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Nuclear Energy

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SMALL MODULAR REACTORS

SMRs may expand opportunities for nuclear power development. Although SMRs are still in the design phase, it’s expected that a 300 megawatt reactor could generate enough electricity to power approximately 230,000 homes a year. Check out NCSL’s resources on SMRs including a June 2014 Legisbrief highlighting federal, state and private investment and a web brief detailing the benefits and challenges of commercializing these designs.

 

 

BRC ON AMERICA'S NUCLEAR FUTURE

two nuclear towersThe Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future issued a final report in 2012 providing recommendations to manage the nation’s nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel. This web brief highlights some of the key points of the BRC report as well as NCSL recommendations and actions during this process.

 

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SMR WEBINAR

webinar logo The development of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), nuclear reactor units with a 300 megawatt electrical output or less, has inspired renewed interest and investment, which could lead to a revival of the U.S. nuclear industry. This webinar explored the unique characteristics of SMRs and their potential role in the nuclear energy industry.

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WORKING GROUPS

NCSL’s Nuclear Legislative Workgroup (NLWG) and the State and Tribal Government Working Group (STGWG) provide the opportunity to learn about the cleanup of federal nuclear weapons production and research facilities, the transportation and storage of radioactive wastes, and nuclear energy issues that affect our nation and states.

 

 

OVERVIEW | NUCLEAR ENERGY

Nuclear energy continues to play an important role in generating the nation’s electricity. Today, 100 large commercial nuclear reactors in 31 states generate approximately 20 percent of the nation’s electricity and contribute 60 percent of the nation’s carbon-free electricity. The Energy Information Administration estimates that domestic electricity demand will increase by as much as 29 percent between 2012 and 2040 and public support for low-emission technologies may help drive the future of the domestic nuclear energy industry. But an aging reactor fleet, rising construction and maintenance costs, questions regarding safety, the lack of a national radioactive waste storage site and increasing pressure from low-cost natural gas pose challenges for the industry. Federal and state policymakers are examining ways to address the challenges faced by the nuclear energy industry while also taking advantage of this carbon-free energy source.

 

 
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