We keep hearing the phrase 'nuclear renaissance' as the nuclear power industry attempts to capitalize on Federal incentives to restart construction of nuclear power plants and concerns over greenhouse emissions cloud prospects for new coal for baseload power.
Some people are thrilled by the idea, others shocked, and many are in between scratching their heads as the pro- and anti-nuclear forces make their points. We've been very interested in nuclear power for many years and this is an attempt to provide a neutral forum where the facts are presented without bias so that people can decide where they stand on this pressing issue.
We have studied the technological issues in depth and recently had the opportunity to take an extensive tour of an operating nuclear plant, including attending a presentation on advanced boiling water reactor designs by GE Nuclear and 3 hours of Q+A with the Plant Head Engineer during the tour.
We do have concerns of where nuclear power plants are sited, primarily due to their massive cooling water requirements. As utilities compete for the incentives that will inevitably result in plant construction it is important to ensure that this first phase of a new generation of nuclear facilities is placed in locations where they do not compete for constrained water resources.
What are the issues?
Nuclear waste disposal (specifically spent fuel rods)
Potential for construction cost overruns
Base load power requirements