Union of Concerned Scientists

Union of Concerned Scientists For Nukes!

Activist group finally recognizes that it can't achieve its energy and climate goals without nuclear power.

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VaclavVolrab/Dreamstime

The activists at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) have had a partial change of heart about nuclear power. Back in 2007, the UCS' Global Warming and Nuclear Power report declared, "prudence dictates that we develop as many options to reduce global warming emissions as possible, and begin by deploying those that achieve the largest reductions most quickly and with the lowest costs and risk. Nuclear power today does not meet these criteria."

In its new report, The Nuclear Power Dilemma, the UCS now recognizes that nuclear power plays an important role in addressing the problem of man-made global warming by helping to keep U.S. carbon dioxide emissions considerably lower than they would otherwise be. The UCS notes that there has been a 28 percent reduction in U.S. power-sector emissions of carbon dioxide below 2005 levels. This is largely due to the switch from coal to cheap fracked natural gas, to increased energy efficiency, and to the deployment of some solar and wind generation capacity.

The UCS fears that this trend toward lower carbon dioxide emissions will be derailed because many of the currently operating nuclear power plants will close because they are being outcompeted by generation facilities fueled by cheap natural gas and subsidized renewable power generation. "More than one-third of existing plants, representing 22 percent of total U.S. nuclear capacity, are unprofitable or scheduled to close," notes the report. "The possibility that the nation will replace existing nuclear plants with natural gas and coal rather than low-carbon sources raises serious concerns about our ability to achieve the deep cuts in carbon emissions needed to limit the worst impacts of climate change." The UCS has evidently come to realize that closing down nuclear power plants will perversely "lock-in" fossil fuels and thus make it harder and more expensive to "save the climate."

In order to avoid this outcome the UCS advocates either raising the price of electricity generated from burning fossil fuels by putting a price of $25 per ton on carbon dioxide emissions (to be increased at 5 percent annually) or adopting a steadily rising national low-carbon electricity standard. The UCS favorably cites the subsidy schemes adopted by New York, New Jersey and Illinois to keep open nuclear power plants outcompeted by natural gas and subsidized renewable energy generators.

Of course, the UCS's mild embrace of nuclear power has provoked criticism by some progressives. Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Obama administration, said to ThinkProgress that nuclear reactors "are a bad bet for a climate strategy." Why? Because the costs of building nuclear power plants have risen steeply over the years.

Sadly, it should be noted that the UCS itself has been a loud cheerleader for the very over-regulation that led to the steadily rising costs for deploying new nuclear power plants. In 2017 Australian National University researcher Peter Lang calculated that had the trend of rapidly falling costs and accelerating deployment of nuclear plants in the 1960s and 1970s been allowed to continue, nuclear power could now be around 10 percent of its current cost. Such low cost nuclear power by 2015 could have replaced worldwide up to 100 percent of coal-generated and up to 76 percent of gas-generated electricity. In other words, in an alternative world without the regulatory obstructionism practiced by environmental activists, humanity would already be well on the way toward mitigating the problem of man-made global warming.

It's welcome news that the UCS has taken this small step towards recognizing the value of low-carbon nuclear power. It would be even better if the activist group would also come around to advocating the rapid development and deployment of new safer nuclear power generation technologies, such as molten salt thorium reactors, small modular reactors, and traveling wave reactors.

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  1. I never could figure out what those guys are concerned about.
    It sure ain’t science.

    1. I never could figure out what those guys are concerned about.
      It sure ain’t science.

      You’d think, after the Obergfell decision, they’s go ahead and get married.

    2. Money. It’s all they’ve ever been concerned about. How much fear and uncertainty can we drum up to turn into fundraising dollars…

      1. Ding! We have a winner!

        1. “We have a winner!”

          And a cheap-jack cynic who wouldn’t know science if he tripped over it.

  2. “In other words, in an alternative world without the regulatory obstructionism practiced by environmental activists, humanity would already be well on the way toward mitigating the problem of man-made global warming”

    -Skynet

    1. Nuclear’s economics problem isn’t the fault of regulations. That dog won’t hunt. Even in China, the latest generation of nuclear has proven itself to be uneconomic. Every new plant came in way over budget and years late. Nuclear’s levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is around $150/MWh. That’s three times the cost of ng and almost four times the cost of unsubsidized wind and solar.

