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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

TXU Switches From Coal to Nuclear Power Plans

In my MoneyandMarket columns I've said over and over again that US utilities have to stop building coal plants and start building nuclear plants. Now coal is cheaper than nuclear, so I don't expect utilities to make the switch without a push. I expect the push to come from an American public that wakes up to the dangers of global warming and coal pollution.

Well, it looks like that just might be happening.

If you've been following the buyout saga for Texas utility TXU, you know the company planned to build eight coal-fired power plants. They got a lot of heat from TX lawmakers and local activists, so they’ve basically said they won’t build all these coal plants. Instead, TXU will build BIG nuclear power plants. Assuming this happened, it could be a huge deal, especially if other U.S. producers follow suit ...

TXU plans to build biggest nuclear plants in US-WSJ
NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - Utility TXU Corp. , which scrapped plans to build eight coal-fired plants when it agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms, is now hoping to build the biggest nuclear power plants in the United States, said the Wall Street Journal.

TXU has shifted its focus to nuclear power at a time when three other utilities have also said they may build nuclear plants in Texas, said the Journal, without citing sources.

The Journal said reactors selected by TXU would be designed and build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, and would be 50 percent bigger than TXU's current nuclear reactors.

UPDATE: Here is the longer story in the Wall Street Journal. CLICK HERE.


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