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.



Women-Owned Gardenuity And Women Repair Zone Collaborate To Teach Gardening And Carpentry Skills

Etowah Food City Set To Open

First TVA-Owned Battery Storage To Shape Energy Future


Tennessee-based Women Repair Zone and Texas-based Gardenuity are partnering to present a live, online, hands-on workshop to teach women about gardening and carpentry. Women will learn from Gardenuity ... (click for more)

Shelves are stocked in preparation for the Wednesday opening of the new Food City in Etowah. The 41,100+ square foot supermarket replaces the prior location on US-411 North which was closed earlier ... (click for more)

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Monday that it is installing TVA’s first owned and operated, grid-scale, battery energy storage system near an industrial complex in Vonore, Tn., about ... (click for more)



Business

Women-Owned Gardenuity And Women Repair Zone Collaborate To Teach Gardening And Carpentry Skills

Tennessee-based Women Repair Zone and Texas-based Gardenuity are partnering to present a live, online, hands-on workshop to teach women about gardening and carpentry. Women will learn from Gardenuity Co-founder and CEO, Donna Letier, about the joys of gardening and from Women Repair Zone’s artisan carpenter, Sarah Messer, how to build an outdoor pine planter. Customers will build ... (click for more)

Etowah Food City Set To Open

Shelves are stocked in preparation for the Wednesday opening of the new Food City in Etowah. The 41,100+ square foot supermarket replaces the prior location on US-411 North which was closed earlier this year to make way for construction of the new store. “The residents of Etowah have certainly been supportive of our company and we’re excited to provide our valued customers with ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Former County EMT Charged With Vehicular Homicide Is Back Out Of Jail After Pretrial Services "Error"

A former county EMT accused of vehicular homicide was taken into custody in court on Monday based on five alleged violations of his pretrial release. But Justin Whaley was back out of jail on Wednesday after it was agreed that the report of the violations was unfounded. His attorney, Lee Davis, said, " The report filed by Pretrial Services was in error. There was no alcohol ... (click for more)

Sports Wagering Committee Of State Lottery Board Conditionally Approves Licenses For 1st Group Of Sports Betting Operators

The Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Board of Directors on Wednesday conditionally approved licenses for the first group of sports betting operators in Tennessee. The committee also approved its first supplier application and 26 additional vendor applications and announced follow-up meetings Oct. 5 and 16 to take up more applications and review additional ... (click for more)

Opinion

Earl Freudenberg Remembers Bettye Parker

One of the most patriotic individuals I have ever known has passed away. Bettye Parker died Tuesday after a short illness. At Bettye's request there will be no memorial service. Bettye ran Bettye Parker Realty on Highway 58 for as long as I can remember. She handled thousands of property transactions. Her son, Paul Parker, also became involved in real estate and is the real ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ballot Bearer Is Shot

Last week was a typical one for Chicago. The weekly shooting gallery was about normal for the third week of September – 100 people shot, 14 homicides and 86 wounded -- on the downtown streets. But there was one shooting that stood out. A United States Postal Service letter carrier was shot four times when she got in the crosshairs of a drive-by shooting and now the USPS is on the ... (click for more)