Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Dominion Effect

Dominion shuts down its Kewaunee NPP as unprofitable. When the Finnish NP companies will do the same? (Arts-Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)


Now it has started  - The Dominion Effect! Dominion just decided to close its Kewaunee nuclear power plant for economical reasons. This is the first US NPP to shut down for business reasons - other power generating sources like natural gas just happen to be cheaper and the demand of electric power is decreasing. The plant had just got a licence renewal in 2011: it could have been operated up to 2033. The last operating years of a reactor tend to be the most profitable in nuclear power generation so the Kewaunee shut-down is casting a long shadow over the newer NPPs economy.

Will this be the first of series of NPP shutdowns in US nuclear power market - Donminion says no - but I personally believe yes. Many grand old nuclear gentlemen have earlier said that nuclear power is not a profitable way of power generating; neither now - nor in the future. Arnie Gundersen have mentioned earlier that Wall Street will end the nuclear era. I believe that to be true. And now it's happening.

One thing struck me when I read the Dominion news: how do the Americans manage to decommission a nuclear plant with only USD 392 Million when the british nuclear regulatory officials have counted the cost of decommissioning a single reactor to be Euro 3,7 Billion? I just wonder if the Yankees do it with a tenth of the money we'll spend for that in Europe.

Finnish Fortum has also problems. They are searching for Euro1 Billion savings a year. Nuclear is not so profitable any more, they admit it. And they are angry about the cheap state subvented wind power that occassionally drives the power prices low. How about their decades long state subvented guaranteed-to-be-bought nuclear power hegemony. Times, they are a'changing!

Decommission all the nuclear power plants we have - stop the construction and planning of new projects. That's the best thing we can do for the future. Let's invest in renewables - it's the only sensible way to go.

JPS

LINKS: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Dominion_decides_to_close_Kewaunee-2210124.html

             http://www.fitchratings.com/web/en/dynamic/articles/Domino-Effect-Unlikely-from-US-Nuclear-Plant-Closures.jsp

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