The more you build, the cheaper they will be
The idea of increasing production will lower the price of each individual item produced is a fairly common in principle. Who knew that this principle could also applied to building nuclear power plants?
Mr. Komanoff re-analyzed the data, concentrating not only on the beginning and the end, but also the middle. He found that while costs rose over the period – he put it at 60 percent – they also fell for certain classes of reactors. Specifically, he said, every time the number of new construction projects doubled in a year, the prices fell by 5.7 percent.
One lesson, he said, was that “building more plants in a short period of time creates a potential to reduce or at least control costs.’’
His findings echo what American utilities say, that building a “first-of-a-kind” plant is expensive and later units are cheaper. But for Mr. Komanoff to reach a similar conclusion is significant, because he was a sharp critic of the industry in the construction boom of the 1980s and is no fan of nuclear power now.
Good news for American nuclear energy companies who are looking to start building more plants. Now if the government can just figure out what to do with storing nuclear waste…