In early 2014, it is almost laughable to talk about a “nuclear renaissance,” which the nuclear industry was indeed touting as the wave of the future when NIRS launched this section of our website in 2005.
For a very few years, it appeared the nuclear industry was not just talking through its hat, with proposals for more than 30 new reactors submitted–at least partially–to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But nearly all of those have now been cancelled or dropped for lack of interest and/or money. It seems building new reactors is exactly what its opponents have always stated: an incredibly expensive proposition.
While four new reactors (in South Carolina and Georgia) are under construction and a fifth has resumed construction after decades of neglect (TVA’s Watts Bar reactor in Tennessee, the pendulum has turned in the opposite direction. Eight proposed new reactors were either cancelled or defeated in 2013 and five existing reactors either closed permanently or announced a 2014 shutdown. And more aging, expensive reactors are on the bubble for shutdown this year and in years to come.
In this section, you’ll find the early documents of the “nuclear renaissance” that wasn’t: the government actions intended to encourage new reactors, links to some of the license applications and legal filings from grassroots groups, and more.