I’m not sure about the cost but this seems to make sense –
One estimate is that 500 nuclear power plants would make America energy independent. I think that is optimistic in that an abundance of electricity doesn’t mean we won’t need to import oil for transportation needs, but it would certainly take us a long way toward independence. The cost would be in the order of 2 billion per plant (I would think less; that is the first one might be 4 billion, but the 400th would be considerably less than a billion; but call it 2 billion). That is one trillion dollars, comparable to the TARP or stimulus — and for once a deficit would be financing something real.
So why aren’t we doing it? A European program that actually works and might be worth emulating and we won’t copy it, but anything that is broken and failing we will copy with the attitude of we’re America we can make it work. The simple answer – Energy independence isn’t really about energy independence. It is about punishing oil companies and forcing social change in the name of environmentalism, as well as allowing the chosen few to get rich through approved methods such as carbon offsets. If we were serious about energy independence we could be there in 5 years.