EXCLUSIVE: EU paints challenging picture of Europe’s nuclear future

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employees of the Kosloduy Power Plant in Bulgaria (photo Europe by Satellite)

employees of the Kosloduy Power Plant in Bulgaria (photo Europe by Satellite)

In a leaked draft document obtained by Energy Post, the European Commission outlines the investments in the EU nuclear industry that it believes are needed out to 2050. The document, originally announced for last year, but off the table again for February, paints a challenging picture for the European nuclear industry. €450-550 billion will have to be spent on new plants and lifetime extensions, costs of decommissioning and waste management are high, competitiveness is a challenge and nuclear’s share in the energy mix will decline from 27% today to 17-21%. Sonja van Renssen investigates.

The “Communication for a Nuclear Illustrative Programme” or PINC is a non-legislative document “periodically” produced by the European Commission, as required by the Euratom Treaty (article 40) that “provides an overview of investments in the EU for all the steps of the nuclear lifecycle”. The last PINC dates back to 2008 so the one currently under preparation will be the first since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. It “provides a basis to discuss the role of nuclear energy in achieving the EU energy objectives”.

The Commission reminds us of a few facts (see also Box below). Nuclear energy is part of the energy mix of half the EU’s Member States. There, it “has a role to play in ensuring security of electricity supply”. It also plays a part in tackling climate change: “With 27% of electricity produced from nuclear energy and 27% from renewable sources, the EU is currently one of only three major economies [Brazil and Canada are the other two] that generate more than half of their electricity without producing greenhouse gases.”

EU nuclear facts

*In the EU, 131 nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 121 GWe and an average age of 29 years are in operation in 14 Member States.

* Nuclear plants are responsible for more than half the electricity generation in France, Slovakia, Hungary and Belgium.

*New-build projects are planned in ten Member States, with four reactors already under construction in Finland, France and Slovakia.

*Two-thirds of the 80 GW of capacity that may come online by 2050 could from just two Member States: France and the UK.

*Lifetime extensions are expected to represent the greatest cost in the short- to medium-term.

*Only a small share of the projected investments in lifetime extensions and new-build, have already been approved by national authorities.

* France, Germany and the UK account for nearly 80% of the nuclear reactors in shutdown mode in Europe (29 in the UK, 28 in Germany and 12 in France).

*The EU nuclear industry has developed “global technology leadership” across all industry segments and employs 400,000-500,000 directly, plus another 400,000 indirectly.

Looking ahead, safety remains the “absolute priority”. The EU has the “most advanced legally binding and enforceable regional framework for nuclear safety in the world”. Post-Fukushima, this was reinforced by a series of “stress tests” and new legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste and spent fuel management, and radiation protection. Critically, all of these laws also lay down requirements for transparency and public participation, the Commission notes.

Steady nuclear in Europe

Globally, nuclear-related investment needs are estimated at around €3 trillion out to 2050, with most of that money due to be spent in Asia. The number of countries operating nuclear plants as well as total installed capacity is forecast to grow to 2040, with China alone expected to add 125 GWe (higher than the EU’s current capacity of 121 GWe).

Prospects are not as bright in Europe. Here, the Commission estimates that nuclear electricity generation capacity will decline by some 20% out to 2025, before growing again in the decade after as new reactors come online and lifetime extensions are pursued. Nuclear capacity would stabilise at 95-105 GWe by 2050. Since electricity demand is expected to go up, it would constitute 17-21% of electricity supply, down from 27% today. All these figures are in line with the analysis underpinning the EU’s 2030 climate and energy goals, the Commission says.

Total investments in EU nuclear energy approaching three-quarters of a trillion Euros are needed from now to 2050, the Commission calculates. It puts this in context: between €3.2 and €4.2 trillion will need to be invested in EU energy supply overall. Nuclear investments are only a “small part” of that effort. For comparison, the PINC’s cost assumptions are above those used by the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook, the Commission says, while its projections of installed capacity are “very conservative”.

Since 2008, 48 new nuclear projects have been notified to the Commission. The biggest chunk of those (20) are for major upgrades related to lifetime extensions or post-Fukushima improvements. The Commission plans to refine the requirements for these notifications. It also plans to provide Member States with fresh guidance on intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) on nuclear (in parallel to new legislative proposals on other energy-related IGAs, notably gas) and on reinforcing security of nuclear supply.

