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The only reason it's more expensive is because the disposal of nuclear waste is artificially cheap.

If corporations had to pay for the cost of building phenomenally expensive disposal sites such as Yucca Mountain, recycling would suddenly become vastly more economical.

Another issue is the very low price of uranium; reprocessing solutions weren't considered in the past because uranium was so incredibly cheap that it made no sense to attempt to reprocess spent fuel. One of the primary reasons recycling has become an issue again is that the price of uranium has risen enormously in recent years.

According to The Curve of Binding Energy, nuclear power was going to be subsidized by the sale of plutonium to the AEC. At about a megabuck per kilogram of plu, the sale of plu would pay for the cost of constructing and operating a nuclear power plant, and that lead to the AEC's Chairman claiming that nuclear power would be "too cheap to meter" because it would be a by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle. At the end of 2005, there were 1700 tons of privately owned plutonium in the US (the US military has about 100 tons of plu: about 2/3 are in actual weapons).



If his claim is true, then it wasn't tree-huggers who killed off the nuclear power industry, nor Jane Fonda in The China Syndrome, it was cold economics.

The nuclear power corporations have been paying for Yucca Mountain, actually. They've paid $30 billion so far and got nothing for it.

An argument for reprocessing that might have better success is to argue for energy security: any country that can store enough uranium to last for a decade is pretty safe from fluctuations in uranium costs.

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