In today’s world, clean energy is not only popular; it is going to be king. The question is a matter of when and how clean energy will rule, not if clean energy will dominate the power industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will produce a final ruling on its Clean Power Plan coming this summer, and nuclear power generation ought to be part of their plan and future plans. Along with the rest of the globe, reducing pollution and emissions is a challenge facing the United States, its industries, and its people. The former New Jersey governor and EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman writes:
“In my current role as co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, I have traveled across the United States engaging policymakers, community leaders, business leaders, academics and labor leaders about the essential role nuclear energy plays in generating electricity.”
Mrs. Whitman articulates what many members of the energy industry know, demand for electricity is increasing. For the United States alone, energy demand is expected to increase by almost 30% within the next 25 years. Nuclear Energy provides over 50% of the country’s clean electricity. According to Whitman’s article, the global market for nuclear power will be more than half a trillion dollars. While the nuclear generation market increases globally, regulations at home in the U.S. and budgetary concerns continue to threaten the growth of nuclear power. According to Electric Light and Power, U.S. Senator James Inhofe told a large group nuclear industry members that the budget of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was too large and that the appropriated funds were unnecessary. So not only does the industry have to worry about the EPA’s plan for nuclear energy but potential budgetary constraint could make the NRC job more difficult. Both the EPA and the NRC could stifle future growth in the domestic nuclear energy production market. Either way, nuclear energy is and will be an important part of the energy production industry. The question that remains is how much will nuclear energy be a part of the domestic and international market moving forward with pending increases in regulation?
For further reading see the following articles:
Nuclear energy key to bolstering national security and protecting environment
NRC budget too much to justify, senator tells Nuclear Energy Institute