U.S. Will Approve New Nuclear Reactors explains that the U.S. Nuclear Regulator Commission (NRC) is going to approve three applications for new nuclear reactors. These will be the first nuclear power plants constructed in the U.S. since Three Mile Island on March 28, 1979. Supposedly up to 29 other reactors are under consideration by the NRC.
US Nuclear Power Plants Set Record Highs for Electricity Production and Efficiency in 2007 says that nuclear plants produced 807 billion kWh in 2007. 1/3 of all U.S. electricity is generation by carbon-free production such as hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, etc. Nuclear is almost 70% of that, so nuclear power generates roughly 23% of the country's electrical power. France holds the enviable position of producing 80% of their electricity with nuclear power plants. The U.K. is at 19%, but nuclear power is receiving considerable debate, Britain promotes dash for nuclear power.
In 2007 the average production cost for a nuclear plant was 1.68 cents/kWh. More importantly, it was less than coal and natural gas-fired electrical plants. Unlike the previous development of nuclear power, there are both environmental and economic motivations for building new power plants.
I am a proponent for nuclear power, but I still remember a line from the movie Apollo 13 - "Let's work the problem people, and not make the problem worse by guessing." The world needs to address safety at several levels: a) nuclear fission waste has a long radioactive life - we need a solution for processing it, b) we must keep dangerous radioactive substances from bad guys, c) cleanup team - we need a different solution for a nuclear accident other than evacuating the region for a century. There will be a nuclear accident - we are human.