Monday, May 12, 2008

Costs may slow nuclear upswing

As crude oil prices leapt last week to over $120 a barrel, and one analyst suggested the price might soon reach $200, America would seem poised for a nuclear power resurgence.

But enthusiasm for a nuclear future was muted at an industry conference last week in Chicago, as executives acknowledged that financial, regulatory and waste-storage hurdles have raised uncertainties about costs. Other factors increasing the expense of construction include high demand for nuclear plants among emerging countries, limited supplies of reactor parts and increased prices for iron, steel and concrete.

As a result, the estimated price of a nuclear reactor has more than doubled to upwards of $9 billion in less than a year, according to industry estimates.

Houston Chronicle

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