Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Global Nuclear Energy Markets

Sep. 18, 2012

We believe nuclear power must continue to be viewed as a critical option for electricity generation—one that remains uniquely important for long-term U.S. national security and energy security.

This means the federal government has a compelling interest in orienting policy to allow the industry to take advantage of key opportunities and overcome current challenges. How that might be done is a question the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) asked in early 2011. The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station strengthened our conviction that it was critical to improve fact-based discussions about nuclear power in Washington, D.C., and around the country. Together, former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and former Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Dr. Warren F. “Pete” Miller organized BPC’s Nuclear Initiative to convene a series of public events aimed at raising the level of dialogue about nuclear energy’s future in the United States.

Most recent nuclear policy discussions have focused on specific financing and deployment challenges for Generation III+ nuclear reactors. In the current fiscal and political climate, efforts to further increase financial incentives for nuclear energy likely must overcome significant hurdles. BPC’s Nuclear Initiative therefore focused on finding insights into comprehensive approaches to improve federal energy policy so that it can more effectively (1) address the spectrum of challenges facing nuclear power in the United States with the aim of preserving the safe use of nuclear energy as a reliable source of domestic low-carbon Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Global Nuclear Energy Markets electricity and (2) support U.S. technological and diplomatic leadership on international nuclear issues.

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