New Nuclear?

Constellation Power has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to put a new nuclear reactor in Calvert county, the fourth to be applied for, nationwide, this year. There hasn’t been a new nuclear reactor built in the US since the Three Mile Island disaster, but with new tax incentives for power providers who get their applications complete before the end of next year, companies are positioning themselves to be able to take advantage of the new situation.

Are we ready for nuclear again? The US kinda freaked out after the Three Mile Island near-meltdown and the Chernobyl disaster, but with power needs proving insatiable, and with fossil fuels being subject to significant negative public attention due to global warming concerns, the timing could be ripe for an expansion of nuclear power.

Will it do anything to lower your power build? Almost certainly not. But, it might decrease dependence on fossil fuels, which can be considered a positive.

2 Comments so far

  1. James Aach (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    I think the phrase “kinda freaked out” sums things up. Politicians, pundits and “experts” say some zany things about energy in general and nuclear in particular. I would know – I’ve worked in the US nuclear industry over twenty years. To help with the discussion, I’ve written a thriller novel looking at nuclear power – its people, its politics, its technology, and its good points and bad points (plenty of both). “Rad Decision” is free online at – and readers seem to like it judging from their comments on the homepage. It’s also available in paperback at online retailers, and has been endorsed by Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog, internet pioneer, and noted futurist.

  2. Ian (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

    The Nukes that Constellation run are the cheapest source of power. It costs a lot less to run a nuke compared to a fossil plant. They want them to running all the time if possible and they count the minutes that it is off line for maintenance since that is profit they are not making on the open market.

    So if they build more in theory you should get cheaper electricity, but Constellation sells the power on the open market to utilities like BGE. So BGE ends up paying the going rate rather than what it cost to make the electricity.

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