Presentation at the NPEC Public Policy Fellowship Retreat in March 2017. The meeting was convened and hosted by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. The slides evaluates many of the arguments people make to support increased subsidies to nuclear and finds them wanting.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016 (WNISR) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production and construction. The WNISR assesses the status of new-build programs in current nuclear countries as well as in potential newcomer countries. The WNISR2016 edition includes again an assessment of the financial status of many of the biggest industrial players in the sector. This edition also provides a Chernobyl Status Report, 30 years after the accident that led to the contamination of a large part of Europe.
Although nuclear power is a source of low carbon electricity, it is by no means a clear solution to the challenge we face in reducting greenhouse gas emissions. This presentation discusses common metrics to assess the most cost-efficient source of ghg emissions and reviews multiple studies indicating that new reactors are an expensive option relative to alternatives, and getting more so each year. Cost escalation, lengthening delivery times on reactor projects, and oft-ignored concerns about proliferation create significant headwinds for the nuclear pathway. In contrast, competitors cont
Renewable energies were compared with the nuclear option by looking at the quantities of power they can both generate and the level of financial support this requires. This mirrors the extra costs which must be borne by the end consumer or society. Five different renewable technologies were analysed: biomass, onshore and offshore wind, small-scale hydropower plants and photovoltaics.
Killing the Competition: The Nuclear Power Agenda to Block Climate Action, Stop Renewable Energy, and Subsidize Old Reactors
The electric utility industry has begun an aggressive push to change energy policy in the United States to favor nuclear power. Led by the country's largest nuclear generators, Exelon and Entergy, this campaign represents what would be the single largest change in energy policy in twenty years. While their intent is to make nuclear the preferred energy source, the changes they seek necessarily go far beyond that. They would also support coal and natural gas-fired electricity generation, and block the growth of renewable energyand attempts to address climate change.
The IEA is producing two detailed assessments on nuclear energy in the coming months. The first, a chapter in their vaunted World Energy Outlook, will examine in detail the prospects and challenges to nuclear energy going forward. The second, produced jointly with NEA, will update their Technology Roadmap series, examining options and impediments to scaling nuclear around the world.
The Economics Failure of Nuclear Power and the Development of a Low Carbon Electricity Future: Why Small Modular Reactors are Part of the Problem, Not the Solution
This paper examines the fundamental choice policymakers are being asked to make. It reviews the prospects for nuclear technology in light of the past and present performance of nuclear power (Section I), assesses the economic and safety challenges that SMR technology faces (Section II) when confronting the alternatives that are available today (Section III), and the trends that are transforming the electricity sector (Section IV).
Two years after the Fukushima disaster started unfolding on 11 March 2011, its impact on the global nuclear industry has become increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of 4 percent in 2011. This World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) provides a global overview of the history, the current status and the trends of nuclear power programs worldwide. It looks at nuclear reactor units in operation and under construction.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is asking Congress to provide hundreds of millions in subsidies to commercialize small modular reactors (SMR). First proposed in the 2011 budget, the Administration has committed to providing more than $500 million dollars for licensing support and research and development for these downsized nuclear reactors. A fraction of the size of conventional-scale reactors, SMRs would be manufactured by assembly line and transported by truck, ship, or rail to their destinations.
A group of environmentalists says taxpayers should be worried about extending an $8 billion credit line to Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Augusta.
To kickstart more nuclear development, the Obama administration in 2010 conditionally committed the government to the massive loan.
Sara Barczak, an attorney with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, says given ongoing project delays and cost overruns, taxpayers should be leary of the investment.