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- Financial factors influencing the profitability of the mining and utilization of lunar helium-3 are examined. The analysis addressed the following questions: (1) which financial factors have the greatest leverage on the profitability of He-3; (2) over what range can these factors be varied to keep the He-3 option profitable; and (3) what ultimate effect could this energy source have on the price of electricity for U.S. consumers. Two complementary methods of analysis were used in the assessment: rate of return on incremental investment required and reduction revenue requirements (total cost to customers) achieved. Some of the factors addressed include energy demand, power generation costs with and without fusion, profitability for D-He(3) fusion, annual capital and operating costs, launch mass and costs, He-3 price, and government funding. Specific conclusions are made with respect to each of the companies considered: utilities, lunar mining company, and integrated energy company.
- Document ID: 19900006522.
Accession ID: 90N15838.
NASA, Langley Research Center, Report of NASA Lunar Energy Enterprise Case Study Task Force; p 40-55.
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