The Opt-Out Continues: Now Mexico

The latest country to back away from nuclear energy, following a recent decision by Belgium to re-accelerate a nuclear phase-out, is Mexico.

According to a report distributed by Bloomberg news, the Mexican government has decided to ditch the idea of building as many as ten nuclear power plants in the next decades and instead build gas-fired generating plants. Behind the decision: the discovery there may be as much as 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas buried in shale under the  Coahuila border region, in additional to newly discovered reserves of conventional gas under the Gulf of Mexico.

Bloomberg quotes an economist as saying, rightly, that gas-fired plants are cheaper than nuclear power plants and can be built much more quickly. The Mexicans will want to be mindful, however, of growing U.S. evidence of groundwater contamination by methane near shale gas operations

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