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NUCLEAR GUARDIANSHIP FORUM, On The Responsible Care of Radioactive Materials,
Issue # 3, Spring 1994, p. 16.


Half-a-trillion Dollars Sunk


The first definitive study of the accumulated costs of nuclear power in the United States from 1950 through 1990, delivers the bottom line for the massive goven1ment, industry and rate payer investment in commercial reactors. Commercial atomic power has thus far cost $492 billion dollars, $97 billion of which has been in the form of federal subsidies.

"The cost estimates in Fiscal Fission are very conservative" according to co-author Cora Roelofs. "They take only those costs that could be fully documented and rigorously quantified. It shows that atomic-generated electricity has cost consumers an average of a least 9.0 cents a kilowatt-hour, far more than other readily available fuels."

Fiscal Fission finds that the $492 billion total represents a minimum figure for resources spent on nuclear power through 1990. Excluded costs, such as health effects of radiation, accidents, adequate insurance, could well total another $375 billion. This figure does not include the almost certain escalation in future waste and decommissioning costs.

Peter Grinspoon, Director of Greenpeace's Nuclear Power Campaign, explains: "The money spent on nuclear power comes at the expense of the development of safe, clean sources of electricity such as solar and wind power. It's time to stop throwing good money after bad. This report teaches us that without even counting liabilities such as accidents and waste, nuclear power has failed on economic grounds. Nuclear power is untenably expensive . . . It simply can't compete."

From Fiscal Fission: The Economic Failure of Nuclear Power, a Greenpeace report, by Charles Komanoff and Cora Roelofs, Washington 1992.

from the Greenpeace USA Nuclear Reports page:

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