Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told participants at the Tennessee Valley Corridor National Summit that “the United States should build 100 new nuclear power plants during the next 20 years” to put America on the path to clean energy independence.
He said, “One year ago, I came to Oak Ridge to propose a new ‘Manhattan Project’ to put America on the path to clean energy independence. The project would focus on seven ‘grand challenges’: plug-in electric cars and trucks, carbon capture from coal plants, making solar power cost-competitive, recycling used nuclear fuel, advanced biofuels from crops we don’t eat, green buildings and, finally, fusion.
“Today I am in Oak Ridge to propose that the United States build 100 new nuclear power plants during the next 20 years while scientists and engineers figure out these grand challenges. This would double America’s nuclear plants which today produce 20 percent of all our electricity, but 70 percent of our pollution-free, carbon-free electricity.
“Right now there are 17 proposals for 26 new reactors in licensing hearings before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That’s a start. But I think we need to go well beyond that. I propose that from the years 2010 to 2030 we build 100 new nuclear reactors to match the ones we already have operating.
Making 100 traditional light water nuclear reactors in the United States by 2030 would be possible by green lighting the Idaho National Labs Strategic plan and working flat out and reducing some of the regulatory delays.
It would be easier to reach the goal of doubling the power from nuclear by developing factory mass produced nuclear reactors.