Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear rebirth looking more like a stillbirth

Dozens of other companies that lined up behind NRG shelved plans after the economic downturn made obtaining credit on such expensive projects even harder.

(USA) Nuclear renaissance struggles to fire up, Financial Times, By Sheila McNulty in Houston,February 25 2010

“…….Only if the $54bn in loan guarantees goes through is the US likely to see a concerted effort to replace such ageing facilities, leading to a ramping up of the equipment manufacturing and expertise needed to fuel expansion of the industry.

“It would be the birth of a nuclear renaissance,’’ says Robert Rosner, co-director of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ project on the global nuclear initiative and a professor at the University of Chicago.

One problem is the long lead times involved. In 2005 Congress approved $18.5bn in loan guarantees, but it took five years for the first conditional commitment: $8.3bn was approved last week for Southern Co, once it receives an operating licence, to help build two reactors in Georgia.

“It’s just an extraordinarily long time,’’ says David Crane, chief executive of NRG Energy, which in 2007 became the first company in almost three decades to apply for a licence to build a reactor. According to the government’s schedule, it should get that within the next two years.

Dozens of other companies that lined up behind NRG shelved plans after the economic downturn made obtaining credit on such expensive projects even harder.

And now low prices of natural gas, providing a competing energy source, have made others even more uncertain. “If natural gas becomes almost free, there won’t be a nuclear renaissance,’’ Mr Crane says.

February 26, 2010 - Posted by | 1 | , ,

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