Australian news, and some related international items

For Australia – the prohibitive cost and time involved in constructing new nuclear reactors

The nuclear cycle of destruction , RedFlag, James Plested, 12 July 2019   ” ……..Another downside to nuclear power is the cost and time involved in constructing new reactors. As Peter Farley of Engineers Australia wrote in RenewEconomy earlier this year, “The 2,200 MW Plant Vogtle [a new nuclear plant in the US] is costing US$25 billion plus financing costs, insurance and long term waste storage … For the full cost of US$30 billion, we could build 7,000 MW of wind, 7,000 MW of tracking solar, 10,000 MW of rooftop solar, 5,000 MW of pumped hydro and 5,000 MW of batteries”.

International financial advisory firm Lazard’s 2018 Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis found that nuclear power was significantly more expensive than gas, coal, or renewable energy sources like solar and wind. For new nuclear, it estimated the cost at US$112-189 per megawatt hour. The cost of power generation from coal was US$60-143. Wind and utility-scale solar were significantly cheaper, at US$29-56 and US$36-46 respectively.

The world’s 450 or so operative nuclear reactors produce only around 11 percent of the electricity supply. Any significant increase in this proportion would require a massive program of construction – on the order of 1,000 new plants over the next decade.

According to the most generous estimates, the cost of constructing a single new nuclear reactor is between US$5 and $10 billion (and the necessary decommissioning of the average reactor now costs an estimated US$500 million). So for the construction of 1,000, we would be looking at up to US$10 trillion. In addition, there is related infrastructure such as new uranium mines, enrichment and transportation facilities, waste storage facilities and so on. But if there are trillions of dollars available for nuclear, why not use that money to fund a global shift to a combination of wind, solar, tidal and other renewable sources that could much more cheaply and sustainably provide for the world’s energy needs? ….” .

July 13, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business

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