2019 has just begun, but already is ripe with opportunities to advance the nuclear energy industry in America. With a new Congress, one of the youngest and most diverse ever seen, there’s much work to be done educating our leaders on the importance of nuclear energy for America.
Fortunately, 2018 was one of the most transformative years for nuclear energy, preparing the country as a whole for widespread acceptance and support of nuclear power. As we look to the future, let’s recap how 2018 led the charge in change:
- In 2018, leading environmental groups, global governing bodies and corporations endorsed the value of nuclear energy. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The Union of Concerned Scientists, The Nature Conservancy and Google all agree that we need to drastically limit our carbon production and leverage every source of carbon-free power, including nuclear energy. Through reports and statements, these organizations are just a part of the chorus calling for nuclear power to be part of the energy mix, moving forward. As more individuals and groups learn the facts about nuclear energy, they are accepting the undeniable truth that we cannot reach our climate goals without it.
- In 2018, voters and policymakers recognized nuclear energy as an important part of their states’ futures. In Arizona, citizens reaffirmed their support of nuclear energy as a clean, carbon-free power source. Arizonan voters said no to a ballot initiative that would exclude nuclear power from the state’s clean energy plans. Meanwhile, the New Jersey State Legislature worked to pass a comprehensive energy plan that provides zero emissions credits to financially-challenged nuclear power plants, which was immediately signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy. At the federal level, bipartisan support in the House and Senate led to three new pieces of legislation that protect and foster the nuclear energy industry in America.
- In 2018, the nuclear energy industry invested in the future of American clean energy. In Georgia, construction continued on two new AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Vogtle site, advancing the work on America’s only existing new reactor build. Across the country in Idaho, NuScale received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) – the first Phase 1 approval of any SMR in the United States. This monumental advancement puts the industry one step closer to realizing a SMR, putting the U.S. on a path to better control of its clean energy future and competitiveness in the global market.
2018 spoke to the resilience of nuclear energy. It showcased the industry’s ability to fight against all odds and its commitment to changing hearts and minds. In 2019, let’s work to grow support for nuclear power by working together. Join Nuclear Matters in 2019, and together we will continue to advocate for clean, always-on nuclear power.