Here’s what’s driving the renaissance.
Richard J. Myers is executive director, Policy Development, at the Nuclear Energy Institute. Contact him at email@example.com.
Nine companies, consortia, or joint ventures are planning approximately 12 new nuclear power plants in the United States. How do the business challenges they face differ from the challenges faced by companies using other fuel sources?
History will record that the rebirth of nuclear power in the United States did not begin in 2005, but 13 years earlier, in 1992. Back then, a few companies were struggling to complete the last three or four of the 103 nuclear plants that now supply one-fifth of U.S. electricity. The common wisdom held that no electric utility would ever build another nuclear reactor in the United States. And Congress passed the 1992 Energy Policy Act, which overhauled a cumbersome and unworkable approach to designing, building, and licensing nuclear plants, replacing it with the more efficient, predictable process being used today by companies planning new nuclear plant construction.