Probably a lot less than you think
Another note on nuclear: it is an old, proven technology. There is no mystery to producing cheap, safe, efficient power with it. It is a threat to solar, wind and fossil. The costs and delays to nuclear result from regulations based on phantom threats and fears of competition to other interests. Countries that develop cheap nuclear energy will be winners in future decades; countries that went with solar and wind will be compared with others who today burn dung to heat their homes and cook their vegetables. For the US, this is a Sputnik moment.
Hey y'all! I don't care if you like Lazard analysis or not. Just be friendly here. Thank you!
In addition to the licensing process, the project management of such enterprises needs to be reconsidered. Doing the things the NASA way has proven to be very slow and expensive. Using multiple contractors and trying to manage and integrate them is the equivalent to herding cats. Doing it the Musk way (say what you will about Musk), everything is run by one unit which is aware of the intricacies of all the parts. This leads to a great reduction in unintended conflicts of interest and incompatibilities between the different work units. Demming has a few well time-tested thoughts on this.
I leave an innocent comment regarding Lazard's LCOE report and all I get back in response is hate (e.g. Jeff Walther). This substack is as bad as it gets in other online forums.
According to Bernard Cohen, http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html The USA was able to build many nuclear reactors for under $1B in adjusted 2005 dollars and in less than 4 years, back in the 60s and early 70s.
We did it in the past. There is no physical reason we cannot do it now.
Why, the Ruling Parasites don't want nuclear, that goes back to the 1970's. Listen to Nuclear Engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin explain it to you, listen and learn:
Nuclear Energy, Space and Humanity's Future | Robert Zubrin | The Human Progress Podcast Ep. 30:
How to liberate nuclear energy, with Robert Zubrin, Alex Epstein:
The Case For Nukes: How We Can Beat Global Warming and Create a Free, Open, and Magnificent Future, by Robert Zubrin
Lazard is an excellent source of LCOE analysis that I used for over a decade while teaching my CU Sustainable Operations course. You can download a PDF of the April 2023 report here:
The report provides a wealth of cost data, much of it in $/MWh which a key metric when comparing generating technologies. One point of interest is that the LCOE from existing U.S. nuclear reactors is around $30/MWh (page 7) whereas the LCOE from new reactors is around $140/MWh (page 12).
I predict that if 5 reactors are built in short order we will notice a remarkable decline in references to the Levelized Cost of Electricity from the folks enamored with the metric right now.
I couldn’t be more excited to see how it goes with Ontario’s plan to build four BWRX-300s.
I want to see more countries announce they are re-opening or building more coal fired power plants because they can't get nuclear built, sorry so sad about the climate, and to have this happen before Jane Fonda passes away, she's 85 now.
So she can see what she has helped to do.
My take on "climate justice".
A recent podcast “Decouple” hosted by Dr. Keefer talks about the challenges of getting new nuclear projects going, including those faced by the recently NuScale cancelled project. A bit long-winded but an excellent source of little known and under-appreciated aspects of the industry.
The cost graphs show the influence of Linear No Threshold (LNT) lunacy whereby regulations are enacted such that a single spec of radiation release is too much.
this was done on purpose and is most successful where litigation is entrenched, so you see USA costs are the highest.
Are they safer than South Korean built reactors? Not in any measurable way.
As with everything else, until we push the climate/insane out of the room we won't make progress.
It doesn't matter that COP28 pledges to triple nuclear, the climate/insane are already screaming hard trying to block it, we know they will try to prevent it.
Installed capacity comparison with solar, watch out for two factors:
Capacity factor (yearly average use rate of the nominal capacity): 85-90% for nuclear, 10-20% for solar (up to 25% in inhabitable ideal places).
Life span: 60 to 80 years for nuclear, 25-30 years for solar (and diminishing efficiency of 0.5% per year).
Thus, assuming the investment cost of nuclear at 3600 USD/kW and of solar at 900 USD/kW, the total investment to be made to obtain the same service (i.e. delivering X MWh/year over 80 years) can be 3 to 6 times lower for nuclear than for solar.
One reason nuclear energy is so expensive in the US is unrealistic regulations. Don't see Congress or anyone else bringing common sense to the table. We had our chance sixty years ago when nuclear energy provided economical electricity but we allowed the nut-jobs to destroy our future with their campaign against the atom.
Just watched "The Power Hungry" podcast with Grace Stanke and Robert Bryce. Wow, what a young dynamo she is, a nuclear engineer and Miss America too! Highly recommended if you want to better grasp where we are in the pursuit of clean and sensible energy. She is an excellent communicator, and points out that better communication is crucial.
Worth noting the earlier rapid growth, after energy crisis, natural gas was not allowed for electric power generation - 1978 power plant and industrial fuel act - and many places were not able to build coal, being restricted by new clean air act.