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December 18, 2017

Wind, geothermal, solar cheaper than nuclear

The Kenya Nuclear Energy Board yesterday said that it hoped to start construction of a nuclear power plant in 2024.

This will be expensive. A 1000MW nuclear power station will cost about $4 billion (Sh400 billion), considerably more than the standard gauge railway.

Nuclear power is clean if there is no catastrophe like Fukushima or Chernobyl. The problem comes when the station is decommissioned. Radioactive waste takes thousands of years to decay and has to be stored at a high cost.

Globally the unit cost of wind, solar and geothermal is now less than the unit cost of nuclear. In the UK, private companies are now bidding to provide wind power to the national grid at below the cost of nuclear.

Kenya has excellent locations for wind, geothermal and solar power stations that can easily meet the 2030 target for 16000MW on the national grid, up from 7000MW today.

So why take the risk of going nuclear when we can provide clean power at a lower price?

Quote of the day: "In society, liberty for one may mean the suppression of liberty for others." - Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal was born on 6 December, 1898.

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