Reviving the Renaissance: An Analysis of Nuclear Power's Future in the Electric Power Market
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The purpose of this study is to find the regulatory and market conditions necessary for nuclear power to be economically viable. To this end, an adapted cost/benefit framework is used to test nuclear power’s current feasibility. This framework, know as the levelized cost of energy, facilitates a comparison of nuclear power against two other base load power sources, coal and natural gas. Using the levelized cost of energy method, nuclear is found to be the most expensive of the three alternatives. A cost equivalency analysis is then performed to find the circumstances necessary for nuclear to achieve lower costs than the other base load power generating alternatives. The study concludes that a moderate carbon tax could lead nuclear power to be the lowest cost base load alternative.