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900 Ton Containment Vessel Bottom Head Installed At Vogtle 3

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the awe-inspiring-scale dept.

Power 123

Yesterday, Georgia Power announced that they successfully lifted the first part of the Vogtle Unit 3 containment vessel into place. From World Nuclear News: "The component — measuring almost 40 meters wide, 12 meters tall and weighing over 900 tons — was assembled on-site from pre-fabricated steel plates. The cradle for the containment vessel was put in place on the unit's nuclear island in April. The completed bottom head was raised by a heavy lift derrick and placed on the cradle on 1 June, Georgia Power announced." Georgia Power has a pretty cool gallery of high resolution construction photos (the bottom head is the background on my XBMC machine). Below the fold there is a video of the crane moving the bottom head into place.

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123 comments

Nuclear Wessel? (2, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#43915769)

No idea.

Re:Nuclear Wessel? (4, Informative)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43915833)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogtle_Electric_Generating_Plant#Units_3_and_4 [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000 [wikipedia.org]

http://www.ap1000.westinghousenuclear.com/ [westinghousenuclear.com]

I'm glad their going ahead with this design. Hopefully it's good. I live on the same geographic sub unit. Though I won't benefit from this probably because the energy produced there is never coming this way.

It is not the perfect design perhaps. But its updated compared to the ones people were raving about in the 60's and 70's.

Re:Nuclear Wessel? (1, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43916291)

Yeah, you've thoughtfully provided links, that's great and all, and I will look at them; even so, I'm in the camp that's going "Wtf...?" Its a little like dropping an alien life form in the middle of your aunt & uncle's living room and you and your friends all nodding to each other going "Yeah, it all makes sense now..." and "I thought they'd look like that...", meanwhile your poor aunt and uncle are staring at the thing and going "What the hell are they talking about...?"

Nukes are not economically viable without taxation (1, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#43916729)

As usual, the cheapest and most unsafe design legally allowed will be built. The AP1000 sell sheet brags about the tremendous cost savings incurred by eliminating expensive safety features due to a simpler, better design. GE touted the costs savings of the thinner, less expensive containment vessels in their BWRs (as used at Fukushima) back in the day on the same basis.

Yet, also as usual, it still can't be done profitably without massive taxpayer assistance in the form of loan guarantees, liability limitations in the event of accident, and insurance guarantees, all funded involuntarily by taxpayers who don't want any fission plants anywhere near their homes. Oh, and let's not forget that Bush/Cheney per-kilowatt direct subsidy! I get to pay for something stupid with my taxes, so that Excelon or Enron can then sell it to me! Yay democracy!

However, as you've pointed out this is still much better than all the decaying, minimally maintained fission plants we're running that were designed to wear out at the turn of the century... that the Bush and Obama administrations have been more than willing to relicense. Our strategy with those appears to be "run 'em till they melt down, it won't hurt any rich people!"

We probably could build safe reactors - if our economic system didn't reward cutting costs by cutting corners - but they still wouldn't be profitable without state sponsorship.

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (3, Interesting)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about a year ago | (#43917189)

We probably could build safe reactors

Yes, we can build safe reactors, just not water-cooled reactors. Fission reactions are "just getting warmed up" by the time water starts boiling. That is a bad combination. This is why water-cooled reactors have to operate at 100+ atmospheres of pressure. Just taking water out of the equation makes fission several orders of magnitude simpler and safer to use.

That's why we should be working on new designs based on molten salt cooling, such as LFTR [wikipedia.org] . Of course we aren't doing that because too many corporations with deep pockets and long tentacles prevent Congress from funding the research. But not to worry... China has a multi-billion-dollar program underway with a thousand PhD's working on it. So eventually we'll be able to buy the reactors from them.

Still, it would be a shame to have to buy from them, when they're just commercializing technology that we (the USA) invented 50~60 years ago.

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43917463)

Or gas cooled. Those work pretty well, too.

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918581)

Yeah and the Russians though liquid metal was a better approach. Where did that get them?

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (3, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43918253)

Yes, we can build safe reactors, just not water-cooled reactors. Fission reactions are "just getting warmed up" by the time water starts boiling. That is a bad combination. This is why water-cooled reactors have to operate at 100+ atmospheres of pressure. Just taking water out of the equation makes fission several orders of magnitude simpler and safer to use.

That's why we should be working on new designs based on molten salt cooling

Water is a popular cooling medium because its specific heat is higher than just about anything else [engineeringtoolbox.com] . If you want to transport a large amount of heat energy from one place to another, heated water is about the best way to do it.

