What the Parsons Study Really Says about Nuclear Power Economics : The Grand Canyon Controversy, Round ?

by William E. Hoehn

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback26 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

One of a series on the Grand Canyon dam controversy, this paper analyzes the validity of a comparison of nuclear and hydroelectric power plants made for the Arizona Interstate Stream Commission by Ralph M. Parsons Co. in 1966. The Parsons study assumes use of an obsolete reactor type and an unrealistic transmission system. Costs of land, plant, equipment, working capital, and nuclear fuel are shown to be overestimated by many millions, while hydro costs are underestimated similarly. Estimates of nuclear-plant revenues assume a kilowatt-hour sales price that is half what users now pay for electricity. Hydro plant revenue estimates assume much higher kilowatt-hour prices and continuous operation at full rated capacity. Estimates of dam construction cost are 10 to 15 percent under reality. Costs of reregulating the Colorado River and compensation for using Indian reservation land are ignored, as is the $4.75 million fuel-equivalent annual water loss by evaporation. (See also P-3302, P-3505, P-3541, P-3546.) 26 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.