Quote by pm35 ... A couple of new plants will be built in the US using massive government subsidies form the 2005 energy act...
What exactly are these subsidies? What did they cost the government?

 Quote by pm35 With nuclear there is always a low probability of a major disaster of which we have now had 2 in the last 30 years. Imagine a worse disaster than the tsunami: How about a massive solar event knocking out off-site power to hundreds of reactors - all cooking off and relying on those diesel generators which may or may not be available. Very low probability, but very high consequences. .....but the fatal blow to nuclear is really the price tag of new plants - which increases every time a new flaw is exposed. A couple of new plants will be built in the US using massive government subsidies form the 2005 energy act, after that it's dead in the US.
I just would like to point out that the earthquake near Japan was the biggest it has had in recorded history. wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_earthquakes_in_Japan (I can't link until after 10 posts...) Mining coal, oil, etc kills more under normal working circumstances.

The problem I find with this debate is that there don't seem to be number that can accurately sum all the costs of each individual energy industry so that we can compare them. In the case of Oil and Coal there are health costs, environmental costs (oil sands, CO2 emissions, etc), but everyones ignores that the fossil fuels get massive subsidies: (sorry, I have to type it, W W W dot bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-09/fossil-fuels-got-more-aid-than-clean-energy-iea.html) So I find it extremely disingenuous to say nuclear power can only compete because of subsidies.

If all costs WERE taken into account it might make renewable slightly more competitive (if you balance across all subsidies), but I don't think they're quite there yet. Personally, I'd like to see a little more work in tidal energy.

Also, I read a few pages back someone citing research and development as an additional cost to nuclear power. This makes no sense to me, especially here. Isn't that what we're here for? And isn't all knowledge worth having? R&D is NEVER a waste.

I'm new here, so I may have restated old things, but...well, hello :-D
 Recognitions: Gold Member Nevertheless, along with the value created by R&D there is also waste and malfeasance and cronyism *in* R&D as in everything else. Since R&D has a cost those that pay for it have every right to trade those costs off against other priorities as they see fit.

 Quote by Spinalcold The problem I find with this debate is that there don't seem to be number that can accurately sum all the costs of each individual energy industry so that we can compare them.
The price per kilowatt-hour is known. Nuclear is just a bit more expensive than wind, while combined cycle gas is the cheapest and solar is hugely expensive (3x the others), probably reflecting a tech still in its infancy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of...ergy_estimates

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 Quote by zapperzero The price per kilowatt-hour is known....
... or estimated in some cases. There's one and only one data point appearing for *new* US advanced nuclear as EIA describes it - the AP1000 reactors at Vogtle, coming online for ~$14 billion per 2.2 GW, and that price is not yet final.  Quote by mheslep ... or estimated in some cases. There's one and only one data point appearing for *new* US advanced nuclear as EIA describes it - the AP1000 reactors at Vogtle, coming online for ~$14 billion per 2.2 GW, and that price is not yet final.
I was being charitable.
 Admin Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities: Phase I http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13388

 Quote by zapperzero The price per kilowatt-hour is known. Nuclear is just a bit more expensive than wind, while combined cycle gas is the cheapest and solar is hugely expensive (3x the others), probably reflecting a tech still in its infancy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of...ergy_estimates
You will notice they use a capacity factor of 34 for wind. Actual capacity factors are much lower - more on the order of 25.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor

That correction puts wind at 132.0, not 97.0; right up where we expect it, in the most expensive ways to generate electricity.

 Quote by wizwom Actual capacity factors are much lower - more on the order of 25. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor.
The source you cite does not really support your assertion. Perhaps you can find another one.

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 Quote by zapperzero I was being charitable.
Regarding "Nuclear is just a bit more expensive than wind"? My point was that nuclear might be considerably more expensive than wind for the moment.

 Quote by mheslep Regarding "Nuclear is just a bit more expensive than wind"? My point was that nuclear might be considerably more expensive than wind for the moment.
Yes, this is my impression as well. I do not see a rush of investors into nuclear. Perhaps it is perceived as high-risk, post-Fukushima? What usually happens with high-risk ventures is the cost of financing increases.

I am baffled by the evolution of the price of uranium, though, long-term (or what constitutes long term for markets, in any case - the past 15 years). Seems there was a bubble in '05-'07, then a slow meltdown (pun intended).
 Wind is much smaller scale; you can reasonable do one 10 KW rated wind turbine and expect they same payback and profitability as a farm of 100 MW. Nuclear, because you need licensing and staffing, is decidedly NOT entirely scalable. Since these costs are fairly constant, there is no reason to go small. But total lifecycle cost for nuclear is around 6 cents a KWh; for wind it is more like 17.

 Quote by wizwom But total lifecycle cost for nuclear is around 6 cents a KWh; for wind it is more like 17.
Maybe you can source this statement?

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 Quote by wizwom Wind is much smaller scale; you can reasonable do one 10 KW rated wind turbine and expect they same payback and profitability as a farm of 100 MW. Nuclear, because you need licensing and staffing, is decidedly NOT entirely scalable. Since these costs are fairly constant, there is no reason to go small. But total lifecycle cost for nuclear is around 6 cents a KWh; for wind it is more like 17.
That is not realistic, the small wind turbine will certainly cost more per kWh produced, just like a 200 MW farm will produce more cheaply than a 100 MW farm. Last time I looked, 1 million Euro would buy about 1 MW capacity (looking for a current commercial wind turbine in the ~2 MW size) Typically such a machine would be designed/sited to maximize energy yield per Euro invested at a capacity factor of about 0.25-0.40, so that over an expected life time of 20 years it would produce 45-70 million kWh per installed MW. Even assuming the project price would mount to as much as double the price of the wind turbine, that would still be only about 3-4 cents a kWh. To be sure there are different estimates out there, but I don't know how you get it to be 17 cents a kWh, it doesn't look like anything I've seen elsewhere.
 A quick survey shows a 100kW turbine at $35,000 & a 10kW at$7,000; s expected, prices are all over. The IEA report from 2011 http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/53510.pdf puts the total cost at $1500-$2000 per installed rated kW Capacity factors are in the 25-30% range; the 40% was never seen anywhere, even 35% was anomalous. This means that the cost per usable kW is now $5000-$7400. That report shows the cost dropped to near 5 cents in 2007, but then has risen to 7c. Sorry for the old data.

 Quote by russ_watters snip There may be a thread around here somewhere about it, but a few years ago, I did some calculations about solar and concluded that with good solar panels, we'd nee to cover an area of about 300 miles square - similar to your father's calculation of the entire state of Arizona. snip
Sorry that my first post will be "off track" where this thread is currently but I simply had to register to point out this unbelievably huge mistake.

FYI- the state of Arizona covers 114,006 square miles. Much, much larger than the 300 square miles needed to power the entire US by your own calculations. Phoenix AZ covers roughly 500 square miles, so in exchange for giving up less land than a single large metro area we could power the US with a truly clean energy.

-hh

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 Quote by wizwom A quick survey shows a 100kW turbine at $35,000 & a 10kW at$7,000; s expected, prices are all over.
What survey? Yours? This IEA report:
 The IEA report from 2011 http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/53510.pdf puts the total cost at $1500-$2000 per installed rated kW
is for the *installed*, up and running cost for utility scale (>1MW) turbines. What source reports an installed cost for a 100kW turbine?