Nuclear Power, 2019. Why?

by L J Furman, MBA on March 23, 2019

in Nuclear Energy, Vogtle

Vogtle 3 and 4, the first new nuclear reactors built in the United States in 30 years, are now 6 years late and estimated to cost $28 billion. (Taxpayer.net).  That is a cost overrun of $14 billion, 100% over the initial cost of $14 billion.  (Atlanta Journal Constitution, Power).

The 2.234 GW plants at Vogtle will cost $12.5 per watt, if there are no more overruns, plus the costs of fuel, security, maintenance, etc. Utility scale solar is under $2.00 per watt. Utility scale wind is estimated at $1.44 per watt for Ocean Wind, the 1.11 GW wind farm to be built 15 miles east of Atlantic City.
 
Neither solar nor wind require fuel or military security forces.  The money used to construct a 1 GW nuclear reactor could construct 6.5 GW of solar or 8.7 GW of wind. 
 
Rough Comparison of New Electricity Capacity Costs
Energy Price per watt Capacity for $12.5 B (GW)
Nuclear $12.50 1.00
Solar $2.00 6.25
Wind $1.44 8.70
Table 1
 
Why, given the cost of nuclear, the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, the dearth of young nuclear engineers, and the costs of wind and solar are we even thinking about, let along sinking $Billions of taxpayer dollars, in nuclear? 

According the the DOE loan program office, here, “The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a total of up to $12 billion in loan guarantees to Georgia Power Company (GPC),  Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), and three subsidiaries of Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) to support the construction of Vogtle Units 3 and 4 – the nation’s next generation of advanced nuclear reactors – at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating site in Waynesboro, Georgia.” 

A co-founder of Popular Logistics, I hold an MBA in “Managing for Sustainability” from Marlboro College and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the City University of New York  College of Staten Island. I also hold a PMI’s PMP and CompTIA’sNetwork+ certifications. Available as a speaker and consultant, I can be reached at “Popular Logistics . com” as “L Furman.”

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