The 2016 Republican National Convention got underway in Cleveland last night, kicking off a two-week period of non-stop political coverage that typically keeps "inside the Beltway" types like us glued to the television (we will be similarly riveted when the Democrats meet next week in Philadelphia).
Just as is the case with the annual State of the Union address, we pay close attention just in case our industry gets mentioned. So what are we keeping an eye out for? To give you a hand, we've developed the following checklist when it comes to what matters to the nuclear energy industry.
|Thanks to Donkey Hotey for the Creative Commons license image.|
- Preserve existing nuclear energy capacity through state and federal policy, regulation and electricity market policy that fully value nuclear energy attributes;
- Continue construction of light water reactors, capitalizing on lessons learned during expansion of the Vogtle and Summer plants in Georgia and South Carolina;
- Execute a road map for small modular reactor deployment;
- Develop a durable program to finance development, demonstration and construction of advanced nuclear technologies;
- Achieve significant efficiency improvements in the Department of Energy’s export control process for commercial nuclear technology; ensure effective operation of the Export-Import Bank with a quorum of board members;
- Achieve more efficient, safety-focused regulation at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a secondary goal of right-sizing the budget and staff levels;
- Establish an integrated used nuclear fuel management strategy that includes a new management structure outside the Department of Energy dedicated solely to executing a high-level radioactive waste program and empowered with the authority and resources to succeed. An integrated program includes development of a consolidated storage facility for used nuclear fuel and DOE’s high-level radioactive waste in a willing host community and state.