(*1) MIT, 2003: "The Future of Nuclear Power", uses merchant financing for nuclear reactors and utility financing for coal and natural gas. Joel Klein, 2007: "Comparative Costs of California Central Station Electricity Generation Technologies Cost of Generation Model", ISO Stakeholders Meeting Interim Capacity Procurement Mechanisms, October 15, models merchant, investor owned utility, and publicly owned utility financing for all technologies.
(*2) Joskow, Paul: "Prospects for Nuclear Power a U.S. Perspective", May 19 2006
(*3) The MIT update appears to forget that the operating costs assumptions were optimistic, far lower than the estimates of other studies and then it lowers it operating cost estimate even further. In essence, it has double counted the optimism. The original study said, we expect/hope that O& M costs will decline so we will use a low number. The later study says, see, operating costs at existing plants have gone down, so we will lower the number some more.
(*4) MIT, 2003. All of the scenarios involved cost reductions. No cost increases were considered.
(*5) Harding, Jim, "Economics of Nuclear Reactors and Alternatives", February 2009.
(*6) Harding, 2009, p. 5, “utility data suggests 8% real might be more realistic.”
(*7) Du Yangbo and John E. Parsons, 2009: "Update on the Cost of Nuclear Power", Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, May 2009. p.17
(*8) The study is much more optimistic about the construction cost of nuclear reactors than about the construction cost of coal plants. In the case of nuclear, it assumed an escalation rate that was far below the escalation in the most frequently cited cost index. On the other hand, it assumed an escalation for coal slightly above the escalation for non-nuclear plant construction costs in that index. The potential distortion that results is striking. Differential Assumptions about Capital Costs:
Base 2003 Updated Cost at Full Index
Assumption Assumption Escalation
Nuclear: 2000 4000 5520
Coal: 1300 2300 2080
(*9) TVA later demurred from building this reactor, Brewer, David, “Bellefonte not Picked for Nuclear Pilot Project,” Huntsville Times, May 1, 2009.
(*10) This is slightly above the rate of increase observed by MIT 2009 for the same period.
(*11) Scoggs, Steven, 2009, “Direct Testimony,” In Re: Florida Power & Light Company’s Petition to Determine Need for Turkey Point Nuclear Units 6 and 7 Electrical Power Plan, Florida Public Service Commission, October 16, 2007. Exhibit SD-8.
(*12) Scoggs, 2007, p. 47.
(*13) The HIS/CERA Power Plant Capital Cost index shows a decline of 5 percent in the most recent quarter.
(*14) Electric Utility Week, May 25, 2009, reporting costs for the V.C. Summer nuclear reactors as high as $12.5 billion compared to the cost laid before the South Carolina PUC of $9.8 billion, with assurances that declines in commodity prices will return the reactor to its original estimate; Thomas Content, “Nuclear Plant Foes Prepare for Fight; Groups Rail at Lobbying to Change Moratorium,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 23, 2009, reporting prices having risen as high as high as $71,000 per KW then falling back to $4,138.
(*15) Keystone Center, 2007, "Nuclear Power Joint Fact-Finding", June 2007; Harding, 2007.
(*16) Bupp, Irvin C. and Jean-Claude Derian, "Light Water: How the Nuclear Dream Dissolved", New York: Basic Books, 1978: Komanoff, Charles, "Power Plant Escalation: Nuclear and Coal Capital Costs, Regulation, and Economics", Van Nostrand, 1981.
(*17) Attributed to Levi Straus in 1954. See Ford, Daniel, "Cult of the Atom", New York, Simon and Schuster, 1982. See also Makhijani, Arjun, "Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free", IEER Press, 2007, Appendix A; Smith, Brice, "Insurmountable Risk", IEER, Press, 2006, Chapter 1.
(*18) Koomey, Jonathan, and Nathan E. Hultman, 2007, “A Reactor Level Analysis of Busbar Costs for US Nuclear Plants, 1970-2005,” Energy Journal, 2007.
(*19) In 1990, nuclear reactors accounted for approximately 20 percent of all generation. If all the cancelled plants had been completed, the amount of capacity that nuclear reactors would have represented would have been 2.5 times as great.
(*20) Komanoff, 1981, Chapter 6.
(*21) See Kopolow, Doug, "Nuclear Power in the U.S.: Still Not Viable Without Subsidy, Nuclear Power and Global Warming Symposium", November 7-8, 2005, for nuclear; Kopolow 2006, “Subsidies in the U.S. Energy Sector: Magnitude, Causes and Options for the Future, Subsidies and Sustainable Development: Political Economy Aspect" (OECD, 2007) for a comparison across energy sectors; and Kopolow 2009 “Subsidies to Nuclear Power in the United States: The Case of Calvert Cliffs Unit III, Costing Nuclear Power’s Future”, February 11, 2009, for the discussion of a specific reactor. See Schlissel, David, Michal Mullett and Robert Alvarez, “Nuclear Loan Guarantees: Another Taxpayer Bailout Ahead”, Union of Concerned Scientists, March 2009, for a discussion of pending loan guarantees.
(*22) Tomain, Joseph, P. 1988, Nuclear Power Transformation, Bloomington: Indiana University, 1988.. Federal Reserve Board of New York, 1984, “Nuclear Power Plant Construction: Paying the Bill,” Quarterly Review, Summer 1984.
(*23) Tomain, 1988.
(*24) United States Department of Energy, “Nuclear Power Competitive with Coal and Natural Gas,” September 20, 2004.
(*25) Bupp, Irvin C. and Jean-Claude Derian, "Light Water: How the Nuclear Dream Dissolved", New York: Basic Books, 1978, pp. 188-189.
(*26) Bupp and Derian, 1978, pp. 78-79 see this as an important indication that learning was not taking place.
(*27) Bupp and Derian, 1978, pp.71… 72…74…75…76…78…79.
(*28) For example contrast Severance, Craig A. "Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power", January 2, 2009. and Moody’s, "New Nuclear Generating Capacity: Potential Credit Implications for U.S. Investor Owned Utilities", May 2008., v. MIT, "The Future of Nuclear Power", 2003. and University of Chicago, "The Economic Future of Nuclear Power: A Study Conducted at the University of Chicago", August 2004.
(*29) Interestingly, during the 1970s, large, complex software programs suffered similar problems. As programs grew larger and more complex, they began to bog down. Throwing more programmers at the problem did not solve the problem and the dilemma came to be known as the “Mythical Man Month.” The solution was to modularize, standardize, and offer smaller programs. The nuclear industry has attempted some of these fixes, but the nature of the projects simply does not allow similar changes.
(*30) Harding, Jim, “Economics of Nuclear Power and Proliferation Risks in a Carbon-Constrained World,” Public Utilities Fortnightly, December 2007, p. 72
(*31) Areva’s difficulties are not limited to this plant, Schneider, Mycle, "Nuclear France Abroad: History, Status and Prospects of French Nuclear Activities in Foreign Countries", May 2009.
(*32) International Herald Tribune, “France: Areva Profit Falls Due to New Reactor,” February 25, 2009.
(*33) Kanter, James, “Not So Fast, Nukes: Cost Overruns Plague A New Breed of Reactor,” New York Times, May 29, 2009.
(*34) Bupp and Derian, 1978, pp.71…72…74…75…76…78…79.
(*35) Cook, James, “Nuclear Follies,” Forbes, February 11, 1985.