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USA Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon

Study: US Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon, WABE   Nuclear power doesn’t have much of a future in the U.S., according to a recent paperthat says the country is unlikely to see many new reactors in coming decades, unless there are major policy changes.

That means the only nuclear reactors under construction in the country right now, which are here in Georgia, could be the last ones built in the U.S. for years.

A fifth of the nation’s electricity comes from nuclear power, but the number of plants is shrinking. Some have already closed, and others are scheduled to. Low natural gas prices have made building new nuclear reactors less competitive, and renewable energy is getting more competitive………..The findings in the paper weren’t a surprise to Sara Barczak, regional advocacy director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a group that has been critical of the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle in Georgia.

She said years ago, there were more than 15 new reactors planned in the Southeast, but now there are only the two at Vogtle going forward. A similar project in South Carolina was canceled last year.

“The authors took a hard look at the realities … coming to the conclusion that it’s extremely costly, it takes quite a long time for these things to come online if they do, ever,” she said.

And the idea that nuclear power faces an uncertain future isn’t bad news to everyone.

“Nuclear energy is too expensive and too dangerous, and uses a ton of water,” said Colleen Kiernan, executive director of the group Georgia Conservation Voters.

Instead, she supports investing more in energy efficiency, renewable power and battery storage.

The two nuclear reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle, near Augusta, are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Last year, when the future of that project was up in the air, there were questions of whether it was really needed in Georgia. ….


July 27, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA

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