Escalating costs of new-build

Without lifetime extensions, around 90% of the EU’s existing nuclear reactors would be shut down by 2030. But even with lifetime extensions, 90% of existing nuclear electricity production capacity will need to be replaced before 2050. This will cost €350-500 billion, estimates the Commission.

“Different financing models are being examined or used in several EU Member States,” the Commission notes, citing the UK’s Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C and the Mankala model in Finland. It does not give an opinion on state aid for nuclear, however, although this is fully within its remit. Then the understatement of the year: “Some new first of a kind projects in the EU, have experienced delays and cost overruns.” The Finnish Olkiluoto and French Flamanville projects are both at over three times their original budgets and years behind schedule.

The Commission admits that the costs of new-build projects “are in the high range” of what analysts expected. Hinkley Point C tops the charts with €6.755 per KWe (vs. a €5.290 per KWe average for a “first of a kind” twin unit). There is a “historical trend of cost escalation”, the Commission concludes. Even in France, construction costs per MWe in 1974 were three times lower than those of units connected to the grid after 1990.

One problem is that reactors have got bigger. Larger reactors mean longer construction times. And construction time has a very significant impact on cost (more so than e.g. interest rates). Going for economies-of-scale has not been an obvious winner. Second, safety has been the main driver of innovation and it has driven costs up rather than down.

BOX: Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

There are currently four SMRs under construction in the world, two in Russia, one in Argentina and one in China. The only operational unit is in China. The nuclear industry has looked to SMRs since the 1950s as an attractive alternative to bigger, more expensive plants, but they have yet to really get going. Too little is known about them to conclude much about their costs, but the Commission believes that investment per KW is likely to be higher than for large plants. They may get entangled in burdensome licensing battles too. This sector will continue getting attention with a more decentralised grid, but no large-scale roll-out is foreseen for now. (Read about the UK’s plans for SMRs.)

There is a question over the Commission’s hopeful statement in the PINC that “future projects using the same technology should benefit from the experience gained.” What could help is more standardisation, the Commission suggests, for example of reactor design and design certification (so that a design approved in one country is valid in another), a long-standing request from the industry.

The Commission admits that the experience of Flamanville and Olkiluoto “undermines the competitivity of nuclear power”. Current investment conditions “might make achieving the projected investments… challenging”. The viability of nuclear new-build in Europe depends on the ability of the industry to cut costs, as well as the electricity price (and therefore market design – proposals due this autumn), concludes the Commission. The minimum carbon price that would deliver the projected new-build from private financing alone is €43-72. Analysts project a carbon price of around €30 by 2030.

Squeezing out lifetime extensions

The average age of the nuclear fleet in Europe is 29 years. By 2030, most of the EU’s nuclear fleet would be operating beyond its original design life. The Commission expects lifetime extensions of 10-20 years to require investments of €45-50 billion by 2050. Note that more than 80% of this would be spent from now to 2030. The post-Fukushima safety upgrades increase the cost of these lifetime extensions by some 5-25%, the Commission estimates.

Important to note is that the Commission’s analysis assumes that France follows through on its plan to reduce the share of nuclear in electricity production to 50% and to cap installed capacity at the current level of 63.2 GW. Due to the size of France’s fleet, the figures presented would be “significantly impacted” if the 50% target was delayed or the operation of nuclear power plants at lower load factors was made more attractive, for example by introducing capacity mechanisms.

Paying for the aftermath

It is the back-end of the fuel cycle – waste management and decommissioning – that is going to claim a rising share of investments in the years ahead. More than 50 of the EU’s 131 reactors are likely to be shut down by 2025, the Commission says. Member States are moving “from research to action” on geological disposal. The first facilities are expected to be up and running in Finland, Sweden and France between 2020 and 2030 (Finland is in the lead with a due date of 2023). Almost all other Member States are at the “preliminary studies” stage. Public acceptance remains a challenge. So does deciding who is finally liable for the waste.

