Planned Nuclear Reactors
Image Credit: NRC
It is interesting there are no nuclear reactors planned west of Kansas. As I have blogged before, I don't believe all of these reactors will be built, now that natural gas appears to be the energy of the future, at least for North America.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, Japanese protestors are chanting, "Saikado hantai", or translated as "No to nuclear restarts". Protests mark restart of Japan nuclear reactor tells that although protestors shouted and danced at the gate of Ohi nuclear plant number 3, it returned to operating status. The Japanese government ordered the restarts after concluding Japan's standard of living could not be maintained without nuclear energy. Oil imports are too high, and blackouts are feared at the peak of the summer heat.
Ironically as number 3 was going online, the cooling system for Fukushima Dai-ichi number 4's spent nuclear fuel pool failed.
The Nuclear Power Chapter has Come to an End provides a European perspective. In an interview, the CEO of the Germany's second-largest power company explained he wants to halt expenditures on nuclear power and focus instead upon renewable energy. His plan includes stopping nuclear construction outside of Germany as well. There is an economic argument - "The price we receive for generating power is currently so low that it's simply irresponsible to build an expensive nuclear power plant in Europe."
I believe the economic argument will eventually stop construction in the U.S. as well. The zero-failures safety requirement for nuclear power plants is too costly in competition with other energy sources.