WEC Says New Nuclear Makes Economic Sense For Europe

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Encouraging investment through stable, consistent and predictable energy market rules are the key factor in determining the future of nuclear power in Europe, a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC) concludes.

Encouraging investment through stable, consistent and predictable energy market rules are the key factor in determining the future of nuclear power in Europe, a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC) concludes.

The report points out that there are solid economic reasons to support the development of nuclear power in Europe, with the economics behind nuclear power particularly attractive considering that planned lifetime extensions, capacity increases and licence renewals can further reduce costs. Although the final costs per kWh depend on local legislation and taxes, assuming a stable political environment, clear regulatory frameworks governing the site location, decommissioning regulations and other aspects, these costs can reach 40/MWh, including future expenses associated with decommissioning and waste disposal. However, under specific circumstances they can be considerably lower, around 30/MWh with a low discount rate and/or a large series of developments. However, while development of a single unit and a higher discount rate may push this up to 55/MWh, if carbon dioxide emissions were ever penalised, the study finds nuclear would be a particularly competitive alternative.

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