Texas at a nuclear crossroads




Gest, William Hardy

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This report is a journalistic work, a long-form magazine style article representing in-depth reporting on a single topic. With the planned expansion of coal facilities, and increasing acknowledgement of the reality of climate change, some environmentalists are reversing their stance on nuclear energy. The industry itself promises a new kind of nuke, with none of the safety shortcomings and budget overruns that halted expansion in the 1970s. The planned expansion of the South Texas nuclear facility in Bay City has brought Texas to the forefront of a national debate about the viability of a nuclear future for America’s energy policy, especially as cost overruns threaten to seriously interfere with the project. Austin itself, burned once by the South Texas Project, has sworn not to be involved, but the city's green image could be tarnished by its continued reliance on coal power. Many other environmental groups continue to insist that solar and wind power are better alternatives. Once politically untouchable, nuclear power is again a contentious issue and Texas, with its long history of fortunes made and lost in energy, is again at the head of a potential revolution in the field.



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