      Forget about the environment. This will be all about economics. The short term future for power generation is wind+solar+hydro+ng and the long term future is wind+solar+storage.

      Here’s the latest Lazard LCEO report. It’s becoming crystal clear how this movie ends…
      https://bit.ly/2qI0BdE

      1. That’s three times the cost of ng and almost four times the cost of unsubsidized wind and solar.

        Wind and solar are not dispatchable without backup. The most economically viable backup for the “renewables” would be NG. They don’t include those costs. The linked paper has some dubious assumptions. For example they assume a capacity factor of 90% for nuclear which is at least a couple of percent low. This past summer, when demand is highest, nuclear capacity factor was at 96.5%. They also assume an onshore wind capacity of 55% to 38% when in real life it is about 30%. They also state:

        Other factors would also have a potentially significant effect on the results contained herein, but have not been examined in the scope of this current analysis. These additional factors, among others, could include: import tariffs; capacity value vs. energy value; stranded costs related to distributed generation or otherwise; network upgrade, transmission, congestion or other integration-related costs;

        They also don’t account for time of generation value. Wind has its highest output in the spring and fall. Highest demand is summer and winter. Wind is also largely unavailable during heat waves or cold spells when demand is highest. Solar peaks at noon but the demand peak starts late afternoon and goes into early evening. It’s a dubious report that hopes you don’t look to closely at the details.

        1. The Lazard LCOE report is the gold standard in the business. There are literally billions of dollars of investments riding on the assumptions in that report. These are not political hacks with an agenda.

          1. The Lazard LCOE report is the gold standard in the business.

            It’s still BS.

            There are literally billions of dollars of investments riding on the assumptions in that report.

            So what. People made money off of pet rocks too.

          2. Then argue against his cogent points.

        2. Also, the fact that NG is $55/MWh and renewables are sub 40/MWh is what has nuclear uncompetitive.

          When nuclear and coal were the cheapest generation sources, it was worth bending over backwards to accommodate their inflexibility and inability to follow load. Now that intermittent renewables are by far the cheapest, they’ll ALWAYS get scheduled first. Then natural gas to fill any gaps (until storage costs come down). Nuclear is so far down the scheduling pecking order that it rarely gets to run because there’s always something cheaper available.

          1. Also, the fact that NG is $55/MWh and renewables are sub 40/MWh is what has nuclear uncompetitive.

            You simply don’t understand electric generation. It is very important when it is generated. Power generated at 3:00 am in April does not have the same value as the same power generated in July, during a heat wave, at 4:00 pm. It has cost Ontario (Canada) billions due to the wind power being generated when there was little demand resulting in negative pricing. They actually have to pay New York and Michigan to take the power.

            It is also interesting to note that you didn’t address any of the issues I raised about the report. Instead you resort to a fallacious appeal to authority.

            1. Yes, real time prices vary throughout the day and the year. This is a problem for nuclear because it’s so inflexible and therefore its high cost is magnified. OTOH, solar is generally produced when demand and real time prices are near their highs. The duck curve that develops as solar penetration increases (from oversupply) can be handled with short-term storage. Notice that the cost for solar plus storage (Lazard storage report) is still cheaper than nuclear. And again, none of this matters since nuclear is $150/MWh vs natural gas at $55. You’d have to price carbon over $100 per ton for nuclear to even begin to get competitive vs ng. Plus natural gas is much more flexibility and handles the intermittency of renewables and nuclear does not.

              1. Yes, real time prices vary throughout the day and the year. This is a problem for nuclear because it’s so inflexible and therefore its high cost is magnified.

                Wrong. Nuclear is base load.

                OTOH, solar is generally produced when demand and real time prices are near their highs.

                No it is not. What part of “solar peaks at noon but the demand peak starts late afternoon and goes into early evening” don’t you understand?

                Notice that the cost for solar plus storage (Lazard storage report) is still cheaper than nuclear.

