In an article for World Financial Review, Beyond Nuclear's Linda Pentz Gunter writes that nuclear is on the wane.
"While nuclear energy continues to play a role in political discussion and decision-making circles, the financial realities indicate it is a dying industry with no meaningful role in the future energy mix. Too costly, too slow to build, and too inefficient in an energy market heading away from the big grid system and toward distributed electricity generation, nuclear power simply offers too many serious drawbacks to remain viable."
In it, she cites the empirical evidence available today from sources such as Bloomberg and the World Nuclear Energy Status Report. An excerpt:
"All eyes instead were on renewable energy. The year 2015 saw unprecedented progress during which 64GW of wind and 57GW of solar PV was commissioned, an increase of nearly 30% over 2014, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.1Bloomberg noted that dollar investment in renewables globally soared to nearly six times the 2004 total and a new record of one third of a trillion dollars.
"These numbers are supported by the empirical data found in the independent World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR),2 produced annually and whose 2015 edition concluded: “There now seems to be general recognition that the falling production costs of renewable energy technologies, particularly solar photovoltaics (PV), coupled with the expected falling costs of electricity storage, will accelerate the transformation of the power sector.”3
"Indeed, it is the agility of renewable energy that is contributing to the poor economic outlook for nuclear power, as the 2015 WNISR points out. Large, centralised power stations that rely on baseload, such as nuclear and coal, “that cannot rapidly react to the resultant changing prices and/or demand will increasingly have to continue to generate when they are no longer needed or when they are operating at a loss. As solar or wind power have no fuel costs, they are able to produce power at lower cost and therefore will enter the market, unless obstructed, whenever they are able to generate,” the WNISR states.4"
We should close them all. Now.
Karl, a Beyond Nuclear board member, reports on the March 31-April 1 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. in light of the shocking revelations from Belgium that point to ISIS intentions to either acquire dirty bomb radioactive materials, or else attack nuclear power plants directly. More.
RT has interviewed Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, about the March 31-April 1 so-called "Nuclear Security Summit" convened by President Obama. Kevin discusses what is not being discussed, for the most part: both global nuclear weapons abolition, and nuclear power security risks. He also discusses the senseless shipment of weapons-usable plutonium from Japan to the U.S. on the high seas, and the unprecedented, highly risky shipment on the highways of liquid high-level radioactive waste (containing weapons-usable highly enriched uranium) from Canada to the U.S.
RT has interviewed investigative journalist Karl Grossman (photo left) on the risks of age-degraded nuclear power plants like Indian Point near New York City, where rusted and even missing bolts are but the latest safety scare.
Karl describes the potentially "catastrophic" risks of running reactors not 40 years, but 60 and even 80 years, including with power "uprates" -- operating aged reactors harder and hotter, to make more electricity, to make more money.
Karl points out that the answer is to shut these old nuclear power plants immediately, to eliminate the Chernobyl- and Fukushima-like reactor risks, and to stop the generation of radioactive waste. The electricity can be replaced with renewables like wind and solar, which are here today.
Karl serves as a Beyond Nuclear board member.