Nuclear Electrical Power Generation – Why The Fuss? – Introduction

Posted on Tue 10/19/2010 by


UPDATE 2012.  This series is now more than three years old, and while nearly all the information is generic and still current, what is not current is the Post dealing with costings. This Post was based around information available at the time, almost four years old now, and that information changes quite regularly, so constantly updating it is problematic. However, costings for all methods of power generation have also changed over that time, and what has not changed is the relationship of costings of one versus the other, and these would still be quite similar…..TonyfromOz.


Thirty three months ago now, when I started contributing at this site, my original intent was to compose a short series on what it might take to comply with the provisions of the original Kyoto protocol. To actually comply with that, it would have meant a huge reduction in the emissions of Carbon Dioxide, (CO2) a tiny trace gas in the Atmosphere amounting to 0.0390% of the total Atmosphere, an amount blown so much out of proportion, and blamed for so much.

To that end, what I endeavoured to do was to come at this situation from the point of actually believing CO2 was the major cause of Climate Change/Global Warming, and then canvassing what would need to be done to reduce those CO2 emissions from their largest source, coal fired power plants.

That series I envisaged as maybe filling half a dozen or so posts. As it was, that morphed into more than 50 separate posts. It entailed long and detailed research, and the more I looked, the more I found there was to chase up even further.

That series can be accessed if you wish to save it and read it over time at this link. There are three pages of titles and the links for those titles will take you to each of those posts. They are numbered, so to start at the first, you’ll need to scroll back the three pages to do that.

I come from a background of 25 years in the electrical trade and 6 years of teaching that trade. The learning I did at the start of that time was over the top compared to what is taught these days to gain the same qualification as what I achieved. That prior learning was recognised years later with an Associate Diploma in Electrical Engineering, not the full degree mind you, but enough to recognise a good grounding in that trade.

That background made it significantly easier to understand what I was reading about when I was doing all that research from literally hundreds of sites, and for that purpose I specifically wanted information sites and not sites that dealt mainly in opinion.

When I finished that series after nearly five months, I thought I had covered it all, and that there was really nothing much more to say on the matter.

That has proved to be totally false, and in fact, I find I am not only contributing on the same basis as I was with that original series, but in fact, there is more to talk about on this and related matters.

One of the things I covered in that original series was if we are to replace those many large coal fired power plants, then the level of power that they supply on a constant and regular basis needs to be replaced on a like for like basis.

To that end, one of the many options I canvassed was to construct large scale nuclear power plants. In fact, Nuclear power plants are all large scale, and nearly all of them produce 2000MW or more.

Since finishing that post and then contributing more posts on related subjects, I have also added numerous posts about Nuclear Power Generation.

Those posts are consistently accessed and while some posts are well read while they are current, these nuclear power posts achieve consistent numbers of readers each week.

My perception on that is that people actually want to know about nuclear power, because there are so many misapprehensions about it, and so much misinformation is peddled on the subject, mostly along the lines of a scare campaign that feeds people’s worry.

With those consistent numbers of readers in mind, I then set about constructing a series specifically devoted to Nuclear power Generation, and in that series, I tried to enclose as much information as was feasibly possible on the subject.

That series was composed in August of 2009, and it ran to 11 separate posts.

As you can see from the title, I asked why there was so much fuss about the matter, when, in actual fact, Nuclear power generation is in fact the best option for replacing those coal fired power plants, if in fact, that will ever happen.

Listed below are the links to each of those posts. Click on the link and you will be taken to the post for that Part of the series, and with each link, I have added a short summary of what each post separately deals with.

What I have tried to do is to take a lot of complexities and make them a little easier to understand for those people with no understanding of exactly how it is that electrical power is generated.

I feel sure that this series will give you a better understanding of Nuclear Power Generation, and after reading it, I am sure that you also will be wondering just what all the fuss is about.

Part 1 An introduction to Nuclear Power.

Part 2 The Importance of Base Load Power.

Part 3 Current Power supply from nuclear power for the U.S.

Part 4 Some Common Misconceptions about Nuclear power generation.

Part 5 From the ground to the nuclear fuel, and the assemblies.

Part 6 The nuclear generating process, reaction, and power generation.

Part 7 Existing U.S. Plants and existing plants around the World and planned future Plants.

Part 8 Costing structures for Nuclear plants and costing comparisons with Renewable power plants.

Part 9 The perceived problem of the Nuclear Waste.

Part 10 The perceived problem associated with Nuclear power plant accidents.

Part 11 Nuclear Power into the future, and summing up.