Friday, April 6, 2007

We Can’t Afford Nuclear

Utility analyst Jim Harding has summed up many economic obstacles that confront nuclear power. Three highlights:

  • Construction costs since 2002 grew 4 percent faster than the rate of inflation-a more dramatic increase than during the 1980s, when nuclear construction costs mushroomed out of control.
  • Based on the actual cost of eight recent Asian nuclear plants (an optimistic benchmark), nuclear electricity would probably cost about 11¢/kWh, versus 0-4¢ for conservation and 5-7¢ for wind.
  • Western uranium consumption is about two thirds current production, and a cost crisis looms. (Harding crunches the numbers to show why reprocessing is not the answer.)

Harding concludes,

Nuclear power is therefore like a fat kid at the front of the line, insisting to be fed before anyone else, and promising in exchange to grow into another Schwarzenegger. His appetite and promises haven't changed in twenty years, and governments would be wise to stop feeding him.

There's lots more in his comments and related presentation (some great graphics), available courtesy of the Nuclear Information Resource Service.


Anonymous said...

Great work.

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