Last year, the US Senate voted on measures to revive civilian nuclear power in the country, in particular by building new power plants. This initiative is now taking shape with the announcement of steps taken with the nuclear regulatory authority (the NRC) by the consortia Exelon, Entergy and Dominion Resources with the aim of establishing new production units. To justify these installation projects, which could be completed by 2010, the promoters put forward economic arguments. The current 103 power plants, spread over 65 sites, are not enough to supply a constantly increasing demand for electricity and nuclear power constitutes a solution of choice for reducing energy dependence on oil.
Opponents of the extension of the use of atoms, for their part, underline the threats linked to terrorism, each reactor constituting a potential target, as well as the problems linked to the treatment and storage of waste, which are still pending. The question of the cost price of construction programs is also viewed differently on both sides. If industrialists are counting on higher energy prices in the future which will make nuclear more and more profitable, environmental movements believe that investments in renewable energies (wind or solar) could just as well meet the country's needs. . It is true that the studies and work necessary for the development of nuclear power remain expensive and that only the financial guarantees from the government have so far made it possible to carry out such projects.
Source: USAT 26 / 09 / 04 (Nuclear power slides back to the agenda)