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    1. In that respect, not particularly. My understanding is the reactors the UK have retired are old dual-purpose Magnox reactors. These are very old early 1950’s design, and only about 19% thermal efficient as opposed to a bit over 30% for a PWR. It is estimated their power cost is about 50% greater than coal, and indeed their waste is a bit more challenging. The small number of them (~10) probably made future maintenance costs considerable. The last of these were retired last December. They were considered quite safe, though environmentalists did raise concern over unshielded piping and ductwork in the oldest design, which resulted public exposure above that permitted by ICRR. (but 0.56 mSv/year still not very much). The oldest Magnox operated for 47 years:

      It may be worth noting that the other old UK reactor design is the Advanced Gas Reactor. There are 14 of these supplying a full 18% of UK’s electricity. These are alive and well, and operator EDF is pursuing avenues to extend their operational life: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-EDF-Energy-seeks-innovative-solutions-for-AGR-fleet-19071601.html

      Good on them.

      My other nit with your Daily Caller article is its second paragraph:
      “U.K. taxpayers could have been stuck paying $31.6 billion if the reactors had been blocked for political reasons”. True, but those political reasons would have to originate either within the UK itself, or at the highest level of the EC. Since UK is exiting the EU, only the former any longer applies. And that is precisely (one) purpose of loan guarantees: it protects the investors (EDF and now China and France) in the event the UK were, now or sometime in the future, default on its end of the deal and cancel the project.

      To date EDF seems to have about 3 billion (somethings) sunk into this thing. If UK were to think better of it, HMG would presumably be on the hook for only roughly this amount. Since much of that sunk cost is for site preparation, some other vendor (GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse-Hitachi, Rosatom) might place some value on it if UK were to reconsider EPR and think one of the others more viable instead.

      In general, whenever one has questions on this sort of thing, my first recourse is always World Nuclear News.

      Always. I cross-check a lot of references, and I’ve never seen WNN anything less than forthright and accurate.

      1. Edit: That should be Toshiba-Westinghouse rather than Westinghouse-Hitachi. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) might conceivably want a piece of the UK action as well.

  1. “My sincere hope is that liberals and conservatives from both major parties in the US will see that providing clean, cheap, sustainable energy that is abundant enough to share widely with everyone is a goal that is ripe for both political cooperation and non-partisan competition to see who can do the most to enable success.”

    Thats quite a hope in today’s carefully nurtured partisan divisiveness. I have often marveled at your optimism, that seemingly requires no real nourishment. In observing this electoral season, two realizations would seem to starve your optimism. The first realization is that such a huge segment of our population is so hopelessly ignorant that a man like Trump can attain a position at the podium, much less maintain it. (And Hillary? How do you feel about Netanyahu deciding and running our foreign policies???? He owns her, lock, stock, and barrel.) The second realization is that when the two candidates are reduced to hurling insults at each other like bickering adolescents, it must mean any positive answers or policy directions that actually serve the needs of the people are not in the works. If they had ’em, they’d present ’em.

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