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Nuclear option

Nuclear option

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There are emissions associated with excavating, concentrating and transporting uranium and building nuclear plants. But, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the emission rate from nuclear generation is 1%-3% of that from equivalent coal-fired generation. Unlike renewable sources, the generation is available all the time other than during planned maintenance periods. Although capital costs are high, the long range price for energy is comparable with other renewable sources and probably cheaper if account is taken of the cost of managing renewable intermittency. This has necessitated capacity payments to make it financially viable to retain conventional capacity in service to provide backup for when the wind speed is low or there is no sunlight for solar farms.

Chapter Contents:

  • 6.1 The case for nuclear
  • 6.2 Nuclear generation in China
  • 6.3 Large-scale nuclear costs
  • 6.4 Consumer costs of nuclear
  • 6.5 Operating environment of nuclear
  • 6.6 Small modular nuclear
  • 6.7 Nuclear fusion
  • 6.8 Prospects for nuclear
  • 6.9 Optimal plant mix
  • 6.10 Conclusions

Inspec keywords: air pollution; power markets; pricing; steam power stations; nuclear power stations

Other keywords: renewable intermittency management; emission rate; nuclear generation; nuclear plants; long range price; planned maintenance periods; renewable sources; capital costs; solar farms; coal-fired generation

Subjects: Nuclear power stations and plants; Power system management, operation and economics; Steam power stations and plants

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