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Nuclear power may have saved 1.8 million lives otherwise lost to fossil fuels, may save up to 7 million more.

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Susquehanna nuclear power station (Image: Wikipedia Commons)Nuclear power is often promoted as a low-carbon source that mitigates fossil fuel emissions and the resulting health damage and deaths caused by air pollution. But is it possible to provide estimates and actually quantify these effects?

A new paper from NASA’s Goddard Institute authored by Pushker Kharecha and James Hansen in the journal Environmental Science and Technology purports to do just that. Hansen is well known as one of the founders of modern global warming science. The authors come up with the striking figure of 1.8 million as the number of lives saved by replacing fossil fuel sources with nuclear. They also estimate the saving of up to 7 million lives in the next four decades, along with substantial reductions in carbon emissions, were nuclear power to replace fossil fuel usage on a large scale. In addition the study finds that the proposed expansion of natural gas would not be as effective in saving lives and preventing carbon emissions. In general the paper provides optimistic reasons for the responsible and widespread use of nuclear technologies in the near future. It also drives home the point that nuclear energy has prevented many more deaths than what it has caused.

Let’s start with the abstract:

“In the aftermath of the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the future contribution of nuclear power to the global energy supply has become somewhat uncertain. Because nuclear power is an abundant, low-carbon source of base-load power, on balance it could make a large contribution to mitigation of global climate change and air pollution. Using historical production data, we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented about 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes (Gt) CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning. Based on global projection data that take into account the effects of Fukushima, we find that by midcentury, nuclear power could prevent an additional 420,000 to 7.04 million deaths and 80 to 240 GtCO2-eq emissions due to fossil fuels, depending on which fuel it replaces. By contrast, we assess that large-scale expansion of natural gas use would not mitigate the climate problem and would cause far more deaths than expansion of nuclear power.”

The authors look at deaths caused by various power sources during the period 1971-2009. To provide a comparison they build a model in which all the power which was provided by nuclear energy was hypothetically replaced by fossil fuel sources. They employ the same technique for the projected 2010-2050 period, assuming that all current nuclear power sources have been replaced by fossil fuels. Two scenarios are considered – one in which nuclear is replaced by coal and another in which it is replaced by gas. This takes into account the uncertainty regarding the nature of fossil fuel usage that’s inherent in future energy projections.

It’s worth noting that the authors consider only deaths and exclude from the model serious health crises such as heart failure, bronchitis and other respiratory problems; including these problems would further weaken the case for fossil fuels. The study also excludes aspects of nuclear power that cannot be easily quantified, such as deaths from nuclear proliferation.

The results are quite clear. In the 2000-2009 period alone nuclear power may have prevented an average of 76,000 deaths. This is an average and the range is quite large, but even the lower limit runs into the tens of thousands. For countries like Germany which have cut back on nuclear, the range of deaths is naturally higher. This is a result that Japan’s current leaders should take to heart.

What is even more starkly clear is that the number of deaths caused by nuclear power is far lower than those saved by it; in fact there’s scant comparison. As the report notes, even the worst nuclear accident in history (Chernobyl) caused about 40 deaths; these include 28 immediate responders and about 15 deaths caused among 6000 victims of excess cancers (it’s always very difficult to detect statistically significant excess cancers in the presence of a high natural background rate). There have been no deaths attributable to the Three Mile Island accident. And while the verdict on Fukushima is still not definitive, the latest report on the accident predicts no direct deaths and a much lower exposure to radiation for the surrounding population than that purported to lead to fatal cancers. The bottom line is that, even assuming pessimistic scenarios, the number of deaths caused by nuclear power is a minuscule fraction of those lives which were saved by nuclear power replacing fossil fuels.

Nuclear-free projections for the next four decades look even more dire. The authors estimate between 4 and 7 million deaths for the “All-Coal” scenario and between 420, 000 – 680, 000 deaths for an “All-Gas” energy policy. This is something which countries like Germany and Japan that are planning to phase out nuclear must seriously consider. Only if all the nuclear power were replaced by equipotent renewable energy sources in the next four decades would these deaths be prevented. This kind of high-capacity deployment of renewables seems quite uncertain for now.

