Only One State Remains on the Path
Commissioner Tim Echols is an elected member of the Georgia Public Service Commission – the entity that regulates utilities in the state of Georgia.
To say that nuclear energy in the U.S. is snake-bitten, as one journalist put it recently, is an understatement. Nuclear plants are closing around the country. The new-build in South Carolina was recently suspended.
My own state's project in Georgia, Plant Vogtle, is teetering on cancellation dependent most likely on Toshiba staying solvent and paying its parent guarantee obligations to Georgia Power. Yet the national security argument that should be made about nuclear energy is missing. Here's what I wish I heard coming out of the White House.
First, the U.S. has always prided itself in being a world leader. We built the world's first nuclear reactor, and since that time, countries around the world have looked to our country for leadership in using nuclear in safe and proliferation-resistant ways.
As we decommission reactors and fail to replace them, the world is looking to other places, like China, India and Russia, for leadership. According to World Nuclear Association, China is increasing nuclear generation capacity by seventy percent. As the U.S. commercial nuclear declines, U.S. standards for nuclear safety and security will no longer be the international norm.