Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stunning Fact: Up To 25% Of America's Nuclear Plants Are Losing Money!

America has 104 nuclear units and up to 25% of them have operating costs above competitive wholesale market prices (See the prior post for link). The New York Times reported on Tuesday that a quarter of the nation's nuclear units have operating costs of about 5.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, when annual capital costs are included.  And many wholesale markets have been averaging a market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour or less.

Operating costs of 5.1 cents per kilowatt-hour and market prices of 5 cents equals a nuclear plant losing money by running!  For those nuclear plants not in the comfortable nest of a non-competitive, monopoly utility rate base, the high costs of operating and low market prices may mean closure.

And before someone says that President Obama has a war on nukes, let's remember what is putting at risk the continued operation of up to 25% of the nuclear fleet is their high operating costs and low market prices for electricity caused by the shale gas boom, booming renewable energy supply, and slack electricity demand.

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