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Ontario Nuclear update #5387948 03/28/20 01:42 PM
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OVERKILL Offline OP
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A few updates for those interested:

Darlington:
- DNGS Unit 2 refurbishment: Construction is 100% done, so the unit will now go through hot testing then brought back into service for the next 35-40+ years.
- DNGS Unit 3 refurbishment: Turn-down has been postponed due to the current pandemic, so the unit continues to operate. Unit 2 may be back online before Unit 3 goes down now and so DNGS may have 4x units operating again for a period.
- DNGS Unit 1: Is now at almost 800 days of uninterrupted generation:
[Linked Image]

Credit to @TomHess_ on twitter for the above graphic, former grid operations at Ontario Hydro.

Bruce:
- Some notable uptimes as well including 300 days for Unit 7, 320 for Unit 3 and 591 for Unit 1.
- Unit 6 is down for refurbishment, so it will be absent for the next ~2 years
- Unit 4 is down for maintenance, will be back before the summer.
- Unit 2 was just returned to service after a 2-day maintenance outage so that it can run uninterrupted during the peak summer period.

Pickering:
- Unit 4 is pushing 600 days. Pickering Unit 7 previously held the world record for uptime at 894 days which may be eclipsed by Darlington Unit 1.
- Unit 1 has been offline for quite a stint. This is a refurbished unit, I expect it will be back before the summer.
- Unit 5 continues to produce significantly above nameplate for reasons that cannot be disclosed, but demonstrate that there is some significant uprate potential if the government were to reverse the decision on not to refurbish the 4x B units. I expect 575MW is not unrealistic per unit, which is a ~60MW uprate.
- The 6 operating units produced 23.6TWh in 2019, which is a record for the site in its current configuration and puts CF at ~88%, also a record for the site. While 88% may sound low based on CF for some American sites, Pickering is one of the oldest operating nuclear power plants in the world with construction starting in 1966. Its economics were predicated on a minimum CF of ~60%, much lower than its more modern siblings.

Prior to the current pandemic reliable sources told me to expect an announcement from the province for Darlington B. That has now obviously been postponed, hopefully not indefinitely. Expectation is that there will be an MOU for DNGS B to be constructed using the first viable design to distill out of the Federal SMR program running at Chalk River. DNGS B will be the first commercial SMR project in Canada most likely. The 2nd will be something at Point Lepreau in New Brunswick is my bet.


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5387956 03/28/20 02:01 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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Looks to me as the plant operators seem to think this is a competition. Numbers, percentages, days.. . When will it result in Canada's Chernobyl?
Joking!


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: skyactiv] #5387978 03/28/20 02:32 PM
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OVERKILL Offline OP
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
Looks to me as the plant operators seem to think this is a competition. Numbers, percentages, days.. . When will it result in Canada's Chernobyl?
Joking!


LOL! When the CANDU was first developed the expectation was that since it could be refuelled online that it would be the longest running design, since it would only have maintenance, not refuelling outages. That has generally aligned quite well with reality, though it is currently another PHWR in India, essentially a CANDU rip-off, that holds the record.

Pickering and Darlington both operate in 100% baseload mode, so their CF can only be further improved with improved parts and management, increasing the time between maintenance outages. Bruce CF is impacted by what are referred to as "maneuvers" which is flexible operation, or curtailment of output, though it does this far less now than it did in the past due to some grid operations changes curtailing wind before nuclear now. What this means is that even though certain Bruce units would have been capable of close to 100% CF during a 365 day period, the output for that period won't be anywhere near 100% CF because it was reduced at times through the use of steam bypass.

For 2019 for example:
[Linked Image]

Look at Unit 1 then look at Unit 3. Unit's 2 and 3 seem to be the most commonly curtailed at the A site, units 5 and 7 at the B site. Each of the A units have the potential to produce ~6.87TWh, each of the B units 7.16TWh.
So, CF for the non or least curtailed units:
Unit 1: 98.7%
Unit 4: 88.9%
Unit 6: 90.8%
Unit 8: 98.9%


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5387999 03/28/20 02:52 PM
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Y_K Offline
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Thank you. What are you paying per kW there please?


“This disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs.” -- Samuel Pepys 1666
Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388025 03/28/20 03:11 PM
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That's great with that 800 day plus run developing. thumbsup


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388054 03/28/20 03:36 PM
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pitzel Offline
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Amazing. Still remember visiting DNGS in May, 1992, and being told that the multi-billion dollar plant, paying 8-10% (or higher) interest at the time, was not running because of cracks in turbines. Glad to hear they finally were able to turn that around.

