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Global Nuclear Plant Construction Moves Forward, Except in the U.S. (Politics and market conditions make it tough for a large-scale rival to carbon-based energy)

By Robert Peltier -- November 24, 2009

July 17, 1955, was the first time electricity generated by a U.S. nuclear power plant flowed into a utility grid. In what then was an experiment, Utah Power & Light plugged in the Argonne National Laboratory experimental boiler water reactor, BORAX-III.

The plant produced merely 2 megawatts for more than an hour, as planned. Since then, the U.S. nuclear industry has steadily improved their ability to effectively manage the operations and maintenance of nuclear power plants. Now,  more than 50 years after that first nuclear power supply, America lags far behind even developing nations in new construction. New roadblocks threaten to further erode progress in the U.S. Whether this is good or not I will leave to the reader, but here is a snap-shot of the situation facing the U.S.

Significant Global Growth

Today, 436 nuclear power plants are in operation in 30 countries with a total capacity of 370 GW, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).…