The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Climate Change

In recent themes I wrote about nuclear power being in fact a big contributor to global warming,

global warming nuke2

and about how climate change will in fact finish off the nuclear industry.

Climate kills nuclear

But – let’s pretend that nuclear reactors really could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TIME: To do that, 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed within a few yeas to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology Study on “The Future of Nuclear Power”   projected that a global growth scenario for as many as 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation. Average 115 built per year would reduce our CO2 use by only 16%.

When we talk about Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – that 1500 reactors needed translates to millions, (and these SMRs are already shown to be more costly than large ones,)

COSTS: historically and now, the costs of the nuclear industry are staggering. Cost estimates have increased in the past decade from $1,000 to $7,000 per kW installed. And that’s before additional costs – e.g new safety measures, decommissioning are added. U.S. Vogtle project  originally budgeted at $660 million, by 2013 cost $9 billion.   Rating agencies consider nuclear investment risky and the abandoning of nuclear projects explicitly “credit positive”.

Nuclear power and sea level rise All reactors on sea coasts endangered by sea level rise Over the next hundred years there will be significant sea rises, one meter or more, and many closed nuclear reactor sites could be flooded, including the stored nuclear waste. That could contaminate much of the coast lines for decades.

Nuclear power and water shortage –  Climate Change is already bringing droughts and changed rainfall patterns.  Even if the vloume of rain might be the same, or greater, with the warming planet – it’s not much help if it falls in the oceans, or if it falls intermittently – in flooding torrents.

As water becomes scarcer, and more expensive, nuclear power becomes a very uneconomic way to use it.

Nuclear power and the heating planet  The discharge of nuclear power’s cooling

water brings about heat pollution of

As temperatures rise, nuclear reactors will more and more often be forced to shut down – adding to the already well known diseconomics of nuclear.


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