Should Nuclear Energy Try To Fight The Natural Gas Craze?
The nuclear power industry is trying to get ahead of national energy curve — producing a study in advance of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan to cut carbon emissions. The sector’s report sets out to quantify the fuel’s current economic and environmental contributions.
At the same time, the Brattle Group’s study released this week wants policymakers to look over the horizon — to see that the country needs portfolio diversity, and to not become beholden to natural gas. If the goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, then the analysis concludes that nuclear energy is an essential piece of the puzzle — one that is basically carbon-free and cost-effective once plants are up-and-running.
“(P)olicymakers must act to avoid long-term economic consequences,” says former Senator Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, in an email exchange. “As the Brattle report underscores, preserving America’s existing nuclear fleet is no exception” – a power source responsible for 19 percent of the nation’s electricity.