                I noticed Lazard is bull shit. Even after point out some pretty obvious assumptions that were wrong you keep treating it like a fountain of truth.

                1. Base load is an antiquated 20th century term developed to accommodate the inherent problems of cheap but inflexible generation sources like coal and nuclear. You would layer in the cheap but inflexible generators first to cover the demand that’s present around the clock then use more flexible (but expensive) generators to match load.

                  Back in the day, it made sense to design grids around these dinosaur technologies. Unfortunately for them, the tide has turned and now they have the highest cost.

                  That makes baseload a useless concept since it doesn’t make any sense to layer in the most expensive and least flexible resources first. Why would anyone want to do that?

                  1. Base load is an antiquated 20th century term developed to accommodate the inherent problems of cheap but inflexible generation sources like coal and nuclear.

                    LMAO. Bet you read that in some ignorant news article.

                    Base load is a technical term. It is the minimum load over a time period. Base load is measured in Watts. It is independent of the generating sources.

                    That makes baseload a useless concept since it doesn’t make any sense to layer in the most expensive and least flexible resources first.

                    What doesn’t make sense is what you think base load is.

                    While historically large power grids used unvarying power plants to meet the base load, there is no specific technical requirement for this to be so. The base load can equally well be met by the appropriate quantity of intermittent power sources and dispatchable generation.

                    Damn, your ignorant.

                    1. Yeah, but he sure seems to think he knows what he’s talking about. Anyone with basic knowledge of how the grid works knows he’s talking out his ass. We have some of those 350 fucktards around here, they are basically a cult and like all cults are blind to reason or logic.

                    2. I’m not sure why you think I’m part of some cult. This is about economics, not environmentalism. Economics is what killed nuclear.

                      Climate change is not a factor at this point. It may have provided the seed money that drove the innovation and made wind and solar the cheapest generation sources.

                    3. From the same article you linked:

                      In 2016, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Daily Telegraph wrote that, with advances in energy storage, ‘there ceases to be much point in building costly “baseload” power plants’ and goes on to argue ‘Nuclear reactors cannot be switched on and off as need demands – unlike gas plants. They are useless as a back-up for the decentralized grid of the future, when wind, solar, hydro, and other renewables will dominate the power supply

                    4. In 2016, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Daily Telegraph wrote that, with advances in energy storage …

                      Grid based storage is essentially non existent.

                    5. I see, so now the dinosaurs have redefined base load to encompass all generation sources. Everyone gets a prize!

                    6. I see, so now the dinosaurs have redefined base load …
                      Nobody has redefined anything dumbass.

                    7. Here’s a very simplified 24 hour scheduling example that shows why base load is dead.
                      Marginal cost to run;
                      Wind – 0
                      Solar – 0
                      NG – $40
                      nuclear – $20 (very generous)

                      Scenario 1 (flexible)
                      hour
                      00-06 – 3 MW Wind satisfies 100% of load
                      07-09 – 5 MW ng satisfies 100% of load (3x5MW=15MWh)
                      10-16 – 7 MW solar satisfies 100% of load
                      17-21 – 9 MW ng satisfies 100% of load (5x9MW=45MWh)
                      22-24 – 5 MW wind satisfies 100% of load

                      This requires 55 MWh of natural gas with a total marginal cost of $2,400

                      Scenario 2 (base load)
                      hour
                      00-06 – 3 MW nuclear (7x3MWh= 21MWh nuclear)
                      07-09 – 3 MW nuclear (3x5MW= 15MWh nuclear)
                      07-09 – 2 MW ng (2x2MW=4MWh ng)
                      10-16 – 3 MW nuclear (7x3MW = 21 MWh nuclear)
                      10-16 – 4 MW solar (7x4MW = 28 MWh ng)
                      17-21 – 3 MW nuclear (5×3 MW=15MW nuclear)
                      17-21 – 6 MW ng (5x6MW=30MWh ng)
                      22-24 – 3 MW nuclear (3x3MW = 9 MWh nuclear)
                      22-24 – 2 MW wind
                      This requires 81 MWh nuclear ($1620) and 62 MWh of ng ($2480) for a total MC of $4,100

                      As you can see, running an inflexible generator like nuclear with a high marginal cost to satisfy what you call “base load” makes no sense.

