Friday, May 09, 2008

"Nuclear reactors are expensive to build. Nuclear Power is very expensive."

Answer : It is true that nuclear reactors are more expensive to build than coal plants. But, if environmental costs are taken into account, nuclear plants quickly rise to be much cheaper. In the USA, there have been several re-legislations for improving nuclear safety, which required the removal and reconstruction of nuclear reactors. These made the costs of construction to spiral out of control. Thus, nuclear power industry had a political death in the US. In other countries, several nuclear power reactors have been built to operate on profit. France currently obtains 80% of its electricity needs through nuclear power. The produced electricity is the cheapest in Europe. Now that we have designs of very safe reactors available to us, scale-economics come to play in the construction process. Nuclear plants of today are already cost-competitive with coal plants.

Clean energy is expensive in the first stage of construction - whether it be nuclear or solar power. But we cannot afford to build coal plants for the reason of meagre short term profits. The long-term costs far outweigh any such benifits.

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