A roundup of recent news by Charlie Petit at MIT's Knight Science Journalism Tracker.

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Scattered ink: New nukes for USA

via Knight Science Journalism Tracker by Charlie Petit on 6/18/09

Most of the permit applications in recent years to build new nuclear plants have come for sites in the Old South, so The Tracker sat up a bit on reading in the Cleveland Plain Dealer a report by Aaron Marshall that Duke Energy (yes, rooted in the Old South) held a press conference to announce its intent to build a new nuclear plant in Ohio (yes again, it’s southern Ohio, at a former DOE uranium enrichment planet site, but not Dixie). The story - one of several but the first I saw - hits squarely all the reasons given by nuclear energy fans for building at least a few new nukes and, if manufacturers manage to erect them at anywhere near their advertised budgets, build a bunch more of them. They don’t emit CO2 for one thing. That’s the main thing, actually. Plus they don’t have all those coal trains rumbling through the local town nearly every day. This one’s reactor will come from the big France-based company, Areva - presumably after learning some lessons from its overdue, overbudget effort to put up an advanced plant in Finland (see Times - Robin Pagnamenta:Landmark nuclear reactor will be three years late).

And last week a Republican congressional group called on the US to build 100 new nuclear reactors in the next decade or so (for one, Wyoming Star Tribune - Dustin Bleizeffer: House GOP submits energy plan centered on nuclear). That’d about double the number we have now - and which produce roughly a fifth of US electricity.

The Tracker would like to see a few new nukes just to learn whether they go as advertised, but suspects that the political will to guarantee loans with public money is lacking in Washington, and the gambler’s spirit absent on Wall Street to justify such private investment.  But…maybe. In that spirit, here are a few more samplings of recent pro-nuke developments in the news, including some more on that Ohio plan:

Grist for the Mill:

Ohio governor’s office Press Release ; Duke Energy Press Release ;

-CP


 
 

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