"A Bullet Aimed at the Nuclear Energy 'Renaissance'"

"In the debates about the prospects for a U.S. nuclear power rebirth, there was one thing advocates, foes and regulators seemed to agree on: The industry could not afford another Three Mile Island accident.

Now, in the midst of Japan’s worst human and economic catastrophe since World War II, emergency crews have been battling to prevent core meltdown at three crippled nuclear reactors whose primary and backup core cooling systems were left without power by last week’s huge tsunami. Units 1 and 3 at Electric Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a partial core meltdown and hydrogen explosions that blasted the roofs off the outer containment structures but apparently spared the essential primary containment around the reactors, authorities said.

The ongoing crisis at the reactor site on Japan's northeast coast was triggered by the worst earthquake ever recorded in Japan and the resulting tsunami, not the mechanical failures and operator errors that caused the partial core meltdown at the TMI reactor near Harrisburg, Pa., in 1979.

But that distinction may not make a difference politically for the U.S. nuclear industry, at least for the foreseeable future."

Peter Behr reports for ClimateWire March 14, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Japan's Blasts Cast Doubt on Nuclear Renaissance" (AP)

"Nuclear Renaissance Melts Down Over Japan Disaster" (Toronto Globe and Mail)

"Nuclear Problems in Japan May Chill the Anticipated Industry Renaissance" (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

"Nuclear Renaissance: To Be Or Not To Be?" (WRCB-TV3 Chattanooga)

"Has the 'Nuclear Renaissance' Been Put on  Hold? " (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

"Japan Earthquake Could Deal Blow to Nuclear Renaissance" (Toronto Star)

"Southern Co. Scrambles To Cut Political Damage From Japan Nuclear Disaster" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Tsunami Sweeps Away ‘Atomic Renaissance’" (Hurriyet Daily News)

Monday, March 14, 2011