Should Poland Press Ahead with Nuclear Power?
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Publication date: 2015-02-28
GNPJE 2015;275(1):27-54
The article focuses on an ongoing debate on whether or not Poland should go ahead with its plan to develop a nuclear power program. The author questions the government’s analyses of the cost-effectiveness of such a program. According to Szablewski, the government has failed to take into account the implications of power sector liberalization in its estimates. Moreover, the author says that, despite the steadily growing costs of nuclear power plant construction in real terms, the government mistakenly assumes that each new plant in Poland will cost less to build than previous facilities. Finally, Szablewski argues that the government has ignored various types of risks faced by developers. Therefore, analyses of the economic implications of nuclear power development should focus not on the future costs of nuclear power but on the construction costs at hand, according to Szablewski, especially as the cost-effectiveness of different future technologies for producing electricity is uncertain. The article refers to an ongoing animated debate on factors that determined the development of nuclear energy in the past and on the prospects for developing nuclear power plants in the future. The author concludes that there is no economic justification for building new nuclear plants in countries with liberalized power sectors. This especially applies to countries that are still thinking of building their first nuclear plants, Szablewski says, as well as those, like Poland, that have already decided to press ahead with nuclear power.
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