Hopes and costs are high for UKs nuclear energy future

News Summary

  • Some experts say nuclear energy will be needed to help nations wean off fossil fuels, but there are concerns about the substantial cost and timescale of building large nuclear reactors as well as worries over safety and nuclear waste.
  • In the U.S., it’s more difficult to get these big costs approved, even with recent incentives for nuclear power, meaning the country is likely to skip ahead to a newer advanced technology, called small modular reactors, that have less daunting upfront costs and shorter construction timescales.
  • The United States, which still has the most capacity to generate nuclear power of any country, has seen just one new nuclear reactor connect to the grid since 2000 – a Tennessee-based project that took decades to complete.
  • Scientists say that for the world to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), fossil fuel emissions need to be cut dramatically, with the remainder being canceled out.“Everyone wants nuclear,” said Neil Hirst, a senior policy fellow for energy at Imperial College London.
  • This makes them an attractive prospect for many nations, Gordon said.She added that large reactors could instead act “as a bridge to the next generation of nuclear and also as a bridge to renewables and breakthroughs in storage” technology.
  • These massive overruns have “certainly given people a cause to be hesitant,” said Jennifer Gordon, director of the Nuclear Energy Policy Initiative at the Atlantic Council.
By DANA BELTAJI and MARY KATHERINE WILDEMAN Associated PressBRIDGWATER, England (AP) Wedged between the southwestern town of Bridgwater and the Severn estuary is a 430acre site where some of the [+7895 chars]