Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Thursday, February 03, 2011
A brief note on nuke economics
It is not actually the up front investment that makes nuclear power schemes so unattractive to private capital - it's the back-loaded cleanup liability. This is an unusual kind of risk (most investment projects have an initial investment, then a period of profits, then end), and its risk of a quite toxic kind - you know it's there and that it's big, but it's way out in the future and almost impossible to estimate. This is why the nuke industry, when angling for government support (but I repeat myself) usually focuses on some guarantee of the cleanup liability. Since putting this on the public balance sheet doesn't actually make it go away or make it any less unattractive, I find myself slightly gratified that one consequence of the now-dying post-Thatcher free-market consensus is that it made nuclear power development in the Anglosphere more or less economically impossible.
Bottom line is that poorly regulated nuclear plants are quite dangerous and very expensive; well-regulated nuclear plants are very safe and very very expensive. Trying to square this circle is the root cause of most nuclear industry bollocks.
this item posted by the management 2/03/2011 12:33:00 AM