A Positive Reaction to Reactor Proposals

By August 4, 2008Energy, Global Warming

Notwithstanding the anti-energy activism mentioned below, seems like higher energy prices have made the public receptive not just to more OCS drilling, but to nuclear power as well. From today’s Washington Post, the lead story on the Metro section, “Little Outcry on Nuclear Reactor Proposal.”

As Maryland regulators begin hearings tonight on a proposed third nuclear reactor in Calvert County, one element in the historically raucous debate over nuclear power is notably absent: widespread opposition.

The passionate anti-nuclear protests of the 1970s and ’80s have largely yielded in Washington and its suburbs to alarm over rising fuel prices, global warming and a lack of quick, easy solutions to quench the thirst for power.

This region could be a testing ground for the so-called nuclear renaissance. As the Public Service Commission starts a month of hearings on Constellation Energy Group’s initial application to add a third nuclear plant at its Calvert Cliffs site 50 miles southeast of Washington, Dominion Virginia Power, which supplies all of Northern Virginia’s electricity, is pressing ahead with plans to expand its reactors southwest of Fredericksburg.

As Constellation Energy notes, in March 2000 the Calvert Cliffs plant was the first plant in the United States to earn 20-year extensions of its operating licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC has the application and related materials for the Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 proposal available here.

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