Tuesday, May 08, 2007

About Time

Nuclear energy resurges as source of energy in U.S.
Associated Press
Eagle-Tribune

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - America's nuclear energy program is being revived at the site of one of its worst accidents.

All signs from regulators and operators point to a startup within days of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Unit 1 reactor at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Athens, Ala., culminating a five-year, $1.8 billion restoration.

Mothballed since 1985, TVA's oldest reactor was the scene of a major fire sparked by a candle three decades ago. It has been reborn as a modern 1,200-megawatt atomic generator capable of lighting 650,000 homes.

The reactor is the last of three Browns Ferry units designed in the 1960s, run in the 1970s, idled in the 1980s and revived since the 1990s. It will be this country's first "new" nuclear generator of the 21st century - the 104th active commercial reactor.

Though no one has applied to build a new nuclear plant in the U.S. since the 1970s, several are now being planned.

"You could almost point to Browns Ferry Unit 1 as really the beginning of nuclear energy's rejuvenation in the United States," said Scott Peterson, vice president of the industry's Nuclear Energy Institute.

Growing demand for electricity and concern over global climate change are propelling this nuclear renaissance. The Department of Energy estimates 50 new reactors will be needed by 2030 to keep pace. Tighter controls on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants are looming and will be expensive.

"If you care about global warming and clean air, it is hard not to be for nuclear power," said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., co-chairman of the TVA congressional caucus.

Alan Griffith, spokesman for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, said global warming, whether you believe it's true or not, is the "main driving motivation" for what he called a "very real resurgence" in interest in nuclear power.

He added that "global warming aside," other contributing factors include the country's over-dependence on foreign oil, strife in the Middle East and an insufficient supply of domestic sources of electricity - not to mention support from Pres. George Bush.

"We in the nuclear industry have known this for a long time," he said. "At the end of the day, nuclear energy is the safest and cleanest source of electricity we have."

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5 Comments:

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Just give the greenies a few days to crank up their anti-nuclear campaign, and all this will have been for naught.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Not when electricity bills reach record highs coupled with record gas prices.
Money trumps greenies.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Wanna bet?

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

$20

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Farmer John said...

Name the bet-terms... ala x reactors built in USA before y years are up.

 

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