"If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu
France has 59 nuclear power plants which provide 425 TWh of electricity. Total consumption for the entire country was 451 TWh.
Because the US uses more electricity per capita than France, our total usage is 3,816 TWh. Thus, to power the entire country's electrical needs, we would need 545 plants.
Then, you have to consider the fact that the French plants are generally old and underpowered. The majority of them are 900 MWe plants, while the current generation of plants are 1650 MWe. Once you adjust for that, we would only need 297 of the new plants to cover our entire country's needs. Given that we already have 104, I don't think that this is so difficult to imagine implementing.
In terms of cost, you actually underestimated the expense associated with these plants. Estimates for each new plant in the US are $6-10 billion. If we take the middle figure of $8b and apply that to all 300 plants, that's $2.4T in total cost.
Now, the total cost of electricity in the US per year is $372b (9.78 cents/KWh * 3,816 TWh). That means that we would recoup the entire cost of all 300 nuclear plants in approximately 6.45 years.
That seems like a good investment to me.
(I know that I've ignored the costs of actually running the plants, but it appears to be relatively trivial compared to the costs of building/insuring the plants. If you like, tack on another $1b per plant and add a year or so to the total time.)
Last edited by RightinNYC; 08-18-09 at 10:36 PM.
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
My point was that if our country can justify spending $787 billion on "stimulating" the economy then there's no reason why we couldn't justify spending $300 billion more on a nuclear infrastructure.
*Disclaimer: I didnít imply that Obamaís spending plan was evil.
Nuke plants MAKE money...whatever the upfront cost, they make money....so the public pays for them by turning on their electric devices in their homes.
Oracle of Utah
Truth rings hollow in empty heads.
I will, provided you admit your parameters are absurdly unrealistic and have no basis for anything resembling energy policy.Can you please abide by the parameters of the thread and just choose one? I fully understand that no one source of energy is viable on its own. I'm simply wanting to know which specific one is currently the most viable investment.
In your hypothetical situation, nuclear is the most viable option. Fossil fuels have the obvious problems we see today, and wind/solar/hydro-electric/geothermal is too circumstantial to power the entire nation by itself. A large scale energy storage system would make solar or wind capable of powering the entire nation, but such a system has yet to be developed. All things considered, nuclear is the most practical as a single solution with current technology.What? I don't know what you're talking about. This is just a hypothetical. Just ASSUME something is true and make a decision. Why is that so hard?
As long as you understand that this argument only applies in hypothetical ethereal-land and not reality, than i have no problem with it.
Anyway, thank you for your thoughtful and reasoned response. I'm glad that you agree that nuclear energy is the best stuff ever!