US Eyes Boom in Nuclear Reactors

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Almost three decades have passed since the last application was filed to build a new nuclear reactor in the US. Now, up to 30 are expected in the next three years.

The Three Mile Island accident cast a shadow over the nuclear industry Almost three decades have passed since the last application was filed to build a new nuclear reactor in the US. Now, up to 30 are expected in the next three years.

As time has passed, memories have faded of the 1979 radioactive leak at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania that threw the US nuclear industry into disarray.

Meanwhile, energy security concerns and worries about climate change have reshaped the debate, and financial incentives and a new licensing process have altered the economics.

The first full application for two new reactors, in southern Texas, was submitted at the end of September.

Another four are due by the end of the year and a dozen in 2008, many in south-eastern states, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said.

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