This is a short piece about a much longer piece that you will want to take a bit of time to read.
Actually, it is unfair to describe it as a “piece.” It’s a study, by Mark Cooper, who for years has been writing extensively about the transition to a clean energy future from an economist’s perspective.
Cooper examines three recent studies taking different approaches to achieving deep decarbonization of our electrical system, two that reject nuclear power as part of the means of attaining massive carbon reductions and one that accepts nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (CCS) as pieces of the approach. He then lays over that two recent studies of the economics of electricity generation, along with the political structure for attaining carbon reductions established by the COP 21 climate agreement, to reach his conclusions.
The central finding is this: the best way to achieve a carbon-free future from an environmental perspective is also the best way from an economics perspective. And the best way means rejecting nuclear power entirely.
In other words, a nuclear-free, carbon-free approach to a clean energy future is not only environmentally preferable–avoiding radioactive waste generation, environmental damage from uranium mining and the rest of the nuclear fuel chain, proliferation concerns, and the constant threat of more Chernobyls and Fukushimas, and so on–it is cheaper as well.