Global investment in nuclear is in stark decline

Team DNTC, 22. Dec. 2019

We write in response to Hansen et al's Letter ('EU must include nuclear power in it's list of sustainable sources')

which mistakenly advocates nuclear energy to address climate change. In fact, spending on new nuclear power significantly reduces our chances in effectively responding to climate change. This is because, for nuclear to be considered a feasible option, new reactor build should be able to be completed economically, efficiently and on-time - however, practical experience proves otherwise. Nuclear new-build represents a high-risk technical, regulatory and investment option, with significant delay and cost over-run. Market analysis shows investment in nuclear power to be uneconomic - this holds for all plausible ranges of investment costs, weighted average costs of capital, and wholesale electricity prices. In the end, the fate of new nuclear seems inextricably linked with, and determined by, that of renewable energy technology roll-out. World-wide, market trends for new nuclear are in stark decline and renewables are markedly rising. The, perhaps obvious, explanation for this dynamic can be found in the ramping costs of the former and the plummeting costs of the latter.

Prof Keith Barnham, Physics Department, Imperial College London. Prof Tom Burke, Imperial and University Colleges, E3G. Prof David Elliott, The Open University. Prof Mark Lemon, Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University. Prof Manfred Mertins, Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences. Prof MV Ramana, Liu Institute for Global Issues, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia. Prof Benjamin K Sovacool, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex. Prof Andy Stirling, Centre on Social Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability, University of Sussex. Prof Steve Thomas, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich. Dr Abhishek Agarwal, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University. Dr Sarah J Darby, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. Dr Paul Dorfman, UCL Energy Institute, University College London. Dr John Downer, Global Insecurities Centre, University of Bristol. Dr Ian Fairlie, Vice President CND. Dr Phil Johnstone, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex. Dr Pascal Hingamp, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Marseille University. Dr Dan van der Horst, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. Dr Helga Kromp-Kolb, Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, former Head of the Austrian Nuclear Advisory Board. Dr Jeremy Leggett, Solarcentury. Dr David Lowry, Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge Massachusetts. Dr med. Alex Rosen, IPPNW Germany. Dr Michael Schöppner, Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. Dr Eva Stegen, Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, Energy Watch Group. Dr David Toke, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Aberdeen. Cllr David Blackburn, UK and Ireland NFLA. Paul Brown, Climate News Network Eur Ing Herbert Eppel, Chartered Environmentalist and Director of HE Translations Ltd. Friederike Frieß, MSc. Dr.rer.nat.,Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. Michel Lee, Council on Intelligent Energy & Conservation Policy. Jonathon Porritt, Author and Campaigner. Ulli Sima, Vienna Deputy Mayor, Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe. David Thorpe, One Planet Life.