Atomic Energy Costing by Warren Young

By Warren Young

In the centennial 12 months of the start of Sir John Cockcroft, first grasp of my Cam­ bridge collage, Churchill, and the 1st guy to separate the atomic nucleus via man made capacity, it really is certainly suitable to contemplate the end result of his efforts at constructing atomic energy. From the earliest days of the development of Calder Hall-the first nuclear energy station in Britain-and the institution of the British Atomic Re­ seek middle at Harwell, and the Chalk River Nuclear Station in Canada, throughout the "Windscale" nuclear twist of fate in Britain, as much as the current, whilst a few 20% of united kingdom strength is derived from nuclear strength, the Cockcroft legacy is felt. because the British historian Mark Goldie positioned it, within the "pure and sanguine 1950s," Cockcroft had virtually absolute "faith in 'peaceful atoms' and within the boundless, virtually rate loose, power that atoms may quickly produce" (Goldie, 1997, p. 21). yet, because the eminent economist Frank Hahn recalled, "the simply failing Cockcroft had" was once "that he wasn't as much as a lot in economics. " certainly, Hahn recalled that he "had to provide an explanation for" to Cockcroft "the monetary idea of optimal longevity" because it concerning the "interest price" within the context of creating Churchill university with "hand-made bricks. " After his explana­ tion, as Hahn recalled "Cockcroft smiled and proceeded to reserve extra hand-made bricks" (Hahn, 1997, p. 27).

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The first Magnox plants took longer and cost more to build than was forecast ... Early in 1957 the cost of the first was to be 130 [pounds sterling] per KW ... The cost had become 145 [pounds] by June 1957 ... By 1962 the cost had risen to 167 [pounds] per KW ... The last figure and probably the others excluded interest during construction [my emphasis], which brought the 1962 cost above 180 [pounds] per KW. He went on to say that Meanwhile costs of power from coal-fired stations had fallen far below the level forecast in 1956-57 ".

5152) that In the long run of fifty years or more, the economic role of nuclear power could be more crucial. Nuclear power with the breeder, and coal, are the only almost-sure energy sources which could provide large amounts of energy at about current costs. If fusion turns out to be unfeasible, solar energy proves too costly to exploit for electric power, and large-scale use of coal is unacceptable for environmental reasons, the economic and social importance of nuclear power and the breeder could become substantial.

By 1970 nuclear power would [be] ... 30 per cent below the cost of coal-based power. These figures were lower than any projections made in the United States. On the basis of these optimistic cost projections, according to Burn (1967, p. 20), the second stage of the UK Nuclear Program called for up to 15 Magnox-based power stations, at a cost of about one billion pounds sterling. " In fact, the UKAEA was also assessing alternate reactor types, but with the clear commitment to Magnox, it did not construct large-scale prototypes of experimental reactors.

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