Majority of Americans see reactors as climate 'solution' -- industry poll
A majority of Americans associate nuclear power with solving climate change while ensuring the lights stay on, according to a new industry-backed poll.
Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said they associate nuclear power "a lot" with being a "climate change solution," while 31 percent said they see "a little" connection, according to a poll the Nuclear Energy Institute released today. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they do not associate nuclear power with solving climate change, and a remaining 5 percent said they did not know.
Leadership scramble starts as chairwoman steps down
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairwoman's announcement yesterday that she'd resign at year's end plunged the agency once more into uncertainty about its leadership and direction.
Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane plans to leave the NRC to direct the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University, cutting short a five-year term slated to end June 30, 2018.
Lockheed unveils plans for commercial fusion in 10 years
Lockheed Martin Corp. today announced it will develop a compact nuclear fusion reactor that could be ready within a decade.
Lockheed Martin's technology not only will shorten the infamous "30-years-away" timeline for commercial fusion but also will shrink the size of its reactor from the size of a building to the size of a large truck -- about 33 feet by 23 feet -- or 10 times smaller than current models, the company said.
IG report faults inspectors' review of crippled Calif. plant
Federal nuclear inspectors failed to identify red flags five years ago when evaluating -- and eventually approving -- an equipment swap at two reactors in California that later proved to be faulty and forced the plant's closure, according to a federal watchdog.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Inspector General Hubert Bell, in a 55-page report released yesterday, questioned why inspectors out of the agency's Texas-based regional office -- which oversees reactors in the West -- approved Southern California Edison's (SCE) replacement of massive steam generators at the San Onofre nuclear plant without first changing its license.
Costs for new S.C. reactor expected to grow by another $1B
SCANA Corp.'s new cost estimate for its nuclear project in South Carolina was the second of a one-two punch the utility delivered to investors recently, once again showing the enormous risk these companies take when building large, multibillion-dollar reactors.
The project, once estimated to cost $9.8 billion, could cost $1 billion more. SCANA's South Carolina Electric & Gas company, which owns 55 percent of the project, would be responsible for $660 million. Co-owner Santee Cooper's share is an estimated $540 million.