New Nuclear Costs Compared to Alternatives

by Ordovician

One of the arguments often used by those against nuclear energy in general, and on Anglesey by PAWB against the proposed Wylfa B in particular, is the supposed higher costs of nuclear generation compared to alternative forms of energy.

On reading the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) Nuclear White Paper Impact Assessment, it seems that all is not what PAWB would have us believe.

The BERR impact assessment suggests that a cost benefit analysis shows the generation cost of onshore wind farming came out at about £56/MWh (MegaWatt hour. Offshore wind farm costs were not surprisingly higher at around £84/MWh.

And looking at other renewable energy means of electricity generation, such as biomass, tidal and wave power had even higher estimated costs.

Some work was also done on electricity generation from fossil fuels such as gas and coal, using the relatively new technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS) where the carbon dioxide produced is sequestered rather than being released into the atmosphere.

New coal-fired generation with CCS in place suggests a cost of between £43-55/MWh.

Compared to the above, new nuclear generation like that suggested for Wylfa B comes out at in a very competitive range of £31-44/MWh.

So if we were to look at the long term decision for low carbon generation in the UK on the basis of cost, then it seems new nuclear generation would be the answer.

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Comments for New Nuclear Costs Compared to Alternatives

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Mar 22, 2008
Go nuclear, the cheapest option
by: Jamie Leah

Yes, it is true that while nuclear power stations have a high initial capital cost, once ready they are much cheaper to run than wind turbines, which receive big subsidies from the taxpayer.

Also wind farms do nothing on cold, frosty, still nights and warm, sunny days with not a breath of wind.

Hurry up with the new build, I don't want to live through power cuts and blackouts, or shiver in the dark, eating a cold turkey sandwich!

Feb 25, 2008
Nuclear is cheapest energy
by: Anonymous

I just wish these figures could be made available to the wider public, because this just shows how nuclear is more competitive than wind.

Also remember those days when have no wind, and those turbines stand still. Where is the power coming from then?

And nuclear is cheaper even than coal and it doesn't produce all that carbon dioxide and other pollution.

So what are they waiting for? Let's get started with a new power station, have cleaner electricity and make more jobs.

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