The ridiculously high cost of nuclear power

Shocked by projected construction costs, a Canadian province puts nuclear plans on hold


Andrew Leonard
July 16, 2009 12:53AM (UTC)

Too cheap to meter? Uh, no.

Tyler Hamilton, energy reporter for the Toronto Star, reported yesterday that the Ontario government has shelved its nuclear power plans because the bid it received from Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to build two new reactors came in three times higher than expected.

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The bid to build two reactors by AECL was $23.3 billion dollars, a pretty penny no matter how you slice it. More importantly, the construction costs work out to about $9,865 per kilowatt of electricity generating capacity.

For comparison purposes, a Lazard study from 2008 looking at the costs of different energy generation technologies has concentrated solar thermal topping out at $6,300 per kilowatt.

Nuclear may be climate-change friendly, but it is not cheap.


Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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