Factors Favoring Increased Use of Nuclear Power

Given these concerns, what is driving the recent renewed interest in the construction and operation of new nuclear reactors? The current generation of reactors has demonstrated a very high capacity factor, upwards of 94% [15] and low generating costs compared to nearly all other forms of electricity generation. Typical generating costs for a nuclear station are about $0.018-$0.02 per kWh, the lowest of any source [16]. Further, since fuel costs are relatively stable and low compared to fossil fuels, there is some certainty that the cost of generation will increase much more slowly for nuclear fuel than for gas or coal fired power plants.

The most significant factor favoring nuclear over other forms of electricity generation including renewable is the ability to generate 1,000's of megawatts of power with minimal greenhouse gas emissions. The following section compares the emissions from nuclear with those of other energy sources.

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