New Nuke Plants May Break the Bank

Prohibitive costs could run as high as $12B each
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2008 2:16 PM CDT
Surf rolls up on the beach in front the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in this Nov. 12, 1996, file photo, at the San Onofre State Park in Southern Calif.    (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, file)
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(Newser) – Nuclear power has come back into favor as a cleaner energy solution, but new plants aren’t going to be cheap, the Wall Street Journal reports. Despite efforts to streamline the process and cut costs, the next wave of reactors would cost $5-$12 billion each—prices that would likely translate to higher electricity bills, and a renewed debate on nuclear energy.

Much of the problem is bad luck. A streamlined licensing process and standardized designs should have led to cheaper plants, but stratospheric commodity costs have confounded those efforts. States are still rushing into nuclear, however, because of climate anxiety. “Nuclear power is popular, and that’s why it’s going to go ahead,” said one Florida advocate. “Our main concern is the tremendous cost.”