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What can I choose in the calculator?

The calculator lets you choose the installed capacity of nuclear power plants in Switzerland in the selected year (2035 or 2050). A higher installed capacity results in higher capital costs (due to the construction and installation of the facilities) but does not necessarily imply a greater power production - it may be more profitable to operate other energy conversion facilities (such as windmills or solar plants).

Nuclear Power Plants

image Kernkraftwerk Unterweser (Landkreis Wesermarsch), Wilfried Wittkowsky, via Wikimedia Commons


  • Impact
  • Global market
  • Definition
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Value range
  • References

IMPACT – What are the impacts of nuclear power plants?

In Switzerland, increasing the installed capacity of nuclear power plants will have the following impact, if the share of nuclear power in the total electricity production capacity increases:

Energy system

image Decreases the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.

image Likely to decrease energy independence by increasing nuclear fuel imports.

Environment & Climate

image Reduces global CO2 emissions.

image Generates radioactive waste.

image In the case of nuclear disaster, the impact on the environment may be large.

Society & Economy

image In the case of nuclear disaster the impact on the society and on the economy may be large.

image May increase cost of electricity production as new nuclear power plants may cost significantly more than the existing ones.

GLOBAL MARKET – What is the global market for Nuclear energy?

In 2010, 13%[1] of all the electricity produced globally was from nuclear power plants whereas in Europe, that fraction was 27%.[2] Switzerland currently has 5 nuclear reactors in operation which produce about 38% of its electricity. [3]


DEFINITION - What is a nuclear power plant?

Nuclear power plants use the energy that is produced when the nucleus of a heavy atom (e.g. uranium) is broken, what is known as fission energy. This energy is released as heat, which is used to produce high pressure steam. The steam is sent to a turbine where it is expanded to produce work. Finally the mechanical energy (work) of the turbine is transformed into electricity in an alternator.

CONSTRAINTS - What are the key barriers facing Nuclear power plants deployment?

The operation of nuclear power plants produces very low carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), but generates radioactive nuclear waste. These nuclear wastes are currently in temporary storage facilities.The scientific community estimates that the best option for long term storage of these wastes is to burry them in deep geological formation in the Earth crust.


Next tables contain the assumptions that have been introduced in the Nuclear power plant energy model of the calculator.

Capacity factor
2011 2035 2050
0.85 0.85 0.85
Efficiency [%] [4]
2011 2035 2050
33 37 40
2011 2035 2050
CO2-eq. emissions [kgCO2-eq./kWhe] 0.0106 0.00466 0.000919
Deposited waste [UBP/kWhe] 365 234 103
2011 2035 2050
Specific investment [CHF2010/kWe] 4'740 7'499 7'499
Fuel [CHF2010/MWhe] 14.68 13.51 13.14


MIN Value: 0 GW.

MAX Value:

2035 10GW There is no specification for the value ranges of this technology as it does not depend on any other factor apart from the willingness of the civil/political society to deploy it.


[1] International Energy Agency (2012), World Energy Outlook 2012

[2] European Commission (2011), Energy Roadmap 2050

[3] OFEN, Nuclear energy

[4] NEEDS project(2007), Final report on technical data, costs and life cycle inventories of nuclear power plants

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en/nuclear_more.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/16 15:21 by