Environmental group Greenpeace calls it a “dying and dangerous” industry and Europe’s biggest engineering conglomerate, Siemens, is exiting the sector altogether.
Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident six months ago sparked doubts about the future of nuclear power across the globe and especially in Europe, highlighted by Germany’s decision to quit the energy source and Italy’s referendum to ban it for decades.
But in a sign that the worst such disaster in a quarter of a century may slow rather than stop nuclear energy growth, other big economic and political powers used a U.N. meeting this week to reaffirm their commitment to atomic energy. (Reuters)
Russia to Extend Life of Aging Reactors
Chernobyl-Style Design Is Among Those That Nuclear Official Says Would Stay in Service; West Has Pushed for Shutdowns
DAVID CRAWFORD And REBECCA SMITH
VIENNA, Austria—Russia has decided to extend the life of a controversial generation of nuclear reactors like the one that catastrophically exploded at Chernobyl in 1986, the head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear monopoly said.
Sergei Kirienko, chief executive of Rosatom, said in an interview that Russia has taken action to extend the operational life of all of its Soviet-era reactors to 45 years. Among those reactors are 11 units like the one at Chernobyl, which Soviet nuclear engineers thought should be decommissioned after 30 years.
The Rosatom chief’s comments place Russia at the extreme end of a global reaction to March’s post-tsunami nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi complex. While Germany and Switzerland have laid the groundwork to shut down their reactors in the coming years, several other countries are pulling back on plans to build new reactors while attempting to eke further life out of those they already have. (WSJ)
Obama’s Tax Plan Raises Price of Nuclear Energy
Buried deep within the President’s tax plan is a proposal to “reauthorize the special assessment from domestic nuclear utilities.”
Translation: The President wants to place an additional tax on nuclear utilities that will result in higher energy prices for consumers. (The Foundry)