Wednesday, February 21, 2007

too cheap to meter

US Nuclear Plants' Power Output 2nd Highest Ever
The industry group said 103 nuclear plants nationwide generated 787.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity last year, just off the 788.5 billion kwh record set in 2004.
At the same time, production costs sank to a record 1.66 cents per kilowatt hour in 2006, despite three years of price increases for uranium, the fuel used in nuclear generation. These are preliminary figures, the institute said, and final numbers are expected in two months.

Unprecedented efficiencies in power generation. Well, of course, plant operations can be expected to streamline over time. Even as their internals relentlessly corrode. Still, one can only marvel at how these outputs are achieved.

Maybe we should check some recent headlines.

Safety Lapse Feeds Debate on New Jersey A-Plant
Water Level Drops at Indian Point Nuclear Plant in Upstate New York
Safety Alarms Raised at Nuclear Weapons Plant
Unit 2 to be back in operation by Friday after outage

So, by and by, in addition to replacing oil and gas, we will need to replace every reactor running today. It doesn't matter if their operating leases get extended. These things wear out.


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