Have they developed any 'permanent' fixes for the pressure tube cracking issues, or are they going to need to do another round of replacements before the next 40 years is up?

That's an awfully optimistic view of whether Ontario, let alone New Brunswick, will pursue new nuclear units.

Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388099 03/28/20 04:39 PM
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Absolutely impressive! Thanks for posting the info.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: Y_K] #5388119 03/28/20 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Y_K
Thank you. What are you paying per kW there please?


Too bloody much, LOL! Though that's mostly due to fixed-rate contracts signed by the previous two administrations that grossly overpay for unreliable supply and then reliable supply to back it up (gas). Current rate for OPG Nuclear is $0.09/kWh, Bruce Power is $0.077 and slated to remain at that price for decades, likely making it the cheapest form of electricity in the province at some point. Bruce has an official projected EOL of 2064, but that will almost assuredly get extended, as will Darlington's as the replacement fuel channels and pressure tubes being fitted to the units at Darlington and Bruce are of an improved design and are supposed to have a significantly longer service life. If that's the case, we may see 45+ years out of these new tubes. I don't think getting >100 years out of Bruce is being overly optimistic.

Average cost of supply in the province is $0.128/kWh, but 85% of that supply is at $0.09/kWh and below.

[Linked Image]


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: pitzel] #5388128 03/28/20 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pitzel
Amazing. Still remember visiting DNGS in May, 1992, and being told that the multi-billion dollar plant, paying 8-10% (or higher) interest at the time, was not running because of cracks in turbines. Glad to hear they finally were able to turn that around.

Have they developed any 'permanent' fixes for the pressure tube cracking issues, or are they going to need to do another round of replacements before the next 40 years is up?

That's an awfully optimistic view of whether Ontario, let alone New Brunswick, will pursue new nuclear units.


The big delay for Darlington was a post-Chernobyl pause put on the industry which also unfortunately stopped the B site from being built immediately after. It was supposed to be an 8-unit site like Pickering and Bruce.

Regarding pressure tubes, yes, all of that has been long sorted and never became a problem at Darlington. They introduced additional spacers between the calandria tubes and the pressure tubes, as it was them migrating to the far end due to water flow that caused contact between the two, which led to hardening and cracking and I believe resulted in a failure at Bruce A. They have probes now that go into the tubes during maintenance outages and check for the proper positioning of the spacers and use pulses to bump them back into place if they've migrated.

The pressure tube issues at Pickering (which led to one of the entire 4-packs getting a re-tube back in the 1980's IIRC) was a separate materials issue, and was therefore never was a problem at Bruce, Darlington or the other Pickering 4-pack AFAIK.

Regarding the pursuit of new nuclear units, this is a result of the Federal SMR initiative: https://smrroadmap.ca which OPG, Bruce Power, NB Power and myriad other entities are invested in. OPG-sponsored GFP/USNC is already at the Environmental Assessment stage for their MMR reactor, which will be the first design constructed at Chalk River and is designed to run mining sites and remote communities. NB Power has MOU's already with Moltex and another party for new builds at Point Lepreau.

While it tends to be a little out of date, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission maintains a list of the SMR's going through the design review process:
http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/reactors/power-plants/pre-licensing-vendor-design-review/index.cfm

NuScale and Terrestrial are speculated as being the front-runners for Darlington B, due to how far along they are in the design review process.


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388138 03/28/20 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by Y_K
Thank you. What are you paying per kW there please?


Too bloody much, LOL! Though that's mostly due to fixed-rate contracts signed by the previous two administrations that grossly overpay for unreliable supply and then reliable supply to back it up (gas). Current rate for OPG Nuclear is $0.09/kWh, Bruce Power is $0.077 and slated to remain at that price for decades, likely making it the cheapest form of electricity in the province at some point. Bruce has an official projected EOL of 2064, but that will almost assuredly get extended, as will Darlington's as the replacement fuel channels and pressure tubes being fitted to the units at Darlington and Bruce are of an improved design and are supposed to have a significantly longer service life. If that's the case, we may see 45+ years out of these new tubes. I don't think getting >100 years out of Bruce is being overly optimistic.

Average cost of supply in the province is $0.128/kWh, but 85% of that supply is at $0.09/kWh and below.

