40 New Nuclear Power Plants Will Need To Be Built by 2035 to Help Meet Anticipated U.S. Electrical Energy Demand While Reducing CO2 Emissions

U.S. energy policy must focus attention and invest in many electrical power generation sources - including Nuclear, Solar, and Wind power - to meet future demand while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Feb 16, 2010, 07:50 ET from GEI Consultants, Inc.

BOSTON, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A Founding Principal of GEI Consultants, Inc. asserts that as many as forty nuclear power plants will need to be constructed by 2035 to help support a one percent annual increase in U.S. electrical power demand. According to Daniel LaGatta, Ph.D., a one percent annual growth rate for electrical power demand would increase U.S. generation requirements by approximately 303,000 Mw in 2035. A host of electrical power sources – including wind, solar, clean fossil and nuclear - will be needed to help meet demand. He concludes that the best approach to establishing a rational national energy plan as it relates to America's future electric power generation demands is to include in the discussion all potential power sources, from clean coal and natural gas, to biomass, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, solar, and wind.  Permitting, licensing, and construction of a new nuclear plant can take as long as 10 years. The fact that no new nuclear power plants are currently under construction should be a cause of major concern to government, industry and citizens alike.

Currently, barriers exist that limit the production of adequate levels of wind, hydro and solar energy supplies to meet the expected 2035 demand. Over the next 25 years all clean energy sources including nuclear power will be necessary to keep up with U.S. demand.

While it can be demonstrated that the renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar cannot satisfy all of our new demand needs, it is important that the U.S. diversify our energy supply portfolio. We must continue to support wind and solar energy sources to improve our renewable energy portfolio and provide diversity to our energy supply.

Nuclear power currently supplies the United States with approximately 20 percent of its electric energy needs and 68 percent of all carbon-free electricity. If one is reasonable in assuming the contributions of renewable energy sources, it will become clear that to meet expected energy demand in 2035 with carbon-free electric energy, nuclear power must be a portion of our new generation. With only 10 percent of our installed capacity, nuclear power has consistently and safely contributed approximately 20 percent of the electric power used in the United States. Because of its high reliability and low production cost, nuclear power has been and will continue to be a major means of carbon-free generation.

A strong, viable U.S. nuclear industry would have a positive influence on the U.S. economy as well. Each nuclear plant creates about 4,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs when in operation. These are high-paying jobs that cannot be sent overseas. Supporting industries also create thousands of additional U.S. manufacturing jobs and are a boost to our manufacturing capabilities.

The initial development of a new generation of nuclear power plants will result in significant dividends that include the reduction of CO2 emissions and the development of a major renewable energy industrial program that will create thousands of new U.S. manufacturing jobs. Aggressively developing a nuclear energy program can be one of the United States' most viable options for conquering climate change, overcoming economic duress, and paving the way for a sustainable future.

Excerpted from "Nuclear Power: A Green Technology" by Dr. Daniel LaGatta, founding principal of GEI Consultants, Inc. For a more in-depth discussion of alternative energy solutions and nuclear energy as a viable green technology, please visit GEI Consultants website to read the full article.

About GEI Consultants, Inc.

GEI's multi-disciplined team of engineers and scientists deliver integrated geotechnical, environmental, water resources and ecological solutions to diverse clientele nationwide. The firm has provided a broad range of consulting and engineering services on over 25,000 projects in 50 states and 22 countries. For more information, please visit the firm's web site at www.geiconsultants.com.

SOURCE GEI Consultants, Inc.



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