Saturday, June 4, 2016

UK to build Advanced Boiling Water Reactor in Wales

Subtitle:  When Will They Ever Learn

We have yet another contender in the race to build the world's most expensive nuclear power plant, on a cost-per-kW basis.  This plant is to be built in Wales at Anglesey, the Wylfa Newydd project, and is to have twin-reactor ABWR design at 2,700 MWe.  That is the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor as provided by Hitachi.  (note that Hitachi has admitted to accounting scandals recently, involving the nuclear side of its business).  

The cost is projected to be £14 billion, or $20 billion US.  That works out to approximately $7,400 US per kWe.   After the inevitable delays and cost overruns, that will very likely be $26 billion and $10,000 per kWe.  

Another one to watch, in slow motion as always.  First startup is said to be "in the mid 2020s."   Given the dismal record of nuclear power plants construction schedules, the looming fiasco is likely to startup nearer 2030 or even later.  

Meanwhile, the economics of wind power are improving year over year, and grid-scale storage is already available.   Perhaps the good people of the UK will exercise their right to vote and get some people in office who will cancel the nuclear projects, build the wind projects and natural gas projects, and install the storage systems as they are economically feasible. 

Or not.  

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California

copyright © 2016 by Roger Sowell, all rights reserved

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