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