Skip to main content

U.S. Nuclear Technology Exports and Africa

The following is a guest post by Ted Jones, Director of International Supplier Relations for NEI.

From August 4-6, heads of state from Africa came to Washington for the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama. Yesterday, NEI hosted a delegation of African leaders from Niger, Namibia and South Africa to discuss nuclear energy development in their countries. As Africa strives to develop new sources of abundant, clean electricity, nuclear energy holds great promise.
President Mahamadou Issoufo of Niger and Ambassador Maman Sidikou.
Africa’s Power Gap

According to the World Bank. The 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a combined population of 800 million, generate roughly the same amount of power as Spain, with a population of only 45 million. Per capita power consumption – just a tenth of what is common elsewhere in the developing world – is actually falling due to lagging development and population growth.

Africa cannot close its power gap with fossil generation without inflicting great harm to the health of its people and environment. Nuclear energy has one of the lowest impacts on the environment of any energy source because it does not emit air pollution, isolates its waste from the environment and requires a relatively small amount of land.

What the U.S. Nuclear Energy Sector Has to Offer

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, Daniel Poneman
The United States has much to offer its African partners in nuclear energy development – and more than any other country. More than 60 percent of the world’s 436 operating reactors are based on U.S. technology. Many of the 71 nuclear plants under construction around the world rely on U.S. companies for reactor designs, engineering, precision components, high-performance nuclear fuel and more. So, adoption of U.S. technology in Africa makes terrific sense. There are numerous advantages in deploying U.S. reactor technology and in employing US companies to implement nuclear power development programs:

  • Advanced reactor designs: U.S. companies are at the forefront of developing advanced reactor designs that are even safer and more efficient than our existing fleet of world-class reactors, incorporating modular techniques for easier construction. New designs include large reactors such as the GE Hitachi ABWR, the only Generation III reactor in operation; the Westinghouse AP1000, a Generation III+ design now under construction in the United States and China; and the GE Hitachi ESBWR, another Generation III+ design. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy is funding through public-private partnerships two U.S. companies to bring small, modular designs into operation by 2022.
  • Services, fuel and components: With a U.S. fleet average capacity factor of approximately 90 percent, U.S. firms lead the world in operational expertise. U.S. companies excel in the full range of nuclear services, including engineering and construction, nuclear fuel services and more. Services for uranium conversion, enrichment and fabrication are available, and substantial new, advanced enrichment capacity is in various stages of technological development and deployment.
  • Excellence in nuclear safety: Based on more than 50 years of experience, the U.S. nuclear industry continues to perform as one of the safest industrial working environments in the world. The U.S. supply chain leads the world in safety-conscious workforce training, operational excellence, and continuous improvement. Regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – the gold standard for nuclear regulators around the world – U.S. suppliers are known for process excellence, human performance and safety culture. 
Of critical importance for Africa, the U.S. nuclear industry has a proven record in industrial partnership. Around the world, U.S. nuclear companies have worked with partners on technology transfer, localization, education and training, to enable broad and enduring industrial development. As the nations of Africa contemplate a role for nuclear energy in their sustainable development, the United States is ready to be their best partner.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?