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  1. Joe Romm, prominent climate blogger, touts Severance as THE authority on new nuclear cost. Romm smears nuclear at any and every opportunity. Paul Krugman has actually written in his column that he “trusts Joe Romm on climate”, a statement, I thought, that might cause a lot of people to tune into Romm’s blog, especially as the climate negotiations at Copenhagen approached their climax recently.
    And so, as a climate change activist curious about nuclear power wondering about its cost, I suffered through actually reading the Severance piece Romm touts. Severance cherry picks a quote from and thus legitimizes the MIT The Future of Nuclear Power study. All Severance then does is pick a number out of the air and proclaim new nuclear will result in ruinous charges per kwhr to customers. I then read the MIT study. MIT makes no mention of Severance.
    The recent update to the MIT study defers to a report done by Du and Parsons on cost. The Du and Parsons assessment of cost is that new nuclear is competitive with new coal if there were as low as a $25 a tonne price put on carbon dioxide emissions, and new nuclear is competitive with new coal right now if the risk premium surcharge on new nuclear financing Wall Street will charge due to the massive cost overruns associated with deploying the last generation of plants subsides after a few successful builds.
    David Frum has noted that one barrier to new nukes is the relatively small size of electric utilities in the US.
    “The rule of thumb in the industry is that a new nuclear plant would cost some $10 billion and start yielding revenue only after 5 to 7 years. That

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