by Katherine Berezowskyj
It couldn’t have been said better: “Investing in new nuclear power plants, which produce electricity 24 hours a day and seven days a week, can be a major growth engine for our economy,” while also being an energy source that is “tailor-made for addressing climate change.” This came from Jim Rogers, the CEO and President of Duke Energy, in an editorial yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. Rogers spoke about how the United States is not leading the charge in developing green energy technology, but he made the point “we are still the world’s largest operator of commercial nuclear power. We have 104 licensed commercial nuclear reactors—generating about 20% of our electricity and more than 70% of all carbon-free electricity.”
Of these 104 nuclear reactors, Duke Energy has seven, and they are planning to build three more. One of these three includes a reactor proposed as part of the recent announcement of the first U.S. Clean Energy Park Project for Ohio. The park is an alliance between key players—Duke Energy, AREVA, Unistar Nuclear Energy, USEC Inc., and Sothern Ohio Diversification Initiative—in which they will look at the Department of Energy site in Portsmouth, Ohio as a potential location for a new nuclear power plant. As part of the development, the project will focus on the deployment of Generation III + reactors on the site, which will include an evaluation of AREVA’s US EPR™ technology.
The construction and operation a new nuclear power plant, like the one under consideration for the Clean Energy Park in Ohio, creates thousands of jobs during construction and hundreds during operation. This is exactly what Rogers points out, “Our private-sector expertise and interest in new nuclear plants is causing regional energy hubs to sprout up, creating thousands of well-paying jobs.” One of these hubs is Charlotte, N.C., where Duke Energy has its headquarters. You will also find 600 AREVA employees here, and during this next year, our numbers will be growing throughout the United States as we are hiring another 600 people. And the economic benefit of nuclear energy does not stop there, as he refers to how “each year the average nuclear plant generates approximately $430 million in sales of goods and services in the local community and nearly $40 million in total labor income.”
While nuclear energy is the most reliable form of CO2-free energy, Rogers concludes that “We must also invest in and expand our use of wind, solar, and other new renewable energy technologies,” which includes a key partnership in renewable energy between Duke Energy and AREVA. This joint venture, ADAGE, is currently working to develop 50 megawatt biopower plants that will use clean wood waste as fuel to produce electricity. They recently announced the first proposed site for their biomass plant in Hamilton County, Florida.
Be sure to check out of the rest of Jim Rogers’s editorial “Why Nuclear Power is Part of Our Future” here.
Share TAGS: ADAGE Biopower, AREVA Inc., AREVA North America, Carbon Emissions, Duke Energy, Energy Security, Jim Rogers, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Ohio, Southern Ohio Clean Energy Park Alliance, Sustainable Development, USEC