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Learn the secret to obtaining nuclear energy - costs generated

We have to convince companies to build nuclear plants, whatever the cost.

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Learn about nuclear energy

Nuclear energy may be the key to cleaning up the electricity sector. This is because they are carbon-free and provide constant amounts of energy around the clock, but no one wants to build nuclear reactors these days.

Evaluating the future of nuclear energy

“The fundamental problem is cost,” says a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Initiative assessing the future of nuclear power. While the cost of solar and other energy sources continues to decline, the report notes that “new nuclear energy plants "It's becoming more expensive."

Average energy costs

Average energy costs over the operating life of nuclear plants may be more than twice the energy costs generated by combined-cycle natural gas facilities, wind farms, or solar farms.

Taken together with high-profile failures such as the Vogtle and Virgil C. Sommer projects in South America - where high costs and delays bankrupted Toshiba's nuclear business - this means that few companies and investors will want to move into the business of building such nuclear plants. the days.

The main problem is the initial capital cost of setting up the plant, which may ultimately constitute more than 80% of the cost of nuclear energy.

is nuclear energy the solution

The MIT authors also explore a variety of ways they can reduce costs, and suggest that one strategy could go a long way; They are adopting proven project management practices, including completing designs before construction begins, establishing a reliable supply chain, appointing a single contract manager, and building a skilled workforce with experience in reactor design in particular.

The report indicates that the last point may be crucial; As the cost of the first station - whatever its type - usually exceeds the cost of any of the stations that follow it in construction by 30%, and nowadays building new technology for nuclear reactors may require a cost ranging from 10 billion to 15 billion dollars, and a period ranging from 20 to 30 years.

is nuclear energy easy to get

The authors add that the most cost-effective plants included multiple reactors of the same design and were built on a single site, relying on the same workers and suppliers.

There is no doubt that there is a problem with such a solution; It will be very difficult - according to all reports - to build the necessary expertise to deal with any design, at a time when only a few reactors are making progress, especially in the United States and Europe, and there are few investors willing to pay a bill worth billions of dollars...

What is the science behind nuclear energy?

In fact, a group of prominent scientists and engineers recently - including M. Granger Morgan, who studies energy policy at Carnegie Mellon University—published a very bleak report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the prospects for nuclear power.

Noting the challenges posed by low-cost natural gas, public opposition, cost overruns of new projects, and the slow development of advanced technologies, the authors of the paper concluded: “Unless some dramatic policy changes occur, it is unlikely that energy Nuclear emissions will contribute to decarbonizing emissions in the United States, not to mention creating a new gap that separates us from decarbonizing gas emissions in the critical timescale of the next several decades. The same may be true for the rest of the world, with the exception of a few other countries, including That's China."