Johanna E. Neumann, state director of Maryland PIRG, is seeking volunteers for a phone bank to turn out supporters to the Baltimore Town Hall meeting on the Constellation/EDF deal on Thurs., Sept. 17. The phone bank will take place on Sun., Sept. 13 from 6 to 8:30 PM at the
If this is a nuclear resurgence, what would a retreat look like?
http://www.dailykos .com/story/ 2009/9/4/ 776862/-If- this-is-a- nuclear-resurgen ce,-what- would-a-retreat- look-like
Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 08:40:23 AM PDT
More bad news for those who still believe that we’re about to enter a nuclear power renaissance, rather than the full-scale nuclear-powered retreat from those halcyon days of late 2007 that we’re actually seeing....and good news for those who believe in a sustainable, carbon-free, nuclear-free energy future.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has just issued a new draft report on expected energy costs from various technologies, projected to 2018—just about the time any of the proposed new nuclear reactors could come online.
And the results are stunning.
Every renewable energy technology examined is projected to provide electricity cheaper than nuclear power by 2018, even giving nuclear the benefit of the doubt on construction costs.
Let me reiterate: renewable energy of any and every kind will be cheaper than nuclear power by the time any new nuclear reactor can come online, according to the
Let’s look at some specifics. First, note that this report does not address energy efficiency measures, which remain the cheapest, fastest, safest and cleanest means at reducing carbon emissions. Rather, the report looks only at the comparative costs of possible new central station electricity generation facilities in
The report lists (on page 18, for those following along) projections for electricity costs given "overnight" or "levelized" costs of new generating facilities—this means the costs for new facilities if they could be built overnight—i.e. if they did not include financing and other costs.
According to the report, in
Moreover, these nuclear costs assume overnight construction costs of only $3950 per kilowatt of electricity capacity. Constellation Energy, which wants to build a new nuclear reactor in Maryland through its subsidiary UniStar Nuclear, testified under oath this year before the Maryland Public Service Commission that its proposed Calvert Cliffs-3 reactor would cost about $10 billion in overnight costs, or more than $6,000/kw for its 1600 MW reactor—50% above California’s projection. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s both have projected nuclear construction costs at $7,000/kw or more, as did Areva in a recent failed bid to build two new reactors in Canada.
Adding 50% to CEC’s projection to account for the more realistic cost estimates for new nuclear reactors would put electricity from them around 40 to 51 cents/kwh—even further outside the bounds of rational electricity costs.
The reality is that nuclear power already has been priced out of existence. No Public Service Commission is voluntarily going to raise rates to allow such costs, even at CEC’s conservative estimates. And for merchant plants, no large consumer of electricity is going to be willing to pay such rates. No amount of taxpayer loan guarantees or other subsidies can change the basic economic reality. Anyone foolish enough to attempt to build a new nuclear reactor given the economic reality will go bankrupt—and will deserve to. The nuclear "resurgence" is dead on arrival.
People may quibble with the report’s estimates of renewable electricity costs, and especially how they may apply to states other than
But off-shore wind power should be much cheaper along much of the East Coast than in
The nuclear power "renaissance" is imploding of its own economic weight. Add to that the ongoing problems of radioactive waste, security and safety issues, nuclear proliferation, environmental destruction from uranium mining (and typical industry over-reaching of wanting to mine uranium next to the Grand Canyon, of all places), routine radiation releases and leaks of radiation at existing reactors (most recently radioactive tritium releases at the Oyster Creek, New Jersey reactor), and you get an industry without a future and desperately attempting to even remain in the present.
Meanwhile, the bad news for the nuclear "resurgence" continues to pile up.
Last week, NIRS announced that the nuclear industry won only one of at least ten state legislative battles held during 2009. The lone industry victory was instituting a controversial Construction-Work-in-Progress law in
In six states:
In two states,
More recently, the
Last weekend, Areva wrote off another billion dollars in losses on its flagship EPR reactor in
And this week, Duke Power announced that it is delaying its two proposed Lee reactors in
If this is a "resurgence," what would a retreat look like?
© Kos Media, LLC
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 11:55 AM
To: Safe Energy
Subject: [Crabshell] Fw: [nonewnukesmd] new piece on DailyKos: if this is a nuclear resurgence, what would a retreat look like?
Your comments are appreciated! Primarily on new report from California Energy Commission predicting all renewables will be cheaper than nukes by 2018…..
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