San Onofre nuclear power plant closing

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labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2013 - 11:48am PT
This is going to make a bunch of people happy.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/calif-utility-retire-nuclear-plant-19347186#.UbIqmufvg6Y

By MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press
LOS ANGELES June 7, 2013 (AP)
The troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant on the California coast is closing after an epic 16-month battle over whether the twin reactors could be safely restarted with millions of people living nearby, officials announced Friday.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Meanwhile the Ivanpah facility (ISEGS) is already coming on line. It is a solar thermal generator facility not far off of I-15 close to the Nevada border. Not far from Clark Mountain, of Sharma fame. I saw one of the three units being operated/tested a few weeks ago. It was an absolutely unearthly sight of consummate and fearsome power. It was even hard to look at with the naked eye a few miles away. As if a giant were arc welding something out there. They were in the process of making enough steam to blow out the steam lines of any debris and scale as part of their schedule to increase the load on the facility step by step.

It will produce 396 megawatts when completed, doubling the amount of solar thermal electricity generation in the USA. It is basically three 459 foot tall tower-mounted collectors each surrounded by thousands of mirrors that are computer servo controlled to all focus on the collector where all this phenomenal energy converts flowing water to very high pressure steam (1000 deg F). There are something like 300,000 mirrors for the three towers. The mirrors are in pairs called heliostats. Site grading has been quite modest as the heliostats only need to have a post sunk in the ground and of course wiring to and from each. The grading issue was quite important as there are a variety of important habitats. The desert tortoise, for one.

Credit: Peter Haan
Credit: Peter Haan
Credit: Peter Haan

Our omnipresent benefactors...Google... has something like 160 million in this and the Fed have placed a loan guarantee of $1.375 billion. NRG put in $300 million; BrightSource Energy is the builder/operator with Bechtel and has money in it too, I gather. In all the project cost is $2.2 billion.

The cost per KW is $5561, which they say is between what coal and what nuclear plants cost. This per Synapse Energy Economics. Ivanpah won the CSP (concentraing solar power) Project of the Year by solar Power Generation USA.

Each of the three units produce 165,000 horsepower from Siemens SST-900 turbines.



Some links:
http://infrascapedesign.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/sublime-solar-farm/

http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2012/11/jamey-stillings-ivanpah-solar-field/?pid=4383

http://ivanpahsolar.com
Sagebrusher

Sport climber
Iowa
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b203/maarts/liberal1.gif
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
The first thing when I saw the San Onofre closing news was:

No more BOOBS!

As that is what the containment structures looked like when you were out6 in the water surfing.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Has anyone heard the story of the diver ? or surfer ? who got sucked into the ocean water intake of the power plant ...

... I always wondered if that was urban legend or true.
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
"It was an absolutely unearthly sight of consummate and fearsome power."

Great quote!

Ivanpah Solar Power certainly was interesting to look at when we drove by a couple of months back.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
Ivanpah solar plant, 4000 acres: planned maximum capacity: 392 megawatts.

San Onofre nuclear plant, 84 acres: 2350 megawatts.

You need six Ivanpahs covering 24,000 acres (37.5 square miles to replace one San Onofre covering 84 acres (0.13 square miles)

San Onfre generated over 285 times more power per acre then Ivanpah will, when it is completed.






Which is greener?
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Depends on how much contamination escapes if a serious accident were to occur......

tooth

Trad climber
B.C.
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
rephrase that. Which WILL BE greener?
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jun 7, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
Which is greener?

The solar. Always solar. See: Japan.
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jun 7, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem.

State records obtained by The Associated Press show that 17 companies with 44 manufacturing facilities in California produced 46.5 million pounds of hazardous waste from 2007 through the first half of 2011.

Roughly 97 percent of it was taken to in-state waste facilities, but more than 1.4 million pounds was transported out of state, as far away as Rhode Island.

look at the whole picture. obviously some ALREADY completed solar project will produce less harm o the environment. buts only part of the story.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jun 7, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
I've read that one of the problems with the huge arrays of solar panels out in the desert is that dirt and dust from blowing sand cover the surface of the panels and they lose efficiency. This, in a place where water to clean them is in very short supply.

