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$14 Billion for New Nuclear Reactors

$14 Billion for New Nuclear Reactors

Fourteen billion dollars has been approved for the construction of two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was visiting the site and said the new construction could help encourage other utilities to also begin building more nuclear energy facilities.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said he thinks the planning of new reactors in America should be slowed, according to CBS News. His reasoning is that, due to the disaster in Japan involving leaks of radiation, new safety standards should be adopted first.

The two new reactors at Vogtle are said to be safer because of technological enhancements. Secretary Chu stated he is very confident a new site to store the nuclear waste will be found soon. Shouldn’t a nuclear power plant know where it will store additional nuclear waste before they begin building new reactors?

One major problem with building more nuclear in Georgia, is that the state has vast solar power potential that isn’t being utilized and solar power has no safety issues. Georgia’s resources for solar power have been said to be double that of Germany, the nation currently leading the world in solar power installations.

Local residents have said the nuclear construction projects have been good for the economy, but 14 billion dollars of government money invested in any project there would probably be beneficial. In other words, it could also be solar, wind, or wave energy projects, or road construction, habitat restoration – any number of things that would employ local workers.

Politics are playing a significant role in determining what kind of energy plants are being constructed. Georgia Power is a regulated monopoly wielding considerable influence. They were able to get a bill passed which required consumers to pay higher rates in order to fund nuclear reactor construction years before they were even built. Jay Bookman wrote, “As a result, you’re now paying higher electricity rates today for plants that won’t provide you with a kilowatt of electricity until 2017, and if that investment goes sour, you — not the company — will be on the hook to repay it.” (Source: Atlanta Constitution Journal)

Image Credit: Charles C Watson Jr

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54 comments

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7:33AM PST on Nov 18, 2014

Live long and prosper

6:01PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

I say we start a petition!

12:11PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

See what Japan has done, what Germany is also doing in closing them down... oh grow up..... there are alternatives..

8:10PM PST on Mar 9, 2012

This is really unspeakable.
There is not one safe thing about the Yucca Mountain disposal plant.....any number of natural disasters could occur and that would be that.

3:29AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

all this talk of climate change and becoming more sustainable and they want to build a nuclear reactor riiiiiiiiiiight so im guessing the ones who decided this think they are clever?

5:32AM PST on Feb 22, 2012

We need a tandem commitment to both nuclear and "green" energy policies. We need to move existing nukes like the one in Diablo Canyon out of harm's way and onto stable ground. Nukes are a stepping stone to affording a sustainable, green, energy way of life. I agree with recycling the rods with a breeder reactor. The French and the Russians recycle their fuel rods, why don't we? Yucca Mountain is now too small to house over 77,000 tons of "spent" nuclear fuel. No time like the present to begin a fuel rod recycling program. Yucca Mountain should be used to care for our vets, conduct medical research to discover treatments for life threatening diseases, and come up with cheaper alternatives to the expensive and rare pharmaceuticals that the drug companies can't seem to make at any decent quantity or with any decent quality.

4:34AM PST on Feb 20, 2012

FPL in Florida is adding fees into their billing for the 'future' construction of nuclear plants.
While collecting these fees it is highly improbably that the facilities will ever be built.
I would rather see more solar and wind, and yes they are building a solar plant now.
While that is all good, I don't want to see any more nuclear plants built anywhere.
But what about those fees we are all paying?

10:54PM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Just a couple of more comments... Despite the sentiment of some, the reality is that nuclear power is one of the safest heavy industries. 40,000 people die every year in traffic accidents just in the US alone. That number is well into the hundreds of thousands since cars were invented. While not a single member of the public has ever died from commercial nuclear power in the US in over 60 years of operation. Nuclear materials save thousands of lives every year through medical diagnosis and treatment... Some of these materials are even derived from so-called nuclear waste. Sure there are technical challenges, but it is clearly proven that these can be managed just like we manage other hazardous materials in the chemical industry, medical industry, manufacturing, etc. And hey Robert B. 1) my profile was only empty because I'm new to the siet... Im working on it!, 2) writing things in all caps doesn't make them true, and 3) you have to be careful to keep an open mind and not become a "prisoner of your own dogma"!

8:51PM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Nuclear energy is not dirty, it is terribly unhealthy and in fact deadly! Yucca mountain is an unsafe site, as there are too many ways for the stored nuclear material to leak throughout the substrata of the mountain, and become a source of deadly radioactive substances for millions of years in a large area under and around the mountain, including all water in the are - IT IS NOT SAFE!

5:35AM PST on Feb 19, 2012

Today it was reported that for 2011 in Europe more actual generating capacity was built for Natural Gas than any other fuel source. More than PV (Solar) and more than Wind Turbines. May I point out that Gas is a fossil fuel? Why would they do that, with all the hype regarding "green energy"?
Because it is dependable and plentiful. Green Energy is a figment of someone's imagination. It is neither reliable nor plentiful. Solar only works when the sun shines. Wind only works when the wind blows, and it extremely irregular - which requires fossil fuel backup (which is why so much gas generation was installed).
I would LOVE to wee green neregy nwork, but you need storage, and, so far, there is no cheap storage source. So, GAS is it.
Oh, BTW, Nuclear is the greenest of them all -- greener than even hydro.

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