The projected revenues from the two new nuclear plants at Vogle, Georgia, USA were calculated to be $65 billion over a 60 year projected plant lifetime1. Each plant is 1117 MWe in capacity (net). Assuming a conservative 90% capacity is reached2. They can be expected to generate 1056.77 TWh of electricity, or 1056.77 billion units (a 'unit' is a kWh in Britain)3. The expected revenue works out at US 6.15¢ per kWh. In Britain my current electricity tariff is 14.04p per kWh (equivalent to: 21.9¢/kWh)4. So I'm paying 3.56 times the cost of Vogle electricity. I should be so lucky to have such low cost nuclear power.
The electricity cost above assume the new Vogle reactors (units 3 and 4) will undergo a cost overrun. Total costs to build them are projected at USD $7.5 billion.5. Even with a cost overrun Vogle plants will still make cheap electricity. One might think this is good news. Perhaps we should break open a bottle of Prosecco or Cava? No such luck. At least two green websites have spun this revenue projection by Bobbie Baker into "a case study of nuclear power’s staggeringly awful economics"6,7.
They took Baker's expected revenue and turned it into expected costs! In the source they cited, Bobbie Baker is quoted saying: "The current total revenue requirement for the Project is approximately $65 billion"1. This was spun into: Vogtle: at $65 billion and counting, it’s a case study of nuclear power’s staggeringly awful economics6. Some people have blinkered vision. They're so certain that nuclear power is expensive, their minds turn revenue into costs, and their prophecies are fulfilled.
- To get the quote for $65 billion (what Commissioner Baker said):
- Follow this link: Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP Lawline Alerts
- Click on the link for "Georgia Utility Update – July 2015"
- US nuclear power plants had an average capacity factor of 91.8% in 2014. See: US nuclear plants set capacity factor record in 2014: industry group
- 2 × 1.117 GWe × 365 × 24 × 60 × 90% = 1056771.36 GWh
- My tariff of 14.04p includes the effect of a standing charge. See: EdF Energy 'Unit rate comparison'
- Plant Vogtle nuclear reactors expected to cost $7.5bn
- Vogtle: at $65 billion and counting, it’s a case study of nuclear power’s staggeringly awful economics,
- Atlanta Progressive News: Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Total Cost Is 65 Billion Dollars, Former Commissioner Says