                      Obviously I’ve simplified this a ton but this is similar to how it works in the real world and THIS is the reason coal and nuke plants are shutting down across the country. Their marginal cost of operating is too high to compete.

                    8. Sorry, not enough coffee… There are 2 mistakes in my example above.

                      Scenario 1 requires 60 MWh of ng for a total marginal cost of $2,400
                      Scenario 2 requires 81 MWh nuclear ($1620) and 34 MWh of ng ($1360) for a total MC of $2,980
                      (miscounted solar generation as ng by mistake)

                      In reality, nuclear marginal cost is more like $25-30, which yields $3,385-$3,790 for total cost.

                      Finally, if you expand the example to amortize plant cap ex, the math gets much much worse for nuclear.

                    9. Here’s a very simplified 24 hour scheduling example that shows why base load is dead.

                      Still don’t understand what baseload is do you.

                    10. Scenario 1 (flexible)
                      00-06 – 3 MW Wind satisfies 100% of load

                      Making up bull shit now. What do you do when there isn’t any wind?

                    11. “What do you do when there isn’t any wind?”

                      Schedule ng instead. Or discharge a battery. Or use some pumped storage. Or hydro….

                      Uneconomic coal and nuke plants are shutting down in droves across the country and the rough example above explains why.

                    12. Schedule ng instead.

                      So your admitting that wind doesn’t save anything as far as building, running, and maintaining traditional plants. If your going to use that as backup to wind then, unlike that stupid report you think is gospel, you have to include it as part of the cost of wind.

                      Or discharge a battery.

                      Damn you’re an idiot.

                      Or use some pumped storage.

                      That will work real well in Arizona.

                      Or hydro….

                      Already maxed out on hydro.

                    13. “If your going to use that as backup to wind then, unlike that stupid report you think is gospel, you have to include it as part of the cost of wind”

                      Including cap ex amortization in the above example only makes it worse for nuclear.

                      ALREADY PAID FOR NUCLEAR PLANTS ARE SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE THEY CAN’T COMPETE WITH CHEAPER RIVALS.

                      The plants that are out competing nuclear are covering both their capital costs and their operating costs, while these paid for nuclear plants can’t even cover their operating costs.

                      When already paid for nuke plants can’t compete with cheaper rivals, what makes you think it makes sense to build crazy-expensive new plants that will have the same marginal cost problem?

                    14. Let me make one last attempt to explain the economic problem that even already built nuclear (and coal) plants are facing.

                      Nuclear and coal can’t easily be turned on and off like many other generators. Once you start them up, you have to run them for many hours or even days at a time. When these “base load” plants had the lowest operating costs of all generators, it was no problem for grid operators to commit to buying multiple days worth of their output. It was the lowest cost way to satisfy demand so committing to buy as much output as they could (up to base load at least) made sense.

                      Today, there are multiple periods during most days when much lower cost generators can supply all the power the grid needs. This leaves only a few hours in each day when the old “base load” plants are economic to run (eg are the lowest cost option). But because “base load” plants can’t run for just the few hours they’re needed, the math doesn’t work for them to run at all. It’s cheaper to run a much more expensive plant to handle the peak than it is to run the base load plant for the whole day and overpay for its power most of the time (compared to what other plants would charge during those other hours).

      2. Literally none of the comments in this thread have anything to do with my comment’s simple recognition of Skynet’s unparalleled contributions to reducing human carbon emissions via the use of cheap, tried-and-tested nuclear energy sources.

        You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

        1. I addressed your comment in my very first reply. Nuclear’s problem is economics, not environmentalism or excessive regulation.

          “Nuclear’s economics problem isn’t the fault of regulations. Even in China, the latest generation of nuclear has proven itself to be uneconomic. Every new plant came in way over budget and years late. Nuclear’s levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is around $150/MWh. That’s three times the cost of ng and almost four times the cost of unsubsidized wind and solar.”

