CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Japan and Future of U.S. Nuclear Power

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

The recent history of the U.S. nuclear industry suggests that nuclear power can be a safe source of low-carbon electricity. But disasters can happen very quickly, with potentially cataclysmic results.

The loss of coolant, explosions and apparent partial meltdown of nuclear plants in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami remind us that nuclear power is inherently risky. The U.S. government and the nuclear industry must take new actions to ensure that nuclear power is safe for the American public.

New nuclear reactors are phenomenally expensive, costing up to $10 billion dollars apiece. Exelon CEO John Rowe said recently that the combination of low natural gas prices and failure of Congress to put a price on carbon dioxide pollution pushes back any significant nuclear renaissance by a "decade, maybe two."

The U.S. nuclear industry has long argued that new reactors are prohibitively expensive because of an overly burdensome site selection and permitting process, which they say unnecessarily drives up costs. But, in fact, new nuclear plants have seen soaring prices not just in Florida, Texas and other states — but in Finland, Turkey and Canada.

Read more here.

This article was originally published in CNN.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org