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United States

First New Nuclear Plant in US in 30 years 838

Hugh Pickens writes "With backing from the White House and congressional leaders, and subsidies like the $500 million in risk insurance from the Department of Energy, the nuclear industry is experiencing a revival in the US. Scientific American reports that this week NRG Energy filed an application for the first new nuclear power plant in the US in thirty years to build two advanced boiling water reactors (ABWR) at its South Texas nuclear power plant site doubling the 2700 megawatts presently generated at the facility. The ABWR, based on technology already operating in Japan, works by using the heat generated by the controlled splitting of uranium atoms in fuel rods to directly boil water into steam to drive turbines producing electricity. Improvements over previous designs include removing water circulation pipes that could rupture and accidentally drain water from the reactor, exposing the fuel rods to a potential meltdown, and fewer pumps to move the water through the system. NRG projects it will spend $6 billion constructing the two new reactors and hopes to have the first unit online by 2014."

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