APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Funding issues for new plants...

Two recent announcements have put a little hitch in the nuclear renaissance.

First, Constellation has halted further plans to add another nuclear generating plant to its Calvert Cliffs station; see articles here, and here.

Adding to this, Progress Energy won't add a plant at Shearon Harris; see the announcement here.

What this means is that as of this point, only the loan to Southern Co. for the purpose of adding a plant at Vogtle is active. While the price of natural gas seems to be having some effect on comparisons with nuclear, there's no question that there is both an economic basis to build nuclear plants and a public initiative to do so, not the least of which has been spearheaded by the President.

By the way, let's include a quote from Matthew Wald's article for the New York Times, linked above:

In 2005, President George W. Bush spoke at Calvert Cliffs, the first presidential visit to a nuclear plant in 30 years. “It is time for this country to start building nuclear power plants again,” he said.

Ah, so the first spark of this renaissance should be credited as having happened five years ago, it seems! Wald goes on to note that the last groundbreaking for a new nuclear plant which was actually completed occurred in 1973; I will add that present day historians should always remember that new plant orders stopped in 1978, a year before Three Mile Island. Economics struck the first blow last time the nuclear parade stopped; regulations and alterations as a result of the accident at TMI-2 struck the second blow. Let's hope that economics viewed short term aren't going to do it this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment