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Nuclear renaissance bubble losing its puff

the simple reality is that a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. will be impossible if new reactors remain too expensive to build and natural gas remains “dirt cheap” while renewable energy costs continue to decline and consumer demand remains on a downward spiral……

underestimated costs, ignored risks, political ballyhoo and prodigious but inadequate subsidies — now make clear that we are dealing not with a renaissance but with a bubble. The main remaining question is just how much taxpayer money will go into keeping it inflated.”

Reactor under microscope  South Maryland News, Constellation, officials working to keep CC3 project going, Oct. 20, 2010, By MEGHAN RUSSELL“.………..even if EDF agreed to take the project under its wing, many skeptics, like the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, doubt the conditions are right for a “nuclear renaissance” and believe Calvert Cliffs 3 was doomed from the start.

“Calvert Cliffs’ demise was a result of several factors, the most important of which were: soaring construction cost estimates; increased and aggressive competition from other generation sources; falling electrical demand coupled with increased energy efficiency programs; serious reactor design deficiencies; and overreliance on government handouts,” NIRS Executive Director Michael Marriotte said in a press release Thursday.

“The Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Energy are responsible for none of these factors. In fact, their loan offer for Calvert Cliffs 3 was overly generous considering the overwhelming array of market forces and roadblocks facing this project.”

Marriotte said the “simple reality” is that a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. will be impossible if new reactors remain too expensive to build and natural gas remains “dirt cheap” while renewable energy costs continue to decline and consumer demand remains on a downward spiral. The same forces acting against Calvert Cliffs will most likely cause the remaining nuclear reactor loan guarantees to fall through for the South Texas Project and Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station reactor project in South Carolina as well.

Peter Bradford, a commissioner with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the former chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission, added, “The four pillars of the nuclear revival — underestimated costs, ignored risks, political ballyhoo and prodigious but inadequate subsidies — now make clear that we are dealing not with a renaissance but with a bubble. The main remaining question is just how much taxpayer money will go into keeping it inflated.”

Reactor under microscope

October 20, 2010 - Posted by | business and costs, USA | , , , , ,

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