Skip to main content

A Blueprint for Securing America's Energy Future

The Institute for 21st Century EnergyThe Institute for 21st Century Energy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released its Blueprint for Securing America's Energy Future [PDF] earlier today, calling for the significant expansion of nuclear power in the U.S. The Institute made nine recommendations:
  • Congress should increase the loan guarantee authority of DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program commensurate with the capital cost of new nuclear power facilities. Additionally, Congress should transition the function of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program to a more permanent, stable financing platform, like the Clean Energy Bank of the U.S. (CEBUS) discussed in Section V of this report.
  • Congress should amend the Nuclear Standby Support Program to allow for recovery of increased project costs as a result of delays, rising equipment costs, escalation clauses, and costs of litigation, and it should provide for the recovery of 100% of covered costs and debt obligations.
  • Congress should ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commisson (NRC) has the necessary resources to review and approve combined construction and operating licenses for new nuclear power plants in a timely manner.
  • DOE should increase the amount of federally stockpiled uranium available for use in domestic nuclear facilities and create a strategic reserve of low-enriched uranium from its existing inventory to guard against supply disruptions.
  • The President and Congress should authorize the Secretary of Energy to enter into agreements with willing communities to foster the development of privately owned central facilities for the temporary storage of used nuclear fuel where DOE could purchase storage services for commercial used fuel removed from nuclear power plants.
  • The President and Congress must commit to a permanent solution to our nation’s nuclear waste. As directed by current law, the President and Congress must act expeditiously to ensure that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Yucca Mountain licensing process proceeds and, if it is licensed, provide full funding for construction and operation of the repository as well as take legislative action to permanently withdraw the necessary land from public use, eliminate the current statutory 70,000 metric ton cap on disposal capacity at Yucca Mountain, and establish a radiation health standard for a time period that can reasonably be demonstrated through scientific evidence.
  • If the President or Congress will not fully commit to this path, they owe it to the American public and the utilities that have paid fees and interest in excess of $27 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund, to pursue a parallel path of centralized interim storage, industrial deployment of advanced recycling technology, and continued governmental research and development to more quickly place the U.S. government in compliance with U.S. law.
  • Congress should change budgeting rules to take the Nuclear Waste Fund “off budget” and codify use of this fund for interim used fuel storage through purchasing storage services from private central storage facilities as well as used fuel recycling.
  • The President and Congress should expeditiously establish a program to begin the recycling of the nation’s used nuclear fuel and establish a new corporation to coordinate the federal government’s legal responsibility to safely and reliably dispose of the waste while not subsuming DOE’s R&D mission. This entity should be provided long-term contracting authority andaccess to monies from the Nuclear Waste Fund.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…