The Need for Keeping Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear power is the cleanest source for production of electricity that the world has. The United States needs to extend the life of existing nuclear plants as long as the NRC will continue to certify them.

A 1,000 MW nuclear plant produces about 9 billion kWhs of carbon-free electricity each year with a capacity factor over 90%. To replace that with wind, would require about 3,000 MW of new wind turbines at $1.5 million/MW, or $4.5 billion, just for construction.

And, compared to building and operating any other types of electrical generation, they are our best option.

Over the next 20 to 40 years, the Levelized Cost of Energy for an existing nuclear plant is only 3¢/kWh. For an existing gas plant the LCOE is 5¢/kWh, and for an existing coal plant it’s 4¢/kWh. The LCOE for a new gas plant is 7¢/kWh, for a new nuclear plant is 9¢/kWh, for a new coal plant is 10¢/kWh, and for new wind is 11¢/kWh. So prematurely closing any nuclear plant to be replaced by new anything makes no sense economically.

And the anti-nuclear folks never discuss Negative Energy Pricing and how increased renewables causes this problem to grow bigger, wiping out any potential savings from closing nuclear.

It’s so strange to see otherwise caring environmentalists ignore climate scientists when it comes to climate change. The world’s top climate scientists, including Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel, have all urged world leaders and environmental campaigners to stop their unscientific and ideological attacks on nuclear energy and support its expansion.

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