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USA Congress mulls ‘new nuclear’ but the prospects are not great

Nuclear energy draws renewed interest in Congress, Houston Chronicle, 9 May 16 “…….Most mainstream environmental groups in the U.S., however, still see nuclear as an ecological disaster waiting to happen, that produces a radioactive waste that remains hot for tens of thousands of years. They also are equally skeptical that advanced reactors under development can provide cleaner, safer nuclear power.

“Even though many of these advanced reactors have been around for decades, none of them have proved to be safe or that they can compete commercially,” Geoffrey Fettus, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, testified before the House last month. “This may serve as a distraction to the rapid scale-up of proven technology to combat climate change, like wind and solar.”……

Close to half of the 99 nuclear plants operating in this country will reach the end of their government-sanctioned life spans by 2040. With licensing of nuclear plants taking a decade or more, it’s unclear whether the power would be replaced by new nuclear facilities, or through other fuels.

For now, developing an affordable, meltdown-proof nuclear reactor remains very much theoretical. Marvin Fertel, president of the trade group Nuclear Energy Institute, said he knew of no such reactor commercially operating anywhere in the world ……

May 11, 2016 - Posted by | general

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