By Katherine Berezowskyj
Tomorrow in Washington, the Third Way and the Idaho National Laboratory will host a bipartisan forum on the future of nuclear energy. Some of the A-listers scheduled to participate include Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, White House Energy Czar Carol Browner, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Gregory Jaczko, and Senators Tom Carper and George Voinovich. There will also several industry CEO’s, labor organizations, and NGOs, including AREVA North America’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Rencheck.
In order to encourage dialogue, there will be no formal presentations but a forum for discussion on the role that nuclear energy must play in the nation’s energy and economic future.
With no public agenda, we hope the summit works through some of the major issues critical to building nuclear energy’s role as a major source in the United States. One issue we believe necessary to achieving this is the need for U.S. leadership to invest in our infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. It is vital to protecting our global leadership position and will require investments in America’s future that will create jobs now.
We understand that nuclear energy involves a large upfront investment, but the electricity produced from the plants over a 60-year life span is cheap. This need to invest extends beyond the considerations for short-term profit driven factors because investing now will provide domestic clean energy infrastructure, long-term economic boost and technological know-how for tomorrow.
It is very similar to the strategic importance of investing in your child’s college education. Yes, there is a substantial amount to pay initially, but it dramatically increases their chances for success and long-term development as an adult. The same is true of investments in clean energy. We have to understand the value in making a strategic choice now, and that it will benefit us and the generations to follow both for the economy and environment.
AREVA is already investing heavily in the nuclear energy revival, including more than $4 billion in projects such as the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, heaving manufacturing facility in Virginia, and the development of the U.S. EPR™ technology throughout the U.S. We are ready to do more to provide American prosperity tomorrow.
Follow live tweets from the summit using the Twitter tag #nesummit.