[Linked Image]


Gee, those "green" technologies look like a great deal smirk2


De omnibus dubitandum.
Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5388157 03/28/20 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo

Gee, those "green" technologies look like a great deal smirk2


Don't get me started LOL We have something like 3,300MW of embedded solar that doesn't show up in the IESO controlled supply mix but is factored into that $0.479 cost. Assuming an 11% CF, that's $1.5 BILLION dollars of our $7.7 billion supply cost but at 3TWh amounts to less than half the output of one unit at Bruce smirk whose 7TWh output would cost $500 million. In fact the cost of Bruce supplying >30% of Ontario costs only roughly 2x what we pay for solar to provide 2%.


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Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388175 03/28/20 05:53 PM
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I’m about 35 miles from a plant with a good track record and serious output … they are approved to add two modern domes and step down the the load on old domes. (have an oversized cooling lake) …
But, just can’t work the massive investment with gas so cheap in the short term.
Have to stop there.

Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388324 03/28/20 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo

Gee, those "green" technologies look like a great deal smirk2


Don't get me started LOL We have something like 3,300MW of embedded solar that doesn't show up in the IESO controlled supply mix but is factored into that $0.479 cost. Assuming an 11% CF, that's $1.5 BILLION dollars of our $7.7 billion supply cost but at 3TWh amounts to less than half the output of one unit at Bruce smirk whose 7TWh output would cost $500 million. In fact the cost of Bruce supplying >30% of Ontario costs only roughly 2x what we pay for solar to provide 2%.
Wind and solar are a good complement to hydroelectric - the hydro operation can pond water when wind and solar are generating. The water stored in the forebay serves as a hydraulic battery.

But agreed, on their own, wind and solar have a storage problem.

Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: OVERKILL] #5388356 03/28/20 11:51 PM
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pitzel Offline
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL

The big delay for Darlington was a post-Chernobyl pause put on the industry which also unfortunately stopped the B site from being built immediately after. It was supposed to be an 8-unit site like Pickering and Bruce.


Ontario's electricity demand didn't warrant the extra capacity either. And there was obviously a lot of political mismanagement of the government entity responsible for the plant. The issues became extreme in the late 1990s.

Quote

Regarding pressure tubes, yes, all of that has been long sorted and never became a problem at Darlington.


I thought Darlington was re-tubed? Wasn't there some issue with neutron bombardment of the materials? IIRC, the design included a so-called "annulus gas" system that was supposed to detect failure, but previous pressure tube failure incidents were very sudden, not gradual slow failures.

What about steam generators? Were Darlington's somehow immune to the problems that required their replacement at Bruce? And at so many other PWR's in the US?


Quote
While it tends to be a little out of date, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission maintains a list of the SMR's going through the design review process:
http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/reactors/power-plants/pre-licensing-vendor-design-review/index.cfm

NuScale and Terrestrial are speculated as being the front-runners for Darlington B, due to how far along they are in the design review process.


I didn't realize that there had been any proposals advanced for Darlington B, aside from the process that was unfolding in the mid 2000s.

Still neat, to see that it has become a productive asset. I remember the tour guide describing the continuous pour of the vacuum building, using quantities of concrete rivalling that of SkyDome.

Re: Ontario Nuclear update [Re: Number_35] #5388364 03/29/20 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Number_35
Originally Posted by OVERKILL
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo

Gee, those "green" technologies look like a great deal smirk2


Don't get me started LOL We have something like 3,300MW of embedded solar that doesn't show up in the IESO controlled supply mix but is factored into that $0.479 cost. Assuming an 11% CF, that's $1.5 BILLION dollars of our $7.7 billion supply cost but at 3TWh amounts to less than half the output of one unit at Bruce smirk whose 7TWh output would cost $500 million. In fact the cost of Bruce supplying >30% of Ontario costs only roughly 2x what we pay for solar to provide 2%.
Wind and solar are a good complement to hydroelectric - the hydro operation can pond water when wind and solar are generating. The water stored in the forebay serves as a hydraulic battery.

But agreed, on their own, wind and solar have a storage problem.


Almost all hydro in Ontario is some form of run-of-river, so there's VERY little storage capacity in our system, despite hydro making up ~25% of our generating capacity. The amount of hydro required to firm wind is insane, since wind can be AWOL for weeks. At least solar has a somewhat predictable cycle to it and with limited penetration can depress daytime peaking requirements.


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