Tech revolution in nuclear power may slash costs below coal

“A report by UBS said the latest reactors will be obsolete by within 10 to 20 years, yet Britain is locking in prices until 2060.”

“A report by UBS said the latest reactors will be obsolete by within 10 to 20 years, yet Britain is locking in prices until 2060.”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor of The Daily Telegraph

The cost of conventional nuclear power has spiralled to unjustifiable levels.

All the reactors being built across the world are variants of mid-20th century technology, inherently dirty and dangerous, requiring exorbitant safety controls.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report for 2014 found that 49 of the 66 reactors under construction - mostly in Asia - are plagued with delays, and are blowing through their budgets. Meanwhile, average costs have risen from $1,000 per installed kilowatt to around $8,000/kW over the past decade for new nuclear.

Scientists in Britain, France, Canada, the US, China and Japan have already designed better reactors based on molten salt technology that promise to slash costs by half or more, and may even undercut coal. They are much safer, and consume nuclear waste rather than creating more. What stands in the way is a fortress of vested interests.

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