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With the staggering drop in the cost of renewables and grid-battery storage I just don't see how nuclear has a bright future in any regard.

They're unbelievably capital intensive and have a mean construction time of 7.5 years [0]. I'm from the UK so it's easy to point to Hinkley Point C as an example of this. It's been in planning for a decade and certainly won't be in operation for a similar amount of time, and the currently proposed strike price is around £90/MWh, compared to the ~£60/MWh we've seen from offshore wind projects. Let alone mentioning those have the advantage of being independently deployable with how developers can generate income on a per-turbine basis rather than waiting for the entire farm to be constructed.

And while nuclear is certainly much less CO2 intensive than any fossil-fuel source even a pro-nuclear body's publication shows that wind produces approximately as much CO2/GWh over an installations lifetime as nuclear does [1].

[0] http://euanmearns.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-a-nucle... [1] http://www.world-nuclear.org/uploadedFiles/org/WNA/Publicati... section 4




Friend of mine's dad is a retired college professor that taught nuclear engineering for a couple of decades. Last time I saw him he mentioned natural gas killed nuclear and coal fired plants and he's glad he retired when he did. And also solar and wind are going to kill natural gas fired plants.


> I just don't see how nuclear has a bright future in any regard.

How about in space or on other planets?

> And while nuclear is certainly much less CO2 intensive than any fossil-fuel source even a pro-nuclear body's publication shows that wind produces approximately as much CO2/GWh over an installations lifetime as nuclear does.

And what if it's not windy?

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Keep in mind, almost ALL the nuclear power plants built are based on 1950-1960s technology (designed for naval applications). That would be like comparing solar panels from that era with the panels designed/produced today. There is no comparison.


The seas around the British Isles, which the poster is talking about, are _always_ windy. Plus this can be mitigated with the battery storage the post you replied to mentioned and solar - it's unlikely to be both still and overcast.


Offshore wind farms around the UK have capacity factors around 40%; the seas are certainly not always windy.

Solar struggles to provide a significant amount of energy in winter. Wind tends to blow or not for a few days or more at a time - meaning you need much more storage than just to carry you from one day to the next as you might in places with consistent solar.

I can't find any good source of UK historical generation data, but from looking at gridwatch the UK patterns tend to be similar to those in Germany, the data for which are available here: https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm?source=solar-wind&mon...

There's a slight inverse correlation between solar and wind, but not that much.

I'd love to see a lot more renewable capacity installed as soon as possible, but I don't see how we can move away from needing a lot of backup conventional capacity in the near future. This is okay by me; let's halve our emissions and then see what we can do next.


But how high is the cost of generating the energy _plus_ the cost of storing it? And does the wind always have the same strength or do you need to build additional wind farms for times when the wind is weaker?


> With the staggering drop in the cost of renewables and grid-battery storage I just don't see how nuclear has a bright future in any regard.

Exactly. Nuclear plants are done, at least for the next 50 years.

People don't want nuclear plants, whatever the reason. I can see the case for continued nuke research, but the negative PR and scare factor is pretty insurmountable.

The coal industry had decades to invest in technology to make clean coal happen, and decided margins were more important.

Fracking will be the next victim, as more communities start to ban it and understanding of the negatives grows.

Same with hydro, at least in the US. We're only starting to understand the long-term effects of large dams.

I know there are tradeoffs with solar and wind. The eco cost of solar isn't zero from a production standpoint. There are downsides to living directly under a wind turbine. But the decreased cost and increased adoption of solar and wind give me hope that we have a chance at staving off cataclysmic climate change.




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