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Westinghouse pioneered and built the Pressurized Water Reactors that count for about half the world’s fleet.
The AP 1000 was meant to provide a safer, more economical upgrade.
More than twice as many Americans now work in solar as in coal mines.
As the head of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund recently put it: “We are quite convinced that if John D Rockefeller were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy.” Even America’s Tea Party has developed a green wing promoting renewables.
It would mark the definitive death of the dream of “too cheap to meter” radioactive energy, and end an era marked by massive cost overruns, soaring operating and maintenance expenses, a string of bankruptcies, two major meltdowns, an unsolved radioactive waste burden. Currently, 99 nuclear plants now operate in the United States.
Already under fire for illegal license manipulations and an avoidable gas explosion that killed eight in San Bruno in 2010, Pacific Gas & Electric has plunged into a legal, economic and political abyss that could soon doom California’s last reactors.The fate of two reactors under construction in South Carolina was sealed July 31, with the unanimous vote of the board of the publicly owned Santee Cooper utility, which owns 45 percent of the project.The SCANA Corporation, which owns 55 percent, immediately followed with a statement saying it would also abandon construction, first proposed in 2007.“This project has been a multi-billion-dollar disaster,” adds Stephen A. “We also call on Georgia Power and their utility partners to protect their customers from the similarly risky, mismanaged project” at the Vogtle site in Georgia.Should those two plants in Georgia also be cancelled, as seems increasingly likely, the United States would be free of all new commercial reactor construction for the first time since the 1950s. nuclear fleet, which Richard Nixon projected in 1974 would reach 1,000 reactors by the year 2000, never got higher than about 250 on line or in the works.
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But anunending stream of technical failures and soaring costs, as well as plummeting prices for gas, wind, and solar, and a drop in electricity demand, doomed the project.