U.S. Has Lost Expertise to Build New Nuclear Plants:
Since the 1980s, Department of Energy has had to ask Japan to assist in developing new nuclear power plants in the U.S. Japan has more expertise in advanced, fast reactors, which produce less radioactive waste while producing more energy. This is another example of how the U.S. is losing its competitive edge in technology.
Japan Has Better Nuclear Engineers:
Former U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman admitted that Japan has the best scientists and engineers for these new types of reactors. The U.S. lost the edge in building nuclear reactors after the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident in 1979. Although there are 103 reactors in use, supplying 20% of the nation's electricity, only one has been built in the last 25 years. The Department of Energy supports more nuclear plants as a way to decrease U.S. reliance on foreign oil.
(Source: U.S. Department of Energy, United States-Japan Cooperation on Energy Security," Environment News Service,U.S., Japan Sign Nuclear Power Cooperation Plan, January 10, 2007)