Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station – another pointless waste of money?

It was in the news today that another nuclear power station is planned for the south of England (Suffolk). (We had Wylfa B planned for Anglesey but that was shelved).

The construction cost for Sizewell C is said to be £20billion. That’s a nice round number that someone came up with, but we can expect it to come in over budget, and at the tax-payer’s expense (it’s going to take 10 years to complete, apparently).

The news report said that the power station will provide electricity for 6 million homes.

Now, I don’t have a fag packet to do the sums on but 20 billion divided by 6 million comes out at quite a lot per home (3.3 million by my estimate but maths isn’t my strong point), but I can see that solar panels on each of those homes would surely be more cost effective.

The news report (BBC) also said that the power station will fill the gap where solar can’t provide; i.e. at night time or during cloudy weather, so that surely answers the question of “Why?” Well, how about provide 6 million homes with on site storage for the solar-produced electricity, to tide them over during times with insufficient sun? It would still be cheaper, no?

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. Hi Brian, I think they work on the American idea that a billion is one thousand million rather than a million million. So that’s 20,000,000,000 divided by 6,000,000 which is 3.3 thousand per home. But the costs will increase ad there will be delays so it could be far too long before it comes on stream, and I understand that renewables are much quicker and more cost effective at the moment, so in principle I agree with you.

    • Thanks Tasker! I did wonder about the whole billion thing… who’d have thought a proposal on British soil wouldn’t even go by our counting system!? I’ve managed to implement solar and battery storage for my home for less than £3k, and granted that’s currently only supplementing my mains supply and I’m only one person, but the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of such systems will have improved in 10 years. I also wonder if this 6 million homes takes into account that those homes will likely have greater demands on electricity due to the rise in use of electric vehicles being charged at home.

  2. Solar for the South of Spain maybe, but you guys are farther north than we are (50degrees+). For six months of the year you get shite sun. Nuclear is the only alternative for northern climes. Don’t have to be these massive things, though. Build twenty 1Bilion-Pound smaller reactors. Too bad some intelligent country couldn’t implement Thorium reactors…

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