Paying The Piper


CARBON TAX I S2OO per tonne I S1OO per tonne I SSO per tonne

Plausible savings

Nuclear Coal Gas Low-price gas

The cost of electricity projected for newly built power plants depends on many factors. Taxes on carbon emissions could raise costs for coal and gas. Nuclear may be reduced by plausible but unproved cost-cutting steps.

▲ Under construction: an advanced (generation III+) 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant in Olkiluoto, Finland.

come that hurdle, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 included a number of important provisions, such as a tax credit of 1.8 cents per kilowatt-hour to new nuclear plants for their first eight years of operation. The credit, sometimes called a firstmover incentive, applies to the first 6,000 megawatts of new plants to come online. Several consortiums have formed to take advantage of the new incentives.

Waste Management the second big obstacle that a nuclear renaissance faces is the problem of waste management. No country in the world has yet implemented a system for permanently disposing of the spent fuel and other radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants. The most widely favored approach is geologic disposal, in which waste is stored in chambers hundreds of meters underground. The goal is to prevent leakage of the waste for many millennia through a combination of engineered barriers (for example, the waste containers) and geologic ones (the natural rock structure where the chamber has been excavated and the favorable characteristics of the hydrogeologic basin). Decades of studies support the geologic disposal option. Scientists have a good understanding of the processes and events that could transport radionuclides from the repository to the biosphere. Despite this scientific confidence, the process

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Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

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