          Carbon would have to be priced well above $100/ton for nuclear to even begin to be minimally economically competitive vs ng and at that point there are actually cheaper and better alternatives such as carbon capture.

          1. You genuinely don’t know what “Skynet” is, do you.

  3. Nuclear power today does not meet these criteria

    Gee, I wonder what’s happened in the nuclear industry in the last 10 years that’s changed all that. Oh, right, nothing.

    If all else fails, lower your standards.

    1. ^ this

      Finally! We get to watch the far left devour itself.

    2. How long until Global Warming is no longer a concern, either?

      1. When there’s permafrost in southern Florida.

    3. “If all else fails, lower your standards.”

      Not a bad idea if things were failing because your standards were too high to start with.

      1. Your spouse sounds ugly.

      2. Jeez man.

        Nuclear power didn’t meet the UCS’ standards in the past. Nothing has changed about nuclear power – they’ve just lowered their standards as to whatever ‘achieve[s] the largest reductions most quickly and with the lowest costs and risk.’

        Nuclear power failed the UCS’ previous standards. Now it doesn’t. Because they lowered their standards.

        1. The UCS’s previous standards on nuclear power were ridiculous.

    4. Actually, their change of heart is about saving the current nuclear fleet, not building new nuclear. No one thought the continued operation of the current fleet was in question, but now thanks to falling costs for ng, wind, and solar, it’s often not economic to continue running already paid for nuclear plants because their marginal costs are so high.

      The latest lazard report spells it out (scroll down to chart comparing cost of new builds vs marginal cost of coal and nuclear)
      https://bit.ly/2qI0BdE

      The cheapest unsubsidized new wind builds clock in at $29/MWh and the cheapest solar at $36 and falling fast. Meanwhile, just the marginal cost of running an already paid for nuke plant ranges from $24 to $31 and I think there are some outliers that clock in even higher.

      That makes it very hard for nuclear to compete in regions that use a competitive bidding process for scheduling power generation. So either nuclear needs to get credit for being non-polluting (eg subsidy), or even the existing plants we currently have will have to shut down because the economics don’t work.

      1. The latest lazard report spells it out …

        The Lazard report is essentially BS as I point out below.

        1. You mean as you baselessly claim below, with no links to other sources to back up your claim.

  4. Have no fear for atomic energy, for none of them can stop the time. – Bob

  5. ‘humanity would already be well on the way toward mitigating the problem of man-made global warming.’

    Hey, Ronny Baby, what man-made global warming? Maybe you should explain that to us dopes, first….

  6. The UCS notes that there has been a 28 percent reduction in U.S. power-sector emissions of carbon dioxide below 2005 levels.

    Where’s the parade?!? We also solved hunger for the poor in the USA – the poorest are the fattest among us! How come these joyless twits are always bitching? 28% reduction in smog below 2005 levels?? That is freaking awesome! Thank you natural gas!

  7. Anti-nuke people aren’t really about the nukes.

    They’re anti-cheap energy people.

    As energy costs decline, everything that uses energy gets cheaper and that leads to an increased standard of living. That leads to more contented, less desperate people. And that means that it’s harder to rhetorically whipsaw people into giving the fear-mongers the power to “fix” things.

    1. They’re anti-cheap energy people.

      At their core, they are anti-people people. They are engaged in the neo-Malthusian fantasy that the planet cannot support even the current population and that the surplus must inevitably be sacrificed for the greater good. Since most of the surplus is brown and yellow, they express their guilt over their ‘white privilege’ while conspiring in their ignorance to kill billions.

      1. Double BINGO Bronze and Chuckles….

  8. Activist group finally recognizes that it can’t achieve its energy and climate goals without nuclear power.

    Well at least they’re being honest.

  9. “Gregory Jaczko, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Obama administration, said to ThinkProgress that nuclear reactors “are a bad bet for a climate strategy.” Why? Because the costs of building nuclear power plants have risen steeply over the years.

    The fuck? These assholes are perfectly willing to spend trillions of dollars on basically nothing, but a couple billion dollars for a brand new nuclear plant that’ll last decades is just beyond the pale?

