Most U.S. nuclear power plants cost more to run than they earn

Posted: 15th September 2020

Amort Lovins: Most U.S. nuclear power plants cost more to run than they
earn. Globally, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019 documents the
nuclear enterprise’s slow-motion commercial collapse—dying of an
incurable attack of market forces. Yet in America, strong views are held
across the political spectrum on whether nuclear power is essential or
merely helpful in protecting the Earth’s climate—and both those views
are wrong. In fact, building new reactors, or operating most existing ones,
makes climate change worse compared with spending the same money on
more-climate-effective ways to deliver the same energy services. Those who
state as fact that rejecting (more precisely, declining to bail out)
nuclear energy would make carbon reduction much harder are in good company,
but are mistaken. If you haven’t heard this view before, it’s not
because it wasn’t published in reputable venues over several decades, but
rather because the nuclear industry, which holds the microphone, is eager
that you not hear it. Many otherwise sensible analysts and journalists have
not properly reported this issue. Few political leaders understand it
either. But by the end of this article, I hope you will. For the details
and documentation behind this summary, please see pp. 228–256 of the
World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019. A supporting paper provides
simple worked examples of how to compare the “climate-effectiveness” of
different ways to decarbonize the electricity system.

Beyond Nuclear 13th Sept 2020

Find out more – call Caroline on 01722 321865 or email us.