A clear and present need for nuclear energy expansion.
C.E. (Gene) Carpenter Jr. is a staff member with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, leading the aging management issues group within the USNRC’s Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. He is a graduate student at George Washington University. Views expressed in this article are solely the author’s. Email him at Gene.Carpenter@nrc.gov.
If the recent presidential election campaign is any indication, energy-policy issues will rank among the new Obama Administration’s top priorities. This extended memo to the new administration—which began in the November issue of Fortnightly—describes the clear and present need for additional nuclear power in the United States, and proposes policy changes that will ensure America meets this need in a timely and effective way.
Part 1 of the memo established that nuclear-power plants generate approximately 20 percent of electricity in the United States, and the country’s future depends on policies that provide greater support for this vital source of energy. Part 2 recommends actions for the new administration to ensure the existing nuclear fleet can continue operating safely, reliably and cost-effectively for decades to come—and also to lay the groundwork for an expansion of nuclear energy in the United States.