McCain Nuclear Energy Plan Could Cost $315 Billion

John McCain's plan to revive the U.S. nuclear power industry with 45 new reactors may cost $315 billion, with taxpayers bearing much of the financial risk.

The Republican presidential nominee wants the plants built in time to help the U.S. meet a 29 percent increase in electricity demand by 2030. Industry estimates put their cost at $7 billion each. Barack Obama, McCain's Democratic opponent, is less specific about his plans, saying he wants to ``find ways to safely harness nuclear power.''

Global warming and the rising cost of fossil fuels have boosted chances that atomic energy will supply more U.S. electricity. Public concerns remain about reactor safety and disposing of waste that stays hazardous for millennia. Investment bankers, citing the industry's cost overruns in the 1980s, say they won't finance its long-sought ``nuclear renaissance'' without federal backing.

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