News this week that massive ecologically sensitive intake heads are being installed for a new nuclear plant being constructed in Somerset, England. The 21st century plant also includes new "core catcher" technology to prevent what happened in Fukushima several years ago.
The nuclear plant is one of a fleet of plants to backup Britain's already well developed capacity to generate electricity from wind. The plants take about a decade to plan and permit and another decade or so to construct.
The costs and permitting hurdles to developing nuclear power in the United States long ago turned our energy industry in different directions, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and gas. Our climate emergency is creating some pressure, more effective in some states than many others, to find other ways to generate electricity. But the costs and permitting hurdles faced by wind energy projects are too similar to those that doomed the nuclear energy industry in the United States.
All of that has me wondering about how long it is going to take us to catch up to our European partners in transitioning from fossil fuels as a source of our electricity and will that transition be too late.
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