Of course it’s not just the deaths. All the fossil fuel sources replacing nuclear power would contribute a very significant concentration of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and severely aggravate the effects of climate change. The authors estimate an additional 80 to 240 GtCO2-equivalents of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel sources in the next forty years if nuclear power were to decline. To put this into perspective, consider that the total amount of “allowable” input of greenhouse gases required to achieve a 350 ppm CO2 target by the end of the century is 500 GtCO2-equivalent. Nuclear power could thus reduce this load by 16-48%. Deploying some of the new promising reactor technologies could reduce this load even more.

The conclusions of the study are quite unambiguous. Even assuming uncertainties, nuclear power has saved at least hundreds of thousands of lives in the past forty years, and possibly millions. This is in stark contrast to the small number of lives lost in only one catastrophic nuclear accident. There are many more millions that would be lost if countries were to embark on a nuclear-free future replaced by fossil fuels. Natural gas might be a reasonable bridge to this future but it’s clear that it cannot be a sustainable one. It would take “heroic” efforts (in the words of the International Energy Agency) to replace all the nuclear power in the world with renewables in the next forty years. New generations of nuclear reactors like the molten salt and pebble bed reactors promise to make nuclear energy even more safe, efficient and cheap. Even Bill Gates is investing in a novel reactor design. The verdict is staring us in the face; we ignore energy from the atom at our own peril, and at the potential cost of a staggering number of lives from our children and grandchildren’s generation. It’s not the kind of legacy we want to be remembered for.

Ashutosh Jogalekar About the Author: Ashutosh (Ash) Jogalekar is a chemist interested in the history and philosophy of science. He considers science to be a seamless and all-encompassing part of the human experience. Follow on Twitter @curiouswavefn.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. ronwagn 4:20 pm 04/2/2013

    Nuclear power is not even close to being able to compete with natural gas generation. We also have no way to get rid of our many radioactive waste sites. Our aging plants should be retired rather than upgraded, which is too costly. Nuclear economists are even agreeing with this.

    Here are lots of references to the dangers and costs of nuclear plants:

    Link to this
  2. 2. M Tucker 4:55 pm 04/2/2013

    Granted the report is unambiguous on the lives saved. However, I have serious reservations with nuclear. The biggest is cost…

    “Saddled with an “advance cost recovery” financing arrangement that allows the nuclear industry to make them pay in advance for the construction of new reactors, electricity ratepayers in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, are faced with a stark choice today: Either “eat” roughly $6 billion already invested in costly new nuclear reactors or shell out even more when the region’s increasingly “uneconomical” reactor projects pile up $20 billion or more in excess costs.”

    And how is everything going at San Onofre?

    “The plant between Los Angeles and San Diego has been shut down since January 2012, after a small radiation leak led to the discovery of unusual damage to many tubes that carry radioactive water.”

    Those tubes were just replaced at a cost of $670 million in 2009 and 2010. Now they need to be replaced again. $670 million right down the toilet. Who will pay? Edison? Yeah, right.

    We are told about the next generation but because those have never been built before we all know that unknown, unanticipated issues will come up. They always do. Get your wallet out because this is gonna cost.

    Then the waste and the cost of dealing with it… How is everything going at Hanford?

    “Recent news that six single-shell storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation are leaking relatively small amounts of radioactive waste may be only part of the story.
    The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor are evaluating 14 other single-shell tanks that appeared to have lost liquid,

    “The growing potential for leaks in the aging tanks came on top of other bad news for Hanford Tuesday, with DOE estimating that federal sequestration budget cuts will require a $171 million decrease in funding for Hanford contractors this fiscal year. Hanford’s annual budget is roughly $2 billion.
    The cuts could delay progress toward closure of the leaking tanks, DOE’s Daniel Poneman said in a letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and result in furloughs or layoffs for more than 4,700 of Hanford’s roughly 9,000 contractor employees.”

    This is a might f’ing expensive industry. Maybe a little dangerous too. I know, the next generation will be safer but it will still cost. They always have cost overruns. They never, ever, meet their construction time schedules.

    Then they require water for cooling and steam generation. How will that work when the river or lake is too hot or too low due to heat waves and drought? Shutdowns have happened before with these nukes. This is not to say Hansen is wrong it is just something I think about.

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  3. 3. N a g n o s t i c 5:33 pm 04/2/2013

    Go figure. Of course we’re only hearing it now that we’ve got another evil of humanity to obsess over.

    Coal power itself has saved far more lives than it has cost. Same goes for the entire industrial and agricultural revolution of the past 200 years.

    Keep quibbling over the details, it amuses some of us.

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  4. 4. N a g n o s t i c 5:38 pm 04/2/2013

    In response to M Tucker, maybe if the anti-nuclear Luddism of the past 35 years hadn’t hampered civilian nuclear power development we’d be enjoying the benefits of up-to-date, lower cost nuclear power right now.

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  5. 5. sorenstein02446 6:00 pm 04/2/2013

    You say that now. What will you say after storing the waste for 300 years. I cannot fathom why any Nation of sensible people would want to have responsibility for this kind of poison. Nuclear power was promoted by the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s as “Atoms for Peace”. That campaign was a sham to justify the hazard of a nuclear arsenal we must never use again & from which we may never get clear. No matter how careful, how prepared, how alert we stay, over time nuclear power plants will bring us grief we would never see generating electricity in other ways.

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  6. 6. eco-steve 6:40 pm 04/2/2013

    Take the case of France : When France built 59 nuclear power stations, diesel produced by refineries and usually burnt by power stations was instead burnt by cars. So Nuclear does not reduce CO2 produced, it only displaces it! And diesel particulates are a terrible cause of lung disease and early deaths!

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  7. 7. sault 11:53 pm 04/2/2013

    Just imagine if we would have spent the billion$$$ sunk into nuclear reactors, and the billion$$$ more wasted on reactor builds that failed when their budgets and schedules became non-executable in the 70′s and 80′s, on more promising technologies. We could have developed and implemented A LOT of energy efficiency and renewable energy approaches with that kind of scratch. I agree with the paper that nuclear power is clean (if you can keep the long-lived waste and the plutonium these reactors produce away from where they aren’t supposed to be, that is), but it’s just too expensive and it takes too long to build to be an effective tool against climate change. Nuclear is now just an expensive distraction, going from “too cheap to meter” to “too expensive and slow to matter”.

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  8. 8. fixerdave 2:31 am 04/3/2013

    So… even if you factor in the deliberate extermination of 2 cities worth of human beings in an act of war (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), that being about 110,000 people, Nuclear is still safer. Also note that despite all the talk of nuclear contamination, just about every family in Japan sends their children to one or both of said cities on a school trip, a tradition for decades there.

    Also, people worry about those scary 1000 year half-lives yet they don’t go into hysterics about arsenic (from coal, etc) with a half-life of basically forever. Arsenic contaminates ground water. Arsenic kills people, probably a whole lot more than radiation.

    As for cost, yeah, very expensive. But, Bill Gates, a nuclear power proponent, is on record as saying that most of that cost is all the safety stuff…

    Wait… the nuclear industry actually has a very good safety record but the guy that pushed Windows on the world says the nuclear industry spends too much on safety. In other words, if we pushed nuclear to the point where it would actually make a significant difference, we’d have to reduce cost and thus safety… and we’d get, well, Fukushima… not so safe. Not the end of the world, but those stellar safety numbers being raved about cost too much. If we accepted the same risks, the same contamination and death, in nuclear that we have with coal, yeah, nuclear might actually be a little better. But, you know, we could probably do a lot better than both if we really tried.

