Nuclear power financial arithmetics

Remarkable post about the financial feasibility of the nuclear power plan promoted by the Berlusconi government (DL n.112, 25/6/2008, art. 7), written by an experienced (although anonymous) manager who works in an investment Company.

Image from, CC by Bistrosavage

The main merit of the analysis is that it doesn’t list – for the umpteenth time – the environmental and safety issues related to the existence of a nuclear power plant, but it exposes a professional analysis from the financial standpoint. The outcome is that, in its 30-year lifespan, a hypothetical 1,800 Mwh nuclear power plant would generate:

  • a loss for the first 23 years, amounting to about €6.5bn;
  • a modest income for the last 7 years;
  • at the end of its lifespan, an overall loss of about €4bn.
  • Fabio Turel |

    Nuclear power financial arithmetics

    In the comments to a previous post, a noteworthy conversation emerged about the apparently enormous opportunity for exploiting geothermal energy in Italy. Alex Roe prompts me to spread the word about this issue, and Prime Minister’s plans for reintrodu…

  • Alex |

    Hi Fabio – if you can, try and spread the word on geothermal energy. Actually, geothermal power generation fascinates me, but I do not know that much about it. However, according to the Wikipedia entry on Geothermal power, there was an MIT report on the potential of GT power:
    “The key characteristic of an EGS (also called a Hot Dry Rock system), is that it reaches at least 10 km down into hard rock. At a typical site two holes would be bored and the deep rock between them fractured. Water would be pumped down one and steam would come up the other. The MIT report estimated that there was enough energy in hard rocks 10 km below the United States to supply all the world’s current needs for 30,000 years.”
    30,000 years sounds just about enough! However, GT power does need to be managed carefully and can cause environmental problems too. Still, it appears to be safer than nuclear power.
    Italy certainly has a few hotspots and could probably do more with them on the geothermal power generation front.

  • Fabio |

    @Alex: I’ve read your post about geothermal energy – that’s an impressive potential!

  • Alex Roe |

    Yes, as you point out Fabio, there really should be no need for nuclear power in Italy. I find the Italian government’s enthusiasm for it somewhat bamboozling!
    And I’ve written about Italy’s geothermal resources on my blog – what I do not understand is why more is not made of this resource. Iceland seems to be using geothermal power to good effect, and yes, I know Iceland is tiny in comparison to Italy, but even so, with a little intelligent thought Italy could be one of the cleanest most environmentally friendly nations in Europe, if not the world.
    Italian brains seem to be doing great things in the photovoltaic field too according to a recent article I read in Nova.
    All the best,

  • Fabio |

    And wind turbines in Puglia and Sicily and Sardinia. And geothermal in Tuscany (and most of the Tyrrhenian coast)…

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