The projected costs of long-term geological storage depositories run from less than half a billion in Slovenia and Croatia to over €20 billion in France, the Commission says. It all adds up to €68 billion, or nearly half of the total estimated waste management costs of €142 billion out to 2050. For these, the average result of €3.23 per MWh is more than double what was estimated in recent studies, the Commission notes. Over a third of the total costs are for France.

BOX: Limited prospects for recycling nuclear fuel

France is the only country in Europe that is still working towards a fully closed fuel cycle with fast neutron reactors and advanced reprocessing technology. Other countries use open cycles. France will be the only country to operate reprocessing facilities after 2018 (when those in the UK are shut down). The partially closed cycle that technology currently permits “is not expected to give a major reduction of the final disposal solution footprint in comparison to an open cycle”. The future of recycled nuclear fuel is limited by the lack of fast-breeder reactors, more safety requirements, a higher risk of proliferation, lower competitiveness, and the fact that it still requires a final waste depository.

The other half of the end-of-life equation, decommissioning, is largely unknown terrain. When a nuclear site is decommissioned, it is released from regulatory oversight. Given “the ageing status of the European reactors, the capability of the industry and regulators to develop safe and cost effective decommissioning programs will determine to a great extent the future of nuclear commercial power in Europe”. This includes greater transparency in cost estimates, it adds. The Commission comes up with a total cost of €126 billion for decommissioning out to 2050. Some will argue that real costs are likely to be far higher.

Estimates of decommissioning costs per unit also vary “significantly” between Member States, from €0.20 billion in Finland to €1.33 billion in Lithuania. Germany and the UK are at the high end (€1.06 billion and €0.85 billion, respectively) while France is at the low end (€0.32 billion). The estimates depend on technology, the size and location of the reactor, and dismantling strategy, the Commission says.

Experience is scarce: although 89 reactors had been permanently closed in Europe as of October 2015, only three had been fully decommissioned. All three were in Germany. Worldwide, only 13 more have been decommissioned; all of them in the US. The Commission suggests a “European Centre of Excellence” to exchange best practice might help.

Not the full picture

In theory, the money for waste management and decommissioning is being accumulated throughout reactors’ lifetimes, primarily through a fixed contribution based on electricity sales. In most Member States, regulators define the method for securing funds (some, such as Germany however, rely on commercial law to require companies to build up reserves in their balance sheets).

Of the €268 billion needed in the EU by 2050, there is already €150 billion in the bank. In other words, as of 2014, European nuclear operators had dedicated assets that would cover 56% of the total estimated nuclear end-of-life costs, for reactors that were 64% of the way through their lives. A “possible explanation” for the difference is that some Member States are anticipating lifetime extensions.

The Commission concludes that “as a reliable low carbon technology and a major contributor to security of supply”, nuclear energy “is expected to remain an important component of the EU’s energy mix”. Maintaining EU technological leadership, including through the nuclear fusion project ITER, is “essential”. But this does not make nuclear energy competitive or affordable, nor does it ensure it can play a useful role in an EU power system dominated by renewables, where flexibility is central.

There are a few other things the draft PINC does not (yet) do. It does not advise on the involvement of foreign firms in supposedly strategic energy projects (e.g. China in Hinkley Point C). It does not draw lessons from recent upheavals in the nuclear industry (e.g. Areva’s bankruptcy). It does not tackle liability, although a former PINC suggested setting up a harmonised system of liability and financial mechanisms in case of an accident. And finally, it does not discuss harmonising strategies for decommissioning funds – also suggested in the former PINC – beyond proposing a European Centre of Excellence.


  1. Joris van Dorp, MSc says

    Does the draft discuss the epidemic of antinuclear hate and fear mongering which is virulent in European media and politics?

    Estimates suggest that €100 million per year spent across the EU on education and outreach about nuclear, organised out of European universities, would be able to significantly reduce and contain this epidemic within 10 years. The cost of nuclear power in the EU could be reduced by more than half if antinuclearism inspired spurious litigation, delays and sabotage of nuclear construction and planning was mitigated.

    As such the cost/benefit analysis of funding effective, accurate and reliable nuclear education and outreach yields a result of at least 100 Euro saved (in the form of improved cost-effectiveness of nuclear construction and renovation) for every 1 Euro spent on nuclear education and outreach. This is excluding the indirect benefits of improving EU citizen’s understanding of the relevant fields of physics, environment and health.

