One would think that the environmentalists would love this!

From The Wall Street Journal:

EDF to Build New Nuclear Power Plant in U.K.
Project Would Be First in the Country in Almost 30 Years
By Géraldine Amiel and Selina Williams | Updated Oct. 21, 2013 5:10 a.m. ET

PARIS—French power utility Électricité de France SA confirmed Monday it has reached an agreement with the U.K. government to build a new nuclear power plant, the first in the country in almost 30 years, for a total cost of £16 billion ($25.88 billion).

The announcement is the culmination of two years of intense negotiations over plans that are seen as a litmus test of the economic viability of new nuclear power in Western Europe.

A group led by EDF will build two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, in southwestern England, where it already owns and operates two reactors. EDF will hold between 45% and 50% of the venture, French state-controlled nuclear engineering company Areva SA will own 10%, while China General Nuclear Corp. and China National Nuclear Corp. will hold between 30% and 40%. Other partners may take as much as 15%.

“Today we have a deal for the first nuclear power station in a generation to be built in Britain,” U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said.

On top of £14 billion in estimated construction costs, the project also includes £2 billion in pre-operation costs that EDF and its partners will have to spend on land purchases, a training budget and a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.

More at the link. The Warmists, as William Teach calls them, ought to appreciate this project: it will produce electricity for millions of British subjects without emitting those dreaded greenhouse gasses; our English brethren will be able to use their microwaves and computers without melting the polar ice caps and killing off the cuddly polar bears.

The trouble is, of course, the natural aversion of so many of our friends on the left to anything with the word “nuclear” attached to it; the reason that there have been no nuclear power plants built in the United Kingdom — or the United States — in decades is due in part to the sky-is-falling Chicken Little types.

Nuclear power is not free, of course, and nuclear power generates radioactive waste, which has to be handled and contained, but it does not contribute to global warming.

As for the radioactive waste, all of the nuclear power plants in the country generate about 2,000 tons of waste a year. In fifty years of using nuclear power plants in this country, the total waste developed is roughly 77,000 tons. You might think that’s a lot, but due to the high density of the material, that’s about one rail car worth of material, for the whole country, for a year.1 We can deal with that, safely and effectively, if we’ll just agree to do it and not get all excited when the word “nuclear” is uttered.

Will our environmentalist friends fight? My guess is that yes, they probably will.

  1. Surprisingly enough, when I was doing the research for this article, I kept finding different numbers for the density and specific gravity of uranium, ranging between 18.95 and 19.05 gm/cm³. In my calculations, I use the lower number of 18.95. With a specific gravity of 18.95, one cubic foot (ft³) of uranium should weigh about 1183 lb, over half a ton. At roughly 2,000 tons of waste per year, the actual waste material, if consolidated, would occupy a space of 3381 ft³. Sound like a lot? That material would fit in a space 9.5 feet wide, 10 feet high and 35.5 feet long, less than the space inside one railroad boxcar. A standard railroad boxcar is 50.5 ft long, 9.5 ft wide and 10.8 ft tall, or 5181.3 ft³. If we assume that 50% of the waste is void space, it occupies 6762 ft³, or less than two rail car’s worth of space.


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