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Showing posts from June, 2016

Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Diablo Canyon Closure

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. made national news when it announced last week that it will operate the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant through its original license period and then retire the facility in the mid-2020s. Some parties are suggesting—wrongly—that the agreement is a blueprint for nuclear plant retirements in other states.

Don't buy that argument. To be clear: The convergence of policies and events that drove the Diablo Canyon agreement is not desirable and should not be replicated. California residents now confront a risky experiment based on an unbalanced energy future. As NEI's Revis James wrote yesterday at Real Clear Energy:
The anti-nuclear lobby says that a future primarily powered by renewable sources of energy is upon us. We’ve done the math, and the equation doesn’t balance. Rather, this seems more like a flawed experiment that will put greater pressure on consumers through higher electricity prices while increasing, not decreasing, CO2 emissions. It’s …

Introducing “Generation Swipe”: Nuclear’s Newest Interns

The following is a guest post by Elizabeth McAndrew-Benavides, senior manager of strategic workforce planning. 

Interns this summer will deliver more to the office than their energetic personalities, they will be bringing a new generation into the workforce. This year’s crop of interns includes the first wave of new post-Millennials who were born between the late 1990s through the 2010s. As we will see, these college students have grown up with a significant amount of their socialization being online and in a world where their schools are not always safe. It is now time for companies to understand what this new group of employees will bring to the table.

This generation after the Millennials has yet to be named, but I like to think of them as Generation Swipe. From an early age, these young adults were able to “swipe a finger” and create Minecraft worlds. They swipe to watch videos and they swipe to chat with grandma.

We know less about this new generation than we do about Millennials…

Why Nuclear Cooperation with “Non-Nuclear” Norway is Important for U.S. Industry

The following is a guest post by Ted Jones, Director of International Supplier Relations for NEI.

This week, the U.S. Congress received for review a renewal agreement for nuclear energy cooperation with Norway. When the pact comes into force, it will restore nuclear cooperation that lapsed when the original agreement expired in July 2014. Commonly known as a Section 123 agreement after the part of the Atomic Energy Act that governs international nuclear energy cooperation, a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement secures nonproliferation guarantees and provides a framework for nuclear energy commerce.

Given that Norway has no plans to operate a commercial nuclear power plant, some may ask, “What is the importance of Norway to the U.S. nuclear industry?”

The answer lies 75 miles southeast of Oslo in the town of Halden, where the United States helped to build a 20 megawatt test reactor in 1958. Now supported by 19 member countries and partly financed by the OECD, the Halden Reac…

The ROP, Clear Thinking & All Things Nuclear

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."  Mahatma Gandhi

Change has come fast and hard to the nuclear industry, indeed to the entire energy sector.  We are in a race to adapt to new realities: abundant, cheap natural gas; little or no growth in electricity demand; mixed signals about the importance of controlling carbon emissions; and market rules tied to the old world order that inadequately reward 24-7 reliability, fuel supply diversity, and carbon-free baseload generation.  In the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, the U.S. nuclear industry is pursuing a thoughtful and ambitious program to simplify how we work together to ensure safety and reliability remain the clear and constant focus of our efforts.  It is inspiring to see how teams of experts from across the industry are, through the Delivering the Nuclear Promise initiative, sharing experience, good ideas and best practices to identify better ways to accomplish the myriad tasks required to maintain the outstanding p…

Apple Falls Near the Nuclear Tree

Back in 2012, The New York Times noted a certain ethical laxitude about some of the biggest tech companies:Internet companies often cloak themselves in an image of environmental awareness. But some companies that essentially live on the Internet are moving facilities to North Carolina, Virginia, northeastern Illinois and other regions whose main sources of energy are coal and nuclear power, the report said. The report singles out Apple as one of the leaders of the charge to coal-fired energy.At the time, this just seemed silly. Companies needing a lot of electricity moved to states that had a lot of electricity or could easily generate it. If it came from nuclear energy, even if some people griped about it, so be it—believe it or not, if you need a lot of clean electricity, you couldn’t do better.That was 2012. How are things going in 2016?Apple is being criticized for trying to justify its placement of a data center in Ireland, by keeping it as far away from nuclear facilities as it …

Looking Back at #NEA16

Here at NEI, it seems as if the first five months of the year has gone by in a blur. January featured Third Way's Advanced Nuclear Summit and Showcase. February was our annual Wall Street Briefing.

March saw us participating in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory's Commission's Regulatory Information Conference. The Nuclear Industry Summit straddled March and April. And then the last two weeks of May rocketed past as we participated in a Department of Energy summit on preserving at-risk nuclear reactors, and then, just two days later, headed south to Miami for the 2016 Nuclear Energy Assembly.

PREACH IT DON! #NEA16#actfornuclear#climatepic.twitter.com/kbBWVSzTLZ — Nuclear Energy Inst. (@NEI) May 24, 2016Not that we're complaining. Our industry is facing some strong headwinds, and while the future is bright with prospects for a number of advanced reactor designs, we need to #ActForNuclear now in order to preserve the current fleet and the benefits it contributes to the nation in …