Cost of New Nuclear Generation

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Even using these labor saving construction methods, however, the cost of these new designs is expected be about $6 billion per reactor. At one time, it was thought that the cost of new nuclear power plants would be around $1,200 per kWe for an overall cost of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. Unfortunately commodity price increases have forced these estimates up considerably to close to $5,000-$6,000 per kWe or $6 billion for a 1,000 MWe unit [24]. If the cost of project management, financing, and detailed design is included, some have suggested that the total cost of a new nuclear power plant would be upwards of $12 billion [25]. Such large costs have led to considerable concern over the ability of a utility to obtain the financing needed for such an expensive project, one which in many cases is equal to 50% of the equity of the company. One possible way to reduce the risk and decrease the financing costs is through government loan guarantees.

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