Alexander Says Next Congress Has A Prime Opportunity To Ensure Future Of Nuclear Power

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Senator Lamar Alexander, the top Senate Republican on energy appropriations, on Wednesday said the next Congress has a “prime opportunity to ensure nuclear power has a future in our country” and laid out steps that should be taken to spur the development of new nuclear reactors and end the nuclear waste stalemate.

“Today, nuclear produces about 60 percent of our country’s carbon-free electricity, but the U.S. could lose about half our reactors over the next two decades if existing licenses can’t be extended from 60 to 80 years. We need to take steps today to ensure nuclear power has a future in our country, including extending our reactor licenses when it is safe to do so, investing in energy research, ending policies that pick energy winners and losers and ending the nuclear waste stalemate,” Senator Alexander said. 

“Nuclear power is our nation’s best source of low-cost, reliable, safe and pollution-free electricity that can power your home or business when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun isn’t shining. And at a time when the world’s leading science academies of 20 developed countries say climate change is a threat – and that humans are a significant cause of that threat – it makes no sense whatsoever to close nuclear reactors. We need to invest today in the next generation of nuclear reactors, advanced reactors, small modular reactors and accident tolerant fuels.”

Wednesday was the second of two oversight hearings to discuss the future of nuclear power in the United States. Senator Alexander, who leads the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development, said this year’s Senate version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill includes $94.5 million for advanced reactors, which is $21 million more than the president's budget request. The bill also provides $95 million for small modular reactors, which is a $32.5 million increase over last year. 

Senator Alexander argued the United States should use its supercomputing resources to model and simulate reactor designs in new ways to make sure new reactors are safe and more cost-effective.

Wednesday’s hearing consisted of two panels and witnesses, including Dr. John Deutch, who is chair of the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board and institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Deutch is also a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, deputy secretary of defense, and director of energy research at the Dept. of Energy. The second panel included Dr. Alan Icenhour, the associate laboratory director for nuclear science and engineering at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Dr. Matthew McKinzie, the director of the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Senator Alexander asked the witnesses about findings from the final report issued by the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force on the Future of Nuclear Power – a report examining challenges that the nuclear industry is facing today, as well as the steps that are necessary to deploy new advanced nuclear technologies in the future.  

In September’s hearing, the committee discussed what actions should be taken to maintain Wednesday’s nuclear power plants and ensure our country continues to invest in nuclear power.




State Supreme Court Clarifies Law When Bank Sells Loan Collateral Without Proper Notice

The Supreme Court of Tennessee issued guidance on the steps courts should follow when a creditor sells collateral used to obtain a loan, but does not provide the required notice of the sale. The case involved a bank loan that was used to purchase an airplane, with the plane itself and additional guarantors securing the transaction. When the debtor failed to maintain insurance, the ... (click for more)

Gas Prices Drop 9.3 Cents In Chattanooga

Average retail gasoline prices in Chattanooga have fallen 9.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.21 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.45, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com. Including the ... (click for more)

Ooltewah High's Robin Copp Is State Principal Of The Year

Ooltewah High School principal Robin Copp has been named Tennessee’s 2017-18 Principal of the Year.   Officials said of the second-year principal, "No matter the grade level, she believes in creating student-centered schools, which are first and foremost focused on teaching and learning. To support this model, Copp has instituted a professional learning framework ... (click for more)

City Has Apparently Found Buyer For Chattanoogan Hotel

The city of Chattanooga has apparently found a buyer for the Chattanoogan hotel on Broad Street. A city board will meet next Monday to consider several resolutions. One item before the Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corporation is approving the hiring of the Husch Blackwell law firm "as special counsel in connection with the preparation of a sale and purchase agreement ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT A 34-Point ‘Dog

I can’t remember a time in my life when a University of Tennessee football team has been a five touchdown underdog and this comes at a time when my primary-care physician tells me, “Let’s face it … you are old.” That said, even when I look at myself naked in the bathroom mirror I ain’t as ugly as what I fear will happen in Tuscaloosa this coming Saturday. I can remember the Tide ... (click for more)