When ever you talk about Nuclear energy one word springs to mind.
Even though time has moved on since then and reactor design and procedures have moved on from then. Designs of plants are vastly superior and pretty much impervious to terrorist attack. But another
Firstly some stuff about radiation. Radiation is quiet a normal thing. Banana’s are in fact quiet radioactive with Potassium 40. A cargo container of banana's could in fact look like someone trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon. Also where would medicine be without x-rays. By far and away the largest radioactive treat to us in
One of the main sources for energy loss in electricty generation is in transmission. When a current travels through a wire it heats up the wire proportional to the amount of current flowing in the wire. This effect is what is used in kettle’s. In transmission wires the voltage is very high. This is because the current is inversely related to the voltage. With Nuclear power because of its high output it will be one big power station. In
Also one of the roles of the government should be to encourage to promote competition in the electrical generation market as this has positives for the market and society. Nuclear power plants will lead to a centralised National grid which will make it difficult for competition to enter the market. Peter Nolan of the Freedom Inistitute talks about the need for Competition in the Business Post
A Nuclear plant would produce a high % of our power. That means that it would mean that we are putting our eggs in one basket. If for instance we took 1 generator off the market for maintance we would be taking out a large portion of our electricity generation capacity. This would mean that we would have to then import electricity from
Nuclear will not make
The reason Nuclear is coming back in vogue is due to the increase in oil prices. Oil in the last 4 years has increased by 300% and is considered high. Uranium on the other hand has increased by 400% and is considered low. While the cost of the fuel is a large proportion of the cost with fossel fuel burning (60% in a coal station for example) then with Nuclear it still about 10% of the cost and Uranium is set to rise as it is considered at a low price and demaned is increasing. In case you are wondering the current price is about $40 pre KG. Thus it would require a 900% increase to make reprocessing feasible.
The costs of building Nuclear plants are huge. The new plant in
The figure from the International Energy Agency is 1.2–2.7 p/kWh while the forecast for Sizewell B the latest British plant is 6p/kWh. The figure for the Canadian association is 3.3/kWh. While MIT have said 3.7-4.4p/kWh and the Royal Academy of Engineers say 2.3 Which of these figures is right I have no idea. All come from various good sources and all differ so take your pick. Many of the low estimates are based on plants that got state aid. So should that be included in the calculation. I would say yes and take a guesstamation figure close to 3.5p but as they say lies dahm lies and statistics.
So then what are the costs roughly of other plants from Royal Academy of Engineers.
Clean Coal 3.2p
On Shore Wind 3.7
Off Shore 5.5p
The Graph came from the Economist
Again wind is a controversial figure with other sources claiming lower figures for wind but I will deal with that in a post about what to do with the future energy needs.
Most of those figures did not to my knowledge deal with the waste issue so they do not included the cost of the managing the nuclear waste. Nuclear waste is radioactive and highly dangerous for thousands of years. Thus the waste has to monitored carefully. Conventional wisdom is that it has to watched for 100 years very closely and then can be buried in highly elaborated specially built geological caves about a km under the ground however none have been built yet in the world. The costs for the latest Finish plant are predicted .
"The total investment costs of the disposal facility are estimated to be 503 M€ (Million Euros), the total operating costs are 1,923 M€ and the decommissioning and the closure costs are 116 M€ totaling 2,542 M€. The investment costs of the above ground facility are 142 M€, the operating costs are 1,678 M€. The repository investment costs are 360 M€ and the operating costs are 245 M€. The decommissioning costs are 7 M€ and the closure costs are 109 M€.The one thing that is probably saving Nuclear in a debate is
Nuclear is not the option for
For more read the recent British Sustainable Development Comissions report The Role of Nuclear Power in a Low Carbon Economy. Which argues against additional Nuclear capacityUpdate: Fecking blogger one word was massive there for a while changed now.