One thing we have learnt this week- nuclear is more expensive than we thought!

Nuclear is more expensive than we thought? That’s the lesson this week as the private consortium tasked with cleaning up the UK’s “magnox” reactors is laying off 1600 workers.  There is a suspicion that this could be a prelude to the private consortium demanding more government money.  The reason being given that the task is much more complex than anticipated.  A completely separate contract for the clean-up of Sellafield involving a different group of companies has been ended due to problems.

Nuclear is more expensive than we thought, tell me something I was not expecting!  The reason nuclear is more expensive than we thought?  No thought went into how to dismantle these reactors when they were designed.  You also wonder how much is going into decommissioning with new reactor designs?  One problem is its unlikely the designers will be alive when any decommissioning takes place.  Just think how difficult it is to communicate complex ideas in writing for someone who have not met 40-50 years in the future?  Especially on something like a nuclear power station.  It doesn’t matter does it anyway its some else’s mess.

Meanwhile negotiations on Hinkley C continue with lots of construction jobs being cut there.  As reported on this site over the last few years this new nuclear power station hangs in the balance.  (And by extension all the other proposed ones in the UK).  It still seems unlikely to go ahead and its therefore less surprising that the government has been pressing ahead with plans for 3-4 new interconnectors.  In the meanwhile renewables (in particular solar is leaping ahead) and the plans were confirmed this week for another large offshore wind farm.  Nuclear is looking increasingly out of kilter as yesterdays technology.

Neil

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