Washington, D.C. (August 15, 2017): The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) a new not-for-profit dedicated to driving innovation in energy technology, policy and business models, today released its first major report entitled ``The U.S. Nuclear Energy Enterprise: A Key National Security Enabler.’’
The report examines the key role the U.S. nuclear energy enterprise plays in meeting national security imperatives, and notes the important role the domestic nuclear energy industry plays in supplying the nation’s electricity system and maintaining a robust supply chain (equipment, services, and skilled personnel) that is necessary for U.S. leadership in global nuclear nonproliferation policy. EFI outlines immediate actions that the government should take to ensure the viability of the U.S. nuclear enterprise.
Among the key points of the report:
More than 700 companies located in 44 states provide products or services in direct support of the U.S. nuclear energy industry. The top five states for nuclear supply chain companies are Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Illinois and Ohio.
The dominant Russian presence in the Mideast nuclear power market does not augur well for U.S. national security objectives.
The Navy will eventually need additional highly enriched uranium (HEU) to fuel its reactors for long intervals between refueling, and the entire supply chain from uranium feed to the enrichment technology must be of U.S. origin. There is currently no such domestic capability in the supply chain.
The U.S. faces the threat of a diminished workforce in the nuclear energy sector. Domestic university programs are likely to tip more towards international students coming from countries with expanding nuclear prospects, which will further dilute the pool of American nationals who can fill national security roles. Retirements are also a significant concern, as the nuclear power sector will soon lose 25,000 skilled workers to retirement.
The EFI report calls on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to place a greater emphasis on the national security importance of nuclear power and its associated supply chain. EFI’s report recommends that the government make maximum flexible use of its existing resources and capabilities, including credit support, tax incentives and federal siting and/or purchase power agreements, to bolster support for current new builds and to encourage additional new builds.
The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) was established in June 2017 by former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz as a thought-leadership organization to provide policymakers, industry executives, NGOs and other leaders options on how to advance a cleaner, safer, more affordable and secure energy future.