Could someone fill me in on the economics of nuclear power generation? I'd like to know what the usual payback period for a plant is, and how much it costs to operate a plant over that period.
Just doing some napkin figuring here, if the plant ran 24/7 at full capacity for a 20 year payback period, and assuming that operational costs are about the same as initial construction costs (i.e. using the $10 billion number from the summary, so $20 billion for construction and operation), that gives me a figure of about 5.7 cents per kilowatt-hour. Obviously the plant wouldn't run at full capacity for 20 years straight, but that does put something of a lower bound on the price of power generation, and it seems like a reasonable number given US electricity prices.
I'd also like to know how this compares to hydro, gas, coal, solar, wind, tidal, and any other generation method currently in use.