    • CaptD says

      joris – RE: epidemic of antinuclear hate and fear mongering which is virulent in European media and politics?

      Guess you have never heard of Fukushima or don’t have a clue as to what would happen to Europe if a reactor went BAD upwind from the rest of Europe…

      BTW: Name calling has no place in a discussion and is usually used by those that seek to receive some sort of Nuclear Payback*

      * http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+payback

      Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other “costs” are for others.

      • seth says

        Actually antinukers have do in close to 10 million folks annually as they delay solution. Germany after 10 years on its wind/solar/antinuclear kick hasn’t reduced its GHG’s per unit GDP an iota when biofuels are accounted for with real science. Close to a million Germans died of air pollution in that time. They did spend over $trillion in the process.

        Now that’s what I can a health implication.

      • En Pelle says

        It has been shown that nuclear has least caused deaths per produced kWh, and it has least cost on ecosystems.
        Burning of fossil fuels and biofuels causes almost half a million deaths per year in EU.
        Hydropower has destroyed ecosystems so much that some species are gone and others are barely kept existing through artificial means.
        Windpower has the same sort of effect on ecosystems as hydropower, and birds of prey are reported to dissapear in (large) areas with alot of wind power.

        Renewables relies on ecosystem intrusions and for all but solar energy, it is not sustainable for the amount of energy mankind uses.

        Regarding nuclear dangers, both Chernobyl and Fukushima shows that the health risks from released radioactive substances are exaggerated. This can be interesting reading in the area: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Canadian-accident-study-puts-risks-into-perspective-2608157.html

        But note that deaths per kWh for nuclear assumes the high values from (faulty) models – not actual real world measured consequences.

        It is easy to understand why the models are wrong when you both know how cell repair functionality works, and you know how much trouble that the one who comes up with the model gets if it underestimated consequences.

        And to this, there are reactor designs that improves safety a lot.
        Take a look at this old design:

        And then consider how these differs from that one:

        What they basically do is that they swap out the water in the first one to a salt that allows higher neutron energy and thus burning actinides for less waste and at the same time makes a very simple reactor that cannot boil dry and still has simple safety by removal of criticality by letting the fluid run out into several containers where the mass in each container will be to little to keep criticality. They don’t need control rods and other complicated equipment.
        And the salt also allows higher temperatures for 50% better efficiency in converting heat to electricity.

        • Bas Gresnigt says

          @En Pelle,
          “show … nuclear has least caused deaths per produced kWh …”
          Only by pro-nuclear who deny all delayed (cancer, etc) deaths due to the increased radiation.
          As with asbestos, smoking, etc. those diseases show after a latency of 2 – 6 decades as shown by medical studies and RERF regarding atomic bombs effects.
          Real estimations for Chernobyl vary between 80,000 and 8million.

          DNA can only repaired by the cell repair mechanisms if it is double stranded, as then there is a reference.
          But during cell division DNA is single stranded and cannot be repaired. Cell division is the main growth mechanisms.

          The younger people are the faster they grow (as % of body weight). So fetuses (our next generation) are extremely sensitive as shown after Chernobyl. Even in areas >1000mile away: http://goo.gl/D8rVAU

          Sperm is produced via a much faster cell division process, hence much more vulnerable. This PPT with links to scientific studies shows the highly significant increased DNA damage to newborn in the vicinity (up to 40km away) of nuclear.

          • Joris van Dorp, MSc says

            There is zero evidence that living around nuclear power plants causes any negative health effect at all. It is living around fossil fuel power plants which is proven to causes negative health effect.

            Your sources (which you continue to peddle year in year out, all over the internet) are discredited and do not reflect the scientific view of the international scientific community, represented by the WHO, UNSCEAR and the IAEA.

  2. CaptD says

    Nuclear will be far too expensive in the future as Renewables plummet in price! 




    SALUTE to both Bob and Stock for yet another GREAT discussion with enough factual info that the rest of US can learn from on how the cost of Nuclear compares with the cost of both PV and Wind. 


