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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear power’s false promise

No2NuclearPower,  nuclear News No.95 May 17 Nuclear power was originally sold on a lie, writes Dave Elliott. While we were being told it would make electricity ‘too cheap to meter’, insiders already knew it cost at least 50% more than conventional generation. Since then nuclear costs have only risen, while renewable energy prices are on a steep decline. And now the nuclear behemoths are crumbling. Dave’s new book ‘Nuclear Power: past, present and future’ for the Institute of Physics looks at the long turgid nuclear story in detail and includes full references.

A classified internal US State Department Intelligence Report, circulated in January 1954, ‘Economic Implications of Nuclear Power in Foreign Countries’, warned that the introduction of nuclear power would ” … not usher in a new era of plenty and rapid economic development as is commonly believed. Nuclear power plants may cost twice as much to operate and as much as 50 percent more to build and equip than conventional thermal plants.”

It wasn’t just accidents that might be a problem. The poor economics of nuclear gradually became more apparent- as cheaper alternatives began to emerge. It turned out to be too expensive.

Given the problems some look to new ‘Generation IV’ designs. They are basically new versions of the old designs looked at in the 1950s, 60s and 70s in the USA and elsewhere – and abandoned as unviable, or after accidents. They include fast neutron plutonium breeders, High Temperature Reactors (HTRs) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSR) possibly using thorium as a fuel and possibly also in scaled down Small Modular Reactor (SMR) format. The message from the past is not promising. http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo95.pdf

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April 28, 2017 - Posted by | resources - print

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