I am neither here nor there on nuclear, we have 2 reactors (Plant Vogtle) under perpetual construction a few hours southeast of Atlanta to feed the Southern Company network (Alabama Power, Gulf Power, Georgia Power, etc.), a few invested utility partners and Co-Ops in South Carolina and North Carolina and some invested Co-Op and some non-Southern Company utility areas in Georgia.
Problem is this thing has been under construction since 2013, still years away from completion and massively over budget to the tune of ~1 billion (no I didn't mistake the b for an m). How many local Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida panhandle solar farms could this 1 billion cost overrun have built over the course of 7 years if they found interested land buyers?
So I am not opposed to nuclear if we can work on a good waste solution and a way to get these things online slightly faster. My opposition is because this perpetual fee for construction, its been almost 8 years and your still years away from plugging it in.
I will say the State of Georgia has slapped Southern Company on the wrist a few times and we get little refunds here and there. I need to build a spreadsheet and see how it balances.
Yes, that's the White Elephant of the AP1000 I mentioned earlier unfortunately. I follow Tim Echols on twitter so I am kept apprised of the progress at that plant. It's going, but it is SLOW. China did not have that problem with their 4x, so the issue isn't really the design but rather the loss of expertise/experience on executing projects of this size and nature in the West since Chernobyl, which is really when everything came apart and all the momentum that carried through from the 60's through the 80's was lost.
The two CANDU 6's at Qinshan were built in less than four years and at a cost of $4 billion. That's crazy fast and cheap.
Of course on the solar farm comparison, Vogtle should last 4x longer than a solar farm (80 vs 20 years) and will thus produce more power over its lifetime and won't require storage, or, as is the case presently, standby gas capacity to replace its output every night.
On prices, the Georgia Power Authority is building a 125MW solar farm for $249 million, so that's $2,000,000/MW.
Vogtle is at what, $25 billion for 3 & 4? That's 2,200MWe of capacity, so $11,364,000/MW
$25 billion would have constructed 12,500MW of solar, which, at 19% CF would produce ~21TWh/year. Over 20 years that is ~420TWh.
Vogtle 3 & 4 at 93% CF (actual may be higher, that's US average) will produce 18TWh/year for ~80 years, so 1,440TWh over their lifespan.