    Yeah… how about those solar roof tile things? They’re pretty neat. Super-efficient insulation (especially in a glass you could see through) would probably make a bigger impact than a bunch of nuclear plants. We could do better,


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  9. 9. EsopusDave 7:50 am 04/3/2013

    34,000 children in Fukushima region already have thyroid abnormalities, in excess of the statistical norm. That signifies hundreds of thousands of excess cancers in the future. Scientific American should fact-check their bloggers. Of course fossil fuels kill, that is not news. We must quit the addiction to nuclear and carbon based energy right away. Conservation and efficiency measures could eliminate the need for all nuclear power plants now in operation. Renewable, green power is truly the only hope for the world.

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  10. 10. curiouswavefunction 8:17 am 04/3/2013

    A couple of points:

    Nuclear is indeed expensive, but it’s partly because of a flawed emphasis on economies of scale and partly because of excessive requirements for safety. You cannot drag out the construction of a power plant for six years and expect it to be cheap; this time can certainly be reduced. If coal plants (which emit far more harmful chemicals and GHGs than nuclear plants) were held up to the same standard they would be much more expensive. I agree with @8. Nuclear is not a panacea but it’s already here; we need to invest many more resources in investigating novel and promising technologies (one reason why nuclear didn’t completely live up to its promise was because it was commercialized too fast and too narrowly).

    @9: The question we want to ask is; is the development of renewables advanced and promising enough so that we can envision them replacing all of the nuclear power plants and providing high-capacity and cheap power to the entire world in four decades? Although research on renewables should undoubtedly be encouraged, I don’t see this happening. And please don’t toss out figures without references. Also, thyroid cancer is easily curable; witness the 15 deaths out of 6000 observed after Chernobyl. The latest UN report on Fukushima reported an imperceptible rise in thyroid cancer and was quite optimistic.

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  11. 11. M Tucker 1:18 pm 04/3/2013

    If the nuclear industry had as power a lobbing arm as the coal industry maybe we could make nuclear as dangerous as coal. Excessive safety requirements…that takes some time to digest. Yeah, everything could be made cheaper if we reduced safety requirements: Automobiles, aircraft, ships, dams, bridges, electrical wiring, mining, railroads, highways, sewers, buildings, paints, oil refineries, munitions manufacturing, pharmaceuticals…everything.

    I would say that we must increase the safety requirements on coal.

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  12. 12. Tom Blees 4:55 pm 04/3/2013

    The commenters here don’t really get the full picture. Jim Hansen has been advocating the use of advanced nuclear power systems based on the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), which was developed specifically to solve virtually all the problems associated with nuclear power—the same issues that the commenters here are lamenting. The IFR has successfully demonstrated that it can solve the problems of safety, waste, proliferation, fuel supply, and economics. Of course it’s impossible to give all the details here, so I would urge anyone interested in the full story to download—for free—the book Prescription for the Planet at this website: . The IFR technology and the history of its development are all related there. For further information you can explore the site where you download the book, which deals with the environmental and other implications of switching to IFR power.

    Jim Hansen is a really smart guy. Of course he’s considered the sort of concerns raised in the comments here. Not all nuclear power is created equal. Find out about the IFR and you’ll likely have a whole new perspective on it. It can even solve the problem of the current nuclear waste that we have stockpiled all over the world.

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  13. 13. GeologistBill 5:24 pm 04/3/2013

    The comment here about 34,000 Fukushima thyroid cancers is seriously wrong. The World Health Organization (WHO) on the health effects of Fukishima had no such number and likened the exposure to a resident of Denver. The WHO report was accepted by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). UNSCEAR also has produced a study every 5 years or so on Chernobyl supporting the James Hansen numbers of 40 deaths. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

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  14. 14. jerryd 6:14 pm 04/3/2013

    I like nuke except for 2 things, they cost too much, $10k/kw and the few recent ones are 100% subsidized!!

    Duke will even make a $150million if they don’t build the Levy Co ones.