The fact that water vaporizes when overheated or depressurized is a safety mechanism too. When water vaporizes, it absorbs nearly 7x as much energy as it takes to heat water from room temperature to boiling (2260 kJ/kg vs 4.19 kJ/kg*C). Or nearly 2x the energy it takes to heat water from room temperature to the operating temp of a pressurized water reactor [mit.edu] . So a leak or depressurization of the water automatically and instantly results in cooling.

The large volumetric change when water vaporizes is also ideal for driving a generator. Volume change = mechanical work, which is easily captured by a turbine. Without a volume change, you're left trying to capture energy via an inefficient and bulky Stirling engine.

So yeah molten salt reactors have a lot going for them. But the use of water for cooling isn't because of some grand conspiracy. Water is just an extremely good medium for cooling and converting thermal energy into mechanical work, and was the obvious choice when reactors were being designed ~50 years ago.

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918269)

"corporations with deep pockets and long tentacles"? That's a funny nickname for presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton whom banned reprocessing and cut off all remaining research funding, respectively.

Re:Nukes are not economically viable without taxat (3, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#43917541)

One of the big reasons they won't be profitable without state sponsorship is the military applications of enriched Uranium. The US made Energy a whole cabinet level entity chiefly because of nuclear prolifieration issues. Any effort by the far right in the US to "drown government in a bathtub" runs into the problem of how you can have a tiny federal government with a multi-billion dollar Dept. of Energy.
          ( As a small proof of these statements, the total budget for DOE 2014 is a tad over 26 Billion dollars, and the portion of it that is for dealing with weapons and prolifieration related activities is the largest single section of that total at just over 11 billion.)

                                                                                        http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/04/f0/FY14_DOE_Budget_Highlights_Final.pdf [energy.gov]

  (If readers want to cut to the chase, try the table on page 19). Interested people may note that the costs of all kinds of energy generation and of environmental activities are grouped together as one section, but they still come out smaller even lumped together, than the 'blowing things up and stopping other people from doing the same back at us' section does. Scientific research is smaller yet, only about a sixth of the budget. Then there's the question, how much of that environmental clean up and scientific research is actually to support the military parts of DoE activites and maybe ought to show up as another cost of war and proliferation?

        Those costs are going to be incurred so long as the US runs a Nuclear Navy, has H-bombs in its arsenal, and wants to stop various 'rogue nations and state sponsored action groups' from getting their hands on the resulting materials. Stop all civilian energy research (of all kinds, not just nuclear) and all civilian nuclear power plants cold, and you still have that 11 billion, plus its share of general administration costs, internal safety inspections, workforce health compliance, and such. The complex legal procedures for civilian nuclear involve taking fees that are supposed to help offset other DoE costs, then giving more back in exchange, more that is paid for by common taxation, so that it is very hard to say just how much of the grants actually go to the civil corporations and how much of them involves using the corps as a pass through to transfer money back to the military side.
              No other power generation technology faces this problem. We don't have to worry about the costs of military prolifieration of, say, wind or hydro technologies. But, what will happen if we start having to pay to prevent dirty coal projects in other countries? What if, for example, the US starts taking Kyoto seriously and wants to really cut coal prolifieration? About the only options we would have (short of just stopping all those nations from building enough powerplants of any sorts to keep their people alive), would be to let some of them develop nuclear plants. Those costs would then again be counted as part of our nuclear power costs. In other words, A large part of the cost of reducing other nations dirty coal emissions and greenhouse gasses would show up in the US budget as a nuclear proliferation control cost, even if the US completely stopped building or running all civilian nuclear plants on its own soil. Our economic system isn't just built to reward dangerous cost cutting, it is built to push costs that are only tangentially related to nuclear power into counting as 'Nuclear power' costs. That alone means Nukes will never be economically viable without taxation, but it's an artifact of the way we do the budget.

I wouls have got a frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43915805)

But i was contained in a 900 ton containment vessel.

Bottom head? (5, Funny)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about a year ago | (#43915823)

Am I supposed to know what they are talking about here? Where is this going? Why? What is a bottom head used for? Vogtle Unit 3?? I feel like Lord Helmet in Spaceballs shouting "WHO??" in confusion just before his mask falls.

Re:Bottom head? (4, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43915855)

Unit 3 means it is the third reactor in the power plant. Vogtle is the name of the power plant (probably the name of the place it is located in). Apparently there are already 2 units installed there with Generation II reactors and they are now in the process of construction another two units with Generation III reactors of the Westinghouse AP1000 design.

