13.02.2019_No31 / News in Brief

Nuclear Executives Ask Trump For Help Winning New-Build Contracts

Policies & Politics

13 Feb (NucNet): US nuclear energy developers met president Donald Trump yesterday and asked for help winning contracts to build power plants in the Middle East and elsewhere overseas, media reports said.

Bloomberg reported that industry executives sought to enlist Mr Trump in their bid to make US nuclear power more competitive globally with financing assistance to compete against subsidised companies. Russia, China, South Korea and France have state-backed companies that are also seeking to build nuclear plants overseas.

The White House meeting included representatives from a range of nuclear developers and suppliers including NuScale Power, TerraPower, Westinghouse Electric, General Electric and Centrus Energy.

Bloomberg said the meeting was initiated by Jack Keane, the co-founder of IP3 International, a company that has advocated US nuclear power development in the Middle East.

The developers argued that US national security would be jeopardised if the country cedes its role as a chief developer of civilian nuclear power plants. They said that as the domestic nuclear fleet ages – and the prospects for building a new wave of plants diminish – exporting the technology globally is a way to ensure a robust and thriving nuclear industry.

The industry has argued that the nuclear sector is under stress because it has been taken for granted in “a perfect storm” created by very low natural gas prices, very low demand increases for electricity and subsidies for other types of generation.

Nuclear Energy Institute president and chief executive officer Maria Korsnick said electricity markets should be reformed to recognise the ability of traditional baseload generation with onsite fuel supplies – including nuclear power plants – to provide grid resiliency during extreme events like hurricanes or extreme winter weather.

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

  • Republicans And Democrats Must Work Together To Keep Nuclear Plants Open, Says NEI (News in Brief No.3, 04 January 2019)

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David Dalton

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