Capitalization Costs of Nuclear Power- Considerations

  • In comparison with coal and natural gas-fired power plants, nuclear energy has higher capitalization costs. The extensive and longer construction process, along with uranium mining, and  50% higher per-kilowatt generation costs, are definite drawbacks of nuclear power plants. (p.654)
  • Another drawback is that the government currently has not properly addressed is the ability to store leakage from the nuclear power plants. This is also costly. (p.655)
  • At the current state of inexpensive fossil fuels, nuclear power cannot compete due to the lack of government subsidies, long-term storage solutions for depleted uranium, and safety risks. (p.655)
  • There is more that the government could be doing, but currently there are not enough incentives due to cheap fossil fuels and residual fear of nuclear energy because of accidents at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. (p.655)
  • The real question is how can the promise of nuclear energy be compared against the risks of intensified climate change? (p.655)


Vanderheiden, Steve. “Confronting Risks: Regulatory Responsibility and Nuclear Energy.” Environmental Politics 20.5 (2011): 650-67. Print.

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