Re:Bottom head? (5, Interesting)

firewrought (36952) | about a year ago | (#43916227)

Unit 3 means it is the third reactor in the power plant. Vogtle is the name of the power plant (probably the name of the place it is located in). Apparently there are already 2 units installed there with Generation II reactors and they are now in the process of construction another two units with Generation III reactors of the Westinghouse AP1000 design.

Vogtle was President/Chairman of Southern Company, Georgia Power's parent company. (Southern tends to name most of their plants after company bigwigs.) Apparently, he was a real POW who inspired [wikipedia.org] the motorcycle dude in The Great Escape.

Re:Bottom head? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916453)

all us guys know that the bottom head is the one that's really in charge.

How is this news? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#43916883)

Unit 3 means it is the third reactor in the power plant.

I managed to guess that but what I really don't understand is why building a nuclear power station is really news worthy. We've had nuclear power for quite a while and, as far as I can tell, this isn't even a new type of reactor just a different design using established technology.

Re:How is this news? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#43916967)

what I really don't understand is why building a nuclear power station is really news worthy.

You will understand why it is news worthy once figure out how long it has been since the last bit of "New" nuclear power was built.

Re:How is this news? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43916985)

Well it is a Generation III nuclear power plant. It still uses LWR (liquid water reactor) technology like the old Generation II nuclear power plants but it uses passive safety systems instead of pumps to ensure the core is cooled down in an emergency. AFAIK there has been no new nuclear power plant construction in the US since the 1980s and this is the first new reactor being built since then. The AP1000 design hasn't been built before in the US although there are some plants in construction in China.

Re:Bottom head? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43915895)

The bottom head goes under the top head.

Sheesh.

Re:Bottom head? (2, Insightful)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year ago | (#43916003)

It's a blerry summary. There's a nice wikipedia link in the first line, and it goes to the relevant section of the page, and a decent article about the whole thing. Stop wanting to be spoon-fed every little factoid and become an independent thinker.

Re:Bottom head? (0, Troll)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43916275)

I became an independent thinker, and now everybody downmoderates me :(

Re:Bottom head? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916487)

You've got ten accounts and you troll all the time. I like to downmod you too.

Re:Bottom head? (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43916643)

proof of troll? also, my prior accounts haven't been used in a year. so links or stfu.

Re:Bottom head? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916119)

Am I supposed to know what they are talking about here?

No. Play with your gadgets and go back to sleep. The story is about power generation. Nothing you need to worry yourself about.

Wind and solar, wind and solar, wind and solar...

Re:Bottom head? (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#43916935)

it's wave and sail idiot. Wave and Sail. Not wind and solar.

Re:Bottom head? (2)

Sinus0idal (546109) | about a year ago | (#43916225)

I have to agree, Slashdot articles is getting more and more cryptic and the editing is non existent! Not even the smallest attempt at explaining what is being referenced. It's a summary for a reason, you should only need to Google if you want more information, not to find out what the hell it's talking about! Maybe that's part of the fun?

Re:Bottom head? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#43916373)

Am I supposed to know what they are talking about here? Where is this going? Why? What is a bottom head used for? Vogtle Unit 3?? I feel like Lord Helmet in Spaceballs shouting "WHO??" in confusion just before his mask falls.

This is a story about an energy plant installing a single piece of metal into a hole in the ground. Somehow, we are in awe that this took place. The fact that it is foundation for the first Nuclear reactor built by a private electric utility company in about 35 years might have something to do with it.

Re:Bottom head? (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year ago | (#43916463)

Am I supposed to know what they are talking about here? Where is this going? Why? What is a bottom head used for? Vogtle Unit 3??

Yes you should know, it was used as the background on his XBMC machine, duh!

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43915847)

What is a containment vessel? What are they even building? At least this post had a link.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43915969)

It involves big cranes, heavy things, and nukes. What else do you need?

all that rebar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43915859)

massively reinforced containment. Insane how much rebar is in that concrete.

Re:all that rebar (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43916387)

They want to thoroughly cement their position on the energy market, of course.

Re: all that rebar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916663)

Try searching about the rebar structural issues. Being able to put the head in place IS a big milemarker in nuclear construction.

What? Where? (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43915915)

Yesterday, Georgia Power announced that they successfully lifted the first part of the Vogtle Unit 3 containment vessel into place.

Ah, good. What? This is presumably something to do with nuclear power - as it's come from Nuclear World News - but are they building a reactor or a waste site?

