CREATORCooper, Mark
TITLEThe Economics of Nuclear Reactors: Renaissance or Relapse?
DATE ACCESSED24 August 2017

This 2009 report provides a comprehensive analysis of cost projections for the proposed expansion of the U.S. nuclear industry, concluding that nuclear power is not economically competitive with other alternatives for electricity generation. The author compares cost estimates for building new nuclear reactors, which were generated during the rise of the nuclear power industry in the 1980s, to more recent studies and finds that a “nuclear renaissance” will not be economical, as planned reactors will be either cancelled or abandoned. According to the report, large growth in the industry would only be possible through massive subsidies that shift the burden of cost to the taxpayer, and thus "nuclear power cannot stand on its own two feet in the marketplace" (p. 8). The report compares 2009 reactor cost projections to historical costs of reactors built decades earlier and to the costs of alternative energy sources. It also examines how factors such as growing environmental concerns, risk aversion, subsidies, and public policy affect cost projections. The author argues that the nuclear industry is economically deceptive in producing cost projections based on “hope and hype” (p. 2). Figures and tables provided display various cost comparison analyses and findings.

creative commons - some rights reserved
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.