    Mind boggling.

    1. And why did the cost rise so quickly? Oh yeah, the assholes protesting out front for 50+ years causing endless delays. Hell, Seabrook Station in NH was never finished because of these asshats.

    2. You might prefer the assholes in China, Iran or North Korea. Business is booming!

    3. “a brand new nuclear plant that’ll last decades”

      A brand new nuclear plant, even one lasting a century, won’t take you very far. You’ll need thousands and not even the Chinese can afford that. Still, if you want to sink your money in nuclear energy, you are welcome to do so.

      1. The US produces a little more than 1,000 gigawatts so we would only need 1,000. Molten salt reactors produced assembly line style would be doable.

        1. “so we would only need 1,000.”

          To meet global energy demands, 1000s would be necessary, as I mentioned. The US alone cannot reverse the atmospheric carbon thing, and would require other nations to follow suit. The idea that the US would spend trillions on these nuclear white elephants while Canada, Mexico and the rest of the globe continue to burn fossil fuels is a non-starter, and you should put it from your mind.

      2. A brand new nuclear plant, even one lasting a century, won’t take you very far. You’ll need thousands and not even the Chinese can afford that.

        mtrueman wouldn’t know science if he tripped over it. Peak demand in the US is a bit under 600 GW’s. At an average of 1.2 GW you could do it with 500 generators. The US generates about 20% of its electricity from Nuclear with less than 100 reactors. As for needing thousands, mtrueman just pulled that out of his ass. He doesn’t have a clue.

        1. “As for needing thousands”

          I already responded to another 1000s denialist. You might read above and respond if you wish.

          1. I already responded to another 1000s denialist.

            Yea … “thousands” … such precision. How many “thousands”? Like I said you pulled that out of your ass.

            1. Seeing as you put the US figure at 500, and Ice trey, 1000, I don’t think there’s anything wrong or misleading about my figure of 1000s for the entire planet, no matter whose ass it came from.

              1. Seeing as you put the US figure at 500 …

                That was giving you a starting point. Nukes are great for base load but don’t ramp up/down very well. You can’t just shut them down at midnight and start them the next morning. That job is for NG or hydro. You are not going to replace everything with nuclear. Cannot be done. The number that would be reasonable is somewhat less than 500. If you actually knew anything about power generation you would have known that.

                You claimed “thousands” but have avoided the question. How many “thousands”? You avoided it because you pulled it out of your ass.

                1. Greg, it seems that trueman was hand-waving in his initial statement. Pick your battles, my friend. Like against that genius who doesn’t understand that wind power beyond a certain point is useless without mass power storage that simply doesn’t exist.

                  And, Trueman isn’t wrong. Yes, we probably would need thousands for the whole planet. However, we would also have a planet’s-worth of income do to do it with. That’s definitely in the realm of possibility.

                  1. My initial statement is perfectly accurate. Ice Trey says that 1000 reactors would meet US energy demand, Greg says 500. I say more than two thousand would be necessary to meet world demand. I can’t understand why this assertion should be so upsetting.

                2. “How many “thousands”?”

                  Two or more as the plural implies. If you are curious about the exact figure, you can work it out for yourself. Mine was just an ass pulled figure as you’ve repeatedly pointed out.

                  1. Two or more as the plural implies.

                    Well the US consumes about 1/6 total electric generation. Base load which is what nuclear would be able to supply is 30% to 40% of total. Lets go with 40%. The US would need 200, world total is 6x or 1200. Like you said yours “was just an ass pulled figure”.

                    1. Like you said yours “was just an ass pulled figure”.

                      But it’s not wrong, as we’ve pointed out to you. You’d need thousands (or several thousand if you prefer) of fairly large nuclear reactors around the planet to meet global electricity demand. 200 won’t meet the demand at today’s levels. The costs of construction alone would be tremendous and I don’t see anyone putting up the money. We have a whole board here of nuclear promoters and I doubt any has any money riding on nuclear. Just imagine for a moment you are a hard-headed business person instead of some basement dwelling schmoe in a dirty t-shirt without any skin in the game, then tell us how much nuclear means to you.

