The U.S. Department of Energy projects that U.S. electricity demand will rise 28 percent by 2040. The nation will subsequently need hundreds of new power plants in order to provide electricity to Americans as well as to sustain economic growth.
According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, maintaining nuclear energy’s current 20 percent share of generation will require building one new reactor each year starting in 2016, resulting in 20 to 26 new units by 2040. Currently, there are 16 companies nationwide studying, licensing, or building over 30 nuclear power reactors, with 5 new nuclear plants under construction.
In addition to large nuclear plant projects, the NEI also hopes to expand potential nuclear markets through the development of small-scale reactors, according to a briefing paper released by the organization in June 2013:
“Small reactors in scalable facilities can fill a broader spectrum of new energy demands as well as replace inefficient electricity facilities, provide process heat for diverse industrial applications and generate electricity for remote locations. Modules can be added as needed—built in controlled factory settings and easily transported to the site.”
“Together with large reactors and other low-carbon energy options, such as wind and solar, small reactors contribute to a full line of safe, secure carbon-free energy sources.”
“It’s an opportune moment to take step back and say, ‘Look. If we’re going to build the kind of low-carbon future we need, I don’t see how to get there without significant reliance on nuclear energy,’” Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman said in a statement to the OC Register. “For the first time in many, many years, we’re seeing a strong emerging consensus that it’s in the best interest of the country. We should take this opportunity to get it right, and do so with the stewardship of the environment, and preventing proliferation, uppermost in our minds.”
However, until the United States is able to find and approve a technology for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste — a process that is expected to take at least 35 years — California will not allow for any such development.
Since 1976, California has had a moratorium on building new nuclear plants. Although many attempts have been made over the years to challenge the ban — in both the courts and the legislature, as well as the initiative process — none have proven successful.
In February, California cleared a 2014 initiative that would shut down the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre plants until a disposal method is approved. However, the initiative’s sponsors did not gather enough signatures for its deadline and it will not appear on the 2014 ballot.
The initiative is sponsored by Ben Davis Jr., author of an initiative that prompted the 1989 closure of the Rancho Seco nuclear plant.
For the state to become accepting of nuclear power “we need to change the law to make it no more onerous to build a nuclear power plant than it is to build a natural gas power plant,” according to former California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. He is “optimistic on the long term prospects because it makes such logical sense,” but “not optimistic on the short term prospects.”
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Where that Floating Garbage dump is at sea its all contamination anyway a Gigantic garbage and Nucular Man made Power and garbage prcessing Island
There is certainly a need for the clean(er) energy that nuclear power could supply in this state. That said, I don't see it as such a bad or nonsensical idea that we have a moratorium on new plants until we've actually come up with a plan for disposing of waste. Earthquakes are a common factor in California, and what happened in Japan is a prime example of why we need to have full plans in place for these types of facilities before we get ahead of ourselves and end up with a catastrophe of our own.
It's unfortunate for nuclear that California is holding a moratorium on new nuclear projects, but it makes sense to require a plan for waste storage. It's a tough spot to weigh the cost/benefit of having nuclear and storing waste. Perhaps with other nuclear projects around the country, CA can import energy?
The problem with nuclear energy is the toxic waste. Last I heard they have not solved that problem. The solution Nikola Tesla. Governments have suppressed his discoveries because corporations can't profit from them. We need to stop putting profit first!
We have other options, Plenty of room for Tidal, Solar Wind Turbines and natural gas Not to mention possible "Fracking", we do not need Nuclear with our high risk of earthquakes.
@Bruce Stevens Safe is a relative question. Believe it or not, the contents of the spent fuel elements are quite valuable, but first they have to be run through a reprocessing plant.
@Joseph Avery : There would have been only minor problems at Fukushima if the Diesel generators had either been in water tight vaults in the locations where they were or on the top of the reactor containments where the fuel pool cranes are located and if the fuel tanks for them had been buried underground. The whole problem was the loss of backup power or actually the failure to restore it before the battery backup power failed. All was OK as long as the batteries held out. But, the generators were soaked with seawater and the fuel tanks were washed away.
@Michael Higham : They do, they import both nuclear and coal from Arizona. Really, we only need a 100 year waste storage plan. The so-called waste (spent fuel) is valuable and will be recycled sometime in the next 100 years.
@Silvio Renzulli: There is no technical problem with what to do with the spent fuel elements. It is only a political problem. They can be recycled or put in a warehouse.
How can you attempt to have a logical discussion when you automatically disparage an entire state as being communist?
Even with all other alternative plants combine California will not be able to keep up power without several new full scale reactors or many new smaller reactors. Land becomes the problem in any we really don't have much left that is build able without major environmental impact
I was flying into San Jose last night and realized how full of crap they were about energy shortages a few years back. 28% who cares, I guarantee you we are using 2-10x the amount of energy we were using just 15 to 20 years ago. The Internet started in the Mid 90's. Cell Phones had just become available to most. We haven't increase energy production my 100%-1000% in the last 20 years here in Cali. We should massively be investing in Hydro and Desalination Plants. California could be the Greenest Place on Earth. And if we want to shrink our footprint and lower energy costs why are we building above ground?
hydro power, a half a cent a kilowatt hour to produce, Solar, around 13 cents a kilowatt hour, pesky polluting batteries Wind. Inconsistent about 26 a kilowatt hour and UGLY AS HELL. Why is this even news. King Barry said he was going to do this to us.