A ‘New Day for Energy in America’?

Sep 24, 2007 6:49pm

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it’s getting the first application in nearly 30 years to build a new nuclear power plant in the U.S.–and the first since the Three Mile Island Accident in 1979. The application is coming from NRG Energy, Inc., which would add two new reactors to the South Texas Project, a site it already runs with two reactors in Bay City, Tex., southwest of Houston.  NRG, based in Princeton, N.J., put out a statement late Monday afternoon: "’It is a new day for energy in America. Advanced technology nuclear power plants like STP 3 and 4, generating a vast amount of electricity cleanly, safely and reliably, will make an enormous contribution toward the greater energy security of the United States,’ said David Crane, NRG’s President and Chief Executive Officer. ‘But equally, this announcement heralds a new day for the environment. Advanced nuclear technology is the only currently viable large-scale alternative to traditional coal-fueled generation to produce none of the traditional air emissions–and most importantly in this age of climate change–no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.’"  NRG’s full statement is HERE.  Nuclear energy has been in limbo, generating about 20 percent of the country’s power but without any new plants, since TMI.  Its opponents cite not only the risk of accident, but its cost-effectiveness, and what to do with the radioactive waste generated by reactors.  (Take a look at this PAGE from Public Citizen, the activist group, which has already said it will fight the application.) Supporters of nuclear have been saying that new plants can be built and run safely, and–witness NRG’s argument above–a nuclear plant doesn’t emit carbon dioxide. The battle is joined.  Thoughts welcome as always.
(AP Photo above: the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee.)

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