The Economics of Nuclear Power: An Update

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Steve Thomas shows the true cost of nuclear power and makes it clear that nuclear energy in the free market economy without government support is not competitive. He shows his point on examples such as Olkiluoto and Flamanville – installations that were or are built longer then projected – and for much bigger money. He also highlights the costs of operating a nuclear power plant, like fuel prices or waste disposal.

Product details
Date of Publication
2011
Publisher
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, European Union
Number of Pages
70
Licence
All rights reserved.
Language of publication
English
Table of contents

Preface: Nuclear Energy – a Dead End 5
Author’s note 7
Introduction 8
1. T he world market for nuclear plants: existing orders and prospects 9
2. Key determinants of nuclear economics 16
2.1. Construction cost and time 17
2.1.1. Unreliability of data 17
2.1.2. Difficulties of forecasting 18
2.1.3. Learning, scale economies, and technical progress 19
2.1.4. Construction time 20
2.2. Cost of capital 21
2.3. Operating performance 22
2.4. Non-fuel operations and maintenance costs 24
2.5. Fuel cost 25
2.6. Accounting lifetime 26
2.7. Decommissioning and waste disposal cost and provisions 26
2.8. Insurance and liability 27
3. E xperience at Olkiluoto and Flamanville 29
3.1. Olkiluoto 29
3.2. Flamanville 30
4. T he us programme 32
4.1. Likely outcomes 36
5. T he uk programme 38
5.1. Likely outcomes 39
6. Germany 41
7. Other markets 42
7.1. United Arab Emirates 42
7.2. South Africa 43
7.3. Canada 44
7.4. Turkey 44
7.5. Italy 45
7.6. Brazil 45
7.7. Eastern Europe 45
7.7.1. Slovak Republic 46
7.7.2. Romania 46
7.7.3. Bulgaria 46
7.7.4. Other countries 46
8. Review of utility construction cost-estimates 48
8.1. United States 48
8.2. Other countries 49
8.3. Summary 49
9. Need for and extent of public subsidies 51
Conclusions 53
Appendices 55
Appendix 1 Reactor technologies, current designs, and vendors 55
Appendix 2 Discounting, cost of capital, and required rate of return 61
Appendix 3 Decommissioning 62
Appendix 4 Status of US projects 65