Dr Kelvin Kemm said about the PBMR: “At the end of its design life, fuel will be kept on site for 40 years after the plant has been shut down. At this point it can be removed and the entire PBMR can be demolished, and the site returned to greenfield status. In fact, the current costing of the project has assumed this option, and has also included the cost of long term storage of depleted fuel”.
He seems to imply that decommissioning costs have been calculated, but Steve Thomas said they hadn’t.
Kemm also says “there are essentially no more hydro sites that could deliver significant amounts of power”. But according to a professor of soil science, the Mzimvubu River was mooted as being a possible HEP site for a long time.
Kemm also says: “The staff needed to operate such a reactor do not need to be particularly highly skilled” – that sort of worries me in connection with a nuclear reactor?
As far as costs are concerned, Kemm says: “the proposed PBMR system is inexpensive to build, and inexpensive to operate” which we now know is not true.
Kemm says: “There is no low or medium level waste produced by a PBMR, except for gloves, jackets and similar items that might be used by workers in a designated radiation area. Depleted fuel balls are planned to be stored on site for many years. However, they can either be removed to a repository, or left on site for decades, depending on the operator’s policy. The current PBMR design assumes that depleted fuel balls will be stored on site for the duration of the plant’s lifetime, and then for a further 40 years after plant shutdown and decommissioning”. Only 40 years? Charming!
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