Sunday, 12 February 2012

Nuclear new build approved in U.S. for first time since 1978

Nuclear new build approved in U.S. for first time since 1978: "Years of shifting and smoothing Georgia red clay paid off today, as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to allow construction of two new nuclear reactors (pdf) at the Plant Vogtle nuclear power station near Augusta. Atlanta–based utility giant Southern Co. will soon have permission to complete construction and operate two AP1000 type nuclear reactors designed by Westinghouse.".... "A global revival of interest in nuclear power technology remains underway, despite the April 2011 meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. China is already building four AP1000s and more than 20 other reactors currently—and many other countries are considering new plant construction, from the Czech Republic to India.
But in the U.S., even just to maintain the current fleet of 104 reactors, which provide 20 percent of the nation's electricity supply, would require building as many replacement reactors by 2030. In fact, nuclear power production may shrink in the U.S. before it grows. Aging reactors, even with life extensions of another two decades, will begin to drop off the grid in coming years. "Twenty years is the blink of an eye for 100 gigawatts. The time is now to begin to deploy new nuclear," says David Christian, CEO of Virginia-based utility Dominion Generation, although his company has no plans to do so before the end of the decade. "We're in danger of missing that window.""... and here is the news in different news outlets:
US is also looking into reactor lifespans of greater than 60 years: "The research is considered a priority for helping America meet its long-term objectives of energy and environmental security. While for now cheap gas prices make a new nuclear plant a risky investment in the USA, existing nuclear remains more than competitive and a very important contributor to the energy mix.
According to the authors, "Extending the operating lifetimes of current plants beyond 60 years and, where practical, making further improvements in their productivity is essential to realizing the administration's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050.""

No comments:

Post a Comment