Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nuclear Power Going Down — More Facts (& VIDEO)

Piggy-backing on the news that Japan has just shut down its second-to-last nuclear reactor and that France still subsidies nuclear power to get it down to the price of consumer electricity, here are some rather interesting nuclear versus renewable facts (shared by a reader):

“… between 2004 and 2011, more nuclear-power capacity was decommissioned worldwide than was installed. Last year alone, the world installed 50 percent more new wind-power capacity (41.2 gigawatts) than all new nuclear capacity installed from 2002 to 2011 (27.3 GW). In terms of electricity production, the wind-power industry has installed the equivalent of 1.3 nuclear reactors per month over the past three years.” (emphasis added)

The European Commission projects that only 3% of all new power capacity installed from 2011 to 2020 will be from nuclear power, while it projects 71% will be from renewable energy sources.
Here are some more staggering facts (emphasis added):
In October 2011, former UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said that two-thirds of the budget for the government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, or €2.4bn a year, is spent on nuclear power. But that is a drop in the ocean compared to decommissioning costs. According to Huhne, “the provisions for nuclear decommissioning costs in total were £2m in 1970, £472m in 1980, £9.5bn in 1990, £22.5bn in 2000, and now, £53.7bn. When nuclear power was held up to the cold, hard light of the market, it proved to be uneconomic.”

Wind power has received a fraction of the financial support that nuclear energy has received – and yet wind can provide electricity at less than half the cost of new nuclear-power plants. According to the European Environment Agency, 80 percent of the total energy subsidies in the European Union is paid to fossil fuels and nuclear energy, while 19 percent goes to renewables.
Moreover, wind energy has zero fuel costs, minimal waste-disposal and decommissioning costs, and a tiny fraction of nuclear power’s risk to human health or the environment.

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