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Electricity production costs drop to the lowest point in the industry's history.

You won't hear this on CNN, but the U.S. nuclear power industry set a record last year.  Despite rising costs of fuel and regulation, the average production cost of electricity dropped to an astounding 1.66 cents per kilowatt-hour.  This is a figure well below the cost of coal-generated electricity, and a tiny fraction of the cost of solar or wind power.  Furthermore,  nuclear plants generated 36% more electricty than they did 15 years ago, without a single new plant being built.  The industry just keeps getting better and better.

Nuclear power is a true clean, green energy source, with zero CO2 emissions, and less environmental impact than solar or wind.  Those sources of energy are extremely diffuse--which means they must be collected and concentrated.  A 1,000 MW solar plant requires 2 million tons of concrete, 600,000 tons of steel, 75,000 tons of glass, 35,000 tons of aluminum, and a whole host of rare and exotic elements.   This is several hundred times the materials needed by a nuclear plant the same size.  And the nuclear plant will have much higher availability and require much less maintenance.  Most telling of all is the costs which, for solar power, currently average a painful 28.6 cents per kW-hour.

Other nations are wiser here than the US.  France  generates 76% of its power from nuclear, South Korea has several new plants on order, and Finland is building a new one, specifically to meet its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Expanding the US nuclear power industry would allow the US to dramatically reduce carbon emissions ... and to save money while doing so.  And it's a solution available today, without the need for years of additional research and development.  Its high time we pulled our heads out of the sand, and started using it to its full potential.

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RE: Right on Masher
By irev210 on 2/28/2007 1:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
3 mile island could have gone a lot worse, but thats besides the point.

As others have said, it has been 30 years since then.

It wasnt really caused by a design error, but by poorly trained employees who really didnt know what to do. By doing what they were trained to do, they actually made things worse.

Regardless, the fear still sank in. You guys should read about the long island nuclear plant. Greatest moment in american nuclear power generation!

Here is the most EXPENSIVE nuclear power plant!

It generated only a few 100 megawatts, at the cost of Billions. Then, the local gov't passed on writing off the power plant to taxpayers! So people payed billions.

The single problem with nuclear is how much raw material you actually need. You need to remove spent uranium every two years. There is actually a LOT of effort that goes into getting nuclear power plant grade uranium. You have LOTS of waste (depleted uranium). I forget the amount, but for every pound of mining you only get a few grams of usable uranium. So mining uses a lot of fossil fuels, but still not any more than coal, etc.

Nuclear power is the cheapest, and one of the most effective ways to generate electricity. There is no reason why US shouldnt have more nuclear power plants.

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