Will these mirrors pose similar problem, causing a loss of efficiency? Also, since these mirrors are not lying flat or at a very low angle, will their surfaces become damaged by blowing sand?

I love this concept, but I hope they provided solutions to problems like this before sinking in billions.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Jun 7, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Hawkeye... ah....these are not panels. This is nothing but steam and mirrors. Lol. In all seriousness it is simply many mirrors pointing at a boiler whose steam runs generators.



Good query Kris. The heliostats (a pair of mirrors) are nearly fully articulated. I have photos of them vertical and ones flat plus skewed. There is a routine I believe where they clean mirrors with steam or water. The overall design uses a very small amount of water. Far less than competing designs. See the links for this info.

I am just now looking further into this project and hope to get back to thread with more. I am not necessarily a proponent yet. It just fits with San Onofre going off for good.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 7, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
Peter-

With all due respect, you have no clue. While solar appears "green" there are many trade offs to consider.

We are siphoning taxpayers dollars to China and Korea because they can produce the mirrors and PV cells cheaper than in the US because they are not bound by our environmental requirements. What was considered a stimulus for the USA has turned in to a stimulus for China and Korea; we see little economic benefit.

Thousands of acres of pristine desert are being ravaged. A combined cycle natural gas facility would take up 20 acres and produce 5-10 times the energy at 1/2 the cost.

How much waste is produced manufacturing the solar and PV cells? How much waste/expense will be involved when they need to be retired? I guess it does not matter because we will pay China and Korea to handle it and dump it.

Solar sounds good on the surface, but when you get down to it other countries are getting revenue from our taxpayer dollars and are creating waste streams that would never be permitted in the US.

I have no figures to back up my statements because I don't have the time. These are just my empirical observations.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:01pm PT

I've read that one of the problems with the huge arrays of solar panels out in the desert is that dirt and dust from blowing sand cover the surface of the panels and they lose efficiency. This, in a place where water to clean them is in very short supply.

Will these mirrors pose similar problem, causing a loss of efficiency? Also, since these mirrors are not lying flat or at a very low angle, will their surfaces become damaged by blowing sand?

I love this concept, but I hope they provided solutions to problems like this before sinking in billions.

There is a difference between parabolic mirrors and photovoltaic. Parabolic mirrors need to be ultra clean for efficiency. PV less so.

edit: no, they did not think it through; it was a bandwagon that was jumped on with no real consideration. It was intended to stimulate the economy and US manufacturing. Instead our dollars are going offshore because the US environmental policies are more stringent than those of other countries and we can't compete because of it.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
Site grading has been quite modest as the heliostats only need to have a post sunk in the ground and of course wiring to and from each. The grading issue was quite important as there are a variety of important habitats. The desert tortoise, for one.

You have to be kidding. Thousands of acres are being graded. Perimeter fences are put in place to make the tortoises make a 3+ mile journey around the fences. Kit fox holes are rousted and turned under. Bird nesting areas are being destroyed so that the developers can say there were no bird nests there when construction started.

I'm risking the loss of my job by posting these.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
I'd better hear of any "Flex Alert" turn-off-your-appliances-because-we-can't-generate-enough-power-to-cover-demand advisories when it gets hot this summer.

And it's gonna get hot. You watch.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/photos/18/45/305981_2532_L.jpg

This is minimal grading?
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jun 7, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
There are something like 300,000 mirrors for the three towers.

umm, do you think those mirrors came be with no environmental cost?
Dr. Christ

Mountain climber
State of Mine
Jun 7, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
And it's gonna get hot. You watch.

Nothing out of the ordinary though. Repeat after me... "everything is normal, nothing has changed, this is how it has always been."


These big solar projects are a bit shitty when you look at the big picture.

johntp ain't far off in his criticism, although he neglects to mention that the waste stream generated from San Onofre back in 1964 "would never be permitted in the US" today, either.

But it is renewable. Whether or not it can replace our glutonous consumption of fossil fuels with less harmful ramifications has yet to be seen. Surely ISEGS is better than an old, outdated, dangerous nuclear reactor... no?

Personally, I'd rather see more retrofitting of existing structures with solar options... PV, hot water, passive heating/cooling. But people don't matter, corporations do.
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