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House subpanel wrestles over the future of baseload coal, nuclear

Massive nuclear and coal-fired "baseload" power plants have been an enduring symbol of the electric industry and foundations of its expansion. But what is their role in the grid's future?

The question split Republicans and Democrats yesterday at a session of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, as well as subcommittee witnesses called in to debate the effect of U.S. EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan on the electric system's reliability.


Chairman laments House-passed spending bill

The House-passed energy and water spending bill would pressure the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC chairman said last week.

Chairman Stephen Burns told the Nuclear Energy Institute's annual conference in Washington, D.C., that the appropriations measure threatens to undermine NRC's efforts to shrink its staffing to align with a slowdown in nuclear permitting and construction.


Industry 'dead wrong' to back Obama's climate regs -- Inhofe

Climate change regulations may look like a good deal for the nuclear industry, but they mask the Obama administration's broader assault on all conventional sources of energy, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe said today.

Speaking at the Nuclear Energy Institute's annual conference in Washington, D.C., the Oklahoma Republican said the administration was pursuing a "war on nuclear" side by side with its much-vaunted "war on fossil fuels."


DOE advanced test reactor necessary to keep U.S. leadership -- experts

The Energy Department should create a test reactor that is open for private-sector companies to experiment on new materials and technology that will lead to the next generation of nuclear energy, a panel of experts told members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee yesterday.

"Right now, nuclear has remained stagnant because the research is lacking," said John Parmentola, senior vice president of energy and advanced concepts at General Atomics, during the Energy Subcommittee hearing.


Industry investing billions but still facing regulatory hurdles -- Exelon CEO

The U.S. nuclear power industry has invested billions in infrastructure and safety upgrades since Japan's 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster but is still facing regulatory challenges as it looks to expand domestic generation, a top industry executive said today.

The industry invested $6.4 billion in 2013 alone in existing and under-construction nuclear power plants, Exelon Corp. President and CEO Chris Crane said in a speech at the Nuclear Energy Institute's annual energy conference in Washington, D.C.

Nuclear Nation

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About this report

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan has spawned a major nuclear disaster. E&E examines the implications for energy, the environment, security and public health.

Nuclear Nation

Scores of nuclear power reactors dot the United States. There are 103 reactors that are licensed to operate and 14 undergoing decommissioning. Many others are in planning stages; the four furthest along in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process are shown on this map. Click on a site icon for more details on the U.S. NRC website.

Proposed and expected to proceed to final NRC licensing


Japanese Response

Nuclear Policy



U.S. Reactors

Public Response