05 July 2024

Stating the Obvious

It has been clear for a long time that nuclear power is ruinously expensive when one looks at the full fuel cycle cost and includes the enormous subsidies that are part and parcel of the nuclear industry.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has done an analysis for Australia, and the conclusion is that the increase in energy costs and diversion of capital from renewable energy sources would likely set back decarbonization efforts for years, if not decades.

I could have told them that.

I spent about 6 months working on just the nuclear waste end of the fuel cycle, and that alone was complex, expensive, and a likely source of pollution: 

A nuclear-powered Australian economy would result in higher-cost electricity and would “sound the death knell” for decarbonisation efforts if it distracts from renewables investment, a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) argues.

The report comes as ANZ forecast September quarter power prices will dive as much as 30% once government rebates kick in. A separate review by the market watchdog has found household energy bills were 14% lower because of last year’s rebates.

BNEF said the federal opposition’s plan to build nuclear power stations on seven sites required “a slow and challenging” effort to overturn existing bans in at least three states, for starters.

Even if they succeeded, the levelised cost of electricity – a standard industry measure – would be far higher for nuclear power than renewables. Taking existing nuclear industries in western nations into account, their cost would still be “at least four times greater than the average” for Australian wind and solar plants firmed up with storage today, Bloomberg said.

It is not just BNEF though:


Bloomberg’s analysis complements CSIRO’s
[The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] GenCost report that also found nuclear energy to be far more costly than zero-carbon alternatives. Australia’s lack of experience with the industry would result in a learning “premium” that would double the price of the first nuclear plant, according to the CSIRO.


If governments tried to rely on inflexible generators – whether coal-fired or nuclear – as renewables increased, they would have to resort to subsidies and other market interventions at a cost to taxpayers, Bloomberg said.

“This report speaks for itself,” the energy minister, Chris Bowen, said. “It’s another example of experts confirming that nuclear energy is too slow, too expensive and too risky for Australia.

Yes, but the nuclear industry is donating to the The Liberal–National Coalition, and they want that money.

Besides, we all know that anthropogenic climate is a hoax, amiright?


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