@Michael - so, you think we should place our future and the future of our children into the hands of ExxonMobil, the leaders of the UAE, Shell, Anadarko, Chesapeake Energy, T. Boone Pickens, and the rest of the natural gas industry hoping that they will not allow the market to respond to supply and demand, causing huge price spikes?
You think we should also keep dumping our waste products into the atmosphere to be washed off into the water and land masses and filtered out by human and animal lungs - in the case of some fossil pollutants - or to accumulate in the atmosphere for centuries only to cause changes in the earth's climate that might make many of our current cities dangerous places to live?
Sorry, I think that investing in new nuclear plants that have a very good potential for supplying clean, affordable, abundant, electricity heat and motive power for 60, 80 or even 100 years into the future is a better way to plan. Those loan guarantees will not end up costing the government any money - with the possible exception of reducing its income from taxing fossil fuels. Since they give so many breaks to the oil and gas companies already, governments should figure out a way to recover that lost income via taxes on the income generated by selling fission based electricity and heat.
@Gerry - please. You are comparing ancient, already paid off coal fired stations to new nuclear and you ignore all of the capital costs required to install fuel delivery infrastructure to new gas plants and the price volatility that has always existed in the gas market. I am a reasonably experienced technologist and financial analyst. I know what it takes to build a new, safe nuclear plant and what it takes to build a new "clean" coal plant. The amount of equipment required substantially favors the nuclear plant because its heat source NATURALLY does not require crushers, conveyors, baghouses, scrubbers, slurry ponds, amine CO2 absorption, compressors, pipelines, drilled deep wells, and massive underground rock formations.
Nuclear plants can run for 18, 24, 120, or 396 months without new fuel. (The last number is from our current VA class submarines.) They store all of their generated waste inside the plant and do not release it to the environment.
I will also challenge your assertion that $5000/kw leads to 13 cents per kilowatt hour in capital recovery costs. Please provide your assumptions.
Here are mine -
Debt - 80%
Equity - 20%
loan period - 15 years
interest - 6%
return on equity - 15%
Capacity factor - 85%
My capital payment model using those assumptions returns a price per kilowatt-hour of 6.3 cents. (Note: after 15 years, the plant is fully paid off, leading to some pretty amazing returns on investment for the owner for the remainder of the plant life - 40, 60, 80 or 100 years.)