[ RadSafe ] Mark Cooper says USA’s ‘nuclear renaissance’ is just not going to happen

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 05:01:39 CST 2011

The anti-nukes are crowing -

"USA’s ‘nuclear renaissance’ is just not going to happen"

posted by Christina MacPherson

Report: U.S. nuclear renaissance unlikely after Fukushima Los Angeles
Times, December 28, 2011 A new study released Wednesday said that the
regulatory fallout from the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan in
March will short-circuit the U.S. nuclear renaissance of new power
plant construction.

The report, "Nuclear Safety and Nuclear Economics," was written and
presented by Mark Cooper, a frequent critic of the nuclear power
industry. The report can be found here. Cooper is a senior fellow for
economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at
the Vermont Law School.

Cooper said that past nuclear disasters, such as the one at the Three
Mile Island power plant in Pennsylvania in 1979, have tended to
greatly raise regulatory barriers and have also severely multiplied
the cost of reactor construction. After Three Mile Island, for
example, the report said, the cost of nuclear power plant construction
doubled in most cases and trebled or quadrupled in some rare

"This is an important moment to compare what is really likely to
happen over the next 10 years with the industry’s expectations" of a
nuclear renaissance, Cooper said. "When that comparison is performed
properly, it becomes clear that we are witnessing not a revival but a
collapse in expectations for new reactor construction."

The report comes just days after a panel appointed by the Japanese
government released a scathing assessment of the reponse to the
disaster, which was caused when a huge earthquake generated a tsunami
that struck the facility....

A recently updated online report by the World Nuclear Assn. said that
as few as four of the 26 new nuclear facilities that have been
proposed or planned in the U.S. will be finished by 2020. But it did
not mention Fukushima and instead said the primary reason was the fact
that a boom in domestic natural gas production has "put the economic
viability of some of these projects in doubt."

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