Nuclear Power is the cheapest energy option for Sweden and Russia is boosting Uranium fuel exports

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1. Nuclear power could be the lowest-cost option for new electricity generating capacity in Sweden, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted for an electricity-intensive industry group.

The report shows that when taxes, fees and contributions are excluded, both nuclear and hydro power are far more cost effective than investments in wind power. Wind power, the study suggests, is some 65% more expensive than hydro and about 50% more expensive than nuclear.

The study calculated a minimum price based on the prevailing market rate of return available in the energy sector, excluding taxes, fees and contributions. The study gives an investment that meets the market rate of return, with a minimum price for electricity from hydroelectric power at SKr 390 ($58.5) per megawatt-hour (MWh); for nuclear at SKr 421 ($63.1) and SKr 295 ($44.2) per MWh; and for wind power SKr 645 ($96.7) per MWh. Two models for nuclear were used in the study – one in which government loan guarantees are included and the other where they are not.

The study also shows that the marginal cost of wind energy is higher than for hydro and nuclear power. Excluding taxes, fees and contributions, this is SKr 60 ($9.0) per MWh for hydro power; SKr 100 ($15.0) per MWh for nuclear power; and SKr 1500 ($22.5) per MWh for wind power.

2. Russia is set to have foreign contracts for the supply of nuclear fuel and uranium enrichment services worth $20 billion by the end of 2010, Sergey Kiriyenko, director general of Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, has promised prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s output of natural uranium, he told Putin, had increased 13% during the first nine months of 2010 compared with the previous year.

3. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will officially decide on completing Bellefonte 1 in the first half of 2011. Should it decide to complete Bellefonte 1, the application for units 3 and 4 would require significant revision taking up to two years.

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