Staging a comeback

The once-vilified US nuclear power industry is making a comeback. Demand for electricity continues to rise and fast-growing regions like the South and Southwest need more base-load generating capacity. Since the early 1990s, the overwhelming majority of capacity additions relied on what was then cheap and abundant natural gas for fuel – only to face higher costs when the price of gas soared. Renewables can't meet the growing demand alone, so utilities are turning back to nuclear and coal.