DOE News Release
February 16, 2005

Teri Ehresman, INL, 208-526-7785 or cell 208-520-6252,

Decision-Makers' Forum: Leaders identify strategic steps necessary to advance nuclear energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Decision-makers from industry, academia and seven of the Department of Energy's national laboratories today announced a unified strategy from the private, public and academic sectors to help protect the nation's energy security by advancing nuclear energy as a growing part of the United States energy portfolio.

Last summer, a forum of key decision-makers involved in nuclear power – prominent leaders who could begin to forge a unified strategy – met in Washington, D.C. The day long event and subsequent discussions led to the development of the eight major imperatives announced today. They help answer the question, "To advance nuclear energy in the United States through mid-century, what must happen?"

The eight actions identified by the group include:

  1. Ensuring U.S. Energy Security with bipartisan initiatives and an executive branch priority on nuclear energy,
  2. Enacting long-term Price-Anderson legislation,
  3. Reasserting criteria, achieving licensing, and beginning operation of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository,
  4. Deploying Generation III reactors,
  5. Demonstrating predictable and efficient nuclear plant licensing processes,
  6. Developing and deploying Generation IV reactors and Advanced Fuel Cycles,
  7. Reestablishing a vibrant educational infrastructure, and
  8. Building public confidence and support for nuclear energy.

The forum was guided by the overarching vision "to achieve sustainable peace, prosperity, and environmental quality, enabled through immediate U.S. leadership in the global expansion of nuclear energy systems."

At the forum, Paul Robinson, director of Sandia National Laboratories, summarized an action plan designed by the seven national laboratory directors to achieve the primary goals of (1) improving air quality and increasing energy security, (2) reducing nuclear waste, and (3) reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation.

Jim Reinsch, president of Bechtel Power and incoming president of the American Nuclear Society, presented the industry perspective at the forum. Reinsch emphasized the potential global warming impact of continued burning of fossil fuels and nuclear energy's highly competitive position in the energy marketplace, based on the outstanding performance of the current fleet of nuclear plants as well as the cost-effectiveness of the Generation III designs that are entering the marketplace.

Michael Corradini, recent chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads organization, presented the university perspective and stressed the need for an available and well-trained work force for an expanded nuclear industry.

"The eight imperatives identified are key to ensuring the stable future of our country's energy supply," said James Lake, associate laboratory director for nuclear programs at Idaho National Laboratory and forum participant. INL organized the forum and follow-up report.

The forum participants included: Jack B. Allen, Westinghouse; Jacques Besnainou, AREVA; E. Michael Campbell, General Atomics; Michael Corradini, University of Wisconsin; James Duderstadt, University of Michigan; James Ferland, LES; William Gauntt, Washington Group International, Inc.; Eugene S. Grecheck, Dominion Energy, Inc.; Joseph Green, Stone & Webster/Shaw Group; William F. Griffith, Bechtel Power; Frank Hahne, Nuclear Fuel Services; David J. Hill, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Robert Jewell, Dow Hydrocarbons & Resources, Inc.; Bennett Johnston, Johnson & Associates; W. Proctor Jones, Johnston & Associates; Dan Keuter, Entergy; James Lake, Idaho National Laboratory; John Longenecker, Longenecker & Associates; Marilyn Kray, Exelon Nuclear; Bill Martin, Washington Policy & Analysis; Kyle McSlarrow, U.S. Department of Energy; Richard Meserve, Carnegie Institute; Dave Modeen, EPRI; Kenneth Peddicord, Texas A&M University; Peter Planchon, Argonne National Laboratory; John Polcyn, AECL Technologies, Inc.; James Reinsch, Bechtel Power; Paul Robinson, Sandia National Laboratories; Larry Scully, Scully Capital Services; Steve Smith, BASF Corporation; Dave Swindle, Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc.; John Tuck, Baker Donelson; Joe Turnage, Constellation Energy Group; and Peter Wells, General Electric Energy.



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