Nuclear power: safe and economical

This report to the government of The Netherlands, published in September 2020, reaches conclusions that contradict common anti-nuclear talking points heard in the media.

Nuclear is a safe, secure and emission free energy with a low carbon footprint, which is able to supply a continuous and secure flow of electricity for generations to come. The main hurdle nowadays remains the economics of new nuclear power. . . .

Nuclear should not be viewed as being in competition with “renewable” sources of energy, such as wind or solar. Nevertheless, as the reduction of carbon emissions becoming a top political and public opinion priority, both nuclear and renewable sources could have much larger roles to play. The problem is that no “renewable” source has been demonstrated to have the capacity to provide the “baseload” electricity at all times of power needed to replace large fossil fuel plants. . . . 

Nuclear is a high investment/low fuel costs generation technology. . . . 

Another advantage is that the land‐use for nuclear power plants is negligible. Nuclear is by far the most concentrated way of generating electricity. . . . 

On the question, asked by the Ministry of Economy of The Netherlands, as to whether nuclear could play an important role in the future energy mix of the Netherlands, the answer is affirmative. Nuclear energy, both large units and SMRs, when compared to VRE [Variable Renewable Energy, i.e., wind and solar] by using the same metrics, are cheaper, able to deliver dispatchable electricity to the grid (and stabilise the grid when needed) in a reliable fashion independent of weather conditions, while having the orders of magnitude smaller land‐ footprint than any other source of electricity, in particular, VREs. . . . 

Read the full 88-page report. Thanks to John Quakes (Twitter: @quakes99) for pointing me to this important study.

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