In a surprising move the other day, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission suspended the issue of any new licenses to build nuclear reactors. This is in response to several petitions filed by a variety of people and organizations. The NRC says that no new licenses will be issued until the problem of disposal of nuclear waste has been solved. This means, in common sense verbiage, never.
This is a big move by the NRC. There are something like 14 nuclear power plants still in operation in the U.S. These will continue to be maintained, but no new nuclear power plants will be built until the problem is solved.
So, if the stage was not already set for the introduction of LENR, it certainly is, now. LENR is being cautiously waved at by the major media, merely a nod of recognition, but a nod none the less. Add to that the fact that Japanese are developing the use of fuel rods in their LENR research, and you have not only a non-radioactive way to produce energy, but the fuel rods could use some of the radioactive waste, burning it up in the process. Of course, the introduction of radioactive materials to an otherwise pure system may not be everyone’s ideal, but the chance to burn up radioactive waste in a non-polluting way is very intriguing.
Of course, there has not been a nuclear power plant built in the United States in 30 years, but President Obama announced in February of 2010 that he was authorizing the construction of a new plant.
Construction began in 1973 on the last nuclear plant built in the U.S. The plant was completed in 1990 and went online in 1996.