The Nuclear Technology We Need
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In 15 years time the 300 MWe small modular reactor, BWRX-300 will be available at a cost of £462 million. It will have its EPZ at the boundary fence of its tiny site, meaning it can be located close to centres of population. It is rated at 900 MWt so can be configured for CHP operation and provide not only 24/7, low-carbon electricity, but also much of the heating and hot water to buildings which, of itself, accounts for 40% of all of the UK's energy use.
The UK uses 340 TWh per year. 150 of these BWRX-300 SMRs would supply 100% of the 24/7 electricity and much of the heat and hot water we use, for 60 years at a cost of £70 billion.
For renewables to supply 340 TWh, desecrating our countryside is a big issue, so maybe solar would creep up to 10% and wind would probably split to 30% onshore and 60% offshore for the rest.
Solar would cost £43 billion, onshore £48 billion, offshore £115 billion. Then, when the Sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow, we’d have to have £38 billion of CCGTs. Backed-up intermittent electricity for just 25/30 years of lifespan tots up to £244 billion. So for 60 years that would be around £553 billion.
We can choose to pay £70 billion for guaranteed 24/7, low-carbon electricity and much of the heat and hot water for buildings for 60 years.
Or we can choose to pay 7.9X more in overnight cost and 100X more cost in terms of scenic desecration, resource waste, ecosystem destruction, species wipe out and waste mountain.
Colin Megson, engineer & energy specialist, 1 Mar 2019; reproduced by permission.
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