct action movement is another...but the Brown lack of vision is astonishing...ok I am biased as I am in another political party but the cost of all this is mad.

Britain's oil was squandered when it could have funded renewables and an investment in low carbon public transport..

like the cartoon as well

paulflynn

Thanks Jon. About this time last year, Gordon Brown announced that he was in favour of continuing to pour £billions into Trident and nuclear power. It was the end for me. I was one of only 30 MPs who did not nominate him.

I cannot understand why he has been bewitched by the Pied Piper allure of the nuclear deception.

Jon Worth

Spot on - as ever - on the nuclear issue. Compounded also with the blackouts due to Sizewell B's problems today. Keep up your efforts to oppose Brown on nuclear!

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