Yesterday's Reuters story claiming that "economic woes delayed U.S. nuclear power expansion" has a few of its time-lines and facts off. Here's the first paragraph of the story:
The sputtering global economy and frozen credit markets have shrunk the first wave of a highly touted U.S. nuclear power renaissance.That's news to me. Back in January, NEI released a paper detailing how the nuclear industry has grown by 15,000 jobs over the past couple of years in anticipation of this "renaissance." Back to Reuters:
Nuclear industry advocates had predicted more than a dozen new reactors worth $100 billion or more generating at least 15,000 megawatts of power in the United States by 2020.It wasn't a prediction, it was a goal of DOE's Nuclear Power 2010 program (pdf) made back in 2002. Reuters:
Then the economic slump hit. Now, Cambridge Energy Research Associates expect four to eight new reactors providing 5,000 MW to 10,000 MW by 2020.Actually, NEI made this statement more than a year ago at our 2008 annual presentation to Wall Street (see page 12) when the first of today's "economic woes" were barely starting to emerge. NEI tamped down expectations way before today's rough economic patches so it's quite a bit inaccurate to attribute our lower forecast to today's mess.
The rest of the Reuters piece gave no more examples of how the "economic woes" are delaying U.S. nuclear power expansion. In fact, it quotes the NRC as saying the opposite:
"The economy has not affected what the NRC expected" in license applications, spokesman Scott Burnell said.Looks like the authors of the Reuters story need to do two things. 1) do a little more research to provide time-lines of when things were said, what was said, and by whom. And 2) come up with a headline that actually matches the facts and story. Here are a couple of suggested headlines: Goal for Dozens of New Reactors by 2020 is More Likely to be Met by 2030; Licensing of New Nuclear Plants Unaffected by Economic Woes; or Only Four to Eight New Nuclear Plants Expected to be Online Next Decade (this was a popular headline last year after we stated this at the Wall Street presentation).