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Analysis: Levy nuclear plant twice the cost of a natural gas facility via Tampa Bay Times


State officials repeat the nuclear-is-cheaper gospel so often, the Tampa Bay Times set out to see if the premise is true. The analysis compared the cost of the Levy nuclear plant to a natural gas facility, using a set of assumptions that, if anything, favors nuclear. A new truth emerged:

Natural gas would be cheaper. Cheaper by billions and billions of dollars.

Cheaper even over 60 years and under any likely scenario. Half as much as the Levy plant even using Duke Energy’s own projections of fuel costs.

What building a new nuclear plant does really well, the analysis showed, is fatten a utility’s bottom line. Duke Energy would pocket as much as 10 times the profit from the Levy project as it would from a natural gas facility.

And yet, the myth about the Levy plant being cheaper lives on.


So, what would it cost to build, operate and fuel Levy and the equivalent natural gas facility for six decades?

Levy nuclear: $13.9 billion

Natural gas: $6.4 billion

The federal government’s projections for natural gas prices are lower than Duke Energy’s. Plug in those numbers and natural gas’ cost advantage widens:

Levy nuclear: $13.9 billion

Natural gas: $5 billion

What about the cost of pollution?



Duke Energy’s profit from

building the Levy nuclear plant


Duke Energy’s profit if it built an equivalent natural gas facility

Read more at  Analysis: Levy nuclear plant twice the cost of a natural gas facility

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