Polly Discovers Economics!

The most serious objection is not safety but "nuclear blight", the probability that government and energy firms\’ cash, engineers and project management capacity is swept up in this great nuclear South Sea bubble and nothing is left for other renewables.

Halleluljah! Polly has actually managed to grasp an economic concept. And she\’s even grasped the correct end of the stick!

This is opportunity cost. If we decide to go down one path then we cannot use these same resources to go down another.

Of course, this applies to everything, not just nuclear: if we go down the renewables path then we face exactly the same problem. The things that we use to do that cannot be used to go down any other paths. Which means that it\’s not quite the killer argument she thinks it is. It becomes, instead, which is the best use of those resources….and I would argue that nuclear is it.

You can of course disagree with my conclusion, that\’s not a problem. As long as you\’re willing to agree that any path taken leads to exactly the same result, that we can only do one thing with the resources we have available, at least we\’ll be having the discussion about which is the best.

5 comments on “Polly Discovers Economics!

  1. I think ‘discovers economics’ in a piece about the nuclear industry might be putting two things that don’t go together, together.

  2. engineers and project management capacity is swept up in this great nuclear South Sea bubble and nothing is left for other renewables.

    Actually, the only engineers and project management capacity which will be swept up by nuclear are those who were there in the first place or the few who will jump ship from oil and gas. Most of the engineers and project managers in oil and gas will likely stay there. Renewables have no chance.

  3. eh? any industry experiencing a £20bn capital injection will sweep up lots of engineers and project managers – at the very least on the civils side, where it doesn’t matter whether your experience is in nukes, dams or big windmills…

  4. The only people in the UK with with worthwhile nuclear energy experience are over 55 or retired already. No, we will have to buy in all the expertise from France; we will provide the grunt.

    Best, and probably cheapest idea, would be to get the French to build 20 power stations across the channel and ship all the power generated to us. They will build it quicker and more cheaply than we could realistically hope.

  5. eh? any industry experiencing a £20bn capital injection will sweep up lots of engineers and project managers –

    One project I am currently working on has had a £10bn capital injection all on its own. Against the entire oil and gas industry, £20bn is eff all.

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