UNRESTRICTED | ILLIMITÉ
Sorry to pick over an old bone here, but let’s be clear that the costs we’re talking about are associated with ALARA, not LNT. LNT simply assumes an upper bound, with no specified lower bound (therefore consistent with threshold or hormesis effects), and was never intended to be used in predictions of health effects due to low doses. Even ALARA itself isn’t a bad idea – but what we’re concerned with here is the “Reasonably Achievable” part.
This is very interesting stuff.
The way I see it, costs associated with LNT can be broken into three broad categories:
1) Design costs- containment, high quality parts etc to prevent or mitigate radiation accidents.
2) Operational Costs- as you listed ALARA, PJBS, ETC. Also ongoing design changes and safety analysis
3) Decommissioning and fuel storage- lots of unknowns here.
Now the "high initial cost" of Nuclear is well documented as compared to other sources. Despite this cost, it was deemed economic to build the plants.
Operational costs are what balances this... so even if they could be lowered, they are already low.
Finally, decommissioning and fuel costs are already included in electricity prices.
My gut feel is that you'd get a better bang for the buck in terms of economic viability by focusing on other areas.
Two which immediately come to mind are political certainty and project management.
Taking Darlington as an example... original projection 7 billion, final cost 14 billion.
Only a minority of this cost increase was equipment related or inherent to nuclear. And that extra 7 bill could have bought a heck of a lot of LNT!
Moving forward, the whims of politics are likely to always be with us.
That leaves strong Project Management as the key to financial success.
Looking at recent industry project performance is a mixed bag at best.
We should be focused on this area which can save us literally billions and where the regulatory and political implications are nothing but positive.
The major challenge here is getting non project people ( read: normal line managers) to understand what PM is really all about. In my experience, we have created a good awareness of PM but this is only step 1.
In other words, everyone is now tracking SPI and CPI... but most of the time this is useless because the underlying schedule and cost estimates were not prepared with any sort of fidelity (e.g. scheduling an activity for 1 week because it "fits" when the activity physically takes 2 weeks).
That is exactly the same as the "garbage in, garbage out" paradigm in Computer Science and is one of the reasons why so many of our projects have gone to garbage.
If we actually applied PM principles... all of them... and didn't fudge our scheds and budgets... we could achieve some really excellent project performance and cost savings to offset LNT!
On 2011-09-13 2:44 AM, "Rod Adams" <email@example.com> wrote: