Thursday, January 11, 2007

Baltimore Examiner: Nuclear Can Help with Energy Independence

From the Baltimore Examiner:

Nuclear power is much more efficient; one atom of uranium can produce 10 million times more energy than an atom of carbon. As the first generation of nuclear power plants is moth-balled, we need to start building nuclear plants again. About a fourth of the world’s 441 commercial nuclear reactors are located in the U.S., but no new ones have come online since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 — despite their stellar safety record ever since.

Incentives work. A little more than a year ago, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission certified the design of the new 1,000 MW Westinghouse advanced passive reactor. After Congress’ 2005 energy bill provided $3.1 billion in tax credits and liability protection, utilities began preparing new applications for construction and operating licenses — including one for a new reactor at the Calvert Cliffs site in southern Maryland.
S&P has noticed the same thing:
-As U.S. electricity demand is projected to increase 45% by 2030, Standard and Poor’s analysts say many U.S. utility companies are considering building new nuclear power plants for the first time in two decades.

“Along with new incentives and recent developments in nuclear plant safety and design, the new interest has also come about after the industry’s considerable lobbying about the merits of new nuclear generation,” said credit analysts Dmitri Nikas and Grace Drinker.
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