Nuclear power output is flexible and therefore capable of load following
Statistics which to my mind appear to prove EPRs have fair flexibility which I sent to a nuclear-flexibility-sceptic :
Quote from attached July 2008 paper for the government by Sinclair : ONLY RELATES TO NEW NUCLEAR (PWRs; this specific data is being cited for EPRs) – not old graphite-cored UK reactors :
NB Paper reference is BERR Publication URN 08/1021 and it was from the former BERR government department :
Here’s the link, to the 3MB pdf:
Here is the quote : “The most recent nuclear plant in France (Flamanville 3, in Lower Normandy, EPR standard design currently under construction) will have considerable response capability – being able to maintain its output at 25% and then ramp up to full output at a rate of 2.5% of rated power per minute up to 60% output and then at 5% of rated output per minute up to full rated power. This means that the unit can change its output from 25% to 100% of full rated output in less than 30 minutes.” (entirely personal, entirely subjective comment : that does sound pretty fast to me)
- a stated limitation is if you want to take it right down to 25% of output, you should do that no more than twice a day.
It is also recommended in order to ensure the most economic use of the nuclear fuel and to minimise outage durations (which are really, really short – like, a fortnight every 500 days), not to go down to 25% of nameplate, having gone to full power in between, more than a hundred times a year – but that latter annual recommended limit is not an absolute physical limitation (so that no bits of metal will collide and go “bang” if you cycle to such a low, more often).
There are of course some limitations on the flexibility of ANY plant, even a limit on number of recommended starts per year of an OCGT. …. nothing is INFINITELY flexible. Not even Darcy Bussell.