23.12.2016_No254 / News in Brief

US Environmental Group Urges Trump To Support Nuclear Energy

Policies & Politics

23 Dec (NucNet): In an open letter to US president-elect Donald Trump and Rick Perry – Mr Trump’s choice for energy secretary – a US environmental group has called for “a comprehensive vision and bold leadership on infrastructure, tax reform and energy policy” to help the nuclear energy industry.

Co-authors of the letter, written by Environmental Progress, include climate scientists, climate sceptics, and scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution.

The letter says a focus on making nuclear reactors for export may seem quixotic because nuclear energy is struggling against cheap natural gas and heavily subsidised renewables.

And historically, nuclear plants have been built locally, not manufactured. But, the letter signers note, global demand for electricity is set to rise 70% over the next 25 years, mostly due to increased energy demand in developing nations.

And technological advances mean that new nuclear reactor components can increasingly be mass-manufactured in factories and shipped around the world for re-assembly onsite.

“What’s at stake is a market worth $500bn to $740bn (€478bn to €707bn) over the next decade, according to the US Commerce Department, and hundreds of thousands of high-skill and high-wage jobs,” the letter says.

“US companies continue to lose significant market share to an ever‐increasing number of foreign government‐owned or led competitors, including Russia, Japan, France, China and South Korea. The reason is clear: those nations offer low-cost loans to nations seeking to finance nuclear plant construction. The US does not.”

California-based Environmental Progress says one of its core aims is to stop the premature closure of nuclear plants, restart shuttered plants, and increase the rate at which nations build new nuclear plants.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • NEI’s Korsnick Optimistic On Trump Support For Nuclear (News in Brief No.251, 20 December 2016)

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David Dalton

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