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The Total Cost of an energy plant is:

Cost of Build + Cost of Operation (Fuel plus Maintenance/Management) + Cost of Decommissioning

"Fuel" costs for renewables like tidal, wind and solar are zero: costs of Operation are also minimal.

Now it seems to me that not only is the fuel cost of nuclear non-zero, but that it can only go one way - particularly in terms of the "energy cost" of fuel extraction/production.

I am not sure about the costs of nuclear decommissioning, but it seems to me that in relative terms at least decommissioning renewables is again hugely financially superior to nuclear.

So unless I am missing something, the total cost of energy produced over time (I am leaving financing costs out of this) is relatively certain for renewables, and relatively uncertain for nuclear.

So while nuclear energy may be "cheap" now, is it REALLY going to stack up relative to renewables over the long term......

Using the "asset-based" (as opposed to conventional debt/equity) financial model I advocate - which is simply to sell a proportion of the "Energy Pool" of future production to Investors at current prices or even a discount - most renewable energy projects stack up at current prices and are literally "self funding".

But I can't really use the model for nuclear because of the unknown costs of fuel and decommissioning.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Feb 25th, 2007 at 11:02:22 AM EST

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