Administration Warms to Clean Energy Standard including Nuclear Energy

By Jarret Adams

Among the ideas that emerged from the Nuclear Energy Summit yesterday was the idea of a Clean Energy Standard that would call for a certain percentage of renewable, nuclear energy and clean coal generation at a future date. Yesterday’s conference was hosted by the centrist group Third Way, the Idaho National Laboratory,  Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

The meeting brought together senior administration officials, members of Congress, industry and other opinion leaders to consider the future of nuclear energy in the United States.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu supported consideration of such a Clean Energy Standard, according to a Climate Wire report. “This is one proposal as a possibility that I think Congress and the administration have to consider very seriously,” Chu said.

The notion floated at the event would have 50 percent of the nation’s energy from clean sources by 2050, and 25 percent by 2025.

Carol Browner, White House energy advisor also supported the idea of reviving nuclear energy in America. “We were once at the forefront of this industry, and we need to recapture that dominant position,” Browner said.

Attending the event, AREVA COO Mike Rencheck said the company could not have moved forward with its Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility without a federal loan guarantee for the multibillion-dollar facility.

This project is expected to inject some $5 billion into the regional economy and create 5,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the project, Rencheck said.

The group attending the event is developing a paper that will offer recommendations on ways to kick start the nuclear energy industry in the United States.

Here are a few other accounts of the event from Rod Adams and Dan Yurman: