Supporters of nuclear need a reality check: it’s staggeringly expensive

The NSW Parliament’s State Development Committee released its report into nuclear power last week. Conservative committee members recommended repeal of state laws banning uranium mining and nuclear power, while Labor members want to retain the legal bans. What the conservatives and other supports of nuclear power ignore is that it has priced itself out of the energy debate. Its costs are staggering and the worldwide pattern for the industry is one of stagnation and decline. In the US, the cost of the only two reactors under construction has skyrocketed to between $20.4 billion and $22.6 billion for one reactor. In 2006, Westinghouse said it could build a reactor for 10 times less than that amount.