February Nuclear News Round-Up: Nuclear’s Crucial Role in 2023
2022 proved to be a monumental year for nuclear energy. With an abundance of legislation and advancements, it showed that nuclear was trending upwards. During the first couple of months of 2023, it seems like nuclear energy will only continue in its current trajectory. On top of that, universities across the country are looking towards micro-nuclear as a solution to their power needs, and globally, nuclear is predicted to be a strong power source in the coming years. Keep reading to learn more about these advancements.
New Legislation Spurs Advancements in Nuclear
The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) claims that they are tracking over 100 bills related to nuclear energy – and we are only two months into the new year. What exactly does that entail? While every state’s policies look different, there are common threads connecting them all. 12 states are considering legislation that would support the advancement of nuclear reactors with Virginia at the helm of these efforts. Following the examples West Virginia and Connecticut set last year, four more states are appealing laws that prohibit the construction of nuclear facilities. While legislation is an essential first step, other states are going the extra mile to train the next generation of nuclear workers. Washington, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Nebraska are all developing institutions to provide necessary training.
Nuclear Set to Meet Heightened Energy Demands
Over the next three years, experts are predicting that there will be a significant increase in demand for clean energy. While renewable energy will not be enough to sustain global power needs, adding nuclear energy into the mix can meet the demand. In fact, renewables and nuclear are predicted to meet 90% of the additional demand. Though nuclear’s output declined by 4.3% last year, the industry is expected to boom over the next few years with an average annual growth of 3.6% through 2025. Asia Pacific will be a key factor and be the reason for over half of the nuclear growth.
Micro Nuclear Power Intrigues Universities
Nuclear always appears to be a large-scale production. However, recent interest is paving the way for small reactors that would produce only one-hundredth the electricity of a standard-size reactor. Universities have taken an interest in these small units and some are even in support of using those reactors to power their buildings. As time progresses, these small reactors may even be used at small hospitals and military complexes. Concerns for this plan have been raised surrounding the need for someone onsite who can maintain the unit and how they will be able to dispose of the radioactive waste. Though these concerns must be taken into consideration before these plans become a reality, experts feel strongly that this is a step in the right direction.
A Look to the Future
While we are speeding full force into the new year, we can stop and appreciate the advancements nuclear has made thus far and its continued efforts to be a valuable part of our energy needs. At ARC, supporting nuclear growth and the industry as a whole is one of our priorities. While the current state of the industry excites us, we are looking forward to the future progress nuclear is bound to make.