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America Flips Switch On First New Nuclear Reactor in 7 Years

The United States has started operations on its first new nuclear reactor in seven years, in a development hailed as having a positive impact on the climate as it releases no greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Waynesboro, Georgia-based Unit 3 reactor at Plant Vogtle began delivering power to the grid on Monday after having successfully completed tests this spring.

The Westinghouse AP1000 commercial reactor is now generating some 1,110 megawatts of energy to power around half a million homes and businesses, according to its grid operator, Georgia Power, as reported by CNBC. The reactor will be able to operate at this level for as long as eight decades.

The nuclear milestone is the first new reactor to be put into operation since 2016, in Tennessee. 

The debate continues over whether nuclear power is a friend or foe to the climate. 

The anti-nuclear lobby feels that nuclear energy is not a legitimate element of the renewable transition, citing meltdown risks and dangerous storage of nuclear waste fuel. 

Proponents, on the other hand, argue that there have been major advancements in the treatment and storage of nuclear waste fuel, and that the U.S. has a clean track record in terms of dangerous accidents. 

Another hurdle is American dependence on Russia for uranium to power nuclear reactors. The U.S. imported some 14% of its uranium and 28% of all enrichment services from Russia in 2021 and is actively pursuing alternatives for uranium as a nuclear fuel. 

Russia is home to one of the world’s largest uranium resources with an estimated 486,000 tons of uranium, the equivalent of 8% of global supply. It also houses the biggest uranium enrichment complex in the world, accounting for nearly half of the global capacity. 

 

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • George Doolittle on July 31 2023 said:
    The USA is neither Great Britain, France/Europe or Japan all of whom I believe use "breeder nuclear ?? fuel" which from what I have been told and I don't think I'll be mistaken but uses the spent nuclear fuel stored on site to be used a 2nd time so no, the United States is not in the least dependent upon Russia for access to nuclear fuel again "even ignoring breeder reactors."

    Either way neither Russia nor Germany can at the moment be seen as reliable partners for issues so momentous and capital intensive as nuclear power. Ironically enough this is not true of the Nordic Nations Finland in particular. That should have been pointed out in this article as Finland is now generating massive amounts of "new nuclear power" just like Waynesboro Georgia but of course with *EVER SO SLIGHT* difference in demand between Finland and USA State of Georgia of course how could anyone not understand that #question_mark

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