Unlike the 1970s, when nuclear power’s role was to reduce oil consumption, now there is uncertainty. What new reactors would mostly replace is coal and some natural gas. These have both been cheap lately, while nuclear power has a cost both certain to be high and hard to predict precisely.
“The nuclear industry is just so far removed from people’s lives, they don’t have much feeling for it,” said Baruch Fischhoff, a professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “They don’t really trust it. Although it hasn’t done anything recently to lose the general public’s trust, it hasn’t done anything to gain people’s trust.” Read more: