Charles Komanoff


Nuclear Power

My 1981 book, Power Plant Cost Escalation: Nuclear and Coal Capital Costs, Regulation and Economics (large pdf, 12 MB) was a tour de force that cut through the murk and morass of the 1970s debate over the economics of nuclear power in the U.S. and foretold the nuclear industry's financial meltdown in the 1980s and beyond.

"Power Plant Cost Escalation" explained the upheaval in the economics of nuclear and coal electrical generation that occurred in the 1970s, and predicted further changes from the post-Three Mile Island vantage point. It investigated increases in nuclear and coal capital (construction) costs on three levels: empirical, engineering, and etiological (underlying causal). One chapter, "Sources of Nuclear Regulatory Requirements," was published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nuclear Safety, July-August 1981 issue. Another chapter, "Pollution Control Improvements in Coal Fired Electric Generating Plants: What They Accomplish, What They Cost," was published in the Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association in Sept. 1980.

Together, the dozen chapters encompassed and settled the 1970s-1980s debate over the economics -- and the future -- of nuclear power. You may download this pdf of the complete 325-page book. (Write to KEA if you would like to obtain an original hard copy.) Alternatively, download the summary version consisting of Chapters 1 (Introduction) and 2 (Summary).

Cost Escalation in France's Nuclear Reactors: A Statistical Examination (pdf, 12 pp)

Executive Summary of 1992 Komanoff Energy Associates report for Greenpeace, "Fiscal Fission"

Complete 1992 KEA report for Greenpeace, Fiscal Fission: The Economic Failure of Nuclear Power (pdf), a report on the historical costs of nuclear power in the United States, 98 pages. Foreword by Harvey Wasserman.

Spreadsheet comparing federal subsidies for wind power and nuclear power.

"10 Blows That Stopped Nuclear Power" (my 1991 article deconstructing the collapse of the U.S. nuclear power industry circa 1973-1981)

Op-ed published in Wall St Journal in 1984, Nuclear Crews Stretch Work, Up Costs.

Cover article in May 17, 1979 NY Review of Books, "Doing Without Nuclear Power" (Introduction only; access to Komanoff's complete 3,750-word article assessing nuclear power's prospects in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident requires subscription to the NYR electronic edition or one-time purchase)

"A Tale of Nuclear Narcissism" (my Feb. 1979 (pre-Three Mile Island) review of the book, "Light Water: How the Nuclear Dream Dissolved)"