I agree. We're busily shutting down the coal fired plants that today produce aboutr 52% of our electrical power. With what will we replace it? That we will do so with reewables is a fantasy. More and more it looks like we will squander our plentiful natural gas reserves on this. However there are better, more beneficial uses for this valuable resource.
Our industrial plants run increasingly on natural gas: our chemical industries and our transportation systems run on petroleum. Petroleum involves about 38% of our total energy consumption, while electrical power generation is slightly greater at 41%.
By fuel source our 2010 total energy consumption (including fuel mused in electrical power generation & delivery) was about;
-- 38% Petroleum & bio liquid fuels
-- 25% Natural Gas
-- 21% coal
-- 9% nuclear
-- 4% Hydroelectric
-- 3% Renewables & electricity imports from Quebec
Between coal and nuclear we're talking about almost a third of our total energy consumption. It would be very foolish to squander our natural gas resources on replacing them. A better solution is to use our natural gas to replace imported petroleum in our transportation system; keep our nuclear plants and build enough new ones to replace about half of the coal consumption in electrical power generation; and count on other renewables to do the rest ( even that will take a lot of subsidies for the expensive reneweables and, because they cost 2 - 3 times more per KWHr delivered than other sources, will nearly double our electric power cost - something folks don't often think about, amidst all the overt and hidden subsidies & mandates).
EXELON is old Commonwealth Edison and they currently operate about 10 nuclear plants. However they have apparently lost hope on a new generation of these plants. Interestingly Dominion Power (old VEPCO) and the Southern Company are pressing ahead with their proposed new nuke plants (all at existing nuke sites).
From a pure economic perspective the capital cost of nuke plants is about the same as that for coal and far less(per KWH delivered) than wind or solar. However, in a world in which you cannot realistically forecast when you will be able to bring your 5 billion dollar investment on line due to environmental intervenors & associated court actions, calculating a Return on investment is impossible. That is the real problem.