Can Nuclear Reactors Be Cheap?


Around the world, nuclear power plants are aging and will have to be replaced with new facilities capable of providing steady, reliable baseload power. With natural gas prices currently at rock bottom, many experts are betting on gas-fired plants to power the 21st century. But a new report from The Breakthrough Institute argues that nuclear can compete economically with fossil fuels—if utilities move away from today’s expensive and hulking light water reactors and embrace innovative reactor designs.

The Breakthrough Institute is a California think tank dedicated to “modernizing environmentalism,” and its founders have previously argued that nuclear power is the answer to the “planetary emergency” of climate change. (Full disclosure: I’ve moderated a couple of panels at Breakthrough events.) So in this report, the authors set out to illuminate a viable path to a nuclear-powered civilization.  [Read More]