And just like that, the UAE doubles its number of online reactors: second unit at Barakah goes critical.

From a wild dream in 2006 to reality a few years later.

There's nothing like nuclear for decarbonization and development.… Image
The magnitude of this achievement should not be overlooked.

In 2006, the UAE was taking a reputational beating in the USA because of the Dubai Ports World controversy.

A Dubai-based seaport operating company was negotiating to provide its services to US ports.

Giant "scandal."
It was clear that UAE was not trusted as an responsible international partner.

During this, a chance encounter led to a singular idea rising in the minds of UAE's leaders: if they got a nuclear program, they could decarbonize while gaining a reputation of highest trust.
Carefully & rapidly assembling their program, UAE shocked the nuclear world by choosing first-time exporter South Korea over intense pitches from France, USA, and Japan.

South Korea hadn't even been initially considered!

A desert visit to the incredible Palo Verde changed that. Image
But Palo Verde is one of the crown jewels of the AMERICAN fleet! How could a visit convince UAE to go with the Koreans?

Well, as South Korea was deciding in 1986 which reactor to bet their nation's future on, they chose Combustion Engineering, partly because of a crucial point:
Combustion Engineering, makers of the System-80 design used at Palo Verde, agreed to grant South Korea royalty-free use of their intellectual property for any plants built by Korea OUTSIDE of Korea.

Probably the deciding factor in choosing this path:

Korea had big ambitions.
After UAE announced that they were partnering with South Korea, rumors swirled about why the least-experienced exporter had been chosen. In the end, it's because Korea was building the most reactors at home, offered the most competitive price, and finally, the most unified bid.
That meant that the reactor designer, builder, engineer/architect, etc were all part of the same group, under a head of state dedicated to the national success of Korean exports.

But after Korea won the bid and started building, a viciously anti-nuclear president was elected.
Rapidly, Korean bids to build more reactors in other countries started falling apart.

At home, Korea's executive cancelled reactor construction and used methods both legal and illegal to force-close operating nuclear reactors, replacing the power with imported fossil fuels.
Through it all, the UAE held steady, building up its own regulator, training operators, and just basically getting ready to become a nuclear-powered nation.

Barakah is due to replace a quarter of national electricity emissions. That's just ONE power plant.
Now little girls and boys are growing up dreaming of becoming nuclear operators at their own country's nuclear power plant.

The experience of building Barakah has been transformative to the people of the UAE in ways that have been ignored by the outside world.
I'm ashamed as an American how the nuclear program has been received by our media, at least on the left.

The New York Times, copying the editorial line of UAE's regional rival Qatar, which chose to stick with fossil for energy, covered UAE's nuclear launch as a "security" story.
In their coverage, the NY Times quoted Qatar and Greenpeace-funded anti-nuclear troll Paul Dorfman, while mentioning 'carbon', 'climate change', and 'energy security' zero times each.

It truly reveals NYT's unseriousness about climate reporting.…
So the biggest clean energy story in the world was reported by USA's national paper of record as a dog-whistle racist terrorism and quarreling Arabs story.

No shock that NYTimes stood by as all of NYC's clean energy was replaced by oil and gas this year!

The story of Barakah is just beginning, and stands as a model of best practices in building a national clean energy strategy.

It will have taken about ten years in construction to provide 4 x 1400MW, 50 TWh per year, for a century.

Stay tuned as more reactors turn on next year!

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More from @energybants

15 Sep

You must model the loss of transmission lines. You must model continent-wide wind droughts. You must model continent-wide droughts that knock out hydro.

If you're still selling 100% Wind-Water-Solar after that, you're a knave or a fool. Or both.
I don't have to model these things because I fundamentally distrust giant intricate energy models.

Shit goes wrong. Big shit. Crazy shit. Shit that's never gone wrong goes wrong.

I didn't predict what's happening now in the UK specifically, but that's the point: YOU CAN'T KNOW.
Texas weirded me out.

How it had been managing to have such crazy low revenue going to generators, but seemed ok.

How it was running with lower and lower reserves each year, but appeared to be fine.

Until it wasn't.

After the fatal blackouts energy modelers got another try.
Read 5 tweets
13 Sep




Brussels erupts in cheers, nuclear advocates from around the world cheering Bryon, Dresden, Chicago, Illinois, USA, and nuclear plants fighting for survival around the world:
We must never lose another plant!

GERMANY: We must not lose Gundremmingen in December! We must not lose Grohnde! WE MUST NOT LOSE BROKDORF. Image
Read 6 tweets
6 Sep
The general public has a misunderstanding that somehow, energy experts have found a way around wind and solar coming and going.

It's not true. THREAD.

Here we have Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg News @JavierBlas patiently explaining record prices to a curious follower:
No matter how many tens of billions of £ are spent on wind and solar energy in the UK, it still turns off more or less daily.

It turns off in the UK as it turns off in surrounding countries.

There's no solution except more gas or electricity rationing.

Now gas is expensive.
This problem gets dramatically worse as you get more wind & solar, as these energy types soak up power system revenues when they're on, but must be expensively made up for when not on.

And more wind and solar means weather prediction errors become much more costly for society.
Read 7 tweets
6 Sep
Power prices gone wild across Europe... and it's not winter yet.

UK needs to commit to more nuclear plants straight away as a hedge against this phenomena in the future.

All Euro wind and sun goes and comes at more or less the same time, and can't stop this.

Gas is exploding.
The UK bet almost everything on the use of markets to decide what types of power plants should be built a few decades ago.

Gas was cheap then so gas turbines were built.

Gas is no longer cheap, but it's too late.

Earlier this year, I noted that the giant nuclear plant being built in the southwest of England, Hinkley Point C, now looks like it'll be a good deal after all if gas remains at all scarce:

Read 6 tweets
4 Sep

A gorgeous morning for a solemn event: a demonstration in support of the nearby Gundremmingen nuclear plant, scheduled to close in a few months, taking with it 9TWh of clean energy.

Replacement? Coal, and natural gas should Russia decide to send some.

It would take approximately 18 large liquified natural gas tankers to replace Gundremmingen's electricity if burning gas in a modern combined cycle natural gas plant.

Natural gas prices in Europe are already hitting record highs in anticipation of supply shortages this winter.
Germany has maintained the majority of its coal power fleet in preparation for the closure of nuclear, its cheapest major source of electricity.

Lignite or 'brown coal', mined in enormous open pits that swallow towns and forests as they expand, is plentiful and cheaper than gas.
Read 11 tweets
29 Aug
Seriously: because they need energy.

Same as Indian Point: built near millions, because millions need reliable power to sustain life.

Same as Diablo: power to ride through the big one & recover afterwards.

Nuclear's built when risks are serious and nothing less will do.
Whereas Fukushima-Daiichi had an unacceptably short sea wall, over ten thousand souls perished because of even shorter seawalls nearby.

We build nuclear when energy just has to survive. It's literally our strongest infrastructure.
The only reason Waterford in Louisiana is shutting down for a while is that the REST of the grid isn't built as tough as Waterford.

It'll be back up soon.
Read 4 tweets

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