The Nuclear Retreat

We coined the term, "Nuclear Retreat" here at Beyond Nuclear to counter the nuclear industry's preposterous "nuclear renaissance" propaganda campaign. You've probably seen "Nuclear Retreat" picked up elsewhere and no wonder - the alleged nuclear revival so far looks more like a lot of running away. On this page we will keep tabs on every latest nuclear retreat as more and more proposed new nuclear programs are canceled.



Another blow to the Areva empire

The French oil company, Total, has opted not to invest in Areva after the French nuclear company lost a bid to build two new reactors in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Total’s director general also questioned whether it was possible to make the EPR – Areva’s flagship new reactor – less expensive without compromising safety. “That’s the real question,” he told Reuters news agency. The UAE deal was considered a crown jewel for the struggling Areva whose EPR has been the subject of postponements and cancelations in major markets like the U.S. and China. South Korea won the UAE deal – said to be worth as much as $40 billion with four new reactors planned. It is believed that the recent joint statement by the Finnish, British and French nuclear safety bodies, asking that the EPR's control and safety systems should be changed to avoid both failing at once, contributed to the French loss of the UAE contract.


Zero expansion for global nuclear power in 2009

Two reactors closed in 2009 and two new ones opened, leaving the "renaissance" in stasis. Shutdowns were France's Phenix, a prototype fast reactor which produced 233 MWe, and Lithuania's Ignalina 2 which produced 1185 MWe but has been shut early as a condition of EU entry. The two new reactors of 2009 were Tomari 3 in Japan and Rajasthan 5 in India, both connected to the grid in December. Respectively they added 868 MWe and 220 MWe to global nuclear capacity.


Cooper: 19 of 26 proposed new reactors cancelled or delayed

Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School says: “2010 will be the seventh year of the so-called ‘Nuclear Renaissance,’ but it is shaping up to be a lot like the U.S. nuclear industry of the 1980s, a decade of no new orders, multiple delays and cancellations, hefty defaults, and emerging cheaper alternatives. Of 26 new nuclear reactor license applications submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission since 2007, 19 have been cancelled or delayed and every private sector project has suffered a downgrade by credit rating agencies. The reality is that capital markets will not finance new reactors because demand growth has slowed, reactors cost much more than available alternatives and they face too many technology, marketplace, and policy risks; so nuclear advocates have demanded a massive increase in direct federal subsidies to bail the industry out. What we are looking at is the prospect of ‘nuclear socialism’ that could only go farther if it involved outright state ownership of the industry.”

(For more comments from Cooper and other experts on how loan guarantees will not fix the insurmountable obstacles in the path of a so-called new nuclear “renaissance” in the United States, go to

This is excerpted from a SACE press release.


South Texas Project new reactor partners battle in court

CPS, the utility owned by the City of San Antonio, has requested the courts to award it $32 billion in damages from NRG Energy and Toshiba-Westinghouse, primary proponents of an "Advanced Boiling Water Reactor" (ABWR) near Bay City, Texas. It recently came to light that the price tag for the two proposed new reactors is $5 billion higher than CPS publicly admitted just last summer, now topping $18.2 billion. The San Antonio Express News has posted a chronology of numerous articles about the unfolding scandals at the South Texas Project.


Harvey Wasserman celebrates "A quiet but HUGE no nukes triumph"

Harvey Wasserman's latest essay lists recent setbacks plaguing the nuclear "renaissance," and urges continued grassroots vigilance against taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for new atomic reactors. See numerous additional Wasserman anti-nuke blogs down the righthand side of his homepage, and visit the website Harvey edits.