Nuclear power plants have the lowest variable costs among the three fuel types, at $11.8 per MWh (for plants coming online in 2019). Up to this point, we have considered only the direct monetary cost of building and operating nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants are generally underinsured. Fuel costs dominate the total cost of operation for fossil-fired power plants. For these types of power plants, labor and maintenance costs dominate total operating costs. However even then, nuclear power plants have lower fuel costs than other types of plants: in the US in 2014, fuel costs for nuclear power plants were $.0077/kWh and only 21% of the variable cost of production, compared to $.0294/kWh for fossil steam plants (75% of variable costs) and $.0371/kWh for gas turbine (87%). Operation of a nu-clear plant requires 400 to 700 direct permanent jobs. This is the most economical and technically simple mode of operation. A recent analysis found that nuclear plants create some of the largest economic benefits compared to other electric generating technologies due to their size and the number of workers needed to operate the plants. In the last several years we have seen what appears to be revived global interest in continuing operation of existing nuclear power plants and constructing a new generation of plants. Once in operation, the high capital costs of nuclear construction are offset by low and stable variable costs, but the need … For renewables, fuel is generally free (perhaps with the exception of biomass power plants in some scenarios); and the fuel costs for nuclear power plants are actually very low. All nuclear plants produce radioactive waste. In Switzerland, the department of civil guard estimated the material cost of a catastrophic failure in one of the Swiss nuclear energy plants to be in the order of 2’600 billion Euro (about 3’400 billion USD). Construction costsper kW for nuclear plants have fallen considerably due to standardized design, Typically a nuclear power plant will take over five years to construct whereas natural gas-fired plants are frequently built in about two years. Roughly one percent of electrical utility bills in provinces using nuclear power are diverted to fund nuclear waste disposal in Canada. The benefits of nuclear power. However, nuclear energy offers several less-quantitative benefits that could be considered in a broader economic analysis. To pay for the cost of storing, transporting and disposing these wastes in a permanent location, in the United States a surcharge of a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour is added to electricity bills. Overall, the economic challenge of nuclear power generation is to ensure that the large upfront capital costs can be recovered by the highly profitable operations after the plant comes online. The increased economic competitiveness of 21st century nuclear power arises from cost reductions in construction, financing, and plant operations, and a still further reduction in already low costs for waste management and decommissioning. 3 Foreword Nuclear power plants are used extensively as base load sources of electricity. These jobs pay 36 per-

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