Too cheap to meter

Nuclear critics frequently claim that nuclear energy has failed to deliver on its early promise of “electricity too cheap to meter.”  The only source of this quotation is a talk in New York on September 16th, 1954, to the National Association of Science Writers by Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, then Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, when he said: “It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy electrical energy in their homes too cheap to meter.”  What the critics do not tell is that Strauss was talking about nuclear fusion energy, not fission that is today’s nuclear energy.  Nevertheless, it was a stupid remark. Anyone can understand that any means of generating and distributing large amounts of electricity, renewable or non-renewable, requires large and hence expensive engineering structures.  Thus even if the fuel were free capital charges would still have to be paid by somebody.