The Obama administration injected significant funding into two new nuclear reactor projects in Georgia in 2012. But this investment—the first of its kind in three decades—belies an overall dismal US nuclear power landscape. According to former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner Peter Bradford, current market forces challenge the economic viability of existing nuclear power plants, with new reactors representing an extremely unattractive investment prospect.
Allowing existing reactors to simply run out their licensed lifetimes in the current scenario, nuclear power may simply disappear, he writes. “Absent an extremely large injection of government funding or further life extensions, the reactors currently operating are going to end their licensed lifetimes between now and the late 2050s,” Bradford concludes. “They will become part of an economics-driven US nuclear phase-out a couple of decades behind the government-led nuclear exit in Germany.” [link to enenews.com]