MIT Energy Series complains about nuclear power plant concrete but Wind Power four times more concrete per megawatt

MIT Energy Initiative has a five-part series of articles that takes a broad view of the likely scalable energy candidates. The article on wind talked about the economics, the intermittent nature of wind power and prospects for scaling.

The MIT article on nuclear power stated

Nuclear power is often thought of as zero-emissions, Prinn points out that “it has an energy cost — there’s a huge amount of construction with a huge amount of concrete,” which is a significant source of greenhouse gases.

Per Peterson analyzed that wind and solar use more steel and concrete than nuclear to generate the same amount of power

CO2 comparison for different energy sources

The MIT article on nuclear : The biggest factors limiting the growth of nuclear power in the near term are financial and regulatory uncertainties, which result in high interest rates for the upfront capital needed for construction.

Nuclear power is half the cost in China and South Korea and almost as cheap in Russia and India. The countries with more favorable regulations is where nuclear power is being built.

The IAEA list of nuclear reactors under construction.

Country   Number of reactors  Nameplate watts  Expected TWh generation
China      27                 27230            200 TWh
Russia     11                  9153             70 TWh
S Korea     5                  5560             44 TWh
India       6                  4194             32 TWh
Taiwan      2                  2600             20 TWh
Bulgaria    2                  1906             15 TWh
Ukraine     2                  1900             15 TWh
Others     10                 10000             80 TWh

China and India are expecting to scale nuclear construction to several hundred gigawatts by 2030-2035.

China will start exporting reactors in 2013. Those reactors will be very affordable and middle eastern countries will be eager buyers and China will have no qualms about selling them nuclear power.

The MIT article talking about lack of scaling of nuclear power before 2050 is talking about the USA and Europe building almost zero new power generation and having regulations and business which makes it expensive.

I am surprised that MIT made such clear mistakes in their energy articles.

South Korea and China’s nuclear power is 66%-100% (up to half the cost) of nuclear power in Europe and the United States.

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