Too Big to Bailout: The Economic Costs of a National Nuclear Power Subsidy
A recent draft report by the U.S. Department of Energy recommends providing new and increased subsidies and incentives to promote the longevity of existing reactors and deployment of new reactors; the DOE report recommends subsidies amounting to $27/MWh, very close to those under the New York model. According to this analysis, a national subsidy program based on New York’s would carry a significant cost to consumers and/or taxpayers: over $280 billion by 2030. According to a recent report by Bloomberg, over half of existing nuclear power in the U.S. (56% of total generation) is projected to be unprofitable by 2020. If only unprofitable reactors were subsidized through such a program, the cost would still be quite large: $160 billion by 2030.