Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Research Projects Could Revitalize Nuclear Power

Nuclear power, a low-carbon but expensive source of electricity, isn’t likely to grow much in the United States, even as President Obama pushes to slash greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants.

But the U.S. Department of Energy is betting that $60 million in new research and development could eventually breathe some new life into nuclear power in the U.S., helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Nuclear power accounts for about 20 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that number to fall to 16 percent by 2040 with or without the Clean Power Plan.  If finalized in August, the plan will slash emissions from existing power plants.

The $60 million the Department of Energy is dedicating to nuclear research will go to more than 40 different projects at universities across the U.S. focusing on nuclear energy modeling, nuclear security and safety and new reactor concepts and fuels.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, speaking Monday at the Energy Information Administration’s annual energy conference in Washington, said he is bullish on nuclear power as a clean energy source.  However, the high costs of developing nuclear energy have to come down, he said.

Read more at New Research Projects Could Revitalize Nuclear Power

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