After Decades of Silence, U.S. and Canada Again Look to Nuclear Energy

The 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant put the brakes on the world’s nuclear power program. In fact, the nuclear power industry in North America has been stagnant for decades, due to considerations of safety and cost.

Recently, however, nuclear power programs in Canada and the U.S. have returned to the forefront of people’s minds, and in the context of zero carbon emissions, nuclear power, which is more stable than renewable energy, has once again become a top priority in the North American power market.

Nuclear power is gaining momentum in Ontario, Canada’s largest province in terms of economy and population, where the provincial government presented new plans on Monday, July 31, to expand the existing Bruce Power nuclear power plant to become the world’s largest and committed to adding three small modular reactors to the site of another nuclear power plant that has already begun construction.

Market analysts see the news as signaling a shift in Canada’s nuclear energy industry, which has been stagnant in the country for three decades. The move is also seen as a key step in modernizing the aging local power grid, which needs to add capacity without increasing the already high cost of electricity or threatening emissions targets. It was also analyzed as a sign that nuclear power policy in Canada, and globally, may finally be out of the woods.

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