The critics argue that the same money spent elsewhere -- on wind power, or on retrofitting buildings -- could create bigger cuts in carbon dioxide output. Joseph J. Romm, an official in the Energy Department during the Clinton administration, pointed to a recent estimate by Florida Power & Light that a new reactor could cost a steep $8,000 for each kilowatt of capacity -- enough power to run a window air-conditioner. That is at least double what a coal-burning power plant would cost, and Mr. Romm said that it was only the preconstruction estimate of an industry famous for cost overruns. He said the plants would be hard to finance. "I just read that McDonald's was having trouble getting money, and there's not a lot of risk in building a new McDonald's," he said. "Obviously, the risks with a nuclear plant are enormous."He predicted a return to the problem of the 1970s -- high prices for electricity driving electric demand down so much that plants under construction were no longer needed. Some people say they believe more political opposition will emerge once some of the proposed plants move closer to construction.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
From the NYT via Gristmill regarding the "imminent" spending on nuclear power: