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Published on October 30th, 2012 | by Important Media Cross-Post


Nuclear Energy’s US & Global Exit

October 30th, 2012 by  

Quite frankly, expensive and inflexible nuclear energy can’t compete with cheap renewables and natural gas. Nuclear is making its exit, slowly but nonetheless. Below are two recent stories from sister site Red, Green, and Blue on this matter that are really worth a read:

Nuclear reactors? On the way out… (via Red Green & Blue)

Our fleet of nuclear reactors may be bigger than it was in 1916… but it’s about to start shrinking. A Wisconsin power company has announced it will shut down one of its aging reactors… and there are a dozen more that are failing. Market forces are at work here… While conservatives (who love…

More Nails in Nuclear’s Coffin (via Red Green & Blue)

I was quite pleased to find out today that the Kewaunee nuclear-power plant in Wisconsin will close next year. Partly I was happy because the owner of this plant is Dominion Resources, which is trying to decide if it wants to build another reactor near my home in Louisa County, Virginia. Dominion stepping…

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  • Ronald Brak

    Saying that it’s a choice between coal or nuclear is a false choice. Here in Australia we have shut down gigawatts of coal capacity and shelved plans to increase gas capacity thanks mainly to improved efficiency and rooftop solar. And of course we don’t have any nuclear power.

    Personally I think it is a pity that the Kewaunee nuclear plant is shutting down so early. If the United States had a carbon price it may have stayed in operation longer. But the United States does not have a carbon price and electricity prices have fallen below its marginal cost and so it is closing down.

  • Yes nuclear is falling out of favor (at least in the West–The East may be different see http://goo.gl/uwtE6). And it doesn’t make economic sense unless taxpayers accept much of the risk (see http://goo.gl/wIIOV). But consider the alternatives. Thousands more people die yearly from coal mining and coal-fired power generation than die from effects of nuclear energy (see http://goo.gl/hgouZ). It’s hard to find something worse than coal.

    • Bob_Wallace

      David, you make a bogus argument. It’s the equivalent of “Would you rather have your right hand or your left hand chopped off?”.

      Obviously the preferred option is “Neither!”.

      We don’t need coal. We don’t need nuclear. We can do the job with renewables.

      In the short run we will need to use natural gas to fill in for variable renewables but we’ve got very promising large scale storage in the works and that will replace natural gas.

      We’re in the process of closing down over 100 coal plants in the US. While we are building a couple of nuclear plants they won’t increase the number we have on line, others are closing. We’re replacing that coal generation with natural gas and renewables.

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