(this article now available in Polish via http://www.marmas.nazwa.pl/wordpress/?p=549 we thank them for their translation efforts)
The much touted SMR nuclear reactor program that has been claimed to be the next generation of nuclear plants is in trouble before it has even really started. Babcock & Wilcox, long time nuclear company located in Tennessee has scaled back their SMR reactor development. They are unable to find investors or customers for the concept reactor. The US Department of Energy has given $226 million to help B&W fund the project. The company booked a loss last year and said they would drastically cut how much money they put into the project this year.
Entergy executives have been selling off large amounts of their personal company stock. There have already been hints that the company’s nuclear fleet is in serious financial trouble. The stock sell off is a good indication that things may be even worse. Entergy is one of two major owners of merchant nuclear reactors in the US. Their demise could create a major change in the US as the old reactors could be left without a viable owner and no other business would buy the assets. More about the how and they why can be found over at safeenergy.org
TVA operator of a number of nuclear plants in the US southeast is laying off hundreds of employees this year. There is also the possibility that the power uprates at their Browns Ferry nuclear plant have been cancelled.
With the recent accident at the WIPP nuclear storage site, some watchdog groups are calling for an independent investigation after concerning amounts of safety violations have been discovered so far.
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