Buffett Gains Big Say on Nuclear Power

New deal gives longtime skeptic clout about industry's future
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2008 12:28 PM CDT
The nuclear plant of Flamanville, Normandy, France. Warren Buffett may soon be the decider on whether next-generation nuclear project go forward or stall.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Warren Buffett’s $4.7 billion agreement to rescue Constellation Energy Group this week netted the billionaire investor more than just a utility. Buffett now will have a big say in the future of nuclear power in the US, the Wall Street Journal reports. He has long been skeptical of the industry, arguing that the plants are too expensive to build. The deal gives him control over 3 plants as well as half of a prominent nuclear development company.

A rebuff by Buffett could send a shudder through the sector put the brakes on developing technologies and new projects. He will acquire half of Unistar Nuclear Energy, the next-generation development company jointly owned by a consortium of powerful nuclear plant operators, engineering firms, and equipment makers. Nuclear power has been enjoying a renaissance amid rising fuel costs, with 18 applications for new projects submitted in the US.