Wind Less Costly than Nuclear in France: Court of Auditors

The French Court of Auditors is forecasting a surge in the cost of keeping nuclear operating, as old plants face refurbishment, and new investment in safety is required. The rate of re-investment, just to maintain existing capacity, is forecast to double. Sound familiar?

It should. The same thing has been happening in Ontario, as refurbishments take longer than expected, and cost billions extra.

France, more than any nation on earth, knows nuclear energy. They get 77% of their power supply from nuclear, and it is a major domestic and export industry. By comparison, Ontario gets about 50% of it’s power from nuclear. And the French nuclear industry serves a market with 64 million residents, compared to only 13 million in Ontario. France has 63 GW of nuclear capacity compared to about 12 GW in Ontario, depending on whether you count laid up units.

The report from the Auditors also expressed concern about the uncertainties of future cost of decommissioning plants, and future waste storage. Without knowing these unknowable costs, we can’t really know the cost of nuclear, can we?

The Ontario government official policy continues to call for construction of a new nuclear reactor at Darlington. The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) continues to drastically underestimate the unknowable cost of nuclear. But now those who know nuclear best – the French – are admitting that the cost of nuclear is going to rise drastically.

When will the Ontario government, and the OPA admit that the cost of nuclear is untenable, and cancel plans for new nuclear build?

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