Rebecca Smith, in the Wall Street Journal, surveys the current state of nuclear power’s future in the United States.
“Times are exciting for nuclear,” says Ronaldo Szilard, director of nuclear science and engineering at the Idaho National Lab, a part of the U.S. Energy Department. “There are lots of options being explored.”
But nuclear is far from a sure thing. Yes, the plants of tomorrow—some of which could enter construction as soon as 2012—go at least part way toward solving some of the problems of yesterday. But they are still more expensive than fossil-fuel plants, and they still generate waste that must be stored safely somewhere.
And while the industry is winning converts, plenty of powerful enemies remain.
Smith hits on the technology, costs, and politics of nuclear power.