Cost slows nuclear plant drive

Cost slows nuclear plant drive

There are 19 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 6, 2008, titled Cost slows nuclear plant drive. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

As crude oil briefly leapt Tuesday to a record $122.73 a barrel, and one analyst suggested the price might soon reach $200, America would seem poised for a nuclear power resurgence.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Derrick

Cicero, IL

#1 May 7, 2008
Environmental extremists cannot have it both ways, be opposed to nuclear power which is pollution-free, and stifle coal, oil and gas-burning generators at the same time. Wind power -- surprise -- depends on the wind and is not a consistently reliable power source. Solar power is great...unless you live in a place like Chicago and 3/4th of the rest of the country where the sun doesn't shine much of the time and not at all at night.
Colin

Lincolnshire, IL

#2 May 7, 2008
People are way too freaked out about nuclear power. They act like it will kill us all. How many people have died from nuclear accidents? How many people have died from coal powered air pollution? 1 or 2 vs thousands.

You have a better chance of getting hit my a bus crossing the street than a meltdown killing you.

The irrational fear of nuclear power is just amazing.
Georgi

Cicero, IL

#3 May 7, 2008
The lower costs of nuclear power must also be figured in, such as the human factors of life safety and health. In over 50 years of nuclear power in the U.S., there has not been one life lost to a nuclear power plant accident. In the other power sources of fission fuel -- coal, oil and gas -- the lost lives and injuries are in the thousands over those 50 years. Not to mention the lung damage, emphysema and assorted other breathing illnesses from polluted air. Wind power also has its victims, the thousands of birds which have been killed while flying into the rotating blades.
If America is to retain its status as a viable place to live, it must have electric power and it must come from somewhere. Nuclear, regardless of cost, is the most reasonable option.
Lisa

Maysville, KY

#4 May 7, 2008
Nuclear power is unbelievably expensive. One of the reasons electric rates in Illinois are so high is because of the relatively large numbers of plants Commonwealth Edison built. My parents -- one who worked for ComEd -- put in solar panels in the 1980s to supplement our household use. It was a wise choice. Solar power is viable -- even in the north.
Colin

Lincolnshire, IL

#5 May 7, 2008
Lisa wrote:
My parents -- one who worked for ComEd -- put in solar panels in the 1980s to supplement our household use. It was a wise choice. Solar power is viable -- even in the north.
Sorry but solar is an energy loss (net) once you factor in the power needed to make the panels. Check it out. Current photo cells don't generate enough power over their lifespan to "pay back" the power that was used to make them.
FoonTheElder

Omaha, NE

#6 May 7, 2008
Derrick wrote:
Environmental extremists cannot have it both ways, be opposed to nuclear power which is pollution-free, and stifle coal, oil and gas-burning generators at the same time. Wind power -- surprise -- depends on the wind and is not a consistently reliable power source. Solar power is great...unless you live in a place like Chicago and 3/4th of the rest of the country where the sun doesn't shine much of the time and not at all at night.
If you think there is any peak oil problem, there is a bigger peak uranium problem. Any major increase in nuclear plants will cause a shortage of uranium, which will (surprise) drive up the costs.

There still has been no resolution on how to handle radioactive waste. Remember, nuclear energy is with us, whether we like it or not, for the next 10,000 years!
Colin

Lincolnshire, IL

#7 May 7, 2008
FoonTheElder wrote:
<quoted text>
If you think there is any peak oil problem, there is a bigger peak uranium problem. Any major increase in nuclear plants will cause a shortage of uranium, which will (surprise) drive up the costs.
There still has been no resolution on how to handle radioactive waste. Remember, nuclear energy is with us, whether we like it or not, for the next 10,000 years!
Breeder/recycling technology for reactors is readily available and in use all over the world. It solves many of these issues.
Randy

Geneva, IL

#8 May 7, 2008
Colin wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry but solar is an energy loss (net) once you factor in the power needed to make the panels. Check it out. Current photo cells don't generate enough power over their lifespan to "pay back" the power that was used to make them.
They do in some applications, and in some locations, but not everywhere. That is why they are not a simple solution. If the power has to be stored, you can lose 50% right there. If the power is used as it is made, it does better. New cells are in the lab that will be cheaper $/KWH then what is now commercially available, but still in the future. Speaking of new design, I heard a new nuclear reactor design that does not not overheat if it loses water, sort of inherently safe, should be both safer and less expensive.
Tory II

Palos Heights, IL

#9 May 7, 2008
We need to ignore the expensive morality of environmentalists. If we did we would have more nuclear power plants today. Because of them we suffer from $4.00/gallon of gasoline. Now we must play catch-up.

Force politicians to repeal laws that make it dificult to build nuclear power plants.

