The Decommissioning Of Nuclear Power Plants Essay

The Decommissioning Of Nuclear Power Plants Essay

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Other than construction and operating cost, decommissioning cost must also be considered in the financial analysis of a nuclear power plant. The decommissioning process of a nuclear power plant is expensive and that the danger of radioactive contamination to the surrounding area is high. According to Ramana (2009 p135), nuclear future laboratory scientist for Princeton University, the decommissioning of nuclear power plants are estimated to be around 15% of its original capital cost. The decommissioning process of the nuclear power plants just adds the financial burden of nuclear power plants. Although there is a lack of data for the decommissioning cost of nuclear power plants, a UK decommissioning plant estimated it needed $760 million in order to safely decommission its plant. The high cost of decommissioning acts as a deterrent for countries using nuclear energy. The decommissioning process of nuclear power plants costs a lot of time and money. According to Hodgson (2008 p240), a senior researcher for Corpus Christi College in Oxford, the decommissioning process is very expensive due to the dismantling of the radioactive core of the power plant which must be done in isolation with the provision of nuclear experts. As a result the total cost of ownership of nuclear power plants is very high and acts as a deterrent for European countries.
Moreover, the inefficiency of nuclear power plants adds to the financial burden of nuclear powered energy. According to Shrader-Frechette (2011 p80), nuclear power plants can only operate for an average of 70% of the time due to maintenance schedule and breakdowns. Regular maintenance needs and breakdowns implies that nuclear energy cannot generate the full capacity which results in the addit...


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...gy crisis. A study conducted in 2009 states that nuclear energy prices for electricity is $0.21/kWh, while wind power energy and solar photovoltaic panels can cost only $0.05-0.10/kWh (as cited in Shrader-Frechette (2011 p103)). The price comparison between energy sources show that nuclear energy is not the only effective option to solve the energy crisis. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the amount of dollar spent in nuclear energy is not very high compared to wind power. According to Shrader-Frechette (2011 p103), one dollar invested in wind energy will generate up to 100 times the energy invested in nuclear energy. The comparison describes that nuclear energy is very ineffective and that wind power is the most efficient source of energy. Wind power and the increasing efficiencies of current process to produce energy will deter the use of nuclear energy in Europe.

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