15 myths of nuclear power

Mark Diesendorf (2016) in a well reasoned article called “Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths” highlights 15 myths of nuclear power. That article also appeared in The Ecologist. See also other articles including

The Top 15 Myths of Nuclear Power

  1. Base-load power stations are necessary. Or a variant of the myth that base-load stations back up variable renewable energy
  2. There is a renaissance in nuclear energy.
  3. Renewable energy is not ready to replace fossil fuels.
  4. Nuclear weapons are independent of civil nuclear energy.
  5. Nuclear is not dangerous and the death toll from Chernobyl was 28 to 64
  6. The problem of permanently storing nuclear has been solved.
  7. The IFR could burn up the worlds nuclear wastes.
  8. Nuclear emits no or negliable green house gas emissions.
  9. Nuclear energy is a suitable partner for renewable energy in the grid.
  10. Nuclear reactors can be operated flexibly to follow changes in demand or load.
  11. Renewable energy is more expensive than nuclear.
  12. Renewable energy is very diffuse and hence requires huge land areas and nuclear does not.
  13. Energy payback periods (in energy units, not money) of renewable energy technologies are comparable with their lifetimes.
  14. Danish electricity prices are among the highest in Europe, because of the large contribution from wind energy.
  15. Computer simulation models of the operation of electricity grids with 80-100% renewable electricity are meaningless over-simplifications of real systems.

Other Myths

  • Nuclear is renewable energy and infintite
  • Small Nuclear Reactors Overcome the problems
  • China is building many new reactors
  • Does not use much water
  • Nuclear or Gas is required for seasonal variations in renewable energy.
Hinkley C Nuclar - just one of the 15 myths of nuclear power that it is cost effective.
Hinkley C Nuclear power station. Originally  £8bn, now 3 times at  £24bn and going to cost electricity consumers over  £94 per MW/h or 3 times the cost of wind or solar with batteries.

Australia Nuclear Power – How Would It Work?

For a detailed look at the Australia Situation, read Evan Beaver article A Plan for Nuclear Power in Australia (EV Crickets)

  • Need about 20 nuclear plants
  • The cost to build the first, and subsequent nuclear power plants in Australia is a gigantic unknown, and a pretty hotly contested topic
  • If Australia got excited about nuclear power and decided to go all-in, it would cost at least $150b to meet our electrical energy and power needs, and using more recent estimates it could cost more like $280b – $480b
  • Need to change Australias laws
  • After law change – a 10-15 year construction timeline for a nuke so 2035 at best
  • The current government (2022) doesn’t even believe in climate change.