Americans Need New Nuclear Energy
America cannot afford to
continue to turn its back on a source of electric energy
that is low cost, dependable, safe, domestically fueled
and can protect our air - nuclear energy - an executive
of one of the nation's leading nuclear power operating
companies said Tuesday.
"Thirty nuclear plants are being built today in 12
countries around the world - most using American nuclear
power technology as their foundation - and not a single
one of those new plants is in the United States,"
said Gary J. Taylor, president and chief executive
officer of Entergy Nuclear.
"In America, we have a de facto moratorium on
nuclear energy, intended or not."
Entergy Nuclear, a unit of New Orleans-based Entergy
Corporation, is the second largest U.S. nuclear operator
with 10 units and the largest operator in the Northeast.
"Our national economy and our national energy
security would benefit from the federal government and
the U.S. Congress deciding on and acting to support
policies that promote more nuclear energy," he told
an Executive Forum on Emerging Challenges and Trends,
organized by Framatome ANP, a French power reactor
"The most important issues are how we can maintain
our quality of life and protect our environment,"
Taylor said. "Nuclear energy must be a greater part
of our generation mix. Nuclear generates about 20 percent
of America's power.
"France, by comparison, generates about 75 percent
of its power with nuclear energy. As a result, France has
no significant carbon dioxide emissions from power plants
- that's the greenhouse gas - and the Kyoto Protocol is a
Taylor said China, coping with the world's fastest
growing power demand because of its rapidly growing
economy, is well under way with the world's largest
nuclear power plant construction program. China plans to
construct 34 new nuclear plants, and about half of them
are already being built.
Nuclear power now supplies more than half the power in
six U.S. states - Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, South Carolina and Vermont. As a result of
deregulation of power markets and other market- and
policy-based uncertainties, no nuclear power company can
afford to take the financial risk of building new nuclear
Taylor said the American people are ready for their
government to get serious about nuclear energy - and want
the U.S. Congress to agree on an energy bill that would
kick start new nuclear plants.
A national survey of 1,000 Americans in April by Bisconti
Research showed 65 percent thought nuclear energy "should
be one of the ways" to provide electricity. After
the California power shortage in 2000, positive sentiment
jumped to 65 percent. After the 9-11 terrorist attack,
favorable attitudes dropped to 63 percent but in April
were back to California power shortage levels, the
highest since the question has been asked going back to
Taylor said the federal government has underfunded
nuclear energy research for over a decade. For the past
10 years, Congress has appropriated less than $60 million
a year for research in nuclear energy while fossil energy
and energy efficiency each has received $600 million a
year. Solar and renewables like wind energy have received
$320 million a year.
The nuclear businesses of Entergy Corporation are
headquartered in Jackson, Miss. Entergy Nuclear is the
second largest and fastest growing operator of nuclear
power plants in the nation. It operates five reactors at
four locations in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana
under regulatory jurisdictions and five reactors at four
sites in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. Entergy
Nuclear also provides management services to the Cooper
nuclear station in Nebraska and is the nation's largest
provider of license renewal and decommissioning services
to the nuclear power industry.
zpět na úvodní