The nuclear power industry should be enjoying a boom, reveling in its extraordinary safety record and the fact that it is a carbon-free way to make electricity. But all is not well in atom land. In fact, things are dismal. Only five nuclear plants are under construction, and they are having birth pains as schedules slip and costs rise.
A very large gas pipeline will soon skirt the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), an aging nuclear power plant that stands in the town of Cortlandt in Westchester County, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan. Experts say a disaster as great as or greater than Fukushima could be triggered by a potential gas explosion at the nuclear complex.
New York State is prepared to close 40 years of intermittent and costly legal wrangling over the annual destruction of billions of fish by the twin Indian Point nuclear power plants in the productive Hudson River estuary if the plant agrees to shut down during peak spawning and hatching seasons for the river's major fish populations.
The Attorneys General of New York and Vermont have joined the fight against California's San Onofre nuclear power plant in an effort to stop federal regulators from erasing all record of a judicial ruling that the public has a right to intervene before major amendments are granted to an operating license.