CREATORCongressional Budget Office
TITLENuclear Power's Role in Generating Electricity

This U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) 2008 study looks at the commercial potential of advanced nuclear technology to support future electricity demands by comparing conventional and innovative fossil-fuel technologies with nuclear power in the context of different possible future scenarios. Cost estimates are based on use of a new generation of nuclear reactors and other base-load technologies, using a variety of assumptions about prospective carbon dioxide charges, Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) incentives, and future market conditions. Limited to technologies expected to be able to provide base-load capacity in most U.S. regions, the study does not include wind, solar, geothermal, or hydroelectric energy sources. The study is divided into three parts. The first summarizes the report and introduces the main factors affecting the economic viability of nuclear power as considered by the study. The second part provides economic analysis, including levelized cost analysis, base assumptions, and the predicted effects of policy on the energy industry. The final section concludes that while carbon dioxide limits and EPAct incentives would likely make nuclear technology competitive, such a scenario could be hindered by potentially high construction costs and lower natural gas costs. Organized in easy-to-access segments, the online report contains numerous tables and figures presenting cost comparison data.

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