One ton of Uranium used at a typical 1 GW reactor is equal to how many tons of coal being burned in a 1 GW coal fired plant?
This is on the low side. And it depends on the quality of the coal and the efficiency of the plant in converting heat into electricity (usually about 30%) The efficiency of a nuclear plant can be higher - as high as 40%.In other terms, 1 GW coal plant requires ~5 100 ton railroad coal cars per hour, every hour. That's typically two 60 car trains a day, every day.
That is running 100% capacity, which no electric plant does, not even nuclear and nuclear has the highest capacity factor. A well run nuclear plant runs ~93% online in the US, coal much lower, 50-75% if I recall. Its on EIA somewhere. The reason is mostly economic I expect - once the expensive outlay has been made for nuclear, it is practically 'too cheap to meter' for the producer as the operational costs are 2-3 cents/kWh, and thus the operator wants to run it not stop, but no so for coal, for the reasons we've outlined here (two+ train loads a day.) Thus if one has nuclear, run the odd coal plant in the summer to handle the high cooling loads, but idle the ravenous beast in the winter.This is on the low side. And it depends on the quality of the coal and the efficiency of the plant in converting heat into electricity (usually about 30%) The efficiency of a nuclear plant can be higher - as high as 40%.
The energy content of anthracite coal is about 27 GJ/Tonne and of lignite coal is about 15 GJ/Tonne. See the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_of_combustion#Heating_values_of_some_fuels"
A 1 GWe power plant produces 31,536,000,000,000,000 Joules of electrical energy in a year which requires about 105,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of heat (10^8 GJ.). Since the energy from combustion of coal is 15-27 GJ/Tonne, you would need about 4 million tonnes of high grade anthracite or 7 million tonnes of lignite coal...
Enthalpy,Nukes run at full capacity because they can't be throttled down easily. So countries with a high proportion of nuclear power plants use other plants to adjust the production .
The French (being anti-capitalist with no word for entrepreneur) just sell it to their neighbours for a profit.However, countries like France which is on the order of 85% nuclear may well have to throttle back the nuclear power plants when the load on the grid drops below 85% of the grid capacity.
mgb_phys,The French (being anti-capitalist with no word for entrepreneur) just sell it to their neighbours for a profit.
CO2 is a huge concern but underground storage could be a solution.
Probably not going to happen for some time, since now they are the only western european country without any real power problems.Yes - if they can sell it - they do. However, if the case arises where they have more capacity than
demand - either domestic or foreign - they can throttle back.
Already happening. I really don't know what those guys were thinking when they tried to replace a stable, high energy density power source with an intermittent, low energy density power source. Germany is already having to start building more coal power plants to make up the difference, with the green party (who pushed to get rid of nuclear) reluctantly approving it.With France's nearest neighbors of
Denmark and Germany going "green" with windmills and solar arrays; the opportunities for France
to sell nuclear power to Denmark and Germany abound - when the wind and solar installations don't
live up to expectations
I had it backwards, I thought that coal was slightly better than oil concerning energy potential per mass. But oil is somewhat better.The energy content of anthracite coal is about 27 GJ/Tonne and of lignite coal is about 15 GJ/Tonne. See the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_of_combustion#Heating_values_of_some_fuels"