Reassessing the safety of nuclear power

Wheatley, Spencer, Sovacool, Benjamin and Sornette, Didier (2016) Reassessing the safety of nuclear power. Energy Research & Social Science, 15. pp. 96-100. ISSN 2214-6296

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Abstract

We summarize the results of a recent statistical analysis of 216 nuclear energy accidents and incidents
(events). The dataset is twice as large as the previous best available. We employ cost in US dollars as
a severity measure to facilitate the comparison of different types and sizes of events, a method more
complete and consistent that the industry-standard approach. Despite significant reforms following past
disasters, we estimate that, with 388 reactors in operation, there is a 50% chance that a Fukushima event
(or more costly) occurs every 60–150 years. We also find that the average cost of events per year is around
the cost of the construction of a new plant. This dire outlook necessitates post-Fukushima reforms that
will truly minimize extreme nuclear power risks. Nuclear power accidents are decreasing in frequency,
but increasing in severity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 13:23
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2017 12:48
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61315

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