Nuclear Power Costing (by kWh)

References Consulted:
Nuclear Energy, Second Edition by R.L. Murray

A convenient rule of thumb is that 1.3 gram of 3% U235 is equal to one megawatt-day of energy.

If we had a 3,000 MW(t) reactor that operated for one year, the fuel consumption would be:

3,000 MW(t) x 365 Days = 1,095,000 MW-days
1,095,000 MW-days x 1.3 g U235 consumed per MW-day = 1,423,500 grams (or 1,423.5 kg)

If the price of 3% enriched U235 is about $24 dollars a gram, then the fuel cost for running the reactor for a year would be $36.164 million. Applying a overhead of 36% for fuel fabrication costs, etc; the actual cost of the fuel elements would be about $49.18 million.

If we assume the typical 1/3rds efficiency in conversion of reactor thermal power to electrical energy via steam turbines, etc; then the reactor's power is 1,000 MW(e); or 1 million kW(e).

Over a year (8,760 hours); the output of the above reactor would be:

8,760 hours x 1,000,000 kW(e) = 8,760,000,000 kWh of energy.

Total cost per kWh of energy would thus be:

$49,180,000 / 8,760,000,000 kWh = $0.0056 x 100 = 0.51¢ per kWh