Nuclear plant closures shows industry's struggles

Jun 08, 2013 by Michael R. Blood
Lyn Harris Hicks, a longtime opponent of the San Onofre nuclear power plant and a nearby resident, wears a banner on her hat as she waits for a news conference in front of the plant Friday, June 7, 2013, in San Onofre, Calif. The troubled power plant on the California coast is closing after an epic 16-month battle over whether the twin reactors could be safely restarted with millions of people living nearby, officials announced Friday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The decision to close California's San Onofre nuclear plant is the latest setback for an industry that had seemed poised to grow.

In Wisconsin, a utility shuttered its plant last month after it couldn't find a buyer. In Florida—and now California—utilities decided it's cheaper to close plants rather than spend big money fixing them and risk the uncertainty of safety reviews.

Meanwhile, the low cost of natural gas is discouraging utilities from spending billions to build nuclear reactors. Three under construction in the Southeast face delays and cost overruns.

It's a big change from a few years ago, when a more robust economy, higher energy prices and a focus on greenhouse gasses brought on what the industry called a "nuclear renaissance."

A surfer rides a wave in front of the San Onofre nuclear power plant Friday, June 7, 2013, in San Onofre, Calif. The troubled power plant on the California coast is closing after an epic 16-month battle over whether the twin reactors could be safely restarted with millions of people living nearby, officials announced Friday. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Nuclear supporters acknowledge the problems. Still, they say prevent the country from putting too much reliance on natural gas.

Explore further: Glitch-hit US nuclear plant shut down for good

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US nuclear reactor turned off after radiation leak

Feb 02, 2012

A reactor at the San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Diego has been shut down after a radiation leak which was not big enough to cause public harm, the US atomic safety agency said Wednesday.

US may face inevitable nuclear power exit

Mar 01, 2013

In a 2012 report, the Obama administration announced that it was "jumpstarting" the nuclear industry. Because of the industry's long history of permitting problems, cost overruns, and construction delays, financial markets ...

Anxiety about retirement—for aging nuclear power plants

Apr 03, 2013

Mention "high costs," "financing" and "safety" in the same sentence as "commercial nuclear power plants," and most people think of the multi-billion-dollar construction or operational phase of these facilities, ...

Recommended for you

Switch on sunlight for a brighter future

2 hours ago

Imagine sitting in a windowless room yet having the feeling of the sun shining on your face. This unique experience is now possible thanks to the COELUX EU-funded project which recreates the physical and ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

18 hours ago

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

Apr 23, 2014

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

Finalists named in Bloomberg European city contest

Apr 23, 2014

Amsterdam wants to create an online game to get unemployed young people engaged in finding jobs across Europe. Schaerbeek, Belgium, envisions using geothermal mapping to give households personalized rundowns of steps to save ...

Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

Apr 22, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1.8 / 5 (10) Jun 08, 2013
Nuclear plant closures shows industry's struggles


Nuclear plant closures shows liberal States' dystopia.
kochevnik
2.7 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2013
Nuclear plant closures shows liberal States' dystopia.


Shootist shows red States' retardation
Dominic De Silva
5 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2013
They think nuclear power is an evil thing. Only people are evil not the nuclear technology.
DruidDrudge
1.3 / 5 (11) Jun 09, 2013
Headline should be: U.S. too poor to maintain power plants
DirtySquirties
1 / 5 (8) Jun 11, 2013
Getting tired of the irrational total fear of nuclear power. If we should ban anything, it's the power sources that are killing people every day, like coal and oil.

More news stories

New breast cancer imaging method promising

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the ...

Using antineutrinos to monitor nuclear reactors

When monitoring nuclear reactors, the International Atomic Energy Agency has to rely on input given by the operators. In the future, antineutrino detectors may provide an additional option for monitoring. ...