NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


April 18, 2008

Other than hydroelectric energy, nuclear is the only technology besides fossil fuels available as a large-scale continuous power source, and one you can rely on to be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, says Patrick Moore, one of the cofounders of Greenpeace and now a critic of the environmental movement.

The idea that nuclear power is not cost competitive is simply not true, says Moore:

  • France, which produces 80 percent of its electricity with nuclear, does not have high energy costs.
  • Sweden, which produces 50 percent of its energy with nuclear and 50 percent with hydro, has very reasonable energy costs.
  • The cost of production of electricity among the 104 nuclear plants operating in the United States is 1.68 cents per kilowatt-hour; the cost of production of electricity from nuclear is very low and competitive with coal.
  • Gas costs three times as much as nuclear, at least.
  • Wind costs five times as much and solar costs 10 times as much.

Moore also advocates establishing a recycling industry for nuclear fuel, which would reduce the amount of waste to less than 10 percent of what it would be without recycling:

  • Half of the nuclear energy being produced in the United States is now coming from dismantled Russian nuclear warheads
  • The environmental movement is going on about how terrible it will be if someone does something destructive with these materials.
  • Actually the opposite is occurring; all over the world, people are using former nuclear-weapons material for peaceful purposes.

Source: Fareed Zakaria, "A Renegade Against Greenpeace," Newsweek, April 12, 2008.

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