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.



A little fun at FirstEnergy's expense


FPL halts two new reactors targeted at Turkey Point!

In what appears to be a major victory for anti-nuclear efforts in Florida, the state's Public Utility Commission  (PUC) has rejected Florida Power and Light's (FPL) request for a massive electricity rate increase, which would have largely gone to pay for two new Toshiba-Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors at its Turkey Point nuclear power plant near Miami. This victory is all the more significant, in that the State of Florida had already empowered its PUC to approve "Construction Work in Progress," charging ratepayers on their bills in advance to build new reactors, many years before any electricity is actually delivered. However, the PUC has decided to refuse such charges.  FPL responded by halting its plans to pursue the two new reactors past the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing phase. Thus, continued anti-nuclear vigilance will be required, as FPL will undoubtedly try again to force its ratepayers to bear the financial burdens and risks of building new reactors, while offering little to none of the projected profits in return. David Kraft of Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago asserts that this decision could well set back the nuclear power relapse nation-wide.


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.