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Enviros want TVA reactor's license withheld until disaster review complete

An environmental advocacy group continues to argue that the Tennessee Valley Authority's new nuclear reactor should not start operating until federal safety regulators have considered updated information about earthquake and flooding risks.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) said TVA's Watts Bar site in Spring City, Tenn., is subject to greater earthquake and flooding risks than its design can handle. SACE wants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to hold off on voting on an operating license for the new Watts Bar 2 reactor until analyzing these risks.


China resumes its nuclear power development

HONG KONG -- China yesterday approved the construction of two new nuclear reactors, giving a long-awaited go-ahead to Chinese nuclear developers.

The country halted its rapid nuclear power expansion in 2011, when Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex experienced meltdowns after a deadly tsunami. While Chinese officials allowed several already approved nuclear projects to complete their construction after passing safety reviews, they did not approve starting new projects -- until yesterday.


Exelon backs Ill. carbon bill -- but not the one greens wanted

Exelon Corp. is urging the Illinois General Assembly to price power-sector carbon emissions, but to do so in a way that won't make environmentalists happy.

The nuclear giant, which has long been searching for a way to secure state funding to keep its six-unit Illinois nuclear fleet online, threw its support yesterday to legislation -- Senate Bill 1585 and House Bill 3293 -- that would create a low-carbon portfolio standard.


Exelon, critics gird for battle as pro-nuclear bill is filed in Ill.

The stage is set for an energy policy showdown in Illinois after lawmakers from both parties introduced a bill aimed at aiding three Exelon Corp. nuclear plants that have struggled in recent years in the face of increasing competition from wind energy and natural-gas-fired generation.

The legislation filed in the House and Senate would replace the Illinois renewable energy standard with a low-carbon portfolio standard requiring 70 percent of electricity used in areas served by large investor-owned utilities to come from low-carbon sources of generation.

Nuclear Nation

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About this report

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