Is this Georgia, the U.S. state? Or Georgia the country, perhaps? Or is it actually somewhere completely unrelated to anywhere called Georgia, but where the company called Georgia Power just happen to be working?

When I was a rugrat, "bottom head" was just something I called my brother when he was being mean.

Re:What? Where? (5, Informative)

malakai (136531) | about a year ago | (#43916021)

The key points missing from this summary is that this is the first Generation III+ reactor being built in the US. The only reason it was allowed to be built was it's an existing site, and had already planned reactor 3 and 4. There's still a general no build moratorium on new reactor sites in the US.

This is the AP1000 which is sort of the "So you want to run a nuclear reactor, For Dummies" type of reactor.

They are very difficult to break. Even if operators do nothing, the reactor will go through a set of procedures ( at times with explosive bolts) to disable the reaction and cool for 72 hours. After that, a helicopter will need to drop water on the top of the tank to keep the gravity well fed.

See more info here on wiki [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What? Where? (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year ago | (#43916327)

Still sounds like too many active systems involved though.

Totally passive reactors seem like the only safe way to do it.

Re:What? Where? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year ago | (#43916479)

The key points missing from this summary ...

Yes, but the key points included in the summary are that OP uses it as the background for his XBMC machine! Shouldn't everyone know that?!

Re:What? Where? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916541)

> There's still a general no build moratorium on new reactor sites in the US

Not true. And more are on the way.

The NRC has moved to a combined license to construct and operate which makes the developer(s) spend quite a bit more money up front, but there is no moratorium on new nukes. For more info check out the NRC website: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col.html

Re:What? Where? (2)

Creepy (93888) | about a year ago | (#43916581)

Yep - with the US abandoning all (government funded) research on Gen IV reactors based on whacko-liberal "facts" over a decade ago (some only applied to Gen II reactors, let alone Gen III or higher, and thank you John Kerry for your ignorance when presenting these) and continuing to use 1950s technology (Gen II reactors), I had my doubts we'd ever build another reactor in the US. I can't say the AP1000 is my favorite of the Gen III+ models, as it seems to cut a lot of corners, it is still probably safer than any Gen II reactor.

The ONE major problem with Gen IV designs is they all require reprocessing for efficiency and this is the one ding against them. Obama has continued the ban on any reprocessing fearing proliferation, but when you look at it, the argument is ridiculous - you'd need to get into the facility, find and grabbed the fuel (you'd likely need to separate it from a stew of highly radioactive chemicals or slowly siphon off Protactinium and wait for it to decay to Uranium), exit the facility undetected by radiation detectors or in a hail of bullets with your personal army, and get to someplace where you have time to build it into a bomb. Yeah, that's going to happen.

Re:What? Where? (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#43916655)

I believe the ban on commercial reprocessing in the US was lifted by Reagan. However it costs a lot to reprocess spent fuel and currently mined uranium is ridiculously cheap so it's not cost-effective by itself. The reduction in waste volume and hence the cost of storage can help defray some of the differential -- the US has something like 700,000 tonnes of unprocessed spent fuel in storage whereas France which has reprocessed most of its commercial nuclear spent fuel has only a few thousand tonnes of high-level waste to store and dispose of.

Re:What? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917381)

the US has something like 700,000 tonnes of unprocessed spent fuel in storage whereas France which has reprocessed most of its commercial nuclear spent fuel has only a few thousand tonnes of high-level waste to store and dispose of.

I've always thought that if we don't reprocess our own nuclear waste, we should at least sell some of it to France. Here, have some cheap nuclear fuel for your reactors.

But that probably violates some nuclear anti proliferation treaty or something.

Re:What? Where? (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#43917689)

It's not against any treaties per se but it's only borderline economic to take in other people's washing, so to speak and the various reprocessing lines in operation around the world are designed with the capacity to handle the home country's spent fuel "load" and not much more. Saying that France and the UK did reprocess some Japanese spent fuel for a time. They produced mixed-oxide fuel with plutonium recovered from the spent fuel using the PUREX reprocessing technology. The vitrified waste was returned to Japan after processing was complete.

The Japanese are just coming to the end of commissioning their own reprocessing plant at Rokkaisho; when up to speed it can deal with about 800 tonnes of spent fuel each year. A smaller prototype plant could deal with about 100 tonnes a year but it was shut down a few years back.

Re:What? Where? (1)

mhotchin (791085) | about a year ago | (#43917837)

The ban on reprocessing is I think less about it being stolen from a US plant, and more about "since the US doesn't do it they can steamroll others into not doing it" - actors like North Korea, for example, or even Japan. Proliferation, rather than security.

