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Nuclear Perspectives from Climate Change Conference

Earlier this week, my colleague Mary Quillian attended a conference in New York City sponsored by Resources for the Future concerning business perspectives on climate change. She dashed a short note off to me this morning that I wanted to share:
Not surprisingly, nuclear was mentioned several times.

The gentleman from GE said that his company see nuclear as a significant part of the solution. BP is approaching climate change by entering businesses with technologies that fit into one of the “wedges” that will lead to atmospheric CO2 stabilization. BP is not yet building a new nuclear plant, but they did acknowledge nuclear is one of the wedges. Even the Europeans brought in to discuss the EU CO2 emissions trading program mentioned that nuclear strategy was being reconsidered in several European countries.
For more on BP's plans for low carbon energy generation, read this speech from earlier this week by Vivienne Cox, BP's Chief Executive Gas, Power & Renewables. And earlier this week, ABC News did a feature on the EU CO2 emissions trading program. To visit GE Nuclear click here. And congrats to the team at GE Nuclear on today's news from NRC.

Back to Mary's note:
Perhaps the most significant discussion of nuclear energy was in the closing remarks from Jim Rogers, CEO of Cinergy Corp. He said that one of the main reasons Cinergy was merging with Duke was Duke’s fleet of nuclear power plants and its nuclear operations know-how. Cinergy has no nuclear power plants.

Further, Rogers, who thinks mandatory controls on CO2 are inevitable and the country should implement them sooner rather than later, saw irony in the fact that Senator Reid of Nevada is supportive enacting national climate change policy but he is standing in the way of getting Yucca Mountain built.

It was clear at this conference that the business community realizes nuclear energy is going to be part of any serious program to address climate change.
Earlier this year, Duke Energy CEO Paul Anderson called for the imposition of a carbon tax. For the latest on the Duke/Cinergy merger, click here.

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