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Disclaimer. After nearly 40 years managing money for some of the largest life offices and investment managers in the world, I think I have something to offer. But I can't by law give you advice, and I do make mistakes. Remember: the unexpected sometimes happens. Oddly enough, the expected does too, but all too often it takes longer than you thought it would, or on the other hand happens more quickly than you expected. The Goddess of Markets punishes (eventually) greed, folly, laziness and arrogance. No matter how many years you've served Her. Take care. Be humble. And don't blame me.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Nuclear power

Every so often, someone lectures me about how nuclear power will solve the global warming crisis.   "Too cheap to meter", "cheaper than solar", etc.

This report, Last Hurrah For Nuclear, suggests the exact opposite:

The total bill for the first nuclear reactor to be built in the UK in a generation has surged more than 50 per cent, as the European Commission – on a split vote – approved subsidies that will amount for two-thirds of the extraordinary $45 billion price tag for the 3.2GW facility.
The Financial Times reported that the price tag for Hinkley C – Europe’s biggest and most controversial infrastructure project – had been lifted to  £24.5 billion, up more than 50 per cent from the £16 billion disclosed last year by EDF, the state-owned French utility running the project. The FT described the project as potentially the “last hurrah” for the nuclear industry.
The discrepancy in costs was apparently due to the fact that the original figure did not include interest payments made during construction and other pre-building costs, according to EDF. In other words, it didn’t include the cost of capital, a frequent omission from nuclear industry costings. 

Nuclear is not going to save us.  What is, is a concerted effort to replace coal-, oil-, and gas-fired electricity generation with renewables.  And because of the ongoing declines in renewables costs, we will save money and increase overall growth.

Solar levelized cost of electricity US$/MWh, Source Lazards

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