That said, I still think the ban is stupid - if we don't trust somebody with a reprocessing plant, why do we trust them not to do it anyway?

Re: What? Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916721)

I think this is old technology but is being built because so much design has already been approved by the NRC and the owners had invested too much money into it. The westinghouse inners x contractor designs are a freaking mess, documentations, design changes, it is all serious business.

Re:What? Where? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43917331)

This is the AP1000 which is sort of the "So you want to run a nuclear reactor, For Dummies" type of reactor.

This is the problem with the way reactors are run. You need experts who really understand how it works and how to deal with problems on site at all times. You can design all the safety features you want in, but if something you didn't plan for happens you don't want dummies trying to deal with it.

The other problem with the AP1000 design is the same one that affected Fukushima. When there is a failure sensors and indicators sometimes fail. You then have a bunch of people in the dark (literally) and without the knowledge or skill to deal with the situation. The AP1000 can handle a lot of things safely (assuming that the safety systems don't get damaged, e.g. stuck control rods or coolant leaks) but experience has shown that this lack of information in a crisis can lead to big problems.

The US is probably okay because you don't get big earthquakes or or events that can cause these kinds of failures, but no current design is really foolproof.

Re:What? Where? (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year ago | (#43918725)

You won't need a helicopter. There is a water pipe at the bottom, where you only need to plug in a fire pump to pump water up to the roof of the building and you're done. No high-pressure shenganians required to cool this one.

Re:What? Where? (4, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43916051)

The Vogtle [wikipedia.org] complex is a group of nuclear reactors in Georgia, the US state, at the border with South Carolina. There are 2 older-generation plants operating there already (1.2GW capacity each), and Georgia Power is building two more using Westinghouse's AP1000 design. These are the first new nuclear power plants built in the US since Three Mile Island.

The bottom head is, more or less, the reactor's "floor".

Georgia Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916157)

Is this Georgia, the U.S. state? Or Georgia the country, perhaps? Or is it actually somewhere completely unrelated to anywhere called Georgia, but where the company called Georgia Power just happen to be working?

Georgia Power is the best powerbottom in the business.

Re:What? Where? (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43916305)

Is this Georgia, the U.S. state? Or Georgia the country, perhaps? Or is it actually somewhere completely unrelated to anywhere called Georgia, but where the company called Georgia Power just happen to be working?

With a name like Vogtie, it sounds like former USSR! also, with the whole chernobyl thing, it makes sense that they would need a nuclear containment vessel over there. lastly, double plus good for the person above who made the nuclear wessel joke. Take me to your nuclear wessels!

Re:What? Where? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43916411)

Unit means reactor. Vogtle is a nuclear power site in the state of GA.

How a post that "Help, I am ignorant and unwilling to google" got modded up I will never know.

Re:What? Where? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43916907)

How a post that "Help, I am ignorant and unwilling to google" got modded up I will never know.

Perhaps because most people think you shouldn't have to head to another website to even glean the most basic understanding of what a summary about or where the events detailed are taking place. Having to infer which field of science the summary relates to based on the title of the source is pretty poor, too.

nobody builds waste sites. (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43916589)

they just put little crumbs of fuel rods in your power bill each month. if you have been saving them unpaid, you can probably shake each envelope out into a cereal bowl, and have a really awesome science project that kills all your competition.

Re:What? Where? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#43917279)

Interestingly, I knew exactly where this is and was able to generate the missing info from the context, only because I grew up about 60 miles from this plant. When I was a kid I'd climb on top of a giant hill in south Augusta, GA, and on a clear day you could see the cooling towers from the power plant off in the distance.

Richmond County kids were always jealous of the Burke County kids, because their high school was so much nicer. It was paid for with nuclear money and was nicknamed "The Mall." (The county later made us feel better by putting barbed wire fencing around Burke County High, I assume to keep nuclear mutated monsters out.)

Crane (3, Interesting)

PcItalian (1835114) | about a year ago | (#43915955)

Laron helped build the Crane that is lifting that 900 Ton vessel, and I just so happen to work for Laron :)

Re:Crane (5, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43916131)

/highfive

As someone who works on cranes myself, I was more interested in the lift than in the actual thing being constructed. Got any specs on that sheerleg? It looks like a monster. My eyes aren't good enough to count the number of falls, but just the boom structure has me ballparking its capacity at what, 2000 tons?

Re:Crane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917091)

Let's not forget the advanced fluginflappin or the over _200_ thonkcount on that sucker! Also, another thing that's advanced and in the know crane related talk!

