Tuesday, September 04, 2007

On The Economics of Nuclear Energy

From today's Baltimore Sun:

A year ago, the leaders of Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group and PPL Corp., its utility neighbor in Pennsylvania, represented the energy industry's sharp division over whether the revival of nuclear power was at hand.

Mayo A. Shattuck III, Constellation's chief executive, said the economics were right for a nuclear comeback after 30 years of dormancy.

PPL Chairman William F. Hecht countered that nuclear power was too expensive and risky, and that shareholders' money would be better spent adding pollution controls to his company's coal-fired power plants.

Today, Hecht is retired, the cost of cleaning up coal is soaring and PPL is among the utilities talking with Constellation's UniStar Nuclear subsidiary about the potential purchase of a new reactor identical to one that Shattuck wants to build in Maryland.

PPL's transformation from nuclear skeptic to potential customer shows how rising fuel costs, global warming and government incentives are transforming the economics of nuclear power.
It's an interesting story. For more, visit NEI's Financial Center.

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