Critically weighing the costs and benefits of a nuclear renaissance

Sovacool, Benjamin K (2010) Critically weighing the costs and benefits of a nuclear renaissance. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 7 (2). pp. 105-122. ISSN 1943-815X

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Abstract

What are the likely consequences of a global nuclear power renaissance? This article answers that question by exploring six categories of costs and benefits associated with modern nuclear power plants: capital and production costs, safety and reliability, fuel costs, land degradation, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. After weighing arguments on both sides, when costs and benefits are normalized across studies and different reactor types, the article finds that the typical nuclear power plant has 8.6 cents of damages attached to every kilowatt-hour of electricity it produces, and the industry as a whole has $223.7 billion worth of net damages every year. These costs are so large (and unavoidable) that in most countries investments in nuclear power do not occur, and they raise doubts as to whether a nuclear renaissance will produce net benefits to society.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 07:23
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 14:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58197
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