Primero el informe. Aquí lo pueden bajar, en inglés:
Y aquí tienen el resumen:
El comunicado de prensa:
Las cifras del coste del MWh producido en las centrales nucleares, según la industria nuclear, van de 35 a 45 euros por MWh, aunque a esta cifra llegan a partir de análisis simplistas y sin ninguna credibilidad, analizando centrales nucleares ya amortizadas, y nunca incluyen los costes reales, y desconocidos, de todo el ciclo de vida, incluyendo el desmantelamiento de las centrales y la gestión de los residuos radiactivos durante decenas de miles de años. Aunque sólo se contabilizase el coste de los salarios de los guardas jurados durante los miles de años necesarios, se vería que tales cifras no resisten ningún análisis independiente. Por no hablar de la proliferación nuclear y los riesgos de ataques terroristas. El desmantelamiento de Zorita costará 170 millones de euros y Vandellós I desde 1990 lleva ya 600 millones, cifras superiores al coste de construirlas.
El 23 de junio de 2006 el Gobierno aprobó el Sexto Plan General de Residuos Radiactivos, valorando el coste de la gestión de los residuos radiactivos en 13.023 millones de euros en España para el periodo 1985-2070, lo que supone cerca de dos millones de euros por cada MW nuclear instalado. Pero ese periodo es sólo un aperitivo de lo que será el coste real de gestionar los residuos radiactivos durante miles de años.
Sólo con el coste de los residuos radiactivos en este periodo se podrían instalar 10.000 MW eólicos, más que la potencia nuclear instalada en España (7.878 Mwe). Y ello sin hablar del desmantelamiento, la construcción y los costes de operación. La energía nuclear es una ruina, que sólo subsiste por la ocultación sistemática de los costes reales.
Según Enresa, habrá que gestionar 176.300 metros cúbicos de residuos radiactivos de media y baja actividad, y 12.800 metros cúbicos de residuos radiactivos de alta actividad. Hasta el momento, Enresa ha realizado unos gastos de 3.000 millones de euros, a los que habrá que sumar otros 10.000 millones hasta 2070, para empezar. Esa es la realidad, que siempre ocultan los promotores de las centrales nucleares, bajo unos datos absolutamente falsos sobre los costes reales de generar electricidad con centrales nucleares.
Análisis independientes elevan el coste del MWh nuclear a una horquilla que va de 90 a 140 euros por MWh, cifra sólo superada por la fotovoltaica (unos 350 euros por MWh en el sur de España) y la solar termoeléctrica (de 180 a 220 euros por MWh), pero muy superior a la generación de electricidad en centrales de ciclo combinado de gas natural (unos 50 euros por MWh), en centrales termoeléctricas de carbón sin captación y almacenamiento de CO2 (unos 45 euros por MWh, sin incluir el precio del CO2 emitido, que encarece mucho el coste), en centrales hidráulicas (de 25 a 60 euros por MWh), en parques eólicos terrestres (de 45 a 60 euros por MWh, según el recurso), e incluso en parques eólicos marítimos (de 50 a 70 euros por MWh, según el recurso) y centrales de biomasa (de 60 a 80 euros por MWh).
Además, las energías renovables reducen sus costes año a año, y en pocos años la fotovoltaica y la solar termoeléctrica también podrán competir con otras fuentes, como ya compite la eólica.
Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Nuclear Power
Nuclear power has been increasingly hailed by lobbyists as a source of clean, cheap and safe power; but cost blowouts in the construction and maintenance of new nuclear plants, along with their need for massive amounts of water and continuing radioactive waste storage issues, is again making renewable energy look to be the only really viable option to power our future.
According to a recent study by economist Dr. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, the cost of electricity generated by new nuclear reactors would be (USD) 12-20 cents per kilowatt hour, whereas increased energy efficiency and renewable energy sourced power would cost around 6 cents per kilowatt hour.
This translates to USD $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors.
Projected construction and maintenance costs for nuclear plants have quadrupled since the start of the nuclear renaissance in 2000. The required massive subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers would not change the real cost of nuclear reactors, they would just shift the risks to the public, according to the report.
According to Dr. Cooper: "We are literally seeing nuclear reactor history repeat itself. The "Great Bandwagon Market" that ended so badly for consumers in the 1970s and 1980s was driven by advocates who confused hope and hype with reality." This latest version of the "Great Bandwagon Market" will see reactors cost seven times as much as the cost projection for the first reactors of the Great Bandwagon Market.
Cost has always been one of the the major issues haunting the solar power and wind energy industry, but the public have been generally unaware of the massive tax payer funded subsidises fossil fuels and current nuclear reactors receive. It’s only been in very recent times that renewable energy is starting to see levels of funding to help put it on equal footing with non-renewable power generation technology.
