With that statement in mind, could you explain the economics of Hinkley C? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinkley_Point_C_nuclear_power_...
Long answer short:
Nuclear still is cost competitive except on countries which have direct fossil reserves.
Nuclear is cost competitive but is an ultra long term investment (60/100 years lifespan for a power plant)
And the construction cost is huge.
A fascinating thing to note is that today New power plants cost between 4000 and 5000 $ per KWe.
As science and experience improve you would expect like everywhere else, for prices to go down.
But it's the reverse, in 1960s power plants had a cost of 1500$ per KWe!!!
This is sad and mostly explained by overengeenered security specifications.
If we could make again such efficiency today, nuclear would be by FAR the cheapest energy source.
Still, Chinese and South Korea achieve 3000$ per KWe efficiency (making it for them the cheapest energy source by a significant amount)
And 2 new promising reactor designs target sub 2500$ per KWe.
Among future reactor designs, they can have some of those advantages:
Less or no wastes.
Guaranted safety (auto shutdown by design)
Ability to desalinate water or produce hydrogen for free
Ability to use thorium making nuclear almost a renewable energy source (enough for 2000 years of energy supply for all humanity)
And potential costs savings:
Less employee (700 per power plant is a valid number today)
More efficiency: from 33% to 45%
Source for many things:
That doesn't make sense: Countries that have reserves can sell them at the exact price that countries without pay. The comparison with nuclear cannot logically be different for those two cases.
Also, producer reduce supply when they use their own product, which pushes prices up and reduces the difference in costs for the fuel (non-producers also drive up the price a when they buy, but that doesn’t help them).
I doubt either of those effects is particularly significant, but they aren’t nothing.
The bad economics isn't a new problem. Washington Public Power Supply System planned to build five nuclear reactors in the 1970's. They managed to finish one.
It seems to me nuke plants only get finished when corners are cut or everything goes to plan. If there are any problems at all the costs and issues spiral out of control. That says to me that these things are barely within our industrial capabilities to build.
If the Japanese, with their image of professionalism, smartness, ultra advanced technology, and total dedication to their job failed so spectacularly to manage a plant, nobody will believe any safety promise anymore, at least in places where people are asked about it (ie: not China)
Now add the Chernobyl TV series on top, it will be replayed and memefied everywhere a plant is proposed.
Of course, this being HN, I welcome the incomming ban.
You're just cherrypicking positive stereotypes while ignoring negative stereotypes relevant to the matter, such as the trait of not making waves with your superiors and papering over problems to avoid embarrassment. These themes are explored in Shin Godzilla, which was a huge commercial success in Japan, undoubtedly because the Japanese public recognized some truth in how the movie depicted government incompetence in Japan.
It's one thing to implement and andon cord, but it's quite another to get workers to actually use it.
1 The plants were antiquated 1970's US GE equipment
2 Japanese business culture is very deferential and top down. The amount of lying and covers ups around the Fukushima disaster was and is horrifying. Having worked for Sony I can say that there is an awful lot of dead wood in Japanese class system culture just as there is in the English class system, and that is not a healthy way to run something potential deadly on a global scale.
I'm on the fence about nuclear power largely because of the above. It's not the technology, it's human and bureaucratic fallibility and greed that is the weak link
You don't see wood and canvas planes flying today.
> Computed risks for new reactors are lower than for current designs "when only internal events are considered," according to a 2009 report that the Nuclear Energy Institute wrote for the NRC. (That includes fires or pipe breaks, for example.) But when risks of damage caused by external events — earthquakes, for example — are factored in, the new reactors are no safer than older reactors. In addition, because utilities have no operating experience with the new reactors, the probable risk assessments are purely theoretical and not as reliable as years of actual operating data from existing plants.
> The new designs are engineered only to withstand a predictable sequence of events, something engineers theorize may happen. In nuclear parlance that is called a "design basis accident." The new reactors, like their older counterparts, are not designed to survive an unexpected sequence of events. That is the critical flaw, says Lyman: "Three Mile Island was a beyond-design-basis accident."
btw are there other people who thought the show was really awful? I know this is a contrarian take but the constant <dialog about soviet doublethink> every three minutes was about as subtle as a sledgehammer.
About half an hour into the first episodes I was like, yeah I get it these people lie a lot to save their own skin. And while I'm not exactly crazy about physics correctness, the way it radiation was dramatized was just unnecessary, a pregnant woman isn't suddenly going to die or get birth defects from standing next to someone was exposed to radiation. The show gave the whole incident the flair of a zombie apocalypse.
In real life the baby died four hours after birth from radiation-induced heart and liver defects: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasily_Ignatenko
The man’s body absorbed radioactive materials that were slowly unleashed as he disintegrated.
Just to give you an actual statistic rather than anecdote, among Hiroshima bomb survivors the incidence of birth defects was about 0.9%, or about 500 children in total. I'm not entirely sure how trustworthy this story is.
From what I understand, this is because the blast spread the radioactive material very far and thin, reducing its concentration in any given area.
For the paranoid developed world. It's doing fine for others (and surprisingly for France).
(Hit it bankrupted EDF more than tripled in costs and in more than 15 years late)
Solar / Wind Capital costs circa USD 1 /watt and Nuclear circa USD 11.
It's been stuck in the past, instead of e.g., Gen IV: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor
In all, there are 700 nuclear engineers working on the molten-salt reactor at SINAP, Xu said, a number that dwarfs other advanced-reactor research programs around the world
China will spend 22 billion yuan (US$3.3 billion) on two prototype molten salt nuclear reactors.
But, of course
The magazine of the global anti-nuclear community.
But it remains to see if that will actually happen. And that means that for now, we need to assume it might well not, and push ahead as fast as possible with renewables.
Three Mile Island was a much better Western design, and still shit happened, although with a fraction of the consequences. Fukishima, same.
I don't want a computer to be the failsafe. Computers fail. I want safe systems by design. Like this
Lucky doesn't begin to cover what happened at TMI.
will be believable.
Homer Simpson as the safety inspector, green slime, and the three eye fish....