    • Keith PE says

      CaptD, I have seen your posts in a number of places. You seem to know a little bit about nuclear power, but not enough to embrace it.
      Can you tell me your background in nuclear? I have studied Nuclear power since 1969 as a sub reactor operator, BSNE ’77 Madison WI and Nuclear Engineer since that time, startup, OPS, Maint, Outage etc.
      just wondering……..I normally do not get into these discussions because the anti’s are usually ideologues that know some facts but really have never learned about nuclear science/engineering. They generally think radiation is bad, which demonstrates great ignorance. Similar to not liking Jonas Salk.

  3. James E. Hopf says

    One of the key, insightful statements of the article:

    “Second, safety has been the main driver of innovation and it has driven costs up rather than down”

    That is, despite nuclear being orders of magnitude safer and less harmful than fossil fuels, that was not considered good enough, and even higher levels of safety were demanded, at great cost. Can you say, EPR??

    The result of this relentless drive for *nuclear* safety (only) was to actually increase overall public health risks in Europe, not to mention increased CO2 emissions. The reason being that it resulted in nuclear being less cost competitive, which in turn resulted in less nuclear use and more fossil fuel use, fossil fuels being orders of magnitude more dangerous and harmful.

    If you’re going to demand that nuclear guarantee containment of all its wastes/toxins, then fossil fuel power plants should be required to so the same (full sequestration of CO2 and all other pollutants). Then let’s see how competitive nuclear is. We’ll go all renewable then, you say? It is not at all clear whether that will be practical, or what the cost would be, given renewables intermittency limitations.

    Speaking of cost, how about allowing nuclear and renewables to compete on a fair, level, objective playing field, instead of having massive subsidies and outright mandates for renewables only. How about requiring the reduction of CO2 emissions (and emissions of all other health-harming pollutants) and letting the market decide how to respond?

    • CaptD says

      James – RE:
      “The result of this relentless drive for *nuclear* safety (only) was to actually increase overall public health risks in Europe, not to mention increased CO2 emissions.”

      Given the choice of increased CO2 or Radioactive Fallout most would choose the CO2…

      You claims of safety driving prices up is silly since Utilities are making Billions, while crying poor. It is about time for the nuclear industry to reduce its profit margin IN THE NAME OF SAFETY, so as to better serve their ratepayers instead of their shareholders who have been enjoying record profits for generations (no pun intended).

      BTW: Those that build reactors are also scared of what is happening in the Industry because of the push for profits instead of Safety:

      EDF’s union board members to oppose Hinkley Point – sources

  4. seth says

    This is the usual nonsense from a Big Oil/Coal captured Euro government organization that uses the FOAK costs of the Euro nuke Edsel, the EPR built by incredibly inefficient privatized power companies as baseline for comparison with the 100% subsidized wind/solar fossil backup scam.

    Korean, Chinese, Canadian and American public power companies have been building nukes for 3 cents a kwh $2 to 3B/GW for years. Korea’s new FOAK APR-1000’s are coming out at $3.5B GW while the US’s FOAK AP1000 at VC Summer would hover around $4.5B/GW built by public and bereft of Big Oil lobbied delays from the NRC.

    If Europe is going to stop willfully murdering hundreds of thousands of citizens every year, along with it is going to switch the 90% of its energy coming from fossil fuels, to something.

    Germany’s been trying to switch to wind/solar for the last 10 years. Spent more than a trillion euros and haven’t reduced GHG’s an iota when firewood burners are counted in.

    France almost eliminated its non Transpo GHG’s in over the same period with nukes paying for it with fossil fuel savings .

    The millions of German’s that will die from that coal air pollution in the 50 years that it takes to implement the wind solar coal project it seems are a legit sacrifice to their wind/solar gods.

    • CaptD says

      seth – Guess you did not read my post above at February 2, 2016 at 18:11

      Your price numbers are off as compared to both Wind and SolarPV.

      Please post some factual links that explain your outrageous claim:

      “The millions of German’s that will die from that coal air pollution in the 50 years that it takes to implement the wind solar coal project it seems are a legit sacrifice to their wind/solar gods.””

      • seth says

        Actually I did.Unfortunately all Big Oil propaganda as you know.

        My price numbers are dead on actually if you have a friend who can use Google and do grade 3 arithmetic to look at actual costs of actual projects as built, and the relevant finance rates.

        The largest solar project in the world just completed last year came in at 45 cents a kwh when financed by Warren Buffet.