Re:Crane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917243)

My cock weighs in at 200 thonkcount after fluginflappin it.

Re:Crane (4, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43917391)

Let's not forget the advanced fluginflappin or the over _200_ thonkcount on that sucker! Also, another thing that's advanced and in the know crane related talk!

A sheerleg is a floating crane - basically a flat barge with lots of ballast tanks to keep itself balanced while it lifts superheavy things. Rather than a previously-constructed ship that then has a crane stuck on top, the ship is the crane.

The number of falls is the number of times (plus one) that the cable is wrapped around a sheave (a pulley). Simple machines - a 2-fall crane can lift twice as much as a 1-fall crane, but uses a longer cable to do so. So cranes that have to lower things down to the seafloor generally have only one or two falls, while cranes for land or low-depth heavy lifting can have as many as 32.

The boom is the big ol' steel truss structure that everything hangs off of.

A note on capacities and this lift - 900 tons is a big lift, but not an amazingly big one. The average capacity of a heavy-lift mast crane is 600-800 tons in my experience, but can easily go into the thousands. Anything above 1000 is pretty sizeable, 2000 or more is pretty darn huge. The largest I've seen is 5000, the largest I can Google is 8700.

Re:Crane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917549)

Hmm. So cranes aren't over 9000 yet?

On time and on budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916121)

How does a nuclear reactor project, which was started, and scheduled to take 3 years to complete, get so far behind, that it's going to take another 4-5 years to finish (starting from today!) Even with delays and changes, it should only take 3 - (work already completed), years to complete.

Maybe they should be using the 'Agile' nuclear reactor construction methodology.

Re:On time and on budget (2)

PSUspud (7236) | about a year ago | (#43916189)

Umm -- where did the "3 years to complete" come from? In the Wikipedia article linked above, it was reported that it would be 3-4 years to get a license, before construction began. That was in 2008, and construction started in 2013. Not bad for getting through the NRC.

Re:On time and on budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916361)

According to the http://www.world-nuclear-news.org story linked TFA

Site preparation for two new reactors at Vogtle began in mid-2009, with a licence to build and operate them following in February 2012. But project leader Georgia Power encountered problems that forced it to amend its licence and use a different concrete mix. This licensing issue was resolved at the end of February but the delay pushed back start-up dates for the two new units to late 2017 and late 2018.

So site preparation began (construction started) in 2009. But re-reading it does indeed say the licence to 'build' in 2012. So, it was a 3 years of planned site preparation? And now is it construction 'start-up' is set back to 2017? Or is it (completed) nuclear reactor start-up that's pushed back?

Honestly, after re-reading all I can see is 8 years of site preparation, maybe ending with some new construction (or possibly more licensing issues). I think I have to stick with my snarky first comments.

Re:On time and on budget (4, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#43916249)

About the only place that builds nuclear power plants on time is South Korea. This is probably because of permission issues. It also helps they have a large naval construction industry that can build the required steel pressure vessels. Sometimes the problems are due to licensing issues, and lawsuits stalling construction. Other times there isn't enough financing to build it at the originally planned speed. Then there are the issues with happen when you are building any new kind of reactor with untrained personnel. This is the first AP1000 reactor being built in the US (although there are a couple under construction in China for quite some time now).

Re:On time and on budget (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about a year ago | (#43916417)

South Korea has just taken a number of its reactors offline after discovering a lot of parts weren't properly qualified for use in nuclear installations, sold and fitted with dodgy paperwork in regard to QA and such. They're not safety-related parts but under the terms of their operating licences the reactors can't generate power until the parts are swapped out for properly documented replacements.

The Chinese are bringing their new-build reactors online approximately to schedule (about 4 to 5 years from first concrete to grid connection) but we don't know what sort of corners they're cutting, if any.

Thanks for the image. Now I'll have nightmares. (3, Funny)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#43916281)

Maybe they should be using the 'Agile' nuclear reactor construction methodology.

I've been programming professionally, as methodology fads
have come and gone. Among those I've encountered were the agile family and its precursors.

Much of that experience was in the auto industry, where
practically any software might end up being life-critical. and
some in telecom, where the reliability requirements are
tighter than mil spec.

My software is noted for robustness,
to the point that a colleague once remarked that I was the
only person he'd trust to program an artificial heart for him.
(Said colleague was one of the evangelists for an agile
precursor.)

The very thought of deploying a nuclear reactor designed
using an agile methodology makes me shiver. I expect to
have nightmares about the possibly for a while now.

