In a move of staggering over-optimism the Brazilian government has announced that it plans to build one nuclear reactor a year for fifty years. As far as jaw-dropping announcements go, this is way out there. Can an announcement be far behind that they plan to put a man on Pluto before the end of the decade?
As readers of this blog will already know, building a nuclear reactor is a massively complex, expensive and time consuming enterprise.. The planet is littered with stories of nuclear cost and budget overruns, incompetence and waste.
Can you imagine how much 50 reactors are going to cost once overruns have been factored in? Given the experience of last ten years we can safely say hundred of billions of dollars. Imagine the stunning renewable energy and efficiency programmes that money could buy.
To make Brazil’s aspirations even more unlikely to come to fruition, none other than our favourite nuclear fools Areva are assisting in the completion of Brazil’s third reactor, Angra 3. Having watched the spectacularly bad job industry ‘experts’ Areva are making of building new ‘state of the art’ reactors in Flamanville, France and Olkiluoto, Finland, we wouldn’t bet one cent that Brazil will get anywhere near 50 reactors within 50 years if Areva are involved. We’ll save the money for that ticket to Pluto.