REVOLT News 

24/10/2004

Text Version 

Revolt news 172 

1. Correction (news171.2) - the pro-wind PR contract placed by DTI with
Porter Novelli (not Peter Novelli) is for 2 million pounds, and
additional to the BWEA (British Wind Energy Association) campaign
"Embrace the revolution", say Country Guardian. 
2. Russian President Vladimir Putin's cabinet endorsed the Kyoto
Protocol 30.9.04 and sent it to the Duma to be rubber stamped. The lower
house of the Duma agreed it last week. With Russia's assent, the Kyoto
Protocol will have enough signers to become a United Nations treaty,
subject to international law.
3.  A note on AC - DC and underground - overhead transmission.
Normal transmission lines in the UK are AC and 3-phase, strung on the
familiar pylons. They can be buried; then they are usually called
"cables" and it can be around 20 times more expensive. For example the
new 400kV Yorkshire line is about 75km, mainly overhead but with about 6
km underground. Revolt has promoted the development of super-conducting
cables (HTSC) which offer potential cost savings and other advantages.
Unusually there are DC transmission lines, both overhead (as planned in
Gippsland, Australia, in connection with the Basslink project) and as
commonly used under the sea such as the recent interconnector from
Scotland to Northern Ireland. At the ends of the DC lines, to connect
with the AC system, there are DC-AC converter stations. At the ends of a
400 kV AC line there are substations with transformers to convert to
lower voltages for distribution. At the ends of a stretch of underground
AC cable there are sealing-end compounds with a terminal towers to link
with the overhead sections. Apart from the cost of underground cables,
there are costs and impacts of the end systems to consider. Taking all
that into account, a form of underground DC cable (HVDC Light, as used
in the Murraylink project in Australia) is promoted as offering various
advantages particularly over longer distances; it would be worth
considering for the Ullapool - Beauly - Denny line. (APPENDIX 1). We did
investigate HVDC a year ago and were advised by consultants to
nexans.com that it is always going to be more costly than conventional
overhead lines. However the latest claims for HVDC Light are that it can
be cheaper in total life cycle cost.
4.  Extracts from a US newsletter on using naval nuclear engines as
floating generators, see APPENDIX 2.
5. Snips from news@all-energy 12.10.04 are at APPENDIX 3.
6.  Three companies are prosecuted over the Derrybrien land slip (the
bogalanche) (APPENDIX 4).
7.  From the CPRE magazine Country Voice:
(a) The new Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act came into force this
summer. CPRE has created a website to help the public understand the new
system.
<www.cpre.org.uk/planninghelp>
(b) CPRE policy on wind farms. It believes greenhouse gases are a major
threat and will campaign for reductions in energy consumption, but says
wind farms should avoid damaging valued rural landscapes. CPRE will
support renewable energy development in some cases, but will strongly
resist those which damage the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the
English countryside.
***********************************************************
APPENDIX 1   Notes on HVDC Light (extracts from pdf file sent by
commercial parties in Canada)
HVDC Light technology (see www.abb.com\hvdc ) has the potential to play
an important
role in achieving this solution. It provides improved power quality and
power flow control
as well as introducing extruded DC-cables which have no technical limit
to distance
which can be installed, and can provide an alternative to overhead lines
particularly
when the total capital and environmental costs are considered.
In addition, the installation of DC cables is less complicated compared
to AC
cables, because DC cables produce less EMF impact and have less losses.
Therefore, it is possible to consider alternative and simpler
installation such as
ducts or simply buried cable in the ground or under sidewalks, instead
of deep
and expensive tunnels as is the case for AC cables.
The health aspect of electromagnetic pollution has been targeted by
consumer
groups, saying that communities near AC power transmission lines or
cables
have higher incidences of leukemia among children than those in the rest
of the
region. Less restriction is made for the magnetic field from a DC cable
since this
one is stationary (like the Earth's natural magnetic field), while the
AC cable
generates an alternating magnetic field. An alternating field, but not a
stationary field, can induce body current.
Another environmental issue is pollution from oil. Extruded insulation
cable
(fluid-less cable) exists today that is more environmentally friendly.
Therefore,
high voltage cable technology (either AC or DC) is characterized by a
changeover from the conventional lapped paper dielectric impregnated
with oil under
pressure to extruded synthetic dielectrics.
In large cities, large AC cables are best accommodated in tunnels. This
solution
provides the opportunity to maximize reliability by supplying and
installing
longer lengths, reducing the number of joints. However, tunnels are
rather
expensive and cause inconvenience to society during construction.