Please DON'T mention this bright idea to the pointy-haired
bosses.

For about half a century. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#43916333)

Make that: "I've been programming professionally
for about half a century, as methodology fads
have come and gone."

And dropping that in an edit should give you an idea
of how horrified I am at the moment.

Re:For about half a century. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916633)

Horrified is what I was shooting for :)

Re: For about half a century. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916775)

You forgot the "now get off my lawn"

Re:For about half a century. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#43917229)

It's not as horrifing as reading a post full of logical fallacies and ignorant view form someonoe whose job requires logical and crrtical thing

A) Argument from authority
B) Argument from Personal Incredulity
C) "Agile" methodoliogy comes from big industry. It wasn't invented in the software industry. It ahs been used with great success for many decades.
D) Agile methodolies are faster, make fewer mistakes, and ahve better predictive costs.

It's cute that you ahve person anecdotes to support your bias, but good thinking it isn't.

Re:For about half a century. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917889)

the 'great success' depends greatly on the definition of success I guess.

Re:Thanks for the image. Now I'll have nightmares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917159)

I can tell you are old school to the max given your 40 column display you typed that out on. 80 columns is for newbs!

Re:Thanks for the image. Now I'll have nightmares. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43917247)

I bet you'd have a spectacular burn-down chart though.

Re:Thanks for the image. Now I'll have nightmares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43918485)

And let me guess, change is bad? I can tell from your 80 character line breaks.

Re: On time and on budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916759)

This happens with every big construction contractor like Shaw or Bechtel. water on a duck's back.

Quick and dirty explanation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916129)

The piece they are talking about is the part of a nuclear reactor they are adding to an existing nuclear power site. It's considered a big deal here in Georgia, the state within the United States, because the entire project is behind schedule and the budget for construction has doubled since the Georgia Power received the license to begin construction.

This particular part sits below the reactor as part of the containment structure surrounding said reactor. It is designed to act as a catch basin for the nuclear fuel in the reactor should a meltdown occur and melt through the bottom of the main reaction chamber. I'm not sure if they still do this, but older reactor designs would fill this component with sand to cause the nuclear fuel to turn into a radioactive glass that could be more easily contained and handled after a meltdown.

Welded containment vessel? (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#43916135)

I assume this is the outer containment vessel? I had been lead to believe that the containment vessel was made from a single piece by articles like this [bloomberg.com] one. In fact this [ukap1000application.com] pdf from the UK seems to indicate that Japan Steel Works is in fact a supplier for AP1000.

Re:Welded containment vessel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916209)

The reactor is produced as a single piece. The reactor is also a containment vessel. If that is breached then there is a much larger, typically steel and concrete structure, which is another containment vessel. This structure is houses within a depressurized containment building (so air flows in through air leaks rather than out).

Re:Welded containment vessel? (2)

imikem (767509) | about a year ago | (#43916213)

You are probably thinking of the reactor vessel, rather than the containment vessel. The reactor vessels are all currently made by Japan Steel Works as they appear to be the only provider capable of manufacturing the 230 mm steel required for the job.

Vaguely related subject – I wish we could get a LFTR built to evaluate.

Re:Welded containment vessel? (1)

Nit Picker (9292) | about a year ago | (#43916393)

Actually, I believe that Doosan(sp?) in Korea made the Vogtle reactor vessel.

Re:Welded containment vessel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916285)

"I assume this is the outer containment vessel?"

Yes. The "40m wide" part is a pretty clear indication of that :-) Pressure vessels are rather smaller.

Re:Welded containment vessel? (1)

Nit Picker (9292) | about a year ago | (#43916369)

The Bloomberg article has somewhat confused terminology. The forged item they seem to mean is the reactor PRESSURE vessel, which during operation contains the core surrounded by water at approx. 100atm.
The bottom head belongs to the CONTAINMENT vessel, which in normal operation contains air at near atmospheric pressure, along with the pressure vessel and other components. During an accident, the pressure would rise, but to a much lower pressure than the pressure vessel routinely holds. The idea is that the outside of the containment vessel would be kept cool in the advent of an accident by having water flow by gravity over it from a large tank above it. The cooling would condense enough steam inside the containment vessel to keep pressure within the design limit--seems like around 80psi, but I'm not sure.
The containment vessel is itself surrounded by the shield building, which supports the water tank and allows air to flow over the containment vessel.

Re:Welded containment vessel? (1)

TopSpin (753) | about a year ago | (#43916711)

That Bloomberg story is about the reactor pressure vessel [wikipedia.org] or RPV, the part the contains the reactor core. These authors write poorly and got it wrong calling it the "containment vessel."

