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The Future of Nuclear Energy
The United States may face a substantial contraction of commercial nuclear energy in the coming years. Very low prices for natural gas have fundamentally transformed the energy economy, with many positive benefits, but in so doing also contributed to a reduction in the competitiveness of commercial nuclear power. In addition, state and federal mandates and direct and indirect subsidies for renewable energy—particularly wind—create market distortions in the electricity sector that contribute to undermining the economic viability of nuclear power. Together, these forces are causing nuclear energy facilities to become increasingly uneconomic, particularly in competitive state electricity markets. Indeed, as many as a quarter of commercial nuclear energy facilities in America are cash-flow negative, or may be so soon, or could be facing difficult investment decisions which may lead to early shutdowns.
Such a contraction would have a significant impact beyond the commercial nuclear energy sector, affecting university physics and engineering programs, material science laboratories, manufacturers, labor programs for training nuclear welders, and much more. It would undoubtedly affect the defense establishment and our nuclear Navy’s capabilities, as well as the United States’ ability to shape global standards for safety, security, operations, emergency response and nonproliferation.
All content by Nuclear Energy Program
Event by Frank A. Verrastro , Sarah Ladislaw , and Guy Caruso — May 20, 2015
Report by George David Banks — December 18, 2013
Commentary by George David Banks — August 29, 2013
Commentary by George David Banks — August 13, 2013
Commentary by Michael Wallace, George David Banks and Alayna Rodriguez — August 2, 2013
Critical Questions by Michael Wallace and Alayna Rodriguez — July 16, 2013
Report by John Kotek, Paul Nadeau, and Thomas Hundertmark and Michael Wallace, George David Banks, The CSIS Commission on Nuclear Energy Policy in the United States — June 14, 2013
Commentary by Scott Miller and Michael Wallace, George David Banks and Alayna Rodriguez — June 5, 2013
Wisconsin Nuclear Plant Retires Early Because of Market Forces and Federal and State Government Policies
Critical Questions by Michael Wallace and George David Banks — May 22, 2013
Commentary by George David Banks — May 13, 2013