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Heat wave shutdown at Browns Ferry stirs nuclear debate

Source:  Copyright 2007, Associated Press
Date:  September 2, 2007
Byline:  Eric Fleischauer
Original URL: Status ONLINE


The recent shutdown of a Browns Ferry reactor because of high Tennessee River temperatures was international news.

In the mainstream press from Britain to Germany to Malaysia, on National Public Radio, and in anti-nuclear blogs worldwide, people who could not find Alabama on a map became experts on Browns Ferry.

The interest stems from a raging environmental debate that deemed last week's shutdown of Unit 2, and the power reductions in Units 1 and 3, as relevant to the viability of nuclear power.

Nuclear power has created a schism among environmentalists.

On the one hand, the world has yet to find a satisfactory solution for disposing of nuclear waste, and the risk of a catastrophic failure is alarming.

On the other hand, an operating nuclear plant creates essentially none of the greenhouse gases that most experts believe are contributing to climate change.

The shutdown dropped Browns ...

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