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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 16, 2010

NUCLEAR REACTION

GUARDIAN, UK - The Obama administration's big payouts to the nuclear industry will be essential for expanding nuclear power; the industry has made it clear that there will be no nuclear renaissance unless the US taxpayer foots the bill. The economics of the nuclear industry are so dicey that Wall Street, no strangers to high-risk investments, have for years refused to finance new plants unless the government underwrites the deal. The nuclear industry has made its reliance on the taxpayer clear. "Without loan guarantees we will not build nuclear power plants," Michael J Wallace, co-chief executive of UniStar Nuclear and vice president of Constellation Energy, told the New York Times in 2007...

In addition to cost, there have been significant concerns about the proposed designs for new reactors around the country. The Georgia plant selected for the first award is no stranger to these problems. The Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design, proposed for the Georgia site and six other sites around the country was sent back to the drawing board after federal regulators last October discovered major safety concerns in the design proposal, with regulators noting that it would not sufficiently protect the reactor from earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and airplane crashes. The DOE loans are conditional at this point, awaiting approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Other proposed reactors in this promised nuclear revival would use a design from French nuclear power company Areva that nuclear regulators in France, Finland, and the United Kingdom have said has "a significant and fundamental nuclear safety problem" with its instrumentation and control system.



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