The installation of DC cables is less complicated compared to AC cables,
because DC cables produce less EMF impact and have less losses.
Therefore, it
is possible to consider alternative and simpler installation such as
ducts or
simply buried cable in the ground or under sidewalks, instead of deep
and
expensive tunnels.
The Murraylink project . the world.s longest underground high-voltage
interconnection at
176 kilometers .
o won the 2002 Case EARTH Award for Environmental Excellence for best
practice and innovation in the environmental management of civil
construction
projects. The award was presented by the Civil Contractors. Federation
of
Australia.
Summary
A pair of lightweight DC cables can be laid direct in the ground in a
cost-
effective way
which is comparable to or less than a corresponding total life cycle
cost of
AC overhead line. As opposed to an overhead line, an underground cable
pair
has no visual impact on the landscape. Usually it's much easier to
obtain
permission and public approval for an underground cable transmission
compared with an overhead line, especially in residential areas.
Last, it is important to note that Hydro One is deploying HVDC Light
technology
under one of the Great Lakes to connect to the American hydro grid.
************************************************************************
APPENDIX 2    Extracts from  Floating Nuclear Power  By Gordon Prather  
(c) 2001 WorldNetDaily.comma   http://www.sepp.org
The Nimitz is powered by two 
nuclear reactors, which drive eight steam turbine generators, producing
a 
total of 64 MWe of electrical power.  At sea, most of that electrical
power 
is used to drive the Nimitz to speeds in excess of thirty knots and its 
reactors can operate at full power for a dozen or so years, essentially 
continuously, and without refueling.  But when the Nimitz is dockside in 
Portland or Eureka, it costs no more to continue to operate its reactors
at 
full power; and most of that 64MWe generated could be provided -- in 
principle -- to you people ashore,
But that would be silly, of course, using the Nimitz to keep you from 
freezing in the dark.  You don't need a multi-billion dollar, 95,000-ton 
displacement, 1092-foot long, 252-foot wide aircraft carrier to provide
the 
60MWe you need.  All you need are the nuclear reactors and their steam 
generators mounted on some kind of unsinkable barge.  And it would be a 
very good thing if the entire power plant sited on the unsinkable barge 
could be constructed somewhere else, far out of the reach of our
federal, 
state and local regulators, and hence out of the reach of "interveners."
Well, as it happens, the Russians began constructing about five years
ago a 
factory to make at least a dozen such unsinkable barge-mounted nuclear 
power plants for their own use at remote Russian cities in the 
Arctic.  Because of the financial meltdown in Russia in 1998, the 
construction was put on hold, but it appears that President Putin has
now 
made resuming construction and the international marketing of these
nuclear 
power plants a fairly important item on his agenda.  He certainly did so
on 
his trip earlier this year to Indonesia.
The power plant comprises two KLT-40 reactors, driving four steam
turbine 
generators, producing 70 MWe.  The power plant is mounted on a 160-meter 
long un-propelled double-hulled ice-breaker-like steel barge that will
also 
house the living quarters for the 60 crewmen.  The KLT-40 nuclear
reactors 
are presently used in Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers and already
have 
a repair-free life span of 110,000 hours.  They can operate continuously 
for periods of up to 9,000 hours in harsh Arctic conditions.
The factory in Murmansk will "mass produce" the barges and power plants, 
including on-board refueling and waste management facilities.  Each
reactor 
is encased in a containment structure able to withstand high over-
pressure. 
The main hull and superstructure framework is made from D40 steel, which 
has a high resistance to brittle fracture under low temperature 
conditions.  The hull will be a completely welded structure, reinforced 
against hitting icebergs in transit and the pressure of being frozen in
ice 
all winter.
The dozen or so Russian barge-mounted nuclear-power plants being built
are 
intended to keep 20 million Russians living in remote communities in the 
Arctic Circle and the Bering Strait from freezing in the dark.  The 
floating nuclear power plants will not require refueling for up to 4
years, 
will operate for up to 40 years, being interrupted every 13 years for a 
return to Murmansk for maintenance.
Separately, Putin and the Russians are also proposing to substitute 
desalination units for steam turbines on some barges.  While not yet a 
problem in Maine, there may soon be a fresh water deficit in 
California.  It is estimated that there is already a combined fresh-
water 
deficit for India, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Algeria, etc. of more than 
10-million cubic meters daily.  Each Russian APWS-40 barge mounted
nuclear 
powered desalination plant is expected to be capable of supplying up to 
80,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily at a cost of about a dollar per 
cubic meter.
The disadvantage of using the KLT-40 reactors for power generation is
that 
they are an old design, not very efficient, and use fairly highly
enriched 
(60% U-235) Uranium.  It would be a good thing if, for example, the 
modularized 110 MW "pebble-bed" nuclear power plants -- also a well-
proven 
design but far more efficient and more nuke proliferation resistant -- 
developed in South Africa by the South Africans (Eskom), Russians 
(Kurchatov), Germans (Siemens) and Americans (Exelon) could soon be
built 
in South Africa and/or Russia and mounted on unsinkable barges and towed
to 
our shores.
But, at the moment, the enormous advantage of the KLT-40 design is that
it 
has already met all Russian nuclear safety and radiological regulations, 
and already incorporates all pertinent safety recommendations of the 
International Atomic Energy Agency.  What that means is that the 
interveners can't stop these nuclear power plants from being built in 
Russia.  They can't even delay them.  The Russian floating nuclear power 
plants could be off our shores in a matter of two or three years.  Then, 
about the only way the interveners can force you to freeze in the dark
is 
to prevent you from taking your very large industrial strength power
cord, 
rowing out to the Russian barge and plugging it in.
***************************************************************
APPENDIX 3   Snips from news@all-energy 12.10.04.
3.GRID
3.1.Consultation begins on transmission line routes
Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission has asked for views on five
possible route corridors should it
prove necessary to accommodate output from renewable energy schemes
which may be developed on the Western Isles 
www.scottish-southern.co.uk/news/selectcurrent.asp
3.2.Electricity distribution price control update
Ofgem unveiled updated proposals stressing that investment and
efficiency remain at the heart of the
forthcoming electricity distribution price control review (2005-2010).
The final proposals will be
announced in November
www.ofgem.gov.uk/temp/ofgem/cache/cmsattach/8741_r6304_27sept.pdf  
"If the UK's electricity distribution operators are to be able to
deliver the networks the country needs, the regulator will need to move
rapidly, decisively and affirmatively from its present position on the
five-year price review, so that customers don't suffer," Nick Goodall,
CEO, ENA 
www.energynetworks.org/news.asp 
3.3.New from Ofgem
Production of seven-year statements by the transmission licensees in the
run-up to BETTA go-live
www.ofgem.gov.uk/temp/ofgem/cache/cmsattach/8710_22004.pdf 
3.4.BETTA draws nearer
National Grid invites views on their draft statements of charging
methodology proposed for
implementation on 1 April 2005 www.nationalgrid.com/uk/indinfo/betta/gb_
consultations.html 
3.5.Planning and operating standards under BETTA
Newly published ---- 'Planning and operating standards under BETTA -- An
Ofgem/DTI conclusion
document: Volumes 1 and 2' 
www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem/work/index.jsp?section=/areasofwork/betta02 
****************************************************************
APPENDIX 3 Three companies to face prosecution after Derrybrien
landslides
http://212.2.162.45/news/story.asp?j=120710468&p=yzx7yyy74&n=120711228 <
http://212.2.162.45/news/story.asp?j=120710468&amp;p=yzx7yyy74&amp;n=120
711228
> 
 14/10/2004 - 08:28:25 
Three firms are facing joint prosecution after a landslide at Derrybrien
in Co Galway last year.
An ESB subsidiary, ESBI engineering, Gort Windfarms from Co Kerry, and
Ascon Limited of
Kill, Co Kildare, are all facing legal action from Galway County Council
and the Shannon
Regional Fisheries Board on charges of causing pollution.
A consultant's report earlier this year found construction work on a
wind farm was the main
cause of the landslide at Derrybrien.
Work on the project has since been suspended.
The three companies are expected to contest the court case, which is
likely to take place later
this month.
Further news received 20.10.04:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2004/1019/derrybrien.html
 Construction caused landslide, court told
19 October 2004 13:00 
Engineering and geology experts have told a District Court in Galway
they believe last year's
landslide in Derrybrien was caused by construction activity on a €60m
wind farm.
Galway County Council and the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board are
taking three ESB
subsidiary companies and the contracting firm ASCON to court for
polluting a local river which
was at the centre of the landslide zone.
Dr Michael Rodgers, a senior lecturer in civil engineering at NUI
Galway, told the court he was
convinced that the landslide on 16 October 2003 was triggered by
activity around turbine base
Number 68.
Dr Rodgers said could not accept a suggestion by counsel for main sub-
contractor Ascon, that
the landslide had started further down the hill and had pulled thousands
of tonnes of material
from above.
Mr Bernard Murphy, an engineering geologist, said he saw no evidence
that the landslide was
related to a natural event and in his view it was related to
construction activity on the site.
********************************************************************


--
Mike O'Carroll

 

 

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