Nuclear energy, atomic energy | Two reports on nuclear power in Norway were released at the same time – very different conclusions

Nuclear energy, atomic energy |  Two reports on nuclear power in Norway were released at the same time – very different conclusions

In a short time, nuclear energy has gone from being a non-issue to something that could become a real possibility in Norway.

Or him?

On Monday, the stage is set for a very small battle over the truth, when the NHO and NTNU present new reports on nuclear power – with very different messages.

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Two reports – two very different conclusions

NHO commissioned a report from Rystad Energi. NHO Deputy Director Anniken Haugli points to this as the missing factual basis for discussing nuclear energy in the Norwegian context.

– Rystad Energy’s analysis shows that nuclear power is not the answer to Norway’s energy needs in the next two decades. Time will tell whether the technology will be competitive and whether it can become relevant in the long term. We cannot rule it out,” says NHO Vice President Anniken Hauglie in a comment.

On the same day, NTNU launched a new book titled “Sustainability and digitalisation» With peer-reviewed articles, one of which is related to nuclear energy.

Here he argued forcefully For that nuclear energy He is The solution for Norway.

– Given the enormous challenges Norway faces, it makes sense to unleash all the good energy. Failing to exploit the potential of nuclear energy can be a risky strategy, write Jonas Christiansen Noland and Martin Helmeland in the book.

They argue that other analyzes that write off nuclear power do not take into account the major challenges the energy system faces if we are to invest in large amounts of wind power.

In addition to producing electricity, nuclear energy provides added value in the form of system services to the power grid. At the same time, it can provide heat for non-electrical applications, such as district heating, fresh water production, and heavy industry. Furthermore, energy and heat can be combined to produce hydrogen or to produce more synthetic fuels. In this sense, nuclear power has many advantages that are often overlooked in economic analyses, they write.

NHO hopes the Rystad report will be the nail in the coffin for nuclear energy

The Rystad report of just over 100 pages is primarily a sobering review of what nuclear power is, its historical development, the cost of waste, the prospects for so-called SMRs (small modular reactors) in the future – and a review of various historical events. Projects.

The report describes how nuclear energy can be relatively cheap and successful if implemented correctly, which South Korea achieved in Abu Dhabi, among other things. But they also describe that it becomes very expensive when, as is the case in Europe, you start building power plants before they are fully designed.

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They also point out that SMEs are not designed to be cheaper, but to be more expensive predictable Costs. It’s specifically the costTransgressions Which was the main problem in recent Western projects.

The report looks somewhat at how a potential nuclear power plant would fit into the Norwegian and Nordic energy system, besides writing off the possibility of it being used as a counterweight. On the other hand, they do some cost assessments. They believe this is too high compared to what offshore wind can provide.

At the same time, they are fundamentally skeptical that suppliers of small and medium-sized reactors, which Norsk Kernicraft among others want to build in Norway, will be able to maintain their timelines.

While Norsk Kjernekraft believes it can operate its first power plant in the first half of the 2030s, Rystad Energy does not believe anything will be ready until 15 years later.

The difference is as follows: While Norsk Kjernekraft will start a process that they believe will take 10 to 15 years nowRystad wants Norway to sit quietly until 2035. Then they want Norway to start assessing what happened in Europe and the USA. If you then think it is smart to look at SMR, you should start the process from scratch.

By 2050, Norway will in any case depend on finding other solutions.

The report’s conclusion is very clear: “Staff-Agent Relations (SMR) is not relevant in Norway today – developers must first prove it works.”

The conclusion is appropriate Nho is good, which meant the same thing for a while. Among other things, they have Fornybar Norge under their umbrella.

– Taking into account the technological immaturity, costs, timeline and Norwegian needs, we believe it is not right for the country to prioritize resources for nuclear energy development now, says Anniken-Hawle.

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You did look at two key elements

The Rystad report looks at many aspects of nuclear power, but does not address two key topics: the industry’s surplus heat – which Norsk Kernicraft is particularly interested in – and the function of the power plant itself in the energy grid – which NTNU is interested in. Concerned about.

