The U.S. nuclear power industry is facing an uphill battle to hang onto its share of the country’s electricity production, with some projecting a worst-case scenario where half of the nation’s 99 nuclear reactors could shut over the next couple of decades. Nuclear power looked to be on the verge of a renaissance about a decade ago. But a surge in domestic natural gas production, billions of dollars in cost overruns on new projects, Japan’s Fukushima accident in 2011, and multiple plant closures have the industry on its heels again. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) expects nuclear’s percentage of the power mix to drop to 11 percent by 2050 from the current 20 percent, and many reactors to close. A DOE study in August pointed to increased natural gas production as the biggest factor hampering competitiveness in nuclear power.
Reuters 20th Sept 2017 read more »