Nuclear costs underestimated

5 July 2005

The cost of new nuclear power has been underestimated by almost a factor of three, according to a new report from the radical think tank the New Economics Foundation, along with Mirage and Oasis.

The UK nuclear industry has systematically underestimated the cost of new nuclear power, the report says, with more realistic estimates for construction, delays and overruns, the cost of early reactors and actual performance all pushing the likely costs of new nuclear power up.

The report goes on to say that while nuclear power has been promoted as the answer to climate change and energy insecurity, it is too slow, too expensive and too limited and, furthermore, is a security risk.

The New Economics Foundation report reveals that a broad combination of renewable energy sources with a range of micro, small, medium and large-scale technologies, and applied flexibly, could more than meet energy needs.

Andrew Simms, New Economics Foundation policy director said: “Without sustainable, reliable supplies of energy the world faces a future in which climate change and fuel shortages will combine with catastrophic results. The poorest and most vulnerable will suffer the worst. But a resurgence of interest in nuclear power, justified by voodoo economics, stands to hinder and potentially derail renewable energy.”

The report concludes that if around one third of the UK's electricty customers installed 2kW photovoltaic or wind systems it would match the capacity of the UK nuclear programme.




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