    For $10k/kw you can install 5x’s the rating and 2x’s the cap for the same money giving them away.

    But if instead the Utilities gave loans on the low prices OEM’s get to customers and the cost coming out of the E bill wouldn’t cost anything as after 15 yrs you still have the principal plus interests!!

    That way it would be easy to get enough RE to replace coal and much oil.

    I just finished my EV Streamliner chassis and even without the aero body it’s getting 600-1000mpg equivalent using 40-120 yr old tech!!

    And just 200wt/$200 of PV, sunelec, could power it for 25 yrs!

    Facts are our energy demand is reversing to decreasing, not growing, means this is easier than thought.

    It would be fairly easy and low cost to cut building energy consumption by 50% which alone would cut the need for coal completely.

    No one way is going to work. We need all forms of clean energy but until nuke costs drop to $4k/kw for the plants, not going to happen.

    What we need are to retire the PWR and start putting in SMR’s, many of which can just replace the boiler of a converted steam coal plant making the saving higher.

    These, unlike RWR’s, are very cost effective, far more safe, eff and until they are certified new nuke is dead in the US.

    If you went back and read the incident reports at the NRC you wouldn’t be touting the US safety record as multiple times operators have cheaped out and nearly blew several and only luckily by those regs everyone is so against were found out before the reactors blew.

    google US nuke incidence reports and see. It’ll make your blood curdle how bad and often it happened. Luckily the industry figured out they made more money running them right without the many scrams being cheap caused.

    Then again Progress/Duke broke a perfectly good nuke, Crystal River, trying to say a few million and has and will cost $4B to save that few $

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  15. 15. JimHopf 10:20 pm 04/3/2013

    I appreciate M Tucker’s acknowledgement of the political power of the coal industry. Regulatory proposals like the recent soot rule, which costs less than $10,000 per life saved are politically defeated, whereas the nuclear industry is often required to spend billions of dollars per life saved. Nuclear regulations could be eased so that nuclear was cheaper than coal, while remaining orders of magnitude safer and less harmful than coal. That said, I believe that any such roll back would be politically impossible, and that therefore what we should focus on is making coal regulations much stricter.

    The suggestion that nuclear vs. fossil is not the issue (and by extension, that we could get rid of both in the foreseeable future) is downright childish. No serious people believe that. Given that coal is thousands of times as bad as nuclear, all efforts should be put towards eliminating coal, and no effort should be spent opposing nuclear, until coal is gone. All gains from renewables or conservation should be put towards reducing coal use.

    I’ve never heard of nuclear capital costs exceeding $10,000/kW, but I have heard of costs over $6,000, which is quite distressing. They do indeed need to get costs under $4,000. It is clear, however, that uniquely excessive nuclear regulations are playing a significant role in this. I share the hope that SMRs will change things for the better. It’s also true that current, very low (US) nat gas prices (which are actually ~1/2 the raw cost of production) will not last. With a hard (delining) limit on CO2, nuclear will eventually flourish, although maybe not in the next decade.

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  16. 16. Nukewriter 12:23 pm 04/4/2013

    The testing of the children for thyroid abnormalities was conducted the October prior to the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent failures at the Fukushima Daiichi power plants, which occurred in March. The report detailing the findings, including the 34,000 children with abnormalities was released in April. So, givin the timeline, please explain how you think the causal event for these abnormalities had anything to do with the power plants? I would be very interested in hearing your explanation, given the scientific consensus that radiation damage to thyroids typically starts to show up in statistically significant numbers 5 years later.

