Thanks to Dr. Rosalie Bertell for these articles......

Will the Nuclear Power "Renaissance" Ever Reach Critical Mass?

Scientific American, May 21, 2009

The price of new nuclear power has "escalated dramatically," jumping by 15 percent a year to reach as much as $4,000 per kilowatt compared with $2,300 for coal-fired generation and just $850 for natural gas, according to a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology review of the state of nuclear power. And the industry is asking for at least $100 billion in federal tax subsidies and loan guarantees for the 26 reactors currently planned. Those figures mean that "even if all the announced plans for new nuclear power plant construction are realized, the total will be well behind that needed for reaching a thousand gigawatts of new capacity worldwide by 2050." The situation is no better in Europe, according to Steven Thomas, a professor of energy studies at the University of Greenwich in London: Finland cannot complete its new reactor; the U.K. has yet to get started on any projects; and a new nuclear reactor in France, after 18 months of construction, is 20 percent over-budget and requires complete subsidy by the French government. The study can be found at:


In Finland, Nuclear Renaissance Runs Into Trouble:

New York Times, by James Kanter, May 28, 2009

While the American nuclear industry has predicted clear sailing after its first plants are built, the problems in Europe suggest these obstacles may be hard to avoid. Early experience suggests these new reactors will be no easier or cheaper to build than the ones of a generation ago, when cost overruns - and then accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl - ended the last nuclear construction boom. Of the 45 reactors being built around the world, 22 have encountered construction delays. Even France has not completed a new reactor since 1999. The massive power plant under construction on muddy terrain on Olkiluoto Island in Finland by Areva, a conglomerate largely owned by the French state, was supposed to be the showpiece of a nuclear renaissance. Things have not gone as planned. The project was initially budgeted at $4 billion and Teollisuuden Voima, the Finnish utility, pledged it would be ready in time to help the Finnish government meet its greenhouse gas targets under the Kyoto climate treaty, which runs through 2012. Areva has acknowledged that the cost of a new reactor today would be as much as 6 billion Euros, or $8 billion, double the price offered to the Finns.

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