March 03, 2008
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) just offered its annual outlook for the future of nuclear power, and its optimisticpartly of necessity. Todays 104 nuclear power plants generate about 20 percent of electricity in the United States. Due to rising energy demand and aging infrastructure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission predicts that industry will need to build 50 new reactors to continue producing the same proportion of the countrys power over the next 30 years.
Most of these plants have gotten past the glint-in-the-eye stage: Thirty-one reactors, representing 17 power companies and consortia, are somewhere in the application processthough NEI predicts only four to eight of those will be in commercial operation by 2016.
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