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What will $10 billion Get You? A Lot of Nuclear Energy

Posted By Nicolas Loris On December 18, 2008 @ 12:18 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

From Reuters [1]:

China has started building a new nuclear power plant in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, the second of three Beijing aimed to begin constructing in the final two months of the year.

The 70 billion yuan ($10.2 billion) Yangjiang plant, in Yangjiang City, will have six units with each having one gigawatt of power generating capacity, the plant operator, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, said on its website. All six units will be built by 2017, the official Xinhua news agency said.”

Each gigawatt is roughly enough to power 1,000,000 homes. It is also noteworthy that China can build six reactors for $10 billion but the estimates for one reactor in the United States has been estimated at anywhere from $6-10 billion.

$10 billion is a lot of money. Well, maybe not anymore. Regardless, for those (Members of Congress and environmentalists, for the most part) who say that nuclear is too expensive and therefore we shouldn’t built new plants, maybe they should let the companies make that choice.

Government has no business making any decisions about nuclear power based on costs. Its role should be to provide adequate oversight and fulfill its legal obligations on nuclear waste. It is primarily private companies that produce America’s power [2], and consumers pay for it. Their interactions in the marketplace should determine the best way to meet America’s energy needs.

And just because the amount of money necessary to build a nuclear plant in the U.S. sounds daunting, there is no reason for the government to step in subsidize the industry. We make the point here [3]that federal handouts aren’t necessary to rebuild the workforce, either.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/12/18/what-will-10-billion-get-you-a-lot-of-nuclear-energy/

URLs in this post:

[1] Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKPEK28021520081217?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

[2] primarily private companies that produce America’s power: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/list-power-reactor-units.html

[3] here : http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/bg2207.cfm

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