The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has placed 14 nuclear reactors on its watch list(emthe highest number in about 10 years(emdue to safety problems. The plant were placed on the watch list by...
Nuke Economics Improving
A recent Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) report, Sharpening the Competitive Edge, finds that, by focusing on improved economic performance and undertaking a range of individual and industry initiatives, utilities reduced nuclear plant operating and maintenance (O&M) expenses by 8 percent between 1994 and 1995. Electric utilities that operate nuclear plants have launched a number of initiatives to reduce O&M costs even further, without compromising safety or reliability.The report found average nuclear power production costs (2.15 cents per kilowatt-hour (›/Kwh) only marginally higher than coal (1.97›/Kwh), but less than natural gas (3.4›/Kwh), oil (3.41›/Kwh), and renewable energy sources excluding wind power (2.87›/Kwh). [Production costs include O&M expenses and the cost of fuel.]
Annual expenditures on capital requirements at operating nuclear plants have also dropped dramatically, the report notes, from $60 to $70 per kilowatt in the mid-1980s to $20 to $30 per kilowatt in the early 1990s.
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