REPORT: 100 NEW REACTORS WOULD RESULT IN UP TO $4 TRILLION IN EXCESS COSTS FOR U.S. TAXPAYERS AND RATEPAYERS
Combination of Efficiency and Renewables Much More Economical Than New Nuclear Reactors With Skyrocketing Construction Costs; “Low Balling” of Cost Estimates Imperils “Nuclear Renaissance,” Just as Runaway Costs Sank the “Great Bandwagon Market” of 1970s.
The likely cost of electricity for a new generation of nuclear reactors would be 12-20 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh), considerably more expensive than the average cost of increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energies at 6 cents per kilowatt hour, according to a major new study by economist Dr. Mark Cooper, a senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. The report finds that it would cost $1.9 trillion to $4.1 trillion more over the life of 100 new nuclear reactors than it would to generate the same electricity from a combination of more energy efficiency and renewables.
Titled “The Economics of Nuclear Reactors,” Cooper’s analysis of over three dozen cost estimates for proposed new nuclear reactors shows that the projected price tags for the plants have quadrupled since the start of the industry’s so-called “nuclear renaissance” at the beginning of this decade – a striking parallel to the eventually seven-fold increase in reactor costs estimates that doomed the “Great Bandwagon Market” of the 1960s and 1970s, when half of planned reactors had to be abandoned or cancelled due to massive cost overruns.
The study notes that the required massive subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers would not change the real cost of nuclear reactors, they would just shift the risks to the public. Even with huge subsidies, nuclear reactors would remain more costly than the alternatives, such as efficiency, biomass, wind and cogeneration.
Dr. Mark Cooper said: “We are literally seeing nuclear reactor history repeat itself. The ‘Great Bandwagon Market’ that ended so badly for consumers in the 1970s and 1980s was driven by advocates who confused hope and hype with reality. It is telling that in the few short years since the so-called ‘Nuclear Renaissance’ began there has been a four-fold increase in projected costs. In both time periods, the original low-ball estimates were promotional, not practical; they were based on hope and hype intended to promote the industry.”
Commenting on the study, former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Peter Bradford said: “This study makes clear that new nuclear reactors can only be built if taxpayers or customers assume the very large risks that investors would normally bear in the U.S. economy. Such subsidy to a mature industry – already heavily subsidized — is contrary to the fundamental free enterprise principles that protect customers and allocate resources efficiently. The risks of cost overruns, reactor cancellation, poor operation and the development of less costly competitors are real. All have happened to nuclear power in the U.S. before. If the enormous financial burden of assuming these risks falls on the taxpayers (in the form of loan guarantees), it will increase our national deficit and crowd out other borrowers needing federal credit support. If it falls on customers (in the form of ratemaking guarantees), it will create additional economic hardship and job loss … Setting a quota of 100 new nuclear reactors by a certain date presumes – against decades of evidence to the contrary – that politicians can pick technological winners. Such a policy combines distraction, deception, debt and disappointment in a mixture reminiscent of other failed federal policies in recent years.”
To pin down the likely cost of new nuclear reactors, the Cooper report first dissects three dozen recent projections of the cost of new nuclear reactors. Second, it places those projections in the context of the long sweep of the history of the industry with a database of the costs of 100 reactors built in the U.S. between 1971 and 1996. Third, it examines those costs in comparison to the cost of alternatives available today to meet the need for electricity. Finally, it considers a range of qualitative factors including environmental concerns, risks and subsidies that affect decisions about which technologies to utilize in an environment where public policy requires constraints on carbon emissions.
Among the key findings of the Cooper study are the following:
•On average, the final cohort of “Great Bandwagon Market” reactors cost seven times as much as the cost projection for the first reactors of the Great Bandwagon Market.
•The cost projections put out early in today’s so-called “nuclear renaissance” were about one-third of what one would have expected, based on the reactors completed in the 1990s.
•The most recent cost projections for new reactors are, on average, over four times as high as the initial projections used to spark the “nuclear renaissance.” Unlike the 1960s and 1970s, when the vendors and government officials monopolized the preparation of cost analyses, today Wall Street and independent analysts have come forward with more realistic and therefore, much higher estimates of the cost of nuclear reactors.
•Utilities and Wall Street analysts agree that nuclear reactors will not be built without massive direct subsidies from the federal government and/or ratepayers.
•Analysis of the technical potential to deliver economically practicable options for low-cost, low-carbon approaches indicates that the supply is ample to meet both electricity needs and carbon reduction targets for three decades.
•Considering economic risk and the environmental, safety and security issues associated with nuclear reactors shows that not only are nuclear reactors among the worst options we have available from the point of view of consumer pocketbook economics, they are also among the worst from the societal point of view.
The full study is available online at www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Environmental_Law_Center/Institutes_and_Initiatives.htm.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or email@example.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Environmental_Law_Center/Institutes_and_Initiatives.htm