Secretary Moniz: U.S. Must Keep Nuclear on Table to Achieve Low Carbon Future

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz talks about the importance of nuclear power in the United States.

ERNEST MONIZ: The President, and I agree--we need to keep nuclear on the table as an option, essentially a zero-carbon option, for the future.

The challenge with nuclear power, at least a major challenge of nuclear power, is that with today's reactors certainly, there is a very, very large upfront capital cost although a comparatively-low operating cost. Given that capital structure, what we are seeing is new reactors being built in the Southeast where the rate recovery mechanisms are operative. We will see how that propagates across the country.

But you mentioned technology. And as one example of something that I certainly think is very important for us to see through is the development of much smaller so-called modular reactors. Indeed, the Department of Energy has help support now a company on that. And they will be submitting a design certification--it's a 50MW rather than say a 1200MW reactor--they will submit this year to the NRC.


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