        Google “solar-15-percent-returns-lure-investments-from-google-to-buffett”

        Pretty simple really for those who finished grade school arithmetic. Take the air pollution deaths per capital from the WHO and apply it to the German zero reduction in GHG’s over 10 years.

      • Keith PE says

        Please see my earlier comment and my email is NUKEITH49@GMAIL.COM . And I know about Fukushima , I was there in 1978-1979 building Unit 6 on site one. Those units have not killed anyone, except due to the unnecessary gov. evacuation , which did kill. About 1,000 or more.

        • CaptD says

          Keith – “Those units” (aka the triple meltdowns) are still spreading radioactive pollution into the pacific ocean and will continue to do so probably for the rest of our lives if not far longer, thanks to what I call The Fuky Effect: The on-again, off-again fissioning of the ☢ corium(s), as they interact with water below Fukushima.

          Thanks to the Japanese new limitations on free speech, I don’t expect much to be written about the negative health problems from Fukushima, but as you probably know Cancer takes time and I’m certain that there will be far too many cases that the Government says that are not related , in order to protect their nuclear industry/Utilities.

          • En Pelle says

            It has been shown that nuclear has least caused deaths per produced kWh, and it has least cost on ecosystems.

            Both Chernobyl and Fukushima shows that the health risks from released radioactive substances are exaggerated. This can be interesting reading in the area: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Canadian-accident-study-puts-risks-into-perspective-2608157.html

            But note that deaths per kWh for nuclear assumes the high values from (faulty) models – not actual real world measured consequences.

            It is easy to understand why the models are wrong when you both know how cell repair functionality works (check what some got the Nobel prize for last year), and you know how much trouble that the one who comes up with the model gets if the model underestimated consequences.

            Burning of fossil fuels and biofuels causes almost half a million deaths per year in EU.

            Hydropower has caused the worst ever disater with several of hundre thousands of deaths and more than 10 million evacuated. Hyrdopower has destroyed ecosystems so much that some species are gone and others are barely kept existing through artificial means.
            Windpower has the same sort of effect on ecosystems as hydropower, and birds of prey are reported to dissapear in (large) areas with alot of wind power.
            And there are deaths related to wind power that keeps it’s figures above the nuclear power.

            Solar cells are even worse than wind power. People should obviously not climb on roofs more than necessary.

            Renewables relies on ecosystem intrusions and for all but solar energy, it is not sustainable for the amount of energy mankind uses.

            And now subsidies in Sweden has caused economic problems for all type of power.

            • Bas Gresnigt says

              Chernobyl alone (will) cause a million deaths.
              Nuclear produced 83,000TWh in the world.
              That alone implies already 12deaths/TWh, which is 3-10 times more than coal.

              Usually pro-nuclear forget to count for:
              – deaths during construction (while they do count those for renewable).
              – death during uranium mining, transport, processing, etc.

              While accounting as much as possible for other sources…

              • Joris van Dorp, MSc says

                “Chernobyl alone (will) cause a million deaths.”

                No it will not. You’re making things up again Bas. This kind of behaviour is what got you banned from TEC. Multiple times. Remember?

                • Bas Gresnigt says

                  Please read the report by the 3 leading radiation professors of the most struck countries, supported by the (then) Chairman of the Ukraine radiation committee. Published by the New York Academy of Sciences (despite opposition of pro-nuclear).

                  You can down load it for free at this page of scientific publisher Wiley.

  5. says

    “90% (i.e. about 100GW) of existing nuclear electricity production capacity will need to be replaced before 2050. This will cost €350-500 billion” E350 – E500 buys 400 to 600GW of on-shore wind (or ground mount PV) & at least in wind the Euros have a tech & market lead & options are emerging to buffer wind/PV.

    However, I will leave the last word to the French nuclear unions & the Hinkely fiasco – paraphrasing their question (to the EdF main board) “if Hinkley is such a good deal why arn’t the English investing” – I understand that those clever chaps at EdF are burning the midnight oil trying to find an answer to this simple question. Maybe, mini-nukes are the answer – who knows.

    • seth says

      Actually the France EPR is like the old Edsel – designed by the notoriously inefficient French bureaucrat.

