MIT Study Lays Bare Why Nuclear Costs Keep Rising

By [email protected] A Massachusetts Institute of Technology team has shed light on a key challenge for the nuclear industry: the rising cost of new plants. And the answer provides support to those who believe small modular reactors ultimately may be the best route to cost reduction.

It turns out that the main reason for spiraling nuclear plant construction bills is soft costs, the indirect expenses related to activities such as engineering design, purchasing, planning, scheduling and — ironically — estimating and cost control.

These indirect expenses accounted for 72 percent of the increase seen in reactor construction costs between 1976 and 1987, a

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