Oh please, really? Do you honestly believe that environmentalists don't deliberately delay power plant construction (especially nuclear) in the United States? Give me a break. Also, I said that it was a substantial cost, not the only cost. The problem is legal and economic, so it cannot be solved by a new reactor design because it wouldn't matter what design was proposed to the environmentalists, they'd still be against it. The legal problems require political not technical solutions and the economic problems are largely caused by the legal and political problems. Dragging out engineering projects, in the courts and through political maneuvering, is expensive and that's were the delays deal economic damage. The environmentalists wouldn't use those tactics if they weren't effective.
please explain how the failure of WPPSS in the late 70's and early 80's was the result of this versus economic, technical, and competency factors.
Are you going to tell me that there wasn't a single lawsuit filed or political agitation conducted by environmental groups opposed to a new reactor? I don't believe that the problem is entirely caused by technology or lack of engineering competency.
Then please explain how the new designs will escape this fate. After all, since there must be places which don't have this problem, these new designs must be operating successfully in large numbers. Where are these places?
Of course new designs cannot solve what amounts to a problem of politics. As for where nuclear power is widespread, how about France? I think that there are three basic reasons why France was able to build many reactors, using a modified US design (Westinghouse I think) no less, while things have been more problematic here in the US. First, France has almost no natural deposits of either coal, natural gas or petroleum and few rivers to be dammed so for the French it was pretty much nuclear or nothing. Second, the French have a much greater faith in their scientists and engineers than we do here in the United States. The French scientists and engineers in turn work hard to earn and sustain that trust by doing good work. I cannot recall there ever being a serious nuclear accident in France for example. Finally, it seems that the French legal system doesn't allow for NIMBYs to get in the way of projects that are deemed to be in the national interest whereas anyone with money for the filing fees can cause no end of legal trouble here in the United States.
In any case, it will still take decades for them to come on line in significant numbers at BEST (based on production estimates).
Wah, wah, wah it's too hard and it takes to long to get strated so why even try right? There's a productive attitude. You could use that argument against just about anything worth doing. Indeed, just imagine where we might be as a nation today if we allowed that objection to override all good sense. The difficulty of the task should inform our long term planning, but it shouldn't be taken as a reason to do nothing or not to get started. I could trot out that same argument for why we should do nothing about global warming, why bother to do anything now when the benefits won't be seen for decades, but I suspect that you wouldn't like the argument as much in that case.
Sure, it's not base load, but maybe we should be looking at a solution for that?
I don't claim to be omniscient, is there something else that we ought to be looking at? Something perhaps that all of the other scientists and engineers around the world have missed? I doubt it, but I'm willing to be surprised. Please tell us your brilliant plan for replacing all of the world's base load nuclear generation with fairy dust and unicorn farts (this ought to be good).