FAQ

Is nuclear energy cost effective?

Answer

Nuclear Power Plant planning, licensing and constructing costs (which means investment costs) are higher than in most of the other energy sources and the return on investment comes later. Once built, operating costs of nuclear plants are very low, which makes them highly competitive and profitable for their lifetime which is presently of 60 years. Fuel costs for nuclear plants account for only 20% of total costs, in comparison to a crucial 60% for natural gas plants.  In the price of electricity from nuclear energy one includes the cost of decommissioning and dismantling and the cost of wastes packaging, transporting and storing in intermediate or final storage facilities.

Background

The world has sufficient energy resources, knowledge, skills and capital to meet the supply needs; the challenge is to get them from where they are plentiful to where they are needed most. The world’s accessibility needs can be addressed in harmony with the effective management of acceptability, thereby mitigating both social and environmental degradations. Higher energy prices will drive efficiency and attract capital investment in developed countries - but robust international cooperation and integration are necessary to avoid unintended negative consequences and exacerbating energy poverty in developing countries.
Nuclear Power Plant planning, licensing and constructing costs (which means investment costs) are higher than in most of the other energy sources and the return on investment comes later. Once built, operating costs of nuclear plants are very low, which makes them highly competitive and profitable for their lifetime which is presently of 60 years. Fuel costs for nuclear plants account for only 20% of total costs, in comparison to a crucial 60% for natural gas plants. During the economical study phases leading to decisions to construct nuclear power plants, the costs of decommissioning and waste treatment and storage are included in the calculation of the price of the kWh (kilowatt hour). Many countries and their electricity companies are becoming aware that new nuclear build is a highly economic option to satisfying their rising needs for energy. When the issues of environmental protection, global warming and sustainable development are taken into account, nuclear is not only viable but inescapable.
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