        2. Then there is the footprint issue. You can put a gigawatt nuke plant on a few acres. With the rules requiring boundaries, it takes thousands of acres. But those surrounding acres can remain forest.

          A solar plant of the same magnitude would require the clear cutting of millions of acres. What is the environmental impact of that?

          1. ” it takes thousands of acres”

            Careful miketol, you should include a trigger warning for using the word “thousands.”

      3. Wait, one plant won’t power the whole country? Those bastards lied to me!

        I’m going back to sinking my money into solar plants in Seattle!

        1. “Wait, one plant won’t power the whole country?”

          What country did you have in mind? Liechtenstein? Monaco? If so, one should do the trick.

  10. The Left has to prevent nuclear.

    If nuclear replaces fossil fuels, they’ll have to find a new rationale to suck hundreds of billions of dollars into globalist slush funds.

    1. You ever heard of China or North Korea? They are both under control of their respective Communist Parties and lead the world in their commitment to providing clean, cheap and safe nuclear power. The Left today is not ‘preventing’ nuclear power. It is capitalist countries like the US that are lagging behind.

  11. I love nuclear power and think climate activists are simply not serious as long as they reject it. But, I remember reading a piece in REASON trashing nuclear because…subsidies. Which is it?

  12. I love nuclear power and think climate activists are simply not serious as long as they reject it. But, I remember reading a piece in REASON trashing nuclear because…subsidies. Which is it?

  13. I love nuclear power and think climate activists are simply not serious as long as they reject it. But, I remember reading a piece in REASON trashing nuclear because…subsidies. Which is it?

    1. I believe the trashing was the industry, not the technology. They also trashed other forms of power generation because of the subsidies.

  14. Nuclear power is, was, and will always be the energy source of the future.

    Thanks, assholes. I fucking hate environmentalists. There’s nothing more harmful than fucking do-gooders.

  15. It seems entirely reasonable to try to get as much as we can out of our already built nuclear fleet.

    OTOH, it’s now completely clear that new nuclear is not a cost-effective generation source. Every plant that’s been built in every country (including China) has been way more costly to build than projected. Every one. The best we can do is continue research and pilot projects in hopes that one day scientists make a breakthough that allows nuclear to become competitive.

    The latest Lazard Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) report shows nuclear at around $150/MWh, versus only $40-45/MWh for unsubsidized wind and utility scale solar. Those low wind and solar costs leaves plenty of room in the budget for storage and augmenting with ng.
    https://bit.ly/2qI0BdE

    The handy LCOE map from utexas.edu shows the cheapest generation sources across the country based on the levelized cost of energy of new plants. Playing around with the interactive map it becomes clear that nuclear is NEVER the cheapest option, even when carbon emissions are priced. In fact, you have to price carbon emissions over $100/ton to get nuclear to be a better bet vs ng anywhere in the country and at that point, ng with carbon capture starts to be competitive.
    http://calculators.energy.utexas.edu/lcoe_map

  16. The latest Lazard Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) report shows nuclear at around $150/MWh, versus only $40-45/MWh for unsubsidized wind and utility scale solar.

    Which is comparing apples and oranges.

    1. Yet these fucktards like the idiot above fail to mention the sheer scale of the wind or solar footprint that would be needed. Their idiot acolytes have no idea the millions of acres of bird choppers and fryers that would be needed, plus the tens of thousands of miles of new high voltage power lines that would fuck up all the wide open spaces they proclaim to love.

      1. I see you’ve posted no links that refute anything I’ve said.

        I’m not sure why you’re so invested in your alternate reality world, but the data is clear. Anyone who seriously studies this knows the rough contours of how this plays out and nuclear energy will not be part of the long term picture unless there’s an unexpected technological breakthrough.

        The economics are driving this and nuclear power just can’t compete.

        1. “I see you’ve posted no links that refute anything I’ve said.”

          But he really kicked your ass, insult-wise. I think most here reject alternatives to nuclear reflexively, but other, more thoughtful types reject it as incompatible with the grid, the centralized electrical distribution network dating back to the early days of the 20th century.

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