"Pact Clears Way for Westinghouse to Build Nuclear Plants in China," Reports WaPo

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My first cynical thought was:  Where's the "pact" clearing the way for building nuclear power plants in the U.S.? But perhaps there is hope. According to the Wall Street Journal, utility companies are planning to build 30 new plants. Why? The happy part of the answer is because utilities are responding to higher natural gas prices. The less happy part of the answer is that utilities want to gobble up the new subsidies in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

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  1. The various state public commissions have the energy markets in such disarray that it doesn’t surprise me that companies haven’t swooped in to build a bunch of plants. The companies big enough to buy a nuke plant are usually precluded from owning generation facilities. Smaller companies are trying to fill the market, and that included subsidiaries of holding companies. The EPA subsidies are intended to counterbalance the regulatory uncertainty and financial risk by adding more government intervention.

  2. Interesting Lamar, but sadly not surprising.

  3. According to the Wall Street Journal, utility companies are planning to build 30 new plants.

    Lawyers on both sides are dancing in the streets.

  4. Ron, I didn’t see mention of what kind of reactors they are planning on building in the US or in China. Obviously I would hope that they would be building integral fast reactors, but from the context, it sounds almost like they are planning on building light water reactors, which are not particularly efficient and produce far more waste than IFR.

  5. Obviously I would hope that they would be building integral fast reactors,

    Why would you hope or even expect that? Fast reactors have been economic disasters in practice. Neither waste disposal nor fuel availability provide substantial reasons to build them.

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