This Slashdot story is about the AP-1000 containment vessel, not the RPV. The vessel [world-nuclear-news.org] is 36 meters wide and 65 meters tall. Nothing on Earth can make a single piece of forged steel that large.

The RPVs specified for the AP-1000 are unusual. RPVs are traditionally welded [nrc.gov] .

Reactor pressure vessels, which contain the nuclear fuel in nuclear power plants, are made of thick steel plates that are welded together.

RPVs for other common reactor designs such as CANDU or VVER are welded assemblies. Often forged steel steel rings are stacked and welded. Some RPVs use large forged plates and are axially welded.

Note that although the bottom of the AP-1000 RPV is a single piece it still has a separate head; the top of the RPV is gasketed and bolted to the vessel like every other PWR or BWR. It has to be to (re)fuel the reactor.

Doc Brown? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916145)

"Southern Nuclear lists the capacity as 1,215 MW"

Now, all they need is a flux capacitor...

WTF IS THIS METERS SHIT !! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916301)

It is yards !! Or it is feet !! This is The United States of America !! Land of the free !! Home of the Braves !! Georgia Peach !! Jimmy Carter !! Coca-Cola !!

Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916317)

I don't begrudge the career that I've chosen; doing board, FPGA and ASIC design for the last 15 years has always been fun, challenging and has paid well, but in comparison to HUGE, awesome structures in those pictures, what I've worked on seems so tiny, insignificant and hardly worth mentioning. It's when I see something like that that I wish I had followed a different path and gone into something awesome like nuclear reactor design. </idle musings>

Re:Incredible (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year ago | (#43916837)

Huge-structure guy here. Guys like you are the people making sure that the things made by guys like me don't spin out of control [youtube.com] and kill people.

We like guys like you.

Slashdot sets a new record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43916399)

A new record has been set for "Least helpful title and description for a story ever".

Spidey Sense is Tingling (1)

tiberus (258517) | about a year ago | (#43916709)

Okay, maybe I'm just paranoid. Alright, no maybe, I am, I'm really good at it and I get paid ("Is adept at risk identification") to be that way.

Seriously though, who thought it was a good idea (Don't get me wrong here those pics are awesome) to post anywhere, hi-res photos of the construction of nuclear reactor? Is the NRC asleep at the console?

Re:Spidey Sense is Tingling (1)

mhotchin (791085) | about a year ago | (#43917929)

I'm not sure what your concern is - why *not* post such photos?

If you think that the publication of the photos would be a security concern, then I'd be *way* more concerned that an approved design would have such security concerns. Like crypto, the best security systems are immune to outside inspection. They should work even if the attacker has your blueprints.

It's a giant wok! (1)

UneducatedSixpack (2829861) | about a year ago | (#43916713)

It is a giant wok. Only handle is missing.

Why are you building another reactor? (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year ago | (#43916761)

Imagine how much alternative energy you could have funded with that but noooo, the US got to build more reactors :P

Re:Why are you building another reactor? (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#43917077)

Imagine the hundreds of motionless-landscape-ruining windmills that won't be needed now that this will be running in a few years.

Re:Why are you building another reactor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917603)

Depending on who you talk to, nuclear *IS* alternative energy (to fossil fuels).

The world would be a better palce if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917131)

Vogtle 3 was a long range spacecraft being built orbit.

And the headline would be the same!

Power for the future (1)

J05H (5625) | about a year ago | (#43917153)

That is some impressive engineering. One of my cousins is a machinist on the AP1000 factory line, it's a great design except that it's not a fast-breeder. Despite Fukushima, nuclear power continues to be one of our best options, if not the best.

Another: "What, you don't recognize this?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917327)

Yet another post with no intro or context. To drive traffic, slashdot relies on people clicking into the site just find out what the post is talking about. Like me, thousands only subscribe out of a faded sense of nerd obligation. How many of us are here reluctantly?

Communication fail (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | about a year ago | (#43917451)

Not everybody is following the nuclear news and is familiar to "Vogtle" and whatever it is these people are building.
As I read the story, I first wondered if it was talking about the new Tchernobil sarcophagus, then maybe something to cover Fukushima, then understood it was some new reactor somewhere and wondered _why_ it was slashdot worthy news (still don't know).

Bottom head? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43917875)

I know what a 'front bottom' is, and a 'back bottom', but a 'bottom head'? Presumably, it is not the same as a 'head bottom'?

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