March 18, 2011
Safety Not Nuclear Power's Only Hurdle
As the nuclear reactor in Japan continues to be unstable and unsafe, new nuclear power's future in the United States is becoming even more complicated. Financing was always a concern, even with significant government support, and finding money will be an even bigger concern now, as the National Journal reports:
“There’s nobody on Wall Street who’s going to offer money,” said John Deutch, an expert on energy technologies and financing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Building a nuclear power plant is an expensive endeavor. It costs $5 billion to $20 billion and can take a decade to complete, compared with the $1 billion to $3 billion and one to three years it takes to build coal or natural-gas power plants.
That’s just one reason there hasn’t been a nuclear reactor built in the U.S. since the 1979 meltdown at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island.
Wall Street always has a major impact on huge financing projects, and it appears that Wall Street has an even more greater skepticism of new nuclear projects after the recent events in Japan. On this one, at least, it seems Wall Street and Main Street are finally on the same page.
On a separate (and more pressing) note, the Nation (here) provides ways to help following Japan's most powerful recorded earthquake. Please help if you can.