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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (JSMRs) irrelevant last ditch ploy of the failing nuclear industry

Small-modular-reactor-dudSmall reactors just compound the waste problem because you generate more radioactive components (aside from all the nuclear fuel that turns into nuclear waste too) than a large nuclear reactor does per unit of energy generated. And placing them underground, while making them less tempting targets for terrorists, brings up issues of groundwater contamination and greater earthquake vulnerability in affected areas. The fact that you could use ground-source cooling to condense your cooling water a lot easier with these reactors is a benefit, so they aren’t completely a bad idea.

However, it should be made abundantly clear why some in the nuclear industry see these reactors as a way forward. As the article mentions, building large 1GW+ reactors has become an immensely risky undertaking from a financial perspective. Forget all the crap people harp on about Fukushima, the price tags on these reactors are the real killer. The new reactor under construction in Finland (Olkiluoto Unit 3) is coming in at 8.5B euros ($11.55B), or almost 3 TIMES it’s initial cost estimate. In dollar terms, that amounts to over $7.21 per watt!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkiluoto_Nuclear_Power_Plant

New reactors going up in the US are posting similar figures, although the massive web of government supports and insulation from market forces that the nuclear industry benefits from makes true cost figures for these reactors hard to pin down.

This is in the face of wind power getting INSTALLED for $1 – $2 per watt:

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2013/08/06/new-study-finds-that-the-price-of-wind-energy-in-the-united-states-is-near-an-all-time-low/

In short, the nuclear industry is scrambling for solutions before it becomes clear to everybody how irrelevant they are. Much like typewriters got really fancy and sophisticated in the 1990′s before going the way of the buggy whip and the rotary phone.

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January 9, 2014 - Posted by | Reference, technology

2 Comments »

  1. An important, hushed-up fact is that the U.S. already produces the energy-equivalent of 60 nuclear power plants with Wind and Solar Energy!

    Wind and Solar Energy in the U.S. is producing a lot of clean, cheap energy.

    This success with Wind and Solar Energy proves how unnecessary and obsolete nuclear energy is.

    Comment by Guest | January 9, 2014 | Reply

  2. It does no good to argue with the nuclear proponents. I just point out the fact that in the past smaller nuclear plants were shut down because they could not compete economically with the larger plants. Why do they think things will sudenly be different now?

    Comment by jamie | January 10, 2014 | Reply


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