Real Costs of Nuclear Power
Real costs of nuclear power extend beyond construction
By PGS Past President, Dr. Dale Dewar
December 8, 2008
Re: Invest in taking nuclear power to needy world (SP, Dec. 1) Darn right the province should pause over the “huge costs associated with building a nuclear plant.”
If the Bruce study pegs the costs as high as $10 billion, you can rest assured they will be much higher. Of Ontario’s 20 nuclear plants, not one came in on time or on budget, with cost overruns in the billions. The “stunning $10,000 per person in Saskatchewan” will be much higher.
What is not clear is the expense required to change the grid to accommodate the additional power. Furthermore, I suspect (but stand to be corrected) that nuclear power production does not integrate well with renewables because of its inability to fluctuate with outputs.
The cost of decommissioning isn’t included and the cost of insurance, which we will have to bear, goes unmentioned.
What of health costs? German studies show increased incidence of leukemia in children, related inversely to the distance from the nuclear plant. Radiation-caused solid cancers will follow, taking about 40 years before they become apparent.
What of the great promise of nuclear power? Given costs relative to other supply options, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said: “Nuclear power, which accounted for 16 per cent of electricity supply in 2005, can have an 18 per cent share of the total electricity supply in 2030 but safety, weapons proliferation and waste remain as constraints.”
Would you build a house that couldn’t get rid of its sewage?
Dr. Dale Dewar
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Now, about that climate change document that Harper hasn’t released – perhaps we should all write requesting a copy. It would start to worry him.