      THe latest Korean Gen 3+ APR – 1400 came in at 3 cents a kwh. Guess they still know how to pour concrete.

      • CaptD says

        If S. Korea APR’s are so cheap, then why is the UK even considering installing anything else at Hinkley C, since it is (if approved) going to cost them not only far more but is being built by a Company that has a track record of huge overruns?

        • seth says

          Er the extreme far right British government has a deal with financiers offering 33% annual returns on the Hinkley investment. The EIA is the only reactor approved by the UK government due to that influence.

          • one.second says

            No whonder nobody takes people like you seriously. There are around 3000 premature death per year attributed to pollution linked to electricity generation in Germany.

  6. CaptD says

    Wake Up and smell the ☢ Pollution.

    Fukushima is spewing ☢ pollution into the Pacific Ocean every day and will continue to do so for the rest of our “lives.”

    How many more Fukushima’s can “we” tolerate?

    Maybe that does not concern you but it does me, in comparison, CO2 is just a nuclear marketing tool and not even an issue in the BIG picture of Earth’s health!

    • En Pelle says

      Did you read what I wrote to you earlier?
      Both Chernobyl and Fukushima shows that the health risks from released radioactive substances are exaggerated. This can be interesting reading in the area: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Canadian-accident-study-puts-risks-into-perspective-2608157.html

      Nobel prize winners 2015 shows why biological life can handle radiation so well.
      And considering how much more radioactive the earth was when life appeared on earth then it is not strange that evolution has led to incorporate these protective functions.

      Read about radiation homresis, for example here:

      For someone afraid of flying it still is the safest transportation. In the same way nuclear is the safest power production even for those irrationally afraid of radiation.

      And, there exist reactor design solutions that almost eliminate radiation leaks to large areas in case of a “catastrophe”.

      • Bas Gresnigt says

        @En Pelle,
        Your link says:”no detectable increase in cancer risk for most of the population ..”
        Similar statement were made in the past by the tobacco & asbestos industries!

        The writer agrees that there may be a cancer increase for most of the population, but that that increase is not detectable (hence should be neglected)…

        A gradual cancer increase during a decade of 0.5% in the 100million population around a NPP, is not detectable but implies >100,000 premature deaths…
        And nuclear fallout due to accidents affect newborn (our next generation) much stronger as this study in an area 1,000miles from Chernobyl shows:

        The reactor designs that almost eliminate radiation leaks to large areas exist already more than half a century. Those didn’t materialize and are not scheduled for the new NPP’s.

          • seth says

            Actually coal (captd’s favorite power option) and Bas’ defacto choice puts out many orders of magnitude more radioactive material into the atmosphere every day than the FUKU will in its entire history.

            • CaptD says

              seth — Stop putting words in my mouth, Coal is not my favorite, especially when Solar (of all flavors) are SAFE and Renewable.

              I’m against Nuclear because there are to many things that can go BAD and mankind cannot afford yet another Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima.

              • Joris van Dorp, MSc says

                You can think whatever you want to think CaptD, but you are wrong.

                The World Health Organisation has concluded after exhaustive research that accidents like Chernobyl don’t cause much harm at all. Certainly far less harm than fossil fuels. Nuclear power is even safer than solar power, and produces less CO2. Accidents like Chernobyl are highly avoidable, but even when including such accidents, nuclear is safer than solar. Nuclear, wind, and solar are all relatively safe technologies compared to fossil fuels, but nuclear is the safest of all. Facts matter.

                The IPCC recommends quadrupling nuclear power to save the climate. So people like you and Bas who fight against nuclear power, are fighting *for* climate change. (and fossil fuels)

                • Bas Gresnigt says

                  The WHO was a member of the IAEA controlled 2006 Chernobyl forum.
                  As IAEA targets the promotion of peaceful nuclear, they excluded all research which would show health damage to greater numbers of people.

                  While many research showed already major health damage in areas 1000 miles off Chernobyl (e.g: http://goo.gl/D8rVAU ), only health damage of direct involved people was considered…
                  Which results in estimation of 8000 deaths based on few hundred studies.

                  This was corrected by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) which published a review of ~5000 studies by three leading radiation professors in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
                  The review concludes 825,000deaths before 2006.