We waste fuel on trains for shipping coal, and for cargo ships when we could have nuclear powered cargo ships.
Tory II

Palos Heights, IL

#10 May 7, 2008
In the future they will find a way to profitably recycle nuclear waste.
Bob

Lynchburg, VA

#11 May 7, 2008
Lisa wrote:
Nuclear power is unbelievably expensive. One of the reasons electric rates in Illinois are so high is because of the relatively large numbers of plants Commonwealth Edison built. My parents -- one who worked for ComEd -- put in solar panels in the 1980s to supplement our household use. It was a wise choice. Solar power is viable -- even in the north.
Lisa, you have got to be kidding.
Andrew

Northfield, MN

#12 May 7, 2008
FoonTheElder wrote:
<quoted text>
If you think there is any peak oil problem, there is a bigger peak uranium problem. Any major increase in nuclear plants will cause a shortage of uranium, which will (surprise) drive up the costs.
There still has been no resolution on how to handle radioactive waste. Remember, nuclear energy is with us, whether we like it or not, for the next 10,000 years!
That is simply not the case. Uranium can be extracted from Seawater economically. Not to mention no one has prospected for it. Uranium is a common element in the earths crust, we are no where near running out of it.

Peak Gallium or Indium will come much sooner than peak Uranium, and both of these elements are required for the construction of solar panels. Gallium and Indium are both already more expensive than Uranium!
Francene

United States

#13 May 8, 2008
Well said David Kraft! Onward to a Carbon Free Nuclear Free future! Refer to www.neis.org for details)
Rod Adams

Portsmouth, VA

#14 May 8, 2008
Lisa wrote "Nuclear power is unbelievably expensive. One of the reasons electric rates in Illinois are so high is because of the relatively large numbers of plants Commonwealth Edison built."

She needs a better fact checker.

There is an Excel spreadsheet available on the Energy Information Agency web site that provides the historical retail prices of electricity by state and by sector (residential, commercial, transportation and industrial) from 1990-2007.(at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page... )

That sheet shows that the retail price of electricity in Illinois has been consistently below the average for the United States.

Considering the fact that Illinios is a high cost, northern state with strong union labor, that is a pretty good endorsement for the economic benefits of nuclear fission.

One thing that the spreadsheet also shows is that the state utility regulators have often chosen to allow industrial customers a much lower rate than residential customers. That is a political choice made by the state and should not be blamed on nuclear fission.
Andrew

Northfield, MN

#15 May 9, 2008
Francene wrote:
Well said David Kraft! Onward to a Carbon Free Nuclear Free future! Refer to www.neis.org for details)
That's fine Francene, just don't force your self destructive choices on the rest of us. If you're so hot on carbon nuclear free, then why don't you build a cabin that runs totally on solar and wind power? You can already deploy the same technology we would be forced to use grid-wide if we're forced to use neither nuclear nor fossil fuels. Have fun with that, I hope you have a few $10,000s of dollars.
Lisa

Maysville, KY

#16 May 9, 2008
Rod Adams wrote:
Lisa wrote "Nuclear power is unbelievably expensive. One of the reasons electric rates in Illinois are so high is because of the relatively large numbers of plants Commonwealth Edison built."
She needs a better fact checker.
There is an Excel spreadsheet available on the Energy Information Agency web site that provides the historical retail prices of electricity by state and by sector (residential, commercial, transportation and industrial) from 1990-2007.(at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page... )
That sheet shows that the retail price of electricity in Illinois has been consistently below the average for the United States.
Considering the fact that Illinios is a high cost, northern state with strong union labor, that is a pretty good endorsement for the economic benefits of nuclear fission.
One thing that the spreadsheet also shows is that the state utility regulators have often chosen to allow industrial customers a much lower rate than residential customers. That is a political choice made by the state and should not be blamed on nuclear fission.
The chart shows Illinois rates are consistently higher than surrounding states of Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kentucky -- even with regulation. And everyone knows that without state regulation, residential rates would be significantly higher.
Randy

Geneva, IL

#17 May 12, 2008
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
The chart shows Illinois rates are consistently higher than surrounding states of Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and Kentucky -- even with regulation. And everyone knows that without state regulation, residential rates would be significantly higher.
Several factors are involved in the high electric rates in Illinois, and yes, part of it involved cost overruns building nuclear plants, mostly due to poor planing and a "cost plus" rate structure and mindset. The more it cost to build, the more was added to the rate, PLUS a percentage for profit. Higher cost=higher profit. Another item was coal. "Smokestack scrubbers" which would allow burning local cheaper Illinois coal cleanly were not put on the coal burning plants because they could not be "passed on" to the electric bill. The stockholders would have had to pay for it. Instead the bought super-expensive "clean coal" from Wyoming and Montana. Both "fuel surcharges" and transportation of the coal are directly "passed on" to the electric bill. Total cost is much higher, but the customer pays for it, not the company profit bottom line.
Dick Griest

Devault, PA

#18 May 26, 2008
Josh,

You embarrass both yourself and your newspaper by failing to mention any of the issues discussed about the future of nuclear power with its associated waste problems in the conference held in Nashville, Tennessee on January 5, 2008. http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...

As press critics Robert McChesney and Kathleen Hall Jameison state it is becumbent on the press, as well as the candidates, to properly frame these issues.
Tory II

Downers Grove, IL

#19 May 26, 2008
Dick Griest wrote:
Josh,
You embarrass both yourself and your newspaper by failing to mention any of the issues discussed about the future of nuclear power with its associated waste problems in the conference held in Nashville, Tennessee on January 5, 2008. http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...
As press critics Robert McChesney and Kathleen Hall Jameison state it is becumbent on the press, as well as the candidates, to properly frame these issues.
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