Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will 10 Billion Euros Be Enough to Get Olkiluoto -3 EPR Generating Power? (And Is It Worth It?)

This week we once more read the news about Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant construction project: the NPP may not be generating power before 2016.

              Olkiluoto-3 will be delayed until 2016    Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints









A few months ago they postponed the construction schedule to 2014, AREVA estimated the total cost for the NPP to be 8,5 Billion Euros. And now two years more. Is it 1,5 or 2 Billion Euros more? So the total cost of this project would rise up to 10 Billion Euros or more. And with that 8,5 Billion Euros it was obvious that this project would not bring the investors back the money which they had thrown into it. Never. Each MWh that will be produced will be just for trying to minimize the lost amount of money.


But if the investors keep on burning their money on this project for many years to come, they will find out that it would have been wiser to back off in good time.

Say you'll have to invest 4 Billion more to the recent level of estimated investments to get the generators running. Then you'll have to pay for the decommissioning of the radioactively contaminated reactor once you'll load the fuel and start the nuclear reaction. You'll have to pay some 300 Million to 1 Billion more. And if you'll use the reactors several years or decades, you'll have plenty of highly radioactive spent fuel to take care of. Another 200 million spent.


So You'll end up with 4,5 - 5 Billion Euros more costs. And that should be added to that 8,5 Billion .

Well, that may be too simple maths but it seems to me to be quite clear that if I were an investor, I would quit my funding on nuclear power and instead put my money on renewables. With about 5 Billion Euros you'll get the same average power generating capacity 1600 MW (4500MW Max.) with wind power parks. And you don't have nuclear waste. You don't produce CO2. You don't pay for the fuel. You don't have nuclear accidents. You'll generate cheaper power - and first years with price quarantee. And you don't have to wait 10 years to get the power on - in three years you'll see your windmills spinning money to your company account. And you will get a true green reputation on the market. In a positive way.

And in addition to wind power there are solar PVs and new wave power concepts. They are really getting ready for powering nations and continents. During the arctic winter we have plenty of biomass or biogas in addition to existing hydro power to balance the supply and demand. It deals with capability of organizing and there we need real leadership, engineering and business skills. But I think that shouldn't really be an issue.

P.S. If you still believe in nuclear, think about if an accident occurs in your brand new EPR-NPP. Well, the core-catcher can (perhaps) handle your reactor core and the containment building can (perhaps) copy with the radioactive particles and gases and 5000 degrees heat of the melting core and keep inside your new reactor building the radioactivity that could wipe out Europeans from our continent if totally vaporized and set free. And this could be the situation if you were extremely lucky and there would not occur any coincidents which the engineers hadn't think of beforehand (that's what happened in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: great surprizes)). So if you'll be that lucky you'll only had to pay some 1-20 Billion Euros extra just for decontamination and decommissioning. But If you weren't that lucky there wouldn't be any TVO more just state and taxpayers owned wreck (like TEPCO)  that should be trying to cope with hundreds of Billions of Euros compensations and decontamination costs for a very severe nuclear accident affecting large areas of Finland and Northern Europe.

We have the right to think. And rethink.


1 comment:

  1. I have no words for this great post such a awe-some energy