Should New Nuclear Power Plants be Built?
nuclear power plant protest

Should new nuclear power plants be built in the United States?  Such plants will be built by private industry, but companies will only do so if the government gives them incentives and arranges regulation and insurance for nuclear power plants in favorable ways.  Should the government do so?  Focus not on the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power in general, but rather on whether building new nuclear power plants is the right choice now.

In favor:
Reports from the Nuclear Energy Institute
Nuclear Power 2010 Program and also here
Bush proposes new nuclear power plants
Advantages of Nuclear Power
Want Clean? Go Atomic
Nuclear Now
American Nuclear Society: Areas for Focus
Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors

various points of view:
Cost Estimates for New Nuclear Power Plants
Nuclear Energy
Tax-payer support stuck in Congress
Is Nuclear Power the Solution to Global Warming?
The Nuclear History Site

Nuclear Power Too Expensive to Solve Global Warming
Nuclear Power: No Solution to Climate Change
Price-Anderson Act
Spinning Nuclear Power into Green
Security Meltdown

An article from the Greenville News:

October 19, 2005
Section: Front
Page: 1, 3A

Counties vie to win new nuke facility
Cherokee pushes incentive package; Oconee, Pickens hope for plant jobs
By Anna Simon


WALHALLA -- Oconee County and Pickens County are players in what is becoming a race to attract a Duke Power nuclear plant, with Cherokee County backing an incentive package to draw a facility that would bring jobs and tax revenues.

Duke Power, which already has three reactors at its Oconee Nuclear Station on Lake Keowee, hasn't requested an incentive package from Oconee County, Ron Rabun, the county administrator, said Tuesday.

Duke has asked "for an indication of interest," and "is certainly aware of our interest," said Rabun, who has met with Duke officials and said he asked if Oconee should prepare incentives.

Rabun asked if Duke was "looking for a particular incentive, or a cash package or bonds and they said no," he said.

But on Monday night Cherokee County Council approved the second of three readings of an incentive package with a reduction in property taxes for the site should Duke select that county, said Jim Inman, director of the Cherokee County Development Board.

Duke is "asking the other counties to make some type of indication of their interest," Inman said.

Lake Keowee borders both Oconee and Pickens counties, but Pickens County Administrator Alan Ours said Duke hasn't approached him, though he's contacted them and expressed interest in Duke building the plant in Pickens County.

"My take is that Pickens County is not under consideration," Ours said. But Ray Farley, director of the Economic Development Alliance in Pickens County, said, "If Oconee is in the running, we are their best cheerleader."

Selection of Oconee "would be Christmas morning in Pickens County," Farley said. "We know that that facility would employ, as the current nuclear facility employs, a lot of Pickens County folks," Farley said.

A new nuclear plant would likely be a $4 to $6 billion investment in 2005 dollars and could bring 800-1,000 full-time jobs varying from maintenance to engineering to office workers, Rita Sipe, a Duke spokeswoman, said.

The region has suffered from job losses in the past year, including the closing of the huge WestPoint Stevens textile plant near Clemson in Oconee County that affected more than 1,300 people.

Duke Power is studying about 14 possible sites in its service area in the Carolinas that should be complete at the end of the year, Sipe said Tuesday.

Sipe wouldn't disclose any locations being considered. None of the original sites on the list have been eliminated, she said.

Bryan J. Dolan, Duke's managing director of nuclear projects, had said in an earlier interview that the Charlotte-based utility "will be looking at Lake Keowee to see if it's viable to build a plant there."

When asked if a fourth reactor could be built on the current nuclear station site, Sipe said "we built what we planned" on the Oconee site. She did not elaborate.

The study looks at factors such as available land mass, access to transmission, water availability and "a long list" of other things that are "being applied consistently to sites across the territory," Sipe said. Sipe said Duke's plans are to have a site for a nuclear plant selected by the end of this year, as well as a decision to prepare an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on what could be the nation's first new nuclear plant in three decades.

Any decision to build would be made after a successful commission review and based on customer need at that time, which would be four or five years out, Sipe said.

It could take Duke two years or more to complete an application and the commission review process would take about 33 months, Sipe said.

Construction of a new nuclear facility would take another four to five years, Sipe said.


A new Duke nuclear power plant in Oconee or Pickens county could bring needed jobs and tax revenue to an area that has suffered major employment losses. If approved, the facility also would be the nation's first new plant in three decades.

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