If you believe in Human-caused global warming..then nuclear is the only answer....
And, here's a good case study of why more and more power utilities will be looking to nuclear for our future energy requirements...
A year ago, the leaders of Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group and PPL Corp., its utility neighbor in Pennsylvania, represented the energy industry's sharp division over whether the revival of nuclear power was at hand.I'm not saying we should go nuclear....but, if people insist that CO2 emissions be reduced, then there is no other energy alternative. None.
Mayo A. Shattuck III, Constellation's chief executive, said the economics were right for a nuclear comeback after 30 years of dormancy.
PPL Chairman William F. Hecht countered that nuclear power was too expensive and risky, and that shareholders' money would be better spent adding pollution controls to his company's coal-fired power plants.
Today, Hecht is retired, the cost of cleaning up coal is soaring and PPL is among the utilities talking with Constellation's UniStar Nuclear subsidiary about the potential purchase of a new reactor identical to one that Shattuck wants to build in Maryland.
PPL's transformation from nuclear skeptic to potential customer shows how rising fuel costs, global warming and government incentives are transforming the economics of nuclear power.
A wave of studies and analyses suggests that as the energy industry looks to meet a projected need for 250 to 500 new power plants by 2030, nuclear generation might well be cost-competitive with traditional types of plants even though new reactors could cost as much as $4 billion apiece.
Constellation boasts that it can cut plant construction costs and prevent the overruns that crippled the industry in the 1970s by spreading regulatory and design expenses over a fleet of identical reactors built with assembly line efficiency. Government-backed loans and other financial incentives will help drive down borrowing costs. And expected climate-change legislation will soon make the power look as cheap as or cheaper than greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels, some energy analysts contend.
"If we get the kinds of carbon changes some are talking about, it will make coal less attractive and nuclear will look a lot better," said Paul L. Joskow, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who did one of those studies.