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  17. 17. renevers 5:44 am 04/5/2013

    Amazing is that EPR nuclear powerplants built in China are constructed at a price under 2500 Euro/kW.. Much cheaper than in Europe or in the US. At the moment an EPR-1630NPP can be had at 4500 EURO/kW (Finland, France)
    Compare this with solar energy.. Germany’s “average/peak installed” for solar is just 7% so at a theoretical low price of 1 Euro per Watt that means an investment like 14.000 Euro per kW for a fluctuating energy source like solar, without energy storage methods in sight.
    The Amalia sea-windpark near Holland costs 3200 Euro per kW with amazing high maintenance costs and troubles with foundations. At 43% “average/peak” projected that is 7500 Euro/kW investment just for generating the power, not to mention the problems with net stability from the fluctuating source. Every “green” renewable source is more expensive than nuclear. The price for avoided CO2 is lower with nuclear power than with wind or solar..CO2 Avoidance is in fact free with nuclear power. Projecting the low price of shale natural gas in the future and generating power from that source is dangerous . In the us nat gas was 2.5 USD/mcf last year (rising to 3.5 USD now) ,but in Europe it is at the same moment 17 USD/mfd where at 6 USD/mcf there is equilibrium in price with coal and nuclear power generation. The price could double and natural gas is just cheap for legal and temporary reasons like lack of transport facility and over-investment in shale gas industry. Projecting the antinuclear stance and investment environment on the present nuclear industry like under Jimmy Carters rule, high inflation and capital interest while overrunning project building lengths, with enforced legal demands on the nuclear investment technology. At the moment Frances , German and Belgian nuclear industry is not receiving subventions. In fact these nuclear industries are paying large amounts of taxes to the state coffers. That nuclear needs subsidies is a fake argument. It does not need them. But a subsidizes wind and solar industry can make a NPP project unprofitable where a nuclear park could be forced to do “load following” the swings in production from solar and wind.. Nominal cost of nuclear power is very low so a NPP should be run at maximum. In fact reducing a NPP to make room for wind-power on the grid is a folly, energy wise..But it reduces the amount of revenue for the NPP on the same moment so reducing the income. Stopping ALL subsidies for power generation and creating an equal game for all possibilities ,would bring nuclear technology in front of every potential energy source. The NRC should be reformed and anti nuclear “concrete heads” should be removed. The US is the laughing stock of the world trying to avoid nuclear waste recycling because of “proliferation issues”. Radiation policy should be modeled on the latest proven risk/dose and not on the past Greenpeace rumors and hyped up cancer fear of the average public. Money invested in avoidance of radiation could prove more efficiently invested in other developments to reduce human risk. One Billion dollar risk avoided with nuclear energy saves only theoretical amount of human life, where the same amount would save thousandths of lives invested in waste water treatment, new antibiotics, safer airplanes , safer cars, clearer air, better emergency services etc.

    **The “average/peak installed” for wind-power in Germany is 19% (2012) Due to meteorologic factors, maintenance , reliability.. That is lower than expected. German power price to the consumer is now 25 Eurocent/kWh while still rising. This is due to the nuclear phaseout after Fukoshima and the investment in the phony plan economy that is needed by wind, solar biomass ,that brought the renewable hype in Germany. Germany is not the good example, it is more like a “Potemkin facade”.. Germany will loose its industry base when it continues their renewable based economy plan. Germany’s finances will fail in the next years because of this. In fact Germany and Northern European countries is responsible for the European economic crisis, that is “energy price -lack of consumption” induced.
    German workers are kept very poor with the present high energy prices. Their holiday money transfers are dearly missed in Cyprus,Greece and Spain. In fact North Korean lifestyle is the role model for energy plan-economy Germany. That is not a nice prospect. The German government is training for large blackouts.. It is not trying to avoid them , but it is inherent to the erratic “renewable” power system that is beneath it. . The German world will be different after the first casualties from such blackout.

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  18. 18. MRC06405 9:41 am 04/5/2013

    It is clear that the only way to nail down the cost of IFR nuclear power plants is to build one in a location a reasonable distance from large population centers and see how it performs. Until then, it is all idle speculation.

    It is time we let nuclear power plant designers take their best shot at a modern design and see what they can do.

