Strong Opinions on SMRs

@created:: 2024-01-24
@tags:: #lit✍/🎧podcast/highlights
@ref:: Strong Opinions on SMRs
@author:: Catalyst with Shayle Kann

2023-02-17 Catalyst with Shayle Kann - Strong Opinions on SMRs

Book cover of "Strong Opinions on SMRs"




(highlight:: Cost Drivers of Nuclear Energy
Key takeaways:
• The high cost of nuclear power is due to regulatory costs, which are driven by the nuclear industry itself.
• The cost of nuclear power is negligible when compared to other forms of energy, and it would be much cheaper to build new nuclear plants using current technology.
Speaker 2
Oftentimes you hear folks point to the regulatory process as a big part of the reason for that, both the literal cost of getting certification for a reactor, but also the cost that the Regulatory process imposes on the system itself, and the engineering cost, and so on. Is that your view as well, that, like, the fundamental driver of high-cost nuclear is regulatory, or do you think that it is a function of the reactor designs and the systems themselves?
Speaker 1
Both, so I would say the proximate cause is regulatory, but the root cause are market incentives driven by the industry, the nuclear industry itself, to self-impose those costs, mostly In a rent-seeking behavior and acting through regulatory capture. I can break that down if you'd like. I would like. Yeah, so, okay, so we go back in history. These plants used to be as cheap as you could imagine, and by the way, these are plants that are still operating today. My favorite example is point beach one and two. They were each about 550 megawatts, so now you have an 1100 megawatt gigawatt system broken out of my two plants, that in 2020 dollars was $733 million. That's less than $1,000 to kill a lot. That is your cap, and we already know that the nuclear op- like op- X is already cheaper because your fuel, as a percentage of energy, is negligible. And then now you also have the cap- X being the cheapest in the world. So here we have like real, and those plants are in Wisconsin are still operating today.
Speaker 4
So here we have like real living proof. Oh, and they were first of a kind, right? So it's like no real experience. No real experience.
Speaker 1
They built two plants, they were some of the best ever built in three years. We could just build those, by the way. If we just like went into those facilities, like looked at the blueprints and schematics, built them exactly how they were built, we would decarbonize the entire planet, and every Human being would have energy that's like five times cheaper than they're paying today. And that is with 1968 technology that is still operating today.)
- Time 0:37:04