Colin Megson

Recent news on energy

It is evident that the Climate Change Committee should be separated from those who make decisions on UK energy policy.

The CCC is clueless on energy matters and seem to be unaware that we have the capability and technology to make our own small modular reactors for power generation; Rolls-Royce has been using them in submarines for decades. One reactor could power the whole of Leicester. Yet the CCC talks about expanding the 'unreliables' (wind and solar) sector and saying that the only new nuclear station we need is Hinkley C.

Here is Colin Megson, engineer and energy specialist, writing about the CCC's recent ill-informed statements:

    "...the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) shows the UK could meet its power demand and climate goals to 2030 at low cost, without any new nuclear beyond the Hinkley C scheme..."

    They are completely oblivious to burgeoning developments in advanced nuclear reactors. The FOAK BWRX-300 SMR GE-Hitachi will be operational in 2030 at $3,000/kW. In 15 years time, the NOAK will be down to $2,000/kW.

    The UK uses 340 TWh per year. 150 of these BWRX-300 SMRs would supply 100% of the 24/7 electricity we use, for 60 years at a cost of 70 billion. The USA's Nuclear regulator says the Emergency Planning Zone [EPZ] for SMRs will be at the boundary fence, compared to the 10 mile radius EPZs for current nuclear. They are 100s or even 1,000s of times safer and can be sited near population centres to provide much of the heat too.

    For renewables to supply 340 TWh, desecrating our countryside is a big issue, so maybe solar would creep up to 5% and wind would probably split to 1/3 onshore and 2/3 offshore for the rest. Solar would cost 21.6 billion, onshore 63.9 billion, offshore 121.4 billion. Then, when the Sun don't shine and the wind don't blow, we'd have to have 30 billion of CCGTs. Backed-up intermittent electricity for just 25/30 years tots up to 236.9 billion So for 60 years that would be around 560 billion.

    Super safe BWRX-300 needing 50 sites, with 3 per site near to population centres would not only supply 100% of the 24/7 electricity needed, but in CHP mode supply much of the heat too. That's twice the bang for their bucks for investors and well on the way to solving the Government's biggest headache of decarbonising heating.

    70 billion for guaranteed 24/7 electricity for 60 years or 8X more cost, scenic desecration, resource waste, ecosystem destruction, species wipe out and waste mountains. The CCC is going to decide for us all, if we let them.

Colin Megson, 20 Jan 2019; reproduced by permission.


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