EPRI-INL report outlines nuke energy strategy

Palo Alto, CA, Feb. 18, 2009 — A new report co-authored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) details how nuclear energy research, development, demonstration and deployment can help reduce U.S. carbon emissions and bolster energy security.

The report, “A Strategy for Nuclear Energy Research and Development,” outlines the research necessary to create options for the deployment of nuclear energy in the decades ahead. The report also examines nuclear energy’s relevance to nonproliferation and the need for the United States to maintain international leadership in developing nuclear energy — issues that must be addressed for nuclear energy to have a prominent role in meeting the nation’s future energy needs. Because of the scale, cost, and time horizons involved, sustaining and increasing nuclear energy’s share will require a coordinated research effort—combining the efforts of industry and government, sup­ported by innovation from the research community, the report found.

President Obama has called for a reduction of CO2 emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with a further 80 percent reduction by 2050. Meeting those aggressive goals while increasing overall energy supply will require contributions from all non- and low- emitting generating technologies.

The plan defines six goals to expand the safe and economical use of nuclear energy:

1. Maintain today’s nuclear fleet of light water reactors.

2. Significantly expand the fleet with advanced light water reactors.

3. Develop non-electric applications for high-temperature reactors.

4. Assure safe, long-term used fuel management.

5. Assure long-term nuclear sustainability.

6. Strengthen United States leadership internationally.

“The report recommends that R&D to support these goals be focused in three technical areas: light water reactors and advanced light water reactors, high-temperature reactors, and fast reactors and advanced fuel cycles,” said EPRI’s Chris Larsen, vice president of the nuclear sector. “This research blend will enable the country to capitalize on numerous safety and technology advances for existing light water reactors, while developing the next generation of reactors so nuclear can service a variety of process heat applications and support nuclear fuel recycling. In essence, it establishes a set of options for deployment of non-emitting nuclear energy through this century.”

Total funding needs from government and industry for the proposed research agenda covering the initial 2010-2015 period are estimated at $3.5 billion.

Want to stay Current? Listen to Currents: The Energy News Podcast brought to you by Utility Automation & Engineering T&D and Electric Light & Power online. For a list of all available episodes, click here and start listening today. And for more news and exclusive features from Utility Automation & Engineering T&D and Electric Light & Power online, please click here.

Previous articleSpecial feature: Trends and outlook — EMS, SCADA and DMS
Next articleEchelon joins Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition

No posts to display