Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station not such a bad deal

Once in a while you learn something from the media. Remember the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station? The deal agreed today with the French and Chinese? You recall there was a very great deal of fuss over the extremely high guaranteed price for the nuclear station's output. You may remember being shocked by this, and wondering why we didn't Go Green instead. And then the BBC today printed the following chart.

Compared to offshore wind and gasification of waste, Hinkley Point is actually pretty cheap. It's not a whole lot more expensive even than the intermittent onshore wind and solar. And they're all a lot more expensive than today's deprecated coal and gas stations.

I happen to think that nuclear power stations are contained cauldrons of hell. But as someone who lives downwind of Hinkley Point, I do my best to put overblown fears to one side and note that there are considerable benefits to a new fission reactor through its ecosystem of hi-tech industries: computing, communications and control systems, sophisticated engineering.

And in "Lucifer's Hammer", Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle had a working nuclear power station as the engine of recovery after a global catastrophe.

So that's a cautious positive response to the deal going ahead, then ..