THOMAS C. ZAMBITO / LOHUD.COM – The nuclear power industry is shrinking by the day.
Some 20 reactors at 15 power plants across the U.S. have plans to shut down or are in the midst ofbeing decommissioned, a process that traditionally takes decades.
Now, a new crop of companies — fed by Wall Street speculators — are claiming they can cut that time to at least eight years, as they eye the $60 billion set aside in trust funds to handle the messy work of shutting down nuclear reactors.
Two firms, Holtec International of Camden, New Jersey, and its rival, New York-based NorthStar Group Services, together with their partners, have been on a buying spree in recent years, snatching up power plants across the nation with the promise of quicker teardowns.
A quicker-to-finish timeline appeals to folks who live near power plants in communities that for decades could count on balancing their budgets with the tax revenue they generated …