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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Popular Mechanics Weighs In On New Nuclear in USA -- Too Costly


"Let me just give you a bald fact," says J. Doyne Farmer, an Oxford University professor of math and complexity economics. "Nuclear power and solar photovoltaics both had their first recorded prices in 1956. Since then, the cost of nuclear power has gone up by a factor of three, and the cost of PV has dropped by a factor of 2,500."
It's really expensive to develop nuclear power plants, and first big reason why is sheer size. They are huge. The average generating capacity of coal plants in the United States is 547 megawatts. That's in the same ballpark as America's smallest nuclear reactor, at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, which has a capacity of 479 megawatts. Meanwhile, the largest single nuclear reactor in the United States is the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station, with 1,500 megawatts in generating capacity.


  1. The thing is the PM article doesnt factor actinide recycle into the economics. With SMR and actinide recycle the cost of long term storage is a fraction for long lived actinides and you need not worry about it for tens of thousands of years. Plus you recover the fission content of the 95% wasted under traditional economic calculations.

    1. Incorrect, processing the fuel into plutonium enrished MOX costs 10 times that of storage.

      And the half life is still 300 years, so dangerous for 3000 years.

      Being a betting man, I would not take 5 to 1 odds that the human race still exists in 300 years.

      Would you take even odds that the human race exists as a somewhat civilized society in even 50 years? Ill be around unless cancer gets me.

  2. Comparing the economics of Keewaunee and Vogtle is apples and oranges. Construction costs are always highest at front end. Additional Vogtle is 2 AP1000s and Gundersen tried his darndest but of course he failed. The NRC will eventually licence these modern machines for 80 years. Integrate the power output over those years and youll see. Plus Factor in future value calculations considering inflation. Keewaunee was built when regulatory ratcheting wasn't a factor. Now there was pushback. Imagine if the FAA did that to airlines which by all mathematics is a much higher risk. Even TMI didnt pan out the way Sternglass and Gofman predicted. So even when antinukes play the TMI card, go ask the workers at TMI Unit 1 these past 40 years whyvtheir cancer rates are lower than the surrounding population. No answer for that one. Antinuclearism is fading. The reason is people are starting to realize after 40 yearscTMI wasn't the ELE.And they want electricity 24/7 for millions.

    1. Your argument is bullshit, what a silly arse statement "construction costs are always highest at the front end?", really, I mean did you really say that?

      And you failed to analyze the economics of Kewaunee versus Vogtle. You just brushed it aside with your drivel.

      Sure Vogtle is larger than Kewaunee, lets say 3 times larger in kW output. So that would make Vogtle only 33 times more expensive per output than Kewaunee instead of 100 times for expensive.

      Oh so now somehow Vogtle makes sense?

      The representatives of Vogtle state that they need to extract $65B from the rate payers to have Vogtle make sense as a business.

      Thats a lot of money coming from those poor Georgia peoples. They are enslaved.


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