Nuclear Industry: New Licenses a Positive Boost

Though the industry will be encouraged by the recent license approvals, progress will be slow, Insiders say.

Nuclear-at-NightThings haven’t been so rosy for the nuclear industry in the last several years. Natural-gas prices have been dropping rapidly, making it harder for nuclear to compete as an energy source. Plus, the industry has faced increased scrutiny since last year’s meltdown at the Fukushima plant in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami, in the midst of a number of earthquake-related shutdowns in the United States over recent years.

Still, more than half of National Journal’s Energy & Environment Insiders argue that the industry will be buoyed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval of two new reactors last week.

The licensing of the nation’s first new nuclear-power reactors in decades, Insiders said, will serve as a signal for the industry that the seemingly convoluted regulatory process actually works. Fifty-four percent of Insiders said that the approval will pave the way for other reactors to be built.

“Build them and more will come,” said one Insider.

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Source: Olga Belogolova | National Journal