The way nuclear power works is simply that water is boiled and the steam is sent through a turbine to generate electricity. After the steam passes through one or more turbines, its temperature remains high.

It is usually then cooled in rivers or large cooling towers, but SMR developers want to sell this heat, among other things, to industry or district heating. Creates an additional source of income.

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Rystad Energy’s Tim Bjerkeland explains why this isn’t included:

– SMR technology is under development, and suppliers must prove with first projects that the concept is commercially viable before we can say it is mature.

When it comes to residual heat, it is often not used, including existing nuclear energy, because it is not commercial. More heating output often means less electrical output, which means this trade-off depends on what you can sell the heat for. In other words, it is not certain that heat sales will contribute to any increase in value or help reduce the equilibrium price. This is one of the topics you will have a better understanding of when the first units go into production in the mid-2030s, Birkeland tells Netafsen.

Not expensive – and better for the network

For their part, NTNU writers argue that what has happened in the West in recent years is not a good indicator of the cost level of nuclear energy. They point to the fact that nuclear power has historically been the fastest way to develop emissions-free electricity production – and that other parts of the world are still achieving this:

First-of-its-kind autonomous reactor models – called “first of a kind” (FOAK) – have become very expensive in countries such as Finland, France, Great Britain and the USA. However, the figure shows that the cost picture is very different in other parts of the world. One important reason is that several units are being built at the same time. They write that supply chains are best used with standardized solutions that are reused at each power plant.

Both NTNU and Rystad point to the four Barakah reactors, built by a South Korean company, where costs have fallen and the schedule has been met.

They have calculated that nuclear power in Norway will solve the energy challenges that NVE cares deeply about. At the same time, it will limit the need for grid development because nuclear power can be built to a greater extent than offshore wind power where electricity is needed.

-We define a 100 percent renewable scenario compared to the technology neutral scenario. Finally, nuclear power is the energy source that will grow the most in the period between 2040 and 2050, which corresponds exactly with when increased energy demand may come, Jonas Noland tells Netafcen.

– Furthermore, it was explained how the opposite scenario would lead to a shortage of fixed and adjustable power, which could significantly impact security of supply. Without nuclear power, a smaller percentage of energy could go to community electrification. With so much unregulated energy, too much of it will be produced at the same time, meaning the excess energy is intended to be used to produce hydrogen with uncertain profitability.

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Norwegian nuclear energy: – The conclusion is separate from the content

CEO Johnny Heithammer of Norsk Kjernekraft was not impressed by the report prepared by Rystad.

He refers to large parts of the report as a quick review of the situation for people who are not up to date on the latest developments in the field, but are reacting to both the conclusions and the cost calculations.

-The report itself is completely separate from the summary. The two parts have nothing to do with each other and were almost certainly prepared by different people, the insider Heisthammer tells Nettavisen.

He believes the report made some serious errors.

The first impression is that they prepared a report in which they assumed that nuclear energy would be developed under the auspices of the state, where the state would bear all the costs and therefore the financial risks as well. It’ll be like, “Nice day, man.” Ax handle! Because we work under the auspices of the private sector and with private money, we make it clear that we do not need subsidies.

– But based on this, the Rystad report says Norway should stand on the sidelines for 20 years and wait to see what will happen in the world around us and whether the rest of the world will succeed. It’s pointless and Norway doesn’t have time for that. The country must evaluate nuclear power and renewables in light of the green transition, which also deals with security of supply, nature conservation, as well as cheap and reliable electricity for residents and industry. It is a matter of college, which the report does not address at all.

It is also believed that Rystad erred in its cost estimates, perhaps especially for floating offshore wind. He points out that they used outdated numbers from the NVE in their analyses, and those with updated numbers would have reached very different conclusions.

– Rystad’s forecasts on future electricity prices and the cost price of electricity for SMR are not as interesting as forecasts on oil prices. We do not make decisions on this matter. But the fact that it does not include heat in the cost figure shows that it has little left before it needs to be updated.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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