In 2020, wind and solar power plants (WASPPs) generated ~79 TWh of intermittent electricity.
Gas-fired backup plant ‘turn’ this intermittent electricity into usable 24/7/365 electricity. The overnight capital cost (OCC) + fuel cost totalled £31.93/MWh. This electricity is NOT ZERO-CARBON!
So what would be the OCC + fuel cost of this electricity being generated by an advanced nuclear power plant, such as the 470 MW Rolls-Royce UK SMR [small modular reactor]? Note: This electricity is 24/76/365, dispatchable and ZERO-CARBON!
21 UK SMR nuclear power plants (NPPs) will generate 79 TWh per annum for their design life of 60 years, with near 100% certainty of an economical life-extension to 80 Years.
The OCC will be £37.8 billion, equating to £0.63 billion/year.
In respect of the fuel cost per unit of electricity generated, little variation is likely to be experienced between ‘Big Nuclear’ power plants and SMRs. Figures of [US] $6.50/MWh for Singe-Units and $6.06/MWh for Multi-Units average out at $6.28/MWh. At a 5 year average of $1.3 to the £1.00:
The cost of fuel is £4.83/MWh.
£0.63/MWh + £4.83/MWh = £5.46/MWh
Note: THIS IS zero-carbon electricity.
And, onto the £6.46/MWh needs to be added: Cost of capital; O & M; decommissioning; cost of waste disposal — AND PROFIT!