Report: Consumer Protection

The High Cost of Nuclear Power: Why America Should Choose a Clean Energy Future Over New Nuclear Reactors

Released by: U.S. PIRG

Nuclear power is among the most costly approaches to solving America’s energy problems. Per dollar of investment, clean energy solutions – such as energy efficiency and renewable resources – deliver far more energy than nuclear power.

This fact has important implications for America’s energy policy. By directing resources toward the most cost-effective solutions, we can make greater progress toward a secure, reliable and safe supply of electricity to power America’s economy.

Dollar for dollar, a clean energy portfolio can deliver more energy than nuclear power. Per dollar of investment:

• Energy efficiency measures can deliver greater than five times more electricity than nuclear power.

• Combined heat and power (which generates both useful heat and electricity for a factory, a school campus or an office building) can generate nearly four times more energy than nuclear power.

• Wind farms can produce as much as 100 percent more electricity than nuclear power.

• A solar thermal power plant in the southwestern U.S. – capable of storing heat to generate electricity even when the sun isn’t shining – can deliver as much as one-third more energy than a nuclear reactor.

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