The Corner

Is Nuclear Power Really Too Expensive?

One of the ways you can tell when Democrats are out of even remotely plausible arguments is that they turn to cost. They never give a damn what anything costs, until they’ve run out of reasons to hate whatever it is they hate for whatever reason: military projects, school-choice programs, etc. 

You’ll recall congressional Democrats raising an unholy fuss over the fact that the Benghazi investigation cost a little over $4 million; the federal government currently spends about $7 million a minute, 24/7/365. You could fund a dozen Benghazi investigations with whatever the government spends in the time it takes Hillary Rodham Clinton to find her glasses on the nightstand at 4 a.m.

No surprise then to find our friends at ThinkProgress (h/t Heather Boulware) arguing that nuclear power, the cleanest form of reliable electricity generation currently known to man, is just “too expensive” to play a role in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions in the campaign against global warming. About that: The International Energy Agency forecasts the price of switching to low-carbon energy sources at $44 trillion over the next 35 years or so. You could build a lot of nuclear plants for $44 trillion. 

How many? ThinkProgress cites a study that nuclear “decarbonization” would require building about 115 new nuclear plants a year between now and 2050. If we take the IEA’s $44 trillion and divide it by the total number of new plants in that scenario, that’s about $11 billion per new nuclear plant, which is a bit more than they average now. (Never mind, for the moment, that the cost of building a new nuclear plant is a relatively small part of the cost of building a new nuclear plant, regulatory payoffs and the like representing an enormous share of the expense.) Looks like a few billion left over for spillage, to me.

I don’t know whether nuclear power is the right solution to our future power needs; I am generally suspicious of the notion that there is a single “right” solution, and deeply suspicious of the notion that politicians and activists are well-positioned to discern it should it exist. But we are constantly being told that there is no price too high to pay to prevent global warming . . . except whatever it costs to build nuclear plants that progressives hate for reasons that have nothing to do with cost.

Most Popular

Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More
Elections

Biden Dusts Off Obama’s Most Famous Lie

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," was a promise President Barack Obama often made when selling the Affordable Care Act. It was one of the most significant political lies in recent history, leveled during one of our most contentious policy debates. If Americans knew they might lose their ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
U.S.

FBI to Interview Hunter Biden Business Partner

The FBI has asked Tony Bobulinski, former business partner of Hunter Biden, to sit for an interview on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) told reporters. Bobulinski was initially scheduled to give an interview on Friday to members of various Senate committees regarding his knowledge of business deals ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More
Elections

Biden Wants It Both Ways

This week felt like a month. On the menu today: After President Trump asked, “Would you close down the oil industry?” Biden responded, “I have a transition from the old industry, yes,” and now Biden’s campaign insists the candidate didn’t mean it. Biden also insisted that he “never said I oppose ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More