Explosions at Japan's Nuclear Power Plant Raises Concerns

The disaster at Fukushima Daiichi is still unfolding. But it’s already leading to dire predictions from observers of America’s energy sector.

“The nuclear renaissance is all but dead in its cradle right now, here in the U.S.”

Kevin Book is managing director of research at ClearView Energy Partners.

“The price tag for nuclear power is high in its own right, and as much as Republicans may ideologically support it, they don’t want to pay for it. Second thing is it’s high on a relative basis compared to natural gas generation. Add in fear, and you’ve got a problem. The story may not be as grim as it looks, but facts aren’t what’s driving nuclear policy in this country and haven’t been since 1979.”

That’s likely to cause additional problems for Exelon Corporation. Exelon has filed a permit application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a nuclear power plant 13 miles south of Victoria.

Japan plant after earthquake
 A heavy black plume of smoke streams southeast from Sendai, Japan, in this photo-like image from March 12, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired the image at 12:10 p.m. local time. Clouds prevented MODIS from identifying the location of the fire within the city, however this type of black smoke usually originates from oil or gas fires. According to Reuters, a refinery in Sendai was on fire following the 8.9 earthquake that hit the region on March 11. The earthquake generated a massive tsunami that devastated the coastal areas show in the image. Clouds of blue and green sediment in the ocean may be mud and other debris from the powerful waves. 
Image from the MODIS Rapid Response System, which provides twice-daily images of Japan. NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.
 
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