Obama Announces Federal Help To Fund New Nuclear Reactors.

President Obama's announcement yesterday, in Lanham, MD, that his Administration will encourage a boost in US nuclear energy production received extensive media coverage, including reports on all three networks and on major print outlets across the country. Under the headline "Obama's Latest Bipartisan Outreach: Nuclear Energy," for example, the AP (2/17, Feller) reports that Obama "championed nuclear energy expansion as the latest way that feuding parties can move beyond the 'broken politics' of Washington that have imperiled his agenda and soured voters."

        USA Today (2/17, Schmit) notes that in addition to the Federal loan guarantees, "more money is coming. The Department of Energy has $18 billion to dole out, and Obama, in his 2011 budget, asked that the number be tripled to $54.5 billion, enough to help fund six to 10 reactors." Energy Secretary Steven Chu "said that the US pioneered nuclear energy and has sat on the sidelines for too long." Said Chu, "It's time to take the lead once again."

        GE Hitachi Proposes Recycling Nuclear Waste For Fuel. Technology Review (2/17, Bullis) reports that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy "says it has an alternative to burying nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, the proposed waste repository that the Obama administration has said is now 'off the table.'" The company "wants to use nuclear waste as a fuel for advanced nuclear power plants, significantly reducing the volume of waste and the length of time that most of the waste needs to be stored." According to Eric Loewen, chief consulting engineer for advanced plants at GE Hitachi, "national labs in the United States and GE have been developing the technology over the course of a few decades, but in recent years the company 'put it on the shelf' because of a lack of U.S. interest in reusing nuclear waste." The article details the proposed process, and notes that Energy Secretary Steven Chu has voiced support both for nuclear power and potential reprocessing solutions.


This is from ASEE Feb 17, 2010