Skip to main content

Calvert Cliffs Expansion: The Response

Calvert-Cliffs-Nuclear-ExpansionThis story, Little Outcry on Nuclear Reactor Proposal, in today's Washington Post caught our collective eye.
As Maryland regulators begin hearings tonight on a proposed third nuclear reactor in Calvert County, one element in the historically raucous debate over nuclear power is notably absent: widespread opposition.

The passionate anti-nuclear protests of the 1970s and '80s have largely yielded in Washington and its suburbs to alarm over rising fuel prices, global warming and a lack of quick, easy solutions to quench the thirst for power.

This region could be a testing ground for the so-called nuclear renaissance. As the Public Service Commission starts a month of hearings on Constellation Energy Group's initial application to add a third nuclear plant at its Calvert Cliffs site 50 miles southeast of Washington, Dominion Virginia Power, which supplies all of Northern Virginia's electricity, is pressing ahead with plans to expand its reactors southwest of Fredericksburg.
Last week, we wrote about reporters reporting on something not happening. Today's story in The WaPo prompts the same question: perhaps we're seeing the first signs of the expansion of nuclear energy becoming ordinary?

Update: Rod Adams from Atomic Insights attended the public hearing and has a great first-person account here.

Comments

Eric McErlain said…
This is really amazing. Over and over again, the Washington Post continues to write stories about Calvert Cliffs from an angle expressing astonishment that more folks aren't upset about the prospect of Constellation adding a new reactor to the site. This is despite overwhelming public support for the project from local politicians and the public.

Click here for a post from the NEI Nuclear Notes archives noting the same old song and dance from the paper from a year ago. Don't the reporters from this paper read their own archives?

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…