Opinion: The energy transition; the nuclear option, says Hermon man
To the Editor:
In 1954 Atomic Energy Commission Chair Lewis Straus coined the term “energy too cheap to meter.” He envisioned a day, thanks to nuclear power, where electricity would flow, at little or no cost, from every receptacle. The promise of this new technology seemed unlimited. For the next 20 years nuclear power plants were built across the US to supply the nation’s growing energy appetite. By the mid 70s the nuclear boom was over. When costs ballooned well beyond projections, financing dried up and construction stopped.Over the years various attempts have been made to revive the nuclear industry. In early 2024 two new nuclear reactors at the Georgia Vogtle Nuclear Power Station are scheduled to finally be completed. It has taken over 15 years and $34 billion for 2.4 GW of production capacity.
The largest solar installation in the world is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is 2 GW. It cost about S1 billion. It took less than a year to complete. The Gemini Solar project on the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada includes 690 MW of solar, and 380MW of storage and is expected to cost $1.3 billion and take about 1 year to construct. Over 30 UAE or 7 Nevada solar projects can be built for the cost of the Georgia Nuclear plant in a fraction of the time.
A new generation of nuclear promises again to solve the cost issue. However, in a repeat of nuclear history, NuScale Power’s .46GW Idaho next generation nuclear facility costs have soared to $9 billion. The plant was understandably canceled.
Earth based nuclear power is expensive. Always has been. There is no indication this will change any time soon. On the other hand, spaced based nuclear, also known as the sun, is a deal. We are fortunate indeed to be powered by a massive nuclear fusion reactor that sits at a relatively safe 93 million miles away and sends us enough energy every day, free of charge, to power ourselves many times over. All we need do is collect it. We can do that at a fraction of the cost of other energy sources.
Nuclear power promised a future of energy “too cheap to meter”? Solar energy delivers energy too cheap to walk away from.
Northern Lights Energy