bblackfrog asks: "Is a Federal nuclear energy program viable? That is, can the USA eliminate our economic dependence on crude oil with a large scale federal program to build and maintain enough nuclear power plants to replace our current oil-based energy needs? The obvious political hurdles are (a) the left opposes nuclear energy, (b) the right opposes federalizing energy, and (c) the oil companies and Saudis wield a lot of clout. This makes a federal nuclear energy program far fetched I admit, however I'm more interested in the economics. Slashdot has covered advances in nuclear power technology. China's doing it." (Read more, below.)"How much energy is required to replace our fossil fuel consumption? What are the initial costs of the program, and just how cheap could the electricity be? How expensive would it be for our industries to convert? How expensive for home and auto conversions? How much of this cost should be picked up by the government? Bottom line: is nuclear power cheaper than our current oil-driven middle-east policy, with all of its blowback?"