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Total
cost of the plant = reactor plant cost + processing plant cost

Total
cost of the plant (in 1996) = $113,583,000 + $5,300,080 = $118,883,080

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To deflate the total plant cost in 1966
to a 2012 cost,
the price index for energy products and services of 6.647 has been used:

Total
cost of the plant (in 2012) = ($118,883,080/6.647) x 100 = $1.7885 trillion

With 6 years of plant life span, amortized cost of the plant
at a 6% discount rate is:

The
Variable annual cost equals $109.79 million plus $10.85 million for O&M
makes the total annual cost without fuel to be $120.6 million.

Although
this alternative energy plan is economically sound, it is important to
understand taking this approach means a complete overhaul of our current
nuclear system.  Obviously, this has big
costs attached to it but in addition to this, it also has a 50-year time stamp
which includes further development, testing, and regulations prior to making it
to an industrialized form for the masses to use.  The next logical alternative is to look at
using this resource with our existing system.

By converting thorium
into a solid form, we would be able to use it with our existing nuclear
reactors.  This is dangerous and does not
hold near as many benefits when compared with the negatives.  For example, converting thorium to a solid
form will cause acutely higher levels of radioactivity and potential for
nuclear weapons.

 

Conclusion

Ultimately the advantages of thorium-based
power plants outweigh the
disadvantages, it is an alternative to fossil fuels, and are a very competitive
source of energy compared to other “green” sources of energy including
traditional nuclear power plants.  Since
the estimated cost is only 1.37 cents/kWh– lower than conventional nuclear,
coal, and natural gas, it would be beneficial for the United States to consider
this energy source option and expand in the development to satisfy the rapidly
growing energy demands.

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