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  19. 19. Tom Blees 3:27 pm 04/5/2013

    We’ve already seen how an IFR performs. We ran the EBR-II in Idaho for 30 years and it performs spectacularly well. All we’re talking about here is scaling it up to about 300MWe, which is the upper limit of what are usually categorized as small modular reactors. Technically it’s well-proven. As for cost, GE-Hitachi has already offered to build a pair of their PRISM reactors (the reactor portion of an IFR) for the UK with GE’s own money. So GEH certainly has a good idea what they’ll cost, and if the price was astronomical they simply wouldn’t have ever even countenanced making such an offer.

    The USA is dragging its feet, as usual. When it comes to nuclear politics, which this is all about, we’re simply dysfunctional. You’ll see these built elsewhere before we get our act together. The inaction on this since 1994, when considered in light of their potential to ameliorate the climate change issue, borders on criminal.

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  20. 20. Biodiversivist 5:16 pm 04/21/2013

    People who parrot the cost argument against nuclear tend to ignore that it is equally applicable to wind and solar. Fossil fuels are cheap. That’s the whole problem.

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  21. 21. Sebast 2:36 am 06/12/2013

    This study assumes ~40 death for Chernobyl while numerous studies have shown that there will be ~ a million deaths due to the enhanced low level radiation in parts of Europe.
    As LSS (Life Span Study regarding the atomic bomb effects) showed and also similar with nicotine and asbestos, those death occur after the first 20 years.

    It neglects also the the many extra still born, Down syndromes, etc. tragedies shown after Chernobyl. As Bayern had a detailed population administration, it could be proved that the extra risk for the unborn is very substantial (~60%/mSv) even while it is 1000 mile away from Chernobyl: Check:

    So this study is highly biased.

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  22. 22. xavier.rabilloud 6:11 am 11/25/2013

    Environmental Science and Technology, where Kharecha and Hansen published their paper purporting to demonstrate that “nuclear power has saved 1,8 million lives” and may save millions more, has published two rebuttals of their paper. The second one, that I authored, exposes with much details some of the deep methodological heavy flaws of their analysis (given the restricted space alloted, I could not expose everything) : (here for the published version :

    The first one, authored by several scholars, is dealing with several other points, and can be read here or here :

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  23. 23. sethdiyal 12:19 am 04/6/2014

    @ xavier.rabilloud
    Why don’t you post some of your garbage on this site, so it can be properly shredded. What a load of hooey.

    Keep in mind that Sovacool, a notorious antinuclear nut, has no academic standing whatsoever in Science. His nonsense has been debunked numerous times in numerous places.

    But make my day, repeat some of his claims on this site, I’ll trash them for you.

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  24. 24. sethdiyal 12:23 am 04/6/2014

    One of the biggest lies about power is the cost.

    Nuclear as built at VC Summer is the cheapest form of power available. SCANA’s real numbers, sworn under oath and penalty of perjury real numbers for a real first of a kind nuke build by an extremely inefficient American private utility now under way in S Carolina at twice the cost of similar units in China and high wage Korea

    “Why Nuclear?” If you look at the chart at the top right of the slide below, SCANA provided their all-in cost estimates for nuclear ($76/MWh), natural gas ($81/MWh), coal ($117/MWh), offshore wind ($292/MWh) and solar ($437/MWh). For them, “new nuclear continues to be the low cost alternativ”

    Goggle “SCANA2011AnalystDayPresentation.pdf”

    Built by an efficient public utility like TVA or OPG with its much lower cost of money that $76 drops to $40 4 cents a kwh. Keep in mind gas is now double the cost used in that original study.

    The world’s football field of nuke waste is perfectly stored out of the environment awaiting reuse in Gen IV nukes. Meanwhile all that tiny amount of nuke waste could easily join all the high level weapons waste already at WIPPS at a cost certified by the anti nuke nutball Jazcko at the NRC as .1 cents a kwh with $35B already in the kitty. Meanwhile, soon landfills will be filling with tens of cubic miles of discarded solar panels leaching their deadly toxic forever chemical waste into water tables everywhere for free.

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