Small power is cheaper than Big Grid

Bill Nussey in his book Freeing Energy raises a point that small power is the complete opposite to nuclear. The engineers like to think that nuclear is an option – it is big and complex. But the reality is far from this. For example, the Summer VC plant in 2017 was cancelled with $11 billion spent and estimated to be delayed a further 4 years at another 11 billion; so was cancelled and over $9 billion was added to the consumers in their power bills. They have no option – that is the monopolistic laws of power generation.

Nuclear energy, which many thought would be too cheap to meter by early advocats, is more likely to be remembered as too costly to remember.

The Economist 2001.

Small Modular Reactors are not small power

Some would like to think SMR can be made in sufficient quantity to enable the reduction in costs of manufacturing, but they are competing against wind turbines (500,000) and solar panels (billions) so they have both R&D gains that provide 20% reduction in price year on year, and scaling of production that adds a further 5% cost down. Read more about SMR in my article here. Moreover a recent study and published in PLOS showed SMR designs will actually increase the volume of nuclear waste in need of management and disposal, by factors of 2 to 30 for the reactors

Diminishing Cost of Power

The levelised cost of energy is provided by Lazard annually. Their most recent simple power reduction is shown below

Simple power provides year on year cost reduction
Lazard Cost of energy (Full Report Here)

The latest version 2021 version 15 is provided below

Lazard 2021 version 15 (report in full here)

Waste from Nuclear Power

Check out the article on waste from nuclear here.