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In U.S., nuclear energy loses momentum amid economic head winds, safety issues via

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On Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reiterated its refusal to issue a license for a new unit at Calvert Cliffs, Md., that a French company had hoped to make the model for a fleet of reactors. A pair of reactors in Southern California are under scrutiny over whether a major contractor and a utility there concealed concerns about potential cracks in the tubes of a steam generator. And nuclear plants in Wisconsin and Florida are closing down because their owners said they cannot compete with less expensive natural-gas-fired electricity.

Industry officials still make the case for nuclear as a domestic source of energy that does not emit greenhouse gases. “Anyone concerned about global warming should acknowledge that if society seriously aspires to be anti-carbon, it also needs to be seriously pro-nuclear,” Thomas F. Farrell, chief executive of Dominion Resources, said at a recent conference in Washington sponsored by the industry newsletter Platts.

But Caren Byrd, executive director of Morgan Stanley’s global power group, said at the same conference that, on an economic basis, “it is hard to make the case for nuclear.”

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