Before we all jump on the nuclear bandwagon, though, we should drill down on the cost issue. According to “Can Nuclear Power Compete?” in Scientific American Earth 3.0, here are conservative federal government agency estimates on how the four major electricity producing options compare financially:
Nuclear – capital cost of $2,475/kilowatt, $0.033/kilowatt-hour
Coal – capital cost of $1,534/kilowatt, $0.03/kilowatt-hour
Natural gas – capital cost of $717/kilowatt, $0.047/kilowatt-hour
Wind – capital cost $1,434/kilowatt, $0.034/kilowatt-hour
Some estimate that these numbers on nuclear are low. In fact, utilities in Florida have submitted cost estimates to regulators of $8,000/kilowatt.