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High Cost of Nukes Not Just a Nuke Problem
Posted By Conn Carroll On May 12, 2008 @ 10:59 am In Energy and Environment | No Comments
The Wall Street Journal printed an article today  on the high costs of new nuclear power in the United States. But guess what? Energy prices are escalating across the board. And much of the price increase is because commodity prices for products like cement, steel and copper are rising. Then there are the labor costs. No new nuclear plants have been built in decades and those with the experience and skill to build new plants can command top pay.
Many of these problems, however, are not unique to the nuclear industry. Coal plants are expensive and so are windmills and solar projects. If they weren’t, then no one would consider nuclear and renewables would not need mandates and subsidies to survive.
Then there is the cost of taxing carbon dioxide. The economics of nuclear power shifts dramatically if Congress is successful in passing legislation that puts a price on CO2 emissions. A recent Energy Information Agency study  calculated the economic costs of one piece of such legislation, the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill. The EIA looked at seven scenarios for meeting the Lieberman-Warner mandates. The scenario that resulted in the least economic harm would require well over 200 new reactors to be built in the U.S.
The simple fact is that energy prices are increasing and if the nation wants to limit CO2 emissions, then nuclear must be part of the answer. So the question for policy makers is two-fold. First, what can be done to reduce energy prices overall and second what can be done to reduce the construction costs of nuclear power plants.
Luckily, there are answers and most fixes would get at both problems:
post written by Heritage Foundation nuclear energy research fellow Jack Spencer.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/05/12/high-cost-of-nukes-not-just-a-nuke-problem/
URLs in this post:
 article today: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121055252677483933.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news
 study: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/s2191/pdf/sroiaf(2008)01.pdf
 today: http://www.heritage.org/press/events/ev051208a.cfm
 showing that such reinforcements were unnecessary: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/bg2086.cfm
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