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Advanced reactors may hold key for fighting climate change, experts and advocates say

The next generation of atom-splitters holds immense promise for fighting climate change and returning the United States to global nuclear energy dominance, according to nuclear advocates and experts.

Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, observed that there was a time when nuclear energy was a wholly domestic endeavor, with American engineers designing reactors, U.S. companies like Westinghouse and General Electric building plants, and federal regulators overseeing operations.


NRC lists variety of violations, 'chilled work environment' at 2 nuke sites

Sometimes the violations were on paper: a foreman signing welding logs on behalf of the actual welders working on components for nuclear projects in Georgia and South Carolina.

Other times they were a physical action: a component being dropped and then a supervisor trying to make the accident go away.

Humans naturally make errors, but safety and quality violations while making parts for nuclear reactors run deep. A piece that doesn't meet stringent standards has to be redone, but deliberate misconduct or procedure violations can be a sign of something more serious, such as a safety culture that is lacking.


DOE invests $60M in technology, fuel research

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced the agency is investing more than $60 million in new nuclear technology and research, touting the expenditure as a sign of the administration's dedication to nuclear power.

"I remain convinced that nuclear energy will continue to be an important part of the nation's energy portfolio, accounting for more than 60 percent of carbon-free electricity in the United States today," Moniz said in a statement.


Towers at Vogtle rise, slowly, amid scrutiny and setbacks

WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- You can see the steam billowing from Plant Vogtle's unit 1 and 2 cooling towers from miles away.

Up close, however, another cooling tower is visible. This one is for Unit 3, now scheduled to start producing electricity about halfway through 2019. Its twin, the cooling tower for Unit 4, more closely resembles an open-air sports stadium right now. It is supposed to be finished by the end of the year.


Industry 'cautiously optimistic' about final Clean Power Plan

Promoters of nuclear energy predicted today U.S. EPA will tweak its Clean Power Plan to value existing and future reactors that the industry says are struggling and at risk of closure.

Matt Bennett, a senior vice president of public affairs at Third Way, said at an event hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute and The Hill newspaper that many at the forum had met with EPA to call for better treatment of nuclear in the rule.


House subpanel wrestles over the future of baseload coal, nuclear

Massive nuclear and coal-fired "baseload" power plants have been an enduring symbol of the electric industry and foundations of its expansion. But what is their role in the grid's future?

The question split Republicans and Democrats yesterday at a session of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, as well as subcommittee witnesses called in to debate the effect of U.S. EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan on the electric system's reliability.

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The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has spawned a major nuclear disaster. E&E examines the implications for energy, the environment, security and public health.

Nuclear Nation

Scores of nuclear power reactors dot the United States. There are 103 reactors that are licensed to operate and 14 undergoing decommissioning. Many others are in planning stages; the four furthest along in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process are shown on this map. Click on a site icon for more details on the U.S. NRC website.

Proposed and expected to proceed to final NRC licensing


Japanese Response

Nuclear Policy



U.S. Reactors

Public Response