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Study Shows Nuclear Much More Expensive than Natural Gas

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BRADENTON – An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times seems to demonstrate very clearly what opponents of nuclear power have long asserted – that the supposed low cost of nuclear energy and the billions in savings to customers is a myth that doesn't hold up to inspection. The analysis compared the cost of the Levy nuclear plant to a natural gas facility. Even after setting assumptions that were rounded to nuclear's favor at every turn, the paper found that natural gas would be cheaper by billions over the long term.

The analysis broke down the cost of a new plant into construction, operations/maintenance and fuel. While the cost of fuel was cheaper for nuclear, it was not nearly enough to overcome the much higher price of building and maintaining a nuclear facility. In fact, the report indicated that in order to see the savings that the industry is promoting, you would basically have to discount the entire cost of building the plant. In the case of the Levy facility that's just under $25 billion.

The Bradenton Times' John Rehill did a 3-part series examining the many hidden costs of nuclear power back in 2011, showing that the total cost once one considers the massive hidden subsidies, along with the environmental impact of nuclear power made a very poor case for its expansion. The Florida Public Service Commission will soon have the power to stop utility companies from collecting advanced fees for a nuclear plant. While the PSC has long been seen as a rubber stamp for the industries it supposedly regulates, it seems increasingly clear that such decisions will be harder to defend to citizens.

Special Series: The Nuclear Power Play – Part 1: Where's the Green?
Special Series: The Nuclear Power Play – Part 2: The True Economic Cost
Special Series: The Nuclear Power Play – Part 3: What's the Solution?


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