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.