UK politico proposes site for prototype nuclear fusion plant
UK business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has proposed building the UK’s first nuclear fusion power plant in a center of industrial decline.
His government has selected the site of West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire to house Britain’s first Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) prototype fusion energy plant, to be complete in about 17 years.
In 1983 Jerry Falwell attacked the nuclear freeze movement with a “prophecy packet” (two tapes and a pamphlet) entitled “Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ.” As Falwell states in his pamphlet, “the one brings thoughts of fear, destruction, and death while the other brings thoughts of joy, hope, and life. They almost seem inconsistent with one another. Yet, they are indelibly intertwined.” Falwell, like many of his fellow dispensationalists, believes he will be raptured before nuclear war breaks out.
_Uranium fuel producer Cameco Corp and investment firm Brookfield Renewable Partners intend to buy Westinghouse Electric Company in a bid to accelerate a nuclear power resurgence. _
The deal will cost the pair (and Brookfield Renewable’s unnamed institutional partners) $7.85 billion, including $4.5 billion in equity and the remainder in assuming the company’s debts. Westinghouse president and CEO Patrick Fragman says the agreement kickstarts a new chapter, not only for Westinghouse Electric Company, but for nuclear power as well.
Energy firms Helen and Fortum are considering building small-scale nuclear reactors, Helsingin Sanomat reports.
As the energy crisis looms over Europe and Finland, nuclear energy is increasingly seen as a viable alternative.
However, a major concern is the long timeline associated with traditionally large power plants. For example, Olkiluoto 3 took 17 years to build and cost nearly three times as much before its completion. The nuclear power plant was completed earlier this year and is set to begin full energy production in December.
One of the major projects currently being researched in Finland is a small-scale nuclear power plant designed for district heating undertaken by LUT University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).
HS writes that Fortum has planned to launch a two-year study this week on the conditions for additional small nuclear power—and nuclear power in general—in Finland and Sweden.
“There are now big ambitions for small-scale nuclear power, but it is important that we proceed very carefully and do not rush headlong in one direction or another,” Executive Vice President for Generation at Fortum Simon-Erik Ollus told HS.
One of the biggest hurdles for nuclear energy is the legislation surrounding it. Finland’s current nuclear energy law assumes that each nuclear reactor must go through a cumbersome decision-in-principle and licensing process separately.
The current Fortum-owned and operated nuclear power plant has an output of 500 megawatts. The LUT University-VTT nuclear project in comparison would have an output between 20-50 megawatts, which would be enough power to heat a city the size of Lappeenranta, or roughly 70,000 people.
For the non-Finns, all the bigger cities and towns in Finland have district heating systems. You generate heat centrally, then pipe it around in insulated pipes underground, and houses and offices and apartment buildings etc. have heat exchangers that heat up their own central heating (typically water heating for private houses and apartments).
Small nuclear plants that produce heat only would be extremely useful for these purposes, providing cheap and stable baseline heat load. And because they would lack generators and steam turbines, they would be much simpler and cheaper to build.