                  Considering the 2-6 decades long latency before cancers due to low level radiation show (similar as with smoking, asbestos, etc) more than a million deaths is a conservative estimation.

                  You can download the (NYAS) book for free at scientific publisher Wiley: http://goo.gl/D8q9iX

                  • Joris van Dorp, MSc says

                    Bas, you have been misleading people about this NYAS publication for at least 6 years. Below is what the NYAS actually said about the book:

                    “In no sense did Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences or the New York Academy of Sciences commission this work; nor by its publication does the Academy validate the claims made in the original Slavic language publications cited in the translated papers. Importantly, the translated volume has not been formally peer‐reviewed by the New York Academy of Sciences or by anyone else.”


            • Bas Gresnigt says

              Pro-nuclear research scientists such as Hoopman etal, didn’t even consider coal stacks or coal plants as an option when they were desperately searching for another explanation for the highly significant increased genetic damage around nuclear waste site Gorleben.

              There is also no nuclear radiation meter network at coal storage nor coal plants, as coal simply doesn’t emit more than normal background.

              That coal plants would emit so much radiation is a fantasy by pro-nuclear fanatics, in order to improve the chance for nuclear power plants.

              Same with the low number of nuclear deaths, despite the >1 million for Chernobyl alone.
              They often adapt the statement so that the consequences of such nuclear accidents don’t count, etc.

          • Bas Gresnigt says

            We should recognize that it may not be malicious intent as it takes 2-6 decades before the extra serious health damage of slightly increased low level radiation shows, as shown by a.o. the last RERF report no14.

            The same decades long latency as with low level poisoning due to smoking, asbestos, etc.
            It took a century before real action against smoking. While that health damaging effect was/is far better visible than the extra health damage to adults due to some extra radiation.

            Though, the serious gene damaging effects by normal operating NPP’s are within some years visible: http://goo.gl/p0aUGk

            • seth says

              Usual zero science gooblygook from Big Oil sources we’ve grown to depend on from you. The LNT hypothesis is a proven fraud and has been debunked many times by modern science peer reviewed and published in reputable journal. A person sitting at the gate of FUKU through the entire crisis would have received a far lower radiation dose than a beach vacationer in Brazil.

              • Bas Gresnigt says

                Follow the links in the PPT I linked. They show research results published in respectable peer reviewed scientific journals.

                With improving quality and sensitivity of research, LNT has proven to be true for ever lower radiation levels.

                This rock solid study shows that fetuses are far more sensitive than adults for small increase of low level radiation. Even 10% more background radiation creates already serious extra health damage such as Down, abnormal limbs, etc. as shown with high significance P<0.0001.

                Fetuses are more sensitive as they have a high rate of cell division and during cell division the DNA is single stranded, hence cannot be repaired.

            • CaptD says

              Bas — That may be true today but one or more Fukushima’s could occur tomorrow and then what, especially if the nuclear accident(s) were planned to harm mankind.

              Nuclear has far too many NEGATIVES for mankind to have to worry about when there are far safer ways to provide clean energy at similar if not less cost.

              • Bas Gresnigt says

                We were lucky that the German pilot decided to fly his airliner against a mountain in the French alps and not against one of the French nuclear power plants in the nearby Rhone valley.

                With the frequent south winds, Lyon with 2mln peoples would have been evacuated and become part of the exclusion zone.

                We cannot expect a repeat of the great blessing in disguise of Fukushima. There the winds blew 99% of the airborne radio-activity directly towards the ocean.

                • seth says

                  Actually the American NRC ran a jet into a simulated nuke plant wall. it disintegrated – no damage to the wall at all.

                  The radiation the fuku sent out to sea landed on a us aircraft carrier. No rad levels even approaching dangerous levels were measured.

                  • Bas Gresnigt says

                    I’ve seen it. It was a stripped fighter plane (<10ton) at low speed (~200km/hr).
                    Test was done to generate some trust at the public.

                    An 200ton airliner at 500km/hr delivers a total different result.
                    As you can see when you study the 9/11 attack.

                    • seth says

                      er the 9/11 attacks were on glass towers filled with inflammables.

                      Real science, something not found in ‘green’ publications, develops models based on test simulations that are nominally 100% accurate.

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