Entire U.S. Nuclear Power Fleet Could Disappear in 38 Years: S&P

Mark Chediak

The U.S. nuclear power industry could be out of business by the middle of the century.

The entire existing fleet of reactors may disappear by 2055 when the last operating license expires, S&P Global Ratings said in a report. That’s assuming there will be no license extensions. Half of the country’s 99 nuclear units may be retired in 17 years, S&P said.

The report comes on the heels of a decision by Scana Corp. to abandon plans to build two new reactors in South Carolina after costs soared to more than $20 billion and the contractor Westinghouse Electric Co. went bankrupt. Nuclear operators have been shutting plants as their profits have been eroded by generators burning cheap natural gas and by weak demand for electricity.

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